The Steps That Lead to God
Yogananda Best Quotes
Proof of the Existence of God
Very few people understand how to go about communing with God. ... Many of them reason, "Well, whether we think of God or not, we are able to provide for most of our daily needs. Why should we seek Him?" Some take this attitude: "We pray, but we don't know if He is listening, so why bother?" Still others put off the search for Him, saying, "When we die we will be angels." But remember, my friends, if you are not angels before sleep, you will not be angels after sleep. Nor will you grow wings just by virtue of dying. Death is not synonymous with transfiguration. Whatever we want and expect to be in the hereafter, we must be now. We must do it today.
We should be practical. The practical aspects of true Self-realization have changed the lives of thousands. If you love God you will be able to make others feel His presence, just as you are able to make others feel your hate if you hate them. You should use your power. ...
Your own Self-realization should be the binding force of religion in your life. I do not want to hold anybody by my personality.
Proof of the existence of God
is not to be found in books, nor in the words of others.
It is in yourself.
When you sit quietly and pray and nothing happens, you have not gone deep enough to touch God. Blind prayers will not work. But if you wholeheartedly pray to God: 'I am Thy child, made in Thine image; make me one with Thee," that prayer will be granted. If you can thus establish your lost relationship with God, then you will have everything. ...
What is the way to know God?
The First Step — "Don'ts"
Patanjali says, is to follow the negative rules postulated by all religions: Don't steal; don't kill; don't commit adultery. Don't commit any evils.
The Second Step — "Do's"
Follow the positive rules stated by all religions. Be kind; be sincere; be truthful; love your fellowman. But that is not enough to do to know God. Before you were born, when no one else was with you, He was with you. When you die and your other friends bury you, He alone shall be with you. He is the only real Friend, the only Friend whose love is unconditional. Remember that.
The Third Step — Right Posture
After right methods of living comes the rule of right posture. You must have the correct meditation posture. You should sit upright, and with the spine always straight. But you cannot find God just by muscular demonstrations, either.
The Fourth Step — Switching off the Life Force
After achieving right posture, is switching off the life force from its customary activities in the body. The life force must be shut off from the sensory organs; then physical sensations cannot reach the brain. ...
Why do you feel peace for so many hours at night? Whence does it come to you? Something Cannot come out of nothing. That peace comes out of something. And the answer is: God is behind the sleep land. The peace felt in sleep comes from God. So the masters say: "Practice Self-realization by right thinking, right acting, right eating, and by oxygenation of the blood and by pranayama (life-force control)."
The masters teach that by switching off the five sense-telephones of sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing you can produce that consciousness at will.
The Fifth Step — Interiorization of the Mind
After switching off the life force by pranayama you can interiorize your consciousness, you can turn your mind within and enjoy consciously that peace you now know only in sleep. When you will be able to forget physical sensations, you will be at the altar of God.
So first follow the moral rules, and then sit quietly and switch off the life current from the senses at will. You can do that in a few years if you are a good student.
The Sixth Step — Concentration
After switching off the sensations, thereby interiorizing the mind, you will find your consciousness is concentrated within. I can keep my mind on anything that I wish. Unless you can do that you have not reached God at all. That is the beginning—when you can shut out distracting thoughts and concentrate on God at will.
The Seventh Step — Meditation
Seventh of the steps to God is true meditation and expansion of consciousness. Remember, God is joy, God is light—great light. Sometimes I behold this earth in it, like a dream. It is indeed a dream. By constant communion everything vanishes but God. He is sometimes like a great light, or like a great sound, or a vast ocean of joy. He is the light that spreads over the wings of eternity. He is the cosmic sound of Aum that devotees hear within in deep meditation. God is love. When you feel love for all, that is God expressing Himself through you. In His devotees you feel the love of God more.
The Eight Step — Oneness with God
The last step of all is union, oneness with that Light, oneness with that Joy, oneness with that Love, oneness with that Wisdom which is God—and not only oneness but expansion of consciousness from the limitations of the body to the boundaries of eternity. ...
You cannot travel in five cars at one time. You should take up one true method and follow that. ... With all your mind, with all the love of your heart, churn the ether with the rod of devotion, and it shall produce God. (os)