Excerpts from writings by Paramahansa Yogananda

Divine Love

'Ordinary love is selfish, darkly rooted in desires & satisfactions. Divine love is without condition, without boundary, without change. The flux of the human heart is gone forever at the transfixing touch of pure love'. He [Sri Yukteswar] added humbly. 'If ever you find me falling from a state of God-realisation, please promise to put my head on your lap and help to bring me back to the Cosmic Beloved we both worship'. (Autobiography of a Yogi p.90)


A Scripture Of Love by Paramahansa Yogananda

I sought love in many lives. I shed bitter tears of separation and repentance to know what love is. I sacrificed everything, all attachment and delusion, to learn at last that I am in love with Love - with God - alone. Then I drank love through all true hearts. I saw that He is the One Cosmic Lover, the One Fragrance that permeates all the variegated blossoms of love in the garden of life.

The sun and moon and earth and all things are held together by the love of God. If we want to know God, we must not isolate our love, but join it to Divine Love. In spite of the sorrowful dance of life and death we know that God is Love. Therefore the only purpose of life should be to find God.

Love is the song of the soul, singing to God. Love comes from the Lord. It is the panacea for all our human sufferings. There is noting greater than love, for it is a quality of God Himself within our beings. When we manifest this love under all circumstances, it expands to greater, universal love. Such love is divine. When you have that kind of love, then and then only are you One with God.

Many souls wonder wistfully, helplessly, why love flees from one heart to another; awakened souls realize that the heart is not fickle in loving different ones, but is loving the one God-Love that is present in all hearts.

The Lord ever silently whispers to you: I am Love. But to experience the giving and the gift of love, I divided Myself into three: love, lover, and beloved. My love is beautiful, pure, eternally joyous; and I taste it in many ways, through many forms.

As father I drink reverential love from the spring of my child's heart. As mother I drink the nectar of unconditional love from the soul-cup of the tiny baby. As child I imbibe the protecting love of the father's righteous reason. As infant I drink causeless love from the holy grail of maternal attraction. As master I drink sympathetic love from the flask of the servant's thoughtfulness. As servant I sip respectful love from the goblet of the master's appreciation. As guru-preceptor I enjoy purest love from the chalice of the disciple's all-surrendering devotion. As friend I drink from the self-bubbling fountains of spontaneous love. As a divine friend, I quaff crystal waters of cosmic love from the reservoir of God-adoring hearts.

I am in love with Love alone, but I allow myself to be deluded when as father or mother I think and feel only for the child; when as lover I care only for the beloved; when as servant I live only for the master. But because I love Love alone, I ultimately break this delusion of My myriad human Selves. It is for this reason that I transfer the father into the astral land when he forgets that it is My love, not his, that protects the child. I lift the babe from the mother's breast, that she might learn it is My love she adored in him. I spirit away the beloved from the lover who imagines it is she whom he loves, rather than My love responding in her.

So My love is playing hide-and-seek in all human hearts, that each might learn to discover and worship, not the temporal human receptacles of My love, but My love itself, dancing from one heart to another.

Human beings importune one another, "Love me alone," and so I make cold their lips and seal them forever, that they utter this untruth no more. Because they are all My children, I want them to learn to speak the ultimate truth: "Love the One Love in all of us." To tell another, "I love you," is false until you realize the truth: "God as the love in me is in love with His love in you."

The moon laughs at millions of well-meaning lovers who have unknowingly lied to their beloved ones: "I love you forever." Their skulls are strewn over the windswept sands of eternity. They can no longer use their breath to say, "I love you." They can neither remember nor redeem their promise to love each other forever.

Without speaking a word, I have loved you always. I alone can truly say, "I love you"; for I loved you before you were born; My love gives you life and sustains you even at this moment; and I alone can love you after the gates of death imprison you where none, not even your greatest human lover, can reach you.

I am the love that dances human puppets on strings of emotions and instincts, to play the drama of love on the stage of life. My love is beautiful and endlessly enjoyable when you love it alone; but the lifeline of your peace and joy is cut when instead you become entangled in human emotion and attachment. Realize, My children, it is My love for which you yearn!

Those who love Me as only one person, or who imperfectly love Me in one person, do not know what Love is. Only they can know Love who love Me wisely, faultlessly, completely, all-surrenderingly - who love Me perfectly and equally in all, and who love Me perfectly and equally as all. ('The Divine Romance' p.445)


Knowledge prepares the way to love. You cannot love that which you do not know. Knowledge of God must therefore precede love for Him. This knowledge comes with practice of Kriya Yoga. When you know God, you will love Him; and when you love Him, you will surrender yourself to Him. (The Infinite Nature Of God p.28)

There was in India a devoted husband who loved his wife very deeply. Another man became infatuated with her. She ran away with her lover, who eventually left her without friends or funds. One day her husband came to see her. He spoke gently. 'Are you through with this experience? Come home with me, if you are.' She demurred. 'I could not think of disgracing you further.' 'What do I care about the opinion of society?' he replied. 'I love you. The other man loved only your body. I love the real you - your soul. What has happened doesn't make any difference. That was real love. The husband wasn't concerned for his honour; he was thinking only of the welfare of his beloved. (Creating And Destroying Habits At Will, p.411)


Be A Conqueror Of Hearts

Real love is when you are constantly watching the progress of the soul. As soon as you cater to someone’s physical desires and bad habits you are not loving that soul anymore. You are just pleasing that person to avoid ill will. No matter how unpleasant it is to tell a friend that he is wrong, if you say it with love in your heart and stand firm on it, sometimes that person will respect you if you are right. If you are wrong, even then he will know that you did it with sincerity, out of love. (p.384)

Attachment is disastrous, because it is that which is compulsive and limiting. As soon as a child is born the mother falls in love with it. That feeling is impressed on the mother by nature, otherwise she would not take care of the helpless infant. The compulsion to love our family members was given to us as our first lesson in learning to give love to all, unconditionally. But attachment spoils family love, and all forms of human relationships, because it excludes others and is blindly possessive. Disband attachment and learn to give true, sincere love to all. True love is impersonal and is not bound by anything. Our eyes bubble over with love, and we feel a wonderful togetherness; we feel we are one. Once in a while that is felt in ordinary life, but then it is so easily mutilated by familiarity and lack of respect. ( p.385)


True Lover is God

The True Lover is God; we are all His beloveds, mistakenly seeking love in impermanent human beings. The thirst for affection can never be quenched by the imperfect love of mortals. When the devotee, by the practice of loving mortals truly, learns to love all beings, and by meditation learns to love God supremely, then and then only is his longing for love satisfied.

"He who perceives Me everywhere, and beholds everything in Me, never loses sight of Me, nor do I ever lose sight of him.' [Gita VI:30]

Every man who leaves the earth in an embittered state of unrequited love has to come back here until he finds the perfect love of God. When he recognizes the Lord as the only Perfect Lover, his heart seeks no other affection. After many prodigal wanderings the yogi meets the Cosmic Lover in the bower of eternity. Wherever the yogi turns his attention, he sees his Beloved peeping at him through the windows of stars and flowers, through every opening in the atoms and the pores of the sky. The Cosmic Lover similarly beholds the lost-and-found soul of the yogi steadfastly looking at Him. (God Talks with Arjuna p. 635)


The Lord has everything except the love of his prodigal child, man. If the Heavenly Father may be said to "need" anything, it is the love of His runaway children, roaming in delusion. He wants them back, for their own happiness and for His happiness, too. He feels responsible for them; who but He created maya and its labyrinths of misery? What rejoicing He feels when He receives the unconditional love of His children! (Chapter XVII, God Talks With Arjuna by Paramahansa Yogananda, p.1003)


Bring Love into Your Life

Simple actions to bring love into your life:

Do small things with great kindness.
Touch and be touched
Avoid rudeness.

Love, and do what you will.
— St. Augustine

In the state of love, no matter what you do, it’s going to be good. (All You Need Is Love - SRF Magazine 2008)


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