While he was not the person who created Kriya Yoga, Paramahansa Yogananda is one of the most important gurus and teachers of this spiritual practice. He was responsible for popularizing spiritual teachings in the West in the middle of the 20th century.
Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings still endure today, and form the foundation of most modern Kriya Yoga practices. So in this blog, we’ll take a look at 5 helpful lessons taught by Paramahansa Yogananda, and how they should impact your spiritual journey as you learn more about Kriya Yoga.
1. Live Intentionally and With a Higher Purpose
Throughout his teachings and practice of Kriya Yoga, Paramahansa Yogananda always emphasized the importance of living intentionally, and always finding a higher purpose in life. This is one of the main cornerstones of Kriya Yoga practice.
Your life is not on “autopilot,” but it often feels like it. You wake up, go to work, care for your family, take care of your day-to-day responsibilities – it can feel like drudgery, and be difficult to see the Divine when you’re overwhelmed by the noise and distractions of life.
That’s why you need to take the time to set yourself apart. To live intentionally, to meditate, and to live an active life – thinking about how you can implement your spiritual practices throughout your busy day, and rise above the humdrum, mundane reality surrounding you.
2. Be Open
Throughout his teachings, Paramahansa Yogananda liked to use the analogy of your life being like a steamship sailing through the waters of the world. Your path lies straight ahead of you, but the wind and the waves may buffet you and push you off-course.
You should not fight the waters of the world, but accept your path. While you must make course corrections to keep yourself on the right path, you cannot rage against thunderstorms or fight back against the waves of life.
You must embrace reality, steer straight ahead, and be open to the changes and difficulties that will face you. Only by doing this can you continue to find the proper path.
3. Choose To Be Happy
This is part of living intentionally. We can all choose to be happy. We can all find ways to keep our hearts and souls happy. And if you are not happy, you can ask yourself why. What is preventing you from finding joy in the simple things? In your morning cup of coffee, in a relaxing shower in the evening, in the smell of fresh-cut grass?
Always find ways to keep your heart and soul happy. The best way to do this is to share your awakened and grateful heart with those around you. Remember, you get back what you put into the world.
4. Let Love Be Your Hero
When you move beyond yourself and let love take over your life, you are living a truly Divine life. In Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings, love is one of the strongest forces of God that exists in the world.
By opening yourself up to divine love and letting it through you, you can truly appreciate and understand God’s creations, and have a prosperous, open heart that will allow the goodness of the Divine Self to flow through you.
5. Be Devoted
Above all else, the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda emphasize the importance of staying faithful to yourself, and living a God-realized life. No matter where you are in your spiritual journey, you must remain devoted to yourself and to your spiritual journey.
Devotion to yourself and Kriya Yoga is like a gyroscope. By focusing on the Divine and living a God-focused life, you can correct your course whenever you feel like you’re slipping, and avoid the pitfalls that may distract you and cause you to lose your way.
Learn More about Paramahansa Yogananda with Yogacharya Ellen Grace O’Brian
Yogacharya Ellen Grace O’Brian specializes in making the lessons and teachings of Kriya Yoga master Paramahansa Yogananda accessible and understandable to the modern mind. With over thirty years of experience, she can help you live a more fulfilled life by following the path of Kriya Yoga. Start exploring the benefits of beginning your spiritual journey today.