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Yogananda Quotes

Paramahansa Yogananda was one of the greatest spiritual teachers of the twentieth century. He came to America in 1920, almost exactly 100 years ago, on a special mission to bring yoga and meditation to the West.

His work has impacted millions of lives and his beautiful book, Autobiography of a Yogi, remains one of the most successful spiritual books of all time; some even consider the autobiography a scripture. 

This blog post contains an amazing list of 12 of the most inspirational Yogananda Quotes. These quotes contain some of his most important teachings. Yogananda taught for over 3 decades on every aspect of human life, so this is only an introduction.

Check out the list of Yogananda quotes below and download the poster to remember these quotes and keep them close by.

Grab the Yogananda Poster

Don't read these quotes, then forget all about them, and go on your merry way. Stop that from happening by keeping this poster nearby. Put it on your wall, in your car, or in a drawer so that you can check in now and again. Yogananda was a powerful  teacher, so checking in with these teachings is a great way to grow spiritually. 

12 Inspirational Yogananda Quotes

1. "The soul loves to meditate, for in contact with Spirit lies its greatest joy."

This is a beautiful reminder that meditation is the most enjoyable activity we can do. It’s sometimes hard to drag ourselves into our meditation space, but when we go deep in meditation, it’s so worth it. And if we can train ourselves to practice every day, no matter what, then we’ll find the “greatest joy” he speaks of. Finally our souls will be at peace. If you need help learning to meditate every day, download this free meditation starter pack. 

2. ” The minutes are more important than the years.”

We often think that we must set huge goals and make massive changes in our lives. Little do we realize that the main factor of success on the spiritual path (and life in general) is what we do with the little moments. What do you do each day that helps you get to where you want to go? It is in our daily habits and present moments that we grow. Yogananda also said, “Live each present moment fully and the future will take care of itself.” So what small action can you take today to help yourself?

3. "A saint is a sinner who never gave up."

This Yogananda quote is a reminder that every saint was once someone who struggled with his own path. A saint, at one point or another, in this life or a previous one, has been a sinner. If we keep persevering, we too will become saintly when the time is right. So this serves as a reminder to keep trying even when times are hard. Yogananda also shows us that “sinners” are not destined for eternal damnation as in Christian Theology. They will find redemption through the passage of time. What a relief! He also said, “Even the worst of sinners can cross safely over the ocean of delusion.” In fact, people who have done terrible things often make rapid spiritual progress.

4. “The greatest sin is to call yourself a sinner.”

It’s no use to believe that you are a sinner. Maybe you have done some bad things, but we are all operating from our own level of consciousness. Sometimes that is not as “high” as we would like. The important thing is that we learn how to forgive ourselves and be kind to ourselves. In my experience, when you beat yourself up about something, it tends to come back again and again. Only when you learn to forgive yourself does it become possible to stop. So never call yourself a sinner or a “bad” person. You are learning and evolving as you go.

5. "The greater the will, the greater the flow of energy."

Energy is such an important part of the spiritual path, particularly in this age that we live in now. This age is known as Dwapara Yuga, an age of increasing awareness of energy. To overcome the material world and material delusion, we must connect with energy. So how to do that? Well, first we need willpower or willingness. The more willingness we have on the spiritual path, the more energy we have. And the more energy we have, the deeper our practice will be. So when you meditate, have an attitude of “Yes.” Don’t sit down thinking of all the other things you’d rather be doing. Be willing and joyful in meditation and in life.

yogananda quotes

6. "Environment is stronger than will power".

You might be very committed to the spiritual path with plenty of will power. But if you’re in the wrong environment, then it becomes difficult to progress on the path. Environment includes the place in which you live, the people who are around you, and the things you do with your days. Do you live in beautiful, green nature or in a murky city? Do you associate with people who complain and gossip, or with kind and uplifting people? Do you spend your days doing anything unhealthy or harmful? Put yourself in the right environment, because your surroundings shape your consciousness, for better or worse. Learn how to improve your environment here. 

7. " Chanting is half the battle."

One of the most important practices on the spiritual path is that of devotion. Yogananda’s own Guru said that, “You cannot put one foot in front of the other” on the spiritual path without devotion. So then then questions becomes, “How do I awaken devotion?” Well one of the most effective and easiest ways is with chanting. Singing devotional songs and chants connects us to the Divine presence within. Try to chant with deep devotion before meditation and see how it changes your practice.

8. "Change no circumstances of my life. Change me."

How often do we long for our life circumstances to change? We delay our happiness by projecting it into some future moment. But then it stays there in the future, ever unattainable. So we don’t need to change the circumstances of our lives. We only need to change ourselves: the way we speak, think, and act. When we can live with joy in the present moment, everything else falls into place. 

9. "Have only love in your heart for others. The more you see the good in them, the more you will establish good in yourself."

The first step in Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga is Ahimsa, or non-violence. When we love others wherever they’re at, our heart expands and we become attuned to the truth of Divine love. It’s easy to get angry with others, hostile, moody, defensive, or irritable. Try for a short time to love completely, whatever anyone says or does. Most of our negative reactions come from habit patterns that no longer serve us. When we see good in other people, and love them, our lives become complete. We stop letting others dictate our emotional state.

10. "Your trials did not come to punish you, but to awaken you.”

It’s not easy to see past our suffering and those things that cause us anxiety, worry, and pain. But those trials, in the end, become our greatest teachers. The miserable break up becomes a vehicle for growth. The traumatic loss becomes a catalyst for your spiritual journey. Your enemy becomes your greatest teacher. Think of the things in this life which have been most difficult. Then try to see what these trials have taught you. They have helped you step into the next phase of evolution. Unfortunately, the primary (or only) vehicle for spiritual growth is suffering. So if you’re suffering a lot, in a way it is a blessing, because it means you are growing.

yogananda quotes

11. "When the mind is calm, how quickly, how smoothly, how beautifully you will perceive everything"

Well this is one of those beautiful Yogananda quotes that reminds us why we’re on the spiritual path. When the mind becomes completely calm, you see everything much more clearly. You no longer see through the lens of your own judgments and preconceptions. You become like a clear lake, reflecting back whatever comes. Then you will marvel at how wonderful it all is. It reminds me of that Buddha quote. “When you finally see how perfect everything is, you will throw your head back and laugh at the sky.” The spiritual path is not for the faint of heart, but when the mind becomes still, it is all worth it.

12. "Stand unshaken amidst the crash of breaking worlds"

How relevant is this quote today with all the troubles around us? It’s so easy to get sucked into the story, lost in confusion and despair, or hostile towards others. But one of the greatest gifts of the spiritual path is that we work towards non-attachment. When you can stand amidst the storm without becoming ruffled, you know you are advancing well. Deep calmness comes with dedication to your spiritual practice.

Final Words on Yogananda Quotes

These Yogananda quotes are only an introduction to his comprehensive teachings. If you’re interested in finding out more, you can read the Autobiography of a Yogi. Another option is to get The Essence of Self-Realization by Swami Kriyananda. This small book contains many more of Yogananda’s quotes and extracts. The quotes are a little longer than the short quotes you have read here.

And if you want to download this beautiful poster, grab it below: 

Grab the Yogananda Poster

Don't read these quotes, then forget all about them, and go on your merry way. Stop that from happening by keeping this poster nearby. Put it on your wall, in your car, or in a drawer so that you can check in now and again. Yogananda was a powerful  teacher, so checking in with these teachings is a great way to grow spiritually. 

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. I read Autobiography of a yogi in the early 70s and still have it. Around the same time I read Remember, be here now. I then lost my way, oddly It was because I became a nurse (first in general nursing and the last 40 years in psychiatry) and spent a lot of time taking In new information.
    So pleased to be back on the Path! Many thanks for your help with my practices.

    1. Hey Bob. Thank you for your comment. It is such a powerful book. I feel it was quite common for people around that time to dabble on the path and then wander off. But now many are coming back as it is such a great time to get into spiritual teachings. Blessings, Nick

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