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From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom... A common man's journey
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Friday, June 09, 2017

42 Awesome Realisations from the book "Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramahansa Yogananda

"Autobiography of a Yogi" was first published in 1946. It has been in print for 70 years and translated into 45 languages. This book has been highly acclaimed as a spiritual classic including being designated as one of the "100 Most Important Spiritual Books of the 20th Century."

To me, this book was a revelation - supplementing my craving for spiritual wisdom beyond what I have got from any other books or my personal experiences with God and my Guru. Many of life's unanswered questions were answered here. And that is why it took a lot of time to finish this book - every moment being more than worth it.

I, hereby, list down 42 awesome realisations that I witnessed in this awesome book. I know that I need to keep practicing these learning - day in and day out. These learning are worded and appended in a way that makes it easier for most of us to understand and absorb.

If you are interested in reading about such learning from other all time best selling books, you may click here.

So, here we go with our 42 awesome realisations from this book that influenced me immensely.

1. One who pursues a goal of even mindedness is neither jubilant with gain nor depressed by loss. He knows that'll man arrives and departs penniless. 
[My Views:] Happiness being one of the biggest goals of a human life, is defined in terms of "stability " that can be achieved in "any" situation that comes from outside. We are the controller of our thoughts and our feelings, and therefore our happiness is our own responsibility. We must protect it at all costs.
[Recommended Book --> Happiness Unlimited]
[Recommended Video --> The Power to be Happy ]

2. Plants have a sensitive nervous system and a varied emotional life. Not only plants, the life force in metals like tin respond positively or negatively to a stimulus. 
[My Views:] They respond. Plants respond to our feel, touch, care, smile and sensitivity. If you love your plants, they will bloom and grow better. I share this with my personal experiences in running a Tree Plantation NGO - Kalpavriksha !

3. Distinctions of important and unimportant are unknown to the Lord.
[My Views:] HIS is the only love which is unconditional. Every human being, on the other side, is only focused on his or her own selfish interest. If you feel that you love your family and are working for "their" happiness, think again. At the end of the day, you do all that so that "you" can feel good about your family being happy. There is no other reason. We all are working only for ourselves. It is only God, which works selflessly for others. For HIM, the oxygen, water and love comes naturally to a thief as it is for a saint.

4. Never believe that you live by the power of the food and not by the power of God. Money, food and everything else are merely his instruments to sustain your life...only as long as he wants to.
[My Views:] We just take too many things for granted and somewhere start believing that the response of our body towards the stimulus we provide is in "our" control. Actually nothing is in our control. We can only make sincere efforts - and that is it.
Recommended Blogpost --> The Fine Art of Acceptance

5. How short is human memory for divine favours. 
[My Views:] So true. A human being blessed with everything by HIM can be as disappointed as no one else. What do you not have? Money, Fame, Family....... Now, just reverse the question...What all do you have? 2 ears, 2 legs, Food Clothing, Shelter, Voice, Eyes, Hands, Internet, Education, Air to breathe...Trust me. Not everyone has all these. You ought to control your mind to elevate your life and so many lives around you.....the list is probably endless on both sides. It is always your choice which side you want to think through.

6. Attachment is blinding 
[My Views:] It is detachment and not attachment to your loved ones that is going to help yous serve them better. Practice detachment for selfless love.
Recommended Blogpost --> Detach the Duality

7. Good and sensitive suggestions should instruct the sensitive ears of children. Their early ideas long remain sharply etched. 
[My Views:] Catch your children doing the right things, and then be extravagant in your encouragement. Keep suggesting them with politeness. They will remember your suggestions when they need them the most.

8. Be comfortable within your purse. Extravagance will bring you discomfort. 
The fact that this suggestion comes from a Yogi goes on to prove the universal applicability of Wealth Management Principles.
[Recommended Course --> Top 10 Wealth Management Principles]
[Recommended Book --> From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom]

9. It is true that a man incurs the debt of a minor sin if he is forced to kill an animal or any other living being. But man's body is considered more precious than any of the other lower forms because of unique evolutionary value owing to its unique brain and spinal centers. No lower form is so equipped. 
[My Views:] Law of Karma holds good everywhere. So, even with the best of your efforts, you are collecting bad karmas which you will need to settle. Faith in your Guru and Serving the world around you are the only tools that allows you to cut those past karmas
[Recommended post --> Relentless Faith can cut your past Karmas]

8. Thought is a force, even as gravitation or electric. 
[My Views:] Thought is a powerful force. That proves why meditating in groups can give startling results because of multiplied force. Every situation presented to you is somewhere a result of your thought created today or in past (including past births)

9. A guru does not accept a disciple's help unless it is offered cheerfully. 
[My Views:] Do not ever force yourself into doing something for your Guru if you do not feel excited about doing it.

10. Imagination is the door through which disease and healing enters our body. Disbelieve in the reality of sickness even when you are ill, the unrecognized visitor will just flee away. A subtle spiritual structure is hidden behind the bodily mechanism. 
[My Views:] Thoughts and Visualisation are such powerful tools that whatever you imagine in your mind will get manifested in reality, sooner or later.
[Recommended Book --> Dream On]

11. Good manners without sincerity are like a beautiful dead body. Straightforwardness without civility is like a surgeon's knife - effective but unpleasant. Candour with courtesy is helpful and admirable. 
[My Views:] You do not only need to be good intending in your purpose, your action also should be decent and good. "Action + Intent" is what matters in the end.

12. So long as you breathe the free air of Earth, you are under obligation to render grateful service. 
[My Views:] Serve, Serve, Serve - not for anyone - but for yourself. You must pay this rent of being served by Mother Earth for so long. Pay off as much rent as you can - though you can hardly ever pay it complete.

13. The hard core of egotism is difficult to dislodge except rudely. 
[My Views:] The most vital human trait that stops it from achieving startling results in any field is his or her ego. And the only way it can be dislodged is by connecting with a Guru. And when you do that, be ready to accept some rude behaviour to correct you - that is the only way.

14. A worthy leader has the desire to serve, not to dominate. 

15. Just as hunger, not greed, has a legitimate purpose - so the sexual instinct has been implanted by nature solely for the propagation of species. 
[My Views:] If you have been wondering why the sexual instinct existed in humans, then here is the answer. It existed and existed so strongly so that humans do not fail to reproduce. Post that, this ultra strong energy was supposed to serve humans. But that was it. Where are we today? What are we doing with this magnanimous energy today?

16. Be softer than the flower where kindness is concerned, stronger than the thunder where principles are at stake. 
[My Views:] Principles are non negotiable, non compromisable - though rules could be.
[Recommended Blogpost --> Rules Vs Principles]

17. Strive for a two fold existence. The soul must stretch over to have cosmic experiences, while the body must perform its daily duties. 
[My Views:] There is no escaping the duties that you have come here to perform. If you learn to slowly detach the soul from your body - you can perform both the worldly duties as well reach spiritual greatness. 

18. Thoughts are vibrations in the space. A trained mind can receive the desired thoughts broadcasted by others, and also broadcast the thoughts - guided towards a specific person - by sheer will.

19. None other than the man is the instigator of the causes of whatever effects are now prevalent in his life.
[My Views:] It is all getting deposited into our Karmic account. the karmas, of this birth, or previous births, come in front of us as situations that we must face.
[Recommended Blogpost --> What is your Karmic Account Balance?]

20. The wise man defeats his planets i.e. his past by transferring his allegiance from the creation to the creator. The more he realizes his unity with the spirit, the less he can be dominated by the matter. 

21. Man is a soul and has a body. 
[My Views:] This single understanding, and then implementation of the realisation, is good enough to elevate your life forever.

22. A master willingly sacrifices a portion of his bodily wealth to lighten the misery of his disciples, by even a taking a disease onto the himself , thus canceling the effect of some of their bad karma. By putting on the ailments of others, a yogi can satisfy, for them, the karmic law of the cause and effect.
[My Views:] If Karmic law holds good, someone has to take the impact of your past bad karmas. And it is only your Guru who has the capacity to do that - not even God has it. He will take the ill effects of your bad karmas on his body and relieve you from the pain. This is selfless love. This is why you are fortunate if you get a spiritual Guru.

23. If you don't invite God to be your summer guest, he won't come in the winter of your life.

24. God does not reveal himself to a seeker who is satisfied with any lesser attainment. 
[My Views:] All your worldly desires are meaningless - because the ultimate truth and achievement is the realisation of God. As long as you pray for worldly things, it is difficult for God to reveal HIMSELF to you - because you are just not ready to bear the impact.

25. Those who habitually speak the truth develop the power of materializing their words. Truth is God. 

26. Man usually puts his trust in tangibles. When a person comes for healing, a Guru may advise them to wear a bangle etc.. These bangles and jewels, in addition to their electromagnetic healing potencies, also diverts attention from Guru.. thus avoiding the deadly ego. 
[My Views:] A Guru is smart enough to avoid ego for himself by attributing the healing to materialistic things like a bangle - while he may have suffered through the night to take the pain on himself. 

27. Science is fit indeed to discover, and keep discovering the laws of already existing cosmos but powerless to detect the law framer. 

28. Maya is duality. Rise and fall, day and night, pleasure and pain, good and bad evil, birth and death. It is the very fabric of creation. Electrons and Protons, action and Reaction,north and south.. Everything is dual. To rise above the duality of this physical outer world and seek the unity of creator inside us is one of the biggest objectives of human race... Something that they realise after wasting many thousand births in this duality of Maya. 

29. Great saints can do as they wish with their bodies, knowing it to be a manipulatable form of condensed energy. 
[My Views:] Saints understand that body is different from soul. they also understand that the body can be manipulated by the sheer willpower of soul.

30. Lord Shiva is spirituality designated as the king of yogis.

31. On occasions, an avataar may not caste any shadow or make any footprint on the ground. 
[My Views:] A true Guru or Avataar displays various characteristics not easily seen in normal humans. Some of these including walking in thin air or not casting their shadow.

32. The one who faithfully discharges his responsibilities, without personal motive or attachments, treads the sure path of enlightenment. Liberation is dependent on inner, rather than outer, renunciations. 
[My Views:] The entire world is inside you, and you have been looking at it outside. Just one perspective change can do wonders with your life.

33. Everything on earth is of mixed character. Like a mixture of sand and sugar. Be like a wise ant, that seizes only the sugar, and completely ignores the sand. 
[My Views:] Pick up what you want. Do not brood over what is given to you in the platter. You always have a choice.

34. The mere presence of a body signifies that it's existence in made possible by unfulfilled desires. 

35. Best human endeavour is of no effect if it has not God's blessings behind it. No effort is complete without prayer. It is a call to humility. 
[My Views:] Prayer to lord is one of the most important tasks in the list of tasks required to complete your work. Without his blessings, it might just never work out. You may leave office on time, but reaching on time is dependent on his blessings.

36. A man who has reformed himself will reform thousands. 
[My Views:] Focus on yourself, rather than the entire world. The world is looking at you. Once you transform, the world will follow automatically.

37. Breath serves as the subtle link between body and soul. The flesh of a man could never carry on any activity or manifest energy, were it not for the life currents transmitted by soul to body via our breath. 

38. Man's conscious state is an awareness of body and breath. His subconscious state, in sleep, is temporary separation from body and breath. His super conscious state is a freedom from the delusion that existence depends on body and breath. 

39. God lives without breath. The soul made in His image becomes conscious of itself, for the first time only during the breathless state. 

40. Life by life, each man progresses at his own pace, be it ever so erratic. 
[My Views:] We are all progressing, though at different stages and at different speeds. Never feel that you have found a track and others have not. They are all on track. This thinking that we are all progressing cuts your ego and allows acceptance of everyone's behaviour and habits. There is no race. We are all on this beautiful journey of life - enjoying different stages of it.

41. Every spiritual mystery will ultimately solved for the devotee by God himself. The final mysteries of God are not open to discussion. He who knows tells it not. He who tells knows it not. Lord alone is the teacher. 
[My Views:] No one will know the real truth. it is only HE that reveals it to his disciples - and that too only when they are ready enough to face it.

42. Spiritual truth, as with any other truth, belongs to the Lord, and not to India or any other country.
[My Views:] We, sometimes, get too carried away with patriotism and nationalism. We tend to forget that God never created any religion or country. He just created a human being. Humanity goes far beyond any nation.  

Hope these 42 awesome realisations will help shape up your thought process to some extent and help you lead a better life.

Don't have time to read the entire book? 
Then, you can read the crux of some of the best selling books ever written.
If you are interested in reading about such learnings from other 'all time best selling books', you may click here.

Cheers

Manoj Arora
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