This beautifully rendered guide presents deep insights on how we can experience God’s presence directly in our lives, and clearly sets forth principles of effective prayer for receiving God’s response. The teachings offered here embrace universal spiritual laws that will inspire people of all faiths to deepen their spiritual practice.
How does one pray effectively? In the Sanctuary of the Soul offers wisdom and insight that we can use to bring a new richness to our inner life. It shows how to apply the power of prayer as a daily source of strength and guidance- to fulfil our every need, and to build our own personal relationship with God.
God is in the heart and soul of every being. And when you open within yourself the secret temple in your heart, then with the all- knowing intuition of the soul you shall read the book of life. Then, and only then, will you contact the living God. And you will feel Him as the very essence of your being.
Author Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, widely acclaimed as one of the great spiritual teachers of the twentieth century, draws from his own direct experience of God, expressing himself in terms that will be meaningful to readers of both Eastern and Western religious traditions. Here he teaches us to pray the way that saints, sages, and mystics have prayed over the centuries; the way that brings life- transforming responses.
Widely regarded as one of the preeminent spiritual figures of our time, Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952) has introduced millions of readers to the perennial wisdom of the East through his acclaimed life story, Autobiography of a Yogi, and his numerous other books. Today his spiritual and humanitarian work is carried on by Yogoda Satsanga Society of India/ Self- Realization Fellowship, which he founded to disseminate his teachings throughout India and worldwide.
I met Paramahansa Yogananda in 1931, when he came to my hometown of Salt Lake City to give a series of lectures and classes. It was a meeting that profoundly transformed my life.
Though still a teenager, I was seeking spiritual answers. I had listened to the sermons of various church ministers; but my heart remained unsatisfied: “Everybody talks about God, but is there no one who actually knows Him?”
When I entered the packed auditorium where Paramahansa Yogananda was speaking, the spiritual upliftment, power, and love radiating from his presence instantly convinced me- to the core of my being- that I was in the presence of one who had found God and could guide me to Him.
One night he spoke on faith and will power. He so inspired me that as I sat and listened to him I felt it was definitely possible to move mountains with faith in God.
When the lecture was over, I waited to greet him. I had been suffering for quite some time from severe blood poisoning throughout my system- the result of an accident in high school- and the doctors could find no cure for it. During our conversation, he suddenly said to me, “Do you believe that God can heal you?” His eyes were alight with divine power. .
I replied, “I know God can heal me.”
He touched me in blessing on the forehead. Then he said, “from this day forward, you are healed. Inside one week your scars will be gone.” And that is exactly what happened. Within one week the condition had cleared, and has never returned. .
For Paramahansa Yogananda, faith and prayer to God were not a matter of wishful thinking or unprovable belief. His was a scientific approach to prayer, which yields direct results, direct experience. To thousands all over the world, he taught that spiritual science- yoga, the science of the soul- the definite methods of inner communion whereby each soul can experience its oneness with the Divine.
“Be still, and know that I am God.” These words from Psalms describe the purpose of yoga. In the inner quietude resulting from deep meditation, each person may find a personal connection with God. Then prayer truly becomes dynamic- an intimate, loving exchange between the soul and its Creator in the sanctuary of silence within.
Paramahansa Yogananda’s many books, and his collected talks and essays, contain numerous passages about the way to make prayer effective. In this small volume we have compiled a representative sampling. For those who are just embarking upon an interior life of the spirit, here is inspiration and definite guidance with which to begin. For those who have already incorporated a programme of prayer and meditation into their daily lives, this guide will bring a refocusing and deepening of their relationship with the Divine.
The hallmark of Paramahansa Yogananda’s teaching is that God is not remote or unapproachable. Indeed, that Divine One is “the nearest of the near, dearest of the dear, closer than the closest- just behind our thoughts and feelings, just behind the words with which we pray.”
As Paramahansaji shows in the selections in this book, if we devote even a little time each day to prayer and meditation, the Infinite Father- Mother- Friend becomes a living, enlightening Presence in our lives- bringing strength, guidance, renewal, healing.
That is my prayer for you, the reader; and I know it would be Paramahansaji’s as well.
Brahma Sutras (81)
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