“Into the temple of peace come Thou, 0 Lord of joy!...Sanctify me with Thy presence.”—Paramahansa Yogananda
Paramahansa Yogananda’s universal prayers, and his vivid descriptions of experiences in elevated states of meditation, beckon readers of all faiths to cultivate their own intimate relationship with the Divine. Expressed in a majestic rhythm and poetic beauty, these prayers and prose poems reveal the inexhaustible variety of God’s nature, and the infinite sweetness with which that eternal Father and Mother of all responds to our spiritual yearnings. The book also features invocations to the great prophets and leaders of the principal world religions, and a special section of children’s prayers.
“Yogananda was a God-filled seer and saint, philosopher and poet who experienced a multitude of the innumerable aspects of Ultimate Reality. Compact, vivid, and beautiful meditations convey to readers his rich experiences of joy.”
—Raymond F Piper Ph.D. Syracuse University, New York
“A mind attuned to supernal experiences in cosmic consciousness.... Exquisitely lyrical prose.” —Divine Life, Rishikesh, India
“Words cannot describe the depth of soul-realization attained by this Christlike master Inspired gems—meditations of simplicity yet of great profundity.” —The Voice, England
This book was first published by Self- Realization Fellowship, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. for an international audience. Though minor adaptations have been made for this Indian edition printed under the auspices of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India/Self-Realization Fellowship, the text has not been significantly altered to adapt it for the Indian reader.
Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda reached out to an international audience in his talks and writings. Therefore, he often translated Sanskrit words and Indian philosophical concepts into terms and examples familiar to the West. An understanding of this will enhance the reader’s appreciation of Paramahansaji’s message and its unique universality.
The prayers in Whispers from Eternity serve to bring God closer to us, by describing the liberating feelings that arise from actual communion with Him. The Lord is here portrayed in His immanent aspect: the Cosmic Mother—a grand conception of the Infinite and Invisible become, in Nature, finite and visible.
Followers of all religions may think from this fountain of universal prayers. Paramahansa Yogananda’s writings give profound answers to questions of the modern scientific mind, seeking God intelligently. The book offers a great variety of invocations, enabling the truth seeker to choose daily the thought most helpful to his particular need.
I make this humble request to the reader: “Pass not by, with hurried intellectual reading, the precious mines of truth hidden in the soil of words in this sacred book. Instead, dig deep in the mines with the pickax of attentive, reverent, and meditative study; and finally find the priceless gem of Self-realization.”
I offer my simple songs at the shrine of humanity, that all share my soul joy. May the Spirit in these devotional outpourings restore in many men the wilting blossom of high aspiration.
In naming the book Whispers from Eternity I mean, by Eternity, God in the aspect of the Eternal Mother. In the Lord’s transcendent aspect, the Absolute, He is unreachable by human thought; but in His immanent aspect— permeating the atoms of the universal structure, externalizing Himself in man and Nature—He is near and approachable, the Refuge and Redeemer of every creature.
In the Hindu scriptures His immanence is symbolized as the Mother that presides with watchful love over the destinies of countless beings and over the developments of the endless cycles of creation. It is this personalized aspect of the Ultimate Reality that may be said to have “longings” for the rightful behaviour of Her children and to answer gladly their prayers.
Those who imagine that the Impersonal cannot manifest itself in a personal form are in effect denying its omnipotence and the possibility that man can commune with his Maker. The Lord has often appeared in living tangibility before true bhaktas (devotees of a personal God). Down the ages He has materialized Himself before the gaze of His devotees in whatever forms they hold most dear. A Christian sees Jesus, a Moslem sees Mohammed, a Hindu sees Krishna or Rama, and so on.
The Lord yearns to behold each man playing perfectly his given role on earth. It is by misuse of free will that human beings thwart the divine plan. Absence of the clamour of egotistical desires enables us to hear and heed the guiding Voice within. Free from self-will, men of wisdom carry on their activities in effortless accordance with God’s design.
“Not as I will, but as Thou wilt,” Jesus prayed. No karma accrues to the man who rightfully enacts his part in the drama of earthly life.
Divine recollection is the simplest way to achieve God-communion. Our inner assertion of spiritual identity is sufficient to operate the law for fulfilment of prayers. This law has been utilized by saints of all lands. From the depths of his own experience, Christ was able to give us this glorious assurance:
“If ye have faith, and doubt not. . . if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea, it shall be done. And all things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
Supplications to the Indwelling Spirit should be made with intense fervour. They will be answered by soul whispers – silent mysterious responses that quickly transform one’s life.
Devotees who, with closed eyes, repeat over and over the affirmations in this book, trying to feel their deep truths, will spiritualise them; that is, rouse their inspiration slumbering beneath the thick silken quilt of words.
Invocations to the Lord are like ever-living plants that ceaselessly put forth new blossoms. The prayer plants in Whispers from Eternity retain the same branches of words, yet, if watered by the divine dew of meditation, each plant will daily yield fresh soul flowers of inexhaustibly varied insights.
Brahma Sutras (81)
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