Sayings of a Paramahamsa

Paramahamsa Satyananda, from 'Steps to Yoga'

Twenty hints for an aspirant:

  1. Self realisation is your goal.
  2. Awareness of the goal will maintain your spirit for sadhana.
  3. Be regular and punctual in meditation, asanas, pranayama, prayers and self-analysis.
  4. Meditate In padmasana (or siddhasana).
  5. Do not meditate when you are awfully tired.
  6. Speak less. Stop loose thinking. Reduce your necessities.
  7. During any physical illness, sumiran (contemplation on God or Guru) alone will do. No japa and no meditation; no asanas and pranayama.
  8. Try to practise mental kirtan. No lip service. Merely imagine that the sound is being produced in the brain. Do only a little in the beginning.
  9. When the sadhak is sure that his spiritual zeal will not diminish, and that he can meditate without effort, he should avoid intellectual big talk.
  10. He should consider his 'aim, faith and success' alone as the first and last thing.
  11. Like an arrow which has been released, the sadhak should have, strictly speaking, one way and one sadhana.
  12. The sadhak should not confuse himself with many aims under the garb of catholicity and broad-mindedness.
  13. The sadhak should be careful not to compile various ideas which come from different sources of philosophy and usher in intellectual chaos.
  14. The sadhak who consults various books and forms his mental structure in accordance with the ideas contained therein, will find it really hard to achieve the power.
  15. That sadhak who has been properly Initiated and Instructed in the science of sadhana and Yoga, should have nothing to do with various scriptures, orders and congregations.
  16. The sadhak should never change the course of his sadhana, never express it unto others, never analyse it intellectually.
  17. That sadhak who has been properly initiated and instructed in the science of sadhana and Yoga, should not be emotionally moved by petty idols, temples and dualistic notions of reality. It is only alter he has been established steadfastly in wisdom that he is free to act as he likes.
  18. A sincere sadhak, who is already in practice, should not have shastra tasana (desire to follow written guidance). It will destroy the tempo of his sadhana. It may even subdue his faith. In the course of time he receives scriptural knowledge from within. He can discuss even without consulting any scripture. He should patiently wait until intuition awakens in him.
  19. Even if there are hosts of defects, concentration will certainly overcome all of them. There is only one thing which should be entirely removed. That is the trait of jealousy. So long as one has jealousy in one's heart, spiritual powers and meditational progress will do more harm than good. Siddhi, which is a direct result of self purification is really good and liberating. Therefore understand that thorough purification is essential.
  20. The sadhak should remain contented by decency. One has to eliminate a certain type of fashion. Female sadhak yogis should therefore keep their personalities free from emotional charges. They should neither receive, nor emit vibrations of attraction and repulsion. The simpler the personality, the quicker the progress.