'How To Be Happy All The Time' By Paramhansa Yogananda

Paramhansa Yogananda, author of 'How to be happy all the time', is a yogi who introduced yoga teachings to the West culture.

He established the Self-Realization Fellowship during the first half of the twentieth century to help people reach enlightenment.

It is necessary to place Paramhansa Yogananda in his cultural context to understand the teachings he transmits in this little book.

A spiritual book

In this book Paramhansa Yogananda explains what happiness is about and where and how to find it (and where not to).

This spiritual book is a compilation of extracts of lessons that Paramhansa Yogananda wrote - so you can read one of the extracts randomly and simply let it sink in.

These are some of the teachings that you can find in 'How to be happy all the time':

  • "Happiness is not a thing: it is a state of mind. It must be lived."

  • "Happiness grows by what feeds it. Learn to be happy by being happy all the time."

  • "If you want to be sad, no one in the world can make you happy. But if you make up your mind to be happy, no one and nothing on earth can take that happiness from you."

Happiness is not all that Yogananda's book is about, though.

There is also advice on how to keep a positive attitude and a healthy lifestyle; advice on relationships, love, meditation, and in general how to lead a happy and peaceful life. For instance:

"To live simply is to pursue a quiet path of moderation. In a life of balance between opposite extremes lies inner happiness."

The style

Because of the nature of these excerpts and the period in which 'How to be happy all the time' was written, its language is more abstract than other positive thinking books you may find.

This is a book that deals with deep concepts, and so Paramhansa Yogananda speaks in metaphors at times:

"When you see the gloom of hopelessness, shoot it at once with hope-awakening smiles."

A word on God

'How to be happy all the time' makes also continuous reference to God. Even though Paramhansa Yogananda comes from a yogi philosophy background, there are also references to Jesus and Christianity.

The references to God are not dogmatic, and in this sense the concept of God that Paramhansa Yogananda talks about is open to interpretation.

The key to happiness

Paramhansa Yogananda advises that happiness is to be found inside:

"The more you depend upon conditions outside yourself for happiness, the less happiness you will experience."

From my point of view, you can take away a lot from this book if you are open to the concepts it poses and let go of your idea of God. This is a deep reading that contains powerful messages.

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"Keep your expectations of life positive. Strive to live with unceasing happiness."

Paramhansa Yogananda

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