True Success and Prosperity

Paramhansa Yogananda

Millions of children are started on the path of life without a destination. They act like little toy engines, wound up with a little power, running without a track, only to smash up against anything that comes across their path. Such aimless journeys in life are the lot of most people, because in early life they were never started toward the right goal, nor were they properly equipped with systematic powers that would enable them to keep moving on their definite paths.

On this stage of life, most people act like puppet-actors, played by environment, prenatal instincts, and destiny. They never know what parts they can play successfully, nor can they harmonize their own duties with the general plan of the Cosmic drama. millions, so to say, do their duties in life as if in a somnambulistic state.

You should definitely discover your life’s path, by analyzing early childhood and present life, before you hastily sidetrack in a wrong direction. Then, after you find your path, try to build around it all the creative moneymaking methods at your command. Your moneymaking methods, however, must be made within the boundaries of your idealism— otherwise, you may have money but not happiness. happiness is only possible when the desire for making money cannot lure you to travel on the wrong path.

Wake up! It is never too late to diagnose your life. analyze what you are and what your deep-seated work is, so that you can make yourself what you should be. You have talents and power that you have not used. You have all the power you need. There is nothing greater than the power of mind. resurrect your mind from the little habits that keep you worldly. smile that perpetual smile—the smile of god. smile that strong smile of balanced recklessness, that billion dollar smile that no one can take from you.

Swami Kriyananda writes the following:

A man burdened with worldly responsibilities asked, “What place does duty hold on the path to inner joy?”

Sri Yogananda replied: “To live irresponsibly is to live for the ego, not for god. The greater a person’s emphasis on ego-fulfillment, the less his awareness of true joy.

“To fulfill one’s duties in life may not be easy, and it may not always be immediately enjoyable. attaining divine joy is a long-term proposition. man must discharge his duties in life, and not avoid them, if he would attain freedom in eternity.”

men of success are those who have nerve enough to make an indelible blueprint in their minds of whatever they wish to build or produce upon this earth. They then employ as the financiers their creative ability, as the builders their will power, as the carpenters their detailed attention, and as the laborers their mental patience—and thus materialize their dream.

You are unhappy because you do not visualize strongly enough the great things which you definitely want, nor do you employ your willpower, your creative ability, and your patience to materialize them. happiness comes with your ability to manifest first your smallest desires, and later your biggest dreams.

You must be careful not to harbor impractical ambitions in your life and, consequently, spend your years wading through the mire of poverty and sarcasm from family and friends, as you chase a rainbow trail. make mental blueprints of little things, and keep on making them materialize until you can make your big dreams also come true.

Be happy in the definite accomplishment of the small successes, and then you will know how to be a happiness millionaire when, later, you materialize the big dreams of your life. Unhappiness is caused by failure. You can create permanent happiness for yourself by letting nothing ever disturb you on your forward journey to success.

There are no obstacles: There are only opportunities!

Why not learn the art of living rightly?

We must begin with children as well as with adults. The plastic mind of the child can be molded into any shape by self-disciplined adults. desired habits can easily be created in children because their will to perform them is mostly free, except for a few innate tendencies. adults have to battle and expel old habits in order to establish good ones. But all habits, whether in children or adults, must be cultivated through the medium of spontaneous willingness. In training children in a balanced life, or in habits of paying equal attention to the earning of money and to the acquisition of spiritual happiness, the time and method of training has to be considered.


People lose their balance and suffer from money madness and business madness only because they never had the opportunity to develop the habits of a balanced life. It is not our passing thoughts or brilliant ideas but our every-day habits that control our lives. There are some very busy businessmen who make millions without being unbalanced or nervous. There are other businessmen who become so engrossed in making money that they cannot think of anything else, and do not wake up until something terrible happens to them, such as sickness or loss of all happiness.

Many psychologists say that adult behavior is but the repetition of the training which one receives between the ages of two and ten or fifteen.

spiritual sermons inspire the minds of children to better action, but that is all. actual practical discipline for roasting the seeds of prenatal habits lodged in the subconscious and superconscious minds is necessary. This can only be done by scrubbing the brain cells of seed habits with the electricity of inner concentration. Children ought to be brought up with the spiritual ambition to make money only for the sake of service.

It lies in the hands of adults to uplift children and bring them into a balanced life. as long as adults remain intoxicated with a one-sided material life, children’s highest potentials will remain unfulfilled.

Thus, in order to save the future world by saving the children, parents must wake up and cultivate balanced habits of material and spiritual life.

In order to lead a balanced life, adults must educate themselves and realize that business ambitions are only for making themselves and others happy. Without this realization, strenuous business activity only produces nervousness, greed for money, lack of social qualities, miserliness, and disrespect for all good principles. only with this realization of service for others can life be really happy.

I know many prominent, intelligent businessmen who in their heart of hearts are discontented with everything and are craving god and wisdom, but they are helplessly carried away by their habits and too many engagements. They sacrifice their highest engagement with god, Truth, higher studies, and more home life for moneymaking or some useless engagement.

as the art of war needs certain training, so does our battle with active life need certain training. Untrained warriors are soon killed on the battlefield; so also, men untrained in the art of preserving their poise and peace are quickly riddled by the bullets of worry and restlessness in active life.

Very few people analyze whether they are progressing or going backward in life. as human beings endowed with reason, wisdom, and understanding, it is our greatest duty to use our reason and wisdom rightly so that we may know whether we are going backward or forward.

If failures trouble you repeatedly, don’t get discouraged. They should act as stimulants, not poisons, to your material or spiritual growth. The period of failure is the best season for sowing the seeds of success. Weed out the causes of failure and launch with double vigor what you want to accomplish.

The bludgeon of circumstances may bleed you, but keep your head unbowed. death in the attempt to succeed is success; refuse to harbor the consciousness of defeat. always try once more, no matter how many times you have failed. Persevere one minute more in the race for success when you have done your best and can do no more. Fight when you think that you can fight no more, or when you think that you have fought your best.

Every new effort after a failure must be well planned and charged with increasing intensity of attention. Begin from today to try to do one thing at a time, the things you thought impossible for you to do.

Change is often approached with apprehension. In giving up something, people think: Will I be left with nothing? It takes courage to renounce the known for the unknown. It is not easy even to renounce a familiar pain for an unknown, and therefore uncertain, happiness. The mind is like a horse that for years has pulled its delivery wagon. The horse is accustomed to its daily route, and cannot be convinced easily to walk a new one. The mind, too, will not lightly abandon its old habits, even when it knows they cause only misery.

Success3Beneficial changes should be embraced with courage. as long as one’s hopes for better things are opposed by fear of their attainment, the mind can never be at peace. accept change, therefore, as life’s only constant. our lives are an endless procession of gains and losses, of joys and sorrows, of hopes and disappointments. at one moment we find ourselves threatened by the storms of trials; moments later, a silver lining brightens the gray clouds; then, suddenly, the skies are blue again.

Life is change.

Inner strength

Remain ever calm within. Be even-minded. When working, be calmly active. someday, you will know yourself to be subject no longer to the tides of destiny. Your strength will come from within; you will not depend on outer incentives of any kind for motivation.


As a devotee on the spiritual path, give little weight to the trials that beset you. Be even-minded. Walk with courage. go forward from day to day with calm, inner faith. Eventually, you will pass beyond every shadow of bad karma, beyond all tests and difficulties, and will behold at last the dawn of divine fulfillment. In that highest of all states of consciousness will come freedom from every last, trailing vapor of misfortune.

To help your family with food is necessary, but to help them develop their mental powers is more necessary. To help develop their souls by leading them to meditative ways of god-contact is of paramount importance.

You must do something every day to satisfy the Cosmic Plan for which you were sent here. most people are unhappy because they forget to harmonize their earthly, learned duties with their duties according to the demands of the Cosmic Plan. The Cosmic Plan demands that you include in your true happiness the happiness of the most needy ones, if you would satisfy your soul.

Every day try to help uplift those physically, mentally, or spiritually sick as you would help yourself or your family. If, from today, instead of living in the old misery-making selfish way, you live scientifically according to the laws of mind and of god, then, no matter what little part you may be playing on the stage of life, you will know that you have been playing your part well, as directed by the stage manager of all our destinies. and remember, your part, however small, is just as important as the biggest parts in contributing to the entire success of the drama of souls on the stage of Life. make a little money and be satisfied with it by living a simple life and expressing your ideals, rather than have lots of money and worries without end.

Success5Trials do not come to you to destroy you, but in order that you may appreciate god better. god does not send those trials; they are of your own making. all you have to do is to resurrect your consciousness from the environment of ignorance. Environmental troubles are born because of your conscious or unconscious actions in the past, somewhere, sometime. We must blame ourselves for that. however, you must not develop an inferiority complex. You must say: “I know that Thou art coming! I shall see Thy silver lining, and in this tumultuous sea of trials Thou art the polestar of my shipwrecked thoughts.” Why are you afraid? remember, you are not a man or a woman. You are not what you think you are. You are an immortal being.

Habits are your deadliest enemies. Even as Jesus could manifest his love and say, when sorely tested: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” so you must forgive your exacting trials and say: “my soul is resurrected. my power is greater than all my trials because I am the child of god.” Thus, your mental powers will expand, and your cup of realization will be big enough to hold the ocean of Knowledge. Your forever-hungry desires must be attended to, and nourished with proper environment and activity. Then you will be happy and prosperous.

Most people reason that if they first have prosperity, then they can think of god, but you must have god first because he is what you need. If that consciousness comes, then you will have real happiness. god must be with you always. If you once have that great contact with god, then the prosperity of the universe will absolutely be at your feet. so, don’t forget that god is your provider. It isn’t what you own, but what you can get at will, that is real prosperity.

To live a contradictory life is to live unspiritually. When your whole consciousness, no matter what your faults are, is toward god, toward the silence, then that is being with god. When you perform all the duties of life cheerfully, without letting any duties upset your happiness, that is called “spiritual happiness.” That is when all your mind and consciousness is going back toward the source—toward god, freedom, fresh air, happiness, and plain living. These are the highest things that the masters of India teach. The masters have always given the training of plain living and high thinking to students.

Although it is necessary to make money, it is more necessary to gain happiness. money is made for happiness and not happiness made for money. Those who concentrate upon making money as their only happiness do not find real satisfaction, for no amount of money can buy happiness if it is lost through systematic wrong actions.

People surrounded with money but unable to use it properly in order to make themselves and others happy, die of happiness thirst. many people forget that making money is only a means to the goal of happiness. It is as ridiculous to concentrate upon the means and forget the goal as it is to keep traveling on a road and forget your destination. It is meaningless to develop the habit of accumulating money and not use it to make yourself and others happy.

many people make the mistake of running after money first instead of first seeking happiness. To try to earn money with a disgruntled, worried mind is not only unsuccessful, but it produces more anxiety and unhappiness. The best way lies in trying to make money after first making sure of happiness. Earning money with a serene and happy attitude leads not only to success but ensures happiness also. happy people make others happy by their example, for actions speak louder than words.

some people say that happiness is found only in mental contentment, whereas others say it consists in having lots of money an over-abundance of furniture, yachts, estates, and cars. Both these views are one-sided and incomplete.

The ascetic, sitting in a cave, may have some mental contentment, but he has to depend upon food products grown by a farmer or produced by a factory. he has to wear clothing made by a weaver. no ascetic in the world could find complete happiness only in the mind, without the use of at least a few material things.

on the other hand, it is untrue that all happiness is dependent upon constantly buying the countless objects that one’s fancy may dictate. In fact, when happiness is sought only through the acquisition of an infinite number of material things, it can never be found, for happiness consists principally in the attitude of the mind, and is conditioned only partially by outside factors.


There have been martyrs who sacrificed their lives rather than lose the inner comforts of their minds. such people have found happiness in states of the mind without the addition of any material things. on the other hand, it is very rare to find people happy who seek happiness only by acquiring more and more material objects.

The man whose entire happiness is dependent upon the creation and fulfillment of new desires can never be happy, for his happiness is always dependent upon something that he expects to have sometime in the future. he courts happiness without ever winning it, just as a dog will chase continually after the ever-receding sausage, dangling far-off in front of his eyes, from the end of a long stick tied on his back.

man can never satisfy his desires if he forgets that happiness is mostly in the mind, and only partially in the acquisition of the world’s necessities.

remember that he who seeks only material pleasures will lose the divine joys hidden behind them. he that finds the cosmic joy of meditation loses the attachment to the pleasures of material life. he who loses the desire for material pleasures in order to find the Christ Intelligence within will find the everlasting joys hidden behind material life.

That devotee who forgoes the pleasure of the body to feel the ever-new joy felt in ecstasy in meditation will find that all material prosperity and pleasures of earthly life will be added unto him. he who forsakes earthly happiness for god happiness will find earthly happiness, too, but he who seeks material happiness only will lose it because of its short-lasting nature.

Success7Born in India in 1893, Paramhansa Yogananda was trained from his early years to bring India’s ancient science of Self-realization to the West. In 1920, he moved to the United States to begin what was to develop into a worldwide work touching millions of lives. Americans were hungry for India’s spiritual teachings, and for the liberating techniques of yoga. In 1946, he published what has become a spiritual classic and one of the best-loved books of the 20th century, Autobiography of a Yogi. In addition, Yogananda established headquarters for a worldwide work, wrote a number of books and study courses, gave lectures to thousands in most major cities across the United States, wrote music and poetry, and trained disciples. Yogananda’s message to the West highlighted the unity of all religions, and the importance of love for God combined with scientific techniques of meditation.

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