The following are a series of quotations from Paramhansa Yogananda selected by various teachers of Education for Life schools in Europe and the U.S.
“Educational authorities deem it impossible to teach spiritual principles in public schools because they confuse them with the variety of conflicting forms of religious faith. But if they concentrate on the universal principles of peace, love, service, tolerance, and faith that govern the spiritual life, and devise methods of practically growing such seeds in the fertile soil of the child’s mind, then the imaginary difficulty is dissolved. It is the greatest mistake to ignore this problem just because it is seemingly difficult.”
-The Balanced Life, East-West Magazine, Nov/Dec 1925
“If young people, before getting entangled in worldly life, experience the bliss of meditation, they are little likely to fall victim in later years to the ubiquitous sense delusions.”
-God Talks with Arjuna, Chapter V, Verse 22
“Constructive criticism is given in a loving way. It is not easy to criticize others rightly, accurately, and kindly until one can first accurately criticize himself. The art of criticism consists in picturing clearly the faults of others, and in looking at those faults with a sympathetic attitude, as if they belonged to oneself; only then is one’s criticism justifiable.
Mental criticism is worse than criticism by words. It is futile and self-harming to be inwardly critical of others. One should cleanse the mind of inwardly disturbing adverse thoughts of others. If they want your criticism, use a look or a hint to criticize lovingly; but use as few words as possible. A criticism should not be repeated more than twice. Loving criticism should be left as a seed to germinate in the soil of recipient souls. We can’t force others to do what we want them to do, buy sometimes by correct and just criticism, by doing or saying the right thing at the right time, we can help people to a great extent.”
-SRF Lessons, Volume 3: Lesson 6
“Education does not consist in pumping ideas and the contents of books into the brain, but it consists of the development of intuition and the bringing of the hidden memory of all knowledge already existing in the soul back into the plane of human consciousness.
-Praeceptum No. 87
“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.”
-How to Be Happy All the Time
“Character building should be taught in schools and colleges.”
-Autobiography of a Yogi, p. 249
“Environment is stronger than will.”
“Correct methods of education consist of the development of intuition and the bringing of the hidden memory of all knowledge already existing in the soul, back into the plane of human consciousness. One lifetime is not a long enough time in which to learn all things of heaven and earth through the modern methods of education, and dependence upon the senses and mind. As a result of practicing the techniques of concentration and meditation as learned in the first Lessons, intuitive faculties are developed by which knowledge is grasped with extraordinary quickness.””
“From age 5 to 25 years. The child should receive concentrated character training and become instilled with spiritual ideals and habits. As he grows into adulthood, he should get a general education, learn efficiency by study and observation, and seek specialized training in some work to which he feels suited.”
“In ordinary study there is a vast difference between the methods applied by teachers in India and in the West. In the West, they pump into the brains of children the ideas, “How many books have you read; how many teachers have you had?” A man returned from college with a PhD. in making sugar from different fruits. He was asked if sugar could be made from the guava fruit. After some deep thought, he said, “I did not study that. It was not in my curriculum.” Using common sense was beyond him. It is not pumping from the outside in, that gives you knowledge. It is the power and largeness of receptivity within the determines how much and how quickly you can grasp knowledge. The man who has the power of receptivity quickly sees everything. An intelligent man lives far ahead of the idiot. All your experiences are measured in terms of the cup of your receptivity.”
-Quickening Human Evolution, 1929
“The door of intuition may become effectually closed through self-sufficiency and egotism, and too full dependence upon intellectual channels of education through inferential education. The knowledge which is obtained through mechanical schooling, sense experience, and one’s own power of inference, is necessarily limited.
Correct methods of education consist of the development of intuition and the bringing of the hidden memory of all knowledge already existing in the soul, back into the plane of human consciousness. One lifetime is not a long enough time in which to learn all things of heaven and earth through the modern methods of education, and dependence upon the senses and mind. As a result of practicing the techniques of concentration and meditation as learned in the first Lessons, intuitive faculties are developed by which knowledge is grasped with extraordinary quickness.
The education of intuition should start in childhood if possible. If such early training has not been received, begin now with yourself, and in addition try to give as much assistance to children and younger people as you can in right training methods.
Important items in the method are:
1. Walk and sit with an erect spine.
2. Learn and apply technique of concentration, thus developing your receptive powers of wisdom.
3. Practice daily meditation, with calmness and peaceful lovingness, and so contact God as Joy.
4. Expand your love from self-love, on up through family, social, national, international, to Divine Love in God, where you know that God has become everything and that all things are God vibrations.
As you develop, you spread good and truth everywhere. Your good counterbalances the appearance of evil about you.
Take care to protect your little plant of Self-Realization. Environment is of utmost importance. Do not let the animals of selfishness and wrong environment get through your protecting hedge and destroy your precious plant.”
-Praeceptum No. 87