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Yogananda on Prosperity Thinking

Updated on November 17, 2012

Yogananda, Pioneer in New-Thought

This article was written in 1934 in the East-West Magazine by Paramhansa Yogananda during the midst of the Great Depression. Yogananda was a pioneer in the concept of the power of affirmation, having written Scientific Healing Affirmations early in his stay in America.

His writings and lectures were full of instructions in the use of will to overcome various problems, as well as wisdom in using common sense. This article is particularly relevant during times of personal or national downturn.

We hope you find this article useful.

Destroying Depression by Substituting Prosperity - written by Paramhansa Yogananda in 1934

A picture from the great depression
A picture from the great depression

According to the law of God this earth was to be the home where all the wealth of the mines and other resources would be equally distributed to those performing equal labors. And the law of divine birthright was established, which is, that all men are the children of God, and made in the image of God; all nations are of one blood, and all men are the descendants of "Adam and Eve". If you love the world and consider it as your own family, and believe in it, and love it, recognizing no difference between different nationalities, then you will establish your legitimate astral right of owning your share of the earth's capital.

Those who seek prosperity for themselves alone are bound to be poor for some time, or to suffer from mental inharmony, but those who take the world as their home, and who really think and work for group or world prosperity, start the astral forces to work, leading them to the place where they can find their legitimate prosperity. This is the surest secret law. Prosperity is not dependent only upon creative ability, but also upon your past actions, and also upon the astral law of cause and effect, which has the power to distribute prosperity equally to all, without exception. Those who rouse this astral power to positive prosperity, succeed wherever they go, whether they are in prosperous or poverty-stricken environments. Therefore, seek prosperity, not only for yourself and your family, but for a wider group of friends, and for your country, and for the whole world.

Destroy the desire for luxury. Learn to use cheaper things in an artistic way, while believing that you are a child of God and that as such you have all the prosperity of God and the earth behind you. As a child of God, and especially when, by meditation, you change from a prodigal son to a true son of God, you will know that whatever God has, you have.

1. Cut down luxuries.

2. Think of yourself as a child of God.

3. Think of people of all nationalities as your brothers.

4. Seek prosperity for yourself and for others.

5. Develop the creative thought of success every day after deep meditation.

Your Goal of Life

Most people live almost mechanically, unconscious of any ideal or plan of life. They come on earth, struggle for a living, then leave the shores of mortality without knowing why they came here and what their duties were. No matter what the goal of life, it is obvious that man is so undermined with needs that he must struggle to satisfy them. The believer and the disbeliever in God must both struggle to meet their needs. Therefore, it is very important to know that man should concentrate upon his needs and not create a lot of useless extra desires.

Do not wander aimlessly, lost in the jungle of life, your happiness constantly bleeding away from the thorn-pricks of new desires. You must find the goal of life, and find the shortest road which can lead you there. Do not travel unknown roads, picking up new troubles. Too much wrong ambition is just as bad as too much passive contentment. As human beings, we have been endowed with needs and we must meet their demands. As man is a physical, mental, and spiritual being, he must look after his all-round welfare, avoiding one-sided over-development. To possess wonderful health and good appetite, with no money to maintain that health and to satisfy that hunger, is agonizing. To have lots of money and lots of indigestion is heart-rending. To have lots of health, and lots of wealth, and lots of trouble with self and others, is pitiable. To have lots of health, wealth, and mental efficiency, but lack of peace and no knowledge of the ultimate truth, is useless, disturbing and dissatisfying.

Efficiency Through Concentration

After establishing that the goal of life is maximum efficiency, peace, health, and success, let us consider the surest way to prosperity. Prosperity does not consist just in making money; it also consists in acquiring the mental efficiency by which one can uniformly acquire health, wealth, wisdom, and peace at will. Great wealth does not necessarily bring health, peace or efficiency, but acquirement of efficiency and peace are bound to bring a properly balanced material success. Most people develop mental efficiency as the by-product of their efforts for material success, while very few people know that money is made for happiness, but happiness cannot be found just by developing an insatiable Soul-corroding desire for money.

Mental efficiency depends upon the art of concentration. Man must know the scientific method of concentration, by which he can disengage his attention from objects of distraction and focus it upon one thing at a time. By the power of concentration, man can use the untold power of mind to accomplish that which he desires, and he can guard all doors through which failure may enter. All men of success have been men of great concentration, men who could dive deeply into their problems and come out with the pearls of right solutions. Most people are suffocated by distraction and are unable to fish out the pearls of success .

In concentrating upon his little physical needs man often forgets his great need of developing mental efficiency in everything, and of acquiring divine contentment. Man is so busy multiplying his conditions of physical comfort that he considers very many unnecessary things as a necessary part of his existence.

The man of powerful concentration must ask God to direct his focused mind to the right place for success which is rightfully his. Passive people want God to do all the work, and egotists ascribe all their success to themselves. Passive people do not use the power of God residing in their intelligence; and egotists, though using God-given intelligence, forget to receive God's direction as to where and how the intelligence should be used. I can blame inertia as the cause of failure, in the first instance, but it hurts me to see intelligent egotists fail after making a real and intelligent effort.

However, one may be a man of concentration and power and may dive deep into the sea of problems and still may not find the pearl of success. There are many men who have powerful concentration but they do not know where to strike success; and many brilliant people with efficient minds have starved, or have had only meager success. This is where another factor in acquiring prosperity comes into consideration.

All prosperity is measured out to a man according to the law of cause and effect, which governs not only this life but all past lives. That is why intelligent people are often born poor or unhealthy, whereas an idiot may be born healthy and wealthy. Men were originally sons of God made in His image, having free choice and equal power of accomplishment, but, by misuse of his God-given reason and will power, man became controlled by the natural law of cause and effect of action (Karma) and thus limited his life. A man's success depends not only upon his intelligence and efficiency but upon the nature of his past actions. However, there is a way to overcome the unfavorable results of past actions. They must be destroyed and a new cause set in motion.

God's Will and Your Will

Broadcast your message, "My Father and I are One", until you feel this overpowering, all-solacing Bliss of God. When this happens, you have made the contact. Then demand your celestial right by affirming: "Father, I am Thy child, guide me to my right prosperity", or "Father, I will reason, I will will, I will act, but guide Thou my reason, will, and activity to the right thing that I should do in order to acquire health, wealth, peace, and wisdom".

Do not will and act first, but contact God first and thus harness your will and activity to the right goal. As you cannot broadcast through a broken microphone, so must you remember that you cannot broadcast your prayer through a mental microphone that is disordered by restlessness. By deep calmness, repair your mind microphone. Then again, as you cannot get an answer by just calling some one through a microphone and then running away, so also, you must not just pray once and then turn your attention away, but you must continuously broadcast your prayer to God through your calm mental microphone until you hear His voice. Most people pray in restlessness, and do not pray with the determination to receive a response.

God--The Real Source of Prosperity

God is the secret of all mental power, peace, and prosperity. Then why use the limited impossible human method of gaining prosperity? By visualizing prosperity, or by affirmation, you may strengthen your subconscious mind, which may in turn encourage your conscious mind, but that is all that visualization alone can do The conscious mind still has to achieve the success, and is hindered by the law of cause and effect. The conscious mind cannot initiate a new cause which will bring positive success in any direction, but when the human mind can contact God, then the superconscious mind can be sure of success, due to the unlimited power of God, and due to creating a new cause of success.

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