Hong-Sau vs. So-Hum


I feel comfortable using "SO" (inhalation) "HUM" (exalation) method in my meditation. But Shri. Yoganandaji has prescribed Hong — Su method. I want your advise what I should do. Thanks for your time and guidance.

—Vidyanand Kale, USA


Dear Vidyanand,

The answer to your question will depend on whether you are already or hope to become a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda. If you are or do, then it would be very wise for you practice this technique, just as he taught it.

Yogananda taught this powerful concentration technique with the mantra Hong-Sau. Hong (meaning “I, dissolving…”) to go with the inhalation, and Sau (meaning “I am He or Spirit”) to go with the exhalation.

The fullest meaning of the whole mantra is: “I offer my little egoic self into my higher Divine Self.”

It is not a matter of which mantra is correct or whether you feel more comfortable with using SO-HUM rather than Hong-Sau as your mantra. It is a matter of deepening your attunement with the Guru. When we do our best to follow what he has taught us — even down to the smallest detail, then very great blessings always follow.

Pray for him to guide you and to help you not to resist this change. He will! I think you’ll find, after a little practice and with continuing attunement to Paramhansa Yogananda’s powerful ray of grace, that Hong-Sau will work very well for you.