Psychosis and Schizophrenia


What is Yogananda’s view on psychosis and schizophrenia-related symptoms? Did he recommend any technique to someone to overcome and heal psychosis/schizophrenia?

—Tyler Alexander, Canada


Dear Tyler,

Paramhansa Yogananda called himself a “spiritual psychologist,” and certainly must have encountered many souls with mental illnesses of many kinds. It is my understanding that he said that the root cause of mental illness is “…over-indulgence in sensory pleasures in past lifetimes.”

That statement would seem to hold at least a partial answer as to what NOT to do in this lifetime. But of course, not over-indulging in sense pleasures is good advice for everyone, no matter when or where.

Otherwise, I don’t believe he spoke or wrote much, or at all, on this subject.

I have also heard Swami Kriyananda say that mental illness is at least partially caused by “a person’s inability to relate to anyone’s realities except his or her own.” Again, you can see the direction idea for healing in that statement — to help and serve others as much as possible and to quit thinking so much about one’s self.

Healing of all types of illness can often be helped greatly by prayers from those who practice Yogananda’s healing prayer techniques. This would be my best recommendation for a “first line of defense.” Please see: