I came across this sentence in the chapter "The Cauliflower robbery" in Autobiography of a Yogi: "His (Sri Yukteswar’s) public speeches emphasized the value of Kriya Yoga, and a life of self-respect, calmness, determination, simple diet, and regular exercise."

I am particularly curious as to what Master meant by the word "self-respect" in this context. Does self-respect mean loving yourself? Does it mean not letting anybody disrespect you?

—Srinivas, Canada


Thank you, Srinivas, for your question. Self-respect here is a reference to respecting one’s Self as a soul and child of God. Most people are driven by the needs and directions of the ego, seeking to satisfy the senses. Their energy is spent in ways that center one’s awareness in matter. By practicing yoga, the universal science of uniting one’s consciousness with the Infinite, one is seeking to act in ways that cooperate with the movement of energy inward from the extremities of the body and body consciousness and upwards in the spine toward the brain in Self-realization. This is the essence of the technique of Kriya Yoga. People may or may not show you respect. In either case, always remember that you are a child of God and that the blessing of the incarnation is to know Him.

Joy to you, Nayaswami Maria