Spiritual Success and Material Success


Can you explain the 2 statements ? "The laws governing spiritual success and material success are the same. Money-making is the next greatest art after the art of realizing God." What exactly does "spiritual success" mean?

—SS, United States


Dear Friend,

The essence of the visible creation is energy: in this statement both scientists and yogis agree. Transcendence to the source of all things, then, requires the kind of energy level and commitment that created all things to begin with. Thus energy is the first prerequisite to success on all levels: material, mental and spiritual. Nothing worthwhile is ever accomplished without energy and concentration.

We have the example in the life of Paramhansa Yogananda wherein his most advanced disciple was a self-made millionaire, James J. Lynn (aka Rajarshi Janakananda). A lazy person will never find God.

An energetic person might become materially successful but since material success can never last nor satisfy the soul’s longing for God (love, joy, etc), that same energy can be re-directed towards moksha, soul-liberation.

Yogananda’s statement about making money is undoubtedly related to the person to whom he wrote the letter from which the quote came. But it does make a point and, culturally speaking throughout the world, making money is sine qua non of human consciousness at this time in history.

Does this make sense?

Blessings and joy!
Nayaswami Hriman