God Is for Everyone was written to “encourage people everywhere to seek a meaningful relationship with God,” Paramhansa Yogananda explained, “and to establish, as a projection of that inner relationship, the brotherhood of all mankind.”

Before coming to America in 1920, Paramhansa Yogananda, a great spiritual master, received the inspiration for his message to the world. The message would convey the essence of spirituality and religion in such a way that would increase our awareness of God’s presence, and give a deeper understanding of religion as the “science of all sciences.” God Is for Everyone is the clear expression of that original inspiration, now offered through the devotion and attunement of his direct disciple, Swami Kriyananda.

God is the joy we are seeking

This book is soul nourishment for all who want to make God’s joy a higher, indeed, the highest priority in life. For the true purpose of life that we must all eventually realize is to transcend ego-consciousness and the consequent suffering brought by its “sorrow-producing tendencies”— and to offer ourselves lovingly into God’s bliss.

God is our very own, and it is important that we see ourselves as His own. When we exclude God from our daily realities, we reduce Him to a mental abstraction. We need a concept of God that will motivate us to love Him — one that will inspire us to want to know Him, and one, moreover, that will bring Him into every aspect of our lives. This book answers that need by showing convincingly that God is the joy we are seeking already, however misguided our present efforts may be.

“Your beliefs won’t save you,” Paramhansa Yogananda cautioned. Belief is not enough to cross the chasm between the human and the Divine. We need to make God our immediate reality and include Him in everything we do. We may rest in the vague thought of God as existing somewhere “up above,” but by separating Him from our daily realities, we distance ourselves from Him and thus, sever ourselves from the source of all inspiration.

God Is for Everyone gives a basis for deep faith in God. Faith, unlike the hypothetical acceptance of something as true, is the certainty which comes after truth has been experienced. If we would know the truth, and not merely think about it, we should test our beliefs in the “laboratory” of our own lives. God Is for Everyone, like a bright lantern in the dark forest of man’s confusion, lights the way to an ever-expanding awareness of God’s presence as a tangible, joyful reality.

God satisfies our every need

In God alone, Yogananda explains, we can satisfy our every need. God is everything and, at the same time, much more than everything. Being everything, it must follow that He is as near as He is far. He is, as Yogananda put it endearingly, “The nearest of the near, dearest of the dear:”

In our dealings with other people, He is our conscience. In our labor, He is our satisfaction. When we read a good book or listen to uplifting music, He is our inspiration. In everything we do, from the performance of serious duty to the most trivial pursuits, He is there, watching, joining in if we invite Him to, and giving us our strength. To ignore Him means to go stumbling blindly through life, unaware of innumerable pitfalls on the path before us.

Deep within every human being, there is a longing to transcend limited ways of thinking and behaving, and to embrace a higher reality. Yet this world, in itself, can never give us what we are seeking. We will never be satisfied until we unite our human consciousness with God’s infinite consciousness; our joy with His infinite joy.

With God,” Paramhansa Yogananda proclaimed, “life is a feast of happiness, but without Him it is a nest of troubles, pains, and disappointments.” God Is for Everyone is deeply relevant to all who wish to make their life a “feast of happiness.” It is the ideal book for every earnest seeker of true values in life, whether just being introduced to the spiritual path or already deeply on the path.

Bliss is our true home

All human beings share a common desire: to avoid suffering and find happiness, a happiness only to be found in God — in Yogananda’s words:

At the root of all desires is the desire for continued, conscious existence in a state of perpetual enjoyment. For “continued existence” we may substitute the word, “immortality.” Thus do all beings reveal their divine nature. For this is what God is: ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever- new bliss, or satchidananda. God may be defined in countless ways the most meaningful definition of all, however, in terms of life’s most fundamental drives, is satchidananda. All things came from Bliss, or God. Eventually, all things must evolve back to that Bliss-state.

We seek pleasure because we want happiness, but happiness will never be found in pleasure for the simple reason that pleasure is tied to the senses and thus keeps our awareness flowing outward toward duality. Happiness is born in our hearts by holding the right attitude of mind. “Mind-power shows man the way,” Yogananda said, “to inner happiness, which gives him immunity to outer inconveniences.”

Once happiness is attained, there is still something wanting. As long as we see ourselves as separate from God’s bliss, so long will we be roaming about the earth as strangers in a foreign land. Happiness alone falls short of fulfilling the soul, which has Bliss for its true home.

We must offer ourselves joyfully

Though its forms change, the unchanging purpose of religion is to uplift human awareness, and—in that raised awareness—to offer hope, inspiration, and solutions to life’s most fundamental problems.

Only in higher awareness, Yogananda explains, can truth be accepted as universal. “Oneness must be experienced, not merely proclaimed. It is not something society can vote into existence.” With the high awareness born of God-communion, Yogananda shows that there is a common thread of purpose weaving the tapestry of every true religion into one harmonious whole: the endeavor to uplift the human spirit.

In God Is for Everyone, Yogananda urges us all to take responsibility for our own spiritual growth. No religion can do the work for us. We must do those things which uplift our energy, such things as meditation, devotion, joyful self-offering, and selfless service to all mankind. We must offer ourselves fully, joyfully, into the flow of God’s grace. Thus do we eventually experience the truth that God’s bliss is “beyond imagination of expectancy.”

God is the ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new bliss at the heart of all creation, the bliss that all souls are seeking. The attainment of Conscious Bliss, Paramhansa Yogananda concludes, will be your final proof that “God is, indeed, for everyone!”

Yogesh Lee lives at Ananda Village and is currently studying art and design at Sierra College. To order: God Is for Everyone - Inspired by Paramhansa Yogananda by Swami Kriyananda

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