Who is a yogui?

By Paramhansa Yogananda (East-West, January 1926)

“Not a sword-swallower, crystal gazer, or snake charmer, but one who knows the scientific psycho-physical technique of uniting the matter-bound body and soul with their source of origin, the Blessed Spirit.

He is a Yogi who says:

‘I shall go within

To bring Thee without

Where I am Thou must come.’

Such an enlightened one dives deep within the soul thru meditation, and brings God-realization without to apply it in worldly life. He is a Yogi who acts for all, and not he who shirks activity or is a fugitive from the battle of life. If we all go to the forest, we will have to build a city there and face the problems of life just the same.

A business man, literary man, artist, musician, laborer, or king; all can be Yogis, if they so choose. A Yogi aspires to know the Spirit through living according to the spiritual laws of life, thru renunciation of all material fruits of success and by devoting such fruits to the good of all. Such a man as the Hershey chocolate king, who has given his entire fortune of eighty millions to a school, and now works in his own factory, has accomplished renunciation equal to that of great saints.

We must struggle to attain success and have the broadening experiences of life. Many would-be Yogis say, ‘My wife died, I lost my wealth; hence I will forsake everything and become a hermit.’ Why, they have nothing to forsake! Such sacrifice is not real. It is the renunciation of the fruits of successful action, the translation of selfish ambition into selfless service for all, that is true sacrifice.”

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