Don’t Waste Time Reading

Posted: November 6, 2012 in Reading, Writing, Yoganandaji's reading habit

Paramahansa Yogananda: “Don’t waste time on distractions, reading a great deal, and so on. Reading is good, if it is truly instructive. but when reading takes the place of meditation, then it is spiritually worthless. Read a little for inspiration, but spend most of your time in meditation and silence. Just think: every week 100 books are printed. You couldn’t read all of them if you wanted to. The most brilliant person in the world can learn only the merest fraction of what there is to be known about the world around us. The scientist knows much, but he can’t explain how even a leaf was made. Why only chew other people’s ideas by reading all the time? I always say, ‘If you read one hour, then write two hours, think three hours, and meditate all the time.’…”

(An excerpt of a talk that he gave some aspirants on the day of His Mahasamadhi [death] on 6.3.1952 — “Paramahansa Yogananda in Memoriam”, pg 40)

The same excerpt can be found in Swami Kriyananda’s book called “The Path” (pgs. 399-400)

“Because Master could converse with rare insight on any subject, many people thought he obtained knowledge from books.

‘You must be extremely well-read,’ a visitor observed one day.

‘No,’ Yoganandaji replied, ‘I doubt that I have read twenty books in the past twenty years.’

(pg. 21, Paramahansa Yogananda in Memoriam)


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