Paramhansa Yogananda in Lotus Pose on a Rock
Devotion and Prayer

God First

Before the baby sky was born as the blue, out of the dark breast of Eternity, who existed? God first. It was He who with His omnipresent brush spread blue all over the ceiling of dark space. Who was it who peopled the hall of space with the family of planets? – God first. Naught could breathe without His first breath. That is why – God first.

The wind sighs after His sigh. The rain falls after He weeps for the parching throats of men and the dry earthly clouds. The sun shines when He warms the flesh of living creatures.

I saw His skiey face wrinkled all over with His smiling muscles of silver rays. I love His children, the frolicsome wind, the chattering liberal rain, the vitalizing sun, and the soothing moon, after I have loved – God first.

He first asked my father, and mother, and friends to love me, so I love God first. I breathe after He breathed through me; I throb after He flowed life into me; I think after He thought in me; I reason because He put reason in me; I will because He taught me how to use my will freely.

So the portals of my heart are open to God first. All my duties I can perform only after borrowing the powers of action from God, so my first duty is to love God first. The first thought of the morning, the first love of my heart, the first ambition of my Soul, the first desire of all desires, the first attraction of my feelings, the first and foremost effort of my reason and will is – God first.

If all my friends are taken away, I shall remember that God is my foremost friend, for He never leaves me even when I ignore Him. If dark death calls to free my caged Omnipresence from it prison cell of flesh, I shall not moan because I have to leave my brother prisoners, or the prison furniture, temporarily given to me to use. I shall repent of my vagrant wanderings, my prison-term due to intoxication of ignorance, and joyfully think of my long-left home of Omnipresence and my ever-welcoming Father-God first. When I am free, I shall ask my Father to help me, so that I may help my other brothers to free themselves.

— September 1934