Happy Faces
How to be Happy

Acquiring Happiness

Be Happy Under All Circumstances

We can never be happy unless we are progressing and seeking satisfaction in doing so, and unless we are guarding our happiness from all the influences which destroy it. Happiness comes, not by helplessly thinking, but by living it in all the moods and actions of life. No matter what you are doing, keep the undercurrent of happiness, the secret river of joy, flowing beneath the sands of various thoughts and the rocky soils of hard trials. Learn to be secretly happy within your heart in spite of all circumstances, and say to yourself, “Happiness is my greatest Divine birthright — the buried treasure of my Soul. I have found that at last I shall secretly be rich beyond the dream of Kings.”

Do not make unhappiness a chronic habit, for it is anything but pleasant to be unhappy, while it is blessedness for yourself and others when you are happy. When it is so easy to wear a silver smile, or to pour sweet happiness through your voice, why be grouchy and scatter unhappiness around you? It is never too late to learn.

Happiness grows by what it is fed on. Learn to be happy by being happy all the time. John said, “If I get money, I shall be happy.” He became wealthy; then he said, “I shall be happy if I get rid of my acute indigestion.” His indigestion was cured, but he thought, “If I get a wife, I shall be happy.” Then bedlam started, for he married a nagging, tongue-lashing woman. He divorced this wife, and after many years married again, but the second wife was worse than the first one. Then he thought that he would be happier if he divorced his second wife, so he did, but at the age of seventy he thought, “No, I shall never be happy unless I can be youthful again.” In this way people try but never reach their goal of happiness. They are like the man who raced in anger to bite his own nose, but never could, of course.

Overcome Happiness Destroyers

Ignorant people, like animals, do not heed the lessons which accompany pain and pleasure. Most people live a life checkered with sadness and sorrow, for they do not avoid the actions which lead to suffering and do not follow the ways which lead to happiness. Then there are people who are always consciously over-sensitive to sorrow and happiness when they come. Such people are usually extremely crushed by sorrow and are overwhelmed by joy, thus losing their mental balance. There are very few people who, after burning their fingers in the fire of ignorance, learn to avoid misery-making acts.

Many people wish to be happy, and yet they never make the effort to adopt the course of action which leads to happiness. Most people keep rolling down the hill of life only mentally wishing to climb the peak of happiness. They sometimes wake up if their enthusiasm for happiness survives the crash to the bottom of suffering. Most people lack imagination and never wake up until something terrible happens to arouse them from their nightmare of folly.

Stagnant people are unhappy, and extremely ignorant people scarcely know how it feels to be either happy or unhappy. They are unfeeling, like the stones. It is better to be unhappy about your own ignorance than to die happily with it. Wherever you are, remain awake and alive with your thought, perception, and intuition, ever ready, like a good photographer, to take pictures of exemplary conduct and to ignore bad behavior. Your highest happiness lies in your being ever ready in desiring to learn and in behaving properly.

People seeking happiness must avoid the influence of bad habits which lead to evil actions, for evil actions produce misery sooner or later. Misery corrodes the body, mind, and soul like a silently burning acid, and cannot be endured long. That is why it should be strictly avoided.

Replace Bad Habits with Opposite Good Habits

Cure yourself of evil habits by cauterizing them with the opposite good habits. If you have a bad habit of telling lies, and by so doing have lost many friends, start the opposite good habit of telling the truth. It takes time to form a good habit or a bad one. It is difficult for a bad person to be good and for a good person to be bad; yet, remember that once you become good, it will be natural and easy for you to be good; likewise, if you cultivate an evil habit, you will be compelled to be evil in spite of your desire, and you have to pray, “Father, my Spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak.” That is why it is worth-while to cultivate the habit of being happy.

The man sliding down evil paths finds no resistance; but as soon as he tries to oppose his evil habits by the adoption of spiritual laws of discipline, he finds countless temptations roused to fight and foil his noble efforts.

— November 1936

Yogananda Last Smile
Health & Healing

Smile and Be Happy

Make your home a valley of smiles instead of a vale of tears. Smile now and never mind how hard it has been for you to do so. Smile now. All the time remember to SMILE NOW, and you will SMILE ALWAYS.

Some people smile most of the time, while beneath the mask of laughter they hide a sorrow- corroded heart. Such people slowly pine away beneath the shadows of meaningless smiles. There are other people who smile once in a while, and they may also be very serious at times; yet beneath the hard, beautiful outer appearance there may be gurgling a million fountains of laughing peace.

If you enjoyed good health for fifty years and then were sick for three years, unable to get healed by any method, you would probably forget about the length of time that you enjoyed good health and laughed at the idea of sickness. Now your reaction should be exactly the opposite. Just because you may have been sick for three years is no reason for thinking that you will never be well again.

Likewise, if you were happy a long time, and you have been unhappy a comparatively short time, you are apt to lose hope of ever being happy again. This is lack of imagination. The memory of a long-continued happiness should be a forceful subconscious habit to influence your conscious mind and ward off the consciousness of your present trouble.

When wealth only is lost, nothing real is lost, for if one has health and skill one can still be happy and can make more money; but if health is lost, then most happiness is also lost, and when the principle of life is lost, all happiness is lost. After bathing yourself in the Ocean of Peace in dreamland, as you awake with happiness, say, “In sleepland I found myself free from mortal worries. I was a King of Peace. Now, as I work in the daytime and carry on my diurnal battles of duties, I will no longer be defeated by insurgent worries of the kingdom of wakefulness. I am a King of Peace in sleepland, and I shall continue to be such a King in the land of wakefulness. As I come out of my Kingdom of Peace in sleepland, I shall spread that same peace in my land of wakeful dreams.”

— November 1936

Paramhansa Yogananda Last Smile

Smile Forever

Smile when the roses are budding; smile when the petals of pleasure are falling.

Smile when vigor is throbbing in your breast; smile when you have dreaming wrinkles in your brow.

Smile when the flowers of praise are showered over you, and smile when the world erects statues of you after you are gone; smile at those monuments of glory which you will never know.

Smile because you find happiness in peace and not in passing possessions.

Smile because you are fearless, because fear is ashamed to cause you apprehension and failure.

Let smiles be the everlasting vehicle in which you roam through life and death, sorrow and pleasure, and health and sickness alike.

Smile at death, for it pretends to destroy you, who are the indestructible image of God.

Smile when trials burst upon you; smile when the goblin of poverty stalks, and when all hope threatens to leave you.

Let all things — fame, fortune, even life, leave you, but hold on to the throne of your smile, for if you can smile, no matter what happens, then God will smile through you.

Smile when you are crying; smile when you are laughing; smile when you are losing, and smile when you are winning.

Smile when you are growing; smile when you are dying, and you will die no more, for laughter is the Life of Spirit. In the spark of a lasting smile is the attainment of Immortal Happiness.

Smile when you are good, and smile when you are bad, that you may be evil no more.

With the sun-glow of a smile, dispel gloom, evil, poverty-consciousness, ignorance, and all dark, negative ideas. A smile is the light which burns away all gloom and puts the dark birds of sorrow to flight.

Smile at the sad past, for it is no more; smile, thinking of the joys of yester-years, for they are not gone, but are ever living in you each day.

Smile at threatening sorrow, for it may never come; smile that the sorrow of tomorrow, even if it comes, can never touch you — the ever-smiling.

Smile at the past; smile today, smile tomorrow, and you will qualify to smile forever and forever.

Smile newly with the ever-new smile of God every second, every minute, every day in the New Year, and keep smiling in God — Forever.

— January 1934

Paramhansa Yogananda Holding Mangoes
How to be Happy

Creating Your Happiness

It is easier to spend than to earn.

Also, it is harder to save than to earn.

Most people spend thirty dollars a week when their income is only twenty. The extra ten dollars is acquired by borrowing, or by buying with promises to pay in the future, on installment plans and such systems. You must not always feel that you have to “keep up with the Joneses.” To try to own more than your purse will allow is to live in constant mental worry, and under such conditions happiness, like a will-o’-the-wisp, has to be chased foolishly all over the boggy surface of bottomless desires.

To spend more than you earn is to live in perpetual slavery. To spend more now in the hope of making more later on is the harbinger of all material suffering. An expensive car, together with a good dress suit anda beautiful home are very pleasant to have, but the loss of your car because you cannot meet the so-soon-recurring installments due, foreclosure of the mortgage on your home, built and paid for by many years of labor and saving; the publicity, dishonor, and heavy heart that comes after such occurrences — all these are very unpleasant. Is it not better to have an inexpensive car all paid for, a cozy cottage, a low-priced, clean suit, and a comfortable bank account than to have a big outward show with only borrowed money in your pocket?

Remember that along with the art of money-making, it is well to learn the art of money-saving,for a large income is of no lasting good to you if it creates only habits of luxury and no reserve fund. Think for a moment. If you should get sick suddenly, how would you continue your luxurious habits, without the usual income, if you have no savings put away? It is a bad thing to cultivate luxurious habits if you have only a small income. Is it not better to live simply and frugally and grow rich in reality? You should use one-fourth of your income on plain living, save three-fourths, and be at ease in your mind with a feeling of future security. Keep what you earn legitimately, and don’t gamble or lose it in trying to “get rich quick.”

The present depression has taught you to buy lower-priced things, to save for a “rainy day,” and not to spend on mere material comforts more than you are earning.

Happiness can be had by the exercise of self-control, by cultivating habits of plain living and high thinking, by spending less even though earning more. Make an effort to earn more so that you can be the means of helping others to help themselves, for one of the unwritten laws decrees that he who helps others to abundance and happiness always will be helped in return by them, and he will become more and more prosperous and happy himself. This is a law of happiness which cannot be broken.

— From East-West Magazine, August 1932