Here are some of our favorite quotes on kindness, either from or inspired by the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi.
“Banish forever all harsh or unkind words.” —Paramhansa Yogananda
“Kindness is the light that dissolves all walls between souls, families, and nations.” —Paramhansa Yogananda
“Kindness is the recognition that all are truly our own.” —Affirmations for Self-Healing, Swami Kriyananda
“Beware of criticism. Clean your mind of all adverse criticism of others. Use a look or a hint to criticize lovingly a recipient soul, but do not force correction or even hold silent criticism. Your own right actions are the best example, but beware of holding a self-righteous attitude. Loving kindness must always be foremost. —Paramhansa Yogananda
“Kindness has no price.” —Economic Collapse: A Solution, Swami Kriyananda
From Awaken to Superconsciousness, Swami Kriyananda:
Acceptance leads to the second attitude necessary for finding your own center: kindness. To achieve that clarity of conscience which is the companion of self-acceptance, you should practice kindness also toward yourself. You’ll never overcome your failings by hating your shortcomings, nor by hating yourself for indulging in them. Of course, you shouldn’t allow kindness to excuse them. In true kindness to yourself, you should work, rather, to strengthen yourself in virtue. Seek always your own highest potentials. If this means being stern with yourself occasionally, so be it. But never be judgmental.
Kindness is necessary also for understanding other people. In fact, without it, there can never be acceptance of them. By kind acceptance you will find yourself intuitively aware of them at their center.
Kind acceptance may be a more difficult concept to visualize in connection with inanimate things. As a means of achieving such understanding, relaxed acceptance rather than kindness may be an easier concept to grasp. And yet, because consciousness is inherent in all things, to feel kindness toward things also need not really strain the point.
“A small flower tinged with affection, or a word fragrant with kindness, can do much to patch up old wounds. Put on your best suit of kindness and proper behavior first of all with your own mate and children. Practice kindness at home, and you will win everybody else by your magnetic aura of kindness.” —Paramhansa Yogananda, Spiritual Relationships
“Parents should look upon their child as the honored temple where their conjugal love will be purified and expanded. Kindness and strong, loving guidance should always prevail, and never harsh treatment.” —Paramhansa Yogananda
“Will that day dawn for me, O Divine Mother, when uttering Thy name will bring floods of tears, to inundate the drought land of my heart and burst open the dark gates of my ignorance? Oh, then, in the lake of my gathered tears will grow the lotus of luminous wisdom: All darkness in my mind will be dispelled. O formless, all‐pervading Mother Divine, come to me in the form of tangible kindness! Take me away from these shores of millennial sadness.” —Paramhansa Yogananda, Whispers from Eternity, Come to Me as Kindness
The goal of spiritual progress is, as has been repeatedly emphasized, the transcendence of ego-consciousness in the realization that separateness from other selves, and from the Absolute Self, is the one great delusion, from which all other delusions derive. The sense of individuality is rooted in infinity. There is no other reality but the Self: God, the Self of all. In Himself He is ever-conscious, ever-existing, ever-new Bliss. No one created Him: He is self-existent.
A spiritually ennobling quality, therefore, is one that can lift us toward that awareness.
(16:1) The Blessed Lord said: Fearlessness; purity of heart; perseverance (in the acquisition of wisdom and in the practice of meditation); (sattwic) charity; self-restraint; the performance of holy rites (symbolic self-offering to God and to the devas), service to holy persons, and agnihotra (pouring oblations into the sacred fire); study of the scriptures; self-discipline; straightforwardness;—
(16:2) harmlessness; truthfulness; freedom from anger; renunciation; tranquility; disinclination toward faultfinding; kindness to all; non-covetousness; gentleness; modesty (not calling attention to oneself); steadfastness of purpose;—
(16:3) radiance of character; forgiveness; fortitude; cleanliness; absence of malice; absence of self-conceit: these qualities, O Descendant of Bharata (Arjuna), are the endowments of those who are divinely inclined.
“Only by kindness and generosity can we achieve true insight into others—and into our own selves.” Swami Kriyananda, Self-Expansion Through Marriage: A Way to Inner Happiness
“Kindness is a vibration of consciousness, and therefore has no boundaries.” —Swami Kriyananda, Living Wisely, Living Well