Whispers From Eternity
Third edition, 1935
In Whispers from Eternity Paramhansa Yogananda taught us to pray not as beggars but as children of God. This was considered revolutionary in 1929 when Whispers from Eternity first appeared.
This teaching has been removed from the ninth edition. In the Table of Contents of the 1981/1949 reprint, the word “demand” appears seventy-eight times in the section names and titles of the 227 prayers. In the current ninth edition, the word “demand” appears only once in the titles. Two entire sections, “Key to Demands” and “Hints to the Reader,” that explain how to use the prayer-demands to reach God and receive His answer are completely removed from the current ninth edition. Without the demands, Amelita Galli-Curci’s Foreword no longer makes sense. So, more than half of it was deleted and the rest revised. Below is Galli-Curci’s original foreword.
In Whispers from Eternity, by our Swami Yogananda, we are taught to pray to our Heavenly Father by demanding instead of begging, and thus not limit ourselves to the law of beggary. The Swami explains in the beginning why all our prayers are not answered All the property belonging to a father can be claimed by his son, but not by a beggar. That is why the Swami tells us that in order to demand, we must first revive our forgotten identity with the Father by deep meditation, and that we must learn to remember by right living that God made us in His image.
In this sacred book we are shown how to resurrect dead, old-fashioned prayers, and through their living qualities bring response from the silent Almighty. Instead of parroting dead prayers, we learn to saturate them with God-invoking love.
We are taught how to avoid two extremes—egotistical guidance from self, and blind, passive dependence on God. It teaches us how to use our own God-given Will and Concentration, guided not by ego but by God, in making life successful in every way. Consequently, the Swami writes: “I will reason, I will will, I will act; but guide Thou my reason, will, and activity to the right thing that I should do.”
The prayers in this book serve to bring God closer, by describing the feelings which directly arise from actual God-contact. God is expressed here as something definite and tangible. The Cosmic Idol is the grand conception of the Infinite and Invisible made finite, tangible and visible. Nature, man, mind, and every visible object are all taken as materials to build a colossal Divine Idol, on which we can easily concentrate.
Followers of all religions can drink from this fountain of universal prayers. These invocations are an answer to the modern scientific mind, seeking God intelligently. This book gives us a great variety of prayers, which enables one to choose that prayer most suited and helpful to his particular need.
My humble request to the reader, I express in the following lines:
Pass not by, with hurried intellectual reading, the mines of realization hidden beneath the soil of words in this sacred book. But, as the Swami says, daily and repeatedly dig deep into them with the pickaxe of your attentive, reverential, and meditative study; then you will find the priceless gem of Self-Realization.
September 23, 1929