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Paramahansa Yogananda

A modern mystic and spiritual teacher

(5 January 1893 – 7 March 1952)

One of the first great teachers to leave India for a Western country, the organisation that has grown from Yogananda's teachings (the self realisation fellowship) to almost every country in the world.  He teaches more by sharing his story rather than telling you what to do.

"You are walking on the earth as in a dream. Our world is a dream within a dream; you must realize that to find God is the only goal, the only purpose, for which you are here. For Him alone you exist. Him you must find." – from the book The Divine Romance.

Yogananda was born in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India to a devout family. According to his younger brother, Sananda, from his earliest years young Mukunda's awareness and experience of the spiritual was far beyond the ordinary. In his youth he sought out many of India's Hindu sages and saints, hoping to find an illuminated teacher to guide him in his spiritual quest.

Yogananda's seeking after various saints mostly ended when he met his guru, Swami Yukteswar Giri, in 1910, at the age of 17. He describes his first meeting with Yukteswar as a rekindling of a relationship that had lasted for many lifetimes:

We entered a oneness of silence; words seemed the rankest superfluities. Eloquence flowed in soundless chant from heart of master to disciple. With an antenna of irrefragable insight I sensed that my guru knew God, and would lead me to Him. The obscuration of this life disappeared in a fragile dawn of prenatal memories. Dramatic time! Past, present, and future are its cycling scenes. This was not the first sun to find me at these holy feet!

Later on Yukteswar informed Yogananda that he had been sent to him by Mahavatar Babaji for a special purpose.

After passing his Intermediate Examination in Arts from the Scottish Church College, Calcutta, in June 1915, he graduated with a degree similar to a current day "Bachelor of Arts" or B.A. (which at the time was referred to as an A.B.), from the Serampore College, a constituent college of the University of Calcutta. This allowed him to spend time at Yukteswar's ashram in Serampore. In 1915, he took formal vows into the monastic Swami Order and became 'Swami Yogananda Giri'. In 1917, Yogananda founded a school for boys in Dihika, West Bengal that combined modern educational techniques with yoga training and spiritual ideals. A year later, the school relocated to Ranchi. This school would later become the Yogoda Satsanga Society of India, the Indian branch of Yogananda's American organization the Self-Realization Fellowship.

His most popular book and an international best seller is Autobiography of a Yogi.

Links:
www.yogananda-srf.org

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2 comments to Paramahansa Yogananda

  • Adrianna

    He certainly was a great man of this time and the devotional attitude he promoted is just as relevant today but now we know so much more about the technology of our being and some of these yoga practices have been revised or perhaps I should say improved in light of new and improved knowledge. But his inspirational stories will always be relevant.

  • Ben

    May Thy love shine forever on the sanctuary of my devotion, and may I be able to awaken Thy love in all hearts. Read more @ http://yogananda.com.au/pyr/pyr_prayer.html

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