Paramhansa Yogananda was
an Indian Yog Guru. He popularised the teachings of meditation and self-yoga.
Also known as
Mukunda Lal Ghosh
Indian and American
5 January 1893
Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
7 March 1952
Place of death
Los Angeles, California, USA
College, Calcutta; Senate
of Serampore College (University of Calcutta)
Society of India and Self-Realization Fellowship.
Born as Mukunda Lal Ghosh
in the year of 1983, on the fifth day of January; Paramhansa Yogananda was an Indian Yog Guru. He propagated the
wisdom of meditation,self-yoga and the path of “Kriya Yoga”. He propagated his
thoughts to many Indians and as well as to Western World spread his knowledge
of meditation and self-yoga. To achieve is goals and to teach the world his
knowledge he founded “Yogoda Satsanga Society of India” and “Self-Realization
Childhood and Early Life:
Born at Gorakhpur (India), on 5 January 1983, in British India; to a devout
Paramhansa Yogananda many times tried to dedicate himself completely to God and
for that drive, he tried to settle into
the Himalayas; but due to family pressure, he had to settle to Ashram.
He had a younger brother called Sananda. Sananda describes that his knowledge and
awareness about the human mindfulness and his spiritual acquaintance was
extraordinary. He questioned voluminous Hindu savants and saints in order to
find a teacher who could illuminate the path of his divine voyage.
His pursuit concluded when
he met Swami Yukteshwar Giri, whom he called his guru. He was seventeen when he
first met Swami Yukteshwar Giri. Paramhansa Yogananda
describes his guru in a very good way. He stated that his guru knew God and
would guide him to find his answers. His affiliation with Swami YukteshwarGiri
was the greatest thing that occurred to him as detailed by Paramhansa Yogananda in his works and speeches.
Swami YukteshwarGiri said that Yogananda had
been sent to him by MahavatarBabajifor a superior single-mindedness.
Paramhansa Yogananda founded a
school for boys in West Bengal. He restructured the education by the
combination of contemporary learning and his transcendental ethics. The school
was founded in the city of Dihika city which was later relocated to Ranchi.
In the year of 1920, Paramhansa moved to
America. He took the decision when a few American scholars were at his Ashram,
he realized the purpose that his guru Swami YukteshwarGiri mentioned and
decided to leave India the very next day. He was sent as India’s ambassador to an International Congress of
Religious Liberals summoning happening in
the city of Boston in the United States.
He also founded Self Realization fellowship
in the same year. There he inaugurated his objective that was to spread his
awareness of Yoga and Meditation to the entire world. He spent several years
teaching his wisdom. He was popularised and many celebrities of that time also
became his devotees includingAmelita
Galli-Curci, Vladimir Rosing, and Clara
Clemens Gabrilowitsch, the daughter of Mark Twain. He also
established his center for
Self-Realization fellowship, at LA, California. He spent the major part of his
being in the United States.
After spending more than thirty years on
foreign soil, he wanted to visit his motherland. So in the year 1935, he
started his Indian tour which continued till 1936.
He visited his Guru and established YogodaSatsanga. His Guru was filled with
happiness and satisfaction that he stated that his purpose in life was complete and left his body.Swami YukteshwarGiri gave him the title “Paramhansa”
meaning that Yogananda has attained the
ultimate state of his spiritual journey.
He also met Mahatma Gandhi during his visit;
he gave his teachings on “Kriya Yoga” to many disciples.
After returning to America, his home was
relocated to Encinitas, California. It was a
surprise gift from RajarsiJanakananda, one of his believers. He
established many churches in California. He also wrote many of his works.
Upon learning that his last days of life were
near, he secluded himself from the world and stayed at his deserted Ashram in
California. He revised his articles, lessons and completed his books including
his famous autobiography “Autobiography of a Yogi “.
He didn’t waste his time in public meetings and speeches; instead, he, left a greater impact on society by recording
his thoughts and wisdom in books and other articles.
It was in a hotel, “Biltmore
Hotel, LA” when he attained the Mahasamadhi. He was presenting his views in
regard to the cooperation of India and America. He was concluding his speech
with the poem called “My India” describing India and his journey to meet God.
As he said the last words of his poem his soul left this world.
wrote many books, poems, and articles. Major works being the following:
His Autobiography “Autobiography
of a Yogi “is called the masterpiece in the spiritual genre of books. It’s been translated into more than 50 languages. This book has
changed the lives of millions. His book
describes the aspects of life that made him attain the ultimate state of mind,
to live in harmony with him. His book
continues to be one of the best-selling books. It has inspired people like
Affirmations, written in the year of 1924; this book explains the science of healing of body and soul.
Man’s eternal quest, 1975.
This book is exceptional work based on teachings of Paramhansa. It explains the
questions about God, enlightens the spiritual journey of the readers.
Talks With Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita — A New Translation and Commentary; this
book explains his opinions of The Bhagavad Gita.
Personal Life and Legacy:
YogodaSatsanga Society of India (YSS) is a
non-profit holy association created by Paramahansa
Yogananda in 1917, 100 years ago. In countries outside the Indian
subcontinent, it is known as the Self-Realization Fellowship.
Daya Mata was
self-chosen as his successor, she was the head of YSS from (1952-2010).
In 2017, The Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented the dedicatory postage
stamp honoring the 100th anniversary of
Society of India, founded by Yogananda.