BENGALURU: SRI SRI Paramahansa Yogananda is best known for his widely read spiritual classic “Autobiography of a yogi” which was selected as one of the 100 best spiritual books over the last 100 years in the year 2000.
It has been translated into 41 international languages including 12 Indian languages. It is widely regarded today as a spiritual master piece, one of the most important, relevant and readable works on yoga and ancient Indian philosophy. Paramahansa Yogananda’s mission was to spread the ancient science of kriya yoga meditation for direct personal communion with God throughout the world. This great saint’s love for God and service to humanity lives on through his work in India and all over the world with ever increasing number of souls seeking solace of divine, daily communion through, regular practice of kriya yoga, an ideally suited spiritual discipline for the busy modern day householder.
After reading this magnum opus, “Autobiography of a Yogi” written for a modern audience, the readers claim that they are transformed and their spiritual understanding of life greatly clarified. Post his training with his Guru, for over 10 years with Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, Yoganandaji founded Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (YSS) in Ranchi in 1917. In 1920, he was invited to serve as Indian’s delegate to an International Congress of Liberals in Boston USA; the same religious conference that Swami Vivekananda electrified with his address in 1893. He established Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) in Los Angeles, California in 1920 to disseminate his teachings worldwide on India’s ancient science of Kriya Yoga and its time - honoured tradition of meditation.
“In the course of world travel, I have sadly observed much suffering” Paramahansaji commented. “In the Orient, suffering chiefly on the material plane: in the Occident, misery chiefly on the mental or the spiritual plane. All nations feel the painful effects of unbalanced civilizations. India and many other eastern lands can greatly benefit from emulation of the practical grasp of affairs, the material efficiency of western nations like America. The occidental people on the other hand, require a deeper understanding of the spiritual basis of life, and particularly of scientific techniques that India anciently developed for man’s conscious communion with God”
He reminded the busy modern man thus “Everything else can wait but your search for God cannot wait “. Yoganandaji proved himself a Yogi in life as well as in death. On March 7, 1952, he breathed his last at a banquet held in honour of the first Indian ambassador to the United States. He entered mahasamadhi while paying loving tribute to his beloved God and India. Weeks after his departure, his unchanged face shone with the divine luster of incorruptibility, to the amazement of the mortuary staff in Los Angeles, USA, who placed this phenomenal event on record.