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Paramahansa Yogananda
Date of Birth January 5, 1893(1893-01-05)
Place of birth Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
Birth Mukunda Lal Ghosh
Date of death 7 March 1952 (aged 59)
Place of death Los Angeles, California, U.S
Guru/Teacher Sri Yukteswar Giri

Paramahansa Yogananda (Bengali: পরমহংস যোগানন্দ Pôromohôngsho Joganondo, Sanskrit: परमहंस योगानं‍द Paramahaṃsa Yogānaṃda; January 5, 1893–March 7, 1952), born Mukunda Lal Ghosh (Bengali: মুকুন্দ লাল ঘোষ Mukundo Lal Ghosh), was an Indian yogi and guru who introduced many westerners to the teachings of meditation and Kriya Yoga through his book, Autobiography of a Yogi.[1]

Contents

Biography

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Youth

Yogananda at age six

Yogananda was born in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India into a devout Bengali kshatriya family.[2] According to his younger brother, Sananda,[3] 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.[4]

Yogananda's seeking after various saints mostly ended when he met his guru, Swami Sri 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![5][6]

Later on Sri Yukteswar informed Yogananda that he had been sent to him by Mahavatar Babaji for a special purpose.[7]

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'.[8] 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.[9] This school would later become Yogoda Satsanga Society of India, the Indian branch of Yogananda's American organization.

Move to America

In 1920, he went to the United States aboard the ship City of Sparta, as India's delegate to an International Congress of Religious Liberals convening in Boston. That same year he founded the Self-Realization Fellowship to disseminate worldwide his teachings on India's ancient practices and philosophy of Yoga and its tradition of meditation. For the next several years, he lectured and taught on the East coast and in 1924 embarked on a cross-continental speaking tour. Thousands came to his lectures.[10] The following year, he established in Los Angeles, California, an international headquarters for Self-Realization Fellowship, which became the spiritual and administrative heart of his growing work. Yogananda was the first Hindu teacher of yoga to make his permanent home in America, living there from 1920—1952, with the exception of his trip abroad in 1935–1936.[11]

Visit to India, 1935-6

Swami Kriyananda offering sweetmeats to Yogananda.

In 1935, he returned to India to visit Yukteswar and to help establish his Yogoda Satsanga work in India. During this visit, as told in his autobiography, he met with Mahatma Gandhi, the Bengali saint Anandamoyi Ma, Nobel-winning physicist Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, and several disciples of Yukteswar's Guru Lahiri Mahasaya.[12] While in India, Yukteswar gave Yogananda the monastic title of Paramhansa (the spelling was later changed to "Paramahansa").[13] Paramahansa means "supreme swan" and is a title indicating the highest spiritual attainment.[14][15] In 1936, while Yogananda was visiting Kolkata, Sri Yukteswar died in the town of Puri.

Death

After returning to America, he continued to lecture, write, and establish churches in southern California. In the days leading up to his death, he began hinting that it was time for him to leave the world.[16] On March 7, 1952, he attended a dinner for the visiting Indian Ambassador to the U.S., Binay Ranjan Sen, and his wife at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. At the conclusion of the banquet Yogananda spoke of India and America, their contributions to world peace and human progress, and their future cooperation,[17 ] expressing his hope for a "United World" that would combine the best qualities of "efficient America" and "spiritual India."[18] According to two eyewitnesses—long-time disciples Swami Kriyananda and Daya Mata—as Yogananda ended his speech, he read from his poem My India, concluding with the words "Where Ganges, woods, Himalayan caves, and men dream God—I am hallowed; my body touched that sod".[17 ][19] At the very last words, he slid to the floor,[17 ] dead from a heart attack.[20] Kriyananda wrote that Yogananda had once stated in a lecture, "A heart attack is the easiest way to die. That is how I choose to die."[17 ] Yogananda is buried at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

Teachings

Paramahansa Yogananda at a yoga class in Washington, D.C.

Yogananda taught his students the need for direct experience of truth, as opposed to blind belief. He said that “The true basis of religion is not belief, but intuitive experience. Intuition is the soul’s power of knowing God. To know what religion is really all about, one must know God.”[21]

Echoing traditional Hindu teachings, he taught that the entire universe is God's cosmic motion picture, and that individuals are merely actors in the divine play who change roles through reincarnation. He taught that mankind's deep suffering is rooted in identifying too closely with one's current role, rather than with the movie's director, or God.[22]

He taught Kriya Yoga and other meditation practices to help people achieve that understanding, which he called Self-realization:

Self-realization is the knowing in all parts of body, mind, and soul that you are now in possession of the kingdom of God; that you do not have to pray that it come to you; that God’s omnipresence is your omnipresence; and that all that you need to do is improve your knowing.[23]

Kriya Yoga

Kriya Yoga is a set of yoga techniques that are the main discipline of Yogananda's meditation teachings. Kriya Yoga was passed down through Yogananda's guru lineage — Mahavatar Babaji taught Kriya Yoga to Lahiri Mahasaya, who taught it to his disciple Yukteswar, Yogananda's Guru. Because of ancient yogic injunctions, "the actual technique must be learned from a Kriyaban or Kriya Yogi", according to Yogananda.[24] He gave a general description of Kriya Yoga in his Autobiography:

The Kriya Yogi mentally directs his life energy to revolve, upward and downward, around the six spinal centers (medullary, cervical, dorsal, lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal plexuses) which correspond to the twelve astral signs of the zodiac, the symbolic Cosmic Man. One-half minute of revolution of energy around the sensitive spinal cord of man effects subtle progress in his evolution; that half-minute of Kriya equals one year of natural spiritual unfoldment.[25]

Autobiography of a Yogi

In 1946, Yogananda published his life story, Autobiography of a Yogi. It has since been translated into twenty-five languages. In 1999, it was designated one of the "100 Most Important Spiritual Books of the 20th Century" by a panel of spiritual authors convened by Philip Zaleski and HarperCollins publishers.[26]

Autobiography of a Yogi describes Yogananda's spiritual search for enlightenment, in addition to encounters with notable spiritual figures such as Therese Neumann, Anandamoyi Ma, Mohandas Gandhi, Nobel laureate in literature Rabindranath Tagore, noted plant scientist Luther Burbank (the book is 'Dedicated to the Memory of Luther Burbank, An American Saint'), famous Indian scientist Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Sir C. V. Raman. One notable chapter of this book is "The Law of Miracles", where he gives scientific explanations for seemingly miraculous feats. He writes "the word 'impossible' is becoming less prominent in man's vocabulary"[27]

Bodily incorruptibility

As reported in Time Magazine on August 4, 1952, Harry T. Rowe, Los Angeles Mortuary Director of the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California where Yogananda's body was embalmed,[28][29] stated in a notarized letter:

The absence of any visual signs of decay in the dead body of Paramahansa Yogananda offers the most extraordinary case in our experience.... No physical disintegration was visible in his body even twenty days after death.... No indication of mold was visible on his skin, and no visible drying up took place in the bodily tissues. This state of perfect preservation of a body is, so far as we know from mortuary annals, an unparalleled one.... No odor of decay emanated from his body at any time....

Organizational legacy

Yogananda's work is continued by several of his disciples and organizations. Self-Realization Fellowship, which he founded, is headquartered in Los Angeles and has meditation centers and temples across the world, including the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine. The current head is Daya Mata, a direct disciple of Yogananda. [30]

Ananda Village, near Nevada City, California, was founded by Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Yogananda. Ananda expresses an aspect of Yogananda's vision for World Brotherhood Colonies, an idea for spiritual intentional communities that Yogananda often recommended to his students. At Ananda's Expanding Light Yoga & Meditation Retreat, [31] courses are offered in meditation, spiritual topics, healthy lifestyle and Ananda yoga, a style of hatha yoga based on Yogananda's teachings as developed by Kriyananda. Ananda also has centers and meditation groups throughout the world including: Palo Alto, California; Sacramento, California; Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Assisi, Italy and Pune, India. [32]

Song of the Morning Retreat Center, near Vanderbilt, Michigan, was founded by Yogacharya Oliver Black, a direct disciple of Yogananda. The retreat center offers classes on yoga and meditation and hosts programs featuring visiting spiritual teachers.[33]

The Center for Spiritual Awareness (CSA), located in Lakemont, Georgia, was founded by Roy Eugene Davis, a direct disciple of Yogananda. The CSA publishes books and audio cassettes and offers meditation seminars at its retreat center headquarters on a voluntary donation basis.[34 ]

Noted disciples

The members of this list were drawn from Yogananda's book "Journey to Self-Realization", unless otherwise noted.[35]

Notes

  1. ^ Bowden, p. 629
  2. ^ Ghosh, p. 3
  3. ^ Ghosh, p. 23
  4. ^ Yogananda, p. 59
  5. ^ Yogananda (2005), p. 90
  6. ^ Yogananda (2005), Chapter 10: I Meet my Master, Sri Yukteswar
  7. ^ Yogananda (2005), Chapter 36, Babaji's Interest in the West
  8. ^ Yogananda, p. 217
  9. ^ Yogananda, p. 240
  10. ^ Yogananda, p. 341
  11. ^ "S.L. Group Will Celebrate the Anniversary of Yogi's Birth," The Desert News, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2 January 1993
  12. ^ Yogananda, all pages
  13. ^ "The next afternoon, with a few simple words of blessing, Yukteswar bestowed on me the further monastic title of Paramhansa." Yogananda (2005), p. 383
  14. ^ "Paramahansa means "supreme swan" and is a title indicating the highest spiritual attainment." Miller, p. 188.
  15. ^ Kriyananda (2003), p. xiii
  16. ^ Kriyananda (1977), p. 399.
  17. ^ a b c d Kriyananda (1977), p. 400
  18. ^ Miller, p. 179.
  19. ^ Mata, Daya (Spring 2002), "My Spirit Shall Live On: The Final Days of Paramahansa Yogananda", Self-Realization Magazine  
  20. ^ "Guru's Exit - TIME". http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,822420,00.html. Retrieved 2008-01-17.  
  21. ^ Kriyananda (2003), p. 31
  22. ^ Yogananda, p. 269-270
  23. ^ Kriyananda (2003), p. 197
  24. ^ Yogananda, p. 231
  25. ^ Yogananda, p. 234
  26. ^ 100 Best Spiritual Books of the Century
  27. ^ Note: The 1946 ed. of Autobiography of a Yogi is in the Public Domain: "Project Gutenberg Titles by Paramahansa Yogananda (Yogananda, Paramahansa, 1893-1952)". http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/gutbook/author?name=Yogananda%2C%20Paramahansa%2C%201893-1952. Retrieved 2008-01-16.  
  28. ^ "Guru's Exit" Time, 4 August 1952 "At Forest Lawn Cemetery, where Paramhansa's body was embalmed"
  29. ^ "INCORRUPTIBILITY: Miracle or Myth?" by Harry Edwards, Investigator 45, November 1995 "Professor Angel ... obtained a copy of Yogananda’s death certificate from the Los Angeles Department of Vital Statistics ... bore the ... 'Signature of embalmer.'"
  30. ^ "About SRF: Leadership of the Society". http://www.srf-yogananda.org/aboutsrf/index.html#leadership. Retrieved 2008-02-09.  
  31. ^ [(http://expandinglight.org)]
  32. ^ "Ananda: Source for the Teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda – Meditation, Kriya Yoga, and more, including talks from Swami Kriyananda". http://www.ananda.org/. Retrieved 2008-01-16.  
  33. ^ "Golden Lotus". http://www.goldenlotus.org/. Retrieved 2008-01-16.  
  34. ^ "Center for Spiritual Awareness". http://www.csa-davis.org/. Retrieved 2008-01-16.  
  35. ^ [Book: Journey to Self Realization original list in footnotes]
  36. ^ Book: The Flawless Mirror
  37. ^ Coptic Fellowship
  38. ^ http://www.self-revelationchurch.org/ Yogananda ordained as a swami in 1941
  39. ^ Yogacharya Oliver Site
  40. ^ 70 years of discipleship
  41. ^ Le Yoga des Pharaons, El Yoga de la plegaria
  42. ^ Interview
  43. ^ Book: Christ Consciousness
  44. ^ Kriyananda (1977).
  45. ^ Book: Paramahansa Yogananda as I knew him
  46. ^ Date is when he became ordained
  47. ^ http://www.crossandlotus.com Date is when she met PY in Seattle

References

  • Bowden, Henry Warner (1993). Dictionary of American Religious Biography. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0313278253.  
  • Ghosh, Sananda Lal (1980). Mejda: The Family and the Early Life of Paramahansa Yogananda. Self-Realization Fellowship Publishers. ISBN 978-0876122655.  
  • Kriyananda, Swami (2003). The Essence of Self-Realization: The Wisdom of Paramhansa Yogananda. Crystal Clarity Publishers. ISBN 978-0916124298.  
  • Kriyananda, Swami (1977). The Path: Autobiography of a Western Yogi. Crystal Clarity Publishers. ISBN 978-0916124113.  
  • Miller, Timothy (1995). America's Alternative Religions. SUNY Press. ISBN 0791423972.  
  • Yogananda, Paramhansa (2005). Autobiography of a Yogi. Crystal Clarity Publishers. ISBN 978-1565892125.   Reprint of 1946 first edition published by Philosophical Library, New York.
  • Yogananda, Paramahansa (1979). Metaphysical Meditations. Los Angeles, Calif.: Self-Realization Fellowship. ISBN 978-0876120415.  
  • Yogananda, Paramahansa (1996). Divine Romance. Los Angeles, CA: Self-Realization Fellowship. ISBN 978-0876122419.  

See also

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

To gaze with looks of wonderment, and to serve all that lives, still or moving. This is to know what love is. He knows who lives it.

Paramahansa Yogananda परमहंस योगानन्‍द (1893-01-051952-03-07), born Mukunda Lal Ghosh, was an Indian yogi and guru who was instrumental in bringing Kriya Yoga to the West.

Contents

Sourced

  • The true basis of religion is not belief, but intuitive experience. Intuition is the soul’s power of knowing God. To know what religion is really all about, one must know God.
    • The Essence of Self-Realization
  • Self-Realization is the knowing in all parts of body, mind, and soul that you are now in possession of the kingdom of God; that you do not have to pray that it come to you; that God’s omnipresence is your omnipresence; and that all that you need to do is improve your knowing.
    • The Essence of Self-Realization
  • In waking, eating, working, dreaming, sleeping,
    Serving, meditating, chanting, divinely loving,
    My soul constantly hums, unheard by any;
    God, God, God!

Autobiography of a Yogi (1946)

Online text

  • The life of Lord Krishna has been misunderstood by many Western commentators. Scriptural allegory is baffling to literal minds. A hilarious blunder by a translator will illustrate this point. The story concerns an inspired medieval saint, the cobbler Ravidas, who sang in the simple terms of his own trade of the spiritual glory hidden in all mankind:
Under the vast vault of blue
Lives the divinity clothed in hide.
One turns aside to hide a smile on hearing the pedestrian interpretation given to Ravidas' poem by a Western writer:
"He afterwards built a hut, set up in it an idol which he made from a hide, and applied himself to its worship."
  • Ch. 42 - Last Days With My Guru
  • His interpretations of the Bhagavad Gita and other scriptures testify to the depth of Sri Yukteswarji's command of the philosophy, both Eastern and Western, and remain as an eye-opener for the unity between Orient and Occident. As he believed in the unity of all religious faiths, Sri Yukteswar Maharaj established Sadhu Sabha (Society of Saints) with the cooperation of leaders of various sects and faiths, for the inculcation of a scientific spirit in religion.
    • Ch. 42 - Last Days With My Guru
  • If by this superhuman concentration one succeeded in converting or resolving the two cosmoses with all their complexities into sheer ideas, he would then reach the causal world and stand on the borderline of fusion between mind and matter. There one perceives all created things — solids, liquids, gases, electricity, energy, all beings, gods, men, animals, plants, bacteria — as forms of consciousness, just as a man can close his eyes and realize that he exists, even though his body is invisible to his physical eyes and is present only as an idea.
    • Ch. 43 - The Resurrection Of Sri Yukteswar
  • Gandhi has sound economic and cultural reasons for encouraging the revival of cottage industries, but he does not counsel a fanatical repudiation of all modern progress. Machinery, trains, automobiles, the telegraph have played important parts in his own colossal life! Fifty years of public service, in prison and out, wrestling daily with practical details and harsh realities in the political world, have only increased his balance, open-mindedness, sanity, and humorous appreciation of the quaint human spectacle.
    • Ch. 44 - With Mahatma Gandhi At Wardha
  • Sri Yukteswar used to poke gentle fun at the commonly inadequate conceptions of renunciation.
    "A beggar cannot renounce wealth," Master would say. "If a man laments: 'My business has failed; my wife has left me; I will renounce all and enter a monastery,' to what worldly sacrifice is he referring? He did not renounce wealth and love; they renounced him!"
    Saints like Gandhi, on the other hand, have made not only tangible material sacrifices, but also the more difficult renunciation of selfish motive and private goal, merging their inmost being in the stream of humanity as a whole.
    • Ch. 44 - With Mahatma Gandhi At Wardha
  • Brotherhood is an ideal better understood by example than precept!
    • Ch. 48 - At Encinitas In California
  • 'World' is a large term, but man must enlarge his allegiance, considering himself in the light of a world citizen... A person who truly feels: 'The world is my homeland; it is my America, my India, my Philippines, my England, my Africa,' will never lack scope for a useful and happy life. His natural local pride will know limitless expansion; he will be in touch with creative universal currents.
    • Ch. 48 - At Encinitas In California

Songs of the Soul

Samadhi

Online text

  • I exist without the cosmic shadow,
    But it could not live bereft of me;
    As the sea exists without the waves,
    But they breathe not without the sea.

    Dreams, wakings, states of deep turiya sleep,
    Present, past, future, no more for me,
    But the ever-present, all-flowing, I, I everywhere.
    Consciously enjoyable,
    Beyond the imagination of all expectancy,
    Is this, my samadhi state.
  • Thou art I, I am Thou,
    Knowing, Knower, Known, as One!
  • Not an unconscious state
    Or mental chloroform without wilful return,
    Samadhi but extends my realm of consciousness
    Beyond the limits of my mortal frame
    To the boundaries of eternity,
    Where I, the Cosmic Sea,
    Watch the little ego floating in Me.
  • Grosser light vanishes into eternal rays
    Of all-pervading Cosmic Joy.
    From Joy we come,
    For Joy we live,
    In the sacred Joy we melt.
  • I, the ocean of mind, drink all creation’s waves.
    The four veils of solid, liquid, vapor, light,
    Lift aright.
    Myself, in everything,
    Enters the Great Myself.
    Gone forever,
    The fitful, flickering shadows of a mortal memory.
    Spotless is my mental sky,
    Below, ahead, and high above.
    Eternity and I, one united ray.
    I, a tiny bubble of laughter,
    Have become the Sea of Mirth Itself.

What is Love?

Online text

  • Love is the song of the soul, singing to God.
  • To gaze with looks of wonderment,
    And to serve all that lives, still or moving.
    This is to know what love is.
    He knows who lives it.
  • It is the call of the beauty — robed ones
    To worship the great Beauty.
    It is the call of God
    Through silent intelligences
    And starburst of feelings.
  • Love is the Heaven
    Toward which the flowers, rivers, nations, atoms, creatures — you and I
    Are rushing by the straight path of action right,
    Or winding laboriously on error’s path,
    All to reach haven there at last.

Nature’s Nature

Online text

  • Away, the partial love
    That ‘boldens Nature to sit above
    Her Maker!
  • Nor doomsday’s thunderous roar,
    Dismantling earth and stars —
    The cosmic beauties all to mar —
    Not Nature’s murderous mutiny,
    Nor man’s exploding destiny
    Can touch me here.
  • In wrath I strike, and set the dark ablaze
    With the immortal spark of thought,
    By friction-process brought
    Of concentration
    And distraction.
    The darkness burns
    With a million tongues;
    And now I spy
    All past, all distant things, as nigh.

The Second Coming of Christ (2004)

  • In titling this work The Second Coming of Christ, I am not referring to a literal return of Jesus to earth. He came two thousand years ago and, after imparting a universal path to God's kingdom, was crucified and resurrected; his reappearance to the masses now is not necessary for the fulfillment of his teachings. What is necessary is for the cosmic wisdom and divine perception of Jesus to speak again through each one's own experience and understanding of the infinite Christ Consciousness that was incarnate in Jesus. That will be his true Second Coming.
  • There is a distinguishing difference of meaning between Jesus and Christ. His given name was Jesus; his honorific title was "Christ." In his little human body called Jesus was born the vast Christ Consciousness, the omniscient Intelligence of God omnipresent in every part and particle of creation. This Consciousness is the "only begotten Son of God," so designated because it is the sole perfect reflection in creation of the Transcendental Absolute, Spirit or God the Father.
    It was of that Infinite Consciousness, replete with the love and bliss of God, that Saint John spoke when he said: "As many as received him [the Christ Consciousness], to them gave he power to become the sons of God." Thus according to Jesus' own teaching as recorded by his most highly advanced apostle, John, all souls who become united with Christ Consciousness by intuitive Self-realization are rightly called sons of God....
  • The saviors of the world do not come to foster inimical doctrinal divisions; their teachings should not be used toward that end. It is something of a misnomer even to refer to the New Testament as the "Christian" Bible, for it does not belong exclusively to any one sect. Truth is meant for the blessing and upliftment of the entire human race. As the Christ Consciousness is universal, so does Jesus Christ belong to all....
  • It is an erroneous assumption of limited minds that great ones such as Jesus, Krishna, and other divine incarnations are gone from the earth when they are no longer visible to human sight. This is not so... Jesus Christ is very much alive and active today. In Spirit and occasionally taking on a flesh-and-blood form, he is working unseen by the masses for the regeneration of the world. With his all-embracing love, Jesus is not content merely to enjoy his blissful consciousness in Heaven. He is deeply concerned for mankind and wishes to give his followers the means to attain the divine freedom of entry into God's Infinite Kingdom....
  • These teachings have been sent to explain the truth as Jesus intended it to be known in the world — not to give a new Christianity, but to give the real Christ-teaching: how to become like Christ, how to resurrect the Eternal Christ within one's Self...
  • Many sects, many denominations, many beliefs, many persecutions, many conflicts and upheavals have been created by misinterpretations. Now, Christ reveals the consummate message in the simple words he spoke to an ancient people in a less-advanced age of civilization. Read, understand, and feel Christ speaking to you through this "Second Coming" bible, urging you to be redeemed by realization of the true "Second Coming," the resurrection within you of the Infinite Christ Consciousness.
  • How do the receptive perceive truth, whereas the unreceptive "seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand"? The ultimate truths of heaven and the kingdom of God, the reality that lies behind sensory perception and beyond the cogitations of the rationalizing mind, can only be grasped by intuition — awakening the intuitive knowing, the pure comprehension, of the soul.
  • Christ has been much misinterpreted by the world. Even the most elementary principles of his teachings have been desecrated, and their esoteric depths have been forgotten. They have been crucified at the hands of dogma, prejudice, and cramped understanding. Genocidal wars have been fought, people have been burned as witches and heretics, on the presumed authority of man-made doctrines of Christianity. How to salvage the immortal teachings from the hands of ignorance? We must know Jesus as an Oriental Christ, a supreme yogi who manifested full mastery of the universal science of God-union, and thus could speak and act as a savior with the voice and authority of God.
  • Divine incarnations do not come to bring a new or exclusive religion, but to restore the One Religion of God-realization.
    Many are the churches and temples founded in his name, often prosperous and powerful, but where is the communion that he stressed — actual contact with God? Jesus wants temples to be established in human souls, first and foremost; then established outwardly in physical places of worship.
    Instead, there are countless huge edifices with vast congregations being indoctrinated in churchianity, but few souls who are really in touch with Christ through deep prayer and meditation.
  • The lack of individual prayer and communion with God has divorced modern Christians and Christian sects from Jesus' teaching of the real perception of God, as is true also of all religious paths inaugurated by God-sent prophets whose followers drift into byways of dogma and ritual rather than actual God-communion. Those paths that have no esoteric soul-lifting training busy themselves with dogma and building walls to exclude people with different ideas. Divine persons who really perceive God include everybody within the path of their love, not in the concept of an eclectic congregation but in respectful divine friendship toward all true lovers of God and the saints of all religions.
  • The heart of the great dispensation of Jesus has survived not necessarily in any temporal power of an outer institution, but in those great devotees and saints whose protracted devotions and meditations established within them temples of Christ Consciousness and God-communion...
    It is such saints and masters who have actually communed with God — those known to history as well as countless anonymous true souls devoted to Christ, hidden in monasteries and convents in wholehearted consecration — who have verily been the "rock" on which Jesus' inner church of Christ communion has endured these two thousand years.

Quotes of others about Yogananda

  • Yogananda draws parallels between the Christian trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit and the yoga concept of Sat, Tat and Aum. Both traditions use the trinity to distinguish among the transcendent, divine reality; its immanence in creation; and a sacred, cosmic vibration that sustains the universe, he says.
    And he asserts that Bible passages used to exclude non-Christians from salvation have been misconstrued. Some Christians believe, for instance, that Jesus' saying that "no one comes to the Father except through me" requires a belief in Jesus the man as God and personal savior. Yogananda, however, asserts that Jesus was referring to the need to achieve the same "Christ consciousness" he personified as a way to achieve oneness with God.
    "Christ has been much misinterpreted by the world," Yogananda wrote. "Even the most elementary principles of his teachings have been desecrated, and their esoteric depths have been forgotten."
    ~ Teresa Watanabe Los Angeles Times (11 December 2004)

External links

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