Self-Realization and the Spiritual Quest
Rediscovering Paramahansa Yogananda
When Paramahansa Yogananda was a baby in
His mother’s arms, the child of the Holy
Mother & Holy Father from Gorakpur, India.
He was presented for a darshan to the great
Yogi/prophet Lahiri Mahasaya in Banares,
Yogananda's devout Hindu parents were
Kriya yoga disciples of this modern Yogi.
Lahiri Mahasaya said to Yogananda's mother,
"Little mother, thy son will be a Yogi.
As a spiritual engine he will carry
......................many souls to God's kingdom."
(page 17, Autobiography of a Yogi)
This powerful comment on Yogananda's destiny was more than prophecy, it was also a special permission spiritualized into the ether for all of Yogananda's work which would eventually
materialize as a living, inspiring, dynamic, non-sectarian global NRM, the Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Sat Sanga.
A permission that no doubt originally came from Mahavatar Babaji, as witnessed from Yoganandas visit by the great Avatar Himself.
Such was Yoganandas humility that He would not undertake this venture to America without Babaji’s personal Blessing & verification of this sacred mission. Which He received from Mahavatar Babji in person.
This is the true nature of a great souls word, it always materializes as he promises.
It is also significant in this plan that Yogananda was trained specifically for this challenging mission, and came to America by official invitation from Unitarians to speak at a global religious conference.
The actual reason why Lahiri Mahasaya forbad others from starting organizations of any kind was not just specifically because of the yogic traditions. Instead, it was because the future launching of this great new spiritual dispensation was to be carried out by Yogananda on a vast global scale.
Further evidence of the above idea is mentioned by another credible witness, Sananda Ghosh, author of Yoganandas Biography '" Mejda."
See chapter seven entitled ' Chittagong,' where Lahiri Mahasaya appears to Yogananda and his younger Brother Sananda in a Litchi tree orchard.
Mahasaya is an inspiration for all devotees.
"Jaiastu ( Victory be with you )Lahiri Mahasaya said,
" Mukunda, it is God's wish that I come to you
today. Remember what I say to you.
You have come on earth as God's representative
to fulfill His wishes. Your body is His temple,
sanctified by prayers and meditation.
Do not run after material pleasures
and satisfaction. You will show the way that leads
to true happiness;and by your spiritual knowledge
you will deliver those who are suffering in
ignorance. Never forget that you are one with
Maha Purusha (The Great Soul, a title of the
Supreme Spirit), attained only by those who
are supremely successful in meditation.
Your body, mind and life must never deviate
from the thought of God, even for a moment.
The blessings of the Infinite Father are upon
you. Your faith in Him must be absolute.
He will protect you from all dangers.
In this world only He is eternal; all else is
transient and unreliable. One day your
ideas of Yoga will inspire all mankind.
Mukunda, march onward!"...........end
Here again in front of another witness who wrote his book, we have Lahiri Mahasaya prophesying an extraordinary role for Paramahansa Yogananda in the future, and advising Him to prepare His life for
the helping of struggling humankind.
" Yogananda, you have been surrounded from birth by direct disciples of Lahiri Mahasaya. The great master lived his sublime life in partial seclusion, and steadfastly refused to permit his followers to build any organization around his teachings. He nevertheless made a significant prediction.
"'About fifty years after my passing," he said, 'an account of my life will be written because of a deep interest in yoga that will arise in the west. The message of yoga will encircle the globe. It will aid in establishing the brotherhood of man:
a unity based on humanity's direct perception of the One Father."
" my son Yogananda," Sri Yukteswar went on, " You must do your part in spreading that message, and in writing that sacred life." [and it became so with the publication of Yoganandas inspiring book, " Autobiography of a Yogi." Thus fulfilling a prophecy made by Lahiri Mahasaya and Sri Yukteswar many years earlier.
Now, without diminishing the stature of Swami Vivekananda who came to America in 1893, it appears in the divine schema that he served as a special example and forerunner in this work of fully introducing the world outside of India to the Holy Sanatana Dharma.[The Eternal Religion]
There is also anecdotal evidence that Vivekananda was aware of Yoganandas birth and mission which took place that very same year that the swami was in America.
This was evidenced by another witness, who is mentioned in classic Autobiography of a Yogi.
It is true that a number of noble Western philosophers previously had a seriously expressed interest/respect for India’s spiritual wisdom, but by and large they did not attain to that fullness of liberation to the same degree we see in the yogis of Babjis / Yoganandas lineage.
And other wonderful renowned lineages from sacred India. The record, I believe by now, has generously proved Paramahansa Yogananda to be to be the right soul for this job, at the
right place at the right time in Vedic spiritual history.
When persons suggest that some occurance may be truly "the will of God," one may look to a great life and its legacy such as that of
Yogananda to see divine will in action.
One should always ask, "what were the great powers that brought so many complex forces together over a period of time to create such an outstanding result?"
his charisma, compassion, balance,
truthfulness, and understanding, divine love,
and intuitive insights, Wisdom, and other spiritual qualities.
His exquisite teaching abilities and mastery
of the English language which came so quickly,
and His powers of observation and creativity
made Him especially suitable to this project.
organization was not unique when Yogananda
began Self-Realization Fellowship /YSS in America.
Back in the 8th century, it was the incomparable Adi
Shankara, who widely reorganized Hinduism when
He established 21 monastic orders and four papal
centers in the Indian subcontinent. These were to
represent the Holy Vedic tradition of the Hindus
and were intitially overseen by four great disciples.
The effect of His great work was to protect sacred
Hinduism from extermination by less civilized
invaders who often came in hoards from the west.
These great monastic orders are still function-
ing to this day. Although He was a major Savior/
Avatar, He was able to accomplish his work without
creating a new religion. This, I believe is great food
for thought! Considering the great status of his soul
and the vast and varied cultures being dealt with.
Mass., USA, Yogananda was called to California,
where Kriya - Yogoda teaching began to spread
like fire soon after His arrival.
This was the divine plan, first to be written/spoken
declared in the worlds [soon to be] most common language.
Second, to be launched where so many of the
world’s great innovations are launched from,
"California", where else!
This will become one of the great spiritual links between
India and America. A true harmonizing of East and West!
of being one of the most photographed prophets
in history. And one of the few whose detailed
life record and teachings have thus far remained
intact with His organizaiton. Albeit, differing
opinions will no doubt always prevail!
Since Yoganandas pioneering work of sharing in
the field of the spiritual science of Kriya Yoga began,
many Gurus of varying achievements have ventured
out of sacred India to launch their own yoga paths
there who attack Yogananda and brand Him as
a odd renegade Yogi for starting an organization.
Yogananda really had no choice - either you stay
small in a dusty little ashram, or if growth of Kriya is
astronomical, it must take on an organized structure
of some sort to keep things flowing with the least problems.
It's like the difference of a dozen homes located out
in the country compared to the organizational needs
of a large metropolis. It is this very organization that
is the key to protecting this modern Kriya Yoga
science revelation from deterioration and confusion.
from religious hijackers and false prophets.
A process already taking place in the organizations
of certain other groups outside of SRF. Where even
the Masters honored name is sometimes rarely mentioned,
and where others have attempted to pose as gurus in
this same lineage against the wishes of Yogananda.There have been a few others who cursed
organizations in their names after their demise.
There are some who while speaking against orgs are
actually[sneakily] in the process of creating
organizations themselves. Yes, I have met such
people. It seems that they do gain a number of
followers [seekers] who are attracted to the talk
that they will never have to join an organization,
many are being deceived! Alas, many Kriya
gurus are setting up organizations on different
scales. They sometimes are doing this while
criticizing SRF. Yogananda Himself was never
that fond of organizations. He did what He did
to fulfill the mandate imposed upon Him by
will which the master knew. Thus did Yogananda in
His continuing wisdom see that all elements of a
legal and democratic organization was fully set up
before his Mahasamadhi.
that it has everything the devotee could ask from a
divinely inspired yogic path. It will serve as a
universal aid to the members of many other world
religions who have members who need the more
esoteric understanding to move forward in their
divine quest. It is far enough ahead of its time to
be valid for millennums to come.
It is amazing what unprovable schemes men will
come up with to gain followers and power.
And what titles they sometimes give themselves.
They usually begin with stories about Babaji coming
to them in form or dreams to tell them they must
now spread kriya yoga. Why make up fairytales -
just go and do what you were going to do anyways.
History is full of persons who claimed their sacred
missions and/or books were by divine command
and therefore their special status came from certain
angels. With usually no witnesses! Just think of how
many have claimed to be the return of Jesus over
the centuries! Yes, when people hear this from some
they just go running after them blindly with deep &
This would be why Yogananda, as chief disciple in
His branch of His lineage called "closure" on any
future guruships in this line. He was the last one,
any claims to the contrary carry no value. This act
of 'closure' by the master can also be found in the
works of many great prophets. It is clearly was done
to protect the new devotee from misrepresentation,
the resulting confusion & loss of spiritual clarity.
Unlike some of these would be Kriya gurus of varied
quality, some of whom even left SRF to make their
own disappointing claims to fame [by their own
words I assure you], Yoganandas Dispensation has
a long validated history, and examples galore to
support its own authenticity.
And although Yogananda has shared with us many
divine visitations of great souls including Jesus,
Krishna, Yukteshwar, St. Frances etc, the greatness
of His life and work can stand fully on its own merits.
Had He not even mentioned any of this, the world
has still witnessed the great stature of this man of
God in many ways that count seriously enough to
claim Him as an major Avatar. His mission was very
far reaching and of profound depth of vision.
When one produces such an outstanding legacy of
advanced souls, history, and spiritual literature, and
inspiration to millions globally, and halfway through
His Mission is awarded India's highest spiritual title
"Paramahansa"] by His mentor Sri Yukteswar.
You can be sure that Babaji would not be sending
others to repeat a successfully launched mission
[and thus confuse] this great work.
He did have living, breathing predecessors who are
historically validated by circumstance and history,
both in spiritual literature & on film. We know with
full evidence the nature and wisdom of India's great
ones in the path of Kriya Yoga above all.
"You cannot reason your way into Self-Realization.
You cannot think your way into God-realization.
You can arrive at those exalted states only by using
the concentrated mind in meditation, going beyond
the intellect to perceive through the power of the
soul’s sixth sense.
“The freedom and joy and wisdom, the under-
standing, the love ---
everything that your heart has ever craved—
is waiting for you in God.”
Sri Daya Mata.” from her talk on -
"Exploring the inner world of the Spirit."