Paramhansa Yogananda – Pioneering the spread of Kriya Yoga in the West
“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.”
One great sage once told me, that the higher masters of god realisation are so divine that they operate in silent ways & appear to the masses in ordinary everyday faces. So they will pick one lesser mortal like me, ignite my mind, with a volley of thoughts, make me seek a writing tool , laptop, as it is called in our times & then make me unleash a havoc of words with the resounding memory of the famous quote “The pen is mightier than the sword”.
So while I haven’t really arrived at the state of perfect god communion myself, I see myself as a champion of his (Shiva’s) ever luminious energy. It is with this spirit, that I go about, spreading his divine messages like the country bumpkin, who knows no better, than to follow the song in his heart & dance to the music of his soul & provide unwarranted recommendations on the precious pearls of spiritual potency, that do not get their due from, everyday rhythms of life.
Of course, A history professor urges me, to stick to the facts, lest I be convicted by my audience as a hopeless romantic, but I make peace with the middle path of Buddha and enter your thoughtful awareness, dear reader with the humble plea, that while I dedicate the following lines to the life & works of the Lofty Yogananda, world famous for his revelations in his work “The autobiography of a Yogi”, my higher purpose , is to lull you into the deep internal havens of your own self which trigger your spiritual yearnings, rather than offer you a mere historical tribute which you can find by an easy Google search, once you know his name.
Born on January 5, 1893, Paramhansa Yogananda is said to have taken birth in Gorakhpur, in India & lived there for eight years. Devout followers of Gorakshanath, his parents visited the local temple regularly. It is believed that as a child, Mukunda, as he was called, often disappeared at the time of religious festivities, only to be found in deep meditative states, at a Gorakh Nath temple.
In 1910 at the age of 17, he met Sri Yukteswar Giri, who became his master & under whose spiritual guidance he spent the next ten years, learning Yoga at his hermitage primarily. Soon, after he graduated in 1915, he took to the Swami order & immersed himself in the service of god. In 1920, after receiving a divine vision from the Deathless Babaji, the pioneer, travelled to America to spread the science of Kriya Yoga in the west. He spent almost thirty years thereafter travelling & teaching yoga & techniques of god communion. He built a foundation, now well known as the Self Realisation fellowship or Yogoda satsang society, which was a platform to serve his humanitarian work.
It is said that, then when he finally left his body in 1952, after a speech, before an audience in Los Angeles, “his eyes turned upwards, he turned slightly to the right & sunk gracefully to the floor.” It is also recorded, that by yogic will, he was able to preserve his physical body cells which did not show any signs of decay even after twenty days of his departure from it. Such miraculous feats he performed to show his disciples the higher truths of life.
A closer look at his book, lectures & ideas brings us in touch with the divine mystical cosmic forces, which drive us closer to meditation & turn our attention inwards to realize our full potential. Eventually, allowing ourselves to flower into the divinity of our own being.