The pioneering father of Yoga in the West
Paramahansa Yogananda was one of the prominent spiritual figures in the twentieth century. Born Mukunda Lal Ghosh in 1893 in Gorakhpur, India, he received years of spiritual training following a Hindu tradition descending from a long line of Indian spiritual masters. In 1915, Yogananda became a monk of the ancient Swami Order.
Five years later, at the age of 27, he embarked from India for the United States of America where he had been invited, as India’s representative, to take part in an inter-religious congress in Boston.
The young swami arrived in Boston in September 1920. His first speech, made to the International Congress of Religious Liberals, was on “The Science of Religion,” and was enthusiastically received.
That same year, he founded Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) to disseminate worldwide his teachings on India’s ancient science and philosophy of Yoga and its time-honored tradition of meditation.
Yogananda traveled and lectured widely, speaking to capacity audiences in many of the largest auditoriums in America — from New York’s Carnegie Hall to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Auditorium.
Yogananda emphasized the underlying unity of the world’s great religions, and taught universally applicable methods for attaining direct personal experience of God. To serious students of his teachings he taught the soul-awakening techniques of Kriya Yoga, initiating more than 100,000 men and women during his thirty years in the West.
Under his direction, the personal guidance and instruction that he had given to students of his classes was arranged into a comprehensive series of Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons for Home Study. These Lessons are available today, as during his lifetime, by subscription.
Paramahansa Yogananda’s final years were spent largely in seclusion, as he labored intensely to complete his writings — including his voluminous commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita and the teachings of Jesus Christ in the four Gospels, and revisions of earlier works such as Whispers from Eternity and the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons. He also worked extensively with Sri Daya Mata, Mrinalini Mata, and a few other of his closest disciples, imparting the spiritual and organizational guidance that would enable them to carry on his worldwide work after he would be gone.
On March 7, 1952, the great guru entered mahasamadhi, a God‑illumined master’s conscious exit from the body at the time of physical death.
Read more about Paramahansa Yogananda's life on the official Self-Realization Fellowship Website:
The teachings of Self-Realization Fellowship are founded upon the original Christianity of Jesus Christ and the original Yoga of Bhagavan Krishna. The spiritual lineage of SRF consists of these two great avatars and a line of exalted masters of contemporary times: Mahavatar Babaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, Swami Sri Yukteswar, and Paramahansa Yogananda (last in the line of SRF Gurus). Each of these Great Ones played a role in Self-Realization Fellowship's mission of bringing to the modern world the spiritual science of Kriya Yoga. Visit SRF's official website to learn more about its spiritual lineage.
Autobiography of a Yogi
Autobiography of a Yogi is one of the world's most acclaimed spiritual classics.
Named one of the 100 Best Spiritual Books of the Twentieth Century, Paramahansa Yogananda’s remarkable life story takes you on an unforgettable exploration of the world of saints and yogis,
science and miracles, death and resurrection.
With soul-satisfying wisdom and endearing wit, he illuminates the deepest secrets of life and the universe — opening our hearts and minds to the joy, beauty, and unlimited spiritual potentials that exist in the lives of every human being.
This book has touched the hearts and minds of millions around the globe. Translated into over fifty languages, it has served as an ambassador for India's ancient science of Yoga, introducing countless readers to the methods for attaining God-realization that are India's unique and lasting contribution to world civilization.
Autobiography of a Yogi is a great introduction to Paramahansa Yogananda life's work and teachings.
Read more about the book on the Self-Realization Fellowship official website:
Purchase the Autobiography of a Yogi at the Self-Realization Fellowship bookstore
or borrow it from our library:
Awake: The Life of Yogananda
The award-winning documentary film that has introduced Paramahansa Yogananda and his yoga meditation teachings to a new generation of seekers around the globe, Awake: The Life of Yogananda follows Paramahansaji’s monumental achievement in making ancient Indian spirituality accessible to a modern audience. Written and produced by CounterPoint Films with the cooperation of Self-Realization Fellowship, Awake features much rare archival footage. The film is narrated using Yogananda’s own words and first person accounts by those who knew him, as well as commentary from journalists, scientists, scholars, and yogis.
Directed by Paola di Florio and Lisa Leeman.
Read more about the film on the official Self-Realization Fellowship website:
"Practice meditation. You'll find that you are carrying within your heart a portable paradise."