Paramhansa Yogananda, affectionately called Master or Guru by his devotees and disciples, lived from 1893 to 1952 and was one of the earliest teachers of the ancient science of yoga in the west. He was an author, poet, charismatic speaker and a powerhouse of activity.
Yogananda brings Yoga to America
Yogananda traveled to America from India in 1920 and filled great lecture halls in New York, Boston and cities across the country with interested spiritual seekers. He continued to lecture, teach, write and guide disciples until his mahasamadhi, a self-realized master’s conscious exit from the body at the time of physical death, in 1952. Yogananda’s teachings have been carried on through his writings and by his direct disciples (students) and, to this day, many are guided to this great master to become his disciple, thus calling him their Guru.
Yogananda’s Message: Self-Realization, Universal Truth,
Meditation and Kriya Yoga
Yogananda shared the universal, non-sectarian path of Self-Realization. He emphasized the brotherhood of diverse peoples and religions in one common goal: direct experience and, ultimately, union with God. He taught practical methods for this attainment through meditation and Kriya Yoga. Yogananda introduced the teachings of Raja Yoga or Royal Yoga, Patanjali’s Eight-Fold Path and the Bhagavad Gita and explained how to apply these teaching to daily life to find happiness, fulfillment, connection and peace within ourselves.
World Brotherhood Communities
Yogananda recommended the formation of World Brotherhood Communities where truthseekers of all walks of life with similar ideals could live and work together in harmony, applying yogic principles to all aspects of life. He emphasized the importance of environment and vibration to support personal spiritual growth.
Autobiography of a Yogi, the great spiritual classic, first published in 1946, beautifully recounts Yogananda’s exceptional life experiences, his meetings with saints and the history of the lineage of gurus which he continued. Through these descriptions, the reader is introduced to the path of Kriya Yoga, meditation and methods for the attainment of Self-Realization.