Paramahansa Yogananda was an a monk, yogi and guru who introduced millions to the teachings of meditation and Kriya Yoga through his organization Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) / Yogoda Satsanga Society (YSS) of India
He is widely considered as the man who took yoga beyond India’s shores.
Yogananda was born in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh to a devout Hindu family. At the age of 17, he met his guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri. He founded the Yogada Satsanga Society of India in Ranchi in 1917.
Yogananda arrived in the U.S. in 1920, in an era when Americans were looking for answers. He had been invited to serve as a delegate at the International Congress of Religious Liberals convening in Boston.
His speeches emphasized the underlying unity of the world’s great religions and introduced the soul-awakening techniques of Kriya Yoga and other meditation practices to help people achieve that understanding, which he called Self-realization.
His long-standing influence in the American yoga movement, and especially the yoga culture of Los Angeles, led him to be considered by yoga experts as the “Father of Yoga in the West.”
His “plain living and high thinking” principles attracted people from all backgrounds among his followers.
Yogananda was the first major Indian teacher to settle in America, and the first prominent Indian to be hosted in the White House by President Calvin Coolidge in 1927.
In 1946 Yogananda took advantage of a change in immigration laws and applied for citizenship. His application was approved in 1949 and he became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
He published his book Autobiography of a Yogi in 1946 to critical and commercial acclaim. In 1999, it was designated one of the “100 Most Important Spiritual Books of the 20th Century”
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.”
It is also widely believed to have been the only book Steve Jobs had on his iPad, and his last gift to friends and employees on his deathbed. George Harrison (lead guitarist of The Beatles) who says he wouldn’t be alive if he hadn’t read the book.
After his death on March 7, 1952, a notarized statement signed by the Director of Forest Lawn Memorial-Park cemetery testified:
“No physical disintegration was visible in his body even twenty days after death… This state of perfect preservation of a body is, so far as we know from mortuary annals, an unparalleled one… Yogananda’s body was apparently in a phenomenal state of immutability.”
Chekout with more images on Instagram Page – Paramahansa Yogananda