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Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Paramahamsa Yogananda

Originally uploaded by alxindia.
I keep forgetting that some folks who visit this site are just finding out about Indian mysticism, and don't know all the names of the characters.

I was mentioning Paramhamsa Yogananda earlier. he was one of India's greatest shining stars, a saint for all saints, a total love being whose book "Autobiography of a Yogi" has changed lives all over the planet.

he spent most of his life in America, not by his own choice, but at his master's orders. his face was so full of light and love that he was often mistaken for a woman. there are many photographs of Yogananda where he appears quite feminine -- obviously the Divine Mother was alive and well in his form, and was showing Herself through him.

when Yogananda took his mahasamadhi (his conscious death), it was in Los Angeles at a huge formal banquet for the then Indian ambassador. Yogananda's body is still in Los Angeles, at Forest Lawn -- and it apparently STILL hasn't decayed at all.

one of my favorite Yogananda stories involves a not-very-subtle display of his supernatural awareness:

Yogananda was lecturing in Boston about Jesus and Jesus' greatness, and a few days after he received an anonymous letter from a very angry guy who was spouting off that Jesus was a myth and never existed, and that Yogananda himself was a charlatan for claiming otherwise.

so, what to do? Yogananda prayed for divine guidance, and went to the Boston library, where the man who'd written the letter happened to be visiting. he walked right up to that guy, and said, (I'm paraphrasing here) "I just want you to know I got your letter, and by the same divine powers that Jesus had access to, I was able to locate you and I'm here to let you that Jesus was real."

I can imagine that guy's jaw pretty well dropped to the ground!

of course the best thing to read is Yogananda's own life-story, his immortal "Autobiography of a Yogi" -- here are some websites to enjoy as well. SRF (Self-Realization Fellowship) is his original organization. Ananda was a splinter group from SRF that was also clearly ordained by Yogananda, and its leader, Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters) was one of Yogananda's top students, and a founder of SRF, before he left to start Ananda. books/conversations_yogananda.asp


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