Born as Mukunda Lal Ghosh in the year of 1983, on the
fifth day of January; Paramhansa Yogananda was an Indian Yog Guru. He
propagated the wisdom of meditation,self-yoga and the path of “Kriya Yoga”. He
popularised his thoughts to many Indians and also spread his knowledge of
meditation and self-yoga. To achieve is goals and to teach the world his
knowledge he founded “Yogoda Satsanga Society of India” and “Self-Realization
Childhood and Early Life:
Born at Gorakhpur (India), on 5 January,
1983, in British India; to a devout family.
Paramhansa Yogananda many
times tried to devote himself completely to God and for that purpose he tried
to settle into Himalayas; but due to family pressure he had to settle to
He had a younger brother called Sananda. Sananda describes that his knowledge and
awareness about the human consciousness and his spiritual knowledge was
extraordinary. He enquired voluminous Hindu savants and saints in order to find
a teacher who could illuminate the path of his divine voyage.
His pursuit concluded when
he met Swami Yukteshwar Giri, whom he called his guru. He was seventeen when he
first met Swami Yukteshwar Giri. Paramhansa Yogananda describes his guru in a
very good way. He stated that his guru knew God and would guide him to find his
answers. His affiliation with Swami Yukteshwar Giri was the greatest thing that
occurred to him as detailed by Paramhansa Yogananda in his works and speeches. Swami
Yukteshwar Giri said that Yogananda had been
sent to him by Mahavatar Babaji for
a superior single-mindedness.
Yogananda founded a school for boys in West Bengal. He restructured the
education by the combination of contemporary learning and his transcendental
ethics. The school was initially located in The Dihika city which was later
relocated to Ranchi.
In the year of 1920, Paramhansa moved to
America. He took the decision when a few American scholars were at his Ashram,
he realized the purpose that his guru Swami Yukteshwar Giri mentioned and
decided to leave India the very next day. He was sent as India’s ambassador to an International Congress of
Religious Liberals summoning happening in the city of Boston in the United
He also founded Self Realization fellowship
in the same year. There he inaugurated his objective that was to spread his
awareness of Yoga and Meditation to the entire world. He spent several years
teaching his wisdom. He was popularised and many celebrities of that time also
became his devotees including Amelita
Galli-Curci, Vladimir Rosing and Clara Clemens Gabrilowitsch,
the daughter of Mark Twain. He also established his center for
Self-Realization fellowship, at LA, California. He spent the major part of his
being in the United States.
After spending more than thirty years on
foreign soil, he wanted to visit his motherland. So in the year 1935, he
started his Indian tour which continued till 1936.
He visited his Guru, and established Yogoda
Satsanga. His Guru was filled with happiness and satisfaction that he stated
that his purpose of life was complete and left his body. Swami Yukteshwar Giri gave him the title “Paramhansa”
meaning that Yogananda has attaine the ultimate state of his spiritual journey.
He also met Mahatma Gandhi during his visit;
he gave his teachings on “Kriya Yoga” to many disciples.
After returning to America, his home was relocated
to Encinitas, California. It was a surprise gift
from Rajarsi Janakananda, one of his believers. He established many
churches in California. He also wrote many of his works.
Upon learning that his last days of life were
near, he secluded himself from the world and stayed at his deserted Ashram in
California. He revised his articles, lessons and completed his books including
his famous autobiography “Autobiography of a Yogi “.
He didn’t waste his time in public meetings and speeches; instead, he, left a
greater impact on society by recording his thoughts and wisdom in books and
It was in a hotel, “Biltmore
Hotel, LA” when he attained the Mahasamadhi. He was presenting his views in
regard to the cooperation of India and America. He was concluding his speech
with the poem called “My India” describing India and his journey to meet God.
As he said the last words of his poem his soul left this world.
Paramhansa Yogananda wrote many books, poems,
and articles. Major works being the following:
His Autobiography “Autobiography of a Yogi “is called the masterpiece in spiritual genre of
books. It’s been translated in more than 50 languages. This book has changed
life of millions. His book describes the aspects of life that made him attain
the ultimate state of mind, to live in harmony within him. His book continues
to be one of the best-selling books. It has inspired people like Steve Jobs.
Affirmations, written in the year of 1924; this book explains science of
healing of body and soul.
Man’s eternal quest, 1975.
This book is exceptional work based on teachings of Paramhansa. It explains the
questions about God, enlightens the spiritual journey of the readers.
Talks With Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita — A New Translation and Commentary; this
book explains his opinions of The Bhagavad Gita.
Personal Life and Legacy:
Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (YSS) is a
non-profit holy association created by Paramahansa Yogananda in 1917, 100 years
ago. In countries outside the Indian subcontinent, it is known as the
Daya Mata was self-chosen as his successor, she
was the head of YSS from (1952-2010).
In 2017, The Prime Minister Narendra Modi
presented the dedicatory postage stamp honouring the 100th anniversary of
Satsanga Society of India, founded by Yogananda.