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Paramahansa Yogananda

Not to be confused with Swami Yogananda.

Sananda, from his earliest years young Mukundas awareness and experience of the spiritual was far beyond the
ordinary.[2] In his youth he sought out many of Indias
Paramahansa Yogananda (Bengali: illuminated
) (5 January 1893 7 March 1952), born Mukunda Hindu sages and saints, hoping to nd an
[3]
teacher
to
guide
him
in
his
spiritual
quest.
Lal Ghosh (Bengali: ), was an Indian
yogi and guru who introduced millions of westerners to Yoganandas seeking after various saints mostly ended
the teachings of meditation and Kriya Yoga through his when he met his guru, Swami Yukteswar Giri, in 1910,
book, Autobiography of a Yogi.[1]
at the age of 17. He describes his rst meeting with Yukteswar as a rekindling of a relationship that had lasted for
many lifetimes:

1
1.1

Biography
We entered a oneness of silence; words
seemed the rankest superuities. Eloquence
owed in soundless chant from heart of master to disciple. With an antenna of irrefragable
insight I sensed that my guru knew God, and
would lead me to Him. The obscuration of this
life disappeared in a fragile dawn of prenatal
memories. Dramatic time! Past, present, and
future are its cycling scenes. This was not the
rst sun to nd me at these holy feet![3]

Youth

Later on Yukteswar informed Yogananda that he had


been sent to him by Mahavatar Babaji for a special
purpose.[3]
After passing his Intermediate Examination in Arts from
the Scottish Church College, Calcutta, in June 1915, he
graduated with a degree similar to a current day Bachelor
of Arts or B.A. (which at the time was referred to as an
A.B.), from Serampore College, the college having two
entities, one as a constituent college of the Senate of Serampore College (University) and the other as an aliated
college of the University of Calcutta. This allowed him
to spend time at Yukteswars ashram in Serampore. In
1915, he took formal vows into the monastic Swami order and became Swami Yogananda Giri.[3] In 1917, Yogananda founded a school for boys in Dihika, West Bengal, that combined modern educational techniques with
yoga training and spiritual ideals. A year later, the school
relocated to Ranchi.[3] This school would later become
the Yogoda Satsanga Society of India, the Indian branch
of Yoganandas American organization, Self-Realization
Fellowship.
Yogananda at age six

1.2 Move to America

Yogananda was born in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India, In 1920, Yogananda went to the United States aboard the
to a devout family.[2] According to his younger brother, ship City of Sparta, as Indias delegate to an International
1

2 TEACHINGS

Congress of Religious Liberals convening in Boston.[4][5]


That same year he founded the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) to disseminate worldwide his teachings on Indias ancient practices and philosophy of Yoga and its
tradition of meditation.[6] For the next several years, he
lectured and taught on the East Coast[7] and in 1924 embarked on a cross-continental speaking tour.[8] Thousands
came to his lectures.[3] During this time he attracted a
number of celebrity followers, including soprano Amelita
Galli-Curci, tenor Vladimir Rosing and Clara Clemens
Gabrilowitsch, the daughter of Mark Twain. The following year, he established an international center for SelfRealization Fellowship in Los Angeles, California, which
became the spiritual and administrative heart of his growing work.[5][9] Yogananda was the rst Hindu teacher of
yoga to spend a major portion of his life in America.
He lived there from 19201952, interrupted by an extended trip abroad in 19351936 which was mainly to
visit his guru in India though he undertook visits to other
living western saints like Therese Neumann, the Catholic
Stigmatist of Konnersreuth, and places of spiritual significance en route.[3]

lessons written previously over the years.[15] During this


period he gave few interviews and public lectures. He told
his close disciples, I can do much more now to reach others with my pen.[16]

1.5 Death
In the days leading up to his death, Yogananda began hinting that it was time for him to leave the world.[17]

On 7 March 1952, he attended a dinner for the visiting


Indian Ambassador to the US, Binay Ranjan Sen, and
his wife at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.[18] At the
conclusion of the banquet, Yogananda spoke of India and
America, their contributions to world peace and human
progress, and their future cooperation,[19] expressing his
hope for a United World that would combine the best
qualities of ecient America and spiritual India.[20]
According to an eyewitness Daya Mata, a direct disciple
of Yogananda, who was head of the Self-Realization Fellowship from 19552010[21][22] as Yogananda ended
his speech, he read from his poem My India, concluding
with the words Where Ganges, woods, Himalayan caves,
and men dream GodI am hallowed; my body touched
1.3 Visit to India, 19351936
that sod.[23] As he uttered these words, he lifted his eyes
to the Kutastha center (the Ajna Chakra), and his body
In 1935, he returned to India to visit Yukteswar and to slumped to the oor.[17][24] Followers say that he entered
help establish his Yogoda Satsanga work in India. Dur- mahasamadhi.[24][25]
ing this visit, as told in his autobiography, he met with
Mahatma Gandhi, and initiated him into the liberating His funeral service, with hundreds attending, was held
technique of Kriya Yoga as Gandhi expressed his in- at the SRF headquarters atop Mt. Washington in Los
terest to receive the Kriya Yoga of Lahiri Mahasaya; Angeles. Rajarsi Janakananda, the new president of
Anandamoyi Ma; renowned physicist Chandrasekhara the Self-Realization Fellowship, performed a sacred rit[26]
Yoganandas remains
Venkata Raman; and several disciples of Yukteswars ual releasing the body to God.
[3]
are
interred
at
the
Forest
Lawn
Memorial
Park in the
guru Lahiri Mahasaya. While in India, Yukteswar gave
Great
Mausoleum
(normally
closed
o
to
visitors
but YoYogananda the monastic title of Paramahansa. Parama[22]
ganandas
tomb
is
accessible)
in
Glendale,
California.
hansa means supreme swan and is a title indicating the highest spiritual attainment.[10] In 1936, while
Yogananda was visiting Calcutta, Yukteswar attained
mahasamadhi[11] in the town of Puri.
2 Teachings

1.4

Return to America, 1936

After returning to America, Yogananda continued to lecture, write, and establish churches in southern California.
He took up residence at the SRF hermitage in Encinitas,
California which was a surprise gift from his disciple
Rajarsi Janakananda.[12][13] It was while at this hermitage
that Yogananda wrote his famous Autobiography of a Yogi
and other writings. Also at this time he created an enduring foundation for the spiritual and humanitarian work
of SelfRealization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society
of India.[14]

Paramahansa Yogananda giving a class in Washington, D.C.

The last four years of his life were spent primarily in


seclusion with some of his inner circle of disciples at In 1917 Paramahansa Yogananda began his lifes work
his desert ashram in Twentynine Palms, California to n- with the founding of a 'how-to-live' school for boys,
ish his writings and to nish revising books, articles and where modern educational methods were combined with

3
yoga training and instruction in spiritual ideals. In 1920
To advocate cultural and spiritual underhe was invited to serve as Indias delegate to an Instanding between East and West, and the
ternational Congress of Religious Liberals convening in
exchange of their nest distinctive feaBoston. His address to the Congress, on 'The Science
tures.
of Religion,' was enthusiastically received. For the next
To serve mankind as ones larger Self.
several years he lectured and taught across the United
States. His discourses taught of the unity of 'the original Yogananda wrote the Second Coming of Christ: The Resteachings of Jesus Christ and the original Yoga taught by urrection of the Christ Within You and God Talks With ArBhagavan Krishna.'"
juna The Bhagavad Gita' to reveal the complete harIn 1920 he founded the Self-Realization Fellowship and mony and basic oneness of original Christianity as taught
in 1925 established in Los Angeles, California, USA, the by Jesus Christ and original Yoga as taught by Bhagavan
Krishna; and to show that these principles of truth are the
international headquarters for SRF.[5][27][28]
common scientic foundation of all true religions.[30]
Yogananda wrote down his Aims and Ideals for SelfIn his published work, The Self-Realization Fellowship
Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society:[29]
Lessons, Yogananda gives his in-depth instruction in the
practice of the highest yoga science of God-realization.
To disseminate among the nations
That ancient science is embodied in the specic principles
a knowledge of denite scientic techand meditation techniques of Kriya Yoga.[15] Yogananda
niques for attaining direct personal expetaught his students the need for direct experience of truth,
rience of God.
as opposed to blind belief. He said that The true basis of
To teach that the purpose of life is the
religion is not belief, but intuitive experience. Intuition is
evolution, through self-eort, of mans
the souls power of knowing God. To know what religion
limited mortal consciousness into God
is really all about, one must know God.[3][30]
Consciousness; and to this end to esEchoing traditional Hindu teachings, he taught that the
tablish Self-Realization Fellowship tementire universe is Gods cosmic motion picture, and
ples for God-communion throughout the
that individuals are merely actors in the divine play
world, and to encourage the establishwho change roles through reincarnation. He taught that
ment of individual temples of God in the
mankinds deep suering is rooted in identifying too
homes and in the hearts of men.
closely with ones current role, rather than with the
To reveal the complete harmony and bamovies director, or God.[3]
sic oneness of original Christianity as
He taught Kriya Yoga and other meditation practices to
taught by Jesus Christ and original Yoga
help people achieve that understanding, which he called
as taught by Bhagavan Krishna; and to
Self-realization:[5]
show that these principles of truth are the
common scientic foundation of all true
Self-realization is the knowing in body,
religions.
mind,
and soul that we are one with the om To point out the one divine highway to
nipresence of God; that we do not have to pray
which all paths of true religious beliefs
that it come to us, that we are not merely near
eventually lead: the highway of daily, sciit at all times, but that Gods omnipresence is
entic, devotional meditation on God.
our omnipresence; and that we are just as much
To liberate man from his threefold sufa part of Him now as we ever will be. All we
fering: physical disease, mental inharhave to do is improve our knowing.[31]
monies, and spiritual ignorance.
To encourage plain living and high
thinking; and to spread a spirit of brotherhood among all peoples by teaching the
eternal basis of their unity: kinship with
God.
To demonstrate the superiority of mind
over body, of soul over mind.
To overcome evil by good, sorrow by joy,
cruelty by kindness, ignorance by wisdom.
To unite science and religion through realization of the unity of their underlying
principles.

3 Kriya Yoga
Main article: Kriya Yoga
The science of Kriya Yoga is the foundation of Yoganandas teachings. Kriya Yoga is union (yoga) with
the Innite through a certain action or rite (kriya). The
Sanskrit root of kriya is kri, to do, to act and react.
Kriya Yoga was passed down through Yoganandas guru
lineage Mahavatar Babaji taught Kriya Yoga to Lahiri
Mahasaya, who taught it to his disciple, Yukteswar Giri,
Yoganandas Guru.[3]

5 CLAIMS OF BODILY INCORRUPTIBILITY

Yogananda gave a general description of Kriya Yoga in


his Autobiography:
The Kriya Yogi mentally directs his life energy to revolve, upward and downward, around
the six spinal centers (medullary, cervical, dorsal, lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal plexuses)
which correspond to the twelve astral signs of
the zodiac, the symbolic Cosmic Man. Onehalf minute of revolution of energy around
the sensitive spinal cord of man eects subtle progress in his evolution; that half-minute
of Kriya equals one year of natural spiritual
unfoldment.[3]
Sri Mrinalini Mata, current president of SRF/YSS, said,
"Kriya Yoga is so eective, so complete, because it brings
Gods love the universal power through which God
draws all souls back to reunion with Him into operation in the devotees life.[32]
Yogananda wrote in Autobiography of a Yogi that the
actual technique should be learned from an authorized
Kriyaban (Kriya Yogi) of Self-Realization Fellowship
(Yogoda Satsanga Society of India.)"[3]

Autobiography of a Yogi

Main article: Autobiography of a Yogi


In 1946, Yogananda published his life story, Autobiography of a Yogi.[5] It has since been translated into 42
languages. In 1999, it was designated one of the 100
Most Important Spiritual Books of the 20th Century by
a panel of spiritual authors convened by Philip Zaleski
and HarperCollins publishers.[33] Autobiography of a Yogi
is the most popular among Yoganandas books.[34] According to Philip Goldberg, who wrote American Veda,
the Self-Realization Fellowship which represents Yoganandas Legacy, is justied in using the slogan, The
Book that Changed the Lives of Millions. It has sold
more than four million copies and counting.[35] In 2006,
the publisher, Self-Realization Fellowship, honored the
60th anniversary of Autobiography of a Yogi with a series of projects designed to promote the legacy of the man
thousands of disciples still refer to as 'master'.[36]
Autobiography of a Yogi describes Yoganandas spiritual search for enlightenment, in addition to encounters with notable spiritual gures such as Therese
Neumann, Anandamayi Ma, Vishuddhananda Paramahansa, Mohandas Gandhi, Nobel laureate in literature
Rabindranath Tagore, noted plant scientist Luther Burbank (the book is 'Dedicated to the Memory of Luther
Burbank, An American Saint'), famous Indian scientist
Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose and Nobel laureate in physics
Sir C. V. Raman. One notable chapter of this book is
The Law of Miracles, where he gives scientic explanations for seemingly miraculous feats. He writes: the

Cover of rst edition of Autobiography of a Yogi

word 'impossible' is becoming less prominent in mans


vocabulary.[3]
The Autobiography has been an inspiration for many people including Steve Jobs (19552011), co-founder, former chairman, and chief executive ocer of Apple Inc.
In the book Steve Jobs: A Biography the author writes
that in preparation for a trip, Mr. Jobs downloaded onto
his iPad2, the Autobiography of a Yogi, the guide to
meditation and spirituality that he had rst read as a
teenager, then re-read in India and had read once a year
ever since.[37]

5 Claims of bodily incorruptibility


As reported in Time Magazine on 4 August 1952, Harry
T. Rowe, Los Angeles Mortuary Director of the Forest
Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California,
where Yoganandas body was embalmed,[38] wrote in a
notarized letter[3]
The absence of any visual signs of decay
in the dead body of Paramahansa Yogananda
oers the most extraordinary case in our experience... No physical disintegration was visible
in his body even twenty days after death... No

5
indication of mold was visible on his skin, and
no visible drying up took place in the bodily
tissues. This state of perfect preservation of a
body is, so far as we know from mortuary annals, an unparalleled one... No odor of decay
emanated from his body at any time...[39]
Rowe continues, on March 27th there was no reason to
say that his body had suered any visible physical disintegration at all. For these reasons we state again that
the case of Paramahansa Yogananda is unique in our
experience.[39]
Robert Todd Carroll in his book The Skeptics Dictionary
wrote that the director of Forest Lawn may have given an
accurate statement, but calling this lack of physical disintegration an extraordinary phenomenon is misleading;
a typical embalmed body will show no notable desiccation
for one to ve months, without the use of refrigeration or
creams.[40]

Legacy

Paramahansa Yoganandas dissemination of his teachings


is continued through the organization he founded the
Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF)/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (YSS).[35][41] Yogananda founded Yogoda
Satsanga Society of India in 1917 and then expanded it in
1920 to the United States naming it the Self-Realization
Fellowship. In 1935 he legally incorporated it in the U.S.
to serve as his instrument for the preservation and worldwide dissemination of his teachings.[42] Yogananda expressed this intention again in 1939 in his magazine Inner
Culture for Self-Realization that he published through his
organization:
Paramahansa Swami Yogananda renounced all his ownership rights in the
Self-Realization Fellowship when it was incorporated as a nonprot religious organization
under the laws of California, March 29, 1935.
At that time he turned over to the Fellowship
all of his rights to and income from sale
of his books, writings, magazine, lectures,
classes, property, automobiles and all other
possessions...[43]
SRF/YSS is headquartered in Los Angeles and has grown
to include more than 500 temples and centers around
the world and has members in over 175 countries including the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine.[44]
In India and surrounding countries, Paramahansa Yoganandas teachings are disseminated by YSS which has
more than 100 centers, retreats, and ashrams.[41] Rajarsi
Janakananda was chosen by Yogananda to become
the President of SRF/YSS when he was gone.[5][45]
Daya Mata, a religious leader and a direct disciple

of Yogananda who was personally chosen and trained


by Yogananda, was head of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India from 1955
2010.[6] According to Linda Johnsen, the new wave today is women, for major Indian gurus have passed on
their spiritual mantle to women including Yogananda to
the American born Daya Mata[46] and then to Mrinalini
Mata. Mrinalini Mata, a direct disciple of Yogananda, is
the president and spiritual head of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India as of 2014.
She too was personally chosen and trained by Yogananda
to help guide the dissemination of his teachings after
his death. She is assisted by the SRF Board of Directors, which includes other direct disciples of Yogananda
trained by him.[41]

7 Noted direct disciples


The members of this list were drawn from Yoganandas
book Journey to Self-Realization, unless otherwise noted,
and the date and location of rst discipleship to Yogananda are given.[47]
Minot and Mildred Lewis, 1920, Boston. Minott
W. Lewis, a Boston dentist, and his wife Mildred,
met Paramahansaji a short time after Yoganandas
arrival in America in 1920 and became lifelong
disciples. Minot served for many years as the
vice-president of and a minister of Self-Realization
Fellowship, Yoganandas worldwide mission. SRF
published a biography about Minot Lewis, Dr.
M.W. Lewis: The Life Story of One of the Earliest American Disciples. In 1991 Brenda Rosser
wrote a book about his and Mildreds life with
Yogananda called Treasures Against Time. There
are many recorded lectures freely available on
Yyoga.org.[48][49][50][51][52]
Yogamata, 1920, Boston. Yogamata, born as Alice
Haysey, took her nal, lifelong vow of renunciation
in the Self-Realization Fellowship Order from Yogananda, making her the rst nun ordained in SRF.
Tara Mata, 1924, San Francisco. Tara Mata (Laurie Pratt) was a direct disciple for forty-ve years
and served Yoganandas SRF work until her death
in 1971. She took a nal, lifelong vow of renunciation in the Self-Realization Fellowship Order from Yogananda and was given the name Tara
which means a name for God in the aspect of Divine Mother.[53] Yogananda assigned her as a member of the SRF Board of Directors and Editor-inChief of SRY/YSS publications and she was the
Vice-President from 1962 1966. She wrote two
books: Astrological World Cycles free download and
A Forerunner of the New Race[54][55][56]

7
Gyanamata, 1924, Seattle. In 1932 Gyanamata
(Mother of Wisdom) took a nal, lifelong vow of
renunciation in the Self-Realization Fellowship Order from Yogananda. She served Yogananda and
his Worldwide organization, SRF, until her death.
She was assigned to train other disciples and provide counseling. Part of her counselling came in letters she wrote. These letters are printed in the book
about her life called God Alone, The Life and Letters
of a Saint [3][57]
Mildred (Mother) Hamilton, 1925, Seattle.
Hamilton was made the center leader for SelfRealization Fellowship in Seattle, WA, and ordained
a minister in 1950 by Yogananda.[58] He gave her the
title Yogacharya in 1951 one of six worldwide.[59]
After Yogananda went into Mahasamadhi (Yogis
nal exit from the body), she continued as center
leader until 1958 when she was dismissed from her
role as a center leader in SRF. After that she continued on her own and held meetings in her disciples
homes and centers in the Northwest and Canada.
She was a lifelong disciple of Yoganandas and never
formed her own organization. She also had great
reverence for Swami Ramdas who she says helped
her gain complete Realization of God after Yoganandas Mahasamadhi. She died on 31 January
1991.[60]
Kamala Silva, 1925, Los Angeles. Kamala met
Yogananda in 1925 and assisted with the work of
disseminating his teachings. In 1935, Yogananda
ordained Kamala, making her the rst lay female
Self-Realization Fellowship minister, and she continued to serve SRF as a lay minister until her retirement in 1974. Kamala established the rst ocial
Northern California Center of SRF and served as
its minister. Kamala, along with the Bay Area SRF
students, saved contributions for this purpose and
searched for 25 years for a nal home which became
the recently closed SRF Richmond temple. This
temple has been moved to Berkeley, CA. She wrote
two books about her life with Yogananda called The
Flawless Mirror and Priceless Precepts. There are 12
free recordings of her talks on topics related to her
gurus teachings.[61][62]
Premananda, 1928. In 1941 Premananda was
given the title of Swami by Yogananda. After Yogananda was gone, he left SRF/YSS and started SelfRevelation Church of Monism in Bethesda, Maryland, based on the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda with a focus on Kriya Yoga meditation.[63]
Durga Mata, 1929, Detroit. Durga Mata was born
as Florina Dufour. Durga Mata took a nal, lifelong vow of renunciation in the Self-Realization
Fellowship Order, devoting her life fully to Yogananda and his SRF worldwide mission. When
she took her monastic vows from Yogananda, she

NOTED DIRECT DISCIPLES

was given the name Durga Ma which is a name for


God in the aspect of Divine Mother. She wrote
the book Paramhansa Yogananda: A Trilogy of Divine Love.[53][64][65] SRF has published a book with
2 CDs called Chanting for Deep Meditation with
Sri Durga Mata which presents archival recordings
of the Cosmic Chants that are reminiscent of Yoganandas life and teachings.[66]
Ananda Mata, 1931, Salt Lake City. She took her
nal, lifelong vow of renunciation from Yogananda
in the Self-Realization Fellowship Order and was
given the name Mataji. She devoted her life fully to
Yogananda and his SRF worldwide mission.[53][67]
Daya Mata, 1931, Salt Lake City. Daya Mata
(Mother of Compassion)[6] was one of the foremost disciples of Paramahansa Yogananda. She
took a nal, lifelong vow of renunciation in the SelfRealization Fellowship Order from Yogananda and
was given the name Daya.[53] For more than seventyve years, she dedicated her heart and soul to loving God and serving the worldwide work of SelfRealization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of
India. She was the spiritual head and president
from 1955 until her death in 2010.[6] She wrote four
books and there have been ten DVDs and fteen
CDs recorded.[51][68][69][70]
Oliver Black, 1932, Detroit. J. Oliver Black was
given the title Yogacharya (Yoga Teacher) by Yogananda and started the SRF Detroit, MI center and
when encouraged to 'ad lib' the Sunday Services, instead he would read Yoganandas lecture saying that
he couldn't improve on Yogananda teachings. He
was one of very few non-monastic ministers qualied by SRF to conduct SRF Kriya Yoga Initiation Ceremonies. In 1970 Black founded Song of
the Morning Ranch, a spiritual retreat, and Clear
Light Community to carry out Yoganandas wishes.
He served Yogananda and his organization SelfRealization Fellowship until his death. There are
ve recorded talks by Oliver Black.[71][72]
Rajarsi Janakananda, 1932, Kansas. Rajarsi
Janakananda, born James Jesse Lynn on 5 May
1892, was the leading disciple Paramahansa Yogananda and a prominent businessman in the Kansas
City, Missouri area. A self-made millionaire when
he met Yogananda in 1932, he later left a total endowment of approximately six million dollars to Yoganandas organization, Self-Realization
Fellowship(SRF)/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India
(YSS), helping ensure its long-term success. He
took a nal, lifelong vow of renunciation in the SelfRealization Fellowship Order. Janakananda built
the SRF Encinitas Hermitage and Retreat, in Encinitas, CA. Yogananda also chose Janakananda to succeed him as president of SRF/YSS and he did so
from 1952 until his death in 1955[3][45][51][73]

7
Sradha Mata, 1933, Tacoma, WA. When she took
a nal, lifelong vow of renunciation in the SelfRealization Fellowship Order from Yogananda, she
was given the name Sradha which means receptivity
to the Divine Will.[51][53]
Sailasuta Mata, 1933, Santa Barbara. Sailasuta
Mata took her nal, lifelong vow of renunciation
with Yogananda in the Self-Realization Fellowship
Order and devoted her life fully to the SRF worldwide mission begun by Paramahansa Yogananda.[51]
Bhaktananda, 1939. Bhaktananda took a nal,
lifelong vow of renunciation in the Self-Realization
Fellowship Order, devoting his life fully to the
SRF worldwide mission begun by Paramahansa Yogananda. He served Yogananda for over sixty years
until his death in 2005. Bhakatananda was recorded
giving this talk The Personal Approach to God on
the teachings of Yogananda which is available on
DVD. He also shared stories about Yogananda on
the DVD of the SRF Lake Shrine 50th Anniversary
Celebration[51][74][75]
Mrinalini Mata, 1945. Since January 7, 2011,
she has been the current president, spiritual leader
of SRF/YSS, Yoganandas worldwide work. Mrinalini Mata took her nal, lifelong vow of renunciation in the Self-Realization Fellowship Order from
Yogananda. Since 1966 she held the position of
Vice-President of SRF/YSS. Mrinalini Mata is one
of the close disciples of Yogananda personally chosen and trained by him to help guide his society after
his death. She has dedicated more than 60 years to
serving the Gurus work. She oversees the spiritual
and humanitarian activities of SRF/YSS, including
the worldwide dissemination of Paramahansa Yoganandas teachings, the establishment and guidance
of temples, centers, and retreats, and the spiritual direction of the SRF/YSS monastic communities. She
also serves as editor-in-chief of SRF books, lessons
and periodicals. She is featured in 4 DVDs, 6 CDs
and wrote 1 book and 1 booklet.[51][76][77]
Mukti Mata, 1945. Mukti Mata took the nal,
lifelong vow of renunciation in the Self-Realization
Fellowship Order, devoting her life fully to the
SRF worldwide mission begun by Paramahansa Yogananda. There is a CD of her talk Like the Light
from Heaven: Remembering Life With Paramahansa
Yogananda published by SRF.[51]
Daniel Boone, 1945[78]
Bimalananda, 1947. Bimalananda took a nal,
lifelong vow of renunciation in the Self-Realization
Fellowship Order, devoting his life fully to the
SRF worldwide mission begun by Paramahansa
Yogananda.[79]

Uma Mata, 1947. Uma Mata took a nal, lifelong


vow of renunciation in the Self-Realization Fellowship Order, devoting her life fully to the SRF worldwide mission begun by Paramahansa Yogananda,[51]
Norman Paulsen, 1947, Los Angeles. Norman
Paulsen left SRF in 1951 and then in 1969 started his
own organization, Sunburst, which is an intentional
community farm that raises organic vegetables and
follows the Sunburst teachings which includes meditation and devotion to Yogananda and Christ. In the
early 1980s, Norman published his autobiography,
Christ Consciousness,[80][81]
J. Donald Walters, 1948, Los Angeles. Walters
was given nal vows of sannyas/name Kriyananda
in 1955 by Daya Mata. In 1960 the SRF Board of
Directors elected Walters as a board member then
as Vice-President. In 1962, the SRF Board unanimously requested his resignation.[56][82] In 1968
Walters started his Ananda Cooperative Community
(8 communities by 2013) based on Yoganandas
idea of World Brotherhood Colonies and then his
corporation, The Yoga Fellowship, west of Nevada
City, CA.[19] From 1990 2002 SRF engaged in litigation in federal court with Kriyananda regarding
copyrights to the writings, photographs, and sound
recordings of Yoganandas.[83] In 1997 Anne-Marie
Bertolucci engaged in litigation with Kriyananda regarding sexual harassment and fraudulently using his
title of swami, implying he was celibate while engaging in sexual activity with young women.[84][85]
Kriyananda authored over 100 books,[86] 400 pieces
of music and created his own teaching based on Yoganandas teachings.[87]
Jordan Scherer, 1948, Los Angeles
Anandamoy, 1949. Anandamoy took a nal, lifelong vow of renunciation in the Self-Realization
Fellowship Order, devoting his life fully to the
SRF worldwide mission begun by Paramahansa Yogananda. Anandamoy has served Yoganandas work
for 64 years. There are many recordings of his talks
regarding Yogananda teachings. There are eight
DVDs and six CDs available.[51][76][88]
Roy Eugene Davis, 1949, Los Angeles. One
year after Yogananda died, Roy Eugene Davis left
SRF/YSS and his ministerial duties at the SRF Arizona temple. About 13 years later Davis started his
Center for Spiritual Awareness (CSA), which was
incorporated in the State of Georgia in 1964 and
was located on 11 acres 90 miles north of Atlanta,
Georgia. He created his own teaching in the form
of spiritual CDs, DVDs and books.[89][90]
Bob Raymer, 1950. Bob Raymer, a former commercial airline pilot, met Yogananda in the waning days of Yoganandas life. Yogananda initiated

9 NOTES
Raymer into Kriya Yoga and made him a minister
of SRF. Raymer conducted services in Minneapolis for many years, telephoning Yogananda before
each to receive his blessing. Raymer later moved to
Hawaii where he conducted his Clear Light retreats,
and then to Song of the Morning retreat center in
Michigan, where he was the spiritual director from
1991 to 2004.[91]

[14] Creating Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons, Temples,


Retreats and writing his Autobiography of a Yogi

See also

[17] Mata, Daya (1990). Finding the Joy Within, 1st ed. Los
Angeles, CA: Self-Realization Fellowship, p 256

List of Hindu gurus and saints


Self-Realization Fellowship
Yogoda Satsanga Society of India

Notes

[1] Bowden, Henry Warner (1993). Dictionary of American


Religious Biography. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-31327825-3. p. 629.

[15] Yogananda, Paramahansa (1995). God Talks With Arjuna


- The Bhagavad Gita p.xii/1130. Los Angeles, CA: SelfRealization Fellowship. ISBN 0-87612-030-3.
[16] Mata, Mrinalini. In His Presence: Remembrances of Life
With Paramahansa Yogananda (DVD). Self-Realization
Fellowship. ISBN 978-0-87612-517-5.

[18] How Not To Be A Diplomat: Adventures in the Indian Foreign Service Post-Independence P.L. Bhandari
(2013). Eyewitness account from Ambassador Sens aid.
[19] Kriyananda, Swami (Donald Walters) (1977). The Path:
Autobiography of a Western Yogi. Ananda Publications.
ISBN 978-0916124120.
[20] Miller, p. 179.
[21] About SRF: Lineage and Leadership: Daya Mata. SRF
Website www.yogananda-srf.org

[2] Sananda Lal Ghosh,(1980), Mejda, Self-Realization Fellowship, p.3

[22] Paramahansa Yogananda: In Memoriam: Personal Accounts of the Masters Final Days, Los Angeles, CA: SelfRealization Fellowship, (2001) ISBN 0-87612-170-9

[3] Autobiography of a Yogi, 1997 Anniversary Edition. SelfRealization Fellowship (Founded by Yogananda) www.
yogananda-srf.org

[23] Mata, Daya (Spring 2002). My Spirit Shall Live On: The
Final Days of Paramahansa Yogananda. Self-Realization
Magazine.

[4] Swami yogananda giri speaks on the inner life. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Boston Globe p.9.
Boston, MA. 5 March 1921.

[24] Gurus Exit TIME. Time. 4 August 1952. Retrieved


17 January 2008.

[5] Melton, J. Gordon, Martin Baumann (2010). Religions of


the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and
Practices. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781598842043.
[6] DENNIS HEVESI (December 3, 2010). Sri Daya Mata,
Guiding Light for U.S. Hindus, Dies at 96. New York
Times. New York, NY.
[7] Boston Meditation Group Historical Committee. In The
Footsteps of Paramahansa Yogananda: A guidebook to the
places in and around Boston associated with Yoganandaji
[8] Sister Gyanamata God Alone: The Life and Letters of a
Saint p. 11
[9] Lewis Rosser, Brenda (1991). Treasures Against Time.
Borrego Publications. p. Foreword p. xiii. ISBN 9780962901607.
[10] Paramahansa means supreme swan and is a title indicating the highest spiritual attainment. Miller, p. 188.
[11] Melton, J. Gordon (2011). Religious Celebrations. ABCCLIO. p. 512. ISBN 978-1598842050.
[12] Self-Realization Fellowship: Encinitas Retreat and Hermitage
[13] Self-Realization Fellowship: Encinitas Temple

[25] NNDB tracks the activities of people we have determined to be noteworthy, both living and dead. Paramahansa Yogananda. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
[26] Hundreds Pay Tribute at Rites for Yogananda. ProQuest
Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles,
CA. 12 March 1952.
[27] Yogananda, Paramahansa (2004). The Second Coming of
Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You p.1566.
Los Angeles, CA: Self-Realization Fellowship. ISBN 087612-555-0.
[28] Kress, Michael (2001). Publishers Weekly: Meditation is
the message. New York: Cahners Business Information, a
division of Reed Elsevier, Inc.
[29] Aims & Ideals of Self-Realization Fellowship,
www.yogananda-srf.org/Aims_and_Ideals.aspx,
accessdate=2008-02-09
[30] Teresa Watanabe (12 November 2004). A Hindus Perspective on Christ and Christianity. Los Angeles Times.
Los Angeles, CA.
[31] Yogananda, Paramahansa (2004). The Second Coming of
Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You p. xxi.
Los Angeles, CA: Self-Realization Fellowship. ISBN 087612-555-0.

[32] Mrinalini Mata (2011). Self-Realiztion Magazine: The


Blessings of Kriya Yoga in Everyday Life. Los Angeles,
CA: Self-Realization Fellowship.
[33] HarperCollins 100 Best Spiritual Books of the Century.
[34] Goldberg, Philip (2012). The Autobiography of a Yogi: A
Tribute to Yogananda. Hu Post Religion.
[35] Goldberg, Philip (2012). American Veda. Harmony; 1
edition (2 November 2010): 109.
[36] Sahagun, Louis (6 August 2006). Gurus Followers Mark
Legacy of a Stars Teachings. Los Angeles Times.
[37] Isaacson, Walter (2011). Steve Jobs: A Biography. Simon
& Schuster ISBN 978-1-4516-4853-9.
[38] Gurus Exit. Time. 4 August 1952. Archived from the
original on 27 September 2010.
[39] Forest Lawn Memorial-Park; Harry T. Rowe; Mortuary Director (16 May 1952). Paramahansa Yoganandas
Complete Mortuary Report. Los Angeles, CA.
[40] Carroll, Robert (2003). The Skeptics Dictionary. John
Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 176.
[41] About SRF: Lineage and Leadership: Organizational
Leadership on the SRF website www.yogananda-srf.org
[42] Works related to SRF Articles of Incorporation 1935 at
Wikisource
[43] Self-Realization Fellowship (1939). Inner Culture for
Self-Realization. 12. p. 30.
[44] Locations of SRF/YSS centers & temples. Retrieved 24
November 2011.
[45] Self-Realization Fellowship (1996).
Rajarsi
Janakananda: A Great Western Yogi. Self-Realization
Fellowship Publishers. ISBN 0-87612-019-2.
[46] Sharma, Arvind (1994). Todays Women in World Religions. SUNY Press.
[47] Book: Journey to Self Realization original list in footnotes

[55] How Disciples of Paramahansa Yogananda Found Autobiography of a Yogi. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
[56] Self-Realization Fellowship November 1995 Open Letter.
Self-Realization Fellowship.
[57] Gyanamata, Sister (1984). God Alone: The Life and Letters of a Saint. Self-Realization Fellowship. ISBN 087612-200-4.
[58] Self-Realization Fellowship (1951). Self-Realization
Magazine. Los Angeles, CA: January/February.
[59] Self-Realization Fellowship (1952). Self-Realization
Magazine. Los Angeles, CA: September.
[60] The Cross and The Lotus website. Retrieved 2 February
2013.
[61] Kamala, The
B000R9OO0G

Flawless

Mirror,

1964,

ASIN:

[62] For the Love of Kamala: About Kamala. Retrieved 12


October 2013.
[63] http://www.self-revelationchurch.org/
ordained Premananda as a swami in 1941

Yogananda

[64] Sri Durga Mata (1993 1st edition). A Paramhansa Yogananda Trilogy of Divine Love. Los Angeles, CA: Joan
Wight Publications; ISBN 0-96358-380-8.
[65] Yogananda, Paramahansa (1997). Journey to SelfRealization, Discovering the Gifts of the Soul. Los Angeles, CA: Self-Realization Fellowship. ISBN 0-87612255-1.
[66] Mata, Durga (2012). Chanting for Deep Meditation with
Sri Durga Mata. Los Angeles, CA: Self-Realization Fellowship. ISBN 978-0876124604.
[67] Yogananda, Paramahansa (1997). Journey to SelfRealization, Discovering the Gifts of the Soul p.72. Los
Angeles, CA: Self-Realization Fellowship. ISBN 087612-255-1.
[68] About SRF: Sri Daya Mata webpage. Retrieved 8 January 2011.

[48] "Dr. M.W. Lewis: The Life Story of One of the Earliest
American Disciples.. Retrieved 3 November 2013.

[69] Books by Daya Mata. Retrieved 11 October 2013.

[49] Rosser, Brenda (1991). Treasures Against Time. Borrego


Springs, CA: Borrego Publications.

[71] Bowen, Richard (2004). Sayings of Yogacharya. Milwaukee, WI: Ariadne Publishers. ISBN 0964934345.

[50] Yyoga: Awaken Within (About the life of Dr. Lewis,


Yoganandas rst disciple)". Retrieved 23 February 2012.

[72] Song of the Morning Yoga Retreat. Retrieved 15 February 2011.

[51] Reminiscenses of Disciples and Friends of Paramahansa


Yogananda. Retrieved 24 February 2012.

[73] About SRF: Rajarsi Janakananda webpage. Retrieved 8


January 2011.

[52] Recorded Lectures of Dr. M. Lewis. Retrieved 6


November 2013.

[74] The Personal Approach to God. Retrieved 15 October


2013.

[53] Self-Realization Fellowship (1952). Self-Realization


Magazine. Los Angeles, CA: Volume 24, No. 22.

[75] SRF Lake Shrine 50th Anniversary Celebration. Retrieved 15 October 2013.

[54] A Forerunner of the New Race. Retrieved 12 October


2013.

[76] About SRF: Organizational Leadership. Retrieved 15


February 2011.

[70] Daya Mata audio & videos. Retrieved 11 October 2013.

10

10

[77] Mrinalini Matas booklet: The Guru-Disciple Relationship


[78] Daniel Boone presents Excerpts from an Interview. Retrieved 15 February 2011.
[79] SRF Lake Shrine 50th Anniversary Celebration: Stories
of Paramahansa Yogananda by Direct Disciples Video
2008
[80] Sunburst. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
[81] Paulsen book: The Christ Consciousness
[82] Self-Realization Magazine.
Los Angeles: SelfRealization Fellowship. 19491960. ISSN 0037-1564.
[83] Doug Mattson (30 October 2002). Jury: Copyrights violated by church. The Union. Grass Valley, California.
[84] Vicky Anning (11 February 1998). COURT: Jury stings
Ananda Church and its leaders. Palo Alto Weekly. Palo
Alto, California.
[85] Wayne Wilson (4 November 1997). Ananda, Its Leader
Punished by Judge; Unrefuted Claims Allowed in Lawsuit. Sacramento Bee. Sacramento, California.
[86] Library of Congress. Retrieved April 2013. Check date
values in: |access-date= (help)
[87] Jones, Constance; Ryan, James D. (2007). Encyclopedia
of Hinduism. Infobase Publishing. pp. 3324. ISBN
9780816075645.
[88] Brother Anandamoy. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
[89] Davis Book: Paramahansa Yogananda as I knew him
[90] Center for Spiritual Awareness. Retrieved 11 October
2013.
[91] Song of the Morning. Retrieved November 2014.
Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

10

References

Boston Meditation Group Historical Committee


(1989). In The Footsteps of Paramahansa Yogananda: A guidebook to the places in and around
Boston associated with Yoganandaji. Boston, MA.
Bowden, Henry Warner (1993). Dictionary of
American Religious Biography. Greenwood Press.
ISBN 0-313-27825-3.
Bowen, Richard (2004). Sayings of Yogacharya.
ISBN
Milwaukee, WI: Ariadne Publishers.
0964934345.
Daya, Mata (1990). Finding the Joy Within. SelfRealization Fellowship. ISBN 0-87612-288-8.
Daya, Mata (Spring 2002). Self-Realization Magazine: My Spirit Shall Live On The Final Days of
Paramahansa Yogananda. Los Angeles, CA: SelfRealization Fellowship. ISBN 978-0-87612-566-3.

REFERENCES

Forest Lawn Memorial Park; Harry T. Rowe; Mortuary Director (16 May 1952). Paramahansa Yoganandas Complete Mortuary Report. Los Angeles,
CA.
Ghosh, Sananda Lal (1980). Mejda: The Family and
the Early Life of Paramahansa Yogananda. SelfRealization Fellowship Publishers. ISBN 978-087612-265-5.
Goldberg, Philip (2012). The Autobiography of a
Yogi: A Tribute to Yogananda. Hu Post Religion.
Goldberg, Philip (2012). American Veda. Harmony; 1 edition (2 November 2010): 109.
Dennis Hevesi (December 3, 2010). Sri Daya
Mata, Guiding Light for U.S. Hindus, Dies at 96.
New York Times. New York, NY.
Isaacson, Walter (2001). Steve Jobs: A Biography.
Simon & Schuster ISBN 978-1-4516-4853-9.
Jordan, Frank C., Secretary of State of California
(1935). Articles of Incorporation of the Self Realization Fellowship Church. Los Angeles CA: State
of California.
Kress, Michael (26 March 2001). Meditation is the
Message. Publishers Weekly. New York. Cahners
Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier,
Inc.
Kriyananda, Swami (1977). The Path: Autobiography of a Western Yogi. Crystal Clarity Publishers.
ISBN 978-0-916124-11-3.
J. Gordon Melton, Martin Baumann (2010). Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices. ABC-CLIO. ISBN
9781598842043.
Miller, Timothy (1995). Americas Alternative Religions. Borrego Publications; 1st edition (1991).
ISBN 0-7914-2397-2.
Mrinalini Mata (2011). Self-Realiztion Magazine:
The Blessings of Kriya Yoga in Everyday Life. Los
Angeles, CA: Self-Realization Fellowship.
Rosser, Brenda Lewis (1991). Treasures Against
Time: Paramahansa Yogananda with Doctor and
Mrs. Lewis. Borrego Publications. ISBN 09629016-0-1.
Self-Realization Fellowship (1939). Inner Culture
for Self-Realization. Los Angeles, CA: Volume 12,
page 30.
Self-Realization Fellowship (1952).
SelfRealization Magazine. Los Angeles, CA: Volume
24, No. 22.

11
Self-Realization Fellowship (2001). Paramahansa
Yogananda: In Memoriam: Personal Accounts of the
Masters Final Days. Los Angeles, CA. ISBN 9780-87612-170-2.
Self-Realization Fellowship website. Retrieved 24
November 2011.
Sahagun, Louis (6 August 2006). Gurus Followers Mark Legacy of a Stars Teachings. Los Angeles
Times.
Thomas, Wendell (1930). Hinduism Invades America. New York, NY: The Beacon Press, Inc.
Yogananda, Paramahansa (1997). Autobiography of
a Yogi. Los Angeles, CA: Self-Realization Fellowship. ISBN 0-87612-086-9.
Yogananda, Paramahansa (1995). God Talks With
Arjuna The Bhagavad Gita. Los Angeles, CA:
Self-Realization Fellowship. ISBN 0-87612-030-3.
Yogananda, Paramahansa (1997). Journey to SelfRealization, Discovering the Gifts of the Soul. Los
Angeles, CA: Self-Realization Fellowship. ISBN 087612-255-1.
Yogananda, Paramahansa (2004). The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within
You. Los Angeles, CA: Self-Realization Fellowship.
ISBN 0-87612-555-0.
Watanabe, Teresa (12 November 2004). A Hindus
Perspective on Christ and Christianity. Los Angeles
Times.
Zaleski, Philip (1984). The 100 Best Spiritual Books
of the Century. San Francisco: Harper Collins.

11

External links

Works by Paramahansa Yogananda at Project


Gutenberg
Works by or about Paramahansa Yogananda at
Internet Archive
The lineage of Gurus with Yogananda
Self-Realization Fellowship

12

12

12
12.1

TEXT AND IMAGE SOURCES, CONTRIBUTORS, AND LICENSES

Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses


Text

Paramahansa Yogananda Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paramahansa_Yogananda?oldid=733260693 Contributors: Magnus


Manske, Mav, Bryan Derksen, Zoe, Kalki, Mkweise, Docu, Habj, Evercat, Alex756, Schneelocke, Inka~enwiki, Bearcat, Moncrief,
Goethean, Rursus, Jondel, JackofOz, DocWatson42, Home Row Keysplurge, Cantus, Bobblewik, Bobert wi, Utcursch, Jossi, Gary D,
Neutrality, Klemen Kocjancic, D6, Prowsej, Gospodin~enwiki, LordGulliverofGalben, Alren, Apyule, Hooperbloob, Ramashray, Hanuman Das, Sfacets, Pol098, Dangerous-Boy, Surfscuba, Ted Wilkes, Grammarbot, Rjwilmsi, Rpkumar, TheRingess, Afterwriting, FlaBot,
Mathbot, Stopmotion24, Kri, Ecemaml, Pigman, Jocosley, TheMandarin, Srini81, Rahulgh, SameerKhan, Priyanath, Tachs, Xedaf, Yogiraj, Mike Dillon, Donald Albury, Jogers, GraemeL, Pratheepps, Sardanaphalus, SmackBot, Whalt, Syug, Pgalaxy, JFHJr, Bluebot,
Tree Biting Conspiracy, DHN-bot~enwiki, A. B., Nakon, Kukini, Ohconfucius, Will Beback, SashatoBot, Siva1979, John, Robosh,
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, AnomieBOT, Rubinbot, Walterelyon, Jim1138, Citation
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Reinhardt, Skyerise, Full-date unlinking bot, Sivasivaa, Trappist the monk, Rrosing, BengaliHindu, ShowerOfRoses, Walandonanda, Tbhotch, RjwilmsiBot, EmausBot, John of Reading, WikitanvirBot, Das krishnadas, GoingBatty, Dcirovic, Baccy, Kkm010, SporkBot, Thine
Antique Pen, RedSoxFan274, ClamDip, Mr magic straw, MelbourneStar, Frietjes, Serampore, Md.altaf.rahman, Gregtray, Helpful Pixie
Bot, Titodutta, BG19bot, Shubha, Frze, Marcocapelle, Joshua Jonathan, RichB1, WalkingwithGod, Docsu, DevoteeofPY, Red Rose 13,
Oliver Puertogallera, Davedufour, BattyBot, Chakra77, SD5bot, Setshame, WhiteStar6, VIAFbot, Class455, Jamesmcmahon0, Suryamoy,
Surfer43, Wiki-edit-hon, Asterix757, Ewj001, Anonymous yogi, Ian.joyner, Sunshine81.tw, Yogananda Chela, Deena C Rasky, Gaurav104339, Zoya tahua, Bodhadeepika, KasparBot, Scsamanta, Knife-in-the-drawer, Meher Mansion, Yardensachs and Anonymous: 248

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