“He who vows to sacrifice all in the quest of the Divine is fit to unravel the final mysteries of life through the science of meditation.”
~ Mahatavar Babaji (Bhagavad Gita)
Who was Yogananda?
Yogananda has been called a Yogi, Guru, an author, some call him a prophet/mystic of his time while others saw him as truly enlightened being incarnated on Earth teaching others the spiritual path of Self realization.
Throughout the span of his life, he had numerous accomplishments on his quest for teaching others about obtaining true self realization as a means of connecting with God and other Divine spiritual beings.
He did everything with the hope of enhancing the life of others and ensued to bring humanity from a weakened state of dissemination, into a state of union.
“Self-realization is the knowing – in body, mind, and soul – that we are one with the omnipresence of God; that we do not have to pray that it come to us, that we are not merely near it at all times, but that God’s omnipresence is our omnipresence; and that we are just as much a part of Him now as we ever will be. All we have to do is improve our knowing.”
In 1917, Paramahansa Yogananda “began his life’s work with the founding of a ‘how-to-live’ school for boys, where modern educational methods were combined with yoga training and instruction in spiritual ideals.” For the next several years he lectured and taught across the United States. His discourses taught of the “unity of ‘the original teachings of Jesus Christ and the original Yoga taught by Bhagavan Krishna.'”
In 1920 he founded the Self-Realization Fellowship , an International organization established in Los Angeles CA, and soon after authored two books. Yogananda wrote the Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You and God Talks With Arjuna — The Bhagavad Gita to reveal the harmony of Christianity with the direct union of Yoga as it was initially intended.
The Self Realization Movement
The ideals of Yogananda were centered around the premise of self realization of all those who embarked upon it would employ Divine Unity throughout the span of time and to help others connect to the true nature of who they are. He taught the evolution of consciousness and life.
Through the transformation of man’s limited mortal consciousness into God Consciousness; and to this end; began the understanding of Self-Realization.
Yogananda educated the Western culture about the nature of their suffering; postulating that it is three fold :physical disease, mental inharmonies, and spiritual ignorance. He taught liberation techniques through his instruction at the Self Realization Fellowship. He encouraged “plain living and high thinking”; and to spread a spirit of brotherhood among all people by teaching the eternal basis of their unity: kinship with God.
Mind over body, Soul over mind
Yogananda taught through Kriya and Raja Yoga the superiority of mind over body, of soul over mind. These principles were taught to him by his family and Guru as it has been passed down since the time yoga came into existence.
While his teaching were done in a manner that was available and understandable to many, the very nature of his teachings struck many as controversial.
These teachings were to overcome evil by good, sorrow by joy, cruelty by kindness, ignorance by wisdom. To serve mankind as one’s larger more enlightened self and to foster a common denominator of the East meets West philosophies in the aspects pertaining to health, yoga, meditations, societal structures, including that between science and religion. He premised that uniting the two came about through realization of their unity and the commonalities of their underlying principles.
“The true basis of religion is not belief, but intuitive experience.”
In his published work, The Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons, Yogananda gives “his in-depth instruction in the practice of the highest yoga science of God-realization; that ancient science is embodied in the specific principles and meditation techniques of Kriya Yoga.” Yogananda taught his students the need for direct experience of truth, as opposed to blind belief. He said that “The true basis of religion is not belief, but intuitive experience.
Intuition is the soul’s power of knowing God. To know what religion is really all about, one must know God.”
Echoing traditional Hindu teachings, he taught that the entire universe is God’s cosmic motion picture, and that individuals are merely actors in the divine play who change roles through their reincarnation. He taught that mankind’s deep suffering is rooted in identifying too closely with one’s current role, rather than with the movie’s director, or God.
An in depth study into both Kriya and Raja yoga will cultivate a strong meditation practice with a deeper understanding or your role within humanity.
Private and small group instruction can be done remotely via zoom or Facetime (online).