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The Teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda

Paramahansa Yogananda at Lake Shrine


Born in India on January 5, 1893, Paramahansa Yogananda devoted his
life to helping people of all races and creeds to realize and express
more fully in their lives the true beauty, nobility, and divinity of
the human spirit.

After graduating from Calcutta University in 1915, Sri
Yogananda took formal vows as a monk of India’s venerable monastic
Swami order. Two years later, he began his life’s work with the
founding of a  “how-to-live” school - since grown to twenty one
educational institutions throughout India - where traditional
academic subjects were offered together with yoga training and
instruction in spiritual ideals. In 1920, he was invited to serve as
India’s delegate to an International Congress of Religious Liberals
in Boston. His address to the Congress and subsequent lectures on the
East Coast were enthusiastically received, and in 1924 he embarked on
a cross-continental speaking tour.

Over the next three decades, Paramahansa Yogananda
contributed in far-reaching ways to a greater awareness and
appreciation in the West of the spiritual wisdom on the East. In Los
Angeles, he established an international headquarters for Self-
Realization Fellowship -the non sectarian religious society he had
founded in 1920. Through his writings, extensive lecture tours, and
the creation of Self-Realization Fellowship temples and meditation
centers, he introduced hundreds of thousands of truth-seekers to the
ancient science and philosophy of Yoga and its universally applicable
methods of meditation.

Today the spiritual and humanitarian work begun by
Paramahansa Yogananda continues under the direction of Sri Daya Mata,
one of his earliest and closest disciples and president of Self-
Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India since 1955.
In addition to publishing his writings, lectures, and informal talks
(including a comprehensive series of Self-Realization Fellowship
Lessons for home study), the society oversees temples, retreats, and
centers around the world; the monastic communities of the Self-
Realization Order, and a Worldwide Prayer Circle.

In an article on Sri Yogananda’s life and work, Dr. Quincy
Howe, Jr., Professor of Ancient Languages at Scripps College, wrote:
“Paramahansa Yogananda brought to the West not only India’s perennial
promise of God-realization, but also a practical method by which
spiritual aspirants from all walks of life may progress rapidly
toward that goal. Originally appreciated in the West only on the most
lofty abstract level, the spiritual legacy of India is now accessible
as practice and experience to all who aspire to know God, not in the
beyond, but in the here and now....Yogananda has placed within the
reach of all the most exalted methods of contemplation.”

Reprinted from the booklet “Overcoming Character Liabilities.”
Published by Self-Realization Fellowship

For more on Paramahansa Yogananda, please go to:

For books written by Yoganandaji check: The Books Page One of the inspiring poems on the book Songs of the Soul:God's Boatman Visit this beautiful site about Sri Daya Mata Get weekly inspiring stories at Sweet Love Notes Another site about Yogananda by Bengali

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