This link is to a Biography of Yogananda’s life and work.
This link is to a Biography of Yogananda’s life and work.
A Major part of Paramahansa Yogananda’s world mission/dispensation was to clearly demonstrate/encourage/clarify the basic unity and harmony of the primary elements and purposes of all true world religions. This is the nature of pluralism – the main concept that alone brings peace among all religious communities! It’s opposite is “exclusivism” which is the main cause of stress, intolerance, and violence between religions and cultures world wide. These conflicts are mainly caused by politicizing Religions.
It was mainly India and the far east that has kept the truly ecumenical principal of global pluralism and tolerance alive through countless millenniums.
Yoganandaji’s particular emphasis above re the historical words of Jesus and Krishna is for a specific reason. In today’s world of global communications, mobility, and sciences, those documents provide the clearest elements referencing the highest Yoga spiritual sciences. Which Yogananda has made transparent and available for the “man in the street.”
This move away from the narrowness of academia and the secrecy of ancient monastic traditions will restore real spirituality in the hearts of many true seekers of reality. It will spark a healing revolution in the hearts of a humanity that is experiencing an emptiness and psycho derangement from the pace and direction of today’s world. Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings via Self-Realization Fellowship are leading the way!
“To reveal the complete harmony and basic oneness of original Christianity as taught by JESUS CHRIST and original Yoga as taught by BHAGAVAN KRISHNA; and to show that these principles of truth are the common scientific foundation of all true religions.” Paramahansa Yogananda
“To point out the one divine highway to which all paths of true religious beliefs eventually lead: the highway of daily, scientific, devotional meditation on God.”
~~excerpt from ‘Aims and Ideals’ set forth by Paramahansa Yogananda
The holy writs as historically recorded in the New Testament Gospels and the
Bhagavad Gita of India are not only the purest and clearest statements of what
is called “the perennial philosophy” (re A. Huxley c 1945). The life example and teachings of Jesus and Krishna are two of the most exalted examples of exemplary lives among the worlds Avatars. Extremely high on the human spiritual evolutionary consciousness scale! The message and the wisdom level are very equal!
Essentially, these 2 documents, at their esoteric level of interpretation are not only
the same direct teachings at the highest spiritual level of understanding and inspiration, they were parts of great dispensations to cultures that were at a very high level of human civilization. Societies relatively free of tribalism. Without taking anything away from all other true spiritual paths which were suited to other cultures. Yogananda will make this all very clear to the seeker who studies His other teachings. Yogananda’s legacy has cleared up a mountain of problems in the field of religions/spirituality.
The quality, sophistication, and purity of a spiritual dispensation is seldom rated solely by the historical time period in which it was introduced, but rather by the wisdom of its content and the character of its deliverer. Which will ideally appeal to the local culture of the prophetic messenger of that culture.
On a global scale therefore, it may be more advanced or less advanced than previous spiritual dispensations. One may ask – how does one assess the value and level of a particular spiritual message and its claims?
Such “prophets” and dispensations must also stand as true guides to remove ignorance and enhance mind awareness for all sincere devotees who want to awaken from this dreamworld of relativity.
This is the key to Self-Realization and world peace for the masses in today’s world!
This acclaimed avatar Paramahansa Yogananda, gave the world community updated, advanced, wisdom saturated, esoteric scientific commentary and living example of how to live a life of spiritual and material harmony and peace.
“Truth is one… Divine incarnations do not come to bring a new or exclusive religion, but to restore the One Religion of God-realization. The great ones, like waves, all bathe in the same Eternal Sea…” (Page 242 The Second Coming of Christ) x Paramahansa Yogananda, © SRF Publishers LA USA.
For the Christian world He clarified the true meaning of the Bibles Gospels.
“The Second Coming of Christ; Resurrecting the Christ Within You” 1994
For the Orientals He clarified the true meaning of the Holy Bhagavad Gita.
“God Talks With Arjuna” 2004
For the Muslim world He gave the higher teachings from one of their greatest
Saints – Omarr Khayyam’s “The Rubaiyat.” in “Wine of the Mystic.” 1996
All 3 above commentaries are published under Copyright by Self-Realization Fellowship Publishers LA USA.
The Master said ,” A new scripture is born,” upon the completed dictation
of these sacred commentaries of divine inspiration and wisdom.
Why did Yogananda not give a commentary on the Koran, Hadiths, or Sira to share
spirituality advanced teachings with the Muslim world? He did use the key scriptures
of other religious prophets to share their truths of esoteric spiritual wisdom.
The fact being, that all the worlds teachings/dispensations were presented at specific levels suitable for the culture into which they were introduced, on a global scale this
does not mean that the latest teaching was greater than previous revelations! This was more often true on only a local level for a specific culture.
If that culture was more primitive, nomadic, tribal, it would of course receive a less advanced teaching than previous dispensations given to more advanced cultures. For such a culture the first order would be to secure a larger sociological structure. So, on a global scale there was not necessarily any “progressive revelation” by reason of global timelines. There are often false claims such as “this is God’s final revelation to mankind, and there will never be another new religion or prophet sent to earth,” said Mohammad in the seventh century. Or “the true gospel and priesthood has been restored for the world” said J Smith. The wise know that it is the “priesthoods” (and Mullahs etc) of religions that serve the lower levels of all religions – not the higher more advanced levels. Time is the proof of all things in this world. ” You will know them by their fruits” said JC. There have been a number of greater prophets and new religions since the seventh century.
Especially from India! This is evidenced in Yogananda’s spiritual classic “Autobiography of a Yogi,” from SRF Publishers LA USA.
Apparently, even though Yogananda had no condemnation re certain other
writings, by simply not using them in His great world wide dispensation, and breaking with the pattern of literary usage for commentary, His actions made a clear statement on the truth of this whole subject of progressive revelations. Vive la difference!
The oft misunderstood concept of “progressive revelations” mostly applies only to the particular area / culture into which they were introduced. It will of course be an
advanced teaching only for that culture in that geographical area of the world’
There may be a possible exceptions in today’s advanced techno world, as with the
increasing intermixing of the worlds cultures it is possible to introduce a
religion that is globally more advanced, but not because of the date of its delivery.
Content quality and living examples of truth are the determining factors of the greatness of a dispensation. Does it bring wisdom, harmony, and peace to the world, or is it just a plagiaristic rehashing of all the old ideas from the past? Originality is divine creativity!
There are also many other dubious aspect of the historical Koran that renders it unsuitable to have a comparative association or inclination with certain more advanced scriptures of other cultures.
Here is the address of a treatise video that reveals why the Koran could not be used in a modern spiritual dispensation for the world; “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUsk39rrONE” (shared with appreciation to Jay Smith)
In the King James Version of the Bible reads: Matthew 7:16
“Ye shall know them by their fruits.
Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” end
Why do so many people ignore the serious wisdom of these comments?
If someone attempts to introduce a new spiritual dispensation and make any
claims of superiority or of being the “true church”, or the only church
it will have to stand the tests of time and comparison. We now know too much about such vain claims! We now have too much info available at any moment.
Examine and test all claims made by those who attract a lot of ego attention!
eg. Krishna’s date in the Holy Land [India] was circa 3000 BC, yet spiritually, sociologically, scientifically, and politically, Krishna’s teaching
is far more condensed clarity and consciousness enhancing directives than that of the Hebrew prophets of later dates which follow the timeline. not from any lack therein of the profound wisdom of life, but there are missing pieces of that ancient picture. Much of this may have been deliberate. India’s spiritual and civilizational heritage predates the Mediterranean areas perhaps by thousands of years. Vedic holy scriptures of the Sanatana Dharma also contain esoteric locked up wisdom. Some great seers of modern times have unlocked from them the worlds most advanced mathematics and psychophysical exercises for human development.
Archaeological findings from the Mohenjo-Daro civilization has uncovered
an intact skeleton of a Yogi sitting in Lotus posture meditating, dated at 7,200 BC. How many millennia before that date was the spiritual science of Yoga perfected?
After the Hebrews had practiced their religious traditions for a few millennia, only
then did Jeshua return from His long sojourn in India to give them the highest ways to live and worship Brahman. Brahman(That) is the name given to the nameless reality in the wisdom of the Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism).
Again, their history shows politics of the Hebrew priesthood generally rejected Christ’s message and attempting to shut down his personal ministry.
Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well;
John 4:21, “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
Where then does the new society known as “Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Sat Sangha” truly stand in all of this? My take on it below!
Yogananda set this org up not with the intent of creating a new religion, but as a reliable and leading spiritual center for the preservation and dissemination of the Kriya Yoga revelation which He was introducing to the modern and post modern world. To be a promoter of religious harmony and peace among all faiths, not by conversion but by emphasizing the principle unifying goals of all faiths. Some special qualities made Him the ideal interface with humanity for this great mandate. His ability as a articulate natural teacher and His ultra high mastery of His consciousness at all significant levels.
Being fully unified with the Infinite Consciousness (Reality), and awakened from the mayic dream of Relativity, He was fully qualified to lead others on life’s most challenging and rewarding quest – that of Self-Realization.
Those who have become a serious part of this new teaching and lifestyle could be said in modern terminology to be members of a new church. Yogananda has now many millions of devotees and helpers. God bless them all!
Continue to live/grow in “Mind-Awareness.”
It was in the dark years preceding and during World War II that the Guru turned his mind to the creation of Self-Realization Fellowship “Churches of All Religions”*–speaking with greater urgency than before about the need to “establish unity and brotherhood among religionists of all races.”
“The true basis of religion,” Paramahansaji said, “should be a science. The practice of a ‘science of religion’ is imperative. Different dogmatic ‘isms’ have kept mankind divided…
…In dedicating the new [San Diego] temple [Paramahansaji] expressed his wish that within its walls many seekers would attain the true realization of the fundamental truths inherent in all great religions.
“I welcome you today to this new Self-Realization Fellowship Church of All Religions,” he said. May you realize the spirit of unity and oneness which we represent, in the realization of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.
I dedicate this church in the name of our one Father God, our common parents Adam and Eve, and the great ones of God—Jesus Christ, Bhagavan Krishna, Mahavatar Babaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukteswarji, Guru-Preceptor, and saints of all religions. May we all realize the unity of man in the foundation of our existence in God. May this church, which represents this unity, help to dispel the clouds of war and suffering and bring happiness unto all…
…“We should go to church for one purpose only: God-communion. This is why you come here. If you will grow used to quiet, deep meditation at home and in church, you will someday realize what it has done for your life. You need quiet places for communion with God. This is the real purpose of churches and temples.”
Paramahansa Yogananda envisioned Self-Realization Fellowship temples as sanctuaries for the perpetuation of the ideals of actual God-communion and a common spiritual brotherhood. These ideals were reflected in the very name he gave to the work he had been sent to the West to establish. “Self-Realization Fellowship,” the Guru explained, “signifies fellowship with God through Self-realization, and friendship with all Truth-seeking souls.” Expressing spiritual goodwill to all, Paramahansaji included in his prayer invocations not only God and the Gurus of the SRF path, but also “saints of all religions.” In this same spirit, when he founded his Self-Realization temples in Hollywood and San Diego in the early 1940’s, he referred to each of them as a “Church of All Religions.”
…[Parmahansaji] was not advocating…the merging of various beliefs and practices from different religions…He explained that in view of the vast cultural and psychological diversity of the human race this would be a highly illogical goal and an unnecessary one. Indeed, each expression has its place, even as he defined his work of Self-Realization Fellowship as a ‘special dispensation.’ He declared that what humanity needs is an understanding of the ‘science’ of religion; and in his book by that name he explained what he meant in referring to “the unity of all religions”:
“If by religion we understand only practices, particular tenets, dogmas, customs and conventions, then there may be grounds for the existence of so many religions. But if religion means primarily God-consciousness, or the realization of God both within and without, and secondarily a body of beliefs, tenets and dogmas, then, strictly speaking, there is but one religion in the world, for there is but one God. The different customs, forms of worship, tenets, and conventions may be held to form the grounds for the origins of different denominations and sects included under that one religion. If religion is understood in this way, then and then only may its universality be maintained; because we cannot possibly universalize different customs and conventions. Only the element common to all religions may be universalized; we may ask everyone to follow and obey it.”
Paramahansa Yogananda, “The Science of Religion”
excerpts from “TOWARD WORLD UNITY THROUGH COMMUNION WITH GOD”
Self-Realization magazine, Fall 1993
***[Gurudeva] chose for the name of his organization in the West (his international society) a distinctive translation of the name he had given to the society in India—Yogoda Satsanga. “Yogoda” (a word he himself had coined) means “that which the science of yoga imparts,” and “Satsanga” means “association with God, with Truth, with good people.” He translated this name as “Self-Realization Fellowship,” and explained: “Through Self-realization we have fellowship with God, and in that fellowship, we give divine friendship to truth-seekers in all religions.” From~ SRF Mother Center
Essentially Paramahansa Yogananda’s Mandate was threefold.
1. To show the unifying elements in mankind’s great faiths and show them how to achieve unity not by everyone converting to another religion, but to know that unity through oneness with the infinite by communing with God.
2. To bring to the world the detailed scientific Yoga meditation that makes that communion a reality. He brought us the great how to live teachings.
3. To clarify and correct the many misconceptions about our understanding of what the great ones were really teaching. Break through the barriers of your dark programming!
He succeeded in fully and effectively doing all this and it is available for those who
willing to listen, learn, and work at it.
The great barriers to the evolution of consciousness.
Humans are so gregarious, community health and participation is as much as part of our nature as is the protection of our individuality and freedom. A serious problem arises however, when we allow emotion and insecurity to trump intelligence/wisdom.
The majority of followers of most religious paths are very concerned about their standing in the community and not so much about the all important quest for truth and justice. Thus we have have the old trap of “blind leading the blind.” This goes on in all cultures, and is clearly described in the Gospels of Jesus and the Bhagavad Gita of Lord Krishna.
If you want your life to mean something – especially to your Self, it is imperative that you make some effort by inner searching and prayer, and study, to understand what these all important matters are all about. You must apply these new truths by practices with which you can change yourself. Only then will you find real purpose, peace, and understanding that goes beyond the masses of sheep in your own group. Only then will you be in a position to share your mind awareness and love with suffering humanity.
No matter what path/culture you were born into – it is not and never was some “god’s only way,” and your race and culture is not some god’s greatest expression of humanity.
it is ok to be proud of your origins, if you can do this without the egotism of vain superiority. If, like many of us you were told such things, you have been lied to by your teachers most of your life. Exclusivism is not needed to support ones self-esteem.
The courageous relinquishing of these and many other false ideas [exclusivism] are the only gateway to enhance your evolution. Shouting slogans and blindly clinging to the ways you really know little about is not the road to peace and progress. It is to serve the locked in programming of darkness. Look around and you will see that the message is clear! That simple message is “Change Yourself.”
As long as you still also believe that this relative world of the senses is reality, you will not know real joy , peace, or purpose in your life.
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Mrinalini Mata (above) receives special award on Oct 15 2016