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A NEW APPROACH FOR A UNIQUE SPIRITUAL DISPENSATION
Regarding Paramahansa Yogananda’s Legacy,
A highly advanced modern global spiritual teaching for this scientific age.
There is simply no historical precedent regarding Kriya Yoga in the history of India’s Sanatana Dharma for this present world cycle.
This is a global spiritual dispensation for humanity.
A restoration of Jesus teachings. Plus major proofs of ‘true Christs” of other faiths.
His mission was clear, vast, unique, divinely inspired, and free of ego and personal ambitions. His life and teachings brought a remarkable clarity to spiritual life, which opened up the hidden truths for millions in the mainstream population.
After the Master arrived in America in 1920, it soon became clear to Him that the best way this mission would fly in the modern world, would be through a centralized organization with clear and balanced policies & practices, free of dogmatism and cultism.
This Kriya Yoga lineage ended with Yogananda’s proclamation that there would be no successor Gurus after His demise. March 7, 1952.
[False recent claims persist on this by those with different purposes and agendas.]
This was rather in variance with the loosely organized operation of your Indian ashrams. It was to be on a global scale with vastly different parameters. With lessons and books available to the whole world. Although he prepared all this work, it was not until 2004 that the bulk of His revelations, including two new major world scriptures, were finally edited and published. His editors in chief all were able to accurately convey his writings.
The only delays in the final publication of these monumental works were the many years of preparation and research given to this project by those He appointed to do it, great souls who truly understood His mission and teachings. The final results were well worth waiting for!
These two world revelatory scriptures – one on the Bhagavad Gita, and one on the New Testament are an inspiration to behold, and are both remarkable expressions of publication excellence as well.
He entrusted His well trained Spiritually advanced editors in chief to accurately prepare his writings for publishing. The were perfectly attuned to Him.
Self-Realization Fellowship Publishers have done an excellent job in maintaining Yogananda’s true writings/teachings and the vision of His SRF/YSS legacy. Those whom Yogananda appointed to complete the monumental task of editing and publishing his works for future generations did a most outstanding job. Untold millions of lives are now being enriched ,saved, and enlightened by these books and the personal help devotees receive from YSS/Self- Realization Fellowship staff.
The teaching of the Master as published by Self-Realization are so far ahead of our time that even teachers who came 70 years after Yogananda really have nothing new to offer. In fact even going centuries into the future will not make these teachings redundant.
This is the true restoration of the Gospels and the Gita teachings.
But in no way would this unique church be quite like many previous spiritual organizations on historical record. Unlike many NRM’s going back for millenniums, the SRF/YSS managed to avoid being hijacked by any ambitious followers,[these attempts are still part of human nature and still will occasionally be rearing its head.] and also avoided splintering of the original organization. It became a New Religious Movement bringing many new methods and approaches, free of dogmatism, vain claims, false prophecies, and suffocating exclusiveness.
This spiritual path is based upon ancient time tested Yoga mystical teachings designed to help us achieve the immortal goal of Self-Realization (salvation) through grace and self-effort in this life[or in succeeding lifetimes]. A society that, even before it’s incorporation could point to its own illustrious lineage of divine Avatars, saints, and great devotees in both East and West. The Self-Realization Fellowship/YSS does not fit in the categories of “psychic,” “new age” movements, or “cults”, a carelessly used word with its modern negative connotations.
Some, for their own reasons have been promoting their own brand of Kriya Yoga, claiming they have the real thing. [they are often adding hatha yoga postures as part of the Kriya yoga practice routine.] This would be difficult to prove as it is said that even Lahiri Mahasaya reduced originally received Krya Yoga practice to its basics. At any rate, the results of Yogananda’s teaching of this Kriya method has definitely produced results in loyal devotees that speak for themselves. It Works!
One part of Paramahansa Yogananda’s mission was to bring a balanced, relevant, and much needed clarified spiritual message to mankind, with new and original methods/approaches in modern contexts and expression. A message free of exclusivism, dogmatism, and arrogance. To be presented in what was to become the world’s most commonly spoken language, needing a minimum of scriptural or language translation, thereby helping this message maintain a more universal clarity. The framework He chose for this dispensation were the mystical scriptures of the New Testament and the Bhagavad Gita. Some may contest the authenticity or value of these ancient records. Both of these documents have served humanity’s spiritual needs for millennia, and still contain many valid treasures, as valid as any revelation since they were first introduced. Because time & man can ravage so many things, Paramahansa Yogananda’s revelation was to bring out the hitherto lost meanings,facts, and values of these ancient texts. Although this same attempt has been made by a number of others in the last few centuries, Yogananda’s commentaries and teachings on these matters can be seen as unique and enlightening, and very complete. The Masters elucidations prove the perennial value and agreement of these documents. There will always be a world of a difference between the work of academics/theologians and true God-knowing souls. It is also a credit to the Hindu tradition that considers the value & usefulness of what is written equally as important as any possible historical verifications.
Fresh, inspiring directions and concepts await the new seeker reading all His works.
There have been numerous claims in previous centuries by would-be prophets [NRM leaders]. There were so many who claimed they were especially chosen to reveal the original teachings of other past prophets. Yogananda’s work & life appear outstanding in comparison to many of these. When one reads the SRF publications of His inspired writings and talks, the effect is no less that uplifting and life changing in every way. Especially if one follows up on His teachings with daily effort and loyalty. It will be many, many, centuries into the future before evolving mankind will be able to even suggest that this revelation seems out of date, or needs modernizing again. It is the very nature of a great spiritual dispensation that it is initially centuries ahead of its time when it appears. Divine inspiration of this quality is not easily superseded by trendy popular changes. Even then – this sacred path will still be fully valid for ones salvation. The word of a true Avatar is world transforming!
Paramahansa Yogananda not only did most of his own spiritual writing, He was most wise in having the foresight to train editors who understood His teachings and were attuned with Him spiritually. Divine persons who were able to adjust to the evolution of that which they witnessed in the development of the expression of His ideas over time. Thus publishing future works which accurately expressed an excellent and accurate presentation of his total message/legacy for the world.
He came to clearly show us the essential and underlying truths upon which all true religion is based, concepts that will bring peace to this troubled world only when major reformations occur in said religions. The real inner worship which is based upon devotion and scientific Yoga Pranayama techniques (mental-energy-control), and is proving to be the primary blessing for this age.
Yogananda brought us a more balanced view of life and the spiritual that is a sure and very direct route to salvation, than the doubtful meandering labyrinths of theology hemmed in by the strictures of dogmatism. He showed us how to respect all true spiritual paths as many hued lights on the path of the spirit, while giving our loyalty and full attention to whichever one we would choose to work with. Directing the seeker from scattered eclectic approaches to a more concentrated enduring relationship with this living Masters path. One God-realized Guru can take us farther than 100 well intended philosophers, or a thousand blindly programmed clerics. And even much farther than our own subjective imaginings of where we think we are in the universal scheme. With the power of our own wills plus the wisdom and grace of the great ones we now have all the tools needed to reach our highest potential, as it is written,”Ye are God’s.”
Paramahansa Yogananda reintroduced the concept of personal growth based upon each ones own learning and experiential needs, rather than only as sets of fixed rules. He came from a tradition that was pretty well free of dogmatism. While explaining the better ways of and reasons for following the basic universal laws of harmonious living. He encouraged devotees to exercise their good judgment leading to a better moral life. His unique legacy covers a vast range of how to live principles and self-improvement methods for personal spiritual growth and salvation [as some call it]. The master tells us that we are all left to make those final choices as we learn and grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Reflecting the free will of the devotee.
His emphasizing and demonstrating of many new ways of making religion more scientific and less mysterious, more practical and less superstitious, more pluralistic, finds wide appeal with today’s better informed world consciousness.
Paramahansa Yogananda clarified many, many long-misunderstood, misrepresented, and hidden scriptural meanings, which for centuries had baffled the leaders and followers of many various religious movements. This was done from the mystical level using the intuitive spiritual awareness, rather than and intellectual/academic methods. Fully resulting in explanations that make much more sense accompanied by better results for the individual and society. His own life clearly testifies to His connection to the great source of truth – the universal Reality which many call God. These revealed concepts are at the same time consciousness enhancing, enlightening, balanced, harmonizing and progressive.
He did not come to necessarily start a new religion, but to instead show as clearly as possible the universal truths underlying all true religions, concepts which have an underlying unity of meaning and purpose. With harmonious/pluralistic basics that can bring us all together while not denying/devaluing the validity of the uniqueness and value of our own traditions. And those who are keen enough to grasp the real import of His great and timely message will be forerunners of a growing ecumenical global Interfaith cooperative movement leading to a true world brotherhood, and a greater chance for lasting world peace. Not by everyone following the same religion, but by awakening to the highest teachings within each and every true faith/path.
To show how the teachings of many great faiths are universal Paramahansa Yogananda wrote very enlightening commentaries on major scriptures from their inner meanings at the mystical level – the level of the “True Religion in every faith”. These writings are described further on elsewhere on these pages. In these and other works He created a fresh array of innovative and motivating approaches to inspire humanities sense of well-being, peace, and religious cooperation, rather than claims that would create division & conversion. Teaching that Everyone’s first duty is convert oneself(not others) to the wisdom that one professes to believe in, before attempting to convert others to it. This takes a great deal of time and effort and would make our spiritual efforts far more rewarding. Keeping in mind that we must change ourselves very deeply before professing to know how to change others.
In all of his prolific writings you will not find a slur or hint of prejudice against anyone else’s person, faith, prophet, nationality, or spiritual path. This respectful attitude and universal love flows naturally not only from His pluralistic Hindu roots, but also from His unprejudiced Yogic training and base, and from His sense of oneness with all other beings. Although, like all true mystics, Paramahansa Yogananda was also a great teacher who claimed no limiting sectarian identity for Himself. He showed us the true balance between maintaining our individuality while at the same time developing our sense of community, two vital and essential elements for a better world and our own personal development. This was mainly accomplished by basing His Self-Realization Fellowship on a different footing with a high level of quality spiritual leadership. An impeccable devoted forward-looking and versatile leadership which has carried on till this day with great insight for the benefit of all who would truly work with the Masters path.
Paramahansa Yogananda’s main message was one of Loyalty, Grace, Divine love, Kriya Yoga, Self-effort, & scientific Yoga meditation as a way to know God and experience intuitive guidance for a better life. There was not a single important life area He left unexplained, as an aid in making our search for truth more successful, practical, and life fulfilling and SELF-TRANSFORMATIVE for each devotee. From the very moment a true GURU introduces himself to you, through temporary obedience He brings you to the greatest freedom humans an ever know in this world or beyond.
These are only a few of the reasons that Paramahansa Yogananda stands out as an unparalleled modern spiritual prophet in this age.
The Quality and History of His life tells us the rest! We are privileged to be living in an age where so recent a history with living witnesses is available.