This link is to a Biography of Yogananda’s life and work.
Quotes from the writings, talks, and recordings of Paramahansa Yogananda; © SRF Publishers LA USA
“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… “
(The Second Coming of Christ)” Said Paramahansa Yogananda.
“They shall come from all parts of the world, thousands and thousands of them, just as you have, for Self-Realization is bringing the original Christianity of Christ and the original Yoga of India’s Krishna so that all people of all religions can follow one highway to the Infinite.”
Said Paramahansa Yogananda.
Above Comment was made by PY at Self-Realization Fellowship annual convocation, c 1951, LA USA .
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 and cooperation 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 original teachings literary errors through time, and political manipulation of works by those in power, or by a false prophets pretending to have received his comments from some God.
One should examine all claims closely as there are many charlatans in the world of religion. Especially test and examine those teachings that you were raised in!
This can be better understood with searching your history and your heart. Are today’s common beliefs followed by your faith what those prophets really intended or taught? Academia is seldom the best place to learn about comparative religion and true philosophy. Better to do your own personal searching and the truth of all this will become clearer as you go beyond your earlier programming. As a seeker of truth you owe that much to your personal integrity. We all have the same challenge, from birth we were mostly misled led by the spiritually blind in every religion.
This was the story of my own sadhana, when I was ready Yoganandaji introduced himself to me, and the rest is history. Many positive results eventually came since that amazing day of divine grace.
It was mainly India and the far east that has kept the truly ecumenical principal of global pluralism, tolerance, and the spiritual science of Kriya Yoga alive through countless millenniums. Such is the light giving nature of India’s “Sanatana Dharma.” This is what it takes to produce a Gandhi or a Paramahansa Yogananda.
Yoganandaji’s particular emphasis above re the historical words of Jesus and Krishna are for specific reasons as follows. The Master’s original mandate was to show the harmony between Original Christianity and Original Yoga . This however evolved into showing the plurality in all world true major spiritual scriptures. It is not unusual for a great Prophet to adjust the nature of His mandate part way through His world mission.
Yogananda, like Jesus, changed or upgraded several of His main emphasis for the immediate and long term goals.
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.” Which He has fully demonstrated in His extraordinary life. The value of any claims by any authority/prophet lies in all the results and examples of that life and statements. That becomes a living proof! If you don’t know why you believe something, you are in a state of blind belief situation going nowhere. What does the record say?
This move away from the narrowness of dogma, academia, and the secrecy of ancient monastic traditions will restore real spirituality in the hearts of many true seekers of reality world wide. It will spark a healing revolution in the hearts of a humanity that is now 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! Our first duty is to change ourselves!
Monuments to the World’s Major Religions, SRF Court of All Religions, Lake Shrine
from- Aims and ideals of Self-Realization Fellowship –
“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
Everything published these days immediately goes world wide, especially in the English language. So the quality of any new spiritual message/dispensation must become more sensitive, advanced, esoteric, and universal, and pluralistic. It must also appeal to our reason and common sense. Does it’s originator have a reliable history ?When we can see past the common notions of what is popularly believed by the masses, we begin to see the whole picture in proper
The average person is also far more educated and literate than in centuries past. Peoples of many widespread cultures/religions are living side by side all over the globe, and even more interested in what is true in religion.
This is the “information age,” with the literature/history of most ancient and modern scriptures easily available, along with clearer, verifiable records of many more recent true and false prophets, available to all.
The essence of 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 similar and equal!
Before you can read those subtle messages and change your own life, you may have to do a lot of work on yourself! Just what are you really looking for, reinforcement of your emotionally based blind programming, or the truth that will demand serious changes in your behavior, attitudes, and your total way of understanding the world and consciousness?
Essentially, these 2 documents, at their esoteric level of interpretation are not onlythe 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 today’s 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? Who can be believed without doubt? Certainty without clear evidence is the maintainer of blindness and ignorance.
Such “prophets” and dispensations must also stand as true guides to remove ignorance and enhance mind awareness/expansion of consciousness for all sincere devotees who want to awaken from this dreamworld of relativity. This is the way to salvation. Jesus tells us that very few will ever find it! It may not happen after death.
Thus Yogananda’s dispensation is the key to Self-Realization and world peace for the masses in today’s world! In fact Paramahansa Yogananda, like others before Him sometimes made a temporary shift in their mandate.
One of the ones made by Him was to expand His mission from America to uplift all world religions who have the wisdom to add the science of kriya Yoga to their traditions. We read in various SRF/YSS publications His work as being described more and more as a Global mission. It is truly worthy of that classification!
“Whispers from Eternity “; [the acknowledgements]-
The multicolored lamps of various true teachings,
In whom the Cosmic Heart is ever throbbing equally.
And unto; The multicolored lamps of various
Dedicated unto; Christians, Muslims, Buddhists,
Hebrews, Hindus, and all other Religionists,
In which shines the same white flame of God.
And unto; All churches, mosques, Viharas, tabernacles,
pagodas and Temples of the world,
Wherein the One Father dwells impartially
in the fullness of his glory.
by Paramahansa Yogananda
[© Self-Realization Fellowship Publishers LA USA]
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.
The great question we are now faced with?
Why did Yogananda not give a commentary on the Koran, Hadiths, or Sira to share His 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. This is a major deviation that may rightly or wrongly maybe perceived as a slight by those who play the victim card.
Although His prime mission was to share the wisdom of the Gospels and the Bhagavad Gita, is seems that He wanted to wean the Muslim world into a Higher level of understanding with the Rubaiyat as a basis to work from.
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 necessarily mean that the latest teaching is more advanced than previous revelations! This was more often true only on 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 in a different geological location. For such a culture the first order would be to secure a firmer sociological structure often requiring many rules while maintaining the color of certain local elements. So, on a global scale there was not necessarily any “progressive revelation” going on by reason of historical 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 Joseph 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. And many vain claims have turned to dust!
Many of these great prophets have been from India alone since the seventh century!
This is revealed/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 spiritual dispensation, and breaking with His own 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 may only be an advanced timely teaching for that culture in that specific geographical area of the world.
There may be a possible exceptions in today’s advanced techno world.
With the increasing intermixing of the worlds cultures it is possible to introduce a spiritual dispensation that is globally more advanced. For the content of the message and record of its blessings, but not solely because of the date of its occurrence.
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 while saying it is from some God with no witnesses?
Paramahansa Yogananda did not make such claims, and when He used ancient quotations/sources He gave proper credit to those sources. Although there is considerable evidence that His communication with the infinite was very sound and profound. Time is the test of all things.
If “you” think you have an opinion on this particular matter, there are a few things you need to do before opposing my comments. First you must understand clearly what the Guru was doing and what changed in his presentations on certain subjects.
A beautiful ideal is one thing, yet the timing and practicality of promoting that ideal must sometimes by put on hold or be revised as changing situations/needs dictate. Yogananda, like Jesus, had to redirect/reassess his promotions of very important opinions/mandates.
In this case of not using Islamic sources to share higher teachings with the Islamic world – what kept Yogananda away from this situation? He claimed that His method of commenting on ancient holy writ was to actually time travel to the time and place where these prophets lived and taught. Thereby experience and ascertaining their true meanings. When we read His reveletory commentaries, this claim becomes very believable. So, what did He see to warn Him away from Islamic writ? This was back in the last century. Since that time a lot of questions have arisen about the way in which these so called holy writs of Islam came about. So our present day knowledge of these matters gives great credibility to the Master conduct in this matter. He never got caught up in that hornets nest.
The problem most devotees experience is a form of cognitive dissonance, they become too attached to the old idea and are unable to see the Gurus redirection. This causes some stumbling on the part of the devotee who may have heard the first words but were not open to the Master’s redirections .
Jesus said his original mandate was “salvation of the Jews,” that being rejected He then told his apostles to baptize all sincere believers into his new path. This does not apply to every so called missionary who is far from the realization of the Holy Spirit. Few are capable of actually baptizing others at that level.
Paramahansa Yogananda’s great ideal of world brotherhood colonies became impractical in the near future so he rephrased the sense of community to be around SRF temples and meditation groups. There simply was not the spiritual leadership in the West to do this properly. And there was so much other work to prioritize to grow this sacred path.
Most of all, unless you have spent a few years serious study of Islam and its prophet, you will probably have little idea what you are talking about. First take a few years to do this – then we can talk. Remember that in most religions very few of it adherents know what it is all about, and even fewer study the global picture of history and scripture. That is the bigger picture. The avoiding of commentary on the Koran has serious implications.
You will clearly know why He did it this way when you do your own research!
Originality especially, with true inspiration is a great indicator of divine creativity!
There are also many other dubious aspects of the historical Koran that renders it unsuitable to have a comparative association or inclination with certain more advanced scriptures of other prophets (already mentioned by Yogananda).
Here are the addresses of some videos that partially reveal why the Koran could
not be used in a pluralistic, spiritually advanced dispensation for the modern world; “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUsk39rrONE”
(shared with appreciation to Jay Smith),
or see this doc by Tom Holland “Islam The Untold Story”
or, shared from the Positron channel : Why Caliph Uthman Burned All Original Qurans? see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-OX362ff74
“Ye shall know them by their fruits…..JC
Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” ….end
Why do so many people ignore the serious simple wisdom
in these Biblical comments? They do not take time to read!
This is some of the wisdom that Jesus suggests as a way to test true souls;
Another aspect to Yogananda’s comment above; “Truth is one… Divine incarnations do not come to bring a new or exclusive religion, but to restore the One Religion of God-realization. ”
Few persons in history claiming prophet hood tried more loudly and brutally to create a new, most exclusive, intolerant religion than Mohammad. If anyone finds this statement untrue – then you must figure out what went wrong, when, and by whom. Because something is seriously out or whack with that ideology! fp
If someone attempts to introduce a new spiritual dispensation and make
any claims of superiority and exclusivism, or of being the “true church”, or the only true 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 to test such claims. Remember one who makes many claims may have many schemes.
Examine and test all claims made by those who attract a lot of ego attention!
“There never was only One Way!
There never was only One holy Writ of truth, or one way to Salvation!
There never was only One exclusive Prophet/Savior/Guru!”….. by PYislove
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 uncoveredan 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.”
Yogananda concludes with this far reaching statement;
Paramahansa Yogananda said;
“We in Self-Realization Fellowship have not come to bring a new religion, or a new cult or new interpretation. We have come to teach practical methods, the exact technique of widening the channel of human consciousness, so that truth may flow in ceaselessly, endlessly, without obstructions of dogma or unproved beliefs. We seek to point out the path of concentration on a practical system of realization as well as words and personality of saints and prophets. We teach step by step progress to individual personal realization and attainment of divinity.”
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In this auspicious year -2018, we gratefully celebrate the 125th anniversary of Paramahansa Yogananda’s divine birth. The yoga master known as “the Father of Yoga in the West” is a great educator and founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Sat Sangha , a world wide New Religious Movement.
Yogananda was without doubt the world’s most significant spiritual prophet/luminary of the 20th and 21st centuries to date. Leaving behind an impeccable spiritual life and literary legacy that is revolutionizing the spiritual life, outlook, and consciousness of millions of seekers in today’s world .
Although this reinventing of the truly scientific spiritual approach is most widespread in Hindustan and the Caucasian worlds, many other cultures and faiths are slowly discovering the uplifting transformational message and living presence of this world teacher/prophet. Acclaimed by both those who intimately follow Him as their Guru/Avatar/Savior/mentor, and those who have just become aware of His amazing life and Legacy.
He was a modern outstanding real life example of the truth of much of the worlds greater spiritual literature as were originally intended. As for the popular beliefs of the masses, he approached those many misunderstandings with compassion and profoundly clear and simple clarifications that appeal to common sense. As a living demonstration of the love, light, peace, wisdom, and joy that we read about in sacred writings (eg the Holy Bible and the Holy Bhagavad Gita.) His strongest witness as a modern living prophet is in that divine life record he left us. Yogananda’s real life drama has transformed the myth of ancient scripture into the clarity of scientific modernity. There’s no more denying then! Inharmonies just fade away for those who know how to read.
It takes considerable research, time, and faithful practice to
to fully appreciate and understand the extensive practical blessings that this humble Master bequeathed to the world during His short life of 59 yrs. I suggest starting with His “Autobiography of a Yogi” and other works that are still in publication by Self-Realization Publishers LA USA. There are also various videos and doc films available on the net (see image sidebar) and search on YouTube under Self-Realization Fellowship -or Paramahansa Yogananda, or Self-Realization Fellowship/ Yogoda Sat Sangha in India.
Only Yogananda’s books from this publisher (SRF) are most reliable, accurate, and up to date. The work of SRF Publishers do accurately reflect the Masters true legacy. As a simple test of the importance of Yogananda’s work I would suggest that one could compare it to the life and revelation of the gospels of Jesus. Excepting the fact that because this Guru’s life and work all took place within the last century or so, with many witnesses of both devotees and non devotees this remarkable example of the advanced yogic spiritual life for all religions is very reliable and noteworthy. His unity with the infinite was clear.
During His sojourn and ministry in the last century He was able to answer and put to rest most of the problems of modern popular religionists who have long since given up on institutional religion. The now commonly used term of “Spirituality” was given much strength and credibility with the advent of Yogananda’s work and life! He is a true leader and peaceful revolutionary in religion, spirituality, mind awareness, meditation, psychology, social engineering, education, healing, health and balanced living etc.
He also published all of his writings in English [now the worlds most commonly spoken language.] A language that He had mastered as if it were His mother tongue.
This unique situation will, in future years remove much of the problem that followed so many revelations of all faiths that suffer from political, language, and ancient messed up historical confusions. Political misdirections and linguistic translations during the evolution of languages in all
cultures being some of the most problematic sources of misunderstanding. All this aside, one needs to experience the living presence of His intimate omnipresence to truly know what He is doing for humanity in education, spirituality, charity, and the well-being of society. What was so unique or outstanding about the life, Legacy, and SRF/YSS society established by Paramahansa Yogananda?
Instead of deliberately starting a new “religion,” He clarified for humanity the scientific essence Kriya Yoga that will harmonize all true historical paths together at a lofty effective spiritual level. This is the only true “unity in diversity” as it does not require others to deny or leave their family’s faiths. It does not falsely tell others they must change. Other prophets followers have used that lofty slogan of “Unity in Diversity,” but upon closer scrutiny their claims do not hold true.
Those others really want you to deny the validity all other faiths and unite under their own new banner. Persons joining those new movements are not usually initially told about their way of eradication/demeaning previous faiths. They often don’t even fully understand the flaws of their own dark history. Those who do this don’t properly understand such terms as “unity in diversity” and “Progressive Revelation.”
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.”
This Master says very clearly that if you add the science of Kriya Yoga and a few principles of love and peace to your present religious/spiritual practice, you do not have to reject/ deny the religions of your families and cultures. But you will have to learn what is true and false about what you have been taught by those blind leaders of so many varied sects, and you have to practice the raising of your consciousness with higher yoga science of life transforming meditation that the prophet Yogananda gives us.
Yogananda came to the West at a time when modern technology was distracting most men from two things. The higher teaching of Yoga- the mystical enhance- ment of consciousness, and the reality within. The more attention we give only to the outward physical sciences at the neglect of the inner spiritual sciences will simply further enslave our consciousness to the world of relativity and the senses! Are the machines taking over yet – it is getting closer all the time!
He left us a vast comprehensive life example and library of clear instruction and inspiration plus his ever living omnipresence. He is not dead, He lives and works through and with His true devotees. History proclaims it! I also recommend seeing the documentary “Awake;The Life of Yogananda” a remarkable biopic film released in 2014. Read about Him in the enlightening book “Autobiography of a Yogi, and test His SRF Lessons course and the results will tell the rest. from the address below.
The Following talk by Paramahansa Yogananda is from a 1993 Self-Realization
Magazine , shared from SRF – YSS Yogananda Answers ·
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…
“We should begin to build world unity with the idea that has been initiated by Self-Realization Fellowship: a ‘Church of All Religions’; not eclecticism, but respect for all religions as constituting various paths to God…Attaining Self-realization through Yoga, men will come to know that they are all children of the one Father.”
…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.”
A FARSIGHTED CONCEPT OF TRUE UNITY IN DIVERSITY
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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