Some Lesser Known Facts About Paramahansa Yogananda
- Paramahansa grew up in a religious family. His parents were disciples of Lahiri Mahasaya
- Since childhood, he was very interested in spiritual stories.
- Yogananda’s father was an executive of the Bengal-Nagpur Railway.
- In 1910, at the age of 17, he met his spiritual guru, Swami Yukteswar Giri.
- In 1914, when he entered Swami order, his name was changed from Mukunda Lal Ghosh to Yogananda.
- In 1915, he received monastic swami order after renouncing worldly pleasures and was called ‘Swami Yogananda Giri.’
- In 1917, he founded a school for boys in Dihika, West Bengal, that was specialized in meditation and yoga teachings. Later, that school was sifted to Ranchi and called Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (the Indian branch of spiritual organisation, Self-Realisation Fellowship).
- In 1920, Yogananda moved to the United States and spread Indian teachings of Yoga and Meditation. The same year, he laid the foundation of Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF).
- He travelled throughout the United States. He called that travelling, ‘Spiritual Campaign‘.
- In 1924, Yogananda started to attend cross-continental speaking tours. Thousands of people started listening to his lectures.
- He was the first Indian spiritual teacher to have spent his most of his life in the United States. He lived there until his death.
- In 1935, when he returned to India, he met Mahatma Gandhi and introduced him to Kriya Yoga.
- In 1935, he was conferred the further religious title ‘Paramahansa’ by his guru, Sri Yukteswar.
- In 1936, he moved to the USA again and wrote his autobiography, ‘Autobiography of a Yogi‘, that was published in 1946.
- Yogananda spent his last four years in seclusion with some disciples and completed his writings.
- Before being passed away in 1952, he chose Rajarsi Janakananda to be the president of Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF).
- Apart from his autobiography, he wrote many other books; Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You, God Talks With Arjuna – The Bhagavad Gita, The Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons, etc.
- In 1977, the Indian government issued a commemorative stamp in his honour.
- His autobiography, Autobiography of a Yogi, has been published in more than 45 languages since then. In 1999, this book was designated as one of the 100 most spiritual books of the 20th century by a panel of spiritual authors.
- His autobiography has been a main source of inspiration for many including George Harrison, Ravi Shankar, and Steve Jobs.
- Steve Jobs read Yogananda’s autobiography in his teen ages for the first time. He re-read it and downloaded it on his iPad2.
- The organization founded by him, Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), was headquartered in Los Angeles. Now, it has members in more than 175 countries around the World.
- On 7 March 2017, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi issued a commemorative postal stamp honouring the 100th anniversary of the Yogoda Satsanga Society of India, founded by Yogananda.
- On 15 November 2017, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind visited the Ranchi Ashram of Yogoda Satsanga Society at the official release of the Hindi translation of Yogananda’s book God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita.
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