There was a man, born in India in 1893, and given the name of Mukunda by his family. You may know him by the name Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi, a book that is a “must read.” Through his Indian Guru/teachers, this man was given the responsibility for bringing Yoga to the West and more specifically kriya yoga.
What is Yoga? Is it the new fad sweeping the world — of postures and breathing exercises that seem to give new strength and energy to tired bodies?
It is that….yes, but Yoga is actually much more than physical exercises. Yoga contains teachings brought into the world at least ten thousand years ago, when humans were really in touch with higher powers — teachings that eventually were lost in the bowels of time, but are now coming back to us because we are currently in the Ascending Age of Energy — the Dwapara Yuga. (If you would like to learn more about this, read The Yugas, a new book on this subject by Joseph Selbie and David Steinmetz.
In Yogananda’s, Autobiography of a Yogi, he tells us of the work of his guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar, who wrote The Holy Science. Sri Yukteswar, in a small thin volume published in 1920 in India, describes the different ages in Time, known as the Yuga Cycles. It was published in the United States in 1947. It is through Yogananda’s life, we have been introduced to this totally new view of history in a format that makes history make sense. These books describe how history unfolds in a particular way because of changes in consciousness — that there are descending and ascending ages of consciousness and that we are in the cycle where we are waking up to our human potential. This ever expanding consciousness continuously offers mankind new opportunities for understanding and growth. These new abilities are going to change the world on many levels.
Yogananda saw this higher consciousness as coming into the world to eventually bring more peace and harmony among the nations. He quotes Mahatma Gandhi in “Autobiography”, as saying, “I call myself a nationalist, but my nationalism is as broad as the universe. It includes in its sweep all the nations of the earth. My nationalism includes the well-being of the whole world.” And those thoughts echoed Yogananda’s broad spiritual understanding, too, of what he foresaw as World Brotherhood.
World Brotherhood is a Theme Prominent in Yogananda’s Writings.
This man called Paramhansa Yogananda has had a major role to play in bringing this realization to us all of a need for world brotherhood. Although he founded an innovative spiritual work in this own lifetime (he left his body in 1952), never the less he has been adopted by many around the world as one whose teachings are universal and non-sectarian. Many see him as one who came to bring the wisdom and practical truths to live by that are especially needed at this time of explosive growth, turmoil, and confusion.
Kriyananda, Disciple of Yogananda
There are many books by Yogananda and by his disciples in bookstores the world over. A very extensive collection of over a hundred and fifty books were written by his disciple, the founder of Ananda, Nayaswami Kriyananda (James Donald Walters.)
A Book of Timeless Truths
There is much that has been written about the life of this great human being, Paramhansa Yogananda. Reading of that life in his autobiography is a unique and very powerful experience.