“Guruji, I have just been invited to address a religious congress in America. Shall I go?”
“All doors are open for you,” Master replied simply. “It is now or never.”
“But, sir,” I said in dismay, “what do I know about public speaking? Seldom have I given a lecture, and never in English.”
“English or no English, your words on yoga shall be heard in the West.”
I laughed. “Well, dear guruji, I hardly think the Americans will learn Bengali! Please bless me with a push over the hurdles of the English language.” –Autobiography of a Yogi
And so it began. Paramhansa Yogananda, the father of yoga in the West, came to America on September 19th, 1920. We celebrate the grace of God that has come anew to earth through Yogananda — 100 years of spiritual awakening!
He came to share not a new religion, but a new expression of eternal truth. In India it is known as Sanatan Dharma — the eternal way.
In order to understand the eternal way, you need a Wayshower.
“As a bright light shining in the midst of darkness, so was Yogananda’s presence in this world. Such a great soul comes on earth only rarely, when there is a real need among men.” -The Shankaracharya of Kanchipuram
What is going on with the world? Pandemic, fires, chaos, racial prejudice and hatred, economic depression, and potential world war. Now more than ever, the world needs a guiding light and wayshower for this new age of energy.
As Swami Kriyananda said in Religion in the New Age:
During times of great change, including the period through which we are now passing, it is especially important to be guided by higher inspiration. With this purpose have great spiritual teachers come to earth at times of crucial human need. The birth of those great saviors has not been only opportune: It has also been ordained. Buddha, Krishna, and Shankaracharya in the East; Jesus Christ in the West: these men were no mere accidents of history.
And it was no “mere accident of history” that Yogananda came at this time. If there ever were a “crucial human need”, it is now!
Let’s honor God by honoring His messenger. And what was at the heart of Yogananda’s message?
Self-realization. Knowing that one life beneath the surface unites and binds us all. He is calling us to realize who and what we truly are: a part of all that is. And not just to meditate but to actualize in daily life our unity with all life.
Thank you, Master, for coming to the West! Words are inadequate to express our gratitude!
Love & Joy,
Narayan & Dharmadevi