By Sandhya S. Nayar
Oh, I will come again and again!…
If need be a trillion times –
So long as I know
One stray brother is left behind…
Thus promised Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda in “Songs of the Soul,” one of the many spiritual classics as testimony of his divine eloquence. At the crest of the celestial wave being “Autobiography of a Yogi,” the harbinger of the revival of the world’s interest in India’s ancient science of Yoga. Known as “Father of Yoga in the West,” Yoganandaji was born Mukunda Lal Ghosh on January 5th at Gorakhpur.
The above compassionate covenant was foreseen when Yoganandaji’s parents; Bhagabati Charan Ghosh (a high ranking official of Bengal Nagpur Railway) and Gyana Prabha Ghosh (a ‘queen of hearts’) had taken their precocious infant to Yogavatar Lahari Mahasaya of Banaras. The majestic yogi seated the infant on his lap and placing his hands on his little forehead by way of spiritually baptising him, made a sacred prophecy using a quaint analogy from the father’s profession, “Little mother, thy son will be a yogi. As a spiritual engine he will carry many souls to God’s kingdom.”
With divine fervour young Mukunda sought out holy personages in his quest for a guru who would lead him to his heart’s highest ambition; God alone. And as the disciple searched ardently for his master, the master too waited for the disciple who was promised to him years earlier by the deathless Master, Mahavatar Babaji, at a Kumbh Mela.
At last when at an auspicious moment Mukunda was drawn into the magnetic periphery of Sri Yukteswar Giri, the usually stoic Jnanavtar, gushed with unbridled joy again and again in Bengali; “O my own, you have come to me!…How many years I have waited for you!”
What followed was a decade of rigorous apprenticeship under the Master. Later Mukunda was bestowed with the long coveted and laboriously worked on mantle of monkhood. Henceforth he would be known as Yogananda; which means bliss (ananda) through divine union (yoga).
The ideal of holistic development of youth being close to his heart, Yoganandaji established a school for boys at Dihika in 1917 with seven children. A year later the Kasimbazar Palace at Ranchi became the site of this propitious venture into education. This was the beginning of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (YSS) whose pivotal ideal being – “To serve mankind as one’s larger Self.” More than a hundred years later the organization stands strong, unflinched by the vicissitudes of Time, with ashrams and meditation centres in almost all parts of the country.
In 1920 Yoganandaji was invited to be the delegate from India to an International Congress of Religious Liberals in America. Thereafter he established Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) with its headquarters in Los Angeles.
At the core of his teachings is a potent system of meditation techniques – the Kriya Yoga science of meditation. This ancient science of the soul, mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita, provides powerful methods to awaken higher spiritual consciousness through self-effort and divine grace. Its soulful application resonates to Yoganandaji’s ideal of a true life; “Meet everybody and every circumstance on the battlefield of life with the courage of a hero and the smile of a conqueror.”
Further info.: yssofindia.org
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of Sambad English.