Message from Paramahamsa Prajnanananda — 100 Years of Yogananda's Legacy
Loving and divine soul,
Let the choicest blessings of God and the masters be upon all of you. I take this opportunity to pray for you, and I send my best wishes on the occasion of the 127th birth anniversary of our beloved master Paramahamsa Yoganandaji. This year also marks one hundred years since he came to the West bringing the message of human unity through practical spirituality.
Mukunda, later known as Paramahamsa Yoganandaji, was born on 5th January, 1893. He gradually grew up experiencing every aspect of human life: the loving care of his mother Gyanaprabha (who left the mortal world when he was only eleven), the discipline of a very saintly and sincere father Bhagabati Charan, loving friends such as Manmohan (Swami Satyananda) and many others, and meeting great spiritual masters such as Hamsa Swami Kevalananda and ultimately his spiritual guru Swami Shriyukteshwarji.
Yoganandaji was a dreamer who did not dream small. His dream was to realize the Absolute through the practice of Kriya Yoga. He wished to serve humanity spiritually and spread educational practices that would engender all-round development in young children so they would become good human beings. His master also dreamed that he would be a worthy instrument who could carry India’s spiritual wisdom to the West.
Paramahamsaji’s dreams were materialized when this well-accomplished yogi attained nirvikalpa samadhi. His dream to serve children, the blooming buds, by educating them with moral, physical, and intellectual development, was realized in his first school in Dihika and later in his Ranchi school.
This year we are going to celebrate the centennial year of his traveling to the USA. At the age of twenty-seven he left India and arrived in the USA on September, 19, 1920 to participate in the International Congress of Religious Liberals. This opened the door to materializing the dreams of his master. He served humanity tirelessly, traveling and teaching, then he left his mortal coil on March 7, 1952. He has inspired and taught millions through his writings, especially the Autobiography of a Yogi, a timeless spiritual treasure of humanity.
On this special day when we celebrate his 127th birthday as well as the beginning of the centennial year of his coming to the West, I want to offer his words to help us reflect on his life and follow in his footprints:
- "God must come first. No matter what else comes, it must be secondary. God first. The wise ones say, “Thou art more tempting than temptation."
- "Be the master of yourself. Know what you are doing. Have full power over your consciousness."
On this special day I am offering my love and adoration to his beautiful parents and his family members such as Sarita Ma and Somnath Baba who have made Yoganandaji’s parental home a temple of pilgrimage. I offer my homage and heartfelt respect to his beloved masters Swami Kevalanandaji and Swami Shriyukteshwarji and all the other masters of Kriya Yoga. I also thank all Paramahamsaji’s followers and organizations who have kept his teachings alive in the hearts of seekers.
I also bow to my beloved Shri Gurudev who was a sincere disciple of this great yogi Paramahamsaji. I also bow to all of you with humility and love.