Thursday, 5 January 2017

Speaking Tree - Revisiting Spiritual Envoy Yogananda’s Teachings

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Speaking Tree - Revisiting Spiritual Envoy Yogananda’s Teachings




Swami Vivekananda addressed the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago on September 11, thereby inspiring interest worldwide in Indic spirituality. His opening words, "Sisters and brothers of America!" received a two-minute standing ovation from seven thousand people. The same year on January 5, Paramhansa Yogananda was born as Mukunda Lal Ghosh.

Because of the groundwork laid by Vivekananda, Yogananda found a receptive audience when he moved to America in 1920. His lecture tours drew large crowds in every major city of America. Thousands learned his Kriya Yoga meditation technique. The global popularity of meditation and yoga today is perhaps largely due to the groundbreaking efforts of those two great Indian yogi ambassadors.

Yogananda took the inner teachings of yoga out of ashrams and Himalayan caves, and into the homes of people. His close disciples included householders and parents, musicians and actors, scientists and businessmen—including his foremost disciple, who was a self-made millionaire.

Many of his disciples had the deepest experiences of God-realisation in meditation, traditionally available only to a small handful who were able to leave behind all outward responsibilities. In this, Yogananda was following the urging of Mahavatar Babaji, who he said is “well aware of the trend of modern times, especially of the influence and complexities of Western civilization, and realizes the necessity of spreading the self-liberations of yoga equally in the West and in the East.”

With life becoming more complicated and confusing, thousands are coming forward to learn his Kriya Yoga teachings, not in the Himalayan jungles but in the modern concrete “jungles” of Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, and more.

Yogananda taught that the principles and practices of meditation are for everyone, and can be integrated into busy modern lifestyles. Meditation brings success and creativity into everything that the yogi does.

Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Computer, said that he read Yogananda’s ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ every year, and Jobs had requested that hundreds of copies of the book be given out at his funeral. Other modern successes who have been inspired by Yogananda include George Harrison of The Beatles; the creator of Star Trek TV and movie series and the inventor of the Swype texting app that is on millions of phones, besides many others.

More important than success in one’s outward role in life, Kriya meditation practices make true God-communion and saintliness a realistic goal. Swami Kriyananda, direct disciple of Yogananda and founder of Ananda Sangha, was told by Yogananda that, “I can take a few young men of the most restless sort, and let them practice Kriya for two hours every day in the way I tell them, and, without question, in four or five years I can make saints out of them.”

Practised properly, Kriya increases one’s concentration, energy and control over life force, and the heart-opening receptivity of grace—in the form of divine light and love, inner joy, expanding calmness, the vibration of Aum, and more. Other benefits include better health, development of intuition, ever-growing compassion, selflessness, and inner freedom.

The seventieth anniversary of the publication of Yogananda’s spiritual classic, the ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ was celebrated recently. This book has inspired many people to both worldly success and spiritual greatness. (Kriya Yoga meditation classes start on Jan 15 in NCR and cities across India. Contact +91-9899267698
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