The two great legacies of Sri Yogananda (SY) are the Self-Realization Fellowship, which he founded in 1920, and his autobiography, that was published in 1946 ( widely quoted from " autobiography of a yogi....., see sidebar) Through the Fellowship he trained thousands of persons the ancient science of Karia Yoga, the science of God-realization. The work is still going on by his followers. He has left Lessons for their guidance.
His book has been read by millions of readers and has been translated in many languages. The book has introduced millions of persons to spirituality. Through his book his influence will continue for years or centuries to come. The book is full of spectacular events. The reader often has the reaction, which I once heard , from a good friend,” Why should I believe these things?. Just because somebody wrote it in a book does not mean that I have to believe them.”
What my friend said is the crux of the problem. He had no personal acquaintance with the author, therefore, he could not know whether the author was a truthful person. To be certain, that a supernatural incident actually took place, one needs other witnesses which saw that event, or an account by dozens of persons, who were closely associated with the author, , regarding the truthfulness of the author.
You may have heard the expression.”Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof”
When one reads about a supernatural incident, such as materialization of silver amulet, out of thin air, in SY’s mother ( Sep, 10), there are three possible explanations
1. Author is lying
2. Author is telling the truth. The event, though it appears impossible, occurred just as it has been narrated in the book
3. Author is mistaken. As for as he is concerned, he may be telling the truth, but he may have had an auditory or visual hallucination or may be suffering from some mental disorder.
If the author was not the witness of the event, dozens of other possibilities exist, such as his mother was lying or mistaken, etc. We will not discuss this scenario any further.
I will continue it in next installment