79. Sri Yogananda . Part 1
Readers must be familiar with this great Yogi, because blog 10, 11 and 12 were about him. Readers should read those blog again because I do not want to repeat things already said. However, a brief introduction, at this point, is warranted because the previous blog were in a different context.
He was born in Bengal, India, in 1893. He was a preselected person. He had been selected by Maha-avatar Babaji, at an unknown time, to go to the West and introduce to the public over there the ancient science of Kriya Yoga. ( Avatar is a human incarnation of God, Maha-avatar is even higher than that, because maha mean big. I will say more about Babaji at some other point. Babaji selected Sri Yukteshwar to be his guru to prepare him for this mission in the West. Sri Yukteshwar was a disciple of Sri Lahiri Mahsaya who in turn was a direct disciple of Babaji.).
Kriya Yoga had been lost for generations. Babaji reintroduced it to the general public through Lahiri Mahasaya and others. This time it was made available, not only to the renunciants, but also to qualified persons who lived in the world and could be married and be of either sex. The reason why Lahiri Mahasaya was selected was precisely because he was a householder and thus an example of God-realization by a householder. The message was that if you earnestly desire God, you can do so while still doing your worldly duties. Therefore God was made available to several hundreds or thousands fold wider public.
I tried but could not practice Kriya Yoga, therefore I am not a fit person to comment about this technique. However, it has been claimed, that if followed properly, one reaches God in a short time.
After completing his discipleship with his guru, he started a school for boys in 1917, where they were trained in normal subjects as well in Yoga. He was quite happy with the school, when one day, during meditation, he had a vision of Americans and was told to go to America and spread Kriya Yoga . Few hours after the vision he took a train to meet his Master. He arrived in America in 1920, and died there in 1952. He arrived in America without a single friend, but he left hundreds or thousands of friends and disciples at the time of his death.
Before he started on his journey, like any other normal person, he had cold feet because of the enormity of the task. He became anxious. Would he not get lost in the materialism of the West?
One early morning he started praying to God to hear from Him regarding this mission. He vowed that he would continue praying, till death, unless he gets Divine assurance that he won’t be lost in the utilitarianism of America . Several hours passed. His moaning and sobs continued. His head was reeling. He thought his brain would burst. Finally there was a knock at the door. A young man, whom he recognized as Babaji, was standing. Babaji said that the Divine Father had heard his prayers. Babaji had been sent to reassure him that his mission had the Divine sanction, and that he will be protected. This was Yogananda’s first and only face to face meeting with Babaji.
Kriya Yoga is being taught in Western World, to this day, in its pure form, through the Self-realization Fellowship program based in California, USA. You can belong to any religion and keep your religion.
Therese Neumann. Sri Yogananda had heard about Therese and was keen to see her. An opportunity presented in 1935. Therese, born in 1898, was from Germany. She was famous because she had not eaten or taken any liquids for twelve years, except a consecrated wafer, paper-thin, and the size of a small coin, each day. She was also famous for the fact, that every Friday, Stigmata, sacred wounds of Jesus, would appear on her corresponding body parts, and she would be experiencing the Passion of Christ.
Therese became blind and paralyzed, when she was twenty, because of an accident. She miraculously regained her sight through prayers to St Therese of Lisieux ( see blog 13-14) in 1923. She stopped eating and drinking in 1923, and the stigmata started appearing in 1926
To be continued