March, 1937 VOL.9—5

Part I

The Eternal Friends


Vice-President of Yogoda Satsanga Society, Ranchi, India

With his wife and Swami Yogananda


Our Swami had journeyed far

Across vast lands and seas

To meet kindred Spirits in the West.

The light of the East was on his face,

A thousand mothers’ love in his eyes,

An all-conquering smile on his lips,

And the hall-mark of Realization on his words.

On he moved in his quest.

As he spoke,

Truth threw off the mask of centuries

To reveal itself.

With noiseless steps the other came,

A son of God, St. Lynn, seeking Silence

Amidst the tumults of a dollar-driven age.

In silent communion they met.

Back came visions of the dim past

When both had sat side by side

On the banks of the sacred Ganges,

In the caves of the hoary Himalayas,

To hear the Music of the Spheres within.

Oh, what a meeting of two most ancient friends!

Not all the distance

Of the old world from the new

Nor all the vicissitudes of life

Had succeeded in keeping them apart.

In silence they met again and again

Under the starry heavens, by babbling brooks,

In Yogoda dream hilltop hermitage

By Encinitas’ splashing paradise seas.

Together they heard

And answered the call of the Infinite;

Space melted, Time lost its wings

And from the springs of united Joy

Flowed a strong stream

Carrying the water of Life

To countless souls struggling on rugged roads.

What else can these blest travellers do

But sing His praise

Who in His Divine Mercy

Had chosen to bring His two Sons

To preach His Gospel together—

Love walking arm in arm

With Faith, Hope with Charity,

To drive Delusion-wraith

And perfume the earth with wisdom, amity.


The Spread of Self-Realization Fellowship

(Yogoda Sat-Sanga)

Over the Earth


Swami Sri Yukteswar

This issue is devoted to a review of the progress of the Self-Realization Fellowship (Yogoda Sat-Sanga) in America and India. In this article I wish to touch briefly on many points connected with the work. I had the great privilege of accompanying Swami Yoganandaji on his recent world-tour, and of meeting in India his great Master Swami Sri Yukteswarji.

Ranchi 1936

I was a guest at the Eastern headquarters at Ranchi, and will describe it, as well as Swamiji’s triumphal reception throughout India and in London.

I shall also outline the present activities and recent celebrations at Mount Washington Estates in Los Angeles

and at the new Yogoda Dream Hermitage in California,

Dream Hermitage in Encinitas

and shall end with a description of Swami’s stirring plan for an ideal Yogoda World-City.

Swami Yogananda came to America in 1920 as a delegate to the International Congress of Religious Liberals held in Boston, Massachusetts, under the auspices of the American Unitarian Association. Many delegates from Japan, England and other important countries joined this Congress. The address given by Swami Yogananda was cordially received and later commented on in a book entitled, "New Pilgrimages of the Spirit."

26 Centers in America

Seventeen years have now elapsed since Swamiji first came to American shores. In that time, about twenty-six Self-Realization Fellowship Centers have been established in America, with national headquarters, since 1925, at the Mount Washington Estates, Los Angeles, California. Both in India and America, the Self-Realization Fellowship is incorporated as a religious institution.

Beautiful Headquarters

The Self-Realization Headquarters at Los Angeles, consists of sixteen acres of city property with a large building of sixty rooms. There are also two tennis courts, a stadium, and an orchard with many Oriental fruit trees, including the mango, banana, guava, orange and cherimoya. The property is decorated by date, pepper, deodar, camphor, eucalyptus and pine trees. The headquarters is situated upon Mt. Washington, about one thousand feet above sea level, overlooking the city of Los Angeles and the surrounding cities of Hollywood, Pasadena and Glendale. It is a hill-top paradise and at night resembles a floating mountain liner surrounded by millions of waves of twinkling lights of the various cities. It is just below Mt. Wilson with its noted astronomical observatory. Its location and great beauty make it the most outstanding temple established by an Oriental in America.

In the rear of Mt. Washington Estates, thirty miles away, lie the Sierra Madre snow-capped mountains. And in front of it, twelve miles away, lies the encircling Pacific Ocean. Will Durant spoke of Mt. Washington Estates as "the only poetry in the prose of Los Angeles." Here Galli-Curci, world famous prima donna, and many celebrities have come to find peace and self-realization. The unsurpassed beauty of Mt. Washington Estates, S. R. F. Headquarters, can never be realized until actually seen. This is the consensus of opinion of all visitors who had previously only heard about its scenic glories.

Praecepta Testimonials

Here in this headquarters we find a number of efficient, selfless devotees who send out, each week, thousands of Praecepta to truth-seeking students all over the world. These lessons are not an ordinary metaphysical "hash" between book-reading and imaginary self-realization, but they are God-inspired, God-dedicated truths which Swami Yogananda writes as fast as he receives them from the Infinite. There are thousands of testimonials about these weekly Heaven-uplifting instructions. They are all spiritual techniques which can be put into practice for step-by-step development in attaining God through Self-Realization.

The management of the Self-Realization Headquarters at Los Angeles is very ably carried on by Manager Faraon Jay Moss, Treasurer F. Darling (Sister Durga) who has served unselfishly, saving to help the needy and the spread of the work in India, F. and V. Wright, H. Salter, M. Lancaster, B. Mills, M. Broomell, who have wonderfully carried on the organization work; O. Sahly who efficiently looks after Branch Center affairs; S. E. Marckwardt and L. Royston, able editors of Inner Culture Magazine, M. Potter, E. Moeller and L. Pratt. Sister Gyanamata, St. Lynn and Sister Durga kept the Self-Realization Fellowship Headquarters breathing highest spiritual vibrations while Swami Yogananda was in India.

The Self-Realization Fellowship Headquarters at Los Angeles has weekly Thursday night meetings to which a select group of devotees regularly come. Whenever Swami Yogananda lectures on Sundays, hundreds overtax the capacity of the lecture hall of the Headquarters building.

Second Temple

Second Temple

The Second Temple of the Self-Realization Fellowship is in the heart of Los Angeles (see illustration) and is going to be developed into a Yoga School. It seats over six hundred people and has much ground for expansion.

Recent Activities

Recent activities at the Los Angeles Headquarters have included the Christmas and New Year’s banquets in honor of Swami Yogananda’s homecoming from India, the welcoming of delegates and Yogoda teachers to the first Yogoda Convocation, and the dedication of the new Yogoda Dream Hermitage.

On the first Sunday of the New Year, January 3rd, several hundred Los Angeles Self-Realization students gathered at Mount Washington for the first Yogoda Convocation, to welcome home Swami Yoganandaji, Sister Ettie and myself from our eighteen months’ tour of Europe and India.

Pictures were taken on the Center lawn, and Swamiji delivered an inspiring talk on "The Resurrection of My Master." The evening was given over to a delightful banquet, served to several hundred guests by students dressed in silk saris in honor of India.

The menu consisted of many new dishes and ingredients brought by Swamiji from India, and included Kashmere Gucchi mushrooms with Chinese potatoes, papar fruit, Rasagulla Mango Cream, and Indian Keora Flower Ice Cream.

The enjoyable musical program consisted of a vocal solo by Mrs. Charles Frye, a piano solo by Miss Karla Schramm and a violin solo by Miss Lois Challand.

Yogoda Leaders Present

The Hindu leaders of Self-Realization Fellowship in various parts of the country were present to welcome home their Guru. Those were Brahmachari Jotin of Washington, D. C., Sri Nerode of Miami, Florida, and Sri Ranendra Kumar Das of Indianapolis and Cincinnati. Sri Khagen of St. Louis was also present. Dr. M. W. Lewis, leader of the Boston Center, Mr. B. J. L. Merck and Mrs. Alyce Gubler, joint leaders of the Salt Lake City Center, Dr. Roman Ostoja of the Cleveland, Ohio Center, Mrs. Marjorie Briggs Shepherd, Mrs. Truth Burbery, and Judge and Mrs. Hardy were among the guests. The speeches delivered by the Yogoda leaders are printed elsewhere in this issue.

These leaders have done remarkable work in the spread of Yogoda. Sri Nerode alone, during the past few years, has initiated at least ten thousand into the technique of Self-Realization. He has done admirable work. Sri Das has also converted many thousands into the path of Yogoda. Dr. Ostoja, a wonderful healer, has helped hundreds by his spiritual power and has taught Yogoda to thousands. Dr. Lewis has kept very highly developed souls inspired by his exemplary life at Boston. Brahmachari Jotin, who has recently been appointed a Director of the Self-Realization Fellowship at Los Angeles, has won the extreme admiration and love of his many Yogoda followers in Washington, D. C., by his exalted eloquence and spiritual example. Seva Devi of the Los Angeles Headquarters and Second Temple has kept many souls inspired by her devoted life during the absence of Swami Yogananda in India. Sri Khagan has also converted many seeking souls into the path of Yogoda and is rapidly developing into a good teacher.

Christmas Meditation

The delegates were also present at the highly spiritual Christmas meditation on December 24th which started early in the morning and continued through the day until Christmas Eve. The meditation was conducted by Swamiji Yogananda who was in ecstasy for seven hours without intermission. Those who joined this meditation felt the seven hours pass like seven minutes of unending joy.

Christmas Day was a never-to-be forgotten celebration. A cross-like table was arranged with beautiful Yuletide decorations by S. E. Marckwardt and M. Broomell. The wonderful food was prepared by Mrs. Potter and the Swami himself. Swami Yogananda played the part of Santa Claus and distributed gifts from India to all present. The evening passed in an ecstasy of true Christ Celebration.

Yogoda Dream Hermitage

On the 27th of December the house-car of Self-Realization Fellowship and other automobiles laden with delegates and students arrived at Encinitas for the dedication of the new Yogoda Dream Hermitage.

This Hermitage is like a dream dropped from Heaven. It is exquisite within and without. The grounds are laid out under the direction of a noted landscape gardener, so beautifully that one gasps at the first sight of so much loveliness. The Hermitage is a combination of the highest devices of utility offered by modern science and the finest beauty of sky, mountain, ocean, trees and caves offered by Nature. It is truly one of the garden spots of the earth. Swamiji has considered Mr. Washington Self-Realization Headquarters as one of the most beautiful places on earth, and now Encinitas Hermitage, newly built for Self-Realization Fellowship and given to Swami Yogananda as a Christmas surprise, has astounded Swamiji, who exclaimed, "After my world tour and visiting Switzerland and Kashmere and all beautiful places in the world, I can safely say that this Yogoda Dream Hermitage resting on a cliff overlooking the ocean is the most perfect, most beautiful place I have ever seen in the world."

Predicted by Swamiji

The coming of this hermitage was predicted by Swami Yogananda several years ago to Dr. R. Ostoja and others. He is happy beyond dreams to see his vision of this place materialized. The building itself has all the latest modern conveniences, and is nestled amidst solitude, scenic beauty, and climatic super-excellence. We are told that Encinitas, California, has been pronounced by the United States Government Weather Bureau as the healthiest place in America.

The hermitage consists of a temple hall, bed rooms with ultra-modern bath rooms, several living rooms, a large dining room overlooking the ocean and a verandah on each wing of the building. There are hidden meditation caves built on the lap of the cliff and immediately overlooking the sea. The house itself has fine oak floors, beautiful carpets and rich, durable furniture. The temple hall is very large and beautiful with a great fire-place, over the mantle of which rests a most remarkable picture of Lahiri Mahasaya, done by Sananda, and pictures of Christ, Sri Yukteswarji and Swami Yoganandaji. Many beautiful and interesting vases brought recently from Tibet, and costly tapestries from India, decorate this temple hall.

The kitchen is large, equipped with all modern conveniences—an electric dish-washing machine, a garbage disposing machine, a large refrigerator and another vegetable and fruit electric cooler.

Away from the main building is the three-car garage with a lovely four-room apartment overhead. A tennis court is being laid out and there will soon be a very fine orchard with many Oriental tress, mango, cherimoya (ata), avocado, and orange trees. A swimming pool between two rocky enclosures by the private beach is being planned.

The eminent Los Angeles architect, Mr. Charles Frye, with his able assistants, Mr. T. F. Trulsen, superintendent, and Mr. Wilson, landscape gardener, cooperated with Sister Durga’s efficient plans in creating the Yogoda Dream Hermitage, which was built during Swamiji’s absence in India. Both Sister Durga and Mr. Frye have received the blessings of Swamiji for their untiring zeal in intuitively working out all the ideas of himself and of St. Lynn about a Dream Hermitage and Yogoda retreat at Encinitas.

First Temple of All Religions in America

A temple of meditation for all religions, reflected in a quiet pool on the hill, is being erected at the present time and will be finished within a few months. Here Shama Charan Lahiri Mahasaya’s statue in alabaster marble, and pictures of Christ and Sri Yukteswarji and Swami Yogananda will decorate the altar. This temple will have a roof overlooking the ocean, where one may go to meditate, and a large four-storied glass tower equipped with a telescope, where one may retire for deep mediation on the united altar of the blue ocean, sky and earth.

Here advanced Yogoda students will come from all over the earth for higher meditation and communion. Here in this palatial gift hermitage with private sea beach, Swami Yogananda has retired for meditation and writing.

This hermitage has been presented, free of all debt, to Self-Realization Fellowship. It is the first and most beautiful temple of all religions started in America.

Swamiji Renounced Everything

Before he went to India in 1935, Swami Yogananda made over all his personal property and cars, also the income from the sale of his widely-read books and magazine and from his Yogoda classes, to the Self-Realization Fellowship. He receives no salary from the organization, nor has he any private bank accounts. Several of his very devoted disciples look after his personal needs so that, without difficulty or obligation, he is free to spread his message to the world. Swami Yogananda himself comes from a well-to-do family in India. He renounced an important executive position in B. N. Railway, which he was once offered before he became a Swami. He has also renounced his rights to the family property. The Ranchi Headquarters property, which was also given to him, he has renounced and given to Self-Realization Fellowship (Yogoda Sat-Sanga Society, Inc.) of India.

His Prophetic Vision

Swami Yogananda organized the Brahmacharya Vidyalaya in 1917 in India with its quarters in the Kasimbazar Palace, Ranchi. In 1920 Swami Yogananda saw a vision in the storeroom of the Ranchi Vidyalaya, that he was being called to distant lands. He said, "The Lord is calling me to America where thousands of American men, women and children are thirstily waiting for light!" Many around him wondered. But he left the Ranchi School a few hours after that vision. Brahmachari Jotin, now leader of the Washington Self-Realization Center, was one of the students at Ranchi Vidyalaya at the time Swamiji left for America, and he tells us of his hearing then of Swamiji’s prophetic vision and of the bewilderment felt by the boys when they heard of Swamiji’s vision and his abrupt departure for America, where the purpose of the vision has been since remarkably fulfilled.

The Master’s Call

In 1935, after fifteen years’ of spreading India’s message in America, Swamiji was recalled to India by a vision of his Master. He left this country amid obstacles that he predicted would be removed through God. He had very little money when he made his plans to start for India. But he was presented with a car to be used on his trip. Two secretaries, Ettie Bletsch and myself, accompanied him. He traveled all over Great Britain, and lectured to an overflowing audience in Caxton Hall, London. His tour took him to Scotland, where he was a guest of Sir Harry Lauder. He visited Theresa Neumann, the great soul of Konnersreuth, Germany, who has not eaten for many years and who bears the stigmata of Christ upon her hands, feet, head and breast. He then went on to France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Jerusalem and Egypt, all by auto.

Arrival in Calcutta—Welcomed by Mayor

From Port Said he sailed for Bombay, arriving there amidst great rejoicing and received by a committee of many prominent people. Upon his arrival at Howrah Station, Calcutta, he was received by hundreds who milled about the station platform. He was garlanded, in the India fashion, by the Maharajah of Kasimbazar (son of the last Maharajah who was co-founder of the Ranchi school). Amidst the sound of conch-shells and drums, the Swami and his party were driven to the home of his earthly father, where a great reception, organized by his brother Bishnu and devotees of the Calcutta Yogoda Students’ home, was tendered him. Such a meeting, everyone weeping for joy at the homecoming of the beloved son and teacher, is rarely witnessed. He was returning after sixteen years in America, when they had given him up as practically lost to them.

Swami Yoganandaji spoke in Albert Hall, his great Master present by his side. Deafening applause resounded during and after his speech. The meeting was presided over by the Maharajah of Santosh, and attended by many notables, including the Mayor of Calcutta who, on behalf of the citizens of that great city, received and welcomed the Swami back to his homeland.

Lecture at Calcutta University

Swamiji was a speaker at the Indian Philosophical Congress under auspices of the Calcutta University, his own alma mater, where he received his A. B. degree.

Swami Yogananda and his brother Bishnu and nephew Bijou and Mr. Buddha Bose gave wonderful demonstrations of Yogoda feats and physical culture feats in a reception given to Swami Yogananda and European officials and Eastern potentates. Many princes and maharanees attended.

Ranchi School Made Permanent

Swamiji was overjoyed to see again his "first child," the Brahmacharya Vidyalaya at Ranchi. But due to the recent death to the late Maharajah of Kasimbazar, patron of the school, it was in a very precarious state, kept alive by the loyal efforts of Swami Yoganandaji’s beloved disciple, Swami Satyananda, and a few selfless workers and teaches. With the help of St. Lynn and many other students of America and India, Swami Yoganandaji was able to permanently establish the Eastern Headquarters of Self-Realization Fellowship (Yogoda Sat-Sanga) at Ranchi. This town, which is 200 miles from Calcutta, is one of the healthiest places in India. The property consists of 25 acres of the finest orchard land in India, with 300 mango and countless other fruit trees.

Guest Quarters for Americans

Free guest-quarters for American Yogoda students and travelers have been provided for by Swamiji. Anyone traveling to India may avail himself of this opportunity by writing to the Los Angeles Headquarters for a letter of introduction to the Ranchi headquarters.

The first American Yogoda students to visit Ranchi were Mr. and Mrs. F. F. Downs, Cincinnati students, who spoke of the Ranchi Headquarters as "the eighth wonder of the world." Mrs. Downs’ letter, published in Inner Culture, described Ranchi thus:

"The days we spent there are among the happiest of my life. The atmosphere of peace, harmony, brotherly love which prevailed was remarkable. The dear little boys would quietly come to my room each day with flowers, or a fruit . . . I just fell in love with these dear boys, the best-mannered youngsters I have ever seen in my life . . . Many of the friends from the village came to call and all expressed their deep devotion for Swamiji Yogananda.

"The work this school is doing to build mentally, spiritually and physically is remarkable and I only wish we had hundreds of such schools for our youth in the United States . . . The property is most picturesque, with the fruit orchards, playgrounds, and gardens will laid out. They were all happy that a new dormitory for the boys will be built soon . . . I have a vision of the development of this school. Hope some day such a school may be at Mt. Washington Center also."

A Modern Dairy

The Ranchi Headquarters, now endowed, has a modern dairy, and dormitory for students. The hermitage is being extensively reorganized and modernized. A lessons department, in the charge of Brahmachari Santananda, for sending out each fortnight the unique Praecepta teachings, has been organized to inspire the spiritually-thirsty intelligentsia of India. Beautiful mimeographing work is being done on the Praecepta at Ranchi.

Great progress in every way is being shown under the able leadership of the Ranchi directors, who are Prabhas Chandra Ghose, vice-president and acting president in Swami Yogananda’s absence. Swami Satyananda, secretary, Bishnu Charan Ghosh, Prokas Chandra Das, Sananda lal Ghosh, Ananda Mohun Lahiri, Prokash Chandra Ghosh, Ramkishore Babu, all directors.

Fine Gymnasium

The Brahmacharya Vidyalaya offers high school education with Yogoda training to boys. The students have a vegetarian diet with an abundance of good, fresh milk from their own dairy. A very fine gymnasium has been organized by Bishnu Charan, renowned pioneer physical culturist of India and brother of Swami Yoganandaji. This gymnasium, in the charge of Kristo Kali, a wonderful soul and disciple of Bishnu Charan and Swami Yogananda, is doing very fine work for the building of strong, healthy athletes in the school as well as for outsiders, to whom the gymnasium is open. The high school at Ranchi receives both residential students and day scholars.

High School and Hermitage

This Yogoda Sat-Sanga (Eastern Headquarters) is divided into two departments:

1. Yogoda Sat-Sanga Ashram (Hermitage) with Praecepta department. Yoga training classes held by Swami Satyananda (principal of the Brahmacharya Vidyalaya and disciple of Swami Yogananda) and classes for training workers and teacher who will spread the technique of Self-Realization, as taught by Lahiri Mahasaya and made adaptable by Swami Yogananda under the name of Yogoda teachings, all over the world. The Eastern Headquarters has been renamed recently to operate under the name of "Lahiri Mahasaya Shama Charan Mission."

2. The Brahmacharya Vidyalaya and students, who are given high school education combined with Yogoda training and self-discipline. Every year many students pass the matriculation examination, and go to the colleges in Calcutta, staying at the Yogoda Students’ Home in that city.

Mission Work and Christian Missionaries

Attached to the Shama Charan Mission and the Self-Realization Headquarters is a Yogoda Oraon Munda Boys’ School and a wonderful Yogoda Girls’ School for the upliftment of village aboriginal tribes. The Christian missionaries at Ranchi have been doing some fine work in educating them and giving them industrial education and lessons in hygiene and cleanliness. So also Shama Mission plans to do good in its own way to some of the countless aboriginal tribes.

Yogoda Girls’ School

A Yogoda Girls’ School has been opened at Calcutta under the efficient management of Prokash Chandra Das, Tulsi Narayan Bose and Sister Radha Rani.

New Temple Planned for Yogoda Students’ Home

The Yogoda Students’ Home at Calcutta, headed by the noble, self-sacrificing souls, Sailesh Chandra Mazumdar, Sailendra Bijoy Das Gupta (Khitish) and Swami Sebananda (Sudhir), is doing admirable work in training teachers and continuing the studies of the Ranchi ex-students at Calcutta. Training college students in Yogoda teachings is systematically and thoroughly carried on here. They have Saturday night meetings. Swami Yoganandaji dearly loves the alumni of Ranchi and their Students’ Home, and is planning a permanent home and temple to be specially built for them.

Noni (Bami) personally looked after Swami Yogananda during his stay in India. A very good publicity manager of the Yogoda Cause and a selfless worker, he is a brother of Swami Satyananda. He organized the Yogoda senior soccer team which won in the finals at Ranchi, India.

Centers All Over Bengal, India

There are Yogoda Sat-Sanga Centers in Serampore and Chatra, headed by the most spiritual Moti Babu, a great disciple of Swami Sri Yukteswarji. Moti Babu has honey-combed Bengal with a number of Yogoda Sat-Sanga Centers. Sri Yukteswarji also started Ashrams and Yogoda Sat-Sanga Societies all over Bengal and India, in Khukurdaha, Jhinkra, etc. Swami Yogananda was received with great pomp and a half mile of procession, at Jhinkra. He talked to thousands and initiated hundreds of men and women into Kriya—Lahiri Mahasaya’s technique of Self-Realization.

Christlike Disciples Spread Work

The teachings of Lahiri Mahasaya have been spread by his Christ-like disciples Swami Sri Yuktewwarji, Swami Pranabananda, Swami Keshabananda, Sri Panchanon Bhattacharya, Sri Kumar Nath Bhattacharya, Sreemat Bhupen Sanyal Mahasaya, Swami Kebalananda (Shastri Mahasaya), Sri Ram Gopal Babu, Panchcori Lahiri, Ducori Lahiri, Bindya Bhakat and Bhagavati Charan (Swami Yogananda’s earthly father) and many others.

The Puri Ashram

The Puri Karar Ashram where the body of Swami Sri Yukteswarji is interred is fast becoming an inspiring shrine and a useful school. It is situated on valuable property at Swargadwar, Puri. A temple will be built there in time, to commemorate the place which contains the body of Swami Sri Yukteswarji.

Swami in Mysore

Other Yogoda Sat-Sanga Centers have been established in Bangalore, Bombay and many other places. In Bangalore and Mysore Swami Yogananda was the guest of H. H. the Yuvaraj of Mysore. Thousands listened to the Swami at Bangalore and Mysore. Hundreds joined his classes. Swami Yogananda talked to three thousand people in the biggest Puttanam Chetty Auditorium at Bangalore, and spoke in the Mysore University and Medical Clinic, where he gave remarkable divine healing demonstrations. He had audience with the good Maharajah of Mysore.

Maharishi and Paul Brunton

While in South India, Swamiji visited the Maharishi of Arunachala and met his famous disciple, Paul Brunton, who has written several books much praised by Swamiji, including "A Search in Secret India". Swamiji was pleased to note the wonderful spiritual development and open-mindedness which Paul Brunton has attained under the guidance of the great Maharishi and his very advanced disciple, Yogi Ramiah.

When the time came to leave India again, Swamiji set sail for London, where he had promised many that he would return to give Yogoda teachings.

Swamiji’s London Classes

Swamiji had the largest classes in London ever given by an Oriental teacher

and received the cooperation of Kedar Nath Das Gupta, beloved leader of the World Fellowship of Faiths in London, and of Rev. Dr. Arthur Porter, Unitarian minister. All the proceeds from the Yogoda classes in India and London were donated by Swamiji to the Yogoda cause. His success in London, where he was continually interviewed and photographed by newspaper and news-reel representatives, received the following comment from a columnist in the London Star, September 24, 1936:

The "London Star"

"I managed to squeeze into Caxton Hall before the overflow invaded the Press table. The occasion was an address on God by Swami Yogananda, Yoga master. Hall, floor and balconies were crammed. For an hour-and-a-quarter attention was held by a remarkable piece of reverent entertainment. I have heard few equals of the Swami as an orator. There was not a syllable of rant or unintelligible metaphysics. His character-acting of a socially distracted lady trying to practice meditation as the Swami ordered would have brought down any house. At the end of 75 minutes, the Swami, apparently not the least fatigued, left to address the over-flow meetings. Next Tuesday the Swami will speak at Whitefields Institute in support of the World Fellowship of Faiths. The president of the British National Council is our old friend, Mr. George Lansbury. The world president is the Maharaja Gaekwar of Baroda."

Yogoda World-City Planned

Swami Yogananda, through the inspiration of God and the Masters, is planning to create a model Yogoda World-City in Bengal, India, where he wants to combine really necessary industries and scientific training of Yoga. Here people of all races schooled in Yoga will be admitted. This city will be guided by the highest spiritual principles and the laws of universal brotherhood.

In this World-City special big diaries, fruit orchards and agricultural developments, along with carpentry and weaving, will be carried on. Both married and unmarried harmonious, intelligent, laborious, cooperating people will be received. Each citizen in this Yogoda World-City will be expected to live as a perfect citizen of the coming United States of the world, with God and Truth as the guiding President-King.

The cooperation of able-bodied young men and women, Rajas and Maharajahs, and of unselfish, philanthropic people of the world is invited. They may give their suggestions or physical or financial or whatever kind of help they can offer, to make this Yogoda World-City a success. All letters and applications to cooperate with this proposed World-City must be addressed to P. C. Ghose, Vice-President, Yogoda Sat-Sanga Society, (Self-Realization Fellowship) Ranchi, (B. N. Ry.), India.

The idea in creating the proposed Yogoda World-City is to offer to the war-torn, industrially-selfish, politically hide-bound nations of the earth a glimpse of a perfect divine city, which can be an inspiring model pattern after which all nations of the earth would like to build their cities.

Swami Yogananda, with the help of a few exalted souls, is going to make a supreme effort to do something practical in establishing such a city. It has hitherto remained only an imaginary idea with most people. He is not looking for absolute success or failure in the creation of a perfect World-City. He would be satisfied in making a supreme effort to create one such, as near-perfect as possible, avoiding the mistakes of all one-sided nations and taking in the best methods of all of them.

Swami Yogananda believes that the greatest enemy of man is ignorance and selfishness—not wars nor variety of religions nor customs nor races nor colors nor creeds. If ignorance and selfishness were driven from the hearts of men and they were taught to cooperate for mutual good, regarding themselves as brothers born of the one Father God, then that would pave the way for a World Nation.

The Yogoda World-City—its Aims

1. To follow the religion of actually knowing and therefore loving God.

2. To speak one universal language besides one’s own native language.

3. To follow the best universal laws of hygiene and diet. Creation of health and meditation centers all over India and the world, to allay the physical and spiritual suffering accruing from wrong diet, wrong living through individual, social and political selfishness.

4. To use industry for mutual benefit and not selfish ends.

5. To consider God as the Ultimate Harmonizer of all our difficulties, paradoxes and unintelligible problems of life. To recognize those of all races and colors as children of the one God. To teach the good and evil of patriotism. To introduce the study of international brotherhood in the schools of the world to save children from world-hatred which leads to world-wars.

6. To give self-supporting, soul-uplifting, ever-new joy-producing education.

7. To make everybody an athlete—a Sandow in body, mind and soul.

8. To teach one religion of Self-Realization. Federation of all temples, churches and creeds of the world.

9. To advance moral consciousness and spiritual utilitarianism.

10. To establish a temple of all religions in the four quarters of the globe. Three already established in Los Angeles, and Encinitas in California, and at Ranchi in India.

11. To teach universal brotherhood—celebration of good-will congress for all nations—teaching to love all nations and to correct them by love and example and not by hatred or wars or evil politics.

12. To adopt universal standard customs governing body, mind and soul, taken from all nations, which would perfect body, mind and soul, and make each man an ideal world-citizen.

If this model City is fairly successful then similar ones can be established in the principal cities of the world.


Whence came

The black-eyed light

Flickering in my life a moment?

Whither did it flit away?

The twilight of many incarnations

Has burned in those eyes;

Many lights of love dreams

Have met in the bower

Of yonder eyes.

Today, the Godless altar

The lifeless eyes

Just remain before me.

Thou Secret Queen

From what unknown region,

Did’st Thou in silence come

To bewitch the fortress of those eyes?

The bitter speech

And sadness-driven

Boat of my life

Many a time

Found safety

In the harbor of those two eyes.

Now that cruel death-quake

Forever has marred

The dream-harboring eyes.

Losing the harbor of those eyes

In search

I sailed my boat

In the sea of the sky.

Threefold sorrow storm-driven

Life boat of mine

Has become motherless.

That is why in the unknown region

In the sea of the sky

My mind’s boat sails on


Seeking those two lost eyes.

In the star-eyed lights

All starry eyes

Twinkled black eyes

But they were not those

Which I lost.

Merely affection-saturated

Many black eyes

Called,—invited to nurse

My motherless sorrow

And this orphan life of mine.

But none matched

The love-call glance

Of those lost two dark eyes.

The love of those two black eyes

Forever set

From the region

Of all black eyes

Which I beheld.

Searching those two eyes

In birth and death,

In life and dreams

And in all the lands of the unknown,

At last I found

The all-pervading


Countless black eyes.

In space and heart,

In earth-cores, in stars,

Within and without,

Hungrily staring at me

From everywhere.

Seeking and seeking my dead mother

I found the Deathless Mother.

The lost love of the Earthly mother

I found in my Cosmic Mother.

Seeking and searching

In her countless black eyes

I found those lost two black eyes.

I asked Mother Divine,—

"With ruthless heart,

Why did’st Thou tear away

My love-dazzling mother

From the ring of my heart?"

The Cloud Voice

Of Mother Divine spoke,

Bursting in my firmament within,

"Many times have I fed thee

The blood of my milk

From the breast of many mothers.

Your black-eyed mother

Whom you lost awhile

Was none else but me, only me.

But when I saw

Thy wisdom and cosmic love

Lost their way

In the dark jungle of those two eyes,

Then I set fire

To the alluring darkness

Of those two black eyes.

I stole those

Imprisoning two black eyes

That thou mightest be free

To find those eyes two

In all the eyes

Of all the black-eyed mothers

And that thou mightest behold

In all black eyes,

The shadows only

Of My Eyes.

I broke the dream-made,

Little finite,

Thy Mother-form of mine,

That thou mightest behold me

Thy Divine Mother

In every form of a soulful woman

And in my Infinite Cosmic Form."

Yogavatar Shama Lahiri Mahasaya’s

Ladder of Self-Realization for Salvation for All


GOOD or bad, Children of God are potentially the perfect Image of God. They are all equal in His eyes. God loves His good or bad children in the same way, because they are made in His image.

Good children of God don’t resist Him, whereas the wicked ones do not let Him work through them. Good children are those who have overcome the impulse of cosmic delusion, have forsaken their wandering in the land of entangling little desires, and have come back to the home of wisdom.

Wicked children are those who are running farther and farther away from God. But when the wicked children try to retrace their steps back to the mansion of God’s liberty, then they can be classified according to their distance from the divine goal.

What Is a Divine "Incarnation"?

Incarnations of God are not souls who are dropped as perfect beings from heaven, imported into the world by God, but are those beings who by effort and meditation have removed all ignorance, knowing themselves in the earthly incarnation as perfect external manifestations of the potentially perfect images of God. One who truly knows God becomes God Himself.

The sunlight equally shines on the charcoal and diamond lying side by side under the open sky during a clear day. In spite of the impartiality of the sun, the diamond, by its own transparency, reflects the light of the sun more than the charcoal. Thus, in spite of God’s impartiality, wise men reflect His light more than the ignorant.

Prophets use their heaven-given independence to tune their free will with God’s wisdom-guided will. Ignorant people use their free will to allow themselves to be controlled and misguided by their whims, moods, prenatal habit and instincts.

Therefore, different home-returning God’s devotees are judged according to the qualitative and quantitative good they do to themselves and the world.

Qualitative and Quantitative Good

Qualitative good consists in creating Christlike qualities in self and others.

Quantitative good lies in converting the thoughts of self and others to think only of moral principles minus God or with imaginary ideas about Him. Great reformers may be well-read moralists, swaying thousands by the personality of their beliefs, but without any knowledge of God. These I call performers of simple quantitative good actions.

Only men of realization who have constant God-contact within themselves and who have actually helped others to possess Christ-perception are spoken of as having performed highest qualitative good actions for self and others.

What could be qualitatively greater than to find God and show others the way to find Him? Christ, Chrishna, my Supreme Masters Babaji and Lahiri Mahasaya, have done qualitative good for themselves and others. They had Christ-contact and they made many actual Christs. Jesus made eleven Christs whose teachings, descending through other disciples, gradually lost their practical force and remained only as an influence to guide the masses to follow simple quantitative theological goodness.

Christlike Souls

Yogavatar Lahiri Mahasaya created the following Christlike souls, some of them really possessing the highest Christ-Consciousness.

1. My Master Swami Sri Yukteswarji, the greatest disciple with Christlike miraculous powers.


  1. Bindya Bhakat of Benares, a Christ-like soul.
  1. Swami Pranabananda, who could materialize or dematerialize his body, a feat actually witnessed by myself.



  3. Ram Gopal Babu of Ranbajpur, a great yogi who meditated forty years in a cave, for eighteen hours a day.

5. Bhupen Sanyal, a great teacher who is reviving the unique spiritual interpretation of the Scriptures as first taught by Lahiri Mahasaya.






  1. Swami Kebalananda Shastri Mahasaya, a Yogi of rare quality.





7. Swami Keshabananda, a man of great renunciation.




8. Sri Bhagavati Charan, my earthly father, very high in morality and Self-Realization.



9. Abinash Babu, a great devotee.

Meaning of "Yogavatar"

Lahiri is the family title of Brahmins to which Yogavatar Shama Charan Lahiri Mahasaya belonged. Mahasaya signifies "high soul". Yogavatar means "the awakened incarnation of God", (Avatar) one who came to earth to demonstrate the technique which would enable students to accomplish the scientific union (Yoga) of soul and Spirit by their own effort. In a later article I shall explain the meaning of Avatar more elaborately.

I give Lahiri the title of Yogavatar because in him and through him the highest form of Yoga or step-by-step scientific union with God has been handed down to the world. God can be known through inner wisdom, not book-learning, and through royal Yogic union of soul and spirit by different methods of consciously-pursued meditation, not blind meditation. It is by God-manifesting karma (action) and not by following any moral (but God-obliterating) action, that Spirit is revealed. By inner soul-touching devotion and not by holy-rolling, muscle-contorting, insincere devotion, or blind devotion, one can know God.

Lahiri thus deserves the title Yoga-vatar, one of the greatest incarnations of God which descended in flesh. From flesh he ascended to complete realization of Spirit by step-by-step methods of realization. All human beings are His children, in whom God is potentially present in His fullness. That is why Lahiri Mahasaya pointed the actual way by which each deluded man could bring out his potential Godhood into distinct consciousness, and reclaim his hidden Godhood, becoming one with Him.

God-Known Souls

When you go to a big well-packed church, try to find out if one or two of the souls know God. I prefer a single God-known soul to a crowd of God-unknown souls in a church. It is good to love God-known crowds of souls.

To create a big church in a town and fill it with creed-led and dogma-fed men and women does some good, no doubt, but such good cannot be compared with the good exercised by a single developed soul sitting under a tree, with Christhood beaming through his countenance.

Why should the orthodox religious leaders take the money of people to build big churches without being able often to fill those churches or to give the members God-contact?

The church is a symbol of God-contact. Any minister who wants to make Churchianity-Christians and not Christ-like-Christians of himself or others is deluded.

In contradistinction to most prophets, Lahiri Mahasaya did not try to inspire people with improved doctrines. He showed them the step-by-step methods of Self-Realization, by which truth-thirsty people could redeem themselves by properly living them in life and bring out the ignorance-shrouded image of God into distinct human consciousness.

Hastening Evolution

Sunlight and food change the human body, brain and mind every seven years (there is a twelve-year cycle also), provided there is no physical sickness. It takes one million solar years to evolve the healthy human body, brain and mind so that they are able to manifest Cosmic Consciousness.

Since the human body cannot last so long, Lahiri Mahasaya devised the Kriya technique which so changes the brain-cells, spine and body that they can express Cosmic Consciousness in three, six or twelve years (in determined, advanced students) and in twenty-four to forty-eight years (in ordinary students).

Christ gave techniques of salvation to St. John and the disciples, promising to send to them the comforter, about which people understand little.

Lahiri Mahasaya’s teaching is the Second Coming of Christ, not through a mere claim, but in actuality. His Kriya technique of meditation expands the cup of concentration so that it can be large enough to hold the ocean of Christ-consciousness, (consciousness that was present in the life of Jesus). Lahiri Mahasaya’s technique can reveal to each soul that God belongs to him by divine birthright and has not to be evolutionarily attained. But actual step-by-step meditation is necessary in order to destroy self-created delusion. The prodigal son walked away from God. Each of his retracing footsteps back to God consists of a mental technique which actually enables him to return.

Praying Unceasingly

Jesus Christ spoke of praying unceasingly or with ever-increasing concentration until God was realized. Do most of the modern Christians try to meditate as Jesus commanded? Most of them pray for a little while, with an automobile ride or a chicken dinner remaining in the background of their minds.

Christ spoke of Holy Ghost or the Great Sacred Ghostlike Invisible Intelligent Cosmic Vibration which is responsible for the creation of all solid, liquid, gaseous and energy substances.

In the beginning of the creation of finite things like solids, liquids, gases and energy substances was the Word (the combination of Cosmic Vibration and Cosmic Intelligence) and God is the Word or Intelligent Cosmic Vibration. Science agrees with this fact, that Intelligent Cosmic Vibration differentiates itself into an ordered creation of solids, liquids, gases, etc.

This Cosmic Vibration manifests as Cosmic Light, Cosmic Sound and Cosmic Ever-New Joy of which St. John speaks: "I was in the Spirit (God-contact) and heard (realized thru intuition) behind me the voice as of a great trumpet (Cosmic Sound)".

"The Comforter"

Lahiri Mahasaya’s Kriya technique is the fulfillment of Jesus Christ’s promise to send the Comforter. Through Kriya the devotee can expand his consciousness from the body to infinity, without losing consciousness, by tuning in with the actual Cosmic Sound or the Holy Ghost sound emanating form the vibration of all atoms and electrons. When the devotee tunes himself with this sound, he finds the greatest all-sorrow-quenching Comfort and perceives his Spirit present not only in his little body but in all vibrating space.

Patanjali speaks of listening to this Cosmic Om. Science knows that there is a Cosmic Hum emanating from all atoms. St. John says, "I heard behind me . . . a great trumpet." Lahiri Mahasaya speaks of tuning and expanding the soul into Cosmic Vibration. All Christians and truth-seekers need not believe forever what Lahiri Mahasaya taught, but need to believe only for the purpose of demonstrating the truth of the teachings in their own Self-Realization.

After the passing of a prophet, his inspiration usually is changed into a dogmatic creed by his blind adherents, but the followers of Lahiri Mahasaya are given step-by-step wonderful methods of meditation which work and which yield results of ever-increasing divine joy from the beginning, if practiced intensely. Therefore, Self Realization of Divine Bliss-contact of God and not beliefs holds the followers of Self-Realization Fellowship together.

Hence, Christians and all truth-seekers who have suffered long from theological indigestion ought to try Lahiri Mahasaya’s world-emancipating technique with scientific steadiness, just as they might join a university, and find for themselves that God can be contacted in this life, now.

Meditation Temples

Lahiri Mahasaya’s teaching is to more or less discard the morning service system used in churches just to entertain the church members with new ideas every Sunday when they seldom practice what they heard the previous Sunday. We desire that our Self-Realization teachers should first of all realize God in themselves and then lecture only to explain how God can be contacted. Instead of a one-day Sunday morning service, we propose to have daily meditation in temples of Self-Realization to be started all over the world.

Now we have three most beautiful hermitages of meditation in the world—(1) the headquarters on Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California,

(2) Yogoda Dream Hermitage, Encinitas, California and

(3) The Eastern Headquarters at Ranchi, India. We also have the Second Temple of Meditation in Los Angeles. The World-City of Self-Realization shortly to be started in India will combine industry with Self-Realization, plain living with high thinking. We also have the Self-Realization Students’ Home in Calcutta, the Self-Realization Ashram at Puri and the Self-Realization Centers in Bombay, Bangalore, also in various parts of Bengal, in Europe and in many principal cities of America. We are planning to start Meditation Temples all over the world.

Special Notes

"Ji" is a term of respect in India, and is always used when addressing any honored person, as "Swamiji" or "Swami Yoganandaji."

"Swami" means "Master," one who practices mastery over himself, and receives his title of "Swami" from another Swami who in turn traces his title back to the great Sankaracharya, reorganizer of the very ancient Swami Order in India.

"Brahmachari" is the title given to unmarried boys and young men who follow a definite spiritual training.

"Sri" is a title of respect, somewhat similar to the Western "Sir" or "Mister."

The initials S. R. F. mean Self-Realization Fellowship, and Y. S. S. mean Yogoda Sat-Sanga.

Go to Part II

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