Paramahamsa Yogānanda


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An influential guru, particularly in the West, where his Autobiography of a Yogi (1st ed. 1946) proved exceptionally popular. Born Mukunda Lal Ghosh in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, he became the disciple of Sri Yukteswar Giri (1855–1936), whose own guru, Lahiri Mahasaya (1828–1895), had taught Yogānanda's parents. Through this paramparā, Yogānanda was initiated into kriyā-yoga, an allegedly ancient tradition revived in the 19th century by Lahiri Mahasaya's teacher, a mysterious guru called Mahāvatar Babaji. Graduating from Calcutta University in 1915, Yogānanda became a saṃnyāsin. He founded the Yogoda Satsanga Society of India in Dakshineshwar near Kolkata (Calcutta) in 1917. Travelling to the USA in 1920, he began to teach kriyā yoga in the West, culminating in the establishment in California, in 1925, of the Self-Realization Fellowship. He continued to travel and give lectures, and, in his final years, to write and revise his Autobiography of a Yogi. He died in the USA in 1952; the Fellowship continues to propagate his teachings.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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