Paramahansa Yogananda was born on January 5, 1893, in Gorakhpur, U.P., India. His relentless spiritual search brought him eventually to his guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar.
In July of 1915 Sri Yukteswar initiated Sri Yogananda into the ancient Swami Order. In 1920 Paramahansa Yogananda started his mission in the West and founded Self-Realization Fellowship to disseminate his teachings and Kriya Yoga meditation techniques.
In 1935 Swami Sri Yukteswar bestowed his beloved disciple Yogananda the title of Paramahansa. This spiritual title signifies a master. It may be conferred only by a true guru on a qualified disciple. Paramahansa literally means "supreme swan." In the Hindu scriptures, the hansa or swan symbolizes spiritual discrimination.
Paramahansa Yogananda's love for God and for all mankind was of a rare, unconditional, and all-embracing quality. His guru Swami Sri Yukteswar had recognized him as an incarnation of divine love — Premavatar.
On March 7, 1952, Paramahansa Yogananda entered mahasamadhi, a God-illumined master's conscious exit from the body at the time of physical death.
"To keep company with the Guru," wrote Swami Sri Yukteswar in The Holy Science, "is not only to be in his physical presence (as this is sometimes impossible), but mainly means to be one with him in principle and to attune ourselves with him."
Birthday Commemoration Service for Paramahansa Yogananda
The service includes prayers, chants, readings, meditation and the flower ceremony. Those who attend bring a flower as a symbol of devotion to Paramahansa Yogananda and a donation in an envelop as an expression of loyalty to the SRF path. Since flowers are gifts for God, please keep them in your hands or on your lap rather than on the floor. Also, please do not smell your flower because even its scent is part of your gift to God.
* Commemoration services are primarily intended for SRF students or other devotees who regularly attend SRF services. However, all are welcome who are familiar enough with SRF teachings to appreciate the significance of the Guru–disciple relationship and to participate in the service with sincerity and reverence.
The Vibration of Blessing
The vibrations of blessing during special services are much stronger than on other days in the year, because in the astral world, also, a celebration is taking place. If you participate in this ceremony with sincerity and devotion you will reap spiritual benefits and will find your high resolutions strengthened.
All-day Meditation to Honor the Birthday of Paramahansa Yogananda
Saturday, 10:00 am till 5:00 pm.
We have in SRF a tradition of celebrating the birthday of Paramahansa Yogananda with all-day meditation. Master is ever present in Spirit and on that special day, in your meditation you can definitely feel his presence. He is just behind your closed eyes, just behind your thoughts, just behind the love of your heart. For those who think him near, he is ever near.
Please do join us for that special meditation. We would like you to meditate with us until 4 pm but if you can't please come at least for the first half. Please bring a piece of fruit as a devotional offering. Traditionally a fruit you brought as devotional offering should be the first food taken to break the fast you kept during the day of meditation. You can eat your fruit in the chapel or take it home. more...»