Paramhansa Yoganand

Sri Sri Paramhansa Yoganand, also known as ‘Premavatar’ was born to devout Bengali parents on 5th January, 1893, as the second son amongst eight childrcn. His parents and his Guru Jnanavatar Sri Yukteshwara Giti, were direct disciples of the eminent Sri Sri Lahiri Mahashay Benares, a divinely enlightened soul who propounded Kriya Yoga, the technique of attaining divinity through self-realisation. Trained in mediration, the Scriptures and Kriya Yoga, Paramhansa Yogananda was sent by his teacher as an emissary to spread Oriental spiritual knowledge in the West. This he achieved most successfully during his stays in the United States of America from 1920 to 1952. Thus, he penned a first- hand account of his life experiences in Autobiography of a Yogi. a of A lucid account, this autobiography traces the picaresque journey of a young Mukunda Lal Ghosh thirsting for divine knowledge. During his journey, starting with a silver amulet, divinely delivered to his mother, he meets distinguished people like Mahendra Nath Gupta, a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, and eminent scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose, culminating in his meeting his guru, Jnanavatar Sri Yukteshwara Giri in Benares. The humble disciple with his simplifed explanations of divinity and miracles, linking Indian philosophy with Christian theosophy, paid a befitting tribute to his Guru and the mission he was entrusted with. The greatness of the Yogi can be measured from the manner of his entering Mahasamadhi on 7th March, 1952, on the historic occasion of the banquet held in honour of the then Indian Ambassador. His body was kept in a Los Angeles mortuary, and even twenty days after his death, there were no signs of physical disintegration. His mausoleum in California is deeply revered and visited by people whose lives have been touched by his teachings.