PARAMAHAMSA YOGANANDA Biography - Religious Figures & Icons


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Paramahamsa Yogananda, a practitioner of Kriya Yoga, was born in Gorakhpur in 1893. His journey to spirituality is recorded in his classic work Autobiography of a Yogi’. It was in 1910, at the age of 17, that he met and became a disciple of the revered Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri. In the hermitage of this great master of Yoga, he spent the better part of the next ten years receiving Sri Yukteswar’s strict but loving spiritual discipline.


Yogananda founded a school in Ranchi, Bihar, based on yogic principles. He then went to live in America for many years. There he delivered speeches and penned books on yoga. He also founded an organisation named ‘The Self-Realisation Fellowship’ with the aim of spreading and teaching the art of kriya yoga to westerners. He wrote a number of books while staying in Europe and the United States. His spiritual experiences fit into two general categories: the yogic type which focusses on the experience of ‘cosmic consciousness’ and altered perception, and the devotional type, which focusses on the worship of deities. He died in 1952.