Ananda Sangha Celebrates Paramhansa Yogananda’s “Maiden Speech” in the West

This year, Ananda Sangha honors the 100th anniversary of Paramhansa Yogananda’s arrival in Boston on September 19 in 1920. This day marked the beginning of a new wave of spiritual consciousness throughout the world. Yogananda’s mission was one of world peace and brotherhood, and Self-realization through the practice of transformative meditation techniques such as Kriya Yoga.

Paramhansa Yogananda

Leaving India in August, 1920, on The City of Sparta, the first passenger boat sailing for America after the close of World War I, Yogananda arrived in Boston on September 19. On the 6th of October, he addressed the Congress with his maiden speech in America “The Science of Religion”, highly commended and well-received in the West.

Autobiography of a YOGI

“You are the one I have chosen to spread the message of Kriya Yoga in the West…Kriya Yoga, the scientific technique of God-realization will ultimately spread in all lands, and aid in harmonizing the nations through man’s personal, transcendental perception of the Infinite Father,” these words of blessings from Mahavatar Babaji in answer to Yoganandas prayer call gave him the solace of divine permission. Further blessings from his guru Sri Yukteswar, hallowed his departure – “All those who come to you with faith, seeking God, will be helped. As you look at them, the spiritual current emanating from your eyes will enter into their brains and change their material habits, making them more God-conscious.”

In the years that followed, Yogananda travelled the length and breadth of America, revolutionizing Man’s understanding of religion. “The spine and the brain,” Yogananda said, “Are the Altars of God”. He emphasized a scientific approach and exhorted its practical application in the laboratory of one’s own consciousness. Dogmatism and belief gave way to experience and faith.

The path of yoga was not only for renunciants but for everyone! True renunciation is an inner practice. Yoga, he knew, was the medicine for the problems facing modern society, ravaged by war, depression, and greed. A divine vision illuminated his view of life and living, whether expressed through schools, communities, businesses, health, relationships, music or art.

Today, Ananda Sangha, in its 50+ years as a successful community, has offered the world successful alternative solutions to world problems, simply by living the teachings of the great Master. The alchemy of Kriya Yoga and devotion reveals to us the Divine Essence of our Being, showing us that eternal happiness is not a dream. Rather, our shallow quest, shorn of spiritual ideals, is a dream.

Ananda Sangha shares these timeless teachings in Corporates, Schools, and its yoga and meditation centers around the world. Through its social responsibility arm, it also leads one of the biggest widow welfare programs in the country under the Paramhansa Yogananda Public Charitable Trust (yoganandatrust.org)

This epochal moment is a call to celebrate the change of consciousness that began in the 20th century and continues today through his books, teachings, practices of meditation and yoga, and above all through the living testament of our lives. “Be your true self, a child of God. Seek and incorporate into your being the best qualities of all your brothers, scattered over the earth in various races.” In this vision of the Masters, lies our greatest hope for humanity.

Upcoming programs:

November 1, 2020: Informal Q & A session with Ananda Worldwide Spiritual Directors, Swamis Jyotish & Devi, on a variety of spiritual topics.

January 2021: Ananda Sangha will be hosting a mega CHANGE: HEALTH event sharing the health teachings of Yogananda. Yogananda’sdaily diet was acclaimed by a renowned institute as the nutritionally most perfect diet they had encountered.

For more information, please visit: Ananda Centers and Meditation Groups in India: www.anandaindia.org.

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