This talk by Paramahansa Yogananda was recorded at the Self-Realization Fellowship International Headquarters during an informal gathering on the occasion of his birthday — January 5, 1949. At this point in his life, the Guru’s outward mission to the world had been largely completed, and he had begun to withdraw more and more from public life. Freed from many organizational activities, he was able to remain for long periods completely immersed in the highest states of samadhi, or union with God. His talk preserved in this recording expresses the inspiration of that exalted state. Like a brilliant, multifaceted jewel, his consciousness reflects at different times throughout the talk the sweet love of God, His pure wisdom, the dynamic force of His infinite power.
Paramahansaji’s words on this occasion were characterized by a touching informality. Ever appreciative of the smallest acts of kindness, he begins by thanking the disciples for their loving remembrances of his birthday, reminding them of the divine Source of all friendship and all love. With illustrations from the Indian scriptures, humorous and instructive incidents from his own life, and the deep insights flowing from his direct perception of Truth, he goes on to show with vivid clarity that there is one great theme in this stupendous drama of creation, and a single purpose behind all that happens to us: to coax us to look beyond the illusions of this transitory life and discover the glory and the love of God.
Running Time: 33:07 minutes
Paramahansa Yogananda (1893–1952) is widely regarded as one of the preeminent spiritual figures of our time. Born in northern India, he came to the United States in 1920, where for more than thirty years he taught India’s ancient philosophy and science of yoga meditation and the art of balanced spiritual living. The first great master of Yoga to live and teach in the West for an extended period of time, he traveled and lectured extensively throughout North America and abroad, speaking to capacity audiences in major cities and revealing the underlying unity of the world’s great religions. He has inspired millions through his acclaimed life story, Autobiography of a Yogi, his groundbreaking commentaries on the scriptures of East and West, and his numerous other books. Paramahansa Yogananda’s spiritual and humanitarian work continues to be carried on today by Self-Realization Fellowship, the international society he founded in 1920 to disseminate his teachings worldwide.