Paramhansa Yogananda’s mission was to help usher the whole world, with greater understanding and spiritual insight, into Dwapara Yuga, the new Age of Energy in which we live. “Someday,” Swami Kriyananda wrote, “I believe he will be seen as the avatar of Dwapara Yuga.”

It was a world-changing mission, and therefore his teachings needed to be revolutionary. In some cases what he taught was well known in India but created a revolution in the West. Others of his teachings were completely new to this age. Let’s look at some of both.

1. Only God exists. God is both beyond and within all manifestation. He dreams this world into existence, and every atom and star is created from His consciousness. The goal of life is to awaken from the dream and realize our unity with Him. Why revolutionary? This ancient Vedic teaching is new to the West, which views creation as wholly separate from the Creator.

2. Daily meditation, stilling the mind, is the way to see behind the dream. Meditation consists of withdrawing outwardly directed prana (subtle energy or life-force) and focusing it at the spiritual eye, concentrating on God or on one of His qualities: light, sound, joy, peace, calmness, love, wisdom, or power. Why revolutionary? When Yogananda came to America in 1920 almost no one meditated. Now millions do so daily.

3. Prana keeps us alive, keeps us healthy, makes us magnetic, and allows us to succeed. All aspects of life are improved when we learn to control it, for to control energy is to gain control also over all things material. Yogananda taught the techniques of Kriya Yoga and the Energization Exercises to help us gain this control. He often said that the true altar is not in any church, but in our central nervous system. Why revolutionary? The importance of life-force is only now entering the fringes of science and the healing arts.

7 Revolutionary Teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi

Appreciation of the importance of karma is beginning to sweep the world and change behavior.

4. Karma and reincarnation. Every thought, feeling, and action creates a wave of energy that is destined to return to us: As we give, so shall we receive. The results of our own past actions create the circumstances and events of life. The way to free ourselves from this karmic cycle is to accept life, control our reactive processes, be even-minded and cheerful, and dissolve the ego. Why revolutionary? Appreciation of the importance of karma is beginning to sweep the world and change behavior.

5. We don’t need to leave the world. Yogananda’s mission was, in part, to help us see God in every person and activity. Why revolutionary? In the past, sincere seekers avoided worldly activity and withdrew to caves or monasteries.

6. The desire to be happy and to avoid pain is the universal motivation behind every action. Over lifetimes our definition of what makes us happy evolves. At first happiness is sought in laziness and sensuality, then in ego-centered accumulation of possessions or power. Gradually this evolves into an altruistic desire to help others and, finally, the yearning for Self-realization, which alone brings the joy we have always sought. Why revolutionary? People everywhere seek things, imagining that happiness lies outside themselves.

7. Spiritual communities provide the optimal environment for the pursuit of happiness and God. Why revolutionary? The spiritual community movement is only now starting with the Ananda communities as forerunners.

Paramhansa Yogananda’s revolutionary teachings need to be applied both culturally and personally. While these seven points only scratch the surface of what he taught, each is worth a meditation or two to see how they might apply to your life.

In the light,
Nayaswami Jyotish

13 Comments

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  1. You really channeled God on this one, Jyotish. It is so well written and concise. Such an incredible reminder how great our Master is. He influenced the whole of America, and therefore Europe as well. Thank You! I will print this out and keep it.

  2. Thank you Jyotish ji. While Guruji was the chosen vehicle for the 7 revolutionary teachings, we Really shouldn’t forget that the teaching were chiefly orchestrated by Babaji & Lahiri Mahasaya. Just a thought.

  3. Dear Nayaswai Jyotish Ji,

    Happy New year 🙂

    Thank you for the article. We bow to the Master to guide us and take charge of us to lead us to the eternal light. We are grateful to have him and teachings that gives us happiness and Joy. Thank you Swamiji for passing us the great teachings.

    Aum

  4. Beautiful and inspiring, Jyotish – and, in concurrence with a couple of the others, so very clear. Thanks for being an emissary of the Light.
    Happy 2015,
    Sambhava

  5. It is SO GOOD for me to be reminded again and again of these joyful truths! Thank You, Jyotish. Your words happily reach me in our Colorado cold and snowy season!

  6. Jyotish,

    Thank you for this clear and thought-provoking article. I’m sure you’re right that this only reflects a small part of the “revolutionary” things Master taught. It would be wonderful if this article was only the first in a series with references where the full explanation of the points could be found. I know I have not been with Ananda long enough to have read all of Master’s works so I’m sure to be ignorant of many of these teachings and I’m definitely here to learn. I’m working on it, but he left so much material that a guide through it is very welcome and extremely helpful!

    Blessings and gratitude,

    Pat Wolff

  7. Thank you Jyotish for this important and insightful summary. A new view of the mountain peak! It is something Swamiji might have written. And probably did, through you.
    Happy New Year,
    Omprakash

  8. Sincerely enjoyed this e mail, thank you so much, how can i get more information on Kriya yoga???? Please help

  9. Dear Jyotish,
    Thank you so much for this clear, short and sharp=essential message in 7 substantial points.
    It is a breath of fresh air in our crazy, overloaded and confusing digital age.
    Yogananda and Swamiji would honor such truthful clarity .
    Gratefully,
    J.Klein

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