Paramhansa Yogananda: The Universal Guru

Paramhansa Yogananda’s disciples include people of all religions ― Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews and so on. His beautiful chants and music that goes with them are an intrinsic part of Yogananda’s teachings and show how universal and all-inclusive his philosophy is, says OSWALD PEREIRA on his birth anniversary

The birthday of Paramhansa Yogananda, one of the greatest yogis the world has ever seen, is celebrated on January 5. But ever since Yoganandaji touched my life some years ago, every day is a celebration ― a celebration of the spirit of freedom, universality and inclusivity that this wise guru teaches us all.

Yogananda’s creed is simply freedom ― to reach God by the path that you choose, not dictated by any religion, dogma or rules laid down by a guru or institution. He looked at himself as a mere channel to God, without the slightest ego. I killed Yogananda long ago,” he would often say. “No one dwells in this temple now but God.” 

God is not found in a temple, a church or a mosque. God is within each one of us. Places of worship are fine for people to congregate and celebrate togetherness, but to seek God one has to look outside the four walls of these institutions.