Linden called to say he'd seen yesterday the movie "Awake" at the West End Theatre in Washington DC. It is a film of the life of Paramahansa Yogananda. When he died in 1952, Time Magazine reported that his body was fragrant with the smell of roses for 21 days without embalming.
The Beatle George Harrison kept stacks of Yogananda's book Autobiography Of A Yogi in his home to give to his guests. At Steve Jobs' funeral, guests were given the same book. It was the only book that had been on his iPad. Apple was named by the once fruitarian Jobs. Dennis Weaver, star of Gunsmoke, McCloud and many other tv series and movies, was a follower, as was actor Dick Haymes. Millions of copies of the book have been sold. Calvin Coolidge invited Yogananda to the White House, but in Florida, threatened by his olive skin, a group of 200 men threatened him with violence.
The Seventh Day Adventists had perhaps the first vegetarian health spas in the country, but Yogananda opened up the first vegetarian restaurant in the Los Angeles area. It featured mushroom burgers. He was an apostle of positive thought, of kriya yoga, of meditation, of the power of the will aligned to God.
He was a poet as well. One of his famous lines is "Kashmir is montcrowned, lake garlanded and flower shod.".
His follower Kriyananda wrote: "My master's visualizations were so powerful their condensation into matter was mere signature."
This writer has had many dreams and visions indicating I was Yogananda's follower in California in the life immediately preceding this one. In this incarnation as well, he protected my life from violence, warning in a dream that I should immediately leave a place I was staying.
J Edgar Hoover considered yoga a threat and so had an FBI squad which followed Yogananda.
Now the evergreen book is free and online at Ananda.org
Movie website: http://www.awaketheyoganandamovie.com/
Washington Post review of the film
Paramahansa Yogananda with Calvin Cooliedge
Yogananda recited the following poem at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles and immediately after went into samadhi, consciously leaving his body forever.
Not where the musk of happiness blows,
Not where darkness and fears never tread;
Not in the homes of perpetual smiles,
Nor in the heaven of a land of prosperity
Would I be born
If I must put on mortal garb once more.
Dread famine may prowl and tear my flesh,
Yet would I love to be again
In my Hindustan.
A million thieves of disease
May try to steal the body’s fleeting health;
And clouds of fate
May shower scalding drops of searing sorrow –
Yet would I there, in India,
Love to reappear!
Is this love of mine blind sentiment
That sees not the pathways of reason?
Ah, no! I love India,
For there I learned first to love God
and all things beautiful.
Some teach to seize the fickle dewdrop, life,
Sliding down the lotus leaf of time;
Stubborn hopes are built
Around the gilded, brittle body-bubble.
But India taught me to love
The soul of deathless beauty in the dewdrop
and the bubble –
Not their fragile frames.
Her sages taught me to find my Self,
Buried beneath the ash heaps
Of incarnations of ignorance.
Though many a land of power, plenty, and science
My soul, garbed sometimes as an Oriental,
Sometimes as an Occidental,
Travelled far and wide,
At last, in India, to find Itself.
Though mortal fires raze all her homes
and golden paddy fields,
Yet to sleep on her ashes and dream immortality,
O India, I will be there!
The guns of science and matter
Have boomed on her shores
Yet she is unconquered.
Her soul is free evermore!
Her soldier saints are away,
To rout with realization’s ray
The bandits of hate, prejudice, and patriotic selfishness;
And to burn the walls of separation dark
Between children of the One, One Father.
The Western brothers by matter’s might
have conquered my land;
Blow, blow aloud, her conch shells all!
India now invades with love,
To conquer their souls.
Better than Heaven or Arcadia
I love Thee, O my India!
And thy love I shall give
To every brother nation that lives.
God made the earth;
Man made confining countries
And their fancy-frozen boundaries.
But with newfound boundless love
I behold the borderland of my India
Expanding into the world.
Hail, mother of religions, lotus, scenic beauty,
Thy wide doors are open,
Welcoming God’s true sons through all ages.
Where Ganges, woods, Himalayan caves, and men dream God –
I am hallowed; my body touched that sod.
by Paramhansa Yogananda
Vanished the veils of light and shade,
Lifted every vapor of sorrow,
Sailed away all dawns of fleeting joy,
Gone the dim sensory mirage.
Love, hate, health) disease, life, death,
Perished these false shadows on the screen of duality.
Waves of laughter, scyllas of sarcasm, melancholic whirlpools,
Melting in the vast sea of bliss.
The storm of maya stilled
By magic wand of intuition deep.
The universe, forgotten dream, subconsciously lurks,
Ready to invade my newly wakened memory divine.
I live without the cosmic shadow,
But it is not, bereft of me;
As the sea exists without the waves,
But they breathe not without the sea.
Dreams, wakings, states of deep turiya sleep,
Present, past, future, no more for me,
But ever-present, all-flowing I, I, everywhere.
Planets, stars, stardust, earth,
Volcanic bursts of doomsday cataclysms,
Creation’s molding furnace,
Glaciers of silent x-rays, burning electron floods,
Thoughts of all men, past, present, to come,
Every blade of grass, myself, mankind,
Each particle of universal dust,
Anger, greed, good, bad, salvation, lust,
I swallowed, transmuted all
Into a vast ocean of blood of my own one Being!
Smoldering joy, oft-puffed by meditation
Blinding my tearful eyes,
Burst into immortal flames of bliss,
Consumed my tears, my frame, my all.
Thou art I, I am Thou,
Knowing, Knower, Known, as One!
Tranquilled, unbroken thrill, eternally living, ever new peace!
Enjoyable beyond imagination of expectancy, samadhi bliss!
Not a mental chloroform
Or unconscious state without wilful return,
Samadhi but extends my conscious realm
Beyond the limits of the mortal frame
To farthest boundary of eternity
Where I, the Cosmic Sea,
Watch the little ego floating in me.
The sparrow, each grain of sand, fall not without my sight.
All space like an iceberg floats within my mental sea.
Colossal Container, I, of all things made.
By deeper, longer, thirsty, guru-given meditation
Comes this celestial samadhi
Mobile murmurs of atoms are heard,
The dark earth, mountains, vales, lo! molten liquid!
Flowing seas change into vapors of nebulae!
Aum blows upon the vapors, opening wondrously their veils,
Oceans stand revealed, shining electrons,
Till, at last sound of the cosmic drum,**
Vanish the grosser lights into eternal rays
Of all-pervading bliss.
From joy I came, for joy I live, in sacred joy I melt.
Ocean of mind, I drink all creation’s waves.
Four veils of solid, liquid, vapor, light,
Myself, in everything, enters the Great Myself.
Gone forever, fitful, flickering shadows of mortal memory.
Spotless is my mental sky, below, ahead, and high above.
Eternity and I, one united ray.
A tiny bubble of laughter, I
Am become the Sea of Mirth Itself.
* Samadhi means: oneness of human consciousness with cosmic consciousness.