Awake: The Life of Yogananda

I do want to share what I learned in the forest after this dieta but nothing is coming out. As if the knowledge I acquired just needs to sit inside and cook slowly before it’s ready. Instead of writing about it, I’m learning about other ways to access spirituality.

Yesterday I watched the documentary Awake: The Life of Yogananda.

Steve Jobs kept talking about the only book he would always keep with him, The autobiography of a Yogi. That’s how I heard first about Swami Paramahansa Yogananda and tried to read the autobiography before I started my spiritual path, about ten years ago. I kept falling asleep and gave up. It’s time for me to read it again.

I highly recommend watching this movie.

Yogananda brought meditation and yoga to the United States and help launch the spiritual movement. Anyone can expand their consciousness through meditation and yoga without the need of any substance and regardless of religion or background.

Teaching in America

In 1920, while in meditation one day at his Ranchi school, Yogananda received a vision: faces of a multitude of Americans passed before his mind's eye, intimating to him that he would soon go to America. After giving charge of the school over to its faculty (and eventually to his brother disciple Swami Satyananda), he left for Calcutta; the following day he received an invitation from the American Unitarian Association to serve as India's delegate to an International Congress of Religious Liberals convening that year in Boston - Wikipedia

Vision and synchronicity took him to America where he would be the first to teach yoga as a way to prepare for meditation and then launch the whole yoga movement we know today.

The most important teaching of this movie for me is how a single man, from a meditation vision and trusting what the universe had for him, simply changed the world.

Yogananda started 100 years ago what the world needs today: go inside in the simplest way to access another reality which is to me now much more real that what my eyes see, my hands touch, my ears hear, my mouth smells and my nose smells. It is what the spirit sees quietly when consciousness just observes the body. The kind of visions some artists excel at painting.

In the movie there is a very successful business man that understands material wealth accumulation does not make him happy (yes, about 70 years ago!) and becomes one of Yogananda’s full time students in the Self realization fellowship, the center Yoganana founded in 1920. Many friends contact me as they feel the same today, what I started glimpsing when I did my first vipassana meditation retreat ten years ago. Meditation is the most accessible way to start.

Yogananda shows that we all have inside what can help the world if we care to spend enough time looking inside. Changing ourselves can then help many become more conscious, millions of people in the case of Yogananda.