This book rocked my world when I read it in 2007. The following is my book report for Yoga Teacher Training. Looking back now I see how the seeds were planted.
Paramahansa Yogananda left a legacy of teachings through the school of Kriya Yoga. Kriya Yoga was a teachnique handed down from Babaji to Lahiri Mahasaya to Sri Yuketswar. The book makes a believable and powerful claim of sharing these teaching with Jesus Christ and the contemporaries of Christ. The book also references the Gita, the Upanashads and Patanjali’s Sutras in order to describe the history and context of Yoga and meditation. The fact that Yoga found its way to the west, to become a practice for millions was foretold in the scriptures. The human species needs a technique to live a full conscious life.
Reading Paramahansa’s words about ultra consciousness, how his guru came back to bodily form to speak about life beyond death was mesmerizing. Yoga is a vast art and science, a field of knowledge that has huge potential and an amazing ability to help people heal and transform.
The inspiration I took from this book is love is the most powerful force in the universe. Love brought Yogiji to his Guru. Through love there is great healing. A healing prayer is when the inner and outer reality reflect love’ pure light and intention. Love coupled with a spiritual path provides the foundation for awakening the soul. When the soul and the heart connect there are no limits.
Love prompted Yogiji to commit to the monastic order so that he could be in service to God. It was love that propelled Yogiji to take the teachings of Yoga to the West.
I saw this in Yogiji’s life when he was told that he would be bringing yoga to the west. I could sense his disbelief. I could sense his fear of being out of proximity from his spiritual teacher and all the unknowns that awaited him on the journey ahead. It was his ability to connect spiritually, to be part of the universal consciousness that gave him the courage to live a miraculous life.
Yogiji met with many spiritual masters, saints and sages. In this community of spiritual seekers we find each other and answer a need for our selves and each other. We seek out oneness and send out a message of God in everything we do and say. After reading this book I saw my life as having a great possibility, a mission to fulfill. Yoga will shape my future, and will train me to be a healer and keep the golden chain of teacher and student alive. I like the idea of being part of a tradition that has ancient origins. Understanding my purpose as a healer brings the immediacy of God into my awareness and encourages me to be my highest and best in each moment. It is the part that makes it easy for me to feel devoted to the practice, to being in service and finding God in all moment.
As a result of reading this book I am also learning to be more open to the voice and direction of my soul. Like Yogiji, I may meet my next spiritual teacher by making a wrong turn going down an alley way. I have been experiencing great joy from letting go of form, focusing on the spirit and intent with which I meet people or make decisions by. Paramahansa Yogananda is a role model for living an enlightened life, living as a spiritual being and proving selfless service.
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