Book Acronyms Used Here
Autobiography of a Yogi ❖
God's Talk with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita ❖
How You Can Talk with God ❖
In the Sanctuary of the Soul ❖
Inner Peace ❖
Journey to Self-realization ❖
Living Fearlessly ❖
Man's Eternal Quest ❖
Metaphysical Meditations ❖
Paramahansa Yogananda in Memoriam ❖
Sayings of (Paramhansa) Yogananda, earlier: The Master Said ❖
Scientific Healing Affirmations ❖
Self-Realization Fellowship: Golden Anniversary ❖
The Divine Romance ❖
The Holy Science ❖
The Science of Religion ❖
The Second Coming of Christ ❖
The Yoga of Jesus ❖
The Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita ❖
Where There Is Light ❖
Whispers from Eternity ❖
Why God Permits Evil ❖
Wine of the Mystic
Below is a bibliography of works by or on Paramahansa Yogananda, founder of Self-Realization Fellowship, SRF. The corpus is literature published by SRF. Secondary literature by Ananda Church and others is below that again. No quality rank is involved.
Ak: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Man's Eternal Quest. New ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1986.
The first book of Yogananda's Collected Talks and Essays goes into a variety of subjects, including healing, death, and reincarnation. One could say the Hindu orator rattles off; often without preparations - he used to lecture unprepared, his fellowship informs. The guru "seldom made even the slightest preparation for his lectures; if he prepared anything at all, it might consist of a factual note or two, hastily jotted down." [Ak xi-xii]
His theology mishmash is revealed in one chapter in particular, and discussed here: [oaks.nvg.org/yogananda-teachings.html]. He applies concepts from Hindu philosophies, particularly the Sankhya and Vedanta philosophies, onto Christian teachings. The swami monk's solutions never undermine Hindu canon, but large, central parts of common Christianity are gone. The gospel understanding of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is radically reshaped to conform to Hindu constructs of Sat-Chit-Ananda (Being-Consciousness-Joy), as can be seen by following the link just given.
Au: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi. 13th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), 1998.
Previous editions referred to on the site are: Ha (12th ed, 1981); Pa (11th ed, 1971), and Ay (online 1st ed, 1946).
The 12th edition has perhaps a thousand changes since the first three editions that Yogananda took the credit for. The very first edition of Yogananda's Autobiography shows how many changes the publishers, Self-Realization Fellowship through its editors, has included in later editions, at times changing direct quotations in the text. Photos have been tampered with by SRF since. Yogananda's signature has been forged [see Sob for further information of the SRF malpractice.]. Lines of Yogananda's poem Samadhi have been removed.
The first edition is there to check later changes against. For an English edition (Rider, London) Yogananda added material to the last chapter, and otherwise added footnotes. For the third American edition he added a new chapter, and added footnotes. Later SRF has created a "flood of changes, on almost every page". The "further revisions" have numbered well over 1000 changes, we are informed by Ananda Sangha India.
In the 6th edition of 1955 the guru-line is presented as including five gurus (without specific mention of Krishna). The first Autobiography of a Yogi to mention Krishna as part of the guru-line is the 12th edition, we are informed.
In the 7th edition of 1956 over 850 paragraphs and footnotes with thousands of words are changed. There are "text additions, text deletions, word changes and rearrangements - with many of these revisions resulting in major changes to spiritual concepts presented during Yogananda's lifetime and in earlier editions of the book. Hardly a page is left untouched," informs Ananda further. That may well be, but not all the editorial changes of the later editions are unwelcome, and not all of them distort the original message either. This calls for an example:
A note on Yukteswar in the first edition, says that sri is "a title of respect". The 12th edition says, "a respectful title".
Now there is good reason to think that almost all the changes that are made in later editions of the Autobiography - long after he was gone - were not authorized by Yogananda. Otherwise the changes would be incorporated in the first few editions after his demise. It is further observed that in the later editions of the Autobiography, what is written becomes more restricted, and the role of the organization is magnified, and some are marring. Example:
In the 11th, 12th, and 13th edition (p. 243n) there is a long footnote about miracles and maya. You find it discussed here: [Link]. The first edition does not have any indoctrinating footnote at the place; it is added. In the end such editorial changes serve a narrowed, cultish stand.
The online edition on the Gold Scales has some added information. Among it are good points from the Yogananda biography of Dasgupta [see Psy below].
[Source: Why Read the First Edition of Autobiography of a Yogi? Ananda Sangha India. [◦Link]
Dr: Yogananda, Paramahansa. The Divine Romance. New ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1993.
The second volume of Yogananda's collected talks and essays. Yogananda took to some well-selling concepts through his three decades of sermonising in the United States. It reminds me of making a living by taking to odious flattery or rattling along; at any rate the game of God-flattery and profits go hand in hand lots of time.
Gt: Yogananda, Paramahansa. God's Talk with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita, 2 Vols. 2nd ed. Paperback. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 2001.
Yogananda comments on verses of the Bhagavad Gita, claiming to be in special rapport with its traditionally ascribed writer, Veda-Vyasa. The monk Yogananda speaks for renunciation and non-attachment, even though he should have been attached to neither the Gita nor renunciation by higher standards. Gita-attachment is still attachment, and those who have not renounced renunciation have not come far, says the Avadhut Gita, 4:21. Many Brahman knowers stroll beyond dutiful rituals too. [Gt 450]
What the publishers SRF does not tell, is that Yogananda copied main parts of his own guru Yukteswar's Gita interpretation and also Yukteswar's references to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, without bothering to mention "such petty details", although much of his writing is but a verbatim translation of Yukteswar's original - which is on-line at yoganiketan.net.
Hos: Yukteswar, Swami Sri. The Holy Science. 7th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), 1972.
The Holy Science was a book whose conclusions or program were given the author to carry out. The result is less than ideal, as documented here: [oaks.nvg.org/yukteswar.html]
Iss: Yogananda, Paramahansa. In the Sanctuary of the Soul. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1998.
A guide to prayer. You should not beg or be satisfied with your lot in life, but demand inwardly, teaches the guru. You should increase your "demand power" by yoga, praying wisely, cultivating inner peace, and concentrating on your real needs. When you do it well, God "will satisfy your every desire when you are one with Him. Your wildest dreams will come true," says Yogananda [p. 66].
Maybe they will, maybe not. The guru orator exaggerates. But "every little helps". The main method he vouches for, is related to the yoga method of samyama (sanyama), mentioned by Patanjali [3:4 ff]. During samkalpa one focuses in deep meditation on something in order to make it real, manifest (get) it. That is the key to the guru's method, but an idea of "God" is not necessary in it in the traditional yoga system - but it may help some.
Jse: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Journey to Self-realization: Discovering the Gift of the Soul. New ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 2000.
The third volume in the set of collected talks and essays on a variety of subjects by Yogananda. "Journey" should be replaced by "awakening*. The publishers claim Yogananda is "one ouf our era's most revered and trusted guides to the spiritual life." [BC]. I learnt the hard way it is a great boast along with Yogananda's "Be true, be sincere, and friendship will steadily grow." There have been ample time and occasion for Yogananda disciple to show how their friendship for me have steadily grown since I went online with SRF material over ten years ago. The fact is they do not live up to Yogananda's "Sincerity is one of the things I prize most. . . I have always appreciated constructive criticism." His disciples are rather his "yes" people, and hardly ever "nay" people. Alas for that. [p. 134, 135]
Lfb: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Living Fearlessly: Bringing Out Your Inner Soul Strength. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 2003.
A few episodes that highlights Yogananda's own "soul strength" may too easily be overlooked: "You must stand unshaken amidst the crash of breaking worlds," he declared from his own hotel's balcony once [Mas].
Another time he had been asked by a mother to hold her new-born baby just a little. He did, but suddenly he couldn't hold it any more, he just couldn't do it. He almost dropped it. He had to hand it back at once. "I almost dropped it, for God suddenly revealed to me that that baby had been a cruel murderer in a previous life." [Ak 222]
This becomes even more strange when we consider that he often told he himself had been William the Conqueror (a mass murderer) in a previous life. William's deathbed confession contains, "I . . . am stained from the rivers of blood I have shed . . . It is out of my power to count all the injuries which I have caused during the sixty-four years of my troubled life."
His biographer has this one: In yet another life, he was a vicious and murderous desert marauder. While describing this, Yogananda shivered with horror from time to time. [Psy 112]
A fit lesson is: "Don't be taken in by parading words alone, for they may be what cults live by."
Mas: SRF. Self-Realization Fellowship: Golden Anniversary. Los Angeles: SRF, 1970.
Self-Realization Fellowship was fifty years when this unpaginated publication of reminiscences appeared.
Mem: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Metaphysical Meditations. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1964.
A tiny book of brief texts and capsules of thought. The author tells there are three types of meditations in the book: Demands to the Self, also called God; affirmations; and pep-talk to oneself. They are supposed to be repeated slowly until they take on meanings, which may take time. There are also some directions, such as "Fix your mind inwardly between the eyebrows" [p. 51].
Pea: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Inner Peace: How to Be Calmly Active and Actively Calm. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1999.
The publishers, SRF, has made another selection of guru statements taken out of their original settings, and put them together under several headings. A basic yoga method for calming down is presented: "Sit . . . in a cross-legged position on a firm surface. Keep the spine straight and the chin parallel to the floor . . . to remain completely still, without moving a muscle." One is to maintain this posture to get a deep meditative state. he tells. [p. 30]
What if you have double cheeks and cannot get any of them parallel to the floor? Yogananda does not seem to tell what to do in that case, which affects so many. But he also tells you can sit on a straight chair with your feet parallel on the floor and your eyelids half closed or completely closed. - and that is where many teachers of his own kriya yoga tradition disagree with him. They tell he made many changes to kriya yoga to get a public, for example. [see Psy].
Be that as it may, when you meditate well, your mind gets focused on the area between the eyebrows, he intimates further. However, that focus depends on how you meditate. Thera re other body areas to focus on too. Yogananda dismissed many of them in order to simplify his teachings for a Western audience that was largely stiff, but not as obese as in our days.
Scf: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Scientific Healing Affirmations. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1958.
Yogananda teaches you how to make regular, good use of the subconscious mind by visualisations and affirmations in order to stimilate healing, prevent diseases, and learn chanting in different levels. Loud, audible chanting should fade into whispers, and then to mental chanting, subconscious chanting, and superconscious chanting, he informs. The same inward-turning process holds good for mantra chanting too. The guru claims that mental methods are superior to material ones [that would depend a lot on the disease, though]. [p. 31, 53]
Example: "O Heavenly Father, O Cosmic Mother, / O Master mine, O Friend Divine, / . . . I am Thy child, Thou are my Father; / We both do dwell, we both do dwell, / In temple same, / In this temple of cells, / Oh, in this temple of cells." [p. 44]
Sob: Self-Realization Fellowship. Paramahansa Yogananda in Memoriam. Los Angeles: SRF, 1958.
The Fellowship's own memorial booklet contains glimses and pictures of the guru's last days, tributes, and appreciations. Included is a notarised letter that has details of what actually happened after Yogananda died. Among other things it tells the body was enbalmed and a spot developed on his nose before his casket was closed and sealed. [Link]
And since present-days followers of Yogananda do not seem to know how he wrote his own title, there is reason to point to this SRF booklet for those who need evidence that it was Paramhansa, not Paramahansa, before he died. The efforts of SRF to change the title, in part by forgery, set in many years after his death. In this booklet we see their efforts in full bloom. Whenever they can, they write "Paramahansa", but the real title shines through in photocopies of letters and tributes from those who knew him. W. Y. Evans-Wentz, who wrote a preface to Yogananda's Autobiography, writes in his tribute:
For all future time, Paramhansa Yogananda, now no longer . . . venerate Paramhansa Yogananda . . . "
SRF has written out his clear handwriting below the tribute, and there it says "Paramahansa" in the place where Evans-Wentz uses "Paramhansa". The SRF practice violates the rules of academic citation here and throughout. [Sob 23]
It is the same with the tribute from Madame Galli-Curci, who wrote a foreword to Whispers from Eternity and had known him for over twenty-five years: Her "Our dear Paramhansa" becomes "Our dear Paramahansa" when SRF spells it out below her handwritten tribute. [Sob 35]
A photostat copy from a page in TIME news weekly (August 4, 1952 issue) reveals the weekly got his name right too: It is Paramhansa (written three times) not Paramahansa at all. [Sob 57]
Governor Goodwin J. Knight, who was present when SRF's Lake Shrine was opened to the public - with a part of Gandhi's ashes in an urn there, despite Gandhi's express wish that his ashes were strewn over the Ganges - wrote to "Miss Faye Wright [later Daya Mata, 1914-2010)], Self-Realization Fellowship on April 8, 1952, and referred to his good friend Paramhansa Yogananda. [Sob 117]
Finally, in the notarised letter from Mortuary Director Harry T. Rowe, which also is presented in photocopy in the SRF booklet, it is Paramhansa throughout. That is official. [Sob 121-24]
About five years after Yogananda's death SRF resolved to forge his signature and Rowe citations [eg. Ha 478] and others they cite, to conform to a notion that Paramahansa was more correct that Paramhansa. The fact is that there was no need for any citation swindles. Further, in current English, Paramahansa is 3.3 times more frequent than Paramhansa - both are in use. [Google-search]
Spa: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Sayings of Paramahansa Yogananda. 4th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1980.
This is the latest edition of formerly Sayings of Yogananda [Say, of 1958] and The Master Said [Tms of 1957], but the pagination is different. In 1957 SRF still wrote Paramhansa too.
Sayings of Yogananda and The Master Said have the same pagination. The latest edition, Sayings of Paramahansa Yogananda, is paged differently.
Quotation: "I am sorry for a man who is sick," the Master said. "Why should I hate a man who has fallen into evil? He is really sick." [Tms, p. 64]
Srg: Yogananda, Paramahansa. The Science of Religion. 2nd ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1982.
The pagination of this edition differs from the 1953 edition, Scp.
This is the first book that was published in Yogananda's name. He had not accommodated much to American culture the book was written - some say it was done by the ghost writer Dhirananda - so he talks for the art of dying by kriya yoga throughout. I once worked on a translation of it into a Scandinavian language, and suggested to SRF that the book be condensed by dropping the non-essential content. The Fellowship disagreed.
I have published a brief online version with comments. [oaks.nvg.org/yogananda-explains.html]. It reveals that the guru actually wanted others to die - but die as he told. However, in the light of kriya yoga research the "kriya death" is not full and complete and irrevocable, but rather suspended animation, which is "healthy," according to Yogananda (who died when he was fifty-nine). As long there is no brain damage, that might very well be.
Recently the former vice president of SRF, called Kriyananda, made an extracted version of the book, with added comments, and this take is online as God Is for Everyone [below].
Sy: Yogananda, Paramahansa. The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You. 2 Vols. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 2004.
Sections of the four canonical gospels are commented on, interpreted and twisted to conform to a yogi's perspective or Yogananda's Hindu world-picture, through 75 discourses over some 1500 pages. A section of extra information is also supplied, containing ca. 40 pages of more Yogananda outpourings, an appropriate glossary, and a well worked index.
The book is carefully printed on paper of good quality and furnished with some paintings and many drawings, most of them by the German painter (Johann Michael Ferdinand) Heinrich Hofmann (1824-1911). Born in Darmstadt, he is best known for his many depictions of the life of Jesus Christ. One of the reasons that his artwork has become more popular lately, is just that paintings and pencil drawings of his illustrate the Second Coming by Yogananda. Basing his own style on his work on the traditional art of old German, Dutch and Italian masters, Hofmann was impressed by artwork of Antiquity, Christianity and the Renaissance, and became a most influential German painter in his day.
Hofmann illustrations and some other illustrations accompany chunks of Bible passages from King James Version, which was completed in 1611, and is still possible to read. NIV (New International Version) is a new translation for today's Bible users.
Yogananda adherents consider the Second Coming among his main works along with his autobiography, Bhagavad Gita commentary and a trilogy (so far) of sermons and other discourses. What the Americanised guru does thoughout his Second Coming, is to infuse yoga meanings into words in the gospels and end up with a hybrid thing, a religion. He formalised his new religion in 1935. The view that physical pleasure is not ideal for man, goes into the church deed (par. 2.13). It was during the same period the guru advocated dictatorship and spent time on getting articles of the Second Coming printed in his fellowship magazine.
This SRF-published version is about four times larger than the version that claims to be from "the Original unchanged writings" of Yogananda and published by Amrita in Dallas [Tsc]. Yogananda commentaries first appeared as serialised instalments over the years in his magazine. The SRF publishers talk of preserving the purity of Yogananda's output and of unspecified guidelines he gave for preparing and publishing, and say that SRF "faithfully conveys his teachings as he himself intended they be given. The former SRF president, Daya Mata, tells how she and her sister wrote down on a typewriter what Yogananda dictated [xvii, iv, xvi].
What SRF does not inform about, is just how Yogananda's dictated output was handled. About changes made in Yogananda books after his death in 1952, and how the guru himself hardly or never had requested all those changes, Kriyananda says "That he requested more than a handful of them [the changes] is a myth. SRF has effective control over his material, and can make changes in it with impunity, with the claim that he authorized them. I was there at the time myself, however, and was actively involved in editorial activities. I know that the greater part of those changes were not authorized by Master [Yogananda]." 
Kriyananda further divulges that Yogananda's "preferred way of expressing himself was to touch lightly on a point . . . It was to us, his disciples, usually, that he left the task of expanding on, or explaining, the truths he presented in condensed form in his writings."  This vital point was confirmed by SRF when the Himalayan Academy contacted them about the wide differences between different versions of Yogananda's Rubaiyat Commentary. The following quote is from Hinduism Today (1994, No. 10: "Wine of the Mystic"): "It was startling . . . to learn that in neither edition is one even offered the original writing of Paramahansa Yogananda. Self-Realization Fellowship explained that all of Paramahansa Yogananda's writings had been so edited". [More]
So there are quotations and "quotations": In the case of Yogananda, we have few clues to discern between the verbatim ones and the SRF edited ones. As for Yogananda articles in his old magazine, they could have been edited too, since the somewhat educated Yogananda was not very good at English, says Satyaswarananda: "His handwritten letters in English and Bengali (his mother language) . . . revealed he was weak in both these languages."  What we do have, is evidence that all of Yogananda's works have been worked on by SRF."
Yogananda's approach to the New Testament is to reinterpret it, using Hindu concepts all along. Where he finds it fit, he says that this and that saying really means something else than what is written there, and his fellowship supports his dogmatic approach totally. In other words, the guru deals with the domain of faith, in part by tacitly accusing God the Eye-opener for not having opening the eyes of millions on millions of followers to what Yogananda reads in the Bible, in part by saying that Jesus meant something else than much he said in the gospels. Also, when it comes to tough nuts to crack, Yogananda-SRF uses the method of saying that Jesus spoke metaphorically. Example: "It is plain that Jesus spoke figuratively in his reference to hellfire" [p. 466]. Is it so simple and plain against common Christian canon? Maybe so. [p. 466n]
The particular strength of SRF-Yogananda's book is not that of nourishing the traditional Christian faith, but to blur its stand of exclusiveness versus other religions. An unanswered question is whether or how far it is genuine nourishment he offers, and how a reader may safeguard herself or himself against being taken in by guru demagogy.
The weakness of Yogananda's interpretation is that it is of faith, faith, faith, and mainly subjective and without references outside of the gospels themselves. Textual Bible criticism and information about the differences between John and the three other gospels is wholly lacking. The publisher has added many footnotes, however, but to such an extent that the book may be over-furnished, according to Kriyananda. Be that as it may; many appreciate this nearly four-times larger book than the other version that is around.
My overall evaluation lies in this: Talk that may outsmart the Christian. I have not found it worthwhile to read all of it.
Wer: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Why God Permits Evil and How to Rise Above It. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 2002.
The guru seems to want to teach you rise above that God permits evil - well-well. He uses the Indian concept of lila, play, sport, drama to explain it all. The universe is God's play, he teaches. Apart from this tall concept the guru seeks to comfort others by telling that evil may help in bringing you back to God. I would not trust in that stand, though. According to Jesus, evil may destroy you. And, as an Amazon book reviewer tells, "Some people seem to be evil by nature, and evil does not seek happiness; it seeks destruction". Further, "When the Yogi says God is sorry we have lost sight of Him, how can he not mean that God has lost sight of Himself?" That reader thinks it is wrong to dismiss mankind's pain as God's purposeless entertainment as well.
Wf : Yogananda, Paramahansa. Whispers from Eternity. 8th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1959.
A first edition is published by Crystal Clarity too, Wfe. Compare. [www.ananda.org/inspiration/books/whispers/]
Whispers from Eternity was first published in 1929. It was edited by Yogananda himself for the 1949 edition, Wfe.
A former SRF editor, Kriyananda, says that after Yogananda's passing, the SRF editor Tara Mata "changed Whispers from Eternity so drastically that it became almost unrecognizable". And Yogananda "himself had told me this book was the only one he'd edited personally, and in its entirety." 
So the eight edition is one more book that has been heavily edited after Yogananda's death. The content was different when Yogananda was around. The book consists of invocations based on the notion of Immanence, that is, behind anything is God.
A great part of the book consists of adressing God in cumbersome "Thou art" and "Wilt Thou" and "O This, O That" language, that is, rather old-fashioned Bible jargon, while referring to something in nature. For example, "I am Thy truant dewdrow, returning at last to the Hallowed Home." (p. 9) Truant, but divine, immortal, love-enchanted, quivering, dancing, it also says. He finds his conclusion to the simile: "I want not to lose myself but to become infinitely enlarged . . . I shall be Thine omnipresent dewdrop, imbibed," and so on.
Infinity or endlessness smacks of human incapability or limitations. How can you say there is no end unless you know the end? The bet is you cannot. In good yoga the sensation of vastness is to be dropped for the sake of the elevated "Be here now" (heartfelt and all that), at any rate, at that is the tip of the day. "Being-Space-Time" are included in "Be here now" (in the proper way), though elevating one's awareness somehow.
To someone who is meditating well, Yoganandic outpourings can be annoying distractions. The whole book could have been avoided if he had had the courtesy to refrain from "waffling" along according to the much used scheme: "I compare, I see the Lord in or behind (nature phenomena, relationships, etc) - I express myself in Bible ways. I now and then round off by wishful "May I (+ something)" or "Let my" (+ something).
One more stray example: "O Utter Innocence! we are not worthy to invoke Thee." [p. 53]. If the guru had been sincere, he would have stopped it right there, but he goes on, and on. There was no cure against that, it seems.
"Come, O Perfect Joy! . . . be Thou the Polestar" is addressed to Divine Mother, Eternity [p. 154, ix]. You can make your own non-innovative invocations by applying this scheme:
O Divine . . . (insert noun).
Thou (describe a bit) or Show me (something) or Save me from (something), I demand, etc.
Round off by "May we/I . . . (add something that could fit).
That's about it. Thus, for example:
O Divine Guts,
Thou canst not withhold Thyself well,
Show me Thy Spouse,
If yet I have not all Thy love,
Her secret crowns the patient play,
All the way to heaven.
An invocation to beer may be just as fit as to Consecrated Wine, Divine Intoxication, or Divine Coctails, and other things the book contains. Thus:
O Excellent! (Heavenly, Divine) Beer,
May I reel heavily under Thy influence,
Thou knowest my method:
It is a long road that has no turning.
Instead of the "dualism croaking" that the book is soaked in ("you, O God" crowding out "Self"), here is one more thing to learn: I threw the whole book away and found I could do just as well without it, or better. That was after I had translated it into a Scandinavian language as part of a medium translation project I ran at one time. Wise decisions are often needed in a life.
A thorough study of SRF's extensive redaction of Yogananda's work has to tackle changed placements, changed titles, changed paragraphs, text alterations and that sort of stuff. For example, the randomly chosen "Thou art every busy, O Cosmic Potter" with its associated Jeremiah take [18:1-7] in the Old Testament, runs like this in SRF's 8th edition from 1959:
Thou art ever busy, O Cosmic Potter!
Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for sharing with all creatures and natural forces Thy responsibilities in carrying on the work of creation. May we, Thy human children, never complain of our tasks.
Dost Thou not keep the bee busy? and the animals, providing for their young? and the dark waterwagons of the sky, sprinkling rain on thirsty greens?
The amoeba, the whippoorwill, and gigantic fieryeyed planets, growling in the forest of space-all are performing some of Thy work.
O Alert Lord, busiest of all! noting the fall of a sparrow, attending the slightest scratch of flesh, and coursing the path of meteors.
With vibratory fingers didst Thou mold earth's clay ball; daily Thou art whirling it, ray-strung to the sun and rhythmically revolving around it.
O Cosmic Potter, on Thy wheel of life Thou dost form trillions of never-duplicated vessels of fleshvulnerable vehicles of man's immortal Spirit. [21}
Thine unseen creation factory produces everything -all furnishings and equipment needed by Thy sons for their physical, mental, and spiritual mansions.
Thou art the Originator, Manufacturer, and ever timely Exhibitor of "Nature Products." Thou art the Celestial Salesman who extols the value of new inner possessions for the fine art of gracious living.
Thy cooperative plan requires that for Thy bounties man offer payment. He must give money or labor in the soil to obtain nourishing food; he must observe carefulness and moderation to maintain health; he must proffer coins of study and self-improvement to receive sufficient currents of light and power for his cozy mental cottage. And he must dig diligently within to discover the spring of devotional waters that will purify him for Thy coming.
All material things may be bought and sold; but Thou, O Priceless One, art not for sale!
Each of Thy children will someday "come to Himself," realizing his divine status. Then inexhaustible bliss descends as Thy grace, forever freely given. [Wf 20-21]
It can only correspond to No. 166 in Yogananda's version from 1949 [Wfe]:
166. We buy everything but Thee. Pray give me Thyself.
O God, let me not whine with complaint and say: "Thou hast kept me yoked to the heavy demands of flesh-needs, hunger and earthly comforts." I blame no business man for being busy. Hast Thou not kept the bee busy? the rain, watering the life-yielding crops? and the dark water-wagons of the skies sprinkling life-liquid to thirsty greens?
The Master Potter of life molded earth's clay-ball, and is ever busy whirling it round its orbit , keeping it ray-strung to the sun and revolving in rhythm around it.
The Cosmic Potter forms the fragile vessels of flesh by the trillions, from His wheel of life. The amoeba, the whippoorwill, and the gigantic, fiery-eyed planets, growling in the forest of space all are leashed to do some of His work.
Even the fickle fire of the sky has to help in the spraying of showers.
O Lord of all Life, Thou art the busiest of all Thy workers. Thou art ever alert, noting the fall of a sparrow, attending the slightest scratch of flesh and coursing the path of meteors.
Thou art producing everything out of Thine unseen creation-factory. Thou art the Maker and Displayer of Thy nature-products, and Thou art the Divine Salesman, selling health, mental electricity, and nuggets of wisdom to us.
And Thou dost make us pay for everything! We pay in effort for hygienic living and for acquiring right food with which to buy health. We pay coins of culture to Thee to receive the current of power which lights our cozy mental cottage. And we pay nuggets of devotion, perchance, to hold Thee.
We can buy all other things by paying something for them; but I am sure Thou art not for sale, though Thou art well aware that some people try to buy Thee.
O Priceless One, Thou canst not be bought; there is no par value on Thee.
Yet Thou dost freely give Thyself when we know that we are Thy children: heirs of Thy all-containing kingdom and of Thyself.
The SRF editor has been terribly busy changing the guru's outpourings without even dropping a hint of all that.
Whi: Yogananda, Paramahansa. How You Can Talk with God. 1st hardcover ed. Los Angeles: SRF, 1998.
This is hardcore Yogananda. He says it is possible to talk with God through intimacy and a need for relationships (that may be played on throughout in his fellowship), and receive definite responses. I would not count on that; disappointments may be in store for too many. Dudli Dei, an Amazon book reviewer tells the guru inspired people to talk to God - in particular his "Divine Mother", the concept he most often used. The Hindu monk taught she would respond if -- -IF - - and then he gave the conditions. They included a 24 hours concentrated, uninterrupted vigil to implore God Mother to talk to you. Nearly nobody can stay "focused" like that - and besides there are degrees of uninterruptedness, and freakish teachings in other places too. Good yoga, by contrast, is based on letting go of Mom constructs and other constructs by contemplating - going inwards mentally. That is a process that is violated by frantic begging and much drama and ado.
That sort of practice has unwholesome effects, as noted in more than one follower. One thing is the disappointment when God Mom does not deign to appear to talk with you - this time either, and so on - in a circus of dualism-based circus that may end up in bitter frustrations.
Some have gotten awfully disappointed, but only by taking him seriously - Others, religious folks, who just dip into the master's stuff, may get saved from very real dissappointments and embarrassments. They are enough to mar a monk or so and other SRF insiders too, it appears. Other may not dislike the book so much as the very disappointed or Yogananda-frustrated ones, but wishfully tell, "A must read for all those who actually want to talk to GOD" and similar things.
Wl: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Where There Is Light: Insight and Inspiration for Meeting Life's Challenges. Paperback. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 2000.
This book is of the same kind as The Master Said (Tms, alias Sayings of Yogananda), in that it consists of Yogananda sayings. They are thematically arranged under headings such as "Achieving Your Goals". Quote: "Nothing is impossible, unless you think it is. [p. 57]" In that case, can you create a shoe that is so big that you cannot see the end of it, even with binoculars, yet it fits your foot for walking very well? And can you/God create a stone that is so heavy that it is impossible for you/God to lift it? Do tell. The message is loud and clear: Do not fall for clownish sayings and exaggerations.
The motivation to get a book on living fearlessly, may be that of having fears and hoping to master at least some of them. Hence, maybe the book addresses fearful ones first and foremost.
And Yogananda is at times almost into useful sayings too. "Go deep and seek the Infinite Source" [p. 68]. The "Go deep" part is good, and conforms to the way of Transcendental Meditation, TM. A regular routine of TM and activity should enhance the value of both and ensure you are on a good footing too. "The Infinite Source" is really a trick term, as the Real or Eternal is beyond concepts like "Infinite". In other words, major Yogananda terms can be discarded for taller wisdom. "Infinite" is one of those con words Yogananda frequently plays on.
In connection with this: When Yogananda tells of all the things "he" has accomplished, he was not the Doer ("God is the Sole Doer," and "The world is a dream," he teaches in several places). At any rate, he got help from others throughout. They gave him money and land, and worked a lot as he directed them to. It is not wholly unlike when kings went to war before: others bore the burdens and were maimed and killed and victimised otherwise too. We all need to take care so as not to be victimised by faith that some bosses and their societies profit from.
Wm: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Wine of the Mystic: The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam: A Spiritual Interpretation. Paperback. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1996.
The SRF edition of Yogananda's commentary on Fitzgerald's take shows much effort spent on embellishment, which as won the book rewards. There are two versions of Yogananda's commentary on the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam: Wine of the Mystics, edited by SRF's Mrinalini Mata and Ananda's The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Explained, edited by Swami Kriyananda. The two books are strangely different, a result of different kinds of editing.
An illuminating investigation of Yogananda's commentary shows he is far (away) from Omar Khayyam, no matter what he feels inspired about in the matter. As a commentary his otherwise lauded work is quack. And glowing praise for the book as a Khayyam commentary, has to be misinformed. More: [oaks.nvg.org/rubaiyat-yogananda.html]
Yi: Yogananda, Paramahansa. The Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita: An Introduction to India's Universal Science of God-realization. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 2007.
Yogananda talks against negative tendencies of the human ego. The book consists of compiled selections from translation of and very lengthy commentary - about 1100 pages - on the terse Bhagavad Gita. Yogananda's long work is called God Talks With Arjuna [Gt].
Yogananda's Gita translation is one of many. His wording is a bit old-fashioned, as in "O Descendant of Bharata (Arjuna), battle thou" [p. 67]. And that message is also the gist of the poem. There are two full Gita translations onsite.
Yj: Yogananda, Paramahansa. The Yoga of Jesus: Understanding the Hidden Teachings of the Gospels. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 2007.
A selection of material from the two volume work, "The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You". A significant part of the book tells how Jesus went to India and Tibet, based on a hoax by a Russian, Nicholas Roerich.
Tip: Do not revere hoaxes, even if they are backed up with "divine godman avatar authority". Learn to check for yourself, rather. Things get less stupid that way.
Self-Realization Magazine, Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship.
Contains talks and discourses of Yogananda, among other things. The magazine was first named East West, and then Inner Culture in the thirties. SRF had allowed the copyrights to lapse on all SRF magazines published before January 1943, according to Yogananda Rediscovered: "Can eternal truth be private property? - Part 2".
Plentiful documentation in PDF format, along with several magazine issues, is online: Ed Sharrow /Living Truth:
Rajn: Self-Realization Fellowship. Rajasi Janakananda (James J. Lynn): A Great Western Yogi. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1959.
The booklet tells of a disciple of Yogananda who first became known for walking barefoot in his office, for becoming a self-made millionaire, and who took over the leadership of SRF for a few years after Yogananda died in 1952. After his death in the 1950s, SRF decided to change his name too, from Rajasi to Rajarsi, similar to what they did to Paramhansa (see Sob).
Lim: Self-Realization Magazine. The Life Story of Dr. M. W. Lewis. Los Angeles: SRF, 1960.
The Boston dentist Minott W. Lewis became the first American that Yogananda initiated in kriya yoga, one a Christmas Eve in 1920. He and his wife Mildred left Boston for California to reside in Encinitas in 1945, where he supervised activities of a papaya grove. In 1952 he was elected first vice president of the fellowship.
On: Mata, Daya. "Only Love". Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1976.
The book contains talks by Daya Mata, (1914-2010), late president of the Fellowship. She tries to be fervent about her way of life as an institutionalised nun, perhaps, but the truth is that when she became the leader of the "business", she shied away from it all in secret, preferring to live in a villa with a view to the mountains. She kept it up like that for decades while almost every SRF monastic thought that she who was in charge, was living among them at the SRF headquarters.
This reveals something of the non-transparent culture that permeates SRF.
Apa: Walters, J. Donald. A Place called Ananda. Rev. 2nd ed. Nevada City: Hansa Trust: 2001. [www.ananda.org/inspiration/books/place/]
Bhg: Yukteswar, Swami. Srimad Bhagavad Gita: Spiritual Commentary. Portland, Mn: Yoga Niketan, 2002. On-line. www.yoganiketan.net
Efl: Walters, J. Donald. Education for Life. Rev. ed. Nevada City: Living Wisdom, 2001. [www.ananda.org/inspiration/books/efl/index.html]
Fm: Novak, Devi. Faith Is My Armor: The Life of Swami Kriyananda. Nevada City: Crystal Clarity, 2005. Online at Ananda. [www.ananda.org/inspiration/books/faith/index.html]
Gi: Walters, J. Donald (Kriyananda). God Is for Everyone: Inspired by Paramahansa Yogananda. Nevada City: Crystal Clarity, 2003. Online 1st ed. [www.godisforeveryone.com/]
The Science of Religion [Scp] is in part elaborated on, in part abridged.
Hb: Walters, J. Donald (Kriyananda). Hope for a Better World: The Small Communities Solution. 4th ed. Nevada City: Crystal Clarity, 2002. Online. [www.ananda.org/inspiration/books/hope/index.html].
Hwa: Walters, J. Donald. The Hindu Way of Awakening: Its Revelation, Its Symbols: An Essential View of Religion. Crystal Clarity. Nevada City: 1998.
Ky: Dasgupta, Sailendra B. Kriya Yoga and Sri Yukteshvar. Np: Yoga Niketan, 1998. On-line: yoganiketan.net/kriyayoga/index.htm.
Kyo: Dasgupta, Sailendra B. Kriya Yoga. Battle Creek, Mich: Yoga Niketan, 2006. On-line at www.yoganiketan.net
Poi: Walters, J. Donald. The Promise of Immortality. Nevada City: Crystal Clarity, 2000.
Psy: Dasgupta, Sailendra. Paramhansa Swami Yogananda: Life-portrait and Reminiscences. Portland: Yoga Niketan. 2006. Online pdf. www.yoganiketan.net
Pyt: Mata, Durga (Dufour, Florina Alberta). A Paramhansa Yogananda Trilogy of Divine Love: My Life and Service to My Guru. Beverly Hills, CA: Joan Wight Publications, 1992/93 and 1997.
Tp: Walters, J. Donald. The Path: Autobiography of a Western Yogi. Nevada City: Crystal Clarity, 1977. Online. [www.ananda.org/inspiration/books/path/index.html]
Ttp: Rosser, Brenda Lewis, comp. Treasures against Time - Paramahansa Yogananda with Doctor and Mrs. Lewis. Borrego Springs, CA: Borrego Publications, 1991.
Tsc: Yogananda, Paramhansa. The Second Coming of Christ: : From the Original unchanged writings of Paramhansa Yogananda's interpretations of the sayings of Jesus Christ. 3 Vols. Dallas, TX: Amrita Foundation, 1979 (Vol 1), 1984 (Vol 2) and 1986 (Vol 3).
This version is about a quarter of the size of the edited version by SRF. It does not contain later additions and refurnishings by SRF editors. An abridged quotation appears in both versions: "Jesus Christ was crucified once, but His Christian teaching . . . is now being crucified . . ."
The take of Yogananda is to fill Gospel content with lots of Hindu concepts, for example by reading reincarnation and karma into it in dogmatic ways. See for example, "By creating the law of reincarnation or punishment by law of cause and effect, which law governs human actions (Law of Karma), the Archangel of God, the Cosmic delusive force, converted Himself into the rebellious Satan [p. 37]."
You can ask yourself: Is that what the Bible said actually happened? or how it really was?
Yb: Satyananda, Swami. Swami Sri Yukteshvar Giri Maharaj. A Biography. Portland: Yoga Niketan. 2006. Online pdf. www.yoganiketan.net
Clarity Magazine. Online. [www.ananda.org/inspiration/magazine/index.html] and www.ananda.org/inspiration/magazine/archive.html]