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Yj: Yogananda, Paramahansa. The Yoga of Jesus: Understanding the Hidden Teachings of the Gospels. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 2007.

The books consists mainly of selections 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 what looks like a hoax by a Russian, Nicholas Roerich.

Tip: Do not revere hoaxes by the untenable authority of others. Learn to check for yourself. The skills needed for it can be developed.

The author yogi's angle is to talk yoga into the gospels. Infiltration is another word for it. The demagogy book consists of these "building blocks":

Part 1. Jesus the Christ - Avatar and Yogi.

Chapter 1, Jesus the Avatar - with subsections called "God's manifestation in divine incarnations", "The umversal Christ Consciousness" and "True meaning of 'The Second Coming'".

Chapter 2, Jesus and Yoga - with "Jesus' years in India", "The lost teachings of the Gospels," and "Yoga: Universal science of religion."

Chapter 3, Inner Teachings of Jesus the Yogi - with "How every soul can attain Christ Consciousness", "Importance of the Comforter, or Holy Ghost", "Yoga and the Book of Revelation", "True Baptism in Spirit."

Part 2. "One Way" or Universality?

Chapter 4, The "Second Birth": Awakening of Soul-Intuition - with "Jesus' teachings on 'born again'", "Expressing the divine potentials of the soul" and "Advancing from material consciousness to spiritual consciousness.

Chapter 5, Lifting Up the Son of Man" to Divine Consciousness - with "The heavenly planes of God's creation", "The esoteric science of kundalini or "serpent force" in the spine."

Chapter 6, The True Meaning of 'Belief on His Name' and Salvation - with "Is Jesus the only savior?", "Dogma and misunderstanding in institutional "churchianity", "Blind belief versus personal realization of truth."

Part 3: Jesus' Yoga of Divine Love

Chapter 7, The Beatitudes - with "How man's life becomes blessed, filled with heavenly bliss".

Chapter 8, Divine Love: Highest Goal of Religion and of Life - with "The two greatest commandments: Love of God first, and serving the Divine Presence in all."

Chapter 9, The Kingdom of God Within You - with "The core of Jesus' message: The blissful kingdom of the Heavenly Father and the method of its attainment."

The back matters in the book consists of "About the Author", a glossary and an index.

Strange to some - Are we getting an annoying feeling that Yogananda could have put an animal too in the role as a Divine Incarnation and written at least parts of The Yoga of Jesus as The Yoga of a Squirrel? I think it can be done. Be that as it may, the fact is that in Yogananda's teachings a squirrel too pops up as an avatar, such a Divine Incarnation.


Once an old hermit lived on a brink by the sea at a place where a mother squirrel fostered her young. The hermit was so fond of this company that he was reborn as a female squirrel to look after youngs, he too. Great waves took the squirrel's nests and cubs one day she was away looking for eggs and other food for them. She saw that the big sea had taken them, and started threatening the sea. "Bring me back my children, or I will dry you up with my bushy tail," she said.

The sea gave no particular answer, so the squirrel mother started to dry the ocean by soaking her tail in the sea and letting the water drip off on dry land - again and again. Little did she consider that the water would seep and run down into the sea again.

But the sea got so afraid of the squrrel's determination that it swelled up a huge wave where the cubs were floating, and put them all beside her on the brink - and lo, they were all alive and well again, after being drowned and gone for many days. [from the Praecepta Lessons, 1934. The story is also printed in Crystal Clarity ◦Magazine, December 15, 2010]

The holy man that Yogananda told was reborn as a squirrel, was an avatar squirrel, decreed Yogananda - that the squirrel that tried to dry the sea, was holy and an incarnation of a liberated sage. 'Avatar' means divine descension. [More]

Yogananda's squirrel tale is much akin to a fable in the Panchatantra, where a plover bird does similar feats, but without being called a Divine Incarnation by Yogananda. [The Plover Who Fought the Ocean]

There is much stuff around that does not hold water. What remains is to ask who that reborn squrrel sage was, if he ever existed, and what proof we have that he lived and was reborn like that. A tale of a tail will not quite do outside the following.

Back to Jesus: The book's style appears to be reverent towards Divine Incarnation Jesus without mentioning the Divine Squirrel - but disregards blatant sayings of Jesus in Matthew 5:1-10 and 15:24 that his teachings, salvation, Kingdom and healing ministry were for Jews only. His disciples were expressly forbidden to go to gentiles. (Vermes 2012).

For someone who is not qualified to get the teachings of Jesus on the word of Jesus for Jews alone, using his teachings at length, suspicions may be his or her lot. "We're dealing with hidden horseplay," may be considered.

So Yogananda disregards parts of the Bible that do not suit his strivings for acceptance among Christians. Obfuscation of traditional Christian terms is part of his doings. As for his claims that Jesus is among the SRF gurus, just shake your head and read gospel warning against other christs, false teachers, and hungry wolves who are out to feed on sheeps - as Vernon Jones tells of:

A wolf decided to disguise himself in order that he might prey on a flock of sheep without fear of being detected. So he clothed himself in a sheepskin and slipped among the sheep when they were out at pasture. He completely deceived the shepherd, and when the flock was penned for the night he was shut in with the rest. But that very night, as it happened, the shepherd, requiring a supply of mutton for the table, laid hands on the wolf in mistake for a sheep, and killed him with his knife on the spot. (Fable 27, The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing)

Wolf deceptions are not better for being great and many, and some backfire. Based on gospel sayings there seems to be no place for Jesus among SRF gurus. Just ask for evidence that he is one of them. Claims are not evidence, lies are not either, Yogananda visions are not evidence either, for yogis may produce visions -

If you confront the guru claims with what the gospels tell in such matter, you should find at least two versions, and Jesus of the concocted Bible does not fit into the Yogananda scheming, for sure.

Lots of Yogananda distrust go along with distrust in the value of his yoga teachings, for they serve as means to bind souls for many lives. I would have a better fare than that, after seeing how very, very badly Yogananda allegedly fared after allegedly being illuminated in a former life as Arjuna, according to SRF sources.

Self-Realization Magazine. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship.

The magazine 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:


Yogananda book reviews, books by Yogananda commented on, Yogananda literature with annotations, Literature  

Jones, V. S. Vernon. Aesop's Fables: A New Translation. London: William Heinemann, 1912.

Vermes, Geza. The Real Jesus: Then and Now. Minneapolis, MI: Fortress Press, 2010. ⍽▢⍽ Dr Vermes elaborates on this: The teachings, salvation and Kingdom and healing minstry of Jesus and his apostles were for Jews only, and gentiles were not allowed, but expressly forbidden. Most Christians are non-Jewish. The gospels' reach-out to gentiles after the death of Jesus pass as later-added forgeries. They were probably made up to suit a clergy that had cropped up, and most likely forged passages that are still parts of the New Testament. The Missionary Command at the end of Matthew is one such later-added forgery, maintains Joseph Wheless and others.

Vermes, Geza. From Jewish to Gentile: How the Jesus Movement Became Christianity. Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) 38:06, Nov/Dec 2012. ⍽▢⍽ He sums it up: Jesus taught Jews only, and expressly forbid his disciple to spread it to others. There are just a few exceptions. (Cf, Matthew 15:24 and 5:1-10). That means that some parts of the New Testament are forged, and that Jesus is not as he is made to be there, and that his teachings were not for non-Jews (albeit with an exception or so). Further, it also strongly suggests that the Jesus in SRF and Ananda is a lot removed from his own alleged gospel teachings - in part opposed to several of them. Does it all suggest a lot of fraud somewhere? It does.

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