“Yogananda would rank very high as the interpreter of Hinduism to Americans. He was very well respected, even among scholars.”
— Ted Solomon,
professor of religious studies, Iowa State University (retired) and Drake University
“Yogananda was a God-filled seer and saint, philosopher and poet who experienced a multitude of the innumerable aspects of Ultimate Reality.... A rare genius who has penetrated further than most men into the secrets of spiritual existence.”
— Raymond Piper,
professor emeritus of philosophy, Syracuse University, New York
“Yogananda has become an image — a remarkable, deep, sweet, poetic, ecstatic man enraptured of cosmic life — who has changed the map of American religious life.”
— Robert S. Ellwood, Ph.D.,
Chairman, School of Religion, University of Southern California
“Paramahansa Yogananda’s gift to the world is to remind us of the intimacy we can have with the Divine which comes from a true ‘God-realization.’ ”
— Robert J. Wicks, Ph.D.,
Chairperson, Graduate Programs in Pastoral Counseling Loyola College, Maryland
“He was a great soul and has left a lasting memory and impression on the cultural life of America.”
— Dr. Dagobert Runes, president, Philosophical Library, New York
“Paramahansa Yogananda brought to the West not only India’s perennial promise of God-realization, but also a practical method by which spiritual aspirants from all walks of life may progress rapidly toward that goal. Originally appreciated in the West only on the most lofty and abstract level, the spiritual legacy of India is now accessible as practice and experience to all who aspire to know God, not in the beyond, but in the here and now....Yogananda has placed within the reach of all the most exalted methods of contemplation.”
— Quincy Howe, Jr.,
Ph.D., Professor of Ancient Languages, Scripps College, Claremont, California
“We are on the threshold of an age in which the scriptures of every tradition are going to become the heritage of the people belonging to all the religious traditions of humanity, whereas earlier on they were the prized possession of only one tradition, the way the gospels belong to Christianity. As this hermeneutical globalization proceeds, more and more people who are formally outside a religion will be commenting on the scriptures of a religion than those within, for if the study of world religions truly goes global, the number of people of any tradition appropriating a sacred text from the outside might well come to exceed those who are appropriating it as insiders. To me Paramahansa Yogananda stands out as the harbinger of such a future.”
— Dr. Arvind Sharma,
Ph.D., Birks Professor of Comparative Religion, McGill University
“[Yogananda’s teachings are] ideal for training and harmonizing man’s physical, mental, and spiritual natures....
“By simple and scientific methods of concentration and meditation, most of the complex problems of life may be solved, and peace and good-will come upon earth. [Yogananda’s] idea of right education is plain commonsense, free from all mysticism and non-practicality; otherwise it would not have my approval....will come as near to bringing the millennium as anything with which I am acquainted.”
— Luther Burbank, horticulturist
“The beauty of his system of physical education lies in the harmonious synthesis of Western methods with the ancient system of yoga....He sought for students a harmony in their development of body, mind, and soul. For their academic studies, he wanted students to have access to the latest discoveries in the various fields of knowledge: art, literature, and science. But he was a pioneer in this field also. He visualized the necessity of job-oriented education, so that students could be useful to the community....
“It is a pity that our leaders did not at that time adopt Paramahansa Yogananda’s ideals of education. After fifty years, experts have now realized that job-oriented education and work experience are necessary....
“His concept of education was to build a perfect man, who has gained mastery over the senses, who exemplifies the universal principles of love, honesty, sincerity, tolerance, and faith, and has been able to develop will power, self-confidence, and self-reliance.”
— Dr. Tara Mukherji,
Vice-Chancellor, Bihar University, India
“[Paramahansa Yogananda] did titanic work. He helped many earnest seekers to find the hidden Light within, to realize their Divine Self, and even to become masters of themselves. We are convinced that Self-Realization Fellowship will continue its blessed work for suffering mankind ever more intensively and successfully.”
— Professor Vladimir Novicky,
“One of the most significant trends of our time is the gradual emergence of a scientific understanding of the relationship between consciousness and matter....Doctors, as well as their patients, are now beginning to see how much our day-to-day health and well-being depends on our state of mind. The belief that the condition of our bodies is determined solely by physical factors is being swept away in the face of advanced research that has documented with statistical accuracy the impact of personality, emotions, and lifestyles upon the functioning of every bodily system, from the heart to the stomach and even to the immuno-system. Revealing the interrelatedness of body, mind, and soul, these researches have had a profound impact in the treatment of chronic pain, and have led to a view of pain that reveals the immense value of the “how-to-live” principles taught by Paramahansa Yogananda many years ago.
“From the work of Yogananda and others a renewed interest in the science of Yoga has developed, mostly in the United States, where several yogic techniques have been soundly scrutinized through empirical studies and gained acceptance in the practice of health care, mainly in the field of clinical psychology and management of chronic pain patients.”
— Steven F. Brena, M.D.,
Clinical Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine, Emory University; Chairman of the Board, Pain Control and Rehabilitation Institute of Georgia
“Paramahansa Yogananda’s life and work are captivating….[His] fame has spread like a fragrance....to America and the farthermost horizons of the globe. Under the banner of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India/Self-Realization Fellowship, he established numerous meditation centers in many lands. The ashrams, temples, and centers of his work are holy places for the practice of India’s great science of Yoga....
“In this modern age, it is wonderful that in spite of the materialism of the West, innumerable persons there have shown such interest in the spiritual accomplishments of Paramahansa Yogananda, a yogi from the East. The mysticism of great saints has a deep appeal and promise of hope for the troubled human mind. Thus, many have been inspired by the life of Paramahansa Yogananda....
“It was commonly thought that the practice of a soul science like Kriya Yoga was restricted to secluded ascetics in forests and mountain caves. Paramahansa Yogananda’s mission was to show that a person in ordinary family life anywhere in the world could receive and practice Kriya Yoga with highest spiritual benefit. He has rendered a supreme service to mankind.”
— Dr. Ashutosh Das,
M.A., Ph.D., D. Litt., Professor, Calcutta University