Year : 1977
Date of Issue : 07 March 1977
The ideal of love for God and service to humanity found full expression in the life of Paramahansa Yogananda. Born on January 5, 1893 at Gorakhpur, he had but one goal: God-realization, and one programme: to unite East and West by spiritual understanding, to demonstrate the underlying unity of all religions and to awaken divine yearning in all hearts.
The education of youth was always intensely interesting to Yogananda. In 1917, he founded Yogoda Satsanga Society of India and established his first school at Ranchi, which has expanded now to four colleges and seventeen schools in different States in India.
In 1920, Paramahansa Yogananda began his mission in the West. Serving as a delegate from India to the International Congress of Religions, he travelled to Boston. He spoke of the ancient spiritual teachings of India and the sacred science of Kriya (Raja) Yoga. He travelled extensively in America and millions attended his lectures on the subject of attaining direct personal experience of God. In 1925, he founded an international Math in Los Angeles in U.S.A.
But for a short visit to India in 1935 when, among others, he had fruitful discussions with Mahatma Gandhi, the Paramahansa continued his work in the West. He gave lectures on the spiritual and cultural heritage of India and conducted classes in balanced living-God can be realized in the home as well as in the ashram. He wrote several books of which his "Autobiography of a Yogi" is recognized throughout the world as a spiritual classic.
Yogananda's exemplary life ended in Los Angeles on March 7, 1952 a few moments after he uttered the final words in a speech at a reception in honour of Ambassador of India to the United States. His deep pride in his native land echoed throughout his last talk: "I love India because there I first learned to love God and all things beautiful." Though the major part of his life was spent outside India, still Paramahansa Yogananda takes his place among our great saints. His work continues to grow and shine ever more brightly drawing people everywhere on the path of the Pilgrimage of the Spirit.
The Posts and Telegraphs Department feels privileged to bring out a commemorative postage stamp in honour of Paramahansa Yogananda.
Source : Information Folder issued by Indian Posts & Telegraph Department, Government of India
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