Paramahansa Yogananda was and still is famous in the West for his ageless classic, Autobiography of a Yogi. On March 7, 1952, he died at the surprisingly youthful age of 59, especially considering his spiritual life. Although it is certain that the greatness of a guru is not judged by the years that he lived, but rather the way in which he lived. His teachings live on today through The Self-Realization Fellowship , where one can become a member and receive weekly teachings for up to three years from the organization, all taught by the guru himself. This is something I have recently done, and I highly recommend it to every spiritual seeker.
It is said that Yogananda’s death was not an ordinary one: “the great guru entered mahasamadhi, a God‑illumined master’s conscious exit from the body at the time of physical death”. And nor did his body undergo the expected process of decomposition, as is also stated on the website of The Self-Realization Fellowship that “His passing was marked by an extraordinary phenomenon. A notarized statement signed by the Director of Forest Lawn Memorial‑Park testified: “No physical disintegration was visible in his body even twenty days after death….This state of perfect preservation of a body is, so far as we know from mortuary annals, an unparalleled one…Yogananda’s body was apparently in a phenomenal state of immutability.””
As I’m sure most spiritual seekers already know, there is almost too much information out there about spirituality. It can be exhilarating at times, but often you just have your energy going in so many directions you’re not sure what to do with all this stuff. Your life can begin to feel meaningless, ironically. Therefore, stop trying to accommodate all your beliefs and theories by just passively thinking about them all day, and throwing the occasional anecdote at people to show them how spiritually awake you are. Decide how you want to live, whether it’s based on what you’ve read or on a spiritual role model, and then do that. It’s that simple! Because what I’ve found in my life is that spiritual pride and frustration are exactly the opposite of what spirituality is supposed to give you. You cannot do everything, but you can do anything.
Even the best of us die, and Paramahansa Yogananda I believe was one of them. That is the one thing most of us just cannot grasp. So understand that life is transient, and everything changes. There is limited time for this body you are in now to attain enlightenment. But don’t rush, don’t even think about it, because the faster you run at it, the faster it runs from you. Yet if you live a life with no spiritual endeavors you are sure to miss it. Therefore, find the point right in the middle, and this I think is giving up. That is to say, understand that where you are, who you are, and everything around you is perfect.
In meditation all of this need not be said, because it is known.