(The Noble New)
Paramahansa Yogananda is widely known for his classic book, “Autobiography of a Yogi.” As has happened with hundreds of thousands of people, that book completely rocked my world & changed my life in my early 20’s. Perhaps, I might even say – it saved my life.
Within a relatively short time, I had sent away for his lessons (from SRF, Self-Realization Fellowship, his parent organization), spent months at Ananda Co-Operative Village (the first World Brotherhood Colony based on his teachings) & received Kriya initiation from one of his direct disciples, Roy Eugene Davis. So, right away I was exposed to 3 very distinct rays of Yogananda’s family. And each exhibited the tell tale signs of true discipleship: sincerity, loyalty, honesty, service to others, etc. Since that initiation (in 1976) I have spent nearly my entire adult life living in spiritual community as his disciple, mostly at Ananda (8+ years) or towns close to it (Nevada City, Grass Valley) and from 2007-2011 at Polestar Gardens Community in Hawaii.
Most of the great religious traditions in our world today have developed off-shoots of their original paths. Christianity devolving into Protestantism, Lutheranism, Catholicism, etc. being the most obvious example. This seems to be the “way of the world” & unfortunately, Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings have not been the exception to that rule. It is no little cause for distress to me that different streams of Yogananda’s large, planetary family have all too often been uncomfortable with each other.
With the deepest sincerity of my being, I pray that all these schisms under the universal umbrella of this great world teacher be healed and released. In that spirit, I offer these simple melodies set to Yogananda’s powerful poetry that came to me over 27 years ago (& which I held back from distribution for fear of doing something a-dharmic). Now, it feels right to give them their own life. They have been a source of a much solace & comfort to me, and I hope the same for anyone else who will give them a good trial.
“Sound or vibration is the most powerful force in the universe. Music is a divine art, to be used not only for pleasure, but as a path to God-realization. Vibrations resulting from devotional singing lead to attunement with the Cosmic Vibration or the Word.” (“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and Word was God.” John 1:1)
-- Paramhansa Yogananda
“Singing is praying twice” -- Anonymous
In Divine Friendship,