View Full Version : An interview with Paramahansa Yogananda

Big Smokes
06-11-2012, 06:26 PM
I will be updating this thread gradually with the entire interview because I don't feel like typing the whole thing at once. It's very good and I hope some of you will find something useful in it.


This is from Journey to Self-Realization - Collected Talks and Essays on Realizing God in Daily Life, Volume III

The following questions were put before Paramahansa Yogananda in 1951 by Professor Bhagwat S. Upadhyaya of Rajputana University in Rajasthan State, distinguished author and historian of Indian culture. The professor met with Paramahansaji at Self-Realization International Headquarters in Los Angeles.

Paramahansaji, do you belong to a particular spiritual order?

Yes, to the ancient Swami Order of India reorganized centuries ago into its present form by Swami Shankara, Adi Shankaracharya. I belong to the Giri ("mountain") branch, one of the ten subdivisions of the Order, as did my guru Swami Sri Yukteswar from whom I received initiation.

You are a man of religion; but don't you think that religion has been a cause of division, bloodshed, and evil in the world?

The existence of imitation gold does not decrease the value of pure gold. Similarly, spurious religion does not diminish the value of true religion. Those who abuse the power of religion or who only pretend to follow religious practices for their own self-promotion become hypocrites and are sometimes perpetrators of evil; they are the wrongdoers, not religion. Those who exemplify true religion, or dharma, are a source of upliftment to the world; and they themselves become forever free from sorrow. True religion consists of those principles by which body, mind, and soul can be united to God. It is ultimately the only savior that can rescue man from all the evils of the earth.

Is religion per se really necessary for the upliftment of man? When he joins a particular faith or order, does he not rather circumscribe himself and thus create barriers between himself and those of other creeds?

Dogmatic religions are bypaths, sometimes blind alleys leading nowhere; but even so, a fairly good dogmatic religion can lead the sincere seeker to the highway of true religion, which in turn leads to God. That highway is yoga, the scientific process by which every soul reunites with Spirit. In the Bhagavad Gita, yoga is proclaimed greater than all other paths - greater than those of devotion, wisdom, and righteous action. Yoga is the science of how man descended from Spirit into flesh and became identified with the body and its senses and possessions; and how he can reascend to God. The experience, or realization, of truth that comes from yoga practice provides proof of the underlying unity of all religions found in the perception of their one common denominator -