Swami Yogananda

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Fast Facts
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Yogindra Nath Choudhury
Main Countries of Activity: 
Date of Birth: 
Place of Birth: 
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
Date Left His/Her Body: 
March 28, 1899


Swami Yogananda
(1861 - 1899)
Though counted among the disciples of Sri Ramakrishna and guided by him, Swami Yogananda was the first initiated disciple of Sri Sarada Devi, popularly known as the `Holy Mother.' Like the Mother whom he served meticulously with matchless devotion, his life was very unobtrusive for all outward appearances but very deep in inner mystic experiences, of which he sometimes gave a hint or two. Born in 1861 in an orthodox Brahmin family which was in indigent circumstances but had once been aristocratic and rich, Yogindra - the premonastic name of the Swami -- was by nature indrawn, gentle and shy. The desire to pluck a nice flower in Dakshineswar garden brought him face to face with Sri Ramakrishna whom Yogin mistook for gardener working there! He got the flower all right, but in the process, himself became a `flower plant' to be tended by a great gardener of lives. Though married, the world could never drag his mind down to worldliness. Just as pure gold cannot be shaped into ornaments but has got to be alloyed with a small quantity of other metals, Sri Ramakrishna had to `alloy' him with a bit of harshness to counter his too gentle a personality that could not last in this mundane world. But the disciple was not a goody goody simpleton. He could exercise his highly critical discernment even against his own guru or leader ( Swami Vivekananda ) when he thought it necessary. He was a good organizer. He had successfully attracted and inspired many a young man to the monastic life. He was extraordinarily devoted to the Holy Mother whom he served till the last day of his life. His congenitally frail constitution could not stand the rigors he chose to impose upon himself resulting in a rather premature death on March 28, 1899.



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