Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Yogananda Mean?

Yogananda is a Sanskrit title meaning “divine union with God through yoga.”

Yogananda was the name given to the Indian yogi and guru, Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952) who introduced the Western world to yoga and meditation through his writings and public appearances. He took the name Yogananda after becoming a monk of the monastic Swami Order.


Yogapedia Explains Yogananda

Yogananda emphasized the apparent unity of the major religions and taught ancient Kriya yoga as the most expeditious way to attain spiritual growth and Self-realization. In Kriya yoga, which is traditionally learned exclusively through the direct relationship with a guru, the practitioner mentally directs life energy to the six spinal centers.

In 1920, Yogananda arrived in the U.S., becoming the first yoga guru from India to live permanently in the West. He traveled the country on spiritual campaigns, filling large halls in major cities. Even well after his death, his impact has continued through his writings, the work of his disciples and the influence of the organizations he founded, which include the Self-Realization Fellowship and the Yogoda Satsanga Society of India. One of his many writings include the top-selling spiritual classic, “Autobiography of a Yogi.”

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