"Look only for the good in everything, that you absorb the quality of beauty."
~ Paramahansa Yogananda
If you would like to know more about Paramahansa Yogananda and SRF, visit the website for Mother Center in Los Angeles California.
The Autobiography of a Yogi is a spiritual classic written by Paramahansa Yogananda more than 60 years ago. It has been a best seller, translated into 26 languages worldwide.
Editor’s Note: Local devotees of Paramahansa Yogananda are blessed that the great Premavatar visited Colorado several times. During his first visit in 1924 he stayed here for several weeks lecturing and spreading the message of kriya yoga and composed his poem Pikes Peak. He returned again to vacation as well as to give lectures and classes in 1926, 1927, 1929, and finally in 1931 when he dedicated the new “Yogoda Temple” in Denver.
As the quote below from Journey to Self-Realization by our Guru implies, as well as the following quote from Sri Mrinalini Mata, local devotees who are attuned may feel his holy presence and receive the blessings of the Guru when we are in locations where he stayed. It is in this spirit that we present this web site documentary of Swami Yogananda in Colorado.
From Journey to Self-Realization, by Paramahansa Yogananda, p. 252
“There is also great value in visiting places where saints have lived. …such places are forever permeated with the vibrations left there by the divine souls who walked those grounds. Their vibrations will remain until this earth is dissolved. Where souls have communed with God, there you will find greater communion and response from God. Often such pilgrimages completely change one’s life for the better.”
From Look Always to the Light, by Sri Mrinalini Mata
“Know that where ever a divine saint, one who knows God, one who is one with God, where ever they have lived, where ever they have walked, where ever they have communed, that blessing, that spiritual power of their life, remains there always. That is the ideal of pilgrimage.”
SWAMI YOGANANDA IN COLORADO
From Pictorial History of SRF, p. 14-15
When I confided to a deeply devoted student what God had revealed to me, she said she would arrange a farewell dinner in my honor. My plan was to leave for California the morning after the dinner, taking with me a secretary (Mr. M. Rashid), a good-hearted but unpredictable fellow, and two young men who were students in my classes (Aurthur Frey and Ralph Lubliner). We had at that time a little money from classes I had given, and we bought a Maxwell car. (There was only enough money left to last until we reached
The night before our departure, our hostess drew me aside after dinner and said: "I cannot do very much for you, but please accept this." It was a check for several thousand dollars. Behind it I saw the hand of God. I was so overcome, tears of gratitude flowed, and I predicted to her: "You will see a large institution in
We started on our way next morning, equipped for camping so that we could travel as economically as possible. All of us were happy and singing all the way.* over and over I chanted: "Engrossed is the bee of my mind on the blue lotus feet of my Divine Mother."
We stopped in
*Editor’s Note: On another occasion Paramahansa Yogananda remarked that by traveling leisurely and camping along the way, visiting many of the natural scenic wonders, including Pike's Peak, and Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parts –he was able to see and study America and Americans. His love grew daily for his adopted country and her people.
† Three thousand persons filled the
Editors Note Relating to
Swami Yogananda’s 1924 Visit to Pikes Peak
Prior to lecturing in Denver during his 1924 visit, Master visited Pikes Peak near Colorado Springs (pictured below). It was on his drive up the mountain that he composed his poem Pikes Peak beginning “Ne’er did I expect to roam, On wheels four, Where thousand clouds do soar.”
Nervousness is the disease of civilization
From Journey to Self-Realization, by Paramahansa Yogananda,
Nervousness is the disease of civilization. I remember when some of us were driving up Pikes Peak in Colorado. Other cars were speeding past us on the steep, winding grade. I thought they were hurrying to get to the mountaintop in time to see the sunrise. To my great amazement, when we arrived we were the only ones outside to enjoy the view. All the others were in the restaurant drinking coffee and eating doughnuts. Imagine! They rushed to the top and then rushed back, just for the thrill of being able to say when they got home that they had been there, and had coffee and doughnuts on Pikes Peak. That is what nervousness does.
Editors Notes Relating to
Swami Yogananda’s 1924 Visit to Denver
Swami Yogananda arrived from Colorado Springs on July 26, 1924 to begin his lecture tour in Denver. While lecturing in Denver during his 1924 visit, Master stayed at the Irvington Hotel, visible on the left in this 1930s-era photograph (below).
Master very likely met Mayor Stapleton in the old Denver City Hall (pictured below) on August 2, 1924. The hall was built in 1883 and was located on the northwest corner of Larimer Street and 14th Street. The building was razed in 1936.
August 2, 1924 Rocky Mountain News Article
India Educator Visits Denver on Tour of Country
Swami Yogananda to Give Two Lectures Before Leaving City.
Swami Yogananda, noted Indian educator, lecturer and traveler, paid a special visit to Mayor Stapleton yesterday morning, bedecked in a dazzling orange turban and golden gown.
“Your mayor impresses me as a very able man,” he explained in an interview later. “I told him of the beautiful country and city you have. In some respects it is more beautiful than India; in other respects India is more enchanting.”
Swami is traveling with his secretary across the country by automobile, being the first East Indian of high station to do this, he explained. Saturday morning he arrived from Colorado Springs on his way to San Francisco, having started from New York two months ago. Being the owner of two large schools in India he is studying intimately educational conditions and schools in America.
He expects to give three lectures in Denver, the first of which has been tentatively scheduled for August 14th in the city auditorium. His subject will be “The Art of Living.”
August 7, 1924 Rocky Mountain News Article
Swami Yogananda to Lecture in Denver
Prince Swami Yogananda, India school owner and educator, has arranged to give a lecture in Denver at the city Auditorium on the evening of August 14th. His subject will be “Concentration.” Prince Swami is traveling with his secretary across the continent from New York to San Francisco by automobile, making an intensive study of the American school system. While in Denver he is staying at the Irvington Hotel.
(Editors Note: The Metropole Hotel, where Master gave this talk, was located at 1756 Broadway in downtown Denver (pictured below circa 1980). It was built in 1891 and was a “significant luxury hotel”, billed as one of the first “fireproof” hotels in the country. It had an ornate “vaudeville showhouse”, whose interior was decorated in East Indian themes. The Metropole was recognized as one of the three grand hotels in Denver at the turn of the century along with the Brown Palace and Savoy. The hotel was demolished in 1984)
August 8, 1924 Rocky Mountain News Article
Music and Address by East Indian Features Unusual Meeting of Optimists
Swami Giri Yogananda Reads Unique Poem Composed on Auto Trip Up Pikes Peak.
Music by a widely known violinist and a short address by an East Indian educator whose aim is international education were the two main features of the program at the Optimist luncheon in the Metropole Hotel yesterday.
Isai A. Feldsman, who recently came to Denver from Constantinople where he was a professor at the Conservatory, played Schubert’s Serenade, the Legend by Wensivsky, and the Fall Song by Tchaikovsky. Madeline Blickensderfer, well known young Denver musician, accompanied him.
Following the musicians, Swami Giri Yogananda, Indian educator who is touring the United States in an automobile, and who has started schools in New York and Boston, gave an inspiring talk on “International Welfare”.
Wrong psychology and human hatred are the causes for warfare, the Swami told his hearers. If there were not war machines, men would fight with their hands. It is only by individual good will towards international welfare that individual welfare receives its greatest benefits, he said.
Following his talk, Swami read a poem which he had composed on the road to Pikes Peak. Following are excerpts of it:
“Through some troubles of punctured tires,
In joy-mixed sadness,
Afraid of approaching darkness,
We entered the land of scenes and springs,
Which stood protesting ‘gainst the darksome night.
After the midnight hour was fall,
Towards the Pikes Peak road we rolled
In our convalescent car
On roads dusted with tar.
With winding, tricky curves which climbed
And in secret glided,
Fourteen thousand feet above the sea
In the home of dark clouds
I loved the breathless subtle air
So pure and clear,
That chokes the gross,
But burns the dross
Of those that love
To worship in a breathless state.”
Swami Yogananda’s 1924 Lectures in Denver
(Editors Note: This information is based on Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News advertisements.)
Swami Yogananda gave at least 3 free public lectures in 1924: two at Barnes College Auditorium (14th and Glenarm) and one at the City Auditorium (13th and Champa). Following are a couple of the quotes that Master included in the newspaper advertisements:
“Renowned Lecturer, Educator and Psychologist From India”
Following are the titles of Master’s 1924 lectures:
Mastering the Subconscious Mind Monday August 11, 1924
Magnetic Healing Wednesday August 13, 1924
Concentration and Life Force Thursday August 14, 1924
Master gave his August 14, 1924 lecture in the Denver City Auditorium (pictured below), which was located at 920 14th Street. It was built in 1908 and originally had a capacity of 12,500. The brick building had Neoclassical features including terra-cotta trim, domes, pediments, quoins, dentiled cornice and corner towers. Flagpoles extend from the domes and an awning is on the facade. Originally, the building was a multi-purpose structure: it accommodated concerts, operas, theatrical shows, conventions, basketball, auto shows and even circuses. The auditorium has gone through numerous renovations over the years. Most recently, the historic shell of the old Auditorium Theatre was rebuilt and named the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, honoring "Denver's First Lady of Opera”, who helped make the opera house possible. It opened as Opera Colorado’s new home on September 10, 2005.
Denver Civic Auditorium in 1929
Swami Yogananda giving his lecture on “Concentration and Life Force” to an audience of 3,000 people in the Denver Civic Auditorium on Thursday August 14, 1924
One of the advertisements placed by Swami Yogananda in the Denver Post Newspaper, August 14, 1924
November 1925 East-West Magazine article, p. 9
(Editors Note: In early 1924 Master gave lectures in
About this time Swami felt an inner call to further extend the work, and saw in his mind’s eye the West of America and especially
A large class of Yogoda students was formed with the helpful cooperation of Mrs. F. Simmons, Mrs. Tedrow and Mr. and Mrs. Smith. The city of
Swami then proceeded to beautiful
August 19, 1926 Letter from Swami Yogananda to Doctor and Mrs. Lewis from Denver, Colorado
From Treasures Against Time, by Brenda Lewis Rosser, p. 98
(Borrego Publications, P.O. Box 31, Borrego Springs California 92004, 243 p.)
“I talked in Denver in the City Auditorium (bigger than Symphony Hall, Boston).“
August 1927 Letter from Swami Yogananda to Doctor Lewis from Colorado Springs, Colorado
From Treasures Against Time, by Brenda Lewis Rosser, p. 105
(Borrego Publications, P.O. Box 31, Borrego Springs California 92004, 243 p.)
“Have been extremely busy.“
January – February 1929 East-West Magazine article
Judge Lindsay’s (of Denver) Viewpoint on “The Crime Wave in America
Such men as Judge Ben Lindsay do not take that viewpoint. Judge Lindsay says, "Normal, moral, restrained conduct cannot be had from adolescents suffering from malnutrition, acidosis and auto-intoxication. The first thing I have to look into and correct in the cases of the most incorrigible is their health. In many cases, wrong eating is back of the bad health; bad teeth, bad eye-sight, nervousness, tonsils, anemia and every other evidence of faulty metabolism." Judge Lindsay’s many years in the Juvenile Court of Denver should make him an authority on this subject and anyone who wishes may secure and read his opinion on it.
One of the best eye-openers which has ever been given to the American people was written by Jack Cunard. The following is his view in, "To Curb the Crime you must Cure the Criminal".
"Daylight holdups of banks and jewelry stores, and crime of every imaginable sort have increased tremendously during the past three years. The murder rate has taken a terrible jump. Our prisons are jammed to the limit; we have to build new ones. Our reform schools are loaded with juveniles between the ages of twelve and twenty. Our jails are loaded with underworld ramblers waiting for trial. The course can’t keep up with the procession which passes thru the doors, of the boobs of the country. Our death houses are well populated with murderers who will soon take their last flash at life from the seat of the flame chair or thru the noose of the hangman. Here is an utterly deplorable condition. It has been growing worse year by year for the past ten years or more. The cost to the taxpayers of the country is staggering almost beyond belief. Today your crime bill is around $10,000,000,000. Every time you arrest, try, convict and send a crook to prison, it costs around $3,500.00 and when you consider that some crooks go to prison three, four and five times within the course of their underworld careers, you get some idea of what a tremendous expensive thing your old, unscientific and almost broken down penal system is."
In "Physical Culture", in the September, 1927, issue, is "The Sick Criminal". "Here is the true story of a pathetic little figure of the underworld who gravitated to a life of crime because of the under-nourished and unhealthy physical condition in which he was permitted to grow up. In the future installments you will learn much of what is behind the scenes in the making of a criminal."
Too much cannot be said of the efforts of "Physical Culture" to show the necessity for right living, clean minds and bodies as well as right food. These, together with the right education, will put an end to America’s Ten Billion Dollar Crime Bill.
We have had many years to stop Crime by Punishment; what has it brought us? Only the chance to build more prisons and buy more rope. Clarence Darrow says, "It brutalizes those who inflict it and those who receive it. There is only one motive for it, and that is revenge, in which there can be no justice for it is based on hatred, which is degrading. If scientists were no wiser than legislators we would still be punishing the insane, the idiots, the sick. We have abandoned such magical treatment and some day we shall treat the criminal with as much understanding."
Kamala Silva in Memoriam (1906-1997)
From Self-Realization Fellowship Magazine
Kamala Silva, a longtime disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda, passed away on November 29, 1997. Brother Bhumananda of Self-Realization Fellowship International Headquarters conducted a memorial service for her at the
Born Mary Buchanan, she adopted the Sanskrit name Kamala, which Paramahansaji customarily called her; it means “lotus.” Among the thousands who attended Paramahansaji’s first series of lectures in
Kamala and her husband, Edward Silva (who passed away earlier in 1997), started a Self-Realization Fellowship Center in Oakland in the late 1940s, and thereafter conducted services and assisted SRF activities in the San Francisco Bay area – including plans that resulted in the establishment of the current temple in Richmond. For many years she joined the monastics at the International Headquarters for annual Christmas celebrations, until age would no longer permit her to travel.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Born in Colorado on June 21, 1906, Mary Isabelle Buchanan was first called by the name Kamala by the renowned Indian yogi, Swami Yogananda, at their very first meeting in 1925, when she was only 19 years old. From that moment until her passing on November 29, 1997 at the age of 91, Kamala was a devoted and much loved disciple of the great yoga master and his yoga meditation teachings.
Kamala's early childhood years had been spent in Colorado. Her parents, Dr. Frances Grant Buchanan and William James Buchanan, were separated when Kamala was 12 years old, but remained close friends and steadfast caregivers throughout Kamala's youth. When Dr. Buchanan moved with Kamala to Southern California in 1918, Mr. Buchanan soon followed. Both parents were exceptional for their times, with open minds and thoughtful demeanors that must have greatly influenced Kamala's own exceptional talents and abilities.
Kamala, her mother, Master and her father in a boat, circa 1930.
Kamala was ordained as an SRF Minister by Swami Yogananda in 1934.
From Book The Flawless Mirror, by Sri Kamala Silva
(East Wind Printers, 1090 Sansome St., San Francisco, California 94111, 239 p.)
Swami remained in
Letter from Master to Kamala:
Dear Kamala, August 30, 1929
I was very glad to hear from you. I will reach Colorado Springs on September 4th, Wednesday at I hope to meet you at the station. Many things to tell you when I see you.
Unceasing blessings to you both,
View of Rocky Mountain area where Swami Yogananda visited Kamala in the summer of 1929 and at other times
September 4, 1929
We eagerly awaited the hour he would be with us. A white dusting of snow touched the Rocky Mountains on the day Swami arrived. We met him and drove to our mountain cabin. We had guests staying with us and all were overjoyed to have this opportunity to be with him it was a time of visiting and blessing, spent near the blazing log fire, needed indeed by the sudden departure of summer.
September 5, 1929
The next day we drove to Denver where we were to remain overnight with friends whom we knew to be very interested in Swami’s teachings. Master had graciously agreed to these plans, and found this couple had many questions to ask him. Recognizing their great sincerity, he asked if they would like to receive the lesson techniques. Their affirmative replies were given with happy anticipation. In the evening we all sat around a table and I recall we practiced the concentration and meditation methods as he explained them. He concluded with a blessing as he showed each one the inner spiritual light.
September 6, 1929
In the early hours of the following morning my Guru crossed the street into a park which faced the house. Everything was white with the early winter snow. There, beside a lovely pond of water, was a sheltered place for his devotions, and he meditated in this peaceful setting.
When we were leaving, our friends surprised and pleased him with a gift of a travel film of
When the time arrived for his departure, we were naturally reluctant to see him leave. It brought a lonely feeling when he boarded the train that carried him on his way, but we were glad he had been able to fit these days into his busy schedule.
Mother received her degree from the Denver and Gross College of Medicine of the
Page 87: (1933)
When summer arrived I went to Colorado to remain for a time at our mountain cabin. While there, I transcribed some of Swami’s recent class talks.
Master asked me to see him on the following morning. I had the blessing of a visit with him, and then returned to Colorado.
I was staying in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. This was always my happiest childhood environment, with its Cinerama of gigantic rocks, streams, wildflowers, golden sunrise, and winds singing through the trees. In summer every shade of green spells peace to the soul; then autumn turns the hillsides into a Persian carpet of rich tones. Winter snows soon come, casting a spell of silence everywhere, while the bright sun spreads a sparkle of diamonds across this scene of enchantment. O God Beautiful, so visible:
It was here, many years later that this book was commenced with the re-reading of my Guru’s letters. An inner intuition guided my thoughts to the realization that it was Master’s wish, and for a time, I daydreamed over memories. Then I began to type, and the first page started to unfold these recollections wherein I would share the letters, poems, and conversations of this man of God.
Page 97: (1934)
I went to
From Book A Paramhansa Yogananda Trilogy of Divine Love, by Sri Durga mata, page 23
(Griffin Printing, Glendale, CA, Joan Wight, P.O. Box 17582, Beverly Hills California 90209, 209 p.)
Sri Durga Mata was a member of the SRF Board of Directors for many years
Early in 1931, Master left Los Angeles via train for his campaign in Denver. He took the train and instructed Karla Schramm, my brother, and myself to drive the housecar and join him in Denver. After the classes, we drove to Colorado Springs for a vacation. Master had rented a house which was a minister’s residence, who had gone on a month’s leave. It was a neat, comfortable house. When we left, Karla and I cleaned the house thoroughly making sure we left it as neat as we had found it. Master left his “Science of Religion” book with his inscription and a thank you note for the minister and his wife. Master heard from the minister later thanking him for the book and saying how pleased they were to find the house in better order than they had left.
Master’s Housecar in 1985, in storage garage behind the Encinitas ashram
History of Master’s Housecar, located in Encinitas ashram center
During this time, some of the members helped Master buy a convertible four-seater Ford. How Master thrilled and enjoyed sitting on the very top, using the back seat as a foot stool, taking the full benefit of Colorado’s beautiful view. Several members wanted to come back to
Denver Union Depot railway station where he first arrived in 1931
Swami Yogananda’s 1931 Lectures in Denver
(Editors Note: This information is based primarily on Rocky Mountain News advertisements.)
Swami Yogananda gave at least 9 free public lectures at the Albany Hotel in Denver, Colorado beginning July 9, 1931. Master wrote to Dr. Lewis from this hotel on July 11, 1924 telling that he planned on staying there until August 12th (Brenda Lewis Rosser, 1991, Treasures Against Time, Borrego Publications, Borrego Springs, CA, 243 p.). On August 15, 1924 Master went on an outing to Pikes Peak with Karla Schramm, Durga Ma, and her brother.
The Albany Hotel (pictured below circa 1920) was built in 1885 and was located on the NE corner of 17th Street and Stout Street in the Central Business District of Denver. It was demolished in 1976.
Master’s 1931 Denver lectures were given in the ballroom of the hotel at 8 PM each evening. There was a “Special Inspiring Musical Program” preceding each lecture. Following are some of the quotes that Master included in the newspaper advertisements:
“4 New Soul-Stirring Free Lectures”
“Hundreds Have Asked for Them!”
“Be Sure to Hear Them—Given by Special Request”
“Hear Every One of These Revealing Lectures”
“One of the World’s Greatest Teachers”
“Famous Philosopher, Poet and Educator From India”
“By the Great Teacher, Who Has Thrilled Thousands With His Dynamic, Soul-Stirring Message”
“The Great Teacher brings you a Vital Message that will stir you in the depths of your very soul!”
“The Great Teacher from India brings you a new vital message that will stir you with its revealing Power!”
“Following the lecture there will be a unique, new and amazing demonstration of mind-power over the body.”
“Don’t Fail to hear the last remaining soul-stirring messages”
“Under the Auspices of the Christian Yogoda-Sat-Sanga Society”
“Denver Demanded to Hear More of This Distinguished Hindu Master”
“A Most Unique Exposition”
“Unique Demonstration of Mind Power Follows Lecture”
“Don’t fail to hear these last two lectures. Come early as seating capacity has been taxed in the previous lectures.”
“In his final message that will bring you a better realization of what life may have in store for you.”
Following are the titles of Master’s 1931 lectures in Denver:
How to Develop Personal Magnetism Thursday July 9, 1931
Developing Dynamics of Divine Love and Real Human Love Friday July, 10, 1931
Mahatma Gandhi and
Super-Science and Art of Concentration for Real Success Sunday July 12, 1931
How to Live Several Years-Ahead of Your Time, by Advance Methods Sunday July 19, 1931
Great Method of Overcoming Nervousness Thursday July 30, 1931
How Oriental Methods Help Occidental Business Friday July 31, 1931
Very helpful in succeeding by occult law
How to Make your Religion Work Saturday August 1, 1931
This applies to all faiths and nationalities. Ministers of all creeds particularly invited. Swami’s greatest lecture.
Using Subconsciousness, Consciousness and Superconsciousness for Real Success Sunday August 2, 1931
One of the advertisements placed by Swami Yogananda in the Denver Post Newspaper, July 9, 1931
Swami Yogananda’s 1931 Lectures in Colorado Springs
(Editors Note: This information is based primarily on Colorado Springs Gazette newspaper advertisements.)
Following his lectures in Denver, Swami Yogananda traveled to Colorado Springs on August 12, 1931 and gave 3 free public lectures at the Colorado Springs Municipal Auditorium on August 13, 14, and 15, 1931. This auditorium is located at 231 East Iowa Street and was built in 1923. Swami Yogananda gave lectures in the “Little Theatre” located at the left (south) side of the auditorium. This smaller theater is more intimate than the rather cavernous main auditorium and thus was an ideal location to hear an inspiring lecture by Guruji.
Currently, the Little Theater is often used for plays and is called the Lon Chaney Theater, named after the famous actor who was born in Colorado Springs in 1883. Lon Chaney worked at the Colorado Springs Opera House for many years before moving to California in 1912 to act in films such as “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “The Phantom of the Opera.”
Master’s lectures in Colorado Springs were given at 8 PM each evening. There was an “Inspired Musical Musical Program” each night. Following are some of the quotes that Master included in the newspaper advertisements:
“The Man Who is Thrilling America with His Mighty Messages”
“By the man who has thrilled thousands with his soul-stirring messages”
“Direct from Denver, where thousands heard this famed Hindu Master”
“Under the Auspices of the Christian Yogoda Sat Sanga Society”
“Famous Philosopher, Poet and Educator from India”
“Coming direct from a 2 months engagement in Denver”
“Hear this Distinguished Hindu Master”
“Dynamic Free Lectures”
“The Lecture Treat of the Year”
“Unique demonstration follows this lecture”
“All Welcome No Collection No Admission Charge”
Following are the titles of Master’s 1931 lectures in Colorado Springs:
Everlasting Youth Thursday August 13, 1931
Unrivaled New Interpretation
Greatest Science of Healing Friday August 14, 1931
Union of mental and medical science. Unrivalled exposition. Doctors and mental healers especially invited.
Super Science and Art of Concentration for Real Success Saturday August 15, 1931
One of the advertisements placed by Swami Yogananda in the Colorado Springs Gazette Newspaper, August 14, 1931
Following his free lectures in Colorado Springs, Master traveled back to Denver where he dedicated the new “Yogoda Temple” at 939 Grant Street on August 23, 1931.
April 1932 East-West Magazine article,
New Centers, p. 28
Yogoda is in progress in
It is one of the most beautiful places in
The entrance to the
This home was made possible by Mary I. Dillon whose love for Yogoda prompted not only the gift, but the dedication of her life to God through Yogoda.
Swami Yogananda with Denver Yogoda students at 939 Grant Street Temple in Denver, August 23, 1931
Picture of Swami Yogananda taken in Denver on August 23, 1931
Devotee Testimonial from March 1937
Inner Culture Magazine
"I want you to know that the Lessons have been a great help to me in getting a better understanding of life and the Truth. I am enjoying the review of the Lessons. There is always something new and interesting in them no matter how many times one has gone over them. Wouldn’t want to do without them for I prize them as the highest thing I have. I have never had so much joy and happiness in my life as I have had the last year.”—A. B.,
Composed by Paramahansa Yogananda
During his first trip to
(in Songs of the Soul by Paramahansa Yogananda, pg. 114)
Ne’er did I expect to roam
On wheels four
Where thousand clouds do soar—
The dangerous, darksome path
With tricky winding “W” curves that climbed
And glided secretly
Full fourteen thousand feet above the sea—
The home of dark-hued clouds, so gamesome free,
That watched with heavy binding vapor-shroud
To cast ‘round stranger’s steps
That dared to tread in stealth
Their realm of scenic wealth.
And I did swoon
To spy, by light of miser moon,
The deep, deep hollow hall of space below—
Dimly adorned with weirdsome light, aglow
On pictures of twinkling, sleeping cities;
Shadowy trees, leaves inert in resting breeze;
And tall soldier-stones, and valleys,
Bright in silhouette.
The moonlight dim
Did slowly, strangely change to light of dawn.
There stood the temple-observatory,
Vacant and solitary.
Alas, O Royal Phoebus!
Where were thy swarming lovers,
As blushing red thou didst burn
In earliest hour of dawn?
The test of biting chill
Drove all the votaries away,
And all was still;
I alone was left
With thee upon the hill.
Thou wert aflame,
Yet calmer art thou now,
With silvery brow, spreading o’er all sleeping things
Thy wakening glow.
They did awake:
The trees breathed deep;
The streamlets opened twinkling, crystal eyes—
All creation rose from sleep.
O Sun, redeemer of darkness! Now I know:
All things, all wakened creatures
Are looking in wonder
Not at thee, but at the Unseen Wonder
That through thy glow
Mutely thou wantst to show.
Where went the cold?
Rebuked, it fled, that troublesome chill of old.
I loved the breathless subtle air,
So pure and clear,
That chokes the gross
And burns the dross
Of those that love
To worship Thee in breathless state, oh, far above
The roar and din of tipsy senses.
I met all minds;
I asked the winds,
Pursued the rainbow,
Begged the pure white clouds
(Which sailed unknown so proud)
To tell me if they saw
Him whom I’d just spied—
Whose One Face to see I’d tried
Midst bewitching, bewildering, diverse crowds
Of scenic faces.
And in joy I cried aloud,
“See Him hide
Beneath the beauty tide!”
Paramahansaji wrote these verses while riding in a car through the countryside near
(in Songs of the Soul by Paramahansa Yogananda, pg. 56)
Many a wondrous scenic face
Denver's horizon grand doth grace.
Yet when I think of the rarer beauties
That lie in human souls,
Eagerly I look;
Delving deep in valleys of human minds –
In all their sacred nooks.
Colossal mounts of nobility
I find, adorned with every goodly quality.
Marigolds, roses, pure white flowers
Of budding thoughts, their perfume wafting,
Attract me to their bowers.
The blue expanse of amity
Ripples with thrills of endless beauty.
From compassion's mountain-bosom,
Perpetual soul freshness, constant kind looks,
Flow down like brooks.
Founts of matchless love
Bubble forth in the heart
Of this soul-garden, and start
Endless sparkling fancies.
Yet in the land of souls
Blow various breezes;
One warms me, and another freezes.
Pure souls, vital souls,
Breathe living air in me –
To them my doors are open wide and free.
I open my eyes on passing mountain scenes,
Then close my lids
And race in mental aerial plane
To view again the unseen world of souls:
Cities loom, with passions all;
Liquid mazes of desires,
Ego's dark, titanic chasms,
Where faith has never shone.
What lands pass I?
Whose kingdom see?
There, in the land of minds,
And there alone, I find
The beauties and the barren tracts
Of nations all, of souls all.
Yet diverse though this kingdom be,
There lives here but One Reality.
Three thousand miles of land I traveled not,
But through three thousand miles of minds was brought.
I find writ
And well knit
In outer scenes –
Fields, gardens, cities, shops –
The thought vibrations of those myriad minds.
How oft men pass, unheeding, all the beauties
Of familiar paths, and sheltering trees;
In blindness they roam
In the garden of hearts.
In them I long to start
A vision new:
Of Beauty, eternal and true.