Rarely in a lifetime does a new spiritual classic appear that has the power to change people’s lives and transform future generations. This is such a book.

The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita Explained by Paramhansa Yogananda shares the profound insights of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi, as remembered and read by one of his few remaining direct disciples, Swami Kriyananda.

This revelation of India’s best-loved scripture approaches it from an entirely fresh perspective, showing its deep allegorical meaning and also its down-to-earth practicality. The themes presented are universal: how to achieve victory in life in union with the divine; how to prepare for life’s “final exam,” death, and what happens afterward; how to triumph over all pain and suffering.

This book is itself a triumph. Swami Kriyananda worked with Paramhansa Yogananda in 1950 while the Master completed his commentary. At that time Yogananda commissioned him to disseminate his teachings world-wide. Kriyananda has in his lifetime lectured, taught, and written eighty-five books based on Yogananda’s teachings.

The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, Kriyananda’s eighty-sixth book, is the crowning achievement of his highly productive life. In this, his masterpiece, he declares, “Yogananda’s insights into the Gita are the most amazing, thrilling, and helpful of any I have ever read.”

The State of Jivan Mukta - The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita with Swami Kriyananda

To watch more videos: Swami Kriyananda – The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita Explained by Paramhansa Yogananda

Paramhansa Yogananda

Paramhansa Yogananda (often spelled 'Paramahansa' Yogananda) was born on January 5, 1893 in Gorakhpur, India. He was the first yoga master of India to permanently live and teach in the West. Yogananda arrived in America in 1920, and traveled throughout the United States on what he called his 'spiritual campaigns'. His enthusiastic audiences filled the largest halls in America. Hundreds of thousands came to see the yogi from India. At some packed venues thousands were turned away nightly. A national sensation, Yogananda's lectures and books were extensively written about by the major media of the era, including Time Magazine, Newsweek, and Life. He was even invited to the White House by President Calvin Coolidge. Yogananda continued to lecture and write up to his passing in 1952.

Yogananda's initial impact was truly impressive. But his lasting impact has been even greater. Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi, first published in 1946, helped launch a spiritual revolution throughout the world. His message was nonsectarian and universal. Yogananda's Guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar, sent him to the West with the admonition, "The West is high in material attainments, but lacking in spiritual understanding. It is God's will that you play a role in teaching mankind the value of balancing the material with an inner, spiritual life."

Yogananda brought clarity to hundreds of thousands of people regarding the ancient teachings of India - previously shrouded in the cultural assumptions and terminology of an era long past. These teachings include the path of Kriya Yoga, which Yogananda called the 'jet-airplane' route to God, consisting of ancient yoga techniques to hasten the spiritual evolution of the student.

"The true basis of religion is not belief, but intuitive experience. Intuition is the soul's power of knowing God. To know what religion is really all about, one must know God," said Paramhansa Yogananda in the book "The Essence of Self-Realization". He further wrote that "Self- Realization is the knowing in all parts of body, mind, and soul that you are now in possession of the kingdom of God; that you do not have to pray that it come to you; that God's omnipresence is your omnipresence; and that all that you need to do is improve your knowing."

If you'd like to read more about Yogananda's work, click here.

Swami Kriyananda

Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters), who left his body in 2013, was a direct disciple of the great master, Paramhansa Yogananda, and an internationally known author, lecturer, and composer. Widely recognized as one of the world's foremost authorities on meditation and yoga, he taught these principles and techniques to hundreds of thousands of students around the world.

In 1968, Kriyananda founded Ananda Village in Nevada City, California, dedicated to spreading the spirit of friendship, service, and community around the globe. Ananda is recognized as one of the most successful intentional communities in the world; over 1,000 people reside in Ananda communities in the US, India, and Italy. The European retreat and community located in Assisi, Italy, also serves Ananda meditation groups in Europe and Russia.

Ananda Village is also home to The Expanding Light, a world-renowned guest retreat facility where thousands of visitors annually visit for renewal or instruction in many aspects of meditation, yoga, and the spiritual life. The nearby Ananda Meditation Retreat, located on Ananda's first property, functions both as a retreat and as the site for Ananda's Institute of Alternative Living.

An advocate of simple living and high thinking, Swami Kriyananda's more than 140 books cover a wide range of subjects emphasizing the need to live wisely by one's own experience of life, and not by abstract theories or dogmas.

A composer since 1964, Kriyananda wrote over 400 musical works. His music is inspiring, soothing, and uplifting. Many of his later albums are instrumental works with brief affirmations or visualizations. Chuck Dilberto, of Awareness Magazine wrote, "[His] words and music are full of his life and light. His sole intention is to heal, something we could all use during these chaotic times."

Through Crystal Clarity Publishers, his works have sold over 3 million copies worldwide and have been translated into over 25 languages.

More about Swami Kriyananda, including photos and videos, is available at the
official Swami Kriyananda website.

 

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