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Finding God through YogaParamahansa Yogananda and Modern American Religion in a Global Age$
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David J. Neumann

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469648637

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469648637.001.0001

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(p.247) Epilogue
Finding God through Yoga

David J. Neumann

University of North Carolina Press

The epilogue narrates the developments and impact of Self-Realization Fellowship and Yogananda’s writings since his death in 1952, assessing his influence in the United States and around the world. A century after Yogananda came to the U.S. with his message of Kriya Yoga, and three quarters of a century after the Autobiography of a Yogi was released, yoga has become ubiquitous, while Hindu beliefs have become an integral part of the spiritual landscape. Yogananda ultimately succeeded in converting thousands of Americans during his lifetime. When he died in 1952, he was revered and worshipped—overwhelmingly by non-Indian Americans—as the very incarnation of deity. Since his departure, he has influenced many others around the world through his successor organization, the Self-Realization Fellowship, and other independent organizations—such as Ananda, founded by Kriyananda—that trace their lineage to him, as well through Autobiography of a Yogi and his other teachings. The Father of Yoga in the West nurtured religious offspring. Yogananda’s story is thus an indispensable element of the emergence of both contemporary yoga and modern American Hinduism

Keywords:   Self-Realization Fellowship, Yogananda, Kriya Yoga, Autobiography of a Yogi, Ananda, Kriyananda, yoga, modern American Hinduism

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