Ranchi: Yogoda Satsanga Society of India, YSS, which was founded by Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, author of the widely acclaimed Autobiography of a Yogi, on March 22, 1917, is one of the premier spiritual organisations in India,
with a legacy of over a hundred years. YSS has played a path breaking and commendable role in not only disseminating the spiritual teachings of India to the general public, and enabling truth seekers to deepen their relationship with God, but also in contributing directly to several charitable projects and activities across India.
Yoganandaji was a young monk when he undertook the gigantic task of training the youth through what he called the ‘Yogoda’ method of living harmoniously, while balancing the body, mind and soul. He started a school in
Dihika, which is in present day West Bengal, in 1917, with a handful of students. While doing so, he was planting the seeds of YSS, which was to become a highly impactful spiritual organisation. The sister organisation of YSS,
Self-Realization Fellowship, was founded by Yoganandaji after his arrival in America in 1920, by Yoganandaji. SRF has meditation centres throughout the world and is playing a laudable spiritual role, in similar fashion to YSS. The
current President of YSS and SRF is Swami Chidananda Giri.
YSS was launched at the urgings of Yoganandaji’s guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, who advised him to start an organisation to spread the liberating teachings of Kriya Yoga that would enable and guide sincere truth-
seekers towards finding a path to know God. Initially, the youthful Yoganandaji was reluctant to form an organisation, knowing that they could be akin to “hornets’ nests”, but eventually complied with his Guru’s directions, and thus started a spiritual ripple which eventually became a mighty wave that reached the shores of all nations.
The aims and ideals of YSS are elaborate and inspiring in themselves, and one of them begins with the following words:
To disseminate among the nations a knowledge of definite scientific techniques for attaining direct personal experience of God. The teachings propounded by Yoganandaji, which he imbibed from the Gurus before him, revolve around the science of Kriya Yoga. Hundreds of YSS meditation centres serve as the beacon points for devotees and dot the entire map of India.
Several monastics and volunteers are in residence at the ashrams of YSS located at Ranchi, Dakshineswar, Dwarahat and Noida, and serve as representatives of the great Guru’s work, administering the functioning of YSS, carrying out spiritual activities, Satsangas, counselling devotees, distributing home-study lessons and literature, organising relief work when needed, and several other activities for the furtherance of the teachings of Yoganandaji.
Special Satsangas are organised, online and offline, by YSS on occasions like the birth and mahasamadhi anniversaries of the gurus and other commemorations. Sangams (congregations) of devotees are also held
regularly. These events enable an increase in the fervour, devotion and understanding of the attending devotees.
YSS has been honoured by the Government of India (GOI), including most recently on the celebration of 100 years of YSS in 2017, and the 125 th birth anniversary of Yoganandaji in 2018. GOI released 2 postal stamps, one in
1977 and another in 2017 to honour the life and work of Yoganandaji.
The teachings of Paramahansa Yoganandaji continues to enthral and inspire thousands of devotees across India, and YSS is the essence of his legacy. Yoganandaji lives on through YSS and SRF, and its flowery fragrance continues
For further info: yssi.org