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Paramahansa Yogananda
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Religious Figure
    (January 5, 1893-March 7, 1952)
    Born in Gorakhpur, India
    Birth name was Mukunda Lal Ghosh
    Indian guru
    Teacher of kriya yoga
    Founded the Self-Realization Fellowship in Los Angeles (1925)
    Wrote 'Autobiography of a Yogi' (1946)
    He tried to run away from home while in high school to find a guru.
    A former follower said, 'He loved to order women about' and 'He had a violent temper.'
    He praised Mussolini as a 'master brain' and said, 'The average man cannot think clearly.... He needs the master mind of a dictator to think right and do right.' (1934)
    He prophesized the coming of a third world war in the 1970s that would spread communism through much of the free world followed by a fourth world war at the end of the 20th century that would annihilate Russia.
    His followers made a big deal about his body failing to decay for a month after his death -- although the phenomenon was not all that miraculous considering that he had been embalmed.
    He was friends with Mahatma Gandhi.
    He emphasized the unity of the world's religions.
    'Autobiography of a Yogi' was named one of the '100 Most Important Spiritual Books of the 20th Century' by a panel of theologians assembled by HarperCollins.
    His teachings inspired Supertramp's song 'Babaji' and Yes' album 'Tales from Topographic Oceans.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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