Paramahamsa Yogananda (1893 -1952), whose Self-Realization Fellowship Estate near Los Angeles is world -famous. His Autobiography of a Yogi has been one of the earliest spirituality-oriented books which caught on like a blizzard in the western world. His simplicity of living and high thinking brought thousands of students flocking to him to learn what he called kriya-yoga. For as long as three decades he showed by his radiant personal example that the simple free lifestyle of a spiritual community is what is most needed for the material west.
A.C. Bhaktivedantaswami also known to his disciples as Shrila Prabhupada (1896 - 1977), whose remarkable achievement was the transformation of the most materialistic youth of the times, literally in thousands, into the mostly godly personalities with the loftiest of spiritual and ethical ideals. He has created a new international community of the young and old, male and female, scholars and laymen, all of them fully versed in the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam and all of them fully convinced that no man-made system can cure the ills of the world, it is only the eternal reality of Lord Krishna that will do it. The unceasing chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra by this ocean of devotees singly and collectively, in theChaitanya tradition has now made the mantra the most popular mantra the world over. He has left behind him a large and growing organization of properties and monies intended one hundred percent. for the purpose of devotional service to Krishna, through the International Krishna Consciousness Movement.
Swami Chinmayananda (1916 -1993), who by his whirlwind tours and lectures worldwide and through the mission centres at almost every major city across the world, propagated the thought that Vedanta is just another Science that can be neglected only at the peril of civilization itself
The Sai Baba Phenomenon (1854 -1918; born 1926; and to-be-born in the 21st century), a phenomenon of three lives ( ! ) which is engulfing every part of the world with its miraculous powers to turn the thinking of the masses inward.
The lesson that we learn, from the lives and teachings of this long lineage of great saints and devotees, in the context of the statement of Stephen Hawking about knowing the Mind of God is the following. There can be only three possibilities for the Ultimate. Either you become one with Him -- in which case there is no duality and so there is no question of knowing His Mind. Or you exist as an atomic fragment of Him, maybe in total proximity -- but then this fragment of His Mind will never know the fullness that is the Mind of God. In the third alternative,
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February 5, 1999
Copyright V. Krishnamurthy
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