In the 18 “missing years” of Jesus’ life, he was reputedly in India, learning and perfecting the practice of Kriya Yoga, preparing himself for his divine mission.
“I picture Him in my mind as He really was—Oriental Christ. Many painters have tried to give Him blue eyes and light hair, but He was a pure Oriental…by birth and blood and training. The Wise Men of the East, or East India, came to confer about Him when He was born, knowing Him to be one of the greatest message-bearers of Truth.”
—Paramhansa Yogananda, Oriental Christ (East-West Magazine, March-April, 1930)
Mahavatar Babaji Krishna
“The northern Himalayan crags near Badrinarayan are still blessed by the living presence of Babaji, guru of Lahiri Mahasaya. The secluded master has retained his physical form for centuries. Babaji’s mission in India has been to assist prophets in carrying out their special dispensations. He thus qualifies for the scriptural classification of Mahavatar (Great Avatar)…
The Mahavatar is in constant communion with Christ; together they send out vibrations of redemption, and have planned the spiritual technique of salvation for this age. The work of these two fully-illumined masters is to inspire the nations to forsake suicidal wars, race hatreds, religious sectarianism, and the boomerang-evils of materialism.”
—Paramhansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi, 1946 Original Edition
“Lahiria Mahashaya, my Master’s Master, was an ideal prophet and a Christ-like man, although married and performing the duties of ordinary life. We can picture saints in the forests; but when we find them in the jungles of civilization, we can hold hopes of spiritual salvation for the worldly man. It was Lahiri Mahasaya who revived the Kriya Yoga system in India. .
He was a prophet of the world, but was not of this world. He had miraculous powers. His life-teachings of Yoga, namely, to be calmly active and actively calm, are suitable for the use of the spiritually aspiring business man as well as for those in every station of life who are seeking greater spiritual realization.”
—Paramhansa Yogananda, Lahiri Mahasaya, East-West Magazine, 1932
Swami Sri Yuktewar
“Thou light of my life—thou camest to spread wisdom’s glow over the path of my soul. Centuries of darkness dissolved before the shafts of thy luminous help. As a naughty baby, I cried for my Mother Divine, and She came to me as my Guru—Swami Sri Yukteswar. At that meeting, O my Guru, a spark flew from thee, and the faggots of my God cravings, gathered through incarnations, smoldered and blazed into bliss. All my questions have been answered through thy flaming, golden touch. Eternal, ever-present satisfaction has come to me through thy glory…I bow to thee as the spoken voice of silent God. I bow to thee as the divine door leading to the temple of salvation.”
—Paramhansa Yogananda, Whispers From Eternity, 1949
“Mukunda Lal Ghosh, later known to the world as Paramhansa Yogananda, was the son of a senior executive in the Bengal-Nagpur Railway; as such, he faced the prospect of wealth and high worldly position when he grew up. But it was not this world that attracted him. From earliest childhood he had longed for God as intensely as others long for human love, or for worldly recognition.
Soon after graduation from high school, Mukunda met his guru, the great Swami Sri Yukteswar of Serampore, Bengal. At the feet of this great master he attained, in the amazingly short space of six months, the high state of samadhi, or unconditioned oneness with God. His guru kept him in the ashram another nine and a half years, while he trained him for his mission of yoga dissemination in the West. “The West,” Sri Yukteswar explained, “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.”
—Swami Kriyananda, The Pat