Final Years and Mahasamadhi

The last smile picture of Paramahansa YoganandaOn March 7, 1952, Paramahansaji entered mahasamadhi, a God-illumined master's conscious exit from the body at the time of physical death. His passing was marked by an extraordinary phenomenon. A notarised statement signed by the Director of Forest Lawn Memorial-Park testified: "No physical disintegration was visible in his body even twenty days after death....This state of perfect preservation of a body is, so far as we know from mortuary annals, an unparalleled one....Yogananda's body was apparently in a phenomenal state of immutability."

His passing occasioned an outpouring of reverent appreciation from spiritual leaders, dignitaries, friends, and disciples all over the world. His Holiness Swami Sivananda, founder of The Divine Life Society, wrote: "A rare gem of inestimable value, the like of whom the world is yet to witness, Paramahansa Yogananda has been an ideal representative of the ancient sages and seers, the glory of India."

In 1977 Twenty-fifth anniversary of Paramahansa Yogananda, the Government of India commemorative stamp In 1977, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the mahasamadhi of Paramahansa Yogananda, the Government of India issued a commemorative stamp in his honour. With the stamp, the Government published a descriptive leaflet, which read, in part: "The ideal of love for God and service to humanity found full expression in the life of Paramahansa Yogananda.... Though the major part of his life was spent outside of India, still he takes his place among our great saints. His work continues to grow and shine ever more brightly, drawing people everywhere on the path of the pilgrimage of the Spirit."

Today the spiritual and humanitarian work begun by Paramahansa Yogananda continues under the guidance of Sri Sri Mrinalini Mata, one of his closest disciples. As Sanghamata and President of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India/Self-Realization Fellowship. Mrinalini Mataji faithfully carries out Paramahansa Yoganandaji's ideals and wishes for the dissemination of his teachings worldwide. In addition to publishing Paramahansa Yogananda's books, lectures, writings and informal talks - including a comprehensive series of Yogoda Satsanga Lessons for home study - YSS/SRF guides members in their practice of Sri Yoganandaji's teachings; oversees YSS/SRF ashrams, temples, retreats, kendras, and meditation centres around the world, as well as the YSS/SRF monastic communities; and coordinates the Worldwide Prayer Circle, which serves as an instrument to help bring healing to those in physical, mental, or spiritual need, and greater harmony among the nations.