Return to India (1935-36)

Paramahansaji returned to India in 1935 for a long-awaited reunion with his guru, Swami Sri Yukteswarji. It was while he was here that Sri Yukteswarji bestowed on him India's highest spiritual title Paramahansa. During his eighteen-month trip, he also travelled through Europe and gave classes and lectures in London and Rome, as well as all over India. Reporting on one of Paramahansaji's classes, a Mysore newspaper, The Daily Post wrote: "The audience was very enthusiastic and attentive Town Hall, the largest hall in Bangalore ¦was packed to overflowing with 3,000 some on windowsills, in aisles, doorways, on the stage, and standing outside...seeking to know God." While in his motherland, Yoganandaji devoted much of his attention to the guidance of his disciples and his Yogoda Satsanga work. He established a permanent foundation for the Society and its centres in various parts of India.

Mahatma Gandhi invited Paramahansaji to his Wardha ashram. At Gandhiji's request Yoganandaji initiated the Mahatma and a few satyagrahis into the liberating technique of Kriya Yoga. In the South the guru was an official guest of the State of Mysore. Here he was greeted by Sir C. V. Raman, Nobel laureate and President of the Indian Academy of Science. In Arunachala, the guru met the renowned sage Ramana Maharshi (below left). Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya (below centre), founder of the Banaras Hindu University and many other educators and leaders greeted him. He also met the revered saint Ananda Moyi Ma (below right).