The Beginning of a World Mission

After Sri Yogananda graduated from Calcutta University in 1915, his guru bestowed on him the formal vows of a sannyasi of the venerable monastic Swami Order. In 1917, at his guru’s behest he began his organisational work with the founding of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India. He started an ashram in Ranchi, Jharkhand, which included a "how-to-live" school for boys, where modern educational methods were combined with yoga training and instruction in spiritual ideals.

Perpetuating these principles, the Yogoda educational institutions now comprise twenty-three schools for boys and girls throughout India. These include a degree college in arts, commerce, and science, a boys' school, girls' school, music school, pre-school, Sevashrama clinic with allopathic and homeopathic sections, and an eye clinic in Ranchi,a degree college in Palpara; and higher secondary schools, primary schools, and homeopathic medical dispensaries in Bherir Bazar, Chandigarh, Ghatal, Ismalichak, Kulabahal, Lakhanpur, Palpara, Payarachak, and Suraikhet.

Three years later, in 1920, Yoganandaji was invited to serve as India's delegate to an International Congress of Religious Liberals convening in Boston, U.S.A. Just before his departure, Mahavatar Babaji blessed him and confirmed his divinely ordained world mission: "You are the one I have chosen to spread the message of Kriya Yoga in the West. Long ago I met your guru Yukteswar at a Kumbha Mela; I told him then I would send you to him for training. Kriya Yoga, the scientific technique of God-realization, will ultimately spread in all lands, and aid in harmonising the nations through man's personal, transcendental perception of the Infinite Father."