Kriya Yoga Triumphs in England, 1936 — Yogananda, AY

Kriya Yoga Triumphs in England, 1936 — Yogananda, AY

With unwavering zeal, I’ve imparted countless yoga lessons on both Indian and American soil. Yet, I must confess, there’s an unmistakable jubilation that courses through my veins as I find myself leading a class for eager English students, a sentiment deeply rooted in my Hindu heritage. Amidst the laughter of my London class, a sanctuary of yoga serenity is upheld, unaffected by the political whirlwinds that may ravage elsewhere. India, a sanctuary for my memories, stands behind me.

It’s the crisp month of September in the year 1936, and here I stand on English soil, fulfilling a commitment made sixteen months prior, to once again enlighten the minds of Londoners. England, with its open arms, embraces the timeless wisdom of yoga. The hustle of reporters and the whirl of newsreel cameras surrounds me within the walls of Grosvenor House. The British National Council of the World Fellowship of Faiths orchestrates a pivotal gathering on September 29 at Whitefield Congregational Church, affording me the platform to address the audience on the weighty topic of “How Faith in Fellowship May Save Civilization.”

The lectures at Caxton Hall, held at eight o’clock, pull in such massive crowds that, on two fortunate nights, the overflow gathers in anticipation at Windsor House auditorium, awaiting my second talk at nine-thirty. The allure of yoga courses in the subsequent week’s burgeons to such proportions that Mr. Wright, ever resourceful, orchestrates a move to a larger hall.

English determination finds its virtuous manifestation in spiritual kinship. True to their spirit, the London yoga students come together, forming a resolute nucleus, a Self-Realization Fellowship center, maintaining their meditation gatherings weekly throughout the harrowing years of war.

Unforgettable weeks unfold across England – days of marveling at the sights of London, then meandering through the picturesque countryside. With the trusty Ford as our companion, Mr. Wright and I venture to the very birthplaces and resting places of the Titans, the poets, and the heroes who etched British history into eternity.

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