Government of India Releases Commemorative Coin to Mark 125th Birth Anniversary of Paramahansa Yogananda

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The Government of India has paid tribute to Paramahansa Yogananda, widely regarded as the father of Yoga in the West, by releasing a special commemorative coin to honor his 125th birth anniversary, Self-Realization Fellowship announced today.

India feels strongly about this great son of the universe who brought harmony to all our hearts and minds.

The Government of India has released a special commemorative coin in the amount of Rs 125 to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Paramahansa Yogananda. Born on January 5, 1893 in Gorakpur, India, Sri Yogananda, author of the best-selling spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi, is widely regarded today as the father of Yoga in the West. The coin release was presided over by India Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 at the Central Secretariat in New Delhi.

During the official release, the Finance Minister acknowledged Paramahansa Yogananda’s universal message of world harmony among all humankind, and said, “India feels strongly about this great son of the universe who brought harmony to all our hearts and minds.”

Joining the Finance Minister at the event was Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur; Culture Secretary Arun Goel; Brother Vishwananda, a member of the Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India Board of Directors; and Swami Smaranananda, YSS Vice President.

Brother Vishwananda conveyed a message from SRF/YSS President Brother Chidananda, who said, “Paramahansaji sought to spread a spirit of brotherhood among all peoples based on the eternal truth that we are the children of one God, and need to live in friendship, peace, and harmony for our mutual well-being. He also emphasized the importance of seeing the divine in every soul and every living thing; and treating all of God’s creation with respect and reverence.…The release of this commemorative coin by the honorable Finance Minister is a timely recognition of a milestone in the journey of humanity toward this goal of realizing the divine Self in all hearts of all beings.”

Since 1964, when India issued its first commemorative coin—to honor India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru—India has honored a wide range of political, social, and religious leaders with commemorative coins, ranging from Mahatma Gandhi to Rabindranath Tagore.

The commemorative coin honoring Paramahansa Yogananda marks the third time that the Government of India has paid tribute to him. In 1977, on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of Paramahansa Yogananda's passing, the Government of India formally recognized his outstanding contributions to the spiritual upliftment of humanity, by issuing a commemorative stamp in his honor.

In March of 2017, a second commemorative stamp was issued by the Indian Government, acknowledging the centenary of of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (the organization that Yogananda founded in 1917), and citing the outstanding spiritual achievements of the society.

The commemorative coin, which will bear the likeness of Paramahansa Yogananda, will weigh 35 grams and contain the following metal composition: silver 50%, copper 40%, nickel 5%, and zinc 5%.

Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952), who founded Self-Realization Fellowship in 1920, is widely regarded as one of the preeminent spiritual figures of our time. He has made an indelible impression on the spiritual landscape of the West, contributing to a far greater awareness and appreciation of India’s ancient philosophy of Yoga and its science of meditation. His best-selling spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi, has introduced millions of readers to yoga meditation, and his highly acclaimed interpretations of the Bhagavad Gita (God Talks With Arjuna), the four Gospels (The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You), and the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Wine of the Mystic: A Spiritual Interpretation), provide groundbreaking insight into the underlying unity of the religious beliefs of East and West.

Born in northern India on January 5, 1893, Sri Yogananda took formal vows as a monk of India’s venerable monastic Swami Order soon after graduating from Calcutta University in 1915. Two years later, he began his life’s work with the founding of a “how-to-live” school where modern educational methods were combined with yoga training and instruction in spiritual ideals.

In 1920, he was invited as the Indian delegate to an International Congress of Religious Liberals convening in Boston. That same year he founded Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), an international society dedicated to introducing throughout the world his yoga meditation teachings, and to helping people of all races and creeds to realize and express more fully in their lives the beauty, nobility, and divinity of the human spirit.

Next year, Self-Realization Fellowship—which has more than 600 temples, centers and ashrams around the world (another 200 ashrams and centers are in India and neighboring countries under the auspices of Yogoda Satsanga Society, Sri Yogananda’s work in India), and SRF/YSS members in over 175 countries—will celebrate its 100th year anniversary.

For more information about Paramahansa Yogananda and Self-Realization Fellowship, please visit https://yogananda.org, or call 1 (323) 225-2471.

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Lauren Landress
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since: 01/2019
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