Paramhansa Yogananda’s teachings on the Divine Mother

Paramhansa Yogananda

Paramhansa Yogananda


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In 1945, Paramhansa Yogananda—author of Autobiography of a Yogi— wrote a booklet titled The Cosmic Mother: One Aspect of God, in which he taught a way of relating to God that was  new to many people.

Yogananda’s disciple, Swami Kriyananda, said that there is a great need in the world today for more of a consciousness of the Mother aspect of God. We need more of the qualities of compassion, forgiveness, unconditional love, and universal brotherhood—in contrast to a world that appears to be ruled by greed, warfare, poverty, and injustice.

In Bengal, India, where Yogananda was born and raised, God is commonly worshiped as the Divine Mother in different forms. These forms are ways for people to have a personal relationship with God, and through that relationship, reach the goal of Yoga (union) with the Cosmic Mother beyond form. Yogananda taught that the Mother aspect of God is more  approachable than the Father aspect, and therefore divine union is easier through that doorway.

Yogananda taught the worship of Divine Mother as both a philosophy and a practice, and freely shared many deep devotional experiences. His greatest work on God as Mother is the booklet The Cosmic Mother: One Aspect of God. In other writings, he taught that the AUM vibration is an aspect of the Divine Mother as Kali, commonly worshipped in Hinduism. He also said that She is far more than any of the limited forms in which She is worshiped—though worship of a  personal form can help one more easily reach the Universal ‘form’ of God.

Master Mahasaya, or "M", author of Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

Master Mahasaya, or “M”, author of Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

Yogananda was surrounded in Bengal by friends and guides who loved God as the Divine Mother. Some of them were personally close to him, such as Master Mahasaya (the “Blissful Devotee” in Autobiography of a Yogi) and Anandamoyi Ma. Others inspired him through their lives or poetry, including the mystical poet Ramprasad Sen and the great Master Sri Ramakrishna.

One early influence was Yogananda’s mother Gyan Prabha Ghosh. Read about their lives, their poetry and teachings, and you may find your own search for God inspired, just as they inspired Yogananda.

Yogananda left behind a wealth of his own divinely inspired Poems and Prayers written to the Divine Mother, many in his book of prayer-poems, Whispers from Eternity.

May this website awaken your own natural love for God. You can pray now, as Yogananda often prayed:

Divine Mother, may Thy love shine forever on the sanctuary of my devotion, and may I be able to awaken Thy love in all hearts

12 Responses to Paramhansa Yogananda’s teachings on the Divine Mother

  1. shantidev says:

    Dear ones,
    thank you for creating this wonderful website. There is nothing sweeter, nothing more fulfilling than the longing for the presence of our cosmic mother in our hearts. Just a little touch of this sweetness is enough to have us desire nothing more…can’t wait to get to the meditation room, to get still again, to be able to feel some of this divine nectar.
    Jai Ma
    Shantidev

  2. Mary Jo Cleaveland says:

    Thank you. I relate to the loving energy of the Divine Mother through Master’s chants and prayers. Such as “Divine Mother, may I feel in my heart Thy heart throb, in my happiness Thy joy, in my activity Thy power of direction, in my soul Thy Spirit. Divine Mother, I place all the flowers of my love at Thy feet of eternity. Open wide the flower of my devotion.”

  3. Brahmachari Sanjan says:

    I am so grateful for this site.

    I have always had trouble connecting to Divine Mother – finding it much easier to connect to Master (Parmahnasa Yogananda) and the gurus. However, just recently I was drawn to look at the picture of Yogananda’s mother. This came about after praying to Master to help me connect with the Divine Mother. I have now discovered a very strong connection to the Cosmic Mother. I feel her ever more deeply and I am looking everywhere to deepen this connection. Then I discovered this website! The quest continues. My meditations are blessed with her presence very tangibly.

    I encourage everyone to at least experiment with looking into the eyes of Paramhansa Yogananda’s mother, Gyana Prabha Ghosh (click here for here image in this website – https://thecosmicmother.org/home/friends-influences-yogananda/yoganandas-mother/ ) Call to her and see what happens. If I can connect to her, well….

    What joy! Thank you so much Devarshi! This is a real blessing!

    Brahmachari Sanjan

  4. Pat Wolff says:

    Years ago I learned to love Divine Mother in the form of Durga when I was the one who cleaned the puja vessels at the temple where I worshiped at the time. At that point I did not realize what a tremendous blessing that was. I had to leave that particular group and Divine Mother made it possible for me to move and make a living. She did not make it easy but I am finally in a place where I understand the love and guidance i received to become a disciple of Yogananda. It’s only this year that I can look back and see the map I didn’t know I was following. Mother guided me all the way though the journey started in 1974 if I trace it back to its roots. Now I stand amazed that the choices I made were always the ones which brought me here to finish this life in Yogananda’s path.

    I see Divine Mother’s eyes in the face of Master’s mother.

  5. Ian Faulkner says:

    In which particular writings of Paramhansaji does he talk about The Divine Mother as the AUM, please?

  6. Vijayan says:

    Thank you for this wonderful site. Feel the abundance of blessing.
    O Divine Mother you are so sweet beyond all sweetness.
    May i place at The Holy feet Flowers of eternal love, devotion and gratitude.
    Om Shanthi, Shanthi, Shanthi.

  7. subha majumder says:

    This is such a beautifully devotional site! I especially loved the collection of Ram Prasad’s poems. I have always communed with Divine Mother since as far as memory goes and have had numerous dreams and visions of her over the years. Divine Mother’s love and understanding are unconditional and i have realised that even in deep silence, She is listening to even the subtlest of our thoughts behind our thoughts:) In Her eyes, we are all children and thats reason enough to be loved infinitely! Thank you for this wonderful website. I plan to tune in here pretty often:)

  8. Spruceguitar says:

    Dear kriyabans,
    I am really happy to find this forum. I have a few questions, if any of Yogananda’s disciples are reading.
    1. If any of Yogananda’s disciple know: When Yogananda referred to Kali, did he mean Divine Mother in all her aspects, or did he mean Kali Ma specifically? For example, we can meditate with Kali’s yantra, and a certain vibration is there. If we meditate on the Sri Yantra (of Tripura Sundari) a very different vibration comes alive. Did Master say anything about these differences? Because these energies are very different. I know they all lead to the Formless. I just wonder if Master said anything about these differences. There is the Hindu legend of how Shakti has split herself in the ten Mahavidyas (Kali, Tripura Sundari, etc).
    2. Does anyone know.. Where can I buy The Cosmic Mother: One Aspect of God? I did not find it available in online bookstores. Thank you!

    • I’m happy that you found this site! Regarding your questions:
      Yoganandaji was brought up worshipping Divine Mother in the form of Maa Kali. As far as I know, he never spoke of these other aspects of Divine Mother. Yet, when he spoke of Divine Mother, it was an energy and vibration that was quite different from the classical or typically described Maa Kali energy. It included that, yes, but was not limited to it. And again, only as far as I know, he didn’t practice any formal worship of Kali in any form/murti/yantra after a certain point in his life. For him She had become without such limiting form. He continued to have visions of Her, and sometimes caller her “Kali,” but he always described Her as beautiful, and even as one with Christ, Krishna, and the Guru.

      From a Christmas Vision he had in 1936 (taken from an old magazine):
      “Divine Mother, You wear so many costumes of light to appear unto Your children. I don’t know if You are Guru or Kali, for I see that You are one. O Kali, You are our Guru, and Guru is Kali. Aum, Kali. Aum, Guru. Aum, Christ, Aum, Krishna. I see that You are all one in Her.”

      So, all ways to Her end the same.

      Second question: That booklet was never reprinted after the 1940s, so it isn’t available in print – only online.

      ~ devarshi

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