The Autobiography of a Yogi will reign supreme as a classic for the Westerner for many more decades. It has given to the West what it did not have, a vision, an understanding and a way which is what we call sadhana through Kriya Yoga. It is very impressive to see the influence of the S.R.F. in the USA even now, though, it has split into many rival organizations. Some of the followers have heart-winning sincerity. Yogananda’s mission has spread, got stabilized, well-organized and, as happens in the USA, has strong monetary support. Some of the best Americans I have met belong to the SRF which is the abbreviation of Self-Realization Fellowship. I had with me the horoscope of Yogananda.
I re-read the Autobiography of a Yogi and other books, to get some important dates in the life of Yogananda.
Verification of the Horoscope
The horoscope of Yogananda has not been disputed by anyone, all astrologers who have discussed it, have done so from Simha (Leo) lagna. The time of birth has been mentioned by some people while others have not referred to it at all but have only said that it was a correct horoscope (some sources gives 20:38pm as his birth time). The one I got in Calcutta during my posting there, in my service career, with degrees has been given earlier.
The birth details thus seem to be: 5 January, 1893 at 08.14 PM, Gorakpur. It should have been local meantime is what can be guessed. Anyway, the best is to verify some broad events on the basis of the birth horoscope and the interconnected divisional horoscopes.
Natal Chart of Paramahansa Yogananda
In India of those times, becoming a mother of many children, spending life as a dutiful housewife and doing poojas and charities were an integral part of a Hindu woman’s life which it is even now, except when one has a working wife. The domestic life was peaceful. Once in a while there was some normal husband wife quarrel, the most serious one being when she fed the poor spending a huge amount which could upset family budget. She threatened to leave the house if the husband (Yogananda’s father) made it a prestige issue. Just then the maternal uncle of Yogananda arrived and the matter was settled peacefully.
Such quarrels between parents, are common sight for Indian children. There is nothing serious about them. In one such and similar family situation, I once found the father of six or seven children getting annoyed when he could not find a shaving blade at home. He shouted at his wife and children and said that he would move out of the house and take sannyas (renunciate vows). Working in the kitchen, the wife replied, “By all means, take sannyas, but if anyone asks you for the reason, do not say that it was because of a shaving blade.” Then she produced a shaving blade and the matter ended there.
Similar scenes may have taken place because Yogananda was highly charitable. In the birth horoscope there is Venus in the 4th house both from the lagna and the Moon, while the 4th house of the dwadashamsha is excellent. But then, the 4th lord of the birth horoscope, Mars is in the 8th house, aspected by Saturn and with Jupiter, in this case, also the 8th lord. The year of the death of the mother of Yogananda given in the photo given in the book is 1904 when the dasha running was perhaps, Venus-Moon or Venus-Mars, one in the 4th house and the other the 4th lord from the lagna and the Moon. In the dwadashamsha (D12), Venus is the 2nd lord from the lagna and the Moon, while Venus and Mars are in the 12th house. Mars is also the 3rd lord of the longevity of parents and the 8th lord of mourning. Rahu was in Kanya (Virgo) in transit in the lagna, and Saturn in Makar (Capricorn) was aspecting the 7th house of dwadashamasha. Rahu/Ketu axis was on the 4th lord of the birth horoscope while Saturn was aspecting the 4th lord, Mars in Meena (Pisces).
Dwadasamsha (D12) of Paramahansa Yogananda
His father, a high ranking officer in Bengal Nagpur Railways, was posted to Gorakhpur when Yogananda was born, the 4th child, among eight brothers and sisters. In dwadashamsha the 9th lord is in the 12 house. Bhagbati Charan Ghosh, the father of Yogananda, spent sometime with Guru, Lahiri Mahashaya in his Varanasi ashram. It was typical Bengali habit till recently to say that a life without a Guru was a wasted life. In earlier centuries, it was not easy for a householder to get spiritually initiated, as great yogis and swamis did not visit cities. Ardent spiritual seekers had to go to far off places, to even the Himalayas in search of a guru, as Yogananda himself did many times, unsuccessfully.
In the case of Bhagbati Charan, there was a divine manifestation when his Guru appeared before him. Cases of such cosmic manifestations are mentioned in Hindu scriptures, in the lives of Shankaracharya, Ramanuja and so many great spiritual figures of India. It may have been in the last century that gurus started to visit cities to initiate householders who thirsted for spiritual life but could not have gone wandering in search of gurus, leaving their families. It seems to have happened more in Bengal which is why Bengal has so many books on saints and gurus of the last 150 years, now also compiled in a 12 volume collection called,Bharater Sadhak (the sadhaks or saints of India), which is read widely with keen appreciation.
The high position Bhagbati Charan held, the excellent houses he lived in and a life of dignity is well shown by Jupiter and Mercury in the dwadasamsha of Yogananda. He died in 1942, in the sub-period of Rahu in the major period of Rahu in the 9th house of father in the birth horoscope and, in the lagna in dwadashamsha. In the beginning of 1942, Saturn was in Mesha (Aries) with Mars, the 9th house from the birth lagna of Yogananda while Rahu was in Simha (Leo), in the 9th house from the Sun (father) in Dhanu (Sagittarius) in the birth horoscope. From the lagna, Rahu in Simha (Leo) was on the 9th lord while Saturn, later moved into Vrischika (Scorpio), the 9th house of the dwadashamsha.
Note From these two events about the death of parents, the horoscope I have seems to be correct to me because both the dasha and transits seen in four ways, establishes the validity of the horoscope of Yogananda.
Yogananda became a graduate, studying philosophy and literature in 1915 in Venus-Mercury. Venus the 10th lord gave him success in the sub period of Mercury in the 5th house of education. From Vrischika (in chara dasha he was in Vrischika or Scorpion during his undergraduate years) aspects of Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Mercury and Sun shows the struggles in his education and also success. In Chara Dasha it was Vrischika (Scorpio), with Mars in the 5th house with Jupiter (Jaimini aspects are also from Sun, Mercury, Saturn, as mentioned in last sentence, on the 5th house from Vrischika/Scorpio).
Trip to America (August-October, 1920)
The decision about the trip to the USA, where he had a mission to fulfill, must have been made in Sun-Rahu and actual travel undertaken in the antardasha of Jupiter. Rahu in the 9th house in a Chara Rashi is the surest indication of foreign trip. (See Mystery of Rahu in Horoscope by Shiv Raj Sharma). Sun is the lagna lord of the birth house in the 5th house of seminar or conference where educational, instructive and illuminating speeches are delivered. Rahu is in the 12th house both in the dashamsha (D10) and the chaturthamsha (D4) (see M.S. Mehta’s book on Planets and Travel Abroad). The next antardasha of Jupiter is that of the 5th lord placed in the 10th house of the dashamsha (D10). In Chara dasha it was Makar (Capricorn) period with Saturn in the 9th house and Ketu in the 10th house, showing a change and work connected with foreigners.
Dashamsha (D10) of Paramahansa Yogananda
Chaturthamsha (D4) of Paramahansa Yogananda
Death (7 March, 1952)
In speaking about his death, let me refer to two books of mine and two pieces of research. Let me first quote from Astrology, Destiny and the Wheel of Time (p 140 second edition) referring to the death of the great saint, Moorkhanandji. “Someone asked me what had I to say astrologically. I made no predictions about Mahatmas but I have noticed that they are inclined to leave their bodies in the antardasha of the 9th or 12th lords. So, I hazarded a guess and said Mercury-Rahu-Mercury.”
When Yogananda died it was Rahu, the 9th lord’s mahadasha, Ketu’s antardasha, Moon, the 12th lord’s pratyantara dasha and the sookshma dasha of Jupiter (the 5th lord of heart, in the 8th house with Mars , receiving the aspect of Saturn. It must have been a sudden death. I learn from some SRF people that he died while reciting a poem. It is clear from a picture in the book, the Autobiography of a Yogi, that B.R.Sen, Indian Ambassador to the USA, was present as the guest of honor in Los Angeles, California.
reprinted with permission