1951, August 25 James Lynn takes monastic vows and his new name Rajarsi Janakananda. Paramahansa Yogananda announces that he will be the next president and spiritual head of SRF/YSS
Rajarsi Janakananda (James J. Lynn) met Paramahansa Yogananda in 1932 in Kansas City, Missouri, where he was a prominent business magnate with extensive interests in oil, insurance, banking, and agriculture. His advancement in God-realization by following the Guru’s teachings was so marked that Paramahansaji referred to him as “Saint Lynn.” Whenever possible he visited the Self-Realization Fellowship ashrams at Mt. Washington and Encinitas for meditation and spiritual retreat, and the Guru sometimes asked him to speak at SRF gatherings. After the Guru’s passing in 1952 he served as Paramahansa Yogananda’s first spiritual successor as president and spiritual head of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India. The following is from a talk given by him at the second anniversary of the SRF Golden Lotus Temple in Encinitas.
YOGANANDAJI: Whenever Saint Lynn comes to us he never bothers about food or anything. Instead of talking when we are together, we always meditate. Self-realization comes not through hearing about God from the lips of others, but through inner communion. And he has sacrificed so much for this cause. Suffering must be gladly received by all saints of God. I have seen that in his life. His noble sacrifice and his joy in doing for the work, I cherish; and above all that his love for me has been unconditional, as is mine for him. And it isn’t only what he has done for the work, but the way he has done it—for if he did it with pride I would never have accepted it. He has the blessings of my heart. All those who do for God receive His highest blessings; and Saint Lynn has been blessed by God and accepted by the Great Ones for his honesty and his simplicity. He has lived up to the standard I expected of him. I have the pleasure to introduce to you now our beloved Saint Lynn. (extract from Yogananda’s introduction of Rajari’s talk)
What is real communion with God? It is not a matter of merely believing that God exists, or that God is love. One can actually experience it. And that is truly holy communion.
I remember when this consciousness came over me. Paramahansaji had given his lectures in Kansas City and afterward he had organized a class series, which I attended. When the first class was over I found myself sitting in perfect stillness, something I had never experienced before. The whole room became filled with a wonderful white light, and I seemed to be sustained and soothed and filled with peace by that light. I looked toward Paramahansaji and saw that the light was strongest around him. I noticed him give me a little smile, and the light became brighter; and I felt myself become part of that divine light. Ever since that time I have been able to feel God. I know He is real. There is no longer any doubt. I don’t have to depend on what anyone tells me; I know. If I didn’t experience this for myself I would not speak about it.
Up until that time I was continually jumping from one pursuit to another, trying to find some joy, some happiness and peace. After all, we are all searching for something. But we don’t know what it is. We want to bring to ourselves some joy, something that makes us feel happy. But we are never satisfied. We attain one desire and pass on to another, destroying our peace and health in all of them. The more wealth we have, the more it becomes a burden and the more unhappy we become. That was my life before meeting Paramahansaji. ….
Now, there is no conflict between living this life of God and living in the world. Many have come into my office and said, ‘How comfortable and peaceful it is to be in here. You don’t have any problems in your business at all, do you?” Well, I think as long as we are alive we all have our problems and worries! That is the nature of life in this world. But if one has peace and power from contacting God within, and thinks things out as they come, and has the wisdom to calmly use one’s intelligence to face these worries, one can certainly conquer them.
There isn’t any worry that is not based on fear. We fear something and then we begin to worry about it, and we burn up our intelligence and energy in that state of fear and worry. But we can be free from that fear and worry by remaining in His love, allowing it to flow through us. Aren’t we then able to accomplish more than the person who is in fear of everything that is going to happen, wasting himself away? One can certainly be more successful in that calm, peaceful state of God-awareness. ….
My friends, I can assure you from my own experience that what we need is the consciousness of God, the melting or merging of the soul in God, for He gives us everything we need. When our consciousness is with God, we forget about ourselves as individuals. To think less about yourself makes you trustingly childlike, no longer nervous or tense. You become just peace itself.
excerpt of “Living in the world with consciousness of God” by Rajarsi Janakananda
Self-Realization magazine Winter 2007