DR. LEWIS’ Great Yogic Passing on April 13, 1960 ~ Mrs. Lewis

See also In Memoriam article: DR. LEWIS ~ Great Disciple of Paramahansaji

Last Photo of Dr. Lewis_Fotor

From: John Rosser
Subject: In Memory of Doctor Lewis’ passing, April 13, 1960
April,  2004

Dr. Lewis, Accomplished yogi, devoted disciple and householder ~ John Rosser

Through his glorious victory over death, Jesus reminds us of our deeper spiritual nature.  But, as Master points out[1], “As Christ resurrected his consciousness from the sepulcher of mortal limitations, so must we learn to resurrect our mind by meditation from the tomb of material desires and body-confinement to the consciousness of omnipresence.”  Often, though, this lofty goal seems too far for those of us who must carry worldly responsibilities while striving to reach our spiritual goal of self-realization!

Doctor Lewis, one of Paramahansa Yogananda’s most devoted disciples, is a proof that the goal of self-realization is attainable in our life-time even for householders.  From the day Doctor met Master in Boston on Christmas Eve, 1920 (when he was shown the spiritual eye and the thousand petal lotus), to his glorious passing on April 13, 1960, his life was that of an exemplary yogi disciple following faithfully in the steps of his guru.

ChristmasMasterDrLewisPresent - Copy
Paramahansaji gives Dr. Lewis his Christmas Present

When, after sharing his home for three years, Paramahansa Yogananda left Boston to spread his teachings to the West Coast, Doctor wanted to follow him.  But Master told him to stay in Boston to raise his family, secure financial revenues (to support Master’s mission) and guide the Boston group.  Doctor acquiesced obediently.  He was given permission by Master to join him in Encinitas in 1945. 

He then lectured in Encinitas and San Diego and was put in charge of the Encinitas Colony.   After Master’s passing in 1952, Doctor became Self-Realization Fellowship’s first Vice-President. [*see footnote explanation]  He continued to lecture in Hollywood, Encinitas and San Diego, giving up to 7 lectures a week in addition to being in charge of the monks’ training in Encinitas.  In spite of his very busy schedule, he always took time for meditation, taking one day of silent communion with God every week in his home in Borrego.   Mrs. Lewis draped heavy black cloth over his meditation room so that the solar light would not diffuse the great spiritual light that he beheld.


Yogananda’s birthday celebration with the Lewis’s and others, not shown

His great yogic passing was witnessed by his wife, Mildred Lewis, and recorded in the following terms in the book: Dr. M.W. Lewis: The Life Story of One of the Earliest American Disciples of Paramahansa Yogananda[2]:

“On April 7th, 1960, Doctor entered Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla for a rest and medical tests.  On April 13th, as I was visiting him, Doctor took a nap at seven p.m. He slept peacefully until seven-thirty when he awakened and told me, “I want to sit up straight.”  I arranged the pillows at his back as he assumed the lotus pose for his usual evening meditation.  His hands were upturned, his eyes closed.  I sat beside the bed, thinking that I too would meditate.

“I was aroused in two or three minutes by a tremendous sound.  It resembled the suction sound of a huge pump, or the breath sound of a giant Kriya.  With the sound came a great flash of spiritual white light, whose brilliance might be compared to that given forth by a million electric light bulbs.

“Doctor’s blue eyes opened; piercing flashes of blue light came from them.  Then they were locked at the Christ center in the forehead.  His head lowered somewhat, but his body remained erect.  For an instant, the face of Swami Sri Yukteswarji appeared, enveloping Doctor’s face.   Then all was over.

“How many times I have thanked God, the Great Ones, and beloved Master that I was privileged to witness such a glorious passing!”

Doctor Lewis’ example heartens us to continue making efforts in our sadhana.  Master’s guidance and encouragement (published in Treasures Against Time: Paramahansa Yogananda with Doctor and Mrs. Lewis[3]) are applicable to all of us who strive to reach our spiritual goal while carrying our family and world responsibilities.


[1] Resurrect Yourself! – An Easter Message by Paramahansa Yogananda
[2] Dr. M.W. Lewis: The Life Story of One of the Earliest American Disciples of Paramahansa Yogananda, Self-Realization Fellowship, 1960
[3] Treasures Against Time: Paramahansa Yogananda with Doctor and Mrs. Lewis, by Brenda Lewis-Rosser, Borrego Publications, 1992; published with the approval of Self-Realization Fellowship.

*[Like many organizations, Self-Realization Fellowship had more than one Vice-President at the same time, referred to as first vice-president and second vice-president] 

This article was sent in his devotee email list in 2004 from John Rosser, husband of Brenda Lewis and son-in-law of Dr. Lewis

from left Mrinalini Mata, Mrs. Mildred Lewis, Brenda Lewis-Rosser, Unknown, Meera Mata, Daya Mata, Paramahansa Yogananda, Dr. Minot W. Lewis
Mrs. Lewis and daughter Brenda Lewis, second and third from left


see also~ “The Christ Consciousness – The Universality of Religion” ~ Dr. M.W. Lewis