August 25, 1951 – RAJARSI JANAKANANDA takes monastic vows; Yogananda announces that he will serve as president of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society after his passing
The following is a letter written by Paramahansaji to Mr. Lynn; dated May 5, 1940
This letter is written on your birthday to tell you how much India and I appreciate the precious gift of the Father in your birth. You were born for the sake of world upliftment. The good that has passed, by your instrumentality, through the Self-Realization work is appreciated not only by India and by those who know you here but also by the Heavenly Father. I especially appreciate your birthday; for, besides being a gift to the world, you are a personal gift from God to me of the highest, sincerest, and sweetest friendship. And this is my prayer: that in my eyes you stand higher and higher in esteem and love, becoming continuously more spiritually progressive, that I may ever relate the same to my Father — He who has delegated me on earth to usher you in love’s chariot to His everlasting kingdom.
May your example be a beacon light of inspiration to spiritual seekers on earth and in the astral world hereafter. May your life be the model after whose ideal pattern devotees of East and West will shape their own lives.
My soul expresses this perception about you, on this, your birthday.
Description –This book tells the story of James J. Lynn, a man who achieved tremendous success in the material world, and, at the same time, became a God-illumined saint. This EXPANDED EDITION includes a detailed account of his dramatic life story and more than sixty pages of excerpts from Paramahansa Yogananda’s personal correspondence with him — words of guidance and love that offer glimpses of the intimate spiritual accord they shared, and powerfully conveys the depth of the guru-disciple relationship. –SRF website
from the BACK COVER:
“Some people say: ‘The Western man cannot meditate.’ That is not true. I gave Kriya Yoga initiation to [Rajarsi Janakananda] shortly after I had met him; and since then I have never seen him when he was not inwardly communing with God.”
“…A Westerner has stepped forth to show the world the worth in daily life of yoga training. Through him the lives of many…will be profoundly changed and turned toward God.” —Paramahansa Yogananda
When James J. Lynn first met Paramahansa Yogananda in 1932, he was a self-made millionaire who had risen from a poverty-stricken boyhood to become one of the most successful businessmen in America. Yet, as he later recounted: “I was a totally frustrated man. I had thought money could give me happiness, but nothing seemed to satisfy me. I lived in a state of nervousness, a state of strain, an inward state of uncertainty.”
That meeting with Paramahansa Yogananda transformed the life of this great American disciple, later known as Rajarsi Janakananda. He began practicing Yoga under the Master’s direction, and his rise to spiritual eminence was as meteoric as his material advancement had been. “I have learned to live by inward joy,” he declared. Paramahansa Yogananda often spoke of his exalted spiritual stature, and would say to the other disciples, “I hope you will all follow his saintly example.”
A beautiful description of Rajarsi’s years with Paramahansa Yogananda, along with many photos, can be viewed at the SFR website [Note: this is a pdf download of the early version of this book, without the more detailed account of Rajarsi’s life and the sixty pages of letters from Paramahansaji to Rajarsi]: