Was Swami Vivekananda’s role in the West for Paramhansa Yoganada the same as the role of John the Baptist for Jesus Christ in Israel? Why did Yogananda never mention Vivekananda?
I have never found in any of Yogananda’s teachings any mention that Swami Vivekananda was Yogananda’s predecessor in the same way John the Baptist was for Jesus Christ.
My guess on this would be that no, this was not the relationship between them.
My opinion is based on the fact that Vivekananda was a deeply devoted disciple of Ramakrishna, who formed a different lineage, separate from the lineage of Yogananda, Sri Yukteswar, Lahiri Mahasaya, Babaji, and Jesus Christ.
Certainly, Swami Vivekananda was a great yogi and a real pioneer in coming to the West very early on, in the process of East meets West, "yogic-ly" speaking.
I have made a search of everything that either Paramhansa Yogananda or Swami Kriyananda have said in their writings, mentioning Vivekananda, and certainly Yogananda mentions him frequently, as does Kriyananda.
I will e-mail that document to you directly, as it is too long to include here. Hoping this answers your question sufficiently.