I see references in Yogananda’s and Kriyananda’s writings to the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, and the Srimad Bhagavatam. These I would love to read but I know there are many different interpretations, some of which are not the most accurate. Will you recommend the versions to read that are most in tune with the path of Kriya Yoga and Yogananda? Jai Guru
You’re right: there are many translations and condensations of those scriptures. Although I have not read them all, I find the condensations by Kamala Subramaniam to be extraordinarily good. I have read a literal translation of the Mahabharata, and Subramaniam’s condensation is very faithful to it (it’s also much, much less tedious!)
Of course, nobody quite translates the Gita as Paramhansa Yogananda does, so one’s expectations as to a perfect match must be tempered.
You can purchase Subramaniam’s books via The Expanding Light’s boutique. The online store (ananda-boutique.org) doesn’t carry them, but the bricks-and-mortar boutique does. Call 800-346-5350 to order them.
I have written a companion booklet, Guide to the Mahabharata and the Life of Sri Krishna, that many people have found to be a valuable aid to reading those scriptures. In addition to concise summaries of those stories, it has genealogies of the characters, descriptions of who each person was, the psychospiritual quality represented by each character (according to Yogananda), a map of ancient India, and a lot more. It’s available via my website: WaysToFreedom.com.
I highly recommend Subramaniam’s books. You'll have a great — and inspiring — time reading them.