What Would Yogananda Have Thought of Plastic Surgery?

Question

Plastic surgery has been very common among women nowadays (both TV personalities and other folks): nose jobs, ceramic teeth, botox, body augmentations etc. What would Yogananda have thought of it?

—Tina, Florida

Answer

Dear Tina,

Yogananda came to teach people Self-realization, telling them: you are not the body; identify instead with your soul! Plastic surgery goes in the very opposite direction: it increases one’s identification with the body. Hardly ever would he have endorsed it, I believe.

But let’s say a TV presenter tells him,” My job depends on my beauty. I, therefore, need to do plastic surgery.” In this case, it becomes more difficult. I still believe he would try to teach that person that true beauty always comes from within, and shines outward. It doesn’t really come from any physical change. He explained in his Autobiography of a Yogi that this is how beauty is perceived in the higher worlds: “Beauty in the astral world is known to be a spiritual quality and not an outward conformation.” This same approach should be learned also here on earth.

You may answer that this attitude is a bit too elevated for many body-oriented people. Maybe. But Yogananda’s didn’t come to pamper people’s ego, meaning their identification with the body.

Especially to “augment” certain parts of the body to become more sexually attractive is something he would definitively be opposed to. Women, for example, can be the greatest uplifters in society, but only if they don’t play the role of the “temptress”.

To become more attractive and magnetic in public, he would recommend yogic methods, not plastic surgery. For example, he explained that we become highly magnetic by increasing our inner energy flow: “We must develop physical magnetism in order to have a body that is strong and conscious of itself – not to the point of vanity, but a body that obeys our command. Recharging the body with energy develops great magnetism.”

Yogananda actually didn’t even want his woman disciples to be thin. I am quite certain, if a student (also a TV presenter) would have asked him, “I want to change my nose with plastic surgery,” he would have answered, “Your nose is beautiful as it is. Let it be.”

I could imagine, however, that for TV presenters and others, ceramic teeth wouldn’t be a problem, if the teeth otherwise looked rather unpresentable.

Instead of botox, he would have the students read, learn, and apply his methods of natural skin beauty: https://www.ananda.org/blog/yogananda-skin-beauty-god/

He also might tell people seeking beauty through plastic surgery: Behind your need to be beautiful hides your need to be loved. But that need for love you will only really satisfy by finding the love of God. Indeed he taught: “God is the love you seek.” That’s the true solution.

And that love will make us truly beautiful. He explained: “There is no greater tonic than love, which can beautify the body and mind of man.”

Joy to you,
Jayadev