Yogananda’s Opinions About the Nazis


All my life i have always felt a deep ache in my heart because of what happened to the Jews (and others) in during the Holocaust in Germany.

I am very much interested to find out about Master's opinion on Hitler and Nazi Germany. I am sure that he was aware of the happenings and knew about the execution of millions of innocent people.

I once read somewhere that Master often cried at nights because of the cruel nightmare which was taking place in Germany. Is this true? (Unfortunately i cant find this article anymore). It would be so nice to know that Master felt compassion for these people and "stood up" against Hitler and the Nazis in some way or another.

—Carina, Germany


Carina, you are not alone in feeling deep compassion and hurt for the sufferings of so many people. That such a thing should happen is almost impossible to understand, especially for us today.

The workings of karma are strange and hard to fathom. As Krishna says to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, “weep not, Arjuna, for the soul is indestructible and you and I and these have been through many lives.”

That such atrocities should awaken compassion and mercy and a firm resolution to never permit this again is one of the spiritual blessings of the sufferings such souls went through. For better or worse it played a major role in establishing the Jewish state of Israel.

Master made an attempt to have an interview with Adolph Hitler in 1935 when Master toured there and went to Bavaria to see Therese Neumann. Master had hoped to awaken Hitler’s interest (when he was Alexander the Great in a past life) in the Indian teachings with a mind to soften the blow of Hitler’s karma and that of Germany and the Jews and many others. He said that he even put into Hitler’s mind, later, during WW II, the thought to invade Russia and thus hasten his own demise and the end of the war.

Yes, of course he felt pangs of suffering. I do not recall any specific references but you can be certain he was keenly aware. As a true Master he also knows that suffering in this world cannot be avoided; that it’s divine purpose is to awaken us to seek lasting happiness where it only can be found: within; in the state of superconsciousness, with God alone.

He was strongly for the war effort to defeat Hitler and Japan. He saw the war as punishment for the greed and exploitation of Western countries in general, as well. He saw that the war would mark the beginning of the end of Western colonialism. He saw the cause of Allies as a righteous cause and that America would come out of the war in a role and position of unprecedented power and opportunity to help rebuld the war torn nations and economies.

So, yes, rest assured the Master’s heart was as big as the “world”. But he would not have spent a lot of energy condemning Hitler or anyone. He always did his best to encourage all people to be better.

Off hand, I don’t recall him “standing up to Hitler” in any specific words or speeches, but I can assure you he spoke out strongly for the cause of defeating Hitler and all that he represented. War is always a mixed bag, bringing out both cruelty and nobility in combatants and noncombatants alike.

Blessings to you,
Nayaswami Hriman