Yogananda’s Views on Communism


What were Paramhansa Yoganandajis views on communism? In democracy there is a rather high level unequal distribution of wealth. A fact which I see in my country India where the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. Also property disputes are plenty. Where there is a will there are 4 relatives fighting for it. Its also very shattering for a son/daughter to find out the hard way that he/she is disinherited from his/her parents property. do you have solutions for it

—Niraj, India


Dear Friend,

Paramhansa Yogananda was unequivocal in his denunciation of the godless totalitarianism of communism which in the 20th century butchered tens of millions of their own citizens and suppressed all forms of religion and spirituality in the name of materialism.

At the same time, he decried selfish industrialists and capitalists who lacked compassion and generosity to help uplift others of lesser means.

Yoganandaji taught that the solution to the conflict between capital and labor lies in universal brotherhood. When all peoples, rich and poor, view each other as children of God, each can help the other.

Owing to the play of opposites (duality) Yogananda taught, as did Jesus Christ (“the poor ye shall have always”), that individuals would always have a wide variety of circumstances brought on by their own past karma. Some rich; some poor; some healthy; some ill. We each have the God-given freedom to choose and to work out our karma in our own time and in our own way.

But that does not justify exploitation and lack of compassion, for we can all act as brothers (and sisters). A rich man may have wealth, but not peace of mind. A poor man may be rich in inner peace but lacking in the means for sustaining his body. Each can help the other.

No system, no “ism” will be any more perfect than the consciousness of those who are part of it. Even communism, seen abstractly, appealed to some of goodwill decades ago for its promise of equality and distribution of wealth to all. But of course that, too, was a lie and to impose it with violence and suppression of basic liberties is to practice violence, himsa, upon others.

India’s rich heritage of God-realized masters and spiritual realization, combined with her hard working, intelligent population has the means to uplift herself in a just and compassionate way. It will never come through government officials but must come through the integrity, compassion, and God-reminding sacrifices of men and women throughout India.

Corruption and exploitation will ease when a sufficient number of “righteous” souls re-inhabit the soil of India. Intentional communities of high minded souls, living in harmony with each other and with nature, in simplicity and cooperation, is the solution to India’s ills and the torments of globalization. So taught Paramhansa Yogananda and so dedicated to such vision is the worldwide work of Ananda through the wisdom guidance of its founder, Swami Kriyananda.


Nayaswami Hriman