Each year in March we celebrate the mahasamadhis of two great masters, Paramhansa Yogananda and Sri Yukteswar. Mahasamadhi means “great samadhi” — it is the conscious, willful, final exit of a master from the physical body.

Scripture states that the anniversary of a mahasamadhi is a very auspicious time and consequently a great opportunity to tune into the consciousness of these Great Ones. In fact, these celebrations are pivotal in our calendar year and of great inspiration. On occasion, we bring to these gatherings sacred relics once possessed by these spiritual masters to experience the subtle vibrations of Their consciousness, still emanating from the relics. Through this event we are reminded of our own immortal nature and that these “Living Masters” attained a state of consciousness which is our divine potential. They are constantly showering us with their grace.

The ability to perform a mahasamadhi is the result of being inwardly free. A master has no consciousness of the limited self but has realized himself as one with God. While this is indeed an exalted state of being and may be far beyond our current comprehension, we embark upon the journey through daily meditation practice. Moment-by-moment meditation teaches us how to be free in our hearts even while living lives fully engaged in outward responsibilities and obligations.

In the practice of the Hong-Sau Technique, for example, we are watching the breath as an observer. I will not go into the whole technique here but want to emphasize this one part: observation. The breath enters into the body and flows out again, coming and going of its own accord without our control.

While this sounds simple enough, it is, in fact, challenging to watch this process and fully let the breath take the lead — what to speak of keeping our attention fully engaged! This is because it requires detachment, not only from the breath but from bodily consciousness.

This is harder than it seems, but is also why Yogananda said of this technique that if you want to become a master in this life, you should practice Hong-Sau for two hours a day. He also said that we can reach states of spiritual ecstasy in longer, deeper practices of this very technique. As a young boy Yogananda practiced this technique for seven hours at a time, going into ecstasy.

Do not underestimate the power of Hong-Sau to transform your life and help you to become inwardly free. It is not to be taken lightly, nor is it just for beginners. You can employ it at any time and for just a few minutes.
Center yourself and reclaim your focus and right attitude. Weekly I am inspired by examples and stories from those who meditate and have been able, through their practice, to transcend challenges and hardships in life, receive guidance and solutions, and realize a deeper understanding of their place and purpose in this world. I wish for you the same.

Many blessings,
nayaswami maria


  1. Nayaswami Maria:

    Thank you so very much for this article. I started practicing this technique but I did not handle my problems appropriately and, sadly for me, it went by the wayside. I might say here that if I kept on practicing I would be so far ahead that my problems would not have the power to affect me.

    I do love “Autobiography of a Yogi” and am proud to say I have read it cover to cover three times I keep it where I can see it every day; for I want to be able to pick it up when I choose (which is often) and read any chapter. I do love to read about the relationship Master had with Sri Yukteswar because it’s second to none: Ultimate Respect. Autobiography of a Yogi teaches so many things every time I read it I learn something new. It is simply very special and we are all so much better for having read it.

    Thank you for all that you do.



  2. Thank you, Nayaswami Maria.

    The sky here today is blue and serene, perfectly matching the vibration of your words in my heart.

    Boundless Blessings,

    Mare Baranski

  3. Sat Nam Swami Nayaswami Maria ~ A Beautifully written article and honor to the ultimate of Seva. Even unto breath and passing death . . . it is certain that with entrainment in unceasing purity and pressing past A U M or in the subtle of choice act of chanting HAR or Eck Ong Kar as vehicles one may always reach past the shores of ignorance. Grace as Love as Wisdom is forever abundantly available.

    Thank you for reminding us all as to the true dedication of such rare Masters.

    Blessings from Michigan ~
    R KAUR

  4. Thank you for Nayaswami Maria. I am interested in learning this technique. Is there an instruction video or CD that can be purchased to learn more about it?
    I am always fascinated to learn more and more about these two great masters. I use Yogananda’s writings as daily devotion after my meditation daily. I aspire to get closer to attaining that oneness with the Divine.

  5. Thank you very much for this article and all the others that you have sent. I have learnt many things. Each time I open my mail box I look for your message eagerly.

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    Beautiful article, Maria, thank you. I am always happy to see Hong-Sau getting more of its due, because it is a wonderful technique. Kriyabans often marginalize it, but it can play a valuable role in our overall sadhana, including enhancing the practice of Kriya.

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    Thank you Michelle,
    You might want to explore the online with Ananda (Ananda.org) and the meditation courses that are offered regularly. Also check “free inspiration.” You can otherwise purchase “How to Meditate” by John Novak through CrystalClarity.com
    Many blessings, nayaswamimaria

  8. Thank you, very mich for this article.
    I will like to know more about Siri Paramahansa Yogananda.
    Nayaswami Maria. I’m a mess. I’m having trouble trying to relax and concentrate my brain doesn’t stop.
    I’ve to much to learned from you.
    Thank you so much.

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    Bless you Dora. You are not a mess. Take a few deep, full breaths and try to feel gratitude in your heart for whatever is good and beautiful in your life. Expand this feeling and feel yourself in a bubble of goodness and light. When you get a chance, go to ananda.org and go to free inspiration and read Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramhansa Yogananda. It will speak to you and help you and inspire you. Also, look for the on line meditation course through which you can learn how to meditate. many blessings, maria

  10. Thank you Maria.Beautiful article and beautifully explained.I needed it.

  11. Thankyou Maria. I first read Autobiography of a yogi in 1973 flying towards New Caladonia. Everytime I think of the experience in the moment on the plane I am filled with bliss. I am now a pensioner but would love to take more courses if they are not too expensive. May all beings be content. May you fly to your Love. Shanti

  12. I’m in spiritual life since 20 years. I performing some meditations.so far as I’m not possible to attain infinite joy fully. It is also may cause for family too much attachment. I hope one day I reach the goal. I read Yogi athma kathe in Kannada. I have lot of respect about Babaji,. Lahiri and Yuktheshwar and parmahamsa Yogananda Guruji’s. thanks to all my spiritual athamas. Jai Gurudev

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