The presence of 250 devotees from eleven countries gave a strong international flavor to Ananda’s celebration of Paramhansa Yogananda’s mahasamadhi in Gurgaon, India, March 4-8, 2005.
Pervading the four-day event was a deep sense of joy that East and West had joined together to honor Yogananda in his homeland. A milestone had been reached in fulfilling his vision of world brotherhood.
In the last chapter of the first edition of the Autobiography of a Yogi, Yogananda states: “man should enlarge his allegiance, considering himself in the light of a world citizen.” At the mahasamadhi celebration, despite differences in languages, nationalities, and cultures, that sense of “enlarged allegiance” was everywhere evident.
The celebration included talks by Swami Kriyananda and other Ananda leaders, workshops by devotees from around the world, and slide and video accounts of Yogananda’s life and mission in the West. All took place at the lovely Bristol Hotel in Gurgaon.
More informally, there were lunches and teas at the Ananda ashram, and satsangs with Swami Kriyananda at his new home (including a tour of the house). The Mahasamadhi Celebration will become an annual event held in India.