— Final Years
Final Years and Mahasamadhi of Paramahansa Yogananda
During the 1930s, Paramahansa Yogananda began to withdraw somewhat from his nationwide public lecturing so as to devote himself to the writings that would carry his message to future generations, and to building an enduring foundation for the spiritual and humanitarian work of Self-Realization Fellowship (known in India as Yogoda Satsanga Society of India). Under his direction, the personal guidance and instruction that he had given to students of his classes was arranged into a comprehensive series of Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons for home study.
Yogananda's life story, Autobiography of a Yogi, was published in 1946 and expanded by him in subsequent editions. A perennial best-seller, the book has been in continuous publication since it first appeared and has been translated into 25 languages. It is widely regarded as a modern spiritual classic.
On March 7, 1952, Paramahansa Yogananda entered mahasamadhi, a God-illumined master's conscious exit from the body at the time of physical death. His passing was marked by an extraordinary phenomenon.
A notarized statement signed by the Director of Forest Lawn Memorial-Park testified: "No physical disintegration was visible in his body even twenty days after death... This state of perfect preservation of a body is, so far as we know from mortuary annals, an unparalleled one... Yogananda's body was apparently in a phenomenal state of immutability."