Paramhansa Yogananda Playing the Esraj – “Who is in my temple?”

On a Monday morning, I’m about to start day’s work and YouTube’s autoplay starts playing this ethereal tune from the great Paramhansa Yogananda. Tears well up in comic unity and the divinity everywhere! Here, put on the speakers, turn it on and close your eyes:

About Esraj and Lyrics for the Chant

Now, what’s the tune about? Firstly, the instrument on which the tune is being played is the Esraj. The instrument, a relatively new one – about 300 years old – is a combination of Sitar and Saringda. The above tune is being played by Paramhansa Yoganandaji himself! It is indeed a blessing for all of us for it to have been recorded.

Coming to the song, it is titled “Who is in my temple?” Here are the lyrics:

Who is in my Temple?
Who is in my Temple?
All the doors do open themselves;
All the lights do light themselves.
Darkness like a dark bird flies away, oh, flies away.

The lyrics sound mystic and cryptic, they take a seeker into a realm of the unknown where things are fluid. Where the seeker is not; only the divine is. The chant arises from the depths of the ocean, rises up like a dolphin, shines in full glory and merges back into the ocean… Listen to the chant with the words here:

Kriya Yoga and Paramhansa Yogananda

Paramhansa Yogananda ofcourse needs no introduction- he’s the world renowned monk and author of “The Autobiography of a Yogi” (here’s a list of spiritual books from across traditions that have inspired me). Founder of the Yogoda Satsanga Society of India in 1917, Paramhansa Yogananda taught Kriya Yoga which is said to have passed on through Mahavtar Babaji. This is a beautiful illustration of the entire lineage: Jesus Christ, Yogiraj Lahiri Mahasay, Mahavtar Babaji, Sri Yukteshwar Giri, Paramhansa Yogananda and Lord Krishna with the peacock feather. This particular illustration (if anyone knows the creator, please mention in comments!) also has Sri Anandmayi Ma 🙂

Sri M and The Satsang Foundation

If you’re looking for a teacher from the same lineage in the current times, look no further than Sri M. A spiritual master, Sri M is the inspiration for The Satsang Foundation which organizes several retreats and dialogues along with wide ranging activities from education to health to environment. The Ashram is located in Madanapalle in Andhra Pradesh with centres across the world. Here’s a beautiful Guru Mantra Chant from Sri M:

3 thoughts on “Paramhansa Yogananda Playing the Esraj – “Who is in my temple?”

  1. It seems the author of the painting with masters around the fire is Jonah West (website called: jonahwestart). Found it while searching for this painting.
    All the best to you!


  2. Not sure who Sri M is, but Paramahansa Yogananda set up Self-Realization Fellowship in the US to disseminate his teachings in the west, as well as Yogoda Satsanga Society in India. If you want to follow his spiritual lineage, you might want to follow his direction.

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