Yogananda met with the great Indian saint Ramana Maharshi at his ashram in South India.
Yogananda’s mission was both to sincere seekers and to suffering humanity. His teachings were destined to offer people everywhere a major incentive to improve their lot by pointing them in the direction of ever-greater spirituality.
No doubt to satisfy his curiosity as to Ramana Maharshi’s attitude toward mass development, he asked the saint what he thought of mass upliftment.
“There can be no good accomplished except through personal enlightenment,” was the reply.
Yogananda once more, as he had graciously done toward Mahatma Gandhi, allowed Ramana Maharshi to have the last word. It was never his way to argue. The ashram annals, reporting this exchange, make it seem as though Ramana Maharshi had had the best of an argument.
Later, however, Ramana’s brother, who was no saint and was very ego-centered, tried to get Yogananda into an argument on the point—no doubt to persuade him of the uselessness of the work he was doing in promulgating truth by lectures, books, and the like. Ramana Maharshi, seeing him from inside the satsang room, called to him quietly, “Come away.” He knew Yogananda’s stature.