The personal and intimate story presented in YOGANANDA reveals Paramhansa Yogananda both as a man and the spiritual master.
Born in 1893, from an early age young Mukunda (later to be named Yogananda) shows signs of his future role as a self-realized yogi. He possesses super-human will power, the ability to predict the future, and miraculous healing capabilities. His family slowly begins to understand that he is no ordinary child.
After the tragic death of his beloved mother, and multiple thwarted attempts to escape to the Himalayas to meditate, Yogananda's spiritual quest is fulfilled upon finding his guru, Sri Yukteswar. Soon after their meeting in the holy city of Benares, Sri Yukteswar reveals to Yogananda the secret of his destiny—which is to unfold in early 20th century America.
In 1920, wearing silk orange robes and a turban, and carrying only a suitcase, Swami Yogananda arrives by ocean liner into Boston Harbor. At the religious congress he's been invited to attend, he delivers a riveting speech. People instantly recognize him as a great soul. This is the beginning of his famous spiritual campaigns, which go on to inspire audiences around the country for the next 32 years.
Before long Yogananda is speaking before thousands in overflowing lecture halls across America. Despite his universal message of love and tolerance, not everyone is pleased. After a standing-room-only talk at Carnegie Hall, a hit man sets out to assassinate Yogananda for daring to speak out against the greedy and powerful New York elite. But the hit man's brute force proves no match for Yogananda's all-powerful love.
Soon thereafter, Yogananda purchases a headquarters on a hilltop of Los Angeles for his newly formed spiritual organization. What follows are fruitful, yet often challenging, years of gathering students and disciples, while building a lasting mission. Yogananda teaches yoga, meditation, and spiritual living to tens of thousands of people, sowing the seeds of a spiritual revolution that continue to grow to this day. These affecting stories of those students and the miraculous events that occur between 1930-1950 are powerfully depicted in YOGANANDA.
All of this leads to the dramatic final scene: Yogananda's sensational death in front of a banquet hall filled with guests in a downtown Los Angeles hotel. This proves to be not quite the end, as Yogananda departs this world with one final miracle – proving to all the greatness and incorruptibility of his soul.