|Paramahansa Yogananda was one of the earliest proponents of yoga in the Western world, and one of its most enduring figures. Born to wealthy Bengali parents in 1893, the spiritually precocious Mukunda Lal Ghosh met his guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, at the age of 17. He lived and studied with Yukteswar while also attending Calcutta University. Upon his college graduation, he was accepted as a full-fledged Hindu monk, and was given the spiritual name Yogananda ("one who achieves bliss through yoga"). Shortly after, he founded a school for boys, where yogic practices and academic subjects were taught side by side. In 1920, Yogananda traveled to Boston to address the International Congress of Religious Liberals on the topic of "The Science of Religion." The rapt reception of his address inspired Yogananda to stay in the United States and spread the word about self-realization, meditation, and religious ecumenicalism. He established the Self-Realization Fellowship, and traveled across the United States giving popular lectures and attracting students and disciples. In the 1930s, Yogananda retreated from touring, and spent much of his time at the SRF headquarters in Los Angeles, writing pamphlets, articles, and books. His guru bestowed on him the respectful title Paramahansa, reflecting both his devoted public service and his attainment of spiritual enlightenment. In 1946, his classic AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A YOGI was published. It brought him worldwide attention and has remained in continual publication. In his practical approach to self-realization, he encouraged prayer, meditation, religious tolerance, and the reading of uplifting texts from all the spiritual traditions.