A video showing Hindu monk and yogi Paramahansa Yogananda walking in the streets of New York with his disciples is circulating online with false claims that it shows rare footage of Swami Vivekananda touring the United States.
The video shows Paramahansa Yogananda, a Hindu monk walking with his disciples at Pershing Square in New York, during a 1923 visit to the city.
The video has been shared with captions in English, Telugu and Tamil. One such caption reads, “Wonderful but true. None of us would have seen Vivekananda in the right angle. Now see Vivekananda. Very rare. Swamy Vivekananda in US video.”
Watch the video here.
(Original caption: “அதிசயம் ஆனால் உண்மை நாம் யாரும் விவேகானந்தரை சரியான கோணத்தில் பார்த்திருக்க மாட்டோம் இப்பொழுது பாருங்கள் விவேகானந்தரை* *very rare. Swamy Vivekanandha in US video”)
The video has been shared widely by other users on Facebook with the same claim.
The same video was sent to BOOM's tipline (+91 7700906588) for verification.
BOOM ran a reverse image search on the keyframes extracted from the video which led us to two Facebook reels published by Ananda Worldwide.
According to the captions the footage is of Swami Yogananda visiting New York in 1923. Both the captions shared the link of a site, Ananda.org.
On visiting the site, we found an extended version of the YouTube video curated in an article on the site.
The video is originally titled as, ‘Yogananda Visits New York’ on YouTube and was uploaded by Ananda Sangha Worldwide on Jul 16, 2020.
From 32 seconds onwards the same visuals of the viral video can be seen.
The description on the site about the video reads, “We are very happy to offer you (in collaboration with the University of South Carolina) this original video footage of Swami Yogananda visiting New York City in 1923.”
The article further reads, Phil Goldberg describes the moment in his acclaimed biography, The Life of Yogananda: The Story of the Yogi Who Became the First Modern Guru, pages 117-118.”
The description reads, “The Swami and his party walking along Pershing Square in New York, possibly during a 1923 visit to the city.”
Paramahansa Yogananda was born as Mukunda Lal Ghosh on January 5, 1893, in Gorakhpur. He introduced yoga and meditation to the West in the 1920s.
Below is a comparison between Swami Yogananda and Swami Vivekananda. Swami Vivekananda, born as Narendranath Datta, is a Hindu philosopher, author and was the chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramhansa. He is known for his landmark speech at the 1893 Parliament of Religions in Chicago and introducing Hinduism to the west.
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