Swami Kriyananda writes in The Path: My Life With Paramhansa Yogananda:
Part of the basis for Master’s amazing charisma was the fact that, seeing his infinite Beloved in all human beings, he also awakened in them an inchoate faith in their own goodness. With the impersonality of true greatness, he never accepted the thought from others that he was essentially any different from them.
Bernard, upon whom Master had been urging some difficult undertaking, remonstrated one day, “Well, Sir, you can do it. You’re a master.”
“And what do you think made me a master?” the Guru demanded. “It was by doing! Don’t cling to the thought of weakness if your desire is to become strong.”
“There was a devotee,” Master once told us, “who was sitting before the image of his guru, chanting and tossing flowers onto it as an expression of his devotion. His concentration became so deep that, suddenly he beheld the whole universe contained within himself. ‘Oh! he cried ‘I have been putting flowers on another’s image, and now I see that I, untouched by this body, am the Sustainer of the universe. I bow to myself!’ And he began throwing the flowers onto his own head.
“Oh! when Master [Sri Yukteswar] told me that story I was so thrilled I went into samadhi. That devotee wasn’t speaking from ego. Rather he was rejoicing in the death of his ego.”
This was the relationship that Master sought ever to establish with us: a relationship wherein we realized with our entire being that we, too, were That.
One of the young monks had so many photographs that the walls of his room ended up being almost papered with them.
“Why do you keep on taking photographs of this physical form?” Master demanded of him one day. “What is it but flesh and bones? Get to know me in meditation if you want to know who I really am!”
And once, when we were serving him, he remarked, “You all are so kind to me with your many attentions.” Karle Frost, one of the disciples present, exclaimed, “Oh, no, Master. It is you who are kind to us!”
“God is helping God,” Master replied with a sweet smile. “That is the nature of His cosmic drama.”
The closer we drew to him spiritually, the less he sought to teach us by words. “I prefer to speak with the eyes,” he once told me. He never wanted to impose his instruction on us from without. His method of teaching, rather, was to help us to dig wells of intuitive insight within ourselves. The closer we felt to him, the closer we came to knowing our own, true, Self: the God within.