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Paramahansa Yogananda

Paramahansa Yogananda

Yogi, a guru of Kriya Yoga and founder of Self-Realization Fellowship
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Yogi, a guru of Kriya Yoga and founder of Self-Realization Fellowship
Countries India
Occupations Philosopher Autobiographer Writer
A.K.A. Paramahamsa Yogananda
Gender male
Birth January 5, 1893 (Gorakhpur)
Death March 7, 1952 (Los Angeles)
Education University of Calcutta, Scottish Church College, Senate of Serampore College
Notable Works Autobiography of a Yogi
The details

Paramahansa Yogananda (Bengali: পরমহংস যোগানন্দ) (5 January 1893 – 7 March 1952), born Mukunda Lal Ghosh (Bengali: মুকুন্দলাল ঘোষ), was an Indian yogi and guru who introduced millions of westerners to the teachings of meditation and Kriya Yoga through his book, Autobiography of a Yogi.



Yogananda at age six

Yogananda was born in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India, to a devout family. According to his younger brother, Sananda, from his earliest years young Mukunda's awareness and experience of the spiritual was far beyond the ordinary. In his youth he sought out many of India's Hindu sages and saints, hoping to find an illuminated teacher to guide him in his spiritual quest.

Yogananda's seeking after various saints mostly ended when he met his guru, Swami Yukteswar Giri, in 1910, at the age of 17. He describes his first meeting with Yukteswar as a rekindling of a relationship that had lasted for many lifetimes:

We entered a oneness of silence; words seemed the rankest superfluities. Eloquence flowed in soundless chant from heart of master to disciple. With an antenna of irrefragable insight I sensed that my guru knew God, and would lead me to Him. The obscuration of this life disappeared in a fragile dawn of prenatal memories. Dramatic time! Past, present, and future are its cycling scenes. This was not the first sun to find me at these holy feet!

Later on Yukteswar informed Yogananda that he had been sent to him by Mahavatar Babaji for a special purpose.

After passing his Intermediate Examination in Arts from the Scottish Church College, Calcutta, in June 1915, he graduated with a degree similar to a current day Bachelor of Arts or B.A. (which at the time was referred to as an A.B.), from Serampore College, the college having two entities, one as a constituent college of the Senate of Serampore College (University) and the other as an affiliated college of the University of Calcutta. This allowed him to spend time at Yukteswar's ashram in Serampore. In 1915, he took formal vows into the monastic Swami order and became Swami Yogananda Giri. In 1917, Yogananda founded a school for boys in Dihika, West Bengal, that combined modern educational techniques with yoga training and spiritual ideals. A year later, the school relocated to Ranchi. This school would later become the Yogoda Satsanga Society of India, the Indian branch of Yogananda's American organization, Self-Realization Fellowship.

Move to America

In 1920, Yogananda went to the United States aboard the ship City of Sparta, as India's delegate to an International Congress of Religious Liberals convening in Boston. That same year he founded the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) to disseminate worldwide his teachings on India's ancient practices and philosophy of Yoga and its tradition of meditation. For the next several years, he lectured and taught on the East Coast and in 1924 embarked on a cross-continental speaking tour. Thousands came to his lectures. During this time he attracted a number of celebrity followers, including soprano Amelita Galli-Curci, tenor Vladimir Rosing and Clara Clemens Gabrilowitsch, the daughter of Mark Twain. The following year, he established an international center for Self-Realization Fellowship in Los Angeles, California, which became the spiritual and administrative heart of his growing work. Yogananda was the first Hindu teacher of yoga to spend a major portion of his life in America. He lived there from 1920—1952, interrupted by an extended trip abroad in 1935–1936 which was mainly to visit his guru in India though he undertook visits to other living western saints like Therese Neumann, the Catholic Stigmatist of Konnersreuth, and places of spiritual significance en route.

Visit to India, 1935–1936

In 1935, he returned to India to visit Yukteswar and to help establish his Yogoda Satsanga work in India. During this visit, as told in his autobiography, he met with Mahatma Gandhi, and initiated him into the liberating technique of Kriya Yoga as Gandhi expressed his interest to receive the Kriya Yoga of Lahiri Mahasaya; Anandamoyi Ma; renowned physicist Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman; and several disciples of Yukteswar's guru Lahiri Mahasaya. While in India, Yukteswar gave Yogananda the monastic title of Paramahansa. Paramahansa means "supreme swan" and is a title indicating the highest spiritual attainment. In 1936, while Yogananda was visiting Calcutta, Yukteswar attained mahasamadhi in the town of Puri.

Return to America, 1936

After returning to America, Yogananda continued to lecture, write, and establish churches in southern California. He took up residence at the SRF hermitage in Encinitas, California which was a surprise gift from his disciple Rajarsi Janakananda. It was while at this hermitage that Yogananda wrote his famous Autobiography of a Yogi and other writings. Also at this time he created an "enduring foundation for the spiritual and humanitarian work of Self‑Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India."

The last four years of his life were spent primarily in seclusion with some of his inner circle of disciples at his desert ashram in Twentynine Palms, California to finish his writings and to finish revising books, articles and lessons written previously over the years. During this period he gave few interviews and public lectures. He told his close disciples, "I can do much more now to reach others with my pen."


In the days leading up to his death, Yogananda began hinting that it was time for him to leave the world.

On 7 March 1952, he attended a dinner for the visiting Indian Ambassador to the US, Binay Ranjan Sen, and his wife at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. At the conclusion of the banquet, Yogananda spoke of India and America, their contributions to world peace and human progress, and their future cooperation, expressing his hope for a "United World" that would combine the best qualities of "efficient America" and "spiritual India." According to an eyewitness – Daya Mata, a direct disciple of Yogananda, who was head of the Self-Realization Fellowship from 1955–2010 — as Yogananda ended his speech, he read from his poem My India, concluding with the words "Where Ganges, woods, Himalayan caves, and men dream God—I am hallowed; my body touched that sod." "As he uttered these words, he lifted his eyes to the Kutastha center (the Ajna Chakra), and his body slumped to the floor." Followers say that he entered mahasamadhi.

His funeral service, with hundreds attending, was held at the SRF headquarters atop Mt. Washington in Los Angeles. Rajarsi Janakananda, the new president of the Self-Realization Fellowship, "performed a sacred ritual releasing the body to God." Yogananda's remains are interred at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Great Mausoleum (normally closed off to visitors but Yogananda's tomb is accessible) in Glendale, California.


Paramahansa Yogananda giving a class in Washington, D.C.

In 1917 Paramahansa Yogananda "began his life's work with the founding of a 'how-to-live' school for boys, where modern educational methods were combined with yoga training and instruction in spiritual ideals." In 1920 "he was invited to serve as India's delegate to an International Congress of Religious Liberals convening in Boston. His address to the Congress, on 'The Science of Religion,' was enthusiastically received." For the next several years he lectured and taught across the United States. His discourses taught of the "unity of 'the original teachings of Jesus Christ and the original Yoga taught by Bhagavan Krishna.'"

In 1920 he founded the Self-Realization Fellowship and in 1925 established in Los Angeles, California, USA, the international headquarters for SRF.

Yogananda wrote down his Aims and Ideals for Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society:

  • To disseminate among the nations a knowledge of definite scientific techniques for attaining direct personal experience of God.
  • To teach that the purpose of life is the evolution, through self-effort, of man’s limited mortal consciousness into God Consciousness; and to this end to establish Self-Realization Fellowship temples for God-communion throughout the world, and to encourage the establishment of individual temples of God in the homes and in the hearts of men.
  • To reveal the complete harmony and basic oneness of original Christianity as taught by Jesus Christ and original Yoga as taught by Bhagavan Krishna; and to show that these principles of truth are the common scientific foundation of all true religions.
  • To point out the one divine highway to which all paths of true religious beliefs eventually lead: the highway of daily, scientific, devotional meditation on God.
  • To liberate man from his threefold suffering: physical disease, mental inharmonies, and spiritual ignorance.
  • To encourage “plain living and high thinking”; and to spread a spirit of brotherhood among all peoples by teaching the eternal basis of their unity: kinship with God.
  • To demonstrate the superiority of mind over body, of soul over mind.
  • To overcome evil by good, sorrow by joy, cruelty by kindness, ignorance by wisdom.
  • To unite science and religion through realization of the unity of their underlying principles.
  • To advocate cultural and spiritual understanding between East and West, and the exchange of their finest distinctive features.
  • To serve mankind as one’s larger Self.

Yogananda wrote the Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You and God Talks With Arjuna — The Bhagavad Gita' to reveal the complete harmony and basic oneness of original Christianity as taught by Jesus Christ and original Yoga as taught by Bhagavan Krishna; and to show that these principles of truth are the common scientific foundation of all true religions.

In his published work, The Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons, Yogananda gives "his in-depth instruction in the practice of the highest yoga science of God-realization. That ancient science is embodied in the specific principles and meditation techniques of Kriya Yoga." Yogananda taught his students the need for direct experience of truth, as opposed to blind belief. He said that "The true basis of religion is not belief, but intuitive experience. Intuition is the soul's power of knowing God. To know what religion is really all about, one must know God."

Echoing traditional Hindu teachings, he taught that the entire universe is God's cosmic motion picture, and that individuals are merely actors in the divine play who change roles through reincarnation. He taught that mankind's deep suffering is rooted in identifying too closely with one's current role, rather than with the movie's director, or God.

He taught Kriya Yoga and other meditation practices to help people achieve that understanding, which he called Self-realization:

Self-realization is the knowing – in body, mind, and soul – that we are one with the omnipresence of God; that we do not have to pray that it come to us, that we are not merely near it at all times, but that God's omnipresence is our omnipresence; and that we are just as much a part of Him now as we ever will be. All we have to do is improve our knowing.

Kriya Yoga

The "science" of Kriya Yoga is the foundation of Yogananda's teachings. Kriya Yoga is "union (yoga) with the Infinite through a certain action or rite (kriya). The Sanskrit root of kriya is kri, to do, to act and react." Kriya Yoga was passed down through Yogananda's guru lineage – Mahavatar Babaji taught Kriya Yoga to Lahiri Mahasaya, who taught it to his disciple, Yukteswar Giri, Yogananda's Guru.

Yogananda gave a general description of Kriya Yoga in his Autobiography:

The Kriya Yogi mentally directs his life energy to revolve, upward and downward, around the six spinal centers (medullary, cervical, dorsal, lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal plexuses) which correspond to the twelve astral signs of the zodiac, the symbolic Cosmic Man. One-half minute of revolution of energy around the sensitive spinal cord of man effects subtle progress in his evolution; that half-minute of Kriya equals one year of natural spiritual unfoldment.

Sri Mrinalini Mata, current president of SRF/YSS, said, "Kriya Yoga is so effective, so complete, because it brings God's love – the universal power through which God draws all souls back to reunion with Him – into operation in the devotee's life."

Yogananda wrote in Autobiography of a Yogi that the "actual technique should be learned from an authorized Kriyaban (Kriya Yogi) of Self-Realization Fellowship (Yogoda Satsanga Society of India.)"

Autobiography of a Yogi

Cover of first edition of Autobiography of a Yogi

In 1946, Yogananda published his life story, Autobiography of a Yogi. It has since been translated into 45 languages. In 1999, it was designated one of the "100 Most Important Spiritual Books of the 20th Century" by a panel of spiritual authors convened by Philip Zaleski and HarperCollins publishers. Autobiography of a Yogi is the most popular among Yogananda's books. According to Philip Goldberg, who wrote American Veda, "the Self-Realization Fellowship which represents Yogananda's Legacy, is justified in using the slogan, "The Book that Changed the Lives of Millions." It has sold more than four million copies and counting". In 2006, the publisher, Self-Realization Fellowship, honored the 60th anniversary of Autobiography of a Yogi "with a series of projects designed to promote the legacy of the man thousands of disciples still refer to as 'master'."

Autobiography of a Yogi describes Yogananda's spiritual search for enlightenment, in addition to encounters with notable spiritual figures such as Therese Neumann, Anandamayi Ma, Vishuddhananda Paramahansa, Mohandas Gandhi, Nobel laureate in literature Rabindranath Tagore, noted plant scientist Luther Burbank (the book is 'Dedicated to the Memory of Luther Burbank, An American Saint'), famous Indian scientist Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose and Nobel laureate in physics Sir C. V. Raman. One notable chapter of this book is "The Law of Miracles", where he gives scientific explanations for seemingly miraculous feats. He writes: "the word 'impossible' is becoming less prominent in man's vocabulary."

The Autobiography has been an inspiration for many people including Steve Jobs (1955–2011), co-founder, former chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc. In the book Steve Jobs: A Biography the author writes that in preparation for a trip, Mr. Jobs downloaded onto his iPad2, the Autobiography of a Yogi, "the guide to meditation and spirituality that he had first read as a teenager, then re-read in India and had read once a year ever since."

Claims of bodily incorruptibility

As reported in Time Magazine on 4 August 1952, Harry T. Rowe, Los Angeles Mortuary Director of the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California, where Yogananda's body was embalmed, wrote in a notarized letter

The absence of any visual signs of decay in the dead body of Paramahansa Yogananda offers the most extraordinary case in our experience... No physical disintegration was visible in his body even twenty days after death... No indication of mold was visible on his skin, and no visible drying up took place in the bodily tissues. This state of perfect preservation of a body is, so far as we know from mortuary annals, an unparalleled one... No odor of decay emanated from his body at any time...

Rowe continues, "on March 27th there was no reason to say that his body had suffered any visible physical disintegration at all. For these reasons we state again that the case of Paramahansa Yogananda is unique in our experience."


Paramahansa Yogananda's dissemination of his teachings is continued through the organization he founded – the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF)/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (YSS). Yogananda founded Yogoda Satsanga Society of India in 1917 and then expanded it in 1920 to the United States naming it the Self-Realization Fellowship. In 1935 he legally incorporated it in the U.S. to serve as his instrument for the preservation and worldwide dissemination of his teachings. Yogananda expressed this intention again in 1939 in his magazine Inner Culture for Self-Realization that he published through his organization:

Paramahansa Swami Yogananda renounced all his ownership rights in the Self-Realization Fellowship when it was incorporated as a nonprofit religious organization under the laws of California, March 29, 1935. At that time he turned over to the Fellowship all of his rights to and income from sale of his books, writings, magazine, lectures, classes, property, automobiles and all other possessions...

SRF/YSS is headquartered in Los Angeles and has grown to include more than 500 temples and centers around the world and has members in over 175 countries including the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine. In India and surrounding countries, Paramahansa Yogananda's teachings are disseminated by YSS which has more than 100 centers, retreats, and ashrams.Rajarsi Janakananda was chosen by Yogananda to become the President of SRF/YSS when he was gone. Daya Mata, a religious leader and a direct disciple of Yogananda who was personally chosen and trained by Yogananda, was head of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India from 1955–2010. According to Linda Johnsen, the new wave today is women, for major Indian gurus have passed on their spiritual mantle to women including Yogananda to the American born Daya Mata and then to Mrinalini Mata. Mrinalini Mata, a direct disciple of Yogananda, is the president and spiritual head of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India as of 2014. She too was personally chosen and trained by Yogananda to help guide the dissemination of his teachings after his death. She is assisted by the SRF Board of Directors, which includes other direct disciples of Yogananda trained by him.

Noted direct disciples

The members of this list were drawn from Yogananda's book Journey to Self-Realization, unless otherwise noted, and the date and location of first discipleship to Yogananda are given.

  • Minot and Mildred Lewis, 1920, Boston. Minott W. Lewis, a Boston dentist, and his wife Mildred, met Paramahansaji a short time after Yogananda’s arrival in America in 1920 and became lifelong disciples. Minot served for many years as the vice-president of and a minister of Self-Realization Fellowship, Yogananda's worldwide mission. SRF published a biography about Minot Lewis, Dr. M.W. Lewis: The Life Story of One of the Earliest American Disciples. In 1991 Brenda Rosser wrote a book about his and Mildred’s life with Yogananda called Treasures Against Time. There are many recorded lectures freely available on Yyoga.org.
  • Yogamata, 1920, Boston. Yogamata, born as Alice Haysey, took her final, lifelong vow of renunciation in the Self-Realization Fellowship Order from Yogananda, making her the first nun ordained in SRF.
  • Tara Mata, 1924, San Francisco. Tara Mata (Laurie Pratt) was a direct disciple for forty-five years and served Yogananda's SRF work until her death in 1971. She took a final, lifelong vow of renunciation in the Self-Realization Fellowship Order from Yogananda and was given the name Tara which means a name for God in the aspect of Divine Mother. Yogananda assigned her as a member of the SRF Board of Directors and Editor-in-Chief of SRY/YSS publications and she was the Vice-President from 1962 – 1966. She wrote two books: Astrological World Cycles free download [1] and A Forerunner of the New Race
  • Gyanamata, 1924, Seattle. In 1932 Gyanamata (Mother of Wisdom) took a final, lifelong vow of renunciation in the Self-Realization Fellowship Order from Yogananda. She served Yogananda and his Worldwide organization, SRF, until her death. She was assigned to train other disciples and provide counseling. Part of her counselling came in letters she wrote. These letters are printed in the book about her life called God Alone, The Life and Letters of a Saint
  • Mildred (Mother) Hamilton, 1925, Seattle. Hamilton was made the center leader for Self-Realization Fellowship in Seattle, WA, and ordained a minister in 1950 by Yogananda. He gave her the title Yogacharya in 1951 – one of six worldwide. After Yogananda went into Mahasamadhi (Yogi's final exit from the body), she continued as center leader until 1958 when she was dismissed from her role as a center leader in SRF. After that she continued on her own and held meetings in her disciples' homes and centers in the Northwest and Canada. She was a lifelong disciple of Yogananda's and never formed her own organization. She also had great reverence for Swami Ramdas who she says helped her gain complete Realization of God after Yogananda's Mahasamadhi. She died on 31 January 1991.
  • Kamala Silva, 1925, Los Angeles. Kamala met Yogananda in 1925 and assisted with the work of disseminating his teachings. In 1935, Yogananda ordained Kamala, making her the first lay female Self-Realization Fellowship minister, and she continued to serve SRF as a lay minister until her retirement in 1974. Kamala established the first official Northern California Center of SRF and served as its minister. Kamala, along with the Bay Area SRF students, saved contributions for this purpose and searched for 25 years for a final home which became the recently closed SRF Richmond temple. This temple has been moved to Berkeley, CA. She wrote two books about her life with Yogananda called The Flawless Mirror and Priceless Precepts. There are 12 free recordings of her talks on topics related to her guru's teachings.
  • Premananda, 1928. In 1941 Premananda was given the title of Swami by Yogananda. After Yogananda was gone, he left SRF/YSS and started Self-Revelation Church of Monism in Bethesda, Maryland, based on the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda with a focus on Kriya Yoga meditation.
  • Durga Mata, 1929, Detroit. Durga Mata was born as Florina Dufour. Durga Mata took a final, lifelong vow of renunciation in the Self-Realization Fellowship Order, devoting her life fully to Yogananda and his SRF worldwide mission. When she took her monastic vows from Yogananda, she was given the name Durga Ma which is a name for God in the aspect of Divine Mother. She wrote the book Paramhansa Yogananda: A Trilogy of Divine Love. SRF has published a book with 2 CD's called Chanting for Deep Meditation with Sri Durga Mata which presents archival recordings of the Cosmic Chants that are reminiscent of Yogananda's life and teachings.
  • Ananda Mata, 1931, Salt Lake City. She took her final, lifelong vow of renunciation from Yogananda in the Self-Realization Fellowship Order and was given the name Mataji. She devoted her life fully to Yogananda and his SRF worldwide mission.
  • Daya Mata, 1931, Salt Lake City. Daya Mata (Mother of Compassion) was one of the foremost disciples of Paramahansa Yogananda. She took a final, lifelong vow of renunciation in the Self-Realization Fellowship Order from Yogananda and was given the name Daya. For more than seventy-five years, she dedicated her heart and soul to loving God and serving the worldwide work of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India. She was the spiritual head and president from 1955 until her death in 2010. She wrote four books and there have been ten DVD's and fifteen CD's recorded.
  • Oliver Black, 1932, Detroit. J. Oliver Black was given the title Yogacharya (Yoga Teacher) by Yogananda and started the SRF Detroit, MI center and when encouraged to 'ad lib' the Sunday Services, instead he would read Yogananda's lecture saying that he couldn't improve on Yogananda teachings. He was one of very few non-monastic ministers qualified by SRF to conduct SRF Kriya Yoga Initiation Ceremonies. In 1970 Black founded Song of the Morning Ranch, a spiritual retreat, and Clear Light Community to carry out Yogananda's wishes. He served Yogananda and his organization Self-Realization Fellowship until his death. There are five recorded talks by Oliver Black.
  • Rajarsi Janakananda, 1932, Kansas. Rajarsi Janakananda, born James Jesse Lynn on 5 May 1892, was the leading disciple Paramahansa Yogananda and a prominent businessman in the Kansas City, Missouri area. A self-made millionaire when he met Yogananda in 1932, he later left a total endowment of approximately six million dollars to Yogananda's organization, Self-Realization Fellowship(SRF)/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (YSS), helping ensure its long-term success. He took a final, lifelong vow of renunciation in the Self-Realization Fellowship Order. Janakananda built the SRF Encinitas Hermitage and Retreat, in Encinitas, CA. Yogananda also chose Janakananda to succeed him as president of SRF/YSS and he did so from 1952 until his death in 1955
  • Sradha Mata, 1933, Tacoma, WA. When she took a final, lifelong vow of renunciation in the Self-Realization Fellowship Order from Yogananda, she was given the name Sradha which means receptivity to the Divine Will.
  • Sailasuta Mata, 1933, Santa Barbara. Sailasuta Mata took her final, lifelong vow of renunciation with Yogananda in the Self-Realization Fellowship Order and devoted her life fully to the SRF worldwide mission begun by Paramahansa Yogananda.
  • Bhaktananda, 1939. Bhaktananda took a final, lifelong vow of renunciation in the Self-Realization Fellowship Order, devoting his life fully to the SRF worldwide mission begun by Paramahansa Yogananda. He served Yogananda for over sixty years until his death in 2005. Bhakatananda was recorded giving this talk The Personal Approach to God on the teachings of Yogananda which is available on DVD. He also shared stories about Yogananda on the DVD of the SRF Lake Shrine 50th Anniversary Celebration
  • Mrinalini Mata, 1945. Since January 7, 2011, she has been the current president, spiritual leader of SRF/YSS, Yogananda's worldwide work. Mrinalini Mata took her final, lifelong vow of renunciation in the Self-Realization Fellowship Order from Yogananda. Since 1966 she held the position of Vice-President of SRF/YSS. Mrinalini Mata is one of the close disciples of Yogananda personally chosen and trained by him to help guide his society after his death. She has dedicated more than 60 years to serving the Guru's work. She oversees the spiritual and humanitarian activities of SRF/YSS, including the worldwide dissemination of Paramahansa Yogananda's teachings, the establishment and guidance of temples, centers, and retreats, and the spiritual direction of the SRF/YSS monastic communities. She also serves as editor-in-chief of SRF books, lessons and periodicals. She is featured in 4 DVDs, 6 CDs and wrote 1 book and 1 booklet.
  • Mukti Mata, 1945. Mukti Mata took the final, lifelong vow of renunciation in the Self-Realization Fellowship Order, devoting her life fully to the SRF worldwide mission begun by Paramahansa Yogananda. There is a CD of her talk Like the Light from Heaven: Remembering Life With Paramahansa Yogananda published by SRF.
  • Daniel Boone, 1945
  • Bimalananda, 1947. Bimalananda took a final, lifelong vow of renunciation in the Self-Realization Fellowship Order, devoting his life fully to the SRF worldwide mission begun by Paramahansa Yogananda.
  • Uma Mata, 1947. Uma Mata took a final, lifelong vow of renunciation in the Self-Realization Fellowship Order, devoting her life fully to the SRF worldwide mission begun by Paramahansa Yogananda,
  • Norman Paulsen, 1947, Los Angeles. Norman Paulsen left SRF in 1951 and then in 1969 started his own organization, Sunburst, which is an intentional community farm that raises organic vegetables and follows the Sunburst teachings which includes meditation and devotion to Yogananda and Christ. In the early 1980s, Norman published his autobiography, Christ Consciousness,
  • J. Donald Walters, 1948, Los Angeles. Walters was given final vows of sannyas/name Kriyananda in 1955 by Daya Mata. In 1960 the SRF Board of Directors elected Walters as a board member then as Vice-President. In 1962, the SRF Board unanimously requested his resignation. In 1968 Walters started his Ananda Cooperative Community (8 communities by 2013) – based on Yogananda's idea of World Brotherhood Colonies – and then his corporation, The Yoga Fellowship, west of Nevada City, CA. From 1990 – 2002 SRF engaged in litigation in federal court with Kriyananda regarding copyrights to the writings, photographs, and sound recordings of Yogananda's. In 1997 Anne-Marie Bertolucci engaged in litigation with Kriyananda regarding sexual harassment and fraudulently using his title of swami, implying he was celibate while engaging in sexual activity with young women. Kriyananda authored over 100 books, 400 pieces of music and created his own teaching based on Yogananda's teachings.
  • Anandamoy, 1949. Anandamoy took a final, lifelong vow of renunciation in the Self-Realization Fellowship Order, devoting his life fully to the SRF worldwide mission begun by Paramahansa Yogananda. Anandamoy has served Yogananda's work for 64 years. There are many recordings of his talks regarding Yogananda teachings. There are eight DVD's and six CD's available.
  • Roy Eugene Davis, 1949, Los Angeles. One year after Yogananda died, Roy Eugene Davis left SRF/YSS and his ministerial duties at the SRF Arizona temple. About 13 years later Davis started his Center for Spiritual Awareness (CSA), which was incorporated in the State of Georgia in 1964 and was located on 11 acres 90 miles north of Atlanta, Georgia. He created his own teaching in the form of spiritual CDs, DVDs and books.
  • Bob Raymer, 1950. Bob Raymer, a former commercial airline pilot, met Yogananda in the latter years of Yogananda's life. Yogananda initiated Raymer into Kriya Yoga and made him a minister of SRF. Raymer conducted services in Minneapolis for many years, telephoning Yogananda before each to receive his blessing. Raymer later moved to Hawaii where he conducted his Clear Light retreats, and then to Song of the Morning retreat center in Michigan, where he was the spiritual director from 1991 to 2004.

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