“We are all part of the One Spirit. When you experience the true meaning of religion, which is to know God, you will realize that He is your Self, and that He exists equally and impartially in all beings.” —Paramahansa Yogananda
For three quarters of a century, Self-Realization Fellowship, a worldwide religious organization with international headquarters in Los Angeles, has been dedicated to carrying on the spiritual and humanitarian work of Paramahansa Yogananda.
Through our aims and ideals and through our worldwide service, we seek to foster a spirit of greater understanding and goodwill among the diverse people and nations of our global family, and to help those of all cultures and creeds to realize and express more fully in their lives the beauty, nobility, and divinity of the human spirit.
Paramahansa Yogananda founded Self-Realization Fellowship in 1920 to make available the universal teachings of Kriya Yoga, a sacred spiritual science originating millenniums ago in India. The society publishes Paramahansa Yogananda’s writings, lectures, and recorded talks; oversees temples, retreats, meditation centers, and the monastic communities of the Self-Realization Order; and guides the work of the Worldwide Prayer Circle, a network of groups and individuals dedicated to praying for those in need of physical, mental, or spiritual aid and for world peace and harmony.
Yoga Meditation Methods Taught by Paramahansa Yogananda
Central to Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings, which embody a complete philosophy and way of life, are scientific techniques of concentration and meditation that lead to the direct personal experience of God. These yoga methods quiet body and mind, and make it possible to withdraw one’s energy and attention from the usual turbulence of thoughts, emotions, and sensory perceptions. In the clarity of that inner stillness, one comes to experience a deepening interior peace and awareness of God’s presence.
Home-Study Lesson Series
Instruction in the practice of the techniques taught by Paramahansa Yogananda is presented in the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons, a comprehensive home-study series compiled from his lectures and writings. Covering a wide range of topics, the Lessons, offer his inspiring and practical guidance for achieving balanced physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Leadership of the Society
The activities of Self-Realization Fellowship are coordinated by members of our monastic order, under the direction of disciples personally trained by Paramahansa Yogananda. Serving as president of the society is Sri Mrinalini Mata, one of his closest disciples. Monks and nuns of the Order serve in many capacities in the society’s ashram centers; travel to cities around the world to conduct lectures and classes and to lead retreats; and provide spiritual counsel and guidance — in person and through correspondence — to students of the Self-Realization Fellowship teachings.
In India (Yogoda Satsanga Society of India)
Paramahansa Yogananda’s society is known in India as Yogoda Satsanga Society of India. Founded by him in 1917, and headquartered in Dakshineswar (near Kolkata), Yogoda Satsanga Society oversees ninety meditation centers, twenty-one educational institutions, and a variety of charitable facilities.
Temples and Meditation Centers
At Self-Realization Fellowship’s temples and nearly 500 meditation centers, located in fifty-four countries, students of Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings meet for inspirational and prayer services, meditation, and spiritual fellowship. The meetings include readings from Yogananda’s writings, as well as periods of meditation and devotional chanting. Several of our temples were established by Yogananda during his lifetime and have become places of pilgrimage for visitors from all parts of the world. Services at the temples are generally conducted by monks of the Self-Realization Order.
Retreats and Lecture Tours
At our Self-Realization Fellowship retreats, and during our lecture tours and retreat programs in cities throughout the United States and other countries, we offer in-depth classes on the meditation techniques and spiritual way of life taught by Paramahansa Yogananda.
Each year, Self-Realization Fellowship hosts an international convocation in Los Angeles presenting Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings. This weeklong program includes classes, meditations, film and video presentations, guided tours to the ashram centers where he lived and worked, and other activities. The annual event attracts up to 6,000 participants from around the world.