Santa Rosa Meditation Group

 
September 1, 2017
SRF Announces New President
Brother Chidananda Elected President and Spiritual Head of SRF/YSS
Brother Chidananda official photo for web
    
 
 
 
The Self-Realization Fellowship Board of Directors is happy to share with you the news that Brother Chidananda has been elected president and spiritual leader of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India, succeeding Sri Mrinalini Mata, who served in this position from January 2011 until her passing last month. His appointment was made by a unanimous vote by the SRF Board of Directors on Wednesday, August 30, 2017.
Prior to her passing in 2010, late SRF President Sri Daya Mata expressed her conviction to Mrinalini Mata that Brother Chidananda should succeed Mrinalini Mata as president and spiritual head of SRF/YSS. Mrinalini Mata confirmed this some months before her own passing on August 3, 2017, and affirmed to the Board of Directors her agreement with Daya Mata’s recommendation.
Brother (Swami) Chidananda has been a monk of Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) for forty years, and a member of the SRF and YSS Boards of Directors for the last eight years. Almost from the start of his monastic life, he had worked closely with Sri Mrinalini Mata, receiving her wisdom-permeated, Guru-attuned training as he assisted her in the editing and publishing of the works of Paramahansa Yogananda and other SRF publications.  
  
An Awakening to Serve God and the SRF Work
Born in 1953 in Annapolis, Maryland, he first encountered the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda and his Self-Realization Fellowship in Encinitas in the early 1970s when he was a student of sociology and philosophy at the University of California, San Diego. Drawn by a long-felt interest in India’s spirituality, Brother Chidananda visited the SRF Ashram Center in Encinitas, just north of the university campus, which was a familiar landmark for many of the students living in the adjacent coastal communities.
Some months later, he happened upon a copy of
Autobiography of a Yogi and was instantly captivated by the great wisdom and divine consciousness that spoke from its pages. During his last year at the university, he enrolled for the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons and began attending SRF services in Encinitas. He was deeply inspired by the talks of Brother Anandamoy, who was the minister there at the time, and also benefited from Brother Anandamoy’s personal counsel. It was in this sacred environment—so permeated with the vibrations of Paramahansaji—that he was profoundly influenced by the monks and nuns living there, and the desire to devote his life completely to seeking God and serving the work of Paramahansa Yogananda as a monastic disciple was awakened almost immediately.
Brother Chidananda entered the monks’ postulant ashram in Encinitas on November 19, 1977, and spent a year and a half there under the strict and loving guidance of Brother Premamoy, the saintly housebrother in charge of training the young monks. It was Brother Premamoy who first suggested to Sri Mrinalini Mata that she consider taking this young monk into the SRF Editorial Department. In April 1979, having completed his postulant training, Brother Chidananda was transferred to the SRF International Headquarters at Mt. Washington and was immediately assigned to editorial work in the Publications Department, serving under Mrinalini Mata and her co-editor in chief, Sahaja Mata, both of whom had been personally trained by the Guru to edit his writings and talks for future publication.
Shortly after the passing of Sahaja Mata in 1996, Brother Chidananda was appointed by then president Sri Daya Mata to the SRF/YSS International Publications Council, on which he served with Daya Mata and Mrinalini Mata until Daya Mataji’s passing in 2010. During this time he assisted these two senior direct disciples with the preparation and publication of many works, including Paramahansaji’s voluminous scriptural commentaries (
God Talks With Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita and The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You) as well as all other SRF publications released from 1980 to the present. After years of progressively deeper training from Daya Mata, Mrinalini Mata, and Sahaja Mata, he was designated by Mrinalini Mata to succeed her as editor-in-chief of SRF/YSS publications after her passing.
Brother Chidananda was given the final monastic vows of
sannyas by Sri Daya Mata in 1997. His monastic name Chidananda means “bliss (ananda) through the infinite Divine Con­scious­ness (chit).” An ordained minister of Self-Realization Fellowship, he has shared Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings during lecture tours and retreat programs in the United States, Canada, Europe, and India—as well as at the annual SRF World Convocations in Los Angeles. He was appointed a member of the SRF and YSS Boards of Directors by Sri Daya Mata in 2009, and has also served for many years as a member of the management committee that oversees SRF’s myriad activities and operations under the guidance of the president.
 
 
“Seeking God Together as the One Beloved of Our Souls…”
Speaking to SRF monastics after the election was announced, Brother Chidananda said: “It is with humility, and with the consciousness that Gurudeva Paramahansa Yogananda will always be the head of this organization, that I ask the prayers and aid of all of you in seeking to fulfill the request of our beloved Sri Daya Mata and Sri Mrinalini Mata to carry on in their footsteps. Their commitment to being pure channels of Gurudeva’s love—their divine example of seeking to attune every thought, decision, and action to his will and guidance—has been my inspiration throughout my life in the ashram; and it is with a sense of that sacred responsibility that I look forward to serving this great work of God and Gurus in the years ahead, trusting in the help, prayers, goodwill, and divine friendship of you all.
“Each of you is Master’s own chosen disciple, and I take the dust of your feet in acknowledgment that it is only as a united spiritual family of Gurudeva’s
chelas that we can, together, continue to advance this great work of SRF/YSS in that spirit of divine love, joy, and self-surrender—seeking God as the one Beloved of our souls in that spirit which our Guru enjoined upon us all and which he proph­esied would be the life and strength of his organization for all time to come. Jai Guru! Jai Ma!”
To the worldwide SRF/YSS spiritual family, Brother Chidananda wishes to convey the following message:
“Dear ones, in the love of God and Guru I greet you all, and ask Their continued blessings on all of us as we walk this blessed path of Kriya Yoga meditation and living in attunement with the Divine brought to us by Paramahansa Yogananda. In his name I am humbly grateful for the opportunity to serve you all, as are all of the monks and nuns in the SRF/YSS ashrams. As a worldwide band of God-seeking souls—whether on the lay disciple or monastic path—let us unite in gratitude for the spiritual blessings of these teachings and in the resolve to deepen our own
sadhana and inner communion with God and the Great Ones. May each one of you feel Their unceasing blessings. Jai Guru!” 

In Memoriam: Sri Mrinalini Mata
(May 8, 1931 – August 3, 2017)
A Special Message From the Self-Realization Fellowship Board of Directors
  August 4, 2017

  
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Dear Ones,

On August 3, 2017, our beloved Sri Mrinalini Mataji, president and
sanghamata of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India since 2011, peacefully departed from this world. We will miss her deeply. Yet we would want no sorrow to mar the bliss and freedom she is now experiencing in the heavenly realms, where Guruji has welcomed her with boundless joy and pours out to her his divine love and blessings for the faithfulness with which she fulfilled his trust. She was a pure channel for his teachings and the guidance he wished to convey, chosen by him because of her high spiritual advancement from past lives as his disciple and because he knew she had the wisdom and humility to set self aside, seeking only to please God and Guru.

When great souls such as our Gurudeva Paramahansa Yogananda incarnate on earth for a world mission, God often draws to them close disciples from the past to assist them in their work. Mrinalini Mata was surely such a one. From Guruji’s first meeting with Mrinalini Mata when she was only fourteen years old, he recognized that she would play a vital part in spreading the sacred science of Kriya Yoga that he was ordained by God and the Great Ones to bring.

In this quiet, shy young girl, he saw a purity and depth of understanding that would be able to penetrate to the very core of the divinely revealed truths he taught and present them in print with the power and authenticity of his wisdom. He also realized that she had the capacity to be single-heartedly loyal to his ideals and guidance—a disciple to whom he could entrust the polishing of his priceless gems of inspiration, knowing that she would never stray from his meaning but capture its very essence. With great care he trained her personally to succeed Tara Mata in the momentous task of preparing his writings for publication, and to that task she dedicated heart, mind, and soul. All of us who practice Gurudeva’s teachings, and the generations of devotees yet to come, owe her an eternal debt of gratitude for the purity of her attunement with him, and her decades of selfless efforts, which have given us such a wealth of his divine wisdom.

With an understanding ever rooted in Gurudeva’s vast consciousness, Mrinalini Mataji fulfilled multiple roles during her many years in his ashrams. In addition to her lifetime responsibility for editing Guruji’s writings, she served as vice president for many years, working side by side with Sri Daya Mata to aid the growth of Gurudeva’s work in the West and India. She had a special place in her heart for Guruji’s homeland and rejoiced to see his work flourishing there. When she became president of SRF/YSS after Daya Mata’s passing, she guided his society in the same spirit that Daya Mataji expressed in saying: “Not what do
I want, but what would Master want.” Their example affirmed the changeless truth that Guruji is in charge of this sacred work, and it will always be so.

The lives of those who have inspired us, and helped us grow spiritually, leave an enduring imprint upon our souls. Through her unwavering devotion to God and Guru, her work with Guruji’s writings, and her deep caring for his spiritual family, our dear Mrinalini Mata will ever be enshrined in our hearts. As we unite in sending her our love, gratitude, and prayers, we can be sure she receives those thoughts, and that we will meet again in God’s light and joy. May our lasting tribute to her be our own efforts to apply the truths in Gurudeva’s writings with zeal and persistence until they become a living, transforming power in our lives. That gift, placed at Guruji’s feet, is the expression of gratitude that will most touch her soul.


Yours in divine friendship,

Achal-signature---no-background


Brother Achalananda, Vice President
For the Board of Directors of SRF and YSS

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AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda
After a five-year journey to bring Paramahansa Yogananda’s life and teachings to the big screen, CounterPoint Films has announced that its work on
AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda is now available in DVD and online.
"Using a seamless mix of re-creations and fascinating true footage, this very even-tempered documentary takes its audience all the way through a saint's life, from his first sensations in the womb to that moment in 1952 when, having recited a poem to a large crowd at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, he exited his body just like that....In between those events he changed the Western world."

ON AWAKE / FROM THE MAUI FILM FESTIVAL WEBSITE:

AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda is an unconventional biography about the Hindu Swami who brought yoga and meditation to the West in the 1920s. Paramahansa Yogananda authored the spiritual classic “Autobiography of a Yogi,” which has sold millions of copies worldwide and is a go-to book for seekers, philosophers and yoga enthusiasts today. (Apparently, it was the only book that Steve Jobs had on his iPad.) By personalizing his own quest for enlightenment and sharing his struggles along the path, Yogananda made ancient Vedic teachings accessible to a modern audience, attracting many followers and inspiring the millions who practice yoga today.

This is the link to the Awake website

 
Update, September 9, 2016: Memorial service will be held Saturday, September 24, 2016 (more information below)
In Memoriam: Brother Anandamoy (1922-2016)
September 6, 2016
Brother Anandamoy.JPG
 
Our revered Brother Anandamoy, a direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda and monk of Self-Realization Fellowship for more than 65 years, passed away peacefully at SRF’s International Headquarters on Mount Washington in Los Angeles on Tuesday evening, September 6, 2016.
As a much-loved and deeply respected minister of SRF, Brother (Swami) Anandamoy inspired and uplifted thousands through his selfless life and profound understanding of the spiritual life and the Kriya Yoga teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda. He has left a lasting legacy in the spiritual lives of countless souls around the world whom he helped and encouraged on the path to God for so many years.
 
A Brief Biography
Born Henry Schaufelberger in Zurich, Switzerland, on November 1, 1922, Brother Anandamoy was introduced to Eastern philosophy in his early teens and soon afterwards began his own search for spiritual enlightenment. But how, he wondered, could he find an illumined teacher to guide him? “After I finished my schooling, I worked in my father’s business for two frustrating years,” he recalled. “By then, I had given up my interest in Hindu philosophy, since it seemed hopeless that I could find a guru. I embarked on a career in art, and after three years I was invited to go to the United States to study with Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous architect.” He arrived in the U.S. in 1948 and right away discovered the book Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. “I hungrily read the book,” he said. “I knew in my heart that I had found what I wanted and made up my mind to study the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda and find God.”
Some months later, Brother Anandamoy traveled to Los Angeles hoping to see the great Master. Their first encounter was at the end of a Sunday service given by Paramahansaji at the SRF Hollywood Temple. “It was an unforgettable experience,” he said. “After the service, the Master sat on a chair and most of the congregation went up to greet him. Finally when I stood before him, he took my hand in his and I looked into those deep luminous tender eyes. No word was spoken. But I felt an indescribable joy coming into me through his hand and eyes.”
Brother Anandamoy entered the Self-Realization Fellowship ashram as a monk in 1949 and was privileged to receive Paramahansaji’s personal training until the great Guru’s passing in early 1952. He took final monastic vows of
sannyas in November 1957 — taking the name Anandamoy (“permeated with divine bliss”) — and was ordained as an SRF minister in April 1958, both in ceremonies conducted by Sri Daya Mata.
During the long span of his life as a monastic disciple, he was called upon to serve his guru’s work in numerous and varied ways. His early assignments included landscaping work at the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine prior to its opening in 1950, helping with the construction of India Hall and the lotus tower on the grounds of the Hollywood Temple and Ashram Center, and serving as a cook at the SRF café in Hollywood. He began his ministerial duties in the 1950s, and over the years was minister-in-charge at SRF’s Hollywood, Encinitas, Phoenix, Lake Shrine, Pasadena, and Fullerton Temples. In addition, he made numerous trips to India, serving Paramahansaji’s Yogoda Satsanga Society, conducting initiation ceremonies in Kriya Yoga, and speaking to large audiences throughout the country. He was also in charge of various SRF ashram centers over the years.
Brother Anandamoy was a member of the Self-Realization Fellowship and Yogoda Satsanga Society of India Board of Directors for many years. Sri Daya Mata also placed him in charge of the spiritual direction of the SRF monks, and he served in this capacity for decades as a beloved counselor and mentor.
Paramahansaji had intimated to Brother Anandamoy that he was destined to be a teacher and public speaker, and it is for this ministerial role that he will be long and widely remembered. During extensive travels in United States, Europe, and India that spanned four decades, Brother Anandamoy came to be recognized as one of SRF’s most loved and respected ministers, inspiring SRF members and non-members alike with his incisive presentations of the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, personal reminiscences of his experiences with the Master, and his wise and compassionate personal counsel.

Loving Pranams to a Beloved Monk
As we send our loving pranams to Brother Anandamoy, we can take consolation in the thought that he is now united with God and Guru, to whom he had so completely dedicated his life. We can also be grateful for the many audio and video recordings that have preserved his encouraging, insightful guidance and his endearing charm. We invite you to experience some of these special moments with Brother Anandamoy on the SRF website and SRF YouTube site:
(4 video clips)
Audio-Video Satsanga
  • (1 video clip, 2 audio clips)
    Disciples Reminisce
  • – excerpts from talk given at the 2006 SRF World Convocation (2 video clips)
    “Opening to God’s Love in Meditation”
  • SRF’s online bookstore also features two booklets and other audio and video recordings by Brother Anandamoy.