Highlights from the 2015 Self-Realization Fellowship World Convocation

A Week of Spiritual Renewal and Divine Friendship


  Convocation 2015_Sri Mrinalini Mata

Sri Mrinalini Mata addresses the SRF World Convocation, August 21, 2015.

October 7, 2015

Self-Realization Fellowship’s 2015 World Convocation took place August 16–22 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

This weeklong event annually affords participants the opportunity for profound inner renewal—a chance to step away from the demands of the world and find nourishment in the depths of group meditation, chanting, fellowship, and spiritual instruction. Some 4,000 SRF members from all parts of the United States and more than 40 other countries attended Convocation this year, once again forming a prototype for a world civilization grounded in the harmony of God-communion.

The week’s program consisted of a comprehensive series of classes, led by senior SRF monks and nuns, on the science of meditation and the “how-to-live” principles of spiritual living as taught by Paramahansa Yogananda. Classes on thought-provoking subjects, such as “Living With Purpose and Detachment in God’s Dream Show of Creation,” “Strengthening Character by Developing Spiritual Courage and Endurance,” and “Cultivating the All-Embracing Consciousness of God’s Nearness,” filled the evening schedule with insights and practical tips for applying the SRF teachings within the realistic framework of daily life.

Convocation 2015_Brother Ritananda  

The opening evening class was given by Brother Ritananda on August 16, 2015.


In a class entitled “Building Our Relationships on a Spiritual Foundation,” SRF nun Sister Bhakti stated:

“Our Guru said: ‘The greatest of all happiness, next to divine happiness, is to be at peace with one’s immediate relations, those with whom one must live every day in the year.’ Science too, has shown that the quality of our human relationships affects our overall well-being—even our physical well-being. And we know how much our relationships affect us emotionally: if we are having trouble with someone, it’s not so easy to meditate, or to concentrate on whatever you may be doing. And our human relationships play a vital part in our spiritual progress.”

A highlight for all the participants of Convocation was the surprise of a Friday evening informal talk by Sri Mrinalini Mata, president and sanghamata of SRF/YSS. Intermixing incisive wisdom with humor and motherly compassion, she emphasized the importance of love for God above all else and held audiences rapt in the Westin Bonaventure’s California and Pasadena Ballrooms for more than an hour. She dwelt at length on the importance of centering one’s life around the thoughts expressed in Paramahansa Yogananda’s “Universal Prayer,” which he often said was the greatest prayer given to him by God and the one that best encapsulated the spiritual needs of the present age:

“Heavenly Father, Mother, Friend, beloved God, may Thy love shine forever on the sanctuary of my devotion, and may I be able to awaken Thy love in all hearts.”

  Convocation 2015_An SRF nun

An SRF nun conducts Convocation participants on a tour of the Mother Center grounds during a pilgrimage.

Twice-daily group meditations and a number of devotional kirtan chanting sessions also contributed to the atmosphere of deep peace and joy that was evident throughout the week. For many, the divine mood culminated on Friday during initiations into the sacred science of Kriya Yoga.

Special guided pilgrimages were conducted to some of the principal shrines associated with Paramahansa Yogananda’s life: the SRF Mother Center, the SRF Hollywood Temple and Ashram Center, his crypt at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, the SRF Lake Shrine and Mahatma Gandhi World Peace Memorial, and the SRF Encinitas Hermitage and Ashram Center.

Convocation 2015_Brother Anilananda  

Brother Anilananda greets devotees on pilgrimage to Paramahansaji’s Hollywood Temple.


Many attendees have expressed how the 2015 Convocation was an uplifting and transformative experience for them. One person shared: “The 2015 SRF Convocation was wonderful. The classes were like listening to a friend who was telling you something that has impressed them greatly. They were speaking from the depths of their hearts and it was easy to relate to their experience. It was very inspiring.”

And one SRF member from England wrote: “At each Convocation – this was our twelfth – Paramahansaji’s blessings flow so abundantly and
“The group affirmations led by the minister in the class on Tuesday helped me so very much. It was as if my soul was being attuned in such a powerful way to God and Gurus, and I walked away feeling more secure in my place as a child of God. I felt the divine electricity flowing through me, and feel it even now as I share this with you.”
—J.D., California
help us to go deeper and deeper. There was such joy in meeting with old friends, monastics, and devotees from all over the world. Taking these holy uplifting vibrations back into our lives, sharing them in our meditation group and in the world, how blessed we are!”

For more on this year’s Convocation, please view our photo album of the event. Also, the upcoming Winter issue of Self-Realization magazine will include additional coverage.

Self-Realization Fellowship’s next World Convocation will take place August 7–13, 2016, at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles. More information will be available on our website in early 2016.

Convocation 2015_Brother Achalananda Convocation 2015_Sister Sarvamayi
SRF Vice-President Brother Achalananda gives a class entitled “Harmony: The Spiritual Ingredient That Anchors Balanced Living” on August 22.   Sister Sarvamayi bids farewell to devotees during a reception on Convocation’s final day.  
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