“A Festival of Joy”: Self-Realization Fellowship’s 2016 World Convocation

A Week of Spiritual Recharging in the Heart of Los Angeles, August 7–13

October 11, 2016

SRF World Convocation

Self-Realization Fellowship held its annual World Convocation August 7–13 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. In attendance were some 4,000 people from all parts of the United States and more than 40 other countries. The participants experienced an immersion in the Kriya Yoga teachings and techniques of Paramahansa Yogananda at this, SRF’s largest annual event—led by senior monks and nuns of Self-Realization Fellowship.

The weeklong event opened with a message of welcome sent by SRF president and spiritual head, Sri Mrinalini Mata, which included these words:

“During these blessed days, let the power of satsanga—the power of being in the aura of Gurudeva’s ever-living presence and that of the united devotion of your fellow disciples—counteract all consciousness of worldly concerns that pull the attention outward and cause forgetfulness of the soul’s true divine nature....Beginning right now and keeping on after Convocation is over, create in your hearts and minds an inner environment filled with the potent vibrations of God and Guru’s peace and love, daily renewed by communion with Them. Thus you will increasingly reflect Their goodness and light, and be an uplifting influence in your home, your workplace, and wherever you go in this world.”

Brother Sevananda classes during Convocation 2016

Brother Sevananda was one of several monastics who gave classes during Convocation 2016.

Some of the thought-provoking classes this year were “Embracing Our Spiritual Resilience,” “Forgiveness—Experiencing the Compassion of God,” “The Guru’s Eternal Love,” and “Yoga: Discovering the Gifts of the Soul.” One participant remarked, “[It’s] amazing every year to see how the topics are related to my life struggles [and] difficulties.”

One longtime SRF member summed up his experience in these words: “The SRF Convocation is a grand festival of the Guru’s love and wisdom shared among the monastics and the devotees. It is also a festival of joy.”

Devotional chanting
Inspirational Talk by Sister Chinmayi

Sister Chinmayi gives an inspirational talk near the small Indian-style mandir housing Paramahansaji’s Spiritual Wishing Well, SRF International Headquarters.

Devotees thronged the Westin Bonaventure’s spacious California Ballroom every morning and evening for periods of meditation, which began with devotional chanting. In addition, three sessions of kirtan—chanting with the accompaniment of traditional Indian instruments—were popular with the participants. The resulting mood of peace and joy from these meditative and devotional activities helped to generate a tranquil yet joyfully vibrant undercurrent that pervaded every aspect of Convocation.

The week also featured special pilgrimage tours to several locations associated with the life of Paramahansa Yogananda in southern California, including the SRF International Headquarters atop Mount Washington, the SRF Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades, the SRF Hollywood Temple and Ashram Center, and the SRF Encinitas Hermitage and Meditation Gardens.

For more on this year’s Convocation, please view the photo album of the event.

Self-Realization Fellowship’s next World Convocation will take place August 6–12, 2017, at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles. More information will be available on our website in early 2017.

Brother Anilananda greets pilgrims at the SRF Hollywood Temple

Brother Anilananda greets pilgrims at the SRF Hollywood Temple.

Sister Bhakti meets with devotees at the closing event of the 2016 Convocation

Sister Bhakti meets with devotees at the closing event of the 2016 Convocation.

“Just wanted to thank you...for the most beautiful Convocation once again....You all give so much of yourselves heart and soul, and we are so very grateful. Once a year we get to step into this heavenly astral world for a week in loving fellowship.”

—G. K., Pennsylvania

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