In Memoriam: Brother Anandamoy (1922-2016)
September 6, 2016
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.
Memorial Service and Video Recording
A public memorial service was held in Los Angeles on September 24 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills.
Whether or not you were able to attend the memorial service, we invite you to join with all of us in Spirit as we send Brother Anandamoy our love and gratitude during his transition into the blessed realms of divine freedom and joy, and as we rejoice in his inspiring and exemplary life.
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:
SRF’s online bookstore also features two booklets and other audio and video recordings by Brother Anandamoy.
The Winter 2016 issue of Self-Realization magazine features a memorial article about Brother Anandamoy
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