“Self-realization is the knowing — in body, mind, and soul — that we are one with the omnipresence of God...”
— Paramahansa Yogananda
For more than eighty-five years, Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) has been dedicated to carrying on the spiritual and humanitarian work of its founder, Paramahansa Yogananda, widely revered as the father of Yoga in the West.
SRF is a worldwide religious organization with international headquarters in Los Angeles. As expressed in the Aims and Ideals formulated by Paramahansa Yogananda, the society seeks to foster a spirit of greater understanding and goodwill among the diverse peoples and religions of our global family, and to help those of all cultures and nationalities 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. These nonsectarian teachings embody a complete philosophy and way of life for achieving all-round success and well-being, as well asmethods of meditation for achieving life's ultimate goal — union of the soul with Spirit (God).
The teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda are made available, today as during his lifetime, through the printed Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons. This comprehensive home-study series — studied by many thousands of people all over the world — gives instruction in all the meditation techniques of the Kriya Yoga science, as well as in the many other aspects of balanced spiritual living taught by Yogananda.
Today, Self-Realization Fellowship has grown to include more than 500 temples and centers around the world and has members in over 175 countries. In India and surrounding countries, Paramahansa Yogananda's work is known as Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (YSS), which has more than 100 centers, retreats, and ashrams.
Sri Daya Mata, one of the earliest and closest disciples of Paramahansa Yogananda during his lifetime, was spiritual head and president of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India from 1955 until her passing in 2010. Sri Mrinalini Mata, another of Yogananda’s closest disciples, is the current spiritual head and president of SRF/YSS. Most SRF members are men and women with responsibilities to work and family, who learn through the Self-Realization teachings how to balance their active lives with meditation. In Yogananda’s teachings, they find guidance for spiritualizing marriage and family life, creating success and prosperity in business and professional endeavors, and contributing in a meaningful and serviceful way to their community, nation, and the world at large.
In accord with its founder’s wishes, the work of Self-Realization Fellowship is guided by the monastic order that Paramahansaji established along the lines of the ancient swami tradition of India. The monks and nuns of SRF (among whom there are still some who were with the Guru during his lifetime) take formal vows of renunciation; and are responsible for serving the spiritual needs of Self-Realization members and friends worldwide.
Among the many activities and services of Self-Realization Fellowship worldwide are:
- Publishing the writings, lectures, and recorded talks of Paramahansa Yogananda and his monastic disciples
- Operating retreats, temples, and meditation centers where people from all walks of life can come together in a spirit of community and fellowship
- A quarterly magazine, Self-Realization, devoted to healing of body, mind, and soul
- Spiritual training of monks and nuns in the SRF monastic communities
- Conducting lecture tours and classes on Paramahansa Yogananda’s Kriya Yoga teachings, including an annual weeklong World Convocation
- Programs on meditation and spiritual living for children and teens
- Offering individual spiritual guidance by letter, telephone, and in person
- Supporting various charitable relief and welfare activities around the world
- Guiding 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
Learn about the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons home-study series.