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Paramahansa Yogananda

Organizational Leadership

From its founding in 1920 until shortly before Paramahansa Yogananda’s mahasamadhi in 1952, all of Self-Realization Fellowship’s activities and organizational matters were personally directed by Yogananda himself. Thereafter, the leadership of his work passed to Rajarsi Janakananda, a close disciple of Paramahansaji’s chosen by him to serve as president of SRF, a position he held from 1952 until his passing three years later.

Sri Daya Mata was the third president and spiritual head of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India. She was personally trained by Yogananda for more than twenty years, and became president and spiritual head of SRF/YSS after Rajarsi Janakananda’s passing in 1955 — a position she held until her passing in 2010.

Sri Mrinalini Mata succeeded Sri Daya Mata as president and spiritual head of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India. She too was personally chosen and trained by Yogananda to help guide the work after his passing, and played many important leadership roles during her seven decades as an SRF monastic disciple. Sri Mrinalini Mata served as president and spiritual head of SRF/YSS from 2011 until her passing in August 2017.

Brother Chidananda is the current president and spiritual head of SRF/YSS, and has been a monk of Self-Realization Fellowship for forty years. Almost from the start of his monastic life, he worked closely with Sri Mrinalini Mata assisting her in the editing and publishing of the works of Paramahansa Yogananda and other SRF publications. 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.

As president, Brother Chidananda is assisted by a Board of Directors, which includes other monastics who have been trained by direct disciples of Paramahansaji.

Brother ChidanandaDozens of direct disciples who had benefited from personal association with Yogananda lived out their lives in SRF ashrams in the decades following his passing, loyally serving his organization and supporting the leadership he had appointed. Read their stories.

All of the members of the Board of Directors are members of our monastic order, who have taken final, lifelong vows of renunciation. Serving without salary, they and the other monks and nuns in SRF ashrams have devoted their lives fully to the mission begun by Paramahansa Yogananda.

Under the direction of the president and Board of Directors, monks and nuns of the SRF Order serve in many capacities in the society’s ashram centers; travel to cities around the world to conduct lectures and classes and to lead retreats; and provide spiritual counsel and guidance—by phone, letter, and in person—to students of the Self-Realization Fellowship teachings.

Many dedicated SRF lay members also serve Paramahansa Yogananda’s worldwide work in indispensable ways—working with the monastics at the International Headquarters and other SRF ashram centers, and carrying many responsibilities in the temples and meditation centers around the world.

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