Those who join us on this path of Self-realization are not connected to some printing press, but to a line of God-realized masters. God Himself, through them, overshadows this work. All who follow it sincerely, with devotion, will be brought to Him.
Ananda was founded in 1968 by Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda. Paramhansa Yogananda was the last in a line of self-realized guru’s starting with Jesus Christ.
Yogananda was the first great master of yoga to make his home in the West, coming to the U.S. from India in 1920 and living here until his passing.
Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters) was the founder of Ananda. In 1948, at the age of 22, he became a disciple of the Indian yoga master, Paramhansa Yogananda.
Swami Sri Yukteswar of Serampore, India, was the guru of Paramhansa Yogananda. He trained Yogananda for his mission in the West.
Lahiri Mahasaya was the one who made the ancient science of Kriya Yoga available not just to those who had renounced the world, but to all sincere souls.
It was Babaji, whose name means “revered father”, who re-introduced the ancient science of Kriya Yoga, which had been lost through the dark ages “due to priestly secrecy and man’s indifference” as Yogananda put it.
Jesus is at the center of our altar because he appeared to the yoga master Babaji and asked him to send someone to the West to spread the teachings of original Christianity. Jesus told Babaji that his followers needed to learn how to receive him through deep meditation, as beautifully described in the verse, “As many as received Him, to them He gave the power to become children of God” (John 1:12). He said that although his followers still do good works, they have lost the ability to commune inwardly with God. Because of Jesus’s request, Paramhansa Yogananda came to the West. Thus, Jesus Christ is honored with a place on our altars and in our daily prayers.