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Our Spiritual Lineage

Ananda AltarThose 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.

—Paramhansa Yogananda

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.

Paramhansa Yogananda

Paramhansa Yogananda
1893 – 1952

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

Swami Kriyananda
1926 – 2013

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

Swami Sri Yukteswar
1855 – 1936

Swami Sri Yukteswar of Serampore, India, was the guru of Paramhansa Yogananda. He trained Yogananda for his mission in the West.

Lahiri Mahasaya

Lahiri Mahasaya
1828 – 1895

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.

Babaji

Mahavatar Babaji

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 Christ

Why is there a picture of Jesus on Ananda’s altars? What connection is there between the Ananda line of Gurus and Christ? Was he the only son of God? Who was he really?