How did you come on to the spiritual path, and find Ananda? Was it by reading Autobiography of a Yogi? Was there a single event, or many long years of searching?

A favorite pastime at Ananda is listening to these stories, as they are always inspiring, and often quite fascinating.

Please share your own story in the comments, and enjoy those of others.


  1. I have been on th spiritual path for about 15 years, with a couple detours:) Early on my path, in London, where I lived, I read the SRF Autobiography of a Yogi. I loved it very much, but was learning different paths at that time too, so did not focus too much on it.

    5 years ago I moved to Wisconsin from Engalnd, where my dad was from. I was at a cross roads on my spiritual journey. I had left one spiritual path and felt lost and unsure. After two years feeling disconnected and detouring, I felt I must return to a spiritual path, life would not work for me without living in Spirit. I kept getting the strong intuition to re-read Autobiography of a Yogi. I looked up the SRF website and went into Borders several times and picked up the orange Autobiography and put it down. I saw the blue original edition. I spent a few weeks going in and out. Finally i decided to buy the blue Ananda Autobiography of a Yogi edition.

    Re-reading the book anwered my questions about my choices, mistakes, my teachers on the spiritual path and my concerns and I was able to feel the vibrations and Master stepped in, i went to the Ananda website and ordered Ananda Course in Meditation and Raja Yoga a few weeks later. Three years later, present day, I am preparing to move to Ananda village. I have found my true spiritual path, my spiritrual family and my Guru!

    What joy. Jai Guru! Thank you Master and thank you Ananda for all you do!

  2. Dear friends,
    On my birthday / 51st / tomorrow I want to share with you that in the summer of 2004 I saw in the Internet photo of Master and Swamiji, three days before mahasamadhi, and the book “The Path”. I had read “The Path” twice, one after another, and felt the presence of the Master in the heart. Then I read “Autobiography of a Yogi”. I am deeply inspired by books, music and lectures of Swamiji. Nobody has done so much to may we find Master and live with the presence of God and Guru in our hearts. Thank you Master, thank you Swamiji, thank you all.

  3. Like many others I read Autobiography of a Yogi about 18 years before joining Ananda. How I read the book is another story.
    I live in Bangalore.I was looking for spiritual guidance and felt was getting nowhere. Had read little bit of Sri Aurobindo , Bhagvatgita in bits and pieces

    In 1987 an ad in Times of India said “Those who wish to be initiated may come to Ramakrishna Ashram at 10 A.M.” . The advertisement was given by Ramakrishna Ashram , Bangalore and Chinnai.
    I asked my neighbour Mrs Wali ,my friend’s Mom-in-law, if she was interested in joining me for initiation.. Well Mrs Wali got initiated onto the Ramakrishna path and I was asked to read whole lot of books on Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekanand and 6 other books before going back for initiation.
    Mrs Wali could recite Bhagvatgita backwards and Upnishads were on her finger tips.
    On my journey back from the Initiation ceremony Mrs Wali asked me to read Autobiography of A yogi before reading any other book.
    Once I started reading AAY I could not put it down. IT TOOK ME THROUGH MY ENTIRE LIFE TIME OF EXPERIENCES all over again. The stories I had heard in my years of growing up found resonance in AAY.
    Now I wanted to learn Kriya Yoga, and take up a course in self realization.
    Every path I found out about after that , had some restrictions. Being a mother of growing children , I found it difficult to leave my home for 3 to 10 days to learn meditation. Besides it was not convincing enough….

    In 2005 Times of India brought out another ad , this time by Ananda – “Learn Kriya Yoga, as taught by Paramhansa Yogananda …..”
    The timing was perfect. My children were grown up and I was ready for this amazing journey of SELF-REALIZATION.
    Ananda posed no restrictions. The only insistance was that at the end of the course ,only those who practiced the Yoga techniques for 1 1/2 hrs daily ,will be given initiation.. It was a huge self discipline for me. It is so easy to find excuses for practicing any thing that takes one inwards. .. outside world is always so much more attractive —- unless one realizes what peace and joy is to go WITHIN.
    In a review after 6 months of daily meditation for 5 minutes after Energisation excercises , I was casually told by a spiritual director that it is O.K if I could not find time. I could take Kriya Initiation the following year. That was a challenge . I stepped up my meditation practices . And took initiation in 2006.
    Thanks to the love and soft cajoling, support of all Ananda Acharyas.
    And thankyou Swami Kriyananda for bringing Yogananda and other Gurus and God in my life
    Ananda has given me a spiritual family, full of joy and bliss.Ananda has given a final direction to my life.

    Jai Gurus!


  4. I was at a turning point in my life, continue with self-destruction, or find a new way to live. I was beginning to emerge from the fog when I took seriously some advice I was given to try meditatation. I had tried meditating before, but never had a practice, or guidance, let alone a Guru!

    So, here’s how I found Ananda in Michigan. I needed to find a place to learn to meditate and I simply googled: meditation lansing michigan. I just tried it right now and is still the second result on the page.

    I knew nothing of Yogananda, nothing of Kriya Yoga, nothing of Ananda, and yet when I think back to that day, it was the face of my Guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, on that web page, more than anything else that convinced me to go to the next available Thursday evening mediation. I was also intrigued when I looked up the address of their meeting space and it was only thee blocks away from me, practically across the street!

    When I went to the meditation that night, I was scared, unsure, anxious, and it would have been easy to simply turn away from this little gathering at what I learned later was the personal home of the organizer. I don’t even remember if I knocked on the door, but it opened and I walked in. There were three or four smiling faces and shortly they began a prayer, then chanted. I followed along and tried my best to “meditate” though I knew nothing. It is only in looking back that I’m absolutely sure that I was given my route back onto my true Path, given a gift on that day that only a true Master can give to someone so completely ignorant.

    Now, more importantly I suppose than that one evening, the facts are that I kept attending meditations, and kirtans, and Sunday morning services, was introduced to the Autobiography of a Yogi, to Swami’s The Path and to many other writings. I was blessed with the opportunity to learn the energization exercises, and eventually after about three years of struggle was initiated as a Kriyaban. I still remind myself to never give up, that the Masters are with us. I gain immense inspiration from all that Ananda is doing worldwide through Master’s help. It is a true blessing to be able to write these words today. Thank you Master, Thank you Swami, thank you Ananda worldwide, and thank you Ananda Michigan!

    Jai Guru!

  5. One’s spiritual journey for each is so personal and wonderful.
    some 30 years ago i read Autiobioghy of a Yogi and took by mail srf lessons.
    years passed by with differant spiritual paths, now i am retired from my nurisng careerl I found Ananda on the internet, and started this spiritual journey. Now I am a Nayaswami, still in shock with that, after years as an eastern monk. While i was in the L.A. area I was envited to SRF for christmas open house. That was so impressive to be where Master had lived.
    After retireing and ordering Whispers of Eternity, I opened the book and smelled perfume. that was enough for me, i have given my life to Master. And what a surprise here I am.

    1. Wow! Your story is so inspiring. I am amazed for the spiritual transformation you went through and love the way our Guruji made present in your life.

      Thanks for sharing,

  6. i went to a spiritual exhibition on Lodhi road, new delhi. there were many stalls on spirituality and astrology there, and on one stall stood a grand ananda yogi (american). frankly i was amused at the sight but when you spoke to them the had a strange sense of calm and peace that was so strange too. We were invited to a introduction to listen to indian philosophy very casually. there was no selling just calm details of the event. and by some strange force of attraction i went to attend with my parents. Ananda stirs your soul you cannot describe it.


  7. Its an awesome story, close to my heart which i always like to share. I got to know about Autobiography of a yogi from a friend. He told that you will get that book only if you are meant to read it. I wanted to read it that very moment. Next day morning i went to a book shop. The first thing that fell in my sight was master’s beautiful face in the front cover of the book. I bought it, came home and read it day and night. Next i wanted to find his ashram in the place i live. I googled it, drew a map and started in search of him the next sunday. I should say that i dint search at all. I just felt guided to the place. I knew where to turn though the place was new to me. Master brought me to his place. From then he is living in my heart. I now know that this is what i have been searching all my life. If i got to thank GOD the most for a thing.. then its finding my master. Love you my beloved guru.

  8. I read Autobiography of a Yogi in 1998. I read it once, then again, and again and again. After reading it, I learned that there was a SRF center in the city I live (Buenos Aires, Argentina). I went there several times but it didn´t inspire me. I kept reading the Autobiography again, again and again, an finally in 2005, surfing the web I came across Ananda, and there I found all I was looking for regarding Yogananda´s teachings and spiritual life. I started taking the lessons, then the discipleship bow and finally Kriya in 2009. I find Swamiji´s work and life very inspiring. It brings me a lot of peace and joy to know there is “a place called Ananda”.
    Blessing to you all.

  9. I hope this isn’t too long winded. But in my case, I grew up with a minister for a father. My father was a pentecostal minister with the Assemblies of God churches, in California.

    I always had an interest in out of body experiences, mysticism, meditation and the like. My first introduction to meditation was from an English teacher in High School. I hid my interest from my parents… who when they found books on this subject matter – promptly destroyed them.

    I stayed the Fundamental Christian path, until 2004.

    In 2001 my 1st left me and relocated to paris with our daughter. my life was in ruins. i was drinking, depressed… i gave up on life. one day i simply googled ‘overcoming anger’ and found a Buddhist link.

    in 2004 I became a Buddhist. I still had this ideology of “finding the true path” though – and I fell out of the Buddhist path as I believed in God, and they did not.

    I ended up in a group of Western Mystics called The Golden Dawn. During this time, I met my current wife. Due to a variety of reasons, I left the Golden Dawn – looking for something that had inner peace would help me be a really great husband, etc. and I found Scientology.

    Scientology lasted awhile. I left Scientology for some personal reasons.

    Having studied Kabbalah in the past, I took it a bit more seriously through the Kabbalah Center in LA… that’s when i first learned about the ego, and it’s function… and how to recognize and spot it and work on overcoming it.

    That’s when I met a Thelemic guy. He told me that I should just be focused on finding God and that everything will work out.

    Instead of trying to find the Right path, he suggested I just find God. I was have studied Thelema for a long time – and although I respect it, I found I disagreed with their core teachings… but Thelema was my first introduction to Yoga and Hinduism. I learned a few Yoga poses and was being encouraged to seek out Yoga teachings and classes…

    So at that time, I saw value in each path: Christianity offered the love of God; Buddhism gave me the inward search (change my personal karma, and I change my life); The Golden Dawn taught me that we can help others. Energy can be used to heal and help others; Scientology taught me about people and the mind’s ability to influence the body; Kabbalah taught me about the ego; Thelema gave me a taste of Yoga and Hinduism.

    From here I started reading more popular writers like Eckhart Tolle, Ram Dass, etc and started going to a Religious Science group called Agape, here in Los Angeles. I really liked it, and Agape, had a Hindu group come by to sing some songs… I sat in wonder of it all and wanted to know more… and either through Michael Bernard Beckwith or someone else, I saw a reference to Yogananda.

    I think I was reading or listening to Ram Dass and saw more references to Yogananda…

    That’s when I googled Yogananda. I saw links to SRF and Ananda. I started a website called to just journal my search for truth. This was the first time I thought of finding a Guru… before this moment I would have thought that weird. But you see, everything I went through, brought me to this point.

    I wasn’t sure what to do, but figured I would check out Ananda Online… and WOW – the classes and depth of online content is vast. The people are really great. Every teacher, every person working at Ananda, has been extremely helpful in my path. So I joined up and took as many classes as I could.

    So I came to this point where I stopped judging people in spiritual groups. I stopped looking for the universal “right group.” I began looking for God and trusting he’d put all the right things in my path. I began recognizing that all the paths I’ve tried, none of them were “bad” or “wrong” – Each person has their own path, and some get great gain from those paths.

    The writings of Yogananda, and Kriyananda, and the coursework at Ananda Online – has really changed my life.

    Just last Friday, for the first time, several Indian guys I work with came up to me and told me they recognized the books I had about Yogananda. They didn’t know of Ananda, but of SRF and were very happy I was reading these books.

    I started my search, just wanting to be a better husband, father and human being. Beyond that, I’ve wanted a path to know God deeply and succeed in a spiritual gainful result beyond this physical life. I believe Yogananda and Ananda will help me get there.

  10. In 1992, I met Yogananda when Profesor Zellagro (Cuban astrologer) recommended to me that I should contact SRF.
    I contacted SRF and I started the lesson to Kriya Yoga. I never finished them, read Autobiography of a Yogi several times and got immersed reading just Paramahansaji’s literature since then, but I never felt connected with SFR thou. I was missing the feeling of belonging to a religious community to the point that it hurt. Not having a choice, when I attended mass in a Catholic church, I didn’t feel completely like “being one of them.” I stop being a true catholic since teenager. I belong to a different church at least three decades ago, but that church wasn’t physically near. Miles away and imposible to attend to any of its services, classes, or mingle with others that believe the way I do. I felt that I was some how punished in this lifetime and I had to accept “what it is.” I prayed, and prayed for my church.

    By 2005 on a blessing day, googling in the internet trying to find SRF website, I found Ananda. I never thought there was more than one spiritual organization dedicated to spread the teachings of my Guruji. Blessings came my way since then. I had received Kriya initiatiation last summer. I have visited Ananda several times and I am planning on going back at least ones a year. First God and Guru, I am going next July for a week to attend a very interesting class and to be immersed in this high energy spiritual environment, and meditate in Lahiri’s temple where I received my discipleship.

    I am blessed that I had found my church and my spiritual path in this lifetime.

    Thanks Guruji, masters, Jesus Christ and Saints of all religions.

    Ananda has enriched my spiritual live in ways that I couldn’t imagine before. In Ananda, I had found my church, I’ve found kindship and belonging. Ananda Online Community is the link that makes it possible too. I can join anytime, anyday,and in Sunday attend Sunday Service right from home. It is amazing how this Age of Energy is changing our ways of perceiving life.

    Thanks Ananda for opening doors to the outside communities and reaching out to souls all over the world.

    Blessing to all.

  11. My chiropractor has nudged me along the spiritual path very gently, (mostly!). At several points along the way, he has suggested Master Yogananda. In 2009, it finally took. I just knew that, if he felt that Self-Realization was important, then there must be a “branch” of it that was for me. I kept surfing the internet and praying – especially after reading the Autobiography in one week. I found Rev. Lorne Dekun in Michigan – he responded to me quickly – and I became a part of his satsang. I have since traveled to the Village and to the Boston satsang, and received kriya last May. That practice has soothed my spirit and confirmed that this is the path for me! Thank you, Divine Mother.

    1. Hi Maria Teresa,
      Reading your story I realized that you and I had received Kriya together. I was there on May too. Great!

  12. I firmly believe God has a plan for my life so after going thru some meditation training in 2001 i was practising and Happy but not really progressing.
    Year 2003 we went to kedarnath and on our way back at a very Scenic place Chopta we met two grand ladies Janakidevi and Gyan devi and we shared some wonderful time with them.
    once we were back in Noida and we saw Masters photo we went to check up I realized something was coming up and we met Gyandevi again she became the firm Instrument to bring us to Masters Teachings.
    As fate would have it she was Present when we Me and husband took Kriya.
    Took we are really grateful for the family we share In Ananda and the past 6 yrs the miracles that we have seen happen in our lives.
    We have been lucky to be with Swamiji and spiritual guidance which we receive from Ananda Teachers.

  13. Came on to the spiritual path after being healed from an illness in the late 90s. From that point on, it was as though a clean slate was given & a strong sense to *seek* was in my heart. Spirit pierced my heart in such a way that transformed me for always. Knew automatically that what was to be sought was not of this world.

    Circumstances/events led to various books & meetings of people on the spiritual path. All of the books and people were *interesting*; however nothing *truly* resonated. It was not until the mid 2000s that certain people & happenings led me to some of Master Yogananda’s writings. My heart was once again pierced &, just like the 1st time in the late 90s, the soul burst with energy while the body trembled & wept oceans.

    A year or so later – found & read, Autobiography of a Yogi. It solidified everything to put it mildly. Contacted Ananda shortly after & took the first baby steps toward the Kriya Path.

    Thank you much, Beloved Gurus. Thank you much, Ananda Organization.

  14. In 1974 I was in a Psychiatric ward, and had been in and out for 3 years. My friend who became my husband was friends with a psych tech. His name was Durgadas, he had given him a copy of Mediphysical Meditations and he gave it to me. What a blessing it was. There were short and powerful thoughts in it that I could get a piece of Peace from in my days of mental and emotional pain and confusion. About a year later, my husband and I were seperated, and Durgadas and his wife Jayanti took it upon themselves to help me in the only way they knew how. They brought me to Ananda Village. That was April of 1975 I believe and Swami Kriyananda was marrying a couple. My sense, was that; there is no way that people can live in peace like this. Are they hipnotized?….Then, as Swamiji was leaving the Temple he passed us. I was sitting by the back door with Durgadas and Jayanti on the floor….as he passed, I looked up at him. He had on a beautiful garland of red and white carnations. As our eyes met, one of the White Carnations fell at my feet. I looked at Durgadas and then the flower, I knew it was for me, and that somehow it was a Blessing! It was the first thing that gave me Hope that there was Hope, and that there was Light shining on the Path ahead. It was a few more months, but my husband and I eventually went up to Ananda and were blessed by Swamiji, which I felt was Masters Blessing through him. We moved to Ananda and had 2 sons, and the adventure has been colorfull!
    I now live in Las Vegas, in the Anandagiri Ashram and Center where I help serve with Swami Vijay in starting a spiritual community here. Master, is always here for us and with us. We are so very, very fortunate to have a True Guru and these High Teachings. It is a Joy to read the beautiful ways that God and Guru has brought us all under His Umbrella of Truth and Love !! Master Bless you all !!

  15. I was first captivated by Paramhansa Yogananda at the age of 14 when I inadvertently picked up his book “Man’s Eternal Quest”, which had remained latent in a bed-side drawer longer than I could recall. My initial thoughts, excusable for a 14 year old of course, were “who in their right mind would want to read this fat book?”

    I wasn’t much of a reader back then, but after opening this book, I couldn’t leave it alone. I was so engrossed in the book that I read it multiple times from cover to cover and often stayed up early hours in the morning contemplating on it. It got to the point where I felt I must have known Yogananda before; his teachings were far too familiar. Staring into some of the illustrations, I couldn’t help but feel a weird sense of archaic nostalgia, as if I was there somewhere in the audience listening to his speech.

    Through the advent of the internet, moreover, I discovered other organisations along with SRF that are dedicated to the teachings of Yogananda, including Ananda Church of Self-Realisation. I was ineluctably compelled to Swami Kriyananda as I liked his mission-orientated approach in spreading Yogananda’s teachings.

    I am 24 now, by my eagerness to associate with other Yogananda devotees keeps growing stronger, thus I started mingling with other truth-seeking individuals. I’ve been going to both Ananda and SRF meditation groups in London, which has been a great joy.

    I have been to the Ananda community in India several times, but have yet to go to the one based in California. I’ll hopefully be able to visit there in summer 2012!

    Joy to you,

  16. Was born into a very atheistic family in the rural south. Having secretly felt differently all my life but not knowing what it was and afraid to share it…when I was 18 I acknowledged in myself God exists and announced it out loud one day off the top of my apartment building in lower Manhattan (where I was a Freshman in college) – I vowed to follow my dreams. A few days later, wouldn’t you know it… I met a Bengali man. He was handsome, charismatic, but had a rough side and some bad habits. Then the next day he finds a book on the street – Autobiography of a Yogi and hands it to me. I loved the book instantly – but idiotically put it down to gaze into the face of this mysterious charismatic exotic stranger (who by the way looked very similar to Yogananda). And he entranced me with stories of Bengali saints and told me he was telling me secrets that no one else could know. I got all wound up in the riddles and metaphors of the Bengali Bauls, ascetic mystic saints… Well – just as you feared, I took the wrong path. – I then spent ten years in numbness and isolation of mental and physical abuse. I prayed and prayed in 2009 for help as things got seriously bad and I feared for my life, by that point I was very brainwashed and suffering form PTSD, and then an answer came. Through a series of unusual events I met a kind hearted person who introduced me to meditation and Ananda – and this time I read the Autobiography, crying for joy as I turned each page. I read it slowly, treasuring it, not wanting to finish it ever. I remember the day I felt the rush of Kundalini for the first time and became a veggetarian instantly – no one told me – it just happened automatically. Many truly miraculous things happened as signs, I also recited Aditya Hridtham 3 times daily for a month- all of which gave me the courage to walk away and start my life over on the right path. Because of meditation, Swamiji’s songs and books, and listening to wise advice, I have been able to recover in just under two years. Starting over again from nothing as a single mom. Swamiji’s songs are like someone holding your hand as you walk for the first time – encouraging you, holding you up when you might fall, whispering during your sleep to wash away fear, bulwarking you with courage found only through kindness and love.

  17. Without doubt, the greatest blessing I had and I think I’ll ever have is getting onto the spiritual path. At one point, I was desperately searching for a true Guru who would teach me the true matters and also increase my devotion.

    One day, I was searching for a spiritual book in a shelf, and I came face to face with Yogananda’s Bhagavad Gita, though that was SRF’s book. The moment I saw His photo, I was wonder-struck by its magnificence. From that very photo, I realised that this person cannot be an ordinary man in an orange robe. There was that “something” I could perceive from His eyes, a magnetic attraction, and I decided to read it. I wasn’t disappointed one bit. I searched the net for His “Autobiography of a Yogi”, and I saw a free online book given by a website called Ananda. There can be no better book than Guruji’s Autobiography. My love and devotion started increasing, and I saw some basic techniques of meditation, which I regularly practice. Looking back, I can’t believe how much my lifestyle and outlook on life has changed in such a short span of time.
    I always pray to Guruji that may I always know Him hereafter, in all the lifetimes still left for me, until I achieve God-realisation, where I can be with Him.

  18. It was around the time that the movie Avatar was released. I had plans to see the movie with my father, step-mother, and girlfriend. That morning, my girlfriend and I had a small argument about I cant even remember what. That started the day off in a strange funk. After the movie, I felt even worse. I felt ashamed to be an american, almost human to some extent. To be a part of a species that would do such things just put me off. After the movie was lunch, which was enveloped in weird vibes. Then it was time for me to go to work. When I arrived, I was early, so I told a friend and co-worker I was going to the book store. He made a sarcastic comment and I remember storming out.
    At the bookstore, I led myself to the self help section and sat down. I looked at all the books offered, finally choosing The Book of Secrets by Deepak Chopra. It described so much of what I was feeling that I didnt put it down and was finished in two days. Since then, I guess you could say I have been trying the spiritual path. I have read many Deepak books, as well as Autobiography of a Yogi. I feel as though Im getting closer to what Im looking for, yet farther at the same time. Im not sure where to go or what to do or where this path is leading me. Right now is all im really concerned about. Being in the moment and not letting my emotions run who I am.
    Since that day though, my life has been different. I believe i was drawn to the book store, to show me something I needed to see. To learn something I needed to learn.
    Recently I read about what the srf had done to Swami Kriyananda and was saddened. I contacted them about how I felt and got a very nice response.
    Now I am here. Wondering what to do next. Who to talk to. I guess I just want to talk to someone about myself, or what is best to do in my situation, or just someone to listen and help. I dont know. I felt I should put something here though. Seemed like a next step. Thankyou!



    1. buddy i read it. you had your say by the way. haha. that’s good. it’s was good even to read. tc

    2. Hi Maxwell, do you practice meditation? I wonder if you’d be interested in taking the Ananda Course in Self-Realization.

      The course isn’t necessarily about being on this spiritual path (though many people are interested in it for that reason), but may be interesting to you for its techniques on improving your own life, and deepening your connection to God, through the yogic science.

      I started getting interested in meditation and yogic teachings in high school, and read for some years without really taking definite steps to do anything (e.g. meditate). I don’t know if that’s similar to where you are at, but it may be. I think a lot of people are at that place.

      Over time, I discovered that philosophy needs to be put into action to have a meaningful impact in our lives. When I did so, everything began to change. The potential for living a happy, fulfilled, joyful life is quite tremendous. Kind of startling, when I look back! — I never would have suspected.

      If you’re interested, here is the link to the Ananda Course in Self-Realization.

      And if you have any questions, or would like to correspond with someone, please write to

      Joy to you,

  19. I have been associated with Ananda for 1 year and a couple of months. I was always spiritually minded and was looking to learn meditation close to my neighbourhood in Gurgaon. I passed by the Ananda Sangha Ashram’s address online and on one fine day landed at the Gurgaon Ashram where Saturday’s Satsang was going on. I donot recollect much of that day’s Satsang as I found a pair of familiar eyes (of Guruji’s) and kept wondering how I know HIM. I am greatful to him to have found me again and live his teachings and be a part of the beautiful family at Ananda. Joy!

  20. I was living in Washington DC at the time and I read a tiny ad 4 line advertisement about Ananda Village in the back of Yoga Journal. This was about 20 years ago. I had never read the Autobiography nor had I even heard of Yogananda but, I knew I needed to visit this place. Since then this path, Master, Swami and the people of Ananda have never left my heart. Along the way I have been involved in Ananda meditation groups in Washington DC, Long Island NY and most recently New York City.

    Yogananda told Swami, “You have a great work to do.” I am forever grateful to Swami for the work he has done in fulfilling Yogananda’s wishes for spiritual brotherhood colonies and for bringing Yogananda’s teaching to the world.

  21. God called me to Ananda I think!
    When I was 15 yrs old I started reading Ramayana -a great epic of India,i was very inspired by the avtar Rama.Since I presume that I started searching God.
    Then when I was almost 22 yrs I was attracted to RAdhaswami satsanga through one of my friend.I could meet swamiji in just first visit and was initiated for meditation.My friend said it is highly unusual to meet him in first visit and also initiated!she said l was very lucky.
    I started meditating but with vert small knowledge about it.i was in second year of mbbs at that time.
    After about 6yrs my another friend told me about YSS .i joined a meditation group but meditation was still a remote thing to me.i started taking lessons and read Autobiography of yogi

    .Yes, I felt good about it all but still I was far off from true concept of meditation.
    Then recently I found Ananda . it is constant source of God,God and God.
    Oh! how near I now feel to Him!
    Ananda is an ocean of His love! And swami Kriyananda brought this into my life .i bow to swamiji,Guruji and God to bring into right path!
    I now pray God to always keep me in his love and blessing
    Thanks Ananda ! Joy to all .jai Guru.

  22. I came to know about Ananda thru Sophia Hedge. She has prayed for me and meditated for me for many years.After a lot of negative stuff in my life and after learning what prayer and meditation can do. I have come a long way. I have learned to calm down. I used to have bad panic attacks and now it`s getting better. I meditate with Swami`s AUM really helps to function in everyday life. I am so grateful for this.

  23. Dear, I am in a very big financial problem say 10 Crores.I know universe is abundance but i cant able to face the people.How can i overcome through spiritually? Some time i decide to go suicide.That will happen at any moment because of my issues.I need to face everything with courage and i need to complete all my financial issues and i need to get spiritual wisdom.Please guide me.

    1. hey shabu, you should post this under questions and answers section right away. you will get a reply faster that way:

      you situation sounds serious – sending you my prayers

  24. While searching for audio and video’s of Yoganandaji, after being inspired or influenced by his autobiography, for many months i browse internet. There i could see many videos of Swami Kriyanandaji being shown as search result whenever i was trying to search about yoganandaji, his community or work, by the search engines. I felt urge to get information of Swamiji too.
    Then after searching for more information on net itself about Swami Kriyanandaji, i came to know about Ananda Sangha, its world wide locations, one near my native place, pune. I was happy to know and willing to see it.
    I guess Swamiji’s videos on sites like youtube, had they been with some informative comments to them, informing swamiji or ananda sangha’s existance, i guess i could have the information earlier than when i got it..say…in some 2 months.

    1. Hi Pranav, thanks for this suggestion to add better links! We’ll try to do this more in the future.

      Amazingly, I recently discovered that Swami Kriyananda’s videos on YouTube get over 500 views every day. So your suggestion may help many people.

      Joy to you,

      1. Hi Nabha, good to know that you could get what i meant.

        Also for those who are reading this, i would like to share some info on some of swamiji’s more videos those might be of interest to some of you…These video are as:
        There are many videos of swamiji on with following link :

        Thanks to read.

  25. My story is a long one, but I need to start from a certain point. I lost my Father at the age of 18 and my Mother moved out-of-state 5 weeks later. I had no family left in my small town where I grew up. I never had time to grieve properly in the way I needed to before being thrust out into the world. I had a whole in my heart left by my Father, whom I was very close to. This resulted in me spending 12 years trying to fill this void with relationships with men. Each relationship lasted 3 to 5 years, but always ended in disillusionment, pain, and disappointment. Also, during this time, I kept searching for a martial arts school like the one I had attended as a youth. My intructor there, Alfonso Castillo, lived at an ashram, “Shining Waters.” It was quite an exception to have a place like this in a very rural area of Southeast Missouri. The Ashram was only in existence for around 4 years, but during that time, my life was Blessed to be exposed to it. Our class would visit there sometimes for belt testing, tai chi, or some other sort of activity. It was my first time being exposed to a spiritual community. I was 12 years old. I was very into my martial arts training and didn’t pay too much attention to what else went on there at the time, although I remember thinking how different it was to be in a place that didn’t allow you to eat meat on the grounds. I knew there was something special about this place, though, as it really resonated with me, and to this day, remains hallowed ground for me, even though the property is no longer home to the ashram. I grew up without ever going to church, as my Mother didn’t want her children going to any other church than her own – the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. So, since her nearest church was nearly an hour away, my brother and I didn’t go to church. I do remember always believing in my heart that there had to be some truth in all the major religions. I would argue with my mother, “How can there be only one RIGHT way?” “How can Buddha be bad just because he wasn’t a Christian?” I learned early not to discuss religion, as it would cause arguments, and I witnessed my older brother argue with her also about the Book of Mormon, etc. I always rejected her religion outright, even though I didn’t know much about it. I just knew I didn’t agree with its exclusivity. Anyway, as I grew older and graduated from college, I was searching for a martial arts school like the one I remembered, believing that it was the actual martial arts that I was missing. I also had begun the spiritual search in earnest, now that I was out of school and had time to read what I wanted to. I began with Native American spiritual books, as I have Native American ancestry. They were beautiful books and I loved the reverance for Nature, but yet, something was missing. I was looking for an actual practice, something I could DO to become more spiritual or get closer to my Creator. But, the Native Americans guard their spiritual heritage closely, and I really wasn’t finding what I was looking for. At the time, I rejected Christianity, because all I really knew of it were my hypocritical extended family members and the exclusivity, and I wanted no part of that, so I was looking every where but there. I started reading some Buddhist books and really liked books by Lama Surya Das….but still….something more I was after. Then one day in February of 2006, I bought a couple books on Buddhism as well as the AY. Oddly enough, I read the Buddhist books first. At this point in time, I had really reached a new low in my life and was absolutely miserable in my relationship, and feeling very hopeless and despairing. Then, I read the AY. Tears of joy came over and over as I read, and recognized that for the last 12 years, not only had I been trying to fill a whole in my life where my Dad had been, but even bigger than that, I had been trying to fill a GOD hole in my life with these relationships. Reading the AY felt like coming home, and it all was so familiar, as though I was just being reminded of what I already knew. And I realized also, I had never been searching for my MARTIAL ARTS training , I had been searching for what Alfonso had brought to that class – his peace, his spirituality, GOD. It was overwhelming, and my life has been changed forever since the day I finished reading the AY. I remember the day I finished it – 04-05-06. I carry Master and his teachings in my heart always. Shortly after reading the AY, I picked up “Conversations With Yogananda,” and through that book discovered Swamiji and Ananda. I feel truly blessed. Also, I must mention that a couple of years ago, through trying to locate my former martial arts instructor, I discovered that Shining Waters Ashram was a spiritual community based in the teachings of Raja Yoga ! A different Guru, but still, I feel I have come full circle in this life. I was ecstatic when I discovered that Raja Yoga had influenced my life long ago and I did not even realize it. I still struggle finding time to meditate, which I know is the most important thing I need to be doing. I work too much, and sleep too little most of the time, but do think of God much of the time, and read as much as I can. I long to be around others of a like-mind, and often feel overwhelmed by the negativity around me in my own family and my workplace. Thank you,God, for Master, Swamiji, and Ananda, that give me solace, comfort, and courage in the face of all of these things in my daily life. Also, I feel blessed to have had an Indian Saint open my heart to Christ’s teachings as well as the beautiful Bhagavad Gita.
    Love and light,

  26. I first came across the book “DIVINE ROMANCE” written by Paramhansa Yogananda and was deeply moved.

    I constantly prayed to God for direction. Then one fine day while surfing I came across the ananda website and thats how I came on spiritual path…from then on my journey has been so far incredibly blessed…

    I thank God and Swamiji for such an unending support and infinite power that is “Ananda” !!!

    God bless u all


  27. In 1984 I was living in Sacramento California. While living there I ran across a paperback book called The Path: Autobiography of a Western Yogi. Many years earlier I had read Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi, so I saw the connection right away between the two books. I must admit my first reaction to the obvious effort on this author’s part to draw a relationship between his book and Yogananda’s spiritual classic was not a positive one. Nevertheless, I picked up this Autobiography of a Western Yogi and began paging through it. In my mind I was testing the book to see if I felt it warranted that subtitle.

    Without going into a lot of detail let me simply say that The Path passed my test. I purchased a copy and took it home and dived in. I was deeply moved by what I read there. So much so that I went back to the store the next day and bought a copy for a close friend of mine and mailed it to him. I don’t recall how long it took me to read The Path but it wasn’t long, a couple of days at most. I marveled to discover that the author lived no more than an hour-and-a-half drive from me in the nearby foothills east of Sacramento.

    A little blue information card in The Path said that Ananda was located in Nevada City at 900 Alleghany Star Route Road. So early one Sunday morning I got in my car and began the drive up there. I was hoping to attend one of the Sunday Services there that, I presumed from past experiences with Yogananda devotees, would start at 11:00 AM. I got to Nevada City with plenty of time to spare. I stopped in a gas station in town and asked if they could direct me to Ananda Village on Alleghany Star Route Road. They had no idea what I was talking about, either the place or the road. So I tried another gas station. The person at this place said she thought maybe this Ananda place was a few miles out of town and she pointed me in that direction. So off I went again, thinking I’d surely find it soon.

    To make a long story short, I drove around aimlessly for many hours on the back roads out in the general direction from Nevada City where Ananda Village was located. However, I never found the elusive Alleghany Star Route Road. So I finally headed back to Sacramento. Upon returning home I promptly wrote a letter to the address on the little blue information card in the Path and said, “I need help.” They quickly answered with detailed directions (the real address is 14618 Tyler Foote Road) and the good news that Swami was leading the Sunday Service the following week at 11:00, which I attended.

    My life has never been the same since. Everything I’ve done since the day I picked up The Path, (now called The New Path: My Life with Paramhansa Yogananda) has been influenced positively and dramatically by the great world-teacher and direct-disciple of Master who wrote it: Swami Kriyananda, truly a “western yogi” of the highest degree. Thank you Swamiji.

  28. Hello all,
    I have been an active member of SRF for the last 5 years but have been attuned to Paramhansa’s teachings since childhood due to my mother’s love for him. The last two years I have gone astray and stopped meditating daily. Keeping divine mother in my thoughts always I have struggled to go back to SRF. I have always wanted a live teacher, someone to go to as a resource to help me when my sight seemed obscured or I felt myself falling prey all of the maya around me. It took me quite a while to finish the Autobiography of a Yogi and I didn’t realize until now that my copy was one of the original manuscript. After reading Yogananda for the World today, it seems to me that I have been longing for an approach to spiritual living like Ananda’s since the beginning. Everything I read about Ananda seemed to fit my personality and the needs of my spirit. I have always had difficulties with believing everything I read and hear especially when dictated to me by a church or organization. It never made much sense to me how a leader of an organization like Daya Mata could lead from seclusion and never actually work with her organizations followers. For many reasons such as those for mentioned, I inevitably lost a feeling of connection with SRF and therefore decided that meant my spirituality as well. Thank you for writing Yogananda for the world and reminding me to never give up on myself and to trust my inner intuition. You reminded me that I should never be more loyal to an organization than I am to myself and my own spirituality. You also reminded me of something that I had once known but somehow forgot, Paramhansa Yogananda is not SRF! He was a beautiful reflection of God’s light and he hoped to reach millions through his organization. I am attending a teaching at the Ananda House this Saturday in Los Angeles and I can’t wait! Thank you again so very much
    Olivia Favela-Gary

  29. My start on The path came after using a manifestation meditation CD by Wayne Dyer, the CD had a morning Ah and evening Om meditation. I used this meditation to manifest enlightenment as i had come to realize that without this the rest of existence was pretty well so so, ho humish.

    After having practiced the above mediation for a relatively short while Swamiji’s book “Awaken to Superconsciousness” caught my eye whilst looking for a book on an online bookstore, straight away I knew this was a key for realizing my gaol of “enlightenment!” Loved reading Swamiji’s book was fascinated in fact. Next I read “Autobiography of A Yogi” which explains the Path in such a pure loving way.

    I joined Ananda and learnt to mediate, and I know it’s my way to the enlightenment that I wanted so much!

    Thank you Ananda, Swamiji and Master.

  30. A few years before being introduced to this path, I made a deal with Jesus Christ. I knew Jesus is the real deal, and I also knew there was more than what is taught in the Christian church. The deal was, “Jesus, I will show you truth if you show me truth.” It was more like I was telling Jesus I was going to be completely honest in all circumstances regardless how I felt about the outcomes. Then in turn, I knew I would be guided by Jesus Christ to the truth I was seeking.

    The process of fulfilling the agreement is a story in itself, though after a consistent few years, in ’94 I was introduced to Paramhansa Yogananda by a good friend who gave me a copy of His AY. I wasn’t a reader at that time, but I couldn’t put that book down.

    That same year I called the SRF and wanted to move there and become a monk. They rejected me. I pleaded with them, no dice. So I subscribed to the lessons and meditated on my own without any connection to the SRF. I took the practice deep. I went to a group once that felt awkward and didn’t receive any direction. I knew after a while that I would not receive Kriya from the SRF. While travelling for 8 years, exploring one mountain range to the next, I kept the masters with me everywhere always. My life was clearly graced with their presence.

    I moved back to Ashland Oregon and decided to go back to school. I had been a solid yogi for about 10 years by now. I took a class through the college with an Ananda minister, Carol Gray, who later invited me to the center. By this time, I didn’t want to mess around and I didn’t care about what I had to go through to become a Kriya initiate. A truth is, I didn’t care what or who Ananda was, I just wanted to seal my relationship with my guru and light myself up with kriya. I found that Carol is an awesome minister and she loosened me up quite well. The people were really nice and I felt that they were there because they wanted to, not because they had anything to prove or show. I learned how to chant, and I had the essential guidance that was needed to deepen my practice. I felt I had freedom and most importantly total acceptance. Carol taught me a lot about acceptance. She is probably the most accepting person I know still, besides Guruji and my wife.

    I wasn’t expecting fireworks en route to Kriya Initiation as I just wanted to finally get on with a Kriya practice. Within a year, I was excited to be a part of a Kriya Prep Week in October, at the meditation retreat, led by Ram and Dhyana. I was literally blown away, out of this solar system. This was the real deal. The magnetism that Ananda Village and the ministers possessed was well beyond I had imagined. Our Kriya Prep group even, was so sweet. I knew when I came to Ananda Village for Kriya Prep week, that this was my spiritual family. I had no idea God had this in store for me, but I was very happy about it. I had meditated quite a bit within the past 8 years up until Kriya Prep, so I was excited, but again I wasn’t expecting fireworks. I more or less just wanted to get on with it and dive deeper with this new powerful practice.

    The initiation was a quite an astral gift. My first 7 Kriyas were also very very powerful. And that night, as I felt the gates open, I couldn’t sleep; I’ll just leave it at that.
    Since then it has been lovely, deepening my connection with God and my friendship with my spiritual family. I knew something was around the corner in life; however I didn’t know it was this. It is absolutely perfect. Thank you Guruji.

  31. my daughter has been on this path for a few years- 1 year ago, she started talking to me about it and I knew almost instantly that this is what I have been searching for without even knowing I was searching! I have found peace and love and the most wonderful people so far. I feel truly blessed!

    Thank you for this website

  32. I went through SRF Kriya initiation and did not find Master there. I was walking in San Jose, CA and Master winked at me from a magazine. I took the free magazine. It was from Ananda in Palo Alto. I signed up for meditation class. While meditating in the Temple, I found it was effortless while there. I found Master there and was visited by Holy Babaji. I found what I had been looking for.

  33. Strange. I found ananda in an astrology and spirituality y fair in New Delhi! White men in sadhu dress! But what calm! I was immediately impressed by the soft spoken yogi and his younger friends. So polite and loving! I went with my parents for the introduction. And had no problem in enrolling for the kriya yoga seminar. My exposure to yogananda till then wasn’t much.

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