Two years ago, in Spring 2005, after the Mahasamadhi celebration in India, I journeyed to Rishikesh with Sraddha (my spouse) where we visited the Kriya Yoga Ashram of Swami Shankarananda. She had been there the previous Fall with a US pilgrimage and discovered these incredible life size marble statues of our line of Gurus.
Later that spring, Sraddha and Durga and Vidura Smallen (who then lived at Ananda Village and now live at Ananda India) traveled South with Swami Shankarananda, from Delhi to Jaipur, where they met with the artist who had carved the original statues. As a result, we commissioned the artist to carve a set of statues for Ananda Village. We wanted two sizes: life size and about 24 inches tall.
Since we already have life size statues here of Babaji and Lahiri from other sources, they agreed to carve life size statues of Sri Yukteswar and Paramhansa Yogananda as well as 24 inch statues of Babaji, Lahiri, Sri Yukteswar and Paramhansa Yogananda.
These statues are being carved from pure white marble and will reside in the new temple being planned as well as other smaller mandirs (temples) here at Ananda Village. We already have a beautiful mandir devoted to Lahiri Mahasaya and a garden mandir with a statue of Babaji at the Crystal Hermitage.
More in future installments.