“NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT than our quest for God,” Swamiji said in a recorded message sent to all the communities on New Year’s Day. “Even when you are working, feel that God is working through you, using your hands, guiding your feet, directing your thoughts and feelings. Ask God, ‘What do You want from me? Help me, in every circumstance, to respond as You would respond.’ If you live this way, you will find, behind all your experiences, the deep sweetness of God and Guru.”

At the word sweetness, his voice broke. There was a long pause, a deep indrawn breath, then, in a voice choked with tears, he said, “Bless you that you feel this sweetness more and more deeply, as I am feeling it now – and my love for you all.”

In Swami Kriyananda: Lightbearer, Chapter 2002, by Asha Nayaswami

Rajarshi Day 2022


Event – May 14 2022, 8:30 am – 1:00 pm PDT

Ananda Village residents and devotees gather together every year on the first weekend in May and beautify the communities in which they live, in remembrance and dedication to the life of Rajarshi Janakananda, Paramhansa Yogananda’s most advanced disciple.

We work on projects suitable for every age and talent, such as landscaping, land clearing, deep cleaning temples, fixing roofs of common buildings, preparing a delicious lunch, delivering refreshments to workers, and more.

This year the tradition of beautifying the communities in remembrance of the life of Rajarshi Janakananda is continued, and the experience is opened also to visitors as part of an in-person retreat for experiencing community that is offered by The Expanding Light Retreat.

There is an irony, here at Ananda Village happening at the same time. We have chosen to focus on – fire clearing around our homes in support of meeting our insurance carrier and safe community goals. You see, Rajarshi was one of the largest reciprocal fire-insurance exchanges in the world.

It is always a great blessing to participate on this day, as everyone joins their energy to the group energy and as we lift the community up to its next level of beauty, we also get uplifted in the process. This year, we’re just doing it from afar rather than gathering in one central location.

So put your gloves, masks, hats and sunglasses on, and bring your tools, then step outside your home, and have fun doing serviceful seva in honor of Rajarshi Janakananda.

We are in this together.

"By the path of right action alone, Janaka and others attained perfection." Krishna, in the third chapter of the Bhagavad Gita

Who Is Rajarshi Janakananda ?

James J. Lynn was a successful businessman from Kansas City Missouri, who after becoming a business success, met his Guru, Paramhansa Yogananda. It is Yogananda who gave Mr. Lynn his spiritual name Rajarshi Janakananda.

An American

In Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda describes Rajarshi Janakananda as, “An American businessman of endless responsibilities (as head of vast oil interests and as president of the world’s largest reciprocal fire-insurance exchange), Lynn nevertheless finds time daily for long and deep Kriya Yoga meditation. Leading thus a balanced life, he has attained in samadhi the grace of unshakable peace.”

A Man from the West, Who Became Yogananda's Spiritual Successor

In Faith is My Armor, Nayaswami Devi writes; “Yogananda had announced publicly, “I have passed my mantle to Rajarshi.” This is a tradition among great gurus; to “pass the mantle” means to transfer one’s power and consciousness to his spiritual successor. This transfer is a profound blessing, and one that is bestowed uniquely on only one chosen disciple. Swami Kriyananda wrote later of this disciple, “After Master’s passing, Rajarshi Janakananda seemed almost to become Master. His eyes, by some subtle transformation, were Master’s eyes. So perfect was his attunement that our Guru’s very thoughts became his thoughts.””

What Does the Name Rajarshi Janakananda Mean?


In The New Path, Swami Kriyananda writes:

“James J. Lynn, to whom Master always referred as Saint Lynn, received from Master later on the title and name Rajarshi (royal sage) Janakananda.”

In the footnote, Swamiji writes, “Janakananda means ‘ananda’ (divine bliss) through an ideal balance of outward responsibility and inward spiritual attainment that was perfectly exemplified in ancient times in the life of the royal sage King Janaka.”

The Promise of Immortality

In The Promise of Immortality, J. Donald Walters (Swami Kriyananda) writes: “Janaka was a royal sage in ancient India who achieved divine union by his inward spiritual focus in the midst of intense outer activity.”  (…) “Janaka was born spiritually great. A lesser person could not have attained perfection by work alone. Meditation is necessary for most people as a means of centering themselves in the Self. But so also is outward activity for God necessary. One who only meditates, unless he does so superconsciously, is in danger of sinking into a mire of indolence, which to him may seem a peaceful lake, but which is more likely to be, or to become in time, a stagnant pond. Outer activity helps by lifting one’s meditative peace to a state of dynamic inner calmness.”

Rajarshi Day Poem

I was made for Thee alone. I was made for dropping flowers of devotion gently at Thy feet on the altar of the morning. My hands were made to serve Thee willingly, to remain folded in adoration, waiting for Thy coming; and, when Thou comest, to bathe Thy feet with my tears. My voice was made to sing Thy glory. My feet were made to seek Thy temples everywhere. My eyes were made a chalice to hold Thy burning love and the wisdom falling from Thy nature’s hands. My ears were made to catch the music of Thy footsteps echoing through the halls of space, and to hear Thy divine melodies Flowing through all heart‐tracts of devotion. My lips were made to breathe forth Thy praises and Thine intoxicating inspirations. My love was made to throw incandescent searchlight flames to find Thee hidden in the forest of my desires. My heart was made to respond to Thy call alone. My soul was made to be the channel through which Thy love might flow uninterruptedly into all thirsty souls.Whispers from Eternity, Paramhansa Yogananda, Edited by Swami Kriyananda

Our Ananda Family Photo Album

A Virtual Stroll on Memory Lane
Use the Arrows to Scroll Through the Pictures
Paramhansa Yogananda was once asked why his most advanced disciple, Rajarshi Janakananda, progressed so quickly on the Spiritual path. Yogananda replied, "He knows how to listen." Just as the quiet man was the only one to hear the telegraphy message, the devotee who deeply listens is the one who hears Cosmic AUM.Joseph Bharat Cornell; AUM - The Melody of Love


Read the rest of the story of these Eastern and Western modern-day yogis — Their journey in Self-realization and their love for their Masters and spiritual teachers.