Introduction: Has SRF Lost Its Way?

We offer this additional material to you as fellow truthseekers and devotees of Paramhansa Yogananda. It contains many facts not commonly known about Yogananda, his teachings, and the organization he founded, Self-Realization Fellowship.
For a long time we have hesitated to speak out. But difficult circumstances and a sense of responsibility require that we come forward now. Many people do not know that in 1990 SRF filed a massive lawsuit against Ananda. Their goal was to gain a monopoly on Yogananda’s teachings.
Ananda is an autonomous network of spiritual communities and churches founded by Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Yogananda. Ananda has specialized in building world brotherhood colonies, the ideal lifestyle that Yogananda recommended for householder devotees. Though Ananda won nearly every issue in court, SRF continued its litigation to the bitter end. Millions of dollars that could have been spent serving Yogananda’s work were spent instead on the courtroom battle.
We would not be writing this, if the issues affected only us personally. However, what is happening now will affect Yogananda’s mission for centuries to come. Certain attitudes and actions by SRF are causing that mission, we believe, to drift from what Yogananda himself intended. (The attack on Ananda has also taken a very personal turn, with charges that Kriyananda is a spiritual charlatan, and Ananda is an abusive cult. For the other side of that story, see http://www.AnandaAnswers.com)
Changes to Yogananda’s teachings after his passing
In the past fifty years, significant changes have been made to Yogananda’s books, teachings, ideals, and image—changes that emphasize SRF as an institution, and limit how Yogananda is presented to the world.
Kriya initiation, discipleship, Autobiography of a Yogi, and even Yogananda’s own signature have been altered. Many of his writings have been greatly changed. All references to colonies have been removed from Autobiography of a Yogi. A Christian cross that Yogananda wore around his neck at the dedication of the Lake Shrine was even airbrushed out of that photo. Devotees have no access to the movies, recordings, photos, and writings of Yogananda still stored in SRF archives.
Lifelong disciples have shared heart-breaking stories of unkindness by SRF. Of grave concern is SRF’s increasing assertion of itself as a required intermediary between the disciples and their own master. This is what the Catholic Church did to the teachings of Christ, centuries ago.
We hope that after reading this website, you will share our concern about the issues raised here. Only a handful of direct disciples still remain alive. The mantle of responsibility will soon pass to the next generation. The guidance and legacy of “those who were with him” will long endure, but we will also be called upon to use our own judgment. Let it be an informed judgment. All of us, as Yogananda’s devotees, hold the future of his work in our hands.

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