BRIEF HISTORY OF SYDNEY CENTRE

Sydney SRF Centre

1951

The first Self-Realization Fellowship meditation group in Sydney was started in Roseville by Mrs. Augusta Claude. Paramahansa Yogananda was aware of the establishment of our Centre and wrote a warm letter (see below) with greetings and encouragement:

"God bless you, and may you reap the harvest of Self realization in this season of your life. Please know that I am with you all in Spirit, regardless of time and distance" — Paramahansa Yogananda

In the same year another group was established in Kirribilli by Constantine and Inessa Tenukest.

Letter from Paramahansa Yogananda

Yogananda's letter

 

The New Year's Message from Paramahansa Yogananda

yogananda's letter 1952

 

1957

Both meditation groups cooperated in arranging the first Monastic Visit to Australia.

 

1958

The first Monastic Visit took place. 27 devotees attended the first Kriya Initiation, 20 from NSW, 6 from other states and one from England.

 

1964

The Kirribilli group started studying the Bhagavad Gita. The classes were advertised in the Sydney Morning Herald.

 

1966

Mrinalini MataWe moved to Philip Street in the city and first service took place on July 11th. In November, we had the 2nd Monastic Visit by Sri Mrinalini Mata, Brother Mokshananda and Brahmacharini Lorraine. 52 devotees were initiated into Kriya Yoga. On November 3rd the Sydney Centre chapel was dedicated by Sri Mrinalini Mata.

 

1970

We moved to 599 George Street in the city because the Philip Street building was about to be demolished. On November 15th we had our first service there.

 

1972

On August 17th we started our first Sunday School.

 

1973

Brother AchalanadaIn April 3rd Monastic Visit by Brother Achalananda took place and 53 devotees were initiated into Kriya Yoga. There was also one christening ceremony conducted by Brother Achalananda.

 

1975

In February Edward Katsch, the foundation member of our Centre died. His house in Surry Hills was renovated and used for the Sydney Centre. On November 17th, overjoyed devotees attended their first service in "Edward House".

 

1977

In November we had the first Weekend Retreat for men, in Marshal Mount. The beds, cooking utensils and furniture were donated by devotees. We continued to have retreats alternately for men and women until April 1981.

 

1978

The fourth Monastic Visit was by Brother Ramananda and Brahmachari Miles. The meetings were held in St. Stephen's Hall. 70 members were initiated into Kriya Yoga. One wedding took place and one child was christened and both were held in "Edward House."

 

1979

Mrs. Augusta Claude, the founder of the first meditation group in Australia, died and Inessa Tenukest conducted a brief memorial service for her.

 

1981

In April we had the fifth Monastic Visit by Brother Ramananda and Brahmachari Austin. There was a Public lecture and 54 members were initiated into Kriya Yoga. We also had one wedding.

 

1986

In May we had the Monastic Visit by Brother Ramananda at St Stephens. 1987 We moved to a large hall in YWCA building in Wentworth Avenue in the city because "Edward House" was too small to accommodate increasing numbers of devotees.

 

1989

The Monastic Visit by Brother Ramananda and Brahmachari Bradley (now Brother Naradananda). They conducted classes and Kriya Yoga initiation in the Hilton Hotel, Sydney.

SRF monastic visit 1989

 

1991

We moved for few months to Bondi and then to 130 Redfern Street, Redfern where we stayed until 2004.

 

1992

Another Monastic Visit was made by Brother Achalananda. 

 

1993

Brother SatyanadaThe special Monastic Visit by Brother Satyananda and Brahmachari Glen (now Brother Sivananda) took place to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Paramahansa Yogananda.

 

 

1995

Brother SantoshanadaThe Monastic Visit by Brother Santoshananda and Brother Nakulananda took place in May. The classes and Kriya Yoga initiation were conducted in the Centrepoint Convention Centre.

 

 

1998

The Monastic Visit by Brother Ramananda and Brahmachari Terry (now Brother Ritananda). Again, the classes and services were held in in the Centrepoint Convention Centre.

We commenced very successful silent retreats at Hartzer Park, Burradoo in spring and autumn.

 

2001

The Monastic Visit by Brother Satyananda and Brahmachari Anthony took place in April.

 

2004

Sydney SRFWe moved to our current place at Cooper Street at Surry Hills. The first service at our new chapel was held on March 4.

 

 

 

 

 

2005

Brother DevanandaThe Monastic Visit by Brother Devananda and Brahmachari Lynn (our contact at Centre Department for many years).

 

 

SRF monastic visit 2005

 

2007

Brother VijayanandaThe first Center Department Visit to Australia by Brother Vijayananda and Brahmachari Rich. Visit was devoted to enhancing divine fellowship between devotees.

 

SRF monastic visit 2005

 

2008

Sydney SRF GroupOur centre is steadily growing in numbers. 60 devotees attended the special service celebrating Paramahansa Yogananda's birthday in January and 55 devotees participated in the Krishna commemorative service in August.

Our Sunday School and Teen Group are in operation, helping to serve the spiritual needs of our interested youth.

 

2009

Brother SatayanandaThe Monastic Visit by Brother Satyananda and Brahmachari David (now Brother Jitananda) took place in April.

 

 

 

SRF monastic visit 2009

 

2016

The Monastic Visit by Brother Naradananda and Brother Jitananda took place in November.

Picture Gallery