NEWS & EVENTS
India’s Prime Minister Releases Stamp Commemorating YSS Centennial
March 9, 2017
YSS commemorative stamp The Prime Minister of India, the Honorable Sri Narendra Modi, paid tribute to the lifework of Paramahansa Yogananda during a special ceremony in New Delhi on March 7, 2017.
The occasion was the release of a postage stamp by the Government of India commemorating the 100th anniversary of Yogoda Satsanga Society (YSS—the name by which Paramahansa Yogananda’s work is known in India). The date was chosen to honor the anniversary of Paramahansaji’s mahasamadhi, which took place on March 7, 1952.
Yogoda Satsanga Society of India had its beginning in a small ashram and boys’ school founded by Paramahansa Yogananda in Dihika, India, in March 1917. Today YSS has some 200 meditation centers and groups throughout India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
The Prime Minister unveiled the new stamp before an assemblage of more than 1,500 government officials and YSS members and admirers, in the spacious main hall of Vigyan Bhavan, the government’s convention center for official events. He then delivered an inspired address in Hindi, in which he characterized Paramahansaji as one of India’s greatest yogis and teachers—one whose life and work demonstrated for the world the tremendous value of India’s spirituality—and praised YSS for successfully maintaining the legacy and spirit of its founder in sharing India’s ancient heritage in the modern world.
Excerpts From the Speech by the Prime Minister
“Today on March 7th, we are gathered together to commemorate a special occasion,” the Prime Minister said. “And I pranam to Sri Sri [Mrinalini] Mataji, for I am told that she is joining us in this ceremony from Los Angeles....
“Much courage and conviction is required to be able to turn oneself within and to embark on [the] inner journey. Some systems of Yoga require outer strength and suppleness, whereas [the path of] Kriya Yoga is that which asks for an inner commitment, and, imparting that courage, it takes you on a journey of deciphering the mysteries of life....
“[Paramahansa Yogananda] would often say, ‘I do not want to die on a bed in a hospital. I want to die with my boots on and speaking of my Mother India.’ And that means, even as he left the shores of India to spread the message of its ancient teachings to the Western world, there must not have been one fraction of a second wherein he felt detached or separated from his dear motherland....
“Removing rigid dogma, he made spirituality so approachable and tangible that in these hundred years since he started it, his work has become a worldwide movement, a perennial resource of spiritual understanding....[He] built and systematized his organization in such a way that it continues to fulfill its mission to this day. And today while receiving and partaking of his realization, his soul-bliss, his work continues to forge ahead. I think this is one of his biggest contributions.” (Read more...)
[from SRF Website]
Blue Mountains Meditation Circle
Our growing circle completed five years of meditation in Woodford at the end of 2016.
In March 2017 we will move to a larger meditation space, with better facilities at Lawson.
Our long group meditations are held on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays from 2.00 to 4.00 pm and SRF devotees are welcome to join us.
For further information, please email us (link to: firstname.lastname@example.org )
2016 November―February 2017 Schedule
Click here for our next four-monthly schedule. There's much to look forward to. You'll see our regular Sunday morning meditation and Readings Service is going ahead as usual on Christmas Day.
We currently lease our premises, paying $740 a week in rent, on a month by month lease. The owners have lodged a development application to convert the premises into apartments. It seems likely there will be some time before we are given any notice to move.
However, recent information from the real estate agents is that a similar area of space in the vicinity will likely cost three times the rent we are currently paying.
We will keep you abreast of developments.
All-day Christmas Meditation
Time: Saturday 17 December, 10 am – 5 pm. Mother Center have sent instructions for those attending this special occasion.
Christmas Charity Hamper
Colourful boxes are available at our Centre for you to place your donations of gift items, food or money. For more details see Charity Hamper 2016.
AGM and Elections
Time: Sunday 4 December after the Readings Service. We will start with a pot-luck lunch.
The election will be for Sunday School personnel, Service Readers and New Premises Building Fund Trustee Members (Trustees—term of 3 years.)
Please note that Mother Centre is introducing a new way of coordinating the centre activities with the formation of a Coordination Committee consisting of three Coordinators. These roles will be appointed directly by Centre Department.
~ All are welcome to attend ~
‘God talks with Arjuna’ Study Group
A Bhagavad Gita – God Talks with Arjuna study group is held at our Centre on the third Friday of each month, from 2 – 4 pm (next one will be on 15 July). All are welcome to join in.
Please email us back if you may be interested and we can forward you the information about it. Mother Centre have given us guidelines for conducting the study group, so the format follows their suggestions.
We would like to share with you some delightful news. We had a visitor at our Centre recently during one of our Thursday services. The visitor turned out to be the niece of our Beloved former president, Sri Daya Mata. Terry and her husband were here to attend the wedding of their son to an Australian girl and they were leaving Sydney after a day or so.
New Website Format
Our website, www.srfsydney.org.au, has been redesigned, so it formats and displays properly on mobile devices, such as smart phones―which is what many younger people only use these days.
Peace and Harmony Weekend, 15 – 18 September
Each year the International Day of Peace is observed worldwide on 21 September. Our Thursday, Friday and Sunday services from 15 – 18 September will have the theme of ‘World Peace’ and we will have an extra meditation service on Saturday 17 Sept. Full details will be sent out nearer the time.
MONASTIC VISIT 11–13 November 2016
In November 2016, Self-Realization Fellowship monastics will be conducting a spiritual weekend program in Sydney, including a Kriya Ceremony, public lectures, meditations and satsangs. More...
Day of Yoga - 21st June
Each year, the International Day of Yoga falls on the 21st of June. We will hold a Meditation Service to celebrate International Day of Yoga next Tuesday, 21 June, at 7.00 pm at Sydney Centre.
The service will finish at 8.15 pm.
Hope you can join us or tune in with the meditation.
SRF Center Department visit to Sydney 1-4 October 2015
We are blessed with SRF Center Department visit to Sydney from 1-4 October this year. Brother Prafullananda and Bramachari Jason will be visiting Sydney Centre after their visit to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Brisbane and Cairns. Br. Jason will continue on to pay a short visit to the Melbourne group after completing the visit to Sydney.
The events will be targetted more towards regulars at the Centre, it being a Center Department visit where the main focus will be on helping and supporting our Centre. There will be no public lectures or Kriya ceremony. (A full Monastic Visit for all including the public will be happening in November 2016 - more information will be forthcoming later).
None of the activities for this October visit will be suitable for children, except for the picnic at the Botanic Gardens on Friday October 2nd. All the events except for the picnic will take place at the Centre. The program has been emailed to all on our email list - a copy will be displayed on the noticeboard.
"Awake" - Movie about the life of Yogananda
For further information, please check the movie website: http://www.awaketheyoganandamovie.com/the_film
Perth Monastic Visit, Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2014
Self-Realization Fellowship monastics will be holding a weekend of events, including a Kriya Ceremony.
'God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita' placed in NSW Parliamentary Library
The NSW Parliamentary Library caters to the information needs of Members of Parliament. Several months ago, through the actions of some leaders from the Hindu community, a motion was passed in the NSW Parliament to place copies of The Bhagavad Gita in the NSW Parliamentary Library.
Due to the aspirations of some our devotees, a copy of Master's 'God talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita' was one of the books added to the Parliamentary Library at a presentation ceremony in Sydney in August, 2013. Part of the ceremony can be viewed at: YouTube
Blue Mountains Meditation Circle
A few of our SRF members living in the Blue Mountains have started a Meditation Circle so that they can share in the joys of long group meditations close to home. Ten devotees attended the inaugural meditation on January 28.
They meet every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month, 2 – 4 pm, in Woodford in small room nestled in the trees. SRF devotees are welcome to join them for meditation.
For further information please email us.
SRF Sydney Centre Stall at the Ganesh Visarjan Festival – Sunday 4th September, 2011.
Several thousand people attended this day, described by Hindus as ‘the most popular, colourful and divine event of the year’. Held by the Sri Venkateswara Temple at Helensburgh near Wollongong, the festival was celebrated with poojas, stalls, cultural programs, food, and children’s activities, culminating with a drumming and singing procession to Stanwell Park Beach, where the final immersion of Ganesha’s image in the sea took place at 3 pm.
Six members of Sydney Centre ran a stall at the festival with a great display of SRF books, CDs and DVDs, and information on SRF and our Centre. Here is a report by Satya....
“The day went off very well and we had quite a few inquiries beside the actual book sales. We were quite surprised at the number of people who already had read Autobiography of a Yogi. Many said that they already owned a copy. One gentleman showed us some chapters on his iPhone. We also met a couple of disciples who were YSS (the Indian branch of SRF) members in India.”
Brahmachari David now Brother Jitananda
Brahmachari David who grew up in South Australia is the first Australian born SRF monastic to take sannyas vows. Brahmachari David will now be known as Brother Jitananda.
Many will remember Brahmachari David from the monastic visit in April 2009. At that time he related to us a very interesting story of how he had first read "Autobiography of a Yogi"; how he went to India to become a monastic of Yogoda Satsanga Society (the Indian branch of SRF); and how he had to leave India due to visa requirements; he then received a timely chance to go to Mother Center in Mount Washington, LA to continue his monastic training under SRF.
Congratulations Brother Jitananda. Our love and prayers are with you.
SRF Silent Meditation Retreat at Hartzer Park, Bowral, NSW
— April 2010
RETREATS 2009 Photos
A selection of photos from our 2 Silent Retreats held in 2009 at Hartzer Park, Burradoo, a most scenic and peaceful setting, very conducive to spiritual nourishment. We have a theme for each retreat, the last one being "Surrender" -- we have included some of the quotes from that weekend. Retreat 2009 Gallery
CHRISTMAS 2009 Photos
Some happy pics from our Christmas Social which began with a meditation, followed by fun in the water and a delicious potluck vegetarian feast. Santa dropped in with a few wise words and lots of presents. We then had a lot of fun posing for Daya Mata's birthday card, and a wonderful day of fun and fellowship was rounded off with devotional music kindly provided by George on an unusual Indian instrument that he bought in America!
Interview with Brother Satyananda
Brother Satyananda, SRF International Headquarters, was interviewed by Rachel Kohn when he visited Australia in April 09. The interview was broadcast on ABC Radio National's "The Spirit of Things" program on 8 November 2009. The interview featured Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn for the first 29 minutes; Brother Satyananda's portion of the program begins approximately 29 minutes from the beginning of the recording. You can listen to the interview at the ABC website (link).
On November 8, SRF minister Brother Satyananda was heard throughout Australia in a nationwide radio broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, speaking in an interview on "The Spirit of Things," one of Australia's most respected radio programs focusing on spirituality and religion.
The interview was conducted by radio host Dr. Rachael Kohn during the six-day International Ayurveda and Yoga Conference in Sydney earlier this year. In this episode of the show, entitled "Meditation: Falling Awake," Brother Satyananda explains how the science of yoga brings about the experience of true happiness, or God. He also gives a practical method by which anyone can increase their life energy (prana) when experiencing fatigue, speaks of the metaphysical basis of healing prayer, and discusses many other spiritual topics.
“We all come from God. Once we were strangers, but when we love God we become brothers and sisters. That divine relationship is the strongest of bonds; it holds now and in the hereafter.”
— Paramahansa Yogananda