Yogananda Birthday Events in January
Sunday, January 1: Yogananda Birthday Cake Social
After services on Sunday, January 1, there will be a brief Birthday Cake Social for Master. The Sunday School children will perform in a talent show as their birthday gift to Master.
Thursday, January 5: Yogananda Birthday Commemoration Service
On Thursday evening, January 5th, there will be a Birthday Commemoration Service for our Guru at 8:00 pm. The chapel will be open at 7:30. Please bring a flower offering as a symbol of devotion to God and Master, and do not smell the flower but save its fragrance as part of the gift meant for God. Please also bring a donation in a sealed envelope as a symbol of loyalty and faithfulness to the cause of SRF. Your donation will be used for sharing the sacred teachings of Self-Realization Fellowship with other truth seekers.
Saturday, January 7th: Yogananda Birthday Commemoration Service
On Saturday, January 7th, there will be an All-Day Meditation commemorating the birth of Yoganandaji from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. This meditation is held each year at SRF temples, centers, meditation groups, and ashrams. Please bring pranami (a devotional offering of fruit or fruits). The fruit symbolizes the devotee’s reverence and devotion for the Guru. There will be an intermission about halfway through the meditation at 1:30 p.m. If you are not able to remain for the entire Meditation Service, you should attend the first half only, in order not to disturb the peace of those who have already passed several hours in deep meditation.
Beginners sometimes feel that a meditation of several hours would be impossible for them. But often new members attending an All-Day Meditation later testify that the hours passed like minutes. The power of the group’s sincerity and devotional effort, and the blessings of God, create an inner calm that helps each one to overcome restlessness and feel the presence of God and Master. In fact, many devotees later realize that a great spiritual change has taken place in their lives as a result of that one day of continuous divine communion. So we hope you will plan to attend the All-Day meditation honoring our beloved Guruji and join in the custom of setting aside this one day each year solely to commune with God and Master.
We encourage everyone to attend but we ask that all adhere to the specific attendance guidelines, which are different from the regular weekly Saturday meditations.
• The meditation will be from 10am to 5pm. There will be a twenty minute intermission at 1:30 pm.
• Please plan to come early. After 10 am, no one will be permitted to enter the chapel once the meditation has begun.Please plan to stay until the intermission at 1:30 p.m. Anyone who cannot stay for the entire service may leave at the intermission at 1:30.
• No one should come for the second half who has not already attended the first period of meditation, in order not to disturb the peace of those who have already passed several hours in deep meditation. Devotees who are only free during the second half of the day should meditate at home and tune in mentally with the group rather than attend the service. Your earnest efforts will not fail to attract the blessings and divine aid of God, Christ, and Gurus.
How to Prepare
• Eat lightly (or not at all, if you prefer) before coming to the meditation. Do not bring food of any kind to the meditation except the fruit offering.
• Keep silence before the meditation.
• Practice the Energization Exercises before the meditation.
• It is good to arrive a little early if you can, so that you will have time to become comfortably settled and calm before the meditation begins.
• Come in a devotional mood. Make a special effort to put aside all thoughts of the outside world
for this one day, and strive to keep your whole heart and mind occupied with God alone.
• If you have a cough or cold, you should meditate at home, rather than attend the all-day service. In fairness to others, you would not want to disturb them by coughing,
What to Bring
• Bring fruit pranami as a devotional offering.
• Dress warmly and comfortably, so you will be able to forget about the body. You may wish to
bring a shawl, or a small cushion to sit on.
• You may bring a meditation armrest, if you wish to practice the Aum Meditation Technique during
- Please depart in complete silence, holding on to the experience of God’s presence you have attained during meditation.
- Traditionally a fruit you brought as devotional offering should be the first food taken to break the fast you kept during the day of meditation. You can eat your fruit in the chapel or take it home.