Updated: Mar 08, 2022
There are numerous factors that contribute to centers for ashram in San Diego being the ideal location for a relaxing getaway where you can take in all that nature has to offer while surrounded by a warm and welcoming community. However, one of the most remarkable aspects of this location is the thriving yoga tradition that surrounds the nearby town and its history.
There are numerous factors that contribute to centers for ashram, San Diego being the ideal location for a relaxing getaway where you can take in all that nature has to offer while surrounded by a warm and welcoming community. However, one of the most remarkable aspects of this location is the thriving yoga tradition that surrounds the nearby town and its history.
Swami Vivekananda, a chief disciple of the Indian mystic Ramakrishna, introduced the concept of yoga to the United States in 1893, when he delivered a presentation at the World Parliament of Religions on the concept of body, spirit, and mind that left a profound impression on the religious leaders in attendance. Years later, his guru chose Paramahansa Yogananda to speak at the International Congress of Religious Liberals in an effort to spread the message of Kriya Yoga in America.
Now, yoga and meditation have spread rapidly throughout the world and amassed a large following. If you are a yoga enthusiast, you are probably already aware of the Self Realization Fellowship in Swami's Beach and how it became a launching pad for bringing the yoga tradition to America. Its history is quite fascinating, as is its founder, the Indian guru Paramahansa Yogananda.
Born in Gorakhpur, British India, in 1893 as a chief disciple of the Bengali guru Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, he first came to the United States in 1920 with the mission of bringing yoga teachings to the West and preaching the unity of Eastern and Western religions. He founded the Self Realization Fellowship in order to spread his teachings throughout the world. He lectured on the East Coast for several years and then embarked on a cross-continental speaking tour. Yogananda was the first Hindu guru to spend the majority of his life in America, from 1920 to 1952, with the exception of one year spent in India. Throughout his early years in America, he was monitored by the FBI and British authorities, who maintained a confidential file on him out of concern for his religious and moral practices.
Yogananda reunited with his American disciples in late 1936 and continued lecturing, writing, and growing the Self-Realization Fellowship by establishing temples throughout Southern California. He established a hermitage in Encinitas, where he wrote his eponymous Autobiography of a Yogi. His other works include Christ's Second Coming: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You and God Speaks to Arjuna—The Bhagavad Gita.
He spent the final four years of his life primarily in solitude at his desert ashram in Twentynine Palms, California, where he completed his writings. He died of heart failure in 1952, and it is rumored that his body remained untouched by decay for nearly 20 days, from his death on March 7 to the 27th, when a bronze cover was placed on his casket.
Kriya Yoga is an ancient spiritual practice that serves as the foundation for Yogananda's teachings. Simply put, it is the yoga of action. It is divided into several levels and is based on techniques for accelerating spiritual evolution and inducing a profound state of tranquillity and communion with God.
He founded the Self Realization Fellowship, a global spiritual organization, in 1920. It now has over 500 temples, ashrams, retreat centers, and meditation circles worldwide, including seven in California. However, the most significant is in Encinitas, at Swami's Beach. This is a watershed moment in the organization's and Yogananda's teachings' development in America.
During his early years in America, he traveled extensively along the California coast in search of a small plot of land suitable for establishing a seaside ashram. This is when he fell in love with what is now known as Swami's Beach in Encinitas. During Yogananda's visit to India, his disciple Rajarsi Janakananda begins construction of the Self-Realization Fellowship hermitage, which he moves into upon his return to the United States in 1936.
The Self-Realization Fellowship owns approximately 13 acres with ocean views. The temple, inspired by Yogananda's designs, featured four towers crowned with gold-plated copper lotuses, similar to what can be seen today at the property's front. Additionally, the temple featured a four-story glass tower, a rooftop meditation deck, and an altar adorned with statues of religious figures from around the world. Although it was originally named Noonan's Point, surfers renamed it Swami's Beach in honor of the Kriya yoga guru following the construction of the hermitage. The property now includes an ashram and a retreat center, as well as the main temple and a nearby overflow temple.
California is comparable to a mecca for meditation and spirituality. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that the state is home to numerous beautiful meditation centers. Simply strolling through San Diego's sunny streets will reveal people meditating and reconnecting with themselves and the surrounding natural beauty.