Our Spiritual Lineage


The first thing you notice when you enter our Ananda Meditation Center is an altar with five photographs and paintings of the gurus who form Ananda’s spiritual lineage.


Paramhansa YoganandaParamhansa Yogananda
1893 – 1952

Yogananda was the first great master of yoga to make his home in the West, coming to the U.S. from India in 1920 and living here until his passing.



Swami KriyanandaSwami Kriyananda
1926 – 2013

Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters) is the founder of Ananda. He was one of the foremost proponents of yogic teachings in the world today. In 1948, at the age of 22, he became a disciple of the Indian yoga master, Paramhansa Yogananda. He was one of a few remaining direct disciples of Yogananda active in recent years.



Swami Sri Yukteswar
1855 – 1936

Paramhansa Yogananda was trained for his mission in the West by his Guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar of Serampore, India.




Lahiri Mahasaya
1828 – 1895

Shyama Charan Lahiri was the birth name of the great yoga master. His disciples lovingly added “Mahasaya,” which means “great-minded one.” Born in Bengal, India, to a pious brahmin family, Lahiri Mahasaya was the one who made the ancient science of Kriya Yoga available not just to those who had renounced the world, but to all sincere souls.


Mahavatar Babaji

Babaji simply means “revered father.” Though the great master’s birth name and date are unknown, his subtle spiritual influence is felt throughout the world. It was he who re-introduced the ancient science of Kriya Yoga, which had been lost through the dark ages due to “priestly secrecy and man’s indifference,” as Yogananda put it.

christ2Jesus Christ

“In the divine plan, Jesus Christ was responsible for the evolution of the West, and Krishna (later, Babaji), for that of the East. It was intended that the West specialize in developing objectively, through logic and reason, and that the East specialize in inner, intuitive development. But in the cosmic plan the time has come to combine these two lines into one. East and West must unite.”—Paramhansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi