Leadership of the Society

Paramahansa Yogananda

From its founding in 1917 until shortly before Paramahansa Yogananda's mahasamadhi in 1952, all of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India/Self-Realization Fellowship’s activities and organisational matters were personally directed by Paramahansa Yogananda himself. Thereafter, the leadership of his work passed to Sri Sri Rajarsi Janakananda, a close disciple of Paramahansaji's chosen by him to serve as president of YSS/SRF, a position he held from 1952 until his passing three years later.

Sri Sri Daya Mata was the third president and spiritual head of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India/Self-Realization Fellowship. She was personally trained by Yoganandaji for more than twenty years, and became president and spiritual head of YSS/SRF after Rajarsi Janakananda’s passing in 1955 — a position she held until her passing in 2010.

Sri Sri Mrinalini Mata succeeded Sri Daya Mata as Sanghamata and President of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India/Self-Realization Fellowship. She too was personally chosen and trained by Paramahansa Yogananda to help guide the work after his passing, and played many important leadership roles during her seven decades as an SRF monastic disciple. Sri Mrinalini Mata served as Sanghamata and President of  YSS/SRF from 2011 until her passing in August 2017.

Paramahansa Yogananda

Swami Chidananda Giri is the current president and spiritual head of YSS/SRF, and has been a monk of Self-Realization Fellowship for forty years. Almost from the start of his monastic life, he worked closely with Sri Mrinalini Mata assisting her in the editing and publishing of the works of Paramahansa Yogananda and other SRF publications. He was appointed a member of the YSS and SRF Boards of Directors by Sri Daya Mata in 2009, and has also served for many years as a member of the management committee that oversees SRF’s myriad activities and operations under the guidance of the president.

As president, Swami Chidanandaji is assisted by a Board of Directors, which includes other monastics who have been trained by direct disciples of Paramahansaji.

Dozens of direct disciples who had benefited from personal association with Yoganandaji lived out their lives in YSS/SRF ashrams in the decades following his passing, loyally serving his organization and supporting the leadership he had appointed. Read their stories.

All of the members of the Board of Directors are members of our monastic order, who have taken final, lifelong vows of renunciation. They and the other monks and nuns in YSS/SRF ashrams have devoted their lives fully to the mission begun by Paramahansa Yogananda.

Under the direction of the President and Board of Directors, monks and nuns of the YSS/SRF Order serve in many capacities in the society's ashram centres; travel to conduct lectures and classes and to lead retreats; and provide spiritual counsel and guidance — by phone, letter, and in person — to students of the Yogoda Satsanga teachings.

Many dedicated YSS/SRF lay members also serve Paramahansa Yogananda’s worldwide work in indispensable ways—working with the monastics at the International Headquarters and other YSS/SRF ashram centres, and carrying many responsibilities in the ashrams and meditation centres around the world.