January 16, 2021
We would like to share that in late December, Swami Achalananda Giri, revered vice president of Self-Realization Fellowship, requested the SRF Board of Directors to allow him to step back from his role as a member of the Board and as vice president of the organization, owing to his advanced age. (He will be 95 later this year!)
YSS/SRF President Swami Chidanandaji lovingly accepted Swami Achalananda’s request and assured him that his long years of dedicated and loyal service to Paramahansa Yoganandaji’s worldwide work had earned him a place of great honour and gratitude in the hearts of all his fellow disciples; and that we all hope he will enjoy further blessed years without the responsibilities incumbent on a member of the Board of Directors. It was agreed that a public announcement would be made after the holidays, along with information about who would succeed Swami Achalananda in this important position, which has now been determined.
On January 12, 2021, the SRF Board of Directors unanimously voted to elect Swami Vishwananda Giri as vice president of Self-Realization Fellowship, effective immediately.
Swami Achalananda, a senior sannyasi of SRF, was asked by Sri Sri Daya Mata to become a member of the SRF Board of Directors in 2001. He also served on the Board of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (YSS) for some years. During his two decades as a Board member, Swami Achalananda’s wisdom and long years of experience as a Kriya Yogi and monastic disciple of our Guru enabled him to give tremendous, tireless support to three successive presidents of YSS/SRF. After Daya Mataji’s passing in 2010, he was elected vice president to fill the position vacated by the former vice president, Sri Sri Mrinalini Mata, who had then become the fourth president of YSS/SRF.
Swami Vishwananda was also chosen for the SRF Board of Directors by Sri Daya Mataji, beginning in 1996. Additionally, for many years he has served on the YSS Board. Since 2016 he has served as the SRF treasurer, as well as fulfilling a wide range of vital responsibilities for Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India in the United States, India, and around the world. In addition to his new duty as vice president, Swami Vishwananda will continue to serve as the treasurer of SRF and to carry on his many other services to Paramahansa Yogananda’s SRF/YSS organization.
Swami Chidanandaji expressed his love, esteem, and profound gratitude to both of these dear monks, saying:
“Swami Achalananda has been an inspiration and revered ‘elder brother’ to me and all of the monks of SRF and YSS whose lives he has enriched for many years. His decades of deep Kriya Yoga meditation combined with tireless, intelligent service have been an example and a joy to me and to countless others – both in our Guru’s ashrams and to the thousands of SRF and YSS devotees he has personally served in our temples and meditation centres [dhyana kendras and mandalis] around the world. I offer him my loving pranams in deepest respect and thanks, and my heartfelt wishes for continuously deeper bliss and God-communion in the years ahead.
“I am delighted and grateful that Swami Vishwananda has humbly agreed to take on the spiritual and organizational responsibilities of vice president at this time. He has been a pillar in Paramahansa Yoganandaji’s work in India and in the West for many years – deeply respected by devotees worldwide – having absorbed the spirit of serviceful discipleship and deep inner devotion to God through his lifelong commitment to our Guru’s Kriya Yoga path and his decades of blessed association with our beloved Sri Daya Mataji, Ananda Mataji, Mrinalini Mataji, and other exalted disciples. He has been an invaluable divine friend and support to me, and I am more thankful than words can express that this will continue as he takes on his additional responsibilities as vice president.”
In light of the above, the SRF Board of Directors will now consist of Swami Chidananda Giri, Swami Vishwananda Giri, Preeti Mai, Shovana Mai, Bhakti Mai, and Swami Saralananda Giri.