YOGANANDA SITE: This page gives background and includes an Index (see bottom of page) to answers provided by Self-Realization Fellowship to SRF members in a letter in 1995 concerning allegations against SRF and its leadership by Donald Walters / Kriyananda and Ananda. Because these allegations, and more, remain in books and on internet websites and are still causing confusion, it was felt by some SRF lay devotees that the SRF letter should be made available to Paramahansa Yogananda devotees who are seeking truth in these matters today.
Yogananda Site holds goodwill toward all devotees sincerely seeking to follow Paramahansa Yogananda through any chosen path, including Ananda, and hopes that the facts provided here will lead to greater peace and harmony among all truth-loving souls.
J. Donald Walters’ initiation as Brother Kriyananda, 1955
from page 1 of an SRF Letter to Members, 1995 (Answering Allegations)
Since his mahasamadhi in 1952, Paramahansa Yogananda’s work of Self-Realization Fellowship—the society he founded in America to carry on his worldwide mission—has continued to grow and to bring his universal message to truth-seekers all over the world. In 75 years of service there have been many milestones, as well as the inevitable challenges that come with every worthwhile endeavor.
During Paramahansaji’s lifetime, when incidents occurred that had the potential for creating confusion and inharmony, he would do his utmost to bring forth the highest and the best in everyone involved, while continuing to move forward with confidence. In all circumstances, he had full faith that truth and harmony would prevail in the end—and he kept his gaze focused on that. That was his way, and he encouraged all of us in SRF to do likewise.
In that spirit, we want to discuss with you “An Open Letter from Ananda Church of Self-Realization, September 30, 1995.” Copies of the document, which contains many misstatements and unfounded allegations about the honesty and integrity of Self-Realization Fellowship and its leaders—have been widely distributed, not only at SRF temples, but in other public places. In the interest of truth we feel we have a responsibility to present the facts as we know them, and it is our hope that the misunderstanding evident in Ananda’s letter will be ultimately resolved.
Ananda is an organization founded in 1969 by J. Donald Walters [Kriyananda] in northern California. A former monk of Self-Realization Fellowship, Mr. Walters joined the SRF monastic order in the fall of 1948, and was given the final vows of sannyas in 1955 by Sri Daya Mata…He served as Vice-President of Self-Realization Fellowship from 1960 until 1962, at which time the SRF Board of Directors (composed of close disciples personally trained by Paramahansaji and appointed to the Board by him) voted unanimously to request his resignation.*
Over the years, Mr. Walters has expressed his opinion about SRF and its leaders through letters and other writings. In the past five years, this letter writing campaign has escalated and has become increasingly derogatory and inflammatory in nature. At least a dozen open letters written by Mr. Walters and other Ananda leaders, have been distributed to Ananda members as well as (unsolicited) to members of Self-Realization Fellowship. The open letter referred to above is the latest in this series.
* Footnote: Paramahansa Yogananda listed in writing the disciples he wished to serve on the Board of Directors after his lifetime. He directed the Board to choose, as needed, additional members not specifically named by him. Mr. Walters was not appointed to the Board by Paramahansa Yogananda himself but was elected by the other board members after the passing of Dr. M. W. Lewis in 1960.
ANSWERING INDEX ~~ Click on separate sections of the SRF Letter to Members, 1995 (Answering Allegations) listed below, including answers to various separate allegations against SRF. Please see the original letter itself for COMPLETE answers to the various allegations: (list in progress)~~
p. 4 Ananda’s accusations against SRF (general categories)
p. 17 Toward harmony and Truth
p. 18 “…a Divine Purpose”