The Windmill Chapel at Lake Shrine ~ Stories

VIDEO: Restoring Paramahansa Yogananda’s Windmill Chapel at the SRF Lake Shrine~BEAUTIFUL


Read history and see restoration photos here ~~ Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine: Reopening of the Windmill Chapel


“One of the most poignant moments in the Windmill Chapel’s history was the Guru’s ‘Last Supper’ with a group of monks on March 6, 1952, the day before he left his body (see below).

 Master, disciples Lake-Shrine-Windmill-Chapel-Reopening-6

On that occasion he played the organ and chanted “Light the Lamp of Thy Love” for more than an hour. In the words of a monk who accompanied Paramahansaji that day: “Master sat before the organ and played several of his chants and other Indian music….Our hearts were filled with rapture. A real devotee of God was singing to the Divine Mother, and we felt his love and devotion and the bliss flowing from his hallowed temple….His eyes were radiant with joy.'”

 Master, organ Lake-Shrine-Windmill-Chapel-Reopening-5

 A Little Restoration Story

..One of the monks was shopping for a CNC (computer numeric control) router- a sophisticated (and expensive) device that makes precise woodcuts with extraordinary speed-in hopes of being able to use it to replicate much of the Windmill Chapel’s intricate but worn and decayed woodwork. However, several attempts to locate a model within SRF’s price range were unsuccessful. Finally, he called a company in Boston, identifying himself only by first name and stating his company name merely as “SRF.” The owner answered the phone, and in the course of their conversation said,  “You are Self-Realization Fellowship-you teach meditation, correct? I read Autobigraphy of a Yogi only three weeks ago… Since you are nonprofit, would you mind if I gave you a 45% discount?”

“That discount made the purchase possible,” the monk said. “The CNC router was critical in enabling our small team of carpenters to carry out this large project in a timely fashion and to accurately and efficiently reproduce the wooden elements. The alternative would have been to purchase less expensive equipment that would have enabled us to do the same work, but not nearly with the same degree of speed or safety.”



Windmill Chapel before renovation seen from the Lotus Arch and the Gandhi World Peace Memorial


Photo taken in August, 2000

Pat's August 2016

Windmill Chapel August 2016

renovated windmill chapel inside

Renovated interior chapel



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