About Paramahansa Yogananda

Born in India in 1893, Paramahansa Yogananda has come to be recognized as one of the preeminent spiritual figures of our time. Through his universal teachings and the example of his life, he contributed in far-reaching ways to an acceptance and understanding in the West of the spiritual wisdom of India. Often referred to as the “Father of Yoga in the West,” his Autobiography of a Yogi is widely regarded as a modern-day spiritual classic.


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About Self-Realization Fellowship

Paramahansa Yogananda founded Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) in 1920 to disseminate his teachings worldwide and to preserve their purity and integrity for generations to come.

The society is dedicated to carrying on Paramahansa Yogananda’s spiritual and humanitarian work – fostering a spirit of greater harmony and goodwill among those of all races, cultures, and creeds; and introducing to truth-seekers all over the world his teachings on the ancient science of Yoga and its time-honored methods of meditation.


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About Encinitas Temple

Shortly after Paramahansa Yogananda received the gift of the Encinitas Hermitage from one of his closest disciples, Rajarsi Janakananda, he began plans for the construction of the Golden Lotus Temple, which he dedicated on January 2, 1938. The temple was designed by Paramahansaji himself with the intention of revealing as much as possible the panorama of nature’s beauty. Magnificent views of sea and sky were afforded by the four-story glass observation tower and immense windows overlooking the Pacific Ocean, which was visible directly behind the low altar. During the next four years, thousands attended the Thursday and Sunday services conducted by the Guru at this site (in the present-day Meditation Gardens).


In 1942 the erosion of the shoreline caused the Golden Lotus Temple to become unstable, and it subsequently had to be removed. Through the ensuing decades SRF services have been held at various locations in Encinitas. Since 1977, Encinitas Temple services have been held at its present site of 939 Second Street in Encinitas. In 2012 the auxiliary J Street Chapel opened at 1105 Second Street to accommodate the growing number of people interested in Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings.



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Volunteer Opportunities

“Life should be chiefly service. Without this ideal, the intelligence that God has given you is not reaching out toward its goal. When in service you forget the little self, you will feel the big Self of Spirit.”

–- Paramahansa Yogananda

Areas of service include arranging flowers for the altars, gardening, cleaning the Temple and J Street Chapel, ushering, serving in the Bookroom or as a Chapel Attendant, assisting and teaching in the Sunday School, and helping with special events.

An easy way to get involved is to come to Day of Service (usually held on the third Saturday of the month). It starts at 8:30 am with a half-hour meditation led by the minister in the main Temple. We meet on the patio at 9:00 am to break into work groups for cleaning, maintenance and gardening at the Temple and J Street Chapel. At 11:40 a.m. we have another meditation with the minister before enjoying a delicious vegetarian lunch at noon. This is a great way to make new friends while serving at our Temple.

If you want to join one of our volunteer committees, please fill out this online Volunteer Form listing the many areas of service.