Self-Realization Fellowship, Los Angeles, CA (Mother Center)

Self-Realization Fellowship, Los Angeles, CA (Mother Center)

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Mar 26th, 2008

The administrative center for the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) and its home, the Mother Center of the SRF is a beautiful complex on the crest of Mount Washington in Los Angeles, California. It was here in 1925 that Paramahansa Yogananda (Pahr-ah-mah-hahn-sah Yoh-gah-nahn-dah) founded the SRF. In the nearly 30 years that followed he lived and worked at this center, bringing the light of Kriya yoga to the west, as he was instructed to do by his Guru, Shri Yukteswar. His rooms here have been preserved as a shrine and there are exhibitions of his personal items in the library and in the reception hall.

The Grounds

The center includes a chapel where for years he held services. This chapel is available for prayer and meditation daily. There is also an outdoor “temple of leaves” where he would give classes which you can use for quiet meditation and prayer. This “temple of leaves” is very inviting, practically calling you to sit in its cool embrace and drift off in blissful union with the Divine.

There is an ashram here, populated by monks and nuns of the Swami order. They are the ones who perform all the administration duties of the SRF, which is an international organization that publishes and distributes worldwide the lectures, writings, and recorded talks of Paramahansa Yogananda. Here, at the Mother Center, all publishing and distribution functions for the SRF are done. Busy monks and nuns!

There are many gardens on the Center grounds for you to enjoy, several of which offer stunning panoramic views of the city below.

Daily Activities

Being primarily an administrative center, inspirational services are no longer conducted at the Mother Center, but you are encouraged to sit and meditate in the chapel, on the grounds, or in any of the public spaces the Mother Center offers. For inspirational services or yoga training you are invited to visit one of their other temples or centers worldwide, such as their temple in Encinitas, California, about 100 miles south of Los Angeles.

The Self-Realization Fellowship is based in the practice of kriya yoga, an meditation technique that focuses on the breath and the movement of energy up and down the spine, as taught by Paramahansa Yogananda. They also use several other supporting practices designed by him to condition the body and focus the mind for extended meditation practice.

Just inside the main gate is a Visitors’ Center where you can buy books and recordings. Introductory literature and information for a self guided tour are also available there.

Our Comments

The SRF Mother Center is a great destination for history buffs and those who just want a nice quiet place for meditation. A must see for anyone who has read Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, or has an interest in Kriya yoga.

Visiting Hours & Location

Visiting hours for the Mother Center are Tuesday through Saturday, 9am – 5pm, and Sunday from 1pm – 5pm. They are closed on Monday. The administrative offices are open Monday through Friday, 9am – 4:30pm. All times are Pacific Standard Time.

The Mother Center is located right in the heart of Los Angeles at 3880 San Rafael Avenue, on the crest of Mt. Washington, and is easily accessed from both the Pasadena freeway and the Glendale freeway.

Self-Realization Fellowship
The Mother Center
3880 San Rafael Avenue
Los Angeles, California
Telephone: (323) 225-2471

Photo courtesy of Self-Realization Fellowship, Los Angeles


The Self-Realization Fellowship Escondido Meditation Center is centrally located between the beautiful Escondido mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Its basically Malibu.


1840 Del Dios Road
Escondido, CA 92029
Phone: (760) 480-1161


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