Chapter 1 – The Beginning

In Spring 2005, after the Paramhansa Yogananda Mahasamadhi celebration in India, I journeyed to Rishikesh with Sraddha (my spouse) where we visited the Kriya Yoga Ashram of Swami Shankarananda. She had been there the previous Fall on spiritual pilgrimage and discovered these incredible life size marble statues of the Ananda line of Gurus.
RishikeshStatueslarger
Later that spring, Sraddha and Durga and Vidura Smallen (who now run the Ananda Meditation Retreat) traveled South with Swami Shankarananda, from Delhi to Jaipur, where they met with the artist who had carved the original statues. As a result, we commissioned the artist to carve a set of statues for Ananda Village. We wanted two sizes: life size and about 24 inches tall.
planning-jesus-yogananda-other-masters-statues_1
Since we already have life size statues here of Babaji and Lahiri from other sources, they agreed to carve life size statues of Sri Yukteswar and Paramhansa Yogananda as well as 24 inch statues of Babaji, Lahiri, Sri Yukteswar and Paramhansa Yogananda.
lahri-statue-Shrine
These statues were being carved from pure white marble and now reside in Ananda Village. We already have a beautiful mandir devoted to Lahiri Mahasaya and a garden mandir with a statue of Babaji at the Crystal Hermitage.
babaji-statue-rough-cut