A Dream of a Temple in India Fulfilled
Central building of the Yogoda Sat-Sanga Brahmacharya Vidyalaya at Ranchi, Bihar, established by Yogananda in 1918 as a yoga school for boys, with grammar and high school education.
Bangalore, India, Nov. 15, 1935.
Hail, dear students of America! With your help and with the help of India and of Maharaja Coomar of Kasimbazar, and the cooperation of my beloved earthly father, my dream of nineteen years has been realized.
The extensive, and one of the most beautiful orchards of India, and Kasimbazar Palace at Ranchi have been acquired as the India Headquarters of Self-Realization Fellowship (Yogoda Sat-Sanga) and will be known as the "Shyama Charan Lahiri Mahasaya Mission."
This Headquarters will be so named in India to commemorate in deep gratefulness the memory of our great Guru-Preceptor, Shyama Charan Lahiri Mahasaya, who has given to the world the greatest easy-technique of salvation and who has actually been the saviour of countless souls.
Shyama Charan Lahiri Mahasaya Mission in India will have two departments—the Self-Realization Fellowship Headquarters and its activities and the Brahmacharya Vidyalaya (School of Self-Discipline) for boys.
The climate of Ranchi is one of the finest in India, very much like that of Los Angeles, California. It is 2,000 feet above sea level. This is an ideal place for American student-visitors and those American and Hindu students who want to give their lives to the training of boys and the training of their own souls in an atmosphere of renunciation, service, and high spirituality. This place has a wonderful bathing pond adjoining it and about 300 mango, 500 guava trees, and fruits of many other varieties. It is one of the finest orchards in India and is situated not far distant from the Ranchi railway station. New students from seven to twelve years of age may apply for regular school training along with a thorough spiritual training.
A group of Ranchi students and teachers pose with the venerable Maharaja of Kasimbazar (at center, in white).
I would like a few selfless American students, well-versed in English and in organization work and dietary laws, to come here at their own expense and teach English to the students, and at the same time improve themselves in the spiritual atmosphere of India.
This Ranchi Kasimbazar Palace School is better than any temple which I could create in America, for this was the first site I chose in India and was on the verge of disintegration when I arrived.
Nineteen years ago the benevolent Maharaja of Kasimbazar helped me to establish this Ranchi institution, and now his most understanding son, the wonderful students of America, and my earthly father, have helped me to make this Ranchi Temple a permanent one.
The Eastern Headquarters of The Self-Realization Fellowship (Yogoda Sat-Sanga) will be like the Western Headquarters of Self-Realization Fellowship at Los Angeles—a mecca for all the spiritually-hungry people of the world to come to and commune with the Cosmic Being.
The greatest credit here belongs to the selfless souls—Swami Satyananda, and Lahiri Mahasaya’s grandson, Ananda Mohun Lahiri, Sasi Babu, Bijoy Babu, and Pundit Mahasaya, and acharyas (the interested inhabitants of Ranchi) and ex-students of Ranchi Vidyalaya, for saving the Ranchi institution from extinction. I am very grateful to them all on this account.