Self-Realization Fellowship Blog

A Week of Spiritual Renewal Has Begun! The 2023 SRF World Convocation

July 31, 2023

2023 Convocation Opening Program Brother Chidananda

Brother Chidananda Inaugurates the 2023 Convocation

“It is such a joy to welcome all of you in the name of our revered Gurudeva Paramahansa Yogananda and our Paramgurus,” said Brother Chidananda, president and spiritual head of SRF/YSS, as he warmly greeted those present at the SRF Glendale Temple and those attending via livestream — “the vast family of all of you SRF and YSS yogi-devotees who are joining together for this 2023 World Convocation of Self-Realization Fellowship.”

Brother Chidananda’s inauguration of Convocation at the Opening Program on Sunday began with his leading of a prayer to invoke the blessings of God and the SRF/YSS Gurus; and as he started he asked that everyone feel “that all-embracing, all-enfolding presence of divine peace, divine assurance, and the joyous and very loving and affectionate presence of all of our Gurus.”

“Awaken each one of us,” he asked of the Divine at one point in the prayer, “to the full consciousness of our Spirit-nature — full of joy, full of wisdom and compassion, strength and courage, indomitable will, and above all, the supreme desire to know ourselves as Your immortal children of eternal bliss.”

Understanding the Path, and Using Empowering Strategies

The two talks by SRF monastics given on Sunday echoed this vital theme.

Sister Draupadi, who spoke following Brother Chidananda at the Opening Program, discussed different aspects of how “the essence of the spiritual path is to realize, day by day, our true nature.” To do so requires, she explained, regularity in our efforts to know the joy of the soul and seeking true understanding above all else — of what to prioritize, of our sweet relationship with God, of the unfading riches that the spiritual path can bring into our lives.

Brother Satyananda, who gave the evening talk on “Building a Personal Spiritual Fortress” from the SRF Lake Shrine Temple, dove into empowering strategies “to connect with our native divinity.” He described — and shared how to experience — using the enlightened wisdom of Paramahansa Yogananda to hold on to inner convictions of truth until we are able to see ourselves, our problems, and the world anew. “This is the science of spiritual action,” he said at one point. With practice we can learn to stabilize thoughts and emotions, so that our sense of distress when facing personal challenges can be effectively neutralized — and we can move through life from the elevated perspective of the soul.

Put Truths Into Practice Through Meditation

Sister Draupadi also pointed out at the Opening Program that the central aspect of Convocation was meditation, more so even than the inspiration of the talks, and she mentioned the many sessions of shorter and longer meditation that would be part of the week.

Each year regular morning and evening meditations have helped Convocation participants dive deeply into practicing the principles shared during the talks, and provided time for personal communion with the Divine, awakening an ever-increasing sense of spiritual renewal. We hope you can make the most of these opportunities during this program!

Sublime Three-Hour Meditation With the SRF Nuns Kirtan Group

Paramahansa Yogananda taught that devotional chanting is a form of yoga. In the prelude to his book Cosmic Chants he says: “One who sings these spiritualized songs...with true devotion will find God-communion and ecstatic joy, and through them the healing of body, mind, and soul.”

Enjoy below the chant “God of Beauty,” which was part of Monday morning’s meditation led by the SRF nuns’ kirtan group.

Making New Friends During the Convocation Fellowship Events

Have you joined the virtual fellowship rooms? You can connect live with SRF monastics and fellow yogis from around the world, meeting informally in a spirit of divine friendship.

Whether you are catching up with longtime friends from Convocations past or meeting new friends who share a similar spiritual enthusiasm, fellowships are a fun, interactive platform that brings the Convocation community together. Several more fellowship events are scheduled throughout the week.

These joy-filled opening days of Convocation are just the beginning of all this special week has to offer!

What were the highlights of the opening days of Convocation for you? What are your hopes and goals for the week of Convocation?
Please let us know in the comments!

Leave a comment

The talk Sister Draupadi gave and the Satsanga held on tuesday were the highlights of the first days in my opinion


How can I view the Convocation talks, concerning Hong-sau and AUM meditation techniques. I really enjoyed the 2023 Convocation Kirtan, Meditations, fellowship, talks , virtual tours and would like access to the meditation techniques classes I & II.
God bless & Thank you,


Thanks for that question! The technique classes are available to current or past students of the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons / Yogoda Satsanga Society of India Lessons

To enroll in the Lessons, please visit:

If you are already a Lessons student, the technique classes are available through the Convocation event platform:

Kim Obele

While I'm ever grateful to have experienced my first in person (traditional?) convocation in 2019, I'm even more grateful to SRF/YSS and all the lay disciples that have created the virtual convocation experience for everyone on the planet, should they chose to participate! My personal family is rather small, but my worldwide spiritual family overwhelms me with friendship and connection to a higher purpose. Two Convocation 2023 themes I have focused on is affirming I am an Immortal soul, and the surrender needed to understand that more deeply. Thank you, Jai Guru!

Shyamala Devi

I’m thrilled that our sibling disciples who live in distant places with different circumstances can attend this week of spiritual rejuvenation. We are blessed to have this path, our Gurus, and their little ones in & out of the Ashram who make this possible. Online convocation is another expansion of Guruji’s wall-less temple. The boundaries of time & space are forever shattered for our fellowship. May we all experience divine fellowship, love, joy, & the peace and bliss of God each day of this blessed week and beyond—so much joy. Shanti ॐ 🙏🏾❤️📿🧘🏾‍♀️🕉🦢


I have watched over these past years, at the Bonaventure Hotel, as we sink deeper into God & Guru’s boundless peace as each day passes; building to our Kriya initiation day on Friday~
And likewise, these past 3 years of being online~
But today, our very first day of the 4th online Convocation, has quite simply been an extraordinary experience of Divine Presence.
This path!
These Gurus!
Our blessed Master!!
The boundless grace of our beloved God!
How blessed we are, beyond words.
Pronams 🙏🏼🌟

Frank Patterson

Well, Sister Draupadi, had the right Everything; attitude, enthusiasm, informative (Sister is WELL-versed!) and the Heart, Love, Joy, and something was going on in the Ethereal with this presentation in High Gear, and high-minded. With her Self, speaking at times, as if the words were expanding outward, an SRFer, not in attendance, would feel something reaching out to them, too, it was that DELIBERATE! It totally piqued my interest and heart, in anticipation of ALL that Convocation IS. Pranams, and floral thanks, Sister Draupadi!👍💖🙏

Caroline Juzenas

My heart is overflowing, there are no words. Jai Guru! The hybrid format allows layers of possibilities. I travelled to attend in person and also am connecting online. it is so powerful to visit the sacred sites and temples, meet in person the monastics and devotees - and then to connect with tens of thousands around the world is indescribable. We are One. The Oneness is unmistakable, you can feel it. Jai Guru!

Soumen Samanta

Divine Empowerment, Guidance, Protection, Grace and Realization are the underlying themes one can look forward to during this ongoing convocation with impeccable content and delivery !


Was the kirtan schedule of yesterday live? I couldn't get it live from India ( Vijayawada)


Hello! If you were unable to participate in an event at the time it takes place, you are welcome to view it later. All events presented during Convocation week will continue to be available for viewing afterwards. Happy Convocation!

Sandy Gray

Heartfelt gratitude for this inspirational beginning to a blessed Convocation. The nuns Kirtan was sublime and Bro Satyananda’s method for using wisdom teachings in daily life invaluable. The fellowship events really worked in connecting with old friends and monastics. A wonderful surprise. Jai Guruji 🙏

Jayagopi Jagadeesan

Very grateful to you all at the SRF/YSS for organizing the convocation events. I have so far attended 3 sessions ( brother satyananda, brother muktananda and brother prafullananda ). They were indeed excellent talks and found excellent answers to some of the questions I had, especially with the energization and hong-sau techniques. May God bless you all for all the effort you have put in and will be putting in in the future.
I am an SRF student and find the lessons amazing soul waking. Every sentence from our Guruji Paramahamsa Yogananda is so full of wisdom, truth and love😊❤️ 🙏

Betsy Mullen

I am deeply touched by how giving the monastics are in opening the windows to their hearts & souls for us to bear witness to their spiritual journeys & their relationships with God & our beloved Gurus. I am also touched by how much thought, heart & soul the monastics put into their talks, teaching sessions & music.

The group meditations & one-on-one time in breakout sessions with monastics & lay members is wonderful. The individual & collective love, devotion, communion & fellowship are palpable even through the Internet & computer! Master has taught us well; such sweet blessings!

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