Self-Realization Fellowship Blog

Expanded Access to SRF Hollywood Temple’s India Hall

September 06, 2022

Paramahansa Yogananda Welcomes Visitors to Hollywood Temple
Paramahansa Yogananda welcoming guests to the SRF Hollywood Temple, 1942

Thanks to the generous support of Self-Realization Fellowship members and friends around the world, the installation of a spacious elevator at the SRF Hollywood Temple India Hall has now been completed — allowing for full access to this historic location. Both the Hollywood Temple and India Hall were personally established by Paramahansa Yogananda; and he taught for many years at this site, which is considered a sacred place of pilgrimage for SRF/YSS followers from around the world.

A joyful opening ceremony was held this June to celebrate the India Hall project reaching fruition.

India Hall elevator
New elevator for India Hall

Paramahansa Yogananda’s Dedication of India Hall

Paramahansa Yogananda Dedication of India Hall
Paramahansa Yogananda at the dedication of India Hall, April 8, 1951. Seated next to him is Mr. Goodwin J. Knight, Lt. Governor of California (center), who participated in the ceremonies.

Speaking at the dedication of India Hall in 1951, Paramahansa Yogananda said, “Here the people of East and West can have a cultural exchange of intellectual and philosophical experiences.”

India Hall has been used for a wide variety of purposes that further this ideal, but providing greater accessibility to the building’s lower level — where the auditorium is located — has been needed. Previously, this part of the building could be reached only via a stairway that proved a challenge for some visitors. But now access is easily available to all.

The scope of the elevator project also included completing safety upgrades to the walkways in the temple gardens — only removing concrete that had been added after original construction on the temple grounds. The pattern of landscape design established by Paramahansaji was maintained throughout the process, preserving the trees planted during the Guru’s lifetime while adding new varieties at the same time.

Ribbon Cutting and Ceremony — A Joyful Completion and Beginning

Representing the SRF Board of Directors at the opening celebration in June, Sister Preeti inaugurated the new elevator with these words: “Invoking the blessings of Divine Mother and our beloved Gurudeva on all who have come here today, and all who will come in future, I now joyfully cut this ribbon, allowing greater access to Master’s hallowed India Hall. Jai Guru!”

In a ceremony in India Hall’s auditorium following the ribbon cutting, Brother Anilananda, minister-in-charge of Hollywood Temple during the four-year fundraising campaign and construction said, “This has been a very moving and tearful day for me — tears of tremendous joy….Master [Paramahansa Yogananda] gave us this jewel of a project, as an example of the power of devotees all over the world working together….So let us go forth with joy.”

SRF is deeply grateful to all who helped to make the completion of this project a welcome reality. Many sincere souls from around the world who shall visit Paramahansa Yogananda’s Hollywood Temple, now and many years into the future, will find tremendous benefit from the enhanced access to India Hall — a place for divine inspiration and joyful fellowship.

Hollywood Temple India Hall Access celebration
Seated on stage for opening ceremony: (left to right) Sister Gita, Sister Preeti, and Brother Anilananda. Brother Jayananda (standing), current minister-in-charge at Hollywood Temple, addresses the audience.

A Video Overview of the Construction

You can watch an inspiring video of the elevator construction project, from the groundbreaking ceremony with SRF Vice President Brother Vishwananda to the final blacktopping of the parking lot outside India Hall.

Hollywood Temple India Hall Elevator Construction
An aerial view during the construction project
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