Yoga Center Founder
Ramakrishna Ananda - Yoga Center Founder
In yoga circles today, the term “Yoga Master” means many things. Maybe a Hatha Yoga Master or someone who has been teaching for a long time. Here at Yoga Center when we say our founder is a Yoga Master, we mean much, much more than that. We mean someone who is recognized by spiritual leaders as having experienced Higher Consciousness and living in that state. Take a look at his credentials:
Ramakrishna Ananda (Graham Ledgerwood) began practicing meditation, yoga and mysticism as a youth in Canada in 1958. Subsequently, over many years, he studied and practiced numerous forms of Mysticism — The Eight Main Yogas, Sufism, Jewish Mysticism, Christian Mysticism, Zen, Egyptian Mysticism, The Tao, Theosophy, and many more mystical paths.
In 1966 Ramakrishna Ananda also experienced a mystical initiation, an expansion of consciousness, which changed him. This experience, called cosmic consciousness, was a major event in his life. It stayed with him for three months. Desperate for a spiritual reawakening, he entered a five-month period of solitude and silence in the Sierra Nevada foothills, outside Nevada City, California. There, during that summer, mystical awareness returned and indwelled Ramakrishna Ananda. As a consequence of this development, Ramakrishna Ananda became a teacher, minister, and director of the Yoga Fellowship ashram in Sacramento, California.
Called to serve in Southern California, Ramakrishna Ananda founded the Yoga Center of California and the Spiritual World Society in Costa Mesa, California where he taught Yoga, Mysticism, Metaphysics, Meditation, and world religions from 1970 through 1995.
A number of honors and recognitions have been bestowed on Ramakrishna Ananda. In 1971 the great Yoga Master, Baba Hari Dass, found and declared that Ramakrishna Ananda was a Sat Guru (a spiritual "dispeller of darkness") and that Ramakrishna Ananda should share spiritual truth with humanity through teaching and writing.
In 1974, Sri Surath of Calcutta, India further initiated Ramakrishna Ananda as a Guru and teacher of many spiritual paths. Sri Surath also conveyed the high honor of spirituality, naming him Ramakrishna Ananda, after the great Avatar and Eastern mystic of the 19th century, Sri Ramakrishna.
Then, in 1976 and 1977, Sri Paramananda Nath and Sri Surath found that Ramakrishna Ananda had become a Master and, in recognition, initiated Ramakrishna Ananda as an Avadhut, which signifies a spiritual Master, literally "one who lives in Spirit." Ramakrishna Ananda has also received a number of other titles and honors, including illuminatus and maharaj, indicating a realized mystic.
He has also written, Keys to Higher Consciousness, an inspiriting book about spiritual awakening.