San Diego Temple is a branch of Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), an international religious organization founded in 1920 by Paramahansa Yogananda to disseminate the universal teachings of Kriya Yoga, a sacred spiritual science which originated millennia ago in India.
It was here that Paramahansa Yogananda, Dr. Kennell, and Dr. Lewis conducted Sunday services, and our beloved past president, Sri Mrinalini Mata, met her guru.
In a tranquil setting surrounded by beautiful trees in the very heart of San Diego lies the Hidden Gem that is San Diego Temple. This beautiful, simple building was originally designed in 1909 by famed architect Irving Gill. It is just minutes from downtown San Diego in the Bankers Hill neighborhood, bordered by Balboa Park to the East and Hillcrest to the North. The temple was established by Paramahansa Yogananda during his lifetime. The cypress trees lining the walkway in front of the temple were planted by Yoganandaji himself, and continue to thrive into the present day.
On September 5, 1943, as many parts of the world were in conflict during the height of World War II, Paramahansa Yogananda established an oasis of peace in San Diego. He dedicated this Self-Realization Fellowship Temple as a Church of All Religions, with the following prayer:
“Heavenly Father, may this church be blessed with the vibrations of Self-perception of Thy presence, and when we discuss theology and philosophy, may we not get sidetracked by the pitfalls of intellectual egotism and blind emotion, but travel straight to the highway of Self-Realization and truth which leads to Thee.”
Today, San Diego Temple is administered by monastics from the SRF Hidden Valley Ashram Center and from the Mother Center in Los Angeles. The Minister-in-Charge and assistant ministers conduct regularly scheduled public lectures and services. Lay members assist the ministers through organized volunteer service groups called Temple Committees.