Kriya Yoga Institute was founded by Paramahamsa Hariharananda in 1997 in Homestead, Florida, USA. It serves as the Mother Center for Kriya Yoga centers and groups throughout North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand, providing support for activities and programs worldwide. It is a beautiful monastery on five acres that was transformed into lush gardens through the divine energy of Paramahamsa Hariharananda.
It was the wish of Paramahamsa Hariharananda that a special place is established on the shores he first visited in 1974. North America needed a place where spiritual retreat and practice were supported by the grace of the masters of the Kriya Yoga lineage. Gurudev's grace and love created the Mother Center in Homestead, Florida. This truly is a home where the Divine Mother cares for and nurtures her sincere children who aspire to find union with God.
Gurudev made this divine abode in Homestead his official residence in 1997, and he planned every detail of the five acres meticulously. All the aspects of his vision of spirituality are evident in its layout: It is simple and practical, always beautiful and elevating.
Banana, citrus, mango, papaya, and avocado groves, as well as vegetable gardens, support those who visit and live here. The island in the pond provides a tranquil place for observing the lessons of Mother Nature and learning her wisdom. Flowers and butterflies abound, providing fragrant places for reading or contemplation.
In the heart of the property is the meditation hall. Plans for the building were drawn according to Gurudev's vision. From the moment Gurudev blessed the cornerstone at his 95th birthday celebration, he oversaw every aspect of the construction. He would daily inspect the work and was satisfied with the result. He personally conducted the inauguration on September 22, 2002, on the fifth year of the monastery’s foundation day. Gurudev planned this meditation hall to foster the spiritual evolution of large numbers of disciples from all over the world. In this hall we can dive deep, with the ego in check and the soul free, to find our true nature.
For this and so many reasons, the Mother Center has become a place of pilgrimage. Disciples can recall Gurudev's afternoon garden tours, teaching us, feeding us bananas, mangoes, or star fruits as prasad, blessing us with a gesture, a raised eyebrow, a smile, or a tilt of the head.
We may never understand why a great son of India chose to play out the last years of his earthly drama in this place, so far from the village of his birth. But we know that the gift of this Eden for all true seekers of the soul must not be overlooked. “Opportunity must never be neglected, for it may never return.” He planned and prepared every detail of this divine abode, not for his own sake, but for us, and for those still to come.
Gurudev’s garden is our garden, for we and he are one. He asked us to visit as often as we could. Come to feel his living presence. Make no mistake; he is still here.
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