Building the first shrine at Yogananda Gardens NW

In this age of Dwapara great things are manifested primarily by clear focused energy. It is that energy that draws the needed resources and reveals the details in its unimpeded flow.

One day it was Janakidevi’s inspiration that we should direct some of that flow toward a small shrine that would be within our means to create right now. The Ananda Church in Beaverton had an affordable 2-foot high seated statue of Yogananda for sale – perfect for our little shrine. An internet search yielded some design ideas that seemed right and Byasa worked up a detailed plan.

Concept drawing for shrine
Byasa’s concept drawing



Janakidevi walked the land alone, tuning into just the right spot to build the shrine and drove a stake in the ground to mark it. Daiva brought in his heavy equipment and cleared the blackberries and scotch broom. It must have been quite a battle; at one point the muddy hillside captured the tractor mower. The scotch broom fought back by puncturing the underbelly of the tractor. At other points the blackberries hid old fences lying in wait to tangle up in the equipment, but Daiva and the forces of light won out against the invasive flora and the hillside now offers a wonderful unobstructed view of Laurelwood valley.

Divine Mother sent us Stephen Pettengill who is a landscape professional to do the masonry work. Byasa set about to construct the wooden parts in his garage. Thanks to an early generous donation we were able to buy the needed materials. Ananda Center at Laurelwood pitched in with machines and manpower to clear and level the site and help erect the structure. (Thanks especially to Yudhisthira, Jacob and Ken) In true Many-Hands-Make-a-Miracle spirit the shrine was completed in time for sculptor Gary Roller’s visit — with hours to spare.

Now with the little shrine in place it feels like the project has a beachhead in physical reality and a spot where visitors can tune into the energy flow that has just begun to manifest. This park will be a decades-long journey which, like any journey starts with one small step which in this case is a modest shrine to the planetary-wide consciousness-transforming work spearheaded and symbolized by Paramhansa Yogananda.


(All photos by Byasa or Janakidevi)


First layer of blocks for shrine w Stephen P IMG_0588 500px
Stephen Pettengill finishing the first course of blocks.
Blocks complete at the end of the day IMG_4877 500px
The crew has competed the central planter and pedestal.
Preparing to raise the frame IMG_4889 500px
Ken, Jacob and Yudhisthira assemble the supports to the roof that Byasa built.
Raising the roof IMG_4894 500px
Raising the roof
Roof frame and completed masonry IMG_0607 500px
The completed construction.
Yudi Jayashree and Janakidevi DSC07380 adj 500px
Yudhisthira, Janakidevi and Jayashree with the Yogananda statue temporarily in place.
Shrine Feb 6 SP finishing touches IMG_0671 500px
The statue will be permanently attached to the natural stones that Stephen Pettengill is installing.
G Roller and Janakidevi DSC07402 detail 500px
All done just in time for Gary Roller’s visit.
Shrine Feb 9 BS carrying water tank IMG_0690 adj 500px
Byasa carries a water barrel to the site in preparation for plantings. Visitors will be able to draw from the barrel to water the plants whenever they visit. (It is not for drinking)
Shrine Feb 9 BS watering in the plantings IMG_0733 adj 500px
Watering in the plants around the statue now permanently mounted. These are the first plantings and first construction in the Yogananda Gardens of the Northwest.
Shrine Feb 9 face-on statue IMG_0738 1024px
Yogananda seated among the flowers of the Yogananda Gardens March 9, 2015. He looks pleased.



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