Our History

Sant Mata Samyama Shangri-La (pictured)

Our community was established as a Holy Temple (an interfaith church) to share with Humanity a specific body of Initiatory spiritual teachings from the Taoist Yogi-Christ Lineage of North America. These teachings have their origins in ancient India and date back to pre-recorded history in our community's oral tradition. In these modern times, the Yogi-Christ teachings were first popularized in the United States by Paramahansa Yogananda who founded the Self Realization Fellowship in the U.S. in the 1920s and desiminated the teachings of Kriya Yoga.* In 1971, Sant Mata Samyama Shangri-La was among the second wave of Teachers in the Yogi-Christ Tradition to be sent to the United States by her Teacher, the Immortal Yogi-Christ - Mahavatar Babaji, from whom she received Spiritual Initiation in Etheric Plane Communication. We are one of the communities that was ultimately established at Samyama’s request and with her spiritual guidance. Our community was originally named "Mahavatar Babaji Ashram" in honor of Mahavatar Babaji, the Immortal Indian Master from whom the teachings of our community descend, and was recently renamed in 2012 as the "Temple of the Inner Self" - a name which is broadly appealing to a Western audience and reflects our primary teaching -- that at the core of every human being is our True Divine Essence.


As the teachings of the Taoist Yogi-Christ Lineage are broadly inclusive, we draw upon the teachings of many other spiritual traditions, including Mysical Christianity, Sufism, Buddhism, Zen and the Kabbalah, to name a few. In 2011, many of the senior leaders in our community chose to become Initiates on the Path of Sufism. Although we are not formally a Sufi center, the teachings of Sufism have profoundly influenced our community. We regularly host senior Sufi teachers in Universal Brotherhood/Sisterhood to support our mission of humanitarian service. In 2011, we co-located facilities with Atlanta Polarity & Intuitive Yoga Center, an independent organization founded by Eleanora Lipton, which provides holistic resources that are nurturing and supportive of the many people we serve. In 2014, we moved to the Spiritual Living Center of Atlanta, a metaphysical community that shares our same Ideal of Humanitarian Service led by author, visionary and senior minister Rev. David Ault.


*Self Realization Fellowship is an independent organization with no formal affiliation with our community.