An Appeal to Reason, From Paramhansa Yogananda

Master, shortly before his mahasamadhi, gave us the ultimate secret of spiritual organizing. Daya Mata had asked him, sadly, “Master, when you are gone, what can ever replace you?”

When I am gone,” he replied, smiling tenderly, “only love can take my place.

from The Path,
by Swami Kriyananda


To Daya Mata he once exclaimed, “How you all will change the work after I am gone. I just wonder, if I were to return in a hundred years, if I’d even recognize it!

from A Place Called Ananda,
by Swami Kriyananda


Truth is not afraid of questions.

—Paramhansa Yogananda
from Inner Culture, 1941


Paramhansa Yogananda was commissioned by his line of gurus—Jesus Christ, Babaji-Krishna, Lahiri Mahasaya, and Swami Sri Yukteswar—to found an organization to spread the divine message of inner, divine communion. It is clear, however, from his numerous speeches and writings that this organization, Self-Realization Fellowship, was not an end in itself, but only a means to an end: the dissemination of his message. He never intended that the organization be looked upon as owning and controlling that message to the extent of suppressing the rights even of disciples not in the organization to serve his message.

To one woman, outside the organization, whom he had told to give Kriya Yoga initiation, he made this point very clear.

“What will SRF say?” this woman asked.

Are you following me,” he inquired in reply, “or the organization?

from Has SRF Lost Its Way?
by members of Ananda and Swami Kriyananda


(Lahiri Mahasaya describes his initiation into Kriya by Babaji, from the original 1946 edition of Autobiography of a Yogi)

Babaji instructed me in the ancient rigid rules which govern the transmission of the yogic art from guru to disciple.

“‘Bestow the Kriya key only on qualified chelas,” Babaji said. “He who vows to sacrifice all in the quest of the Divine is fit to unravel the final mysteries of life through the science of meditation.”

“‘Angelic guru, as you have already favored mankind by resurrecting the lost Kriya art, will you not increase that benefit by relaxing the strict requirements for discipleship?” I gazed beseechingly at Babaji. “I pray that you permit me to communicate Kriya to all seekers, even though at first they cannot vow themselves to complete inner renunciation. The tortured men and women of the world, pursued by the threefold suffering, need special encouragement. They may never attempt the road to freedom if Kriya initiation be withheld from them.”

“‘Be it so. The divine wish has been expressed through you.” With these simple words, the merciful guru banished the rigorous safeguards that for ages had hidden Kriya from the world. “Give Kriya freely to all who humbly ask for help.

After a silence, Babaji added, “Repeat to each of your disciples this majestic promise from the Bhagavad Gita: “Swalpamasya dharmasya, trayata mahato bhoyat”—” Even a little bit of the practice of this religion will save you from dire fears and colossal sufferings.”

from Autobiography of a Yogi,
by Paramhansa Yogananda, original 1946 edition


“Far into the night my dear friend-the first Kriya Yogi in America-discussed with me the need for world colonies founded on a spiritual basis. The ills attributed to an anthropomorphic abstraction called “society” may be laid more realistically at the door of Everyman. Utopia must spring in the private bosom before it can flower in civic virtue. Man is a soul, not an institution; his inner reforms alone can lend permanence to outer ones. By stress on spiritual values, self-realization, a colony exemplifying world brotherhood is empowered to send inspiring vibrations far beyond its locale.”

from Autobiography of a Yogi,
by Paramhansa Yogananda, original 1946 edition

 

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