A man came to me one time and he said, “I used to have the presence of God, and I used to feel Master’s presence, but I don’t have it anymore and I don’t know why.”
And I asked him, “Do you meditate regularly?”
And he said, “Yes.”
“Do you practice Kriya?”
“Do you read the Lessons every day?”
“Oh, no, I’m all through with the Lessons.”
And I asked him to go back to reading the Lessons, and see if that isn’t your problem. About a month later he walks up to me with a big smile and he says, “You know, there’s something about reading the Lessons that gives you the attunement with the Guru. I have it again. Thanks very much.” (audience laughter)
The reason is, reading those Lessons, we’re in tune with Spirit. Those words come from Spirit. Those words, ideas to not come from a little human mind. Master was always in tune with Spirit when he wrote, when he talked. This we have to realize. We are in tune with Spirit at the time. When we read the Lessons we are sitting at the Guru’s feet, figuratively speaking. He is speaking to us through the Lessons.
That is the reason he said, ‘the Lessons will be your guru,’ because it’s the Guru’s teaching right there, complete. Master said everything you need to know about seeking God is in the Lessons. And so those words and ideas are immortal, they are eternal. They are not ordinary, this is not an ordinary teaching. These are the Laws of Life, that all the saints of the world taught—Jesus, St. Francis of Assisi, all the Christian saints, and saints of India, and in all the religions. These are the same truths. But Master gave them to us in modern language and more complete, because Master explains everything in the Lessons, whereas the scriptures, old scriptures don’t explain. They make a statement, and that’s it. Then you have to figure out what it means. Master has given us a wonderful teaching.
[Bro. tells how Master arrived at Hollywood temple to conduct the service one Sunday morning, and told him and another monk that as he was thinking about the topic he was going to speak on that day he had been a little concerned, as it had slipped right out of his mind] Then Master said, “I heard the voice of God say, ‘Watch and see what wonderful ideas I am going to express through you this morning.” Master had that intimate communion with Divine Mother.
So when we read the Lessons we are uplifted for that reason. Those are the truths of life that brought us to this spiritual path. We all recognize those truths, and now we have to live them. There’s no greater benefit, so far as reading is concerned, than reading the Lessons. You know there is the saying that if you were on an island all by yourself what book would you want to read? Well, most of the books are trash (laugher). But Master’s Lessons, if you had them, you’d have everything. You don’t need anything else because everything is in the Lessons there. When Master was conducting a service there at Hollywood Temple, one time he stopped in the middle of his talk and he said to the people humbly, quietly, ‘I want you to remember these ideas, because they’re not mine. They come from God.’ And then he continued with his subject.
Now the proof of Master’s teaching is that we can experience this. That’s the whole thing. This is not just for believing. It’s to practice and experience, make it part of our life.
Bro. Bhaktananda, an SRF monk for more than sixty years, met Yogananda in 1939
WATCH A VIDEO clip of the above excerpt here:
From the DVD “The Personal Approach to God”
“It was Paramahansa Yogananda’s wish that the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons be easily available to all who sincerely desire to know God. To this end, the Lessons have always been offered for only a nominal fee to help cover printing and postage costs — currently about 70 cents per lesson. Full details and subscription/mailing plans are outlined on the Lessons application form” http://www.yogananda-srf.org/PY_SRF_Lessons_for_Home_Study.aspx