(from SRF website) ~ QUESTION: May I also continue other spiritual studies and techniques while practicing those of SRF?
PARAMAHANSA YOGANANDA welcomed those of every faith as students of his teachings. He explained that the results of practicing the scientific methods of yoga he taught come not from accepting a particular belief system, but from direct personal experience of God. He did caution, however, that combining spiritual techniques of different paths produces diluted results. Steadfastly following a single path and applying its prescribed methods will take you most quickly to your spiritual goal.
“Students who are already following a given faith — attending church, temple, or mosque services with other family members, for example — may of course continue to participate in such forms of worship if they wish. Many persons of different religions have found great benefit, and enhancement of their own faith, by practicing the methods given in the SRF Lessons (YSS Lessons in India).
The following applies to those who choose to dedicate themselves wholly to the SRF path.
[See Paramahansaji’s handwritten note below the following transcription photo]
[Paramahansaji’s handwritten note as transcribed above]
A God-realized guru can help his disciples whether or not he is in physical form. Out of his love for the countless generations of truth-seekers to come, Paramahansaji left in his Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons a spiritual legacy infused with his divine power and blessings. He promised that disciples who came after his passing would have the same opportunity to find God-union as did those who knew him personally—through practice of his teachings as given in the Lessons.
“The SRF Lessons,” he said, “are impregnated with the spirit of great masters. If you study them with reverence and deep attention, along with the practice of deep meditation, you will be in touch with the divine link of our masters, and will be lifted into the kingdom of Cosmic Consciousness.”
THE LINK OF THE GURUS
In Self-Realization Fellowship, we have the utmost respect for the fact that, as a special divine dispensation, it was Paramahansa Yogananda who was chosen by Mahavatar Babaji as the one ordained to spread the teachings of Kriya Yoga worldwide. Paramahansaji was spiritually baptized as a child by Lahiri Mahasaya and trained–at Babaji’s direction–by Lahiri Mahaya’s disciple Sri Yukteswar in preparation for the Self-Realization Fellowship work he undertook at the behest of these gurus.
In accordance with the wishes of our Guru, we are dedicated to upholding the teachings of the distinctive path that is the unique contribution of Paramahansaji and his line of gurus to the spiritual welfare of the world. Our Guru’s guidance to this effect is lovingly expressed in the following words, written to a disciple in 1947: (see actual letter with signature below)
“Your letter’s assuring words of devotion and loyalty to this Cause and the Masters deeply touched me. While we must pay homage and give all due respect to all religions and all religious followers, still, we must remember our supreme loyalty and devotion must be one-pointed — given to one path only. You have given that already to Self-Realization Fellowship and to guru. One should become firmly grounded in the teachings of his choice before studying the merits of other teachings, else he will become confused and lose sight of his goal, which is not theological knowledge, but actual God-union.
“I always enjoy your letters – so sincere and sweet.
“With deepest blessings to you and your good wife, I am very sincerely yours…”
Self-Realization Fellowship members honor, as did our Guru, all true teachers who are striving to do good in this world. We are aware that Kriya Yoga is also taught by other disciples of Lahiri Mahasaya and Sri Yukteswarji, and we respect each individual’s right to choose and follow whichever teacher he or she finds most spiritually fulfilling.
Although Paramahansaji indicated that he would be the last in the line of SRF/YSS gurus, with the founding of his society he insured the perpetuation of his mission, as well as the preservation of his teachings. The Guru said that after his passing the president of SRF would serve as his spiritual and administrative representative; and, he promised, “there will always be at the head of this organization men and women of realization.” Rajarsi Janakananda, whom our Guru had publicly proclaimed as a siddha, one who had attained final liberation, was the first to fulfill that prophesy.
Bro. Anandamoy recalls how clearly the words Rajarsi spoke at the first Self-Realization Fellowship convocation after Paramahansaji’s passing confirmed the Master’s wishes for his work, and his power to guide and bless all faithful disciples:
“Many members, (not knowing that Master had declared that it was God’s will that he be the last in the line of SRF gurus), expected that Rajarsi would assume the role of Guru, because they thought they had to have a guru in the body, one whom they could see and hear. It would have been very easy for Rajarsi to have proclaimed himself Guru because of his great spiritual power and magnetism. But what he said at that gathering firmly established the course of Self-Realization Fellowship for all future generations. Very simply, in a quiet voice, he told the members, “There will be no other guru. Master will always be our guru.”
“Then he said, ‘He is here.’ He wasn’t referring to the Master’s physical presence, but to his omnipresent spiritual presence. ‘Just feel and receive.’ As he said these words a wave of divine power flowed over the whole audience–a tremendous surge of spiritual upliftment–and no one could doubt that he was right. The Master is alive.”
taken from SRF Letter To Members, 1995