Yogananda Site: This Letter was written before the trademarks and copyrights court case had been settled. The final outcome was very favorable to SRF as explained in this article: Outcome of Legal Action ~ Trademarks and Copyrights
The words of every great master who, like Paramahansaji, has brought a liberating message to the world, are not intended to reach only those who were with him during his lifetime, but also the countless spiritual seekers who will be drawn to his teachings for generations to come. To preserve his legacy for the ages in all its original power and purity to insure that it will not be diluted, fragmented, or distorted with the passage of time is the great responsibility of those disciples who are entrusted by him with this sacred mission.
For the sake of all who would be drawn to Paramahansaji’s teachings in the future, our Guru took steps to safeguard the integrity of his works and to prevent the original meaning of what he spoke or wrote from being altered or even lost. He wanted to make certain that his works would reach the public only after they had been properly edited and prepared for publication according to his guidance. It was for this purpose that he trained two of his close disciples (Tara Mata and Mrinalini Mata) to serve as his editors and made what provisions he could to insure that the right to publish his works would remain with his own society, Self-Realization Fellowship.
In the course of the current litigation, Ananda’s lawyers have resorted to every legal technicality available, in an effort to disprove and distort Paramahansaji’s express intent regarding the ownership of his works by SRF. Regardless of whether or not Ananda succeeds in persuading the court, the truth remains that every close disciple of Paramahansaji who was privy to his wishes about the development of his work knew that it was the Guru’s express intention that the rights to all his works belong to the society he founded. Paramahansaji made this clear in countless ways throughout his life, including his numerous oral as well as written statements to this effect.
In its open letter, Ananda claims that one of the goals of SRF’s lawsuit is “to debar Ananda from quoting any of the writings or sayings of Paramahansa Yogananda….without the express permission of SRF.” Our aim, however, has never been to prevent Ananda from merely quoting from SRF literature in their lectures or public presentations or even, on a more limited basis, in their publications (within the reasonable parameters permitted by law).
We resorted to the legal system only to prevent the reediting and republishing of substantial portions of SRF’s publications as any author and publisher would do in a similar situation.
As we have discussed in our earlier letter on this subject, the heart of this legal matter is solely to safeguard Paramahansaji’s legacy for the ages.