Since Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi was first published in 1946, his writings have received recognition in all parts of the world—from the literary and general public as well as from his followers. It is therefore not surprising that there are now a number of other publishers, organizations, and individuals claiming to represent his teachings…
Others are presenting what is purported to be his “original” teachings, but what is in fact material taken from publications that had been poorly edited by temporary helpers or compiled from incomplete notes taken during Paramahansa Yogananda’s classes. Paramahansaji was very dissatisfied with the presentation of this material, which came out during his early years in America, when he was often away on lecture tours for months at a time and had very little opportunity to oversee the material being published. He himself later did much work on it and gave specific instructions for its correction and clarification.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE (from early 1990’s)
During our Guru’s lifetime, a number of devotees other than Tara Mata and Mrinalini Mata were occasionally given various temporary editorial tasks. Because he did not have full confidence, however, that these individuals would retain his spirit or his meaning, he would sometimes preface such assignments with the remark, “Edit this, but don’t change my words.” Indeed, Paramahansaji was dissatisfied with some of the early attempts made by well-meaning disciples (such as were published in some of the early Self-Realization magazines), and he gave specific instructions for the clarification and correction of those writings…
The SRF lotus emblem was designated by Paramahansaji to officially represent his society, and has been used ever since to identify its publications, recordings, buildings, activities, etc. In addition we have recently adopted a distinctive new design, or “trade-dress,” to further help readers identify the editions of Paramahansaji’s writings published according to his own editorial instructions. This design–which includes an arch-shaped border with a logo at the bottom identifying Self-Realization Fellowship as the society founded by Paramahansa Yogananda–will appear on the covers of SRF publications. These publications are reviewed by the SRF Publications Council, whose members are trained in the Guru’s ideals and teachings.
A foundation for the future
Gurudeva realized that the future for his work would depend not only on the spiritual legacy of this writings and talks, but upon the inner attunement of those who would carry out his wishes. That is why he gave so much care and attention to the training of monastic disciples who, being free of other responsibilities, could devote their lives unreservedly to seeking God, to disseminating his teachings and to serving his growing spiritual family of Self-Realization Fellowship. Drawing around him those souls in whom he saw the deepest receptivity, Paramahansaji shared the nuances of his wishes for every facet of the work. These disciples who lead the SRF work today include the only living disciples who were daily in the Guru’s presence–even until his last moments on earth.