During the period of a seeker's philosophical curiosity, God causes a seemingly chance contact with the precepts of a good book or the counsel of some spiritual teacher. But when the aspirant is not satisfied with meager placations from religious treatises or mediocre instructors, and his heart is corroding with eagerness to find God, then the Father sends unto His child one who knows God and is empowered to confer that realization on others. God does not reveal Himself in the beginning to an undeveloped truth-seeker, emerging from haloed clouds to proffer blessings and wisdom; He uses the transparent intuition, God-consciousness, and teachings of a master, an enlightened soul, to bring the devotee unto Himself. The guru is therefore not an ordinary teacher, but a preceptor-messenger celestial who guides the devotee through wisdom and reason, and the discipline of spiritual practices, sadhana, throughout one life, or as many lives as necessary, until the soul is again free in Spirit. (Discourse 9, The Second Coming of Christ by Paramahansa Yogananda)
When a devotee prays intensely to God to know truth, God sends him a true guru to guide him. This divine grace comes to the devotee when he demonstrates his desire for liberation by sincere constancy in supplication to God. If the devotee is persistent in his prayer and in faith, God will surely respond by sending that soul a true guru through whose wisdom teachings and vibrations of God-consciousness the Divine Porter will open for the devotee the inner door of salvation. The guru bestows spiritual baptism on the devotee, by which God unlocks the entryway of the spiritual eye through which the devotee follows the "voice" (the Holy Ghost vibration) of the shepherd of Christ Consciousness to the Cosmic Consciousness of God.
Only a true guru is empowered by God to establish with disciples a divine relationship by which he leads those in his care out of the common sheepfold of delusion to freedom in the Elysian pastures of God-consciousness. (p.1015, Discourse 52, The Second Coming of Christ by Paramahansa Yogananda)
One may have many teachers in the beginning of his search, but when one's heart and soul are confidently settled in a guru-disciple relationship ordained and blessed by God, the disciple has only one guru, and no other teachers thereafter. The devotee remains loyal to such a guru, being spiritually fulfilled by the God-sent messenger. To forsake the guru and his ideals is to spurn the help sent by God, the One Guru of gurus: "the Lord God of the holy prophets"; (Revelation 22:6) He whom alone "seers great, and heaven's-path successful ones," do worship.
The spiritual soul contact between guru and disciple is one of eternal, unconditional divine love and friendship, bearing no taint of any selfish consideration. Human love is conditional and based upon merit and inborn attachments. Unconditional divine love is the Christ-love with which God embraces all His children, high or low, naughty or good, under all circumstances. Only a master, one who has cast off his ego with its biases and selfish expectations, is capable of serving as a perfect channel through which God's divine love may flow without measure. (Discourse 9, The Second Coming of Christ by Paramahansa Yogananda)
Obedience to the guru is the surest way when one is seeking God. Master [Swami Sri Yukteswar] first told me what to do, and afterwards he gave the reasons. I found him unerring in his wisdom. By listening to him, I saved myself many incarnations of roaming and trying to find out truth by myself. Guru is he who has experienced Truth. He serves as a guide in the dark forest of life. If you follow him, he will lead you out of the darkness. If you try to find the way alone, you may needlessly lose yourself in the forest for many incarnations. So follow the guru, and he will take you through safely. (The Divine Romance)
To be faithful to the principles of the divinely ordained guru-disciple relationship is the sure way to reach God. Whereas the unguided devotee wanders into spiritual difficulties and disillusionment, the disciple who gives loyalty and obedience to one who has found God makes the spiritual path simple and straightforward. His devotion and faith establish constant inner attunement, so that regardless of any assaults of Satan, he can rely on the hidden and open aid of his Christ-like master to keep him safe and steady in his progress toward freedom.
All who strive to enter into the kingdom of Cosmic Consciousness by availing themselves of the help of a guru and his liberating spiritual techniques will find the strait gate and narrow way* of Self-realization into the Infinite. But there will be many, I say unto you, who will seek to enter the kingdom of God by themselves, after ignoring the God-given guru sent to them. They will not succeed because they did not heed God's divine messenger. (Discourse 57, The Second Coming of Christ by Paramahansa Yogananda)
* [ "Matthew 7:14 The "strait gate" and "narrow way" are among the many uses by Jesus of the double entendre in his teachings: the "strait gate" of virtuous inclinations, and the "narrow way" of the spiritual disciplines of righteous actions; so also, metaphysically, these phrases refer to the gateway in the subtle astral center at the base of the spine, which opens into the astral spine's narrow, extremely fine pathway through which the life and consciousness ascend to the higher cerebrospinal centers of spiritual perception—the singular path of ascension to Christ consciousness and union with God in cosmic consciousness. In these present verses, both meanings are again intended in the context of the guidance and blessing of the guru who not only leads the disciple through the strait gate of the path of virtue, but also ultimately opens the inner astral door of ascension to God.]
No disciple should ever think for even a moment that since Guruji is no longer physically present, he is unaware of the needs of each one who enters that sacred guru-disciple relationship with him. I know for a fact that he is giving to you the discipline and spiritual training you need each day of your lives. Years ago he told me: "When I have left this physical form, I will be with you more than I ever was in this life." I have found that to be true. And he did not say this only for me, but for all his disciples who would come after his passing. - Daya Mata (SRF Magazine 2010)
In the spiritually receptive, loyalty to the guru rises spontaneously when the disciple's heart is bathed in the aura of the guru's unconditional love. The soul knows that it has found at last a true friend, counselor, and guide. The disciple strives therefore to reciprocate the guru's unconditional love, especially when tested, even as the faith and loyalty of Jesus' disciples were often tried with nonunderstanding. Many were with Jesus at the feasts and sermons, but how few at the cross! (...)
In meeting Philip, Jesus, remembering their previous guru-disciple relationship, said to him without hesitation, "Follow me." By this command, Jesus exercised his spiritual responsibility as preceptor to his disciple Philip. He indicated that Philip should tune his instinct guided reason and will power with the higher wisdom-guided reason and will of Jesus, the way by which Philip could free himself from mortal delusion and overcome the common compelling temptations and attachments of the flesh. (...)
My guru Sri Yukteswar said to me, when he accepted me for training: "Allow me to discipline you; for freedom of will does not consist in doing things according to the dictates of prenatal or postnatal habits or of mental whims, but in acting according to the suggestions of wisdom and free choice. If you tune in your will with mine, you will find freedom." In attunement with his God-guided, wisdom-guided will, I did find freedom.
He is not a guru who levels his followers into blind subjugation. Teachers who slavishly control their students after a dogmatic pattern destroy in them the power of free will. Such teachers want the student to see only as the teacher sees. Obedience to a true guru, however, does not produce any such spiritual blindness in the disciple. On the contrary, the guru wants the disciple to keep his eyes of reason open, and in addition he helps to develop in the disciple another eye: the "single eye" of wisdom and intuition whereby he may act wisely out of his own free choice. A guru disciplines the disciple only until the latter can guide himself through his own unfolding soul wisdom. The God-sent guru has no selfish interest, only the highest interest of the disciple. Everyone needs a psychological mirror in order to see the blemishes that have become an accustomed and favored part of the acquired personality of one's second nature. The guru serves as this mirror. He holds up to the devotee a reflection of his perfect soul-image over which is superimposed the flaws of the ego that yet mar perfection. In ways both open and subtle the guru brings to the fore in the disciple lessons to be learned that perhaps for incarnations have lain shelved in the dusty corners of the consciousness. In an inevitable sooner-or-later choice the devotee accepts and learns or balks and avoids these admonitions. Wiser for the learning, he moves nearer to freedom; obstinate in ego comfort, delusion continues to hold him tightly. (Discourse 9, The Second Coming of Christ by Paramahansa Yogananda)
Transmission of Kriya Yoga
(30 Sept 1828 - 26 Sept 1895) Initiated by his guru Mahavatar Babaji into Kriya Yoga in 1861 on Drongiri Mountain near Ranikhet. [ MORE...]
(10 May 1855 - 9 Mar 1936) Initiated by his guru Lahiri Mahasaya into Kriya Yoga. [ MORE...]
(5 Jan 1893 - 7 Mar 1952) Blessed by Lahiri Mahasaya as a baby. Initiated into Kriya Yoga by his father and by his guru Sri Yukteswar. [ MORE...]
Celebrating 150 Years of Kriya Yoga 1861-2011
Paramahansa Yogananda said:
We must work hard and be the messengers of light, spreading divine love and brotherhood around the world. It is our task as the children of God to strive to preach and to live brotherhood and to spread that spirit of love. I am not here on earth just to say a few words and then leave. Whatever I have done in this world will last forever, and it will create strong forces to bring peace and brotherhood unto man. That is why the Lord sent me here, and I will do my duty to the last day of my life. To the last breath, I will work for that brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God.
Sri Mrinalini Mata (President and Sanghamata of SRF):
In honoring this 150th anniversary of the resurrection of Kriya Yoga, remember: As Master said, it was through Babaji's communion with Christ that they have established the technique of salvation for this age—this path of Kriya Yoga given through the link of the masters. Sri Yukteswar told of his meeting with Babaji, in which Babaji said: "I shall send you a disciple whom you can train for yoga dissemination in the West. The vibrations there of many spiritually seeking souls come floodlike to me. I perceive potential saints in America and Europe, waiting to be awakened." Think of that on this anniversary: Babaji perceived you. Do you realize that? He saw each one of us as souls, potential saints. Everyone is a potential saint because the soul is perfect. So that was Babaji's wish in reviving this great path and sending Gurudeva to Sri Yukteswar for training to bring that mission of Kriya Yoga to the West. "I perceive potential saints, waiting to be awakened." So let's not let him find us sleeping! We want to be "awake and ready!"