Latest Update About the New Edition of the SRF Lessons
Brother Chidananda, president and spiritual head of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India, shared the latest details regarding the new edition of the SRF Lessons at a special holiday satsanga at SRF International Headquarters on December 12, 2018. Please view the video to receive the latest update.
As a first step in the release of the new Lessons, beginning on January 5, 2019, all those existing Lessons students and graduates who verify their membership information on our online member portal (or create an online account if they haven’t done so already) can request a complimentary copy of Paramahansa Yogananda’s inspiring, 24-page Lessons introduction, "Highest Achievements Through Self-Realization." (An email will be sent to all students on January 5 with instructions on how to receive a free copy of this inspiring booklet after they verify their accounts.)
Some of the exciting new features of the SRF Lessons that Brother Chidananda unveiled during his satsanga include: an SRF Lessons app to house a first-ever digital edition of the Lessons; auxiliary content to support each Lesson, including audio and video components; instructional videos of the Energization Exercises; and a new members-only section on our website. More details, including pricing and enrollment, are still being finalized and will be disclosed at a Lessons launch event, the date of which we hope to announce in the weeks to come.
We are happy to inform you that a new edition of the Self Realization Lessons is planned for release in early 2019.
The project is a comprehensive enhancement and expansion of the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons. The revised Lessons were begun by Paramahansaji in the final years of his life, and he instructed Sri Mrinalini Mata to complete them according to his instructions for publication and distribution to a worldwide audience.
The new edition of the Lessons will contain a wealth of new material from Paramahansaji’s writings and classes that was not available when the current Lessons were originally created in the 1930s — including clearer and more detailed instruction on the SRF meditation techniques, including Kriya Yoga, and many other subjects. The most essential principles of the SRF path have been distilled into a more organized and focused presentation. The student will find it much easier to learn, absorb, and practice the techniques and way of spiritual living taught by Paramahansa Yogananda.
Combining all of the material authored by Paramahansaji for every earlier edition of the Lessons going back to the early 1920s — as well as much previously unpublished material — this new edition will be the most comprehensive ever offered. It will include much additional support and inspiration for those who are following the SRF spiritual path and teachings.
“The Lessons will be your life’s work,” our Guru said to Mrinalini Mata when assigning the project to her long ago. (She spoke a little about this to the attendees at SRF Convocation during one of her talks at the Bonaventure Hotel a few years ago.) Though there are many details to be finalized and much preparatory work to be done on the new series, Mrinalini Mataji felt great joy knowing that this news would be shared with you during this Centennial year of Gurudeva’s organizational work. As most of you are aware, Guruji began in 1917 with the founding of his Yogoda Satsanga Society school in India; and that anniversary was celebrated with many special events in 2017.
Indeed, the SRF/YSS Lessons were envisioned by our Guru as the primary vehicle for accomplishing the sacred mission he began 100 years ago, entrusted to him by Mahavatar Babaji and Swami Sri Yukteswar: the worldwide dissemination of India’s ancient Kriya Yoga science of spirituality for the upliftment of all humanity. As you know, the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons are unique among Paramahansa Yogananda’s published works, in that they give his in-depth instruction in the actual techniques of the highest yoga science of God-realization.
Origin and Evolution of the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons
During the three decades of his mission in the West, starting in 1920, Paramahansaji presented his teachings through a variety of means. In the 1920s and '30s, he traveled all over the United States, giving public lectures in major cities from coast to coast, attended by tens of thousands. Many of these talks were printed in Self-Realization Fellowship’s magazine, and (much later) in the anthologies of his Collected Talks and Essays, available in book form for the general public.
Following his public lecture series, which lasted one to two weeks in each city, he invited those who wished to commit to a deeper study to enroll for the additional series of lessons on the Self-Realization teachings and meditation techniques that he conducted each night over the next several weeks. In the early years, students were provided with brief printed outline notes about the subject matter in each class.
It was in 1934 that he announced the first edition of a comprehensive set of printed Lessons for home study. Here are his words on that occasion:
“Day and night for fourteen years I have been thinking how to give to the students a continuous flood of that spiritual awakening which will assure that they will never fall asleep again. So I have planned to send weekly lessons to them. They will start next week and come every week thereafter. We have been working day and night to get them started. Students in all parts of the country have asked, ‘Why don’t you give weekly lessons?’ I have at last found the plan that I know is going to free thousands of souls.”
Thus the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons were born. The series was assembled over the course of several years, from 1934 through about 1938. The early disciples with whom Paramahansaji worked on this project often had difficulty getting each new Lesson prepared and printed in time to meet the weekly mailing deadlines — particularly since the Guru was absent for a year-and-a-half long journey through Europe and India during 1935–36. Nevertheless, the series was eventually completed and remained in circulation for many years.
In the last years of his life, the Guru devoted himself to an intense period of writing new material and review of his previously published works. Among other projects, he worked personally with Sri Mrinalini Mata (who was then a young disciple). Paramahansaji reviewed the Lessons presentation with her and instructed her in his wishes for a thorough revision. He told her to draw from the many writings and talks he had given in the intervening years since the Lessons were first compiled. The result of this great responsibility, this “life’s work,” is the new edition of the Lessons.
A new member-only website will be created for audio, video, and written content that will supplement the new edition of the Lessons, giving much additional support to the spiritual efforts of SRF/YSS students.
Release Date of the New Edition of the SRF Lessons
Needless to say, the new edition of the Lessons will be a major milestone in the history of Paramahansa Yogananda’s worldwide work. In the coming weeks we will be sharing with you more information about the new Lessons — including the date when they will be available, once that can be definitely determined. At present, we anticipate that it will be in 2019.
The new edition of the Lessons will first be released in English. Translations into other languages will be released afterwards as and when they can be completed, but this will take a number of years. More information on the release schedule for each language will be shared as it becomes available.
We look forward to sharing periodic updates with you as we reach specific milestones in the project, and extend our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for the support of your prayers for completion of the new edition of the SRF Lessons.
Appeals for Funds
How You Can Support the New Edition of the SRF Lessons
We invite you to help spread these sacred teachings of Paramahansaji by supporting the SRF Lessons Project, which pays for any activities and expenses related to preparing and disseminating the new edition of the SRF Lessons, such as typesetting, printing, mailing, translations, marketing activities, labor, equipment, and all other related expenses.
Why is SRF releasing a new edition of the Lessons now, so many years after Paramahansa Yogananda left his body?
The comprehensive enhancement and expansion of the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons were begun by Paramahansa Yogananda in the final years of his life. There were numerous revisions and changes he wished to have made, and he assigned this monumental project to our late beloved president Sri Mrinalini Mata, who he had personally trained to prepare his manuscripts and talks for publication after his passing. Because of its scope it was a project she worked on for decades, and to which she devoted a huge amount of her available time and energy to bring to final completion before her passing in 2017.
How will the new edition of the Lessons differ from the current Lessons?
The new edition of the Lessons is the most comprehensive ever offered, and includes much previously unpublished material that was not available when the current Lessons were originally created in the 1930s. The new edition features clearer and more detailed instruction on the SRF meditation techniques, including Kriya Yoga, and many other subjects. The most essential principles of the SRF path have been distilled into a more organized and focused presentation and sequence, so that students will find it much easier to learn, absorb, and practice the techniques and way of spiritual living taught by Paramahansa Yogananda.
The enhanced and expanded edition of the Lessons consists of a basic series of 18 Lessons, each 24 to 40 pages in length, mailed every two weeks for nine months. The Lessons will be available digitally on iOS and Android mobile devices through a new proprietary SRF Lessons app. Written, audio, and video auxiliary content—including instructional videos of the Energization Exercises—will be available through the online member portal, as well as in the Lessons app.
When will the new edition of the Lessons be available? How can I subscribe for the new edition of the Lessons?
The new edition of the Lessons is planned for release in early 2019. A formal Lessons launch event will be organized in the coming weeks, during which details of the release will be announced. Information about the launch event will be posted on this page when it becomes available, so please check back.
I am presently subscribing to the current Lessons. Should I continue with them, or enroll for the new edition of the Lessons? Will my subscription automatically roll over to the new edition of the Lessons?
We highly recommend that you enroll for the new edition of the Lessons once they are released to avail yourself of all the additional material in this greatly enhanced and expanded edition. We will inform you once the new edition of the Lessonsbecomes available and provide you with different options to transition from the current Lessons.
In the meantime, you can receive a complimentary copy of Paramahansa Yogananda’s inspiring, 24-page Lessonsintroduction, "Highest Achievements Through Self-Realization," by verifying your membership information on our online member portal (or create an online account if you haven’t done so already). (An email will be sent to all students on January 5, 2019, with instructions on how to receive a free copy of this inspiring booklet when they verify their accounts.).
I would like to subscribe to the SRF Lessons. Should I wait for the new edition of the Lessons or subscribe to the current Lessons right away?
Since we are very close to releasing the new edition of the Lessons, we suggest that you wait until they are released to sign up. Updates about the release of the new Lessons will be posted on this page, so please check back.
I am a graduate/Kriyaban, do I have to apply again to receive the new edition of the Lessons? Can I receive them all at the same time?
All those who are graduates of the SRF Lessons (as well as those who in the past may have completed some but not all of the Lessons) will need to enroll again to receive the new edition of the Lessons once they are released. In the meantime, you can receive a complimentary copy of Paramahansa Yogananda’s inspiring, 24-page Lessons introduction, "Highest Achievements Through Self-Realization," by verifying your membership information on our online member portal (or create an online account if you haven’t done so already). (An email will be sent to all students on January 5, 2019 with instructions on how to receive a free copy of this inspiring booklet when they verify their accounts.)
Because this expanded and enhanced edition contains much new material, all students of the Lessons, regardless of whether they are graduates of the current Lessons or new Lessons students, will receive them one Lesson at a time, to be mailed every two weeks, so that they have the proper amount of time to assimilate the content.
What will be the cost of the new edition of the Lessons?
In order that as many people as possible can benefit from Paramahansa Yogananda’s liberating instructions in the new edition of the Lessons, we will be offering them at a special introductory price. The exact price will be announced during the formal Lessons launch event, which will be organized in the coming weeks. Information about the launch event will be posted on this page when it becomes available, so please check back.
Is the new edition of the Lessons available in other languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, etc.?
It is a high priority for SRF to translate the new edition of the Lessons once they have been released in English. We will share more on the release schedule for each language as that information becomes available.