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Lessons for Home Study

Learn more about how the SRF Lessons can transform and bring balance to your life.

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    Instruction in Ancient Yoga Techniques

    Paramahansa Yogananda viewed the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons as the very core of the teachings he was ordained to bring to the world as a special spiritual dispensation for the coming global civilization.

    In his talks and writings printed in his many acclaimed books for the public, Paramahansaji offers a wealth of practical guidance for spiritual living — how to live joyfully and successfully amidst the unceasing challenges and opportunities in this world of change. The Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons are for those who want to learn to convert that inspiration into a daily spiritual practice. 

    The Lessons are unique among Paramahansa Yogananda’s published works, in that they give his step-by-step instructions in the yoga techniques of meditation, concentration, and energization that he taught, including Kriya Yoga. 

    These simple yet highly effective yoga techniques work directly with life energy and consciousness, enabling you to recharge the body with vitality, awaken the mind's unlimited power, and experience an ever-deepening awareness of the Divine in your life—culminating in the highest states of spiritual consciousness and union with God. 

    Since Yoga is based on practice and experience rather than on adherence to a particular set of beliefs, followers of all religions—as well as those who do not affiliate with a religious path—can benefit from the spiritual teachings in the basic series of Lessons and the techniques taught therein. When practiced regularly, these methods lead unfailingly to deeper levels of spiritual awareness and perception.

    Read the Introductory Lesson by Paramahansa Yogananda 

    An inspiring and in-depth overview of the teachings in the Lessons is given in Paramahansa Yogananda’s introduction to the series, entitled “Highest Achievements Through Self-Realization.” 

    Highest Achievements Through Self-Realization

    As a first step, we suggest that you read and absorb the thoughts in this introductory Lesson. This will enable you to determine if you wish to go further on the journey to Self-realization by enrolling for the course of eighteen Lessons that teach the meditation techniques that prepare one for initiation in Kriya Yoga. 

    You may also enroll right away by following the instructions on this page under the “Apply for the Lessons” tab.

    Purpose of the Lessons: Teaching the Science of Kriya Yoga   

    In his Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda introduced the lineage of illu­mined gurus behind the Self-Realization Fellowship work: Mahavatar Babaji, Lahiri Maha­saya, and Swami Sri Yukteswar. He describes how these fully God-realized masters chose and prepared him to bring the lost, ancient Kriya Yoga science of God-realization to the West and spread it worldwide.

    The Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons are intended for those who wish to undertake an actual practice of the Kriya Yoga path of meditation described by Paramahansa Yogananda in Autobiography of a Yogi. He explained:

    “In a book available to the general public I cannot give the techniques themselves; for they are sacred, and certain ancient spiritual injunctions must first be followed to insure that they are received with reverence and confidentiality, and thereafter practiced correctly.”

    Enrollment in the Lessons offered by Self-Realization Fellowship, the organization Paramahansa Yogananda founded to disseminate his teachings and for the continuing fulfillment of his mission, will insure proper guidance and optimum benefit for all who wish to follow the path and practice the sacred meditation techniques he brought for the world.

    Origin and Evolution of the 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 classes 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, with some improvements and modifications, until 2019.

    Major Enhancement of the Lessons Announced in 2017

    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 on the Lessons personally with Sri Mrinalini Mata (who was then a young disciple, and later served as the fourth president of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India). Paramahansaji reviewed the Lessons presentation with her and instructed her in his wishes for a thorough revision, noting a number of problems and defects that he wished to address. 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 Lessons will be your life’s work,” he said to her. 

    The result of that “life’s work” is the current series, completed shortly before her passing in 2017—featuring vastly improved organization and a wealth of new material from Paramahansaji that was not available for the original 1934 compilation. This new edition of the SRF Lessons is the most comprehensive ever offered, and includes much inspiration and teaching that was never previously published.

    Launch Event for the New Edition of the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons

    Excerpts from the inauguration of the new edition of the SRF/YSS Lessons, conducted by Brother Chidananda, president and spiritual head of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India, at SRF International Headquarters on January 31, 2019. The event was livestreamed to SRF/YSS members and friends around the world. A video of the complete event is also available.

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    Organization and Sequence

    1. SRF Lessons (Basic Series)

    To begin, all students receive a mailing every two weeks for 9 months. The 18 in-depth Lessons (approximately 24–40 pages each) sent during this period include the preliminary steps of the Kriya Yoga science: the Energization Exercises, the Hong-Sau Technique of Concentration, and the Aum Technique of Meditation. These techniques are described in the introductory Lesson, “Highest Achievements Through Self-Realization,” by Paramahansa Yogananda.

    In addition to the meditation techniques, these Lessons provide an overview of all the other most important topics in Paramahansaji’s teachings (though complete presentation of some topics is given in separate Lessons in the Supplement Series described below). 

    2. SRF Lessons, Kriya Yoga Initiation Series

    This series of 5 Lessons gives instruction in the technique of Kriya Yoga for those who qualify by having established a regular practice of the three principal meditation techniques given in the basic SRF Lessons.

    Initiation in Kriya Yoga is a sacred step that involves a deeper commitment to the spiritual path of Self-Realization Fellowship and the establishment of the guru-disciple relationship with Paramahansa Yogananda. The student will receive an invitation to apply for Kriya Yoga with Lesson 17.

    However, even if the student decides not to apply for initiation in Kriya Yoga immediately, he or she will gain a thorough grounding in effective meditation practice and spiritualizing one’s life in the 18 Lessons of the basic series. And regardless of whether one applies for Kriya initiation, all SRF students are welcome and encouraged to enroll for the weekly Satsanga With Paramahansa Yogananda series, described in 5., below. They may also order any of the Supplement Lessons described below, after completing the basic 18 Lessons.

    3. SRF Lessons, Supplement Series

    Not yet available. Information will be announced closer to their release date.

    As with the other Lessons, these present Paramahansa Yogananda’s personal instruction, compiled from his classes and writings, for Self-Realization Fellowship students.

    The Supplement Lessons contain in-depth presentations of key subjects for followers of the Kriya Yoga path to God-realization. They are grouped by topics and themes, in order to give students a deep and comprehensive understanding of subjects that are of particular interest to them.

    Advanced Lessons will be available for those who have received Kriya Yoga. These present Paramahansa Yogananda’s deeper instruction in many of the principles and techniques of the SRF yoga path.

    4. SRF Lessons, Kriya Yoga Higher Initiation Series

    This special series of Lessons is for Kriya Yoga initiates who are interested in and qualified to receive the Second, Third, and Fourth Kriya Yoga techniques. 

    In addition to the actual techniques, instruction in auxiliary practices such as Khechari Mudra and other advanced techniques for Kriya Yogis is imparted in these special Lessons. The Higher Initiation Series will be available spring 2020.

    5. Satsanga With Paramahansa Yogananda Series

    Not yet available. Information will be announced closer to their release date.

    This series will be available to all who have completed the basic series of SRF Lessons described in 1., above.

    Satsanga means “fellowship with truth.” In India’s ancient spiritual tradition, a satsanga is a gathering where the spiritual teacher meets with devotees for meditation and imparting spiritual teaching and inspiration.

    “When I am gone, the teachings will be the guru,” Paramahansa Yogananda said. The mailings in this series provide all followers of Paramahansaji with a lifelong, continuous contact and attunement with the spiritual power flowing through his teachings.

    Each “Satsanga” in this series is about 6 pages in length, and is focused on a specific topic, compiled from the voluminous library of Paramahansa Yogananda’s previously published writings, classes, and talks.

    The Satsanga With Paramahansa Yogananda series is not studied sequentially. All persons receive the same mailing each week, regardless of when they enroll. In addition, these “Satsangas” are used as the topics for Sunday services conducted by SRF monastics in SRF temples, and as service readings in SRF centers and meditation groups worldwide. (They are a revised and much-expanded edition of the SRF Service Readings in use for the past few decades.) Thus, by enrolling for this series of mailings, you will be linked in fellowship with SRF/YSS members all over the world, since through these “Satsangas” all SRF/YSS members will be focusing on the same spiritual topics together each week.

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    Kriya Yoga Initiation

    Application for Kriya Yoga may be made after completing the first sixteen Lessons in the basic series, a period of approximately eight months if the Lessons are studied without interruption as they are received on a biweekly basis.

    Initiation in Kriya Yoga signifies formally establishing the time-honored guru-disciple relationship with Paramahansa Yogananda and his lineage of enlightened masters. Kriya Yogis pledge their spiritual loyalty to the Gurus and to Self-Realization Fellowship. 

    In Lesson 16, you will receive an in-depth explanation of the holy guru-disciple relationship, and of the spiritual duties and commitment inherent in acceptance of this relationship.

    SRF Lessons Observe Sacred Guidelines for the Teaching of Kriya Yoga

    In Autobiography of a Yogi (chapter 34), Paramahansaji relates the story of how, in 1861, Kriya Yoga came to be resurrected by Mahavatar Babaji for humanity at large. He instructed his disciple Lahiri Mahasaya in the ancient science, and told him that his role in life was to teach it openly to others (as had not been done for many centuries).

    At first Babaji set a very high standard for Kriya Yoga initiation. Lahiri Mahasaya then requested that Babaji relax the traditionally strict requirements for discipleship. “Be it so,” Babaji compassionately acquiesced. “The divine wish has been expressed through you. Give Kriya to all who humbly ask you for help.”

    Speaking to disciples at the SRF Mother Center in 1949, Paramahansa Yogananda gave more details about this: “Although the ancient restrictions of asceticism and renunciation were waived by Babaji in order that the masses might benefit from Kriya Yoga, he nevertheless required of Lahiri Mahasaya and all descendants of his spiritual line (the SRF/YSS line of Gurus) that they impose on any who sought initiation a period of preliminary spiritual training, by way of preparation for Kriya Yoga practice.”

    From the earliest years of his mission in the West, Paramahansaji began developing a systematic course of instruction in the yoga principles and techniques that would prepare serious students for initiation in Kriya Yoga according to the requirements set in place by Babaji. This course was initially taught only in classes conducted personally by Paramahansaji, and included three basic techniques whose practice he felt was integral to the full effectiveness of Kriya Yoga: the Technique of Energization, the Hong-Sau Technique of Concentration, and the Aum Technique of Meditation.

    Since 1934, detailed instruction in all of the above techniques has been given in the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons.

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    Supplement Lessons Series — Now Available

    Available to students who have completed the basic series of SRF Lessons  

    Many years ago Paramahansa Yogananda said that the new Lessons should provide followers of this path with a continuous stream of inspiration throughout their lives.  

    The Supplement Lessons feature valuable guidance and instruction from Paramahansa Yogananda that expand on the how-to-live principles and meditation techniques you received in the basic series of SRF Lessons, and provide a wealth of new guidance, inspiration, and additional techniques to deepen your spiritual life. 

    This series of Lessons includes material from previously unpublished talks and writings of Paramahansa Yogananda as well as from earlier editions of the Lessons. 

    Supplement Series Lesson 19


    The Supplement series features a wide range of topics to enhance and strengthen your practice of our Guru’s meditation techniques and how-to-live teachings, such as: 

    • Deepening your personal relationship with God
    • Mastering the power of concentration
    • How to deepen your meditations 
    • Cultivating prosperity and success 
    • Harmonizing body, mind, and soul 
    • Health and healing 
    • Understanding death and reincarnation 
    • Spiritualizing business life 
    • Feeling God’s presence 
    • Overcoming pain and sorrow 
    • How to get along with others 
    • Affirmations and prayers 
    • Guided meditations and visualizations 
    • And much more 

    Cost and Timing 

    There are approximately 90 Lessons in the Supplement series. You will receive one Lesson every two weeks. If received without interruption, the Supplement Lessons continue for approximately 3 1/2 years. 

    You may choose between two subscription plans: 

    • Annual subscription — $80/year (with auto-renew every year) 
    • Monthly subscription — $8/month (receive two Lessons a month—with auto-renew every month) 

    Both subscription plans include free access to digital versions of the Lessons in the SRF Lessons app. (The latest version of the app will give you full access to this content.) 


    Can I receive the Supplement Lessons before receiving the Basic Lessons? 

    You will need to first receive the full basic Lessons series (new edition) before you are eligible to enroll for the Supplement Lessons. 

    How many Lessons are there? How long are they? 

    There are approximately 90 Lessons in the Supplement series. They range from 12 pages to 32 pages with most falling between 16 and 24. 

    How often are they mailed?  / What is the mailing structure? 

    Supplement Lessons are mailed every two weeks. The mailing structure is the same as the basic series. 

    What will I receive? / What’s the content? 

    You will receive one Lesson every two weeks, just like the basic series. The Supplement Lessons continue Paramahansaji’s teachings on meditation and spiritual living. Those who feel they have benefited from studying the basic series will also get much out of continuing their studies of the SRF “how-to-live” teachings presented in the Supplement series. 

    Are there paper Lessons?  


    Will there be auxiliary material in the member portal? 

    For Lessons that have auxiliary content it will be available in the member portal and on the app. 

    Will digital Lessons be available in the app? When do they show up on the app? 

    Yes, digital versions of the Lessons will be available in the app, just like the basic series. They will be available to you one week after the corresponding print Lesson has mailed. 

    Do I need to receive all of them or can I pick and choose which ones I’m interested in? 

    The Supplement Lessons will be mailed out in sequential order to all those who enroll, starting with Lesson #19 (which is the next Lesson after the final Lesson in the basic series, #18). 

    Can the Supplement Lessons be sent all together in one package? 

    No. The Supplement Lessons are only available one by one at this time. 

    When will they be available in other languages? 

    In the coming years, the Supplement Lessons will be released in several languages. 

    Unique Features

    What You Will Receive in the Lessons

    The SRF yoga techniques of meditation — progressively higher methods for producing Self-realization and God-communion, given at specific intervals during one’s study of the Lessons.

    Practical “how-to-live” wisdom to help confront and solve the myriad problems of life, and create harmony and success in every area of one’s existence.

    Vibrant affirmations for applying the power of concentrated mind and will for self-improvement and spiritual progress.

    Divinely inspired prayers and poetically expressed experiences in Self-realization to awaken heart-centered devotion and desire for God.

    Scientific explanations of the principles and philosophy on which the meditation techniques are based — to satisfy your reason as well as your heart.

    Spiritual teachings on scientific health culture for prevention and healing of disease — physical, psychological, and spiritual.

    Instructive stories illustrating moral and spiritual principles for yourself and your family.

    A constant stream of inspiration — through the divinely charged words of Paramahansa Yogananda — to support and motivate your personal journey to life’s highest goal: God-realization.

    Personal Guidance and Other Services for Students of the Lessons

    The spiritual path taught in the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons is individual, not institutional. The materials sent to your home are sufficient in themselves, and no organizational participation is required. However, for those who wish the support of a spiritual community and fellowship, many other (completely optional) services are offered. In addition to the printed Lessons, SRF members receive the following benefits, amongst others:

    • Spiritual counsel: Personal guidance and answers to questions regarding your practice of Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings and techniques, provided by experienced SRF monks and nuns pledged to a life of seeking God through Kriya Yoga and selfless service to Paramahansaji’s work.
    • Special classes on the SRF techniques, given periodically by SRF monastics in various cities all over the world, and online, which are open only to students of the Lessons. (These are in addition to the programs conducted for the general public.)
    • A yearly Convocation held in Los Angeles: a weeklong intensive immersion in Paramahansa Yogananda’s meditation techniques and teachings, attended by thousands from all over the world.
    • Regular letters and messages of inspiration and encouragement from the president and spiritual head of Self-Realization Fellowship, sent throughout the year.

    A Sampling of Some of the Lessons Topics

    • Yoga: The Universal Science of Knowing God
    • The Art of Relaxation: Doorway to Inner Silence
    • The Spiritual Genesis of  Cosmic Creation
    • The Spinal Highway to the Infinite
    • Yoga Principles of Health and Healing
    • The Art of Balanced Spiritual Living
    • The Cycles of Life and Death

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    Lessons App

    A Digital Resource to Aid Your Spiritual Journey

    We would like to let you know that the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons and auxiliary content are available to SRF Lessons students in digital form via a proprietary app available for Apple (iOS) and Android devices. The auxiliary material is also available to Lessons students in their member portal account. (Please note that the digital version of the SRF Lessons are not available on the member portal account.) 

    Some of the Features of the App

    • Study and Introspection Guide for each Lesson 
    • Audio recordings of Paramahansa Yogananda 
    • Guided meditations and devotional chanting led by SRF monastics 
    • Classes on the SRF meditation techniques

    This digital content provides many benefits when used judiciously in combination with the printed version of the Lessons. Many people have attested to the tremendous support they have received from this multimedia content; and we look forward to providing you through the Lessons app and member portal with an expanding array of digital offerings to help you in living a God-centered life.

    How Do I Get the SRF Lessons App

    • Not yet a Lessons student? First subscribe to the SRF Lessons. You will then receive an email with instructions on downloading the app and how to sign in.
    • I am currently subscribed to the SRF Basic Lessons. Download the app from either Google Play or the Apple Store. You will need your SRF Member Portal username and password to login.

    Download the SRF Lessons APP on Google Play        Download the SRF Lessons App from iTunes

    Cost and Timing

    The SRF Lessons (basic series) is divided into 18 in-depth Lessons (approximately 24-40 pages each), each of which students receive every two weeks for 9 months. All of the basic meditation techniques that are preparatory to Kriya Yoga are mailed by the end of this period.  

    Through January 31, 2021, we are offering the basic series of the SRF Lessons at a special price — $90 for domestic (and $100 for international) — substantially lower than the regular $185 subscription fee. 

    This price includes complimentary access to the digital version of the Lessons in the SRF Lessons app, and all the auxiliary content for the Lessons, during the nine-month period in which you are receiving the basic series of SRF Lessons.  

    Special note: We are offering the Lessons at the lowest price we can, so that the Lessons can be available to all who otherwise may not be able to afford them. We are only able to offer this low price because of the generous support that we have received from many members of Self-Realization Fellowship toward the spread of Paramahansa Yogananda’s work to people in all lands. 

    If you are able, we would be very grateful if when enrolling you could also consider making a donation. This will allow us to extend the availability of Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings to all sincere seekers and also meet our general operating expenses. 

    Please allow 2 weeks for the first Lesson to arrive. If you live outside the U.S., please allow 3 weeks for delivery. 

    After practicing your Lessons for six months, I have found all you have taught me to be true. You have proven the existence of God to me, something I once thought impossible.

    C.C., Virginia

    Apply for the SRF Lessons

    Apply Now

    Applying for the first time? It’s easy!

    STEP 1: Create an account.

    STEP 2: Complete an application.

    STEP 3: Print, sign, and mail the pledge.

    Already a Lessons student or graduate of the Lessons?

    If you have subscribed to the SRF Lessons in the past, please log in to your account to bypass the full application process.


    How do the SRF Lessons differ from the other works by Paramahansa Yogananda, such as his anthologies and commentaries on the scriptures of East and West?

    The Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons are unique among Paramahansaji’s published writings in that they provide his confidential, step-by-step instructions in the yoga techniques of meditation, concentration, and energization that are described but not fully explained in his other works, which are for the general public. These advanced techniques are offered through the Lessons to all sincere seekers of truth—regardless of religious affiliation—and prepare for the Kriya meditation technique those who wish to consider a deeper commitment to this spiritual path.

    The Lessons have been newly enhanced and greatly expanded, making them the most comprehensive edition ever offered. This new edition contains a wealth of previously unpublished material from Paramahansaji’s writings and classes on the SRF meditation techniques and many other subjects on how to live a spiritually balanced and successful life.

    May I also continue other spiritual studies and techniques while studying the SRF Lessons?

    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 advise, 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 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. (Those students who wish to dedicate themselves wholly to the SRF path may formally take this step by receiving Kriya Yoga after fulfilling the requirements for this sacred initiation.)

    How do I enroll in the SRF Lessons? 

    Enrollment is simple, and can easily be done online. To begin, we ask that you create an online account and then you will be asked to complete the Lessons application. ENROLL NOW. 

    Why is a pledge of confidentiality required for receiving the Lessons? 

    As part of enrolling in the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons, you will be asked to affirm that you will preserve the confidentiality of the instructions therein. As explained above, the teaching given by Paramahansa Yogananda in the Lessons is deeper than that which he gave in talks and books for the public at large. He wrote:

    “In a book available to the general public I cannot give the techniques themselves; for they are sacred, and certain ancient spiritual injunctions must first be followed to insure that they are received with reverence and confidentiality, and thereafter practiced correctly.”

    From his earliest years of teaching the meditation techniques of the Kriya Yoga science and their accompanying principles, Paramahansa Yogananda faithfully observed the spiritual principles governing transmission of sacred knowledge. When he put those teachings in printed form, he perpetuated that tradition of confidentiality in the Lessons Pledge that all recipients of the Lessons are asked to sign as part of the enrollment process; and that practice continues today. 

    What is the cost of the new edition of the Lessons? 

    Through January 31, 2021, we are offering the basic series of the SRF Lessons at a special price — $90 for domestic (and $100 for international) — substantially lower than the regular $185 subscription fee. 

    This price includes complimentary access to the digital version of the Lessons in the SRF Lessons app, and all the auxiliary content for the Lessons, during the nine-month period in which you are receiving the basic series of SRF Lessons

    We are only able to offer this low price because of the generous support that we anticipate from so many members of SRF. If you are able, we would be very grateful if you could also consider making a donation when you enroll for the Lessons. This will allow us to meet our general operating expenses and extend the availability of Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings to all sincere seekers.  

    Can I share my Lessons with my spouse? Or do we need to enroll separately?

    Students are asked to sign up individually for the Lessons so they can work with their own copies—marking them as they wish for later review—to gain the most from their study. In addition, in order to register as a Lessons student and access the digital material available on the SRF Lessons app, one needs to create his or her own member portal account, which allows only one enrollment per person. 

    I was a companionate student of the previous edition of the Lessons with my husband/wife/friend. Can we share the new edition of the Lessons? 

    SRF discontinued the companionate program for the Lessons a few years ago. We therefore ask students to sign up individually for the new edition of the Lessons.  

    Why has SRF released a new edition of the Lessons now, so many years after Paramahansa Yogananda left his body? 

    The previous series of SRF Lessons originated in the 1930s. In the last years of his life, before his passing in 1952, Paramahansa Yogananda 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 and later served as the fourth president of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India). Paramahansaji reviewed the Lessons presentation with her and instructed her in his wishes for a thorough revision, noting a number of problems and defects that he wished to address. 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 Lessons will be your life’s work,” he said to her. The result of that “life’s work” is this new edition, completed shortly before her passing in 2017.

    More on the history and evolution of the SRF Lessons can be found in the “Overview” section of this page.  

    How does the new edition of the Lessons differ from the previous Lessons? 

    The new edition of the Lessons is the most comprehensive ever offered, and includes much previously unpublished teaching that was not available when the Lessons were originally created in the 1930s — featuring clearer and more detailed instruction on the SRF meditation techniques, including Kriya Yoga, and many other subjects.

    The new edition has been completely reorganized for clarity and ease of learning. The most essential principles of the SRF path have been distilled into a more systematic 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 includes a basic series of 18 Lessons, each 24 to 40 pages in length, mailed every two weeks for nine months. 

    There is also an expanded series of Kriya Yoga Initiation Lessons. 

    Also, a wealth of additional instruction from Paramahansa Yogananda is offered to students who complete the basic series, described in the “Organization and Sequence” section of this page. 

    The Lessons are also available digitally on iOS and Android mobile devices through the new proprietary SRF Lessons app. Written, audio, and video auxiliary content will be available through the online member portal, as well as in the Lessons app.

    Other improvements in the new edition include:

    • The basic meditation techniques are now taught much sooner after the student enrolls in the series. And instead of taking one year to prepare for Kriya Yoga, the new series makes it possible to apply for Kriya initiation after about eight months.
    • Lessons on the techniques and other key subjects now are now consolidated into one comprehensive Lesson each, instead of being spread out over many separate Lessons as was done in the earlier edition.
    • Additional in-depth Supplement Lessons have been created, using material from the previous series as well as unpublished material by Paramahansaji, including on various advanced topics never before explained in print.
    • Clarification and elaboration of many points in the Lessons, done by Paramahansaji when he worked on revising them in 1949-51, including much new helpful information about the practice of Kriya.
    • Much previously unpublished material has been added from the original source material and classes from which the 1934 Lessons were compiled — as well as from classes, writings, and dictation given by Paramahansaji in the years after the 1934 series was compiled.
    • A careful review has been made of all the early editions of the Lessons, from 1923-34, in order to be sure this new edition incorporates everything authored by Paramahansaji for the Lessons.  

    Why can’t I get the digital Lessons on my computer or Windows devices? 

    At this time, the proprietary software for delivering these confidential studies is only available through our SRF Lessons app. We are exploring the possibility of making the Lessons available on computers and Windows tablet devices in the future. However, the auxiliary content—written, audio, and video—included with the new edition of the Lessons is available on the online member portal of the SRF website. That content is accessible in a browser window on all computers and mobile devices. 

    I was a subscriber to the previous Lessons but did not complete them. Can I continue with that series or do I have to enroll in the new Lessons? 

    The Lessons series to which you previously subscribed is no longer available. We highly recommend that you enroll in the new edition of the Lessons to avail yourself of all the additional material available in this greatly enhanced and expanded edition.

    Is the new edition of the Lessons available in other languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, etc.? 

    At present the new edition is available only in English. It is a high priority for SRF to translate the new edition of the Lessons into other languages. We will share more on the release schedule for each language as that information becomes available. (The earlier edition of the Lessons in other languages will remain available until translation of the new edition is accomplished.)

    Can I sign up to receive the Lessons only in digital format? I don’t want to receive the paper Lessons. 

    We are offering the digital format as an additional resource but not as a replacement for the paper Lessons. Study of these sacred teachings is a powerful form of spiritual practice. An attitude of reverence and one-pointedly focused concentration is necessary to absorb fully the transforming vibration of divine truth that Paramahansa Yogananda’s words impart through the Lessons. For several reasons, digital devices are not as suited as printed material to helping you study in this focused, receptive state. Nevertheless, the digital version of the Lessons provides many benefits to the student when used judiciously in combination with the printed version (such as convenience while traveling, text searching within a Lesson, and bookmarking). 

    I studied the previous edition of the Lessons some years ago. I know that students of the new edition of the Lessons have access to helpful auxiliary digital content, including instructional videos of the Energization Exercises. Can I get access to this auxiliary content without signing up for the new edition of the Lessons? 

    Only those who choose to enroll in the new edition of the Lessons will have access to the digital auxiliary content as part of their subscription. Therefore, if you would like access to any of the instructional videos or other auxiliary content available online, you will need to enroll in the new edition of the Lessons.  

    I am a Lessons 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? 

    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 Lessonswill not need to fill out another Lessons application, but will need to enroll for the new edition of the Lessons. You can enroll for the Lessons by signing in to your online member portal account and following the instructions given there

    Because this expanded and enhanced edition contains much new material, all students of the Lessons, regardless of whether they are graduates of the previous 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. 

    We are confident even if you studied the previous edition, you will find that going through the new edition, one Lesson at a time, will be profoundly inspiring and useful in re-energizing your spiritual life—and that you will also find a deeper inner connection with Paramahansa Yogananda and his lineage of Gurus.

    Remember: Spiritual study—in the focused, intuitive way taught in the Lessons—is in itself a powerful technique of soul-progress and attunement with the Guru.

    I am a Self-Realization Fellowship Kriyaban. Can I receive only the new Kriya Lessons, without going through the basic series first?

    Yes. However, we strongly recommend that existing Kriyabans subscribe to the basic 18 Lessons of the new edition of the Lessons because of the way in which the Lessons have been reorganized and systematically presented. There is invaluable information in the basic series that is extremely helpful for practice of Kriya, as a significant portion of this information was not included in earlier editions of the Lessons

    I have created two online member portal accounts with different email addresses.  How can I merge them into one account? 

    Please email us, informing us of the email addresses of the accounts you have created and which email address you want to use going forward. Or, call Membership Services at 818-549-5151 M-F 9:00 am-12:30 pm or 1:30-4:40 pm, Pacific time.  

    Once I subscribe to the new edition of the Lessons, what should I do with the previous edition?

    You are welcome to return the previous edition of the Lessons to us, but we recommend that you hold on to them until the complete Lessons series are released. This will include not only the new basic series of Lessons (18 Lessons), but also the Kriya Yoga Initiation series, the Supplemental Lessons, the Kriya Yoga Higher Initiation series, and the Satsanga with Paramahansa Yogananda series. Once you receive all of the Lessons, you are welcome to send the previous edition back to Self-Realization Fellowship, or shred them.

    I am a Self-Realization Fellowship Kriyaban. Can I apply for the Higher Kriya techniques, without first subscribing to the basic series or the new Kriya Lessons? 

    Kriyabans who are interested in and qualified to apply for the Higher Kriya techniques must have either completed the six steps of the previous edition of the SRF Lessons or the basic series of the new edition of the Lessons. Kriyabans who learned Kriya from the previous edition of the Lessons will also first need to request the new Kriya Lessons (five Lessons in total) before applying for the Higher Kriya techniques. This is important since the new Kriya Lessons incorporate clarifications on Kriya Paramahansaji introduced during the final years of his life, along with much previously unpublished material, which make this edition of the Kriya Lessons more complete than any earlier edition. 

    I have already received the Higher Kriya Lessons from the old series. What are the requirements for receiving the new Higher Kriya Lessons? 

    Higher Kriya initiates from the previous series will first need to subscribe to the new Kriya Lessons. Once you have received all five Kriya Lessons you will automatically be sent the new Lessons on the Higher Kriya techniques you received in the previous series:  

    • Kriyabans who received the Lessons on the Second Kriya from the old series will be sent the new Lesson on the Second Kriya as well as an additional Lesson on auxiliary practices such as Khechari Mudra and other advanced techniques for Kriya Yogis.  
    • Those who previously received all Higher Kriya techniques (the Second, Third, and Fourth) will automatically be sent the complete series on the Higher Kriyas (in two mailings).  

    Both the new Kriya Lessons and the new Higher Kriya Lessons are being made available to Kriyabans on a donation basis. 

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