"Behind the Scenes"

The Art & Science of Raja Yoga

The Ananda Course in Self-Realization - Step 2
by Swami Kriyananda

After I started a community at Ananda, I began trying to create supporting enterprises for it. This book was first written as a home study course under the name, Fourteen Steps to Perfect Joy. It was my first step in the direction of such enterprises. Many years later it was published in book form, with the above title,

The lessons were designed originally with a desire not to compete with SRF's lessons. I centered, therefore, around the science of Hatha Yoga.

Because I was still giving classes in the city in order to meet the payments on our mortgage, the only time I had available for actually writing the course was on Friday evenings, on my return to Ananda. Every weekday evening I taught classes, leaving myself free on the weekends. Friday evening I would drive up to Ananda Village, and there dictate a lesson late into the night. Saturday morning I would give a class for retreatants, then offer personal interviews that covered a few hours in the afternoon. Saturday evening I would give a concert of my songs, usually followed by a short talk. Sunday morning I would perform a fire ceremony, then conduct a two-hour worship service, after which I ate lunch, gave one or two more private interviews, and then drive down to the city to begin the weekly process all over again. It was an intense schedule.

The lessons I wrote were helpful in building our work—though less so financially than I'd have liked. Some years later I decided I had to be true to what I really believed. The yoga postures are a subordinate part of the Raja Yoga science. Ever anxious not to place myself in competition with SRF, I took a different approach to my Guru's teachings, one which he himself had initiated in classes he'd given on the ancient teachings of Patanjali. Thus, my Raja Yoga teachings were based on his explanation of the Eightfold Path of Patanjali.

The lessons received high praise from many people, who said they were the clearest and most complete material available anywhere on the subject. Later, I decided this material should be given its present book form.

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