A Handbook on Discipleship

The Ananda Course in Self-Realization - Step 3
by Swami Kriyananda

Someone once asked Swami Kriyananda, "Do I need a guru?"

Those present, knowing of his life-long discipleship to Paramhansa Yogananda, were surprised to hear his response, "No, you don't." He then added, "But if you want to find God, you need a guru."

No one would think twice about seeking an expert guide when climbing a mountain, learning a musical instrument, or becoming a competitive athlete. Yet in attaining spiritual freedom, surely the most difficult endeavor of all, many try to make their own way by cobbling together various beliefs and practices. Often these choices are based on nothing more than personal likes and dislikes.

This Handbook on Discipleship explains whay a guru is needed, what a true guru is, and how to follow the guru. It also clears up many common misunderstandings on the subject that are prevalent in current spiritual thinking.

These lessons offer a rare opportunity to learn about discipleship from a lifelong disciple of a fully realized Master. Swami Kriyananda has been a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda for over sixty years. For all of the extraordinary accomlishments of Swami Kriyananda's life — over one hundred books, over four hundred pieces of music, successful spiritual communities all over the world, and more — he gives full credit to Yogananda and to what he has gained as his disciple.

The first part of the book shares teachings that are universal to the Guru-Disciple relationship, even though they are based on the specific relationship of Swami Kriyananda with Paramhansa Yogananda. Some of the subjects covered in the first part include:

  • Does on need a living guru?
  • The role of divine grace in spiritual progress
  • How to follow a guru
  • How to draw on the guru's power
  • The importance of attunement and magnetism

The second part describes the process of becoming a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda. It includes a Discipleship Initiation Ceremony, which helps to connect the new disciple to the thousands of disciples who are part of Ananda — a worldwide movement of people who have been following Yogananda for many decades.

Through these lessons, we hope you will come to know how to draw the grace of the guru into your life, and how to receive it more fully until you become one with God.

See Also: Contents  Sample Chapter  

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