The Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons are unique among Paramahansa Yogananda’s published writings in that they give his step-by-step instructions in the yoga techniques of meditation, concentration, and energization that he taught, including Kriya Yoga.
The goal of these simple yet highly effective yoga techniques is to teach you to deal directly with energy and consciousness enabling you to recharge your body with energy, to awaken the mind's unlimited power, and to experience a deepening awareness of the Divine in your life.
The Lessons were compiled under Paramahansa Yogananda’s direction from his writings and the many classes and lectures he gave. In addition to his comprehensive instructions in meditation, the Lessons offer practical guidance for every aspect of spiritual living — how to live joyfully and successfully amidst the unceasing challenges and opportunities in this world of change.
Each lesson is 6–8 pages in length, and is meant to be studied for one week. The entire course of Lessons lasts about 3½ years.
- The scientific techniques of yoga meditation
- How to weave God into your daily life
- Friendship — the art of getting along with others
- Creating harmony in marriage and family life
- How to develop creative intuition
- Finding your true vocation, and balanced success and prosperity
- Yoga methods of diet, healing, relaxation, and rejuvenation
- Living without stress and fear
- The dynamic power of will — how to create at will what you need
- Life after death
- Karma and reincarnation
Meditation Techniques Offered to Followers of All Religions
Since Yoga is based on practice and experience rather than on adherence to a particular set of beliefs, followers of all religions can benefit from the spiritual teachings in the Lessons and the three basic techniques. When practiced regularly, these methods lead unfailingly to deeper levels of spiritual awareness and perception.
After a preliminary period of study and practice of the basic techniques, students are eligible to apply for initiation in Kriya Yoga. At this time they formally establish the sacred guru-disciple relationship with Paramahansa Yogananda and his lineage of gurus.
The technique of Kriya Yoga is given in person at special initiation ceremonies, as well as sent to each initiate in a special series of printed lessons that cover every aspect of the Kriya science.
Personal Guidance and Other Services to Students
Lessons students can also receive personal guidance in their practice at any time, free of charge, from experienced meditation counselors of the Self-Realization Fellowship Monastic Order, by contacting the International Headquarters.
In addition, students can attend classes on the techniques of meditation conducted periodically by SRF monastics all over the world. (These classes are open only to Lessons students.)
Students also receive special letters of inspiration and encouragement from the SRF president throughout the year, as well as newsletters and other publications from Self-Realization Fellowship.
Cost and Timing
The Lessons are divided into six steps of thirty lessons each, and two lessons are mailed every other week. It takes about 3½ years to receive all of them. All of the basic meditation techniques that are preparatory to Kriya Yoga are mailed during the first 6 months.
It was Paramahansa Yogananda's wish that the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons be easily available to all who sincerely desire to know God. To this end, the Lessons have always been offered for only a nominal fee to help cover printing and postage costs — currently about 70 cents per lesson. Full details and subscription/mailing plans are outlined on the Lessons application form, available here.
Please allow 4–6 weeks for your first lessons to reach you.
Lessons by e-mail are not available at this time.
“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., Vienna, Virginia.
Applying online is quick and easy. You can also pay online with your credit card. This will reduce processing time for your application.
If you prefer, you can also apply by mail. If you select this option, please download the application form and mail it to the address on the application form.