Studying the new Lessons is refreshing because it’s an opportunity to begin anew in a sense. As I was reading the introductory lesson, “Highest Achievements Through Self-Realization,” I kept the following questions in mind, “What’s in this for me again? What am I to get out of the practice?” The overarching aim is self-realization of course, but there are lots of other benefits along the way.
Self-realization is the knowing — in body, mind, and soul — that we are one with the omnipresence of God…God’s omnipresence is our omnipresence. ~ Paramahansa Yogananda
So I read, paying particular attention to what I’m expected to gain from the study and the practice. There are a plethora of techniques that Guruji (Paramahansa Yogananda) taught. He really did the impossible, teaching his infinite wealth of wisdom from his own self-realization through these written lessons. As did Sri Daya Mata and Sri Mrinalini Mata in capturing his words and later organizing them into this current edition.
In studying the previous Lessons, I found that some of the non-essential techniques kind of merge together and don’t readily come to mind in their entirety over time. They are more so suggestions or optional techniques for a specific concern and are not a part of the daily practice. For example, there’s some breathing exercises to increase lung capacity one can do while walking. In my opinion, those are similar to the preliminary breathing exercises before starting meditation practice, and the exact specifics on how to do either of them (inhale or exhale first, inhale vs double inhale, exhale vs double exhale, how long to hold the breath, how many repetitions, etc.) can get mixed up in my mind. Technique is super important in these methods because they are scientific; therefore, the details are critical in getting the specific results that one is supposed to get. On my second read-through of the intro lesson, I took note of these results to keep in front of me as I continue to study and practice the techniques.
Expected Results (in bold):
- Complete & permanently satisfying answers which come from universal Truth contained therein
- Rise above the three-fold (mental, physical, and spiritual) suffering and gain ever-new bliss through communion with God via the practice of yoga
- Harmonious development and full expression of latent capabilities through the complete and balanced system of the SRF teachings
- Learn the art by which all mental faculties and life energy is brought under conscious control
- Develop the ability to accomplish anything one desires after bringing the mind and body under perfect obedience through the practice
- How to heal the body and depend more on mind
- Boundless power by concentrating within on the Infinite
- Enjoy a personal relationship with the divine when one has the necessary recipiency
- Deep realization of Him through meditation on any of His qualities (love, wisdom, etc)
- Ever-increasing joy from applying Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) techniques erases forever all uncertainty about the existence of God
- All things will follow if one consciously contacts God first
- Spiritualize the body cells (physical welfare)
- Keep in touch with the Source of supply that governs and provides (material welfare)
- Prove truth through personal experience (spiritual welfare)
- Expanded consciousness
- Scientifically tune the body, mind, soul for God contact through the techniques
- Cessation of fear comes with the contact of God
- Knowing God is more satisfying that any earthly desire.
- Bestowal of the realization that one is not a body, but immortal energy and consciousness through the Energization Exercises
- Stilling of the mind to focus one-pointedly on any subject or God through Hong Sau technique
- Meditate on Aum, the Holy Ghost/Comforter that teaches one all things, to actually contact God
- If you follow the SRF teachings, you can find God in this life.
- You are connected with a hierarchy of true masters of spiritual perception through SRF.
- Form this secret inner link with the Masters, and you will find divine protection, healing, bestowals of bliss, communion, and wisdom
- Earthly life will become a beautiful garden of your fulfilled dreams
- Study the Lessons 30 minutes per day, and you will soon realize a new goal of happiness, inner awakening, and realization
- If you practice the techniques, you will never feel stagnation in your progress
- Using these studies and meditating regularly, you will find happiness and answers to your problems
What hefty gains! Who doesn’t want to study SRF teachings?? Kidding! I believe there are many paths to God. Taking a closer look at this list, there are those “if/then” statements: If you do X, you will get Y. Just as important as knowing what I can expect is knowing what I need to do, and do it correctly. So, I need to form this inner link with the Masters, study the Lessons 30 minutes per day, practice the techniques, use these studies, meditate regularly, concentrate within on the infinite, be receptive, and follow the SRF teachings to experience these results. It seems like a lot, and it is, but I’ve found even a little bit of practice goes a long way. ✨
If you’re thirsty to solve your individual problems or the mystery of life, learn and follow the Self-Realization Fellowship teachings. ~ Paramahansa Yogananda
Source: “Introduction: Highest Achievement Through Self-Realization”, which may be obtained here for free.