Can the Guru Guide without Giving Initiation?


I have understood that God is our ultimate goal and our job on this earth is to decrease the gap that we have created by our ego. So I am determined to transform this lower nature and become one with the Divine Mother. But this battle requires a Guru. Do you think Yoganandaji or Kriyanandaji will guide me? I have not been initiated, but I have mentally always regarded them as my gurus from the books and Internet. Also, can any Ananda ashram in India help me receive initiation the path of kriy ?

—Shrey, India


Dear Shrey,

Thank you for your question — it is an important one. When the student first takes up the spiritual search, God sends him or her books and lesser teachers. As the student begins to seek intensely, God sends the guru. I say “the” guru because each of us has only one true guru (or satguru). That guru is assigned to each of us — Yogananda said, shockingly — at the time of our soul’s first manifestation.

Is your guru Yoganandaji, or Yoganandaji through Kriyanandaji? It’s quite possible, if only for the reason that you feel to regard them as your guru. Our feelings come from the heart, which — when calm — can give intuitive guidance. Your heart may recognize Yoganandaji, or Yoganandaji through Kriyanandaji, as your guru.

Can the guru guide you without initiation? Certainly! Your guru has been watching you your entire life. And even if Yoganandaji is not your guru, he will guide you to your guru. You can pray to any saint to be guided to your guru. There is no competition in God.

Having said this, is initiation necessary? Yoganandaji said that it is. “Between guru and disciple,” he told Kriyanandaji, “there must at least one physical touch.” You can receive that physical touch from Yoganandaji through one of his disciples — the touch is passed on. Yoganandaji sometimes had others initiate on his behalf even when he was still living.

So he can guide you now, before initiation. And he can guide you to receive initiation.

As for your question about Ananda’s centres in India, yes, they offer initiation into the path of kriya yoga. At present, our main centres are in Pune, the Delhi area, Bangalore, Kolkata, and Chennai. They also offer ongoing classes on-line. You can read more on and

Many blessings to you, Shrey!