Having a “Living” Guru


I listened to all the talks that were made available from Spiritual Renewal Week. I am so glad to have that resource. But I was left confused by Swami's talk on August 14, and I have no one to discuss my questions with, so I appreciate your attention and answers.

Kriyananda said that it is absolutely necessary to have met the guru at least once. So did he really answer the question — what about us "poor slobs" who didn't have the opportunity to meet Yogananda? What is Swami's solution for us?

—Lora, USA


Dear Lora,

Am so glad you were able to join us for Spiritual Renewal Week via the web. I thought Swami Kriyananda answered the question about a living guru well, but I have heard him talk on this subject before, so it was perhaps clearer for me.

He referred to the fact that even when Yogananda was alive, he would often have initiation (or the connection with the guru) be given by one of his disciples. Swamiji said that the connection with the guru comes through his line of disciples. The more in tune a disciple is, the more clearly he can communicate the “ray of grace” of a master, and makes that necessary link for the disciple.

If this were not the case, Yogananda’s path would have had to end with his death, and he spoke often of the growth of his work after his passing.

The kinds of changes I have seen come into people’s lives (including my own – and probably you have seen this for yourself), would not be possible without the transforming power of the guru.

Swami Kriyananda writes very well on this subject in a wonderful book called Religion in the New Age (a collection of essays on a wealth of different topics).

I hope this is helpful.

In divine friendship,