Joining the nayaswami order if you have another guru
Dear brother or sister. My name is Leighton Wilson. I have a question regarding loyalty. My Guru is Amma. I feel very drawn to "stand up, and be counted" by taking the vows of a monk. I am very drawn to the "new monastic order" that Swami Kriyananda has helped bring about. I will not be disloyal to my Guru. Would becoming a Nayaswami be "mixing teachings"? Or, would it be disloyal? Thank you for your time and care. Love.
—Edward Leighton Wilson, Canada
Dear Edward, in the inspiration that Nayaswami Kriyananda shared in the creation of the Nayaswami Order he specifically invites those who already ARE swamis to join the Nayaswami Order. He also states that he can imagine nayaswamis who are not on the same path. What he asks of such persons is that they recognize Paramhansa Yogananda as their adi-guru, or as he puts it:
Thus, I can imagine swamis living solitary lives (though perhaps only after some time) in caves or in little kutirs (huts). I can also imagine them not even following the path to which I myself have dedicated my life. Since Paramhansa Yogananda was sent, however, to help bring fundamental change to an entire civilization, I must say that I do visualize all swamis of this new renunciate order accepting him as their adi (first, or supreme) guru. They needn’t at all, however, be members of Ananda, of which I myself am the founder.
He did not elaborate on what the meaning of “first” or “supreme” guru means in relationship to someone who, like yourself, has a guru already. But obviously he contemplates that some in this Nayaswami Order will be disciples of other gurus. So, yes, I think what you are asking is a possibility. At the original initiation of nayaswamis there was a woman who is a disciple of Jesus Christ, for example.
As to your relationship to Paramhansa Yogananda (as to “first” or “supreme”), I can only speculate that it means acknowledging (with gratitude and devotion) that Yogananda represents (in addition to a guru for those who consider themselves his disciples) an overarching spirit or divine incarnation sent to guide this (new) age. It’s probably more than just a general respect for a saint on another path or lineage, but he cannot have intended to create a conflict for you with your devotion, service, and attunement with Amma.
What is not addressed is how the preliminary stages of renunciation apply in such a case. I have no reason to believe they apply any differently.
If you know someone at Ananda, and can find out if they are a nayaswami, you can establish or deepen your relationship with that person and they can guide you along the process. Short of that, may I suggest that you write to Nayaswami Bharat through this form on The Nayaswami Order website.
Blessings to you,