Spiritual Teachers & Lineage
In the Indian culture, as well as among many yogis East and West, spiritual aspirants will form a sacred bond with their spiritual teacher, or guru, and the guru's lineage. At Song of the Morning, the masters’ names are reverently invoked before each meditation session using the following affirmation:
"Heavenly Father, Divine Mother, Friend, beloved God. Jesus Christ, Bhagavan Krishna, Mahavatar Babaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukteswar, Paramahansa Yogananda. Saints and sages of all religions, we bow to all of you."
On this page is a short introductory description of each master. More information can be found at the SRF Lineage Webpage, and in Yogananda's book, Autobiography of a Yogi.
Jesus Christ and Bhagavan Krishna are generally recognized in the West and East, respectively, as supreme avatars (divine incarnations). Krishna, enlightened king of ancient India, is estimated to have lived about 3000 B.C.
In 1861 Mahavatar Babaji, a secluded Himalayan master of high spiritual attainment, initiated Lahiri Mahasaya into kriya yoga (method taught by the SRF masters) at a remote location in northeastern India.
Those who visited Lahiri Mahasaya (1828-1894) at his Banaras, India home had their lives profoundly transformed. “All knew they had received the silent blessing of a true man of God.” (Autobiography of a Yogi)
Lahiri Mahasaya’s disciple, Swami Sri Yukteswar, (1855-1937), recognized as a preeminent sage and yogi, continued the spread of kriya yoga from his chief ashram in Serampore, India.
Paramahansa Yogananda (b. 1893) began his training with his guru, Sri Yukteswar, in about 1910 and became a monk of the swami order in 1915. Yogananda came to the West upon accepting an invitation to speak in the United States at the Congress of Religious Liberals in Boston in 1920. He subsequently taught and lectured throughout the country and founded Self-realization Fellowship (SRF). His writings are voluminous and display a rare quality of presenting the deep wisdon of the East, including the art & science of yoga, to English readers in a way that is undiluted yet easy to understand.
Paramahansa Yogananda taught, healed, and initiated thousands into kriya yoga before his passing (mahasamadhi) in Los Angeles in 1952. His prayers, poems, affirmations and chants are included during meditation sessions at Song of the Morning.