YSS

Lessons for Home Study Programme

A comprehensive series of Lessons on meditation and spiritual living

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What are the YSS Lessons?

Discover your soul’s infinite potential: the science of Kriya Yoga

We invite you to journey with us on a life-transforming discovery of the peace, joy, and wisdom of the soul through the teachings of Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda.

At the core of Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings is a powerful system of meditation techniques: the Kriya Yoga science of meditation. This ancient science of the soul provides powerful methods for awakening higher spiritual consciousness and the inner bliss of divine realization.

The actual techniques of the Kriya Yoga science are taught by Paramahansa Yogananda in the Yogoda Satsanga Lessons. The Lessons are unique among his published writings, in that they provide his step-by-step instructions in meditation, concentration, and energization, and in how to live a spiritually balanced and successful life.

Study at your own pace with options to last a lifetime.

My only purpose is to awaken God within you. As far as you want to go along the spiritual path, I can show you; and if you practise the techniques in these Lessons you will never feel stagnation in your progress.

— Paramahansa Yogananda

YSS Lessons (Basic Series)

All students start here: Learn YSS techniques of meditation, concentration, and energization, and the foundational principles of balanced spiritual living.

Continue Your Studies

Kriya Yoga Initiation Series 

Initiation and instructions in the technique of Kriya Yoga and establishing of guru-disciple relationship with Paramahansa Yogananda

Supplement Series

These lessons expand on the how-to-live principles and meditation techniques taught in the basic series

Lessons Series Sequence/Order

Purpose & History

Purpose of the Lessons: Teaching the Science of Kriya Yoga

In his Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda introduced the lineage of illumined gurus behind the Yogoda Satsanga Society of India work: Mahavatar Babaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, and Swami Sri Yukteswar. He describes how these fully God-realized masters chose and prepared him to bring the lost, ancient Kriya Yoga science of God-realization to the West and spread it worldwide.

The Yogoda Satsanga Lessons in Self-realization are intended for those who wish to undertake an actual practice of the Kriya Yoga path of meditation described by Paramahansa Yogananda in Autobiography of a Yogi. He explained:

“In a book available to the general public I cannot give the techniques themselves; for they are sacred, and certain ancient spiritual injunctions must first be followed to insure that they are received with reverence and confidentiality, and thereafter practiced correctly.”

Enrolment in the Lessons offered by Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (Self-Realization Fellowship), the organization Paramahansa Yogananda founded to disseminate his teachings and for the continuing fulfilment of his mission, will insure proper guidance and optimum benefit for all who wish to follow the path and practise the sacred meditation techniques he brought for the world.

The Lessons are the Core of Paramahansa Yogananda’s Teachings

Paramahansa Yogananda viewed the Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Lessons as the very core of the teachings he was ordained to bring to the world as a special spiritual dispensation for the coming global civilization.

In his talks and writings printed in his many acclaimed books for the public, Paramahansaji offers a wealth of practical guidance for spiritual living — how to live joyfully and successfully amidst the unceasing challenges and opportunities in this world of change. The Yogoda Satsanga Lessons are for those who want to learn to convert that inspiration into a daily spiritual practice. 

The Lessons are unique among Paramahansa Yogananda’s published works, in that they give his step-by-step instructions in the yoga techniques of meditation, concentration, and energization that he taught, including Kriya Yoga. 

These simple yet highly effective yoga techniques work directly with life energy and consciousness, enabling you to recharge the body with vitality, awaken the mind’s unlimited power, and experience an ever-deepening awareness of the Divine in your life—culminating in the highest states of spiritual consciousness and union with God. 

Since Yoga is based on practice and experience rather than on adherence to a particular set of beliefs, followers of all religions—as well as those who do not affiliate with a religious path—can benefit from the spiritual teachings in the basic series of Lessons and the techniques taught therein. When practised regularly, these methods lead unfailingly to deeper levels of spiritual awareness and perception.

The Yogoda Satsanga teachings impart harmonious development of body, mind, and soul. I have not come to bring a new denomination of sectarian religion, but a super-technique by which you can tune your body, mind, and soul with the highest contact of God.

— Paramahansa Yogananda

Origin and Evolution of the Lessons

Paramahansa Yogananda’s Lessons for home-study, offered in India exclusively through Yogoda Satsanga Society, were originally developed by the Guru during his epoch-making mission to America. In the 1920s and ’30s, Paramahansaji travelled all over the United States, giving public lectures on the YSS/SRF teachings in major cities from coast to coast, attended by tens of thousands.

Following his public lecture series, which lasted one to two weeks in each city, he invited those who wished to commit to a deeper study and ongoing sadhana to enrol for the additional series of lessons classes on the Self-Realization (Yogoda Satsanga) teachings and meditation techniques that he conducted each night over the next several weeks. In the earliest years, students were provided with brief printed outline notes about the subject matter in each class.

It was in 1934 that he announced the first edition of a comprehensive set of printed lessons for home study.
Here are his words on that occasion:

“Day and night for fourteen years I have been thinking how to give to the students a continuous flood of that spiritual awakening which will assure that they will never fall asleep again. So I have planned to send weekly lessons to them. They will start next week and come every week thereafter. We have been working day and night to get them started. Students in all parts of the country have asked, ‘Why don’t you give weekly lessons?’ I have at last found the plan that I know is going to free thousands of souls.”

Thus the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons were born — and they were inaugurated in India as the Yogoda Satsanga Lessons not long afterward. The series was assembled over the course of several years, from 1934 through about 1938. During his visit to India in 1935–36, Paramahansaji made arrangements for a YSS edition of the Lessons to be offered to devotees in India. Under his direction, the terminology in the Lessons was slightly adapted for Indian devotees, though the teachings and sadhana and meditation techniques were identical. These Lessons remained in circulation, with some improvements and modifications, until 2019.

Major Enhancement of the Lessons

In the last years of his life, the Guru devoted himself to an intense period of writing new material and review of his previously published works. Among other projects, he worked on the Lessons personally with Sri Mrinalini Mata (who was then a young disciple, and later served as the fourth president of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India). Paramahansaji reviewed the Lessons presentation with her and instructed her in his wishes for a thorough revision, noting a number of problems and defects that he wished to address. He told her to draw from the many writings and talks he had given in the intervening years since the Lessons were first compiled. “The Lessons will be your life’s work,” he said to her. 

The result of that “life’s work” is the current series, completed shortly before her passing in 2017—featuring vastly improved organization and a wealth of new material from Paramahansaji that was not available for the original 1934 compilation. This new edition of the YSS Lessons is the most comprehensive ever offered, and includes much inspiration and teaching that was never previously published.

Launch Event for the New Edition of the Yogoda Satsanga Society of India/Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons

Excerpts from the inauguration of the new edition of the YSS/SRF Lessons, conducted by Swami Chidananda Giri, president and spiritual head of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India/Self-Realization Fellowship, at SRF International Headquarters on January 31, 2019. The event was livestreamed to YSS/SRF members and friends around the world. A video of the complete event is also available

SRF/YSS App — Your digital spiritual companion for study, meditation, and inspiration

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A digital resource to aid your spiritual journey

Experience a life-transforming awakening of the peace, joy, and wisdom of the soul through the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, author of the spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi.

The SRF/YSS app is for everyone — whether you are brand new to the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda or have been immersing yourself in this great teacher’s wisdom for decades. It is also for anyone who wants to learn more about meditation, the science of Kriya Yoga, and practical ways to live a spiritually balanced life.

Featuring:

  • Guided Meditations on Peace, Living Fearlessly, God as Light, Expansion of Consciousness, and more — with customizable mediation times from 15 to 45 minutes
  • Free access to live online meditations
  • YSS/SRF News and Event Information

For those who are students of the YSS/SRF Lessons…

The app includes the digital versions of your Lessons along with a rich variety of multimedia content to help you apply the YSS/SRF Kriya Yoga teachings in your daily life.

Including:

  • Audio recordings of Paramahansa Yogananda
  • Guided meditations and visualizations led by YSS/SRF monastics
  • Classes on the YSS/SRF meditation techniques
  • Step-by-step video instruction in the YSS/SRF Energization Exercises


If you are a YSS/SRF Lessons student, please use your verified account information to access the Lessons in the app.

How do I get the SRF/YSS App

  • Not yet a Lessons student? First subscribe to the YSS Lessons. You will then receive an email with instructions on downloading the app and how to sign in.
  • Currently subscribed to the YSS Basic Lessons? Download the app from either Google Play or the Apple Store. You will need your YSS Devotee Portal username and password to login.

YSS Lessons students can also view the YSS Lessons and auxiliary material on the desktop app:

Frequently asked Questions

Please click on the link below to read some of the frequently asked questions related to the App.