Course on Discipleship Path of Kriya Yoga

Whenever we become serious in any field of study, we tend to seek the wisdom and guidance from one who has mastered his ‘art.’ For success depends on learning from those who have the insight and ability to guide our efforts ever-closer to our goals. This is especially true on the spiritual path. The Guru-Disciple relationship is one filled with deep inspiration, offering our lives a clear direction to focus our spiritual efforts.

Through discipleship we are able to achieve a balance of self-effort and divine grace that is essential to spiritual progress. Swami Kriyananda shares insights into the importance and practice of the Guru-Disciple relationship. Through personal stories and reflection of his experiences with Paramhansa Yogananda, he helps prepare the student for a life of discipleship to a great Yoga master. If, after completing this course, you feel ready for this level of commitment, you may receive an at-home or in-person initiation into this line of Masters of Self-Realization.

Who is This Course For:

This course is a part of the Path of Kriya Yoga and is for those who have completed Lessons in Meditation and Living the Principles of Self-Realization and are on the learning track to eventually receive Kriya Yoga initiation.

A Course on Discipleship provides seven core lessons over a period of ten weeks that deepen one’s understanding of what the Guru-Disciple relationship truly means. Topics that are explored include: what discipleship is and isn’t, the need and the role of a guru, how to find your guru, what is attunement, and an understanding of the mission of Paramhansa Yogananda. The instructor will work with each student to help them see if this path of Self-Realization as brought by Paramhansa Yogananda is their divine path, and if so, this course will offer the student an opportunity to embrace discipleship with Paramhansa Yogananda as their guru.

Tuition for 10-Week Course: $69.95

Contact us if you’re interested in joining the course.
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What You’ll Receive:

  • Seven lessons designed to help guide you through the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda on discipleship.
  • Textbook (PDF format).
  • Digital videos of Swami Kriyananda and other Ananda ministers.
  • Interactive forums for discussion with fellow students and instructor.
  • Weekly classes,  guided meditations, and discussions online with the instructor.
  • Personal support from instructor (via email, telephone or live chat).

*All webinars will be recorded and available for later viewing.

More About Course

“God sends the seeker indirect guidance at first, through books and lesser teachers. Only when the desire for Him is very strong does He send help in the form of a Self-realized guru. It is no favor to the guru if the student accepts him. Rather, the student must have prayed very hard, in this lifetime and in former lives, to have earned so great a blessing.” — Paramhansa Yoganada from Essence of Self-Realization
This course explores the Guru-Disciple relationship, what it IS and how to deepen your spiritual life by following the guidance of a God-Realized Master. Throughout the lessons, you will see that your spiritual potential is that of a saint, you but only need to remember your divinity. The help of the saints is always with us, and in this course we learn how to call on their blessings so that we, too, may realize our highest potential.

While the material in this course is universal to all spiritual paths and traditions, we will focus on discipleship of Paramhansa Yogananda and Ananda’s spiritual lineage. If after completing this course you feel that Yogananda is your guru, you can take part in a home discipleship initiation ceremony. This course can also prepare one for an in-person ceremony at a local Ananda Center. In becoming a disciple, you will be joining thousands of other disciples worldwide who are part of Ananda.

This course offers several methods for student engagement through the lesson material, forums, live webinars, and email correspondence with the course instructor. Each lesson contains reading assignments, digital videos of Swami Kriyananda, audio learning tracks, and live as well as recorded webinar classes. In addition, each lesson  contains a quiz which allows for further interaction and guidance.

The recommended pace of this course is one lesson per week. You will have 10 weeks to complete the seven lessons in this course. You will receive an email reminder seven days before your enrollment period expires. We offer enrollment extensions freely, so if you find you need more time to complete the course, you can let us know at

31 reviews for Course on Discipleship

  1. 5 out of 5

    Excellent course that helps you deepen your relationship with the Master. Wonderfully presented and easy to follow at any stage in the Path. I always wanted to improve my discipleship and find this course the best way to start achieving my goal. Highly recommended to all sincere seekers of the Eternal Truth.

  2. mm
    5 out of 5

    Thanks to this course how to be in tune with Yogananda. It helped me to understand the meaning and importance of the Guru in my spiritual path and the blessings of being a disciple of him. I highly recommend this course.

  3. 5 out of 5

    I was unable to take the Discipleship Course in person due to a hectic work schedule. I was glad to find an online version available so that I could continue my education without interruption. I appreciated having the videos and literature to read during my free time. Jitendra was always available for feedback and questions through the forum and messages. I would recommend taking the online courses if taking the class in person is not an option for you.

  4. 5 out of 5

    This course helped clarify what Discipleship is truly about. Thank you !!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Highly recommended for spiritual evolvement. You will get a lot from it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Premdas has been an incredible storehouse of knowledge and responsive with his support throughout this course. Definitely an essential clarifying step on the path.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Although I have been a follower of Paramhansa Yogananda for a long time, only after this course did I realize the importance of Guru on the spiritual path. Having an extremely knowledgeable and helpful teacher in Premdasa helped a lot in navigating this course.
    I am enrolling for the next course “Preparation for Kriya Yoga” to continue my spiritual journey.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Great class!
    This book answered my questions and helped me make the decision for discipleship.
    Thank you Premdas for hosting this and helping us navigate this process.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Once again, the on-line format definitely works for me! And having contact with a live teacher is essential and well incorporated in this course as with the other courses. It definitely helps that Premdas is so suited to the role! I loved how he guides without being preachy and always seems to be in tune with love and joy, by being helpful when I asked questions and providing me with ample supplementary documentation when needed or thought to be useful (and it was!). I also was granted extra time and space to figure things out when needed, and that was important to me! Thank you to Ananda and Premdas for making this course available and a pleasure to take!

  10. 5 out of 5

    The Discipleship Class with Nayaswami Premdas is powerful course that has an intelligent momentum and allows for ever deepening devotion. So grateful to our teacher, who is devoted to helping us progress and understand. Julie

  11. 5 out of 5

    I found the Course on Discipleship fantastic. Nayaswami Premdas is so inspiring and supportive. Each step on the Path to Kriya Yoga with Ananda has gradually shown and allowed me to feel those god qualities from the Guru getting stronger. This course was the natural progression for me after the first two, as was the Discipleship vow at the end of the course. May I add that taking the vow was fully explained and supported by Nayaswami Premdas making it all just feel right. Each day I know I am being drawn in the right direction with my efforts to find self-realisation, and with the support of our guru Paramhansa Yogananda, and the wonderful spiritual family at Ananda I am feeling more and more sure I will find what my soul is calling for.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Course on Discipleship has taught me that attunement with the guru is an important aspect of the Kriya Yoga path. Why not take advantage of a Master? Kriyananda’s book helped me understand what it was like to live as a disciple of Yogananda. As usual, he shared great insights. Premdas’ enthusiasm and positivity made the course refreshing and relevant. I always looked forward to his supplemental materials. I highly recommend this course. I appreciate the great work done by the Ananda organization. If you did not exist, I would still be seeking a guru.

  13. 5 out of 5

    This has been such a fantastic journey. Giving me hope for a higher state of Being and bringing me one step closer on the path of Kriya Yoga.
    This discovery, (of Ananda and the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda), has been a Godsend and I hope others will be as fortunate as I am in finding this path.

  14. 5 out of 5

    It has been a great class and with an excellent teacher. After the discipleship vow I have that feeling that I am anchored in something a very strong foundation and feel more love, joy, blessings from Master. Thank you so much Nayaswami Premdas for your support and wonderful teaching.
    Jai Guru.

  15. mm
    5 out of 5

    The discipleship course intent is to have a better understanding of what becoming a disciple means, what is the guru-disciple relationship and to ultimately find limitless love through that relationship, here more specific to Yogananda and this lineage. It’s a powerful class using webinars, audio and PDFs to ensure the messaging solidifies with you in each chapter followed by weekly quizzes. Nothing is ever felt forced or pressured but providing the wisdom and hopefully clarity for you to make a decision is this a path you want to further pursue.

  16. 5 out of 5

    This is an excellent course that helps go deeper in understanding the relationship with the Master. Nayaswami Premdas is extremely clear in his explanations and always available to help. During the classes all necessary material is provided. We strongly recommend this course to anybody who seeks a deeper relationship with Paramahansa Yogananda.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nayaswami Premdas illustrates beautifully what joy and creativity await in discipleship! His attentive, always available guidance has touched me deeply. I know now for sure, I am choosing discipleship for myself. Highly intelligent and understanding, Nayaswami Premdas brings so many of Master’s own qualities into this class. I have grown tremendously both as a person and in my spiritual understanding. Of course, all of my teachers at Ananda, although different in their personalities, have the radiant beam of Master reaching through to their students. OM. Forever thankful for this experience.

  18. 5 out of 5

    I see the ray of divine power light up my heart. Each and every course that I have done with Ananda online has taken me on a journey within. I will continue to learn and grow.

  19. 5 out of 5

    This course has done a great job conveying the true meaning of the guru, the relationship between the guru and the disciple, and why you must have a guru to find God. I am ever thankful for this wonderful community full of loving and caring people that provide these teachings to the world.

  20. 5 out of 5

    The Course in Discipleship has helped me a lot to deepen my connection to the guru and to better understand and live the aspect of devotion. A very good course and highly recommended.

    Jai Guru Jai

  21. mm
    5 out of 5

    I really wanted to thank Nayaswami Premdas, my instructor for the discipleship course. We had 2 long conversation on the phone where he got to know me as well as got to know him, he is truly an amazing joyful person full of wisdom. My experience with Ananda has all been online courses, and I really cant say enough about how well organized the online course is. I continue my journey on the path to kriya and look forward to meeting more of the staff someday in the future.

  22. mm
    5 out of 5

    A Course in Discipleship helps you see that you are not separate from the love of God. With each week of prayer, chant, and instruction, you not only see but feel yourself opening to fuller blessing and greater purpose. If you are feeling like you are “without a rudder” in this often confusing and chaotic world, this course provides a direction inward and upward. I recommend it as a “next step” on the path toward greater self-realization.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nayaswami Premdas is an amazing instructor and really cares about his students. This course and this path will change your life forever.

  24. 5 out of 5

    I am very grateful for this course. And I am also grateful to Nayaswami Premdas for all his inspiration, learning, encouragement, informations, and very friendly approach. It made me feel to be a member of the family 🙂
    The course itself has been very well organized and it helped me a lot to deepen my understanding of this Path.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Highly recommend taking this course. Nayaswami Premdas was a great instructor who I now consider a great friend. He was supportive, inspiring, and was there to answer any questions/concerns that came up throughout the course. I am so grateful to be officially initiated as a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda and to have gotten to know Premdas. Thank you to all at Ananda.

  26. 5 out of 5

    It has been an incredible journey so far with Ananda. This course on ‘Discipleship’ in particular has been a eye opener for me which was brilliantly delivered by Nayaswami Premdas ji. Learning the significance of Heart seat into meditation was a “Aha” moment for me . I could actually feel the warmth and coolness in my heart post invocation to the Guru . It was a key lesson to understand and build the relationship with your Guru. It also helped me a long way understanding the true meaning and dissolving any doubts and misconceptions of what Discipleship Truly means. Thank you for all the resources and teachings provided in this course and I wish to carry the learnings with me for the rest of my life. Blessings to all!

  27. 5 out of 5

    This course was a deep discussion of the benefits of discipleship. it dispelled many myths and fears, and clarified what a gift and boon to have this opportunity presented in one’s life. it eased my fears about my worthiness for discipleship. it strengthened my sense of the importance of my spiritual path and the purpose of my life, and validated that this choice is between me and the guru, and that i can listen within to know if/when this it the right choice for me. an empowering and illuminating course whether or not one decides to pursue discipleship.

  28. 5 out of 5

    This course is incredible in that it guides the way to the divine. My teacher was available and helpful throughout the course. I recommend this to anyone inspired by Yogananda and drawn to the path. It will deepen your connection to God.

  29. 5 out of 5

    For me this course opened a whole new view on the concept “Guru”, one that I can accept and understand. The importance of the Heart and the way it will lead us there were we can not come with the mind only, was one of the key points that I’ve learned in this course, just as the role of the Guru in this whole proces. I want to thank Nayaswami Premdas, our instructor, for this wonderful journey and the insights I received during this 3 months. I could feel an open, joyful and supporting energy from him, no matter what choice I should make. This was a true blessing.

Course Outline

  • Reading Assignment, Part One
  • Audio Assignment: Blessings of Discipleship, Part One
  • Recording: Do I need a Guru?
  • Recording: Understanding the Need for a Guru
  • Lesson One Quiz
  • Reading Assignment, Part Two
  • Audio Assignment: Blessings of Discipleship, Part Two
  • The Disciple’s Part
  • Lesson Two Quiz
  • Reading Assignment, Part Three
  • Audio Assignment: Blessings of Discipleship, Part Three
  • Recording: Attunement
  • Lesson Three Quiz
  • Audio Assignment: Blessings of Discipleship, Part Four
  • Reading Assignment, Part Four
  • Recording: Life With a Master
  • Lesson Four Quiz
  • Audio Recording — Samadhi
  • Reading Assignment, Part Five
  • Audio Assignment — Blessings of Discipleship, Part Five
  • Video Recording — Paramhansa Yogananda: Incarnation of Divine Love
  • Lesson Five Quiz
  • Reading Assignment, Part Six
  • Audio Assignment — Song: O Master
  • Video Recording — The Importance of Having a Guru
  • Lesson Six Quiz
  • Reading Assignment, Part Seven
  • Lesson Seven Quiz
After completion of all eleven lessons and quizzes, you can receive your Certificate of Completion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Once the course ends, students no longer have access to it. You will have ten full weeks to complete the seven lessons. The recommended pace is one lesson per week, so there are three additional weeks as a cushion. Additionally, you are able to download all pdf and mp3 material. Please contact us if you have any questions at
The weekly webinars are every Tuesday from 2:00 to 3:00 pm Pacific Standard Time. All webinars are recorded for later viewing.

As far as the lessons are concerned, once a lesson is open, the content is available 24/7 for the duration of the end of the course. A new lesson is made available every Monday, starting on the course start date.

Calculate your local time here.

*All webinars are recorded and posted within the course, available for later viewing.

The are every Tuesday from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm Pacific Time calculate your local time here.

Each webinar will focus on the particular chapter of that week, offering plenty of time for discussion and Q&A.

All live events are recorded for those unable to attend live. We send the link to the recording to everyone enrolled in the course.
If you have extenuating circumstances, and are unable to complete the course in the given time frame, you may request a one time re-enrollment in the next session at no charge.
The time commitment varies with each student and varies with each lesson. Some of the lessons may require a little more time. 1 to 1 1/2 hours a day would be average amount of time commitment.

Meet Your Instructors

Nayaswami Premdas

Nayaswami PremdasNayaswami Premdas serves in various roles with Ananda Sangha. Through The Path of Kriya Yoga, he guides and assists seekers & devotees worldwide. An Ananda Lightbearer-Minister, he’s a credentialed teacher of meditation and yoga & for many years has been leading devotional services & classes at Ananda Village and Ananda Meditation Groups. A 20-year resident of Ananda Village with his wife Jivani, he is known for his joy, devotion, hospitality (Expanding Light Executive Chef, 10 years, 25 years corporate) but most importantly he is appreciated for listening, counseling and sharing the many blessings he receives from this path of self-realization.

Nayaswami Mantradevi

Nayaswami MantradeviNayaswami Mantradevi teaches with insight, clarity and joy, gained from over 40 years of meditating and sharing the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. Her concern for others is one of her key qualities, along with an innate ability to explain spiritual principles and help you apply them to your life. She has served as a minister, teacher and co-director in several Ananda communities: Ananda Village, Palo Alto, Portland, San Francisco, Dallas, and Los Angeles. Long-time experienced Pilgrimage Leaders, she and her husband, Krishnadas, take people to holy places throughout India, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and United States. A successful artist, Mantradevi paints from her home studio. See Mantradevi’s art online.