Rule: The disciple should endeavor to demonstrate by thought, word, and action his complete loyalty to Self-Realization Fellowship teachings, and to the Gurus: Jesus Christ, Bhagavan Krishna, Mahavatar Babaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, Swami Sri Yukteswar, and Paramahansa Yogananda; and to the President of Self-Realization Fellowship, to the SRF Board of Directors, to all authorized representatives of SRF teachings, and to fellow disciples and members.

Reason: Paramahansaji explained that loyalty to the channel to which God has directed the devotee is essential for that devotee’s spiritual advancement. If one does not possess enough faith in a path to devote himself strictly to its principles he will never gain the fullest benefits of its teaching. Self-Realization Fellowship assumes that any person who enters upon the life of renunciative discipleship under the guidance of Self-Realization teachings has thereby indicated his readiness to abandon all preconception, all searching outside the
teachings of Self-Realization Fellowship, and all negative criticism of the instructions and methods of Self-Realization Fellowship, its Gurus and representatives, so that through complete self-surrender he himself may seek and attain Self-Realization.

It is understood that when the devotee enters the path of renunciation he may not at once fully understand all SRF teachings, or the ultimate meaning of the spiritual responsibility he has undertaken. However, the devotee who cooperates fully with his counselor, refusing to be sidetracked from his objective, will so expand his consciousness that he will eventually experience the true loyalty that is without condition because it is founded in knowing? The SRF devotee may not take a vow of renunciation for three years that he may have ample opportunity to be certain that it is his unconditional desire to affiliate his entire life with Self-Realization Fellowship as a renunciant, accepting both the benefits and the responsibilities that this step entails.

Unless the devotee gives his loyalty to Self-Realization Fellowship, the Gurus of this path (and those through whom they work to help the devotee) are hampered in their guidance of the disciple to his own Self-realization. Devotees who are loyal and devoted are sure to receive the highest blessings of the path.

The following interpretation of loyalty will help you to understand what is expected of you in this regard:

Since Self-Realization Fellowship is dedicated to the soul progress of the individual, it is necessary first of all that the disciple be true to his better self, his highest ideals. He should be capable not only of accepting graciously and to his benefit the guidance of others, but also of exercising the initiative in practicing self-discipline. He should be a person who appreciates the honor system and works responsibly under it.

It is understood that we support and promote that to which we are dedicated — that to which we have pledged our loyalty. Therefore, the Self-Realizationist’s loyalty is active, not passive, and those disciples who do not willingly and happily take part in the work of SRF, or who do not make a wholehearted effort to incorporate its teachings into their daily lives, are not manifesting that quality looked for by Paramahansaji in those who took the vow of loyalty.

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