Through the Ages
Throughout his life, Swami Kriyananda retained a defining zeal: his burning desire to find God and to help others find Him.
Swami Kriyananda offered everything that he was to his Guru, Paramhansa Yogananda. He said finally, “I can no longer tell where Kriyananda ends and Yogananda begins.”
Swami Kriyananda met many saints in his life, and some masters. One of them, to whom he felt particularly close, was Ananda Moyee Ma, pictured above. She spoke very highly of him, and is shown here blessing him during a satsang.
His home at Crystal Hermitage was originally a single dome. Since then it has expanded into a beautiful garden estate which thousands of people visit every year.
At the Kumbha Mela in India, the largest temporary gathering on the planet, which truth-seekers and saints attend.
He blessed many people. He felt that sharing an uplifted vibration was much more important than simply sharing words or teachings. In fact, he said (paraphrasing), “I never teach. I only try to share what I know with people, and if they are helped by that, I am glad.”
Yogananda told him, “Your life will be one of activity — and meditation.” He sometimes took seclusions, but his life was very active.
He travelled all around the world, throughout his life — so much so that one could hardly call him a resident of any country, though legally he was American.
One of Swami Kriyananda’s strengths is his ability to train leaders and give them responsibility in a way that is spiritually helpful. He is pictured here with Nayaswami Jyotish, Spiritual Director of Ananda Sangha Worldwide.
One of the chief attributes of Swami Kriyananda that many people experienced was his unconditional friendship — what he called “divine friendship.”
In the last years of his life, he traveled between America, India, and Italy, giving talks, writing books and movie scripts, and meeting with individuals. Here he is lecturing at the amphitheater of The Expanding Light at Ananda Village in California.
He often said publicly, “I’m a nobody. Kriyananda doesn’t matter at all.” A friend commented to him, “Well, they say nobody is perfect — that must mean that you’re perfect!”
One of Swami Kriyananda’s most important books is The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita as Paramhansa Yogananda taught it. He wrote the book in just under two months, saying that finishing it in such a short time was “a miracle, and a miracle with great purpose.”
At a gathering at Ananda’s community in Seattle. Swami Kriyananda has traveled extensively, giving talks most recently in America, India, and Italy.
In his 64 years of service and discipleship to God and his Guru, Swami Kriyananda’s books and albums have sold millions of copies. He was known and loved around the world.
He wrote perhaps 140 books and 420 pieces of music, gave thousands of lectures, and founded spiritual communities around the world.
Paramhansa Yogananda told Swami Kriyananda that his work was “writing and lecturing.”
Pictured in the dome at Crystal Hermitage, his home in America and the spiritual heart of Ananda Village.
His friendship — deeply caring but not sentimental — inspired people everywhere.
In Assisi, Italy, one of the Ananda spiritual communities that he has founded around the world.
Swami Kriyananda’s joy was contagious. After a talk, a reporter said to him that he didn’t expect a spiritual teacher to have such a lively sense of humor. Kriyananda replied, “Oh, Yogananda was the same way.”
At the first initiation of the Nayaswami Order, an monastic order that Swami Kriyananda founded to better express the more fluid spirituality of our times. Individuals from all religions and spiritual paths are welcome to join this order.
His adult life was defined by his discipleship to Paramhansa Yogananda, whom he met at age 22. The first words he said to him were, “I want to be your disciple.”
Swami Kriyananda gave many talks in India during the last years of his life, until (only recently) his health prevented him.
Devotees came to pay their last respects, and offer flowers, symbolic of their love and friendship.
Swami Kriyananda’s body was displayed on April 21 in the Ananda temple near Assisi, Italy.
© Ananda Church of Self-Realization 2014