Talks and Writings by Swami Kriyananda
How will you and your family and friends fare in the years to come? Will you continue to eat well? to drive your own cars? to own your own homes? Will you still be able to vote in free elections? to choose your own line of work? to live and travel where you please? Are world wars now a thing of the past?
My wish and prayer for all members and friends of Ananda is that you devote next year to striving ever more diligently to live by the words of the chant, “Lord, I am Thine, I am Thine, I am Thine! Be Thou mine, be Thou mine, be Thou mine! I am Thine! I am Thine!”
This article is taken from a talk given on January 1, 1999, at the Temple of Light, Ananda in Italy, by Swami Kriyananda.
This year I suggest that you test religion or spirituality scientifically within your own self. Try for one year to think of God and talk to Him. Do it simply as a test, as an experiment. Try to think of God as yourself, inside of yourself, and think that in everything you do, “I do this with You.” Every tiny thought that comes to you, share it with Him.
Men cannot live happily by only spiritual doctrines or material riches. To bring a balance into the lives of the men of the East and the West, the method of developing an equilibrated life must be adopted.
This article is taken from a talk given by Swami Kriyananda at Ananda in Italy on New Year’s day 1998.
There is an Indian saying that has become Ananda’s fundamental principle:
“Where there is dharma, or right action” (that is to say, action
in tune with truth and spiritual ideals), “there is victory.”
When we put principles first in our life, everything goes as it should,
and there can be no failure.
Divine experiences are outside of time and space. Seemingly distant, at least in time, their truth is ever present beneath the surface restlessness of life.
What part, in the vast parabola of time, does one lifetime play in our total existence?
When Jesus was resurrected, he said, “I am always with you,”
and it is true He is. That “I” that Jesus talks about is a symbol.
When Mary Magdalene saw him in the garden he said to her, “Don’t
touch me, I am not yet resurrected.” What did he mean? In divine
stories there are always symbols.
Every evening in India about 200 million viewers can see Swami Kriyananda as he reads from Conversations with Yogananda, and comments on how these words of wisdom can be useful in our daily lives. This is an excerpt from the first of his 365 talks.
A point that my great Guru emphasized repeatedly in his lectures and writings was the importance for devotees of living together in community, sharing their spiritual aspirations.
Most people want to feel that they have some positive impact on the lives of others. To make a difference in the world, however — isn’t that beyond the reach of anyone? Is our planet so small that any single influence can have much impact on it?
The first attitude fundamental to “centering” is self-acceptance. You are who you are. Make the best of it, and envy no one for what he or she is. Don’t draw comparisons between you and others: Encourage yourself, rather, in your efforts to attain your own highest potential.
How often people ask God for His blessings—but what a rare few stop to consider the part they themselves play in attracting those blessings!
True prayer is a whispered call to God. Its effectiveness depends not on the mere repetition of word-formulae, but on focused attention.
Calmness comes with the determination to live ever happily in the present moment, relinquishing the past, and not worrying about the future, but placing our lives firmly in God’s hands, and knowing that He is fully in command. Calmness comes with non-attachment—with knowing that nothing in this world is truly ours.
Some gurus leave behind them a legacy of spiritual writings. Others leave organizations they founded. In both cases, the legacy is more spiritual than either philosophical or material: It is of their vibrations of consciousness.
This is an inspiring article by Swami Kriyananda, published by one of the main Indian newspapers, in which he speaks about one of the key-principles in the teachings of Yogananda, a principle that he himself has put into practice throughout his life: Happiness does not depend on circumstances, but is a mental state. Even more, it is our true nature, the divine bliss of our soul. Enjoy it!
Karma is a law that determines a person’s natural level of evolutional development, and also his actual position in society. Karma is a universal law, and the companion to the law of reincarnation. Karma is not, and is wrongly understood to be, a teaching of divine punishment for the wrongs one commits. . . .
If religion today no longer commands the high esteem it once did, the reason is not hard to find. Throughout the world, religion has identified itself with attitudes that are being abandoned, as mankind embraces a new, less form-bound and form-conscious age of energy.
Divine consciousness exists at the center of every particle in existence: “center everywhere,” as Paramhansa Yogananda put it; “circumference nowhere.” Divine worship is therefore, and quite naturally, inward as well as outward. To one whose view is inward, all things are sacred. All life is, in this sense, a pilgrimage, and everything in existence, a holy shrine, where resides the Lord Himself.
The tragedy in New York and Washington was, and of course still is, appalling. I only hope it has affected none of you personally, through friends and relatives. That it affects all of us in some way is, however, inevitable.
I was watching many people on television today as they observed a few moments of silence to honor the victims of last Tuesday’s tragedy. During those moments of silence, I saw several people glance around as if asking themselves, “What do I do in this silence?” Obviously, the answer was to pray. However, I found myself asking along with them, What should I pray for?
What do you feel is the single most important thing people can do to help the world crisis situation?
Yogananda placed great emphasis on energy, because the world has entered, he said, an age of energy, called Dwapara Yuga. Energy is the bridge between human and divine consciousness, a necessary bridge we need to cross in order to reach an ever-expanding realization.
One must understand that it’s necessary to calm and withdraw the energy from the body and direct it to the Christ Center, so that this love does not lose itself in emotion but expands itself in Infinity. This is an experience that the saints all have but they don’t call it yoga because they don’t know it. It is important to know . . . that the practice of the techniques is central and fundamental.
Yogananda said that God chooses those who choose God. The love that you
draw from Him you feel in your heart, and the more you love Him the more
you will see Him. God doesn’t count your failings, Yogananda said.
He wants only that you love Him enough. Try to love God ever more. In
the end all that remains is God and His love.
I think we are on the eve of a great change, and you can be a part of
that change. God is trying to bring about a balance between East and West.
I believe this civilization is going to come in for very drastic revision.
Ananda will play an important role at that time. Families living in communities,
consciously dedicated to God, can be a tremendous inspiration to people
We are now at the end of the first century of Dwapara Yuga, and what
we are seeing is that there really is a struggle between the old and new
ages. There is a tension between the old ways of thinking and the new,
which is trying to enter the human mind and liberate our consciousness
from material limitations
All the masters have come, not to impress us with their greatness, but
to give us faith in what we ourselves can become. When you pray with sincerity
to be a channel for God, He will give you many inspirations and will help
you. When you launch yourself with faith and trust, He gives you wings.
Gradually trying to fly, you will fly; and the more you do so, the more
inspiration will come to you.
In all these fifty years, I’ve spent a great deal of my time meditating
on Master and trying to understand more and more deeply what he did and
said. It’s been the focal point of my entire life. Everything I’ve
done has been an outgrowth of what Master gave us. I haven’t created
One of the things that excited me was the fact that Master also was very
interested in starting communities. I remember the talk he gave on world
brotherhood colonies at a Beverly Hills garden party. His voice thundered,
“I sow my thoughts in the ether! These vibrations shall not die!”
Let us take the passing of our loved ones to be a reminder of this truth,
and let us give our lives more and more to Him and prepare every day for
that which is the only certainty in life — death. In this way we
will come to understand, as I am sure all saints have understood, that
death doesn’t truly exist, only life exists — a life of joy,
of love, of beauty, and of peace that becomes more glorified as we release
this heavy physical form that binds us.
We are part of a great infinite dream and He is dreaming us. But He has
us the power to awaken from this dream, to be not compelled to remain
always in the delusive reality of this world.
Certainly humanity as a whole is beset by difficulties, crises, moments
in life when important decisions need to be made. The question always
needs to be: "What does this inner God want? What brings me more in tune
with Him and, above all, how can I serve Him?"
Love is the only thing this life is all about—not just love of people,
or of things, or of any one point in space, but simply love itself. One
practice that will help you to experience this is to keep in mind the
thought that God has always loved us. As Jesus said, “Anthony, I
was always with you.” God is always with us, and He’s waiting
for us to turn our attentions to Him.
For one who is sincerely seeking God, the important thing is to develop
an ever-deepening awareness of God's presence—not during meditation
only, but in every activity. What counts most is the intention behind
Let us then, during this Christmas Season, view the birth of Jesus not only as a particular event in history, but as a particularly sweet expression of a universal truth. Let the birth of Divine Love in that little form two thousand years ago inspire us to conceive and give birth to that Love within ourselves, through the virgin purity of our hearts' devotion. In this way, Christmas can become a holy season not for Christians alone, but for people everywhere on earth, regardless of any religious affiliation.
Master often called his mission to the West “The Second Coming of
Christ,” because he was blending the spiritual traditions of East
and West. Starting this Christmas season, let us concentrate more deeply
on the great adventure of living the Christian life in Dwapara Yuga
Jesus was thinking of others. This is joy, when we can follow his example, not think of ourselves, but think of sharing. Sharing is maybe the most beautiful thing about Christmas. Gifts are only symbols of sharing love, friendship and gratitude – and of being aware of a reality greater than that of normal consciousness.
I want to talk about one of the great events of this century—the coming of a soul whose special mission was to show the world a vision of divine unity.