Monday, September 12, 2016

Happy Anniversary to Swami Kriyananda and to Thousands!

This letter went out on Tuesday, Sep 13 to Ananda Sangha members in the greater Seattle area:

September 12, 1948
James Donald Walters Accepted as Disciple 
By Paramhansa Yogananda

September 12 marked the 68th anniversary of the day young Don Walters, age 22, met his guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, in a tiny reconstructed church in Hollywood, CA. As detailed in his life story The New Path, young “Walter” (as Yogananda addressed him) had taken a bus from New York City to Los Angeles immediately after reading Autobiography of a Yogi (Yogananda’s own life story).

While not having before heard the term “guru” or “karma” or any other yogic term familiar now to millions, Walter (later taking the monastic name Swami Kriyananda) could not have imagined his first words to anyone could be “I want to be your disciple.” (He is not the only one among us who could say something similar!)

Were it not for a lifetime of intense service, devotion, and meditation, we could not be composing this note to you today. There would be no blue-tiled Meditation Temple in Bothell; no Living Wisdom School in Lynnwood; no Ananda Farm on Camano Island; Ananda Community in Lynnwood, or East West Bookshop in Seattle; or Living Wisdom Thrift & Gift in Shoreline. (Nor would there be nine residential communities on three continents and innumerable meditation groups and centers and members, nor so much more I cannot take the time to list them all.

The rock of Swamiji’s discipleship thrown into the great pond of human consciousness in the last sixty-eight years has rippled outward and into the hearts and souls of countless thousands. We are deeply grateful not only for his writings, music, and his founding of what has become nine communities worldwide and countless other undertakings, but for the example of how to overcome difficulties; how to return kindness and love for anger and vilification; how to be creative with divine attunement and without attachment; how to be a true and faithful disciple serving the guru’s work against incredible obstacles; and, last but by no means least, how to be a true friend.

This year we will honor the recognition of Swamiji’s discipleship anniversary at the next Sunday Service and we are honoring the occasion and his life in our hearts, especially.

Swami never claimed to be anything but our friend, one blessed by his time and training with Yogananda who was a world teacher and Avatar. 

Whatever guidance Swamiji offered, we were free to accept or reject. We could leave anytime, or we could stay and serve with him. If we disappointed him, we were not likely to hear about it. If we were sincerely open to his training, he would offer it but tentatively. He made no demands and had no expectations while yet he saw through our forms to the shining soul within. “Good morning, Great Souls!” he would say with smiling eyes!

We miss him, yes, but we feel him with us in our service; our meditation; our yearning for God and for truth. If you’ve not known him but have met us and been to some degree a part of Ananda, then to that degree you have met him. “The fruit falls not far from the tree.” It is our sincere hope and effort to be loyal and faithful to the work he has founded in the name of our guru, Paramhansa Yogananda!

Happy Anniversary to Us All!  
Nayaswamis Hriman and Padma

For a 15 minute anniversary message from Ananda's (worldwide) Spiritual Directors go to: