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Did Yogananda Water Down Kriya Yoga?
June 3, 2014

It’s not uncommon to hear people make the claim that Paramhansa Yogananda diluted the Kriya technique, or that he changed it for Westerners. Sometimes it’s done through a conscious intent to deceive and promote one’s own Kriya teacher, sometimes out of ignorance. Either way it’s an unfortunate sign that the world of Kriya Yoga is…

“Which is greater, a swami or a yogi?"
September 12, 2013

Paramhansa Yogananda asks this rhetorical question in his Autobiography of a Yogi. I’ve also received various forms of that question over the years, usually from people who live in the world raising a family, or perhaps struggling with marriage or with the demands of a career. Yogananda’s answer, like other understated passages tucked away in…

Also Starring God (as Himself)
August 4, 2013

Last weekend marked the culmination of an extraordinary year as over 700 people filled the Del Oro Theater in Grass Valley, California to watch the debut screening of the film Finding Happiness. I had the great honor to be part of the cast and also produce the soundtrack for this exquisite film by director Ted…

The Meditation Experiment
November 23, 2012

How many of us are hesitant to commit to a practice because we don’t think it will make any difference in our lives? Perhaps a voice in our head holds us back, afraid of any change that could challenge our comfortable status-quo. Or perhaps we doubt our potential or feel unworthy of success, thereby dampening…

Fearlessness
May 22, 2012

This was originally posted at YoganandaBiography.com/blog. “Smile because you are fearless; smile because fear is ashamed to cause you apprehension and failure” –Paramhansa Yogananda I’ve just about finished reading Paramhansa Yogananda: A Biography, and one story stood out to me in particular. Yogananda was giving a talk in New York and he accused some very…

...I am become the Sea of Mirth Itself
September 3, 2011

Dear ones, I do not have a great deal of time for writing at this present time (the packers and shippers are upstairs packing boxes for India as I speak!), but I wanted to briefly share a delightful experience from my wonderful, and deeply inspiring visit to Ananda Village for Spiritual Renewal week. A large…

Awakening Ananda Center at Laurelwood
June 30, 2011

Ananda Portland recently purchased a former Seventh-Day Adventist Academy. The academy buildings sit on 55 acres of rolling hills 30 minutes west of the city of Portland. The setting is rural, but not isolated – the school once housed, fed and educated hundreds of students and was the heart of life in the valley. A…

Easter Messages from Yogananda: “Be a Fast-Footed Bunny!”
April 12, 2011

Easter has always been my favorite holiday. How about you? For me it always feels very inspiring — like a dynamic resurrection from the inertia brought on by the cold of winter. As the plants and animals all around me start to bud, grow, or awaken, I feel like leaping and dancing through the green…

Inner Renewal for Twenty Eleven
February 16, 2011

Last week, Ananda Village and many fellow gurubais from as far away as the East Coast, and even via the internet, took time to go deep in spirit. This was our third annual Inner Renewal Week and it was hosted by The Expanding Light. Jyotish and Devi Novak came up from Los Angeles to share…

Christ Lives Oratorio in Los Angeles
December 7, 2010

This elegant building is the Church of the Recessional. It is framed by clouds that are lit up by the city lights of Los Angeles. The courtyard was warmly lit and the open doors welcome guests who came to hear Swami Kriyananda’s Oratorio—Christ Lives. Fifty-four dedicated people travelled literally from the world over to sing…

Behind the Scenes of the "Rescuing Yogananda" Website
October 26, 2010

Several days before the release of Rescuing Yogananda, a friend emailed me a copy. I read the book through that same evening.

It was… well, the book was not like any other book that Swami Kriyananda has written. I didn’t know what to make of it. Initially, I felt uneasy.

Ananda Los Angeles
August 24, 2010

Sean, when introducing Swami Kriyananda to the audience of 1150 people called this event “The Miracle Show”. Swamiji has been dealing with considerable fatigue and a fall (which happened the week after SRW) that resulted in an injured hip and all the pain and debility that can accompany something like that. He had many very…

Yogananda's “Higher Mathematics”
June 2, 2010

Often I tell Kriya Yogis, particularly those who are math-challenged, that there are only two ‘mathematical equations’ one needs to memorize in order to achieve success on the path of Kriya. The first I mentioned in my blog post “Kriya Yoga Plus Devotion Works Like Mathematics” The other equation is this: “Twenty-five percent of spiritual…

Nayaswami Shivani,
guest author

Launch of Original Autobiography of a Yogi in Italian
May 25, 2010

Note from the editor: May 22 marked the launch of a newly published original edition of the Autobiography of a Yogi in Italian. The event took place in Milan. Swami Kriyananda addressed a full room of 500 avid listeners, after having given a number of magazine and television interviews the previous days, and a private…

I Will, But…
May 13, 2010

I don’t know how many times people have come to me commiserating over thwarted good intentions of meditation or some other aspect of their own spiritual practice, only to have fallen short in their discipline in some way. When I offer support I have been met on more than one occasion with, “Oh but it’s…

Victory in the Moments
April 22, 2010

I lost the battle last night. Yogananda said that life is a “battle for joy” – and I lose more often than I like to admit. When you find a true teaching, a true guru, and a spiritual family who reflect and support your ideals, it is a major victory, and life seems infinitely more…

Celebrating Yogananda's Mahasamadhi 2010
March 9, 2010

Yesterday devotees around the world celebrated the anniversary of the mahasamadhi of Paramhansa Yogananda. Peter Goering gave the talk at Sunday Service and read God’s Boatman from Whisper’s from Eternity, by Paramhansa Yogananda. An excerpt from that poem is on the photo of the stars at the end of this post. I am always deeply…

Paramhansa Yogananda and Khechari Mudra
February 19, 2010

This article covers a technique, Khechari Mudra, that is one of the most unusual in yoga and therefore a bit too strange for some people. I’m posting it here because there is quite a lot of confusion around this technique, and what Paramhansa Yogananda taught about it. Khechari Mudra (also spelled Khecari or Kechari) is…

Much More is Needed
February 16, 2010

After Yogananda told Nayaswami Kriyananda that his life’s work was “writing, editing, and lecturing,” Kriyananda asked, “But Sir, haven’t you already written everything that is necessary?” Yogananda looked shocked. “Don’t say that,” he replied. “Much more is needed.” Since then, Nayaswami Kriyananda has gone on to write almost 100 books. And even so, I doubt…

Inner Renewal Week 2010
February 8, 2010

This past week at Ananda Village and The Expanding Light has been filled with inspiration and spiritual friends. It seems impossible that 12 different talks in six days about the spiritual path could hold one’s attention from beginning to end. But it did. The theme for Inner Renewal week was: Going Deeper into God. The…

Divine Mother’s Umbrella
January 29, 2010

I teach science at a public high school in a southern California suburb. This is my third year of teaching and though not a veteran yet, you can say that I have mastered it quite a bit. But I thought I’d share with you some of my experiences as a brand new teacher. While on…

Swami Kriyananda Arrives in India
January 3, 2010

sk_returns_gurgaon.jpg

Ananda’s founder, Swami Kriyananda, spends his time primarily in 3 countries: America, Italy, and India. As he recently quipped, “Well I have these [8] communities that I’ve started, and I have to check in every now and then.”

Yogananda's Latest Devotee: A Flowering Plant
December 11, 2009

I want to tell you about my friend, Sanandi Reardon, and her miracle plant. Sanandi and I have known each other for many years. She is a deeply devoted disciple and Kriyaban who lives in Carson City, Nevada. She is unable to visit Ananda that often, though she tries to come at least once a…

God Reminders in Daily Life
December 5, 2009

As devotees we always strive constantly to think of the Divine. Swami Kriyananda says in his book, Affirmations for Self-Healing, “One should not strain, nor reach outward mentally, to think of God. Think not merely about Him: Think to Him. Share with Him your passing feelings, your idlest fancy. Talk with Him. Practice His presence…

Paramhansa Yogananda,
guest author

Thanksgiving Letter from Paramhansa Yogananda
November 20, 2009

Every day should be a day of Thanksgiving for all the gifts of Life — sunshine, water, the luscious fruits and greens, which we receive as indirect gifts from the Great Giver. Paramhansa Yogananda with Native American friends He makes us work so that we may consciously and thankfully deserve to receive His Gifts. The…

Discovered Treasure
November 18, 2009

My concept of Ananda, before I had visited, was a place of inspiration, support, and Paramhansa Yogananda’s teachings. My initiation into Kriya Yoga earlier this year proved to be the most moving and sacred experience of my life.  Ananda holds a treasure, just waiting to be discovered…. and if I can find it, then so…

That Tiny, Boasting Masquerader
October 7, 2009

Recently, before a group sadhana one morning, a friend read beautiful poem from Whispers from Eternity by Paramhansa Yogananda, edited by Swami Kriyananda. It touched me very deeply. It is amazing how answers can come to us when we are listening and ready to accept and learn. I had been going along having great meditations,…

Swami Kriyananda at Forest Lawn
September 30, 2009

I used a thesaurus tonight to try to come up with some new words I could use to describe the Ananda LA event held at Church of the Recessional at Forest Lawn in Glendale, California. I would normally use the words wonderful, or beautiful or amazing—all of which would be fitting. The thesaurus suggested words…

Swami Kriyananda at the Ford Theater
September 29, 2009

Greetings everyone. I have spent the day going through over 400 photographs taken this past weekend in Los Angeles. Fortunately for you, I will not be posting all of them. It was a challenge to pick out just a few photos that would hopefully portray what a visually and spiritually beautiful event occurred the past…

A Time of Monasticism
September 19, 2009

I decided during Spiritual Renewal Week in August to join Ananda’s monastery for one year at the Ananda Meditation Retreat. In celebration of Swami Kriyananda’s discipleship anniversary, the vows of monasticism were taken last Sunday. The idea of monasticism had often inspired me, but in the past I had never quite felt like I would…

Spiritual Renewal Week 2009, Part 4: The Banquet
August 17, 2009

The Expanding Light piazza sparkled with the decorations, the friendships, the laughter, the yummy food, the singing, the setting sun, radiant smiles and the light in everyone’s eyes. Spending a week immersed in the joy and teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, the devotion and example of discipleship of Swami Kriyananda and in the company of hundreds…

The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita
July 28, 2009

An extraordinary thing is happening here at the village. Swami Kriyananda has begun to video record short (10-minute) clips explaining the Bhagavad Gita. The format has turned out to be quite powerful. Swamiji generally begins by reading a sloka (verse) of the Gita. He then spends the remaining time explaining Paramhansa Yogananda’s interpretation. Swamiji shares…

Yoga for Cyclists
April 23, 2009

Ananda Velo, our bicycling club at Ananda Village, is planning a special retreat for the first time at the Expanding Light. The “Yoga for Cyclists” program, held the weekend of June 4-7, will be hosted by Dr. Craig Roberts DC, Panduranga Heater, Bob Stolzman and yours truly. We have been preparing for this retreat for…

Stories of Yogananda - Healing Light from Lahiri Mahasaya
February 28, 2009

Read the Stories of Yogananda Introduction Mukunda’s parents were deeply devoted to Lahiri Mahasaya. They always kept a beautiful picture of Lahiri on a small altar in their home. Many times Mukunda could be found meditating in front of the altar with his mother. He learned to love Lahiri more and more as the years…

Stories of Yogananda - Lahiri's Blessing
February 16, 2009

View the Stories of Yogananda introduction In the ancient land of India, in the year 1893, Bhagabati Charan Gosh and Gyan Prabha Gosh had a son they named Mukunda. This divine child would grow up to be the great master Paramhansa Yogananda. Lahiri’s Blessing Mukunda’s mother was a very saintly woman. She knew he was…

Stories of Yogananda
February 13, 2009

My Mother and Father always made a point to keep Paramhansa Yogananda as part of my life. Some of my earliest memories are hearing stories of his life when they would paraphrase stories from the Autobiography of a Yogi. I also remember informally acting out several scenes from his life when my Mother did an…

Kriya Yoga and Discipleship
December 19, 2008

One of the most fantastic and beautiful stories in Paramhansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi tells of Lahiri Mahasaya’s initiation into Kriya Yoga by his Guru, Mahavatar Babaji. To this day, the Kriya ceremony at Ananda is performed just the way Yogananda did it, and is patterned after the way  Lahiri Mahasaya received, and gave,…

An Afternoon of Gratitude
September 14, 2008

We had a beautiful, quiet afternoon at Crystal Hermitage to honor Swami Kriyananda’s life of discipleship. Words and photos are not enough to express the gratitude we all felt for Swamiji’s life and what he has done for us. His contribution has been worldwide, but at the same time so deeply personal for each one…

Happy Anniversary, Swamiji!
September 13, 2008

Sixty years ago (yesterday) Swamiji knelt before Paramhansa Yogananda and said, “I want to be your disciple.”
Swami said his life changed for the better in that moment.

A Wonderful Week at Ananda
August 18, 2008

Wow. What a week! Spiritual Renewal Week 2008 was probably the biggest event we have ever had. We had hundreds of guests at the village and The Expanding Light and we must have had hundreds of people helping put on the events. It was quite amazing how everything came together, it is true: Many Hands…

The Peace Treaty 2008
August 16, 2008

This year’s production of the Peace Treaty was magical. The newly renovated amphitheater was very welcoming, the costumes were better than ever, and the lighting highlighted the beauty of the backdrop and the commitment of the actors. Each of the actors has made the part they played their own. It has been very fun to…

Thank you, Los Angeles!
July 29, 2008

Blessings and greetings from Southern California. We are currently on the road (Hwy 99) on our way back to Ananda Village. We are basking in the glow of the wonderful weekend spent in the LA area with our divine friends and Swami Kriyananda. There is so much to share. The talks Swamiji gave will be…

World Brotherhood
July 17, 2008

Over the past month or so Ananda Village has played host to disciples from all over the world. They came on several pilgrimages from 15 different countries. Words are escaping me as I try to describe the joy! The depth of the friendship that devotees can have is amazing. As the European pilgrimage left I…

Energizing Calcutta!
June 16, 2008

Monks in Calcutta

Calcutta was Paramhansa Yogananda’s boyhood home. Surprisingly, however, Ananda had only moderate success there. This April, our four monks decided to change that.

Jesus as a Yoga Master
April 13, 2008

“I wasn’t sent to the West,” Yogananda often told his audiences, “by Christ and the great masters of India to dogmatize you with a new theology. Jesus himself asked Babaji to send someone here to teach you the science of Kriya Yoga, that people might learn how to commune with God directly. I want to…

Kriya Yoga as an Investment
March 20, 2008

Audience at 2008 International Kriya Yoga Retreat in India Ananda recently held its second International Kriya Yoga Retreat in Gurgaon, India. You can watch and listen to all the talks here. I would like to expand on something I mentioned in one of my classes there. There is a great deal of talk in modern…

Religion In the New Age: Introduction
March 10, 2008

In these pages I aim to show how a spiritual mission, regardless of its name and tenets, can be made to relate to the whole world. Paramhansa Yogananda prophesied that some day the purpose of all religions would be accepted as being one and the same: Self-realization. Included in that understanding would be a sense…

Amanda Alzate,
guest author

Ananda's Spanish Ministry
January 23, 2008

Ananda’s outreach efforts in Spanish started in the ’80s with Marga Dominguez-Goering. She began by translating Swami Kriyananda’s “Festival of Light” ceremony performed at Sunday Services, and Ananda’s beginner lessons in meditation. In 1997, with my arrival at Ananda Village, we founded Ananda’s Spanish Ministry, which is now online at www.anandaespanol.org. Marga (from Spain) and…

Benefits of Kriya Yoga
January 19, 2008

One of the great joys of my work with Kriya Yogis is the frequent emails I receive from them, describing the positive effects of Kriya practice. These testimonials come from long-time Kriyabans, and from people who have been practicing Kriya less than a year.

Many times the practice of Kriya brings what I call ‘unintended consequences’ — all of them positive! A recent email from a new Kriyaban described how they had stopped eating meat, were eating half as much as they used to (good in their case, apparently!) – all of this even though they weren’t trying to make these particular changes in their life.

Swami Kriyananda's 60th Year of Discipleship
September 14, 2007

September 12th was the 59th anniversary of the day Swami Kriyananda met Master. We celebrated it here in India as the first day of his 60th year of discipleship. One special aspect of the day’s events is that they were organized primarily by our Indian devotees. In a sense the celebration began on Monday, because…

Revelations of Christ Launch & Birth of Ananda Los Angeles
July 25, 2007

Over 200 Ananda members traveled to Southern California last week for 5 days of events. The highlight was the official launch of Swami Kriyananda’s new book, Revelations of Chirst. It was held at the Wadsworth Theatre in Los Angeles, and was attended by over 1,000 people. You can listen to Swami Kriyananda’s talk and view…

Chapter 3 - Blessing the statues of the Kriya Masters
July 20, 2007

Last week, Thursday, July 12, the statues of the Kriya Masters were blessed with a wonderful ceremony at Hansa Mandir where we hold Sunday services and daily morning meditations. Swami Kriyananda conducted the dedication ceremony for the statues at Hansa Mandir, Ananda’s community temple. He spoke simply and devotionally about how Divine Grace can be…

Countdown to "Revelations of Christ" Book Launch
July 16, 2007

Only a few days left to the launch of the new book “Revelations of Christ” written by Swami Kriyananda. A large group of us from the Ananda Village are heading down to Los Angeles to help with and attend this event as well as to attend and support the opening of Ananda Los Angeles. I…

Statues of the Masters Chapter 2 - arrival at Ananda Village
June 30, 2007

Last Wednesday Vidura and I went to Oakland to pick up the statues of the Masters. As you may recall, has been a 2 year project. (please refer to previous post). The 2 life size statues of Yogananda and Sri Yukteswar each way somewhere around 600 pounds and are made out of beautiful white marble.…

"It's a Blissful Life"
June 15, 2007

Last weekend we celebrated Swami Kriyananda’s 81st birthday at Ananda Village. He spoke for over three hours during several occasions, covering many topics. Swamiji shared a lifetime’s worth of spiritual insight from the perspective of someone who has overcome the tests given to those who seek final freedom in God. He has mentioned a few…

Rajarsi Day - May 5, 2007
May 12, 2007

Every year the first weekend in May, Ananda village residents and devotees gather together and beautify the community in remembrance and dedication to the life of Rajarsi Janakananda, Yogananda’s foremost disciple. We work on projects suitable for every age and talent, such as landscaping, land clearing, deep cleaning temples, fixing roofs of common buildings, preparing…

"Pranayam be thy Religion!"
April 27, 2007

I have a favorite chant that was frequently sung by Sri Yukteswar, Paramhansa Yogananda’s guru. It’s titled Desire, My Great Enemy:

Desire, my great enemy,
With his soldiers surrounded me,
Is giving me lots of trouble, oh my Lord,
Is giving me lots of trouble, oh my Lord.

That enemy, I will deceive,
Remaining in the Castle of Peace,
Night and Day […]

The Power of Kriya Yoga
April 7, 2007

Recently I’ve been struck yet again by how effective Kriya Yoga is for causing deep changes in people’s lives and consciousness. Not long ago, I was checking someone’s Kriya practice. This person received Kriya about a year ago. At the time they received the initiation, I wasn’t quite sure that they were ready to practice…

International Kriyaban Retreat in Gurgaon, India
March 12, 2007

We have just finished the first Ananda International Kriyaban Retreat here in Gurgaon, India – three days dedicated to deepening the practice of Kriya Yoga. The retreat culminated with an extraordinary talk by Swami Kriyananda on The Role of Kriya Yoga in the World. The entire three days was one continuous highlight of long and…

Paramhansa Yogananda Mahasamadhi Retreat
March 4, 2007

This weekend is the annual Ananda retreat in honor of Paramhansa Yogananda’s Mahasamadhi, here in Gurgaon, India. It’s such a joy to practice meditation and Kriya Yoga with people from all over the world: India, America, South Africa, and nearly every European country. Seeing the harmony and love between the people here shows how easy…