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Preface

“The Self is never born nor does It die.Existing once, It does not cease to be.”

The Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2

To understand another person by reading about his life is like looking at only one chapter in a long book and expecting to know the whole story. All of us have lived many times before, though the details are lost, or perhaps remembered only dimly over time.

Each successive life has its own challenges and lessons that add to the growth of our consciousness. Like the many layers of nacre laid down over time to create a beautiful pearl, each life builds on the last. All the stories finally coalesce into one common theme — the struggle to find the truth of our own being. The life of Swami Kriyananda that you are about to read is both deeply inspiring and instructive. With great intensity and purpose, his story tells of the search to find truth, at first haltingly, then with gaining momentum, and finally with total self-offering.

One day Swami Kriyananda asked his great guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, “Have I been a yogi in other lives?” The Master replied, “Many times.” After many such lifetimes of effort, the “pearl” that is produced is the free soul, radiant in the realization of the one, true Self which resides within us all.

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Introduction