“Though my spirit soars in the skies of consciousness, my feet and hands labor here on earth to make truth real to all.”

(from Affirmations for Self-Healing by Swami Kriyananda)

Be Practical in Your Idealism

Personal Reflection by Nayaswami Pushpa

I have always loved making and building things. As a young child of two or three my prized possession was a box of wooden letters. The letters were about two inches square accompanied by an angled wooden board upon which those letters could be placed. My mother spent many hours teaching me how to put the letters together to build words. My repeated cry was, “Is this a word, Mum?” She would come and look, and if it wasn’t a word, she might switch or add letters until it was. An exciting new world opened up for me. I could read by the age of four.

Swami Kriyananda was the most creative person I ever met. He was also very practical in his idealism. Sometimes Swami would have an idea, but if he didn’t feel that the Ananda community was ready for it, either he would wait for a time when they would understand and be open to that idea or he would drop it altogether. He knew it wouldn’t be practical to try and bring that idea into manifestation if the community weren’t behind it.

Yogananda taught that ideas are universally, and not individually, rooted. There are an infinite number of marvelous thoughts floating in the universe, just waiting to be perceived and manifested. By deep and focused attention on our goal—whether it be a new job or the highest goal of knowing God—and with dynamic energy, we can draw to us the people and resources we need to accomplish it.

The founding members of Ananda Village devised many fun and practical means of supporting themselves and the community. Enjoy watching them tell of some of their early adventures in this video:


By Nayaswami Pushpa

Paramhansa Yogananda told Swami Kriyananda, “Combine your idealism with practicality.” If an idea isn’t practical, how is it useful? “Will it work?” is the preliminary question to “Is it true?” By practicality we mature from the state of dreaming to become emissaries of the truth. 

Our purpose is to find what is real in this world—to discover who we are at our core, and what is truth. The physical plane is the schoolroom in which we manifest our thoughts and ideas—to observe and experience what they produce. The physical world reflects back to us, with precision, our thoughts and consciousness. By evaluating that reflection, we can see whether we are on track or need a course correction.

From the inspiration and direction he received from his guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, Swami Kriyananda manifested many creative ideas throughout his life. His legacy of works has definitely answered the questions “Will it work?” and “Is it true?” Practicality allowed these creative ideas to take form. Thus he successfully founded “world brotherhood colonies,” which Yogananda had passionately declared necessary for the future. There followed 150 books, over four hundred pieces of music, the exquisite Crystal Hermitage and gardens, and temples, including the iconic Temple of Light at Ananda Village. Watch the extraordinary video below to witness the building of the Temple of Light:

“Let not my thoughts lift me up through beautiful clouds of imagined possibilities, unless You give me the power also to materialize my dreams.”
(from Swami Kriyananda’s Affirmations for Self-Healing)


  1. Thank you Nayaswami Pushpa for all that history at Ananda! Fascinating how this spiritual community trusted the process of vision, growth, ability, commitment…all together with love and joy.

    ~Claire Ann Boucher

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