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 slideshows by following the links at the bottom of the page.
The Jewel in the Lotus
The first event was a performance of Jewel in the Lotus, a beautiful play written by Swami Kriyananda many years ago. It was performed in front of about 150 people at the Seaside Church of Religious Science in Encinitas on Wednesday, July 18. The following evening we performed the play again, before another large audience at a beautiful auditorium in Malibu.
Both audiences were extremely receptive to the story that takes place 200 years in the future. That is when Paramhansa Yogananda said he would have his next incarnation. The play is a mixture of humor, inspiration, insight, and deep spiritual teaching that ends very poignantly (I won’t give away the ending here!). The play has been performed numerous times, on three continents – testimony to its universal impact.
Gala Evening with Swami Kriyananda
On Friday evening, a dinner was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Century City to raise money for promoting the new book and to help launch Ananda’s new center in Los Angeles. Swami Kriyananda gave an inspiring talk about the book, Ananda musicians performed beautifully, and the food was exceptional!
Launch of Revelations of Christ
This special event on Saturday evening at the Wadsworth Theatre was truly extraordinary. Swami Kriyananda spoke for one and a half hours to about 1,200 extremely attentive souls. I can’t recommend this talk highly enough – please take the time to watch it on the Ananda website.
He covered many topics relating to the book. The common thread throughout his talk was the soul’s unique relationship to God – one that is beyond the power or control of religious institutions.
Religious organizations and churches have misinterpreted the teachings of the Masters throughout history, in order to boost their own importance. Swamiji’s new book brings back the original meaning of Christ’s teachings – unfettered by ‘churchianity’, as Yogananda used to call the church’s misinterpretations of Christ’s words.
Swami Kriyananda spoke beautifully, humorously, and devotionally about our search for divine realization. Everyone I could see around me was deeply moved by his presence and his words. He received several standing ovations before and after his very uplifting presentation.
At the conclusion of the evening Swamiji was presented with two awards. The first was the “2007 Pioneer in Yoga” award, given by the Los Angeles Yoga Fellowship for “blazing a spiritual trail which leads to the highest goal – yoga: scientific union with Spirit.”
The second was the “Beacon of Light Lifetime Achievement Award” presented by the National InterFaith Council for “outstanding and tireless spiritual work for mankind across our planet.”
Launch of Ananda Los Angeles
Ananda has a new center in Los Angeles! They are still looking for a permanent home, but Ananda ministers Krishna Das and Mantra Devi LoCicero have moved to Santa Monica, and begun giving satsangs and classes. About 250 people came to the Roosevelt High School auditorium on Sunday morning to inaugurate Ananda’s newest center. Swami Kriyananda spoke yet again, and stayed long afterwards, greeting everyone who wanted to talk to him.