Lesson 3 of 14

A Direct Disciple, Swami Kriyananda

Nabha Cosley February 27, 2020

Kriya has been taught in an unbroken link of spiritual succession to this day. Paramhansa Yogananda personally authorized his disciple, Swami Kriyananda (founder of Ananda) to initiate qualified people into Kriya Yoga.

More About Swami Kriyananda (1926–2013)

In 1948 at the age of 22, Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters) first met Paramhansa Yogananda and became his disciple. At Yogananda’s request, Swami Kriyananda devoted his life to lecturing and writing, helping others to experience the living presence of God within.

Over the course of 65 years, he taught on four continents in seven languages. His talks, his music, and his many books have touched the lives of millions. Swami Kriyananda took the ancient teachings of Raja Yoga (known as the “royal” yoga, a harmonious blend of all the yogas with an emphasis on meditation) and made them practical and immediately useful for people in every walk of life. His books and teachings on spiritualizing nearly every field of human endeavor include business life, leadership, education, the arts, community, and science.

He wrote extensive commentaries on the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. He is known as the “father of the intentional communities movement,” which began in the United States in the late 1960s. Inspired by Yogananda’s dream of establishing spiritual communities, in 1969 he founded the first of what are now 7 Ananda communities worldwide. They provide a supportive environment of “simple living and high thinking” where over 1,000 full-time residents live, work, and worship together.

A monastic almost all of his adult life, Swami Kriyananda was a Swami of the Giri (Mountain) branch of the ancient Swami Order, as was his guru and his guru’s guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar.