With the death of Swami Kriyananda, a remarkable light has passed from the world, and we will not see its like again during our lifetimes.
The manner of his passing was, in a sense, his Guru’s gift to him. In the month and a half before his passing, he’d made four major trips, which had tired his body. Though he usually recovered from such periods, this time he couldn’t seem to regain his strength. Nonetheless, he continued serving in the ways that he could. He gave the Easter talk at Ananda Assisi at the end of March, but his heart was still very tired. Increasingly over the last few weeks, and especially during the week before his passing, he was very withdrawn. Even so, he went out to dinner with some friends earlier in the week.
The night before his passing, he didn’t sleep well, which was not an uncommon occurrence, especially lately. He got to sleep around 2 or 3 in the morning and he got up looking very pale and ashen. He checked his emails, and then came to the breakfast table, but was very withdrawn.
Shortly after he sat down, he seemed to have a seizure that lasted only 15 seconds or so. After that he had difficulty breathing. There was a period of 15 to 20 minutes when it was obvious he was in extreme distress. But there was no suffering, no lingering. When he took his last breath, everyone present said there was a sense of great, great freedom.
From a talk at the May 3, 2013 Memorial Service at Ananda Village.
Swamiji’s Nurse speaks of his last moments: