Today is the fourth anniversary of Swami Kriyananda’s leaving his body. Ananda Worldwide celebrates this occasion with what we call “Moksha Day,” a day dedicated to Self-realization, or spiritual freedom. We start the day with a six-hour meditation at the Moksha Mandir, where Swami Kriyananda’s body is enshrined. This is an especially beautiful time of year at Ananda Village, with Swami’s beloved gardens filled by more than fifteen thousand tulips and thousands of visitors. It’s almost as if he thought, “If people are going to gather to honor this day, let them be surrounded by beauty.”
Next week is also an important time for me personally. April 26 will mark the fiftieth anniversary of my first meeting with Swamiji, an event that set the course of my life. It was Easter Sunday that day in 1967, and I was 23 years old. I had read Autobiography of a Yogi a few months earlier, and a friend had recently learned Swami Kriyananda’s address in San Francisco. We shyly knocked on his apartment door a little after noon. After he had greeted us, he said, “I am working on a project, would you like to help?” As I eagerly agreed, I had no idea that the project he was working on would be me and my salvation and that of countless others.
Here are a few of the ways our relationship has molded me:
I found out, once again, that the only true purpose of life is to find God.
The most important self-definition, the only one that counts, is to be a disciple.
I learned not only the techniques of meditation, but more importantly the attitudes that lead to success, among which are deep devotion, regularity, persistence, self-offering, and many others.
A life of service and caring about others leads to joyful freedom from petty concerns.