Video and Audio

Love Is a Magician (By Swami Kriyananda)

Swami Kriyananda
May 19, 2021


Love is all I know:

Sunrays on the snow

Of a winter long

In darkness, without song.

Oh, my heart’s afire,

Burning all desire:

Only You remain,

And life again!

Too long I did stray,

Flung lifetimes away—

Imagined You did not care!

I know now Your smile

Was mine all the while:

I listened, and Love was there.

I can’t breathe for love!

All the stars above

Call to me: “Come home!

Life’s waves all end in foam.”

Only love can heal

All the pain I feel.

What a fool was I

To turn away!


Swami Kriyananda: "I have a confession to make: This song, which is probably my favorite of the many songs that have come to me, evolved quite by accident. The very fact that it did so is, to me, proof sufficient that none of my songs are really my own. The day before I wrote it, I had finished (as I thought) writing melodies for my album, “Secrets of Love,” to accompany a little book I had written by that name. I sent these melodies from Italy to a dear friend of mine in America, David Miller, who wrote a sensitive arrangement of them for several musical instruments. The next day, still uplifted in the mood that had drawn those melodies to me, I sat down at my keyboard, placed the fingers of my right hand on the keys, and simply allowed my fingers to move as they would. I went along consciously with whatever melody emerged. Almost before I knew it, the melody of this song appeared. I repeated it over and over, and found that it moved me deeply.

A few nights later, unable to sleep for the constant repetition of this lovely melody in my mind, I got up and wrote the following words. For a long time I wasn’t able to sing this song out loud: It moved me too deeply. Even recently, when recording it in the studio for the companion album for this book, I had to make two or three attempts before I could get through the song without a break."

— From the book “I’ve Passed My Life as a Stranger, Lord” by Swami Kriyananda



In 1948 at the age of twenty-two, Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters) became a disciple of the Indian yoga master, Paramhansa Yogananda. At Yogananda’s request, Swami Kriyananda devoted his life to lecturing and writing, helping others to experience the living presence of God within. He taught on four continents in seven languages over the course of 65 years. His talks, his music, and his many books have touched the lives of millions. An advocate of simple living and high thinking, his more than 150 books emphasize the need to live wisely by one’s own experience of life, and not by abstract theories or dogmas. A composer since 1964, Walters has written over 400 musical works. His music is inspiring, soothing, and uplifting. 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, both 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, fulfilling Yogananda's dream. More than 1,000 people live in these intentional spiritual communities. Swami Kriyananda’s example of inspired leadership was the reason for Ananda’s success. He uplifted and encouraged people through personal example, spiritual counseling, writing, lecturing, music, and prayer. He trained the current Ananda leaders in much the same way: free from egoic motivation, always placing the spiritual needs of others foremost in all decisions. He was a patient and sensitive teacher, allowing people to learn by experience, and never placing institutional needs ahead of the needs of an individual. “People are more important than things” is one of the foremost guiding principles of Ananda. And “Where there is adherence to dharma [right action], there is victory,” is another.

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