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Spreading Yogananda's Light through Communities

Swami Kriyananda
April 19, 2023

Watch Swami Kriyananda share this deep inspiration on July 31, 1999, during the 50th anniversary of Yogananda's garden party speech where he spoke strongly about the need for spiritual communities as part of his worldwide mission.

Paramhansa Yogananda strongly advocated the building of spiritual communities, an idea which he discussed often with Swami Kriyananda, who was so stirred by the possibility that he created the Ananda communities all over the world. What is it that makes these communities so special? What was the purpose behind this initiative? On what principles do these function? What is the reason behind the shining, joyful faces of the residents?

Is there a future for many more such communities? Is it the answer to the plagues that afflict our modern world? Why did Yogananda and then Swami Kriyananda dedicate their lives towards this mission? Has Light found a home in Ananda? Swami Kriyananda's thoughts, words and deeds elucidate it.



In 1948 at the age of 22, Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters) became a disciple of the Indian yoga master, Paramhansa Yogananda.

Yogananda is best known for his spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi. In his book he recalls his experiences growing up in India and his life in America. He writes of meeting the great spiritual master Babaji and how Babaji reintroduced the life changing meditation technique of Kriya Yoga. He tells of his life with his guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, of his guru Lahiri Mahasaya, and his meeting with Anandamayi Ma. Yogananda moved to America, developed the Energization Exercises, and taught the meditation techniques of Hatha Yoga and especially Kriya Yoga.

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.

Swami Kriyananda's talks, music, and many books have touched the lives of millions. An advocate of simple living and high thinking, his 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.

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