Video and Audio

Sri D. R. Kaarthikeyan Speaks of Superstar Rajinikanth and Kriya Yoga

November 12, 2017

Part 1 of 4 of the program, "Change Your Destiny through Kriya Yoga" in Chennai, India.

Explore the profound legacy of Swami Kriyananda through heartfelt anecdotes and spiritual insights into his journey from disciple to spiritual luminary, resonating with wisdom and devotion to the guru, Paramhansa Yogananda. Discover the transformative power of Kriya Yoga as shared by Swami Kriyananda and his successors. Spiritual teachings and contemporary relevance are fused in captivating inspiration. Walk a path of inner discovery and spiritual growth, guided by timeless wisdom.


Sri D. R. Kaarthikeyan:

Welcome and Fond Memories

Welcome. Namaskaram. Namaste. Good evening to all of you. Hearty welcome to all of you here.

My thoughts go back by four years, when during his first visit, Swami Kriyananda addressed a large gathering at the Music Academy. Before we started, the hall was full and a couple of thousand people came and could not enter. Seeing that, I told Swami-ji at the dinner, same night, “Swami-ji, when you come next time, we'll organize it in the indoor stadium.” He told me, “No, Mr. Kaarthikeyan, I don't think this body will allow that to happen.” He had a premonition, his time to leave the planet has come.

Of late, he has not been keeping good health. I was with him in Assisi. He used to travel and once he stands before the mic, he sings beautifully, he talks for hours together without looking at any note, but while walking, he used to almost collapse. So I had the good fortune of holding him back, preventing him from falling a number of times. And he treated me with a lot of affection. I had the good fortune of being referred to by him all over, telling, his "brother in India".

Influence of Autobiography of a Yogi

So, seeing the response here, to Kriya Yoga itself, as you, only people who would have known, who have read Autobiography of a Yogi. How many of you have not read? Kindly raise your hands. Quite a few, I think. Please pick up a copy outside. Autobiography of a Yogi.

Why it's important? Because you know Steve Jobs, you all know? Have you heard of him? Apple? He had a fascination for this book, he read it again and again. And when the time came for his departure, it was known for years, he left instructions with his people, those who come for his prayer meeting in the church should be given a gift. And when they left it was a box, opened it, what he considers most precious was there. That is a copy of the Autobiography of a Yogi. And Steve Jobs is no ordinary man, you know? He is a genius.

Celebrities' Inspiration

And then, our own popular superstar, I met him in the morning and he was kind enough to say, “You know I want to come.” Particularly, he wants to see the Finding Happiness, it's remarkable. None of you should leave without seeing the movie, I want to tell you, you will forget otherwise. And perhaps he is the oldest devotee of Mahavatar Babaji, to my knowledge, in Chennai at least.

Until a few years back, he used to go there every year on his own, without telling anybody, in disguise, traveling, all the day, and to the cave. And he was sharing lot of his experiences. He is not going to talk today maybe some other time you'll hear from him. He used to get so inspired by the spirit of Mahavatar Babaji, whom, you know, people believe still, thousands of years, he's still there and blessing people.

And Mr. Rajinikanth was telling me, the theme for many of his popular movies, it came to him when he was there, like Muthu, Padayappa, Baba and all that. He said he used to get inspired, come back, and developed it. And he has done, he said, Kriya Yoga. Kriya Yoga as you call it, he practices Kriya Yoga every day. Maybe that is the secret of his enormous energy and calm nature. You know, he never gets perturbed over anything. Level Four he has done, long back.

Rediscovering Kriya Yoga

So that fact, it's a truth, it's a fact that should inspire many of us to go to find out what it is. As you have seen in Autobiography of a Yogi also, it is said that Sri Krishna taught Kriya Yoga to Arjuna. And many thousands of years back, you know it has been going on, for some strange reason, it, it came into, it was not… it was forgotten, no? Ultimately, this line of Masters are here, and then Paramhansa Yogananda-ji took Kriya Yoga to the West.

And Donald Walters, at the age of 20, he happened to look at this book. Attracted by the cover, same cover. He had no interest in religion or spirituality until then, like Rajinkanth-ji, getting inspired because it also came—the fire of inspiration to him.

He picked up the book, it's a wealthy book, he was totally new to our systems, but three days he complete. Fourth day, he, he took the bus, four days of travel, went to the other coast, went to Swami Kriyananda, sorry, Paramhansa Yogananda, and told him, “Swami, please accept me as your disciple.”

That’s a long story and you know, he became Swami Kriyananda. And he said Yogananda told him that, “Your task is to spread Kriya Yoga, keep talking, spreading the message and writing.” 64-65 years after, not talk here.

So it went on, to put it very briefly, I had the good fortune of meeting Swami in a City Port function and they keep calling me. I didn't know when he was. So we became very close. 150 books he has written, 150 books. One book was on The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, which I had the privilege of organizing the release in City Port Auditorium, with over 2000 people, with the Chief Minister and all that. I also had the privilege of being in Rome when the Italian version of the book was released.

And Swamiji is a prolific writer, orator, composer, singer, voice is mesmerizing, even today when you hear the lilting character of his voice. A man of many talents, you know? Photographer, a painter, artist and all that. But more than anything else, what appealed to him most was his devotion to his Guru. Everything he wrote, he said, “Thoughts of my Master, as remembered by the Disciple.” Gave all credit to him. If we happen to, you see any of this, he refers to his Master all the time. He's so devoted to Paramhansa Yogananda-ji and it has come back, like the Vipassana meditation, which went away from India for 2000 years. Later, it has come back in a big way.

Ananda Spiritual Leaders

Kriya Yoga, the essence of yoga, is coming back to India, brought by Swami Kriyananda-ji. Now aptly handled by his spiritual successors, Nayaswami Jyotish-ji and Nayaswami Devi-ji, and a band of dedicated people. And Swami has also created the spiritual Brotherhood communities, which is the vision of his Master, Yogananda. And there are ten communities, as mentioned earlier. If any of you have the opportunity of going to that side of America, do not miss visiting Ananda Village. I have been to 150 countries; I claim that is the most beautiful, peaceful place, I would say, that I have seen.

With all that, Swami Kriyananda came back, came to India, because, he said, “I want to carry the message to the land of my Master’s birth.” He took a building in Gurgaon, and thereafter, it’s spreading very fast and all that. So I don't want to tarry more on that.

These masters [gesturing to Ananda Spiritual Directors Jyotish and Devi], they have written a number of books. They have been his disciples for over five decades. From the scratch, when they built Ananda Village, they have been part of it. Brick by brick, literally, they handle the bricks also and everything, and all that. I don't want to stand between you and them, the great masters. And please enjoy the evening.

Spiritual Films

And please pick up the book Autobiography of a Yogi and The New Path by Swami Kriyananda also. Swami himself wrote the script for Finding Happiness and also The Answer.

The Answer, we got it screened in Coimbatore, though it's not screened anywhere in the world now. But both these films, you know, I had the privilege of seeing in the part of the release. We all said we should go to all spiritual film festivals before coming to the screens. Both these films have enormous number of awards. A spiritual based book, to be winning so many awards is something, you know? A very rare thing. Wait for the next movie, but today, see the Finding Happiness and all that.

Inspiring Devotion

Thank you, my dear brother Rajinkanth-ji, for coming. You came because out of your own volition, but it gives a lot of encouragement to others, “Okay, the superstar has been practicing, we should avail of the next opportunity.”

I just met a couple here, they said their only, their 15-year-old boy. And where is that boy? Can you raise your hand? 15-year-old boy, oh, you're here. He said, “Tomorrow is the examination.” Where is he? Tomorrow is the examination, but he said, “I am not going to miss this!” He has brought his textbook also, sit and read also. See that type of devotion they develop, once you're on the path. He's upstairs, is he? Okay, very good, oh yeah, very good.

A Call to Continued Spiritual Growth

So you, please, don't miss this opportunity, continue. And don't go away, okay this evening is over, training is over. For your own good. To bring peace, harmony and prosperity to the whole world.