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Introduction

In Divine Friendship

Letters of Counsel and Reflection
by Swami Kriyananda



This book of letters by Swami Kriyananda is entitled "In Divine Friendship." What is a divine friend?

Imagine someone who never judges, who loves you despite your faults, who sees you in terms of your highest spiritual potential, and is totally committed to helping you realize that potential. Imagine someone who gives you strength and understanding, seeking nothing in return, who offers, but never imposes, his views. Imagine someone who is always forgiving, respectful, and loving, even under the most adverse circumstances.

This begins to describe Swami Kriyananda, as seen through the letters in this book.

A newspaper reporter once asked Swami Kriyananda why so many people love him. Kriyananda's answer was, "Perhaps it's because I love them." Love is the magnet that draws love, and love is the thread that connects the letters in this book, whether to students, friends, or total strangers.

Swami Kriyananda's life of service began in 1948 when he became a disciple of the great Indian yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda, author of the spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi. Trained by Yogananda for a life of writing, editing, and lecturing, Kriyananda has given thousands of lectures in many countries, written over 85 books, and composed over 400 pieces of uplifting music. He is the founder of Ananda Sangha, a worldwide organization that disseminates Yogananda's teachings.

On many occasions, Yogananda strongly encouraged the establishment of "world brotherhood colonies," places where people could live simply, guided by spiritual ideals. Fulfilling his guru's vision, in 1968 Kriyananda founded Ananda Cooperative Village, which has expanded to eight communities and ashrams in the United States, Europe, and India. Letters covering the various stages in the development of the Ananda communities are included in this book.

Swami Kriyananda once described Paramhansa Yogananda as "wearing his wisdom without the slightest affectation, like a comfortable old jacket that one has been wearing for years."

The same can be said of Swami Kriyananda. Clearly and with deep insight, he explains in these letters how to live every aspect of life in attunement with the Divine. Ultimately, it is divine attunement that enables Kriyananda to offer God's love and friendship to all, and that will also enable other truth seekers, inspired by his example, to do the same.

 

Friends of Swami Kriyananda

 

The nearly 250 letters in this book were taken from Swami Kriyananda's paper and computer files dating from the mid 1970s to the present, and are essentially as he wrote them, edited primarily to delete identifying information, digressions, and other non-essential material. Before publication, Kriyananda carefully reviewed each letter, and made only a few minor, clarifying changes.

Crystal Clarity Publishers



See Also: Contents  Sample Chapter  

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