Swami Kriyananda’s Legacy
Swami Kriyananda passed away just over three months ago. He left an amazing legacy. First, there was the sheer volume of his accomplishments. He wrote 150 books, many of which clarified spiritual teachings in ways never done before. He not only started the nine existing Ananda communities, but also defined the whole modern spiritual community movement. Then, there is the beautiful music he created: Again, through those 450 pieces, he showed how music can be a carrier wave to uplift the consciousness.
Few of us can emulate all the things he did, but Swamiji left us a legacy also of consciousness, of attitudes and practices, that can guide each of us. Here are some that are guideposts in my life:
1) Constant attunement with Paramhansa Yogananda, and a constant practice of
being guided, even defined, by discipleship.
2) Daily practice of dharmic living. Sometimes Swamiji would go to great lengths to be truthful even in small ways. I remember once when he made a trip to Assisi to buy a newspaper simply because he had said that morning that he was going to do so. The two-hour trip had become unnecessary because someone had been to town and brought him one. Nevertheless, Swamiji made the journey in order to be true to his word. By acting dharmically in small ways, he prepared himself to keep his commitment to right action even when it brought serious difficulties.
3) Kindness and understanding. He was a living example of one of his basic principles: “People are more important than things.” In the days before his passing he made a farewell visit to many of the merchants in Assisi who had become his friends. In making decisions for Ananda, he always put the spiritual welfare of the individual ahead of organizational needs.
4) Great energy and laser-like concentration. When engaged in a book or project, his commitment and concentration brought a flow of grace that allowed him to work very quickly and at a very high level. Even toward the end of his life, he was writing books in a month or less.
These qualities—attunement, dharma, kindness, and concentration—are things we can all emulate ourselves. Thus, Swamiji’s beautiful legacy will continue to live and spread
throughout the world.
Joy to you,