This is the story of a young man who, in the midst of a spiritual quest, had the good fortune to encounter a great man of God.
Swami Kriyananda (1926–2013) was a close and dedicated disciple of the great spiritual master and world teacher, Paramhansa Yogananda (1893–1952; author of the classic Autobiography of a Yogi). Throughout a lifetime that encompassed a whirlwind of activity, Swamiji accomplished prodigies and left a vast legacy for students of Yogananda’s teachings and the world . . . .
In humility and with a desire to remove his ego from the picture, Swami always understated himself and what he did. I knew him for almost forty years and I never saw him try to draw people to himself. He said, “Others want to set themselves up as gurus, or to be seen as such. I want to be a good disciple. The best disciple I can be. The world needs more good disciples.”
And this is what we saw in him, all of us who knew him. By perfecting his discipleship to his great guru, by acting with exquisite attunement as a disciple, he taught us everything we needed to know about the guru-disciple relationship. By sharing so much of his own path to the Divine, he illuminated our paths. For all who seriously sought to learn from him, he nurtured and challenged us, and took us forward, step by step. . . .
Seldom in this world does one encounter such a great soul. If this book brings inspiration, that is a drop in the bucket compared to all that Swamiji imparted during his life. It is difficult to convey the depth and breadth of his magnanimity and nobility.
A Time for Remembering
Early Connections with Swamiji
Christmas and Easter
An Interesting Dream
A Longtime Correspondence
The Christ Lives Oratorio
Lago di Como, Italy
Return to Ananda Village
P.G. Wodehouse and the Christmas Gift
Star Trek and Other Creative Endeavors
The Lincoln Book
The Peace Treaty
Working on Swami’s Books
Swamiji and My Son
The Spiritual Name (A Minor Saga)
Anticipation . . .
Laughing with Swami
Stirring Swamiji to Action
An Unexpected Connection
A Few Musical Notes
Moments with Swamiji
Appendix: Two Stories of Master
“I dipped into your book for a few minutes, and I haven’t been able to stop reading.”
—Anandi Cornell, editor of the Wisdom of Yogananda series
“A riveting, first-hand account of one of the most important spiritual figures of our times.”
—Naidhruva Rush, author of Change Your Magnetism, Change Your Life
“I just finished reading your book and enjoyed it completely. It was delightful to relive through you all these wonderful moments. What great good karma we have, and what a blessing to have shared this life with Swamiji.”
—Asha Nayaswami, author of Swami Kriyananda As We Have Known Him
“Thank you for your wonderful insights into the life of someone who moved us both so deeply. I have always admired your ability to see into the deeper meaning of what Swamiji taught us. Your book brought tears to my eyes.”
—Mark Monson, Vienna, Austria
"Swami Kriyananda was a great and direct disciple of the well-known yoga master, Paramhansa Yogananda. In his book Stories of Swamiji, Richard Salva offers a glimpse into what it can mean to be a dedicated student of such a disciple. Although not personally close to Kriyananda, Richard was able to draw some of the deepest lessons from his thirty-eight years with him. A wonderful and delightful book with something instructive for everyone."
—Nayaswami Parvati Hansen, minister and Director of the Janaka Foundation
“A beautiful book, full of heart and good humor, that will appeal especially to students of Swami Kriyananda, and to many other sincere truth seekers as well. Paramhansa Yogananda wrote famously about the ‘search for ultimate verities and the concomitant disciple-guru relationship.’ Richard Salva shares an up-close view of his life of discipleship to Yogananda through one of Yogananda’s greatest, direct disciples. He brings alive for the reader what it was like to spend many precious moments in the company of a true saint. His efforts to intuit, behind their outward interactions, their true, inner significance for him, and the ever-present challenge and joy of raising his consciousness to new levels in order to receive the great blessings being offered him: These will strike a chord in all readers who are searching for higher meaning in their own lives.”
—Nayaswami Lakshman, former secretary to Swami Kriyananda