Swami Kriyananda

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Swami Kriyananda Mean?

Swami Kriyananda, born on May 19, 1926 as James Donald Walters, was a well-known yogi who became a direct disciple of the famous yoga master, Paramahansa Yogananda. By founding the first Ananda community in 1968, he established the Ananda worldwide movement of communities following Yogananda's mission. He was a minister in Ananda´s organization, the Self-Realization Fellowship, and an authorized Kriya yoga teacher. He died on April 21, 2013 in Italy at the age of 86.

Swami Kriyananda's two most important principles that he followed his whole life were:

  1. “People are more important than things”
  2. “Where there is adherence to dharma, there is victory”

Yogapedia Explains Swami Kriyananda

Swami Kriyananda was a monastic, a swami of the Giri branch of the Swami Order. So was his guru, Paramahansa Yogananda, and his guru's guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar. He was a determined promoter of the principles of yoga all over the world. For more than 65 years, he taught the principles of ancient Raja (or Hatha) yoga, adapted to the needs of common people in day-to-day life. He wrote upwards of 150 books, covering expanded topics such as relationships, leadership, spirituality, education, yoga, science, art, philosophy and more. He also wrote comprehensive commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible and other scriptures.

Swami Kriyananda is known as the founder of the Ananda communities movement. Following Yogananda's dream to build spiritual communities, he founded the first one in Sierra, Nevada, now known as the Ananda Village. More comunities have developed over time and nowadays Ananda communities and centers can be found in America, Europe and India.

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James Donald Walters

J. Donald Walters

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