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In Loving Memory: Tributes and Condolences

by Clarity Magazine
Summer 2013 No Comment

The night that Swamiji passed, I had a dream. I was standing in front of a figure whose face was not visible, but who was clearly dressed in blue robes. I wasn’t sure who he was, or why he had appeared in my dream. But he had a message and he said to me: “Now I will show you the way home.” The pronouncement startled me awake, but intuitively I knew that all I had to do was say “yes” to this invitation, and so I did. Immediately I felt this incredible energy surging through me. It felt like it contained all the answers I had ever been seeking, and yet, was somehow beyond all answers. This lasted for a few hours, and I fell back asleep.

The next morning I read that Swamiji had passed, and I cannot help but think that it was him in my dream. I am a very new disciple of this path. Before the dream, I hadn’t been able to find that resonating vibration with Swamiji, but since then, I feel his light and grace through every photograph, every line of his books, every chant sung, every song heard. Amy Mears, Mountain View, CA

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Dear Swamiji, I love you, and will miss you! But I’ll carry your words with me, which you said when I asked how I could serve Master better: “Love him with all your heart. Don’t worry about the details — the love, that’s the important part.” Nabha Cosley, Ananda Village

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Just wanted to reach out and send you my deepest heartfelt condolences after the passing of Swamiji. I truly hope that you feel the joy of his liberation! Three days after his passing, a remarkable joy descended upon me, bringing solutions to life challenges and productivity!  My heart is incredibly uplifted, and some issues I have been working through have resolved themselves. The presence of Swamiji is so near and real. He must be with Yogananda, helping out his little flock. It is wonderful! May you also receive many divine blessings in this extraordinary time.” Elizabeth Hardwick, New York City

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Swami Kriyananda was the one who introduced me to the Kriya Yoga path in this life. My prayer to Lord Krishna for the right guidance was fulfilled thru Swamiji.

One time I attended his book release function in Delhi, India. After the function, while he was leaving the auditorium, I said in my mind, “I Love You Swamiji,” and placed my right hand over my heart. The very next second, Swamiji turned to me (eye to eye – can’t forget that moment) and smiled blissfully by placing his right hand over his heart! I was amazed, He knows everything!

Swamiji, you are a true disciple and you have done your job well in this life! With love, Joy

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I was saddened to hear of the transition of Kriyananda. His music is what made survival in the weeks following my open heart surgery possible.  I could not read or watch television, and his was the only voice I could stand to hear. Richard Mantle, CFO, Sierra Family Medical Clinic, Nevada City, CA

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Words cannot convey the depths of sorrow that I feel in my heart, knowing that I shall not ever see Swamiji in this life again. But I am comforted by his spiritual presence, and guidance, which are ever with me. He and I are distant cousins, but my feeling and regard for him transcended a familial bond, as I am certain that we spent many lifetimes in close company. My heart is very heavy, but my spirit soars in sympathy with his bliss! We love you, Swamiji, and anticipate our reunion! Linda G. Walters

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My contact with Swamiji started with the “A Way to Awakening” TV program. My first thought was: “What is this foreign swami going to teach in India?” But in time, I found him to be a truer Hindu than most of us. Slowly but surely, watching his talks left me a changed man. I started regarding him as a true friend. In time, I even got to meet him and later have correspondence with him. His words to me were those of a true friend and guide, ever encouraging. You are my best friend, Swamiji. I thank you and God for this gift of divine friendship. Vinay

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To all my dear Ananda friends, I know how much all of you must be grieving for your beloved Master but if it’s any consolation to you I just wanted you all to know that he passed away at a most auspicious time:

1. The year is in Uttarayanam, the northward journey of the sun which is the auspicious time for which Bhishma the grandsire of the Kurus waited for before leaving his body.

2. The month is Chaitra, the second month of spring and the month in which both Sri Rama and Hanuman were born.

3. The lunar fortnight was in shukla paksha or the waxing phase of the moon.

4. The day was ekadasi, 11th day of the lunar fortnight which is considered to be a most auspicious day to leave this body.

5. I’m not sure what the time was but considering all the above factors I feel sure it must also have been very good.

I have no doubt that he will continue to guide you all from the higher realms. I feel blessed to have met him in Feb. in Pune. In a way I was drawn to go and visit him there and he was kind enough to invite me for lunch. It was a memorable occasion and I am so grateful to God for giving me this opportunity.” Mataji Vanamali Devi, Vanamali Ashram, Rishikesh, India

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We in India believe that when a person leaves on the ekadasi day, the 11th day of the moon, he is free or becomes a jivanmukta. As per Indian timing today is ekadasi and Italy had entered into ekadasi day when Swami left his body at 8 am, April 21, 2013. It was poignant for me and for all of us who had heard of the prophecy, in which Master said to Swami, that “death will set you free.” Swami left on an ekadasi day; so that prophecy surely came to pass!” Lipa Rath, Gurgaon, India

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Just read of Kriyananda’s death this morning. I remember working with you all on your permit process on a Planning Commission for the 5th district in the late 1970s. I found him a man of insight and good humor! My condolences to all of Ananda and I’m glad to see you are still there. Don Dachtler, Nevada City, CA

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I have been blessed to have known Swami since 1970 and to have written to him. Throughout the years, I have told him of my troubles and my joys. When he wrote back, he would never address my issues directly but would offer gentle suggestions. Recently I told him how sorry I was to have sent him so many letters/emails. He wrote and said that he knew it was my way to stay in tune with him, and that it was OK.

In the very last letter I was to write to him, I asked him a very unusual question. I asked: “When Divine Mother takes you from this world, I want to continue to write to you and I want you to please bless my letters. And I want to know that through your blessing, you will not only receive my future letters but will also respond to them?”

Reluctantly I sent the email about a week before he left the body. The very last letter he sent me was sent less then 6 hours before Divine Mother took him. Here is his response: “Dear Durgadas, you can write to me now and always, even after I’m gone from this body….”

I have since written over two dozen “Dear Swami” letters. I write them on my computer and I “send them” them to a special email account for my “Dear Swami” letters. And yes I do feel his response. And I know he did not send me that last email for my eyes only. Do write to him. See for yourself. My “Dear Swami” letters are a very important part of my spiritual path. There is NOTHING I can’t tell him. Durgadas

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Our hearts and prayers are with you as you face the passing of your beloved founder, Swami Kriyananda, who touched the hearts of countless spiritual seekers around the world. Our founder, Swami Satchidananda, and Swami Kriyananda knew each other and presented at the same conferences several times, both sharing the timeless teachings. The Integral Yoga organization has always felt a close connection to Ananda. May God bless you with abundant strength, courage and comfort during this time of transition for your organization.” Ganesh MacIsaac, Executive Director, Satchidananda Ashram, Yogaville

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Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters), who moved on to higher lokas at the end of April, was one of the most important western teachers of yogic spirituality over the past fifty years. He was a profound thinker, philosopher and a visionary with a concern for all humanity, who understood the deeper traditions of India. He has left many noteworthy books that should be examined for years to come. Kriyananda, as a many sided personality, was also a refined musician and a dramatist, who could access the best creative aspects of European culture.

Besides his extensive work in the field of the mind, Kriyananda was a powerful influence in the social world. Kriyananda was probably the most important recent voice in creating new spiritual communities, and has trained a remarkable set of teachers. Very few from his generation in the West have been able to approach even a small portion of his many accomplishments. Kriyananda has left a legacy that can help guide not only the Western Yoga movement, but also the dawning global culture. Vamadeva Shastri (David Frawley)

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I was blessed to be visiting at Ananda Village when the news came of Swamiji’s passing. I have never felt such a mix of emotions on hearing of a death. I felt joy for Swami and sorrow for all of us left behind.

The greatest tribute to Swami was the way everyone carried on. The annual tulip festival was in full force with many visitors arriving at Crystal Hermitage all day. Many Ananda Village folks had to be present to greet them. Swamiji’s presence permeated the Village and even more so as devotees put their personal grief and shock aside to serve others. Such is the legacy of this great soul. Jai Swamiji! Peggy B., California.

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I grew up in SRF in the 1950s and 60s. My father played the organ at the Hollywood temple when Kriyananda was our minister in SRF. I have always admired Kriyananda from those early days. I have followed him closely and enjoyed his books and what he has done to promote the ideals of Master in creating the how-to-live communities.

For some reason, just yesterday I came upon a talk that he gave in Los Angeles in 2009 about the new nayaswami order he created, and I thought, “Oh, this is me! This is what I have been waiting for!” I felt compelled to write to our sweet Swamiji but learned that he had left this world – just 4 days ago! I feel even more certain that finding this order at this moment is an answer to my soul’s call. Our dear Kriyananda has created something that I have yearned for, for over 60 years.” Dr. Sandra Passmore, Byland, Prescott, AZ

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Since our beloved Swami left this world, I have felt his energy and love very strongly assisting me, as I’m sure we all have. The beauty of it all is that my meditation practices now go into place so easily and naturally! And the joy! May light and bliss be with his soul forever. Louise Ghindi Barasso, Varese, Italy

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I could never express the depth of my gratitude to this great soul for all he has given me. The sweetest treasure was that on many occasions at The Expanding Light, to help him walk, I held his elbow or he mine or we held hands. One such time I took his elbow. He was feeling strong, however, and said, “I don’t need help.” I answered, “I know, Swamiji, I’m just sneaking in touching you while I have the chance.” He responded by taking my elbow as we walked together. That beautifully illustrates the soul we have known as Swami Kriyananda – always giving to others. Thank you, friend. Go with God. Timothy Hickey, Ananda Village

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It is good to learn that Brother Kriyananda’s body will be laid to rest in Ananda soil near his Crystal Hermitage “in a special mandir.” Many will travel to give love and respects to him there. I send my prayerful wishes to Jyotish and Devi for their well-attuned guidance, manifesting for the continued flowering of Ananda’s destiny  in a strong and loving team spirit that says: GOD – CHRIST – GURUS…..always. Dr. Daniel Hart, Phoenix, AZ

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Love and blessings to all who were so blessed to be his students, his friends. There really are no words to express our gratitude for all he gave us. Rev. Pattie Weber, for Spiritual Center for Positive Living in Cameron Park, CA

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One of the highlights of my life was meeting, sitting near to, and exchanging a few words with Swami Kriyananda during my stay at the Pune Community in January of this year. I could see that he had reached the state of Anandam. His countenance was resplendent with light. I knew I was in the presence of a saint. This moment will stay forever in my consciousness. Brahmacharya Devidasan

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I first met Swami Kriyananda in the summer of 1982, when he was doing a tour of Europe. He stayed for a few days in London and I met him at the Mind-Body-Spirit Festival in London – he was giving a 3-hour workshop on Kriya Yoga. I remember him welcoming me with a warm smile.

That evening after having met Swamiji, I had a superconscious dream in which both Swamiji and Paramhansa Yogananda appeared to me in their astral forms. Yogananda said to me, “You no longer have to continue your search. I, Yogananda, am your Guru, and Kriya Yoga is your path to follow.”

Over the years Swamiji has been a warm divine friend. He personally instructed me in Yogananda’s Kriya Yoga teachings and techniques, and asked me to be a meditation group leader in London.  He made a few visits to my house in London, where he gave Kriya initiation. I’m forever grateful to you, Swamiji. God bless you always! Stephen Sturgess, London

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Justine Toms is the widow of Michael Toms, the well-known and respected host of New Dimensions Radio. —Editor

Ah, so very sad – we’ve lost such a major spiritual figure. I know Swamiji will be missed greatly by the many, many people he served and inspired. As you no doubt know, Michael Toms also passed away this year (in January). I think Swamiji and Michael must be in the great beyond smiling on us all and sending their enormous love and encouragement.

My most deep condolences to the entire Ananda community, and my heartfelt thoughts that Swamiji can rest now in the knowledge that the world is a better place for the work he did here. Justine Toms

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We knew the day would come when our beloved Swamiji would be called to his divine reward. It is for us now to celebrate his liberation, to feel for his continuing guidance, and to carry Ananda forward with vigilant attunement to his will and his blessed ways. Swamiji gave his life to serving Master’s mission. We can do him no greater honor than to dedicate ourselves to furthering the work he so lovingly, creatively and tirelessly undertook for over sixty-four years. We rejoice that he is one with God at last. Surendra and Tushti, Pune, India

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I feel that Master did through Swamiji all those things that he didn’t have time to do in his own incarnation as Yogananda. And he couldn’t have chosen a better instrument than our beloved Swamiji, the greatest example of an ideal disciple I can imagine. Srinivas Chippa, California

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I am joining all of you with love and prayers in remembering Swami Kriyanandaji. His passing is a great loss to humanity. He was one of the last few living disciples of our beloved Master Paramhansa Yoganandaji. Swami Kriyananda’s contribution to spreading the message and teachings of Kriya Yoga for so many years is truly remarkable.

It is worth noting that a few weeks before Swamiji’s departure, he sent answers to a set of questions that I had sent to him in relation to Swami Bharati Krishna Teerthaji’s USA tour in 1958. I am ever grateful that Swamiji took the time to do this. Paramhansa Prajananda, Spiritual Head, Kriya Yoga International/Kriya Yoga Institute

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For awhile, some time ago, I was the leader of a tiny Ananda meditation group here in Hawaii. During that time we were fortunate enough to have Swami come out to Hawaii to give a talk in one of the meeting rooms at the University of Hawaii.

There was a nice attendance (overfilling the room) for the talk. Near the end of his talk, I looked towards the back of the room, checking the attendance (nearing 100) and as I was doing a brief count of attendees, I noticed a new person slipping in at the very back of the room. This person was not very tall and I could only see, through the crowd gathered there, part of his dark face and bright clothing. I noticed he was wearing something orange.

As I continued with the counting, it came to me that Paramhansa Yogananda wore that same color and I began quaking inside. I looked again at the place where I had seen him, but there was no longer anyone there.

I have mostly kept this experience in my heart and only shared it with one person at the Ananda Meditation Retreat some years ago. It is now time to tell the story to all. Milton Staackmann

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May Swamiji’s crossing be gentle, and may he be welcomed in joy by the saints and sages of all religions. Thinking of you and of all at Ananda in your deep, deep loss. With fondest love and prayers this day. May his bliss and love stay with you always. And you know, even better than I do, that he will come to you in your dreams and in your meditation and in your waking consciousness too. Elizabeth Davenport, Dean of Rockefeller Chapel, University of Chicago

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Master shook me out of my slumber through Autobiography of a Yogi, and sent Swamiji (to India) to keep me awake. Even though the hours that I spent in Swamiji’s physical presence were few, he kept me on a tight leash through his books & talks. He never let me go astray. Thank you Master. Thank you Swamiji.  Shishir Gupta, Pune, India

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I feel Swami Kriyananda’s unobstructed light and power on a cosmic and universal level now –– much stronger than when he was impeded by the weakened body. As I watched the Ananda Village Astral Ascension Ceremony online, I could feel a new power in his songs.

Dr. Bunny Paine-Clemes, Professor of Liberal Arts, Department of Culture and Communication, Cal Maritime, California State University System, Vallejo, CA

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I want to share something that Swami said to me many years ago in Assisi when he was recovering from that health crisis in Florence that had nearly killed him. He looked into my eyes with an intensity that I will never forget and said (slightly paraphrased by memory), “If it was my time to go I was ready for I have always done the best that I could do, and I have always held love in my heart for every one.” I felt so blessed by that gift of a connection to his soul. I had heard him say this publicly, but not with the intensity with which he blessed me. Mary Meith, Sacramento, CA

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Even though I am so far removed physically from all the rest of Ananda, I was very profoundly affected by the passing of Swamiji and the many online ceremonies. During these past weeks I have been recalling my “connections” to Ananda, Paramhansa Yogananda, the yoga path, and Swami Kriyananda, all the way back to my teen years and up to the day when you administered the Nayaswami Vows to me.

Every day I have had some new memory to ponder. It has been a wonderful several weeks and I feel that Swamiji has been at the heart of it, even though we had never met .I believe that he was helping me to coalesce the experiences of the past years to understand the great gift I have been given.

Please know that I am ever grateful to Swamiji and to you for allowing me to take the Nayaswami Vows. I felt I needed to connect with you especially now, and to renew myself in Ananda. Father Kyrill/ Nayaswami Kripal, Montgomery, IL

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You have our sincere sympathy in the loss of your dear friend and teacher—but you know his love lives on and exists in the here and now. You are all in our prayers and thoughts and may the peace that passes all understanding descend upon you and comfort you. Patricia Paulsen for Sunburst Community

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I felt a bit down with Swami passing, and was preoccupied, but I felt his loving energy and kindness like never before and it has been very strong around me all day for days now. What a blessing!  Thank you very much, kind Swami! Om, Om Amen. Paul Fernhout, Bangkok, Thailand

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Such a gift to have met Swamiji for the first time in Seattle in 1991 where he was giving a talk on divine love at the Unity Church. I was so moved by the joy that was expressed through him to all of us in the audience. I remember I went up to him afterwards and told him that very thing, and he took my hands in his as I said “thank you.” He just looked at me and beamed Master’s love. Transformational power!” Rebecca Smith, Green Valley, AZ

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Love to all my spiritual family. Our Swamiji is free. That blissful, final liberation in God that he had longed for is finally his. Now, we must take what he has given us and give it away. We must be Swamiji to the world, to all receptive souls. “All Krishna’s soldiers are like Krishna.” May people see the same light in our eyes, the same sweetness in our smiles, and feel the same love of God that animated Swamiji. This is the best way that we can honor him, and the greatest thing we can do for him. Dayanand, Nevada City

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The world will miss this beautiful, creative and industrious man – what a great soul! – His work for Master will go on. Walter Cruttenden, Binary Research Institute

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Upon hearing of Swami Kriyananda’s passing, my first thought was great joy for him. My next thought was gratitude that he came to the Louise Hay Conference and reawakened me to my discipleship to Master. Then sadness at the loss for all of you of the personal human contact with him that you enjoyed for so many decades. I am sure he will continue to bless Ananda from the heavens. His was such a great example of discipleship for us all. God bless all of you and many prayers for you all during this time. Marsha Lynn Ismay, Santa Fe, NM

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We really mourn the demise of Swamiji who touched everybody who came in contact with him or listened to his discourses. We pray to the Almighty to rest his soul in peace and provide strength to his followers to bear the loss. Dr. Mahesh Chandra Tiwari, United Kingdom and Professor K. N. Mehta, India

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I am incredibly grateful to you, Swamiji, for making life on earth a sacred pathway to God. I don’t know where I would be without the communities you created, the deep practice of Kriya Yoga, and the divine friendships we have at Ananda. I am honored to have been in your company, a liberated jivan-mukta, and to have been blessed by you.

We all love you and will miss you, but your life lives on through every song, affirmation, meditation, satsang, prayer, and chant that we offer. “A tiny bubble of laughter, you have become the Sea of Mirth itself.” Melody Hansen, Ananda Village

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Although I have my own living master I am greatly appreciative of Swamiji’s work and the extra dimension he has added to my understanding of Paramhansa Yogananda’s teachings. I exchanged emails with him and l am so pleased he had the courtesy and kindness to respond. Thank you, Swamiji! Michael

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Your kindness, smile, and unconditional love has left an indelible imprint in my heart and soul dear Swamiji. Words cannot describe the gratitude I feel. God bless you! Paul

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I will miss the assurance of his physical presence but I am deeply assured of his spiritual accessibility. The words from his song were ringing in my head again today: “Nothing can dim the light of my soul…” Rashmi

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The Guibord Center remembers and celebrates the life of Swami Kriyananda. We pray for the continuing success of the Ananda Community worldwide as we remember and continue to draw inspiration from the life and example of this remarkable man.  Rev. Dr. Gwynne Guibord, for The Guibord Center – Religion Inside Out, Los Angeles, CA

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You gave meaning and direction to my life. I would be an empty shell without your presence all these years. Now that you have moved beyond my physical reach, you give me the opportunity to continue our sacred friendship in an even deeper realm. I feel your joyous consciousness when I but turn my heart to your remembrance.

How can I begin to thank you? Only by doing my best to continue in your shining example of touching everyone I meet with the kindness, friendship, and love for God that you showed to me.  Maitri Jones, Ananda Village

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I bow to you Swami and I will keep you in my heart as a great guide, great friend, and a living example Hanuman, the greatest devotee. Thank you for everything you have done and especially for helping me find my way back to Divine Mother, the only reality. I bow to you great soul. Vajrini Buonaguro, West Hollywood, CA

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I’ve been a core member of the Ananda Dallas Center for 20 years. After visiting Ananda Village in April 2013, I spent Saturday, April 20 with my sister in Sacramento. I went to bed at 9 pm and awoke 3:30 am Sunday, April 21st. I realized I’d had an amazing dream, my first dream with Swamiji in it.

In the dream, Swamiji and I were holding a large pole. It was light in weight, but had a diameter of around 10 inches. Swamiji and I were each holding one end of the pole, which was very long. I realized that the idea was that Swamiji was going to pole vault using the pole.

We then both began running, and at one point I planted my end of the pole in the ground. Swamiji was going up on the other end and it was taking him very high. I wasn’t sure if he would make this very high pole-vault, so I began trying to help him by pushing on the pole from where I was standing.

At that point, Swamiji, who was by now very high up, called out clearly, “I’m going over now!”

With that, the dream ended. I learned later that day that Swamiji had left his body that same morning at his home in Assisi.

I realized before the news of his passing that Swamiji was communicating his liberation to me, as well as his encouragement, to try to live ever more profoundly in the Divine Reality. I felt that he was giving me the honor of trying to help him, and the Ananda movement, by “pushing on the pole.” Mike Wolverton, Dallas, Texas

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We followed in our car the hearse that took Swamiji’s body from the Ananda Assisi Temple to the airport. When we left, we could feel strongly, in the air, the loving goodbyes of all the souls who were present.

After a little while, I felt the prompting to play the CD of Swami chanting ‘Secrets of Love.’ As we proceeded at slow speed, something started to happen: the meadows seemed to have donned their sweetest green. The trees offered the tender white and pink flowers of this season. The flowers sang with the beauty of their colors. All nature emanated great sweetness and great love. Then I opened the window of the car and I raised the volume, so that Swamiji’s voice might expand even more. Nature was offering all Her beauty as an homage to Swamiji.

We were allowed to witness the great blessing that spread all around the passage of Swamiji’s body, and we wanted to share our experience with you. Medhavati and Dayalan, Rome, Italy

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This morning I heard the news of Swami’s passing. I feel that my heart is in the heart of every devotee and friend of Swami’s, whether one is feeling joy for his “graduation” or sorrow that he is no longer in our physical presence. May the comfort and consolation of Divine Mother be felt by all. You are being held tenderly in my prayers, and I will keep you there in the days and weeks ahead. We all know that Ananda is being watched over and nurtured, and will continue to thrive with Swami’s and Master’s ceaseless blessings.

Elana Joan Cara, editor of The Light of the Christ Within, a book of inspired talks given by John Laurence, a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, recently published by Crystal Clarity.

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When I think of Swamiji, I feel grateful for the lessons of how to live life, of learning from mistakes and moving on, and for his honesty and humour. But most of all, I am amazed at the number of angels and saints he has magnetized to Ananda and through whom the guidance of the Masters will continue to flow.  Malavika Raghuram, Singapore

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Dearest Swamiji, At a chance meeting you asked me to give you my hand. I give you my hand, my heart, my love, my strength. Thank you for your presence in my life. Phouvan

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It is amazing how I feel like I know Kriyananda, although I personally never met him. There is something all-inclusive in his outlook that makes it feel as if he is talking to you. He is definitely an unforgettable character, someone who exists in my mind as an exemplar of following a spiritual path but paradoxically as also being a success in the world. Moreover, Swami Kriyananda models discipleship and that is perhaps his greatest teaching – his life as a disciple of a great master. May you rest in a sea of joy and bliss. Brock Callahan

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While I cannot speak for the immeasurable good Swami has done for others and our whole world, for myself his positive influence on my life is beyond any few short words. I would just hope that in a moment of deep stillness, when a single “thought-drop” can ripple through all creation, I would be able to say “Thank you Swami” with a sincerity that truly expressed the gratitude my soul owes him. Michael Moody

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I just found this amazing soul about a month ago and I instantly fell in love with him. I don’t know how I could feel so sad at the passing of someone I never knew. I know he is here with us still though. Daniel Murawsky

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When I meditate, Swamiji is now more vividly present than ever. I am so thankful for this new gift and for the light of grace that has shone through his life. He has dramatically changed my life for the better. I see my hope of attaining Self-realization as realistic. His example was so exemplary, and the impact of all that he has done is so enormous, that one can only begin to speculate as to the long term benefits for the world. Nirmoha Gladden, Palo Alto, California

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I had the rarest opportunity to be present in a spiritual gathering in Kolkata on the evening of 10th Feb. 2013. Swami Kriyanandaji blessed us with lucid discourse and shared the various interactions he had with Yogananda in the course of his spiritual journey. It was, indeed, a great experience to be in the midst of such a highly charged spiritual atmosphere.

Swami Kriyanandaji is no more in the physical body, but he will always be living in our hearts. I bow to the great personality and divine soul. Tapash Roy, Kolkata, India

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I was very sorry to hear about this [Swamiji’s passing] .We have been honored to carry his writings in our magazine! Suruchi Honavar, Editorial Director, Tathaastu Magazine

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Autobiography of a Yogi awakened in me a desire to pursue a path of yoga. But it does not tell HOW an ordinary person can do it. Swamiji gave the How-To instructions, the encouragement, real-life applications and the rebuttal to every doubt. He brought Yogananda’s ideals to life, within reach. Swamiji made every effort to explain concepts clearly — in a variety of ways! There are no words to ever thank him enough for this. Diane

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We are all so blessed to have Swamiji’s guiding presence, ever with us. I pray that Ananda’s work grows ever stronger now, and touches many lives! Thank you, Swamiji, for teaching us how to experience true joy & to always strive to reach our highest potential, in God. Aum.  Shamini, Gurgaon, India

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The news of the passing of our beloved Swamiji came to us as a surprise. We thought he would be with us a few more years, but we felt happy for his soul is at last united with God, and in Swamiji’s joy in being with his beloved Guru. Our human side aches for the loss of his physical presence, but we know he will be even closer to us now, and this consoles us. There are moments when we feel sad but then we remember what our path is all about, and so we find the reason to smile, accept and move forward. We shall miss him, but he left us with our spiritual family for whenever we are in need of support and guidance.” Roberto, Rita, and Carolina Viscogliosi, Clayton, CA

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We send our condolences to the whole community at Ananda Village and worldwide.
Rev. Jerry Farrell, Head Minister, Unity in the Gold Country Spiritual Center, Grass Valley, CA (and on behalf of INC: Interfaith, Nevada County)

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My thoughts are with all of my Ananda friends right now, with the loss of Swami Kriyananda.  He was an amazing and inspiring being, and the one who brought us all together. I am so grateful. Donna O’Neil, Eugene, OR

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I was up on the ridge today looking out over the Village and could feel Swamiji’s presence so intensely that I was inspired to write a poem for the first time in many years. It’s not a tremendous poem, but I thought to share it with you.

My Eternal Friend

I miss the knowledge you’ll walk through those doors
Spreading your joy like rose petals on the wind
I miss the life you shared unsparingly
With energy that knew no end

Yet I rest in the love that lingers still
A protective shawl that enfolds us
And long for the day we’ll meet again
When the veils of maya forsake us.

Lisa Clark, Ananda Village

***

I just read that Swami Kriyananda passed away in Italy. What a blessing he was to those he served. I know it will be a change and that his physical presence will be missed even though we know his soul continues on its journey of evolution. I send thoughts of peace and comfort to you and your community. Rev. Lannett Howard for Sierra Center for Spiritual Living, Grass Valley, CA

***

Like so many others, my life took a huge turn once my soul found its way to this path of Self-realization, and it happened only because of all that Swamiji has done to creatively manifest so many ways for devotees to find their way back to God…through his hundreds of books, music, art/photos, and countless talks and lessons…

Where would many of us be without this magnificent soul who has dedicated his life to selflessly serve our Guru, and awakening each of us to our divine potential? I would have been lost and wandering for many more years (lifetimes). Thank you, dearest Swamiji, for guiding us in all aspects of life. With endless gratitude and love, Joycee Wong

***

Thank you Swamiji for the gift of your deep attunement to Master, for sharing your gift of friendship and showing us what a life well lived looks like. I am forever blessed by you. How can I miss you when you are all around! But in moments of sadness, all I need is your music and I am filled with your spirit and bliss. With unceasing gratitude! Jivani, Ananda Village

***

We first met Swami Kriyananda forty-five years ago, an occasion that changed both of our lives. Swamiji touched millions with his Guru’s message of love, service to God, and life as a search for divine joy. Such is how he lived. To all who crossed his path, he offered friendship. Although our hearts are momentarily saddened by his departure, let’s also rejoice in Swamiji’s divine freedom and remember the words of Master, “To those who think me near, I will be near.” Jaya and Sadhana Devi Helin

***

My heart is with all of you these days, deeply and sweetly, since hearing the news of Swami’s passing. I am feeling his awesome energy, and feeling such love and gratitude for all the Ananda brothers and sisters who have practiced such devotion and dedication over the years.

Chris and I were in the first apprentice program at Ananda Village. A favorite memory is of reading by flashlight in our camping tent each new chapter of Swami’s book, “The Path” (mimeographed?) as it came out – absorbing all the wisdom and devotion. And I share too the teaching that struck me and has stuck with me most over the years: “Joy is the solution, not the result.” Thank you Swami! You live on now in the joyful devotion and dedication of your Ananda devotees! Our prayers are with you all.” Lewie and Chris Pell

***

I’m sure you have had special memorial services there for Swami, and all grieve his passing. A marvelous man whose inspiration lingers and inspires far beyond his earthly existence. Willma Gore, Sedona, AZ

***

Dear Swami Kriyananda: Humbly we bow to you with reverence and gratitude. May your songs purify our hearts and soul with echoing truth until we join you in spirit! Sonia Kim, Seattle, WA

***

The most inspiring virtue I found in Kriyanandaji was his simplicity and unflinching devotion to his guru Paramhansa Yoganandaji. He had an in depth knowledge of human nature and he knew how to guide people to higher levels of consciousness. Ramesh Kajaria, Pune, India

***

We were very sorry to hear of the passing of Swami Kriyananda. I know from personal experience that he was a much loved spiritual teacher and a very kind soul. His memory and the light he brought into this world will always be cherished. Sita Stuhlmiller, from Sacred Mountain Ashram

***

This morning we received a press release on the passing of Swami Kriyanandaji and are sending our prayers and loving thoughts to you and your co-disciples. May you all forever feel the loving care and guidance of your Gurudeva in your hearts and minds every moment.  Marianne Martin, Desert Ashram, Tucson, AZ

***

A great soul and true disciple of a great Master who carried on the unfinished agenda of his Master with untiring devotion. May he rest in God.  Sandeep Malhotra, Gurgaon, India

***

Thinking of all of you at this time in the life of Ananda. I listen to Swamiji every night on one CD, MP3 or another. He remains in our hearts, and his presence and influence are surely guiding us all. Paula Sibilsky, Hickory Creek, TX

***

I believe, with all my heart, that Swamiji is with us MORE now… more so because he is no longer limited to, and confined, by that ailing body. He is absolutely free, and part of that freedom involves being more with us than ever before. Supriya

***

The world will miss the physical presence of Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters), one of the foremost spiritual teachers in the world. I consider my meeting Swami Kriyananda and earning his friendship, grace, and love as my unique privilege. He showered on me and my dear wife, Kala, unconditional affection and blessings. He lived a long, glorious, and absolutely victorious life and transformed the lives of millions. We hoped and prayed that he would live for a hundred years, but we have to accept and respect the verdict of destiny.

The void and vacuum he has left can never be filled again. We console ourselves in the knowledge that he is with the Master now. We will feel much more lonely without his physical presence, but all of us feel his spiritual presence within us more intensely.

What a joy and privilege to have lived in his time on the planet, earning his love and grace!

D. R. Kaarthikeyan, Padmashri Awardee; former Director, Central Bureau of Investigation (India); former Director General, National Human Rights Commission (India)

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