A Regrettable Necessity; An Inspired Opportunity

Dear Friends,

Rescuing YoganandaIn the last many weeks and at various gatherings and online we have made reference to Swamiji Kriyananda’s purpose in relocating (temporarily) to Los Angeles. He best explains his reasons in a book and cover letter which he is asking us to read. (Swami Kriyananda is one of the few yet living direct disciples of Paramhansa Yogananda. He is the founder of the worldwide spiritual and communitarian work of Ananda.)

None of us, his friends and members of Ananda, nor yet especially himself, relish engaging our fellow gurubhais at Self-Realization Fellowship (headquartered in Los Angeles) in debate and accusations. But Swamiji feels that at this late date in his life (at age 84) and with the responsibility of his role as steward for Yogananda’s work, something must be done. Kriyananda’s life has been both heroic and courageous and this is no exception. For he assumes the risk of seeming to be diminished in stature and credibility in the public’s eye by launching a campaign which might, on its face, appear to be based on a desire for personal revenge. (Kriyananda, though vice-president and member of the S.R.F. Board of Directors, was dismissed without a hearing in 1961. This fact, so hurtful and shocking to him at the time, made the founding of Ananda in 1968 and Kriyananda’s life of public service possible.)

“Getting even” is not Swamiji’s motivation or consciousness, nor that of any member or leader of Ananda. We ask you to try to read his words, then, with the higher purpose of serving Yogananda’s work, and, helping SRF by offering its members and leaders the opportunity to make needed changes, both personally and for the sake of those whom they seek to serve.

Sometimes the “high road” looks like something else: not unlike William the Conqueror’s actions in assuming the role of warrior. (Yogananda stated that in a past life, he was William the Conqueror!) A soldier who engages in battle does not have to hate. This may not be easy to understand and not commonly observed, but history shows that great men (and women) can rise to such a level. Indeed this is the teaching of Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita.

This campaign, for it is nothing less, is intended to exert public pressure upon SRF to wake-up and reform. So many have experienced from SRF the attitudes that Swamiji describes that it is easy to imagine a swelling of recognition from the ranks of SRF monastics, members, and general public. Swamiji is the only one living today who can legitimately and with force of will and stature commissioned by Master himself make such statements. No one inside SRF dares to do so. Over the years many have simply left.

Like surgery or disciplining a child or friend, this action, though regrettable, is offered in charity and in the hope that through recovery the spiritual and worldwide work of Paramhansa Yogananda will be stronger and more harmonious.

Read Swami Kriyananda’s letter and book at http://www.rescuingyogananda.org/.



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