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Ananda Village Founder Swami Kriyananda: Reminiscences of Yogananda - P2/2    
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God is Life God is Joy Life is God’s Life is Joy. God is Life God is Joy Life is God’s Life is Joy.

This is Swami Sri Yukteswar. Each year, we take the glass down, and we have a lot of people come in and sit, and we pass the relics around. This cane is especially popular. People get to hold it. This is once a year. It's usually in the summer.

And would you have to be a member of the community (No, no.) or anyone can come in here? (Yes, yes.)

Welcome, peaceful viewers, to the concluding episode of our two-part program on Swami Kriyananda and the Ananda Village near Nevada Village in California, United States. Expanding Light is Ananda’s spiritual retreat for yoga, meditation, and health. Ananda Village also has its own business park, school, community center, and permaculture garden.

The Ananda College of Living Wisdom is a state-approved college which offers associate degrees and baccalaureate degrees.

The spiritual heart of Ananda Village is the Crystal Hermitage which is the home of Swami Kriyananda. The gardens here are among the most beautiful in the world. The annual springtime at Ananda Open House draws thousands of visitors who come to enjoy the incredible show of 9,000 tulips and flowering trees amidst the mountain scenery.

This is our chapel. This is a replica of the Portiuncula in Assisi, Italy, the chapel that was made by St. Francis. And this was made by an Ananda member. And we had someone in the community made all these stained glass windows, and they're just all nature scenes. The nice thing about this chapel, you feel a part of the garden, you feel a part of nature. It doesn't close you in or separate you. We have weddings here. We do have a meditation every Monday night here. More and more people are finding out about us through the gardens.

Indeed, Ananda Village is a physical manifestation of Swami Kriyananda’s principle: “I will live in the remembrance of what I am in truth: Bliss infinite! Eternal love!”

Residents Lisa, Peter, Devi and Jyotish described a typical day at Ananda Village and the inspiration behind the community.

We all have jobs that look like normal jobs, we have kids, we have families, we have monastics. We all try to meditate between 2 and 3 hours a day. Normally in the morning we have about an hour and half meditation to 2 hours. After that, you come home, have breakfast, get the kids to school, get ready for a job. Some people work for our community businesses, other people work outside the community, but the majority of people work here on the land.

We practice his [Yogananda’s] teachings of meditation, proper living, vegetarian diet, but most of all, we have energy where we take high principles and put them into practical daily practice.

Yogananda came to America from India in 1920, and he had many wonderful statements we can quote, but one of them is: “The time for knowing God has come.” And what he really wanted to bring was a way of integrating high spiritual teachings with daily life. And so, part of his mission was to create what he called “world brotherhood colonies,” where people would practice plain living and high thinking.

During his talk at Ananda Village, Swami Kriyananda read from his soon-to-be published book which consists of treasured reminiscences of his spiritual master Paramhansa Yogananda.

In Los Angeles, he used to walk up and down Main Street, and there are all these bars there. Why did he do it? He wanted to tune into these people, to keep them from getting possessed. When you’re alcoholic or in a state of stupor, that’s when you open yourself to astral entities. Do you know in bars, many people commit murder, for example? They don’t want to do it.

It’s some entity possessing them, that makes them do it, These are realities. Drunkenness can make you that way. The low astral entities hover around such places, looking for opportunities, unless Master would walk up and down and try to help protect these people. His love for everybody was incredible.

He didn’t have to come in the first place, and yet he took on all the betrayals, all the heartaches, all desperation of earning money to make things possible for people and so on. What a huge job! And yet, all for our sake. When I think what he went through, when he didn’t have to go through any of it – there was nothing in it for him.

Swami Kriyananda also spoke about the great mysterious power that the revered Paramhansa Yogananda had. He had power. There was this one time, it was the brother of one of his close disciples, but he was very belligerent and probably didn’t like the way that his sister had been “trapped by this charlatan.” So one day he decided he would come up the stairs and beat Master up and boast to everybody how he had beaten up this “charlatan.”

Master saw him and the coming in a vision. So when the man reached the doorway, Master said, “I know why you’ve come, but,” he said, “I want you to know, I’m very strong physically. I can easily beat you. But I will not beat you physically. Nevertheless I warn you, don’t cross that threshold.” “Come on, prophet! What can you do to me?” And he strode across the threshold, and suddenly fell on the floor and started, “I’m on fire! I’m on fire!”

And he went running out of the house and he was rolling around on the ground outside and Master came and touched him, and the man was fine. And the man said, “Don’t come near me, don’t come near me!” He went in, had his wife get everything, and they left right away. Master had great power but he didn’t use that power usually. He used it when it was justified. He used it when Divine Mother told him to.

The love of an enlightened Master is beyond description. Swami Kriyananda further recalled Paramhansa Yogananda’s endearing ways of changing his disciple’s preconceived ideas.

He wanted nothing from others except for their own highest happiness. Once after he had scolded a disciple, the disciple said. “But you will forgive me, won’t you?” His question surprised the Master. Pausing briefly, he then said, “Well, what else can I do?”

Yogananda was a mirror to the highest Self in everyone. He was inwardly childlike. I myself had always thought that at this age he must be solemn, smiling only in concession to the weaknesses of ordinary human beings. To correct this impression of me, he once bought a few toys. This episode occurred at his Twenty-nine Palms retreat.

We were seated in the kitchen at that time. He asked that something be brought to him. Whatever it was came enclosed in a paper bag. The Master asked someone to turn out the light. We heard a few chuckles along with the little crinkling paper. Suddenly sparks began flying as a barrel of a toy revolver. The light came on and the Master looked at me. “How do you like that, Walter?”

Walter was the name by which he always called me. “It’s fine, Sir,” I replied, still trying to get over my astonishment. Then gazing at me penetratingly, he spoke quoting the words of Jesus, “Several little children do come unto me for of such is the Kingdom of God.”

He finished that charming lesson by firing from another toy pistol, an object which rose into the air then opened into a parachute. We all watched solemnly as the parachute descended to the ground. I never saw him play with those toys again. I suspect he had bought them only for my sake.

The generosity and determination of the great Master Paramhansa Yogananda were recounted by Swami Kriyananda. His generosity extended far beyond mere money or material gain, gifts. It included also for example, allowing others to have the last word, deferring to their opinions, applauding whatever good they did. He never judged anyone. Judgment he left to God. He was truly a friend to all.

I’ve indicated this before, but he had a strong will power. I remember from public function, when he wanted to blow a conch shell, it seemed he had all but lost the knack for doing so. Instead of getting up with a self-deprecating smile, however he continued determinedly through several tries until some sort of sound emerged.

One afternoon after I’d served lunch for him and a few guests, he had me sit at the table with him for a time. Then he tried to flip a fork into his empty glass. Again and again he failed. When finally he succeeded, the fork broke the glass. But “I got it in,”

he said to an impish smile. I think he was teaching me a lesson in perseverance whenever I set my will to anything.

Swami Kriyananda’s accounts reflecting Paramhansa Yogananda’s holiness are truly inspirational, especially for spiritual seekers. His nature was enthusiastic but never bouncy. He never reacted emotionally to anything. His enthusiasm was always an expression of his bliss in God. He always knew how to act appropriately. Divine Mother is loving, she’s playful. She’s even mischievously playful.

The relationship with Her is a delightful thing. And when you pray to Her, think of Her as your friend. Don’t think of Her as anything else. Whenever Master saw Her, I remember the Christmas meditations, he would say, “Don’t go! Oh, you look so beautiful!” And then he said, “The material desires of the people here are driving you away.

Oh, but don’t go, don’t go!” It was so touching to see that. Remember, God is on your side. He is your friend. He would like you to play with Him. Don’t hide from Him. If you make a mistake, don’t say, “Well, I hope You didn’t see this one God.”

Just open yourself to Him, “Hey God, I made a mistake that time, I blew it.

Help me next time.”

It’s true. He likes that. He likes absolute trusting, childlike honesty. And so, the relationship with God is an ever sweet one, and evermore blissful.

We are deeply thankful to Swami Kriyananda for sharing special reminiscences of the beloved Master Paramhansa Yogananda. Our sincere appreciation also, Swami Kriyananda and the residents of Ananda Village, for creating and offering to the world such a beautiful paradise in accordance with enlightening teachings. This concludes our two-part program on Swami Kriyananda and the beautiful Ananda Village in Northern California, USA.

Thank you, kind-hearted viewers, for joining us today on A Journey through Aesthetic Realms. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television. Up next is Our Noble Lineage, right after Noteworthy News. May we all nurture a profound and fulfilling relationship with the Divine.

For more information about Ananda Village and Swami Kriyananda, please visit: www.AnandaVillage.org and www.SwamiKriyananda.org
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