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Yogananda for the World

Yogananda for the World

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Paramahansa Yogananda
Paramahansa Yogananda

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Yogananda for the World
Freeing His Legacy from Sectarianism
Swami Kriyananda
The cover photograph was snapped just at the moment whenParamhansa Yogananda—having declared (concerning his conceptof world brotherhood colonies), “I am sowing my thoughts in theether, and my words
shall not die
!”—raised his hands and sentthose vibrations out into the world as he uttered three times themighty mantra, “AUM!” (See Chapter 2.)Copyright 2011 by Hansa TrustFirst edition 2010Second edition 2010Third revised edition, 2012All rights reserved.
 
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Contents
 
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Preface
Where There Is Adherence to
Dharma
(Righteous Action) There Is Victory
by Nayaswami Naidhruva
This book concerns two fundamentally different,and perhaps irreconcilable, interpretations of thelegacy that was left by the great spiritual master,Paramhansa Yogananda, author of 
Autobiography of a Yogi
and other works of supreme importance tospiritual seekers everywhere, and founder of Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF). Swami Kriyanandahas carried on that legacy as his guru told him to, andinsists that the legacy was intended for the wholeworld. Others of the great guru’s disciples, however,claim that his legacy should be interpreted narrowlyas the founding of a small monastery, and theinstitution of a sectarian tradition with the kind of narrowness and rigidity that Yogananda himself described as “anathema to religion.”My direct experience of the facts presented inthis book came primarily through twelve years of litigation, instituted by SRF against Ananda, thespiritual organization founded by Swami Kriyananda.Though I had been trained as a lawyer, I left thepractice of law when I moved to Ananda Village inNevada City, California in 1980. After SRF filed itslawsuit against Ananda in 1990, I became involved inlaw once again, working with Jon Parsons, Ananda’sattorney, on the SRF case and subsequently on therelated Bertolucci lawsuit. I also worked closely withSwami Kriyananda during this time and was inregular, often daily, contact with him.Many of the attitudes and actions of SRF’sleaders discussed in this book were the subject of depositions, court testimony, and documents filedwith the court. Most of these documents are a matterof public record; they confirm the picture of SRFpresented by Kriyananda in this book.The SRF lawsuit, as the United States federalcourt judge correctly perceived, was an attempt bySRF to “put Ananda out of business” through SRF’sclaim of exclusive rights to Yogananda’s teachings.The lawsuit sought not only to eliminate Ananda as aviable Yogananda organization, but also toundermine Kriyananda’s reputation and credibility asa spiritual teacher and spokesman for Yogananda.Later, with the filing of the Bertolucci lawsuit, theattempt to tarnish Kriyananda’s reputation gainedadded momentum.Indeed, from that point on, Kriyananda wasunder attack in every aspect of his life. Everythinghe’d ever worked for was in jeopardy—even thecopyrights to the many books he had written and themusic he had composed.Kriyananda was not the aggressor in theselawsuits, but when forced to defend Ananda andhimself he did so with courage, determination, andcreativity. Principles were at stake and he foughthard, at the same time seeking ways to promoteharmony between SRF and Ananda wheneverpossible. Kriyananda was very concerned that thislegal fight between two “first-generation” Yoganandaorganizations would negatively affect the future of Yogananda’s work, and he was willing to makeappropriate concessions to settle the lawsuit. Despitehis best efforts, no compromise or settlement provedpossible.In situations of the type Kriyananda now faced, aperson’s character is revealed. What I observed wasthat Kriyananda never flinched before hard truths,and wasted no energy wishing that things were otherthan they were. Scrupulously honest in thepresentation of his defense, he based his positionsstrictly on the truth of the matters at issue. First andforemost to him was having a clear conscience beforeGod; the courts of man were of secondaryimportance. He would do his best, but the resultswere in God’s hands.Though in what might be called absolutepersonal jeopardy, Kriyananda was alwayscompassionate, never harsh. Even with everything hebelieved in at stake, he never neglected his spiritualresponsibility to the Ananda members involved in the

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