Service versus Work (Inspiration from the Bhagavad Gita with Swami Kriyananda)
January 17, 2022
Season 2. These talks are based on the book: The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita Explained by Paramhansa Yogananda, As Remembered by his disciple, Swami Kriyananda.
Rarely in a lifetime does a new spiritual classic appear that has the power to change people’s lives and transform future generations. This is such a book. The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, Explained by Paramhansa Yogananda shares the profound insights of Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi, as remembered by one of his close and direct disciples, Swami Kriyananda. This revelation of India’s best-loved scripture approaches it from an entirely fresh perspective, showing its deep allegorical meaning and also its down-to-earth practicality. The themes presented are universal, including how to achieve victory in life in union with the divine; how to prepare for life’s “final exam,” death, and what happens afterward; and how to triumph overall pain and suffering. This book is itself a triumph. Swami Kriyananda worked with Paramhansa Yogananda in 1950 while the Master completed his commentary.
ABOUT SWAMI KRIYANANDA
In 1948 at the age of twenty-two, Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters) became a disciple of the Indian yoga master, Paramhansa Yogananda. Yogananda is best known for his spiritual classic, *Autobiography of a Yogi*. In his book he recalls his experiences growing up in India and his life in America. He writes of meeting the great spiritual master Babaji, and how Babaji reintroduced the life-changing meditation technique of Kriya Yoga. He tells of his life with his guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, of his guru Lahiri Lahiri Mahasaya, and his meeting with Anandamoy Ma. He tells about his experience in cosmic consciousness (samadhi) and his trips to see many of the saints in India and his trip to the Kali temple. Yogananda moved to America and developed the energization exercises and taught the meditation techniques of Hatha Yoga and especially Kriya Yoga. He founded Self Realization Fellowship and spoke often of the need for world brotherhood colonies.
At Yogananda’s request, Swami Kriyananda devoted his life to lecturing and writing, helping others to experience the living presence of God within. He taught on four continents in seven languages over the course of 65 years. His talks, his music, and his many books have touched the lives of millions. An advocate of simple living and high thinking, his 150 books emphasize the need to live wisely by one’s own experience of life, and not by abstract theories or dogmas. A composer since 1964, Walters has written over 400 musical works. His music is inspiring, soothing, and uplifting. His books and teachings on spiritualizing nearly every field of human endeavor include business life, leadership, education, the arts, community, and science. He wrote extensive commentaries on the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita, both based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. He taught meditation to thousands and has initiated many into the life-changing technique of Kriya Yoga.
He is known as the “father of the intentional communities movement,” which began in the United States in the late 1960s, fulfilling Yogananda's dream. He founded the first of what are now 10 Ananda communities worldwide in 1967 near Nevada City, California.
ABOUT PARAMHANSA YOGANANDA
Paramhansa Yogananda, born in 1893, was the first yoga master of India to take up permanent residence in the West. Yogananda arrived in America in 1920, and proceeded to travel throughout the United States on what he called his “spiritual campaigns.” Hundreds of thousands filled the largest halls in major American cities to see the yoga master from India. Yogananda continued to lecture and write up to his passing in 1952. Paramhansa Yogananda’s initial impact on western culture was truly impressive. But his lasting spiritual legacy has been even greater. His Autobiography of a Yogi, first published in 1946, helped launch a spiritual revolution in the West.