Swami Kriyananda

By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©1999
Swami Kriyandanda seeks to spread the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda; to help people find the God Yogananda worshipped (Brahman).


Swami Kriyananda

Info at a Glance

Name: Swami Kriyananda, Ananda Cooperative Village.

Purpose: To spread the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda; to help people find the God Yogananda worshipped (Brahman).

Founder: Swami Kriyananda (James Donald Walters). Kriyananda means: “The bliss of Kriya Yoga.”)

Source of authority: The writings of Paramahansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda.

Revealed teachings: No direct claim, but Kriyananda’s guru was Paramahansa Yogananda, who received spiritistic inspiration.

Claim: To represent the purest, highest and oldest spiritual tradition in the world.

Examples of occult potential: Yoga, astrology, potential spiritism.

Key literature: The Path and other books by Kriyananda; Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi.

Attitude toward Christianity: Rejecting.


“What is Christ? St. Simeon the new theologian wrote, ‘I move my hand, and Christ moves, who is my hand.’ Meister Eckhart wrote, ‘Between the only begotten Son and the soul there is no distinction.’… My guru explained that the true ‘Son’ of God is the infinite consciousness at the heart of every atom in creation, as distinct from the infinite Spirit, the Father beyond His creation. This ‘Son’ is present in all of us but it is manifested only in those who have overcome the hypnosis of human delusion, of infinitesimal limitation, and realized themselves as one with the Father” (Swami Kriyananda, Eastern Thoughts Western Thoughts, pp. 67-68).

Doctrinal Summary

God: Brahman (impersonal being, consciousness, bliss).

Jesus: A master.

The Christ: The divine essence.

The Holy Spirit: The cosmic creative vibration, aum.

The Trinity: Sat Tat Awn.

Salvation: By works (yoga) through higher consciousness.

Man: Inwardly divine.

Sin: Ignorance.

Satan: A universal conscious force, the lila (sport) of Brahman producing maya, the illusion of the creation.

The Second Coming: Inner awakening or Yogananda’s vision allegedly carried on in Kriyananda.

The Bible: A lesser scripture that must be interpreted figuratively, or symbolically, to receive its benefit.

Death: An illusion, spiritual advancement.

Heaven and Hell: States of consciousness or temporary planes of existence.

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