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Some Added Literature

There are works on and by Yogananda (1893-1952) by other publishers than SRF (Self-Realization Fellowship). Some of them could give a more direct and less SRF-adapted version of phrases, goals and happenings.

There are also books on and by various Yogananda followers. Kamala Silva, Norman Paulsen, Roy Eugene Davis and Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters) are among Yogananda disciples who have written books.

There is also the Amrita Foundation, founded in Dallas, Texas, during the 1970s by former associates of SRF. They considered that the SRF editing distorted the texts too much and started publishing Yogananda material that was in the public domain. Amrita's The Second Coming indicates how the SRF-edited version of the work has swelled.

Publishing fights are found - fights for copyrights, and fights for versions to survive, for example. The attorney Jon Parsons takes us into such sides of what alternative communities live by and fight over: publishing books and attracting people on the mundane level. Parsons show how SRF behaved over twelve years in an extended court case against Ananda Sangha, founded by Kriyananda, former vice president of SRF, where he was asked to leave.

"Greatly spiritual" is not exactly for and against mundane skirmishes, but on another plane.


Daya Mata. "Only Love". Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1976.

The book contains talks by Daya Mata, (1914-2010), late and largely absent president of the Fellowship (above). When she became the leader of the "business", she obviously "did not like it there", but wanted to live away from nearly all the monks and nuns she was the head of, to live in a villa with a view of the mountains. She kept it up like that about thirty years while almost every SRF monastic thought that their leader was living among them at the SRF headquarters on 3880 San Rafael Avenue (CA 90065) in the Mount Washington neighbourhood - northeast of downtown Los Angeles and Chinatown. After the Los Angeles Times broke the news about where she lived, and how long she had lived like that, about one third of the SRF monastics left the SRF premises between 2000 and 2005. About fifty left and about a hundred was left.

Ralph Waldo Emerson: "What you are stands over you . . . and thunders so that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary."

Dasgupta, Sailendra. Paramhansa Swami Yogananda: Life-portrait and Reminiscences. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, 2006.

A biography on the founding guru of SRF. The biographer was another disciple of Yukteswar, and served as Yogananda's secretary when Yogananda visisted India in 1935-36 and thereby escaped a US court case. He lost the case anyway, because of the evidence.

In the book are eye witness descriptions of scenes when Yogananda disappointed his guru severely and fell out with him too on one occasion that seemed rather important to them both.

On the last page of the text [p. 112] a fellow disciple says Yogananda himself told he had been a vicious, murderous desert marauder in a past life, and Yogananda shivered with horror when telling it.

Durga Mata (Dufour, Florina Alberta). A Paramhansa Yogananda Trilogy of Divine Love: My Life and Service to My Guru. Beverly Hills, CA: Joan Wight Publications, 1993.

Durga Mata was not of Mormon upbringing, unlike several others in the SRF management, like Daya Mata, Ananda Mata, and Mrinalini Mata, to name three such ones. Coming to Yogananda as a young woman, moving to his headquarters in Los Angeles in December 1929, Durga remained a disciple until she died in 1993.

Durga Mata tells of twenty-two years with Yogananda, of interactions between the him and his disciples. In 1936, he asked her to move to his recently got hermitage in Encinitas where she served the coming, second SRF leader on almost a daily basis. She devotes parts of her book the second SRF leader, too.

Kriyananda, Swami. Conversations with Yogananda: Recorded, with Reflections, by his disciple Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters). Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity, 2004.

From the book:

When Hitler allowed himself to be seized by ambition for power . . . several masters began to work against him . . . They were at liberty . . . to put the thought in Hitler's mind to make the mistakes that led to his eventual destruction. They suggested to him from within, for example, to divide his forces and fight both in the east and in the west, and also in Africa. . . . Militarily, there was no need for Germany to divide its fronts. That self-division proved, for it, a fatal error. (No. 289)

⸻. Education for Life: Preparing Children to Meet the Challenges. Rev. ed. Nevada City: Living Wisdom, 2001.

Ananda's Living Wisdom Schools teach according to the Education for Life philosophy originated by Swami Kriyananda and Nitai Deranja. Students are taught about the value of developing one's higher potentials along with more common subjects to study.

⸻, comp. The Essence of Self-Realization The Wisdom of Paramhansa Yogananda. Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity, 1990.

⸻. The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita: Explained by Paramhansa Yogananda. As Remembered by His Disciple, Swami Kriyananda. 2nd ed. Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity, 2007.

⸻. God Is for Everyone: Inspired by Paramahansa Yogananda. Nevada City: Crystal Clarity, 2003.

"Yogananda"'s Science of Religion [Scp] is in part elaborated on, in part abridged. [Dying before getting cold - Yogananda's way]

⸻. Hope for a Better World: The Small Communities Solution. 4th ed. Nevada City: Crystal Clarity, 2002.

In 1968, Kriyananda, a Yogananda disciple, started his first Ananda community outside Nevada City, California.

Ananda has also started other World Brotherhood Colonies - in Palo Alto, Sacramento, and Nevada City in California; in Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington, and at least four abroad.

In 1969 Norman Paulsen created the Sunburst Community in Santa Barbara, California. In 1970 J. Oliver Black, the leader of the SRF Detroit, Michigan center, began Clear Light Community in Northern Michigan.

SRF has no such communities. However, Kriyananda had heard Yogananda tell audiences that living in Colonies would help people.

Yogananda wrote a detailed article in East-West magazine in April 1932. There he described how he thought people should live in his ideal communities, going about hatless, barefoot or in sandals in rain or shine. [Hatless and in sandals through winder storms or sand storms to accommodate to Yogananda decrees?]

"Little-group models of ideal civilizations" and other utopias often fall short one way or another. Yogananda ideals included that people were to live a simple life as he told. "All butter and milk should be obtained from home-bred cows, and vegetables should be grown by the members of this spiritual farm on their own land. Lambs should be grown for wool for dresses, socks, and other articles. Hats should not be worn. All the people should wear sandals or go barefooted."

Yogananda was enthusiastic - he wrote a letter to Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, trying to get Ford's support for World Brotherhood Colonies. And at a garden party in Beverly Hills in July 1949, he declared, "The day will come when this colony idea will spread through the world like wildfire." — "Thousands of youths must go North, South, East and West to cover the earth with little colonies, demonstrating that simplicity of living plus high thinking lead to the greatest happiness!" said Yogananda.

A spreading wildfire leaves much ruin. However, Kriyananda thought that what Yogananda said about "World Brotherhood Colonies" was the most stirring lecture he ever heard.

If you cannot find better conditions to live in, a guru-subjected community may not be felt as very bad at first, at least. It would depend on which guidelines are given the most weight and how sensible they are. Is it "barefoot and hatless in blizzards", there is a risk that untimely deaths will wipe out all.

⸻. Living Wisely, Living Well: Timeless Wisdom to Enrich Every Day. Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity, 2010.


"Think of time as a radiation outward from your own center . . . in the changeless NOW." (February 2).

"Truthfulness requires an acceptance of things as they are. Wishful thinking leads to wishful talking, which can bend perception to suit one's own, and others', mere fancies." (June 2)

"Say what you mean, and then stop . . . it is important to be clear, succinct, and satisfied with sufficiency!" (June 5)

⸻. My Separation from SRF. Nevada City, CA: Ananda, 1992.

Swami Kriyananda tells of skirmishes in SRF, and some people who gave him lots of troubles there - other members of the SRF management, and an editor-in-chief, among others. He also tells Yogananda's guiding words were not all right heeded in SRF. The expelled vice-president apparently suffered there.

One may add that the SRF president, Daya Mata, secretly lived away from the SRF headquarters for thirty years (!), and most SRF monastics were not even aware of it. (Ron Russell. "A Mountain of Discontent." Los Angeles Times, June 1, 2000)

⸻. The Nayaswami Order: A Renunciate Order for the New Age. Nevada City, CA: Hansa Trust / Crystal Clarity, 2014.

"Let them marry and dress in blue." Kriyananda founded a monastic order that does not say no to ministers getting married, and let them wear blue robes instead of ochre ones. "Robes, Pierre, that is a clue." Kriyananda launched his form of swami order in late 2009.

Earlier, Kriyananda had married in 1981, and publicly renounced his monastic vows in the Shankaracharya swami order when he married again in 1985. At that time he returned to using his birth name, James Donald Walters. He was later divorced. Then, in 1995, on his own, he resumed his monastic name and vows, but was found guilty of sexual harassment in a court of law. Eight or nine different women testified against him in open court. Other women did not want to testify for the sake of their families and children, and so on.

It started earlier. Kriyananda admits in chapter twelve in A Place Called Ananda that he had an affair with one of the nuns at SRF in 1960, five years after he first became a Swami as a member of SRF.

There was a nun at Mt. Washington [The SRF Headquarters]. . . . She fell in love with me . . . was too much for me. . . . Before I knew it, I found myself drawn into an emotion that I had hoped to have left behind me forever. I struggled against it, but to no avail.

⸻. Paramhansa Yogananda with Personal Reflections and Reminiscences: A Biography. Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity Publishers, 2011.

From the book:

Yogananda . . . During World War II he said it was he who placed the thought in Hitler's mind to invade Russia, thereby dividing his fronts and making it possible for his "invincible" army to be destroyed. Paramhansa Yogananda: A Biography (2012, 131).

⸻. The New Path: My Life with Paramhansa Yogananda. 3nd ed. Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity, 2010.

(Formerly The Path: Autobiography of a Western Yogi. Nevada City: Crystal Clarity, 1977)

The book is part biography of Kriyananda, part memoir about his Americanised guru Yogananda and part attempts at "spiritual teachings". Some tell it is a great work; what current SRF leaders value it as, could be another story. Here is an example of Kriyananda's style:

One night, in a dream, I found myself flying through the air. "This isn't possible," I thought. "People don't fly about like birds!"

I tried to reason the whole thing out: Was I dreaming, or was I fully awake? Careful logic? - dream-logic, however? - led me at last to the conclusion that in fact I was awake; I was only doing something unusual.

What was my surprise then, a moment later, to wake up! The whole thing, careful reasoning and all, had been a dream! (From chap. 8)

The American psychologist Calvin S. Hall Jr., PhD (1909–85) investigated the dreams of sleepers for years. He did so by waking large numbers of them during REM sleep (dream sleep is marked by "rapid eye movements" and asking those persons at once to tell what they had been dreaming and what feelings that accompanied their dreams. His studies were focused on dream content.

Dreams are parts of mental workings. [More on expert handling of dreams]

Dreams of flying are fairly common. What do such dreams indicate about a person's subconscious areas, if anything? These dreams can be interpreted in many ways depending the context of the dream. Before analysing a dream of flying one needs to take into account the significant details of the dream, the feelings and possible symbols it them. As a result of such dreamwork, our dreams may give us many useful hints about lives we live.

Dream analysis is highly subjective, although some pointers may work well:

  • A flying dream typically reflects feeling high, elevated. Trouble taking off can be annoying.
  • Flying in a dream can be exhilarating - it does happen.
  • Is flying fun or felt to be more serious?
  • Puzzlements involved are indications of just not knowing a lot of what to do.
  • There is a difference between flying high up in the clouds and beneath them - over land and over sea, as the case may be.

In almost every culture, dreams of flying are found. Moreover, dreams about flying are more common in adult males than other segments of the population. Men at large are under great pressure, and it has become fairly common for many males to confront their feelings about this pressure and an underlying desire to be free, by working it out in flying dreams. Hence, dreams of flying often represent a sense of freedom and serve as a sort of escape from pressures. (1)

Dreams of flying represent pressures and daily pressures, and may also provide tips on how to remedy situations, or they highlight situations by dream work (interpretations of dreams). (3)

In almost every culture, flying dreams represent freedom or a release from daily pressures. Usually, they occur when we are dealing with issues of freedom, momentum or a lack of it.

Some dreams can highlight an experience we are having, but have not yet been conscious of, and they can provide actual tips on how to remedy a situation.

[Section derived from "Dreams About Flying: Dream Meanings Explained"by Wendy Gould, The Huffington Post, last updated Sep 12, 2011. The dream facets in the article are opinions held by Jeffrey Sumber, a psychotherapist and author in Chicago.]

In seeking to interpret Kriyananda's dream of flying sensibly, one had better take into account his settings, circumstances or stage of life also. He tells of such things too in the chapter mentioned (no. 8).
And several people have testified that through the 60's, 70's, 80's, and 90's while Kriyananda was claiming to be a celibate or monk, he routinely and often engaged in sex acts with women. Most of them were his own students. That is what "a large, loosely connected group of [anonymous] individuals who have had the misfortune to come across Swami Kriyananda at some point in our lives" writes [◦The Ananda Awareness Network].

⸻. The Promise of Immortality. Nevada City: Crystal Clarity, 2000.

Lessons on how to profit from life in the best ways may be best . . .

⸻. A Place called Ananda. Rev. 2nd ed. Nevada City: Hansa Trust: 2001.

In 1968, some years after being ousted from SRF, Kriyananda founded the Ananda Village in Nevada City, California, and has motivated many to a seemingly taller way of living. Ananda is considered one of the most successful "New Age" alternative communities in the world.

Ananda receives visitors, and spreads teachings. There is a nearby Ananda Meditation Retreat, an Institute of Alternative Living. An Ananda college is being made too.

The founder of Ananda wrote or dictated over 150 inspirational books, and composed over 400 musical works. He also edited several of Yogananda's works. Through the publisher Crystal Clarity Publishers his works have sold over 3 million copies worldwide and have been translated into over 25 languages.

⸻. Rescuing Yogananda. Nevada City: Crystal Clarity Publishers, 2010.

It was needed to rescuing Yogananda's work from the hands of SRF's management, Kriyananda meant. Rescuing the guru from misinterpretation by Self-Realization Fellowship, and rescuing devotees who have become disenchanted with Yogananda as presented by SRF.

As for Kriyananda's reputation, Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi: "It is often said that no man is great in the eyes of his valet. But in Swami Kriyananda's case, those who have known him the longest and worked with him the most closely are among those who hold him in the highest spiritual esteem."

⸻, ed. The Road Ahead: World Prophecies by the Great Master, Paramahansa Yogananda. Nevada City, CA: Ananda Publications, 1973.

All of Yogananda's doom-and-gloom world prophesies have failed so far. Luckily. [See why]

⸻. Yogananda for the World. 3rd rev. ed. Nevada City, CA: Hansa Trust / Crystal Clarity, 2012.

Kriyananda tried seriously - and much in vain so far - to correct serious errors as to how SRF managed to present Yogananda's life, mission, and legacy for "so many changes have been made to his writings, teachings, and his stated mission, aims, and ideals that his legacy is threatened." Is that for good or bad? Or both?

⸻. Demystifying Patanjali: The Yoga Sutras (Aphorisms). New Delhi: Ananda Sangha Publications, 2012.

Novak, Devi. Faith Is My Armor: The Life of Swami Kriyananda. Nevada City: Crystal Clarity, 2005.

Kriyananda travelled and lived and lectured in many places and in five languages, and wrote about 90 books. There are translations in 27 languages.

Parsons, Jon R. A Fight for Religious Freedom: A Lawyer's Personal Account of Copyrights, Karma and Dharmic Litigation. Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity Publishers, 2012.

Recommended, entertaining and well written about how Ananda succeeded in freeing Yogananda material from SRF. Many of SRF's existing copyrights are invalid, including the publishing rights to Yogananda's autobiography. Research by Ananda's legal team uncovered that SRF - eager for monopoly - had altered Yogananda's works drastically.

Praver, Asha. Swami Kriyananda as We Have Known Him. Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity, 2006.

The biography contains many anecdotal stories about Kriyananda. Besides being a good storyteller, Kriyananda was a founding member of Ananda Village. Praver first met Kriyananda in 1969. In her book she brings together nearly forty years of experiences. Some of the stories are humorous, some are profound or inspiring, some show how Swami Kriyananda behaved.


Kriyananda was one of several guest teachers sitting on the raised dais at a large yoga centre waiting his turn to speak. Rhe speakers were all in rocking chairs. Kriyananda was gently rocking back and forth with an abstracted air, and suddenly he disappeared after falling off the platform on his chair.

He did not make a sound, he just hit the ground, got up, lifted the chair back into place and went on rocking.

On another occasion, this time at Ananda Village, Kriyananda and his chair also fell off the stage. He was giving a lecture, sitting in a chair so close to the edge of the raised platform, that a vigorous gesture by him sent him toppling over.

He stood up at once and went on talking. To Kriyananda it was part of a way of life. (Retold from p. 39-40)

Rosser, Brenda Lewis, comp. Treasures against Time - Paramahansa Yogananda with Doctor and Mrs. Lewis. Borrego Springs, CA: Borrego Publications, 1991.

Late on Christmas Eve and into the night in 1920 Yogananda let a dentist who visited him without telling his wife, see bright light. The dentist's wife, Mildred, stayed up until late at night, waiting for him at home with a rolling pin in her hands. Self-Realization could not have been started earlier. [More]

Self-Realization Magazine 1960. The Life Story of Dr. M. W. Lewis. Los Angeles: SRF, 1960.

The Boston dentist Minott W. Lewis became the first American that Yogananda initiated in kriya yoga. He and his wife Mildred left Boston for California to reside in Encinitas in 1945, where he supervised activities of a papaya grove. In 1952 he was elected first vice president of the fellowship, and in that office he was one of the SRF managers who took it on them to "build down" Yogananda goals by removing some of them from the revised SRF Aims and Ideals from 1954.

Self-Realization Fellowship. Rajasi Janakananda (James J. Lynn): A Great Western Yogi. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1959.

The booklet tells of a disciple of Yogananda who first became known for walking barefoot in his office, for becoming a self-made millionaire, and who took over the leadership of SRF for a few years after Yogananda died in 1952, and died of pneumonia a few years later. After his death in the 1950s, Daya Mata and friends took over and ousted many. (Dasgupta 2006)

Yogananda, Paramhansa. The Second Coming of Christ: From the Original unchanged writings of Paramhansa Yogananda's interpretations of the sayings of Jesus Christ. 3 Vols. Dallas, TX: Amrita Foundation, 1979 (Vol 1), 1984 (Vol 2) and 1986 (Vol 3).

This version is about a quarter of the size of the edited version by SRF. It does not contain embellishments, later additions and refurnishings by SRF editors.

Yogananda does not produce any well grounded bible exegesis. He reads reincarnation and karma into the Bible. See for example, "By creating the law of reincarnation or punishment by law of cause and effect, which law governs human actions (Law of Karma), the Archangel of God, the Cosmic delusive force, converted Himself into the rebellious Satan [p. 37]."

Fact-finders may be needed and helpful, but they have to have something to go on from, like a hound tracing some faint scent after sniffing at a piece of cloth or something. This is to say that the guru's "hound barks" are awfully hard to verify or falsify or bring into the open. But Yogananda held other opinions about Satan too, and changed his mind about it. Which should one put faith in, if any? In none could well be the wisest solution.


Yogananda book reviews, books by Yogananda commented on, Yogananda literature with annotations, Literature  

A little extra

Forsthoefel, Thomas A., and Cynthia Ann Humes, eds. Gurus in America. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2005. ⍽▢⍽ Some Hindu gurus are known in America after attracting followings there. The book covers significant parts of the teachings of nine gurus, the history of each movement, and the particular ways of life (Hinduism) involved. Contributors tell of transplantations when gurus offer teachings in an alien setting than their native one, and go on and change some parts also. What will come out of it in the long run? Transplanting is followed by hybridisation, and that is a wake-up point made by Lola Williamson (below).

Singer, Margaret Thaler. Cults in Our Midst. Rev ed. San Franscisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003.

Williamson, Lola. Transcendent in America: Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements as New Religion. London: New York University Press, 2010. ⍽▢⍽ Here is a good book! The searchlight is on how various Indian movements get changed in meeting with folks in America, with resulting hybridisation of religious teachings. The SRF movement is one of the adapted movements covered. One can add Kriyananda's Ananda Sangha to a list where hybridisation efforts are made.

A page
  1. Satyeswarananda. "Sriyukteswar and Yogananda". Sanskrit Classics. Nd.

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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