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Swami Kriyananda Quotes - A Collection of Teachings of Swami Kriyananda - J. Donald Walters

Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters) (1926 – 2013) This is a collection of teachings of Swami Kriyananda. The quotes are from numerous sources mainly magazines and newspapers.

Truth can be likened to a pyramid - from its pinnacle, the highest expression of truth radiates, while its broad base gives strength and stability.

Today, our senses are so constantly stimulated that the average person has an attention span of only one or two seconds. The deeper aspect is that we are always dissatisfied with that kind of restlessness. We think that by skating on the surface of life we'll have more experiences, and therefore more wisdom. We simply become more and more superficial. The more you live at the surface, the further and faster you may be able to skate, but the less you will absorb and understand.

The way to experience the expansion of awareness that all human beings seek is to rise above body consciousness. This is only done through deep meditation. The more you meditate, the more your senses become refined. Everything becomes a part of you. When you can really rise out of body consciousness, suddenly you discover that all is you. You are not this little ego - you are in all.

One of the most important things on the spiritual path, especially for the newcomer, is the wise selection of associates.

In a spiritual environment there may be a few gossips and grumblers, a few devotees who meditate too little, while others can’t seem to get it into their minds that is they who need changing, not the rest of the world.

On the other side, I ever truly spiritual organization there are also those who, by their example of selfless service, constant cheerfulness, inward focus, and spiritual fervor inspire in others a constant renewal of dedication.

A true devotee offers up his trials bravely, even lovingly, to God. He sees every test as an opportunity for spiritual gain. Each test passed brings him an increase of inner freedom, joy, and wisdom. At last he learns to behold God’s love behind every trial. No longer do his tests, then, seem like punishment, whether karmic or divine. Perfect self-offering is possible only in deep communion with the Lord.

By working on ourselves from the superconscious level, we find that it becomes actually a blessing to discover faults in ourselves. Each one gives us the joyful opportunity to offer something more to God. He can purify us, as no amount of psychological counseling and self-analysis ever will.

No institution can determine a person’s progress on the path to perfection, for this is determined by God alone, and consists in personal self-offering to the Creator.


Whether we serve God outwardly in some way, or inwardly in meditation, we still serve Him by offering our thoughts and energy into His river of love. Both are matters of self-giving.

Our work should be a conscious, loving service to the Lord. It should be a devotional offering to Him.

The sex instinct is a holy force, not something to be ashamed of. But being one of the strongest impulses in human nature it can overtake our finer emotions and drain the energy. So enjoy in moderation and let the act be one of love and bliss.

If you want to work in harmony with others, let them have their own space to come around in their own way, and in their own time.

Ego by itself cannot get out of delusion; it is already infected by the disease it wants to cure. To overcome ego, get rid of separateness.

That person alone who understands the path in terms of self-offering can attune himself to God’s grace. For grace, too, is a self-offering, on God’s part, of love. By giving of oneself, the heart’s chalice becomes emptied and cleansed, making it possible thereby for God to fill it.

No man can truly succeed in life if he fails to develop the feminine side of his nature. And no woman can succeed who does not resolutely develop her masculine side. But neither can succeed without awakening their feminine side.

Many of our problems are actually worried into existence. Worry is caused, not by outward circumstances, but by our reactions to them. A healthy mind will remain poised under all circumstances. Where, indeed, is misfortune, if one dose not accept it as such?

Once we bring God into our lives, we rise above limitations. We have only to realize that we are deeper than our personalities. We need to step aside and watch our personalities, until we can see that the whole thing is merely a coat, covering our divinity.

Love has no price. Kindness has no price. Free sharing has no price. All these spring from the heart, and are free.

The best way to solve any problem is to reduce it to its lowest common denominator. The electron is the key to the universe. Even so, the key to society lies in the individual family unit.

An important feature of self-giving is worth noting: The more one sends energy outward to others in a spirit of kindness the more kindness he will receive in return. This return may come from his surroundings, but even if nothing comes back from there, it will well up within him as a positive, creative energy.

Ours is not a focused age. Countless influences pull us in conflicting directions. We find ourselves trying to do a hundred things hastily, rather than one thing at a time carefully and well.

We measure achievement by numbers rather than by excellence. As a result is the exhaustion one finds written on the faces of so many in our bustling cities.

The person who can simplify his life and marshal his energies to do a few things well, instead of scattering this forces restlessly, will find that he has more than enough strength for whatever he has to do.

Fatigue is a symptom of self centeredness. One who can forget himself in helping others and in giving strength to them will find himself rarely exhausted.

The religion of the future will consist in realizing that the infinite love and joy of God are our own deepest reality.

To be a true disciple, we must be open to life, open to truth wherever we find it. In that way, we find many opportunities for growth.

The secret of friendship is exercising discrimination in your choice of friends; preferring sincerity over praise.

Meditation, properly speaking, begins once the thoughts and emotions have been stilled.

True happiness is the fruit of a long succession of little decisions simply to be happy in the moment.

The secret of love is not making demands of each other.

Love that is not freely given is bondage.

In leadership, a garland of humility is more to be prized than any crown.

The secret of happiness is including other people’s happiness in one’s own.

A person who has no joy in his heart will find no joy outside, though he be in heaven itself, and in the company of angels.

Perfect self-offering is possible only in deep communion with the Lord.

No institution can determine a person’s progress on the path to perfection, for this is determined by God alone, and consists in personal self-offering to the Creator.

By working on ourselves from the superconscious level, we find that it becomes actually a blessing to discover faults in ourselves. Each one gives us the joyful opportunity to offer something more to God. He can purify us, as no amount of psychological counseling and self-analysis ever will.

Our work should be a conscious, loving service to the Lord. It should be a devotional offering to Him.

A true devotee offers up his trials bravely, even lovingly, to God. He sees every test as an opportunity for spiritual gain. Each test passed brings him an increase of inner freedom, joy, and wisdom. At last he learns to behold God’s love behind every trial. No longer do his tests, then, seem like punishment, whether karmic or divine.

The kind of energy most needed for success in any undertaking is the active desire for success.

The most important thing for man to remember is that he must receive enlightenment; he cannot manufacture it.

Strive to always learn new things.

Happiness is a smile of comfort to the sorrowful.

Consciousness and bliss are one and the same, and are the underlying reality of existence.

Evolution is driven by the impulse in all creatures to avoid threats to their own bliss-potential. What each one perceives of that potential depends on its own level of evolution. To the more primitive creatures it may mean only comfort; to others, food. Nevertheless, according to the degree of awareness expressed in each one, it is bliss they seek. Therefore, the loss of bliss is what they try to avoid.

Every man’s understanding is conditioned by his own special experiences, his aspirations, his outlook on life – in short, by what he is.

Our thoughts are the prime cause of whatever harmony or disharmony we experience, not in the mind only, but in the body as well.

Our virtues and vices are not really we, ourselves. They are reflections, only, of the plane of consciousness on which we live. As that plane changes, the traits of our personality also change.

Simple process of changing the inner level of one’s energy can have a tremendous effect on the quality of awareness.

God alone can satisfy our personal needs. In our dealings with other people, He is our conscience. In our labor, He is our satisfaction. When we read a good book or listen to uplifting music, He is our inspiration. In everything we do, from the performance of serious duty to the most trivial pursuits, He is there, watching, joining in if we invite Him to, and giving us our strength. To ignore Him means to go stumbling blindly through life, unaware of innumerable pitfalls on the path before us.

Swami Kriyananda Thoughts on Meditation

Meditation gives meaning to everything one does. The Bhagavad Gita says, "To the peace less person, how is happiness possible?" Inner peace is like lubricating oil: It enables the machinery of our lives to function smoothly. Without mental peace, our emotions and the various demands placed upon us in our lives grind together and create inner stress, leading eventually to a physical or nervous breakdown.

Psychometric studies have shown that meditation produces a healthy ego, that it expands a person's world view and enables people to cope better with the stresses of life. Meditators, in addition, have shown significant gains in overcoming depression, neurotic behavior, and feelings of social inadequacy.

Meditation develops concentration, so essential for success in every activity.

Swami Kriyananda on Sensuality

Reflect mentally on the moods and unhappiness that follow every indulgence in sensuality. It is an insult to your soul to believe that, to be happy, you need the sensation of being touched physically. You are not this body! Sensuality is physically and mentally debilitating. It robs one of all finer sensitivity.

The way to overcome sensuality is resolutely to affirm freedom from all bodily imperatives. Even when forced by past habit to succumb to sensuality, mentally say, “I am not succumbing to this exercise in futility.” And every time one fails, he should never say, “I have failed.” He should affirm, rather, “I have not yet succeeded.”