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Swami Kriyananda

The legacy

Prominent in this film is a true-life account of Swami Kriyananda, one of the foremost spiritual teachers of Yoga principles in the world today.

Swami Kriyananda (1926–2013)

Swami Kriyananda

In 1948 at the age of twenty-two, J. Donald Walters became a disciple of the Indian yoga master, Paramhansa Yogananda. For the ensuing 63 years he was the most prominently-known of Yogananda’s disciples throughout the world.

Kriyananda is accomplished as the author of 150 books, composer and song writer of 400 compositions, poet, playwright, lecturer, photographer, linguist, TV and radio broadcaster, and founder of spiritual communities on three continents.

In 1968 he published the book which made him known as the “father of the spiritual community movement”, Cooperative Communities: How to Start Them and Why. He founded the first community that year, followed by seven others, including ones in Italy and India.

At the core of this film is the meeting of young Donald with one of the preeminent spiritual figures of modern times, Paramhansa Yogananda a meeting which changed not only his destiny, but that of thousands of others.

Paramhansa Yogananda (1893–1952)


Author of the best-selling spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi, India’s “spiritual ambassador to the West” came to America in 1920, and was the first great master of yoga to live and teach in the United States for most of his life, over a period of more than 30 years.

A national sensation, Yogananda’s lectures and books were extensively reviewed by the major media of the era, including Time Magazine, Newsweek, and Life, and he was invited to the White House by President Calvin Coolidge. In 1925 he established an international headquarters atop Mr. Washington in Los Angeles, the Self- realization Fellowship, and inspired the founding of the first “world brotherhood colony” at Ananda Village in 1968. Yogananda continued to lecture and write up to his passing in 1952.

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