Swami Kriyananda

Average: 2.5 (19 votes)
Fast Facts
Other Names and Nicknames: 
J. Donald Walters,
Spiritual Teacher
Kriya Yoga
Main Countries of Activity: 
India, U.S.A.
Date of Birth: 
May 19, 1926
Place of Birth: 
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
Ancestor Gurus: 


Swami Kriyananda, born J. Donald Walters, is a direct disciple of the yogi Paramahansa Yogananda and had many hours of personal contact with him during the last four years of Yogananda's life (1948 – 1952). During this time Kriyananda became a minister for Self-Realization Fellowship, founded by Yogananda. Yogananda also asked him to teach Kriya Yoga, which Yogananda called the highest technique of Self-Realization.

Kriyananda is the founder of Ananda, a worldwide movement of spiritual intentional communities based on Yogananda's World Brotherhood Colonies idea. Ananda has meditation centers and study groups throughout the world based on the teachings of Yogananda. Kriyananda is also the author of more than 80 books and the composer of over 400 songs. His books and music have sold over three million copies and have been translated into over 24 languages. In addition to English, he can speak Romanian, Greek, French, and Spanish.

Kriyananda was born in Romania into an American family. Growing up in Romania, France, and England, Kriyananda (then Donald Walters) returned to America with his family when he was 13 years old to escape World War II. Walters attended an American high school, as well as Haverford College and Brown University, leaving the latter with only a semester left before graduation.

In 1948, Walters read Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi and traveled to California to become a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda. In the four years that followed, Walters spent time with Yogananda, learning and practicing his teachings, and taking extensive notes of his many conversations with Yogananda.

Kriyananda married in 1981, and publicly renounced his monastic vows on the occasion of his second marriage in 1985. He was later divorced. In 1995, he officially resumed his monastic vows and title.

In 1996, Swami Kriyananda began to spend most of his time at the Ananda Italy center. In 2003, he moved to India, where he began an Ananda center in Gurgaon, near Delhi, where he currently resides. He appears daily on Aastha TV, a cable station that shows throughout India, Asia, Europe, and now in the U.S. He also appears daily on the Sadhna channel, an Indian cable station. Ananda teachers are now giving classes on meditation and Kriya Yoga in many major Indian cities.


"I realized now that religion is far more than a system of beliefs, and far more than a formalized effort to wheedle a little pity out of God by offering Him pleading, self-condemning prayers and propitiatory rites. If our link with Him lies in the fact that we manifest Him already, then it is up to us to receive Him ever more perfectly, to express Him ever more fully. And this is what religion is all about! True religion consists of a growing awareness of our deep, spiritual relationship with God!

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santthosh kumaar's picture

Dear Sangeeta,


Nice it is

Nice it is to know that a came out of S.R.F. without penny and built a great empire of spirituality for the fulfillment of dream of his master.

NIDHI PARKASH | Sat, 05/15/2010 - 16:07



Excellent ministration to a spiritual linage given by Revered Swami Kriyananda is very, very praiseworthy. The lineage of Y.S.S.