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Date Posted: 10:24
Author: Anonymous - 21 May 2002
Subject: The Logic of Ananda

Dear Ananda

Please help with this question.

Can one who leaves/renounces his vows as a Swami, marries then divorces, become again a Swami?

And if so how? Does one who falls into this category have to receive his/hers re-initiation into the ancient Swami order from another Swami? Or does he/she through what they feel to be a deep connection to God have the authority to make him/herself a Swami again?

"Every Swami belongs to the ancient monastic order which was organized in its present form by Shankara. Because it is a formal order, with an unbroken line of saintly representives serving as active leaders, NO MAN CAN GIVE HIMSELF THE TITLE OF SWAMI. HE RIGHTFULLY RECEIVES IT ONLY FROM ANOTHER SWAMI; all monks thus trace their spiritual lineage to one common guru, Lord Shankara. By vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience to the spiritual teacher, many Catholic Christian monastic orders resemble the Order of Swamis."

Paramahansa Yogananda
Autobiography of a Yogi
Page 218, First Edition

So we see from Master's own writing that one must, at the very least, obtain the initiation from a Swami.

Kriyananda gave himself a kind of re-inititiation which was between "him and God." Therefore if we use Master as our authority on this issue it is clear that Kriyananda is not a Swami. He is like most of Master's disciples, a householder.

Response from Ananda:

Dear ....,

The question you ask is a complicated one, and one that requires a better answer
than I am in a position to give. Swami Kriyananda discontinued his use of the
Swami title when he married. For years he called himself Sri Kriyananda. He has
the name of Swami for of a variety of reasons, not least that thousands of
people, like myself, continue to call him Swami, and he is known by that title
around the world. He has written extensively in his autobiography The Path and in
the book A Place Called Ananda about his personal dedication to the ideals of
Swamihood that Yogananda refers to, and his thoughts on this subject.

Swami Kriyananda has , in my mind, demonstated in his life the inner
renunciation, even in his marriage, that Yogananda refers to. He has demonstated
this far more than most swamis, and far more than those who criticise him for
using the term. He is the best living example of a true Swami that I, and many
others, have ever known. That is enough for me.

If you would like a further explanation I suggest you contact Ananda Sangha's
main office at info@ananda.org.


Dear .....,

Thank You for your response; But is the question really that complicated?


Kriyananda reinitiated himself. Kriyananda gave himself the title of Swami.
That fact remains and cannot be justified. Do you agree?

Where lies the complication? Do we follow the Master's instruction's
or create our own convenient reality? Isn't this a misrepresentation?

Are we really living a life of truth while bending the Avatar's rules? What example
does this set for devotees?

Please don't take this as argumentative.


Response from Ananda:

My dear ....,

Indeed, I do take your reply as argumentative. You have asked me a question
via email, not identifying yourself other than your first name, and I gave you
my best reply. Were you sincerely asking my opinion, or are you wanting to
convince me of yours?

Yogananda was a great avatar who brought a world message - to encourage
people to find God. He said many things, gave much advice, but people betray
his central message when they put too much importance on specific forms and
specific advice to the exclusion of the central goal of finding God. Swami
Kriyananda has done more than any other living human being I know of to spread
Yogananda's teachings, and moreover to help people attune themselves to the
consciousness of this great manster. That is what is important. If you want to
condemn him for the use of the Swami title, go right ahead. That is your right.
Many have condemned him for many other things. The truth of his life and his
fulfillment of Yogananda's mission is for the ages to judge.

Blessings to you,

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