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The Path

·Order The Path Online



·Table of Contents

·Chapter 1

·Chapter 2

·Chapter 3

·Chapter 4

·Chapter 5

·Chapter 6

·Chapter 7

·Chapter 8

·Chapter 9

·Chapter 10

·Chapter 11

·Chapter 12

·Chapter 13

·Chapter 14

·Chapter 15

·Chapter 16

·Chapter 17

·Chapter 18

·Chapter 19

·Chapter 20

·Chapter 21

·Chapter 22

·Chapter 23

·Chapter 24

·Chapter 25

·Chapter 26

·Chapter 27

·Chapter 28

·Chapter 29

·Chapter 30

·Chapter 31

·Chapter 32

·Chapter 33

·Chapter 34

·Chapter 35

·Chapter 36

·Chapter 37

·Chapter 38

·Chapter 39

·Chapter 40

·Chapter 41

·Chapter 42


The Path: One Man's Quest On the Only Path There Is

by J. Donald Walters (Swami Kriyananda)


By John W. White, M.A.T.,Yale University

    by John W. White, M.A.T., Yale University

    author, Everything You Want to Know about TM;
    editor, The Highest State of Consciousness,
    Frontiers of Consciousness, What Is Meditation;
    associate editor, New Realities Magazine

When one has been moved to laughter and tears, deep contemplation and joyful insight, as I have been while immersed in The Path, it is hardly possible to find a word or a phrase sufficient to encompass the enriching experience. "Deeply inspiring"÷though hardly adequate÷is the best way I can find to describe it.

Briefly, The Path is a story of one man's search for God through the path of yoga. It tells how American-born Donald Walters became universally-born Swami Kriyananda. At the same time, it serves as a practical manual of instruction for others in search of God-realization, no matter what tradition or path they follow. As an exceptionally lucid explanation of yogic philosophy, The Path will also be a valuable resource for those intellectually curious, but not consciously committed to spiritual growth.

The catalyst in Kriyananda's transformation was his guru, the well-known yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi. In fact, it is accurate to say that The Path, subtitled "Autobiography of a Western Yogi," is as much about Yogananda as about Kriyananda. For, in truth, the two are one. That is part of the inspirational quality of The Path÷the selfless devotion to guru which Kriyananda displays throughout the book. At the same time, he makes clear that Yogananda did not want devotion for himself. Rather, he would lovingly redirect his disciples' devotion to God.

This brings me to another element of the book which helped produce my feeling of inspiration÷its abundant wisdom. Kriyananda's commentaries on spiritual unfoldment and his lucid explanations of yogic concepts are profoundly instructional. Moreover, like a true teacher he blends theoretical presentations and practical advice with personal anecdotes and illustrative stories in a way that is altogether engaging. Last of all, he presents us with much previously unpublished conversation from Yogananda, whose words are always enlightening.

Kriyananda's freedom from sentimentality is still another appealing aspect of his account. In creating this self-portrait, he speaks frankly about his failings, his ignorant shortcomings, his periods of doubt and depression, his moments of thralldom to spiritual pride. He doesn't attempt to romanticize the path he followed nor gloss over the difficulties he encountered within himself and in relation to others.

I have mentioned devotion, honesty, and wisdom as three characteristics of The Path, that give it an uplifting quality. There are others just as important÷transpersonal love, for example, and the constant emphasis on attunement to God as the solution to all our problems. However, it also important to note that The Path is not only spiritual÷it is spiritual literature. The literary style with which Kriyananda reveals himself is worthy of study by authors as well as spiritual seekers. It is by turns elegant, graceful, supple, delicate and always clear÷a verbal elixir that would work powerfully on the consciousness of readers even if the theme were profane instead of divine.

The final quality of The Path which I want to note is its planetary vision of society. Yogananda encouraged his followers÷and I quote him here÷"to spread a spirit of brotherhood among all peoples and to aid in establishing, in many countries, self-sustaining world-brotherhood colonies for plain living and high thinking."

Today, Ananda World Brotherhood Village, established by Kriyananda and dedicated to human upliftment in accordance with Yogananda's teachings, is part of a growing global network of spiritual communities from many traditions and teachings which are linking together ever more intensively to become the seedbed for a new world÷rooted in a vision of humanity's oneness rather than in the warfare and competition that has characterized this century heretofore.

The Path chronicles the establishment of Ananda. In so doing, it provides useful instruction in still another dimension that the dedicated spiritual seeker must come to face÷his or her relation to society in general. The solution proposed in the life and teaching of Paramhansa Yogananda, as carried forward by Swami Kriyananda, is still another reason why The Path is so worth reading. The integral relation between spiritual practice and worldly affairs becomes abundantly clear through Kriyananda's words and deeds.

'No only is The Path inspirational÷urging you to "go and do thou likewise"÷it also gives the pragmatic technical instruction needed to put principle into action. Moreover, it does so with a beauty and simplicity that is the verbal embodiment of the yogic approach to God-realization. I trust that you will find The Path to be a major resource in your life and that you will, in accord with yogic tradition, lovingly share it with others as part of your service to the world. For an inspired work such as this, that is the only proper response.

Cheshire, Connecticut

June 1, 1977

Joy to You!

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