Swami Kriyananda on Writing: A Christmas Gift to the Community

Paramhansa Yogananda Shrine and Christmas Tree, Ananda Community of Mountain View, California. The plaque under the bust of the Master contains words from a speech he gave at a garden party in Beverly Hills, urging his disciples to create “world-brotherhood communities.”

(Part 13 in our ongoing series, Swami Kriyananda on Art & the Artist.)

As a Christmas gift to the community, Swamiji edited the class he gave on Master’s birthday into a small booklet, Keys to the Bhagavad Gita. He also published Winging on the Wind, which was not new writing, but a collection of poems, some of the lyrics to his songs presented as poems, and the allegory he had published earlier, For What Was Man Made?

One afternoon in December he asked me to read aloud to him from Winging on the Wind. He lay on his bed with his eyes closed, occasionally interrupting the reading to comment on lines he thought especially beautiful, sometimes asking me to read them again. There was no pride in his remarks, just impersonal admiration for beauty where he found it. He particularly liked these lines from the song Peace:

Cool clouds that gather to bless us,
Mist hands that soothe away pain.

When I finished reading For What Was Man Made? he said, “If I had never written anything else, that story would be enough. Everything is there.”

His favorite couplet was from Song of the Nightingale:

Every grief, every wrong,
Has its ending in song.

(Swami Kriyananda: Lightbearer, 1979, pp. 140-141)