Swami Kriyananda, one of the last living direct disciples of Paramhansa Yogananda, left us with a parting gift—the gift of his last word: anything.

This simple word exemplifies the attitude towards life which Swami Kriyananda lived by, and which he set as an example for all of us as truth seekers on the spiritual path. Within this word are two qualities characteristic of Swamiji as a disciple: willingness and courage. These qualities are especially relevant to all of us as we face great chaos, violence, and tumult in the world today—even within our very hearts.

In Asha Nayaswami’s book, As We Have Known Him, there is a story describing a remarkable year when Swami was faced with his busiest schedule yet: publishing books, tours around the country, major heart surgery, testimony in a court case that questioned his integrity—it was what could have been portrayed as a year filled with negativity and a schedule beyond what a recovering physical body could take.

Swamiji’s doctor strongly advised that he take the year to let his heart heal, but what occurred instead was one of Swami’s busiest years. 

Throughout this year, Swami demonstrated perfectly Yogananda’s axiom; the greater the will, the greater the flow of energy. With his dedication and willingness to serve Yogananda, his guru, throughout that year, he met each challenge. Each project, every interaction in his testimony, was to him an opportunity to see the Divine in every person and situation—and a way to serve his Guru in whatever form. 

Swami’s example of discipleship was not only demonstrated by that year, but throughout his life.  

He showed us how to meet our obstacles with an attitude of courage and the thought, I will do anything for God, and I will take anything God gives me as an act of love for my spiritual growth. 

His life reflects one who had the courage to face anything that comes with great energy and willingness—as a gift from life. That nothing needs to be changed outwardly, only our inward attitude to accept whatever God gives.

There is a lyric in one of Swami Kriyananda’s songs that says, “Give life your heart, bless everything that’s grown.” In this lyric, we are given all that we need to follow the path of courage, to love courageously all living things. 

This is our true purpose in life: to love the Divine and to love the Divine in all. To be fearless in our love for God and service to all.

Thank you, Swamiji for doing your utmost to show us how we can attune our every thought, every action, and will to the right thing in everything, guided by the knowing that Divine Love conquers all.