“Swami” Kriyananda uses all sorts of tactics to prove what a great saint he is. One of the most despicable is that he lies about his relationship and conversations with the great saint of India, Ananda Moyi Ma, sometimes written as Ananda Moyee Ma or Anandamayi Ma.
“Ma” as she is called by her followers is featured in a full chapter of Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi which is how she first became widely known in the West. Kriyananda knows that the endorsement of Ma since Yogananda endorsed her is a huge thing to have.
He visited her on many occasions but entirely mischaracterizes their relationship and the spiritual counsel that she gave him. Kriyananda in his books and talks makes it seem like Ma loved him especially and thought that he was a great saint himself.
This is the opposite of what she really thought of Kriyananda.
Here is eye witness testimony as to what really transpired between Kriyananda and Ma one visit,
In the spring of 1974, J. Donald Walters had a meeting with Ananda Moyi Ma, in India.
This meeting was attended by Mr. Walters, then calling himself “Swami Kriyananda”, several Ananda members, a translator, and several other observers.
One of these observers was a former member of Ananda who while at Ananda for about three years had a close association with Mr. Walters. He had recently left Ananda after seeing what he described as abuse of power and blatant manipulation and exploitation of those around him by Mr. Walters.
Mr. Walters had previously had contact with Ananda Moyi Ma while still holding a position within Self-Realization Fellowship, in the 1960’s. One former member recalls how Mr. Walters recounted Ananda Moyi Ma’s praise of him during a public class at Ananda in the early 1980’s:
“It was a Friday night during “Spiritual Renewal Week”, Kriyananda’s answer to Yogananda’s annual “Convocation”. The topic of the class was “Stories of Master”, where Kriyananda would tell stories of living with Paramahansa Yogananda. I had been an Ananda member for several years, and this was my favorite class, and was looking forward to hearing more about life in Yogananda’s ashram. But instead, to my puzzlement, Kriyananda began by telling about his experiences with Ananda Moyi Ma in India while with SRF. He read quite a few quotes she supposedly said about him. They were all extremely flattering. He read from a peice of paper. Here is an example of one of the quotes supposedly from Ananda Moyi Ma:
“The bee is the devotee, the flower is God; Kriyananda is that bee”.
“I was flabbergasted. Kriyananda went on and on reading quotes like that, all praising himself. Why? Why this blatant self-promotion in front of a public audience? To this day I have no idea.”
What Mr. Walters did NOT say was what Ananda Moyi Ma said to him in the spring of 1974. It was not flattering. In fact, it mirrored exactly the type of criticisms and warnings Mr. Walters has received over the years from many other people, including accusations made in the recent fraud/sex abuse trial which Ananda lost.
Ananda Moyi Ma to J. Donald Walters; excerpts, confirmed by eyewitness:
“You’ve created shackles for yourself: Ananda is keeping you from enlightenement…”
“As long as you gather others around you in your own name, your spiritual growth stops…”
“Go into seclusion and don’t come out until you’ve found God…”
“Why don’t you stay here with me? I’ll help you to live as a real renunciant; if you go back, you’re finished.”
The eyewitness to this meeting confirmed these qoutes, saying,
“Some of the words may have been slightly different, but that certainly reflects accurately the spirit of what she said to him…she also said other things to him, and said them so strongly that the Westerners present gasped.”
“What I cannot convey is the incredible Divine Love and energy she just poured over him. This amount of attention was very unusual. He was due to leave that afternoon, and evidently she saw this as a last chance to try to turn him from the wrong path he was taking. It was also very unusual for her to have so many people present; this was definitely a “private” personal interveiw; she could have, with a wave of her hand, moved us all out of earshot. But she didn’t; it was as though she wanted others to hear and witness what she was saying.”
“He tried to defend himself and argue with her, but he got nowhere; she countered his every statement 180 degrees”