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Sri Swami Krishnananda Saraswati

His Holiness Sri Swami Krishnananda
Date of Birth 25 April 1922
Place of birth India
Birth Subbaraya
Date of death 23 November 2001 (aged 79)
Place of death Shivanandanagar
Guru/Teacher Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati
Philosophy Vedanta
Quote "God loves you more than you love Him, and you are bound to achieve this glorious consummation of life."[1]

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Sri Swami Krishnananda Saraswati (April 25, 1922 – November 23, 2001) was a foremost disciple of Swami Sivananda and served as the General Secretary of the Divine Life Society in Rishikesh, India from 1958 until 2001.[2][3] He was an illumined saint, sage and philosopher.[4][5][6][7] Author of more than 50 books and 160 essays and articles, he wrote and lectured prolifically on yoga, meditation, religion and philosophy. His lectures, though delivered largely extempore (without rehearsal),[8] were known for their structure, style and sophistication, and have been widely published in text form.[2][3]

Swami Krishnananda was President of the Sivananda Literature Research Institute and the Sivananda Literature Dissemination Committee. He served as Editor of the Divine Life Society’s monthly publication, Divine Life Magazine, for 20 years.[2]




Early life

The eldest of six children, Swami Krishnananda was born on April 25, 1922 into a highly religious and an orthodox Brahmin family. He was named Subbaraya by his parents. The family was well-versed in the Sanskrit language, which influence was very profound on the young boy. He had his high school education at Puttur (South Kanara Dist., Karnataka State) and stood first in the class in all the subjects. Dissatisfied with what was taught in the classroom, he took to earnest self-study of Sanskrit with the aid of Amara-Kosa and other scriptural texts.[2]

Memorization of the Bhagavad Gita

Swami Krishnananda studied and committed to memory the entire Bhagavad Gita when he was still a boy. His method for doing this was simple: He would not take his morning breakfast or even lunch unless he memorized a prescribed number of verses, on a daily basis. Thus within months he memorized the whole of the Gita and recited it, in full, everyday. Reading from the Bhagavata Purana that Lord Narayana lives in the sacred Badrinath Dham, the young boy literally believed it and entertained a secret pious wish to go to the Himalayas where Badrinath is and see the Lord there.[2]

Pilgrimage to Rishikesh

By the study of Sanskrit works like the Gita, the Upanishads, the Vedas, etc., Swami Krishnananda became rooted in Advaita Vedanta philosophy, though he belonged to the traditional Madhva-sect (Dvaita Vedanta), which follows the dualistic philosophy. His inner longing for Advaitic experience and renunciation grew stronger everyday. In 1943, Subbaraya took up Government service at Hospet in the Bellary District, but it did not last long. Before the end of the same year, he set out in search of the Sivananda Ashram. During this time he lived in poverty, but, according to him, the journey involved his contact with many interesting places and persons, in each of which he learned something noble. A cook that he met in Benares fed him and took him to Haridwar. The cook gave him half a Rupee to go from there to Rishikesh, where the Sivananda Ashram is located.[2][9]

The Divine Life Society

Sivananda Ashram on the banks of the Ganga in Rishikesh, India

The Divine Life Society is a world-renowned spiritual, religious and educational institution founded by Sri Swami Sivananda in 1936. Its headquarters is located at the Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh, India, where it was founded.[10] Young Subbaraya arrived there in the summer of 1944.[2]

First meeting with Swami Sivananda

When he first met Swami Sivananda, Subbaraya fell prostrate before him and the saint said: "Stay here till death; I will make kings and ministers fall at your feet." In later years, Krishnananda came to realize the prophecy of the saint's statement. Swami Sivananda initiated the young man into the holy order of Sannyasa on the Indian sacred day of Makara-Sankranti, January 14, 1946, and he was named Swami Krishnananda.[2][9]

Service in the hermitage

Swami Sivananda found that Krishnananda was suitable to do works of correspondence, letter writing, writing messages and even assistance in compiling and editing books. Later on he was given the work of typing up the hand-written manuscripts of Sivananda, which were brought to him daily. For instance, the entire two hand-written volumes of the Brahma Sutras of Sivananda's were typed by Swami Krishnananda. He confined himself mostly to literary work and never had any kind of relation with visitors; people who came from outside never knew he existed in the ashram. It was in 1948 that Sivananda asked him to do more work, along the lines of writing books in philosophy and religion, which he took up with earnestness. From that year onwards he was absorbed in writing, conducting classes and holding lectures, as per instruction of Swami Sivananda.[2]

General Secretary of the Divine Life Society (1958 -2001)

When it became necessary for the Ashram to co-opt assistance from other members as regards management, Swami Krishnananda was asked to collaborate with the Working Committee, which was formed in 1957. It was at this time that he received a position of secretary, concerned especially with the management of finance. He continued this work till 1961, when, due to the absence of Swami Chidananda for a protracted period of time, Sivananda nominated him as General Secretary of the Divine Life Society, the position of which he held for more than 40 years until his death in 2001. Swami Krishnananda was the longest serving General Secretary in the history of the institution.[2]

Sivananda Literature Research Institute

Due to his considerable literary skill and understanding of the entire gamut of the works of Sivananda, numbering about 300, Swami Krishnananda was made the President of the Sivananda Literature Research Institute, by Sivananda himself, when it was formed in 1958. Krishnananda was also appointed as the President of the Sivananda Literature Dissemination Committee, which was formed to bring out translations of Sivananda's works in the major Indian languages, simultaneously. In 1961, Swami Krishnananda was made Editor of the Divine Life Society's monthly publication, Divine Life Magazine. He held the position for 20 years.[2]


On the morning of November 23, 2001, Swami Krishnananda related to those attending on him a dream he had the previous night, in which it was indicated that he left his body. He had further said that his cook and the doctor from Rishikesh who had been attending on him must be paid their dues that very day. According to those close to him, Krishnananda was very cheerful that day and met with Ashramites and visitors as usual. He also talked very freely to the persons attending on him. In the afternoon at 3:00 p.m. Krishnananda asked for a copy of the Bhagavad Gita with the commentary by Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj to be kept by the bedside. When the Holy Scripture was brought, Krishnananda began to read it periodically. Around 3:30 p.m. he had his usual light supper. At 4:25 p.m. he felt a little difficulty in breathing and asked his attendant Sri Swami Satyakamanandaji to recline him on the bed indicating that the last moment had arrived. And the end came at 4:30 p.m. This was his Mahasamadhi.[3][11]

An excerpt of an article that was published in the December 2001 edition of the Divine Life Magazine entitled "His Holiness Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj Attains Mahasamadhi" read:

Our Guiding Light over the past five decades, His Holiness Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj, whom Gurudev Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj used to call as our 'Dakshinamurti' and 'Sankaracharya', has merged in the Cosmic Being. Revered Swamiji Maharaj, who has been our General Secretary since 1958, our guide, administrator, philosopher, mentor and much more, entered Mahasamadhi on Friday, the supremely auspicious and holy Gopashtami day, the 23rd of November 2001, at 4.30 p.m., in his Kutir in Sivanandashram on the banks of the sacred Mother Ganga, in Shivanandanagar, at the foot of the Himalayas. The Divine Life Society records its deep reverence to the towering stature of the Spirit of Worshipful Swamiji Maharaj as well as its heartfelt gratitude to a sublime career of unremitting labour of love that came to a glorious close in that momentous afternoon. Though Swamiji Maharaj had not been keeping well for quite some time, the END came rather suddenly. Swamiji was conscious till the very last moment.[11]

The last rites were carried out on Sunday, November 25. Many devotees and most of the local people came to pay their last respects. Thousands of people were present. Krishnananda's body was carried in a sitting position in a palanquin covered in flower garlands. He was carried in procession to the Samadhi Shrine, the Viswanath Mandir, and the Bhajan Hall of the Sivananda Ashram, then along the road to the Sivananda Ghat where abishek was performed.

As Swami Krishnananda was being taken in the boat to be immersed in the Ganga, three large flocks of birds appeared in the sky, each flock in a V formation. They were flying in the direction of Badrinath, the abode of Lord Narayana and the holiest temple in India.[3][11]

The Philosopher

Advaita Vedanta

Statue of Adi Shankara (788-820 CE)

Swami Krishnananda was a highly respected philosophical writer, especially on metaphysics, epistemology, and sociology.[3][6][7] Though he valued and was a scholar of Western philosophy, he was an exponent of Advaita Vedanta philosophy, the most influential sub-school of Vedanta. Vedanta is one of the six orthodox philosophies of Hinduism, chiefly concerned with knowledge of Brahman, the universal supreme pure being (God). Advaita Vedanta is a philosophy of nondualism, comparable to Western Idealism,[6][12] based on the unity of the Atman (soul) and Brahman, in which Brahman is viewed as without attributes.[13][14]

The Indian philosopher Adi Shankara (788 CE – 820 CE), the one largely responsible for the expounding and consolidation of Advaita Vedanta, wrote in his famous work, Vivekachudamani:

Brahman is the only truth, the spatio-temporal world is an illusion, and there is ultimately no difference between Brahman and individual self.[15]

In addition to Vedanta philosophy, Swami Krishnananda was also, as is apparent by his extensive writings and transcribed lectures, and according to all those who knew him,[2][3] a master of practically every system of Indian thought and Western philosophy.[6][7] Throughout his exposition of the Vedanta, namely in The Realization of the Absolute, The Philosophy of Life and The Philosophy of Religion, Krishnananda brought together Eastern and Western philosophies with surprising ease and efficiency, to create a synergy of thought rarely encountered in modern modern metaphysics.[7]

He wrote in his autobiography:

Though I have read practically every type of philosophy, both Eastern and Western, and no one can stand before me in philosophical arguments or religious doctrine at the present time, and therefore I am fully satisfied as regards all the philosophies and all the religions of the world, though these philosophies appear to be different from each other and religions also differ from each other, I have with my own rational capacity tried to bring them together, and to me now there is only one philosophy and one religion. I do not any more see many philosophies and many religions; they just don't exist for me. I agree with Chesterton who said: "There can be only one cosmic philosophy and one cosmic religion, and those who are believing in many philosophies and many religions are asking for many skies, many suns and many moons." [9]

In a cryptic statement, Swami Sivananda said, “Many Shankaras are rolled into one Krishnananda.” He later amplified this in an essay entitled I Marvel at Krishnanandaji.[2]

The Theologian

A scene from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, in which Arjuna and His Charioteer Krishna Confront Karna on the Battlefield of Life


Swami Krishnananda was a master of Hindu scripture and comparative religion.[3][4][5] He expounded practically all of the major scriptures of the Vedanta through his extensive lecturing at the Divine Life Society;[2] and he wrote in-depth analytical commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita, the Vedas, the Upanishads, and the Brahma Sutras, all of which have illumined and made more accessible those revered and sacred Hindu texts.[5] Krishnananda's Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita and The Brhadaranyaka Upanishad are considered theological classics,[5] and his epic 600-page exposition of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, The Study and Practice of Yoga, is widely regarded as a milestone in the history of the Hindu religion.[3][5][10]

The Yogi

Yoga of Synthesis

Swami Krishnananda was a rare blend of Karma and Jnana Yogas.[2] He taught and practiced Yoga of Synthesis, a method of Yoga he learned directly from Swami Sivananda.[3] It combines the four main paths of the discipline - Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Raja Yoga - along with various sub-yogas such as Sankirtan Yoga and Hatha Yoga. This is reflected in the motto of the Divine Life Society, which is, "Serve (Karma Yoga), Love (Bhakti Yoga), Meditate (Jnana Yoga), Realize (Raja Yoga)." In Sivananda's own words, "One-sided development is not commendable. Religion and Yoga must educate and develop the whole man - his heart, intellect and hand.”[16]

According to his disciples, Krishnananda achieved the ultimate goal on which all of Yoga is centered, Self-realization, or Moksha, upon his death in 2001, when he attained Mahasamadhi.[11]

Message of Swami Krishnananda

Consistent with Advaita Vedanta philosophy and the Yoga of Synthesis methodology, Swami Krishnananda’s message was that of wholeness and unity, which is, according to the Vedanta, Reality, or Truth.[3]

In his book Yoga as a Universal Science, Krishnananda states that all human suffering is ultimately the result of the perception of separation from Brahman, and that people erroneously try to relieve this suffering by interacting with objects through the physical senses. Our cultivation of these sense experiences, he says, is nothing more than the outer expressions of the Self attempting to relieve suffering. However, he explains that the relief we are really seeking is to become one with Brahman, and that it is only through maya (appearance of subject-object duality) that we desire for and attempt to have sense experiences instead. This misconception, he says, not only perpetuates the predicament, but results in lost energy.[17]

As a remedy to this, he says that people must gradually, through careful discrimination and cooperation, cease to look at the world as being "outside" of or separate from themselves. Rather, people should unite themselves with the "outside world" and become ONE with it.[17]

He writes further in Yoga as a Universal Science:

Any kind of outward ritualistic movement of our personalities, even in the name of religion, is not going to save us, in the end, because this evil called desire is a metaphysical evil. It is not a social evil, it is not a physical evil. It is a metaphysical evil, as the philosophers call it. It is a cosmic catastrophe, and therefore, it requires all the analytical capacity that we are capable of to know what has happened to us, and know how we can gradually wean ourselves away from this impulse that is dragging us out from ourselves in the direction of the objects of sense.[17]

Andrew Cohen, author and the founder of EnlightenNext Magazine, visited the Sivananda Ashram in 1984 and heard Swami Krishnananda speak there.[18] Writing in the Spring-Summer, 2001 issue of EnlightenNext, he described his experience 17 years later in the article, "Come Together":

As the swami spoke, I was drawn into another dimension, beyond time. As this diminutive man gave his afternoon discourse, an extraordinary power entered the room; it was as if Krishna was revealing his true face to us, if only for an instant. "From the beyond there is a whisper," he said to us, "and if you listen closely enough, you will hear that whisper become a raging chorus, imploring all those who have the ears to hear its call to 'Come together—in unity there is strength.'" He repeated the message again, "In unity there is strength. Come together, come together, come together. In unity there is strength, come together." I was stunned, overwhelmed, not by what he said but by how he said it. Indeed, by where those words had come from. I had never heard anything like it. It was so simple, and yet, it was everything. It was as if the swami had lifted the veil of illusion, however temporarily, allowing us all to hear the voice of God, or more importantly, the wish of our Maker: to come together in Her form; to come together as ONE.[18]

Authorship and lectures

Sri Krishnananda composing a work in his Kutir at the Sivananda Ashram

Swami Krishnananda single-handedly expounded practically all the major scriptures of Vedanta in the Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy of the Divine Life Society, by giving lectures in the Academy's early morning sessions, afternoon classes and regular three-month courses. Most of these lectures have now been published in text form—authentic commentaries covering the philosophy, psychology and practice of the various disciplines of Yoga. Additionally, Swami Krishnananda is the author of more than 50 books and 160 essays and articles on Yoga, meditation, religion and philosophy,[2][3] many of which are now considered classic works of theological and philosophical literature.[4][5][6][7] He did this writing and teaching in the midst of his enormous day-to-day volume of work as General Secretary of the Divine Life Society.[2]

Selected works

The Realization of the Absolute

Written by Swami Krishnananda in 14 days at the age of 26, The Realization of the Absolute is a well-known book on the Vedanta-philosophy and its methodology. It is considered by many to be one of his best, most concentrated works. It was the first book that he wrote.[19]

“Expositions on pure philosophy there are a good many. Works touching on the broad aspects of Jnana-yoga, more or less upon the conventional orthodox lines, too, are there. But here you have an erudite consideration of the graduated anatomy of the structure of the practical process through which to realise the FACT about which philosophies but speculate. "The Realization of the Absolute" is a practical Seeker-Sannyasin's revelation of Jnana and Jnana-Sadhana. It is replete with the most sublime conception of the Vedanta. It is a dazzling, light focused upon the true essence of Vedanta-Sadhana and meditation and valuable hints and clues that reveal the pathway to Self-Realization. In producing this profound treatise the one supreme urge in the author appears to be to fire the reader with a thirst for the Transcendent Experience of Reality, Brahma-Sakshatkara. I am glad to say that he has succeeded commendably in this purpose. The work is powerful and rousing. One who studies these pages will definitely find himself or herself transformed both in the attitude to life and in aspiration. The sincere reader cannot but feel with the author that "the quest for the Absolute should be undertaken even sacrificing the dearest object, even courting the greatest pain... It is a mistake to be interested in the different forms of perception... Nothing is worth considering except the realization of Brahman." I wish this work the reception, acceptance and approbation it richly deserves.” –-- Swami Sivananda, 8 September 1947[20]

The Philosophy of Life

The Philosophy of Life is a renowned philosophical work dealing with ontology and cosmology (metaphysics), and providing rigorous comparative analysis of nine prominent Western philosophers, including Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, William James, and A.N. Whitehead, in two books and 21 chapters. Like Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason before it, the work is monumental in scope, scale, and substance.[3][6][7]

In his preface to the work, Krishnananda writes:

It was my feeling that a proper approach to the subject of the higher analysis of life in the language of the modern mind is long overdue, and this work has to be undertaken earlier or later. Though a response to such a need has been attempted by many scholars, the result in most cases was such that it evoked either the intellectual or emotional side independently, and man was not touched in his being. One has to address human nature in its completeness and not merely a side of it. Physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, metaphysics and mysticism developed a tendency to specialization and became almost water-tight compartments. This was indeed not a desirable state of affairs, for it encouraged a false division in what in fact is an indivisible unity.[21]

The Philosophy of Religion

The Philosophy of Religion is a book on metaphysics, covering practically all aspects of the subject, in which Krishnananda attempts to provide a logical basis for religion, as opposed to that consisting solely of faith and devotion. In essence, it is the third installment in a trilogy of books that Krishnananda wrote on the philosophical aspects of yoga and religion. The first and second books in the trilogy consist of An Introduction to the Philosophy of Yoga and Yoga as a Universal Science, respectively. The three texts read in sequence would form almost a complete exposition of the vast range of the foundations as well as the practical methodology of the human quest for eternal values.[3][7] For example, in the section of the work entitled “The Presence of Consciousness Needs Explanation,” Krishnananda addresses the central problem of mind-body dichotomy.

Here is a serious logical problem. The relationship between two things has to be explained; here, the problem is of the relation between matter and consciousness. It is held under mechanized observations that intelligence proceeds from, or is exuded by, matter. This assertion would imply that the effect, which is intelligence, is already present in the cause, which is matter, because there cannot be an effect without a cause. Intelligence that proceeds from matter, consciousness that is the effect of matter, has to be present in matter which is the cause. If it is present, a question may arise, “Which part of matter is occupied by consciousness?” Matter is everywhere. The whole universe is matter, and nothing but that. Can it be said that some point of space or a locality of matter is intelligent, or is the whole of matter intelligent? No one can say that it is located in one place or only in a little area of matter, because matter is an indivisible substance which is spread throughout space. Infinity is the name of matter. Thus, if the effect, which is consciousness or intelligence, is to be embedded in the cause, which is matter, it has to be present everywhere.[22]

The Ascent of the Spirit

The Ascent of the Spirit is a logical study which begins with the foundations of educational psychology, its philosophical basis and spiritual significance, and covers the important areas of thought and action as the meaning behind social relationship, as well as the ultimate roots of legal and ethical principles involved in human life.[23] Swami Krishnananda writes in his introduction to the book:

The movements of human nature in the world of space and time, in the society of people, and in the process of history, are motivated by subtle, deep impulses, and the target which they generally aim at may be physical, material, economic or social, quite the other side of what one would regard as Spirit, or the spiritual. But this apparent contradiction does not defeat the purpose. There is only a winding intricate process of human nature in its struggle to awaken itself to a consciousness of what its real needs are, and these processes of the various forms of struggle are the history of mankind right from creation up to this day.[24]

The Light of Wisdom

The Light of Wisdom is a presentation of the essence of the philosophy, psychology and practice of yoga in a way that is helpful for the beginner on the path.[25] Swami Vimalananda, direct disciple of Sivananda, writes of the work:

This present book contains thirty-four talks given in the year 1970 to students participating in a special session of the Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy. At the request of numerous Yoga students, especially from the West, Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj agreed to give these talks in the form of lessons. The thirty-four lessons began on January 14, 1970 and concluded on March 4, 1970. This book is a Yoga manual. It is a handbook of Yoga. It contains everything that a Yoga student needs to know. Swamiji explains that Yoga, in the simplest terms, is a steady movement of the individual soul towards the Supreme Soul. Yoga is a steady ascent to the Divine. These lessons were recorded on cassettes and then transcribed by Sri Shankara (Rudy), a Yoga student from the Aalst Divine Life Society Branch ( Belgium). He presented me with a bound copy which was lying with me for nearly 35 years.[26]

Resurgent Culture

In November 1960, Swami Krishnananda was invited to the University of Allahabad to speak on the essentials of culture and philosophy. Resurgent Culture is the book-form of the lectures he delivered there.[27]

Krishnananda began the first lecture by addressing what he believed to be the pitfalls of modern epistemology:

What man needs is not philosophy or religion in the academic or formalistic sense of the term, but ability to think rightly. The malady of the age is not absence of philosophy or even irreligion but wrong thinking and a vanity which passes for knowledge. Though it is difficult to define right thinking, it cannot be denied that it is the goal of the aspirations of everyone. It is not that anyone would deliberately wish to think wrongly, and wrong thinking, is that attitude of the mind, where the false is mistaken for the true. ---Krishnananda, 7 November 1960, Allahabad[28]

Near the end of the lectures, Krishnananda stated clearly what he believed to be the best approach to practical living and inquiry:

Do not have inner conflicts. Such conflicts are mostly results of the inability to fulfil the basic instinctive urges, which, again, is due to ignorance of one's hidden capacities and of the way by which to utilize properly the facilities provided under the conditions in which one is placed. You have to know clearly (1) what ought to be done, (2) what is capable of being done, (3) what has been done already, (4) why something has not been done yet, and (5) how to overcome the obstacles in a reasonable manner. This means that you have to be master of your own psychology. ---Krishnananda, 9 November 1960, Allahabad[29]

The Epistemology of Yoga

The Epistemology of Yoga is a book on epistemology, which is the theory of knowledge, in regard to Yoga and the attainment of the Ultimate Reality. It starts with an analysis of the mind and the means of perception, and explains why it is impossible for the mind to know the world and why we cannot even know ourselves, and why this lack of knowledge leaves us in a state of dissatisfaction and sorrow. Krishnananda then relates how the Yoga and Vedanta philosophies deal with this most important issue and how, through meditation leading to Samadhi, our individual consciousness realizes its true nature as Universality, or God-consciousness (higher consciousness).[23]

The Advent of Swami Sivananda

The Advent of Swami Sivananda (RealVideo) is a speech that was delivered extempore by Swami Krishnananda in 1987 to commence the observation of the centenary of Swami Sivananda. In the speech, Krishnananda describes the context of and purpose for the incarnation of Swami Sivananda.[30]


Swami Krishnananda, 1972.

Swami Krishnananda lived a monastic life. He did not travel extensively, and he did not promote nor profit monetarily from his writing or teaching.[3][10] However, his influence on the world has been immense.[5][6][7][10] His legacy to the world is that of Swami Sivananda’s--service, love, charity, chastity, meditation, realization--embodied in the mission, teachings and practice of the Divine Life Society, which from the year 1936 has been built up by Sivananda and his disciples to its present day status as a spiritual, religious and educational outreach to the world. For 73 years the Divine Life Society has disseminated spiritual knowledge to the world, trained and educated spiritual seekers, established and run educational institutions, established and run medical organizations, and helped countless poor and needy.[31]

The Divine Life Society’s headquarters in Rishikesh, India maintains and implements many laudable bodies and causes, including its Charitable Hospital, which renders free medical service to the public; its common kitchen (the Annapurna Annakshetra), which feeds about 600 permanent residents, daily visiting guests and pilgrims; its Guest House, which looks to the needs of its many daily visitors and guests; the Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy, which trains spiritual seekers and aspirants; its monthly periodical, Divine Life Magazine (in English and Hindi), which puts out articles on sublime philosophy and spiritual guidance; its well-known Leprosy Relief Program; and its Social Service Wing, which attends to the needs of the world’s poor and needy. The Temples of worship at the Divine Life Society hold prayers for the peace of the world and conduct regular worship of the Lord. They also conduct continual recitation of the Lord’s name, 24 hours a day.[31]

Swami Krishnananda was the backbone of this institution, serving as its administrator for more than 40 years, and representing it with his many works of spiritual, theological and philosophical literature.[2][3]

Select bibliography of Swami Krishnananda

All of Swami Krishnananda's books, essays and articles are available at the website for free in PDF format, or for purchase in hard copy.

Books on Yoga, meditation and spiritual practice[25]

  • Yoga, Meditation and Japa Sadhana
  • The Yoga of Meditation
  • Sadhana The Spiritual Way
  • The Attainment of the Infinite
  • The Yoga System
  • An Introduction to the Philosophy of Yoga
  • Yoga as a Universal Science
  • The Light of Wisdom
  • The Study and Practice of Yoga

Books on Bhagavad Gita, Vedanta and Hinduism[19]

  • Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals
  • Daily Invocations
  • A Short History of Religious and Philosophic Thought in India
  • The Philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita
  • Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita
  • The Spiritual Import of the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita
  • Moksha Gita
  • The Philosophy of the Panchadasi
  • The Realisation of the Absolute

Books on the Upanishads[32]

  • Lessons on the Upanishads
  • Essays on the Upanishads
  • The Secret of the Katha Upanishad
  • Commentary on the Kata Upanishad
  • The Essence of the Aitareya and Taittiriya Upanishads
  • The Mandukya Upanishad
  • The Mundaka Upanishad
  • The Chhandogya Upanishad
  • The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
  • An Analysis of the Brahma Sutra

Books on mysticism[33]

  • Sri Swami Sivananda and His Mission
  • The Heart and Soul of Spiritual Practice
  • Self-Realization, Its Meaning and Method
  • To Thine Own Self Be True
  • The Struggle for Perfection
  • The Philosophical Foundations of Religious Consciousness
  • The Philosophy of Religion
  • Interior Pilgrimage
  • Fruit from the Garden of Wisdom

Books on metaphysical philosophy[23]

  • Religion and Social Values
  • Resurgent Culture
  • The Development of Religious Consciousness
  • The Vision of Life
  • The Ascent of the Spirit
  • Studies in Comparative Philosophy
  • The Philosophy of Life
  • Essays in Life and Eternity
  • The Epistemology of Yoga

Poetical writings[34]

  • The Epic of Consciousness
  • The Song of God Almighty
  • Hymn to the Mighty God
  • The Divine Ambassador
  • On Man

Select essays and articles[35]

  • Gurudev Sri Swami Sivananda Maharaj’s Mission in this World
  • Swami Sivananda and The Spiritual Renaissance
  • Lord Sri Krishna, the Majesty of the Almighty
  • Bhagavan Sri Krishna
  • Sri Krishna - The Purna-Avatara
  • Christ-Consciousness
  • A Sacramental Life - Discourse On Jesus Christ
  • Sankara - The Genius
  • Social Implications of Acharya Sankara's Philosophy
  • Siva-The Mystic Night
  • The Vision of Buddha
  • What is Religion?
  • The Gospel of the Bhagavadgita
  • The Doctrine of the Upanishads
  • Hinduism and the Vedanta
  • The Ontological Argument in Philosophy, A Critique to the Argument, and Replies
  • On the Nature of Philosophy
  • On the Transition from the Empirical to the Absolute
  • On the Concept of Righteousness and Justice
  • The Search for Truth
  • The Search for Reality
  • The Organism of Administration
  • The Process of Samadhi
  • The Philosophy, Psychology and Practice of Concentration and Meditation - Part 1
  • The Philosophy, Psychology and Practice of Concentration and Meditation - Part 2


  1. ^ Krishnananda, Quotes, Retrieved 2009-8-26
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r His Holiness Sri Swami Krishnananda Saraswati Maharaj Biography of Swami Krishnananda. Retrieved: 2009-8-26
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Official Website
  4. ^ a b c Loyola University Chicago Department of Theology Loyola University Chicago
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Harvard University Divinity School Harvard Divinity School
  6. ^ a b c d e f g University of Chicago Department of Philosophy University of Chicago
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h University of California at Berkeley Department of Philosophy University of California, Berkeley
  8. ^ Publisher’s Preface: “…delivered extempore...” To Thine Own Self Be True Y.V.F.A. Press, 1993 p.2 Retrieved 2009-8-26
  9. ^ a b c Autobiography
  10. ^ a b c d Divine Life Society Official Website
  11. ^ a b c d "Swami Krishnananda Attains Mahasamadhi" Divine Life Magazine, December 2001. Retrieved 2009-8-26
  12. ^ Sweet, William, Bernard Bosanquet (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Retrieved 2009-8-26
  13. ^ "What is Vedanta?" (philosophy) Vedanta Society of Southern California
  14. ^ Official Website
  15. ^ Official Website
  16. ^ "In the Master's Own Words" (Yoga of Synthesis) Retrieved: 2009-8-26
  17. ^ a b c Krishnananda, Yoga as a Universal Science Y.V.F.A. Press, pp. 90-97 Retrieved: 2009-8-26
  18. ^ a b Cohen, Andrew, "Come Together" EnlightenNext Magazine, Spring-Summer, 2001. Retrieved: 2009-8-26
  19. ^ a b Krishnananda, Books on Bhagavad Gita, Vedanta, Hinduism
  20. ^ Sivananda, (forward) The Realization of the Absolute Y.V.F.A. Press, 1947 pp.3-4 Retrieved: 2009-8-26
  21. ^ Krishnananda, Author’s Preface, The Philosophy of Life Y.V.F.A. Press, 1992 p. 6 Retrieved: 2009-12-18
  22. ^ Krishnananda, "The Presence of Consciousness Needs Explanation" The Philosophy of Religion Y.V.F.A. Press, 1997 p. 13 Retrieved: 2010-2-27
  23. ^ a b c Krishnananda, Books on Metaphysical Philosophy
  24. ^ Krishnananda, Ascent of the Spirit Y.V.F.A. Press p. 3 Retrieved 2009-8-27
  25. ^ a b Krishnananda, Books on Yoga, Meditation, Spiritual Practice
  26. ^ Vimalananda, (forward) The Light of Wisdom Y.V.F.A. Press, 1970 p. 3 Retrieved 2009-8-27
  27. ^ Publisher's Note, Resurgent Culture Y.V.F.A. Press, 1997 p. iii Retrieved 2009-8-27
  28. ^ Krishnananda, Resurgent Culture Y.V.F.A. Press, 1997 p. v Retrieved 2009-8-27
  29. ^ Krishnananda, Resurgent Culture Y.V.F.A. Press, 1997 p. 16 Retrieved 2009-8-27
  30. ^ Krishnananda, Videos of Swami Krishnananda
  31. ^ a b Divine Life Society What it is and How it Works. Retrieved 2009-29-09
  32. ^ Krishnananda, Books on the Upanishads
  33. ^ Krishnananda, Books on Mysticism
  34. ^ Krishnananda, Poetical Writings
  35. ^ Krishnananda, Articles

External links


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