Thank you Swami Kriyananda for your wonderful comments –

This is a most intriguing book! I would very much like to know how many people are helped by it, and how deeply. The subject itself is fascinating: the spinal centers in our bodies; how they affect us; the present and potential ways they affect our consciousness. Paramhansa Yogananda, in his world- known book Autobiography of a Yogi, states that thoughts are universally, not individually, rooted. This means that our brains do not produce the ideas that come out of them: they merely express concepts that belong to whatever level of consciousness we are living at, at the time. Any change in our level of consciousness alters instantly our very view of reality. The levels of reality we perceive depend entirely on where, in the spine, our energy and consciousness are centered. The chakras, viewed outwardly, simply channel energy to different regions of the body: the heart, the stomach, the sex organs, the legs, etc. Viewed inwardly, however—that is to say, when that same energy is withdrawn to the spine and directed upward toward the brain—the chakras become portals that open onto ever-increasing enlightenment. The spinal chakras, therefore, are of central importance to the science of yoga.I pray that this book will help many people better to know their own inner selves. – Swami Kriyananda


Who is Swami Kriyananda?


Direct disciple of Yogananda since 1948

Swami Kriyananda is the founder of Ananda. He is not on the altar, but is revered by seekers as a model of discipleship, and a “friend and guide” on the path. He had a great gift for helping people grow personally and spiritually, as countless students can attest.

At his guru’s request, for 65 years and until the day of his passing, he devoted himself tirelessly to lecturing, writing, counseling, and guiding many students worldwide. In 1968, inspired by Yogananda’s dream of spiritual communities, he founded the first of what are now many Ananda communities and teaching centers worldwide where people can devote themselves to the practice of Self-realization. His books in 28 languages have touched millions, and his music is an integral part of Ananda worship services. A treasury of lectures are freely available at and on YouTube


He was a young man of considerable intellect and a burning desire for truth that isolated him from most of his peers at the time. It was 1948, and life in post-WWII America was a desperate scramble for normalcy. Millions of young people were seeking home, family, and career—anything that could sooth the horrors of war and the insecurity of the Depression.

But James Donald Walters knew that kind of life would not bring him what he was looking for. He was hungry to know what life was really about. Why we lived, what we were here to understand. Was there a Truth that could be known? He hadn’t found it in philosophy, churches, nature, or simple living, though he had tried them all.

The first wave of what would later become many spiritual teachers from the East began in America in the 1890s with a lecture tour by Vivekananda. Paramhansa Yogananda (1893–1952) followed soon after, and became the first Indian yogi to make his home in America. Though he met two Presidents and lectured to many thousands around the country for years, it wasn’t until his Autobiography of a Yogi was published in 1946 that Yogananda became known to a much wider audience. Eastern spirituality was just beginning to awaken Western minds in the 20th century with the possibility of direct, personal experience of transcendent spiritual realities. Ideas like meditation and yoga were introduced to Americans by these two early yoga masters.


  • 2012 International Book Award for Best New Spirituality Book for Paramhansa Yogananda: A Biography With Personal Reflections & Reminiscences
  • 2012 Letter from the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles (Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa): “For over 50 years, Swami Kriyananda has shed a spiritual and reflective light into the world, across continents and into the lives of individuals. We thank him for his many accomplishments and for sharing the life and teachings of yogi Paramhansa Yogananda.”

  • Appointed to the Board of Vedanta Today (2009)
  • Recipient of the Eric Hoffer Award (self-help/spiritual books) and the USA Book News Award (spiritual category) for The New Path (2009)
  • Recipient of the Yoga nel mondo Award by the Milan and Rome Yoga Festival with this tribute: “To the Master Swami Kriyananda, enlightened representative of the yoga science and philosophy, and indefatigable supporter and major spokesman of the bridge between East and West” (May 2008)
  • Appointed Honorary Member of the International Yoga Confederation of New Delhi, and Honorary Member of the World Movement for Yoga ( May 2008)
  • Recipient of the 1st Conacreis Award (National Coordination of the Ethical, Interior and Spiritual Centers) to honor Swami Kriyananda’s dedication to the building of spiritual communities worldwide (May 2008)
  • Honorary Member of The Club of Budapest International (May 2008)
  • Beacon of Light Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the National Interfaith Council (2007)
  • Pioneer in Yoga Award, presented by the Los Angeles Yoga Fellowship in (2007)
  • Recipient of the Julius Caesar Medal in Campidoglio, Rome, delivered by On. Paolo Masini, Responsabile della Cultura del Comune di Roma (2007)
  • Recipient of the Premio Ponte 2007 del Consorzio Per i Libri, Torino (Bridge Award of the Consortium for Books) for “affirming the principles of union between East and west, spreading throughout the world the ancient principles of Yoga and the spiritual teachings of the highest Indian tradition of Self-realization, making them practical and at the same available to people of every social level, and applicable in every area of daily life.” given by Consorzio Per i Libri President, Enrico Iacometti (2007)
  • Member of The Club of Budapest International. Other members include Mikhail Gorbachev, the Dalai Lama, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. (2005)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Unity in Yoga Conference, Snowmass, CO (1995)