I would like here to extend
an invitation to all swamis who feel in tune with the ideals expressed
in this book, to join hands with us, wherever they live, in launching
this new movement of renunciation.
I think the reason the monastic
life has become so generally shunned these days is that renunciation,
as it was presented in the past, no longer appeals to people in this
new age of greater freedom of thought, conscience, and consciousness.
My deep hope is that, as I’ve presented this new renunciate order,
many more people will feel inspired to give their lives to God.
One thought has worried me
about this order: If our New-Age Renunciate Order should radiate outward
only from the communities of Ananda, might there develop, in time, a
tendency to institutionalize the whole order? Were that to happen, it
might undermine everything I have tried to begin. This movement is not my movement. It is not Ananda’s movement. I have proposed
that Paramhansa Yogananda be accepted by Nayaswamis as the adi-guru
of this order. I would in fact like for that to happen. But I don’t
want to approach the Order to the slightest degree as something sectarian.
It should become sufficiently widespread to effect a broad change in
society. For I deeply feel that this movement can help to uplift the
I would like, therefore,
as I said, to extend an invitation to all swamis today, provided they
endorse the principles I have outlined in this book. I invite you to
join us, and to become Nayaswamis also. You can be a member of any other
organization, provided only that you endorse these ideas.
How would you join this order?
I cannot see you ignoring the vows I’ve proposed. They should be honored
by all who call themselves Nayaswamis. Adi Shankara had four different
maths and ten dasanamis. That was because, in his day, even relatively
small distances seemed very far. Such separate designations are no longer
necessary in this age, when email makes instant communication possible
at great distances.
Incidentally, now may be
a good time for me to share openly a belief I have long held: namely,
that my own Guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, was, in a past incarnation,
adi Swami Shankara himself. He often spoke to me personally about that
great reforming master, and told me stories that, I think, don’t even
exist in the known lore about him. One such story, incidentally, was
common knowledge among the disciples of my line of gurus; it concerns
Shankara’s meeting with Babaji (of our line), and acceptance from
him of Kriya Yoga initiation.
Other reasons for my belief
are more personal. One does not speak easily, however, of these matters.
Suffice it to say that I think I was with him then.
To return to the issue at
hand: If you yourself are a swami, and if you are in tune with the ideals
I’ve expressed in this book, you may join this new renunciate order
no matter where you live. Tyagis and brahmacharis (and their feminine
counterparts, obviously) could be developed, under your guidance, in
any organization to which you belong. All I ask is that you write to
me. With a little correspondence, we could
arrive at a clear understanding of how this might all be arranged.
I feel right about letting
your present status as a swami require no new initiation. All I’d
ask of you is, as I said, that you endorse the above principles, sign
a pledge (for your own keeping) to abide by this vow of full renunciation,
and change your orange habit to a bright royal blue one. After that,
it is between you and God. I don’t want to have to enter the picture.
This is your order, and God’s order — not mine.
I add again, also, my prayer
that we work together to change and uplift the consciousness on our
poor, suffering planet.
With unceasing blessings,
in divine friendship,
Swami Kriyananda Giri
Appendix — Married Swamis