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Reflections on the meaning of life

By Ivo Nardi


Riflessioni.it is the perfect place to stop and reflect on the meaning of life and we will do it through the answers that people of culture have given ten questions formulated by me.
Good reading.


Reflections on the meaning of life
Interview with Swami Kriyananda

December 2010


Swami Kriyananda (James Donald Walters), a disciple of the yoga master Paramhansa Yogananda, is the founder of Ananda Sangha Worldwide, nine spiritual communities, and many more teaching centers and meditation groups. Kriyananda is the author of about 150 published books and the composer of over 400 pieces of music. Some of the books have been published in 28 languages and some are sold in 90 countries. He has lectured in different countries throughout the world.


Reflections on the meaning of life

Swami Kriyananda


1) Generally the big questions about life arise out of grief, illness, death and seldom during happy moments– which we all chase. What is happiness for you?

Happiness for me is not something to find: It is something to become. Our true nature is Bliss. All men are motivated of their own nature, because that nature is inherently divine, to seek the same goals: avoidance of pain and suffering on the one hand, and the achievement of whatever they can understand of bliss, on the other.


2) What is love for you?

There is no love apart from God's love.


3) How do you explain suffering in any form?

Suffering comes when we go against our own bliss-nature. Suffering is relative, not absolute. The more we offend against our own true nature, the deeper our suffering.


4) What is death for you?

Death doesn't exist. It is only a transition from one form of life to another.


5) We know we are born, we know we will die and within this temporal space we live and build up a route; for some this is lived consciously, for others unconsciously. What are your objectives in life and what do you do to realize them?

My personal objective has always been to find greater inner inspiration, and to help all others to find it also.


6) Do we have an existential project to perform?

I do not understand this question. Our duty is personal, but it is the same for everyone: to rediscover his own nature as bliss.


7) We are social animals, our life would have no meaning without the others, notwithstanding that we live in an era where individualism is more exalted than ever. This brings about a social involution: what do you think of that?

I think solutions must always be sought first by the individual, in his inner self.


8) How can we recognize good and evil?

By their effect on us. Whatever is good leads to soul-satisfaction and completion. Whatever is bad is that which robs us of that completion. There is nothing objectively good or bad. The tiger is not wrong to kill. That is its nature.


9) Man has always been distressed by the unknown. Religions, and afterwards philosophies with the aid of reason, gave him some help. What help did you have?

Reason was, in fact, what led me to God. Selfless love, however, would have spared me much agony. I never felt distressed by the unknown, however. I saw it as a challenge!


10) What is for you the meaning of life?

For me, the meaning of life is that which gives me what I want from life: bliss.

Versione italiana: Intervista a Swami Kriyananda

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