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J. Donald Walters

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Kriyananda (born James Donald Walters; May 19, 1926, Azuga – April 21, 2013, Assisi) was a direct disciple of the yogi Paramahansa Yogananda, and the founder of Ananda, a worldwide movement of spiritual intentional communities based on Yogananda’s World Brotherhood Colonies ideal. Yogananda made Walters a minister for his organization, the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF). He authorized him to teach Kriya Yoga while with SRF, and appointed him the head monk for the SRF Mount Washington monks only. After Yogananda’s death, Walters was given final vows of sannyas in 1955 by then SRF President Daya Mata and given the name Kriyananda. In 1960, upon the passing of M.W. Lewis, the SRF Board of Directors elected Kriyananda to the Board of Directors and to the position of Vice President. In 1962, the SRF Board of Directors voted unanimously to request his resignation.Kriyananda is the author of about 150 published books/booklets and the composer of over 400 pieces of music, which altogether have sold over three million copies. A few of the books have been published in 28 languages and a few are sold in 90 countries. He lectured in different countries throughout the world. In addition to English, he spoke Italian, Romanian, Greek, French, Spanish, German, Hindi, Bengali, and Indonesian. He established a new Swami order in 2009: the Nayaswami Order. A jury in a court of law found Kriyananda aka Donald Walters guilty of fraudulently representing himself as a celibate religious leader or swami even though he had sex with several of his devotees during 30 years at the helm of Ananda. Several women came forward during the civil trial to testify that Walters had sexually exploited them.