02/18/1927 — 07/05/2013
Dr William Rowley, MD, joined the Ananda Sangha in 1984 through the Sacramento Colony, remaining an invaluable and active member until his passing in 2013. An anaethesiologist by profession, he worked as the screening physician at the Sacramento Plasma Center for many years, but regularly attended weekly classes, satsangs, Friday night meditations, and Sunday Services at Ananda Sacramento. A sincere, learned seeker of truth, William, just a few months older than Swami Kriyananda, helped Ananda Sacramento in innumerable ways. In those early years, with only a handful of choir members, William’s strong voice, and the fact that he knew the words to Swami’s songs, were invaluable skills. His kindly and non-judgemental demeanor, made him a perfect greeter for the many new people who would come for Sunday Service each week and a perfect host for satsangs in his little studio apartment in downtown Sacramento. He made pilgrimages to many holy places around the world, both with Ananda and with other truthseekers and he was able to share those blessings with many. His quick, kindly wit and extensive familiarity with metaphysical teachings, East and West, made him a key ambassador for Ananda Sacramento. He kept himself in top physical form practicing yoga postures and playing tennis. He may still hold the record as the most chronologically advanced karma yogi, when he served at the Expaning Light at age 84 years. His dedication and friendship for Swami Kriyananda and his intimate familiarity with Kriyananda’s writings, made William a distinguished spokesman for Ananda in many interfaith and professional gatherings as well as at the East West Bookshop of Sacramento from 1995 through 2005. He would often point out his name as “WILL I AM” and he refused to identify with his physical body as a self definition. Even to the end of his life, he affirmed that he was the Infinite Spirit, not the body which passed away from cancer. His deep devotion brought many, many souls to Ananda over the years and he was always and remains, one of the most loved disciples in the Ananda Sacramento Sangha. William supported Ananda Sacramento by his weekly, precise 10% tithe of his paycheck and lived in the Sacramento Community from 1991 through his passing in 2013. He advised the Sacramento ministers on all medical matters involving congregation members and served as a patient advocate on many occasions. William’s advice, experience, and insights were key to the establishing of the Ananda Community in Sacramento. His horticultural skills added immensely to the physical beauty of the Ananda Lane property. His devoted Kriya practice and refined kindness in all aspects of his life are a living legacy for the Ananda Sangha Sacramento and Worldwide.