A Touch of Light

Weekly Letters from Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi


This morning as I sat in meditation, I ignored some of the advice I am sharing here. Instead of focusing entirely on my meditation, I spent some time thinking about this blog. (Ah, how often we ignore good advice, even when it comes from ourselves!) Yet I hope some benefit will come from my well-intentioned…

There is a story about two shoe salesmen who are sent by their companies to explore the possibilities for sales in a Third-World country. They arrive at the same time, check out the scene, and then both head for the telegraph office to report back. The first one wires: “Everyone barefoot here. No market. Returning…

My India

As I write these words it’s March 7, the 65th anniversary of Paramhansa Yogananda’s mahasamadhi (conscious exit from the body). He left this earth in a dramatic fashion. At a banquet in Los Angeles in honor of the visiting Indian ambassador, after a short and very sweet talk, the great master recited his poem, “My…

While in Hawaii, I read a translation of an ancient Hawaiian song about mana, or “life force”:      For mana is divine power      And we Hawaiians have a keen awareness of this             Supernatural force running through all things.      For it is our natural consciousness to be psychic.             And we read signs and omens into…

I am writing this from the Island of Kauai, the northernmost island of the Hawaiian chain. It’s certainly one of the most beautiful places on earth, set like a gemstone in an aqua sea. Its hills, valleys, swaying plants, and even its people have been shaped by centuries of rain, sun, and wind. It’s as…

God Goes On Vacation

Aloha! We’re currently relaxing on Kauai, one of the beautiful Hawaiian Islands, on a two-week vacation that was gifted to us by many friends from Ananda. One hears “Aloha” everywhere here, because it’s a word with multiple meanings: “hello,” “good-bye,” “love,” “compassion,” and “welcome.” It’s considered one of the most sacred and powerful of all…

Dry Spells

It is a little ironic for me to be writing about this subject just now. Here at Ananda Village, in Northern California, we’re in the midst of yet another major storm, experiencing the greatest rainfall in over twenty years. The rivers are roaring, the reservoirs are full, the mountain snowpack is huge, and more is…

Balancing the Scales

Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, founder of the world-renowned Suzuki School of Music Education, was a humanitarian as well as a pioneer in musical training for children. In his book, Nurtured by Love, Dr. Suzuki shares a story that has relevance for us today. He, his wife, and their two small children were living in Matsumoto, Japan…

Saved by the Guru

A dear friend, Nayaswami Devarshi, is a longtime Ananda member who is now serving in India as the head of our Monastic Order. He sent this letter to us last week. “A very miraculous save by the Guru here at Mumbai airport, on our way to Singapore. As Aditya [a fellow monk] and I were…

Once Paramhansa Yogananda was attending a wedding with some of his disciples, and at a certain point he began handing out different-colored roses to the women devotees. After receiving her rose from the Guru, one woman expressed disappointedly, “But I wanted a pink rose, not a red one.” Yogananda looked at her, and with unexpected…