A Touch of Light

Weekly Letters from Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi


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…

The love and friendship of the guru are something that is hard for us to understand, much less accept. We, who are limited in time and space, naturally relate to the guru in the same way. How often I’ve thought and heard others say, “If only I had been with Master.*” This thought, sweet though…

Searching for Gold

Historians tell us that medieval alchemists were continually in search of the elusive “philosophers’ stone,” that mythical substance which could turn base metals into gold. As far as we know, they never succeeded in their quest, but there is a different kind of philosophers’ stone which we have already discovered. The guru is that philosophers’…

In a few days it will be a new year, 2017, and it’s time to think about changes you might like to make. An artist once was asked how he could sculpt such a perfect image of an elephant. He replied, “It’s easy. I just chip away everything that doesn’t look like an elephant.” We…

In this Christmas season, it’s important to reflect on the deeper message of Christ’s life and birth. Paramhansa Yogananda told his disciples that it was Jesus himself who appeared to Babaji in the Himalayas, and asked him to send these teachings to the West in order to reveal the deeper meaning of Christianity. Through people’s…

Many popular images associated with Christmas are actually rooted in inner spiritual realities. But over time the deeper meaning becomes lost, and the symbol becomes an end unto itself. Perhaps the most iconic symbols are the Christmas tree and Santa Claus. The use of evergreen wreaths goes back to the prehistory of Egypt, Greece, and…

We were sitting on the beach our first evening in Puri, India, gazing at the moonlight on the waves and listening to the crashing of the surf on the shore. Seventy devotees would be joining us in two days for a pilgrimage to sacred sites in this area, which is considered to be one of…

Two Great Masters

Today was a remarkable day! We are in Puri, India, where Swami Sri Yukteswar had an ashram, and where his body is enshrined in a small samadhi mandir (shrine that holds the body of a great master). Paramhansa Yogananda used often to come here with his guru, and it was in Puri that Sri Yukteswar…

Recently while in Pune, India, I asked an old friend how he felt he’d changed spiritually over the years. He replied, “It’s hard to see change from one day to the next, but looking back I see that I’m not the same person I used to be, though my nature remains much the same. In…

Sometimes we have doubts. Does God really care about us? Does He love us or protect us when we are unable to fend for ourselves? I heard an amazing account that shows that God and Guru are there when we most need them. Here is the story, as told to our center leader from Pune,…