A Touch of Light

Weekly Letters from Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi


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…

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…