Nayaswami Devi

The Secret of a Remarkable Life

Today is September 12, 2017 — the sixty-ninth anniversary of the day a young man knelt alone at the feet of his guru, Paramhansa Yogananda. His heart aching with divine longing, the twenty-two-year-old James Donald Walters said beseechingly, “I want to be your disciple.” Listen to a talk by Swami Kriyananda on discipleship from Treasures Along the…

How to Control Desires

Recently a young man asked us, “Why do we do things that we know will make us unhappy, even when we don’t really want to do them?” This is a universal dilemma, and one that brings so much suffering into life! In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna asks this same question on behalf of all of…

Does Satan Exist?

Paramhansa Yogananda once said, “I used to think Satan was only a human invention, but now I know, and add my testimony to that of all those who have gone before me, that Satan is a reality. He is a universal, conscious force whose sole aim is to keep all beings bound to the wheel…

It was a sweltering summer’s night, and the humidity in the air was so thick you could almost cut it with a knife. Young people in leotards and tights filled the second-floor dance studio, eager for the class to begin. Taking his position in front of the students, the teacher led us through warm-up exercises…

The Art of Becoming

It was an Open House at a Unitarian Church in San Francisco where people could sign up for a variety of new classes. That evening I was sitting at a small table ready to register people for a four-week “How to Meditate” course that Jyotish and I would be teaching. Two well-dressed middle-aged women approached…

The Strength Remains

Some thirty years ago, my good friend Nayaswami Roma and I decided to run a twenty-six-mile marathon. Neither of us was a particularly great athlete, but we wanted to raise money for the Ananda School, so we took on the challenge and began training for it. For several months before the event, we ran two…

There is a tradition among certain Native American tribes that where a poisonous plant is found, the antidote often grows nearby. It’s as if the sickness and the cure are sister plants, expressing opposite sides of the same coin. We can apply this principle in the search for truth, be it scientific or spiritual: the…

“All is flux.” “This world is in a state of constant change.” Down through the ages, enlightened souls have shared with us these truths drawn from their own realization. But we still expect, or at least hope, that the playful kitten will never grow into a lazy cat; that the vitality and dynamism of our…

Our thoughts are much more powerful than we realize. In fact, they are often self-fulfilling prophecies: If we are preoccupied, for example, with thoughts of failure, we can draw to ourselves the very thing we fear. On the other hand, if we develop underlying thoughts of success, we can attract those things that will lead…

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This second sentence of the Declaration of Independence has been called “one of the best-known sentences in the English language.”…