Nayaswami Devi

The Broken Shell

The boy’s father was a harsh man. Constantly criticizing and belittling others, he was feared by everyone who knew him — but not by his son, who had a wisdom beyond his years. One day when the boy was twelve years old, he came into the room where his father was sitting and picked up a beautiful…

Right now in India people everywhere are beginning the festivities for Diwali — a holiday celebrating the reappearance of light in the world. Diwali commemorates the return of the avatar, Rama, and his wife, Sita, to their kingdom of Ayodhya after winning the war against the evil king, Ravana, and his forces of darkness. Beautiful, elaborate displays…

Who’s In Charge Here?

Two distraught devotees knelt before the Indian saint, Anandamayi Ma, pleading for her divine intervention. “Ma,” they begged, “can’t you stop this? It will produce so much suffering.” Source: http://www.anandamayi.org It was 1947 — the beginning of the partition of India and Pakistan into two separate countries. The two disciples kneeling before Ma were government officials, who…

The Sparrow, Each Grain of Sand

She lay in the dust by the side of the road, alone and abandoned in her suffering. Her family had rejected her, and this poor widow had made her way to Brindaban, where an estimated ten thousand elderly, homeless women reside, hoping to find solace in the city blessed by the presence of Lord Krishna.…

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…