I am even-minded and cheerful at all times. I know that joy is not outside me, but within. – Affirmations for Self-Healing by Swami Kriyananda
Joy is unconditioned by outer circumstances. Joy is of the soul; it is not of the body or the senses. Pleasure and happiness are mere steps to Joy.
When we seek pleasure, it brings instant gratification―but it is fleeting. When we seek happiness through acquisition of external things and experiences (e.g. career, relationships, family, a home or a car) we realize these things are not permanent either, and that all can be lost one way or another.
Gradually we realize that Joy is the only thing that will fulfill us long-term. It is our birthright: a permanent part of our soul being. We access this Joy when we identify with our soul nature: when we experience that we are a part of all that is; when we are free of attachments; when we practice self-forgetfulness. When we experience the expansiveness of our soul in meditation, we know that Joy can truly be ours.
Joy is untouched by everything temporary. It is unconditioned by anything physical. Once you have Joy, you’ll want for nothing!
Sister Gyanamata was the foremost woman disciple of the great world teacher and author of the classic Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda. When Sister passed, her face was radiant and her last words were: “What joy! What joy! Too much, too much joy!“
May we be one in that Joy some day!
“In the calmness of meditation, at the heart of my inner peace, help me to feel Thy thrilling, joyful presence.”
In divine friendship,
Nayaswami Pushpa for Thank you, God!
A personal reflection by Nayaswami Pushpa
Nayaswami Seva left her physical body on November 14, 2021. Seva was my Sister-in-God, gurubhai, advisor, “mom,” and my dearest friend. I had the great blessing of living next to this saintly woman for twelve years. My house and hers shared an adjoining wall. I would hear her chanting to God on the other side of that wall. Sometimes I would hear her laugh faintly as she visited with a friend or as she watched a movie in the evening. Her laugh was like a young child’s: free-flowing and uninhibited.
Seva was humble and seldom spoke of herself. She preferred to stay in the background and was often impatient to just get on with whatever needed doing. Constancy and service with devotion was her battle cry. She was always serving, smiling, and bubbling with joy. Next to Swami Kriyananda, she was the most joyful person I have known. She touched so many people with her joy.
I was among those present when she passed. It was from a heart attack. She had just walked home after serving at the Shrine of the Masters at Crystal Hermitage. After she passed, one of our gurubhais, a nurse, washed her body. I was not present for this but returned right afterwards. It was then that I felt a profound shift in Seva’s consciousness. Before her body had been washed, I had experienced her consciousness located in the direction of her physical body. Now it was not associated with the body at all, and communication was directly with her soul. It was no longer outside of me but located within me. And, surprisingly, the “in me” was vaster than the “outside of me”!
Seva’s consciousness was no longer garbed in her physical body but in her astral body. A line from Ananda’s Astral Ascension Ceremony, written by Swami Kriyananda, came to mind and revealed a deeper understanding: “Clothed you now are in garments of radiant light.”
Go with love, Sevaji!
Joy, Joy, Joy!
The Nature of Joy with Nayaswami Devi
Our deepest drive is for joy. With wisdom and delightful humor, Jyotish and Devi show us how to experience joy daily, without succumbing to the stresses from our modern lives.