Dear Friend,

We just spent nearly a month in India visiting Swami Kriyananda and our many friends there.

Being in India is always an adventure – things don’t work according to the same rules that we rely on in the West. By training and experience, we expect things to happen according to well-thought-out plans and predictable outcomes.

In India, things do happen and sometimes with the results we anticipate, but often through an unexpected chain of events.

In a sense that’s the core difference between Western and Eastern cultures – controlling life as opposed to adapting to circumstances. Master mentions this difference in his writings. One either can get frustrated, as many Westerners do at first, or reach beneath the surface and try to feel how Indians see life.

When we’ve done this, we’re always inspired by the greatness of India’s people, and are grateful for what we can learn from them. Here are three stories that illustrate this.

Sri Kaarthikeyan is the former head of the Indian equivalent of the FBI, operating in the highest circles of governmental power. Now in his 70’s, he’s on the Board of Directors of many worldwide spiritual and educational organizations, and recently received the Padma Award for social upliftment, the second highest award that India bestows.

Several years ago he attended one of Swami Kriyananda’s talks in Delhi, where he lives, and has been a close friend ever since, visiting Ananda communities in America and Europe.

A tall, dignified gentleman, Sri Kaarthikeyan is of humble roots, but radiates true nobility of spirit. He told us that he and his beloved wife, Kala, never prayed for riches for themselves, but for the ability to feed anyone who came to their door. Kala died suddenly last fall, and this has left a great void in his life, but he has carried on his global service to humanity.

A few days after we arrived in Gurgaon, Sri Kaarthikeyan invited Swamiji and a few others of us to his home for lunch. His modest flat was filled with graciousness and dignity. One could sense his grief just beneath the surface, but his poise and kindness made us feel completely at home.

We were served a delicious Indian meal (the best food in India is found in homes, not restaurants) by his respectful son and beautiful daughter-in-law (he’s a government lawyer, and she’s an officer in the Bank of India). As we watched the unspoken understanding pass between the family and their household staff, we felt the rhythm of Indian life – calm, dignified, timeless.

At the end of our visit, he spontaneously picked up the phone and arranged for Swamiji to address a class of 1000 graduating college students in Pune.

So we thank you, dear friend, for opening your door to travelers, sharing with them the harmony of your home, and for your endless service to others.

Malka is a tiny, elderly Indian woman in her 80’s who lives in Ghaziabad, 20 kilometers away from the nearest Ananda meditation group in Noida, outside Gurgaon. She has been coming to the Sunday Services there every week for the past 5 years. Though always dressed in the traditional white cotton sari of an Indian widow, her small, shining face is suffused with joy and energy.

So eager was Malka to embrace Master’s work, she joined an Ananda Pilgrimage group from India three years ago to visit Ananda Village. She told us, “Those were the happiest three weeks of my life.”

When we visited the Noida group one Sunday morning, Malka eagerly came up to us with eyes filled with devotion and joy. “Oh, I’m so glad to see you,” she said. “Do you know what happened to me after I left Ananda Village?”

She continued, “I traveled to New York to visit my sister. During my stay, I tripped and fell heavily on my arm, shattering it in many places. The damage was so bad that the doctors weren’t sure they’d be able to set it, and told me they might be forced to amputate. I was so frightened that I could barely sleep the night before the surgery.”

“Then that evening Swami Kriyananda came into my hospital room. (Swamiji was physically present at Ananda Village at the time.) He stroked my arm and said, ‘Don’t worry, Malka. Everything is going to be fine.’ I fell into a deep, relaxed sleep for the rest of the night.”

“The next morning they took me into surgery, were able to rebuild my arm, and here it is, completely healed.” She happily showed us how she had total range of movement. “Swamiji healed me.”

Thank you, dear Malka, for sharing with us the strength of your unquestioning faith and devotion to God.

Finally, a simple story about a man whose name we don’t know. We’d never seen him before, but he came to a satsang in Swamiji’s new house in the Pune community during Master’s Mahasamadhi weekend there. His face was neither dignified, nor radiant, but it was sincere. Towards the end of the satsang, Swamiji invited people to ask questions.

This man’s hand shot up. “Swamiji,” he asked, “I am a farmer of fish and lobsters. This is how I support my family. Can I still find God?”

Swamiji responded with deep kindness and respect as he told the man to continue to do his duty of supporting his family, but with non-attachment and in service to God. The fisherman’s face become filled with peace and reassurance, and he replied, “Thank you, Swamiji, I will try to find God.”

So we are also grateful to our fisherman friend for reminding us of the river of spirituality that flows unseen beneath all the shifting sands of life.

And thank you, India, for what you have given to the world – your sense of dharma and service, your unwavering faith, and your understanding that God can be found anywhere if we but seek Him.

In divine love and friendship,

Nayaswami Jyotish and Nayaswami Devi


  1. Dear Jyotish & Devi,

    Thank you for these so interesting and inspiring tales. What world travelers you are! like Master.

    Joy, -JB

  2. Thank you so much! These 3 stories touched my heart and reminded me how blessed I am to have found this path.

    In Gratitude to Master, Swamiji and all the spiritual directors and teachers of Ananda who live by their humble example and show us the way to God. Thank you for your guidance and love.

  3. Dear swamiji,

    Thanks for mail.
    Kindly think of starting a centre in Kerala.Next time when visit India,try to visit Keral.


  4. Thank you for sharing, and I myself would love to visit the centre in Kerala. I have not been too India but see the compassion and grace of these humans.
    Blessings in the work.
    Auntie White Dove

  5. Thank you for these wonderful tales of inspiration. In many ways, India is a difficult country to live in for a vast majority of the population. May be that is the reason why Indians of all religious flavours look to god as their support. But India has much to learn from America in terms of how people can cooperate and assume personal responsibility to achieve higher and greater things. For I believe it is easier to find god working with one another even in a secular environment, for such interactions hold the potential seed towards generation and growth of universal love at the depth of one’s soul. May be it is in the karma of India and the US as nations to draw nigh as we enter a new age of consciousness on this planet. But we also know that all is God and thus no ill-will to any nation is intended in the previous statement.

  6. Thank you for sharing your travel experience to India with us. It is inspiring to know there is alot of us seeking a spiritual path to find God and to service Him with much love and devotion.

  7. Dear Jyotish and Devi-
    Thank you for all the inspiring stories I have read from your website, of people from all walks of life. Service to humanity is service to God!

  8. While reading these stories we can feel peace and gratitude for the beauty and dignity of these souls. This is the true treasure of India. Our beloved Master is linking us to the inner reality of this land.
    Thanks to Jotish and Devi for sharing these beautiful stories.
    Mauro e Graziella

  9. The stories reminded me of the three short tales narrated by Swami Sri Yukteswarji to Master (in the Autobiography).
    My humble pranaam to Swamiji.
    He is a living Master of our times.

  10. Masters protect us though unseen, with their invisible arms. May Their blessings keep up our faith while treading on this spiritual journey.

    Indians know the tricks to keep their 5 senses properly anchored through grace of great souls, may be because it has had exchquered hitory of having great avtaars.

  11. Thank you very much.These three stories has further given me the strength to believe that if you are facing problem you should sincerely ask GOD or follow the sayings of HIS able Deciples, you will certainly get positive response to your problems. You will feel relaxed.I am experiencing the things. Kriya Yog is key to your happiness.

    P.S Srivastava

  12. At first let me share with you certain happenings in my life I am an engineer by profession and now 80 years I am a Hindu and revere the great Epic Ramayana Used to recite it early morning after taking bath with cold water even during winter The solution to my day to day problems ( While Working in Cement Plant) would come to me during recitation of the holy book This gave me tremendous strength and Faith in God Then I got a job in Delhi I had to change three buses to commute to my office I was practically doing 8 A.M. to 8 P.M duty used to talk to God why he has placed me in such a situation Then I read
    Autobiography of a Yogi No one suggested to me to read it but in the
    Book store shelf Parmahansa yogananda ji prompted me to buy the book This was the year 1969 Again i got transferred to a factory site where I would have to work standing the whole day in the open as the factory was under construction I was so obsessed with the book I would read it upto 2 A.M and continue the daily grind without any complaint Then it so happened I visited Swami Sri Yukteshwarjis Ashram in Puri Orissa (1970) There was no one in the Ashram or in the vicinity While I paid my obeisance at Samadhi Mandir and taking a stroll in the garden
    a tall person in white robes(Kurta Pyjama) appeared from no where He asked me if I had read Autobiography of a Yogi I replied in the affirmative He further asked me if i wanted to do yoga
    I said “YES” He said son write to YSS Ranchi the address given at the back of book Before I could thank him he vanished This is a True Happening To this day I am not able to know who the person was Surely some one of the Gurus Since that time I am following Teachings of paramahansa Yogananda and a Kriyaban

  13. How wonderfuly beautiful!
    A true taste of India’s divinity .
    Thank you for sharing !

  14. Thank you,
    you’re stories touched my heart and brought tears of gratitude. I feel blessed to be connected to this divine path… thank you! thank you!
    God Bless,

  15. Wonderful stories.
    Malka’s story only confirms my long-held belief that swamiji has transcended time and space and has attained “nirvikalpa samadhi”. It is his humility alone that prevents him from saying so publicly. I listen to his speeches though have not had the fortune to meet him. Those in close contact with swamiji are truly blessed.

  16. Dear Jyotish and Devi,
    I remain an ardert admirer of the Ananda Sangha in its pursuit of a spiritual path which I too am seeking for inner peace and traquillity.
    I feel God’s gift of our precious lives are much enhanced by the vastness and greatness of India’s eternal wisdom which is so much in need in our present materialistic world. I pray for God’s guidance and blessing for all mankind. Thank you for telling us about your inspirations derived from your Indian sojourn.

  17. Thank you Jyotish & Devi for your service and sharing and for this wonderful format where we can also hear from others. Thank you for this internet connection of divine energy. Blessings

  18. ancora ,non ho avuto l’esperienza dell ‘india, ma spero di averla per confrontarmi con la possibilità di andare oltre la superfice.Vi ringrazio profondamente per queste condivisioni così sincere ed ispiranti.

  19. Namasthe,
    I am from Hyderabad,YSS member.Thanks for sharing the experiences. Hope to see you both in Hyderabad oneday.

  20. I am from Lansing Michigan USA, greetings and blessings to all who have read and will read these stories and accompanying messages of gratitude, hope, and true miracles. I too am overwhelmed with humility and thankfulness at having touched on this Path of Kriya Yoga through the grace of our Gurus and of the many teachers and practitioners who have made their way to this small corner of the globe where I happen to reside. We are all blessed beyond words. Thank you Jyotish and Devi for your continued work and for using this electronic medium for the highest kind of work. Om, Peace.

  21. What beautiful soul inspiring stories! Thank you Nayaswami’s Jyotish and Devi!

  22. The three simple stories touched the inner core of my being, spcially the fisherman`s because it is really true that God can be found anywhere, in the smallest of things if we put our heart and soul in it. The story is inspirational bcaus God is not residing somewhere up there loftily but is in our day to day things

  23. I gain so much by reading how our fellow disciples in India respond to Swami and to Ananda India. Through your sharing, dear Ananda ministers, I see Master, Swamiji and this path through a fresh new lens. I feel a renewed appreciation and understanding of what Ananda gives not just this devotee, but all of us together.

    Deepest thanks to all who have made this east-west gurubhai connection possible.

  24. Thank you dear Nayaswamis fro your beautiful reports, and for creating this meeting of the minds online.

  25. Thank you, Nayaswami Jyotish and Nayaswami Devi,
    These stories are heart opening. This Path is so sweet.The light interconnecting all souls is so sweet.

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