For fifty years, Nayaswami Anandi was a deeply devoted disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda and a student of his beloved disciple, Swami Kriyananda. Anandi was a beautiful channel of divine love to everyone she met. Her life’s quest was to reciprocate and express the pure love she received in such abundance from Sri Yogananda and from Swamiji.
Anandi left her body on January 30, 2022. The physical cause was angiosarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer. For the previous forty-one years, she and I shared a joyful soul marriage and life of service, often focused on lecturing and writing. At the time of her passing, I did not remember that she had left behind an unfinished manuscript describing her vibrant inner life with Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda. Her passing brought so many changes to my life that I had forgotten its existence.
Four months after her passing, I had a dream of a book hovering above my forehead, absorbing my attention. Exuding a wonderful presence, the book rotated several times, displaying alternately its front and back cover. Feeling that I was to be involved with the book somehow, I looked closely for the title, but to no avail.
Upon awakening, I immediately sensed someone walking away from my bedroom, and felt a thrilling, blissful voice say, “Bye.” The voice was Nayaswami Anandi’s; the dream and the blissful messenger were telling me that Anandi wanted this book made available to others. Within a week I discovered her manuscript, which had no title, in the hatch of our coffee table.
Anandi’s focus in life was perfecting her discipleship to Master. Once she had embarked on the spiritual path, she sought to make every moment one of service to her guru and to Swamiji. In 1993, as Anandi described in the notes she left in the hatch, she had a dream that highlighted the choice every serious disciple must make:
I stepped out of a car and immediately saw Swamiji, and said hello. Then I walked on but felt empty inside. I went back and replayed the dream. This time, as I got out of the car, I offered to cook for Swamiji. Then we began cooking together on the sidewalk.
While helping Swamiji, I felt inside myself a joyous, intimate love — a love we want to feel all the time.I'm just here. People make of me what they will.-Swami Kriyananda
The important takeaway from the dream, Anandi goes on to explain, is something Swamiji once remarked: “I’m just here. People make of me what they will. Some people draw very close, others keep their distance inwardly, perhaps waiting to be invited.”
Anandi continues, “Some people say, ‘I’m willing to do whatever’s needed!’ With those, Swami works closely. The more we are willing to give, the closer drawn in we are.”
Once I felt Swami’s energy more strongly, bliss, love, and stillness began flowing to me — always flowing. Then I began praying to his energy and received a stronger response; and when I prayed to you [Master] — though I had never thought of your energy as being separate — praying to you acted as a password that allowed me to enter into your flow. I felt the veil lifting between you and me and between Swami and me.
In her last correspondence with Swami Kriyananda, Anandi describes how his priceless gift of divine love thrills and transforms us:
I write this message today, but the real message is written in my heart and mind every day as I think of you.
Day by day, I am touched by awe, reverence, gratitude, and love for who you are, for what you give to the world, and for what you give to each of us.
Your example of true, egoless discipleship and dedication to serving Master is a priceless gift that I draw from daily. The teachings expressed through your writings and talks increasingly fill me with wonder for their clarity and heart-touching depth.
But what is most precious to me is your amazing love — a never-ending lesson in itself. Love that is so natural, humble, and filled with joy, humor, and understanding. Each of us feels uniquely loved by you.
Swamiji, the last words you said to me were, “Thank you for your love through all these years.” Thank you for bringing me back always to love.
May I someday fulfill your priceless gifts by giving back to the world what you have given to me.
At another time, Anandi wrote these words to Yogananda:
Thoughts of you fill my heart today. Two or three weeks ago I felt you looking thoughtfully at me and inwardly I heard you say, “The quirks have disappeared.” I think so too. When a ship is taken into pure water the barnacles drop off. Similarly, when God allows a devotee to live in the pure spiritual water that surrounds a guru, faults disappear without effort.
I have only one job. To keep my consciousness with You, to grow in love and joy and attunement. To keep my eye on the ball, in the present. To try to be connected to You in love and joy, and to share that through service at Ananda.
The flow of our energy must be toward the spiritual eye — all the time.” This principle Anandi sought always to follow. When she met with and counseled others, inwardly she would sense the energy at her spiritual eye and spine, then send Master’s healing energy to whoever was in front of her. Many guests at Ananda Village have related that they felt Anandi truly saw them.
She loved helping others progress on the spiritual path and was quite forthcoming about her own miscues when these could offer clarity and hope to others. Anandi never spoke, however, of her most sacred experiences. Trained in Divine Love shares many of these, precious experiences she has let me know she wishes to be shared. In deciding what to include, I have chosen those parts of Anandi’s personal correspondence with Paramhansa Yogananda that are most instructive and deeply inspiring.
Part One of this book [Trained in Divine Love: My Life with Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda] contains Anandi’s stories of Swami Kriyananda, especially of how he helped her perfect her divine love and attunement. Part Two features excerpts from her personal correspondence with Master. Anandi wrote Yogananda each year on his birthday (January 5) and during her yearly seclusion. These excerpts capture the intimate dialogue that develops between devoted disciple and guru — even when the guru is no longer in the physical body.
Part Three includes “What Stays, What Remains,” Nayaswami Jyotish’s blog about Anandi’s eternal qualities, and “Expanding Love” – my account of Anandi’s remarkable passage to higher realms, and how she continues to visit and bless devotees on earth.
Trained in Divine Love is Anandi’s gift to the Divine in all of us — that we immerse ourselves completely in God’s perfect love and bliss.
This article is excerpted from Trained in Divine Love, by Nayaswami Anandi, Crystal Clarity Publishers.
See the video interview series~
Trained in Divine Love with Nayawami Bharat & Nayaswami Narayan
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Trained in Divine Love: My Life with Paramhansa Yogananda & Swami Kriyananda
Trained in Divine Love is available from Crystal Clarity Publishers