This is a special moment in time for Jyotish and me. Yesterday we had our last public satsang in Mumbai after nearly four months of traveling, teaching, and sharing love with friends in Assisi and India. By the time you read this, we will be returning to Ananda Village.

In many ways, this trip has been life-changing. Seeing the waves of devotion to Yoganandaji spreading throughout the world, we realize how blessed we’ve been to be a part of this great work started by Swami Kriyananda over fifty years ago.

ananda assisi terra de luce community yogananda

Jyotish and Devi with the Ananda Assisi community.

Thousands of new students are studying Master’s teachings in person and online, and thousands more are taking discipleship and initiation into Kriya Yoga. What touched us the most, however, was seeing the divine love for others that is being offered by Ananda devotees throughout the world. Here are three stories that we heard during our travels.

The first was told to us by Mahiya, one of the leaders of Ananda Assisi. It took place at Terre di Luce (Lands of Light), their beautiful organic gardens:

This summer, Satya, a Kriyaban friend, came to help us in the kitchen. He brought his parents with him: Adamo, ninety-two years old, and Eleonora, in her eighties.

While Satya did his service in the kitchen, they would sit on the sofas and just be. Often people would sit with them, making conversation and expressing kindness. Satya had told them nothing about this path, and they had no idea what Ananda was.

Eleonora has dementia, but Adamo was fully aware of everything. He loved it here, and wanted to participate in everything! When Satya tried to leave them at the nearby house he had rented, Adamo would have nothing of it—he wanted to be at Terre di Luce!

Every afternoon after lunch we have a chanting circle before we start our service. We would often chant to the Guru or to Divine Mother in Sanskrit. The fact that it was all in a strange language didn’t matter to Adamo—he would never miss the chanting circle! After one circle he said, “This place is a paradise. I want to stay here forever. Here you are all friends, and everybody loves and respects one another. You can’t find that in the world.”

Two weeks after Satya and his parents went back to Rome, Adamo left his body. We had an Astral Ascension Ceremony for him in which everyone shared deeply how much this wonderful soul loved Ananda. We all felt that his wish of “wanting to stay at Ananda forever,” or in the presence of the Masters that he felt here, had come true: He was now in the astral world in the loving hands of our Masters.

This is what Terre di Luce is for me and why I love it here. I see it as a place where people come and experience love and friendship which transforms them.

The stories of kindness and compassion from our travels in India are too numerous to tell (I’ll share a few more in the recorded commentary), but two others especially stand out. India was hit very hard by the pandemic, with many deaths and inadequate supplies of medicine, oxygen, and hospital beds. Our center leaders told us that they were often performing eight to ten Astral Ascension Ceremonies per week for members or their loved ones who had passed.

Two dear Kriyaban friends of ours, Dr. Mansi and Dr. Amar, shared stories about serving together on the Covid ward in a hospital in Pune. They’re a married couple, with two teenaged daughters and his parents living with them. In spite of these responsibilities, they served for months on end, often with just a few hours of sleep at night.

As the hospital began filling up with Covid patients who occupied all the beds and spilled out into the hallways, Dr. Amar felt some hesitation about working in such close proximity to infected people. He thought, “I don’t want to catch the disease and bring it home to my family.” In answer, he heard a voice within him say, “Would you hesitate to help your own children? These people are all your children!”

With this divine guidance, he served wholeheartedly throughout the pandemic. Both he and Dr. Mansi did contract Covid, but their children and parents were never infected.

Later in the pandemic, when the deaths began overwhelming even the crematoriums, Dr. Mansi was exhausted and hit an emotional wall. One day in particular she saw many deaths not only of the elderly, but also of young men who were the sole support of their families. She returned home in the evening exhausted and with a heavy heart. As she closed her eyes for a few minutes, she had a remarkable dream.

In it Master appeared in the hospital dressed in silvery-white robes, bustling here and there attending to the patients. He turned to her and said, “The disease is caused by bad karma brought on by people’s negative thoughts. We can’t stop the disease, but we must stay very busy trying to help everyone.”

Mansi then began shaping balls of mud into babies. When she held them, they were living children; when she put them down they were only mud once more. “Don’t you see?” Master said. “When Divine Mother touches them, they come alive. Otherwise they are dead. Don’t grieve, my daughter.” After this dream, Mansi was able to continue in her service.

So, my friends, in these stories you can see the beauty of living for God and serving Him in others. Our lives have been changed by witnessing such self-offering.

With divine friendship,

Nayaswami Devi

Listen to Devi as she reads the blog, then expands on it, often adding special behind-the-inspiration stories and answers to common spiritual questions. Subscribe to the podcast or download the audio recording by right-clicking here. Or listen to it here (13:41):

19 Comments

  1. Thank you Devi for your inspiring stories. You prove the truth that we can be happy only by helping others.
    Remain blessed.

  2. Such a lovely post, Devi-ji.
    It was very heartening to learn that Dr. Manasi -ji received guidance and encouragement directly from the Master! She is blessed. The mud dolls also give a wonderful lesson.
    Thank you so much for sharing such inspiring stories.

  3. Thank you Devi ji and Jyotish ji for giving us the opportunity to spend some blessed time with you. Our lives have been changed too witnessing unconditional love and forgiveness. May many more attract this blessing as well.

  4. Thank you Devi ji for sharing your valued experience in Italy and in India during your visit. It was a wonderful experience to seen a ninety+ year old man enjoying Ananda Sangh”s spiritual ambience, especially chanting in Sanskrit. May Master fulfil his desire to be in astral world with divine experience.
    India COVID pandemic had a horrible impact on the physical and mental health of patients and doctors on duty. The dream of spiritual presence of Master nursing the patients, and also the role of blessings from Divine Mother on us is actual driving force behind our existence and for all other living beings. It is true that without the charging force we are just mud balls. It is true that diseases occur due to negative thoughts.
    Regards,

  5. I dislike the expression, “Thanks for sharing,” but, thanks for sharing! Mahalo!!

  6. Dear Nayaswamis Devi and Jyotish,
    Thank you for your service and these stories Devi that you shared. Such inspiration and from the vision of Master and what he has said about the pandemic. God is gracious. Aum. Peace. I feel so blessed to be a part of Ananda.

  7. Wow, that’s great! Mansi then began shaping balls of mud into babies. When she held them, they were living children; when she put them down they were only mud once more. “Don’t you see?” Master said. “When Divine Mother touches them, they come alive.” Thank you.

  8. Tears of Gratitude whelmed in these eyes as I read your stories, Deviji. Thank you for sharing.

    Much Gratitude for the opportunities to express our Gratitude by serving others in selflessness and in JOY.

    Supriya in TX

  9. It seems almost overwhelming when I try to put myself in the Doctors’ shoes and at the same time feel Master’s Grace and support to help them carry on in service and with dignity. I look forward to hearing the stories in the extended, verbal version of this blog. Bless you dear souls for your guidance, mentoring and as such sweet and powerful examples of Divine Discipleship. Namaste.

  10. It is difficult to relate the gratitude I feel to hear of the kindness and dedication of so many dedicated souls to offer upliftment to this world, to their brethren. I am reminded that “God is Good” and Master Lights our way. Namaste

  11. Dear Devi and Jyotish, Tears of joy come to my eyes as I read these stories of your time in Italy and India. Master and Swamiji are flowing through you! Thank you for being their emissaries!
    Om Ram

  12. Thanks Devi,for such nice and braving incidents,so much inspiration from them. Om Guru.

  13. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful blog. Very Inspiring!
    We enjoyed the time with you, and it was such a blessing.
    Please share our love with all our friends in Ananda.

    Joy,
    Prem

  14. Tears of gratitude and inspiration. Thank you for sharing these heart opening, inspiring stories, and thank you for being emissaries of light and love. I look forward to hearing more about your travels.

  15. LOVE to You Ananda!
    Jyotish and Devi…Constant sources of Light in the world!
    I am at Peace most of the time with not being an active member of Ananda. It was heartbreaking at first and sometimes I still cry, but All of You are in my heart.
    I will eternally be grateful to my teachers at Ananda…both for inclusion and exclusion. Both have been catalysts for my growth.
    The Masters are available to All at anytime no matter what!
    Just go within.
    This has been the fundamental denominator…the ONE Truth.
    WE are ONE.
    All of the Masters are ever present. A personal relationship with them is ever present.
    I am glad to have experienced Ananda and its mission.
    Always wishing Ananda the best!
    LOVE to Ananda! And ALL!

  16. WOW! What beauty and wonder that can exist in the midst of “crashing worlds”. It is inspiring and opens my heart; so grateful to you and Jyotish, and all of Ananda; and especially Swamiji whose discipleship has inspired all of this. Amazing.

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