paramhansa yogananda toured across the us and coined the term art of living, great yoga master kriya yoga and author of autobiography of a yogi
A Touch of Light

Creating a New Language

Abstemious, antipathy, critical, dwindle, extract, horrid, vast, hereditary, excellent, eventful, assassination, lonely, leapfrog, and zany. What does this strange collection of words have in common? These and two thousand other words were first used by William Shakespeare in his forty plays written from 1590–1614. I should explain that I’m reading a wonderful book now that Swami Kriyananda gave me: Shakespeare, … Read More

A Touch of Light

World Brotherhood

At Ananda Village, we recently celebrated our annual “World Brotherhood Day,” a tradition of nearly forty years, in which individuals offer one day’s wages to help support the spread of Master’s teachings. We hold this event at the beginning of the Christmas season as a reminder that our first gift of the holidays should be offered to God to help … Read More

how now more than ever the world needs compassion and the spirit of world brotherhood shown ananda temple blessing with jyotish and devi
A Touch of Light

Now More Than Ever

“Where are the great saints and saviors to help guide us today? God doesn’t seem to be present in the world anymore.” As the world appears to be descending into a downward spiral of lost values, faith, and hope, we often hear this lament from friends. Yet if we change our expectations of God to appear as a wise, benevolent … Read More

thanksgiving message yogananda teachings
A Touch of Light

Thank You

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day, perhaps my favorite national holiday. While other holidays celebrate a person or an event, Thanksgiving celebrates an attitude. This year at Ananda Village the COVID virus is forcing us to be separated from others. In normal times we would have had a big, joyous Thanksgiving gathering and feast—but not this year. Instead, we shared meals together … Read More

Sri Yukteswar and his disciple, Paramhansa Yogananda author of Autobiography of a Yogi
A Touch of Light

Unrequited Love

Wilt Thou come, wilt Thou come? Just for once, come to me? Will my days fly away without seeing Thee, my Lord? Night and day, night and day, I look for Thee night and day. These words from the chant “Door of My Heart,” like so many others Master has given us, are filled with yearning for a divine response. … Read More

A Touch of Light

Running a Marathon

There are many qualities needed for success, both in daily life and in meditation. But perhaps the most important is perseverance. We can’t succeed unless we stay the course until the end. I’ve just read a very inspiring book that exemplifies this quality. It’s called 26 Marathons, by Meb Keflezighi. Meb, as he is affectionately known, is one of the … Read More

swami ram das and the story of yogananda being guru and story of swami kriyananda and devi with strawberries
A Touch of Light

Saints and Wild Strawberries

“One moment in the company of a saint can be your raft over the ocean of delusion.” This statement from the Indian scriptures is often quoted, but not always fully understood. The deeper meaning is to seek the company of saints not only on an outer level, but more importantly, on an inner one. There’s a true story about a … Read More

A Touch of Light

Eight Tips from Your Friends

Last night we had a Zoom meeting with the leaders of our various centers in India. Over twenty of us, all long-term devotees, shared valuable tips on what we have been doing to stay inspired during these times of lockdown and turmoil. By the end of the discussion I found myself not only inspired by the variety of ideas people … Read More

A Touch of Light

How Does the Story End?

In his autobiography, The New Path, Swami Kriyananda shares a fascinating dream: I was living with many other people in a torture chamber. For generations our families had lived here, knowing no world but this one; the possibility of any other existence simply never occurred to us. One awoke, one was tortured, and, at night, one found brief respite in … Read More

A life on our planet movie review david attenborough by jyotish and devi
A Touch of Light

One Life on Earth

I rarely recommend films, but we saw a new one last week that is not only engrossing, but important to the future of humanity. It is called A Life on Our Planet, by David Attenborough, and is available on Netflix. He was born in 1926, less than two weeks before Swami Kriyananda, making him 93 years old. In the film, … Read More

A Touch of Light

The Beast in the Jungle

It’s no question that we’re living in very challenging times. Many friends have told us that with all the uncertainty and stress around them now, the days and weeks seem to run together in a blur. They’re either waiting for life to return to normal; hoping that things will improve; or fearing that they will only get worse. This cycle … Read More

Anandamoyi Ma
A Touch of Light

Seeing Spirit Everywhere

Occasionally, something will grab hold of my mind and won’t let go. Does that happen to you too? A few weeks ago I was watching an Ananda video on YouTube. As internet sites do, they suggest things they think might interest you. In my case, there was a link to the song “Shenandoah.” Perhaps foolishly, I played it, and then … Read More

how we can understand one another better with compassion and respect in times of change, swami blessing guarja with jyotish and devi
A Touch of Light

Understanding People

Swami Kriyananda often asked Jyotish and me to accompany him to various appointments, and we always relished the chance to spend time with him. On one such occasion, we found ourselves seated in the dentist’s office waiting for Swamiji to be called. (Our dentist, a good-hearted man, confided to us that he always booked an extra thirty minutes when Swamiji … Read More

celebration of paramhansa yogananda 100 years
A Touch of Light

Paramhansa Yogananda — 100 Years

After more than a month and a half at sea, the City of Sparta, the first ship to leave India after World War I, docked in Boston Harbor. On board was a twenty-seven-year-old Indian, Mukunda Lal Ghosh. To the immigration officials who were checking the papers of the passengers that day, he probably looked rather unremarkable: not very tall or … Read More

A Touch of Light

Rippling Waves of Awakening

The young man had been inwardly struggling for many years, until he’d finally reached a point of despair. “Does life have any meaning? Can truth and lasting happiness really be found?” These questions haunted his waking and sleeping hours. In desperation he decided to join the merchant marine, hoping in travel to escape his mental torment. While waiting in New … Read More

until we become beings of light
A Touch of Light

Saying Yes

An essential teaching of the spiritual path is, as Swami Kriyananda put it, “Say ‘YES’ to life!” When an opportunity to do something positive comes your way, you will always benefit if you agree. At first, however, Divine Mother may keep the benefit well disguised. Here is an interesting story that I have rarely shared. One time, a year or … Read More

Flow of Grace by Nayaswami Jyotish
A Touch of Light

Our Greatest Adventure

Paramhansa Yogananda wrote in his Autobiography of a Yogi that no insurmountable barrier exists between the human and the divine states “save in man’s spiritual unadventurousness.” What a surprising statement! One might expect that he’d have said lack of devotion, or reverence, or knowledge of the scriptures. But Sri Yogananda was a master of yoga who brought us revolutionary teachings … Read More

yogananda to his devotees
A Touch of Light

Master’s Reassurance

Last night I had a dream of Paramhansa Yogananda. These are relatively rare for me, and are always spiritually important. I don’t want to relate the whole dream: Blessings are precious, and it is usually best to keep them to yourself. Sharing them usually dilutes their power. But there was a small segment in a longer dream that I feel … Read More

Babajis cave in the Himalayas from Autobiography of a Yogi
A Touch of Light


As I write you today, August 11, it’s a dual holiday: Janmashtami, the celebration of Krishna’s birth, and for Ananda, Babaji Commemoration Day. I first heard of Babaji-Krishna (for they are one and the same) in reading Autobiography of a Yogi. Of all of our line of gurus, for me this deathless yogi living in remote reaches of the Himalayas … Read More

Babaji Krishna a prayer for devotees for world peace and harmony and kriya yoga

Babaji-Krishna Prayer for Devotees

(Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi received this prayer from a European devotee, and thought to share it with our worldwide family in honor of Babaji Commemoration Day, celebrated each year on Janmashtami, Krishna’s birthday, which falls this year on August 11.) Babaji-Krishna, beloved deathless Master, in this time of great planetary transition, we beseech you, receive our prayers. Babaji, we pray for … Read More