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A Touch of Light

Bring Me a Mustard Seed

The woman sobbed inconsolably as she pressed the body of her dead child to her bosom. A sympathetic neighbor, on seeing her so overwhelmed with grief, said, “A saint has come to visit our village. Perhaps he can perform a miracle and bring your child back to life.” Gathering the body of her child in her arms, the woman rushed … Read More

painting by jyotish light of love for diwali of holy divine mother yogananda india teachings
A Touch of Light

The Return of the Light

“They’re coming! Our king and queen are coming! Ram, our beloved God, and Sita, our beautiful queen, are finally coming home!” Thus rejoiced the happy citizens of Ayodhya centuries ago when Ram and Sita returned. After long years away, the living light was returning to Ayodhya, and the people were placing lamps along the road to celebrate the occasion. This … Read More

jyotish i am the sky painting inspired by yogananda chant
A Touch of Light

I See No Stranger

The beautiful plaque on the wall of our friends’ home caught my eye. We were in Chandigarh staying with a Sikh family who are fellow disciples of Paramhansa Yogananda. They welcomed us with such graciousness and warmth that we soon felt totally at home. The most prominent feature of the plaque that had drawn my attention was a striking drawing … Read More

yogananda sacred plate from ghosh family india
A Touch of Light

A Sacred Gift

Devi wrote recently about our pilgrimage to sacred sites in Varanasi, Kolkata, and Serampore. On our last day in Serampore a very special gift was given to us. This city is on the banks of the Ganges and was the location of Sri Yukteswar’s ashram, where Paramhansa Yogananda spent the better part of ten years in training with his beloved … Read More

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A Touch of Light

Pink Man

My major field of study in college was cultural anthropology. One of my professors shared some interesting experiences he’d had during a year in which he lived with a remote tribe in New Guinea. These people were so inaccessible that they’d never seen a Westerner before. At first they just ignored him or stared at him suspiciously as though he … Read More

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A Touch of Light

Steps to Happiness

Devi and I gave a program this past weekend in Gurgaon, India. We were interviewed beforehand by a reporter who works for The Times of India, India’s largest newspaper, which has a reach of many millions of people. They then published an article of mine in a special section of the paper called The Speaking Tree, which gives wonderful spiritual … Read More

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A Touch of Light

A Celebration of God

A small group of us just returned from a glorious trip to Varanasi, Kolkata, and Serampore—all places known for their holiness, and filled with events sacred to our line of gurus. Everywhere we saw and experienced the joyful celebration of God in many things that is characteristic of life in India, a celebration not somber and serious, but filled with … Read More

yogananda on the ganges river in india with disciples
A Touch of Light

My Body Touched That Sod

Devi and I are once again in India after an absence of more than three years. There is a palpable sense of the Divine here, which Paramhansa Yogananda highlighted on March 7, 1952, as he uttered the last words of his incarnation. Swami Kriyananda recounted that momentous event in The New Path: Master was scheduled to speak after the banquet. … Read More

This is a gift of the spiritual path: to discover and accept our own uniqueness, and let it determine the course of our life.
A Touch of Light

Let It Shine

Today is our last day in the Ananda community near Assisi. In a few days we’ll be flying to India to greet friends whom we haven’t seen for three years and to experience the expansion of Ananda’s work there. Our time in Assisi has been filled with blessings as we’ve shared together with our gurubhais the joy of a life … Read More

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A Touch of Light

Let God Decide

Devi and I have been spending a month at the Ananda community near Assisi, Italy, where there is great reverence for St. Francis. Paramhansa Yogananda, too, honored him, calling him his “patron saint.” A few years after Ananda’s arrival in Italy, word began to reach Swami Kriyananda, who was residing here at the time, that the Bishop of Assisi had … Read More

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A Touch of Light

If You Only Knew . . .

“If you only knew how much God loved you, you would die for joy.” These words from St. Jean Vianney, a French saint of the nineteenth century, have always inspired and motivated me spiritually. Jyotish and I are visiting Ananda’s community and retreat center outside of Assisi now, and are staying in the lovely guest apartment of two good friends, … Read More

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A Touch of Light

Guiding Principles

Swami Kriyananda gave us two principles which, like moral compass points, guide the Ananda communities. The first is something he saw when visiting the Maharaja of Cooch Behar. The family motto read: Yato dharma, tato jaya. This sloka from the great epic, the Mahabharata, means, “Where there is adherence to righteousness, there is victory.” This ancient “compass point” is the … Read More

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A Touch of Light

If You Can See It, You Can Do It

The throngs of excited travelers moved quickly past us as they dragged their luggage and children along in search of their departure gates. We were in the Frankfurt airport with a long layover waiting for our connecting flight to Rome, and then on to Assisi. We would be spending the next month in Assisi, sharing with our Ananda spiritual family … Read More

yogananda teachings faith must be cultivated quote faith painting by nayaswami jyotish
A Touch of Light

Let Thy Will Be Done

A friend of ours told us that she has always believed in and used the power of prayer. Since childhood, however, her prayers have gradually become simpler and more focused. Now she repeats only a single prayer every day and for every situation: “Lord, let Thy will be done.” This was also the final prayer of Jesus just before his … Read More

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A Touch of Light

What Changes?

Our two large suitcases lay partially full on the floor. For the past two weeks, we’d been slowly filling them with clothes and travel items for our trip to Ananda centers in Italy and India. We’ll be gone for three and a half months, so planning what to bring for different climes and times has been a bit challenging. I … Read More

yogananda teachings on how to rewire the brain for more positivity so let it be affirmation is of painting with yogananda and disciple in peace
A Touch of Light

Three Words Can Change Your Life

Two travelling monks came upon a stream swollen and roiling due to the recent rains. A woman in distress asked if they could help her. “I must get across the stream to my family,” she said, “but I’m afraid to wade into such turbulent water.” One of the monks picked her up, carried her safely across to the other side, … Read More

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A Touch of Light

A Short Memory

“Are you there, God? Are you listening to my prayers? Do you even know what I’m going through?” I think we all have thoughts like these from time to time—especially when we’re facing challenges in life. To keep our faith strong, it’s important to remember those times—and we’ve all had them—when our prayers have in fact been answered. Recently a … Read More

yogananda teachings on kindness and how to live
A Touch of Light

Where the Answers Live

Have you ever lost something and searched for it everywhere? Of course you have! So have we all. You may hunt here and there, but finally a moment comes when you realize, “I’ve been looking in the wrong place.” Unfortunately, we look in the wrong place not only for things but, more importantly, for the answers to our deepest questions. … Read More

jyotish art full fall yogananda paintings and teachings
A Touch of Light

The Saint and the Scorpion

There is a story about a saint who was peacefully meditating under a tree along the banks of the Ganges. At a certain point he heard a rustling overhead and opened his eyes to see a large scorpion moving along a branch overhanging the river. When the creature reached the end of the branch, it fell into the water below. … Read More

near death experiences yogananda karma and reincarnation
A Touch of Light

Near-Death Experiences

In recent years there have been many books and videos by people who have had near-death experiences. In fact, about one in five people who return from a clinical death (often on an operating table) have had a profound, even life-changing experience. Paramhansa Yogananda has explained the process of dying: “When the heart begins to grow numb, there is a … Read More