Swami Kriyananda

The Writing of Faith is My Armor

This article first appeared in Clarity Magazine, Fall 2005 Q: Devi, why did you decide to write, Faith Is My Armor? D: Looking back, I realize that I’d been preparing to do it for a long time. For many years I’ve kept a file of things about Swamiji—clippings from articles in which he talked about his life, notes of conversations with him. … Read More

Swami Kriyananda

Bhrigu Reading of Swami Kriyananda

An Excerpt from Faith Is My Armor: The Life of Swami Kriyananda, by Devi Novak: When Swamiji was lecturing in 1959 in Patiala, India, a friend told him about a fascinating ancient manuscript known as the Bhrigu Samhita. Bhrigu was a noted rishi, or sage, who lived thousands of years ago in India. He wrote a text of prophecies about the … Read More

Swami Kriyananda

Befriending Ram Lila

An Excerpt from Faith is My Armor: The Life of Swami Kriyananda by Devi Novak: Even with people who have consciously tried to thwart or hurt him, Swamiji responds with kindness, and has never attempted to strike back. Once a tough looking man who was an ex-member of a motorcycle gang came to Ananda. Swamiji, feeling that he was sincere spiritually, … Read More

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Swami Kriyananda

Doing the Best We Can

An Excerpt from Faith is My Armor: The Life of Swami Kriyananda by Devi Novak: Considerate and tactful, Swamiji tries to correct and guide others in their spiritual growth without hurting or discouraging them. Once someone wrote a letter to my husband and me critical of our way of directing a certain aspect of Ananda. We were hurt by his words, … Read More

A Touch of Light

A God-Shaped Hole

I’ve been reading a fascinating book recently about extreme athletes who’ve experienced high spiritual states when pushing beyond their physical and mental limits. In Explorers of the Infinite, by Maria Coffey, I came across a particular phrase that both surprised and intrigued me. The author says that many extreme athletes—skiers, mountaineers, free divers—were raised by religious parents, but as teenagers … Read More

A Touch of Light, Swami Kriyananda

Kindness

We just finished a beautiful groundbreaking ceremony for Swami Kriyananda’s Moksha Mandir. This lovely building, the final resting place for his mortal remains, will be a place of meditation and inspiration for thousands who will visit here. Many stories about Swamiji were recounted, but this is the one that touched me the most. About a year before his passing, Swamiji … Read More

A Touch of Light

The Language of Flowers

Our home at Ananda Village lies next to the beautiful gardens of Crystal Hermitage. Lovely all year round, the gardens reach their full glory during April when thousands of tulips burst forth in bloom. The story behind the gardens is worth telling. Nearly thirty years ago, when the grounds around the Hermitage were hardly more than dry clay and weeds, … Read More

A Touch of Light

Perseverance

My first paying job was as a summer counselor at a Boy Scout camp, where I helped young scouts learn skills such as camping, canoeing, fire building, and knot tying. When I started I was only 12 years of age, hardly older than many of the boys who were coming for a week of camping. One day a couple of … Read More

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Paramhansa Yogananda, Spiritualizing Daily Life

God is for Everyone!

This article was originally published online by Clarity Magazine, Fall 2003 In a recent letter to a person interested in the book, God Is for Everyone, Swami Kriyananda wrote, “It is a book, written by a great spiritual teacher, Yogananda, during the 1920s, pleading for a new look at religion, and at interreligious harmony. The book argues powerfully that religion alone is … Read More

A Touch of Light, Spiritualizing Daily Life

Obstacles or Opportunities?

A friend of ours recently asked, “How can I strengthen my sadhana despite the distractions of being a householder?” To answer, let’s turn to the wisdom of ancient India. The Vedas describe four stages of life: 1) the celibate student; 2) the householder; 3) the person who partially withdraws from outer involvement and hands over most of his responsibilities to … Read More

A Touch of Light

Accepting Help

We heard a story about a seeker who as a young man in Europe had read Autobiography of a Yogi. He was so impressed by the book that he resolved to move to America and join Yogananda’s work. Then the news reached him that Yogananda had just left the body, and he dropped his plans. Some time later the great … Read More

A Touch of Light, Swami Kriyananda

One in the Light

April 21, 2014 marks the one-year anniversary of Swami Kriyananda leaving his body. Someone asked us recently what this period has been like, both for Ananda and for us personally. The question gave me pause to reflect on what we’ve experienced in these twelve months since his passing. The legacy Swamiji left behind has both outer and inner aspects. The … Read More

A Touch of Light

10 Tips for Meditation

1) Meditate. “Beloved God, since no earthly engagement is possible without using the powers borrowed from Thee, I will renounce everything that interferes with my engagement to meditate on Thee in daily awakened silence.” [*] 2) Push yourself a little. If you do too much you risk burnout. But doing too little puts you at risk of tracing endless circles … Read More

A Touch of Light

Getting Caught

Watching the sunset on the Pacific Ocean is one of the most beautiful sights in the world. Recently while in Pacific Grove, California, we enjoyed this experience — seeing the sun change its color from golden to pink to orange before slipping below the horizon. Gazing out at the ocean, I remembered another sunset I’d witnessed some years before — … Read More

A Touch of Light

The Sea

Devi and I are taking a short break in Pacific Grove, California, overlooking Monterey Bay with its rugged and dramatic coastline. In addition to the beauty of the ocean, there is an amazing variety of sea life: flocks of cormorants and seagulls, seals sunning themselves, and sea otters somehow endlessly entertaining doing nothing more than floating on their backs. Further … Read More

A Touch of Light, Health and Healing

Healing

Everyday a miracle is happening all around us. Because it’s so humble and simple, we hardly even notice it, yet without it we couldn’t survive: the miracle of healing. I don’t mean the dramatic examples of divine intervention like Jesus restoring sight to the blind man, or Lahiri Mahasaya bringing Sri Yukteswar’s friend back from the dead. I’m talking about … Read More

A Touch of Light, Success

Specific Gravity

Some years ago a delightful friend of ours, an architect and engineer, observed, “We engineers study the laws of gravity, but you people at Ananda study the laws of levity.” While humorous, this statement is also deeply true. As things expand they become lighter, and the purpose of life at Ananda is to expand. Swami Kriyananda introduced the concept of … Read More

A Touch of Light

Under One Sky

Dear Friend, One evening during our recent trip to Mexico, we were having dinner at the home of Alicia, Ananda’s center leader in Monterrey. As we were enjoying one another’s company over a wonderful meal, the memory of another evening came to mind. It was in the early 1980s in Rome with Swami Kriyananda. We were walking back to our … Read More

Health and Healing

Keys to Wellness

Good health results from a strong unobstructed flow of life-force to all areas of the body; illness, moods, apathy—in fact, all negative states—are symptoms of a conflict or blockage of the life-force. One of the great benefits of meditation is a gradual freedom from these conflicts.

A Touch of Light

The Power of Five Minutes

Have you ever finished meditating and then realized you’d been so unfocused that you could hardly remember what happened? Paramhansa Yogananda defined meditation as “deep concentration on God or one of His aspects.” In order to achieve this, we need to bring the consciousness to one-pointed attention at the spiritual eye. The first few minutes after closing our eyes is … Read More