yogananda teachings devi giving a hug at ananda banglaore retreat
A Touch of Light

The Message in a Strange Encounter

The winter’s night was very cold and windy, and I huddled by the little stove in my camper reading the Bible by the light of a kerosene lamp. In the early years of Ananda our dwellings were simple—without electricity, running water, phones, or any way to communicate with others. But we were more than happy to live in whatever was … Read More

yogananda community india of like minded gurubhais with jyotish and devi
A Touch of Light

A Letter to God

Dear God, This has been a particularly eventful year, and it seems fitting that I should write You a note of gratitude. My heart is very full, and words seem insufficient. I know that You don’t need my words of thanks any more than the sun needs to be praised for sending forth its rays, but for my own sake … Read More

ananda assisi terra de luce community yogananda
A Touch of Light

A Global Circle of Love

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 … Read More

sri yukteswar yogananda guru autobiography of a yogi best picture of yukteswar
A Touch of Light

Behind the Stern Façade

We recently heard a remarkable story about Sri Yukteswar. Many devotees have a little difficulty relating to him, since he seems a bit forbidding. Perhaps it is because in Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda writes about him in his role as both teacher and disciplinarian, a job he took very seriously, especially knowing that he was preparing Master for … Read More

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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

yogananda explains bhagavad gita yogananda kriya arjuna
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

yogananda teachings yogananda smiling how to be happy all the time kriya yogananda
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

yogananda teachings saint francis assisi ananda community let god decide
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

krishna and his devotee in painting enter the spiritual world yogananda teachings if you only knew how much god loves you you would die for joy quote
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

guiding principles of ananda jyotish painting of babaji and christ and mission to share east and west original teachings of god
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

how to visualize success in endeavor with meditation techniques and tips
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

divine sight is center everywhere, circumference nowhere quote autobiography of a yogi yogananda
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