hope for a better world yogananda teachings jyotish art spring comes
A Touch of Light

Hope for a Better World

We have occasionally written about the devastating forest fire of 1976, which destroyed our home along with most of the other houses at Ananda Village. We awoke that morning to a normal day with its usual routine, but within a few chaotic hours we had lost our home, our possessions, and our security. How can we look back through the … Read More

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A Touch of Light

Dealing with Change and Loss

There’s a joke about a man who woke up one morning to discover that he had only three, long hairs left on his head. As he looked into the mirror, he said, “Today I think I’ll wear my hair in a braid.” The next morning he found that he had only two hairs left and thought, “Hmm . . . today I’ll … Read More

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A Touch of Light

In Love and Appreciation

Paramhansa Yogananda’s birthday is January 5. Usually we give people presents on their birthday, but what do you give to someone who has everything? who is everything? No choice is left us but to offer our love and appreciation. This is all we can truly give, and the hidden gift behind all outward symbols. In a spirit of appreciation, then, … Read More

A Touch of Light

Four Lamps to Illumine 2021

Each year the two-week period between December 23 and January 5 is rich with opportunities for spiritual growth. There’s 1) the eight-hour meditation on December 23; 2) the celebration of Christ’s birth on December 25; 3) the start of a new year on January 1; and 4) Paramhansa Yogananda’s birthday on January 5. How can we draw the most from … Read More

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Coming Full Circle

It is Christmas today. Paramhansa Yogananda suggested that his students celebrate the birth of Jesus with a “Spiritual Christmas” as well as the more common “Social Christmas.” Spiritual Christmas is a day of deep meditation during which we try to draw the presence and blessings of Jesus and achieve the birth of Christ consciousness within. This year, for the first … Read More

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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

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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
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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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
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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

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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

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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

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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