We are just finishing our annual winter program, Inner Renewal Week. During this event we try to make our classes deeper than usual and tailor them to more serious truth seekers. The theme for this year has been Challenges and Solutions for Our Times. A central focus has been that only through changes in consciousness can permanent transformation take place.

We began the week by looking at challenges and solutions for society at large. It is helpful first to assess world consciousness in terms of our present level of spiritual development. According to Sri Yukteswar, we have transitioned from the lowest age, Kali Yoga—the age of form and matter—and are currently in early ascending Dwapara Yuga, the age of energy. Consciousness now is beginning to advance, but society’s overall level of maturity is still quite low. We have the increased energy that comes with Dwapara Yuga, but not yet the maturity to handle it responsibly.

In my opinion, the three biggest problems we face today are:

1) the polarization and tension between various political, religious, and national factions. Until people want to find common ground, neither solutions nor harmony can emerge.

2) a world still driven by greed. There is an increasing concentration of financial resources in a very small group of people and businesses for whom profit is more important than the welfare of others. Their never-ending thirst to possess more than they do is widely shared by others, however less well placed many of them are to attain it for themselves.

3) the economic disruptions we will face in the near future as we try to prop up a teetering economy in a world in conflict on so many different levels.

Unfortunately, world peace and harmony cannot be achieved given the current immaturity of world consciousness, and will have to await the slow wheel of time. Since we cannot expect solutions to come from outside, we must look within. Our task is first to change ourselves, and then to share our uplifted awareness with all those willing to accept it.

Fortunately for us, God is on our side. Every little effort we make is met by His grace. When we are really ready to change, He will draw us to the guidance of a guru.

In this excerpt from his autobiography, Paramhansa Yogananda described his first meeting with his guru, Sri Yukteswar:

“O my own, you have come to me!” My guru uttered the words again and again in Bengali, his voice tremulous with joy. “How many years I have waited for you!”

His eyes held unfathomable tenderness. “I give you my unconditional love. Will you give me the same unconditional love?”

“I will love you eternally, Gurudeva.”

Then, when Sri Yukteswar suggested that Yogananda return to his family in Calcutta, Yogananda balked. At this, Sri Yukteswar said, “The next time we meet, you will have to reawaken my interest: I won’t accept you as a disciple easily. There must be complete surrender by obedience to my strict training.”

yogananda teachings on discipleship with swami kriyanandaInterestingly, when Swami Kriyananda met Yogananda and asked to become his disciple, a similar exchange took place. Swamiji wrote, “Gazing at me with deep love, he said, ‘I give you my unconditional love. Will you give me your unconditional love?’” When Swami replied “Yes!” Yogananda continued, “And will you also give me your unconditional obedience?”

This, then, is the pattern we too must eventually follow. After a deep search for solutions, our hearts and minds will be ready for inner transformation. As God guides us back to Him, He will ask of us two things: unconditional love and unconditional obedience. Though our egos may resist, we must come to the point where we offer these of our own free will. It is then that the true inner transformation can begin to take place.

This morning in meditation I repeated over and over to Yogananda, “I give you my unconditional love and obedience. Please guide me to God, to my own true Self.”

As I did so, I was filled with a deep sense of gratitude and joy, and the desire to serve as a channel of God’s unconditional love to all.

In the light,

Nayaswami Jyotish

Listen to Jyotish as he reads the blog, then expands on it, often adding special behind-the-inspiration stories and answers to common spiritual questions. Subscribe to the podcast or download the audio recording by right-clicking here. Or listen to it here (8:31):


  1. I want to go to his samadhi of ANanda ji so please give me more information about it

  2. Your assessment is sound. I would add environmental concerns as well. When nature bites back, all human constructs will be affected. All discord currently experienced will be amplified. My approach is to plan for when the dust settles. Polarity (be it political, financial, racial, etc.) is nothing new. If epigenetics has any validity, perhaps our avatars end up pre-programmed with biases from our ancestors. ‘Us against them’ becomes ingrained. This is where spirit must prevail. To override these presets.

    1. Dan, I find your comment very deep, I think it is true and I agree

  3. Dear Joythishji !
    I am yet to convey my gratitude appreciation to You both for the last divine messages that are coming from you..
    Delighted to read and think deeply all the blessed messages from the Masters ❤️🪔🌹🙏

  4. Dear Jyotish 💙 so very moving you repeating this morning that you give Master your unconditional love and obedience. I began to say the words too and my eyes welled with tears and my heart with love💛 thank you for teaching me to love God and Guru more and more🙏🏻 with love and gratitude to you and Devi💙💙bhajana💛

  5. Dear Swami, very simply you pointed out the situation nowadays, where we humans stay. Your inspired words are clarifying and the one solution is we must change ourselves first. The ones like you all that are ahead the majority are doing big efforts in order to help the change happen in the majority. All us who follow much thankful you and the Ananda teachers will some day do your job as well. We do appreciate it.

  6. Dear Jyotish, Thank you for such an inspiring and profound summary of the main challenges before us today. Our beloved Masters and Swamiji have shown us the way to turn inner, develop our attunement with them, and remember always that God is truly in charge. I’m especially grateful for you sharing how you offered your unconditional love and obedience to Yogananda during your morning meditation. That touched my heart. I will practice that heart opening sincerity. Blessings to you.

  7. What an amazing week it has been. Inner Renewal Week just gets deeper and deeper. The talks have been full of practical ideas and spiritual inspiration. You and Devi have painted a broad picture of mankind’s consciousness at this time, then narrowed it down to our focus as disciples of Yogananda and children of God. My heart swells with gratitude to you both for generously sharing the wisdom gained from your lives of discipleship.

  8. I believe that we perceive what is inside us. If there is perceived greed, disharmony, polarization than those attributes are part of our inner world. That doesn’t mean that these qualities don’t objectively exist. What we put our consciousness on increases. I choose to focus on love and as a consequence that quality increases in my subjective experience. That is spiritual aspirant is seeking – a changed perspective in my opinion. Hari Ohm.

  9. Thank you Jyotish for your continued blessings. God bless you.

  10. Dear Jyotish and Devi, thank you to you both from my heart for the beautiful blessing of sharing Master’s light and love with us each of you in your own profound and unique way. This Inner Renewal Week is such an inner life changing experience. Your article, dear Jyotish, touches my heart and mind so much, it’s like going deeper and soaring higher at the same time. Thank you so much for sharing here your beautiful, powerful, sincere prayer: “I give you my unconditional love and obedience. Please guide me to God, to my own true Self.” These words express exactly my heart and soul’s call to God.

    God bless you and all our precious Ananda Worldwide Family,


  11. Thank You, Thank you… for following in their great footsteps and taking the lead to show us in our daily lives. I love that mantra and will use it also it is so deeply binding and beautiful.

  12. Thank you dear soul. This is just what I need at the time I so deeply need it. Please keep me in your prayers to stay true to this promise. Namaste

  13. Dear Nayaswami Jyotish Ji,
    Thank you for sharing this inspiring blog. The discourse from IRW are very helpful.
    Enjoyed reading this blog and particularly’God is in our side’. So soothing and endearing to read those lines.
    And thank you for the prayer that you have mentioned here. A great prayer to offer.

    Joy ,

  14. Very beautifully expressed. Thank you for capturing these thoughts again from your talks this Inner Renewal week. They are very helpful to keep in mind.

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