When Swami Kriyananda wrote the Festival of Light, a ceremony we read each Sunday at Ananda centers, he included an allegory depicting the journey of the soul. It ends with these thrilling words about the purpose of life:

[Evolution] had but this for its design: The birth of life,
And, with life’s birth, the dawn of self-awareness:
Passage through dim corridors of waking consciousness
To emerge at last into infinite light—
Into perfect Joy!

O Children of Light, forsake the darkness!
Know that, forever, you and He are one!

The theme of the evolution of consciousness is woven repeatedly throughout the great teachings of India. First there is the long, more-or-less automatic, evolution through the reincarnations prior to reaching the human form. This passage through the dim corridors of waking consciousness reaches its pinnacle in the higher animals, who can sometimes demonstrate extraordinary intelligence.

We had a remarkable dog in our family named Nipper. I grew up in Decorah, Iowa, and across from our house was a large park used for picnics by the residents of the town. Many Sundays would find Nipper entertaining large crowds. He had learned how to climb the steep ladder of a ten-foot slide and then slide down. This he would do repeatedly until a big audience had gathered to cheer him on. My brother and I would lurk on the outskirts of the group, secretly proud of our dog, but too embarrassed to publicly reveal our relationship with this shameless exhibitionist.

Koko with her adopted kittens chldren of the light blog by jyotish

Koko and her kitten.

Even more remarkable is the story of Koko, a gorilla who could communicate through sign language. She had a vocabulary of more than a thousand words, and understood twice that many. Koko helped people break down the delusion that only humans have intelligence, compassion, and love. Here is a link to a video showing some of her extraordinary interactions, and another to one of her with the actor/comedian, Robin Williams.

The next major phase of evolutionary development comes when we reach the human form. Now we have an advanced nervous system and, more importantly, an astral spine, including the chakras, which gives us the capacity to achieve enlightenment. With our heightened abilities comes also both the gift and the curse of free will. Our job now is to choose to expand our consciousness and, eventually, dissolve the ego—the sense of separation from God. To accomplish this, we must develop the extraordinary powers of our mind and will.

Paramhansa Yogananda said, “When the ‘can’t’ disappears from your mind, divine power comes. You have to pour forth will power continuously through constructive actions. When you persist, refusing to accept failure, the object of will must materialize. In that kind of will lies God’s answer, because will comes from God, and continuous will is divine will.”

This determination of mind and will enables us to fulfill the objects of our desire. At first, being centered in the ego, we seek possessions, pleasure, and power. But as our consciousness evolves, so also does the focus of our desires. Master says that after countless lives we feel an “anguishing monotony”; our search turns inward, and our yearning is for God alone. While it is good to be energetic in our efforts, it is also good to relax and enjoy the process. Divine Mother is lovingly watching over us as we progress from crawling to toddling, walking, running, and, finally, soaring into the skies of awareness.

Meditation, of course, is central, but so is living in joy, love, and service throughout the day. Eventually the self-doubts fade, the “cant’s” disappear, and we actually live the immortal lines that Swamiji wrote: “O Children of Light, forsake the darkness! Know that, forever, you and He are one!”

In God’s love and joy,

Nayaswami Jyotish

Listen to Jyotish as he first reads the blog, then expands on its meaning and messages for readers with behind-the-blog commentary. Subscribe to the podcast or download the audio recording by right-clicking here. Or listen to it here (8:35):


  1. Dear brother of light, your words bring joy to my being and help me to remember that we are no separated from eCh other in essence, … today centred rooted and present in the love of God emanating from within and creating an outer glow of unconditional love awareness and bliss. And do grestful ti gear from you always full of truth

  2. This is such inspiring passage this morning. As we awaken we are being drawn more and more to experience through interaction. Thank you for your inspiration.

  3. Wise words on consciousness and free will. May our will become the Divine will.

  4. Words sparkling with the Light of Truth, Jyotish – How Joyful !!! Thank You 🙏🪷🪺

  5. The festival of light is such a beautiful ceremony so brilliantly written to remind us of the journey we are on. This is such a perfect communication for me today. Exactly what I needed.
    Thank you Jyotish and Devi!

  6. Extraordinary! Thank you for your wise wisdom and insight.

  7. This particular message came at a critical time for me, and I am very grateful for it. To my delight upon opening it and reading it, I found that it was exactly what I needed to hear right at this moment. It serves as a reminder to me that we are never alone in our journey to awareness, and that Divine Mother is always watching over us. I am filled with gratitude, joy and love. Thank you so very much.

  8. Very nicely described, Jyotish! Thank you for your words of Light and Wisdom.

  9. A wonderful and a meaningful share. Loved it💕🙏

  10. I had a good Ananda friend during some years. and that person helped me with many activities.
    now I feel that I need to be with God alone to deepen my meditations and also my behaving to others,
    always with kindness and respect. That is not always easy for me, so I am still busy to change myself.
    I am still learning and Uma has given me a very Nice advice in her talk , yesterday… It felt like Swamiji was inside her. After her Satsang I felt so much positive energy and still by my morning meditation today. It is very good to learn from differert Teachers to become a better teacher by myself. Thank you for your Block,
    because you are together very close to God with your Wisdom and Love for your Devotees and God.

  11. It’s fascinating to think that, according to Swami, sometimes the advanced animals are humans that de-volved. Now if that isn’t a thought to keep one on the ‘straight and narrow’! lol.

    It’s all too easy to forget to “relax and enjoy the process” in our determined efforts to extricate ourselves from this mayic mess. So thank you for that helpful reminder – a golden nugget amidst a chest of inspirational treasures.

  12. The first step in dissolving the Ego is to CLAIM your Divine Inheritance! This will help eliminate your “cant’s” or “it’s too difficult!” conversations! Remember Jesus words “ I am in the Father, and the Father is in me, Father and I are one!” And so it is with everyone- is the part they conveniently left out. So begins your inner relationship with the Divine Father/Mother and remember to walk in Omnipresence! So the journey begins!

  13. Thank
    You ., Great
    Joy and blessings to you both always .🙏🏽🙏🏽❤️

  14. Dear Nayaswami Jyotish Ji,

    Thank you for this blog. It’s very helpful and encouraging :-)


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