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 polestar that has allowed India to navigate the turbulent tides of time. If we hold fast to this principle, it will align our actions with the subtle laws of the universe.

Swami Kriyananda’s second principle guides our actions in this world: “People are more important than things.” This helps us get our priorities right, and is especially important for managing groups of people, such as businesses and communities.

We are currently at the Ananda community near Assisi, Italy, giving classes and satsangs, and meeting with friends. It’s been over three years since we last visited, and the changes here are quite amazing. The community and teaching center are extraordinarily vibrant, with people coming from all over Europe, and many moving here. Perhaps Europe is a little ahead of the curve, seeing more clearly the results of all the disruptions—from both pandemic and warfare—that are happening.

We tend to do everything we can to avoid having our lives shaken up, but Divine Mother knows what She is doing. Swami Kriyananda saw that as long as the world was stable, it would trudge along in its familiar ruts, complacent and resistant to change. Divine Mother is making the world less safe, shaking us out of our grooves and forcing us to take a deeper look at our priorities.

A couple of days after we arrived, we met with a small group of future leaders. The difficulties of the last few years were a main topic of conversation. Because the leaders here responded to this crisis by strictly adhering to Ananda’s twin principles, everything is flourishing now. Politicians have fanned the flames of separation with fear and anger, but at Ananda, holding fast to dharma and kindness has allowed the troubled waters to bring people together with great purpose, cooperation, and kindness. One person at the satsang used a phrase that I had never heard but will never forget. She called the virus “Saint Covid,” because of all the beneficial changes and spiritual growth that it’s produced.

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

“Babaji and Christ,” by Nayaswami Jyotish.

There is a palpable sense of grace here at Ananda Europa. As Autobiography of a Yogi tells us, Jesus appeared to the great master, Babaji, in the Himalayas and asked him to send someone to bring the high teachings of the East, especially meditation, to the West. Paramhansa Yogananda was that chosen ambassador. He, in turn, ignited the heart of Swami Kriyananda, and the result is the worldwide work of Ananda.

As I walked these hills, I had a deep sense that a circle had been completed. The steps go like this: 1) Jesus asks Babaji to send these ancient teachings to the West. 2) Yogananda fulfills that wish. 3) He blesses Swami Kriyananda as his disciple. 4) Swamiji founds an Ananda community here in Assisi, which is widely considered to be the very heart of Christendom. 5) Now at the Ananda community, Babaji and Jesus sit side by side on the high altar.

What a lovely sense of completion. The Masters work in very long rhythms to bring about the spiritual evolution of the planet. The current situation is not the disaster that it may appear on the surface to be. It is, rather, one of the steps needed for our awakening.

Let our hearts be grateful for everything that comes to us.

In gratitude,

Nayaswami Jyotish

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  1. Yes. I agree and live in the Netherlands. Have been ad Ananda Assisi every year from 2006 till 2018.
    The kindness of the People, the landscape and Christ spirituality is deep inside. And the Joy for meeting other devotees, chanting. I was there always several weeks. Mostly in August. Still a lot of contact with Mayadevi and Darshan. And we work very hard to get a stronger group in The Netherlands. In divine Joy, Gyandevi.

  2. I’m here at Ananda Assisi and every inspiring word you write about this Magic place and its source, resonates deep Truth into my ♥️, thanks for Being here🙏🌻Gloria

  3. Thank you, Jyotish. I cherish the long, grand, divine truth that makes sense of everything. Jai!

  4. Beautifully said. “Saint Covid” is how I feel too. It’s been a blessing in so many ways. The last 2 1/2 years the best of my life.

  5. Thank you for your beautiful sharing about the greater, higher view on the current world situation and the principles that are to guide us now and always!

  6. Thank you for these inspiring words. Saint Covid has definitely blessed my own life with a deeper understanding.

  7. Let our hearts be grateful for everything that comes to us.(Jyotish quote) I found those words weaved into the prayer I led at the Yogoata barn this morning. So many things at Yogoata that I changed because of Saint Covid have made Yogoata even better than before. I am ever grateful to you, Jyotish, to this community and to the blessing of having the best job ever to serve our Divine Guru. This morning as I told my two helpers, it is ever new joy and ever new adventures at Yogoata! We chased off coyotes, have a 2 day old baby goat, and another that will be born today or very soon. Our new helper, Sarah, who is French and currently lives in San Francisco, will be arriving today to join the fun for a month. Jai Guru!

  8. Sincere gratitude for your warm and strong guidance Jyotish, and for those beautiful qualities you share with us all: painting, writing, and sweetly herding Master’s flock ever closer to Him. May radiant Joy infuse all of your travels! Hi to Devi : )

  9. I love your wonderful and insightful updates as you travel and meet other devotees of our divine Guru Yogananda. I was taken aback by the reference to person who coined the name “Saint Covid”, however, because it has killed nine of my family members, including my husband. Remembering that his Life Plan called for this has helped me, but I cannot think of Covid in terms of a blessing. I agree that it has caused everyone to look at their lives, and that compassion around the world has increased, for we have shared a great tragedy. That, to me, is Divine Mother’s blessing.

    1. Sorry to read this, Laura. I pray for you, that your heart may be completely healed by the love, strength and peace of the Divine Mother. 🙏 Dyuti

  10. Thank you Jyotish. I see gratitude, now, for all that is happening and has happened through St. Covid. Thank you Divine Mother, Jesus Christ, Babaji, Gurudeva, Swamiji and all my fellow gurubhais. Jyotish, your Clarity is much appreciated. Namaste

  11. Bless you both, come rain or come shine, you bring us Joy and Hope. Be well

  12. lovely commentary, Jyotish.
    Dori / Sahaja, from Ananda, 1973-76

  13. Dear Jyotish,

    it is true that every trial brings with itself blessings, and thanks for reminding us. It is also true that each person can understand his lessons only in his own way and at his own pace. There are many people who are still suffering from the disease, or the loss of a loved one, caused by the Covid . I feel that the expression “Saint Covid” is inappropriate because it could hurt these people. It might express a truth, but in this case it doesn’t seem like a totally beneficial truth, because it goes against the value of compassion. This is what I feel. 🙏 Dyuti

  14. Thank you Jyotish!

    As I wipe away the tears that fill my eyes while reading this, all I can say is, God Bless you and Devi for the incredible work you are carrying on. Ananda IS the answer, and what a gift we’re been given. Each day we unwrap it to reveal in amazement another hint on how our salvation is to be delivered. All we have to do is connect with the life force within us, and give thanks, deep profound gratitude knowing that it is the elixir that washes away all disharmony and selfishness.

    Onward beautiful warriors, raise up the candle that lights the world and brings peace to us all!

  15. Blessings and healing Light to you both Jyotishji and Deviji.
    So much GRATITUDE for you both, for Swamiji, for Master, Divine Mother, for Life!

  16. Aloha to you both, Jyotishji and Deviji. It is so spiritually rrefreshing to receive your messages. For some reason they always seem so timely. It makes me think enlightment forms a cyclical pattern. Your life purpose and intentons are indeed, uplifting and inspiring. Mahalo!

  17. Thank you so much for adding me to your email list! I have been away from Ananda since relocating from Mountain View CA (involved with Ananda Palo Alto) to Wisconsin due to family issues requiring that move. I hope to visit Expanding Light Village very soon and reconnect with Gurudeva , Swamiji, and beautiful souls of the Ananda communities!

  18. Thank you, Jyotish, for this inspiring fresh presentation of the magnificent origins of the humble Ananda path. I am uplifted by it and by your beautiful art work.

  19. mm

    So beautiful. I feel blessed to be constantly reminded of God’s presence in all that is happening in the world.
    That you and may God continue to bless both of you with such profound insights shared with so much heart and soul

  20. I am a Spiritist and I recognize Spiritist teaching in your message that a perceived calamity can be transformed into a perceived blessing. Difficulties, rightly perceived, can become stepping stones to spiritual growth.

    At this very moment I am recovering from Covid 19 and I feel grateful that I am out of the woods, so to speak, and will have a full recovery. This experience has served as a reminder to me of this precious gift of life. So many have died. I feel compassion for the victims and their families, but I also know that death itself is only a transformation. I know further that those who have died will again experience the corporeal world through reincarnation.

    Thank you for your beautiful reminder.

  21. Dear Nayaswami Jyotish Ji,

    Thank you for this beautiful blog. How nice to read the completed circle. Eternally grateful to Swamiji for giving us Ananda and guiding us through Master’s teachings.

    We are looking forward to seeing you soon in India

    Jai Guru,


  22. So beautiful and sweet to read about Ananda Assisi community. Thank you for the wonderful sharing Ji. I had the blessing to visit that Sacred place before ‘Saint Covid’ (wat a apt term !!) hence can relate to it. Christ, Babaji, Master, Swamiji and St. Francis shine thru the beautiful souls there. Praying that we be blessed to have such a community here in Chennai – India.

  23. Semplicemente Grazie per avervi avuto qui con noi, ho percepito una grande onda di gioia arrivare ad ogni Satsang avuto insieme, anche quelli a cui ho potuto partecipare solo online❤️

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