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 telescope of time and view this as one of the best days of our life? Well, let me explain.

People usually try to find their solutions by changing their circumstances: Perhaps a big insurance settlement would have given us back our security. Or, in today’s world, maybe a vaccine will cure our sickness; or economic stimulus, or a new political regime will fix our problems. But Swami Kriyananda’s response to Ananda’s crisis gives us a different approach, one that truly offers hope for a better world.

He knew that for lasting solutions, we needed to reach beyond ourselves: to expand our hearts and to serve others. Almost as soon as the ashes had settled and the smoke had cleared, Swamiji began to talk about going on a nationwide tour. The more practical-minded residents wondered, How could a lecture tour possibly help us rebuild our houses or replant our forests? Moreover, they reasoned, it was certain to lose money, which we desperately needed for new homes. Well, those critics were right on a “practical” level, but so wrong on deeper levels.

Swami bought a motor home, and with a small group of singer/helpers began to crisscross the country with the “Joy Tours.” He lectured in most of America’s major cities just as his guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, had done nearly a half-century earlier. The major theme during that tour was that learning to live in joy is the solution to problems, and that only by uplifting our consciousness can we realize our dreams.

hope for a better world yogananda teachings jyotish art spring comes

A better future comes when we expand and elevate our consciousness.

Now, a half-century later, we find ourselves needing solutions to another crisis: the chaos of the pandemic and the resulting economic and political disruption. This time we need to rebuild not just one community, but the whole world. The answer, my friends, is the one Swamiji showed us—the one that has worked since the beginning of time. A better future comes when we expand and elevate our consciousness. Our hopes for a better world will be realized only as we ourselves become more realized.

Each day I have been reading and meditating on a different prayer-demand from Paramhansa Yogananda’s Whispers from Eternity. Today, I read the perfect answer to the problems that plague the world, his Prayer for expanding Love from myself to all my brethren. It begins with these immortal words:

O Divine Mother, teach me to use the gift of Thy love, which I feel in my heart, to love the members of my family more than myself. Bless me, that I may love my neighbors more than my family. Expand my heart’s feelings, that I may love my country more than my neighbors, and my world and all my human brethren more than my country, neighbors, family, and my own self.

Lastly, teach me to love Thee more than anything else, for it is only Thy love that enables me to love everything. Without Thee, I could not love anything or anybody.

Yes, we should do everything we can to improve this world on a practical level. But lasting solutions come only from expanding the aura of our love and by living in joy.

In joy,

Nayaswami Jyotish

Jyotish and Devi now offer weekly commentary on each blog, with 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 (3:34):

Subscribe to the Touch of Light podcast. Download the audio recording of this week’s blog by right-clicking here. Or listen to it here (5:17):


  1. Hope for a Better World – thank you. 🙏 just the word that I need today

  2. Some how my intuition is yet to align with that of yours.
    Impersonal letters, mails, whatsapps messages are temporarily impressing me and vanishing soon.


  3. Beautiful words, thank you! 🌟🙏🏼 May many blessings come to the village as we find strength in internalizing and centering our attention within. Aum brother. May our hearts continue to expand in love compassion and pure Divinity. 🌟🙏🏼Aum

  4. Perfect title and perfect ending words “lasting solutions come only from expanding the aura of our love and by living in joy.”. Thank you Ji for the beautiful inspiration.

  5. Beautiful reminder to stay on The Path! And to think of others. Yet I need to cultivate joy and superconsciousness within myself in order to become part of the solutions to problems that arise in my life and the lives of all

  6. Respected Jyotish ji,
    Thank you for this blog “Hope for a better world “ . It is really beautiful !!!

  7. Hello dear Jyotish
    Thanks for sharing ! So beautiful , so wise and so helpful.

  8. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Never to forget any more

  9. I attended the Joy Tour in Woodside or Portola Valley. We were in a church and it rained all day. Swami spoke powerfully that day. I was inspired to donate $1000 – a lot of money in those days. I was not a member at that time but the tour helped me a great deal. Swami always saw the BIG picture! Blessings on you, Jyotish and Devi, for your example of selfless service through the years!

  10. Wonderful, wonderful reminder, Jyotish.
    Thank you so much!

  11. Thank you, Jyotish. The painting that accompanies the message is beautiful to me, conveying a feeling of fresh hope.

  12. Hello,

    When Covid first came all I did was study what herbs, vitamins and minerals could be used to help the immune system heal. What I realized is it was similar to a new illness that I had healed from 10 years ago. I wrote a book called Natural Ways For Healing Mites & Morgellons with 7 peoples story’s of how they healed this illness. Education is the key to good health and the solution. May Master bless you all with good health and Gods Bliss!

  13. Thank you for this Truly beautiful Inspirati on🙏♥️🌺

  14. very beautifully written. Thanks for sharing. May our hearts continue to expand in love compassion and pure Divinity. We need to cultivate joy and superconsciousness within ourself ito become part of the solutions to problems that arise in the world. May love and blessings of Heavenly father be showered upon the World and peace and harmony be there in the whole world. Thanks

  15. Tears of Divine Joy are rolling down my cheeks. Thank you ever so much for being a beautiful example of Divine Love.

    Blessings to you and yours,

  16. I just love how Swamiji has served as the perfect example of one rising from ashes to the heights of the heavens of joy! This has been a deep soul lesson for me. I get so much pleasure and fulfillment from living at Ananda to see this played out in every day life. Your article reminded me once again about how to have Hope for a Better World…. rise from the ashes like Swamiji taught us! Thank you.

  17. Dear Nayaswami Jyotish I just wanted to share this from another website that I subscribe to as well as yours because it really seemed to confirm and support the most profound truths that you represent and express so well. When we connect with the Divinity within we can expand the aura of love to a wider and higher expanse. Be blessed!18 January 2021

    ​From the Belly of the Transition

    This message is over-Lighted by Archangel Michael
    and the Company of Heaven.

    A warm and weary hello from the spiritual frontlines. We are here. We have always been here and will remain, choosing and shining our way alongside you. Like you, we are learning. To free ourselves is to free Earth.

    We come forward at this important hour with support.

    From our last public message, over two years ago, we have spent every hour of the day and night excavating our inner landscape to discover everywhere within that needs healing, transformation, transmutation, love. Sincere pursuit of this kind produces miracles. We travel across the Inner Plains – from our aware selves on Earth – whispering in soldiers’ ears, clearing the tunnels, holding rescued children, urging the hardened to soften, bolstering the Transmuters.

    You are a global Transmuter. When you stand in line for groceries choosing humor and kindness instead of anger and impatience as your action and your emanation, you do not only create the beautiful world. With your power of choice, you activate the real purpose of your Free Will. You transform the world of pain, torture and suffering into the restored world of goodness. You turn human dross and miscreation into Light and potential, for you and for all. Truly.

    With every such choice, you join a team of Transmuters who are consciously doing this across the planet with the purpose of restoring God’s Light on Earth, so that everyone may free themselves. With every such choice, you help to hold the bandwidth of Light steady and wide, so that the events of Earth may unfold, offering real freedom to every kingdom, every soul.

    So you see, every choice profoundly matters. Whatever does or does not happen in the coming days, we all have a role. No event is happening to you; you are happening to the events. What will your mighty influence, born of seemingly mundane decisions, be?

    We give our voices to the clarion call: every choice matters. You are a living being and emanation. Even the way you eat dinner or are quiet changes everything. Give your awareness to your choices. Tier 4B, by now, you surely know this, so as our hour quietly comes, help those around you to realize the power they have to heal and to contribute, all by the power of their choice.

    This story ends in everlasting glory.

    To those on the spiritual frontlines, we are with you. To the joyful ones who stand as beacons, we are thankful to you. We have seen you there shining in the long night, transducing the incoming Light so that all may be nourished and feel hope. To the many who are beyond exhausted, well, we are too. Let’s rest together in the midst of this very moment.

    In the coming months, we return as public messengers. We have a story to tell, and boy-oh-boy are we going to tell it. We are preparing our brand-new website for a spring launch:

    WhoNeedsLight presents: The AlreadyHome Project
    – For the Benevolent Transition of Earth and Highest Good of All

    We are a family. We are undeniably a family. We are the human family of Earth. It is time to restore ourselves and thereby our world. We each participate in the creation of what is. With everything you think, feel, say, do, believe, intend and dream, choose Love. It utterly matters.

    We come forward to give support at this important hour. To the messengers who have been public this whole time, we want you to know it has meant everything to us. To the quiet ones who are immovable in their steady service, we are united with you. We too come in the name of God for the Highest Good of All.

    In the midst of all events, circumstances, experiences, choose Love.

    We love you,
    Christine & Kathryn

    The Can-Do Gals
    We are already Home

    (Message by Christine, Kathryn & Archangel Michael ~ January 2021, WhoNeedsLight)

  18. With folded hands thanks to Ananda for such a splendid article. It covers all real aspects of life and motivates us to broaden our perspective and view towards the universe.
    With respect and love …

  19. Words of wisdom expressed in such a beautiful, profound, uplifted yet practical way.
    Thank you for always helping us to bring the highest of Master’s and Swamiji’s teachings into our daily life and into this world.

  20. Respected Sri Jyotish ji,

    At the outset I offer my Pranam and love to Mahabatar Babaji, Lahiri Mahasay, Paramhansa Yogananda ji, Kriyanandaji, you, Deviji and all the members of your organisation.

    You have rightly explained a truth in front of us. Actually this is the ethos of our life. Without love we can’t live in this world and at first I have to learn how to love myself and if I can love me, I will love others. We must realise that we are the creation of God who has gifted our life to make connectivity with Him more deeply by practising Kriya or any other rituals related to spirituality. But anything we try to do, we have to keep faith on him which comes from love and only love can solve any problem of our life.

    Hope to see many more such writings from you and Devi Mata in the coming future.

    May Babaji bless us all.

    Kolkata, West Bengal

  21. Dear Nayaswami Jyotish Ji,

    Thank you for this wonderful blog. I am always amazed whenever I hear the story of the forest fire and how Swamiji and all of you set an example for us to act in any devastating situation.

    Sincere gratitude for sharing this inspiration again. Much needed during these times


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