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, I’d like to share how Yogananda’s qualities have helped shape my life. Master said that he particularly manifested three of the eight aspects of God: wisdom, love, and joy. As I try to attune my will with his, I let these three qualities be my primary guides. Here are some ways that I do this.

paramhansa yogananda is the avatar of love, wisdom, and joy author of autobiography of a yogi

“Grand Canyon,” by Nayaswami Jyotish.

First, let’s consider wisdom: Swami Kriyananda said that wisdom is different from intellect or discrimination. Wisdom springs from a combination of heart and mind. You need both qualities truly to understand anything or anyone. As the great botanist George Washington Carver once said, “Anything in nature will speak to you if you love it enough.”

There are many ways to tune in to Yogananda’s wisdom, especially through reading his numerous books, lessons, and talks, but lately I‘ve hit upon a new one. I’ve read that he considered three books to be scripture: the Christian Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, and his own book of prayer demands, Whispers from Eternity. Whispers is a treasure chest of wisdom. It combines deep devotion—the highest form of love—with sensitive guidance showing the appropriate attitudes to hold in most any circumstance. I have started reading and meditating on a different one of these prayers toward the end of each meditation. It is proving to be an absolutely marvelous practice.

Next, there is love: This is one of the most powerful forces in creation. It is the vibration that brings about union, and it expresses itself in various forms in all human relationships. But it is a much more universal force than just this. It is the power that holds atoms together and keeps planets in their orbits.

I’ve found that one of the best ways to feel and express love is through kindness expressed as friendship. Swami Kriyananda was a model in this. I’ve seen instances where virtual strangers immediately felt his love and friendship and wept when he was about to leave. Why? Because he was constantly radiating love and friendship like a surrounding aura as he went about his daily business. People felt it and it changed their lives.

Finally, let’s talk about joy: Joy is constantly flowing within us as part of our very being. We don’t have to try to feel joy, we just need to become aware of its constant presence. It is like feeling your heartbeat: You can sense it as soon as you become calm and pay attention. Feel joy toward the end of each meditation and try to expand it. Then keep an awareness of that feeling throughout the day.

It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The best way to imitate Yogananda is to feel ourselves swimming in a sea of wisdom, love, and joy. Do this and don’t worry about anything else. The mere act of attunement will take care of all the details.

In love and appreciation,

Nayaswami Jyotish

Here is a recording of the celebration honoring Master’s birthday, with inspirational talks by Jyotish and Devi.

This past week Jyotish and Devi began offering a commentary on each blog, which follows their recording of the blog itself. Subscribe to the podcast or download the audio recording by right-clicking here. Or listen to it here (7:16):

In addition, you might enjoy joining Jyotish and Devi for their keynote talk LIVE at the global virtual conference, Recharge:Health, Saturday, January 9 at 7:30pm PST (Overcoming Bereavement and Loss). Both of their talk recordings are included in the price of this program.


  1. Thank you for sharing your ways of becoming more attuned to master. I especially like how you focus on one of his whisper prayers after each meditation. I marvel at how you simplify and clarify things. Thank you very much.

  2. Dear Father,
    I thank you for sharing such a wonderful feeling.
    I will follow your advice.

    Love & regards

  3. Dear Jyotish ji,
    Pranam, Thank you for sharing this beautiful gift for Master’s birthday. Jai Guru.

  4. Thank you from my heart for your beautiful inspirational words….
    I feel truly blessed, the love and light can be felt so very much on reading your words of divine guidance….

    Tricia 🙏

  5. Thanks my spritual brother for sharing such a wonderful article.
    Master is always in a state of sat- chit annada…..
    And associated with such a great organization we all also feel ananda ….

  6. Thank you from my heart dear Jyotish Nayaswami for this beautiful inspiration today! So wonderful at the end: “The best way to imitate Yogananda is to feel ourselves swimming in a sea of wisdom, love, and joy. Do this and don’t worry about anything else. The mere act of attunement will take care of all the details.”

  7. Jyotish,

    Simply amazing revelation! Three keys to true bliss….Thank you!!!

  8. Jyotish,

    I would like to thank you and your wife for the beautiful words. Yogananda has also been a big inspiration in my life. My book, “Awaken the Sleeping Giant”, was recently published and many of the ideas were inspired by the Master. Can I send you a free copy? I think you will enjoy it. Send me an email with your mailing address. See link below for more info.
    with love,
    Craig (cell# 832-226-3277)

  9. Simple, powerful, life transforming. I have begun to read from Whispers and the readings validate what you, dear Jyotish have felt and written about. Divine Gratitude, now and always. Namaste

  10. Thank you Jyotish! You have summarized the spiritual path in this short explanation.

    Wisdom, Love, and Joy, WLJ. And when we FEEL these qualities, for that is the medium through which these attributes penetrate the veil of maya, we fly across the days, lifted by the Light.

    Soar. Laugh. Cry with Joy, and hug this life. For God wants our companionship, and has always provided the wings and propulsion. It’s time to get into the seat of freedom, and rev up the engines that will take us towards the infinite Light..

    Blessing to all!


  11. Dear Joythisji!
    I have a small personal issue during and after my meditation. Would it be possible to clarify with you personally?

  12. Thank you for the wonderful texts, information and inspiration. I am thrilled with the work you do and also with the idea behind it. There is nothing more important in our lives than love. Everything good and everything beautiful is born from love.
    I look forward to the changes that are beginning at the moment.

  13. Respected Nayaswami Jyotish ji,

    At the outset I offer my Pranam and express my gratitude to you for sharing such wonderful and inspiring writing to us. In true sense we can’t offer anything to the Almighty but to offer love that flows into our mind and we can feel it by deep rooted meditation which can be obtained by the grace of Mahabatar Babaji, Lahiri Mahasay and Paramhansa Yogananda ji.

    Respected Nayaswami ji, I expect and hope many more such writings from you that will help us to enlighten our knowledge and practise Kriya more and more.

    Thank you very much.
    Indranath Sinha
    Kolkata, West Bengal

  14. Dear Nayaswami Jyotish Ji,

    Thank you for this wonderful blog.
    The suggestions are of great help. Will practice our meditations accordingly.
    I enjoyed reading the last few lines in particular- imitation

    In Master’s love

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