It was July 31, 1949. Paramhansa Yogananda had been invited to speak at, of all places, a Beverly Hills society garden party. His hostess expected him, no doubt, to make a few gracious remarks to her guests, who could then get on with their socializing. Were they in for a surprise!

Swami Kriyananda writes about this event in The New Path:

Never had I imagined that the power of human speech could be so overwhelming; it was the most moving talk I have ever heard.

“This day,” he [Yoganandaji] thundered, punctuating every word, “marks the birth of a new era. My spoken words are registered in the ether, in the Spirit of God, and they shall move the West. . . . We must go on—not only those who are here, but thousands of youths must go North, South, East, and West to cover the earth with little colonies, demonstrating that simplicity of living plus high thinking lead to the greatest happiness!”

I was stirred to my very core. . . . Deeply I vowed that day to do my utmost to make his words a reality.

yogananda statue at ananda village lifesizeThus began Swami Kriyananda’s determined effort to create such communities. This ultimately led to the founding of Ananda Village on July 4, 1969—almost exactly twenty years after that garden party speech.

Actually, Swamiji had been interested in starting communities from his youth, but it was more of an ideal than an active pursuit. It wasn’t until the power of Master’s thoughts charged him with the will power and energy to build “colonies” that he dedicated his life to this mission.

For the next forty years, he strove to manifest Master’s vision and founded what are now flourishing communities in America, Europe, and India. With a tireless flow of energy and will power, he overcame every obstacle that confronted him with determination and courage.

But there was another aspect to his ability to make this dream a reality: self-offering. Everything he undertook was done in service to Yoganandaji, and with the consciousness that God, not he, was the Doer. In this way he drew on a constant flow of guidance, creativity, and grace to accomplish his goals in serving his guru.

This brings us to the Principle of T.W.O., which stands for using the power of Thought + Will + Offering to succeed in realizing our goals.

Here’s how you can apply this principle in your own life.

First, think about something you’d like to accomplish that feels in tune with higher principles. Visualize your goal clearly at the spiritual eye. If the overall project seems too big for you, break it down into small, doable steps that you can take to reach your goal.

Next, summon up the willingness and energy needed to move forward step by step. If you encounter problems or obstacles, don’t get discouraged. Instead, expect challenges to come along. Then, when they do, go deeper within to find hidden reservoirs of strength and determination to break through whatever barriers threaten to stop your progress. Master said that every test we face is a test of our will power. Match whatever adverse circumstances life throws at you with enough energy to emerge victorious.

Finally, offer to God your thoughts and energy for His guidance and blessing. Everything we do is really only a part of His dream. Once when an Ananda community leader was being faced with some challenges, Swamiji said to her, “Remember, this work isn’t your work. It isn’t my work. It is the work of Babaji and Master.” If we can remember that God is the Doer, we will feel an underlying wave of support that brings us to the shores of fulfillment.

What is the ultimate benefit of using the T.W.O. formula? Beyond any outward success, we will find a deepening sense of attunement and unity with divine consciousness. Thus, T.W.O. is transformed into greater awareness of being ONE with God.

In divine friendship,

Nayaswami Devi

Listen to the weekly commentary for this 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 (4:41):

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  1. Lovely blog ji….heartfelt thanks for all the wisdom you are sharing with us…

  2. Thanks for your email with this most lovely and inspiring Message.

  3. This was a fantastic, clear set of instructions. Just what I needed to be reminded of today. Much thanks!

  4. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,

    Thank you for this inspiring blog. Very useful guidelines to practice.
    How blessed are we to be part of Master’s family at Ananda. Sincere gratitude to Swamiji for manifesting Master’s vision and guiding us.


  5. This message brings me hope , fior a better future a closer relation to god , and a willingness to surrender this insane mind , world , people to the divine . Not by my will , but his will . WE A PUPPETS ON THE STATGE WE CALL LIFE..

  6. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, words sent to remind me that my journey can and will be shared, each and every step, each breath, if I can remember that I am not alone in my walk, that He is there to guide, support, help, and encouraging me. When I chant, Walk beside me Oh My God, as I greet another day, or Bless this Day and Fill it With Your Preasance, Remembering and reminding me, it can be TWO on this path, if “I” open my heart and allow the support and guidance to Walk With Me.

  7. Thank you for this well timed reminder, and the beautiful, consise way that you present it. As always, these Friday inspirations come at exactly the right time!

  8. Always the most wonderful blog posts…perhaps save them all and turn them into a book with several stories…very enlightening.

    1. Dear Tina,
      All of our blogs have been published as books: Touch of Light, Touch of Joy, Touch of Love, and Touch of Peace. They can be ordered from Ananda’s publishing house at

  9. Seems to be practicable if supported by Him / Guru.

  10. Very well and succinctly said, …and timely for me.

  11. That’s good, Devi! Deep, practical, and simple to remember. Thanks! 🙏

  12. Dear Devi & Jyotish~ Thank you for continuously sharing inspiration and joy, beauty and love, through these blogs of light. May the youth of Ananda, following in the footsteps and trails blazed by the earliest Ananda pioneers, spread the message of Self-realization far and wide, to all peace-thirsty hearts 🕯

  13. Dear Deviji,

    Thank you for the wonderful message and inspiring blog. Powerful, practical steps. Ever grateful to Swamiji, Ananda and Master for this wonderful spiritual Path. AUM Guru! 🙏

    In Divine Love,

  14. Thank you for this timely message. It always resonates deeply. Opening it today, validates my writing emails to friends about exactly these wOrds by Master and Swamiji……. for the purpose, that we rally Our individual will pOwer, and ply each strand into One strong rOpe and mOve – what appear to be mOuntains Of Obstacles, but are nOne. YOGANANDA gave us One succinct recipe to foundation and enjoy living in cOOperative communities. In a recording with his voice, he describes:
    Purchase land jointly. Grow food, build your homes, make your clothing, keep goats. Do not be an (8-5) wage earner. Live from the Interest of money. (The latter may apply to emerging alternative financial systems designed to benefits multitudes).
    Never before Has the time been riper then now that we harness Individual Will and perceive Our Opportunity to Orchestrate the Overture toward cOllective Self Offering. Thus, we shall Transcend.

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