Ananda celebrated its first World Brotherhood Day more than four decades ago, and it has now become a treasured tradition. Paramhansa Yogananda spoke often and forcefully about the need for people to recognize their kinship with one another.

When Devi and I were honored in 2017 as “Global Peace Ambassadors” at the United Nations in New York, we concluded our talk with Yogananda’s “Prayer for a United World”:

May the heads of all countries and races be guided to understand that men of all nations are physically and spiritually one: physically one, because we are the descendants of common parents—the symbolic Adam and Eve; and spiritually one, because we are the immortal children of our Father, bound by eternal links of brotherhood.

Let us pray in our hearts for a League of Souls and a United World. Though we may seem divided by race, creed, color, class, and political prejudices, still, as children of the one God we are able in our souls to feel brotherhood and world unity. May we work for the creation of a United World in which every nation will be a useful part, guided by God through man’s enlightened conscience.

In our hearts we can all learn to be free from hate and selfishness. Let us pray for harmony among the nations. That they march hand in hand through the gate of a fair new civilization.

Today’s world, rife with tribalism and conflict, has never needed this message more. World brotherhood is the cooling water that can quench the flames of hatred that are otherwise destined to burst into fires of even greater warfare.

world brotherhood yogananda community christmas teachings

World Brotherhood Day, 2015.

One of Ananda’s first World Brotherhood Days was held at the Scottish Rite Memorial Hall in San Francisco (where Yogananda had taught classes in 1924). We spoke of the need for appreciating and embracing everyone, whether we view them as friend or foe. But we didn’t want to limit ourselves to mere words. We purposely chose early December because it starts the Christmas holy season. At this time, when people’s hearts are more open, we suggested that everyone make their kinship practical by giving the first gift of the season to God—a donation of one day’s earnings to the cause of world peace. That tradition has endured all these years, and we will celebrate this wonderful event once again this year.

The essence of world brotherhood and the essence of our spiritual path are the same: to seek unity (yoga) where others see only diversity. Yogananda urged us again and again to see God’s smiling face hiding behind all outer appearances: behind the stars and the moon, the dawn and the dusk, the flowers and, yes, the weeds. All is made of God’s light.

I assume that everyone who is reading this blog agrees with these basic concepts, but how do we put them into practice? Start with your meditation, since most of us begin our day that way. Always end your meditation by visualizing and praying for world peace. But today, in honor of the concept of world brotherhood, try also to visualize the faces of people of different races, religions, and nationalities.

Then, as you start your daily activity, make a commitment to do one kind and unexpected act today for someone you will meet, a friend or a stranger. Smile more! Swami Kriyananda quoted Master as follows, “Master considered cheerfulness of the greatest importance, and often counseled, ‘Be prosperous by smiling no matter what happens. Do not be afraid to sell the bonds of smiles when the market of happiness is low. Keep smiling while planning and acting for success, and your smiles will fetch priceless treasures in the end. Wise, persevering activity with unfading smiles brings sure success.’”

Above all, we must try to fill our day with light, love, and joy, and to share these qualities with all we meet. This is the prime responsibility of those of us who long for world peace and brotherhood.

Your brother,

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 (8:40):


  1. Immensa gratitudine Jyotish e Nayaswami per il messaggio di unione ,sorellanza e fratellanza tra i popoli del il mondo.

  2. For me, World Brotherhood is the heart of Ananda. This morning your blog comes while I am preparing to embark on fulfilling what I hope to be a foundation for consciously living these ideas daily through specific simple service to others.

    Thank you, Jyotish for always sharing the “how-tos” through your words and by example.

    God bless you Divine Friend.
    With love and joy,

  3. Also in my Direct environment prayers and meditation are important. there are so many problemms also very close where we live…. people cannot buy food or pay the gas prices and sit in a cold house under a blanket and than all the refugees where we have no good places for to live in for some months…
    Times are not easy but I smile because I am thankful for what God and the Masters have given to me.

    1. Thank you so much for writing this! You have much courage to smile in the midst of those who suffer much. Blessings to you and all others who are seeking inner peace, freedom, and divine love and compassion.

  4. The message of world brotherhood is so important If it was realized all
    wars and conflicts would cease immediately. That is why I sent the
    following poem to the Israeli Embassy of Australia –

    My Brothers
    We don’t have to be enemies
    There is another way
    Deep down we are all the same
    We originated from the same Source
    We all want to be free
    Live in peace
    We all strive for happiness
    Let us have a truce
    To together stop the killing
    Share with each other
    This ancient Land

    Best wishes,
    x Beverley

  5. Thank you for this reading today, I needed this reading today. We are all brothers and sisters, I pray for peace among all. Thank you for the work you do to bring awareness to all.

  6. Good morning Dears, as Giampaolo above says these words are timely and inspiring. Allow me to recall John Lennon’s song Imagine and his dream – ours too – for a brotherhood of man. Also, on Virgin Mary’s Day, I wish to here include Father Joseph Kentnich’s his proposal for that we all humans seal una Alianza de Amor with Her, our Divine Mother.
    Let’s pray and meditate realising we are all one in Her too.

  7. Thank you for this blog! World Brotherhood as you’ve said, is the leading consciousness that will uplift all of humanity from bondage to inner freedom.

  8. What a beautiful message, Jyotish! Thank you so much for infusing my day with love, peace and harmony! 🙏🏼

  9. A timely, universal message at a time when dark sectarianism is on the rise. May this bold message ring and reverberate in the hearts of all who read it and ripple out from there to commingle with thoughtful souls everywhere. Thank you for the touch of Light, Jyotish. Happy World Brotherhood Day to all 🌍

  10. We are all brothers and sisters, such a soothing thought. Instantly brought light, love and Joy into our hearts.
    Thank you , Jyotish ji!

  11. Jyotish, how did you know to address exactly what was going on for me (and doubtless countless others)? Well, I know: by practicing what you preach, and encouraging us to do likewise. Jai! 🙏

  12. A most enjoyable read. Your advice about meditation was timely and relevant. I find if I’m “feeling like mud” at the start of a meditation and I happen to think of a friend in need and more or less automatically think kind thoughts of them my meditative mood immediately soars – it’s as if God is saying “That’s what matters! Meditate, too, but this is what I love.”

  13. Jai Guru Jai 🙏🌹🙏🕉
    Very profound and beautiful thank you for sharing 🙏🙏🙏🕉🕉🕉

  14. Thank you Jyotish for your timely and uplifting reminder of how we can practice world brotherhood in our daily lives and the uplifting power of the love and joy in our smiles w all whom we meet. Joy and blessings to you and Devi.

  15. Hear, hear! Thank you. Let prayer for unity work in the background of our sadly divided world. Let it gain in momentum and power until it changes even the hardest of hearts.

  16. Dear Nayaswami Jyotish Ji,

    Thank you for sharing this blog.
    Important message to be put in to practice. The quotes from Master are helpful.
    Along these lines I always enjoy listening to ‘brothers’ by Swamiji :)


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