The Secret of a Remarkable Life

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Today is September 12, 2017—the sixty-ninth anniversary of the day a young man knelt alone at the feet of his guru, Paramhansa Yogananda. His heart aching with divine longing, the twenty-two-year-old James Donald Walters said beseechingly, “I want to be your disciple.” The Guru paused, then replied, “You have good karma. You may join us.” Later at that first meeting, … Read More

Becoming a Guardian Angel

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Swami Kriyananda was very drawn to places where Mary, the mother of Jesus, has appeared. One of these places, Medjugorje, is a pilgrimage spot for millions. When Swami visited there, he was elderly and unable to walk up the long, steep hill to get to the holy spot where Mary had appeared to the young children. In his chair, he … Read More

How to Control Desires

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Recently a young man asked us, “Why do we do things that we know will make us unhappy, even when we don’t really want to do them?” This is a universal dilemma, and one that brings so much suffering into life! In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna asks this same question on behalf of all of us to his guru, Krishna: … Read More

The Eclipse

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Today, as I write this, there is a full eclipse of the sun. This rare event happens when the moon passes directly between the earth and the sun. Even though the moon is hundreds of times smaller than the sun, the apparent size of the two bodies seems the same because the moon is so much closer to the earth. … Read More

Does Satan Exist?

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Paramhansa Yogananda once said, “I used to think Satan was only a human invention, but now I know, and add my testimony to that of all those who have gone before me, that Satan is a reality. He is a universal, conscious force whose sole aim is to keep all beings bound to the wheel of delusion.” To understand his … Read More

The Challenges of Life

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A friend wrote recently asking for advice about problems at work. His job is in a competitive environment where others disrupt the harmony, compete in unfair ways, and take credit for work they haven’t done themselves. While this was expressed as a personal problem, it is in fact a nearly universal experience, to be found in families, governments, and, indeed, … Read More

Lessons from a Dance Class

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It was a sweltering summer’s night, and the humidity in the air was so thick you could almost cut it with a knife. Young people in leotards and tights filled the second-floor dance studio, eager for the class to begin. Taking his position in front of the students, the teacher led us through warm-up exercises and movements. Soon everyone was … Read More

Focus

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In 2005 Devi and I arrived in India for a three-week visit with Swami Kriyananda, who had moved there in 2003. The day we landed, Swamiji had begun writing what was to be perhaps his greatest book: The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita: Explained by Paramhansa Yogananda. Though still playing the loving host to us and others, and despite the … Read More

The Art of Becoming

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It was an Open House at a Unitarian Church in San Francisco where people could sign up for a variety of new classes. That evening I was sitting at a small table ready to register people for a four-week “How to Meditate” course that Jyotish and I would be teaching. Two well-dressed middle-aged women approached my table and enthusiastically asked, … Read More

The Channel Is Blessed

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Yesterday, after finishing some programs at the Ananda center in Sacramento, California, Devi and I had a few errands to run. Later, having finished our shopping, we were pulling onto the freeway entrance when we saw a family beside the road. The wife and child were sitting on a blanket, and the husband was holding a sign saying, “Our family … Read More

The Strength Remains

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Some thirty years ago, my good friend Nayaswami Roma and I decided to run a twenty-six-mile marathon. Neither of us was a particularly great athlete, but we wanted to raise money for the Ananda School, so we took on the challenge and began training for it. For several months before the event, we ran two miles three times a week, … Read More

Unifying Principles

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John Ball was a highly regarded author and a friend of Swami Kriyananda and many of us at Ananda. His most famous book, In the Heat of the Night, garnered a number of literary awards, and later was made into a movie that won four Oscars, including Best Picture in 1967. He so enjoyed Ananda Village that the setting for one of … Read More