Swami Kriyananda was often present when Yogananda spoke with other disciples, when he spoke with visitors, and when he discussed his writings. Swami Kriyananda faithfully wrote down many of the conversations.

In his book Conversations with Yogananda, he includes not only Yogananda’s words as he first spoke them but also the added insight of a close disciple who spent decades reflecting on them.

In this class series based on the book, Nayaswami Asha again brings Yogananda to life through Swami Kriyananda’s insight and faithful recording of his guru’s words.

How to Be at Peace with Yourself and with God

Episode 1

What did Paramhansa Yogananda talk about when he was with close disciples? Asha shares insights and spiritual gems to help guide our lives as we slowly read through, and talk about more than 300 Conversations with Yogananda. These conversations, many of which are answers to questions, were lovingly captured by his disciple, Swami Kriyananda, in the 466-page book that is … Read More

What is the Nature of the Self? Who Am I?

Episode 4

What is the guru’s consciousness? What is the nature of the Self? • Who am I, really? • Why did God create the universe? • The dream nature of the world • How to achieve spiritual liberation (Conversations with Yogananda: 10)

How Can We Know What Is Right to Do?

Episode 6

The guru knows every thought we think • How to win respect from others • How do we know what is right to do? • Is divorce contrary to spiritual teachings? Lower and higher duties — and how to tell the difference • What is a vow? • Is it right to take a vow if we are not living up to … Read More

How to Overcome Failure

Episode 7

Taking a vow of renunciation • The guru teaches through suffering, if needed • God will never let us down • How to overcome failure • When do our desires take root in us? • Suicide seems like an effective way to leave this delusive world; why do spiritual teachers say not to commit suicide? (Conversations with Yogananda: 17-18)

What If We Think the Guru Is Wrong?

Episode 8

Does God judge us when we fall short? • The relationship of the guru with an errant disciple • What if we think the guru is wrong? • Keen intelligence on the spiritual path — a two-edged sword (Conversations with Yogananda: 19-21)

How the Guru Trains the Disciple

Episode 9

Reading the lives of great saints • Which saints Yogananda recommended as “in our own line” • Who made God? • What is the cause of the universe? • The guru as a mirror • How the guru trains us to see our limitations • What is the difference between devotion and emotion? • How Yogananda chose ministers • Churches … Read More

God’s Consciousness Is in Every Atom

Episode 12

“The universe is teeming with life” • God’s consciousness is in every atom • All of creation is a mixture of 3 qualities of consciousness (gunas): darkening, activating, clarifying/elevating (Conversations with Yogananda: 37 – 39)

What are the Yugas?

Episode 13

Indian’s ancient system of Yugas, describing vast cycles of time and history • What are the Yugas? • What Yuga are we in today? (Conversations with Yogananda: 40)

How to Achieve Spiritual Realization

Episode 16

Western and Eastern approaches to renunciation • Kriya Yoga • How to achieve spiritual realization • Monastic obedience • Suppression • How to tame the ego (Conversations with Yogananda: 46 – 48)

How to Strengthen Devotional Fervor

Episode 22

Outward displays of devotion • How to strengthen devotional fervor • How to overcome temptation • What is sleep? • Yogananda’s thoughts about sectarianism (Conversations with Yogananda: 75 – 80)

The Need for a Guru

Episode 24

Fully liberated saints – what does it take? • The need for a guru • The love of the guru • What happens if we reject the spiritual life? (Conversations with Yogananda: 87 – 90)

What is Ultimate Spiritual Freedom?

Episode 25

What is ultimate freedom? • How to work with a stubborn or restless mind • The role of self-discipline • Yukteswar’s strong discipline — why he trained Yogananda in this way • When does one become a Master? (Conversations with Yogananda: 91 – 96)

What is Samadhi?

Episode 26

Dr. Lewis’s mother’s death and reincarnation • What is samadhi? • The dual consciousness of the Master: human and Divine • The responsibility of the disciple to share with the guru • Fundamentalism (Conversations with Yogananda: 97 – 101)

Non-Attachment and How to Care for the Things of This World, Including the Body

Episode 28

Non-attachment and how to care for the things of this world, including the body • How important is a good diet? • Moderation and austerity on the spiritual path • Should I see a doctor when I am ill? • How are we healed? • What does it mean when a Master becomes ill? (Conversations with Yogananda: 104 – 109)

Are Yoga Postures Helpful for Spiritual Growth?

Episode 33

Yoga postures and the spiritual path • Yogananda’s advice to nuns about their appearance • Marriage and the spiritual life • Sensitivity to the needs of others • How Yogananda overcame severe pain (Conversations with Yogananda: 122 – 131)

Yogananda’s Teachings on Vegetarianism

Episode 35

Bringing someone back from the dead • an unusual “surgery” to heal someone’s heart condition • Diet is individual — Yogananda’s advice to Dr. Lewis • Yogananda’s teachings on vegetarianism • Faith and common sense — what is the right balance? (Conversations with Yogananda: 137 – 144)

The Meaning of Personal Challenges

Episode 36

Your own past lives • Seeing psychics • The two greatest barriers to wisdom • How Yogananda spoke to a man who had long worked against him • The meaning of personal challenges (Conversations with Yogananda: 145-149)

Why Is Meditation Helpful for Spiritual Growth?

Episode 38

How to cultivate a desire for God • Why is meditation helpful on the spiritual path? • Kriya Yoga • Hong Sau in the spine • Offer everything mentally to God • See good in all, and you will see God everywhere (Conversations with Yogananda: 149)

Seeing God in Everything

Episode 39

The importance of meditation on the spiritual path • Seeing God in everything • Yogananda reminisced about meditating in a deep basement of a Benares Temple • Yogananda helps a childhood enemy (Jotin) overcome anger (Conversations with Yogananda: 149 – 151)

Yogananda as William the Conqueror in a Previous Life

Episode 41

Reuniting with a disciple after many years: Oliver Rogers • “You have clear sailing” • How was Swami Kriyananda able to remember so many things that Yogananda said? • Yogananda’s sweetness and his power • Yogananda as William the Conqueror in a previous life (Conversations with Yogananda: 155-159)

What Is the Consciousness of a Liberated Master?

Episode 42

How does a liberated Master live in this world? What is their consciousness? • Yogananda as William the Conqueror and historical inaccuracies • Swami Dhirananda and his past life with William • Non-attachment at the time of death • Sexual attraction, and the spiritual power inherent in man’s creative force (Conversations with Yogananda: 160-165)

Pleasing Others

Episode 44

Krishna’s relationship with the gopis: an allegory • Attachment to money • God watches the heart • Pleasing others • What is true Karma Yoga? (Conversations with Yogananda: 169-171)

How Loved Ones Communicate with Us After Death

Episode 45

Grief over the death of a loved one • How loved ones communicate with us after death • Some desires are best fulfilled in the astral world) noble, beautiful desires • Is everyone conscious in the astral world? • How to draw a spiritual soul into the womb • A miraculous initiation of a couple, though the wife was dead … Read More

When Does the Soul Enter an Unborn Child’s Body?

Episode 46

When does the soul enter an unborn child’s body? • Heeding the advice of a guru, even in little things • Yogananda’s aunt saw him naked and chastised him) “The sin is in you” • The karma for those who marry out of necessity (Conversations with Yogananda: 177 – 180)

Why Many Leave the Spiritual Path for a Worldly Life

Episode 47

How we leave the path • Worldly life and the energy field it generates • What it takes to find God • Men and women on the spiritual path • Yogananda’s consciousness “I am in so many bodies” • “Wherever God is, there his saints come” • Many saints appeared to Yogananda (Conversations with Yogananda: 181-185)

What is an Avatar? Yogananda’s Mission

Episode 48

The need for masculine power in Yogananda’s mission • What is an avatar? • Who was Yogananda in former lives? • What is the future of our planet? • Indians are reincarnating as Americans and Europeans, and the reverse, to usher in a higher age (Conversations with Yogananda: 186-192)

How to Relate to Food

Episode 51

Raw diets • How to relate to food • Stories of strong correctives by Yogananda, sometimes to people he met for the first time • What is death to the soul? • A woman who was overcome with doubt • Yogananda’s horoscope: “to marry three times, being twice a widower” (Conversations with Yogananda: 205-213)

Overcoming the Tendency to Put out Less Energy

Episode 53

Overcoming the tendency to put out less energy • Raising children to be ”good, but not too good“ • What it takes to become a saint • Yogananda’s work with the monks in his last few years • Why many monks left Mount Washington • Yogananda asks Kriyananda to take responsibility for the male monastics • Early rules and tests … Read More

Sexuality and the Spiritual Life

Episode 54

Renunciation • Kriyananda’s experience guiding the monks at Mount Washington • Rules and challenges • Sexuality and the spiritual life • What is evil? (Conversations with Yogananda: 224)

What is Evil?

Episode 55

Evil as the absence of true joy • The choice between seeking God and turning away is absolute • Steadfastness on the path • Stubbornness • Spiritual sleepyheads • What is bad karma? (Conversations with Yogananda: 225-228)

How to Find God

Episode 56

How to find God • Gossip and rumors • How to prepare for a public talk (Conversations with Yogananda: 229-231)

What Is True Intelligence?

Episode 59

What is true intelligence? • How was Master able to know so much about medicine, or communicate perfectly in Spanish, without any training? • Separation of the sexes in the monastery • How Yogananda disciplined those who made errors on the path • How to overcome negative gossip about you by others (Conversations with Yogananda: 236-239)

Habits Can Be Changed in a Day

Episode 62

Our earthly father and our Heavenly Father • Stories of monastics relating to their earthly families • Habits can be changed in a day • How to change habits quickly • Yogananda resting in the desert • How the Master corrects his disciples • Loyalty is the first law of God (Conversations with Yogananda: 249-257)

Loyalty Is the Greatest Law of God

Episode 63

Loyalty is the greatest law of God • How to develop devotion • “Suffer little children to come unto me” • Perseverance • “People are so skillful in their ignorance” • Can the soul ever be destroyed? • Spiritual truth) directional or absolute? (Conversations with Yogananda: 258-263)

Why Practice Kriya Yoga?

Episode 64

Is it permissible to kill insects like mosquitos or flies • Where do germs come from? • Mahatma Gandhi practiced Kriya Yoga • Yogananda’s true spiritual family • Why practice Kriya Yoga? (Conversations with Yogananda: 264-268)

The Importance of Kriya Yoga

Episode 65

The importance of Kriya Yoga • How to practice Kriya • How many Kriyas? • What causes the Kundalini to rise? • Should we take the Bible literally? • Was Moses a Master? (Conversations with Yogananda: 268-272)

Sharing Miracles with Others

Episode 70

Sharing miracles with others • How does God heal? • Who am I? • The difference between an avatar and a master • What is a jivan mukta? • What is truth? • How to be honest with others (Conversations with Yogananda: 282-288)

Living in the Now

Episode 74

Living in the now • The world, from a God’s-eye perspective • Nostalgia, regret, hope, fear (Conversations with Yogananda: 294)

What Was Yogananda Like?

Episode 77

Divine Mother appears and speaks to Yogananda at a Christmas meditation • What was Yogananda like? Personal qualities, characteristics • A Master lives in the moment (Conversations with Yogananda: 302-303)

How to Cultivate Intuition

Episode 79

The purpose of spiritual organization • The need for intuition • What to do at the end of meditation techniques • How is intuition cultivated? • Why did Yogananda put so much emphasis on the teachings of Jesus? • why didn’t Master teach about all religions? • What is Self-realization? • Which is better: to live in the world or … Read More

What Was Master’s Mission?

Episode 81

What was Master’s mission? • The householder and renunciate paths • Underlying oneness of all religions • Self-realization as the goal of all spiritual practice • Spiritual training and character development of children • Spiritual principles as practical in all aspects of life • Babaji’s commission to Lahiri Mahasaya (Conversations with Yogananda: 308)

How Does Science Make New Discoveries?

Episode 83

Ideas are universally, not individually rooted • How does science make new discoveries? • How can we develop wisdom? • Is art and science important to the development of the world? (Conversations with Yogananda: 309)

Is Evolution Real?

Episode 86

Is evolution real? • How does God see the world? • What is past and what is future? • Yogananda’s foreknowledge of his future work in America • What did Master mean when he urged us to “resist” delusion? (Conversations with Yogananda: 312-314)

Who Were the Masters in Former Lives?

Episode 88

Who was Lahiri Mahasaya in a former life? • Who was Babaji in a former life? • Yogananda as Arjuna in a former life • Bhagavad Gita commentaries: “A new scripture is born” • “Millions will find God through this book” • Why this commentary was unique (Conversations with Yogananda: 316-317)

Master’s Predictions

Episode 89

Yogananda’s thoughts about the 20th century wars • The Cold War as a world war • Coming trials for humanity • Master’s predictions about a coming depression more serious than the Great Depression of the 30s • A “terrible cataclysm” • How to prepare • Yogananda’s vision of “world brotherhood colonies” • Yogananda’s vision of James Coller as soon to … Read More

The Need for Common Sense on the Spiritual Path

Episode 90

Intelligence and common sense are needed on the spiritual path • “To those who think me near, I will be near.” • Master’s timing in coming to America • The desire for miracles • Overcoming doubts on the path • Why is humility helpful? (Conversations with Yogananda: 321-324)

How to Develop Humility

Episode 92

The importance of deep relaxation in meditation • Visualizations for relaxing the body • Sitting completely still • Visions of America while Yogananda was at Ranchi school in India • How to develop humility • “I killed Yogananda long ago. No one dwells in the temple now but God.” (Conversations with Yogananda: 326-329)

Why Overcome the Ego?

Episode 93

When did Yogananda achieve final liberation? • Is ego-consciousness the same as self-consciousness? • The story of Byasa, Krishna, and cheese • How should one act in the world? • Yogananda’s praise for Sister Gyanamata’s consciousness • Shouldn’t we develop our own will, and not submit always to our teacher’s will? • Casting out ego-consciousness • The inner relationship with … Read More

“The Thought That You Are Not Free Keeps You from Being Free”

Episode 94

Why did Yogananda sometimes go to the movies? • Movie theaters: symbolic of earthly life and God’s influence behind the changing scenes • “The thought that you are not free keeps you from being free” • “Samadhi is not something one needs to acquire. You have it already” (Conversations with Yogananda: 336-340)

This Life: Dream or Reality?

Episode 96

What does it take to have a relationship with someone also deeply serious on the spiritual path? • Master often compared life to a movie • What is the benefit of good karma, during this lifetime? • How much is this life a dream? How much should we relate to it as a reality? • Master’s concern for suffering in … Read More

Simplify Your Life

Episode 97

What is superstition? • Fascinating astrological and related instructions Master gave to his disciples • “It is easy to be spiritual if you follow a few rules” • SImplify your life • Don’t mix too much with others • “Seclusion is the price of greatness” • Yogananda teachings) a new expression of religion • Why materially poor Indians are generally … Read More

What is Raja Yoga?

Episode 98

Which branch of Yoga did Yogananda teach? • What is Raja Yoga? • If you love yourself, how can you love God? • Offer the good and bad you do to God • How to break the barrier of egoic self-identity • God as the doer • What does it mean to “be practical in your idealism”? (Conversations with Yogananda: … Read More

Yogananda’s Interpretations of the Rubaiyat

Episode 99

Yukteswar’s training: deep scriptural study • Yogananda’s interpretations of The Rubaiyat • How people come to the spiritual path • Yogananda as “just a bulge in the ocean” • The importance of taking care of the body when younger • “Fools argue, but wise men discuss” (Conversations with Yogananda: 358-363)

How to Pray

Episode 100

A disciple who took many photos of the Master • Does God answer our prayers? • How to pray (Conversations with Yogananda: 364-365)

How to Win the Love of God

Episode 102

How to win the love of God • How to relate to the people in our lives • What was the purpose of Yogananda’s work? (Conversations with Yogananda: 367-368)

What Are Moods?

Episode 103

“Master, how will I know your will, once you have left your body?” • “Behind every rosebush of pleasure lies a rattlesnake of suffering, coiled and ready to strike” • What are moods? • Can we still help others if we are weak, ourselves? • Visions during meditation (Conversations with Yogananda: 369-374)

Meditation and Service

Episode 104

Meditation and service • During the Hong-Sau technique, how to deepen natural pauses between breaths (Conversations with Yogananda: 375-376)

How to Become a Master in This Life

Episode 105

Hong-Sau in the spine • How to become a master in this life • Yogananda’s thoughts on hypnotism • Two kinds of poverty • Churches and good works • The essence of spiritual teaching (Conversations with Yogananda: 377-381)

Does God Answer All of Our Prayers?

Episode 106

Overcoming laziness • Does God answer all of our prayers? • Why did Master included Jesus on the altar in his temples? • Why was Master sent to the West? • God is dreaming through us • “Make your heart a hermitage” • Never count your faults • Indifference • “I go through your souls every day” • “If you … Read More

The True Meaning of the Indian Caste System

Episode 107

Yogananda’s thoughts on race • The true meaning of the Indian caste system • How to develop intuition • “What comes of itself, let it come” • How to correct a wrong in the world (Conversations with Yogananda: 389-391)

How to Overcome Suffering

Episode 108

“I scold those who listen” • How to pray to God • Judging the spiritual attainment of others • What pleases the guru? • How to overcome suffering • Drinking alcohol • Yogananda’s frequent urging to build world brotherhood colonies (Conversations with Yogananda: 392-397)

Talk 112

Episode 112

Swami Kriyananda was often present when Yogananda spoke privately with other close disciples, when he received visitors and answered their questions, and when he was dictating and discussing his writings. His book, Conversations with Yogananda, shares many of these gems from Yogananda, allowing us, too, to receive his wisdom, delight in his humor, and be transformed by his love. Ananda’s … Read More