<![CDATA[          The Ancient Wisdom of Yoga<br />                Holistic Wellness Center - Yoga Blog]]>Thu, 16 Nov 2017 23:06:53 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Yogananda's recent miracle]]>Fri, 29 Sep 2017 15:04:30 GMThttp://tawyoga.com/yoga-blog/yoganandas-recent-miraclePicture
Permission to reproduce the following article was provided by Nayaswami Jyotish and Devi, the spiritual leaders of Ananda Sangha Worldwide, Swami Kriyananda's successors. 
​​
Subscribe at http://www.atouchoflightletter.com/subscribe/For further information on Ananda Sangha, Swami Kriyananda, Paramhansa Yogananda, and a wealth of resources on yoga, meditation and enlightenment please visit http://www.ananda.org/

She lay in the dust by the side of the road, alone and abandoned in her suffering. Her family had rejected her, and this poor widow had made her way to Brindaban, where an estimated ten thousand elderly, homeless women reside, hoping to find solace in the city blessed by the presence of Lord Krishna.
The large, malignant tumor on her back emitted such a noxious odor that no one came near her. Filled with pain, and having had no food or water for days, she prayed to God to allow her to die.

She lay in the dust by the side of the road, alone and abandoned in her suffering. Her family had rejected her, and this poor widow had made her way to Brindaban, where an estimated ten thousand elderly, homeless women reside, hoping to find solace in the city blessed by the presence of Lord Krishna.
The large, malignant tumor on her back emitted such a noxious odor that no one came near her. Filled with pain, and having had no food or water for days, she prayed to God to allow her to die.

Then something unexpected happened. A man appeared before her and told her to go to one of the Paramhansa Yogananda Charitable Trust care homes. “They will help you,” he said. “But,” she replied, “I don’t know where this place is or how to get there.”

He clapped his hands, and a three-wheeler (small motorcycle rickshaw) appeared and drove her to the care home, where the poor widow was bathed and fed by the staff. When they saw the cancerous tumor on her back, they took her to the nearby Ramakrishna Mission Hospital to receive surgery and treatment.

After a period of recovery, she returned to the care home, where she received the loving attention of the staff and regained her health. A few weeks later, she came up to the director of the home holding a copy of Autobiography of a Yogi. Pointing to Yoganandaji’s picture on the cover, she said, “This is the man who found me by the side of the road and sent me here.

We heard this story last week when we visited Brindaban to see the work of the Paramhansa Yogananda Public Charitable Trust, a part of Ananda Sangha’s service in India. Started in 2014, and led by Ananda member Manjunath Kini, the Trust is quickly becoming a model for charitable works in this sacred city. (See this recent article.)

In 2014, Manjunath began with six dedicated people from the Brindaban area who were unfamiliar with Ananda, but felt a calling to serve the homeless widows. The small staff began by going door to door to see what help they could offer.

Now in 2017 the Charitable Trust has:
* eight residential care homes where food, lodging, and loving care are provided free-of-charge to 220 widows.
* distribution centers to provide milk and vegetables to 1250 widows on a daily basis, and monthly food staples to an additional 4000.
* a staff of ninety workers who operate the care homes and several small clinics, distribute food, bring the sick to the local hospital, and make about 2400 home visits each month.

Picture
Staff of Paramhansa Yogananda Charitable Trust.
These are all wonderful accomplishments, but what inspired us the most was Yoganandaji’s growing presence in those involved with the Trust. Most of the staff practice the Energization Exercises and meditation daily now, and have taught these techniques to the widows, who practice them also. One third of the staff have taken discipleship vows.

Photos of our line of masters and of Swami Kriyananda are present everywhere, and the work is now becoming a “Paramhansa Yogananda” Charitable Trust in spirit as well as in name.

While we were visiting one of the care homes, an elderly widow came up to us with a question. She was reading Swamiji’s Essence of the Bhagavad Gita in Hindi, and wanted to know why Krishna urged Arjuna to fight. How wonderful it was to share with her (through a translator) the symbolism of this great scripture as Master explained it.

In Yoganandaji’s poem “Samadhi,” he writes: “The sparrow, each grain of sand, fall not without my sight.” Though we are often unaware of God’s loving presence in this world, His eye is ever watchful, seeking to help those in need. Blessed are they who become channels for His love and compassion to the least of His little sparrows.
In God and Guru, Nayaswami Devi

P.S. To find out more, see the Paramhansa Yogananda Charitable Trust page on AnandaIndia.org or visit their Facebook page for recent updates.
Subscribe to the Touch of Light podcast. Download the audio recording of this week’s blog by right-clicking here. Or listen to it here:
http://www.jyotishanddevi.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/The-Sparrow-Each-Grain-of-Sand.mp3

]]>
<![CDATA[The Art of Becoming]]>Fri, 21 Jul 2017 15:45:13 GMThttp://tawyoga.com/yoga-blog/the-art-of-becomingPicture
Permission to reproduce the following article was provided by Nayaswami Jyotish and Devi, the spiritual leaders of Ananda Sangha Worldwide, Swami Kriyananda's successors. 

​​
Subscribe at http://www.atouchoflightletter.com/subscribe/For further information on Ananda Sangha, Swami Kriyananda, Paramhansa Yogananda, and a wealth of resources on yoga, meditation and enlightenment please visit http://www.ananda.org/

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, “What are you teaching?”

“We’ll be offering a course in the basic practices of meditation. Would you like to sign up?”

A little disappointed, one replied, “Oh, meditation. We already did that.” They flitted away to the next table to see what new fare they could find.

We live in an age of extreme restlessness, where the possibilities for new activities and experiences are never-ending, but the ability to go deep in any one of them is largely ignored. People move from job to job, city to city, relationship to relationship hoping to find happiness in the “new.”

Too late they realize that outward change does not bring what they seek, but merely repeats a variation of what they thought was left behind. The French have an apt proverb that describes this: “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose,” meaning “The more things change, the more they remain the same.”

Without transformation of consciousness, external change alone won’t make much difference in our life, nor bring us lasting happiness. “Change” may amount to no more than rearranging the pieces on the same old game board; “transformation” means changing how we perceive the game itself.

This process of transformation, however, requires inner discipline to focus the mind on whatever we’re doing, and perseverance until we begin to change from the inside.
We might call this process the “Art of Becoming.”

To practice it, we need to have commitment, patience, and steadfastness. As well, we need to view our life as a connected whole in which every step leads to the next, not as separate episodes with no underlying purpose or direction.

​The world today is rife with restlessness. People are deceived if they think that a quick change in government will make a real difference. But there is hope, because world consciousness itself is in the process of transformation. It, too, is struggling to become more enlightened, and we can help in this process.
Picture
Pledge your daily meditations for world peace at MeditationPledge.com.

This year Ananda has started a campaign called, “Be The Change,” paraphrasing a statement by Mahatma Gandhi: “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.” We’re inviting people everywhere to join us in pledging a certain amount of time daily to meditating for world peace. You can find out more about it by going to www.meditationpledge.com

Our potential to transform ourselves and positively to affect the world around us is much greater than we realize. When we abandon our fascination with constant outer change and focus instead on inner transformation, we begin to perceive our true Self.

​This awareness of who we really are can’t be found in time’s fleeting moments, but rests always in the changeless, Eternal Now. In the heart of stillness lies the key to lasting meaning and joy.

Towards the one Self in all, Nayaswami Devi.

Subscribe to the Touch of Light podcast. Listen to and/or download this week’s blog here:

http://www.jyotishanddevi.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/The-Art-of-Becoming.mp3
]]>
<![CDATA[Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 14:27:20 GMThttp://tawyoga.com/yoga-blog/life-liberty-and-the-pursuit-of-happinessPicture
Permission to reproduce the following article was provided by Nayaswami Jyotish and Devi, the spiritual leaders of Ananda Sangha Worldwide, Swami Kriyananda's successors. 

​​
Subscribe at http://www.atouchoflightletter.com/subscribe/For further information on Ananda Sangha, Swami Kriyananda, Paramhansa Yogananda, and a wealth of resources on yoga, meditation and enlightenment please visit http://www.ananda.org/

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This second sentence of the Declaration of Independence has been called “one of the best-known sentences in the English language.”

Now, more than ever, it is important to remember the principles upon which America was founded, and to uphold the vision for a new kind of nation set forth by the enlightened men who created it. Never before in recorded history had a statement like this been made: that all people are equal; that they have a divine right to live in freedom from oppression, and to seek their own happiness. With exquisite simplicity the authors of the Declaration of Independence set into motion a wave of thought that changed the world.

For those of us seeking higher consciousness, we can take these words to an even higher octave. Life is more than just finishing out the days of our mortal existence, which inevitably must end. On a deeper level, it means to experience the divine spark of God within us, and to know that our soul is immortal.

True Liberty is not merely throwing off tyranny, but is a freedom of consciousness not bound by self-limiting thoughts. It means the freedom to follow the highest course of action in any situation; to choose to be happy in spite of adverse circumstances; to cast off any limiting self-definitions; and to know your true self as a child of God.

The pursuit of Happiness doesn’t mean only to seek fulfillment on a human level, but to seek the joy of God within us. Swami Kriyananda expressed this beautifully in The Vow of Complete Renunciation: “I am free in Thy joy, and will rejoice forever in Thy blissful presence.”

And this leads us to the highest perspective from which to consider the words of the Declaration of Independence. In the teachings of India, God is described as Satchidananda, or “ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new bliss.” God endowed each of us, His children, with His own divine qualities: eternal life, unlimited freedom of awareness, and inexhaustible joy.

God’s consciousness is reflected in all creation: in the farthest galaxy, in nature, in nations, and in each one of us. We need but strive to see this, and to claim as our own the unalienable rights with which we are endowed.

​Joined with you in God, Nayaswami Devi
]]>
<![CDATA[Is Happiness a Choice?]]>Fri, 07 Apr 2017 15:23:51 GMThttp://tawyoga.com/yoga-blog/is-happiness-a-choiceThe following article was provided by Nayaswami Jyotish and Devi, the spiritual leaders of Ananda Sangha Worldwide, Swami Kriyananda's successors. Permission to reproduce the following article was also provided by Nayaswami Jyotish and Devi. Subscribe at http://www.atouchoflightletter.com/subscribe/For further information on Ananda Sangha, Swami Kriyananda, Paramhansa Yogananda, and a wealth of resources on yoga, meditation and enlightenment please visit http://www.ananda.org/
​I would like to ask you to take a moment, close your eyes, and answer this question in your own words: What is happiness?

Now that you’ve formed your own idea, here is what Wikipedia says: “Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Happy mental states may also reflect judgments by a person about their overall well-being.”

Here is a second question: What would make you happy? Don’t ponder this question, just get a clear picture of the first answer that pops into your mind. Most people will think of something outside of themselves; the largest group will probably think of money or something that money can buy. A smaller, but significant group will think of something concerning relationships. And a yet smaller group will think of something having to do with position, status, or how others view them. Any answer, however, that lies outside your own mental state is wrong. Things, people, position—none of these have the power to give happiness. But how we react to them will affect our state of well-being. So, if it is our reactions that make us happy or unhappy, here is a final question:

Is happiness a choice? That is, can you learn to control your reactions? The tendency is glibly to say, of course I can. But if it were that easy, everyone would be happy all the time. You would be happy all the time. Are you?
Here is what yogic teachings have to say about it. Theoretically you can control your reactions, but habit patterns from this life or past lives might limit your ability to do so. In order to be happy all the time, we have to change these mental and emotional habits. Patanjali goes even further and says we need to learn to neutralize the chitta (primordial feelings of likes and dislikes that reside in the heart area). When we can do this, we will achieve a state of union and a state of bliss.

So, what prevents us from neutralizing the whirlpools of chitta? Habit is one answer. Another is that we don’t really want to; we still like the excitement of the emotional ups and downs of life’s roller coaster. The first step is truly to want bliss rather than excitement or, stated another way, to want God more than the material world. Only once this desire is strong enough do we then come to the study of yoga, or scientific methods leading to union with the Infinite. And what are those methods?

Feelings, it turns out, are based upon the flow of prana (energy) in the astral and physical spine. An upward, expansive flow results in feelings of happiness and well-being, while downward, negative flows result in discontents and unhappiness. So Paramhansa Yogananda taught us methods that help us to control this prana, techniques of pranayama including Kriya Yoga. Day by day, meditation by meditation, we learn to bring this energy under our conscious control. When prana is in a still state, the waves of chitta subside, and we are finally able to see our true self, our blissful soul nature, which seeks nothing outside itself.

So, here are possible answers to all of those questions:
What is happiness? Bliss. 
Where can we find it? In our soul nature.
What makes us happy? To unite with our soul nature, which is already happy.
Is this a choice? Yes, but in order to make it, we have to overcome the restless resistance of the ego.

In the joy of the soul, Nayaswami Jyotish

]]>
<![CDATA[Quantum Physics confirms Yogananda's statement that the universe is made of Consciousness, not matter ]]>Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:36:50 GMThttp://tawyoga.com/yoga-blog/quantum-physics-confirms-yoganandas-statement-that-the-universe-is-made-of-consciousness-not-matter"Yogananda came into this world in order to show us how to overcome our limitations and experience the true beauty of our higher Self.

The whole universe is really consciousness, not matter, and the spiritual practices he taught are meant to detach us from the ego’s delusion that this material plane is the ultimate reality. To find the beauty that lies both within and without, we must calm the mind, the emotions, and ultimately the breath.

Yogananda wrote, "Come out of your closed chamber of limitation. Breathe in the fresh air of vital thoughts. Exhale poisonous thoughts of discouragement, discontentment, or hopelessness. Never suggest to your mind human limitations of sickness, old age, or death, but constantly remind yourself, ‘I am the Infinite, which has become the body."


The above excerpt was taken from "You Have No Idea how Beautiful You Are", an article written in the newsletter A Touch of Light by Nayaswami Jyotish and Devi, the spiritual leaders of Ananda Sangha Worldwide, and Swami Kriyananda's successors. Subscribe at http://www.atouchoflightletter.com/subscribe/
For further information on Ananda Sangha, Swami Kriyananda, Paramhansa Yogananda, and a wealth of resources on yoga, meditation and enlightenment please visit http://www.ananda.org/

Albert Einstein stated: We experience ourselves “as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of…consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to use our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of  compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty…”Albert Einstein, New York Times , March 29, 1972
See also Quantum Activist

​Come join us at The Ancient Wisdom of Yoga to learn how to breath, meditate, and practice yoga. We also offer Massage, Craniosacral, Reflexology, and Acupncture Therapies. We can be reached at (813) 672-1080, and are located at 10209 Gibsonton Dr., Riverview, FL 33578 (corner of Gibsonton Dr. and Kenda Dr.) click to see map

Namaste, Henry
]]>
<![CDATA[Building Spiritual Power Against Troubled Times]]>Fri, 11 Nov 2016 14:25:28 GMThttp://tawyoga.com/yoga-blog/building-spiritual-power-against-troubled-times
The following article was written by Nayaswami Jyotish and Devi, the spiritual leaders of Ananda Sangha Worldwide, and Swami Kriyananda's successors. Subscribe at http://www.atouchoflightletter.com/subscribe/
For further information on Ananda Sangha, Swami Kriyananda, Paramhansa Yogananda, and a wealth of resources on yoga, meditation and enlightenment please visit http://www.ananda.org/
Prayer for a United World, by Paramhansa Yogananda
Picture
"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.”

America has made its choice now in this presidential election. The world may well be facing troubled times, as the United States and all nations come to terms with a dramatic break from past values and models of government. Already waves of uncertainty, confusion, and fear are moving across the planet.

But whether the outcome was your personal choice or not, the question arises: “What do we do now?”

As global citizens we need to move into the future as positively as possible to help establish stability in these changing times. America was the first nation to be founded on higher principles of equality and human rights, and we need to uphold these ideals.
As devotees, we have a further responsibility. We must give our full strength to keeping our consciousness uplifted, holding God’s presence in our hearts and minds, and helping others to do the same.


Make the Right Choices Now
Learn to love heroically. Some years ago Swami Kriyananda shared with us a dream he’d had about impending world disasters. The message he received was that our answer to what lies ahead should be to “love heroically.” Try to act as expansively and selflessly as you can, and resist the pull to think of your own needs first. In hundreds of little ways throughout each day choose selflessness and kindness over self-interest and narrow-mindedness.

Even more than that, resist the temptation to contract your heart. Find a deeper capacity to love all unconditionally, with acceptance and without judgment. This is what the lives of all great spiritual teachers demonstrate for us.

Give more dynamic focus to your meditation. Practice the techniques of our line of gurus with increased dedication and fervor. Add a longer meditation to your sadhana each week. The attunement with higher consciousness that comes through deep meditation is our greatest aid, giving us the strength, wisdom, and calmness to deal with whatever may come.

Through this deepened attunement we also become clearer channels for higher consciousness in all of our activities. Be especially aware of expressing God and Guru in all your words and actions.

Deepen your connection with other devotees. Seek out and associate with like-minded people who are also striving to live in the light. Avoid negative discussions or arguments about whose opinions are right or wrong. This will only keep you enmeshed in maya.

If you are near an Ananda Meditation Center or Community, start attending more regularly. If you are already active in one, begin attending more group meditations and prayer sessions. Do Yoganandaji’s prayer for world peace and harmony with others regularly.

If there is no Ananda center close by, then join our Virtual Community online. This will lend tremendous support to your efforts to keep your consciousness rooted in peace. When we gather together with other devotees in these ways, we not only uplift our own lives, but also draw blessings to the world.

Cling to what is real and eternal. The affairs of this world, even of a great nation like America, are in the final analysis fleeting shadows on the screen of time. The only real, lasting things are God’s Peace, Joy, and Love. When moments of uncertainty, fear, or discouragement pull at you, remember to look past the shadows to the Divine Light constantly illuminating everything.

God is calling us now to build our own spiritual power. Let’s grasp this opportunity with energy and enthusiasm, and understand that it’s the dharma we chose for this incarnation.

In Master’s love, Nayaswami Devi
p.s. Nayaswami Jyotish and I wrote a letter today to Ananda members, also in response to Tuesday’s election. You’re welcome to read it here.
*This is the title of a talk by Swami Kriyananda.

]]>
<![CDATA[How to Remain Happy No Matter What Life's Circumstances]]>Fri, 23 Sep 2016 14:48:35 GMThttp://tawyoga.com/yoga-blog/how-to-remain-happy-no-matter-what-lifes-circumstances
The following article was written by Nayaswami Jyotish and Devi, the spiritual leaders of Ananda Sangha Worldwide, and Swami Kriyananda's successors. Subscribe at http://www.atouchoflightletter.com/subscribe/
For further information on Ananda Sangha, Swami Kriyananda, Paramhansa Yogananda, and a wealth of resources on yoga, meditation and enlightenment please visit http://www.ananda.org/
Toward the end of his life, Swami Kriyananda would often remark, “I feel so blissful, I can hardly contain it.” We had seen him maintain a joyful spirit during many difficult times: temples collapsing or burning down, car accidents, health crises. No matter what was happening around him, Swamiji demonstrated that it didn’t have the power to touch his inner Self.

Where does this ability to stay joyful no matter what life throws at us come from? It originates first from feeling your inner joy, and then developing the habit of bringing it back repeatedly during the day. Joy, you see, is our natural state—the most central of all the ways that God manifests Himself. So we don’t need to create it, but merely to increase our awareness of it by removing the obscuring veils of self-involvement.

As with so many things in life, we can develop and maintain a buoyant consciousness if we apply ourselves. In order to bring joy under the control of our will, we must experience it both more deeply and more frequently. First we should try to deepen our experience of joy. This is best done in meditation, when the thoughts have been stilled. I would suggest that near the end of each meditation, you spend at least five minutes feeling a sense of joy and saturating your mind with a blissful vibration.

Secondly, we should try to feel touches of joy as often as possible throughout the day, until it becomes habitual. Don’t wait for circumstances to make you happy: Learn to feel a happiness that needs no cause. One of Paramhansa Yogananda’s most advanced disciples, Yogacharya Oliver Black, said he surrounded himself with a bubble of joy and never let anyone or anything pop his bubble.

This year members of Ananda are joining together in an experiment to see if we can deepen our consciousness of joy, and we invite you to join us. Each morning, spend at least five minutes toward the end of your meditation centering your awareness at the spiritual eye, seeing light there, and deeply feeling inner joy.

Then, as often as you remember, but at least five times during each day, reawaken the consciousness of light and joy with this technique: Stop, close your eyes, and bring your energy to the spiritual eye, at the point between the eyebrows. You may find it helpful to place your fingertip there to help you focus. Now become aware of light and joy at that point. Do this for at least fifteen seconds. This simple practice will reconnect you with the presence of God as light and joy. All success, all happiness, flows from a superconscious connection to the Divine. Master said that keeping our consciousness at the spiritual eye is the fastest way to make progress.

While quick and simple, this technique can have a profound effect on your well-being. Be a spiritual scientist, and see if a simple touch of light and joy can help you become blissful all the time.

In light and joy, Nayaswami Jyotish


]]>
<![CDATA[THE CYCLE OF AGES: DWAPARA YUGA]]>Fri, 26 Aug 2016 14:12:17 GMThttp://tawyoga.com/yoga-blog/the-cycle-of-ages-dwapara-yugaPicture
The following article was written by Nayaswami Jyotish and Devi, the spiritual leaders of Ananda Sangha Worldwide, and Swami Kriyananda's successors. Subscribe at http://www.atouchoflightletter.com/subscribe/
For further information on Ananda Sangha, Swami Kriyananda, Paramhansa Yogananda, and a wealth of resources on yoga, meditation and enlightenment please visit http://www.ananda.org/

According to the ancient teachings of India, there is a great repeating historical cycle of four ages, called the yugas, which lasts 24,000 years. For 12,000 years the consciousness of man rises to its height, and then begins a 12,000-year descent into darkness. Our current age, Dwapara, is in the ascending half of this cycle. It started in 1700 and will last for 2,400 years. The scale of the yugas is so large that it is hard to visualize, but if we divide by 100 it will help us see the major trends. For fun, then, let’s think of a king named Dwaparian ruling this beautiful, blue island called Earth. His reign will last 24 years. With so many people feeling hopeless about current events, it is important to realize that we are only a little over three years into his rulership.

Dwaparian is remarkably energetic, creative, and inventive. He has a keen interest in science, especially in anything having to do with energy. He travels a great deal, increasingly thinks of the whole world as his own, and is very interested in anything that can reduce the sense of space.

Unfortunately, he is not particularly high-minded, and tends to be self-focused, self-indulgent, and somewhat greedy. He puts his own interests first, and doesn’t share well, which causes lots of squabbles and fights. Here are some of the major trends of his kingship:

Energy: When he came to his kingship, the bodies of men and animals still provided most of the power. Dwaparian had a strong desire to replace physical labor with increasingly sophisticated machines, but he needed energy. First came steam power, then the discovery of oil and gasoline, and soon thereafter electricity. At the beginning of his third year, the atomic age was born.

A shrinking world: Along with the discovery of new energy sources, new forms of transportation and communication emerged, which increasingly shrank the world. Steam locomotives, and then the internal combustion engine, allowed rapid movement of goods and people. Then came airplanes, jets, and rockets, which both shrank the planet and allowed mankind to expand into space. Soon to come will be driverless cars, widely used robots, and artificial intelligence, eventually eliminating the need for physical labor and repetitive work. Ideally this should free men and women for higher pursuits.
Even more than transportation, communication devices have begun to shrink the planet. It started with the telegraph—the eruption of Krakatoa in Indonesia in 1883 was telegraphed immediately and followed around the world. The telephone soon followed, then radio, television, the internet, and smartphones, connecting people instantaneously with one another. Now this trend is producing extreme miniaturization in everything from electronics to medicine.

The downside of Dwaparian: His realm is plagued by greed, insensitivity, and excessive restlessness. Greed brings economic imbalance, depressions, and class conflict. Insensitivity allows the exploitation of the environment, causing climate imbalance. And Dwaparian’s realm is becoming overly complicated and stressful. These trends will be disastrous if allowed to continue.

Man’s greatest hope: Soon after Dwaparian began his reign, God sent great avatars to help guide and uplift the world. All of man’s inventions and power mean little, and in fact pose a threat, unless the general level of consciousness can be raised. It is the mission of Paramhansa Yogananda, in particular, to serve as a way-shower for this new age. And it is the mission of Ananda to share that message. Only when Dwaparian learns to live in attunement with the Divine can he create a happy and wise kingdom.

In peace, Nayaswami Jyotish

]]>
<![CDATA[Going Beyond the Restless Mind]]>Fri, 19 Aug 2016 15:23:15 GMThttp://tawyoga.com/yoga-blog/august-19th-2016The following article was written by Nayaswami Jyotish and Devi, the spiritual leaders of Ananda Sangha Worldwide, and Swami Kriyananda's successors. Subscribe at http://www.atouchoflightletter.com/subscribe/
For further information on Ananda Sangha, Swami Kriyananda, Paramhansa Yogananda, and a wealth of resources on yoga, meditation and enlightenment please visit http://www.ananda.org/

In Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda describes the scene in which he had his first experience in this lifetime of cosmic consciousness. It occurred when Swami Sri Yukteswar, his guru, tapped him lightly on the chest over the heart, and the breath was drawn out of him.

Yogananda writes: “An oceanic joy broke upon calm endless shores of my soul. The Spirit of God, I realized, is exhaustless Bliss; His body is countless tissues of light. A swelling glory within me began to envelop towns, continents, the earth, solar and stellar systems, tenuous nebulae, and floating universes.”

Sri Yukteswar tapped Master on the chest, what occurred was the complete interiorization of his prana, or life force. When our prana is totally interiorized, we become breathless, and can then enter a state of deep stillness. All restlessness ceases, and we become absorbed in awareness of God’s presence.

For most of us who practice meditation, the restless mind is our greatest obstacle. No matter how sincere we are, or how hard we try to overcome intruding thoughts, it seems nearly impossible to achieve calm, focused concentration. Yoganandaji’s experience, however, offers us a clue for how to accomplish this.

Unwanted, restless thoughts are only energy patterns in our mind. Like weeds in a garden, we can keep pulling them up, but as long as we continue to water them, they will persist. It doesn’t help to blame the garden or feel guilty that we are bad gardeners. The secret is to cut off the “water,” the life force, that is feeding them.

When we interiorize our prana through attunement with the guru and the practice of techniques like Kriya Yoga, we begin to transcend the restless mind. Kriya Yoga and other similar techniques enable us to direct our prana inward and upward to higher centers of awareness.

For most of us, this doesn’t occur right away, but over time we can “reverse the searchlights of the senses,” as Yoganandaji described them. Eventually we become accustomed to being in a state of focused, inner awareness, and the molecular structure of our brain even changes to support our efforts.

But as long as our prana is moving predominantly outward, we are plagued not only with restlessness, but with all the desires and longings for outer fulfillment that it awakens. We live in the perpetual thought: “I know I would be happy if only. . . .” You fill in the blank.

In Swami Kriyananda’s beautiful song, “God’s Call Within,” he writes:
    Friend, how long will you wander?
    Friend, as long as you seek your home
    In a land where all are strangers,
    Love locks her door. . . .
    Turn, turn, turn within:
    In silence of soul, in cave of love
    Find My abode.

In divine friendship, Nayaswami Devi

]]>
<![CDATA[The Third Wave]]>Sat, 13 Aug 2016 18:17:11 GMThttp://tawyoga.com/yoga-blog/august-13th-2016The following article was written by Nayaswami Jyotish and Devi, the spiritual leaders of Ananda Sangha Worldwide, and Swami Kriyananda's successors. Subscribe at http://www.atouchoflightletter.com/subscribe/
For further information on Ananda Sangha, Swami Kriyananda, Paramhansa Yogananda, and a wealth of resources on yoga, meditation and enlightenment please visit http://www.ananda.org/
The first of three great waves of blessing for mankind began in 1861 in the Himalayas. It was then that the great avatar Babaji initiated his disciple, Lahiri Mahasaya, into the yogic science of Kriya Yoga. As he was about to return to his job and family, Lahiri pleaded to Babaji, “I pray that you permit me to communicate Kriya to all seekers, even though at first they cannot vow themselves to complete inner renunciation. The tormented men and women of the world, pursued by the threefold suffering, need special encouragement. They may never attempt the road to freedom if Kriya initiation be withheld from them.”

Thus the blessing of Kriya became available to sincere men and women like you and me. This first wave was, however, confined to India. Among Lahiri’s many disciples were Yogananda’s parents and his guru, Sri Yukteswar. During his years in India Yogananda was prepared for his divine mission, to bring the science of meditation to the millions of thirsty souls in the West
.
The second wave began with Yogananda'a coming to America in 1920, where he lectured and wrote tirelessly. In the next 30 years he personally taught more than 100,000 people the ancient science of yoga and Kriya meditation, and planted these practices in the mindscape of America. His mission was to uplift the consciousness of a whole culture, and to knit together East and West. It culminated with the publishing of Autobiography of a Yogi, one of the most influential books ever written.

And yet that book is not meant to be just read. It needs to be lived. It is an owner’s manual for how to live a happy, successful, and holy life in these modern times. Another, third, wave was needed to demonstrate that these teachings are practical in the home, and the workplace, and the schools; that they are effective in health and sickness, in birth and death, and not only in the church. This third wave started in, of all places, Beverly Hills, California. As Swami Kriyananda writes in The New Path:

“I remember especially how stirred I was by a talk he gave at a garden party in Beverly Hills on July 31, 1949. 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 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. . . . Self-Realization has come to unite all religions. . . . 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!’”

This third wave is our golden opportunity. If we live our lives in attunement with the Divine within us, and practice a life of meditation and selfless service, it will lead to our own greatest happiness. But, more than that, this third wave can fulfill Master’s promise of a new and better era for the whole worl
d
.

In joy, Nayaswami Jyotish


]]>