Nayaswami Jyotish, Dharmarcharya of Ananda Worldwide, was appointed by Swami Kriyananda as his spiritual successor. Together, Nayaswami Jyotish and his wife, Nayaswami Devi, are Co-Spiritual Directors of Ananda Worldwide.
Nayaswami Jyotish became a student of Swami Kriyananda in 1967 in San Francisco, California. Soon he began assisting Kriyanandaji in a variety of ways, including teaching meditation classes in San Francisco.
Working closely with Swami Kriyananda, Jyotish became one of the founding members of Ananda Village, which officially started July 4, 1969, and for ten years served as the community’s general manager.
Swami Kriyananda’s Last Will, Testament, and Legacy provides that the nine-stone astrological bangle, which Kriyananda has worn in his capacity of Spiritual Director of Ananda, should be “worn by my spiritual successor and his successors.”
During a simple ceremony at Ananda Village on May 19, 2013, Jyotish formally received the nine-stone astrological bangle reflective of his new position as Kriyananda’s spiritual successor.
Nayaswami Devi is one of the founding members of Ananda having lived at Ananda Village and several of its branch communities since 1969. She has served in various functions of community life, including being a community correspondent and a teacher at Ananda’s Expanding Light retreat.
Together, Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi are the Spiritual Directors of Ananda Worldwide which includes directing the spiritual activities of Ananda Village and Ananda Communities throughout the world. Longtime devotees of Yogananda, Jyotish and Devi worked closely with Swami Kriyananda from 1969 until his passing. They have been personally trained by Swamiji to guide Ananda’s work worldwide and have taught and lectured around the United States, and in Europe, Russia, and India. They travel and lecture extensively throughout the world on the topics of yoga, meditation, family spirituality and living the spiritual life. Jyotish and Devi are both also Kriyacharyas, designated by Swami to initiate people into Kriya Yoga.
Jyotishji and Deviji are both also published authors. Jyotish is the author of a series of books called The 30-day Essentials, a 3-volume video series on Meditation Therapy, and a bestseller, How to Meditate. Devi is the author of Faith is My Armor: The Life of Swami Kriyananda, and the editor of The Light of Superconsciousness and Intuition for Starters, both by Swami Kriyananda. Together they have written Touch of Light and Touch of Peace, both compilations of articles they have written in their weekly blog. Jyotish and Devi’s clear, centered energy and insight combine with a delightful sense of fun and great kindness. If you’re new to Ananda, you will feel as though they are old friends you’ve just met.
“One of our great joys in being a part of Ananda is the chance we’ve had to share Yogananda’s path with many others. It’s so meaningful for us to hear new students say, ‘These teachings are so simple and practical. I can really use them to improve my life.” People light up when they realize spiritual teachings that they thought were beyond their grasp like the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras are actually both easy to understand and filled with deep understanding of human nature. In sharing these teachings over the years, we’ve also gained deeper insight into the process that we all go through to find true happiness in life.”