Developing the spiritual power of being happy at will

Oct 28, 2023

I heard this wonderful story from Nayaswami Devi about Nayaswami Jaya. Nayaswami Jaya serves as one of the Spiritual directors of Ananda India. Several years back he was in one of the cities in India giving a talk about benefits of meditation when a man asked him if, having meditated for so many years, he had developed any “siddhi” or spiritual power. Jaya, being a man of modesty and integrity, first nodded his head and said no; and then he paused with a gentle smile and said “Actually I think I have one power – I can choose to be happy at will!” Almost everyone in that room signed up for his meditation class!


Our planet goes through long cycles of ascensions and descensions of human consciousness in time called the Yugas. For the past thousand years plus, we have gone through the dark age of Kali Yuga when average consciousness of man was limited to rigid matter only. We have just stepped into a higher Yuga in the past few hundred years. A little more Divine light is falling on our planet causing a gradual awakening of our consciousness and an increased awareness of energy behind all matter. Our current cycle called the Dwapara Yuga is an age of energy. The secret of controlling our own happiness lies in the understanding that we are essentially beings of energy. When our energy flows up, we feel happy. When our energy flows down, we feel dejected and sad. Is it possible to be aware of this energy flow within ourselves? The answer is yes. Is it also possible to control this energy to keep it flowing upwards? That answer is also yes.


Several years ago, when I mother in India passed away suddenly, I found myself, thousands of miles away, shocked in disbelief at first and then numbed with sorrow. I noticed every time I closed my eyes and centered my awareness deeply at my heart and raised the energy from the heart to the point between the eyebrows, a peace enveloped me; it could almost be called a feeling of mellow joy. In that inward state I also felt the joy of soul freedom of my beloved mother. And every time I came out of that inward state, my ego crumbled with sorrow at the thought of its loss. Later as my emotions calmed down with passing days I remember reflecting back on this experience. 


Paramhansa Yogananda has taught the energization exercises, which when done daily, not only increases the energy flow in our body, but begins to increase our awareness of that energy flow. Gradually with awareness comes control over that energy. The word “Pranayama” is used for breathing exercises and literally means “control of energy”. Kriya Yoga is considered the highest Pranayama technique by which the kriya yogi can raise and control one’s energy in their astral spine. Kriya yoga was perhaps a common practice all over our planet, during the past ages of higher divine consciousness. It was lost in the last lower age of Kali Yuga. As the new age of energy approached, it was ready to be practiced once again. Thus, as described in the Autobiography of a Yogi, Lahiri Mahasaya brought back Kriya Yoga from His Guru, Mahavatar Babaji, to the common people of the world, who sincerely seek God,  to help hasten their spiritual progress. And it was Paramhansa Yogananda who was divinely guided to bring that technique to the West. In Yogananda’s words, “Kriya Yoga is the airplane route to God”. However, the technique alone is not enough. It needs to be practiced daily, night and day, with sincerity, devotion and attunement to the Guru. When practiced correctly with the right attitude, it never fails to bring about the spiritual progress we are seeking. Our bodies are like electro-magnets. The stronger the current of Divine energy flowing through us, the stronger is our own magnetism, which draws to us everything we need, at the time we need it. This allows us to become stronger channels of Joy, Positivity, and Divine Love. 

If the goal of life is to be happy, then shouldn’t we all seek to be happy under all circumstances, good, and bad? And when we ask, “Where shall we find that happiness that never leaves us?”, we receive the Divine answer “Seek it in the farthest depths of Being, in your own Self”.  When we practice the techniques given to us with deep sincerity, humbleness, and love, surely and steadily we move towards that Ever-lasting Joy, the Happiness that never leaves us, called God; Satchidananda; The ever-existing, ever-conscious and ever new Bliss, that we are all a tiny part of.

Yogananda writes in his poem Samadhi: “A tiny bubble of laughter, I Am become the Sea of Mirth Itself.”

In our journey together, towards that Sea of Mirth,