In response to the global pandemic, Ananda Sangha Worldwide is initiating a “Be a Warrior for the Light” campaign. Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi, our spiritual directors and divine friends, are leading us through this crisis with the “sword of faith in our hand” and “the love of God in our hearts.”

Part of the “Be a Warrior for the Light” initiative will include weekly prayers for the world, online meditations, a new online community, and practical resources to help us all navigate through these turbulent times.

The Divine Light is  inviting us to ACT: to choose consciously what role we want to play in this crisis. That is to say, to be warriors for the light!

To support the initiative, Dharmadevi and I started an online Autobiography of a Yogi book study group. If you want to be a warrior for the light, study the divine light warriors from Paramhansa Yogananda’s spiritual classic!

In preparing for the first book study group on Autobiography of a Yogi, I recalled a story Swami Kriyananda tells in his own autobiography, The New Path. He narrates his first meeting with Yogananda:

At one point in our discussion, he asked me how I had liked his book (Autobiography of a Yogi). 

“Oh, it was wonderful!” 

“That’s because it has my vibrations in it,” he (Yogananda) replied simply. 

Vibrations? I’d never thought of books as possessing “vibrations” before. But, clearly, I had found his book almost alive in its power to convey, not merely ideas, but new states of awareness. –The New Path 

Rather than an Autobiography of a Yogi book study group, we should think of it as a vibrational attunement group! Sound is God, and light is another expression of divine energy or sound. There is a unique ray of the divine light that comes through Yogananda and Autobiography of a Yogi; his book is a “warrior of light” way for this new age of divine energy.

As we were reading the first chapter during the study group, one phrase caught my attention. In it Yogananda is describing his father:

Father, Bhagabati Charan Ghosh, was kind, grave, at times stern. Loving him dearly, we children yet observed a certain reverential distance. –Autobiography of a Yogi

Since we, as a planet, are trying to stop the spread of the virus through social distancing, this phrase “reverential distance” stood out to me. As Yogananda said, “In distant closeness, love lives.” This is the highest form of social distancing!

Although our reaction to this crisis could cause division, what if we choose to unite? What if this distance on the physical plane actually offers the opportunity to come together in a more subtle way as warriors for the light? 

Through reverential distance, we observe the light of God within each one of us. And then together, we can light the world.

Will you join us in this loving labor of light?

In reverential distance,

Nayaswami Narayan