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July 16, 2024
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How Asha Nayaswami Helps People Discover the Meaning of Life Through Positive Renunciation

Finding the meaning of life is one of the top questions people have pondered for as long as humankind has existed. Thousands of philosophies and schools of thought have sprung up ever since civilization began to answer this question. Without finding any purpose in life, many die having lived disappointing, unhappy, and regretful lives. As one who also wondered what the meaning of life is, the inspirational guide Asha Nayaswami has made it her life’s work to lead people along the path towards happiness through a yoga-based lifestyle.

Like all truth-seekers, Asha struggled to figure out what life was all about, intensely searching for its meaning. It was not until she had a fateful encounter with Swami Kriyananda — a foremost disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, a well-known yogi and author of the spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi — that she found the path she was seeking.  Swami Kriyananda is also renowned for founding the spiritual organization Ananda. In November 1969, Swami visited Stanford University to give a lecture. 

Asha had already dropped out of Stanford at the time, but she made the choice to return to school to hear Swami speak. Looking back on the experience, she shared, “As soon as he walked into the room before he even spoke, I recognized him as the Polestar I was seeking. It came as an inner voice: ‘He has what I want!’ I later understood what he had was joy and freedom.”

The momentous encounter completely altered the course of her life. Driven by the desire to learn from the man she calls Swamiji, meaning “respected teacher,” she relocated to Ananda Village, a spiritual community based on Yogananda’s teachings amid the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, becoming a founding member. Later she was asked by Kriyananda to lead an Ananda community in Palo Alto, California. .  In 2012, just months before Swami Kriyananda departed from this world, he asked her to serve as a global ambassador for Ananda.

He encouraged Asha to write his biography because of her admirable commitment to the vision and her strong relationship with her mentor. Lightbearer, a first-person narrative of more than 40 years of close contact with the leader, was later published in 2019.

“During my years with Swamiji, I observed, recorded, practiced, and began to share. This teaching, this way of life, the spiritual practice itself, communion with our own higher reality – this is the key to happiness and fulfillment everyone is seeking. It would be unthinkable for me to do anything but devote my life to sharing with all who are interested. I’m not here to persuade or convert, however, only to share,” she explained.

Asha Nayaswami shares her spiritual knowledge with the world through her YouTube channel. Her video on understanding chakras has amassed a whopping 100,000+ views. She also advocates for spiritual wellness on her podcast, Living Wisely Living Well, where she offers timeless wisdom to enrich her audience’s every day. Each episode presents practical ways to improve life and is based on the book by Swami Kriyananda. Asha also has over 80K followers on Instgram and growing. You can follow her and her journey @innerlifewith_asha.

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