Running through Ananda Village in Northern California are the rutted remains of an old road. A hundred and fifty years ago, during the time of the Gold Rush, when tons of ore were taken from the land around us, Wells Fargo stagecoach drivers urged their horses up and down these hills, and Pony Express riders rushed along carrying bags of mail. Interesting as history, but in current times this old road leads nowhere.

We all have the rutted remnants of old habits and attitudes that may once have served us well, but now no longer lead us toward our goal. Yet it is not always easy to know where we’re headed or how to move forward from here. We need a roadmap. In a recently published article, Yogananda gave us one, suggesting that we develop twelve Godly qualities as a means of overcoming the ego:

1.   Fearlessness and non-attachment
2.   Absence of self-conceit
3.   Purity of heart: no malice towards others
4.   Perseverance (in the acquisition of wisdom and the practice of meditation)
5.   Sattwic charity (including helping others materially)
6.   Self-restraint (which leads to control of the senses)
7.   Freedom from anger and faultfinding
8.   Straightforwardness
9.   Kindness
10. Forgiveness, (giving a person a chance to reform)
11. Renunciation (primarily of the heart)
12. Tranquility in the Self

It won’t help much just to read over the list. That would be like looking at the menu of a great restaurant, but never eating the food. We need to chew, swallow, and assimilate these virtues if we want to grow strong and healthy. We need a plan of action.

First, we can read the original article to more deeply grasp each of these qualities, and decide where we, personally, need to improve. This shouldn’t be an exercise in guilt—we all have some areas that are more developed, and others less so. What is important is to be clear about our goals and aware of the hidden thoughts, emotions, attitudes, and habits that keep us from achieving them. Then, we need to get to work.

Take on only one of these qualities at a time so we can stay on task, delving deeper, becoming clearer.

It is best to take on only one of these qualities at a time so we can stay on task, delving deeper, becoming clearer, until real progress has been made before moving on to the next. Each evening we can look back on the day, see how we did, and decide if more is needed. If so, we can develop a concrete plan of action for the coming day, perhaps even writing down our ideas and plans.

Fortunately, we have a model to follow. Today, as this blog comes out, is the 91st anniversary of Swami Kriyananda’s birth. For me and many of us at Ananda, he was the living example, expressing each of these Godly qualities, often in the face of significant challenges.

These virtues are a part of God, and therefore reside within us already. We have only to bring them to the surface. If we develop these qualities gradually, day by day, then they will transform us into a beautiful reflection of God and bless the world we live in.

In joy,

Nayaswami Jyotish

12 Qualities of God for Overcoming the Ego by Paramhansa Yogananda



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  1. Jyotish,

    This is a wonderfully helpful list, especially for those of us consciously trying to make our way on Yogananda’s spiritual path. If I were sitting where I could see you as I type this, you would see tears coming from my eyes. I just finished studying Swamiji’s Ask Me About Truth video on Attunement to the guru. i see that the list bears a strong relationship to the ways that Swamiji specified bring us closer to being attuned to our guru. Many times have I heard Ananda teachers talk about how important Master said it is to be more and more attuned to the guru but I have not heard the techniques he describes in this video being taught in any of the lectures or satsangs I have attended. I attend as many as I can and really my heart feels bereft of the things Swami discussed in this program. Now that I have studied this program , I am not the same person that I was before I started listening to the video and I feel the need of the knowledge of this specific point is so great.

    blessings for your work for your and Devi’s work for Master, My life is totally changed since I have had access to these teachings.


    pat wolff

  2. Dear Nayaswami Jyotish, Yet again many thanks to you for the very timely and much appreciated checklist which are all blessed reminders and, even on any given qualities we may have and are grateful for, we should never take anything for granted and rest on our laurels, as that in itself would be regressing instead of progressing. I thank you so much for your very clear inspirational guidance, gentle and encouraging wise teaching. Namaste

  3. One of the greatest gifts which I experience is gratitude. Being grateful for even small things such as a shower, observing the beauty in nature which often jumps me into feeling at one with God. When I experience this incredible sense of unconditional love it is pure euphoria. There are no words which can express this state of eternal bliss. That state of unconditional love is the greatest state of being that I have ever experienced. I experienced that state of being during my last visit to Ananda. During the 11 o clock Sunday worship service and throughout the rest of the day I experienced that feeling of joy and love. I am so very grateful that I experience that spiritual feeling of joy at times. During those times I feel only love for every one. During my meditation time I also experience that state of being which also lifts me into the state of gratitude. I give thanks for this special gift of gratitude. I Cherish it, for it is one of the greatest gits which I have been given. We are all so very blessed when we love one another which automatically puts us into a feeling of gratitude.

  4. Fault finding is the one I will be working on this month. Thank you for all your guidance friend.

    Maria W

  5. Dear Jyotish,

    Thank you for this very timely (for me) article. I am at a crossroads right now and was sitting in front of my computer wondering how to work on my old habits so I can break free. Then I clicked on this article and read it – just what I need to keep me on track.


  6. Respected Swamiji,
    Heartfelt thanks for the checklist provided by you.In our long journey of life, this is like a you have said one thing at a time.
    Radha K.

  7. Thanks Swamiji. These qualities look simple enough but may take a very long time to really acquire them. I agree we need to remind ourselves of these qualities and not just read it and forget.

  8. We all know as sadhuks that Babaji is God,immortal, has all his desires in the flesh.I practice the advanced pranayamas, mediations, chantings Om Namaha Shiviya ,Om Shree, energies from what I learned from great kriya kundalini yoga masters. Can you enlighten me on effective specific kriya kundalini yoga techniques I can practice everyday to achieve God immortality bliss, heaven within, my desires: true love, God’s love with a wife, money to give to Babaji; and take darshan with Babaji? Om Namaha Shiviya, Om Kriya Babaji Nama Om, Anadananda Namaste.

  9. Dear Nayaswami Jyotish Ji,

    Thank you for this blog 🙂 This is very helpful.
    ‘This shouldn’t be an exercise in guilt’ – Thank you for calling this out !

    ‘Happy Birthday’ 🙂

  10. Pranam Ji

    Thanks for the Guidance, second on the List Absence of Self -Conceit, I am going to work out.

    With Gratitude
    R Sundararajan

    1. Reading these definitely elevates me.There are some words or phrases in these blogs that stick on and influences your life. In the last one it was “interiorization of the mind”. In today’s it is the last paragraph,bringing out our innate divine qualities to the surface.Reminds me of the saying”We are essentially divine beings in with human bodies”.

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