The sun rose an unnatural shade of red-orange in the hazy early morning sky. Though the burning forests and towns were hundreds of miles from Ananda Village, the wind was blowing the smoke in our direction. The air quality was unhealthy and the temperatures were high, but still they came. They were building a temple of light.

Photo by KentWilliamsPhotography.com

Devotees from all the Ananda communities in America had come for a special Seva Week to help erect the new temple. Some were skilled carpenters; others were merely willing and happy to do whatever they could. Some were young; others were older. Some were people we’d known for years; others were new to Ananda. Some came alone, while others came in groups. There were even four father-son teams. Many wore face masks to filter out the smoke in the air, but the heat and the haze didn’t matter: They are building a temple of light.

As we talked with them during the morning break, I deeply felt how important this temple is—not just for those who are part of Ananda, but for the whole planet. Maybe we can’t put out forest fires, or reverse climate change, or bring dharma into government and politics, but this much we can do: We can build a temple of light.

Our guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, said, “Don’t try to banish darkness by beating at it with a stick. Turn on the light, and the darkness will vanish as though it had never been.” In other words, the darkness in the world today can’t be destroyed by a head-on attack. Our most effective weapon in this fight is consciously to draw divine light into our lives. This light itself is the only power that can dispel darkness.

Every God-attuned thought, word, feeling, and action we have illumines a small part of the world, and diminishes the darkness. Every seen or unseen act of kindness, compassion, or selflessness helps to empower this light. When collectively we lift our own consciousness and help others to do the same, we also strengthen that power. Then we, too, are building a temple of light.

Build this temple in your workplace, your home, your family, your meditation room, and most importantly in your own heart. Though there be challenges before you, forge ahead with determination until the foundation of your temple is solid. With your inner strength, erect the supporting beams and walls to give it shape. With your undying aspirations, raise the soaring roof. With garlands of loving devotion, decorate the altar. Finally, invite everyone to enter and receive the radiant light of your inner temple.

The word “guru” derives from root words meaning “dispeller of darkness.” Together, then, with God and Guru, let us build a temple of light that spans the globe.

Your friend in God,

Nayaswami Devi

Subscribe to the Touch of Light podcast. Download the audio recording of this week’s blog by right-clicking here. Or listen to it here (4:02):

16 Comments

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  1. I just happen see the comments above about preesing on to awareness of the need of work on CONCIOUSNESS. Which is good and true as far as it goes BUT it is not enough! More of those of high place have fallen then I like to thing of.. That is a Terrible thing !!! As David remarked so long ago …”My how the Mighty have fallen” .Then he went on to do so ! ATTUNEMENT to THAT ONE from which we came. Is safe alone ! NO matter what you call THAT ! So the wise have repeated TAT TWAM ASI (THOU ART THAT). Every tragety in this World OR Others can be traced to the first step AWAY from THAT ONE.!!! If we Fall GET ON UP………..In this is the whole of many a book and most talk!…………..I t Has Always Been Thus !!!…….. I AM ,and will aways be , YOURS in GODS LOVE, James

  2. Thanks so much for everything you all do !!! I do have a few problems….I have alway wondered Why most instructions like….. borders for things like the comment section….and where it asks for email address and such can hardly be seen. ALSO I have problem downloading that wonderful video of seva day chanting. I right ciick ……on the video it self….and then select “save as” in the list. The icon I get takes me to YOUTUBE which will not help me at all. Even then the download gets stuck on buffering and thats it. I get good down load s of the TWO audio on YOUR PAGE and view the video There but onlly so. Thanks again ,in Gods Lone .James

  3. Dear Devi,
    Thanks so much for your powerful words… I had wanted to be there for the seva week, but have to work at my profession. Nonetheless, I am very much there in spirit, and the beautifully constructed video helped that happen, so kudos to Kent and anyone else who put it together! I was deeply moved. With smoke and fires everywhere in California–including my home in Sacramento–a seeming metaphor for the state of the world–this reminder of a higher Truth was very much needed and greatly appreciated. Indeed, I do my utmost to build that temple of light inside my heart, and shine it on everyone I encounter in my daily life.
    love and blessings,
    Supriya

  4. Deviji I love these words. By inspiring us to build a temple in our own hearts its a call to transcend all our challenges and work towards this goal. Thank you for your words.

  5. This is very good…master also said thoughts are things..with determination,prayer day & night with meditation,Gods grace..we can strive
    to & finally keep only right,good,uplifting things(thoughts),in our minds..thereby making our hearts & minds..temples of light,for all time.

  6. YES PROBABLY THIS IS THE ONLY PATH THAT MIGHT BECOME THIS CURRENT GENERATIONS’ BIGGEST CONTRIBUTION AS WE HAND OVER TO THE NEXT – TO DISPELL DARKNESS AND LET THE LIGHT OF “SPIRITUALITY THRU’ UNITY” IN. ENOUGH OF RELIGIOUS WARS AND DIVIDES AS NO ONE BEING, HAS THE ANSWER TO WHICH IS SUPREME AND WHAT IS THE ABSOLUTE WAY………

    AND AT TIMES EVEN I TEND TO WONDER THE BIGGER PERSPECTIVE THAT EACH ARE PRECISELY PUT HERE TO SIMPLY WALK HIS/HER PATH AND PURPOSE! AND BTW THIS HAS BEEN THE LOUD MESSAGE AND RELENTLESS WORK OF MY GURU TOO, SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR FOR A BETTER HUMANE SOCIETY DEVOID OF VIOLENCE, SUFFERING AND HATRED AND DISEASE!

    BUT THE CHALLENGE TO RAISE THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF PEOPLE TO GO BEYOND THE FOUR LEVELS OF MASLOW’S, SEEKING FOR THE HIGHER THINGS IS AND HAS BEEN THE EFFORT OF ALL SPIRITUAL MASTERS I GUESS…..FOR THERE IN LIES THE SOLUTION TO MOST OF THE MANMADE PROBLEMS AND WARS OF THIS CENTURY.

    TO LOOK BEYOND AND FROM A HIGHER PLANE OF EXISTENCE AND TO RALLY AS MANY TO REALLY SEE THIS HIGHER TEMPLE OF LIGHT! FOR , THAT IS THE ONLY TRUE TREASURE OF YOUR THIS LIFETIME. THE LOVE U SPREAD, THE GOOD DEEDS THAT U DID AND HOW U BETTERED THE PLANET OR THE LIVES OF YOUR CO-HABITERS

  7. Thank you Deviji! Your words, and reminders touched me deeply and tears flowed. I send you and all the devotees there much Light!

  8. This is so beautifully inspiring. I can’t wait to see the Temple and all our friends very soon at Spiritual Renewal Week. With deep love and gratitude – thank you. Vivekadevi

  9. Dear Jyotish and Devi, I WILL DO SO . –James Pickens , New York , Though what I can do be just tear drips in the OCEAN of this task….. I will do so.

  10. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,

    Thank you for this wonderful blog and the beautiful video. Many hands making a miracle.
    Master’s blessings towards the end was very nice to see 🙂
    Thank you for the Inspiring words and the guidance

    Joy,
    Prem

  11. Dear Deviji,
    Thank you for these inspiring words, Master’s words along a similar line come to mind as well, as he said, make your heart a hermitage, and your robe, the love of God. Through you and Jyotishji we feel ourselves as a part of this wonderful light as well.
    Jai Guru.

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