author of Swami Kriyananda As We Have Known Him
Asha’s free video talks on YouTube and her audio recordings of classes are a spiritual lifeline for people of many faiths around the world. Thousands of students have received training from her over the past 40 years, and been immeasurably helped by her unusual insight and clarity.
Asha is really an amazing speaker. She has an incredible ability to explain the teachings so clearly that it’s really a joy to listen to her. I absolutely love to listen to her Sunday services.”
—Gregor Leban, professor, Slovenia
With warmth and wisdom, Asha helps us see how spiritual teaching can be woven into daily, ordinary life. She offers practical, real-life examples to guide us, encouragement, and support for the journey of life. Her teachings are non-sectarian — sharing the truths that unite the great religions; her Sunday Services are based on texts from both the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita.
Asha is a lifelong disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, and has studied for more than 45 years with Yogananda’s direct disciple, Swami Kriyananda. She has devoted her life to bringing spiritual understanding to others through teaching, counseling, and writing. Asha means “hope” in Sanskrit. Her formal title is Nayaswami; she is called Swami Asha in person.
“Asha’s speaking style, though amazingly fresh and lively, has its roots in a simple desire to help. Her great gift is not so much her incredible talent for creative expression as it is her sincerely serviceful nature. Thus, through her talks, Asha has a way of bringing light, clarity, kindness, and joy into all aspects of life.”
—J.D., Mountain View
A brief biography
Swami Asha has been a spiritual seeker since she was a young girl. In 1969 at Stanford University, she heard Swami Kriyananda speak for the first time. Instantly, she recognized him as her spiritual teacher. “I knew the moment he walked into the room that he possessed the consciousness I had long been seeking.”
She soon became a founding member of the new community Swami was starting near Nevada City, California, called Ananda Village, based on Yogananda’s dream of world brotherhood colonies for “simple living and high thinking.”
Swami Kriyananda placed Asha in the role of teaching and counseling soon after her arrival at Ananda. She also served as Swami's correspondence secretary and personal assistant for many years.
She has served as one of the spiritual directors of Ananda Palo Alto since 1987. Asha is author of Swami Kriyananda As We Have Known Him, a collection of more than 200 stories by people who have been touched by his teachings and spiritual friendship, often in remarkable ways. She is also author of Ask Asha: Heartfelt Answers to Everyday Dilemmas on the Spiritual Path, and Loved and Protected: Stories of Miracles and Answered Prayers. (these books are also available as free audiobooks; you'll find the link near the top of each book's page)