What is a Nayaswami?

A new renunciate order

You will see the word “Nayaswami” next to some of our instructors’ names. They have taken vows in a new renunciate order that Swami Kriyananda founded in 2009. (“Naya” means “new” in Sanskrit). You will often recognize a nayaswami by the rich blue color they wear. “Blue suggests calmness, kindness, and an expansive consciousness,” writes Swami in A Renunciate Order for the New Age. And we believe those are traits you will observe in our staff – those who are nayaswamis and those who are not.

This new renunciate order is very much like the ancient swami order in spirit, but is a new expression for our age of higher consciousness. Its emphasis is on “positive” renunciation—a joyful expansion to Infinity. The vows of the new renunciate order.

Why a new order?

Though many people consider themselves deeply spiritual, many convents and monasteries stand empty. Renunciation in the traditional sense no longer has the respect it once had in society. At the same time, true renunciation remains the heart and soul of the spiritual life. The problem is not with the principle itself, but the way it has been practiced.

A Renunciate Order for the New Age

For millennia, renunciation has been defined by what you give up, or by what God takes away. But as we have moved into a higher age of awareness, people have begun to see that suppressing the ego is not the same as transcending it. This new order encourages one to identify more with the joy of the higher self and less with the ego.

Anyone may join this new order. It is open to spiritual seekers of any faith, and not limited to those who are part of Ananda. The Pilgrim’s Vow is especially for those who want to take the step of making a greater commitment to God in their life. Swami Kriyananda’s A Renunciate Order for the New Age describes the new order in detail.

If, after reading this book and the vows, you feel inspired to take such a step, or to talk about what it means, please contact us.


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Ananda is a worldwide movement to help you realize the joy of your own higher Self. It is based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda and was founded by his direct disciple Swami Kriyananda in 1968.
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