Recently in Mumbai, India, we were asked the question: “What are some of the lessons you’ve learned on your spiritual journey, especially those involving Swami Kriyananda?” I’d like to share some of my responses with you, because they touch on issues that each of us faces as a devotee.

Lesson #1: Does God Really Know That I’m Making a Spiritual Effort?

When we’re new at meditation and not sure of what we’re doing, it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling inadequate yet unsupported in our efforts. We may ask ourselves, “Does God even know I’m here, or that I’m trying?”

I want to assure you that at many points along my journey, I’ve been shown that no spiritual effort goes unnoticed, and that God has been cheering us on all along the way. For example, in the second year that I was at Ananda, I was living at the Meditation Retreat in a small trailer that was nestled in a quiet wooded glen. I was doing my best to meditate regularly, but often my meditations were, let’s say, less than stellar.

One morning, however, I had a breakthrough and enjoyed a deep, still period of meditation. Afterwards, as I was walking along the forest path to the dining room for breakfast, I saw Swami Kriyananda talking with a group of people some distance away. Although his back was towards me, and he was about one hundred yards away, as I drew closer, he abruptly turned, left the group, and walked over to me.

Taking my hands in his and looking deeply into my eyes, Swamiji quietly said, “Very good.” That was all.

Stunned, I thought, “He knew!” This experience, and others like it, gave me assurance that the Divine Eye is watching. God, through wise teachers, is cheering us on in our achievements, and encouraging us despite our failures.

Lesson #2: Am I Making Any Spiritual Progress?

Once Jyotish and I were riding in a car with Swamiji, and he was discussing how well some Ananda members were doing spiritually. I wasn’t trying to focus the discussion on my own life, but almost inadvertently I said, “I don’t know that I’ve really changed all that much in the years I’ve been on the path.”

With a great deal of energy, he responded, “How can you say that? You’re an entirely different person than when you came.” Swamiji went on to say that it’s very difficult to see changes in ourselves, because what falls away isn’t who we ever were anyway. Rather, as we progress spiritually we come to dwell more in our own soul nature, which is so familiar that we often aren’t aware of it. The ability to remain calm and joyful in all of life’s circumstances is often a truer sign of spiritual progress than even experiences or visions in meditation.

Lesson #3: What Is the Best Way to Make a Life Commitment to Your Spiritual Goals?

Lessons learned on the spiritual path Swami Kriyananda advice to Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi

Swami Kriyananda gave more and more of himself until every act was offered to God.

The example of Swami Kriyananda’s own life was the best teacher for this lesson. As the years went by, he gave more and more of himself until there wasn’t a drop of blood, a breath, a spoken or written word, a musical note, or an act of service to others that hadn’t been offered. To stay the course and remain on the spiritual path for a lifetime means increased self-offering every step of the way.

At first, we’re asked to give very little. But as time goes by, we’re asked to give more and more of ourselves—of our service, our time and energy, our thoughts, and our love. Eventually we realize that the more we give, the more strength we have to continue the journey to the end.

These are some lessons that I’ve learned on my journey. Would you like to share some of yours?

With love in God and Guru,

Nayaswami Devi

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  1. Thank you for sharing your experience .yes those are doubts I think we all have. It is reassuring to read of yours and what you learnt.

  2. A very good lesson I learned is attunement to Master, attunement to God. Whenever there have been good periods of attunement, my devotion became stronger, I took decisions easily, I was much calmer throughout the day – in short, it never felt like ‘me’ doing anything, it was always effortless, just going with the flow. I realized that through attunement came literally everything we need, and more importantly, everything that is right for us to grow ever deeper. Joy to you, Devi ji and Jyotish ji.

  3. Too me, in true religion there is no congregation, cult or sect.
    For how can there exist a religion of One?
    It’s hard to imagine for some, that all living forms of life possesses a sliver of consciousness that may stem from a singular contemplative omniscient source, where at this stage of physical existence, aspects of itself (“us”) must go through a wash, rinse & spin cycle however many times it takes before being able to evolve itself, via accumulated experience, inward to higher forms of consciousness.
    Although I’ve been thinking/feeling this way since childhood I came to recently discover that Jainism reflects these ideas.
    The only issue I have with most religions, is intermingling with others that have yet to realize they’re an extension of what they or others keep calling God, where they still find it necessary to bow, pray, sacrifice &/or worship a state of being whose concept is beyond their level of comprehension & whose sole/soul purpose may be Purity through Refinement.
    What Light generated consciousness is going through can be found reflected in the cycles of life & death.
    Be one with the One & you will no longer sense others.

  4. Many have a choice it seems but me …..I didn’t have but only my Faith in that rooted thought of a higher power , by whatever name or title that it be known to anchor upon. And many times and in many ways , that power called God? Cosmic Intelligence? Christ? Lord Krishna? Whichever form or name I do not know and care less to know, but time and again I have been rescued by His name and grace in the Church, in the Temple. This much is TRUE and therefore I AM A BELIEVER IN GOD, IN DIVINITY, IN SPIRITUALITY, IN THE CONSCIOUSNESS IN THE COSMOS …..THERE SURELY EXISTS A FORCE IN THE UNIVERSE THAT CARES AND PROTECTS YOU IF YOU ARE GOOD IN YOUR THOUGHTS AND PURPOSE.

  5. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,

    Thank you for this inspiring blog.
    After coming in to this path and following the teachings with his blessings, I could always feel there is a guidance from Master, Divine, Swamiji.
    I was blessed to attend the talk by Swamiji in Chennai. The Answer movie drew me closer to Swamiji
    Swamiji is our role model and inspiration on how to be a true disciple.

    Jai Guru
    Prem

  6. Some lessons learnt on spiritual path :

    -never react to any situation
    -be grateful every step of the way
    -accept every situation as it is and move on
    -selflessness thru self-offering
    -endure and accept every duality
    -mastery over man and situation

    Above lessons have been life transforming and fulfilling for me .

    Jai Guru

  7. To know that Swami was that much in tune with you, Devi, gives way to the fact that he was in tune with everything. It is also reassuring that he is still watching and urging us on. The painting of Swami holding hands with Master in the afterlife is another blessing to us in that they are both here with us and as we walk through the door into the next open and clear astral life, they will hold our hand as well.

  8. Dear Deviji,
    Thank you for sharing your learning. They are so encouraging and reassuring.
    I would like to share one of mine – Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed with my responsibilities at home, work and Ananda. However thankfully very quickly comes the thought, “God is the doer, not you,” and that almost always changes my attitude instantaneously to one of gratitude. This way I get a small and momentary victory over the ego.

  9. Dear Devi ji,

    Very very inspiring and helpful in making even more deepening efforts to find God. Thank you for sharing since I always keep wondering if
    I am doing enough or am I doing right spiritual things to get closer to find God?

    Thank you! Thank you!!

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