Thanksgiving is celebrated in America every year in late November to honor the courage and faith of the early Pilgrim settlers. After surviving the adverse conditions in the New World, the Pilgrims celebrated their first harvest by offering thanks to God for His abundance and grace. George Washington, first president of the United States, established it as a national holiday in 1789, creating “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many favors of Almighty God.”

No matter how challenging our life has been, each of us has some reason to thank God: for the air we breathe from our first breath, for the sun that gives us warmth and light, for the people that gave us food and comfort along the way.
I’d like to share with you some things for which I am grateful to God. . . .

. . . a loving, compassionate family who taught me to give to others and see them in the highest way possible.

. . . deep childhood friendships that have endured for over sixty years and are still a source of support and joy.

. . . wise teachers who opened my heart and mind to the wonders and beauty of this world.

. . . Swami Kriyananda, my lifelong guide, who saw my spiritual potential, nurtured it, and showed me how to live in devotion and service to God.

. . . my husband, Jyotish, who has created with me a life rooted in inner peace and joy, filled with patience and acceptance of all of life’s varying circumstances, and always directed toward self-offering to God.

. . . our son and grandchildren, who have taught me that love has no limits, but is ever-expanding.

. . . my gurubhais who provide constant examples of how to follow the spiritual path no matter how difficult life may be.

. . . having the opportunity to share our Guru’s life-changing teachings with people throughout the world.

. . . the blessing of living in spiritual community, and seeing the heights that people reach when they join together in divine service.

. . . my great Guru, Paramhansa Yoganandaji, for calling me to him early in my life and forever leading me upward on “the spiral stairway of wakefulness” towards God.

. . . and to God Himself who is the Giver behind each of these gifts. I bow to You with a reverent heart.

I’d like to invite you now to take a moment, reflect, and share some things in your life for which you are grateful.

In loving friendship,
Nayaswami Devi

19 Comments

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  1. deviji,pranam.certainly i am not of your world.but feel master command is pushing towards totally unkown to me.recently was in london with my daughter.she invariably reads yogi autobiography and deeply involved in meditation processes.she gave me very small booklet ‘TO BE VICTORIOUS IN LIFE—SRI SRI PARAMAHANSA YOGANANDA’.its small book but more i read it feel more urge to read it again.as such book is not getting end.so far view no possibility to finish it.indeed each word of it is message to think and act.
    now in india,wish to go your centre at noida.today got your news letter.read it. felt it and hope some action may come forth.

    for thanks extention ,i may thank to above said booklet and also to my daughter who gave me booklet,without forgetting your newsletter.
    deviji and jyotish ji,wish you both best regards.

  2. A heartfelt THANKS to you for this lovely and thought provoking write-up.
    I too have pondered many a times on the same line; but I can NOT reach a conclusion as yet; hop step and jump many a times!
    But I do thank one person in life because of whom I am today have the blessings of Guruji, Swamiji and being associated with Ananda Sangha. The person is no more and so I thank the DIVINITY for introducing me in my late life to this person.

    It was GOOD to have met you and Nayaswami Jyotish recently in Delhi and Gurgaon in India. I am sure you both had a lovely journey back to Ananda Village via SF.
    With deepest Regards to you both
    Dev Adhikary (OR DEBABRATA ADHIKARY which ever appeals to you).

  3. Thank you, Devi, for the inspiration you and Jyotish send the community all over the world every year. I have a special list of things I have been thankful for this year. The path has been long but I finally found my way to Master’s path. Many years were very hard emotionally, but Divine Mother led me through even when I had no idea of what path I would take. This year I can finally see the map I didn’t know I have been following since I first joined another organization in 1974. Once I left that in 1994, under great strain, all the choices I made of where to live and work led me to find my home here with Master’s teachings. Once I had taken my discipleship vows, I could at last see the winding road and be so grateful that Mother’s grace had been carrying me all the time to this place. The next step is kriya but the road is brightly lit now.

  4. Dear Nayaswami Devi , thank you for your blessings & prayers and kind friendship. We are so blessed to be with you and Nayaswami Jyotish.
    Thank you for helping us in the spiritual journey.
    Thank you for making us to realize the presence of God and Guru in our life and showing the path.

    Aum
    Prem

  5. Every day I am grateful to be living in community with my spiritual family. I am grateful for the lessons and the mirror that helps us to truly see our selves and actually change. I am grateful for the work with the goats, burros, chickens and ducks- the greatness of their beings brings such joy to all who connect with them. I am grateful for the saints who model the highest way to live, and I am grateful that I don’t just read about saints, but that I get to work with them in my daily life. Even on the hardest, grittiest day of work, it is all such joy and blessings. Thank you Devi for that time during one of my earliest Ananda concerts, when you lovingly touched me as they sang, “Mist hands that soothe away pain,” from Peace. At that moment I knew that Ananda was a mystical, magical place with Master’s vibration that I couldn’t have imagined ever existed here on the planet earth. I am grateful to Swami Kriyananda for saying “I love the goats!” with his supportive enthusiasm, for his countless blessings and understanding both during muddle stages and more progressive stages. I am grateful, grateful, grateful!!!

    Joy and Blessings,
    Virani

    1. Sri Virani, you touched me deeply with your list of things you were grateful for! I am grateful for you! Thank you for your friendship and your dedication to God in these precious little ones! Love, brindey

  6. Thank you for your inspiring words, Devi. I remain grateful for Ananda where I first learned true joy and inner peace.

  7. I am grateful for everything.. Thank you so much for all the wonderful insights you bring to us all. You are a peaceful haven for many souls.

  8. My heart is filled with gratitude each and everyday for the unconditional love, of my Guru Paramhansa Yoganandaji, Swamiji, the both of you Devi and Jyotish who always held the highest in thoughts of me. All my gurubais worldwide and beyond who have helped to weave the net of divine friendship in our Beloved. Beyond this, today I am grateful for the trials and tests, because through them the Beloved has been able to awaken me to the Inner Life that is my true life in Them with all of you!

  9. I am thankful for all the people in my life and for the Spirit behind and within them all. It is a privilege to be a part of something so much greater than ourselves. Thank you for sharing, Devi.

    In divine friendship,
    Sambhava

  10. Dearest Divine Friend Devi,
    I am forever grateful to the same people you have thanked – because they supported you in becoming who you are: God’s channel of love and compassion to all of us.
    Thank you Devi. May God and Guru bless you with peace and fulfillment.
    Timothy

  11. Thank you, Devi; so grateful for this Path, God, Gurus, Swami, & Gurubais, always in uplifting reminder of our true bliss in God.

  12. Thank you Devi, it is a real treat to celebrate the holidays with our Spiritual Family.

    Having been in the Navy for many years I remember the difficulties of being away from family and friends during the holidays. During this time of great unrest; I would like to also extend our gratitude to the men and women who help protect the US.

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