Building Strength During Times of Health Challenges


Does the occurrence of a disease have any connection to the spiritual progress of a devotee or practitioner? What could be God's reason for bestowing disease on a sincere devotee? And what must a devotee afflicted with disease think — how should s(he) proceed in life, what justification/solace shall s(he) give to himself/herself? What should be done so that faith in God remains unshaken?

—Anonymous, India


Dear Friend,

Thank you for your thoughtful question.

When we are pursuing a spiritual life and engaging in spiritual practices to help expand our consciousness, we can experience illness and imbalance. Our practices help to mitigate this and gives us tools for dealing with these challenges.

There is always the element of karma. Sometimes the ‘karma’ just has to play out on the physical plane. It is not a sign of weakness, impurity, failure or lack of attunement. Spiritual seekers should just see this as a necessary test and something ‘to do battle’ with to overcome these issues.

Keep God and Guru in mind and heart even more than usual. Keep daily meditations very strong and consider doing Yogananda’s Peace and Harmony Prayer for the world and for ourselves. Begin by saying “Lord, fill this world with peace and harmony!” Repeat ten times. Then repeat three times: “Lord, fill me with peace and harmony!” Then, rubbing your hands together chant AUM, AUM, AUM to send light out to the world. As we include others in our efforts, we are also blessed.

Also, try not to think, “This should not be happening.” There is no use in arguing with reality or with what is actually happening. Instead, cultivate the attitude “I am a sincere disciple and God and Guru know what is best for me. So if this is happening, then it must be best for me. So I accept it and I am grateful for it.” It is often very difficult to feel gratitude for our karma sometimes but even a little of it will help.

Give the entire situation to Divine Mother. Ask Her to give you strength to handle what has come to you. When you have love for God in your heart, difficulties become so much easier. Do your best and never give up.

Many blessings on your efforts,
Nayaswami Hassi