I am a student and I want to leave my school. I want spirituality. I am different from my family members and I can’t live with them, so much troubles in my home. Please can you advise me what can I do?

—Shubham, India


Dear Shubham,

I wish I knew how old you are or what level of school you are in! From a distance without knowing you personally, I think it is safest to bring out two points:

1. If you are fired up for God-realization then this is the time in your life to make your move…….BUT…..

2. If you are “tired up” with school or your family and imagining that the spiritual path is for you (but haven’t really tried it), then I would caution you. God can come to you wherever you are and whatever you are doing.

If you have already established a daily habit of meditation and prayer; are “drunk with God” then I promise you God will show you the way; bring to you your guru; or some way guide you on your next step.

But if you are “only thinking about it” or “reading books,” then I have to say that you need to put into action your spiritual seeking right where you are.

In my life, my college studies proved to be a blessing and a service to my guru’s work (Ananda Village in California). It wasn’t that my college studies were very interesting to me but I knew that the skills I would learn would allow me to live anywhere in the world as I pursued my spirituality.

Yogananda was told by his guru to get his college degree so his work in America would be more readily accepted.

Yet, I must also admit that my teacher, Swami Kriyananda (founder of the worldwide work of Ananda) left college to meet his guru, Yogananda. Swamiji was on fire and the guru he sought was a true avatar! Who among us can say the same?

Do you live in a city in India where Ananda has a center? Where you can be with other devotees at least weekly? Have you visited AnandaIndia.org online? Or, of course as your note suggested, Ananda.org online with the online courses, meditations, and community?

Examine, then, closely how much time and depth of devotion you are putting into your spiritual search. Not just reading books, however. Know that God, as Divine Mother or guru, will NOT abandon you but have faith in divine guidance to show you the way when you are ready.

I understand that school, esp in India, is very, very competitive and that there is much anxiety among students for the need to achieve high marks. But don’t let fear of this be an excuse to run away to an ashram, so to speak. If it is right and useful to complete your education, then ask for divine guidance.

I recommend you read or re-read Yogananda’s AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A YOGI and recall how he got through college with the divine assistance of his guru. Read, also, Swami Kriyananda’s life story, THE NEW PATH, and see how he passed his Greek examination with a strong positive affirmation. This is your time in life to prove yourself; to apply will power; and, to seek the grace, faith, and courage to do what is needful in your life at this time.

But, if you are indeed burning up the ether with your prayers and devotion, spending your nights in meditation, then I recommend you contact one of the acharyas at Ananda India for personal advice and steps you can take.

God is Doer. God is the goal of life. No other human desire can ever fulfill our hunger for Bliss, our true home.

Joy to you,
Nayaswami Hriman
Seattle WA USA