Swami Kriyananda responds to a devotee who asked for advice on how to
respond to a friend’s angry letter.

Dear _______:

You asked for my suggestions on how you should respond to _____’s letter.

You might write a brief note thanking him for the friendship and concern that prompted him to write as he did. Where you yourself are concerned, say that these are things you sincerely want to work on in yourself: that it is not easy to change oneself, but that we are all living here primarily for that very purpose.

On a more general note, you might say that this is one of the wonderful advantages of living in a spiritual community: that we get repeated opportunities to see ourselves through others’ supportive but sincere eyes.  This is divine friendship, and it is something one rarely encounters in the world, where everyone seems to want only to justify his own actions and character.

Where _____ himself is concerned, yes, the truth often IS spoken in anger, but as Yogananda said, anger leaves a residue of disharmonious vibrations which in themselves are deleterious.

Citing Yogananda’s admonition, add that you hope his anger leaves him, as you yourself feel only friendship and gratitude toward him. Tell him that you hope also that his outburst will serve as a reminder in his work with others not to lose his temper with them, but to speak always with their welfare, as well as that of Ananda, in mind.

Your letter should smooth things between the two of you and preserve _____’s good will and friendship.

In divine friendship

Swami Kriyananda

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