These two letters from Swami Kriyananda on how to grow closer to God were in response to a devotee on retreat.

Dear ——:

Retreats generally are supposed to be times of self-examination. The important points to remember on retreat are these:

1. There is only one true goal in life: to please God; to come closer to Him; to love Him; to unite our souls to Him.

2. Nothing and no one truly belongs to us; we are His alone.

3. The way to know God is by inner stillness of heart.

4.  This stillness is attained by loving more fully, more calmly, more wholeheartedly, never by deadening the emotions or hardening our hearts against those who would harm us.

5. Joy is ours when we accept fully that we are God’s, that God’s nature is joy, and that His nature is our nature, in our souls.

I’ve always loved a statement of St. Jean Vianney’s: “If you knew how much God loves you, you would die for joy!”

In divine friendship,

Dear ——:

If we feel God’s love in someone’s love for us, then that is right and good. I remember once in India telling the woman saint, Anandamoyi Ma, how much I and others in America loved her. Her reply was, “There is no love except God’s love.”

The worldly ego might take her reply as a put-down, but I understood it as a reminder that we can truly love others only to the degree that we do so consciously as instruments of God’s love.

The solution to our worries is love, and more love—divine love, not egoic love (the ego’s love is rooted in likes and dislikes). As the Bible says, “Perfect love casteth out fear.”

“Blessed are the pure at heart, for they shall see God.” When your love for Him is effortless and complete, you will have Him.

In divine friendship,


  1. This reminds me that the Divine Mother or the Divine Father is also beloved of the Master. He or She is his Beloved, too.

  2. Who but #Swamiji could with such honesty, sincerity express that which we grope for words to project! He simplified it all! Takes awzy the burden from my little mind to analyse. What wealth he has left us with in the form of his writings, songs and presence in our lives. How closely touched by His light we were! Jai Swamiji!

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