“Master and the Spiritual Eye” painting by Nayaswami Jyotish

I was reading an article by Paramhansa Yogananda when I came upon a passage that stopped me in my tracks: “I remember the day when for the first time, unlooked-for, from behind the clouds of the drudgery of routine meditating habits, the aurora of bliss suddenly burst upon my consciousness. It surpassed all my expectations. Joy indescribable!”

To think that Master ever shared the experience with us mere mortals of a sense of “drudgery” of meditation was astonishing. Even more astonishing was the thought of the specific moment in some distant incarnation when “for the first time” he broke through limited consciousness to soar in infinite bliss.

And finally the realization dawned on me that just as Master’s efforts led him to bliss, so, too, our efforts will one day lead us there. This was a thrilling thought for me – to anticipate the arrival of that moment when all our doubts, fears, and sense of limitation are swept away into the vast sea of God’s consciousness.

Shortly before his passing in April 2013, Swami Kriyananda was talking with me about a book that he wanted me to write. I felt more than a little inadequate to the task, and said to him, “Swamiji, I’m happy to try to work on this project, but I’m not really a very good writer.”

His reply was wonderful and perfectly put to motivate me: “Well, nothing to do then but roll up your sleeves and get to work.”

This is good advice for all of us: even if we feel spiritually inadequate, it’s important just to make the effort to know God. In other words, don’t wait for miracles, but do the work, and the miracles will come. Then we, too, will discover “joy indescribable!”

With love in God and Guru,
Nayaswami Devi


  1. Thank you.
    Day in and day out I work at this or that, and then I find myself back at my meditation chair and I do wonder what I am doing here. Performing ritualistic energizing exercises, reading the Gita or listening to Swami Kriyananda, then into chanting, breathing and Kriya… Day after day, seeing or experiencing little movement, so my ego believes.
    I am not waiting anymore for that magical moment in time when a light will dawn in me and the heavens part, the Angels sing and ecstasy overcomes me, I am that, I am. Day in an day out, in service, in love, on my chair, working, working, chop wood-carry water.

    1. Thank you Dave, for this reminder to be in the present moment–chopping wood and carrying water–in whatever various forms they may inhabit. It also reminds me of the following saying,
      Yesterday’s history
      Tomorrow’s a mystery
      Today’s a gift
      That’s why it’s called
      The present

  2. Jai Guru Deviji,
    Thank you for the article. It was amazing to realize that a simple thought can be so inspiring and uplifting for a spiritual aspirant. Bless me so that I may be inspired and enthusiastic spiritually always.

  3. Thanks so much deviji,
    That was so full of hope !

  4. Devi,
    Your posts are a sweet, bright spot. keep writing.
    – MB

  5. Thank you dearest Jyotish and Devi for these wonderful inspirations.
    I’m going through a phase right now where I find myself lacking in my meditation.
    Master is so loving, to send these reminders and give the gentle nudge to get us back on track
    Love and Joy to you always

    1. Dear Nomita,
      We encourage you to keep trying in your meditations. Remember Master is guiding each of us who are sincerely trying.
      With love,
      jyotish and devi

  6. Thank you Devi! This reminds me of the passage in Paul’s letter to the congregation in Corinth regarding those who battle in athletic contests. A Greek text rendering is, “I so swing my fists, not as one who, when fighting, misses his opponent, merely beating the air and not striking a straight blow which finds its target” (1 Cor. 9:26). Swamiji’s comment about rolling up one’s sleeves and getting to work strikes me as a wonderful illustration of this type of mindset of putting in the right kind of effort.

    1. And similarly, as Lahiri Mahasaya used to oftentimes say, “Banat, banat, ban jai!!!
      “Striving, striving, one day behold!”
      “Making, making, one day made!”

  7. Sometimes it seems like I’m the only one who struggles in meditation. How amazing to have Master validate our struggles and inspire us to know that in a moment, unlooked-for, we will break through that veil into bliss.
    Thank you for the inspiration Jyotish and Devi.

    1. Truly you are not the only one. We are united in this.

  8. Dear Deviji, how welcome were these words of encouragement! I’ve not wanted to acknowledge the “drudgery” aspect, which certainly is present, and I feel so validated by Master’s words. It feels like something heavy has been lifted.

    1. Glad that it helped you. His words are a great source of strength for us all.

  9. Just what I needed to hear! The miracle is in the daily work and in the promise of true bliss.

  10. What a liberating quote! I am so glad you brought it back to my attention, it will make all the difference in my future meditations. I had read the paragraph before, but missed the important message of the first sentence. Thanks, Devi! P.S. I think you are a terrific writer!

  11. Many thanks for sharing these lessons in willingness to serve Master and letting him guide our thoughts and actions. Bliss is our nature and our destiny!

  12. Devi, I am reading your book now and although I have heard “the story” before, your rendering of it is very fresh and pleasing. I love the way you write– so clear and bright. Thank you for “rolling up your sleeves”.
    Thank you also for this post about the drudgery of meditation; I’m sure we’ve all felt it at times. Amazing that Master revealed this to us. This was so very inspiring. ~

    1. Dear Cleis,
      We’re glad that you enjoyed the book. I’m going to start on another in January after we return from India.

  13. It is such a revelation! It’s a gift to know this.

  14. Dear Devi,
    Thank you for sharing these wonderful insights. So inspiring and uplifting. Very timely, of course! Much love to you and Jotish, in Master, Luba Grenader.

    1. Dear Luba,
      How nice to hear from you. And much love to you Anna, Dmitri, and the boys.
      With joy,

  15. Lovely thoughts Devi! Thank you! I always try and remember that God has never left me I just need to “roll up my sleeves and get to work”!

  16. Devi
    This a beautiful thought and sharing it like this in capsule form is a great way for the meaning to be absorbed.
    But is Master holding a tiger head on his lap? Is this to remind us that that spiritual practice will enable us to control the “tiger” of the senses?

    1. Dear Pat,
      Yes, Master is resting his arm on a tiger skin. Traditionally yogis often use tiger skins to sit on for meditation, because they are said to insulate the consciousness from downward pulling energy. In the West we are taught to sit on a wool blanket for the same purpose. We chose the photo because Master has “rolled up his sleeve” and looks like he is about to “get to work.”

  17. Dear Devi,
    I often start my day wondering how to best serve Him and often feel that I could certainly do something more “important” than doing the dishes or cleaning up my bathroom. I then take time to look into the eyes of my Beloved Guru and have a feeling that it doesn’t matter what I am going to do as long as I stay attuned to Him, always, and “roll up my sleeves and get to work”.
    Thank you so much Devi! It is always inspiring to read your blog. Blessings to you and Jyotish

    1. Dear Johanne,
      Yes, I agree with you about what is important. Really it all comes down to feeling ourself as a part of God and Guru in all that we do. The rest is just details.
      With blessings,

  18. Jyotish Devi,
    Thank you so much for this new blog! It also really adds a whole new element of community reading the comments and your reply to them.

  19. Dear Jim,
    With referance to your reply to Dave about today being a gift called Present,i would like to add:
    “And the Present is not ordinary present but Omnipresent”

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