People frequently ask us, “Why have you followed the spiritual path for your whole life?” There are many answers to that question, but a big one is: “It brings me inner freedom.” By this I mean, freedom to change negative patterns that have kept me in their clutches; freedom to respond with calmness and kindness even when others are angry or challenging; and, simply, freedom to enjoy whatever life brings.

We’ve all had those painful “Aha!” moments when we look in the mirror and realize that we’ve actually been the cause of a lot of the problems in our life. Swami Kriyananda gave some great advice for such times: “When you see a fault within yourself, don’t despair, but rejoice. It’s been there all along, but now that you’ve seen it, you can start working to change it.”


So what are some spiritual tools that help us to break free of our karmic patterns?

Karma is simply energy generated by past thoughts or actions that we’ve steered in a certain direction. This understanding gives us a handle on the subconscious patterns that control our behavior, and the ability to direct the flow of energy in a positive direction. With conscious awareness and determination, replace a negative pattern with a positive one.

If, for example, you’ve been critical of others, attracting in turn criticism back to you, use your will power to offer acceptance and support to everyone. Though the battleship of our karma may be slow in changing its course, in time a new direction will be set, heading us now toward the open seas of freedom.

Use affirmations repeatedly with deep concentration to change chronic patterns of thinking. Find a prayer or affirmation appropriate to a specific karma that you’re working on, and let it be your constant companion. For example, if you have a problem with mindless snacking, use these words of Paramhansa Yogananda whenever temptation comes: “Today I will rise above the consciousness of food and know that I live by the pure peace of silence. I will feed my soul constantly with the Divine Manna of Peace.”

Be patient: The deeper the karma, the longer the time required to change it. As Master recommends, don’t constantly dig up the spiritual seeds you’re sowing to see if they’re taking root. Let them grow in their own time to become mighty plants.

Bring the problem to God in meditation and prayer. Some years ago I was faced with a test that was causing me a great deal of pain. No matter what I did to free myself from the clutches of this karmic beast, it tenaciously confronted me every day. Finally I went to Swami Kriyananda to ask his advice about how to break free of it.

With wisdom and love, he said, “Everything that you’re doing is good, but ultimately it’s God’s grace that frees us from our karma.”

From his words I understood that our sincere efforts and desire to be free draw the grace that brings release. We have to do our little part, and then God steps in and unties the knots of karma that have kept us bound.

And so it happened in my situation. Though it took some years, ultimately the karma was dissolved in an unexpected, beautiful, and deeply satisfying way that I couldn’t have envisioned myself.

Through the grace of God and Guru, may we find freedom from all limitations.

Nayaswami Devi


  1. Thank you. These emails generally arrive after I’ve spent an hour of “heads-down” editing first thing in the morning. They make a lovely change of pace, a refreshing spiritual snack.

  2. Beautiful words of encouragement, put to practice everyday. Patience is the key word for me.

  3. Thank you for this one especially. It helps me personally a very great deal. I’ve had an ongoing issue for a number of years which has had no resolution yet.



  4. Thank you dear soul. The affirmation on food touches a ‘wonderfully’ sore spot in me and reminds me to choose the “Grace that brings Release”. I had an insight yesterday about habit and how restricting old habits and behavior can be. I now, finally, understand why Dronacharia/habit fought with the Kauravas. Habit’s restrictive energy holds on to karma rather than allowing me to release it. In grateful JOY, steve

  5. Are you reading my mail? You’ve once again picked the issue that is up for me this very morning.
    Thanks again, as always!!!

  6. Your message landed on my inbox when I needed it the most…so reassuring. What a profound truth explained in such simple words. In the drama of life which is a roller coaster ride for me, this message is truly inspiring and consoling, God bless

  7. “May we find freedom from all limitations”
    – AMEN to that Deviji and thank you!

  8. Beautifully stated Devi…..
    By the way, how are you guys? Really, how are you?
    We love you & Jyotish & we pray for your safe travels & peace along the way.
    Your dedication to Swamiji’s work is very appreciated.
    With all our love,
    Russ & Zory

  9. Truth and realisation explained in simple words.
    Love this article.
    May God and Guruji continue to guide us.

  10. So helpful. Thank you Devi.
    In Master’s Love, Paula

  11. Thank you Devi, very beautiful and uplifting. God bless you ?

  12. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,

    Thank you for sharing the blog :) . This is so encouraging



  13. Pranam Ji

    Thanks for sharing This is a Treasure to cherishe throughout ones Life ,with out any fear ,or what so ever.
    with Gratitude
    R Sundararajan

  14. Thank you Deviji. I am amazed at perfect timing for this guidance coming to me since I was battling with certain issue of late.So its helpful what you have said here.

    God bless!!


  15. Fantastic. I love reading your articles. I need to practice a lot.


  16. Good morning Guruji and Gurumayi
    True that without the grace of Guru, who only can lead us to God, our bondage of karma cannot be liberated. I enjoy your comments and your experiences in life in spritual matter calms my inner me . Thanks a lot mayi.

  17. Kriya Yoga is certainly helping me in burning my karmas-fear and other negative tendencies.

    Until few months back, I used to get sinus/headache with slight exposure to cold winds/cold drinks/AC. I used to get a soar throat if I ate anything sour like pickles/vinearor even citrus fruits. With regular practise of Kriya Yoga not only I have become immune to such things but also my fear which I was carrying for these things since my childhood has vanished. I am sure that now I shall not be carrying this fear with me in my next incarnation. This is the most practical example I experienced that how Kriya Yoga burns Karma.

    Thanks to Dhyanaji for showing me the right way………..

  18. Beautiful! Thank you for your encouragement along the path we all are walking together to our Home.

  19. Thank you so much for your comments on Breaking Free of Karma. I am at this time in my life facing the challenges of Aging
    Physically. Having you both here last weekend at Ananda Sacramento was so uplifting. I feel so blessed to be on this path and to know that God and Guru are with me thanks to Swami and now both of you.


  20. Excellent explanation of LIFE PHILOSOPHY.. Thx

  21. Thank you very much for reassurance I got from your message

  22. Thanks for giving direction on the spiritual path, to free from clutches of karmic beast.

  23. Thank you, Devi. I always enjoy reading the newsletters and receiving words of wisdom and inspiration and they always come at just the right time in divine order. Aum.

  24. Thank you,Devi…here is a little poem i wrote:And if you want to know the truth,the truth that will set you free/You must seek within yourself/Deep meditation is the key/You will find lasting contentment,lasting joy & peace/Beyond the body & the senses/Beyond the ego and the mind,indeed/Beyond all space & time,you will find & be one with the real you..eternally free

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