Swami Kriyananda urged members of Ananda to strive for liberation in this lifetime. One morning Devi and I were eating breakfast with him in his home in India, and the conversation turned to the question of liberation. We said, “Why is it so hard to find God? It seems to be a daunting task, and we don’t feel like we’re making enough progress.”

He replied, “The whole purpose of the spiritual path is to dissolve the ego. It is done by longer, deeper meditation, and seeing God as the Doer in everything.” His reply has become our spiritual compass, guiding us through storm-tossed seas and calm, sunny waters alike.

We’re currently leading Inner Renewal Week, an annual week of classes and activities. This year, being the one-hundredth anniversary of Paramhansa Yogananda’s arrival in America, we are exploring our Guru’s teachings, and three pathways that lead to Self-realization: the social path, the active path of service, and the inward path of meditation.

Today, on Tuesday, we discussed the social path. The essence of this way is to let go of egoic selfishness and expand our self-identity until we actually feel that everyone is a part of our own greater self. In his book of prayers, Whispers from Eternity, Yogananda wrote these beautiful words: “O Divine Mother, teach me to use the gift of Thy love, which I feel in my heart, to love the members of my family more than myself. Bless me, that I may love my neighbors more than my family. Expand my heart’s feelings, that I love my country more than my neighbors, and my world and all my human brethren more than my country, neighbors, family, and my own self. Lastly, teach me to love Thee more than anything else, for it is only Thy love that enables me to love everything. Without Thee, I could not love anything or anybody.”

How to dissolve the egoHow can we expand our love? Start by treating your neighbors as if they are a part of your own family. Mother Teresa tells a story of a time of famine among the very poor in Kolkata. One of her nuns was distributing rice and entered the hut of a poor woman with several children who were starving. When she handed the mother a small bag of grain, the mother quickly divided it in half saying, “My neighbor and her children are starving too.” Mother Teresa went on to say that it is common among the poor to be caring towards one another, but quite astonishing to have seen that degree of selflessness under such dire circumstances.

We’re unlikely to find ourselves in conditions as dramatic as that. But today you will meet someone in need. When you do, expand your aura to include them as part of your family. A couple of weeks ago Devi was in a café with some friends, when she noticed an older woman sitting alone at a nearby table. Excusing herself, she went over and struck up a conversation with the lonely neighbor. Within minutes they were sharing and laughing together like they, too, were old friends.

Doing small acts of kindness daily will help dissolve your ego. Miracles occur when you change your thinking from “Me” to “We.” Expanding your love and friendship is a true spiritual path. Keep it up until everyone feels precious to you. When the whole world becomes your family you will be bathed in the constant glow of Divine Mother’s love.

In friendship,

Nayaswami Jyotish

The full class is available online at ananda.org/video/series/inner-renewal-week/ (with the others to follow later).

Subscribe to the Touch of Light podcast. Download the audio recording of this week’s blog by right-clicking here. Or listen to it here (5:07):

7 Comments

  1. Beautiful words.
    Especially the story of Mother Teresa was touching for me, because finally she and her congregation had a big influence on my path to where I am right now… after volunteering with them for 6 Months in Calcutta, India and 6 weeks in The Bronx, USA.
    I was a kind of street-worker-volunteer and saw all the poverty (money) and misery (loneliness), but also the caring towards one antoher. The sisters I worked with never expected “fruits of their actions”, totally surrendering their ego.

    As Mother Teresa said analogously: We can learn a lot from the poor.

    Doing powerful Karma-Yogic-Work as she did changed and is still changing the perspective and attitude towards the life of many people around the world.

    “Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another.” (John 13:34)

    Thanks for this inspiring post.

    God bless
    Om Shanti Shanti Shanti and Amen,

    Thomas
    from Germany

  2. Respected Sir, It is easy to advise, but difficult to follow. Our aim of life is to attain HiM You say that one can attain by dissolving Ego. But According to my little knowledge that there are three eternal entities. a. He-who is living in each atom of the universe. He Omani present. He is known only by his qualities. b. nature His principals are fixed. Bu knowing his principal, human being has made progress, known as digital world. made the universe one. c. Jeeva. self. The self has some attributes. instincts, which can not be destroyed. Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha[attachment,] Ahankara. Life is strugge. We have to live and win. Therefore be fa. it, b. have money to live and c. amicable family. Parmatma live in our body. He is supreme Judge, which gives birth as per our Karma. sustainer and destroyer.
    with regards

  3. Thank you, Jyotish. It was so nice waking up to this blog post and to be reminded of our highest goal in life: finding God (as we dissolve the ego and love everyone as we love our dearest family members). <3

  4. To begin with you must claim your Divine Inheritance as Jesus did when He said “ I am in the Father, and the Father is in me, Father & I are One.” God is already in you as the Divine Spark! This Spark is in Everyone and all we need do is nurture & cultivate it. Once you make this claim your constant companion is God and He will be your Best Friend. In this regard all men are created equal! Remember what Yogananda said “if you think God is near He is and if you think He is far away He is far away!” One must be constantly be aware of one’s thoughts. God knows you better than you know you so chat with Him. His phone number is OM and He is available always, in all ways!

  5. I like the term “social path” being used in such a positive and liberating way. And I like being/becoming one too! Thank you, Jyotish.

  6. Dear Nayaswami Jyotish Ji,
    Thank you for this blog! Beautiful story from Mother Teresa’s life.
    ‘Doing small acts of kindness daily’ I like this line from the blog and will practice it everyday with His grace.

    Joy,
    Prem

  7. Liked the line “Doing small acts of kindness”. Very nice and elevating blog…

    Thanks

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