Some years ago our four-year-old son came to me with an odd expression on his face and said, “I didn’t do nuffing, Mommy.” His transparent attempt to appear innocent gave him away, and I asked, “Where didn’t you do nothing?”

Looking down, he admitted, “In the closet.”

We went there straightaway to discover what mischief he had gotten into. A quick glance revealed that he had taken all the bottles of vitamin pills and dumped them out into great heaps on the closet floor.

I enjoy sharing this story because in the innocence of a child’s mind, we see a reflection of our own efforts to hide our mistakes. Whether silly lapses or mortal sins, we hope that no one, especially not God, sees our errors. Yet in this attempt to cover things up, we carry within us the burden of guilt, shame, and self-blame.

I’m not suggesting that we broadcast our failings to the world, but there is another way to drop the millstone of guilt that hangs around our neck. Without fear of judgment or rejection, we can offer all our past wrong actions to God. In truth, He knows about them already. And He will probably be as amused as we were with our son.

In Paramhansa Yogananda: A Biography, Swami Kriyananda wrote: “I can vouch for his perfect knowledge of the thoughts and actions of his disciples. He once said to me, ‘I know every thought you think!’ And he proved that statement again and again. Once at Hollywood Church I told an insincere member that I would be giving next Wednesday’s class. ‘In that case,’ the member said, ‘I will be sure to come.’ Well, I knew he would have come anyway; therefore it irritated me slightly that he would pretend to be coming only because I would be giving the class. Wanting to deflect his insincere flattery from myself, I answered him (not very elegantly, I’m afraid), ‘In that case, would you please stand outside and check people’s pockets for vegetables as they come in?’

“A few days later I was with my guru while he entertained guests for lunch. After they’d left, as I sat at the table alone with him, he remarked to me casually, ‘By the way, when you are talking with a congregation member, don’t talk about vegetables! It isn’t dignified.’”

So if God and Guru already know about our mistakes, why do we need to tell them? Because by trusting that God has only our highest welfare in mind, we begin to dissolve the protective shell that the ego has created to defend itself. By offering up to God our missteps, we no longer need to carry them as subconscious burdens. Gradually, as we let down our defenses, the ego gains a transparency and innocence that is the mark of true saints.

There’s a story from the life of St. Joseph of Cupertino, a great saint, who in his simplicity was often the butt of practical jokes from his fellow monks. One day as he was doing his chores in cleaning the stables, a group of them came to tease him.

“Come quick, Joseph. There’s a cow flying in the sky,” the monks said, trying hard to suppress their laughter. Rushing out of the stables, Joseph looked and looked, but could see no flying cow. Finally unable to contain their laughter, one of them said, “You simpleton! Don’t you know that cows can’t fly?”

With the guilelessness of a child, Joseph replied, “I’d rather think that cows could fly than that my brother monks would lie to me.” Stung to the quick, the taunting monks departed, shamefaced.

Knowing that God already sees everything that we’re trying to hide, have the courage to open your heart completely to Him. Believe that Divine Mother won’t punish you for any foolish actions, but will help you to make better choices in the future.

swami kriyananda devotion to guru paramhansa yoganandaIn a beautiful essay that Swami Kriyananda wrote towards the end of his life, “Why I Love My Guru, Paramhansa Yogananda,” he says: “He [Yoganandaji] was ever, and is now more than ever, my nearest, dearest companion. If I am right, I feel his inner smile. If I am wrong, I feel his inner encouragement to do better.

“He is on my side in every struggle against delusion. Could anyone be a better, truer friend than that?”

What a great reassurance to accept that God knows us, sees us to our very depths, and still He is on our side in our efforts to overcome delusion. There’s no need to try to hide anything, because we stand forever in His loving sight.

With joy,

Nayaswami Devi

Listen to the weekly commentary for this blog, with special behind-the-inspiration stories and answers to common spiritual questions. Subscribe to the podcast or download the audio recording by right-clicking here. Or listen to it here (4:31):

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  1. Dear Devi! Thank You! Lovely reminder of God’s infinite love towards Her/His children.. ☸️🕉🪔❤️🌹🙏
    cute typical four year olds😘

  2. Dear nayaswami Devi
    Your message came just at the right time a moment when I am asking myself some questions on some people/friends ‘s absent responses to evidence of truth and sincerity of heart shown to them by others regarding a certain subject that involves our beliefs and practical actions in these times. As the new proposal or evidence is in contrast with their way of seeing life and doing things( even if they know that the counterpart has shared his/her views and feelings in full honesty and good intentions), they seem to take no notice of it at all, and , due maybe to their pride and unwillingness to take in and reconsider the whole thing, do not respond at all, leaving the counterpart without any answer and any possibilities for deepening together on the subject , for a wider shared understanding, beneficial to both parts. But, most of all , what is involved here is : respect, feeling the good intentions of others, sharing in companionship and humility as well..what we still need to explore and put under a bigger screen. In myself, deep down, I Know when I put in action such a behaviour..because a little voice tells me , the voice of my conscience…
    And the Lord and Guru know everything about my intensions…before I can even realize it!!
    🕉️☀️ and They send me messages to help improve myself . But I need to listen in regularly. ☀️
    thank you for sharing your piece , AUM!

  3. Simply superb experiences revealed. I admire you.Ilove the teachings of Param Hansa Yogananda 🕉🙏🕉🙏😂🙏🕉🙏

  4. Namaste Nayaswami Devi, I just read this, and as I write, tears unlocked roll down. My huge feeling of unworthiness
    emerges. Could I ever feel that much love with the confidence and realization of the unconditional love of that greatness is available to me and everyone?
    In these troubled times, I feel like I dress in a suit of armor just to face daily life, having to discard and turn off all this duality to come to this pure place of heart, mind, and soul.,stepping out of that protective way of life, and once again return back to my center, to my breath. I do not like this duality, I realize the need to develop trust to know this love is available that you write about. As I work with my lessons and practice of Kriya, I am feeling more at peace. I desire more of this peaceful, healing energy and love to come into my being. I know my journey path is right in front of me. From my intellect, my readings tell that this unconditional love is available to me, Kriya is the method to attain this awareness and love. The work is on myself to get to this place. Thank you for this gentle reminder.
    Blessings of Peace,

    1. Dambara, your comment really did make me laugh: Bingo !? Bull’s Eye,
      well – Master would approve. If the shoe fits, it is said, wear it. But jolly aside, hearing Devi’s voice telling stories is good medicine.

  5. Dear Deviji,

    Namaste, thank you for the wonderful message, very timely.
    “Master is on my side in every struggle against delusion…. ” so profound and very reassuring, as I am enduring strong delusion currently and feel the impact on me. Thank you.🙏


  6. Dearest Devi💙 Thank you for your loving reassuring words that help me believe it is possible to become better and please God and Guru.
    I want this with all my heart 💛🙏🏻

  7. Thank you for that insight. This is a very large struggle for me (shame and appearing perfect and that people will like me). This helps a lot to be able to deconstruct my own shell of protections.

  8. Beautiful! Thank you for these words, they help bring me closer to God.

  9. That was great to know the mind delusion in simple words.
    I heard that devotees don’t want to go in search of god and the god only will be ready eagerly to reach is devotee

  10. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,

    Thank you for sharing this inspiring blog.
    Very helpful message. Enjoyed reading the story.
    God knows everything and still He loves us and helps us to grow. Very encouraging message and helping us to move forward in the path.


  11. Dear Devi ji, Your blog always inspires us, we appreciate the thought, vibration, time you put into these blogs which inspires us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  12. Thank you dearest Devi Ji for the precious sharing. listened twice to the audio inspiration – what sweet encouraging words to to help me do better. Love what you said Ji ‘develop inward silent constant communion with God’.

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