We arrived in Delhi, India, a few days ago and have been simultaneously getting over jetlag, settling into a new apartment, and giving energy to an exciting project that Ananda is developing here. In case you haven’t heard, a dynamic team is working to create the Yogananda Institute, a learning hub open to people on all levels of spiritual interest to share the Master’s wisdom, techniques, and tools for daily life.

Eventually this Institute will become a Yoga University, where we’ll offer courses, not only on the yogic sciences, but also on their application in daily life. For now, we are developing a three-day signature course, called “Living the Gita,” based on Master’s explanation of the deeper meaning and symbolism of the Bhagavad Gita.

The excitement and energy surrounding this project are electric. After a meeting in which we discussed ideas for the Institute’s future growth, I began to feel its potential and realized its scope was greater than anything we’ve done before.

A shadow of doubt began to creep into my mind: “Can we really do this? Is it beyond our capabilities?” Then I looked up at a photo of Master on the wall opposite me and felt a calm reassurance flowing from his eyes. I understood that over and above all the efforts that we are exerting to create the Yogananda Institute, it is divine grace and joy that will carry it forward and bring it to fruition.

Over the years, we’ve been part of many new projects as Ananda has expanded globally. Some of these undertakings have succeeded and flourished, while others have not. In thinking about the factors that led to success or failure, an underlying principle began to emerge.

A painting called Amazing Grace by Nayaswami Jyotish

“Amazing Grace,” by Nayaswami Jyotish.

Yoganandaji expressed it perfectly: “In all things I let God guide me, and I can only do what He asks. If I try to force anything from the Divine, it would not work through me.”

Swami Kriyananda took it one step further: “Human effort is necessary, but that effort must be in cooperation with God’s will. Such effort is indeed necessary, as a means of removing any and every ego-created obstacle to the sunlight of God’s grace. Beyond that point, however, self-effort will only strengthen the ego.”

And my dear friend, Ofelia Sanchez, whom we wrote about in an earlier blog, put it this way: “When you do anything, do it with this thought: ‘Con Dios, por Dios, y para Dios’” (which means “With God, for God, and through the grace of God”).

Whatever your goals in life, remember first to align your will with God’s will. Then:

1) Feel He is acting through you.

2) Draw on His grace to infuse and sustain your efforts.

3) Whether you succeed or not, offer everything back to Him.

This world is a school. Through all of life’s classes, the most important lesson is to realize that God is both the Doer and the Doing. We must do our part, but His is the life that flows through us and helps us to achieve our goals.

May all your plans and those for the Yogananda Institute be blessed with His grace.

Your friend in God,
Nayaswami Devi

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 (4:12):


  1. This is so moving and exactly right for me at this moment. My job is at a university coordinating events and producing media and at the moment I am feeling overwhelmed and unsure. How can I possibly draw enough people to these events week after week? I don’t want to feel negative but I don’t see how to do it – even though we have a workflow in place, that process is time-consuming and I’m afraid I do not have enough time to adequately publicize each event in order to draw good attendance. I don’t feel I am good enough or fast enough to do this. I also feel that I do not have enough time and bandwidth to produce the media that we could out of these events – which are mainly lectures by very accomplished and intelligent scholars visiting the university. I just feel overwhelmed. I decided to pray and talk with Master Jesus. I want our program’s visitors to be well treated and for them to be heard by a good number of people. I want them all to succeed. I’m afraid I cannot do it properly due to the time crunch. Your essay is calming but I still, and reassuring, but on a practical level – well, as you can see I still need to bow down and let go and let God. Thank you so much for this wisdom.

  2. Thank you for being so inspiring. Every Friday I receive answers and motivation. Thank you. Gob bless you!

  3. Beautiful… inspiring, reminding, uplifting and calming.
    God bless you all.

  4. It’s wonderful.Blessings of God and Gurus are with all of us and Yoganand institute always.
    Jai Guru Dev..

  5. Dear Deviji, Thank you. WIth God. For God. Through the grace of God.

  6. “My” strategy (quotes bc there is no Me per se) was to wake up, over innumerable lifetimes, by seeking the source that was generating my awareness or POV.
    That’s why I’ve no doubt, the further my consciousness within its Souled shell, progresses from life to life, the younger my age will be in those lives when I’ll be asking of myself Who, What and Why Am I?
    In this life, I couldn’t deny the overwhelming forces within me, that wanted to bust free out of this reality that my Heart knows too well is an illusion. This is how I have pursued such truths, through an unfathomable depth of Heartfelt contemplation.
    It only took 40 brief years of agonizing over the suffering in others (all of life) to receive an unexpected visit from two (deceased?) Gurus.
    Although that had not been my intention, my focus on wanting desperately to know the Truth, aligned my path with a much broader and encompassing one.
    Some of us out here are already our own Guru., but it seems that we can’t get our messages out to those with less life experience, without being misinterpreted and in turn vilified or deified, which in turn would create innumerable offshoots, just like roots and branches do in nature or in flesh., of varying disciplines, sects and thoughts.
    This classroom, the singular physical universe these bodies are born-to, die-to and are reborn from, is a metaphorical matrix. It is one of many by-products derived from the contracting/expanding phases of an evolving being whose form will be comprised of our evolved Light, when all is said and done.
    It’s metaphorical because if you actually knew the composition of your Consciousness i.e. your evolving character, as well as the composition and definition of a Soul, objectively speaking, you would then know that to Living, Conscious Light independent of form, which is what “We” are.., anything that can be defined as physical matter would be to those independent POV’s, as futuristic interactive light holograms would be to these bodies.., when someone is inside that is.
    Like I’ve said before., I’d like to help you all, but we’re all individually responsible for our own conscious enlightenment.
    In the meantime, be Free., by Feeling Free, knowing through your Heart that there’s no such thing as death as you sculpt an impervious character from life to life.
    If your successful, You as an individual personality, will become accustomed to being born and dying, no matter the trauma involved.
    My last five bodies have been shot (civil war) decapitated (chinese Heroine) shot (german Officer) crushed (toddler] and shot (army soldier not born in america)., just as with food poisoning, if you’ve experienced it enough times in one life you’ll be able to eventually predict when its coming and how you’re able to deal with it when it does, in regards to efficiency and pain management.
    All The Best.., because although I can’t bear your burden for you, I can at least try to illuminate some of your paths.

  7. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,
    Thank you very much for this blog!
    Very profound and much required at this time . Getting too much lost in the thought of work and forgetting who the doer is and hence worried about every step.
    This is a great reminder to see the source and perform With God, for God and by the Grace of God.
    In Master’s love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *