Many people have a very complex relationship with their Heavenly Father/Mother, just as they do with their earthly parents. In fact, many attitudes and complexes toward God are simply projections of feelings experienced when growing up. Those from harsher backgrounds can see God as disapproving and vengeful, while those raised in loving and tolerant homes tend to see a loving God. Yet even the most loving parents can be misjudged.

Yogananda: To those who think me near I will be near #yogananda #quote

“To those who think me near, I will be near” -Paramhansa Yogananda

When our son was six years old, we took him to see the classic movie E.T., about a small, frightened alien who was secretly helped by the children of a family. The scary men from the federal government and the scientists in protective suits didn’t frighten our son at all. But when the little alien opened a refrigerator, dropped a carton of orange juice, and spilled it all over the floor, our son covered his eyes and said, “The mommy is going to catch him.”

While we might chuckle at his reaction, there are many people who fear God because they’re subconsciously afraid that the Divine Mother is going to punish them for some trifling fault, or catch them with their hand in the cookie jar of self-destructive habits and bad attitudes.

How do we develop a sincere friendship with God? Most important are the practices of meditation and devotion. Here also are three other ways that have helped me:

Stay Positive. Thoughts are universally rooted, meaning that we tune the radio of our mind to a particular wavelength. Our preset stations—habitual reactions—determine our emotional “specific gravity.” If you are even-minded and cheerful, you will float on the surface of life, while those who are grumpy and judgmental will be pulled down into the depths. But we can choose to change these mindsets. Positive actions will generate positive thinking. Studies show that those with sunny outlooks are not only happier, but also more successful. Try the simple practice of thinking something positive about a person you are about to mentally criticize, and see if it doesn’t change your life.

Non-attachment. Most unhealthy attitudes grow from attachment. Free yourself by offering everything back to God. See each desire as a cord that binds you: Cut it, and soar into the skies of freedom. Tithing is a very powerful spiritual practice because it helps us release our anxiety and attachment to money.

Share little things with God or Guru. Don’t leave your guru hanging on the wall of your meditation room. Paramhansa Yogananda said, “To those who think me near, I will be near.” Bring him with you when you work, or cook, or go for a walk. Talk to him mentally and share you hopes and fears as you would with your best friend. If you see him by your side in little things, you will know he’s there when the going gets rough.

God is already our friend, in fact our own Self, and that will never change no matter what we think or do. But when we befriend Him in return, our inner joy begins to bubble to the surface.

In joy,
Nayaswami Jyotish


  1. Dear Jyotish Ji,
    Thank you for the Article. Such a simple and beautiful article :)
    Great. We shall consciously try to practice the presence of the god and guru in our daily life and be friend with them.
    Such a joy it would be :)

  2. Dear Jyotish, this is a beautiful article with wonderful suggestions that are easily applicable in our daily lives. Thank you so much for sharing with us. Blessings to all! Johanne

  3. This is a fantastic blog, so much for practical use. A favorite line was, “Don’t leave your guru hanging on the wall of your meditation room.” Thank you both for these timeless posts that seem to “hit home” over and over.

  4. Beautiful! Thank you so much! Blessings Juliet

  5. Jyotish and Devi, Thank you for this post. It touches me so deeply. I had in mind to submit a question to Ananda’s experts and now I think I won’t have to as the question was how to develop detachment or non-attachment if this is thought of as a niyama. This blog also touches directly on the answer to a question I had during Inner Renewal Week on a subject very near and urgent to me about how to be sure that karma is totally fulfilled so it won’t come back later–answer, develop detachment to it. Devi also touched on this directly during her talk on Wednesday.
    I am so amazed and grateful to Master for this attunement. Tears come to my eyes to think of how Master becomes a part of our lives, the ever-flowing fount of blessings when we seek and are ready to recognize them.
    Blessings to all,

  6. Dear Jyotish ji,
    very very helpful article.Yes,many times when things don’t go the way I would expect them to be I start to become judgmental.Thank you for this article.

  7. Blessings to you and yours
    I look forward to seeing my relationship with the Divine grow to new heights

  8. I love the statement “Don’t leave your guru hanging on the wall of your meditation room.” It’s a classic.

  9. Thank you Guruji for teaching me how to befriend God.

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