I read a wonderful statement recently by the British author C.S. Lewis: “Many people want to serve God, mostly in an advisory capacity.”

At least some of the time, most of us think God needs our advice on rearranging things more to our liking. When everything is going well, we think He’s doing a pretty good job of managing the cosmic drama, but when adversity comes, we begin to question His judgment.

Paramhansa Yogananda said that the reason God doesn’t appear to most people is that they would only argue with Him! It takes spiritual maturity to surrender our life to a Higher Power and to trust that everything is happening for the best.

In 1976 Ananda Village was devastated by a forest fire, which destroyed much of the community property and burned down most of the houses. Jyotish and I lost our home and everything we owned in the blaze, which struck just eleven days after our son had been born.


Swami Kriyananda with a statue of Paramhansa Yogananda

Shortly afterwards, Swami Kriyananda sent us a note saying that he was sorry for our losses and for the challenges it presented at that time particularly. He added, however, “Always remember: What God gives, we take.”

Swamiji offered no wishful thoughts that we might have been spared this test. He reflected to us only the courage and wisdom of a true disciple who knows that God always guides our life to the highest end.

Over time the experience of the fire proved to be a blessing for us, bringing to the fore new levels of inner strength and acceptance. In the aftermath of the blaze, however, those who felt that God was in need of some serious advice soon left.

How do we stop offering God our opinion and accept His will? Here are some thoughts:

1) Develop an attitude of openness. Don’t impose your desires or expectations on life, but listen sensitively to what is trying to happen and be receptive to the flow of events. Accept, appreciate, and attune to the wisdom behind all circumstances.

2) Focus on the Dreamer behind the dream. The essence of God’s consciousness is love and joy. Try to feel these eternal qualities present behind everything that happens, and know that the dream is but a passing show. Especially in the face of tests, try to feel His loving presence smiling at you.

3) Live in surrender to God and His appointed guide for us, the guru. In the vow of discipleship written by Swami Kriyananda , it says: “I have walked with the thought, ‘I want this from life; these answers; that guidance; this pathway, or that,’ but I have seen that, as often as I made claims on life, it eluded me. As often as I presumed on Thy will, it turned away from me.”

The spiritual path, which can seem so complicated at first, ultimately reveals itself as simply living in openness and trust in God. When we are able to do this, we cease being His stern advisor and start becoming His blissful child.

In divine friendship,
Nayaswami Devi


  1. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji, thank you for the article.
    God given Guru :) very soothing to read this .
    thank you

  2. Sri Devi,
    Thank you! Such a wonderful reminder! I can see Sister Gyanamata Smiling and saying “do not change any circumstance, change me”!

  3. I know you hear this so much, but Master always knows when I need to hear something more clearly. Then he sends me a note via you, Dear One, just a reminder to keep my thoughts always focused on him.

  4. Devi,
    Thank you for this little satsang. I like to think my maturity is greater since that I’ve found Master’s path. When I took my discipleship vows I looked back and realized that those things which I had found the very hardest, that caused me to ask “why?” again and again, were the rocks in the stream which enabled me to cross to Master’s shore. Now I can remember to be grateful to what I had found the most painful. The path I was taken from was evidently not correct for me though I had no idea of that at the time. Until I found Master, I didn’t even know what direction I was heading. That took 14 years for me to even realize Master had set this path out for the world and another 6 before the discipleship vow, which was one of Swami Kriyananda’s contributions to the path. But I am content now to have spent that time since I see the result in front of me now.
    Joy and blessings to all,

  5. Jai ma!Thank you,as always wisdom comes from you at the right time,ehen i need it.guru’s grace!jaima.

  6. Dear Devi, thank you! It is very profound and inspiring.

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