gods boatman painting and poem yogananda

This painting of Jyotish, “God’s Boatman,” is based on an original photo of Paramhansa Yogananda sailing in Mexico.

In The New Path, Swami Kriyananda recounts an amazing story about Señor J. M. Cuaron, one of Yoganandaji’s direct disciples and the SRF center leader in Mexico City:

“I was badly in need of a job,” Señor Cuaron told Swamiji, “but for a long time could find no work anywhere. Then one day an excellent offer came from a company in Matamoros. Taking that job would mean moving away from Mexico City; I therefore wrote Master to request his permission to put the SRF center in someone else’s charge. My letter was, to me, a mere formality; I was sure Master would congratulate me on my good luck. Imagine my surprise, then, when he replied by telegram: ‘No. Absolutely not. Under no circumstances whatever accept that job.’ I admit I was a bit upset. But even so, I obeyed him.

“One month later the news came out in the papers: The company that had offered me that job was exposed for fraud. Its officers, including the man who had taken the post I’d been offered, were sent to prison. He hadn’t been aware of the firm’s dishonesty, just as I would not have been. Because of the position he held, however, he was imprisoned with the rest. It was only by Master’s grace that I was spared that calamity!”

Few of us have received such tangible response to a request for guidance as a telegram from Master, yet his inner direction is there for us always. It’s our job to learn how to draw his response by attuning our consciousness with God. Then the decisions we make will be guided by higher wisdom, rather than by personal desires and whims.

Here are some basic techniques and principles for drawing inner guidance. First, start by calming your mind in meditation. Next, deeply concentrate at the point between the eyebrows, the seat of intuitive perception, and then pose your question.

Feel for a response in the heart center. Try to be impartial, and don’t intrude your desires on the outcome. With true inner guidance, you should feel a sense of impersonal calmness and centeredness, rather than excited anticipation.

It’s important not to tip the scales, so to speak, in favor of the outcome we want. Sometimes people pray something like, “Lord, show me what I should do, but let it be this option. Then I know I’ll be happy.” That kind of prayer only affirms the false notion that happiness is found in outer circumstances, rather than within ourself.

Be patient. The response may not come immediately, or even during meditation. You may clearly feel in your heart the response to your question later that day, or even after some days.

If, however, no guidance comes, then pose several alternatives. See if one of them receives special endorsement in your heart. Sometimes clarity comes only after you’ve begun acting on your perceived guidance.

Choose whichever course seems reasonable to you, but continue to listen for guidance in the heart. If the direction is correct, a sense of endorsement will confirm it; otherwise, be open to trying other choices until certainty comes.

Here’s one final piece of advice: It’s important to remember that guidance may evolve over time. And so we should continue to ask in meditation for the confirmation of our chosen course of action. In other words, follow the breadcrumbs that God is giving you. He will lead you forward, step by step, towards your highest good.

Why does God’s guidance sometimes seem so obscure? Perhaps it’s because He wants us to walk forward through life with the constant thought of His presence. If choosing the right road were always clear and easy, we might feel the need to “practice His presence” only occasionally.

Perhaps, too, it’s to teach us to be open and fluid in our thinking. Yogananda said that many people become “psychological antiques,” habitually thinking and acting in old patterns. God is “ever-new,” and by following His will, we can live in such a way as to experience this.

Finally, following true guidance when it conflicts with our reasoned expectations strengthens our faith, and gives us the opportunity to surrender our ego-driven will to God’s wisdom. In the case of Señor Cuaron, Master’s advice was the opposite of what he wanted to hear, but in the end, it proved most beneficial.

So, my friends, learn to draw true guidance, and then have the courage to follow it. As Master says in a beautiful prayer: “I will tune my free will with the infinite will of God, and my only desire shall be to do the will of Him who placed me here.”

May you be blessed with divine clarity in thought, word, and action.

In divine friendship,

Nayaswami Devi

Listen to Devi as she reads the blog, then expands on it, often adding 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 (9:06):


  1. No relevant search results found.

    May your path be illuminated with divine guidance, leading you towards clarity, purpose, and fulfillment. May you always have the courage to follow the whispers of your heart and the wisdom to surrender to the higher will. May your journey be filled with blessings, growth, and the ever-present presence of God.

  2. Thanks so much for these guiding words. They seem so obvious.
    With Love,

  3. Thank you for this reminder. I start this day with a smile because of it!

  4. Thank you for sharing this… It comes to me in a timely manner, thank you for being the messenger…. Stay safe and be well 🕉️

  5. Thank you, Devi ji. The advice came to me at the right moment!

  6. Beautiful guidance always at the right time. Thank you, Devi!

    1. I stand ready to obey thy least command, and some gosh darn big ones, too.

      I find that an attitude of absolute service creates an obvious connection to guidance.

  7. Thank you Devi for this heartfelt wisdom.
    May you be blessed always.


  8. Thank you so much Devi ji for this wonderful sharing.Divine guidance too.

  9. mm

    This is a powerful reminder, and so beautifully expressed. Master is guiding each of our lives – even in the smallest details. Thank you Devi, for the insights and wisdom expressed in this blog.

  10. Thank you Devi for this guide to guidance. Failing to act upon guidance can lead to such profound calamities as your example so clearly illustrates. If we are fortunate enough to be given guidance, ignoring it is foolhardy AND an affront to the Divine Spirit that has lovingly furnished it. Yet, a major difficulty is that it can be hard to tell when we are receiving guidance. When divine guidance runs counter to “common sense” and what the mind says is logically best, it can be so very hard to have faith in the still, small voice. This is why I so appreciate your article. It outlines a clear process for seeking and recognizing divine guidance even in those times when I am confused by the world’s and ego’s narratives, and not feeling particularly attuned. I am going to save and use your article. Thank you again!

  11. These stories from contact with Master, elicit tears of joy for being guided on this path. I’ve been saved a several times by following Master’s guidance, even before I was formerly his disciple.

  12. Thank you dear soul for your love of God and Guru and sharing the understanding that you have gained with many years of deep meditation, faith and service. I was hoping to hear your ‘blog comment’ but it did not come through the download. It is always inspiring to hear your additional thoughts. Blessings and Joy always, in Divine Friendship, steve.

  13. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful blog. A great reminder.
    The guidelines are very useful ones to follow.


  14. And now, as always, He guides us through you … your wisdom, intuition and inspiration put into words to help us on our way. What a gift to us.
    Devi … divine mother … yes.

  15. Thank you Devi,
    I would like to know more about Mr Cuarón and the Mexican disciples of Yogananda in Mexico.
    How can I find this information?

    1. Dear Laura,

      I don’t know that you can find information about Mr. Cuaron and the Mexican disciples, because that was nearly eighty years ago. Ananda does have centers in Mexico, which you can find out about through our Spanish Ministry.

    2. Laura,
      Bramacharya Cuaron translated the Original version of Autobiografia de un Yogui.

      Also his translation of the poem Samadhi is Master’s original.

      He continued to serve Master giving Kriya Initiations throughout Latinoamerica. I personally found devotees in Venezuela that had received Kriya through him.
      He planted for Master the seeds of Kriya Yoga not only in Mexico, but in all Latinoamerica.
      Joy tu you.

  16. Thank you, I missed this post.
    Thank you to both for your continued guidance and inspiration.

  17. Thank you dearest Devi Ji for the beautiful blog filled with precious tips, inspiration and wisdom. Thank you for sharing the advice from Swamiji on following the inner guidance in the audio clip. We are blessed to have these weekly pick-me-up from you both strengthening us on our journey to God and Guru.
    My son’s mother-in-law has recently started on your book series. Touch of Peace she read cover to cover 4 times and now I have given her Touch of Love. She will tell u all about her experience and how much you both have helped her when you visit Chennai this year (and yay we are ALL eagerly waiting for you dearest both). Sharing this note to let you both know that the seeds you are sowing are touching and changing lives so beautifully. Thank you Ji.

Leave a Reply

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