“If you only knew how much God loved you, you would die for joy.” These words from St. Jean Vianney, a French saint of the nineteenth century, have always inspired and motivated me spiritually.

krishna and his devotee in painting enter the spiritual world yogananda teachings if you only knew how much god loves you you would die for joy quote

Original painting, “Enter the Spiritual World.”

Jyotish and I are visiting Ananda’s community and retreat center outside of Assisi now, and are staying in the lovely guest apartment of two good friends, Shantidev and Radhika. On the wall in one of the rooms is a print of a beautiful Indian painting called, “Enter the Spiritual World.” It depicts Krishna tenderly embracing one of his devotees in a pastoral setting.

I asked Shantidev what the story was behind the painting, and here is what he recounted. The devotee being embraced is Gopal Kumar, who, in a past incarnation, had been one of the gopis with Krishna in Brindaban. Through subsequent lives of spiritual seeking, Gopal Kumar had become a great yogi.

Now he had reached the stage where all he wanted was to achieve union with God. In his quest he traveled throughout the three worlds—causal, astral, and physical—to find what he was seeking. Still, his life’s burning goal eluded him.

Finally he arrived in Goloka Brindaban, the dimension where Krishna resides in the spiritual realm. Here, after many incarnations of separation, he beheld Krishna once again. There was an immediate mutual recognition; Krishna enfolded his dear devotee, Gopal Kumar, in a loving embrace. And just then, to everyone’s alarm, Krishna fainted.

All the devotees gasped, not knowing what had befallen their beloved Lord. They fanned him and rubbed his feet, and eventually Krishna returned to consciousness. He explained that he had been so full of ecstasy and joy to meet Gopal Kumar again after their long separation that he had lost consciousness.

What a beautiful thought to reflect upon: that God is even more ecstatic than we are when one of His lost children returns home. Jean Vianney described the transcendent joy that comes to that devotee who knows God’s love, and Krishna shows us the completion of divine union: God’s joy is even greater than our own.

Sometimes it is life’s tests and challenges that help us to feel God’s love more deeply. Recently while in Assisi, Jyotish and I contracted Covid, which fortunately was a very mild case. Now we are almost totally recovered.

During our illness, we received such an outpouring of love, support, and prayers from friends around the world that we were deeply touched. As we read the many notes, we were moved at how God’s love for us is sometimes expressed outwardly through divine friendship. Often when we need it the most, we get glimpses of how much we are loved.

Like Gopal Kumar, let’s continue on our journey to find Oneness with God. One day, we will know the fullness of His love and merge with it into ecstasy.

Your friend in God,

Nayaswami Devi

Jyotish and Devi have launched a new course, How to Develop Harmonious Relationships. Learn more here or take a free 15-minute webinar

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 (6:05):

31 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this touching story, dearest Devi. Yours and Jyotish’s presence in our community brings the deep joy of old friendship, and is Krishna reminding, for he is our oldest friend. You and Jyotish are always in our prayers.

  2. Thank you 💕 so much for sharing this….
    It’s so true that God and His devotees are equally ecstatic to feel each other’s love
    Have experienced this through our ” Shiridi Sai Baba” ,at Shiridi….
    All His devotees consider Him to to be,” Krishna,Rama,Shiva, Brahma, Jesus, Allah, ALL Gods and Godesses put together…
    🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

  3. Dear Devi!

    I am so glad that you had such an outpouring of love, support and prayers from friends all over the world that you were deeply touched. As we read the many notes, we were moved by how God’s love for us is sometimes expressed outwardly through divine friendship. Often when we need it the most, we get pieces of God’s friendship as much as we are loved. Me and the girlfriend also had a mild form of Covid since 10/08/2022, 15 days, my girlfriend had a temperature of 38 C for 2 days and now she is better, thanks to God’s grace.. I hope that you and Jyotish recover quickly and completely from Covid with God’s help and great outpourings of support and Love from many devotees around the world.

    With Love,

    Mario Vukelic
    CROAOTIA

  4. Thank you Devi. Please pray for healing good luck open doors and longlife

  5. Glad Jyotish and you are nearly fully recovered. Wow, what a beautiful painting and encouraging story.
    Thank you, Paula

  6. I am very very happy after reading this one and this human tongue cannot describe about the joy I got.

  7. Thank you Great Soul for your example of Divine Friendship and Joy, Master’s Blessings bimal

  8. mm

    Oh, the joy of being reminded of just how much we are loved.
    Thank you and Bless you for offering this way to remove all doubt.
    This is one to read again and again … and again.

    AUM, Peace, Shanti, Amen

  9. Truly Heartwarming, made my day.
    Thanks for sharing this touching story
    In Divine Friendship

  10. Thank you for adding me to your email list! Every message and images of Ananda disciples’ radiant faces is so inspiring and uplifting! I look forward to visiting the Expanding Light Center in CA sometime next year
    millions of blessings, Sabina B.

  11. Dear Devi💙I did not know you and Jyotish had Covid. I am so glad and grateful to God and Guru you are better. My eyes filled with tears reading your words thinking of how God 💙Krishna loves Gopal so much that He becomes human in His love for him and so that means we love like God loves and He loves like we do with so much feeling like emotion that we faint with bliss. That helps me accept my heart that loves, although imperfectly, but God lives and loves in me. Master and Swami stay with you every moment enfolding you with his blissful love but please don’t faint nor die for joy, and come home soon😇🪷😇 your bhajana 💛

  12. Thank you, Devi. You make it so reassuring and real for us.
    Deep appreciation,
    Helen

  13. Just reading this made me feel joyful! Thank you!!!

  14. Dear Devi and Jyotish,
    Thank you Devi, for this beautiful story about the painting called, “Enter the Spiritual World.” It was very inspirational.
    The last time we saw each other over Memorial Day Weekend, we shared our intent to move to or near the Ananda Village and to be of service to the community. You wished us well and said to us; “I hope we will be neighbors soon”.
    In a few days, as of September 1st, Krista & I will continue on our journey to find Oneness with God, by living by the Ananda Village and by being of service within the community. We have initially leased a home (6-12 months) near the Crystal Hermitage Gardens – 18411 Sages Rd.
    Our prayers are with you both that you may be well as you continue your journey of love, support and divine friendship with so many souls, who are inspired by your deep devotion to God and Guru.
    Blessings,

    Brian & Krista O’Rourke

  15. mm

    Dear Devi, Jyotish and Shantidev,

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful Krishna story and painting that depicts so wonderfully knowing God’s love for us.

    with love and joy,
    shankari

  16. Thank you dear Devi,
    This message was very special. I am back in Pennsylvania taking care of my husband who has COVID. I am so happy to know that you were infected but had very mild symptoms. I Have not been sick and I am delightedly exploring all the courses, videos, and other resources Ananda is offering us for free. I wish one day I will visit Ananda Village, Ananda in Italy, Ananda in Boston and in Los Angeles.

  17. O Divine Mother
    In the Milky Way merge me with thy consciousness,

  18. “One day, we will know the fullness of His love and merge with it into ecstasy.”

    May we be one in that Light someday!
    with Love, Josette

  19. Thanks fr sharing the divine experience between Lord Krishna and true devotee who seeks oneness with God ! Hare Krishna!

  20. Dear Jyotish and Devi, sorry for the unkindness. I loved to see you. Your book is wonderful, I enjoy it a lot. Hope to see you soon. Thank you for your love and support. I will send you the photo. Love, geets

  21. Thank you Devi ji for your wonderful narration of divinely love between Lord Krishna and one of the Gopis who was reborn as Gopal Kumar. Supreme Lord is always ki d and merciful for us. But we donot have superior senses to understand His love. Those who are totally dead cated to Him ( like Gopal Kumar), have special frequency waves radiating from their physical body. They progress towards reunion with that Super Power

    Aum Guru.

  22. Many thanks and blessing to Jyotish and you, Devi.
    Always so inspiring your blog
    Jai Guru

  23. Well, the text is uplifting but is easy to forget it when we are facing a difficult situation.Right now I am facing a great difficult finantial situation wich I am trying to solve in the last two months and I still am in it.

  24. Lovely and inspiring. Takes us to what matters most.
    Thank you

  25. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,

    Thank you for this lovely blog. It was endearing to read.
    Glad to know that you both are recovered.

    Joy,
    Prem

  26. Devi,
    My heart is filled with gratitude for this beautiful story. May we all do as Gopal did.
    So good to know that you have recovered from Covid. I had my bout with it following SRW and too have recovered. May the remainder of your journey be surrounded by God’s light.
    In Joy, Mary Jo

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