Prayer for a United World by Paramhansa Yogananda "Imitating what we hear" by Nayaswami Devi NovakThe high-pitched whine of the chain saw startled me, breaking the stillness of tall moss-covered cedars and lush green ferns. We’d been visiting the Ananda communities in Oregon and Washington, and now were enjoying a day on Camano Island off the coast of Seattle.

I’d been walking along absorbed in the forest’s peace and quiet, which was accented only by an occasional bird song. Then as I came to a place where the trees were less dense, I first heard and then saw work crews high up on hoists limbing up trees to protect power lines.

The juxtaposition of the sounds of chain saws and birds’ songs reminded me of a fascinating story. Biologists in the Amazon rainforest were studying what impact the destruction of the natural environment was having on animals there.

One day out in the field the biologists heard what sounded like a chain saw: the revving up of the motor as the saw was turned on, and the different pitches of whines as it cut through the trees. It turned out to be not a chain saw but a bird: the superb lyrebird, which has a tremendous gift of mimicry.

Perhaps to show that he was a versatile performer, the lyrebird also did a remarkable imitation of the click of a camera button and the soft whirring of its motor drive.

These were the sounds that it was hearing in its disappearing natural environment, and it was duplicating them with astonishing accuracy.

All life imitates what it hears—whether it’s beautiful and uplifting or destructive and dissonant. When people express attitudes of hatred, racism, or religious bigotry, someone hears them. Perhaps it is a child who hears and imitates them as mindlessly as the bird mimicking the chain saw. Gradually, hatred and intolerance become hardwired into the child’s mind, and, as in the rainforest, the natural environment of his soul qualities is destroyed.

As followers of the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, we need to sing his song of universal love and brotherhood so loudly that all can hear. Perhaps others, too, will join us in expressing his divine harmony, until people everywhere awaken from their dark dreams of hatred.

Here is one of my favorites prayers of Yoganandaji:

Prayer for a United World

“Let us pray in our hearts to establish a League of Souls and a United World. Though we may seem divided by race, creed, color, class, and political prejudices, still, as children of one God, we are able in our souls to feel brotherhood and world unity. . . . In our hearts we can all learn to be free from hate and selfishness. Let us pray for harmony among the nations, that they march hand in hand through the gate of a fair new civilization.”

With a song of divine friendship,
Nayaswami Devi


  1. Wow please spread your message to every human soul. How true.
    Best Regards

  2. Such poetic description of how nature teahes us. Thank you Deviji for introducing us to ever-new experiences.

  3. Dear Ji’s
    Your thoughts are very True and touching the Souls.wonderful message.
    With Gratitude
    R Sundararajan

  4. Well said and how very timely. Thank you Devi.

  5. Dear Devi, what a joy. I was about to begin a day of study to complete my continuing education requirements to renew my LMFT license. I was strongly guided to stop what I was doing, check my emails and read and respond to you blog. I had been reading about the 8 aspects of God this morning, waking up at 6am. I also reread part of the Preceptum #88 that Master speaks to the Divine Mirror, Super Concentration and a concomitant exercise to focus on doing One thing at a time and Do It Well (where have I heard that before). He speaks to the exercise of uttering: Om-Spirit-Christ; or Om Spirit Bliss. What a wonderful ‘send off’, with a prayer to Master for his help in the 6 hr. online class. I will mirror God and Guru’s Divine Guidance to take in the material and bless the opportunity to continue to be of Divine Imitation. In Divine Friendship and Gratitude, steve (Navi). Namaste (Fortunately, for now, there are no chain saws in the background to distract my focus).

  6. We imitate what we here so true! Thank you Devi ! Moniker see monker do. It always monkeys!

  7. Dearest Deviji,
    Yes, our brain/nervous system will create patterns of mimicry as you put it.
    The pre-rational mind, especially of children, will intuitively pick up the vibratory patterns not only of the parent or caretakers speech, but also their body language, and tension patterns.
    The same wholes true for adults. What we “put in” to the system, is what will come out.
    We are blessed to be devotees and to have the willingness to choose a “higher” frequency.
    Thank you for your insight and for sharing yourself, Master’s Teachings, and Swamiji’s example to the world.
    ~~~Peace, Josette

  8. Timely message! Friday I was in judgement of a group of people! This judgement puts me in a state of mind of no hope for our planet. This statement sums up my state of mind Friday: “When people express attitudes of hatred, racism, or religious bigotry, someone hears them”. When I project these thoughts, I feel alone & disconnected from Divine Mother & self. Since reading PY’s prayer, especially, “In our hearts we can all learn to be free from hate and selfishness”, I am released from my judgements. Master says this experience on the physical plane is an illusion, a play, & not real. I reminded by Master whatever man creates is impermanent; whatever Divine Mother creates is permanent & real. This conceptual way of seeing the human drama is beyond my comprehension, but I am comforted. Today, love & tolerance is my code.

  9. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,
    Thank you for this beautiful article. We are blessed to be disciple of our Great Guru .
    May we share his words and spread the message for a fair new civilisation , where all live with harmony in Divine Joy :)

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