My friend was apprehensive and not a little frightened as she entered the room to begin her first radiation treatment. She’d recently been diagnosed with cancer, but fortunately the doctors had been reassuring—telling her that it was readily treatable, and that she should expect a full recovery.

Still, as she and her husband waited for the treatment to begin, not knowing what to expect, they were praying for help to face what lay ahead. Then they saw a large whiteboard on the wall with encouraging notes from patients to help others going through the same treatment. It filled their hearts with joy as they read such reassuring words as:

“Being alive is a constant prayer. . . . Have faith in the process.”

“You never realize how much the love you give others comes back to you until you have cancer.”

“Sometimes strong has nothing to do with muscle.”

“At the end of your rope? Look up!”

“And just like that—you graduate!”

Weeks have now passed, and my friend is doing very well. One of the statements, “At the end of your rope? Look up!” reminded me of a remarkable story from the life of Swami Kriyananda.

When Swamiji was a young monk of twenty-three, he was asked by his guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, to help with the editing of his just-completed commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita. The year was 1950. “A new scripture has been born!” Yogananda declared to him ecstatically. “Millions will find God through this book. Not just thousands—millions! I have seen it. I know!”

Swamiji read all one thousand five hundred pages that Master had written. As he later wrote about that experience: ”Never in my life had I read anything so deep, and at the same time so beautiful and uplifting.” Master worked with him for some time on the project, but circumstances intervened, and Swamiji wasn’t able to complete it.

Years passed. Kriyananda no longer had access to the original manuscript, but he never forgot about the editing work his guru had asked him to do. Finally, as Swamiji entered his eightieth year in 2005, he realized that he was running out of time to finish the project in the years left to him. Praying for help, he asked Master how he could accomplish the task without a copy of the manuscript from which to work.

Then one night Swamiji had a dream. In it he heard Master’s voice saying to him, “Don’t overlook the possibility of a skylight.” At first he was puzzled by these words, but as he raised his thoughts upward, a remarkable thing started to happen.

Verse by verse, he began to remember what Master had written in his commentaries fifty-six years earlier. Swamiji told us, “Master’s thoughts poured effortlessly into my mind, helping me to fill page after page with deep insights and inspiration.” He completed the six-hundred-page book, The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, in just under two months; his subsequent editing required only one month more. Through the skylight of God’s grace, everything he needed had flowed to him.

how to face the global challenges of this world with faith using yogananda teachingsNow, as both individuals and global citizens of a troubled world, we face many challenges. Let’s remember to “look for a skylight.” We can do this by lifting our eyes and energy up to the seat of higher consciousness, the spiritual eye, where God dwells within each one of us. It is an act of will, of faith, and of strength. When we do so, we will draw the grace to face whatever lies ahead.

As King David declared in Psalm 121:

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills,
From whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord,
Who made the heavens and the earth.

In life’s challenges, may you always look upward.

Nayaswami Devi

Listen to the recording of Swami Kriyananda sing the Psalm of David:

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 (9:41):

11 Comments

  1. Wonderful Reminder of what is possible through the Grace of Master and God💛
    I hope to see you at Ananda Assisi in the summer🙏💓

  2. Aum Guru !!
    Thanks for sharing this, yes Essence of Bhagawad Gita is a great new scripture. With Master’s grace I happened to listen to complete commentaries of all 18 chapters , three times. Many more rounds to go…
    The whole book is so powerful that I am short of words to express the greatness n holiness of this scripture.
    Everyone should go through this at least once.
    Thanks for sharing this awesome Blog

    Aum Guru!!

  3. Hope in future is the biggest blessing of the universe. The person who loose hope either shrink into addiction, crime or suicidal tendency. Hope pays a fresh dose of strength to reinstate strength in the brain. HOPE is the elixir to live happy life…!

  4. Thank you Devi ji for sharing that song. I have been loving it too much since last Christmas, when it was published on the youtube channel. So beautiful and deep with meaning, especially in Swamiji’s voice. Prayers for the friend going through the tough time. I used to think that the strongest at heart are people who have scars on their faces, who have grave expressions and who rarely smile. But after seeing examples at Ananda, especially in the last few months, I’m convinced to a great degree that the strongest are in fact those who are childlike at heart. No matter what they go through they come out laughing in the end. I tend to think this friend is also one such person. Aum.

  5. Dears, your messages are always synchronized with the infinite and above time. I have two friends whom I love both with serious cancer, one is doing worst than the other. I visited both and did my best to give them strength and – if God allowed me – healing energy. I keep praying for them, not just that they cure (I think this is up to their destiny ) but that they understand what they are having to pass and that this be a positive learning.
    I ve sent them both your audio MP3 which has additional beautiful comments at the end.
    I am having my own trouble searching for a job and I keep looking up and ahead my skylight which keeps saying me do not worry I am looking after your needs, just look after Me.
    Thanks!!

  6. Dear Devi, This is a highly inspiring blog with helpful ways to look at our life, especially in today’s challenges.

    Below are links to an inspiring Sunday Service given by Swami Kriyananda, circa 1978. He did all the music himself before the service started – delightful and inspiring to hear!

    The talk is called Self Effort and God’s Grace, which is a continuing discussion of what you presented in this week’s blog.

    Compliments of Treasures Along the Path
    Music – guitar and singing by Swami Kriyananda
    https://cdn.treasuresalongthepath.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/self-effort-and-gods-grace-music-circa-1978.mp3

    Talk – by Swami Kriyananda Self-Effort and God’s Grace
    https://cdn.treasuresalongthepath.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/self-effort-and-gods-grace-music-circa-1978.mp3

  7. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,

    Thank you for this wonderful blog. I enjoyed reading it. I found these lines to be very profound – It is an act of will, of faith, and of strength.
    Inspiring to read how Swamiji completed a Great book – Bhagavad Gita in a short time.
    Thanks again for sharing these inspiring stories.
    We pray for your friend to recover soon and May the Master give her & the family all the strength & support required.

    Joy,
    Prem

  8. Dear Devi Ji,

    Namaste. As usual wonderful blog Ji. Thank you for sharing these wisdoms which has deeper meaning. Our prayers to Divine mother and Masters blessings and light fill your friend, wishing her a complete recovery.

    Pranams!

    Om Guru,

    Priya

  9. In Divine Gratitude for God, Guru and Swamiji’s love and your loving reminders…always.
    Namaste

  10. Dearest Devi Ji thank you for the beautiful inspiration to look and be assured of a skylight amidst life’s challenges. Love the sweet uplifting song from Swamiji based on Psalm 121. taking this moment to thank our beloved Swamiji for all that He has done for us and to Ananda for being our skylight and pathway to God and Guru. Love and prayers for our dear friend who is so bravely going thru the health challenge.

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