Picking up hitchhikers is always risky business. One day when Swami Kriyananda was driving, he spotted a hitchhiker who looked harmless enough and was apparently down on his luck. Feeling sympathy for the man, Swamiji pulled over to the side of the road and gave him a ride.

This was during a time in Kriyananda’s life when he had very little money and was working alone to raise the funds to start Ananda. The hitchhiker gave Swamiji a sob story about how he’d lost his job, his wife was ill, and he was badly in need of a loan until he could find work again. Reaching for his wallet, Swamiji gave the man half of what he had at the time (which wasn’t much).

With effusive gratitude, he said, “Please give me your name and address so that I can make sure to pay this money back to you. I wouldn’t want you to lose your faith in human nature.”

Qualities of Divine Friendship

“Divine Friendshi” painting by Nayaswami Jyotish.

With a quiet smile, Swamiji replied, “If I’d had faith in human nature, I’d have lost it long ago. I’m giving this money to you because I have faith in God.” As it turned out, he never heard from the man again, but during Kriyananda’s lifetime, God repaid his “loan” to the hitchhiker many times over.

To put our faith in human nature is not always wise. To forgive others their mistakes and accept that we all err reflects more understanding. But real wisdom is to realize that the One True Friend who never lets us down is God alone. With this recognition, we can live with inner freedom and without fear of loss.

How do we deepen our relationship with this One True Friend? In the same way we do with our human friends.

  • Spend time together (in this case, in meditation and prayer.)
  • Open your heart (by sharing your thoughts and feelings.)
  • Have fun together (by inwardly sharing the joys of life.)
  • Be helpful (in service and self-offering.)
  • Be committed (in unwavering devotion and dedication.)

As our divine relationship deepens, we can answer the question, “Whose friend are you?” by saying, “I am the friend of all because, first and foremost, I am a friend of God.”

With joy,
Nayaswami Devi


  1. Thank you for sharing this Nayaswami,
    Our concentration on GOD multiplies our success 100 fold.

  2. My Best Friend, Ganesha. Thank You.
    Tvam-Eva Maataa Ca Pitaa Tvam-Eva |
    Tvam-Eva Bandhush-Ca Sakhaa Tvam-Eva |
    Tvam-Eva Viidyaa Dravinnam Tvam-Eva |
    Tvam-Eva Sarvam Mama Deva Deva ||
    1: You Truly are my Mother And You Truly are my Father .
    2: You Truly are my Relative And You Truly are my Friend.
    3: You Truly are my Knowledge and You Truly are my Wealth.
    4: You Truly are my All, My God of Gods.

  3. Bless you. Your words could not have came on a more perfect day. Living in darkness is being in motion without having direction. Bless Master and Ananda for giving me direction and turning on the Light.

  4. Thank you. This is truly inspiring. Blessings to all. Johanne

  5. I have read this story before, but thank you for the reminder. My husband receives many unsolicited requests from unknown charities. These requests tug on his heartstrings. Apparently his name and address has been sold on some list. Our mailbox is overwhelmed by these. There is a website to check out charities for how much of the donation actually goes to benefit the causes. Some are shockingly small and are mostly just fundraising entities much like a racket. I also remember Yogananda’s exhortation not to give to unworthies. I think there is a balance here. The generosity is never lost to God. God reads the heart.

  6. Thank u for that. great story of Swamiji. Yes you r right. U have forgiven all the people who have hurt u knowing they r human and the only unwavering trust is in God. Thank u again
    Katherine Dounis

  7. Thank you for sharing, Devi.
    This was a beautiful reminder that God is
    the Friend behind all friends, the Mother
    behind all mothers, and the Father behind all fathers. So eloquently written and lovely.
    “I am the friend of all because, first and foremost, I am a friend of God.”

  8. YES!! This is the way we all need to live in communion with God! I’m enjoying these weekly inspirations very much. Thanks Jyotish and Devi!
    Joy and more joy! kristy

  9. Dear Jyotish and Devi,
    Thank you so much for sharing this light with us. I love the letters, they are always an inspiration and a lesson in loving and serving God and Guru.’
    Blessings to you both.

Leave a Reply

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