In 1996 Jyotish and I had one of the most inspiring experiences of our life: Swami Kriyananda asked us and two other friends to join him on a trip to India. This was long before Ananda had established centers there, so our journey was for personal inspiration and some relaxation as well.

Our first stop was Darjeeling, a small, quaint town nestled in the Himalayan foothills of northeastern India. Every day for the week we were there, Swamiji would enjoy strolling along the crooked little streets and stopping to browse in bookstalls, tea shops, and curio stores. From our first day there, people kept asking us, “Have you seen Kanchenjunga yet?” In my ignorance, I didn’t even know what Kanchenjunga was, but I was pretty sure I hadn’t seen it.

Then in one Tibetan souvenir shop (owned by Heinrich Harrer of Seven Years in Tibet), I saw on the wall a wide-angle photo of the northeastern Himalayan range. And there was Kanchenjunga — the most outstanding peak in the panorama! Now I knew what it was, but we still hadn’t seen it because the mountain mists and fog were limiting visibility.

A few days later we hired a guide to take us to Tiger Hill, the best vantage point from which to see the mountain. Due to the unpredictable fog, there was no guarantee that visibility would improve. We left our hotel at 4 a.m. and arrived at Tiger Hill an hour later, where we waited in the frigid air and predawn darkness.

Kanchenjunga mountains of India

Kanchenjunga early in the morning, viewed from Tiger Hill, Darjeeling, India. Source: DC Assam.

Then, just as the sun was rising over the horizon, the fog lifted. There was Kanchenjunga in magnificent splendor as the sun’s first rays struck her snow-covered slopes with shimmering golden-pink light. It was a thrilling moment that I’ll never forget. Since I now knew what I was seeking, for the remainder of our stay in Darjeeling, everywhere I looked up I saw Kanchenjunga.

Often we go through confusing periods in our life in which we can’t clearly see what’s going on around us. Right now the coronavirus is filling the world with the fog of uncertainty. It’s hard to see what lies ahead, and the future has become obscure and somewhat frightening.

But it is also a time of spiritual opportunity. By going within now in meditation and prayer, we can lift the fog of preoccupation with daily problems that clouds our vision of deeper realities. In meditation, the light of the inner sun will reveal to us more clearly who we are and where our priorities lie. We can then ask ourselves such questions as: “What lessons have I come into this life to learn?” and “What inner qualities and tendencies do I want to develop or discard?”

Recently a friend wrote me that the Greek origin of the word “apocalypse” is “to lift the veil.” As the world goes through adjustment reactions to the changes brought about by the coronavirus, we see people blinded by clouds of confusion who are expressing things like denial, panic, and even anger. By keeping our vision focused on God, we may be able to help others to see past the uncertainty to the “Kanchenjunga” of divine truth and strength.

To close, here is a beautiful prayer that Paramhansa Yogananda wrote after a great test in his life:

“In disease or in health, in success or in failure, in poverty or in prosperity, in joy or in sorrow, in disaster or in safety, in life or in death, I stand immutably, unalterably, unshakably loyal, devoted, and firmly loving Thee, my Heavenly Father, forever, forever, and forever!”

Ever striving for clearer vision of the high mountain,

Nayaswami Devi

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21 Comments

  1. Thankyou for this posting. Very uplifting. When negative energy surrounds us , how not to take that vibration inside and remain positive and neutral and strong ? While in meditation, I am able to be with the divine light. Other times also, I want to be in that state.

  2. Thanks to Ananda we are all uplifted in the fortress of our Gurus. Thank you dearest Devi Ji for the inspiration and to you both for last night’s worldwide prayer and Light. goosebumps just reliving that half hour.

  3. Dearest Devi ji, Thanks for sharing such a beautiful experience. it was awesome and thankyou so much for the wonderful prayer. Please keep sharing your experinces.

  4. Thank u devi ji for sharing your wonderful and divine experience with us I hope I gives good lesson to me and iam always thankful to you’re experience and prayer given by paramahansa yoganandha

  5. You transported me back to 1998 when a number of us on pilgrimage made that sunrise visit to Tiger Hill outside of Darjaleen. Gangamata and I and 2 others talked Vidura, into letting us walk back to town. He was reluctant to let us go, but Katchenjanga which was clear that day, made me confident about finding our way. All we had to do was to keep that majestic mountain in view and let it guide us. For me, it was an unforgettable experience I have always treasured. Your story reminds me to keep Kanchenjunga in view even in the mist of these uncertain times. We are guided.

  6. Dear Nayaswami Devi,
    What wise welcome words in these times. I was particularly surprised by the etymology and apocalypse, so surprised that I wanted to make sure ! So I googled it and found this: https://www.etymologynerd.com/blog/apocalypse-now# . Of course, you are right, but it makes me realize how easy it is to get into the fear mode when we are faced with the unknown…. and how important it is to always consider the unknown as an opportunity to delve deeper into our understanding, to seek divine joy more profoundly. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  7. Thankyou, Devi por keeping us inspire.
    Brough back memorices of our tríp to India.
    Yes, this has been a wonderful opportunity and deeper transformation.
    Joyfully, cautions,
    anaashini

  8. Thank you for inspiring us all. It gave me the needed push to start meditating again

  9. Thank you for this beautiful story and for the underlying message.
    With love,
    Sahaja

  10. Many thanks for these beautiful words to all of us. They are helpful and inspiring.

    Many blessing to you.

  11. Thanks, Devi! I’m finding myself wavering between: feeling more optimistic and confident spiritually, emotionally than I’ve ever felt in my life–about everything…..to moments of doubt, needing to remind myself to focus on knowing we will all get through this.

  12. So lovingly written Deviji. Thank you for sharing in these wonderful blogs “in the midst of crash of breaking worlds!”

  13. Your words are always uplifting and fragrant with Master’s blessing. Thank you dear Devi, you help affirm my inner knowing and what divine guides are saying to me too. Blessings on our path.

  14. Om Namah Sivaya, dear Divine Friend, so beautiful your report and encouragement. It reminded me on my pilgrimage to the Himalayas 1986, especially to Kedarnath, a very holy Siva Temple, with lots of snow in November, and 14 steps you need to go up barefoot and circumference a huge Nandi statue before you can finally enter the temple with a Siva Lingam as the sanctum sanctorum, and behind that temple you there was a mountain, on which the legend tells, the Pandavas went up into heaven. This peak also was in lot of fog, but it cleared around noon and it gave the same astonishing
    impression you might have had. Thank you for make me remember this auspicious pilgrimage.

  15. Thank you Deviji,
    Brings to mind Psalm 121 from the Bible, , “I lift up mine eyes to the hills from wence cometh my strength.”

    I recall my visit to Tiger Hill in 1993, with Palo Alto pilgrimage. Kanchenjunga in full view as well as Chomolungma (Everest) in the distance. Wonderful memory.
    Blessings.

  16. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,

    Thank you for the blog. This is very helpful and inspiring. I liked these lines in particular “
    We can then ask ourselves such questions as: “What lessons have I come into this life to learn?” and “What inner qualities and tendencies do I want to develop or discard?”

    And thank you for sharing Master’s prayer. Much needed!

    Joy,
    Prem

  17. Thank you Devi
    Enjoyed that you found a shop owned by the mountaineer….small world….
    Also I love learning the definition of apocalypse is a lifting of the veil. Today I am thinking about the theme of getting lost and about our Souls and how we lost our way, losing our sense of companionship with God to satisfy material desires only…reclaiming our relationship through seeking the kingdom of God first. Much love, Jayne

  18. Thank you dear Devi for this wonderful inspiration. I was transported right back to my time in Darjeeling when I saw Kanchenjunga for the first time. The 3rd highest mountain in the world was magnificent, and drew me like a magnet! I have often gone back there in my meditations. Thank you for the reminder that we can choose to stand atop Kanchengunda in these turbulent times, and strengthen our faith and resolve to follow Master and Divine Mother regardless of circumstance. Blessings to you and Jyotish, and my deepest gratitude.

  19. Darmadevi. Thank you. The reminder of the greatest opportunity to accend towards the light . Deepen our devotion to God . Aum peace Amen

  20. A very beautiful comparison. Having experienced the vision of Kanchenjunga & the associated joy many years ago, i could really connect to what you have shared. Truky we have to walk thjose steps inwards to clear the fog .
    thank you Deviji.

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