The early morning light cast shimmering shades of turquoise and crystalline blue on the rushing river and floating mists. Even at the usually quiet time of dawn, you could hear the pulsating, all-pervasive roar of AUM as the water’s ceaseless energy moved past us. The Ganges north of Rishikesh is one of the most spectacular and spiritually powerful sights we’ve ever seen.

As we watched it, the river seemed to be telling us many things: of the constant change that is part of life; of the joy that comes when we enter into its flow; of the eternal consciousness that pervades everything. Within the roaring sound of AUM, I began to hear one of Swami Kriyananda’s songs form in my mind:

Life flows on like a river
That homes to the sea:
One hour bounding through mountain vales,
One hour winding through a lea.

The river’s currents were quite varied, like the different times of our lives. Some rushed forward joyfully, tossing white foam into the air. Others looked treacherous as they moved past with unstoppable power and indifference to anything in their way. Then there were the slower currents near the banks that seemed discouraged that they couldn’t escape from the rocks, eddies, and debris blocking them. But all of the currents, each in its own way, were moving forward towards the great ocean of Spirit.

Then this stanza of the song came into my mind:

None may linger on the way:
None may coax time to stay!
Fleeting scenes move by us like a dream.
Cling not: none will be your own.

As I gazed at the river, joyful memories of loving friendships, achievements, and fulfillments passed before my eyes, as well as disappointments, losses, and regrets. Onward they all flowed, insubstantial in themselves, dissolving in the eternal current of consciousness beneath all of life’s experiences.

Finally the last stanza echoed above the river’s roar:

Never grieve to be alone.
Go within you: There’s your home.

River Ganges in India north of Rishikesh with standing pool amidst flowing river.

“Go within,” Swami seemed to be saying to us.

One particular spot on the Ganges drew our attention. Amidst the turbulent rush of the river, there was an oval pool of calm water in the middle, untouched by the currents surrounding it. Like our mind when calmed in meditation, the pool remained unruffled no matter what was happening around it. “Go within,” Swami seemed to be saying to us. “There lies your home of peace amidst life’s constant ups and downs.”

Which was more powerful: the Ganges’ restless currents or its calm pool? For each of us, the stillness of our soul, untouched by outward events, is the most powerful force of peace and guidance for navigating the ceaseless challenges and changes of life.

When you read this, we’ll have already left India and ended our travels here for the year. But some things are beyond time and space, and these I’ll carry away within me: the quiet depth of the Ganges’ oval pool, and the breadth of divine love that shines beneath the surface of everyone and everything we experience.

With joy in the great river of life,

Nayaswami Devi

P.S. You might enjoy listening to this recording of Swami Kriyananda singing, “Life Flows On like a River” (2:47):

Subscribe to the Touch of Light podcast. Download the audio recording of this week’s blog by right-clicking here. Or listen to it here (4:23):

11 Comments

  1. Such a beautiful vision you have shared with us. I,too, so love experiencing the Ganga above Rishikesh and find it inspiring & deeply “moving”. I will now always think of Swamiji’s song with it in mind. Thank you, Devi!💕🙏

  2. Wonderful. Singing Life Flows On in the recent choir arrangement by David Miller is a joy. Thank you for these very meaningful watery images. Deeply meaningful.

  3. Dear One(s), I’ve been hearing recurring connections, reminders of gratitude as we approach Thanksgiving. I give thanks to God and Guru for all my beloved gurubhais and yet you and Jyotish have a very special place in my heart, right next to Master and Swamiji. I give thanks to the Giver of All Gifts and I offer special gratitude for you. In Divine Friendship, Navi

  4. So Grateful for you two radiant divine souls …
    Always look so forward to reading and receiving your shared newsletters, they are so filled with love and warmth and truth …
    Thank you …

    In Divine Oneness,

    Kelly Iris Grace

  5. Beautiful analogy. The still pool is what I long for. Too few moments seem to be there but what joy when they come.

  6. Thank You Deviji,
    So Powerful, So Strong, So Calm, So Serene… just like you…
    Inspiring!
    “…For each of us, the stillness of our soul, untouched by outward events, is the most powerful force of peace and guidance for navigating the ceaseless challenges and changes of life.”
    AUM, AMEN!

    May you both travel safely and well.

  7. Beautiful, Devi ji!
    Could feel the tranquility of the scene amidst the roaring waves, from your beautiful description. We long for that stillness. Swamiji’s music touches the soul.
    Thank you.

  8. Beautiful, Devi-ji. Simply beautiful. So looking forward to having you back amongst us, but deeply grateful for all the deep wisdom you and Jyotish have shared with us during your time away.

  9. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,
    Thank you for the blog…
    we certainly would live be like the oval pool. Thank you for sharing the song.
    Thanks to you and Jyotish Ji for the time in India. We enjoyed and always look forward to it 🙂

    In Master’s love
    Prem

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