Some years ago Jyotish and I arrived at Ananda’s community near Assisi, Italy, where Swami Kriyananda was then residing. We hadn’t seen him for many months, and were eagerly looking forward to having some relaxed time with him to enjoy the blessings of his company.

Much to my disappointment, however, it was evident that Swamiji was very busy with writing a new book and teaching many programs. My heart sank as I realized that my dream of spending personal time with him probably wasn’t going to happen on that trip.

My disappointment, however, turned out to be an opportunity for an important spiritual lesson. Sensing my letdown, Swamiji took the time to give me this piece of advice: “No one is special to me, Devi. I’m not even special to myself.”

Was he saying that he was cold, aloof, and too busy to be bothered with the emotional needs of others? Not at all. Quite the opposite, in fact: Second only to his longing for union with God was his compassion and desire to help others spiritually. Even as he was speaking those words, I felt great love flowing from him.

Divine love is impersonal, because it is universally rather than individually rooted. And it is also personal, because it touches each of us uniquely according to our own nature. This is what Swamiji was trying to convey to me when seeing my disappointment: To feel God’s love for us we need to open ourselves to a greater reality.

In the chapter in Autobiography of a Yogi in which Master meets his guru, Sri Yukteswar, we find a remarkable demonstration of this impersonal/personal kind of love. Though they had never met before in that lifetime, Master recognized his guru immediately and fell at his feet.

“O my own, you have come to me!” Sri Yukteswar repeated again and again. “How many years I have waited for you!”

After some time in eloquent silence, Sri Yukteswar said, “I give you my unconditional love.” Master goes on to write, “Precious words! A quarter-century elapsed before I had another auricular proof of his love. His lips were strange to ardor; silence became his oceanic heart.”

Sri Yukteswar told his new disciple: “Ordinary love is selfish, darkly rooted in desires and satisfactions. Divine love is without condition, without boundary, without change. The flux of the human heart is gone forever at the transfixing touch of pure love.”

How do we tune in to this eternal, unconditional love? First, we must find it in meditation as we still the emotional tumult of the heart and the restless thoughts of the mind. In tranquility of heart and mind, God’s love slowly makes itself felt within and around us.

It’s also important to think not of how much love you are receiving, but how much you are giving. Yogananda said that the channel is blessed by what flows through it. By striving to be a channel for divine love to others, we, in turn, become filled with its blessings.

In his years with Master at Mt. Washington, Swamiji used to pray, “Teach me to love you as you love me.” One day, Master looked at him penetratingly and said, “How can the little cup expect to hold the whole ocean of love?” In other words, to truly feel the vastness of divine love, we need to expand the boundaries of our heart to embrace God’s infinite nature.

So divine love is both personal and impersonal, because it touches our unique soul nature, while at the same time existing beyond our individuality. Master captures this dual nature beautifully in his description of the woman saint, Ananda Moyi Ma: “The closest of dear friends, she made one feel, yet an aura of remoteness was ever around her—the paradoxical isolation of Omnipresence.”

There’s a wonderful saying that in every human heart there is a God-shaped hole. However much we try to fill it with other expressions of love, it remains empty until we fill it with God’s presence. Then alone do we find the fulfillment we are seeking.

With loving friendship in God,

Nayaswami Devi

P.S. When you read this, we will once again be in Ananda Assisi, from August 10 to September 18. After that, it’s off to India! We’ll stay in touch.

Listen to Devi as she reads the blog. Subscribe to the podcast or download the audio recording by right-clicking here. Or listen to it here (9:22):


  1. Thank you Deviji. Very profound and I will meditate to these beautiful words ” Teach me to love you as you love me.”

  2. Dear Devi ,
    thank you for the helpfull advices .
    I wish you a joyfull journey with a lot of fullfilling moments .
    Marion from Canary Islands

    1. Thank you Deviji,
      So beautifully explained the difference between Ordinary Love and Unconditional Divine Love.
      It reminds me how Swami Vevekananda taught Sister Nivedita about …none is special not even she in his own way .
      🙏🏻 💜❤🧡

  3. In my tough times that I am going through, this write up gives me the feeling of God’s all encompassing love. I am reassured about his presence as I am able to keep on working and hold myself together when things around me are in the ebb.

  4. Thanks dear Devi. Have wonderful trips full of God’s Love. And share with us more insightful lessons.

    With Love,


  5. Thank you Devi. I needed to hear this today,doesn’t matter what others do,God’s love,because omniscient.

  6. Dear Devi ji,
    Thanks for the expression of Divine Love that is everlasting !

  7. What an extraordinary blog! Unconditional true love beyond ordinary unconditional love which is divine! and from GOD!

  8. I am so grateful. This was perfect timing. I was feeling not at my best and I had a mini breakdown and was weeping and crying and feeling remote from God’s presence. But then I meditated chanted for over an hour prayed and read this blog post and it was perfect timing. Confirmation! I really understood in this moment that even feeling not close to God is a delusion and that it is paradoxical that God is remote yet ever present. Thank you enjoy your trip. I hope one day to come to Ananda village. Peace and joy to you!

  9. There’s a wonderful saying that in every human heart there is a God-shaped hole. However much we try to fill it with other expressions of love, it remains empty until we fill it with God’s presence. Then alone do we find the fulfillment we are seeking.

    Wonderful lines I read them many many times and saved them to read again !
    Thank you so much for sharing !

  10. Beautiful, Devi. I really enjoyed your explanations of impersonal love. Thanks!

  11. Thanks for sharing such beautiful thoughts. Your blogs are spreading light , love and wisdom to the whole world. 🙏🙏🌹🌹🌹✨✨✨✨✨

  12. Thank you, Devi!
    This is a beautiful reminder! We are all connected to the Infinite Love of the Divine.

  13. Devi, I really needed this article because I had recently posted a question on Ananda Virtual Community: “Is detachment rude?” It has to do with all the non-spiritual people in my life who I think may not understand impersonal divine love. It can easily come across as rude and uncaring. So I like Swamiji’s comment about nobody being special to him, not even himself.

  14. mm

    A beautiful description of divine love, and the only way we can make it our own. By sharing it.

  15. Dear Devi, thank you for this beautiful piece! It is a bellows for the divine fire at the core of my being.

  16. Thank you for sharing these beautiful flowers…words….
    It is a very loving inspiration to have truth coming to our souls…as we ride out the storm of this worlds illusions…
    Radha Sweet Swami

  17. Enjoy your trip to Italy and India. I love your messages. Keep writing Devi. Muchos besos y abrazos para ti y Jyotish.

  18. And bless you too, dear soul. Deep gratitude for your presence in our lives and so fully sharing all you have learned. Unconditional Love seems evanescent in this world, but you have shared shining examples of its practicality and wisdom. I will fill the hole in my heart with God and Guru and do my very best to share this love with all whom I meet. In Divine Friendship, Namaste

  19. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,

    Thank you for the blog.
    Looking forward to your visit to India :-)
    Safe travels.


  20. Thank you for sharing this. I am a new member. Safe travels.

    ~Patricia Anne

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