Swami Kriyananda’s guidance to others forms the bedrock of the spiritual life of countless souls throughout the world. One pivotal piece of advice he gave me in the early days of Ananda changed my understanding of how to approach the spiritual path.

I had been a disciple for a few years and had been hit by a karmic test that was undermining my peace of mind — in fact, it was causing me constant distress and confusion. No matter how hard I tried mentally, I couldn’t pick up this situation with the right attitude.

Then a ray of hope burst through the clouds, and I asked myself, “What techniques does Paramhansa Yogananda recommend to overcome obstacles?” I searched his writings and whole-heartedly began practicing some of things he recommended: prayer, visualizations, affirmations, acceptance, and offering the situation up to God.

After a few weeks, I had to admit with discouragement that neither the situation nor my wrong attitudes had changed. I really didn’t know where to turn next.

Around that time, I happened to meet Swami Kriyananda as he was coming out of the Publications Building at Ananda Village. I earnestly asked him, “Swamiji, I’ve been trying so hard to overcome this test and have practiced every technique that I know of. Can you give me any advice about how I can find the right attitude?”

He smiled at me with great kindness and understanding, and replied, “All these techniques are useful because they draw God’s grace, but ultimately it’s that grace that changes us.” So simple, so profound.

From then on as I practiced spiritual techniques, I also tried to tune into the power of God’s grace. This is what was missing from my practices, and what ultimately enabled me to be free from that karmic burden.

Swamiji’s few words have been living guides for me over the years, always reminding me: Do your best, but rely on God’s grace to change your consciousness.

Joy to you,
Nayaswami Devi


  1. mm

    So seemingly simple yet so poignant and profound.
    Bless you for sharing this priceless wisdom with us.
    AUM, Shanti

    1. It’s such a joy to share with you. Glad that you enjoyed the blog.

  2. And thank God that Grace enables us to eventually understand with sure conviction that all such situations are temporary, and do not reflect our True state!

    1. Yes, I believe that this understanding is at the heart of true happiness.

  3. Thank you, Devi. Your story brought me such peace in this quiet time of morning.

  4. Dear Devi,
    Thank you so much for sharing Swamiji’s advice to us. Things always come at the right moment and that is so true for me right now. We all have our challenges and, no matter what, we must put our trust in Him, always. His Grace will guide us. Blessings to you, Devi.

    1. We’re happy to know that this “touch of light” was timely and helpful for you.
      Jyotish and Devi

  5. Truth is simple but profound. Devi ji, your advice is nothing but truth and that is why it touches each one of us at a deeper level.
    Thank you so much for your kind blessings.

  6. This is what I needed to hear…affirming that what I am going through is not unnoticed by God. It’s enough push for me to keep going. Thank you.
    Namaste <3

    1. Truly God is aware of every effort we make, and lends his strength to help us to overcome.
      With joy,
      Jyotish and Devi

  7. This letter was perfect, Divine timing for me. My daughter received a cancer diagnosis this week, and it’s been a constant struggle for me to stay calm. Divine Mother’s grace has been blessing me, however, with occasional moments of peace.

    1. Dear Elaine,
      In our hour of need the help we need is often given. Have you put your daughter’s name on Ananda’s Healing Prayer List? It can be of great help.
      With joy,
      Jyotish and Devi

  8. Dear Devi,
    Thank you for this sharing.
    Could you please elaborate on how you “tuned into the power of God’s grace”, as you practiced the spiritual techniques. In other words, what were you thinking, feeling, etc., that was differnt than what you were doing before?

    1. Dear Diane,
      What I meant by this is developing the sense that we are not struggling alone, but God’s power is strengthening all our efforts. Master once said to Dr. Lewis, “You are not praying properly. You are praying to God, you should be praying in God.” Try to feel God just behind your aspirations.
      With joy,
      Jyotish and Devi

  9. Dear Devi,
    Thank you very much for sharing this divine wisdom. Just what I needed wright now (and many other devotees also, I notice).
    When I looked at Masters picture here before me just as I’ve read your text, it seemed to me as if his eyes -always full of Love- twinkle a little extra with a glance of understanding and encouraging…
    This motivates me to do my sadhana with more concentration and with an extra effort to tune in on Gods Grace by looking into the spiritual eye where I see the (tender twinkling) eyes of our beloved Guru…

    1. Dear Yogannes,
      May we all see the “tender twinkling eyes of our beloved Guru” in all circumstances.
      With joy,
      Jyotish and Devi

  10. I have read this over and over and then sat on the beach in the stillness of the morning reflecting on this message of God’s grace. It came at a perfect time for me.
    Thank you so much,

  11. Thank you.This came as needed,timely insight and wisdom..as today I was accosted by what Swamiji rightly said are obstacles on the spiritual path: moods.This insight deepens prayer and strengthens remembrance of just giving to God all obstacles we may encounter,which allows being even more open to or receptive that much needed and wonderful grace.Thank you again,your friend and a fellow instrument,greg

  12. I understand. The techniques are not the answer, in and of themselves. That would be like putting the letter of the law above the spirit of the law. It helps to remember that everything that comes to us is our karma which is God’s system for teaching us lessons. So God is both in the problem and in the solution. Feeling that we are already within God while practicing techniques helps us to relax in faith. Constriction and blocks disappear with relaxation and then energy and solutions can flow.

    1. Nice to hear from you, John. You’ve well expressed these points.

  13. Add me to the number of readers for whom this message has come at just the right time. Your second paragraph uncannily and perfectly expresses in every detail the nature of my current situation. I too for some time have been trying every trick in the book, plus a few of my own, to overcome a seemingly unpassable test. In my case, over the years this test has kept sliding back onto the scene sometime after I think it’s slunk away–perhaps for good–and then, like a gorgon, it has started springing up new menacing heads whenever I think I’ve chopped one off. Since the approach you describe is one that I haven’t consciously tried in this type of situation, I truly suspect it is the missing element needed to finally make headway against this insidious monster–a monster that seems impervious to all of my most powerful attack methods, that knows how to disable almost all the key units of my military operations, and that even often uses my best weapons against me. It must be grace, indeed, that brought this message to me as I stood fumbling on the battlefield! Thank you, thank you for your good words.

    1. Dear Alex,
      Swamiji wrote a wonderful book which will be coming out soon called “Cooperating with Grace.” it’s a beautiful concept that shows us the way to freedom from obstacles. We’re very glad that you were so helped by the letter.
      With joy,
      Jyotish and devi

  14. It all “sounds” wonderful but just exactly “What Is” God’s grace and furthermore HOW DO you receive it. The thought of your words sound lovely and the concept is desireable. But what always seems to be missing in these words of wisdom is “what does that Mean and How do I do it.”

    1. Dear Kat,
      Thanks for asking these questions. For me, God’s grace means to feel underlying support, upliftment, guidance, and protection throughout our lives. Once I was thinking about the word “grace,” and I thought of the grace of a dancer. Then the image came to my mind that divine grace is dancing with an unseen partner who helps you move through life with freedom and joy.
      How do we receive it? It is always there for all of us for draw on, but the practice of meditation helps us to commune with God and feel His presence with us. Once we begin to inwardly contact that “unseen partner,” we begin to know and trust that His grace is always with us.
      With love,

  15. Dear Devi,
    I am also going through a karmic test since long time, and yet not completed,
    On every day, there is a new realization of how I was wrong. Most of the times it is really difficult to decide what is right decision.
    Most important is to remain happy in any situation by right affirmation. I choose to be happy in every moment.
    Your words are always giving a guiding light.
    Guruji and swami ji are watching us all time.
    Om guru

  16. Most respected deviji,
    I too am now passing through a period of unimaginable pain in my life since my only son is now facing severe mental agony due to academic reversal and subsequent time loss(2 years). I believe your writing was sent to me by cosmic intelligence only.May all your ventures be successful and may everlasting peace and happiness be with you always. Also,I would humbly request that the name of my son-Krishnanunni.J., may kindly be included I Ananda’s Healing prayer list, if possible.
    With thanks and regards

  17. The flow of gods grace is what i am beginning to FEEL more. The deeper my meditations the more i feel joyful in everything i do. For me it is Less and less about thinking now. I will remember to tune into that grace. that is what changes me. Thank you so much!

  18. Dear Devi,
    Thanks for your thoughts. Strange I happen to read it almost after a month, when my spirits were quite low. The pithy message you conveyed makes so much sense, yet I wonder how to realise it. I just hope in due course i can feel and draw upon God’s grace. At this point in time, I am trying out the techqniues though. Do keep sharing your messages, and hopefully someday i pick the right cue.

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