There is a story about a saint who was peacefully meditating under a tree along the banks of the Ganges. At a certain point he heard a rustling overhead and opened his eyes to see a large scorpion moving along a branch overhanging the river.

When the creature reached the end of the branch, it fell into the water below. Filled with compassion, the saint waded into the river to rescue it. Cupping his hands together, he lifted the drowning scorpion and placed him gently on the river’s bank. In return for his kindness, the scorpion stung him.

Unperturbed, the saint then returned to the peace of his meditation. Again he heard a rustling overhead, again the scorpion plunged into the water, and again the saint rescued him, only to be stung.

When this happened a third time, a passerby who had been observing the drama could no longer contain himself. Approaching the saint, he asked, “Sir, why do you continue to rescue the scorpion, when each time he stings you?”

“Well,” the saint replied, his eyes luminous with divine love, “you see, it is the nature of the scorpion to sting. He cannot help himself.”

“That may be so, reverend sir, but knowing this, why do you continue to rescue him?” the passerby asked.

“You see, my child, I too cannot help myself. It is my nature to help him.”

This story provides us with a valuable lesson in how to live. Each of us encounters “human scorpions” filled with venom and spite whose sting can cause us suffering. But whether insect or human being, such creatures are driven by instinct or the compulsions of past karma, and have no choice but to sting whenever they feel threatened.

The saint, by choosing to attune his consciousness to God’s love, had the freedom to express that love under all circumstances. Like the saint, we, too, can choose to align our actions with divine love and peace, no matter what is happening around us.

At first this choice requires an act of will, as the ego tries to protect itself. With repeated effort and determination, however, the choice becomes “second nature.” Unlike the scorpion driven by instinct, we find that the higher path, illumined by a constant flow of divine grace, opens clearly before us.

In a sense, all decisions in life then become very simple. As a great saint once said, “We have but one decision to make in life: whether to think of God or not.” All the rest are details.

jyotish art full fall yogananda paintings and teachings

Uniting our efforts, we can create a great realm of light that can guide the world forward into a new era of peace and harmony.

Currently we are enjoying the inspiration of our annual Spiritual Renewal Week at Ananda Village. Friends from all over the world have joined us in a wonderful celebration of Master’s blessings and teachings. The theme for the week is “Uplift Yourself—Uplift the World,” exploring how raising our own consciousness improves not only ourselves but the world around us as well.

Just like the saint, we can choose to express divine love and forgiveness no matter how the world behaves. Then we build an inner fortress of higher consciousness which is impenetrable to the forces of darkness. Uniting our efforts, we can create a great realm of light that can guide the world forward into a new era of peace and harmony.

With joy and blessings in God and Guru,

Nayaswami Devi

Listen to Devi as she reads the blog, then expands on it, often adding special behind-the-inspiration stories and answers to common spiritual questions. Subscribe to the podcast or download the audio recording by right-clicking here. Or listen to it here (7:31):


  1. Peace and harmony? Where is it? I don’t see any anywhere and I don’t live in cloud cuckoo land.

    1. Obviiously you are looking from the wrong inner place. Try meditating in a cemetary for five or ten minutes. I am sure you will see the world differently. Look at the dash between the dates and know that was their life. Good luck!

  2. Dear Deviji,

    Namaste. Thank you, very wonderful example, nice blog.

    So good to be part of SRW 2022. Wonderful satsang, inspiring talks, such sweet melodious Kirtan, music and deep Q&A.

    Thank you!


  3. Jai Guru, its a great story and helped me to think on many such circumstances where I had behaved differently but now, I think i would behave more like Saint, its quiet uplifting, Thank you

  4. Dearest Devi💙 thank you for sharing this beautiful story. I love it so so so very much 😇 I thank Divine Mother and all the beautiful saints in my life such as Swami, Master, You and dearest Jyotish … for showing me how to love , and thank the human scorpions I’ve met in my life for showing me how to keep loving even more. Thank you your loving patience with me throughout the years ✨✨✨💙your bhajana 💛🎶🎸

  5. Thanks for sharing this drops of wisdom.
    Go bless you

  6. Such an inspirational story given the unusual circumstances life is presenting us with.

  7. Dear Deviji, what a deep and wonderful message you have shared. I needed it most now. Thankyou.

  8. I am so much enjoying Spiritual Renewal Week from my home in Nevada City via the excellent online broadcasts! We are so fortunate to have this option.
    Your wonderful ‘blogcast’ reminded me of a quote from Master:

    “Hatred travels through the ether. If someone is broadcasting hatred, and you are tuned to that hatred, you will get it; but if you are tuned to love, no matter how many hateful vibrations are sent, you will not get them. You must cultivate love in your heart, for love is the magnet that draws souls to you and it is the dagger that destroys hatred.”
    — Paramahansa Yogananda

    Blessings to you dear Devi

  9. Hi Devi,
    Is this painting one of jyotish’s. Extraordinarily beautiful! Thanks for sharing and also for the parable.
    Love, Yashoda

  10. Thank you Davi. I much appreciate that you remind us to think of The One Divine God. I understand that the guru is to be trusted and adored, but it is only The One God that is worthy to be worshiped. I worry that people lose that focus.

  11. Dear Devi ji,
    Pronaam. It was a wonderful experience to listen from senior disciples of Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda ji.
    The moral behind your story is identical with the principles followed by Vaishnavas in India since the days of Shri Chaitanya Dev. I personally liked the narration; the English is simple and understandable, type fonts are good. Above all the painting depicting the trees, river, sky etc during the FALL season is mesmarizing.
    Thank you,
    Aum Guru

  12. Thank
    You . This week I was praying to the great one .. How to love and be at peace with the people that annoys you daily .,Then he comes the answer . Be who you are daily peace love and harmony in any situation . ❤️❤️❤️❤️🙏🏽

  13. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,

    Thank you for this inspiring blog! I enjoyed reading it.
    This line, “At first this choice requires an act of will… and then its second nature.” is very useful advice. Thank you for sharing this.
    We are following the SRW talks and the talks are very encouraging.


  14. Thank you, Devi. This reminds me of this quote from the Tao Te Ching: “What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher? What is a bad man but a good man’s job?”
    How do we keep an open heart of infinite compassion but still not allow ourselves to be actually abused? Self-sacrifice in the name of spirituality can come from a place of woundedness.

  15. Thank you dear soul for the uplifting reminder. We have the choice. Let us make the right, uplifted one more often. Jai!

  16. O’ Mother
    Bless me with your divinity all day and all night.
    Jai Maa

  17. I’ve been experincing two types of thoughts. One that comes from thinking. The other that comes after meditating or praying that seems to pop into my head some time later. It’s as if an important part of talking to God or praying is to acknowledge that I will be waiting and expecting an answer and then just forget about it, drop it. These pop-in thoughts (answers) are a true joy to experience. It turns talking to God as a process and an important part of my life. I don’t know, maybe it’s crazy, maybe it’s “cloud cuckoo land,” but each answere comes with a side sliver of bliss that I appreciate and enjoy.

  18. Jai Gurú !! Muchas muchas gracias.
    Thank you very much for this amazing inspiration. Swamiji Kriyananda!! What an amazing Great Soul! His work will continue and go on and on. Divine Wisdom flowing so beautifully through you dear Sir; this will make our meditation practice far better. For sure.
    With much gratitude, in the Love of our beloved Guru & Master, Paramhansa
    Yogananda. Dios le llena de bendiciones.
    May Divine Mother bless you in her grace.
    May Master be ever so present & revealed.
    Namaste 🙏🏾🪷🌈🕊

  19. So beautiful 😇thank you 💙 you gave a roadmap to my heart🎶💛

  20. Many times Hurd story expressed in a very beautiful way. Thank you. ❤ 🙏🌹
    Jai Guru 🌹

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