Our two large suitcases lay partially full on the floor. For the past two weeks, we’d been slowly filling them with clothes and travel items for our trip to Ananda centers in Italy and India. We’ll be gone for three and a half months, so planning what to bring for different climes and times has been a bit challenging.

I could feel that my mind was beginning to churn as I weighed different options for what to bring, and tried to form a mental image of all the places to which we’d be going. Movement, time, space—it began to seem a bit overwhelming to me.

Then I remembered a story about a woman who traveled from England to India to visit a great saint there—Ramana Maharshi. Upon meeting him, she said, “I’ve come all the way from London to see you.”

“You haven’t moved at all,” was his startling reply. “The world around you has moved, but your own center has never changed.”

divine sight is center everywhere, circumference nowhere quote autobiography of a yogi yogananda

Divine sight is center everywhere, circumference nowhere.

He was telling her that on the deepest level our consciousness is unmoving and not affected by any outer change. Yoganandaji wrote in Autobiography of a Yogi that divine sight is center everywhere, circumference nowhere. Every point of the universe can be perceived as the center. You are the center of the universe, and someday you will be able to experience this.

Swami Kriyananda once said, “You don’t really move. Space itself is a delusion. You seem to go from here to your home, to India, to Europe, but the world is really moving around you, as far as the perception of it is concerned. You were never moving, but you put yourself at your periphery, so it seems that you were moving all the time.”

He went on to say, “The same thing is true for time. You have been living a very long time, and yet you haven’t been living in time at all, except as you have persuaded yourself that it is real. It’s only an illusion in our consciousness.”

As I thought about these vast concepts, my mind began to slow down. I sat to meditate, and realized that soon I would be traveling around the world, but that I would be bringing my Self with me wherever I went.

And I knew from past experience that the days of our journey would pass quickly. In the blink of an eye, the next thing I would experience would be sitting in our little meditation room once again. Time and space—they really don’t exist as we usually perceive them. We may be dreaming them, but our souls aren’t bound by them.

Yoganandaji wrote: “God made man immortal. The plan was for him to remain on earth as an immortal. He was to behold the drama of change with a changeless, immortal consciousness and, after seeing the dance of change on the stage of changelessness, he was to return to the bosom of eternal blessedness.”

Silently I offered a prayer of gratitude for the constant guidance of our great teachers, who illumine our lives with their wisdom.

Now I have to get back to those suitcases. . . .

With joy,

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 (9:13):

40 Comments

  1. Truly inspiring. Grateful for the constant guidance you give to many like me who are on the spiritual path. Joy to you ! Regards and best wishes !!

  2. Thank you very much for your posting. As a matter of fact the world has seen several great Gurus from India Like Shankaracharya , Raman’s , Yogananda etc . The teachings are not only great but also a guiding path to the man kind. Unfortunately several persons who proclaim themselves as Gurus and Avaduuthas. Misinterpret the the original teaching in their own way. Any translation is good but not the misinterpretation.

  3. Dear Devi, I love your weekly statements that I anxiously wait to receive and always enjoy reading.
    I must say that these help me and encourage me to pursue on what I normally perceive is the way to Divinity. This today in particular reminds me that I’m still far away…and that the Target is very deep inside me… Smiling let me say I got the message, I do not need a bag for this trip :) Am I wrong?

  4. Reality brought into perspective…
    I’m smiling. I appreciate some humor.
    Sometimes the mundane overshadows the bigger picture.
    Stories, verses, reminders of how
    Overwhelming but insignificant
    Tasks can be…but needn’t be
    What do we keep in our hearts?
    Where is our focus?
    Thank you!

  5. Even the Tao has a line in it, I paraphrase, “The master travels from place to place without ever leaving home.”

  6. This rings true to me – thank you for this perspective. Three young kid,s, our children. at home this lifetime . What happens in the moment often feels like trying to pack one’s bags- good to come back to a zero state and observe that this is all temporary

  7. Your essays always touch my heart so deeply and they inspire me to shift my perspective. Today’s was so interesting and mind-blowing. I will work with this concept for a long time because it makes ultimate sense to me. Thank you for all that do.

  8. Thank you for sharing your recollections and insights. Best wishes on your trip to Europe and India.

  9. Beautiful, to deeply reflect upon it!
    Thank you.
    Have a safe trip.

  10. What a beautiful reminder as I start a very busy day and prepare for a river trip in Idaho. I love when synchronicity prevails to easy our mind and heart. Thank you.

  11. Devi ji, This was truly beautiful. Glad to know you will be visiting India and hope to meet you. I have met you before in Pune and in Ananda village but it is ok if you don’t remember me. This mail is just to tell you that I have been wanting to paint this sentence, “divine sight is center everywhere, circumference nowhere.” but whatever I thought of didn’t seem good enough. May be the picture you have used here may inspire me to do a good painting.
    This is also to tell you that I have been very much disturbed by the nasty communal situation in India in the past few years. I did my PhD on Hindu temple 40 years ago and i decided to revisit it and wrote up a long essay , engaging with the current debates on temples in India. I am sending the link here. Hope you will find the time to read it.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1or00I3OrE9M4up_ErV1G1q5cBop4ezB5/view?usp=sharing

    Needless to say that I have been inspired by the idea of World Brotherhood idea of PY. Thanks to Kriyanandaji and the Ananda people for making it a reality. Much Love, Uma Shankari.

  12. This wisdom is the perfect gift on a BIG day. Joe and I are moving from our family home of nearly 30 years. We’re not moving far…Just to a neighboring town, but it clearly marks the end of an era!

    Grateful for these changeless teachings and our Ananda community where we are always AT HOME! 🙏🕉️

  13. This was so beautiful. It makes me reflect on the here, later and after the fact as I also will be preparing soon to pack a suitcase to be away for a couple of months.

    Thank you for the wisdom, the blessings and the love felt through these words.

    Namaste

  14. Lol, “now back to those suitcases” – my spirit felt expanded and tickled(!) by this thoughtful blog. Thank for this touch of joy, Deviji. Safe travels on your adventures and give our love to gurubhais everywhere <3

  15. Thank you Devi and many blessings on your journey- May you enjoy safe, smooth and joyful travels. 💗

  16. Made me smile – a fine message for payday to stave off the temptation to buy new gadgets. Wherever we are, there we are, all fat and smiling and contented.

  17. Gratitude and Joy to you dear Deviji. I’m going to continue to wrap my mind around this concept of spacelessness and timelessness. I have come to believe the truth of it but my understand still needs to expand to ‘grok it’ fully. Have a glorious time in Italy and India. Please stay safe and uplifted, always. Namaste

  18. Hi Devi: I went to Italy with 2 days in Nice from May 20 to June 9. Even though I only had a carry-on roller suitcase I realized that I did not need to bring more than half of what I brought. It was good to have a zip-up hoodie for the flights d/t cooler altitudes. I found one pair of all-around shoes is enough. Plan on a few changes of clothes with hot weather in mind and a scarf that can be a shawl or a head wrap and that is perfecto. Many blessings on you and Jyotish. Love is All

  19. Well wishes on your journey to Assisi and India! This weeks blog was particularly helpful to me in understanding life as a dream :)

  20. Devi,
    Your message filled my heart and soul with joy!
    Thank you so much!
    Have a wonderful trip!

  21. Wow!! Thank you, dear Devi ji for this mysterious, amazing, Time concept. Love it!
    Thanks for reminding this deep Truth from our great Masters.
    Sweet ending with a practical and humorous note,
    “Now I have to get back to those suitcases. . . .”🤗☺️

  22. How wise and beautiful dear Devi💙all you perceived by grace from Master and Swami💙💙 that makes traveling less scary. I too once saw and felt this you felt, by grace of Master when going on a pilgrimage as an apprentice at Ananda. We young apprentices entered a school bus fashioned into a trailer driven by Hans Stiegman who was there. It was dawn and still dark as the big bus started to move away. Seeing the apprentice village lights fade in the distance I suddenly felt as if we were not moving and it was the outside world that moving away.
    Life is like that as we see life, scenery pass while we stay home with God in His heart. That is where we always live and stay. I hope I understood correctly what you expressed that made me remember forty two years ago with joy in my heart. With love and gratitude to you and dear Jyotish 💙💙bhajana 💛🎶

  23. Blessings on your travels Devi! (even though you really won’t be going anywhere)

  24. Truly inspiring! and thank you for the amazing insight… “We may be dreaming them, but our souls aren’t bound by them.”
    God and Guru’s bless your travels – there and back again :)

  25. Supreme being is pure subject , it never become object, all externalisation is the illusion of consciousness , as when we are dreaming ,all are residing within mind but yet it experience in externally in time and space but in reality there is no time & space in dream , same is with this life also this also a dreamland.

  26. Thank you Devi for this treasure on timelessness and spacelessness. Consciousness. We are always centered in God wherever we are- only the scenery changes on the outside but the inside (soul) is never bound by them. Please, Devi, have safe, joyous travels. Your stories always illumine my heart and Soul. God and Guru Blessings, Rose

  27. İ liked your article very much because you emphasized the importance of finding that which is without change in the murat of all that change, equalling immortality: true plan gör Man on earth thank you

  28. Dearest Devi and Joyotish, have a wonderful trip. Love your note and comments. It’s a reminder of living in the NOW. Would love to see you, but traveling about is increasingly difficult. It’s been a long time since I last saw you!
    Marj

  29. That’s a wonderful reminder especially during overwhelming times …. master’s have subtle beautiful and special ways to work for us through us….. Jai guru… with gratitude love and joy… your visit to INDIA much awaited🙏✨🌹❤️

  30. Wish you both a blessed safe journey to Italy and India😇
    We look forward with joy to meeting you both in India.

    Thank you for your weekly blogs. This helps us to tune into Master and Swamiji better! Aum Guru

  31. Dear Devi,
    we can feel that even with your compassion for the suffering world you come from that inner reference point of the calm Self. I am hoping to learn that more and more.
    Thank you so much for what you share in words and in the witness of that “tangible”
    place of deep truth.
    About the suitcases: you could make them lighter if we could provide for you things you than need not carry……happy to do so!
    And looking forward to seeing you soon.
    In Master’s love and joy, Sabine( Assisi)

  32. Thank you dearest Devi Ji for this inspiring blog. loved how you quoted Master that we were made to behold the drama of change with a changeless, immortal consciousness. what beautiful words and wisdom. We await your time with us in India eagerly. Safe travels dearest both.

  33. Thank you for the insights again, Devi. It is so difficult for us to understand that time, space and matter are just illusions and ideas in the great cosmos. But when we begin to realize this, we have taken big strides towards ultimate realization. Enjoy your travels, even if you are really staying centered.

  34. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful blog!
    A very profound blog and something to reflect on. Great gratitude to all our Gurus and Aachariyas for their guidance.

    We are excited and waiting to meet you both in person. Thank you for taking the time. Safe travels!

    Joy,
    Prem

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