Two distraught devotees knelt before the Indian saint, Anandamayi Ma, pleading for her divine intervention. “Ma,” they begged, “can’t you stop this? It will produce so much suffering.”

Anandamayi Ma the great Indian saint "joy-permeated mother" in Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda


It was 1947—the beginning of the partition of India and Pakistan into two separate countries. The two disciples kneeling before Ma were government officials, who foresaw the disruption and pain that would attend the separation.

Anandamayi Ma listened to them thoughtfully, then withdrew into herself for several hours. When she returned to outer awareness, Ma lovingly replied, “Don’t you think that He who created this world knows how to run it?”

World conditions today seem like a continuous stream of disasters, natural and man-made, causing much human suffering. From devastating fires, earthquakes, and hurricanes to mounting racial, religious, and political tensions—it’s easy to feel that God is indifferent to our pain, occupied elsewhere, or even punishing us.

Yet in Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda writes that the great master Babaji and Jesus Christ are in constant communion with each other, sending out redemptive vibrations to uplift the world. Together they have planned the means of spiritual salvation for this age.

“The work of these two fully-illumined masters—one with the body and one without it—is to inspire the nations to forsake suicidal wars, race hatreds, religious sectarianism, and the boomerang evils of materialism,” Yoganandaji writes. It’s comforting to know that higher powers are at work and are focusing directly on the problems that confront us.

In a smaller way, in our own lives we are often faced with problems that lead us to think we must take matters into our own hands. Recently I learned about a situation in which the actions of a friend of mine were upsetting others.

This troubled me, and I asked God for guidance to see if there wasn’t something I ought to do. Should I write a letter? make a phone call? I prayed: “Is there an action item here for me?”

The reply I received surprised me: “There is no action item for you, only a reaction item.”

This answer made me laugh—for I knew it was true. I would only be reacting to what I perceived was my friend’s wrong behavior: I wouldn’t be improving anything. Telling someone else how they need to change is rarely a useful tactic. The action item was God’s, and I needed to trust Him to handle it.

Watch this process in yourself. When we face a problem, sometimes there is an action item for us, and then we need to respond accordingly. But often we are only reacting, and not trusting that God is the one in charge.

When we watch disturbing news, for example, if there isn’t an “action item” for us, then allowing our negative reactions to be aroused doesn’t help the situation, or us. What does help is prayer and faith in God’s supreme power in this world.

So, who’s in charge here? The more we realize that it is God, the more we will find peace in our hearts, and be able to share that peace with all.

In loving surrender,

Nayaswami Devi

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  1. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,
    Thank you for the beautiful blog.
    This was timely! Just now, there was a discussion amongst our colleagues here on some recent happenings. The news was very disturbing.
    Reading your blog just in time with Master’s message on it is comforting and feeling secured.

    “I would only be reacting to what I perceived was my friend’s wrong behavior: I wouldn’t be improving anything. Telling someone else how they need to change is rarely a useful tactic. The action item was God’s, and I needed to trust Him to handle it.” — Thank you for mentioning this and a great reminder for us

    In Master’s Love

    1. Every time I read your comments I find something I need to change in me and give my thoughts to God and Master.
      I have been feeling insecure lately with all things going on in the world and personal and financial concerns.
      Your posts help me so much to let go and let God but do the footwork.
      Many Blessings, Yvonne

  2. I have learned a very good lesson on reaction. I used to be very reactive.
    Now that I have come to about God. I am more peaceful and not reactive.

  3. Thank you Devi! This message resonates very strongly for me right now. So helpful to keep remembering that God is orchestrating everything far better than I can imagine!

    Blessings to you and Jyotish. Sorry I missed your last Portland visit. I was on retreat in the woods. See you next time.

    Love, John

  4. Thanks. This is so helpful as this week has been so filled with devastating news of natural disasters and the need to pray for so many souls being affected by them. In Gratitude, Prem-Shanti

  5. Thank you Deviji. It has been overwhelming to listen to world events. Last weekend we spent the night at my sister’s house. At bedtime I lead our children in prayer and asked the children to take turns praying out loud. My 10 year-old nephew said, ‘repeat after me’ and then lead us in The Prayer for Protection written by James Dillet Freeman. The power of the prayer was palpable in the room, like all of our auras increased in size and got brighter. I didn’t know the prayer, but as I repeated the words it resonated deeply with my soul. It had us calling to God in his different manifestation for protection. Later my nephew told me the prayer was written during WWII and that it was a soldier’s prayer. My sister said her children pray it every morning before school.

    I searched online to learn more about prayer during WWII and I came across an interesting research study. Below is a quote from the author of the study titled ‘Are There Atheists in Foxholes? Combat Intensity and Religious Behavior.’ The quote is à propos of this week’s Touch of Light. I hope you find some joy in this sharing. In Master’s Love, Eloisa

    “What surprised me about that data was that in heavy combat not only was there greater trust in power beyond this–or the soldiers’ immediate–world, but there also was less trust in personal and nationalistic ideals. During war, soldiers may be motivated by appreciation of freedom, by hatred of enemies, or by the desire to go home, but during times of heavy combat, those factors decrease in significance and soldiers increasingly turn to prayer. What surprised me was not just that the emphasis on prayer dramatically increased, but that reliance on other ideals radically decreased,” noted Craig Wansink.

    The Prayer for Protection written by James Dillet Freeman.
    The Light of God surrounds me.
    The Love of God enfolds me.
    The Power of God protects me.
    The Presence of God watches over me.
    The Mind of God guides me.
    The Life of God flows through me.
    The Laws of God direct me.
    The Power of God abides within me.
    The Joy of God uplifts me.
    The Strength of God renews me.
    The Beauty of God inspires me.
    Wherever I am, God is!

    1. Thank you
      Today we are confronted with a daily spiritual battle and must have an inward decree that matches the confrontation. For me it is the right action to take because it acknowledges the battle rather than dismissing it and puts God presence in positive victory of these godless destructive acts on humanity and planetary survival. Otherwise these negative illusions build in one way or another if we dont acknowledge God as the only presence and reality. Your prayer is complete.

  6. Dear Nayaswami Devi, Many thanks again for this wonderful article, so much depth in everything and what a wondrous message from Master Yogananda. The lesson/message on reaction is beyond words – so meaningful and tremendously helpful and appreciated – as are you and Jyotish for the most precious reminder/message/guidance that Our Father God is The Orchastrator and as John Rio perfectly said “God orchestrates everything far better than we could ever imagine. Thank you Bless you Devi and Jyotish

  7. Well put. Thank You.

    React-ion isn’t action at all…

    Sometimes “doing nothing”outwardly is the best action we can take; and instead – take the action of going inward, finding the still center, and then when appropriate – respond from that place of calmness and non-reaction. Thank you again and always fro wonderful guidance and inspirational leadership!

    Jai Jai Jai

  8. According to the mainstream news media there is “systemic racism” and injustice and racist political leaders, and the news reports all kinds of protests and violence and so on. But virtually all my life I’ve seen friendship and good will between, for example, blacks and whites. So many violent events are staged by hidden forces to create propaganda to deliberately strike fear and division among the people and they have various agendas behind tricking us. Fortunately with the internet and increasing world-wide communication the “Punch and Judy Show” is being found out, and with loss of secrecy they’re losing their power. I know the spiritual dimension is the most important but on a practical level it is certainly good to know what is going on.

  9. Thank you, dear soul, for helping me to refresh my heart, view of life and be reminded (as always) who is in charge. Namaste

  10. Thank you Devi ji, for reminding us God is INCHARGE. ??????

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