“The closest of dear friends, she made one feel, yet an aura of remoteness was ever around her—the paradoxical isolation of Omnipresence.” In this way Paramhansa Yogananda wrote of the great woman saint, Anandamayi Ma, in Autobiography of a Yogi.

This describes the dilemma we, too, face in trying to deepen our love for our Guru. It’s often easier to visualize Yoganandaji’s consciousness as impersonal and spanning infinity than to think of him as “the closest of dear friends.”

Why do we shrink back from receiving a love that has been waiting for us eternally? Why do we hesitate to sing the melody of divine love that constantly plays, often unheard, within our own hearts?

As we celebrate Yoganandaji’s birthday on January 5, let’s consider some ways that we create these barriers, and how we can break them down.

One common self-defeating thought is: “I know my Guru loves other, more deserving disciples more than me.” We may try to feel his love, but we place others (who we think meditate better or serve more) before us to receive the guru’s affection. We accept our place as the neglected, overlooked stepchild in the family.

This concept may apply where human affection is concerned, but with the love of the guru for his disciples it’s a harmful misunderstanding. Divine love is unconditional, not based on outer achievements, nor given to one at the expense of another.

If this thought plagues you, try this: Blend the personal and impersonal nature of the guru. Feel that he loves you (and every one of his disciples) completely and equally, because that is the nature of omnipresence.

Another thought-barrier to break down is: “How can my Guru possibly love me if he knows all the mistakes I make?” That doubt may lead us to hope that one who is omniscient doesn’t know that we ate all those cookies when we were supposed to be fasting, or that we spent our morning meditation with random thoughts flitting through our mind. But of course the guru knows. As Yoganandaji told Swami Kriyananda, “I know every thought you think.”

So instead of hiding the cookie crumbs in a dark corner, try this: Share every mistake, every error in judgment, every lapse in self-discipline with your guru. Even let him know how good the cookies were that you ate (he already knows that you enjoyed them). When we trust that divine love grows in honesty and openness, then we begin to experience the joy of feeling totally accepted for who we are. In that complete acceptance, it’s also easier for us to change.

Paramhansa Yogananda birthday January 5Finally, we may mistakenly think: “Someday I’ll feel my Guru’s love, but it won’t be for a long time.” Instead, tonight before you go to bed, eagerly share with him everything that happened throughout the day: the tests, the joys, the silliness, the pain, the whole experience. When you wake up tomorrow, let your first thought be, “I love you, Master. Please come share the day with me.” Why wait for time to pass to express our love for our Guru? Offer it today. Only by giving the cup of our love each and every day can we receive the ocean of his love eternally.

Swami Kriyananda wrote these words as an introduction to his song, “You Remain Our Friend”:

Why do we flee Him

Whose hand is outstretched in kindness?

Is not the answer obvious?

It is the emptiness in our own hearts!

We flee because He asks of us the greatest gift:

He asks our love.

We wish you a blessed celebration of Master’s birthday in which you joyously give him this treasure from your heart. Once we fully share the love that radiates from within us, we draw the living presence of this premavatar, “incarnation of divine love,” our beloved Guru.

Your friend in God,

Nayaswami Devi

Subscribe to the Touch of Light podcast. Download the audio recording of this week’s blog by right-clicking here. Or listen to it here (5:41):


  1. Amazing!!…thanku so much for this great article.lots of love n blessings??

  2. so nice of you to send this post which is very much encouraging and i am happy that i am doing the right thing by sharing everyday with master about the day’s happenings

  3. The first time I felt Master’s love was in the library on the campus of Washington State University. I opened one of his books to his photo and I was overwhelmed with blissful love. I closed the book and thought to myself, “If this is my imagination, nothing will happen when I look at his photo again.” I opened the book to his photo and it happened again, waves of blissful love poured on to me. I love him because he loved me first.

    1. I had a similar experience viewing Yogananda’s large Poster at a Meditation Meeting. I also keep a photo of Yogananda in my home to communicate with often. Always a comfort.
      With Love and Light,

  4. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,
    Thank you for this beautiful blog 🙂
    Very inspiring and helps us to develop our love and attuenment to our beloved Guru
    Happy Master’s birthday
    Jai Guru

  5. This is just beautiful, dear Devi, and also very helpful!

  6. Wow Devi, that’s a beautiful never-seen picture of Master. On the subject of bringing our faults to God, I remember Swamiji saying, “God loves that.” I also remember a time when I thought I had committed some great error, and I crawled to my meditation seat in the evening and said, “Well, Divine Mother, I guess You’ll just have to accept me as I am.” Instantly I heard a female voice, as of a bustling, efficient Mother, that said: “I am not at all concerned about your faults; I am concerned only with your continuous improvement.”

  7. Thank you Nayaswami Devi from the bottom of my heart. Your voice and words are heart-warming, attuning and up-lifting. I look forward to your podcasts eagerly every week. _/\_

  8. Thank you so much…I needed that (!)
    Besides Master, I love ‘you’ folks as well——thanks again!

  9. Thank you for the intimate chat about True Spiritual Love. Love for Yah (God) and Yashuwa (Jesus), Yogananda and all the Angels.
    I simply say:”I Love You” I Love You,” I Love You” over and over to Yah, until I feel Heartfelt, sincerity.
    I feel just opening my life to Yah is the most intimate way to be close to Her-Him, the Father and Mother of Yah (God).
    I wish I could embrace Yah, with the similar closeness and tenderness I had with my Dear young departed wife, when I was just 30 years of age or the Deep, Spiritual Embrace Yogananda said he felt wirh Sri Yukteshwar, after his passing.
    Though to Spiritually Embrace Yah (God) the Endless Spirit, is another experience entirely.
    I am trying to learn how to do this.
    As Jimi Hendrix sang: “Excuse me, while I Kiss the Sky.”
    May the Spirit of Yah’s Love and Light be with You.
    Carmen Charles

  10. Jai maa
    I used to get same thoughts n then I realised it was my ego seeking attention.was seeing two where there is actually one.thank you
    Jai ma

  11. Beautiful Devi.
    I feel Divine Mother’s last ve pouring through you to all of us.
    In Gods Love, Shanti

  12. Thank you very much for these words. Very helpful and I appreciate! Many blessings

  13. Thank you..a very good posting,as usual..you wrote,”Divine love is unconditional,not based on outer achievements” but it is told that
    Master has said,”dont think you can gain Gods love if you cannot gain the love of your fellow beings”..gaining the love of others is,can be considered as an outer achievement,of course beginning inwardly,and one of,if not the most important of all since that is a requirement for gaining Gods love,that it brings Gods love to one only after he or she has won the love of his or her fellow beings..so the question arises,how can Gods love be considered as truly unconditional when one reflects upon what Master said.And you wrote,”only by giving the cup of our love ea & every day can we receive the ocean of His love eternally”,reminded me of Swamis prayer to Master,help me to love you in the way that you love me..and Masters answer was,”how can the little cup hold the whole ocean?”So,may it also be put that only by giving the cup of our love ea & every day,and then by finally breaking that cup(if the cup is the ego holding & giving love),by fervent,total devotion,deep prayer & meditation,that we can truly receive,experience, the ocean of His love eternally..a state where the ego is no more..having become one with the ocean..soul consciousness..as Master says in his poem,”I the cosmic sea,watch the little ego
    floating in Me..and,”I..a tiny bubble of laughter,have become the sea of mirth Itself.”

  14. Also thank you very much for the print of that fine painting..it looks very good on the white background of refrigerator freezer,where it is viewed every day by me and anyone else that may visit..a painting which evokes,or stirs desire for or memories of a deep,perfect peace,
    silence,purity,seclusion in a perfect place..in the high, “rarefied airs” of the great yogis.

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