She was a poor cleaning woman working in a hospital in Chennai, India, where a friend of ours also worked as a doctor. There was something about her that awakened compassion in our friend’s heart, and a desire to help. Perhaps it was because the lady seemed so alone in the world and had a small child to raise; whatever the reasons, our friend felt strongly that she should aid her.

And so she would often bring to the hospital clothes or extra food for the woman, and tried in whatever ways she could to offer her assistance. From time to time our friend would also invite her to her home for tea, but, probably on account of the social distance between them, the woman always humbly declined.

Five years had passed in this way, when finally the woman accepted the invitation to join our friends—the doctor and her husband—for tea. As she entered their home, she saw a large photo of Paramhansa Yogananda, which hung in their living room, and burst into tears.

“Do you know who this is?” they gently asked her. Quietly nodding her head, she finally replied, “Five years ago my husband died. The day before his passing, he gave me a copy of Autobiography of a Yogi, and said, ‘Now he will take care of you.’ I have not read the book, but have kept it with me.”

And so it was that Yoganandaji did take care of her through the agency of our friends. Unbeknownst to them, they had been instruments of his grace which helped and supported her. What brought such divine grace into this poor woman’s life? Perhaps it was her deep, heartfelt prayers to God that drew it, and then manifested in our friends’ desire to help her.

Yogananda and Anandamayi Ma

Paramhansa Yogananda and Anandamayi Ma.

Recently I read a beautiful statement from the great woman saint, Anandamayi Ma, about what it is that draws grace into our lives. She said that people are mistaken when they think that grace is something that happens only occasionally or randomly. Like the child who forgets his mother when absorbed in play, we, too, in our absorption in this world, forget that Divine Mother is always aware of our needs and tends to them when the time is right.

But when we are able to dwell in steady remembrance of God, then we become more keenly aware of the constant flow of divine grace. Ma used the analogy of a well, a bucket, and a rope. The water in the well is like God’s blessings, which are always freely available. The bucket can carry these blessings, but it is the rope of our constant remembrance that draws them to us.

Fortunately for us, God’s grace can come to us even when we forget Him. But it is so much sweeter and richer when we remember the source. Like the poor woman who clung to Yoganandaji for protection, may we draw to us the overflowing bucket of divine grace, using the rope we have woven from our constant thought of God.

With love and joy,

Nayaswami Devi

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  1. Thank you for the wonderful inspiration to remember always to draw actively and consciously from the well of grace, Deviji!

  2. Thank you for this wonderful story. Such instances when our beloved Guru shows his love for the devotee are so heart-warming. Jai Guru!

  3. So touching. Brought tears to my eyes. Inspires me to constantly think of God so I can draw from the well of Divine Grace. Recently several incidents in my life have driven home the point that Divine Mother and God are the only reality. Rest is delusion….

  4. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,
    Wow! Thank you for the blog. Very Inspiring.
    Ma’s analogy is amazing and a great reminder. Thank you for Sharing.

  5. Thank you for this gentle reminder and for including the story that Anandamayi Ma used to tell. She is also quite an inspiration.

  6. Please keep these stories coming. I was born in 1946 and I missed seeing my guru P.Y. but I feel his presence in my life. I read “Autobiography of a Yogi” 8-9 times. He is with me and I feel him through your stories and through Swami Kriyananda’s books.
    Vinnie Cruz

  7. Thank you so much. Just what I needed to hear.

  8. Thank you, Devi! I’ve recently been applying more concentration to practicing the presence of God and this was a wonderful inspiration to keep deepening the practice.

  9. Thank you, Devi. That is such a sweet story. For so many years of my life, I thought those kind of blessings were only for very special people. After our experiences with the Yogananda Gardens, I have come to realize that Divine Mother is always there, helping us, if we just keep drawing on Her grace. Thank you for reminding us. Thanks, too, for the goodness that you and Jyotish keep spreading around the world. Many Blessings! janakidevi

  10. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful assuring story that our Guru is constantly watching over us and when His Grace is required He is always there to bless us with that grace.

  11. Very beautiful experience of the woman and explanation by Anandmayi Maa for my daily experiences of divine grace though hardly think of God , just couple of minutes a day.

  12. Divine Gratitude, dear soul, for the love and friendship that you and Jyotish share so openly. Yes, the channel is Blessed by that which flows through it, and it is in the reminder of always having access to the “Best Water of Blessing” that helps me return for more. Namaste

  13. Jai ma jai guru ma always with us.
    Thank you.

  14. Beautiful story and an important reminder to keep God and Guru with us always!
    Their Grace and Love are always with us, like the SUN and it is our clouds of delusion that hide them from our awareness and our hearts.
    Your story is a wonderful reminder to be ever mindful and give all of our actions, thoughts, and devotion to the ONE who creates it all.
    Thank you!
    ~~~Peace, Josette

  15. Such a beautiful share…. was touched by this lady’s devotion

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