Swami Kriyananda’s guidance to others forms the bedrock of the spiritual life of countless souls throughout the world. One pivotal piece of advice he gave me in the early days of Ananda changed my understanding of how to approach the spiritual path.

I had been a disciple for a few years and had been hit by a karmic test that was undermining my peace of mind — in fact, it was causing me constant distress and confusion. No matter how hard I tried mentally, I couldn’t pick up this situation with the right attitude.

Then a ray of hope burst through the clouds, and I asked myself, “What techniques does Paramhansa Yogananda recommend to overcome obstacles?” I searched his writings and whole-heartedly began practicing some of things he recommended: prayer, visualizations, affirmations, acceptance, and offering the situation up to God.

After a few weeks, I had to admit with discouragement that neither the situation nor my wrong attitudes had changed. I really didn’t know where to turn next.

Around that time, I happened to meet Swami Kriyananda as he was coming out of the Publications Building at Ananda Village. I earnestly asked him, “Swamiji, I’ve been trying so hard to overcome this test and have practiced every technique that I know of. Can you give me any advice about how I can find the right attitude?”

He smiled at me with great kindness and understanding, and replied, “All these techniques are useful because they draw God’s grace, but ultimately it’s that grace that changes us.” So simple, so profound.

From then on as I practiced spiritual techniques, I also tried to tune into the power of God’s grace. This is what was missing from my practices, and what ultimately enabled me to be free from that karmic burden.

Swamiji’s few words have been living guides for me over the years, always reminding me: Do your best, but rely on God’s grace to change your consciousness.

Joy to you,
Nayaswami Devi

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