How Devotees Rise

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Sunday Service Week 24: How Devotees Rise

Reading from Rays of the One Light

Truth is one and eternal. Realize oneness with it in your deathless Self, within.

The following commentary is based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda.

Last week we asked the question, Why do devotees fall? and we considered the downfall of Judas in this context. Jesus, in answer to Judas’s criticism for allowing Mary to rub his feet with spikenard, a very costly ointment, said, “The poor always ye have with you: but me ye have not always.”

Jesus is saying here that there is one supreme “injustice” that needs eradication: poverty, yes, but not of a material kind: poverty in a spiritual sense.

Divine blessings are not common in this world. They are extraordinary. When they come, we should give them priority above every other consideration.

Never allow a moment of inner joy, for instance, to be set aside for lesser “duties.” Divine attunement is our highest priority. As Lahiri Mahasaya, the guru of Yogananda’s guru, said, “To listen to the heart’s inner sound (AUM, which issues from the very center of our being) is man’s highest duty.”

Mary, on this occasion, was not communing in inner silence with Christ’s spirit, as she had been when Martha urged Jesus to reproach her for not helping out in the kitchen. Mary this time was serving outwardly, but in a very different spirit from the restless fussing for which Jesus had reprimanded her sister, Martha. Those who see a radical difference between the paths of action and meditation should understand this distinction. To serve in the right spirit is necessary, for only thereby can we overcome our karmic tendencies toward restless activity. The important thing is that that spirit be always inwardly focused: that in everything we do we act in loving service to the Lord.

Therefore the Bhagavad Gita says in the third Chapter:

The state of freedom from action [that is, of eternal rest in the Spirit] cannot be achieved without action. No one, by mere renunciation and outward non-involvement, can attain perfection.

Whenever the spirit of God descends upon you, however, remember the words of Jesus, “Me ye have not always with you.”

Thus, through holy scripture, God has spoken to mankind.



Reading from Affirmations for Self-Healing

Calmness is perfectly achieved when life’s little wave becomes absorbed into the cosmic sea, in divine ecstasy. In daily life, too, we can achieve calmness to a degree by keeping our awareness focused on the reality of the Spirit underlying all outward circumstances.

Calmness comes with the determination to live ever happily in the present moment, relinquishing the past, and not worrying about the future, but placing our lives firmly in God’s hands, and knowing that He is fully in command. Calmness comes with non-attachment-with knowing that nothing in this world is truly ours.

Practice this affirmation out loud, guided by Swami Kriyananda

Though the winds of difficulties howl around me, I stand forever calmly at the center of life’s storms.


With Thee beside me, I know that the tides of trouble can never sweep me away. Hold fast my hand, Lord; never let me go!

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