Know God's Will

Published on May 27, 2004 02:41 PM IST

In serving God you should become more aware of His presence within you. If, instead, it develops negative attitudes, know that you are not doing His will for you.

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PTI | BySwami Kriyananda

Swami Kriyananda is a direct disciple since 1948 of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi. He is the founder of Ananda Sangha, and of seven Ananda communities in America and Europe. Now 78, he has moved to India to make his Guru’s teachings known in the land of his birth: to teach the liberating meditation technique of Kriya Yoga, and to establish communities where householders and renunciates alike can seek God in the company of fellow devotees.

God wants nothing from us but our love. The culmination of perfect love is bliss. So many people attribute to God their own faults. They think of Him as jealous or vindictive or angry when they err. I think of how my Guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, even when disciplining us, did so always with a view to our own spiritual welfare. If ever he expressed displeasure with us, it was only because we had fallen below what he saw was our spiritual potential. But he was always supportive. Can there be "displeasure" in bliss?

Great masters are born to help mankind, not to pass judgment! God, too, never imposes His will on people. If they suffer, it is because they've brought that suffering on themselves by breaking His law. The law of Karma itself is so constructed as to lead us, by self-punishment and self-reward, to perfect bliss.

How, then, are we to know His will for us? He rarely appears in visions to people to tell them what He wants. Even when He does come that way, He responds to some need in the people themselves. In that case, He doesn't necessarily even choose the most gifted or highly developed spiritually for the task. My own Guru, for example, gave to "little ones" like me the task of writing and teaching. I noticed that he didn't ask that service of some others who were much more advanced than I. Evidently, they themselves hadn't the need for such service: I myself did. When he had me do things, it was for MY sake, primarily. It was only secondarily for any objective good I might accomplish. Certainly he needed willing workers to serve his mission, but he never imposed even that mission's needs on anyone who wasn't willing to render grateful service.

How, then -- assuming you receive no visions, and no actual instruction from a true guru -- can you know God's will? The answer is, Do that which brings you increasing inner joy. Moreover, avoid anything that causes your inner joy to diminish. In serving God you should become more aware of His presence within you. If, instead, it develops negative attitudes like pride, ambition, or judgment, know for certain that you are not doing His will for you. Those attitudes, far from bringing you closer to Him, will only bring you great unhappiness.

Swami Kriyananda's programme appears at 2200 hours IST on the Sadhna Channel. (For more, visitwww.anandaindia.org)

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