Mar 14, 2022

by Nayaswami Narayan

When the war in Ukraine broke out, I felt disturbed in my heart. No man is an island. The heart wrenching conditions with millions of refugees fleeing, bombs dropping, and innocent people dying is beyond horrific.

I’m sure I wasn't the only person asking, “Why, Lord? Why?”

At the same time, I happened to read a story about Ananda Moi Ma that provided an answer. Ma perfectly followed the will of God through her divine moods (kheyal as she described it in sanskrit). Sometimes she would leave one location quite suddenly and without much warning for her hosts.

One time she returned to an ashram where she was staying and Ma said to one of her disciples, “Khukuni, get ready to leave today. We shall now go to Allahabad, and see where to go later. Make arrangements for the journey quickly.”

Her disciples started making arrangements for her to leave at 3am. That evening the head Brahmachari arrived and saw Ma getting ready to leave. He began to protest:

“Ma, if you leave early in the morning you may catch a chill.” 

Ma replied, “Nothing will happen.”

He said, “Maybe nothing will happen to you, but we worry about your body.”

Ma replied, “There is absolutely no need to worry. Worry only about the One.

As soon as I read Ma’s response, I immediately felt my heart calm. It was as if the Divine Mother said, “Absorb yourself wholly in Me…I am your safety, I am your shelter, I am the only escape from all your fears.”

Yet, If God is all goodness, why is evil a part of God’s creation? Paramhansa Yogananda in May 1940 was asked: "Why Do Not the Great Masters Stop This War (World War II)?" Yogananda responded: 

"When I first entered this spiritual path, my understanding rebelled against the injustices of the world. Later, as I tuned my wishes with God in divine meditation, I began to understand the apparent incongruities in life; the most puzzling problems of life were explained to me from within.

Remember that God is the Author of this cosmic drama. Every page of this book of cosmic drama is filled with inexplicable mysteries, which will ultimately be solved in the last act of the cosmic play. Only devotees who are in tune with God are allowed to read this final page which solves all mysteries of life and death. Only those who are in tune with God understand the mysteries of human life and of the cosmos and are in a position to know the cosmic plan and the divine wish in regard to nations and human lives.

I have witnessed many wonderful powers of the holy men of India. When I asked them to use these powers to stop the evils in the world, they replied, “When you are in tune with God and when He lets you know about his cosmic plan, you will do exactly as we are doing.”

We can never truly understand with our intellect. It is only through spiritual inquiry that we can answer the existential questions of life, death, and life eternal. Swami Kriyananda explains this inward awakening through the divine mystery of God’s love in his song, “Why?” (lyrics and audio are below).

Like the tender maid in the song, the “strangeness of this world” surely has made us all sigh. Rather than falling into the drama’s despair, allow the “secret of oneness” to steal into your heart. As Swami closes the song:

“In love she at last learned—Why.”

Peace, love, & joy!

Nayaswami Narayan


Why?  by Swami Kriyananda

There lived a tender maid

In a far-off country.

The strangeness of this world made her sigh.

Her friends asked their fathers

For money and clothes,

But all she could ask was—


She saw the solemn clouds

Gathered watching a rainbow;

The bright rays of their joy filled the sky.

Her teachers explained it

All wisely away,

But still her heart wondered—


She saw the silent stars

Thrill the night with their gladness.

They seemed some wond’rous truth to imply.

Her elders all slept,

But the magic of light

Awoke her to ponder—


She saw a mother smile

As she tended her baby;

A widow weep, that love had to die.

The joy of new friends,

And the sadness of parting:

All these made her ask God—


One night into her heart

Stole the secret of oneness—

The bond not even time can untie.

For Love then possessed her

And made her His own.

In love she at last learned—