By Nayaswami Dharmadevi Romano
June 12, 2018

Recently, while Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi visited Los Angeles, I had a powerful and humbling dream. Many times my dreams give me a hint (or in this case a knockout punch) as to what effort I need to be putting out for my spiritual growth.

The dream setting was a beautiful temple during a Kriya Yoga Initiation. Narayan and I had the honor of serving as blessers during the ceremony, along with Jyotish and Devi. Narayan was there, Jyotish and Devi were there, but I found myself in a separate little room, bustling about, worrying about all the insignificant details. The florist, apparently, was not doing a good job and had left the flowers in the room looking shabby. Now, remember, Jyotish and Devi weren’t even in the room – they were in the temple giving the Kriya initiation! So, after much wasted time in criticizing the florist inwardly, I decided to go into the temple and take my place on the dais with my friends.

On my way, I saw a group of women high-fiving each other, dancing, and screaming in the back of the temple. They were so excited about the ceremony, they couldn’t contain themselves! I proceeded past them with a disdainful look and thoughts about how anyone in their right mind could act in such a way during a Kriya initiation.

Finally, I made it to the altar, took a seat, and prepared to help with the blessing. At that exact moment, someone’s phone started going off. That was the last straw! Though I didn’t say anything outwardly, inside I was about to explode. “How could someone be so careless?” I thought. Next thing I know, Jyotish pulls the culprit phone out of his pocket and says sheepishly and with a mischievous smile, “Oops.”

Just as I began to realize my extraordinary folly, I woke up.

Here are three important lessons I learned from this dream:

1. Don’t waste time being critical. Even though I seemed (to myself) to be serviceful by taking care of the details, while everyone else was enjoying themselves in the temple, my attitude was all wrong. Right action cannot be performed with the wrong attitude.

2. As the Indian scriptures say, “When a lower dharma (duty) conflicts with a higher dharma, it ceases to be a dharma.” Many times, we fail to recognize what great opportunities lie right in front of us. When blinded by overwhelming or petty details we miss out on the most blissful experiences life has to offer.

3. Do your duties joyfully! As Paramhansa Yogananda said, “If you want to be sad, no one in the world can make you happy. But if you make up your mind to be happy, no one and nothing on earth can take that happiness from you.”

In closing I’d like to share a message with you from Swami Kriyananda on acting with right consciousness:

“It’s also important to understand that unless you act with the right consciousness, your dharma won’t take you any closer to God. You may get good karma but you won’t get divine freedom. The consciousness with which you do your work is the most important aspect of all, not the outward form.

For devotees, the purpose of all work is to put into action those divine qualities you’re developing inside — kindness, love, joy, peace, and calmness. If, when working, you allow yourself to become frazzled and to think, “Oh, I only have a little time to get this done; I’ll think about God later”—then there’s something wrong with the way you’re doing it. While working you should always be reinforcing those feelings of peace, calmness, love, and joy.

Your only responsibility in this drama is to express that divine inspiration as perfectly as possible. This means that you should act with the understanding that this is God’s world, not yours. You should try to do as good a job as possible without involving yourself egotistically. And you should always be trying to express those divine qualities.”

–Swami Kriyananda