I, the Devil or God?

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

Whenever you are critical or negative, remember it is the devil or the evil inside you which is raising the head. Whenever you are in a happy and joyous and light mood, supportive and cooperative, happy and content, then that is God’s influence in your life. People who are always seething about something: Why should I, why this, why that? Then it is the devil who is speaking through them, not God. The language of God is different. The devil is in you and God is in you, and it depends on you with whom you connect during the day. The power of negativity is stronger. People become negative; sannyasins, householders and students become negative. To find positivity in that negative condition is next to impossible.

It is difficult to be good. It is easy to be bad. It is difficult to be cooperative, it is easy to put obstacles in another person’s way; it is difficult to accept another person, it is easy to criticize another person. So where is the devil? In the mind of people who are negative. And where is God? In the hearts of people who are always happy and positive.

It is a great challenge for everybody to recognize: Who is speaking through me, the devil or God? If you are screaming at somebody, remember that it is the devil and you have become the agent of the devil. When you sympathize and support somebody, remember that God is manifesting through you. It is as simple as that, but the most difficult thing to follow. It is through self-effort that the banjar bhoomi, the barren land, can be made into a beautiful garden. You are the person who can do it, not God.

—25 September 2016, Ganga Darshan, Munger