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December 13
2010

A
Canada

Question

Hello, I am a graduate student at University and every week my colleagues and I go out for drinks after work. I am not at all interested in drinking but I feel obligated to join in..and so I tag along and have a drink or two just to be polite. Here people seem to take offense if you don't join in and they think that you are alienating them! pls understand that I work with ppl and cant afford to ditch them..in fact my life would be hell if they stopped helping me...So what can I do?

Answer

Dear A,

Your situation is not unlike many people, I imagine, who have a higher mind about something like drinking with friends but play along with the scene to please others, to maintain harmony, and so on. And that is perfectly fine, as long as one uses discrimination and does not compromise their hearts' true values.

August 25
2010

BBK Pillai
India

Question

Can anyone give me a job for my daily bread?

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Friend,

During the Depression of the 1930's Paramhansa Yogananda made a great effort to encourage hope and success for those in need of work and material sustenance. He said "If I were out of a job I would shake the world until I got one!" (or words to that effect).

Yash
India

Question

I'm a 21 year old student pursuing my degree at an institute known for its academic rigor. It's been a month since the classes started, and I'm finding it extremely difficult to manage here. Although Guruji's teachings and Kriya give me some solace, the intense competition has made me lose confidence in myself, and I'm worried all the time. I'm neither able to concentrate on studies, nor eat or even sleep as a result. The pressure seems to be getting to me, and I'm even contemplating quitting. Pls help

Answer

Dear Yash,

Thank you for your question. I'm sorry things are so difficult. I faced a situation that was in some ways similar: when I was 21 I entered a very rigorous institute and found the competition to be severe — at a level I had never experienced before. I began to doubt myself: in a way suffered from the "Imposter Complex" which says, "I don't really belong here. I got accepted by mistake. As soon as the school finds out, they'll throw me out."

Nair
India

Question

Few days back, I was told about a possible threat to my job and to mitigate this threat, I have been trfd to another dept. However, the job content is not something I enjoy and hence am not happy though I do not have a choice. I am trying my best to remain +ve and have asked PY and Sw Kriyananda for help mentally. However, given my previous disposition, it is easy for me to get into a -ve mindset. I cannot afford to lose my job due to financial commitments. I need your guidance and prayers

Answer

Dear Nair,

I'm sorry to hear about your challenges. It's very good that you are reaching out for help. We are never alone in this world: Divine Mother is always with us, in our hearts, silently calling and comforting.

You have come upon the best solution: try to stay positive. In Affirmations for Self-Healing, Swami Kriyananda writes:

J
US

Question

How do I tap into divine inspiration? I'm currently working on a project for school and I'm at a block in my progress. I know that if I could receive my guidance from God and "run with it", I would be ok? So how do I do it? :)

David Eby

David Eby

Ananda Village

Answer

An excellent question, and an ability well worth developing!

Two things are needed: energy and receptivity.

One of the first things to check is your own energy — if you are feeling stuck, you may feel like your energy is withdrawn and low, in which case getting yourself moving can be a good first step — do Yogananda's Energization Exercises, go for a walk, a swim, or anything that gets your body unstuck. Sometimes answers can come quite easily just by moving.

Manohar R
India

Question

hi ananda

After a long struggle, i got a job, would be help ful, if i get a good advise on how to manage my finances spritually, and to balance my spenings, would like to know what guru yogananda ji, suggested youths regarding there earnings and how to manage it, and how to lead a simple life, how much to give in charity for the needy and whome to give, how much to give. pls gudie me in this to balance my life fulfilling, Iam now 32, and has lot of responsibilty to shoulder. thank you. joy

Answer

Dear Manohar,

Congratulations on your job! Here is some advice Yogananda gives on managing money, as part of the path to happiness:

  • Happiness consists in making the mightiest efforts to reduce your desires and needs, and in cultivating the ability to meet those needs at will, always trying to smile, both outwardly and inwardly, in spite of every predicament.
  • It is easier to spend than to earn. It is harder to save than to earn. Most people spend more than they earn. The extra money is acquired by borrowing, or by buying with promises to pay in the future. To try to own more than your purse allows is to live in constant mental worry. To spend more than you earn is to live in perpetual slavery.
  • Along with the art of money making, it is well to learn the art of money saving. A large income is of no lasting good to you if it only creates habits of luxury with no savings in reserve.

The above is from Chapter 5 of How to Be Happy All the Time. This book is available in India: call 98992 67698.

Aruna
USA

Question

I want to create a budget that allows for comfortable, yet modest living, and have money aside for savings, retirement, tithing, etc, but wanted to know if there were any lessons offered by Master or Ananda teachers on how to manage money in our very money-centered world.

Answer

Dear Aruna,

Thank you for this very relevant question in these times in which we live.

One piece of advice Yogananda gave on budgeting is, "You should use one-fourth of your income on plain living, save three-fourths, and be at ease in your mind with a feeling of future security." His advice may be difficult to follow, but it provides a guideline. (This is from How to Be Happy All the Time, Chapter 5: "Simplicity is the Key", which you may want to consider reading if you haven't already.)

Manoj Kumar
Malaysia

Question

I would like to know if meditation and concentration is about controlling the mind and directing it toward God or other things and is the world made of "mind stuff". Can we also use these techniques to acquire materials needs as well as grow spiritually?

Jai Guru

Answer

Dear Manoj,

Thank you for your questions. Yogananda defined meditation as concentration on God in one of his eight manifestations: light, sound, wisdom, power, peace, calmness, love, and bliss.

It is of course possible to concentrate on other things besides God — indeed, we should try to give full concentration to whatever we do in life. However, concentration without God is not meditation, and taken alone, may not give us satisfactory results.

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