Ask Ananda’s Experts
Questions and Answers About Meditation, Yoga, the Spiritual Life, and More

Category: Career

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Cricket or Medicine?
January 24, 2011



I want to be a cricketer,but my parents donot agree with me. The want me to see as a docter,but i have no interest in it. How will god help me in this situation?how will i get success & is there any role of meditation? Plz. Help me..

Nayaswami Jaya


Dear Ab,

I sympathize with your desire to be a cricketer but I suspect your parents realize your chances of reaching the top ranks are heavily against you. That's why they want you to be a doctor.

Their wish is rooted in their desire for you to pursue a path more likely, in their minds, to bring you success and long-term happiness. Becoming a doctor is difficult but less risky than pursuing the path of a sportsman because the former can be attained through your own study and hard work whereas success in sport depends not only upon your personal efforts but also upon your natural, God-given talent measured against very stiff competition.

Not everyone is gifted with a talent for sport. Are you a top level player now in the opinion of your coaches? If so, have them speak to your parents but remember, India needs many doctors but few cricketers.

Must you make a decision about your future now? Keep your options open at this stage and try not to see your problem in terms of either becoming a doctor or a cricketer. I assume you are a student, so is it not possible to pursue both cricket and academics now. In time, this will probably sort itself naturally. I suspect your parents desires for you are not absolute. My guess is they would be satisfied if you were to pursue any worthwhile academic path that leads to a lasting professional career.

My question to you is, "What else interests you besides cricket?" Surely there must be something for which you feel a little enthusiasm outside of sports. Why not explore alternatives to both sport and medicine to achieve a compromise with your family. If you show flexibility, your parents will pressure you less. How about something in the field of Sports Medicine?

Are you training your body regularly? To be a good athlete demands training and dedication but to be a professional demands something even more, usually a natural talent recognized at a young age, supplemented by proper coaching and honed by good competition in a sporting environment. Do you have these? Very few young people do, but even if you do not, sport is a worthwhile activity to keep your body fit and your spirits positive. I highly recommend athletics as a healthy, beneficial complement to academics.

If you do have these qualities, coaches will take notice and they can speak for you. This will have much greater impact upon your parents than your own claims. If you are serious about this, you should be willing to expend whatever effort is needed to pursue both an academic and sporting path until you are clearer about your future and have demonstrated positive results on the pitch in youth leagues.

Meditation can help you find direction and guide you rightly, but first you must become calm and impartial to receive clear guidance. You cannot meditate with a desire for this or that answer to your problems. You have to be willing to accept whatever answer is "Right" for you. Once you are calm and even-minded, God can speak to you if you direct your questions to Him and learn to listen in your heart, lovingly and impartially, for His answer. What feels right? Then, take small steps and test your guidance. Which way leads to happiness for both you and your family?

I pray for your success.

Nayaswami Jaya Helin
Ananda Sangha, India

Piu Banerjee


I feel very nervous when giving a job interview and there is a fear from inside.. What should I do ?


Dear Piu,

I'm sorry you are suffering from nervousness. It's very common: of course you want to make a good impression, find the right job, and succeed. One tool that can address the fear from inside is meditation: the more you deliberately practice calmness through meditation, the more you will find that calmness returning to you in times of nervousness.

Another powerful tool for overcoming worry is to repeat a positive affirmation. Yogananda includes several affirmations in this article, "How to Have Courage, Calmness, and Confidence", excerpted from a book of the same name.

Good luck, Piu! May God guide every step of your journey.


Am I in the Right Job?
January 8, 2011



My conscience is biting me because i am working where i hardly have much work but paid very well. Since last couple of years i feel guilty taking such good salary this is exactly opposite to a situation where i was underpaid for 15 yrs where i have worked hard and delivered so much and raised to management expectation and was satisfied with job. Is this ethical and morally correct? Due to my age and high salary i am unable to get other app.job. i daily pray to Guru & God to help. Can you advise is it right?


Dear Bhushan,

Without knowing the specifics, I'll have to answer in generalities. It does not seem morally incorrect to accept a high salary. However, the fact that your conscience is biting you is an important sign. What is your intuition telling you?

Do you feel undeserving of a high salary? Especially given your previous hard work, perhaps you are simply receiving a karmic reward now. Or, are you concerned about the ethics of your workplace? If so, this is a serious question. And if you are dissatisfied with your job, this too should be looked at carefully.

You might find help in this article by Yogananda, "How To Succeed in Any Line of Work".

God bless you, Bhushan. Please feel free to write back more specifically, if you wish. We are praying for you.


Professional Relationships
December 13, 2010



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 fact my life would be hell if they stopped helping me...So what can I do?


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.

In your situation it is very important to first realize that when something is truly not serving you in life, you can cast it out in an instant and know that what comes next is for your highest good. However, it may very well be that it is the right thing for you to play along and go out for drinks with your colleagues. If so, choose to do it with a calm, cheerful, and positive attitude and with a mind to uplift your company and environment, wherever that may be. You may choose to accompany them but only for so long, or simply choose not to drink if it doesn't suit you. In short, be yourself and follow through, regardless of what others may think. A fun and interesting note is that Paramhansa Yogananda, when he lived in Los Angeles would walk up and down outside a street of drinking establishments in order to be a channel for the Divine; in doing so, he would uplift the consciousness of such places merely by his presence and his attunement as an instrument for Divine blessing and grace.

Whatever your particular path may be, use the great power of discrimination to determine which is the righteous direction to act upon (with your colleagues, without them, to the moon...) and then do it, with all your heart and mind, and let nothing stand in your way! Such is the power of the human potential, the human heart: that when it is attuned with higher consciousness and love there is no greater force in all the universe! Many blessings to you.

In Divine Friendship,

Badri, or Jordan for Ananda Sangha's Ask Ananda's Experts

Finding Work
August 25, 2010

BBK Pillai


Can anyone give me a job for my daily bread?

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle


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).

Your note has not revealed anything of either your circumstances or temperament but determination, will power, and willingness linked to prayer, meditation and selfless service will unquestionably break the karmic obstacles to self-support.

Some questions:

1) Are you out looking for work EVERY DAY?

2) Have you contacted everyone you know?

3) In the meantime and absent gainful employment, are you volunteering to help your friends, neighbors, or local community in service projects? Help others in need and you may find yourself being helped in turn, in time.

4) Have you turned away jobs because you did not want to perform certain kinds? Are you willing to do anything that is legal and can be done with dignity and a serviceful attitude?

5) Are you willing to volunteer at first in order that you might be hired later?

6) Contemplate and pray about how you feel INSPIRED to help others and to serve in this world as an instrument of God's blessings. Feel the joy of serving, whether unseen by others, whether acknowledged or praised, but for the simple joy of serving God in your fellow men.

7) Develop right attitudes as described above and surely the doors of employement will open. Pray each day: "Lord, how may I serve Thee this day?"



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


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."

Now, is your school good for you? Should you stay? Only you can decide that. One the one hand, nothing is worth sacrificing your peace of mind for. On the other hand, perhaps life is offering you this opportunity to grow?

In any case, to make the right decision, you'll want to get calm. This meditation from Swami Kriyananda may help:

For much of their lives, people live in dread of this thing or that thing going wrong. Think of a potential difficulty, but not one that is crushing in the common view like the death of someone beloved, or utter failure in business, or the loss of everything you hold dear. I won't ask you to try mentally to rise above catastrophes, although life will surely ask you, someday, to transcend everything you really dread, if only because that very dread is a magnet which attracts to itself what it fears, just as a joy-filled expectation must be fulfilled, someday.

Concentrate rather then, instead, on some difficulty you think you could handle. Then meditate on facing that difficulty, not with rejection but with an inner joy that can't be touched or affected by that outer circumstance. Suppose you lose an important client. Or supposing a colleague sues you in the courts, or attacks you in the media. Or suppose your income suddenly slips owing to the loss of some investment.

Mentally look that circumstance in the face, and tell yourself, "I am not that circumstance! Whatever happens, I am complete and joyful in myself."

The more you practice this attitude of mind, the more you will find it easy and natural. Nothing that can ever happen to you is really you, yourself!

Swamiji also gives this affirmation:

"I am complete in myself. Joy is my normal state of mind. No blow of outer circumstance can ever touch me!"

(This is from Success and Happiness through Yoga Principles, Lesson 20: Joy in Business.)

We are praying for you, Yash!




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


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:

As we think, so we become. And as we think, so our lives and circumstances become also. From the divine consciousness come answers to all our questions, and solutions to all our problems. It is in lower consciousness that confusion reigns.

Think positively in everything you do, for in that way you help to attune yourself to the divine flow. One who is inwardly in tune with grace finds all things harmonious and beneficial being attracted to him. Positive thinking, combined with the sense of divine attunement, is never presumptuous, for it draws its power, not from the ego, but from the consciousness of God's joy within.

And he gives this affirmation:

My outer life is a reflection of my inner thoughts. Filled with the joy of God, I express His joy and harmony in everything I do.

and prayer:

Problems cannot exist, Lord, whenever Thou art near. Give me strength always to hold Thee in my heart.

Repeat this affirmation throughout the day if it inspires you, or find another affirmation. You can also write your own affirmation. As a child of God, you have a right to a proper job, and abundance. Your consistently positive attitude will attract that to you.

We are praying for you, Nair.




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


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.

After that, or if you are already feeling restless with energy, you will need to center and lift your energy without letting it slag. Do some yoga postures or just dive into a quick meditation: work on stilling the breathing, lift your consciousness to the point between the eyebrows, and open yourself up to greater receptivity.

Physical posture is also crucial — keep your body upright, ready to receive. Align your consciousness with saying "yes!" to the answer to come, dismissing any nay-saying voices of "that can't possibly work"! The critical mind will have lots to do later on, but best not bring it in too early, as it will dampen your ability to receive.

Finally, ask for Divine Guidance with all the energy, faith, and belief that you have. A great prayer demand from Yogananda is:

I Will Reason, I will Will, I will Act, But guide Thou my reason, will, and activity.

Check in with your heart — the more open it is, the more intuition can come through. This does take some practice, and if you don't feel any immediate response, try something and see how it feels. If it doesn't work, come back to the process, centering your energy and opening your receptivity with a renewed willingness and positive expectancy.

The more you work with the process, the more confidence you will have with it. The more you can work with your ego to get out of the way and let Divine Inspiration flow, the more success you will have. We all have to work with where we are, and it truly is a directional process.

I also recommend practicing this process with everything you possibly can: what to make for dinner, how to answer an email, and how you should respond to all the many problems and obstacles (opportunities, really!) life sets before us. The more you practice with the little things, the more confidence you will develop. Try it right now, and may God bless your efforts!

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