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How Can I Develop Concentration?
May 22, 2015
Sir, when i study my mind think another thing like what i talk with people, what thing they say to me by this my mind divert but not totally some time think I control it again happen and happen and I have to give more input to study but get very less result. If I do 9 hour study its output is like 4 to 5 hour plz suggest me so I can prepare better.
Your challenges with keeping a focused mind on what you are doing may be overcome with steadfast practice of concentration techniques. Here is a link to some articles that may be useful under the topic of concentration. Be sure to read the one on how to develop concentration as well as others.
Some very important keys to overcoming difficulty with concentration are to keep practicing, never give up, and stay calm and relaxed inwardly while focusing your attention on what you are concentrating on.
In Divine Friendship,
Two Ways to Regain Control of Your Life
May 11, 2015
I am a student pursuing engineering degree. But, I always fail in executing plan. Every time I plan to do better but, I fail every time because of my absent mindedness please tell me how do I overcome this and do my best. Even I forgot to take medicine which is very essential for me.
Since you are an engineering student, you are clearly a very capable person. However, it seems that you are not taking charge of your life. I suggest that this difficulty might have been brought on by one of two things:
- You have way too much on your mind and need to lighten your load—either in actuality by getting rid of something, or in perception by beginning to meditate, become more efficient, and clear the mental debris.
- There is something rather large in yourself or your life that you do not wish—or do not think you have the time or ability—to attend to. This can develop in you a tendency not to attend to other things as well (your medicine, for example). It only gets worse if you let it continue.
I suggest that you look into one or both of those options. You cannot afford to let this continue.
Meanwhile, as you are an engineering student, you have plenty of tech available to you. Therefore, while you try to sort things out, I suggest you start using a calendar app that will remind you, at the very least when it’s time to take your medicine, but for other things as well. It’s a step toward taking charge of your life. Any step you take in that direction will be helpful.
Where Is Karma Stored?
March 16, 2015
My question is — Where is Karma Stored?
I have read that it is stored in Spine and Chakras. There is varied information about this subject. Some say Karma is stored in Astral and Causal body. I have also read it is stored in Subconscious mind. So, where exactly are karma seeds stored?
Different teachers and books may offer slightly different answers to your question. I will answer you based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda and his direct disciple, Swami Kriyananda.
They explained that our karma — the sum total of every action, activity, or thought we’ve ever had or done in this and every other lifetime — is stored in the astral spine in the form of vrittis, which are karma seeds, or individual increments of karma. Most specifically, they are stored in the chakras, and Swami Kriyananda further explained that the astral spine/chakra system is an extension of the subconscious mind.
So karma is dynamically stored in the astral spine/chakras which is a part of the astral body. But the causal body would have to have to be involved in some aspect of this "storage" system, since the causal body is made up of all of our thoughts and ideas. We exist in a physical form, an energy (astral) form, and a causal (ideational) form, all at the same time, all three "bodies" being always interlinked and influential upon each other.
If you would like to know more about this fascinating subject, please read my book Chakras for Starters.
Why We Need to Pray
March 2, 2015
Does prayer change your fate and karma? From last 6 years of my experience, it is not. If like that then , why do we need to pray ? Why do we need to waste time? We can do many good things with that time?
Prayer is about your relationship with God. It is not about what you receive, but what you give. Praying is a way to open up to the presence of a Higher Reality in your life. Some people call this God, other people have other names for it. Whatever name you give it, asking for help from a source that is higher than your own small self is a necessary first step on the road to a fuller life. This is one of the reasons why people pray. They have reached the end of the road with trying to find their own answers in life, and they are seeking something greater.
When you pray, you are asking a higher consciousness to come into your life and help you. To do this you must quiet your mind so that you can truly receive what is being given to you. That is why prayer is about giving first. If you don’t make the effort to quiet your mind, you won’t be able to “hear” the responses to your prayers.
I think many prayers are answered, but people are not listening in the right way for the answers that come. A quiet mind is essential to prayer. For this reason, we strongly suggest that people offer prayers at the end of their meditation.
Another big block to answered prayers is that you don’t want to hear the answer that is being given you. Many people pray saying, “Please, God, give me an answer to this problem in my life, and let it be this answer.” If you are praying in this way, then no answer will be able to come to you. You simply won’t be able to hear it. So we must pray with an open mind to what might come to us. And we must be willing to accept the answer and to give it a try. In fact it has been found in studies done on prayer, that the most effective way to pray is to offer your prayer saying, “Thy will be done, Lord.” In prayer, this is how you will achieve the best results.
So, quieting the mind, listening inwardly, and being receptive are three essential elements for effective prayer. Using these you should be able to test prayer in your own life and see what results you receive. Your own direct experience of prayer will be the proof of how effective it can be for you.
Death and cremation: What are Yogananda's teachings?
January 22, 2015
Costin Chiroiu Boteanu
and all the very best to everyone involved in every form in spreading Ananda’s teachings worldwide. I want to ask you what are the spiritual implications for both after death rituals: cremation and interment .
Thank you very much.
Thank you for your kind words and all the best to you also. Thank you for writing us all the way from Romania!
It would take too long to answer you completely about the spiritual implications of death. But for a lot of good information on that subject, please see "The Final Exam" from Swami Kriyananda’s book Religion in the New Age.
Here’s a little more to answer your questions. After-death rituals? If you are with someone who has just died, Paramhansa Yogananda says it is good to chant AUM (Om-m-m) several times in his or her right ear. And pray deeply for the person to let go and go on into the astral world smoothly and without any fears, trying your best not to indulge in too much crying, emotional grief, that sort of thing. It might tend to hold a person down to his or her body, which you really wouldn’t want to do! Though you may be very sad for yourself, try to rejoice in their freedom! See them soaring in Divine Light.
We also have a beautiful Ananda funeral and graveside ceremony created by Swami Kriyananda. Part of that is the "Ananda Astral Ascension Ceremony" with really beautiful words, which are addressed to the soul of the departed. Let us know if you want more specific information about that.
Yogananda definitely said that a person’s body should be cremated as soon as possible after death (not buried). That way, the soul can go ahead and leave more quickly, to dwell in better places in the astral world, and not cling to the material body or this material world. We are now in the process of creating a beautiful new Memorial Garden by Lotus Lake at Ananda Village — a place for the scattering of ashes for all who wish to have that done for them here. Before now, people have done a variety of things, scattering ashes in the Ganges River in India or at any other place special or sacred to the deceased.
Vegetables in Yogananda's 9-day cleansing diet
December 2, 2014
re the 9 day cleanse diet, the raw vegetable salad;
can this be made from several vegetables at once ie carotts, broccoli, cauliflower?
In the 9-day cleansing diet you can use one raw vegetable salad or mix several raw vegetables.
Here is a link to the 9-day cleansing diet written by Nayaswami Devi. She explains the process very clearly.
My house is next to a cemetery — should I worry?
November 17, 2014
Last year i bought a house. At the time of booking the unit there was an empty land about 500 metres away from the house. In another 2 months the house will be ready. The problem is that empty land now become a Muslims cemetry. My family members start worrying to move there. Do I need to perform any special pooja. Is it safe for me to move in there soon.. Thankk yiu
Dear Karu, Living close to a cemetery should not be a problem for you or for your family if you keep your inner light strong. In fact, I have known several people who live close to cemeteries who say that "... dead people make the best of all neighbors," and that cemeteries are very quiet and peaceful places, where they can go often to pray and meditate.
The fact that it is a Muslim burial place should make no difference. There have been many Muslim saints and most Muslims love God very sincerely, which is very important, of course.
Yes, it would be a good thing to have a house blessing ceremony just before or right after you move in. This is always a good thing to do, no matter where you live. See this "Expert’s Answer" for more on that subject.
Does my new home need to be blessed?
November 4, 2014
USA, New York City
Did Yogananda teach anything about clearing and blessing a space? I am moving into a new house, and there are energies still present from the previous occupants that are less than harmonious. Did he recommend anything to remove these energies and fill the space with blessings? Thank you!
What we at Ananda do is have a blessing whenever someone moves into a new home, place of business, etc. This way, no matter what the previous energy has been in that space, it is re-set for its new purpose and occupant.
This blessing usually includes a prayer, some chanting, and a simple arati (offering of elements to the Divine). Often we will then walk around the space with incense, a candle, holy water, etc. to bless each part of it.
In this way, a new energy is consciously brought in and makes the space ready for its new occupants.
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