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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.
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.
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.
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.
My question is this: Having been hearing about the concept of God from my little age, is there a singular consciousness that controls us? Or is it ourselves (by the concept of Aham Brahmasmi) that have formed this purification system of life death and rebirth?
According to texts in Hinduism, even the thrimoorthis are bound by certain laws. So can they be considered gods? Aren’t they just beings at the pinnacle of spiritual knowledge?
Everything and everyone in creation have been manifested by Spirit; nothing else exists. Thus we are inextricably one with that consciousness, although few us of live in the awareness of that oneness. It is our destiny (and our task!) to experience and live in that oneness. That is the essence of Aham Brahmasmi: a part of Brahman has become us; we have no other reality.
Spirit could control us if it wished, but according to the great masters, it has given us a measure of free will. It is the same with Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva—the creating, preserving, and dissolving aspects of AUM: they are specific aspects of Brahman. Compared to us, they seem unlimited in both power and the scope of their free will, but Brahman alone is without limitation.
And remember: all the deities of Hinduism are particular aspects of Brahman. They do not have a separate existence, any more than we do.
Sir, I read in the articles that Valmiki first wrote the Ramayana and he visited Hanuman on Kailash mountain to show where Hanuman has written the evident truth about the life of Lord Rama on the rocks. Few truths of Valmiki’s Ramayana have been taken from the Hanuman Ramayana. Later on saint Tulsidas wrote Ramcharitmanasa out of the interaction with Lord Shiva in his dream.
Since saint Tulsidas was considered as the rebirth of Valmiki, why are the stories different?
The great masters play different roles in different incarnations, based on the needs of the time. So it should not be surprising that the same soul might choose (or more accurately, be guided by God) to show a scriptural story in a different light at different times.
We must also remember that these stories are not intended to be factual, historical documents. They are written to instruct and inspire people. Different versions of the same story will resonate with different people. The important thing is that the teachings reach people who can hear them. If we worry about conflicting facts in two different versions of one story, we will miss the point.
Please explain all about the Devas. Thank you very much.
There is an eternal battle going on in our world, between Light and darkness. Both sides act through instruments: the Light works through angelic beings, called Devas, or “shining angels.” The darkness works through demonic beings called asuras.
According to Hindu mythology, there are hundreds of thousands of devas. Each of them represents an aspect of the Infinite God. Only through all these aspects are we able to comprehend the enormity of the Divine. To try to explain all of them would be next to impossible.
One example, however, would be Agni, the Deva of fire, father of Arjuna, responsible of the manipur chakra, which represents fiery self-control, he who purifies all actions offered to him. Thus, the element of fire has been associated with a Deva/angel, thereby making it a living reality in our lives: someone whom we can commune with.
There are many types of Devas, or angels. You may read about them in Swami Kriyananda’s inspiring book How to be a Channel, in which he writes: “Angels roam the streets of man. They inspire with uplifting thoughts and beautiful ideas those whose minds and hearts are open to them.”
In fact you may pray to be in contact with the Devas. They are here to help us. The Bhagavad Gita (3:11) teaches: “With this offering, commune with the devas (shining angels), that they may commune also with you. Through such mutual communion you will arrive at the highest good.”
Most importantly, all of us are called to become Devas, or angels, right here on earth. Yogananda teaches this prayer: “Father, may Thy earth be Thy heaven, and may Thy children be Thy angels, living in harmony, seeking to help one another to become prosperous, powerful, and wise, and above all, may they be kind, have understanding, and be loving and happy.”
Using my given example as a key, I encourage you to discover the hidden Devas in your life.
Swami Kriyananda has always emphasized that we should always feel better about ourselves amidst dark situations.
How can I practice that?
Right now I am in a dark situation as I’m jobless, out of a bad relationship, financial difficulties, bad friends etc. etc.
As I look for a solution, I can’t help being dragged down by my emotions of resentment and bitterness.
What kind of attitude should I have? How can i bring myself toward the Light in this darkness?
Swami Kriyananda always emphasized that we should feel good about ourselves during all situations, dark or light, happy or sad. The way you learn to do that is finding out who you really are. Please see my blog on this topic which goes into this subject in greater detail: Self-Esteem Issues, Anyone?
So sorry to hear of your life’s “dark situations.” That’s a lot to have happen to you all at one time! I suggest that you put yourself on the Ananda Healing Prayer list for extra prayers.
Also, it’s good to look for the blessings in the dark times of our lives. “... out of a bad relationship....” sounds good to me! Now there can be room in your life for a happy relationship!
Bad friends? No point in having those—much better to be alone! But good, spiritually-minded friends are out there just waiting to be found by you. Make it a priority to seek and you will surely find the good friends you need.
Yogananda often said: “Never beat at the darkness with a stick. Instead, turn on the light and the darkness will vanish as though it had never been.” What does “turn on the light” mean? It means to engage your energy. Energize and meditate more, seek out good company, and pray to be guided to just what you need at the time you need it. Find a good affirmation for yourself. Visualize your life as you wish it to be.
It is not necessary to let yourself be dragged down into negative emotions. Don’t focus on what is wrong. Instead, focus on the good things within and all around you and take action! There are many things you can do to make your life come out of the darkness into God and Gurus' blessed LIGHT!
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