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Niharika Seth
India

Question

In India, we follow the custom of touching elders' feet to seek their blessings. I don’t understand the theory behind this. Could you explain please? Also there are certain undesirable elders whose blessings I don’t want. is it ok if I don’t touch their feet?

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Niharika Seth,

In general, touching an elder’s feet is a gesture of respect. It does not necessarily by itself draw any blessings; the elder is free to bestow blessings or not.

However, touching the feet (or any part of the body) of a spiritually advanced person—elder, child, or anything in between—can indeed draw an immediate blessing if one is receptive to it.

sandy
usa

Question

Often I have read that all thoughts are universally rooted and not individually rooted. Please recommend a specific reading to understand it. Thank you,

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Sandy,

The topic of thoughts and their true origin is of course the topic of consciousness and the metaphysics of reality. So this is a big, big subject and pervades all of the literature, scripture, and spiritual teachings of those who represent the ancient precept that all creation is a dream of the Creator’s consciousness.

jon
norway

Question

Dear Friends,

Is it possible for Satan to know what I am thinking? Let’s say am praying, and I pray that I want to do better about something. Perhaps I tell God I want to meditate more. Can Satan then know about this and work against this wish?

Thank you.

Jon

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Jon,

Thank you for writing us all the way from Norway! A broader answer to your question would be that it is possible for anyone, including Satan to know what you or anybody else is thinking. After all, we are all one. It would depend on the levels of consciousness involved.

Nandini
India

Question

Paramahansa Yogananda has always urged us to seek God around us and in everything we do.

I would like to ask what does this truly entail? In our everyday lives, what does it mean to go about our duties yet keep the focus on God?

What is it that we really need to focus on?

Please shed some light on the same.

Nayaswami Devarshi

Nayaswami Devarshi

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Nandini,

That’s a good question, because it’s something that can really change every aspect of our spiritual life, including our meditations.

There are several ways that you can do this. With different life and work environments, and with various people and personalities, different approaches will work for each individual. Experiment! I'll talk about a few that you can try out.

September 30
2013

Bina
Uk

Question

It is said that karma is the origin of our destiny, so we should do good karma, and thoughts are the origin of our karma, so we should learn to have good thoughts. But though we are forced to learn math, English, history and chemistry, we are not taught what are good thoughts, and how to have them. How do we have good thoughts and how do we know what is good or bad?

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Ananda Maine

Answer

Dear Bina,

In general, good thoughts bring feelings of love, peace, and harmony to the one experiencing them while not so good thoughts often promote the opposite experience.

If you’d like to understand in more detail about good or harmful thoughts and actions I suggest you read and study the Ananda Raja Yoga book, by Swami Kriyananda, which is the second course book in the Ananda course in Self Realization. Study especially Patanjali’s Yamas and Niyamas which Swamiji discusses with very useful examples.

September 3
2013

Miles
United States

Question

I’m sorry if this has been asked before, but how can I control lustful thoughts? When I hit sexual maturity at age 11, I had no idea what I was getting into, and I have developed bad habits as a result. These habits have made me miserable. I have overcome the desire in the past, but eventually I have always gone back. Do I just have to put more of my willpower into it? I know not to beat myself up, listen to uplifting music, and to see God as the doer. Is there any other advice?

God bless you.

Nayaswami Pranaba

Nayaswami Pranaba

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Miles,

Paramhansa Yogananda offered the advice of “nipping desires in the bud”, meaning that we should try to catch our desires, especially sexual desires, as soon as they surface in our awareness. At that point we need to shift our awareness to something that is positive and uplifting, such as listening to uplifting music or feeling God’s presence. Chanting is another very powerful way to shift the focus.

August 7
2013

Ajay Diwanji
India

Question

Having alcohol is bad for one’s spiritual growth, but what if one has wine occasionally or maybe just to taste but doesn’t get addicted. Is it still bad?

Tyagi Jayadev

Tyagi Jayadev

Ananda Assisi, Italy

Answer

Dear Ajay,

Yogananda describes alcohol as one of the three main weapons of maya. That’s a strong statement. I would’t play with it, not even a little, if you are a serious devotee. Just leave the taste alone, there are many other lovely tastes around.

Bina
UK

Question

Hi! Paramhansa Yogananda repeatedly told us to create a protective aura around us to negate negative magnetism. How do we build a positive aura apart from meditating and praying. Is there any book on that?

Nayaswami Devarshi

Nayaswami Devarshi

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Bina,

There isn’t a book dedicated to that subject, but Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda have touched on it many times, including giving us specific techniques and practices.

An aura is simply a way to see someone’s magnetism in visual form. Some people see them easily, while people who perceive more on the feeling level, rather than the visual one, can “feel” people’s magnetism. When our aura and magnetism are stronger, then we are less susceptible to negativity in others, and even to the influence of own karma.

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