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Category: Health and Healing

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Astrology and Health
October 6, 2014

A K Guha


Is health dependent on astrological charts, yes or no? Kindly guide.

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village


Dear A K Guha,

Your health is dependent on your past karma, your present lifestyle, and the grace of God. Your astrological chart (if it is done in the Vedic way by a highly skilled and intuitive astrologer) can help you understand why certain periods of your life may cause you to become more susceptible to disease or injury.

You can help to alleviate the worst of the effects of these challenging periods by wearing specifically prescribed gemstones or an astrological bangle of gold, silver, and copper in the proper weights and purity, chanting specific mantras, practicing Kriya Yoga, having healing prayers done for you, and constantly praying for help and guidance from God and Gurus.

The best of all remedies is deep daily meditation and faith in the Great Ones that all will be well eventually, no matter what. We are in the loving hands of God at all times.

One other thing which might be of great help to you in understanding this subject is to read what Paramhansa Yogananda says about astrology and health in his Autobiography of a Yogi, especially in the chapter called “Outwitting the Stars.”



I work in a place that has people who influence my old bad habits. But the job pays well and I need to support my family. How can I distance myself so that these tendencies are not activated?

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Ananda Maine


Dear Valerie,

I understand you are trying to put some unhealthy or harmful habits behind you and those you work with still engage in those same diversions and perhaps encourage you to do the same. Your resolve is being tested!

Here are 5 suggestions to help you:

1) Pray often for God’s grace and power to help you stay true to your chosen path of action. Keep in mind where you are going and the steps required to get you there at all times.

2) If it’s appropriate for your situation, go to regular 12 Step meetings to develop yourself in ways to overcome the temptations confronting you.

3) Seek and spend time with people who have similar goals and aspirations as you. Perhaps there is someone right where you work.

4) Seek a position where you won’t have the same unhealthy influences in your environment or at least uplift your current environment as much as possible with uplifting music, art, reminders, and colors.

5) Never give up! Paramhansa Yogananda often said, “A saint is a sinner who never gave up!”

May you consciously expand your success magnetism with deep will power and concentration until you are free.



I have always struggled with cannabis addiction. I understand that this habit poisons not just our will power but also the lungs and the brain. Any addiction is counter to the teachings and the ray of the Masters. It is a hindrance to the seeker and inner freedom. In meditation I once felt the Guru say, “I can’t work through you when you smoke.” Could it be any more clear? Do you have suggestions?

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village


Dear PNG,

You’re quite right about the damage that this habit can wreak—physically, mentally and spiritually. And I agree with you: what the Guru said couldn’t be clearer. You know what you need to do. The question is, Will you do it? I suggest a few steps:


  • There are treatment programs for this addiction. Seek one out. Today.



  • To support your treatment program, cultivate ever-greater desire to get free of the habit. It’s just as Paramhansa Yogananda said about cultivating love for God: No one can give you that desire; you have to cultivate it yourself. To help that happen, build within your mind and heart a clear picture of life without this addiction. Above all, how will it feel? Spend time enjoying that feeling, for that will build your hunger for freedom.



  • Strengthen your willpower. Yoganandaji suggested many ways, and here is one: Every day, do something that you didn’t think you could do. Here’s another: Get on a regular schedule of breaking little habits, even harmless ones, such as which shoe you always put on first. Little bits of freedom will add up.



  • Ask God and Guru for help. Some things in life simply cannot be done alone. For most people, breaking addictions is one of them. Don’t think you can win without help. It’s too much of a gamble, and there’s no upside to winning on your own, even if you could do so.



  • Spend time with people who are breaking (or have broken) their own habits—any habits, not only cannabis addiction. Their magnetism will be an immense help. That’s one reason why AA (and related) programs can be successful. If you embark on such a program, consider attending An 11th Step Retreat at The Expanding Light.


All the best to you.





Nameste guruji, I am 28yr old female from India delivered a baby boy before 9 months via c section,since i had some lactation problem from beginning we meet a lactation consultant for that,she prescribed me a tablet called perinorm for increasing my milk supply, which in turn produced so many neurological side effects on me.We met so many neurologists but no one is able to provide me correct diagnosis or treatment,currently I am facing more health,financial as well as depression, please help me

Also, one of my friends committed suicide due to depression i just wanted to know whether it is a bad karma?and whether she will suffer for that in her birth? and now i am undergoing sever physical health issues along with psychological issues and wanted to end my life...but as i am afraid that i will create bad karma...but sometimes i feel instead of being alive and create bad thoughts about my health and circumstances its better to die...:( kindly guide me

Mary Kretzmann

Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Village


Dear Sister,

Your two questions cover many areas, so I will begin with your postpartum issues first. I am a mother of 3 grown children and I also have a grandchild. I trained as a home birth midwife years ago, and for the last 25 years or so, I have served as Director of the Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry. So I offer my advice from a combination of that knowledge. Please excuse my lengthy response, but I want to help you as much as possible with this serious combination of difficulties.

You mention the drug, Perinorm. Reportedly, it can have the side effect of depression so I hope you have discontinued taking it. Some women have a tendency toward post-partum depression anyway — so we will have to address that directly, as well as your need to increase your milk supply for your premature baby. Apparently the drug Domperidone has less side effects. Also — it is very helpful if you can increase the amount of water you drink, and eat foods that increase your milk supply.

Those are my practical suggestions, because it is good to look at the obvious things first. Premature babies often do not suckle strongly enough to promote good lactation, so if you cannot increase your milk supply, you may have to go to baby formula. If I was in that situation, I believe at some point, whenever it seemed best for the baby, I would seek to buy raw goat milk from a trusted, healthy source, for it is the closest to human milk. Also — raw milk from a Jersey cow is also very close to human milk. I realize it may be difficult to get these things in India, but a friend of mine in Chennai does manage to buy raw cow milk straight from the dairy farmer. Depending on your situation, make one of the corrections above so you do not have to be on Perinorm anymore.

This affirmation, below, is your best first defense against depression. Please watch the video I made for this affirmation, as it will help you to do it correctly, and with strength and vigor. Please note that you lift the mind to the point between the eyebrows to say this affirmation. This serves as a divine magnet to train your thoughts and energy to come out of the gloomy depths:

A Healing Prayer Affirmation by Paramhansa Yogananda

Focus deeply at the spiritual eye, and repeat three times:

“I will with my own will, which flows from the divine will, to be healthy to be well, to be prosperous and spiritual, to be well, to be well.”

What about the karma of suicide?

Please do not take your life. That would create much worse karma, for you would break the hearts of those around you. Your baby needs you. When you are in those gloomy depths of feeling, and also tired from caring for your new baby, you don’t think straight. But you would regret your action immediately, as soon as you left the body.

God has given you the gift of life, and right now you have many challenges, but you must somehow summon your will power to meet these challenges, which come from karma in the past. If you "jump ship" now — you will still have all of that old karma, as well as the karma of taking away the mother (you!) of your precious baby. Think of this from your baby’s point of view. Your baby is part of God. Would you break the heart of God? Of course not. There is always an answer, and we must seek and find it.

God always loves us, no matter what, even if we make mistakes. Paramhansa Yogananda teaches us that no soul is ever lost. But suicide means that in a future life a person will have to come around to this point and face the same challenges all over again, but they will seem even harder then. This is because by suicide one affirms weakness, instead of finding the inner strength to face the problems.

Suicide comes when person loses all hope. It doesn’t necessarily look "hopeless" to all the heartbroken people left behind, but that is how it felt to the depressed person right then, and then they acted on it. Paramhansa Yogananda said that "reason follows feeling" — so it is paramount that your raise your feelings up (by using the affirmation, above) so that you can reason better in the midst of this stress.

He also taught us this prayer, which will help you very much. Please write it down on a card, and pray it every day: "O Father, Mother, Friend, Beloved God! I will reason, I will will, I will act; but lead Thou my reason, will, and activity to the right things that I should do."

And we will pray for you. Please feel free to ask for healing prayers every 3-4 weeks to get you through this difficult period. We are here to help you find the divine spark of your soul again. It can also be very helpful if you have a special photo so you can look into the eyes of a Saint or Guru every day. This will help to lift your mind and strengthen your aura immediately.

And finally I offer my condolences on the loss of your friend to suicide. Yes — she will have karma for her action, but ultimately this is how we learn to treasure the gift of life God has given us, including our challenges. This life is a school... and we are here to learn our lessons and grow closer to God. If taken in the right way, our challenges can make us even stronger.

Your friend will benefit greatly from your love, even now. Whenever you think of her, simply send her your love and tell her, "Look up to the Light". She will receive that love.

I have given you many suggestions, and I know you have a young baby, so please take your time reading through the links I have offered you here. But please do start doing the affirmation right away for it will help you very much.

I will send you my email address, because I want you to tell me how you are doing. Please keep in touch.

In Divine Love,

Mary Kretzmann



I feel strong tendency in my mind and very very strong in my heart to go into situations which cause a lot of pain. I am aware of that I do things which will cause more suffering but I cannot resist it. I feel like I want more and more pain. And on the one hand I do things which cause it, and on the other I feel guilty and am sorry for myself.

I’m torn between these two forces. I ralely find a moment of peace lately. Should I sink into this tendency? Give up to this not reasonable tendency?

Mary Kretzmann

Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Village


Dear Rafal,

I am sorry you are suffering like this. We each have to make the choice in our lives, every day, to lift our energy toward our higher potential. Laziness or the downward pull can try to catch us in many ways.

You are feeling it particularly strong right now, but you are also reaching up to the Light, and to your higher nature, that you have taken the time to write and ask this question. So, no, please don’t give up and give in to the downward pull. Try to resist it each day with some kind of positive energy. This will help you will get stronger, and you will begin to feel inner peace. Take positive steps like going for a walk, or doing even more vigorous exercise, if you are able to do so. And please visit this page and do this affirmation every day for a month. It will help life your energy. This affirmation has the power to change you life, by reversing that downward pull into a healthy, upward direction. In the beginning, please do the affirmation along with me in the video so you can give it proper vigor and vitality. Do it this way for many days, and gradually you can do it on your own. The most important thing is to do it with energy, and with your focus uplifted to the point between the eyebrows, the seat of divine will in the body. The affirmation will help you to awaken that spiritual will power, and it will help you in all areas of your life.

God bless you,

Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry



What is the best and most spiritual diet one can follow in a week? I got an inspiration to try healthy food/right time for a while (hopefully for long), so would like to try out Ananda’s method.

Thank You!

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village


Dear Kailash,

According to P. Yogananda food should be viewed in terms of life force and energy. Life energy sustains us and is responsible for our well-being.

Therefore our diet should include only foods that are easily converted into energy.

Our thoughts, actions, and health are generally determined by the foods that we eat, so we need to choose foods that are rich in life force, calm our nervous system and help to uplift and expand our consciousness.

Foods that are refined, processed and preserved should be avoided because they have lost their life force.

The diet that Yogananda recommended for the body includes: fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, nuts, seeds, some dairy products, and spices. This is a diet that help us to live a balanced life, keep our worldly duties, and meditate deeply.

Yogananda said that vegetarianism is in alignment with the consciousness of Dwapara Yuga, the age of energy.

Try to avoid, as much as possible, acid forming foods like meat, coffee, sugar, and white flour products.

Yogananda recommended for a person with good health a diet that includes:

60% fruits and vegetables, 20% protein, and 20% starches and simple carbohydrates.

Here are some great resources from Ananda that can help you:

How to Achieve Glowing Health and Vitality by P. Yogananda

Vegetarian Cooking for Starters by Diksha McCord

Vegetarian Cooking Online for Health and Vitality with Diksha McCord





Dear brothers and sisters in One,

Recently I read ”Autobiography“ and I really fell in love with the amazing guru Yogananda. In my heart I feel a strong desire to follow Him.

My question is: I am a Reiki practitioner for many years (I’m a Reiki Master-Teacher). Reiki helped me very much with my health condition, but most with my spiritual growth. Is it ok to practice kriya yoga and Reiki?

I owe Reiki so much and I don’t feel ready to abandon it.

Thank you in advance for your time and effort!

Mary Kretzmann

Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Village


Thank you for your question, for it is one that often comes up. First — listen to your heart. You read his book, Autobiography of a Yogi and “fell in love with the amazing Guru, Yogananda.”

That is wonderful! That is a precious gift to feel that connection with the Master!

Swami Kriyananda often mentioned that Shankaracharya, the great Master who lived many centuries ago in India, said that the greatest blessing in all the three worlds—the causal, the astral, and the physical universes—is the guidance of a true guru.

So it is important in these matter to keep a sense of spiritual priority. There is another saying from the teachings of India, “When a lower dharma (right action) conflicts with a higher dharma, it ceases to be a dharma.”

So, as you travel this journey of discipleship, let that be your guide. There is another quote from Paramhansa Yogananda that helped me very much, after I had come out of a time of spiritual testing:

“The greatest miracle is when the devotee no longer says, ‘I want what I want,’ but instead says, ‘I want what You want for me.’”

What is remarkable about that statement is that he says “the devotee”...not the worldly man, etc. Presumably the devotee, by definition, is one who is seeking God and true discipleship... So this implies it is fairly common for people to want to “qualify” their terms of discipleship in the beginning. It also explains why Babaji originally said that Kriya Yoga was only going to be for those disciples who would drop everything and seek God alone. Lahiri Mahsaya asked him to soften his stance, and so it was...

So, follow the highest instincts of your spiritual heart, and He will guide you. I think at this stage, simply ask for the Guru’s grace, if you were ever inwardly given the guidance to give up the Reiki — you would be able and willing to follow that guidance... For he would only ask that of you to give you something even better.

I practiced Reiki I & II many years ago, and at a certain point I felt guided that I should pray that the Reiki initiation be revoked, so I could be purely an instrument of healing through the grace of our line of Gurus. I had to take it as a “leap of faith”... and so I prayed powerfully for it to be removed. I did not know what the outcome would be, but overnight I felt a very strong increase in both healing power and intuition, for now the Gurus could flow through me more directly. I go into it more here:

God Is the Doer: A Healer’s Journey: An Interview with Mary Kretzmann

For now, simply allow it to be a question for the future. It is not a requirement to give up Reiki in order to take Kriya. But you may feel guided to do so at some point, to feel closer to the Guru in all things... And you needn’t feel that you were somehow being disloyal to the Reiki journey, and the blessings it has given you... Feel instead that your own inner journey and good karma has now led you to this extraordinary opportunity to have the greatest gift in all the three worlds: a true Guru... and in that know that even greater blessings await you.

I wish you the utmost blessings and soul healing on your journey!

Further Reading

Psychosis and Schizophrenia
February 24, 2014

Tyler Alexander


What is Yogananda’s view on psychosis and schizophrenia-related symptoms? Did he recommend any technique to someone to overcome and heal psychosis/schizophrenia?

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village


Dear Tyler,

Paramhansa Yogananda called himself a “spiritual psychologist,” and certainly must have encountered many souls with mental illnesses of many kinds. It is my understanding that he said that the root cause of mental illness is “...over-indulgence in sensory pleasures in past lifetimes."

That statement would seem to hold at least a partial answer as to what NOT to do in this lifetime. But of course, not over-indulging in sense pleasures is good advice for everyone, no matter when or where.

Otherwise, I don’t believe he spoke or wrote much, or at all, on this subject.

I have also heard Swami Kriyananda say that mental illness is at least partially caused by “a person’s inability to relate to anyone’s realities except his or her own.” Again, you can see the direction idea for healing in that statement — to help and serve others as much as possible and to quit thinking so much about one’s self.

Healing of all types of illness can often be helped greatly by prayers from those who practice Yogananda’s healing prayer techniques. This would be my best recommendation for a “first line of defense.” Please see:

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