Category: Karma, Reincarnation
What happens when the guru leaves the body?
June 12, 2014
What happens when the Guru drops the body ? is there a sort of individuality or does he just dissolve in the universe ?
When the guru leaves his body, he merges his consciousness back into the Infinite Consciousness of Spirit. But, as Paramhansa Yogananda explained to Swami Kriyananda, that soul also retains “a memory” of who he has been as an individualized soul.
Paramhansa Yogananda was a guru who was also an avatar. Not all gurus are avatars. He said of himself that he had come back many times to help souls reunite with the Divine. He had reached the level of kaivalya moksha, or complete liberation, many lifetimes ago, and had the “desireless desire” to return to help others find God. He said he had returned many times over the ages to do this.
There are some wonderful explanations in The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita book of how this works, not only for the guru, but also for us as evolving souls. One commentary is on verse 3:3 and goes into great detail about this. Since you are located in India, you could contact the Ananda India publisher to know where you can buy this wonderful book at Ananda Sangha Publications. It contains answers to many spiritual questions such as this.
The Soul's Evolution
June 9, 2014
Swami said when God manifested each one, whether it was first a rock or whatever,that they had that individuality. Master said he remembered being a diamond. At the human level of course, you die to accomplish a reincarnation. I was wondering how other objects such as rocks would end one lifetime to keep going up the ladder to the next.
To be honest I don’t know the answer to your question. When we are liberated and live in realization of ourselves as spirit we will know all. What Master has said is that rocks or perhaps mountains have a sort of collective soul, it takes eons for mountains and rocks to shift but shift they do. Rocks are really minerals and from that state the next phase of evolution would be plant life. Plants also can share a collective soul, say in forests. As plants and animals begin to have more interaction with humans, they evolve more rapidly. Master said that in the animal kingdom, horses, dogs and monkeys are the most evolved and most likely to reincarnate as humans. Horses because they are intelligent, dogs because they are loyal and monkeys because they are familial.
All of this is fun to contemplate but not really that helpful in our own evolution. We are given the greatest gift as humans because we are the only souls designed for liberation or union with our creator. So loving God, serving God and eventually merging in God is what we can aim for. When we become one with all, we will understand the nature of creation.
In Joyful service,
Fear of being happy
June 9, 2014
I am a student. I have a bad fear that if I become successful in what I do, negative things will happen to me to balance out my happiness. I fear that karma will make me unhappy and may be torture me if I enjoy anything now. Even I fear a simple activity like running, thinking people who dont have legs can’t run, but I am enjoying running. So, god will balance out and give me pain later. My mins is ever confused due to this.If anyone tries to help ,I find hard to trust 'em. Pls hlp
Dear Kaushik, We are sorry to hear that you are living in fear about becoming successful or being happy for fear of the karmic consequences. Fortunately the karmic laws don’t work like that!
Karma is the law of action and reaction. To be happy or successful should NEVER make you think that you have to pay for it later by being unhappy or unsuccessful just to balance things out!
Now if you become successful by dishonest means or by hurting someone, then the certainly the laws of karma would then come into effect. That is a different thing entirely.
Yes, it is true that the pendulum of life swings us back and forth between happiness and sorrow. This is why the Bhagavad Gita says emphatically: "Get away from my ocean of sorrow and suffering!" This means that there is a state beyond happiness and sorrow which is divine bliss. It is possible to find this state within yourself and become that!
We strongly suggest that you learn to contact your God-nature through meditation, for God IS joy and never-ending bliss and therefore God very much wants us all to be filled with divine joy!
Since we are made in God’s image, our essential nature IS joy/bliss and all we have to do is realize that. Learn to live in that joy! Life will be so much better for you.
If you’d like to learn more about how Paramhansa Yogananda clearly explains karmic laws, please read this book: Karma and Reincarnation: The Wisdom of Yogananda. It is very easy and fun to read, and it should help put your mind at ease and live a much happier life!
How long will you live?
June 9, 2014
I know one day everyone will die but I just wonder is it God who decides how long we can stay here? my mother is almost 100. I just want a long life.
According to the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, each individual’s life span is determined by karma. Your past karma, plus the karma that you generate from now on, plus God’s grace, will determine the span of your life.
Although there is nothing we can do to guarantee any particular life span, your best plan is to live, from this point onward, a healthy life on all levels: physical, mental, and spiritual. Also, do your best to attune yourself to God’s will in all that you do; for that, the practice of daily meditation is essential. Then you will have done everything in your power; the rest is up to God and your karma.
For more information on this subject, you can read P. Yogananda’s book: Karma and Reincarnation: http://www.crystalclarity.com/product.php?code=BKAR
Blessings to you,
Please accept my pranam. I want to know what happens to those people who die suddenly in an accident? Do they reincarnate immediately and in the same family? And is this because of their karma that they die like that suddenly in an accident?
My uncle died in an accident in 2004. He was a harmless, good soul and he was just 40 years old . His death destroyed a family. Therefore, I am looking for answers.
Thanks & Regards,
We can’t always know what personal karma is within each person and what needs to be resolved. It can certainly seem unjust that someone such as your uncle, who at a relatively early age, died in an accident. We, for the most part, will not be able to understand such matters from just an intellectual perspective. There are some things to be gained, however from looking at these things from other viewpoints.
Sometimes an early death could be a blessing; a person may simply have worked out as much of their karma as they are able to do in their current lifetime, and that’s as far as they’re going to go. One way of looking at karma is that an accident is a relatively quick way to move on.
As for someone reincarnating immediately, and in the same family; it is each person’s karma that will determine what will happen in their next lifetime. Each of us is given the opportunity and setting that will provide the best possibility to continue to overcome our karma, whether it is good or bad.
As for those loved ones who are deeply affected by losing a family member or friend; it is their challenge to release their attachments and send blessings to those who have passed on to the astral realms. Here is an excerpt from the Astral Ascension Ceremony which Swami Kriyananda wrote and which we use at Ananda: “And what of us, Friend, who love you and would be remembered by you? Behold us as threads of light in the tapestry of your life – threads which, through the magnet of soul-friendship, will appear ever and again, woven with increasing beauty as our hearts expand together in God’s love.”
God is always with us, even in the midst of overwhelming circumstances, if we open ourselves to that divine touch. Then even death is but a passing experience that allows us to rest and then continue onward with our spiritual journey of releasing all karma and realizing our oneness in God.
In divine friendship,
Overcoming All Karma
May 28, 2014
If one must reap the fruits of all of one’s good and bad deeds, how can there be moksha (liberation), since even good deeds will bring fruits and keep the individual bound to the physical world?
The important point is for us to attain that state of self-realization where we no longer have the ego’s involvement. It is the ego that keeps us bound with the resulting attachments.
In the yoga teachings there is a very helpful emphasis; that of nishkam karma, which means to act without the desire for the fruits of our actions. When our attachments are released then our deeds no longer keep us bound. So, in all that we do it is a good thing to feel that God is the doer, and that our role is to be as open an instrument as we can be, for that divine flow to move through us. There’s a beautiful prayer from Paramhansa Yogananda that can be helpful to keep in mind, “Lord, may I reason, may I will, may I act; but guide Thou my reason, will, and activity to the right path in everything.”
Blessings on your journey,
Grief Upon the Loss of a Father
April 21, 2014
I had an intuition of losing my father, and the next morning I got the news of his death. I was far away from his residence. I am not able to cope with this loss and why did such a message come to me? Secondly, for last 30 years he kept fasting on Tuesday and had too much faith in god Hanumanji. He died on that day. Why? Will I ever meet him in any form? I really miss him a lot.
Please receive my deepest condolences on the loss of your father. And yes — you will see him again. In the Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramhansa Yogananda, there is a wonderful chapter about life after death in the the astral world: The Resurrection of Sri Yukteswar where we are told:
“Friends of other lives easily recognize one another in the astral world.... Rejoicing at the immortality of friendship, they realize the indestructibility of love, often doubted at the time of the sad, delusive partings of earthly life.” (Sri Yukteswar).
It is God’s grace that you received the intuition of your father’s passing. Such messages can come from your higher Self, and also from a departed loving parent. Perhaps your father wanted you to have some foreknowledge before you got the news? It is possible. But more than anything, know that the intuition was a gift, for it shows you that we are so much more than just our physical bodies here on this earth plane. Even in the message you received about your father’s death, there is a touch of the mystical — to help you explore and receive the other mystical teachings about death.
Please do not think harshly on his weekly fast to Hanumanji, even if your own spiritual nature takes you in another direction. Your father’s practice shows steadfastness in his intention, and such fasting is very beneficial to the devotee, physically and spiritually. On fasting days the devotee can often feel more sublime moments in prayer and meditation, because the body and spirit are not weighed down by the process of digesting food. Perhaps that is why he died on that day, in recognition of that spiritual effort all through the years.
The quality expressed by Hanumanji is one of deep loyalty and friendship, and his only desire was to go on serving Lord Rama, and in this he is an expression of pure devotion. Your father’s weekly fasts were also a form of devotion.
With that same loyalty, send loving thoughts to your father. You can do this silently, in meditation, or you can also write him a letter and burn it in a sacred fire ceremony. Ask God and Guru to bring your love to your father, and he will be comforted by your effort to contact him. He still exists, but he is gone from this dimension. That is why it hurts. You miss him so much because the easy and familiar ways to contact him are now gone. You need to find new ways, and gradually you will feel a connection with him, and your heart will be comforted.
You can also send him your love before you fall asleep and this may give you a dream of him. Sometimes the dream may just feel like any dream — except that he is there, and you feel relieved to see him. Other times the dreams may feel very deep and special, and you know that a true soul contact has been made. Treasure those dreams. Write them down in a special journal of blessings. Also write down any moments during the day when you think you have felt your father’s love or God’s comforting blessings coming to you during this time of mourning. God tries to comfort us in many ways during times of loss. If you write down the blessings, it is a way of receiving the blessings more deeply, and confirming them in your mind.
I wish you every comfort and healing blessing in your grief, and please know that you can always request Healing Prayers if you need extra help in this way.
Quotes on death from Paramhansa Yogananda:
“...When a dear one dies, instead of grieving unreasonably, realize that he has gone on to a higher plane at the will of God, and that God knows what is best for him. Rejoice that he is free. Pray that your love and goodwill be messengers of encouragement to him on his forward path. This attitude is much more helpful. Of course, we would not be human if we did not miss loved ones; but in feeling lonesome for them we don’t want selfish attachment to be the cause of keeping them earthbound. Extreme sorrow prevents a departed soul from going ahead toward greater peace and freedom...”
“...Send your thoughts of love and goodwill to your loved ones as often as you feel inclined to do so, but at least once a year — perhaps on some special anniversary. Mentally tell them, “We will meet again sometime and continue to develop our divine love and friendship with one another.” If you send them your loving thoughts continuously now, someday you will surely meet them again. You will know that this life is not the end, but merely one link in the eternal chain of your relationship with your loved ones...”
Understanding Death, By Paramhansa Yogananda
The Names of God
March 31, 2014
Is a human soul different from an animal or plant soul? Does a human being reincarnate every time in human body, or does he have to go to many species according to the Bhagavad Gita. And please throw some light on what is Krishna consciousness and Christ consciousness? Is Krishna father (God) and Jesus Christ the son of Krishna the God? Please clear my doubt. What name can we give to God since we know who is Krishna, Jesus, Buddha... but what is the name of God?
Dear Saksham Anand,
There is no essential difference between the soul of a plant, animal or man — they all are expressions of the same, one Consciousness. However, each one is more aware than the other by increasing degrees. Paramhansa Yogananda wrote that, “God is asleep in the rocks, dreaming in the plants, awake in animals, and fully awake in man.” He also said that it takes millions of incarnations to progress through these increasingly aware forms of life until we incarnate, at last, as men.
But our evolution is not done when we become men. Over many incarnations in human form we discover that our deeper nature is spiritual — not material. Eventually we will all achieve Self-realization — oneness with the infinite Lord. Most who achieve this exalted state do not return to the earthly plane when their lives here are through. Some few, however, return as great teachers with special missions to uplift mankind.
Those who do return as Saviors are often honored with titles such as Christ and Krishna. These two titles have the same root meaning — the Anointed One. You might find it easier to understand if you say their names like this: Jesus the Christ, Jadhava the Krishna, Gautama the Buddha.
Yogananda stressed that the spiritual realization of such great saviors is perfect because their identity with God is absolute — no limiting sense of their egos remain. They are each, therefore, pure channels of God consciousness. Yet God’s consciousness is far greater than can be fully manifested through such limited human forms. God exists in all of us, in all of His creation, and beyond His creation.
Puru (Joseph) Selbie
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