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Raymond
South Africa

Question

Hello,

I have some Q's from Autobiography of a Yogi.

1) What is difference between Soul and Astral body?

2) In the books he says that in the Astral planes the astral beings Who have overcome physical karma and live permanently in the astral planes, reincarnate again an again to overcome their astral karma until they move to the Causal plane. But how can a Soul die by itself and reincarnate in the same astral plane? Isn't reincarnation from astral to physical only? What rebirth here means?

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Friend,

Paramhansa Yogananda taught that the soul is not the same as the astral body that encases it. In fact he taught, in line with the teachings of Sanaatan Dharma, that the soul, which is the pure reflection of Spirit, appears on the causal plane, not the astral plan

September 10
2012

Yogi
Malaysia

Question

Many people are suffering in poverty and seem to never be able to get out of it. Is this only karma or lack of effort. Recently I see people printing fake money and no one seems to be able to stop it. Will this create bad karma for them because even though it is bad, they are not hurting anyone?

Nayaswami Parvati

Nayaswami Parvati

Ananda Village

Answer

It is very difficult to see people suffering and in poverty. The karma of individuals, both in this life and from past lives, certainly plays a role in why they have to deal with this. Karma, the law of action and reaction, is also why it is so difficult to get free.

September 6
2012

Uchandra
USA

Question

Yogananda says: "The life of an advanced Kriya Yogi is influenced, not by effects of past actions, but solely by directions from the soul." This implies that a true kriya yogi is in complete control of his destiny & can direct the events in his life. Yet some gurus could accurately predict future events in their disciples' lives (disease, death, etc.) implying those events were pre-destined, i.e.: the yogi didn't have complete control over these occurences. So I am very confused, please can someone explain?

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Uchandra,

An advanced kriya yogi being influenced by directions from the soul precludes ego-directed actions. So the concept of being "in complete control his destiny" doesn't apply in the way we understand or experience that.

A true guru can perceive the subtle workings of karma in the life of a disciple and thus might be able to predict certain key events in the disciple's life. Such things are karmically directed but are not in conflict with an advanced disciple's being influenced by soul wisdom.

Sai
India

Question

I would like to know your view on this thought: How can anyone predict my future if I have taken the choices in my hands, instead of passively leaving it to old habits, fate, and karma?

If I knowingly change myself, how can unknown things affect me? Or is my change itself a part of fate? Anyways, I don't want to be a part of the puppet show where my ignorance governs the show.

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Sai,

Your question is a deep and important one. Pared down to its essence, your question asks about the nature of free will and whether it exists. Or as you put it initially, if one has free will, how can one's future be predicted?

Let me try to answer your question by answering it several different ways:

August 17
2012

Linda Hall
USA

Question

Dear Ones,

During the past few weeks, two people have said to me they believe that individuals have control of everything that happens to us, and that we are responsible for everything that happens to us. In one sense, I believe this is true, due to karma we have created and must work out in some manner. On the other hand, I believe God is ultimately

Nayaswami Sahaja

Nayaswami Sahaja

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Linda

You are definitely thinking along the right path. It is such a complex question that I thought I would share with you from a book called Rays of the Same Light. This is a commentary that Swami Kriananda has written on the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita. The excerpt that I give here is from comentary on the Bible passage. Swami Kriananda answers so much more elequently than I could. I hope you find it helpful.

Ram
India

Question

I am 36 yrs and not successful in my studies, my career, my life though I love studying. For the last 4 years I have been following Shirdi Sai Baba path. I completely surrendered to HIM & want to change myself. Now I am jobless while my wife earns. I am taking care of my kids while she works. I am suffering with my fickle mind. Is there any reason (Bad Karma) for this unreasonable situation like this? When this will end up? I took up spiritual path to experience HIM. How to overcome fickle mind?

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Friend,

The mind, like the ego of which it is a part, is a fickle friend and a terrible foe. Through the self effort of concentration and meditation, we draw the grace to be changed and transformed. It would be more helpful to see your challenges and present circumstances not as "bad" karma, but an opportunity to overcome obstacles. In this way, you can view your challenges as a gift, given to you to become stronger.

Hari Prasad Sahu
India

Question

What are the symptoms, when one undergoes the process of karmic clearing?

How long does the process continue?

Does it happen phases? If so, how many times ?

How could we know that the karma ended ?

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Hari Prasad,

I think all of us would like it if someone else could clear our karma - painlessly, preferably. And yes, there are many people who advertise that they can do it (the only pain being monetary). With all due respect, I don't think they are clear about karma.

Will
USA

Question

I just re-read "Resurrection of Yukteswar" in "Autobiography of a Yogi", and in one passage it says "... Such beings have only astral and causal karma to work out." (p. 413)

I understood that in the astral world one could still have karma to be worked out, but not in the causal world.

Do you have any notion of what kind of karma we would still be carrying once we reach the causal world?

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Ananda Village

Answer

Will,

Let me preface my comments by encouraging you to again read the Autobiography of a Yogi chapter, "Resurrection of Sri Yukteswar." Your answers are there - and probably better ones than I can give you - but I'll do my best.

According to Sri Yukteswar, causal karma exists, but it is almost indescribably subtle. The root cause is the same as for physical and astral karma - desire. Physical plane desires are perhaps easiest for us to comprehend. Fulfillment of those desires requires that we be on the physical plane and the nature of those desires revolve around our physical bodies and our egos. Likewise astral desires. Fulfillment of those desires requires that we be on the astral plane and the nature of those desires revolve around our astral bodies and our egos. But causal desires are nearly impossible for us to understand because causal beings have no bodies - but there is still the smallest thought of separate existence from God - and thus the ego still exists.

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