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Category: Karma, Reincarnation

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Sana
India

Question

Hi!!!

Master had said that it is we who with the guidance of other spiritual masters choose what kind of life would lead bfore we take birth and people we would encounter to enable our spiritual growth.There are many people who are murderers, cunning, harmful and selfish. I have seen so many (sociopaths) men who are full of lust confess love to women just to talk dirty advantage and vice versa. Why would such people choose a life full of vices for themselves? How would such a life help them grow spiritually?

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Sana,

I agree that it is inconceivable that a soul would choose to be a murderer or other kind of despicable character. That is one reason why, to my knowledge, Paramhansa Yogananda never said that which you attributed to him. I know it is popular in some circles to speak that way, but from what I know of Master’s teachings, I cannot imagine him having said that. His emphasis was ever on how desires—which is to say, unresolved karmas—determine the circumstances of most souls’ incarnations.

Mona
India

Question

Dear Parvitiji!

Thank you for your answer on suffering and sensitivity.

In one of your questions on whether bad thoughts are as good as bad actions, I read your answer. There have been times when I got harmful thoughts towards people who have ill-treated me. However, I didn’t harm them in reality and controlled myself even when I had the means to harm them, for fear of incurring bad karma. Will that negative thought still be counted in my account? If yes, will prayer and apology from God help?

Nayaswami Parvati

Nayaswami Parvati

Ananda Village

Answer

If our intention is to harm someone, even in thought, then it creates a pattern of energy within us. This is how we create karma. It is these patterns of energy that build within us as we repeat such thoughts or actions. So the answer to your question is, yes, we do create karma even by having the thought to harm someone else, and even if we don’t complete the thought with an outward action.

Carina
Germany

Question

All my life i have always felt a deep ache in my heart because of what happened to the Jews (and others) in during the Holocaust in Germany.

I am very much interested to find out about Master's opinion on Hitler and Nazi Germany. I am sure that he was aware of the happenings and knew about the execution of millions of innocent people.

I once read somewhere that Master often cried at nights because of the cruel nightmare which was taking place in Germany. Is this true? (Unfortunately i cant find this article anymore). It would be so nice to know that Master felt compassion for these people and "stood up" against Hitler and the Nazis in some way or another.

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Carina, you are not alone in feeling deep compassion and hurt for the sufferings of so many people. That such a thing should happen is almost impossible to understand, especially for us today.

The workings of karma are strange and hard to fathom. As Krishna says to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, "weep not, Arjuna, for the soul is indestructible and you and I and these have been through many lives."

Shivo
India

Question

Namaste, What is right between these two things?

1. Doing everything that we take up using all our intelligence, taking full care with much industry to come up in life.

2. Leaving everything to God, taking whatever comes on our way as HIS prasad and going spiritually.

Second question: Why everything goes wrong whatever I take up even if I am staunch devotee of a Satguru? Can't HE take away my bad karma so that I can earn a lot money and distribute among the needy if HE just helps me in crucial times?

Nayaswami Gopal

Nayaswami Gopal

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear One, Joy to you!

1) Seek Ye first...and all these things will be added unto you. It is to say, everything we do throughout the day, we want to do it for God and with God because God is the doer. Every minute of the day, we need to offer every thought, every activity and, every desire to God. There is a wonderful prayer that helps us keep our focus on staying attuned to God:

January 23
2013

Kay
US

Question

I wonder about the concept we have about going back in time to fix something; would things really have gone another way? Physics now tells us that life is not fluid, but more like a frozen river and it would be possible to go back in time. I realize it may not be in our best interest, for we can drive ourselves mad, but it is such a human tendency. What do Masters say about this, if anything? Live life to the fullest in the present, learn from the past and look onward to the future?

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Kay,

I know why your question was sent to me. I have long been a fan of science fiction and especially anything about traveling through time. I even wrote a short novel recently called Through Many Lives, in which I describe a character who learns to time-travel.

Brendan Anderson
USA

Question

Hello!

I have a few questions. Do all souls require an internal practice of meditation, Kriya or something similar to it to escape Maya? Or is that only one way? Can Karma Yoga alone suffice to be enough to become free in Nirbikapla Samadhi. Also is Karma Yoga only effective when all aspirations and work and the fruits of that work are mentally and in the heart given to God? Can you reach God by merely acting and serving your immediate family without meditation? Thank you!

Nayaswami Dharmadas

Nayaswami Dharmadas

Ananda Village

Answer

The soul does not require Kriya or any other technique to achieve freedom, but it is certainly a great help. Ultimately what frees us is God's grace and our ability to offer our energy and devotion completely to God through the flow of that grace. Kriya helps us cooperate with and attract God's grace. It helps us to work directly with the life energy that either keeps us bound to the world or guides us to freedom. Karma yoga (service) is also a great help on the path as it expands our sense of identity beyond our small selves and into a greater reality.

Som
Ind

Question

There are 3 stray cats using my home as their residence.

One of them has given birth here twice!

The cat & its kittens now run around the home, mewing from behind the bookshelf etc.

I want them out.

Is it wrong to do so ?

I don't wish to harm them, but they're inadvertently creating a general nuisance!

If they go out on the street, and later die, am I karmically responsible ?

David Eby

David Eby

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Som, I do feel for you, and have been in similar situations myself where I had a hard time making a tough decision. I can't help think, though, of a humorous short story by PG Wodehouse, entitled Goodbye to All Cats. It's a fun read!

But getting back to your immediate problem, think of it this way - if the cats continued to live with you, giving birth to even more kittens, it would soon reach a place where they would be overrunning your house! Are you willing to be so passive as to let this happen?

Alexandra Baez
U.S.A.

Question

While all results of bad karma are also surely spiritual tests, my understanding is that the reverse is not necessarily true. When caught in a trying situation, I often wish I knew for sure the root cause. If it was bad karma, then I would be prompted to introspect as to what I did wrong and strive to avoid similar thoughts/actions in the future, as well as to respond correctly in the moment; if not, I would take it simply as a cue to focus on the latter. Any tips on distinguishing?

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Ananda Maine

Answer

Dear Alexandra,

It is helpful to see karma and spiritual tests as one and the same rather than distinct and separate causes of challenges in our lives. We've attracted by previous actions whatever tests or karma we face at any moment in time.

The following are helpful quotes from Swami Kriyananda's Course in Success and Happiness regarding karma:

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