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Ryan
United States

Question

Hello, for the past 6 months my life has been completely derailed by depression. I understand you are not a doctor, but I believe suffering is a reason many turn towards spirituality. I was curious if you'd had experience with anyone who has been relieved of their depression by investing their life in kriya yoga. I want desperately to turn my life around.

Thank you.

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Ryan,

Yours is an excellent question and comes up from time to time. Let me start with a caveat that is important. This in turns starts with a "story."

From time to time, students of meditation come with precisely the same hope and question that you are presenting. In a meditation training setting, however, the question doesn't necessarily always get asked (whether aloud or privately).

What is sometimes being contemplated or hoped for is to cease taking one's medications in favor of the results and benefits of meditation.

So here's where the concern arises: I have seen too often that a person who unilaterally stops taking his "meds" while learning or practicing meditation (which includes kriya yoga), ends up with an episode or regresses. In such a case the meditation practice ceases and with no medication to stabilize the person's mental outlook, the result is most unfortunate. (I have never seen the result be tragic, but of course it could be.)

Therefore, I must start by saying that one must not embark upon the practice of meditation with the expectation of stopping one's medications. Yes, ok, to go back to your question, of course meditation can help with improving one's mental outlook, stability, calmness, reduced anxiety and so on. All of this has been clinically proven.

But just as the medications which are prescribed vary widely as to whether and how they help a person, and how much should be taken, so too one cannot say in advance or with any certainty what the effects of meditation will be on a person's struggle with clinical depression.

Therefore, I say, yes, be hopeful that kriya yoga will improve your life. That is a reasonable general expectation. For all the reasons that are given for why meditation (and kriya yoga) will help one on every level (body, mind, and soul), meditation should improve the quality of life.

But can one say when, to what degree, and whether one can expect anything specific, or to stop taking medications? No, absolutely not.

In fact, in the Bhagavad Gita, Krishan counsels us that even with respect to the benefits of meditation and the spiritual life, one must exercise nonattachment and be sufficiently mindful not to burden the spiritual path with expectations, lest we appear to God and our higher Self as a kind of merchant, trading one thing for another.

We meditate to please God, to learn to love God, to live more simply, more authentically, and in harmony with grace, truth, and the Divine Will. That, and that alone and not the gifts of health and well-being must be our motivation.

Yes, that's not easy and the path follows a razor's edge between affirmation and contentment. But an attitude of faith, hope, and love for God and charity for all is the only true spiritual life one can lead.

In God all of our troubles will cease but we must seek Him for His love, nothing else!

Blessings,
Nayaswami Hriman

Manoj
Malaysia

Question

Master said in one of his talks, practice Kriya even if we have a few minutes. Is it OK to practice just kriya without practicing the other 3 techniques? I usually do Hong Sau when i have a few minutes.

Jai Guru

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Manoj,

Yes, it's OK to do a few Kriya breaths any time you have a little extra time and a quiet place to do them. You don't have to do all the other techniques, if you are just taking a little break from a busy life, to go within.

And yes, it's also fine to do Hong-Sau in this way also.

Here's a suggestion. The next time you are able to take a "mini-meditation" break, ask Master to help you know which technique would be good to do in the few minutes you have.

You may find that sometimes you feel guided to do Kriya, sometimes Hong-Sau, sometimes AUM, or sometimes Energization. Each technique has its special value, and one of them might fit into your life better, at any one given moment.

Yogananda always manifested a great sense of "spiritual adventuresome-ness" and by extension we should be that way also - accepting the discipline as it is taught, yes; but never becoming rigid or set in our ways.

John
South Africa

Question

What about Africa?

This continent has a great need for the teachings of meditation and Kriya Yoga, but most of all contact with realized individuals who could give initiation. Will the people of Africa always have to make do with the scraps of the table? Like Vivekananda I also cry out to the heavens for a dispensation for my land, not earthly, but spiritually.

We cannot afford to travel to the distant lands to receive initiation, what will become of us?

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear John,

Ananda sent teachers to Nigeria some years ago and actively supported a work outside of the capital for quite some time.

Perhaps you are right and it is time to try again. Perhaps your plea expresses Divine Mother's guidance.

However we shall see how, when, and where this guidance unfolds. I cannot answer questions regarding the karma of the peoples and nations of Africa. There does seem to be some karma which as a whole has resulted in great suffering on all levels.

I do know, however, that as souls call out to God for guidance in the form of kriya, that prayer must be answered.

Ananda acts primarily through its individual members, their inspirations, and dharma in cooperation with Ananda's founder, Swami Kriyananda. So no single person among us can say what, when, where or how.

Perhaps the answer begins with you.

Blessings,

Hriman

Karen Lawrence
UK

Question

Hello. Recently I've been having dreams that are not scary but have me in a situation e.g. wanting to find or do something and just keep getting stopped or lost and becoming frustrated and upset. I have recently come out of a bad time at work and am a new Kriya Yoga initiate. I understand these images come from my own mind and I'm not dwelling on them but is it a good thing that they are being 'released' or is this my ego trying to make me unhappy and stuck in these feelings? Thank you

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Karen,

Congratulations on being a new Kriyaban!

I suspect that your frustrating dreams are probably a combination of the bad time you had at work and the "old energy patterns" that Kriya practice sometimes stirs up.

This "bringing up of old stuff" is one of the things that Kriya Yoga is supposed to do. This way, you can be rid of it forever!

It's part of the power of Kriya Yoga to purify you of all past bad karma, even stuff you've forgotten from this or other lifetimes.

But that doesn't mean that Kriya always causes bad dreams. It may be just a phase you are going through in your spiritual life.

There are many phases, up's and down's that can come along. If you are patient and persistent, they will pass away.

Also, when you are under stress, that stress energy goes into your subconscious and is released in the form of what you might call "unfinished business" dreams.

Here's what I'd do. Every night before going to bed, give everything back into God's hands. Mentally surround yourself with a bubble of white light. Have a photo of Yogananda right at your bedside and let the last thing you do before turning out the light be to look into his eyes and pray for protection and for better dreams.

And work on your stress level so that you are calmer and more centered under all circumstances. Kriya and our Gurus' grace will help out a lot with this, but other things will help also, like right diet, getting enough rest and exercise — that sort of thing.

And remember that in the last analysis, it's all a dream — life, that is. We play our roles as best as we can, but to become too involved or too attached to anything causes great unhappiness.

Jason
Beverly Hills

Question

Hello friendly Ananda people,

Recently, during the day I feel a very negative uncomfortable pressure on my third eye. I practice Kriya and another technique called Surya given to me by my Guru.

What is this weird sensation?

Nayaswami Devarshi

Nayaswami Devarshi

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Jason,

The most important source for answers, when we have unusual or challenging situations from our spiritual practices, is one's Guru.

So that's really where you need to go to answer this question, especially since you also are working with a technique given by him. That technique may need to be approached differently, for example, while going through the various things that happen in the course of one's sadhana.

Speaking only very generally, pressure at the spiritual eye that feels uncomfortable or negative can be relieved in a couple of ways. One is to be sure that you aren't concentrating there with tension.

There is a tendency for people to think that one goes through the spiritual eye, and into the light, by just concentrating more intensely. Try to feel instead that you are offering yourself, with devotion to God, at the spiritual eye.

That will help relax any tension there, but it will also help you to 'see' the spiritual eye more with intuition, than with physical concentration. Also try to consciously relax there, feeling any tension dissolving into the light.

You can also do a practice taught by Yogananda, which is to visualize the Guru at the spiritual eye, especially the Guru's eyes. He recommended doing this practice during every meditation.

Both of these things will help to also release any negative energy, which is dissolved by the light and by the Guru.

Blessings and joy,
Devarshi

Bhupal Baral
Nepal

Question

Jai guru dev!

I am a beginer, just learn the book '' an auto biography of yogi''. I am very much impressed from the book.

I want to know more about kriya yoga. Please... help me.

Nayaswami Devarshi

Nayaswami Devarshi

Ananda Village

Answer

You can learn more about receiving Kriya Yoga through Ananda by going to Kriya Yoga at Ananda.

You can also contact an Ananda center near you to get started on the path of Kriya. We teach Kriya just as Paramhansa Yogananda taught it. This includes learning and practicing all the techniques that are part of Kriya Yoga practice. The final step of initiation into the Kriya technique can take place about one year after starting on the path of Kriya.

I would strongly encourage you to pursue the path of Kriya Yoga. I've seen extraordinary changes in people's lives when they take up this path!

April 6
2010

Linda Hagen
United States

Question

I am currently going to a Yoga teacher who is teaching me Kriya yoga. I have been studying the Raja Yoga book by Kriyananda. I do asana's each morning prior to meditation but do not do the energization exercises. Do I do both the asanas and energization exercises each day? My teacher is not able to initiate me into Kriya yoga. Do you recommend that I take your courses in order to be initiated?

Nayaswami Devarshi

Nayaswami Devarshi

Ananda Village

Answer

Yes, in order to be initated into Kriya Yoga, one must study all three parts of the Ananda Course. Click here to learn more.

Yoga postures are not required as part of the path of Kriya, but daily practice of the Energization Exercises are integral to learning Kriya.

Paramhansa Yogananda taught Kriya as a spiritual path that includes a regular daily meditation practice using the techniques of hong-sau and Aum (taught in Part III of the Ananda Course), along with the Energization Exercises.

The final step of initiation into Kriya can take place after about one year of regular practice, beginning with when one learns Hong-Sau and Energization.

Because the path of Kriya is so individual, it's best to email the Ananda Kriya Sangha for your country. Contact information, and more information about the path of Kriya Yoga, can be found at:
http://www.kriya-yoga.org/

Peter Claver
Uganda

Question

My name is peter. I love God and I have dedicated a big part of my life to self realization. i would so much like to acquire the Yogoda Satsanga home lessons, but the information seems only to cater for those in the indian sub continent. How do I acquire them and the subsequent holy art of kriya yoga? Do i have to travel to india?

Answer

Dear Peter,

Thank you for your question. There are many devotees who would like to study Yogananda's teachings but who live far from a teaching center. I myself was one such devotee.

Ananda is a separate organization from Yogoda Satsanga Society. We do offer a home study course in Yogananda's teachings. You can learn more about it here, if you haven't already.

I learned Yogananda's teachings this way and worked my way up to receiving kriya initiation (in person from Ananda Kriya minister).

I'm not sure if we can ship the course to Uganda. You could ask a question on the course ordering page above. In any case, you get started with our on-line course, Lessons in Meditation.

We've created it for devotees all over the world to learn Yogananda's teachings and techniques, and work towards kriya initiation, from their own homes.

I should add that, although it is not required, if you can travel to India, it would be wonderful to meet you.

May God and Yogananda ever bless your spiritual efforts, Peter.

Joy,
Dharmaraj

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