Ask Ananda’s Experts
Questions and Answers About Meditation, Yoga, the Spiritual Life, and More

Category: Other

Page 1 of 13 Next

I Saw God in a Dream
March 5, 2015

ruchit
india

Question

I had a dream which was so good that it felt real. I'll not forget that dream for my whole life. What I saw was God. Yes, I saw God. He was in a child’s form and he had an 'AUM' symbol on his forehead. He said something to me from inside of me. I believe he was trying to convey some message. What do you think?

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Ruchit,

God can and often does speak to us through our dreams, which is a great blessing when it happens. Sometimes the message is in the form of symbols. In your dreams the obvious symbols would be the child’s form and the AUM symbol on the child’s forehead.

The best way to understand the message of the dream is to pray deeply at the beginning of your next meditation. Prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening for the answer. So pray to understand what God wants to convey to you through this dream, then let your questions go, calming your mind and meditating deeply.

At the close of your meditation, wait patiently in quietness of mind to see if an answer slips gently into your mind. If it does not appear immediately (often it does) don’t be concerned. The answer may come later, when you least expect it.

However, if nothing is ever especially revealed to you about how to interpret your dream, then know that your dream was still a great blessing for you. Leave it at that, and just be grateful for that blessing.

It’s always best that we ask God/Gurus to help us interpret our dreams rather than relying on a book or another person to help interpret our dreams for us. This is because your dreams, particularly superconscious dreams, are given to you personally and generally have a unique meaning for you alone.

Tom
Lithuania

Question

Hello. I have a fears of darkness, all those dark energies, beings from lower astral plane, etc. How can i transform them into the presence of God? I also noticed the more closer i get to God the more these unreasonable fears appears. Give me some powerful prayers or any other techniques to feel God’s presence immeadiately when i need it most. How can i get free of these fears? Thank you very much.

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Tom,

In the presence of God (as joy, light or love) nothing and no one can harm you. Happiness is like a light from which all shadow must flee! Be joyful; help others; bless others. Chant God’s name aloud or silently; chant Aum! Here’s a powerful mantra to use whenever you feel the need: Aum, Hring Kleeng Krishnaya namaha. You can also chant the Trinity as "Aum, Tat, Sat" and as you do move your arms in opposite directions meeting (palms touching) in front of you and behind. Write Aum on your pillow at night before sleeping.

When feeling "attacked" place your thumbs in the shape of a cross and send light all around you as a protection as you chant.

Most of all, call upon God, Christ, or one of the masters whenever you are in need and make a strong effort to be positive and mentally chanting throughout the day. Spend time with others of stronger spiritual magnetism. Meditate daily: with eyes open if necessary and never in complete darkness.

I pray that you be freed of these fears. The nearer you are to the presence of God, the more protected you feel. God can come to you as peace, as joy, as light and as love. Manifest these qualities in your own consciousness and you will immediately be closer to God.

Blessings always and in the Light,

Nayaswami Hriman

Guilt Is a Waste of Time
December 22, 2014

Siddharth Patel
India

Question

How do I repent for my sins? I have committed same mistakes again and again consciously. I have broken the Brahmacharya vrat in in depression many times. How do I come out of this guilt complex?

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Siddharth,

Paramhansa Yogananda said, "Life is a battle all along the way. May I win the battle on the very spot in which I stand."

It sounds like you are aware of your mistakes and you want to overcome them. Here is a question that you might want to look at:

Are you working with yourself as you are, or are you trying to become someone that you are not, forcing yourself to act in ways that are not suited to your nature?

Guilt is a waste of time. It keeps you stuck, constantly blaming yourself without doing anything to improve the situation. You need to use your will power to resist the guilt urge, and when it comes up anyway, to affirm the opposite.

Here are a few suggestions that might help you:

  • Daily meditation practice, by yourself and with a support group. If you don’t have one, please check Ananda’s meditation section.
  • Choose battles that you can win. Start with a small battle that you have a chance winning, and gradually take on bigger battles. Remember: You can’t fight all the battles at once. Maybe at this time in your life, Brahmacharya is not right for you. Maybe being in a relationship will actually help you grow and expand your consciousness.
  • Choose to be in a positive supportive environment that will help you overcome negative tendencies.
  • Use your will power consciously and direct your energy in positive directions. Our will power is one of the greatest tools that God gave us to become successful and to overcome negative habits. You need to use it wisely.

I also recommend that you read Paramhansa Yogananda’s book How to Be a Success, available at Crystal Clarity Publishers or, in India, at Ananda Sangha Publications. I think you will find it helpful.

Best wishes to you,

Nayaswami Diksha

Rush
USA

Question

I’ve read that various Hindu Gods (i.e. Ganesha) are actually given 'life' and an astral reality due to the tremendous energy generated by the masses' devotion to that form. Could this also be true of other unexplainable phenomena, i.e. the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot, where people’s intense interest actually 'create' an astral reality, such that those forms can 'cross over' sporadically onto the physical plane so they are witnessed by folks?

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Rush,

I remember Swami Kriyananda being asked this same question, about the "reality" of the Hindu gods and goddesses. He gave essentially the same answer you have mentioned. That is, the great devotion generated by masses of worshipers can cause the entity to take a "real" form, from time to time.

As for other unexplained phenomena such as the Loch Ness monster or Bigfoot, what you are mentioning about their having an astral reality seems quite possible to me, though I don’t remember and cannot find any specific reference to these two (or anything similar) in the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda or Swami Kriyananda.

There are many, many things in our world, which could come under the heading of "unexplained phenomena." There are probably a lot more "crossover" situations between the material world and the astral world than most people can even begin to imagine.

Where is the mind located?
December 15, 2014

G
Canada

Question

According to Paramhamsa Yogananda, the intellect is in the forehead, the seat of the ego at the medulla oblongata, and the mind at the top of the head. However, the Sahasrara chakra is also said to be located at the top of the head. What is the difference between the location of the mind aspect and the Sahasrara chakra?

Thank you

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear G,

This is certainly an intriguing question you are asking!

Yes, you are right about Yogananda’s teaching about the locations in the body of mind, intellect, ego, and feeling as being the top of the head, the spiritual eye, the medulla oblongata, and the heart, respectively.

And these are the location of specific chakras also. This means that each chakra has a general location in the energy or astral body, which corresponds to a general physical location also. The chakras also have energetic powers/functions, used to keep the physical body, brain, emotions, and so on, functioning.

For example, it’s easy to see how the 4th or heart chakra in the center of the chest (not the physical heart organ) is the general location where our emotional/feeling life has its central "headquarters."

Your main question, as I understand it, is: "What is the difference between the location of the mind aspect and the Sahasrara (Crown) chakra?"

The "mind" in yogic terminology is the simple ability/function of the brain to be able to think.

Why Yogananda would say that the mind is more at the top of the head than all over the brain/skull area probably has to do with the ways that different parts of the physical brain function. For example, the pre-frontal lobes of the brain (positive aspect of the 6th chakra/forehead), where the spiritual eye is located is very sophisticated and also is the most spiritual part of the brain (again, according to yogic teachings). It is here that we concentrate and meditate deeply.

The intellect, as Yogananda describes it, can do more than just think. It can carefully perceive subtle and not-so-subtle differences in what the mind is simply thinking about.

Yogananda’s example: The mind thinks, "I am seeing a thing." The intellect discerns more carefully and says, "O, that thing is a horse!" The ego further identifies it by saying, "Oh, that’s my horse." Finally, the feeling nature of the heart chakra steps in and says: "Oh, how I love my horse! How sad I would be if I lost my horse!"

So, what is the difference between location of the mind and the 7th Chakra? One is the general location of the mind in the astral, not physical, body (7th chakra/top of the head/Sahasrara) and the other is the function of the mind/brain (simple thinking processes).

Again, one is a general location in the astral body, the other is the primary way that chakra’s energy functions in the physical world.

Mark
Germany

Question

Hello, i want to know how can i deal with intrusive thoughts. This is not an ordinary thoughts, i think this is my karma. One woman said to me that i wasnt very good in the past and now i am having these thoughts as a result of my past lifes. Most often they are demonic, it seems like someone else sends them to me, and exactly what i scare most. Also these thoughts condemns others, but i dont want to condem them. Please, give me any ideas how can i deal with them. Thank you!

Nayaswami Parvati

Nayaswami Parvati

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Mark,

Thank you for asking this important question. One of the best ways I know to deal with intrusive thoughts, especially those that are negative, is to strongly emphasize the light — in your thoughts, in your life, in the music you listen to, in the friends you associate with. As you live your life more consciously in an environment of light, you will find these negative thoughts losing power.

One of the things you don’t want to do is to “entertain” these thoughts. By this I mean don’t give them energy by thinking about them — why they are there, where they come from, what you did in the past to attract such thoughts, etc. Thinking about them tends to give them more energy.

An important thing to remember about thoughts is something that Paramhansa Yogananda said about them. He said that "thoughts are universally, not individually rooted.” What this means is that the level of consciousness you live on determines what kind of thoughts you will attract to yourself. By raising your level of consciousness, and you will change the kinds of thoughts that come to you. This is why emphasizing the light in your life is so important.

Does past karma from previous lives have an influence on your thoughts? Yes, certainly it does. This is because karma is the result of repeated actions resulting in a vortex of energy and, therefore, consciousness. The way we begin to dissolve our karma is to withdraw energy from these past actions and to begin to act in other, more uplifting, ways.

With strongly negative thoughts, always keep in mind that they are not your thoughts and that you are not a bad person for having them. Thoughts truly do live on levels of consciousness. Change your level of consciousness, and you will change your thoughts.

A warning about negative thoughts: They can have a strong magnetism about them; one that wants to keep you involved with them — thinking about them, etc. Resist doing this as much as possible, and strongly put your thoughts and energy in a more uplifted direction. Swami Kriyananda writes about an experience he had with this when he was living at Mt. Washington in Los Angeles. He said he fell into a negative mood one day. To get out of it, he put his mind and concentration strongly at the point between the eyebrows. He said that after only five minutes he felt his consciousness shift, and the negative mood, as well as the thoughts associated with them, went away.

I hope these ideas will be helpful to you and that by using them you will find your consciousness uplifted more and more toward the divine light.

Costin Chiroiu Boteanu
Romania

Question

Hello,I am interested in the connection between mind and consciousness.As I understand consciousness enters the body through the brain and spine. The ovum and sperm unite to form the body at the medulla and life-force is forming the brain, spine, etc. Spirit is the consciousness, entered in a body, mind is related to it and after a life’s experience the mind is enriched (or not), the level of consciousness is raised (or not), and consciousness is exiting the body and is ready to come to a new life ?

Nayaswami Parvati

Nayaswami Parvati

Ananda Village

Answer

The role of consciousness in our lives, as I have understood it from both Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda, is all-pervasive. If you use the understanding of consciousness that they taught in your life, it will revolutionize the way you think about everything and the way you live your life!

Consciousness is the all-pervading reality underlying every level of existence: material, energy, and thought. In India this consciousness is described as Satchidananda: “Ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new bliss!”

It is this consciousness that brought the whole universe into manifestation out of Itself: first in thought, then through giving that thought energy, then by manifesting that energy as form in the material world. It is consciousness that works through the mind, through the personality, the feelings and emotions, and the body. Consciousness is the primary reality, not matter. When we look at the world in this way, we then find that attuning to the right consciousness is the most important thing we can be doing.

It is our level of consciousness that attracts to us the thoughts that we think. This is a revolutionary way of seeing the world we live in!

Paramhansa Yogananda brought a way to begin to access the reality of consciousness and energy when he came to America in 1920 and introduced the Energization Exercises. It is through these exercises, and understanding how to direct energy in the body through using our will power, that we begin to experience that we are made of energy. Once we begin to realize this, then we know that we are a much more fluid being than we ever imagined!

The greater the will power, the greater the flow of energy.

The greater the flow of energy, the greater the magnetic field.

And the greater the magnetic field, the more we will attract the consciousness that supports our efforts. If we want those efforts to include spiritual growth, then we associate with those who have a spiritual consciousness. In India this kind of association is called “satsang.”

When the soul leaves the physical body at death, for most people it enters the astral world and retains an astral body of energy as well as an ego. It remains there for a period of time, after which it is drawn again into a physical body through the force of its material desires. Until we are freed from ego and from our physical karma and desires, this cycle will be repeated endlessly.

Josh
USA

Question

Hello,

I’m having trouble praying for an opportunity for a career change. The job I currently have is unfulfilling. I’ve become certified to become a personal trainer in the hope of helping people improve their quality of life. However, I’m having trouble finding a job. I wish to pray for an opening but feel like it is a selfish request and isn’t “worthy.” I’m confused as how to proceed. Any guidance would be very appreciated.

Thank you and God bless,

Josh

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Josh,

Yogananda in his book, Whispers from Eternity, prefers to use the word “demand” instead of the word “prayer.” [Editor's note: See the "Hints to the Reader" section.] He said that we are God’s children and therefore have dominion over all things in the universe, even as He has. Therefore we have the right to demand of our Heavenly Father to help fulfill our needs.

From what you are writing, you are clear about what you need, and your wish is to help other people. Why then, is it selfish of you to pray for help?

Yogananda said that if he didn’t have a job, he would churn the ether until he got one.

God is your father and friend and wants to help you. But you need to reach up to Him, open your heart, and ask for His help. Pour your heart to Him without any reservation and listen intently for His answer. Keep calling Him until He responds.

Blessings,

Diksha

Page 1 of 13 Next