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Questions and Answers About Meditation, Yoga, the Spiritual Life, and More

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The Nine-Day Cleansing Diet
October 16, 2014

Chris Mc
USA

Question

I have a weight issue and struggle going up and down on my weight, and would like to do the nine-day diet, but there is not one till January. By chance is there someone there who would assist me? Also, can I use potatoes since you allow one cooked vegetable? Also, must it all be organic? Do you have advice for me to keep at a healthy weight? Thank you , Chris

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Chris,

The nine-day cleansing diet will help you not only to loose weight but also to revitalize your body cells.

I am sending you the link to the nine-day diet as it is described by Nayaswami Devi, the co-director of Ananda, who has been doing it for many years. Her guidance will be helpful for you to do it yourself.

As for using potato, I don’t think it’s allowed, since it is a starchy vegetable. As much as possible use organic vegetables.

Here is the link to the article:

http://www.anandaclaritymagazine.com/2010/03/diet-yogananda-meditation-yoga/

My best wishes,

Diksha

dhruv parikh
india

Question

In the King James Version of the Holy Bible, I read in Genesis that “...the descendants of Adam, when Adam was 130 year old he had son Seth. Adam lived another 800 years and died at age of 930. When Seth was 105, he had son Enoch and he lived 807 years.” I know this things are written in deep allegory. Can you please give me deeper meaning of this story?

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Dhruv,

You are correct that many things in the Bible are written in allegory. However, in this case, it may be that words of truth are being expressed. We know from the teachings of the great yogi masters that in past ages, people have lived for many more years than they do now. And this will happen again in future, higher ages. All this comes about due to the great cycles of time called the “Yugas.” We are now in Ascending Dwapara Yuga and you can see from recent history that each generation lives a bit longer than the one before it. In higher ages people live longer. In lower ages, people die earlier.

So that is probably what is being referred to in these passages of the Bible. The “Yuga Theory” of vast cycles of time on our planet is a fascinating subject. If you’d like to learn more about it, please read The Yugas: Keys to Understanding our Hidden Past, Emerging Energy Age, and Enlightened Future by Joseph Selbie and David Steinmetz.

Dennis Anao
USA

Question

Hi fellow devotee,

Ever since I stared to practice yoga and pranayama and meditation every time I eat the top of my head gets tingly. What is this? Thank you.

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Dennis,

As you practice yoga, pranayama, and meditation, more energy starts to flow through the body. This can cause you to have a variety of experiences that you wouldn’t otherwise experience. The tingling sensation is probably one such experience.

Whatever kind of yoga, pranayama, or meditation you practice, you should use common sense, avoid overdoing any practice, and make sure that you are relaxed and comfortable while practicing. It’s particularly important that you don’t practice in an extreme way if you are a beginner.

If you follow these guidelines, any strange sensation that you might experience will likely be only temporary and gradually will dissipate. If it is not unpleasant, then go forward with your practice. If it is unpleasant, stop until you can work personally with someone who has the knowledge and experience to be able to guide you.

I hope this will be helpful to you.

Blessings,

Diksha

Stan
Belgium

Question

I heard Yogananda also believed in certain “omens,” like not starting a long journey on Thursday. And that Swami Kriyananda mentioned them in one of his books. Can you tell me about what omens Master believed in?

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Stan, In one of Swami Kriyananda’s very early books called A Visit to the Saints of India, he offers a long list of omens or superstitions, which he had just learned about while visiting India in 1972, which are commonly believed there. He then says:

Master [also] had a few such ‘superstitions’.... Here are several that I happen to remember:

Don’t begin a long journey on Thursday afternoon.

Don’t leave brooms out where they can be seen.

Don’t greet anyone the first thing in the morning with one eye closed. If inadvertently you should happen to do so, at once close the other eye also; otherwise some misunderstanding may flare up between you that day.

Gifts should be given and received with the right hand only. (The usual explanation for this common Indian practice is that in India it is customary to reserve the left hand for matters of personal hygiene. I got the impression, however, that Master felt there was a deeper meaning behind the custom. For yogis consider the right side of the body to express a more positive energy than the left. To exchange gifts with the right hand would therefore seem a greater affirmation of good will.)

I recall Master telling a prospective newcomer to his ashram in Mt. Washington that the most auspicious time to arrive would be on Tuesday before eleven in the morning....

Having related what Swamiji says about Master’s “superstitions,” we should understand that superstitions and omens, for a great Master like Paramhansa Yogananda, most likely would have been mentioned more in a spirit of fun than as serious spiritual laws.

Certainly he respected various energetic forces of nature, such as astrology (see the chapter called “Outwitting the Stars,” in Autobiography of a Yogi). But the deepest truth lies in the title of that chapter itself. Whatever is going on in one’s life, there is a greater force which can be called upon: the blessings and protection of God and Guru!

deepesh
india

Question

1.What do our soul looks like? Is it possible that a dead person who has unfulfilled desires wander here and there.

2. Can sorcery kill some one from a distance without touching or seeing.

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Deepesh,

The soul is that part of us which is a part of God. It is formless and invisible, so it does not look like anything. The soul, when taking human form (reincarnating), is contained with the physical, astral, and causal bodies.

The physical body is easily observable and tangible. Just look in a mirror or touch your arm. The astral body is sometimes seen by people or it may be photographed by special machines. It is made of light and is sometimes called an aura. The causal body has no form — it is the thought or idea of a person as an individual.

Yes, it is possible that a person who is dead may still retain his or her astral body on this earth-plane, due, as you say, most likely to unfulfilled desires. Yogananda calls these beings “tramp souls,” (most people call them ghosts) and strongly cautions us against trying to contact them. They are lost and confused, but they will eventually figure things out and make their way into more beneficial lifetimes.

People who join themselves together with the dark forces, which do exist in this world, and practice things like sorcery, can cause a great deal of trouble for themselves or for weak-minded people — perhaps causing them to be susceptible to disease, accident, or even death. But if you are strong in yourself, especially spiritually, but also in your astral (energy) body — keeping your very aura strong, praying always for God’s presence to be there in your life, then negative forces have little or no power to bother you.

Violence in the Media
April 24, 2014

jim
united States

Question

If a person watches crime shows are they attracting negative things into their life. What advice would you give those who do watch things like “Law and Order”?

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Jim,

Our society has debated the effects of watching violence on TV or in video games. Putting aside social trends and impacts and returning to your own personal question, it’s safe to say that each person responds to such exposure differently. I know some who recoil from such scenes of violence while others seem untouched.

But where a person sincerely is on the spiritual path and who does so through prayer, meditation, and devotion, it is important to leave behind unnecessary exposure of one’s subconscious mind to images of negativity and violence.

I would say, “Why waste your time?” (watching such shows and, indeed, watching any shows more than just occasionally!). Study (listening and reading) of uplifted teachings, chants, helping out in your local community, improving your skills and knowledge, sharing with friends,arts and music, there’s so much more engaging and uplifting activities in life than (those lifeless) TV shows.

So, begin by limiting your time spent in this and gradually redirect your attention to more positive activities, such as outgrowing sickly sweet candy that you may have liked as a child, so too you'll find that as you grow and mature spiritually, such activities will hold no interest for you. One step at a time! OK?

Blessings,

Nayaswami Hriman

sumit saini
india

Question

Swamiji, while explaining the ice bag technique for transmutation of sex energy , states not to use it during the time of actual sexual excitation. Kindly explain why this is so. To my mind during excitation the energy is already aroused and can be channeled up easily. There would be no danger of spilling as the coolness of ice would only help to calm down the matters! Please also explain if practiced during normal times how is cold ice stimulating to the sex energy. How can it awaken energy to transmute it?

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Friend,

The primary reason for not using this technique when aroused is that any further touch sensation is runs the risk of increasing arousal. While it is true that the cold sensation “ought” to mitigate arousal, this is by no means going to always be the case. Moreover, one does not want to create a longer term subconscious association between the effort for transmutation with the fact of sexual arousal.

When used in meditation from time to time as a long term transmutation technique the cold sensation has little risk of sexual arousal. The technique when used in the way prescribed stimulates the life force to go inward where, combined with devotion, and the effort to draw the energy upward to the spiritual eye through the chakra(s) and subtle spine will have maximum effect without having to overcome already stimulated sexual arousal.

What you ask, therefore, seems logical but when dealing with energy (prana) which is inextricably linked with feeling, one has to honor the power, quality, and force of prana and feeling (including lower chakra emotions) first and foremost. Logic and the intellect have little to say in such matters (for most people).

Blessings,

Nayaswami Hriman

Praying for Specific Things
February 24, 2014

Elysse
USA

Question

Is there a “housing” prayer or affirmation? To help find a housing spot, to live. I’m just wondering if such a prayer would exist.

Nayaswami Parvati

Nayaswami Parvati

Ananda Village

Answer

Although you have asked about a specific kind of prayer, which is one to find the right kind of housing, your question also addresses the issue of what is the most effective way to pray. You could certainly make up your own prayer or affirmation for housing. But if we make our prayers too specific, then we limit the kind of answer that can come to us. We limit the possibilities by being too specific in what we pray for. Perhaps the issue in our lives may look like it is about finding the right kind of housing, when it is actually about how we are living, as well as where and with whom.

A good way to pray, no matter what we may be facing in our lives is, “Here is the situation Divine Mother (or God, or however you wish to address your prayer). What do you think is trying to happen for me here? What will help me spiritually in this situation? And what will help me to grow in understanding in my life in general?”

I realize that these questions may seem to be missing the point of your very direct question regarding housing, but housing may only be the most obvious problem, and not the real issue.

I hope this will help you in making your prayer one that will help you in a more broad way, as well as one that will help you in finding housing.

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