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shiffali
india

Question

Namaste,

I am not able to understand what is the basis of relationship in this world? every time i feel some guy is suitable for me, he ditches me in the most horrible way known and i have always been truthful in all my relations. Is it karma or my ignorance that i am not able to see through people as they are? How can i develop this judgement for others so that i am protected in future?

thanx

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Shiffali,

The spiritual goal of human relationships is to help us get closer to God.

When someone is drawn to you, it is the result of your magnetism. It is not always easy to understand your own magnetism, but daily practice of meditation and daily constructive introspection can help you. Through these practices you will get to know yourself better, and begin to understand why these things have been happening to you. Then you will see more clearly the direction in which you need to change. All the while, pray to God to help you understand what kind of energy you are putting out that keeps drawing to you the wrong sort of men, and how you can change it. Also pray to God for the strength to make the changes that you need to make.

Here is a page where you can learn how to meditate. There is a video and written instruction as well.

I also recommend that you read Paramhansa Yogananda’s book, How to Love and Be Loved — also published as Spiritual Relationships in America. It will give you a much deeper understanding of human relationships.

Finally, it can be difficult to change your magnetism while you are in a relationship, so I suggest that you take a break from relationships for a while, until you can gain a better perspective on yourself and your relationships.

Blessings to you,

Nayaswami Diksha

Jen
Israel

Question

Im on the spiritual path and this is the most important thing in my life, my partner is jewish and we have three years living together. I love him so much but he feels very bad about my path,since the last year that I started seriously. Because of his beliefs, he think that is bad lucky that I meditate and so on. he never never said me dont do it but im scared, I think he is going down psychologically with fears, he loves me. we are so confused please help me, what can I do, im so scared

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Jen,

It sounds like you have clarity in one area: The spiritual path is the most important thing in your life.

Because of the confusion in your intimate relationship avoid trying to guess how your partner feels and thinks. The most important thing to do right now is to TALK with each other: communicate clearly and honestly with each other how you feel, what is important to you, what are your fears, what are you willing to compromise, and what you are not willing to. This will give both of you a clear picture of where each person is and whether you want to continue being together.

Blessings,

Diksha

APS
India

Question

Hello Ananda Family,

Firstly would like to thank you all from my heart for answering each and every question with patience and love. God bless you All.

My Question is out of curiosity.

Q: How have all Great Masters in past maintained the relationships with their siblings, even after attaining enlightenment? Although I have heard that there is no mine or yours left after enlightenment, but still others might not be in same state as they were.

Thanks

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear friend, APS,

If you haven’t yet read Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda, you will enjoy it and may find your answers there.

Yogananda had seven brothers and sisters. As he writes of himself, you can see him entering into the play of a "normal" childhood relationship with his siblings. If you also read the book, Mejda, written by his brother about Yogananda’s life, you see that his family always realized there was something special about Yogananda.

It seems to me that Yogananda was always appropriate in his behavior and treated everyone — relatives, colleagues, enemies — with divine love, patience, and wisdom. In the great souls, while these qualities are always found, there is also a certain impartial and impersonal quality — impersonal, not in the sense of being cold, but of not needing to receive anything from others. The great soul is always relating to the divine presence in others.

Aum,

Diksha

Tanya
UK

Question

I am married to a good man who always supports me and treats me well. I also try to be supportive, kind and good to him. I would love him to share my interests: meditate like I do, be interested in yoga and other things that enjoy like sport, travelling, and walking. But, unlike me he spends a lot of time watching TV/films and browsing the internet. I feel that despite having a reasonably good marriage, he is probably not my soulmate and my heart is longing for finding my soulmate. What shall I do?

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Tanya,

One’s marriage vows are to be taken very seriously. It is not a good thing to be thinking that “surely the grass must be greener with someone else” — when this may not be true at all, or, “... if I find my true soul mate, surely then I'll be happy.” Please read my blog on “Soul Mates” at for more details on this subject.

You say your husband is a good man, who supports you, treats you well, and that you have a reasonably good marriage. It’s just that you don’t share the same spiritual interests. This is the case in several successful marriages that I know about. Count yourself fortunate for the blessings you have found in this marriage! A 100% perfect marriage is rare, if not non-existent!

I’d say that unless there is real abuse or you are truly miserable in your marriage, then you would be wise to give this matter into God’s hands and stay on in the marriage. Pray for your husband to become more interested in spiritual things, but never force or nag about the matter. Just be the best possible example you can and feel God’s presence in him always.

Find other spiritually-minded friends who will fill that need for like-minded company. They are definitely out there waiting to be found! Consider joining Online with Ananda’s Virtual Community. Through it, you can have spiritual friends around the world.

September 8
2014

raina
sweden

Question

It seems that family, children, and spouse are the most powerful attachments I feel. If one is attached to their family and still wishes to be free from all attachments, how do they gradually find freedom from this without showing less love and care?

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Raina,

Our natural bonds of love for our family are the most difficult of relationships in which to understand what nonattachment and freedom means. Yet: it is through our close relationships that we have the greatest spiritual opportunities to grow. Begin by contemplating the spiritual and virtuous qualities of each family member; add to this, contemplating that those qualities and virtues are attributes (aspects) of God, of our souls. Bit by bit, then, begin to see your loved ones not just for their personalities but for their soul qualities, like rays of God’s presence shining through them. With practice and time, you will feel more and more that you are seeing God in each of them, and not just a person who is special to you or different from all others.

In respect to qualities that are not so admirable (faults, quirks, and annoying behaviors), contemplate that they, like you, have lived many, many, many lifetimes. As God gives you the freedom to choose Him, to choose right or wrong actions, so you, too, should follow His example and give to your close ones the freedom to find their way through their errors and shortcomings. This will be easier to do if you practice my first suggestion above.

Lastly, try to feel, imagine or intuit, how, with each loved one, is being reflected back to you, like a mirror, lessons and qualities that you can learn from and/or be helped by. It is all God in various disguises and costumes teaching and guiding you. Pierce the veil of “maya” (of our differences, our likes, dislikes and attachments) to see the One love of God blessing and touching you. Be natural. Be true to yourself and, in so doing, see the highest Truth in all.

Know that in true, divine love you will never lose sight of those who are “yours.” Our lives are intertwined like gold threads in a beautiful tapestry.

Blessings,

Nayaswami Hriman

September 8
2014

Sangita
India

Question

I find it difficult to say no when people demand or request something even if it causes me inconvenience. Some people are very pushy and simply not ready to respect my convenience. If I deal with them sternly some understand while others feel offended. Even if their offense is unjustified, I feel guilty if they show disappointment and try to make up in some way or the other. It stresses me. How do I deal with them?

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Sangita,

To relate to other people’s needs in a balanced way, it’s important to develop healthy boundaries. Everyone needs them, yet establishing them take time and patience. It comes through trial and error, and it is time for you to begin that process. You will make mistakes, and that is part of getting clear.

One thing to keep in mind is that you have more alternatives than just saying: “Yes”, or: “Deal with them sternly.” When you are unable to fulfill someone else’s request, you can simply say kindly but firmly, “I’m very sorry, but that won’t work for me right now,” or “I understand your need, but I’m not able to fulfill it at this time.” Some of the people you have been in the habit of pleasing may not accept that answer, but you need to stand firm.

To be able to stand firm, you need to develop a better sense of who you are and what is possible or appropriate for you. For this, I suggest that you establish a solid meditation practice. It will help you stay even-minded in the face of these requests, stay in touch with your own self, and not be afflicted by guilt. You can begin learning how to meditate here.

As your practice deepens, you'll feel stronger, clearer and more peaceful, and be less affected by how people behave. That’s when you'll be able to share your love with them.

Blessings,

Diksha

sangeeta
India

Question

Thank you so much in advance for taking time to answer my question! How do I deal with a situation where two people who are very very close to my heart are in conflict? If I try to speak, one of them gets hurt and I do not want them to get hurt. I try my best to help them but nothing seems to be working. One of them is extremely emotional and its hard to tell him anything, so I just say yes for everything. How do I handle this situation? It pains to see them suffering.

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Ananda Maine

Answer

Dear Sangeeta,

As I understand your situation, you are very close to two other individuals who do not get along. You are trying to help them resolve their disharmony with each other so there may be harmony between the three of you. You mention one person is very emotional and you simply say yes to everything he asks to keep the peace. You suffer with their suffering and would like to resolve the issues to relieve everyone’s pain including your own.

The first thing to understand is you can only be responsible for your perceptions of the truth of the matter. They other two are responsible for their perceptions of truth and will respond according to how they perceive it.

The bigger question is, “What is trying to happen in the larger scheme of things?” All relationships are stepping stones to broader understanding if we choose to see them that way. For your part, ask yourself, “How is this situation helping me to grow and to have broader sympathies? What can I learn not only in this situation but to carry with me for future? Is it appropriate on the deepest level for me to try and heal their relationship or is this something they need to grow from and resolve on their own?”

Outwardly, it may be helpful to let each of the one’s you are close to know you care deeply about each of them and would love to see them have a harmonious relationship. The rest is up to them. Meanwhile, inwardly, you can pray, “Lord, fill each of these souls with Thy peace and harmony, peace and harmony, peace and harmony” multiple times per day. In addition, pray that you also be filled with “Thy peace and harmony, peace and harmony, peace and harmony”. This simple prayer is one Yogananda prescribed to heal relationships and many of us have found it to be very effective in resolving disharmony between souls.

May you feel God’s presence ever more deeply as you live in your own calm center of peace,

Kristy

Sangita
India

Question

Hi,

I am generally patient and respectful with people around me, and am considered to be calm and polite. However, at times we come across people who are excessively rude and harsh, and behave like a dangerous explosive as soon as we come into contact with them, for no reason. Such people are very, very difficult to handle. It can be anyone; the local grocer, a bus conductor, an auto driver, or some acquaintance. How do we handle such people? I often lose my temper with them and have a big time clash.

Nayaswami Pranaba

Nayaswami Pranaba

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Sangita,

Here is something that can be very helpful when you are dealing with tensions involving other people:

Step back mentally from the situation or the person that is causing you stress; curb your instinct to react immediately.

Breathe Use abdominal (belly) breathing; deep breathing naturally relaxes the body. For deep breathing — be sure to inhale and exhale only through the nose. Let the abdomen expand outward with your inhalation and release back in with your exhalation.

Reflect on what’s trying to happen in the situation. Try to perceive the situation as if you were the director of this movie; how would you like it to end?

Choose your response. Let your response be thoughtful and conscious; avoid reacting which tends to be automatic and unconscious.

If you train yourself to follow these steps, you'll find that you can handle the stress that comes from dealing with challenging people.

Blessings on your spiritual journey,

Nayaswami Pranaba

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