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July 30
2013

Sandra
India

Question

All religious texts preach refraining from getting physical before marriage? If the couples are truly in love what is the harm in having sex?

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Sandra, yours is a good, if frequently asked, question. I won’t attempt to respond from the view point of “all religious texts,” in part because I represent the yogic tradition and in its more relied upon texts from ancient times (Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sutras, e.g.) these “religious texts” don’t bother to mention the question!

Rakesh
UK

Question

Do we incur negative karma even if we hurt someone unintentionally? A woman whom I broke up with has landed with a mental breakdown. She is almost destroyed out of pain. Will I have to face the consequences for this?

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Rakesh,

Any action — helpful, hurtful, or neutral — that comes from a place of ego-consciousness will result in karma. Even accidentally stepping on an insect as we cross the street carries a karmic consequence, though not a large one.

But the real question here is not about karma. It is, Were you doing the best you could? If you were, then you simply need to get on with your life, come what may. And if you were not doing the best you could, then it’s a lesson to do better in the future.

Karishma
India

Question

A 75 year old man who is our old family friend has tried to initiate dirty conversation with me. I am 28.He has been known to be a loose man in his youth, but is sad and lonely now as no one loves him.

I ignore him since he has tried to act dirty with me to punish him. But is there any way to deal with such men which would help them to turn into good human beings?

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Karishma,

It is unclear from your note whether this issue is being repeated in relation to other men or just your family’s friend, but, perhaps either way, I would keep your distance.

It is better not to assume any personal responsibility for changing him in this issue inasmuch as, from his point of view, you are stimulating his desires and fantasies. Let God, karma or someone else deal with his karma, but you are perhaps the last one who should even attempt to do so. You risk, in fact, being affected by negativity which does not require any sexual contact but is an imposition upon your consciousness of a lower and crude sort. Avoid such people and circumstances like you would an infectious disease.

Amala
USA

Question

Namaskar,

How important is it for one’s life partner to follow the same spiritual practice and tradition? My partner is a Taoist and does not do any formal meditation practice on a regular basis but he respects my practice.

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Amala,

In general and based on my own experience in counseling couples or individual partners, I would say that you are fortunate to have a partner who respects your meditation practice. Taoist precepts, as I understand them, are very open and respectful in general and so I would congratulate you on having at least a degree of compatibility and especially having his respect for your spiritual practices!

Rohit
India

Question

All religions say that we should choose our lovers wisely. But many people can hide their faults and pretend. What if we have already fallen in love with someone with ungodly qualities and much later discovers their vices. At times it is tough to forget someone after we have already fallen in love. Emotions can’t be thrown out overnight and at times it can take a lifetime to forget someone. In that case what should we do?Pray to god to change the person?

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Ananda Maine

Answer

Dear Rohit,

As you have observed in your beloved, the majority of us have yet to attain perfection and still have ungodly qualities to overcome. One of Paramhansa Yogananda’s foremost disciples, Sister Gyanamata, would counsel this prayer, "Change no circumstance of my life, change me".

Sangita
India

Question

My brother-in-law suffered from a very deep trauma almost 20 years back, when his younger sister (with whom he was very close, and who was just 16 at that time) committed suicide by hanging herself. The wound is still fresh and he at times wakes up in his sleep and starts crying.He currently lives in Ann Arbor in Michigan. Is there any way in which Ananda can help him to heal the wound or deal with the pain. I can advise him to spend some time in the Ashram as well.

Mary Kretzmann

Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Village

Answer

My heart goes out the to the whole family in the face of this lingering pain. Suicides, and some accidental deaths, can leave family members with a strong sense of remorse that they did not somehow prevent the tragedy. Our Healing Prayer Ministry can pray for your brother-in-law to help him resolve this deep loss and anguish. And if he is open to this spiritual path he may find comfort by going to Ananda in Michigan.

Nirja
India

Question

What is love? How can I stop injecting pain into my life with my expectations of the painfully unattainable kind of love that I’ve grown up on, thanks to movies and music? The attachment to the hope of a perfect fairy tale romance has probably been my biggest foe and greatest teacher so far but my healing time frustrates me. I pray for guidance every day, but I still find myself pining for it sometimes & I get so disappointed in myself.

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Ananda Maine

Answer

Dear Nirja,

You ask a very profound question? What is Love? Swami Kriyananda wrote a song entitled, "What is Love?" and you can listen to it on the Philosophy in Song CD. Listen to it again and again. See if it has a message for you. You may also enjoy his song "Love is a Magician".

Mary
Chennai

Question

Dear Mary

Thank you so much for your answer to my question of how to heal two families. You said healing depends on my faith and receptivity of the other family. If my faith is stronger, then will the prayer work even if their receptivity is not so strong, or is their receptivity equally important?

Mary Kretzmann

Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Village

Answer

Think of it this way — it is like an equation. Just as 50+50 =100, so does 99+1=100. The "99" might represent enlightened Masters who can always heal, as long as they feel it is Divinely ordained for the person involved.

So do your best. Sometimes the receptivity can simply be a quality in the heart center, some good karma from the past, but seen only by God and Guru.

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