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

Category: Science and Yoga

Previous Page 2 of 3 Next



I recently watched on Discovery about existence of parallel universe on other side of blackhole. Does astral worlds and causal worlds lie behind black hole? Even light which is the base of all creations as depicted in Autobiography of a Yogi cannot escape black hole. Why? What power lies behind it? Also there is no time in blackhole that is timelessness exist there. Does light depicts Shakti (God in motion) and blackhole represents static motionless aspect of God. Please clarify.

Puru (Joseph) Selbie



You've asked many questions about realms of knowledge that I find fascinating.

Today, many programs like those on the Discovery Channel speculate on the idea of parallel universes created when black holes form - or as a result of many other possible causes, including other universes being created by people making choices: in one universe they made one choice, in the other another choice was made.

It is very expansive thinking - but it is definitely speculative. Physicists cannot measure anything that falls into a black hole, nor is there any way, currently, to detect the presense of alternate universes.

These speculative theories arise from known problems with current physical theory. One of these problems - at least it's a problem for physicists - is that according to quantum theory matter exists in an uncertain state until it is observed. Once it is observed by an Intelligent Observer, it then takes form.

As you might imagine, in today's scientific world, the idea that matter is subject to (as a scientist might put it) anyone's random observations - even a a two-year old - doesn't sit well. But the "observer effect" is irrefutable.

Scientists who are looking for a physical answer to the observer effect speculate that the universe ramifies into zillions of universes resulting from the billions of Intelligent Observers, well, observing.

Personally, I think these theories are wrong, and that the Ultimate Observer, God, is constantly maintaining our one physical universe. Because we, too, are part of God's infinite consciousness, we share the ability to affect matter, and thus our ability to do so can be seen in science's quantum experiments. But it is God's One Consciousness that keeps us from creating chaos.

The other main reason that scientists speculate on parallel universes is that our universe appears to depend on some unseen forces - such as dark energy, or in string theory, "branes" - unseen, unmeasurable, but incredibly potent structures of energy that give rise to matter. So if "branes" can give rise to one universe, why not many others as well?

Persoanlly I think these speculations indicate that science is beginning to deduce the presence of the astral and causal realms, which, we are told by spiritual masters, give rise to and sustain the physical world.

Warm regards,
Puru (Joseph) Selbie



Pranam and Salutation.

Can you please tell me why one must not concentrate on the crown chakra while sending healing?

I'm a student of Kriya yoga and i practise daily. May i know how i can attain deep states of bliss while meditating?

God bless you for the noble work you've undertaken.

Mary Kretzmann

Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Village


Paramhansa Yogananda stressed that we should not focus at the crown chakra or it will make a person "neurotic" by causing an imbalance of the electrical current in the brain.

One must go through the doorway of the spiritual eye and then up to the crown chakra, therefore we simply focus at the spiritual eye and not the crown. It will come naturally when we are fully ready for it.

This becomes much more of an issue when someone is meditating for prolonged periods at the crown chakra, and/or with great intensity. Sometimes we have had to help heal people who had severe kundalini imbalances, and it normally started after they had done an extended meditation at the crown chakra. Such cases often take many years to heal properly, so it is best to simply listen to the guru in the first place on this issue. Devotion to God and Guru is the best spiritual protection, and the best healer in such cases. This article on Psalm 23 in the Chakras explains more fully the concept of God and Guru in the heart center.

The chakras help moderate and deliver the perfect amount of cosmic energy to you in body, mind and soul, according to your current development. Our Masters understand all aspects of this holy science. So, listen to them in all things, and develop deep devotion in your heart.

Bliss will come through the steadfast practice of Kriya yoga, selfless service, and devotion. As Paramhansa Yogananda would say, "Love God!"

Life on Other Planets?
December 20, 2011



Did Yogananda say anything about life on other planets ?

Of parallel universes ?

Puru (Joseph) Selbie



Yogananda made comments in his talks and in his Gita commentaries that indicate he knew there was life on other planets.

When asked if souls continue to reincarnate on earth until they acheive liberation, he replied that they also incarnate on other planets.

Perhaps most intriguing, to me at least, is a reference in his Bhagavad Gita commentaries (which originally appeared serially in East West Magazine) about beings that live on the surface of suns and are miles tall! It made me realize that our definitons of "life" are usually very limited.

There is nothing I know of that Yogananda said specifically about parallel universes, at least not as parallel universes are theorized today.

However, the astral world certainly could be considered a parallel universe.

According to Yogananda and his teacher Sri Yukteswar, the astral universe gives birth to and supports the physical universe. I've often thought that many of the problems of physics that are solved by theorizing parallel universes are equally well and perhaps better solved by the concept of the astral universe.

If you are familiar with string theory you have probably run into the idea of "branes" - energetic substrates that support the physical universe - which are very similar in concept to astral energy.

Warm regards,
Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Cloning and the Soul
March 17, 2011




I had a question related to animal and human cloning. Since Master has said that a soul enters during a flash of light when male and female cells unite. But cloning involves asexual replication of a donor cell without another counterpart to be united. This has been making me curious now and then. Though i don't crave for an answer but just curious about it.

Puru (Joseph) Selbie



It is an interesting question and one that, to my knowledge, no self-realized spiritual teacher (such as Yogananda) has ever answered or addressed.

I am willing to speculate on an answer, but be clear that it is only my speculation.

Assuming for the moment that a human body could be successfully cloned, for it to be successful I think there would have to be a "soul" whose life force and consciousness bring the body to life. Otherwise the clone would be essentially in a coma.

As I understand it, souls are attracted to the life circumstances, the opportunities and lessons that can be learned while in any particular incarnation. Compatible souls incarnate into compatible circumstances.

So we'd need to ask, what soul would be compatible to the life opportunity offered by being a clone? The life opportunities of the clone might be grim and limited (confined to a laboratory, clinically examined, and unloved) or, conceivably, the life opportunities of the clone might be similar to normal human experience (placed in a family, accepted, and loved). If the former, the soul attracted might be very close to an animal soul, one whose development is still very basic. If the latter, the soul attracted may be more evolved.

My two cents :).

Warm regards,
Joseph (Puru) Selbie



How did Yogananda view evolution `?

Puru (Joseph) Selbie


Dear AA,

In general, Yogananda embraced modern science. He praised the clarity of the scientific method. Yogananda devoted an entire chapter in the Autobiography of a Yogi to his meeting with Jagadis Chandra Bose, whose work pioneered many aspects of plant physiology, radio, and microwave optics. Additionally, a second chapter in Autobiography of a Yogi, The Law of Miracles, is one of the first comparisons of Einstein's Theory of Relativity to the consciousness and abilities of advanced masters.

Regarding evolution specifically, Yogananda embraced the concept, but with one significant excpeption: he said that man's advanced cerebrospinal centers and the brain, which allow man to acheive self-realization, were the result of a "special act of creation". The way I understand it, man evolved physically to the point where he looked similar to way we do today, but the special act of creation bestowed upon him the latent ability to become aware of God; to become infinitely aware. The cerebrospinal centers Yogananda refers to are the chakras, which are key to our being able to feel ourselves expanding beyond bodily awareness.

Joy to You,

Does God exist?
May 22, 2010



Hello, I am a man of science and I firmly share the view of scientists that man is an organism that had evolved from another animal through the course of millions of years. My question is, did man create the concept of god as a mechanism to cope with lifes uncertanities? What is the evidence to suggest that god exists objectively? My fear is that God is just a delusion created in mans brain and that god can only be as real as our immagination can be! can you plase offer some insight into this?

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village


Hello Vinay,

I feel your deep desire for understanding, as well as your recognition that the answers you seek lie beyond the reach of the tools of modern science-the senses and intellect. Another tool is needed. Fortunately, you have it already, although perhaps it is not in a developed state. It is your intuition.

Intuitive perception is not a "hunch," but a knowing that comes from beyond the senses, intellect, belief, reasoning, or merely being told. It is the only true certainty. All great acts of genius-in science, the arts, business, or any field-come from the intuitive level. Einstein, for example, leaned heavily upon it in his work. The theory of relativity came to him in a flash of intuitive insight, although it took years to be able to "prove" it to others via the intellect.

Intuitive perception is also the way that great saints of all spiritual traditions have gone beyond desire or belief into knowing the ultimate truth of their own existence, and knowing that God exists. And they applaud scientific inquiry into the existence of God, saying: "Yes, perform the experiment. Seek the highest reality. That is the only way you will ever know. And you will know." You will not be able to prove it to others, but you will be able to prove it beyond any doubt to yourself.

How will you know that your own mind-with all its desires, beliefs, misconceptions, and imaginings-hasn't simply deceived you into a deep conviction of God's existence-a conviction that seems like knowing, but isn't? One of Paramhansa Yogananda's advanced disciples once asked that very question. Yoganandaji's response was, "You will know, and you will know that you know."

So don't be content with mere beliefs, either for or against the existence of God. The true scientist tests the hypothesis by performing the experiment, and to do so, you must develop tools appropriate to the task. Learn to meditate, introspect deeply, and begin to explore-through your own developing intuition-the highest levels of your own being, where alone true certainty can be found. Until you have done that, you have only belief, and I know that, being "a man of science," you will never be satisfied with that. Belief is useful if it motivates you to find answers, but it limits you if, in being satisfied with mere belief, you shun the exploration.

Those who have taken the experiment to its conclusion are in unanimity: God exists, and is not a mere psychological state, but the essence of all existence-and the essence of your existence. It is the eternal happiness and understanding that everyone craves. It is the only goal worth seeking, they say, for it is the only fulfillment that will last beyond the end of human life.

To begin your experiment, learn to meditate. You live in India, so you can easily begin through Ananda's work in India-in person, ideally, but via the web if need be. Ananda USA also provides many avenues of support for your experiment. Please draw upon them. We are here to serve you.

May you find that which you seek.



The year 2012
May 12, 2010



Dear Ananda minister, my question to you is about the year 2012 and the alleged closing of a galactic cycle around that point in time. It is widely circulated in popular esoteric discourse that many ancient traditions, most notably the Mayan, articulated the importance of the time frame around 2012 as a defining one in terms of the spiritual evolution of this dear planet and its inhabitants. Did the masters of the Kriya tradition have anything to communicate about 2012 and its significance?

Nayaswami Asha


Dear Sudhakaran:

Swami Kriyananda became a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda in 1948, and lived with him for 3 1/2 years until Yogananda's death on March 7, 1952. Many times during those years, Swamiji tells us, Master spoke of the hard times that were coming.

He spoke of depression, war, and "cataclysms," which Swamiji understood to mean natural disasters or other drastic changes to the whole planet. Master "thundered" his warning, Swamiji said, and made it seem as if those changes were imminent. But he never put a time frame around his prophecy.

There have been many conflicts and crises in the world in the 60+ years since Master left his body, but we haven't yet seen anything on the scale that he described.

The good news, Master and our other gurus have said, is that we are in an age of ascending consciousness: Dwapara Yuga, the Age of Energy. So this is not a decline into darkness, but rather a dramatic shift into greater awareness and light.

God is going to perform a little operation, Master said, to correct the greed, selfishness, lack of faith in God, and coercive rather than cooperative attitude toward Nature that is creating so much misery and disharmony. Earth itself is going to rebel and shake off this dissonance, perhaps literally.

After these difficult times, Master said, mankind, sick to death of war and violence, will enjoy 300 years of peace and prosperity.

Master never mentioned the year 2012, but his essential message is the same as that being conveyed by those who do put a specific date on these events.

We shall soon see.

In divine friendship,
Nayaswami Asha

Previous Page 2 of 3 Next