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June 24



I am a reasonably spiritual person & love humanity. I have been married for 20 yrs with a childhood friend of mine. I was highly satisfied with my life & career growth till 5 yrs back when I learnt that my wife had been cheating on me for a decade. I am devastated since then and survived solely due to my spiritual leanings & responsibilty for my kids. We are now separated for 2 years but I wish her to come back for kids sake as it's none of their fault. Am I wrong & weak or right in my thinking?

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle


Dear Ravi,

It is important that your wife agree with your proposal so that her returning is something you both feel is right.

I assume from your note that you have the children with you and that she left the home (perhaps at your insistence).



Should one give up having a child for the spiritual path OR can having a child be ones dharma, gods will, a part of the spiritual path? How do you know which path is for you? What path do you take in marriage if both people have differing viewpoints (desires)? What are Yogananda's guidelines about having children?




Nayaswami Devi


Dear Kaivalya,

The paths to God are as varied as there are individuals. For some people, being a renunciate and withdrawing from all worldly involvement is the way to inner freedom. For others fulfilling one's earthly responsibilities with non-attachment and with the thought of God brings realization.



Last Sunday I awoke later than normal. Usually I meditate when my family is sleeping When I announced that it was time for me to meditate, my 4 yr old said he wanted to also, he sees me do this in the evening.

I fixed him a place next to me and gave him basic instruction. Amazingly he sat quietly for the full 24 minutes.

All week long he has talked about when we meditate on Sat. & Sun.

I wonder how much is wanting to be like dad & how much is genuine spiritual need. How can I help him along?


Meditation is a good habit, so I would let your son mediatate with you for as long as he wants to.

What a blessing that he is not only open to it at such a young age, but that he is self-motivated. My two children enjoyed sitting on our laps at the end of our meditations, but didn't sit next to us (my husband and I) for any period of time. I would go with the child's inclination, and share with him how you feel about your special meditation time together.

He may want to be like his dad, and what a great role model you are! Children learn by example, and you are giving him a wonderful tool for life. I would let him determine when and how long he meditates, and see what transpires...

August 25

Brian M Dotson


I was recently at the Spiritual Renewal Week (Ananda Village), and spoke with so many wonderful yogis. While I was there, difficulties with my children arose involving drug use. One was receptive to my parental approach upon my return. My older son who is using as well has hardly talked to me in two years and acts more hateful than ever.

He continues to make me feel like my heart has been ripped out! Hriman counsels me frequently and his words and my spiritual practice helps... but I'm still in deep pain from all of this.Blessings


Family dynamics are often intense, and there are no quick fixes.

If a child is blocking a parent's help, it can't be forced upon him or her. Sometimes there is nothing a parent can do but keep the child surrounded in prayer ... and wait. It is a good time to affirm that the child really belongs to God, and that in the long run God is in charge of the soul. The prayers will bear fruit in God's time.

January 6




a question that has been bothering me for quite a while is whether it is my duty as a married (and healthy) woman to have children?

Thank you and kind regards.

Nayaswami Anandi


Dear Sabine,

In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna explains that each person has a unique dharma (duty) to fulfill. What is a right and admirable duty for one person, is not necessarily appropriate for another person. Each of us needs to tune in to what feels right for us, as opposed to what others tell us they are doing, or what seems generally to be a good idea for most people.

September 2



I am blessed with 5 wonderful children and a very loving wife. I feel very attached to my family. Is this spirtually wrong? I so much thirst for God every moment of day and night, but I feel so much love for my family. I try to see that love as a love for God as well, but I could use some guidance on how to not turn my love into attachment.

Nayaswami Anandi


Dear Kurt,

Thank you for your beautiful letter. A person who can say they thirst for God every moment is blessed indeed. And how more blessed you are to be able to express that through your family life. Paramhansa Yogananda said something very beautiful: "I don't speak of non-attachment. I am attached equally to all. Attachment is binding when limited only to a few."

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