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Siddharth Patel
India

Question

What is the meaning of surrender to God? How can I keep the attitude that God is the doer while working?

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Siddharth,

"Surrender" to God means many things but certainly starts with or includes openness to God’s presence in our lives. It includes being open to do (and think, and say) what is true, right, and just. It is another way of saying that we should be willing to do "God’s will" as it is shown to us by our common sense, moral and ethical guidelines, scripture, and the wisdom of the ages and sages.

Karen
UK

Question

Hi, Yogananda says that all desires must be fulfilled. Is this also the case with lower desires you may have when you’re young or emotional but grow out of? Will you have to 'suffer' the consequences of having those desires even after you’ve developed and now want different things? Thank you

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Karen,

Swami Kriyananda once asked Paramhansa Yogananda that very question: “Do you mean that even a desire I had once for an ice cream cone when I was six years old will have to be somehow fulfilled?" “Oh yes,” Yoganandaji replied.

Every desire traps some of your energy in a whirlpool. That energy must be freed in order for you to become Self-realized. It can be freed either through fulfilling the desire outwardly (not the recommended—or even feasible—approach), or through spiritual practices. As Patanjali put it in his Yoga Sutras: “Yoga is the neutralization of the whirlpools of feeling. Then the Seer abides in Its essence.” In other words, once you have dissolved the energetic whirlpools of desires, like and dislikes, etc., you will live in soul consciousness.

Jen
USA

Question

Hello,

What is the difference between obedience and cooperative obedience? These have never been very clear to me.

Thank you!

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Jen,

Swami Kriyananda tried very hard, for many years, to explain the subtle difference between the principles of obedience and cooperative obedience. The difference is subtle, but very important to understand, so thanks for asking!

He said: “Cooperative obedience means evoking intelligent, creative participation in whatever people are being asked to do, as opposed to that kind of obedience which asks people for their cooperation, but never allows them to ask questions.”

Carina
Europe

Question

Is God really all-loving and all-forgiving? For example, does he also forgive people like Hitler, Stalin and so on? I have learned that God loves every soul equally. Is this also true in such cases? I can’t stop wondering if there might be something one can do which God wouldn’t forgive. Is there any exception to his Love and forgiveness? I was raised Catholic and the idea of an angry God traumatized me deeply. I am still working on my doubt that God is all-forgiving and loving.

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Carina,

Forgiveness implies there is judgment. How can God judge a part of Himself? According to the Masters, God would no more judge us than we would judge our hand. We are, always have been, and always will be, inseparable from God. The only separation is in our awareness. The saints describe the experience of reuniting with God as awakening to a reality that has always been. It is only our preoccupation with a tiny portion of the infinity of God — our body, personal feelings, desires, and thoughts — that keeps us from knowing our oneness with Him right now.

Kailash
India

Question

I’ve just started to practice nishkam karma as much as I can, though it can be very difficult at times. The reason is there are some genuine interests of mine such as pursuing a job in some science subject and also a lifelong interest in it. But when doing nishkam karma, is it wrong to pursue such selfish interests? Is it wrong to work hard to go for a career in it? I’m confused how to maintain nishkam karma along with these interests or is it even right to. Please explain. Thank you!

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Ananda Maine

Answer

Dear Kailash,

Nishkam karma simply means not being attached to the results of your actions. It is your God-given right and duty to pursue a livelihood in a field that interests you. Pursue an honest and industrious life filled with God’s presence in your heart and consciousness as the doer performing all actions through you.

Jack Mason-Goodall
England

Question

I am currently following the path toward kriya intitiation and have been practicing the Hong-Sau technique daily. However, for me the mental chanting of Hong-Sau does not have the same peaceful energetic resonance for me as other mantras that I have used in the past. Om Namah Shivayah has always resonated with me.

Is there specific vibrations to Hong-Sau that make it more beneficial than other mantras, or would you recommend I use whichever mantra I personally resonate with?

Nayaswami Devarshi

Nayaswami Devarshi

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Jack,

There are a few ways that you can look at this. One of them, as you allude to, is that “Hong-Sau” is a beej mantra, or seed mantra. That means that it works with sound and vibration on the most elemental level, with the specific effect of calming the mind. It also has a meaning, but that’s much less important than it’s vibratory effect. Practiced over time, it will have much more of that calming effect than other mantras.

September 29
2014

harjit bali
India

Question

I am very confused. My question is: Does God Exist? I am 32 years old and still I am not settled yet. Daily morning I pray to God: “Please forgive me. Please god help me. Please God show me the way.” Were have I to go?

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Friend,

At 32, you are ready to be settled and it is an age where it is right to wish for this. It is good and it is right.

Think about this: if a person is desperate to have a job or to find a marriage partner, his “desperate-ness” will show itself in nervousness, anxiety, and in making poor decisions, grabbing at the first opportunity instead of being patient for the right opportunity. To be desperate is to PUSH AWAY the very thing one wants the most.

Sangita
India

Question

Namashkar! We have grown up learning that a man of strength in character apologizes when he wrongs someone. He is not scared or ashamed to say sorry to make the victim feel better. On the contrary, recently I read an article in which American psychologists say that apologizing may not be a good idea always as we give away our power to the victim. It may lead to lowering of our self esteem. Which one holds more truth?

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Sangita,

Those “American psychologists” may have had particular circumstances in mind, but, in general, it IS the right thing to apologize (and make amends, where possible). Under most circumstances there will be no DISadvantage to do so and every moral and spiritual reason to “do the right thing.”

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