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

Category: Spiritual Path

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Luv Agrawal
India

Question

Where to find a yogi guru?

Has anyone in Ananda Sangha attained nirvkalpa samadhi or sahaj samadhi state? can you show me the way?

Why did Swami Kriyananda did not achieve mahasamadhi like Paramhans Yogananda, inspite of being his direct disciple? Why did he leave the spiritual path and opt for a married life?

Nayaswami Seva

Nayaswami Seva

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Luv,

Paramhansa Yogananda was already a fully realized master when he came into being. He had attained high states of consciousness and more. Whether Swami Kriyananda attained samadhi or not, we don’t really know. Yogananda told Swamiji that he would, but not until the end of his life. Many of us feel that he was freed. And many feel that he was free already because of the high state of his consciousness, his energy and accomplishments, and his compassion and love for all. Just any human being could not have done all that he has done unless they were deeply connected with God.

Swamiji did marry but he never left the spiritual path. Marriage doesn’t mean you cannot be searching for the Divine. He later divorced and became a Swami again. He always kept his discipleship with Yogananda a living presence in his life ever since he met Master and took vows from him.

If you want to find these states of samadhi, you too need to make the choice of always keeping your guru (especially if he is Self-realized) in your consciousness and to follow his guidance which you can receive in meditation.

Ananda continues to give teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda to all who ask. Through them you can find liberation. But it is up to you and your intensity and your energies that will make it all happen. Keep the focus of your attention on finding libration for yourself and give everything to God.

Blessings,

Seva

Lynn Lloyd
USA

Question

I enjoy reading about the lives of saints. But I have noticed how incredibly difficult their lives were. Let’s see, beheaded, stoned, imprisoned, burnt at the stake,shunned, scorned, crucified . . . and gee, I want to be just like them when I grown up (spiritually)! I don’t understand how a person who is on the verge of sainthood could still have such terrible karma. I’m not looking forward to this! Is this the final hazing before we get to join the fraternity of saints?

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Friend,

The sacrifices we see the saints make, they accept willingly, not in a spirit of mere resignation, but as the will of God. They are certainly working out karma, but in some cases helping out the karma of others.

Don’t be concerned for the future. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." The spiritual path makes us strong. What would destroy the spirit of most is handled with courage and faith by one who feels God’s presence and accepts "that which comes of itself."

Honor the saints and follow their example in the challenges of your own daily life and you will have nothing to fear!

Blessings!

Nayaswami Hriman

Laura
UK

Question

I am searching to learn more about God, to be more in relationship with the world around me. I’m not really sure where to start, I have faith that when I am ready I will find my teacher but I would like to learn more about meditation and finding a spiritual path. Is anyone able to recommend any reading or anything that would be helpful to someone starting out please?

Nayaswami Pranaba

Nayaswami Pranaba

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Laura,

I would suggest several possibilities. There are a number of excellent books that you can read for free online on the Ananda Sangha Worldwide website: These include The Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda and The New Path by Swami Kriyananda.

To learn more about meditation here is a link to a meditation webpage with many resources. You might also want to explore Ananda’s free Introduction to Meditation online class.

Another online resource is the Ananda Virtual Community. You'll find a variety of activities that may be helpful to you.

Let us know if you have any further questions.

In divine friendship,

Nayaswami Pranaba

Siddharth Patel
India

Question

What is the meaning of serving the God? God is the supreme, how can I serve Him?

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Ananda Maine

Answer

Your question, "How can I serve God when God is the Supreme" is very simple to answer. Look at the lives of the great saints, the masters, all lovers of God. See how they serve the highest in every soul and situation with love, peace, humility and freedom.

Jesus Christ said essentially, "He who serves another, serves Me." You can choose to be an instrument for God’s love in the world or an instrument for selfish desires.

We have these choices every moment. Which are you choosing? Which choices result in an experience of inner peace and bliss? When you experience soul peace and bliss, you know you are serving God as "the instrument is blessed by that which flows through it" (as Paramhansa Yogananda said).

Ask God to flow through you to be a channel for His Love in the world. Then be a willing instrument and allow His love to flow to others with love in your heart for the Beloved!

In Divine Friendship,

Kristy

Truthseeker
India

Question

Once a swami demonstrated with two 'thin rods' how he could detect auras around with them. He told that saying Aum with anything creates negative energy and that after Aum there should be atleast a small pause or Aum should come after the word eg. 'Namashivaya Aum' and only then it will create positive energy. He also 'proved' it with those rods. Is this actually true? I ask this because I like chanting Aum Guru and I’m not really convinced.

Thank you!

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Truthseeker,

Paramhansa Yogananda strongly recommended the mantra, “AUM Guru.” Swami Kriyananda relayed that recommendation to all of us at Ananda. I don’t think you will go wrong with that mantra.

You will encounter many differing points of view among the greater yoga community. Do not try to reconcile them all, because some of them contradict others of them. The important thing is to practice what your guru recommended, because your guru alone can take you to God.

Blessings,

Gyandev

Siddharth Patel
India

Question

How do I overcome undesirable fantasy thoughts? It makes me away from God. Please guide me. Thank You.

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Siddharth,

It is difficult to overcome undesirable thoughts directly. The more attention you give to your unwanted thoughts the more energy you give them. Better to avoid the things that awaken the unwanted thoughts and, most importantly, deliberately and consistently fill your mind with other desirable thoughts.

1. Read uplifting material

Read scriptures or books, like Autobiography of a Yogi, that are full of inspiration; or biographies of great men and women; or scientific subjects that elevate the mind. Avoid books, magazines, or internet sites that draw you into your undesirable fantasies.

2. Chant or practice japa

Spend time chanting or doing japa everyday. If you give yourself, mind and heart, to the inspiration of a chant in the morning, you will find that it keeps "playing" in your mind throughout the day. The high vibration of that spiritualized chant will help keep your thoughts high-minded throughout your day. Or, practice japa by steadily and inwardly repeating a mantra throughout the day such as "Aum Guru" will similarly keep your mind occupied with high-vibration thoughts.

3. Meditate

Meditation is the key to lasting inner change. When you feel God’s presence in your heart, making changes in your inner and outer behavior becomes much easier. Make a sincere effort to go deep and still in meditation and you will find God’s uplifting vibration carrying you along throughout your day.

Warm regards,

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Meena
United Kingdom

Question

Namaste

Hope all is well with at Ananda.

Why is sex discouraged before marriage? Due to current social norms regarding that it is mandatory to have sex with a boyfriend while in relationship(s) before marriage takes place. What does Master say about that? Should it be restricted? Or is it Ok? I read in a christian book that when Solomon came into sexual contact with the egyptian models, it’s as if the Gods those ladies worshipped came into contact with his energy and thus he fell.plz expand topic

Nayaswami Parvati

Nayaswami Parvati

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Meena,

I have been thinking about your question, and here are some thoughts about this very important and little understood part of our nature. I would first like to share with you a quote from the Finding Happiness book, by Swami Kriyananda, in response to the “current social norms” that you mentioned.

See yourself as a cause, not an effect. Accept from others only what you choose to accept: their good suggestions but not their insistence on them; their constructive criticisms but not their anger. Radiate into the world around you the light of faith and wisdom.

This statement assumes that people are looking to gain light and faith and wisdom in their lives. In the yogic tradition, the sexual energy itself, unless it is understood and used rightly, is considered one of the great obstacles to spiritual enlightenment.

This is because it is a very powerful energy that can be used either to uplift you spiritually or to draw you deeper into delusion. When this energy is expressed outwardly in sexual union, it draws the energy in the spine down, and into the lower chakras. If it is over-used, then it can gradually dissipate a person’s overall energy. This, naturally, depends on how frequently a person engages in sexual activity.

On the other hand, if we work to transmute and uplift the sexual energy, we find that it supports our spiritual development, filling us with great strength and joy. Yogananda refers to this process in the book The New Path, by Swami Kriyananda. In the chapter on Renunciation, he explains to a group of his monks,

If the sex drive were taken away from you, you would see that you had lost your greatest friend. You would lose all interest in life. Sex was given to make you strong. If a boxer were to fight only weaklings, he too would grow weak in time. It is by fighting strong men that he develops strength. The same is true in your struggle with the sex instinct. The more you master it, the more you will find yourself becoming a lion of happiness.

At Ananda we have found it helpful to work with the idea of balance in the process of "mastering" the sexual energy. Since most people are not looking to live a life of complete celibacy, it’s usually more helpful for them to work on gradually channeling the sexual energy upward using the techniques of yoga. If you want to grow spiritually, then you will want to know more about how to use this energy for your own highest happiness and fulfillment.

Suggested reading on this topic would be:

Both of these books may be purchased from Crystal Clarity Publishers.

Nandini
India

Question

How do i get rid of unwanted thoughts?

I am a close follower of Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings and feel particularly close to Him. I also believe strongly in God and that i shall be guided to the right things in life.

Yet, i do have a tendency to think of unnecessarily thoughts/people/situations which i know will not have any significant impact on my life. But those thoughts keep coming to me and leave the fear of them manifesting.

Please help me as to how i can tackle this issue.

Nayaswami Seva

Nayaswami Seva

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Nandini,

You have expressed a problem we all have. We are used to letting our minds run our lives. Please do watch the Sunday Service that was given by Nayaswami Devarshi this last weekend when it is online. He talked a great deal about concentration, determination and energy.

Of many things that you can try to stop these thoughts is immediately when they start coming to deflect them by turning your mind to very positive thoughts, to seeing the guru in your mind, to reading something uplifting, to repeating an affirmation. There are so many things that you can do to keep from thinking about these negative tendencies. The trick is to recognize that you are starting to have them and do something right away that will take you to a positive place. This all takes concentration and determination to succeed.

Another way is to surround yourself with spiritual reading, watching spiritual videos, conversing with spiritual people. Also to absorb and converse with the Ananda group near you. You can find one by looking at the anandaindia.org website and write to them. Get involved in this Sangha and serve with them. Serving others is a great way to keep your mind active in the right way.

Many blessings to you,

Seva

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