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Questions and Answers About Meditation, Yoga, the Spiritual Life, and More
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Somewhere in an article written by Yoganandaji, he said that great saints have been born more so in India than elsewhere because of the yogic practices. In Bhagavad Gita, this yogic practice has been described in the Dhyan yoga chapter and it is also said that this practices are very ancient. Question is why this practices were given only in that part of the world? I guess we won’t be able to tell much from the history but I am just curious.
Dear P S,
You are right: Yoganandaji did indeed say that the West has not had saints of the magnitude that India has had, and he attributed that in large part to the yogic techniques of India. Many Western saints have had great devotion, but without techniques, they could not focus that devotion as effectively as Indian saints could.
I doubt that God withheld those techniques from the West; rather, it was Indian culture’s intense interest in inner science that led to the discovery of those techniques. Plus, India has long honored the guru/disciple tradition.
In consequence, the techniques and teachings of India have been handed down through the generations, through millennia. In the West, there has been such inner, scientific focus and continuity only in relatively short-lived, isolated pockets of humanity, not widespread and enduring as in India.
Techniques and continuity make a big difference.
Hello in this modern world there are a lot of devices/ electronic machines like computer to play music i’m using these devices to play different mantras during my spiritual practices personally i feel like i shouldn’t depend on something magnetic for my practices so using those devices will be good or bad??please provide guidance.
Using these devices are just fine but remember that the goal of spiritual seeking is the upliftment of the conscious mind to the superconscious state of the soul. Meditation might begin with aids like these but it is important to go beyond them into meditation and finally going beyond even advanced meditation techniques into the inner silence where, alone, we meet God, Christ, the Masters and our own, divine Self.
Blessings, and, joy to you,
Dealing with Inner Darkness — Your Own and Others'
June 30, 2015
I am becoming more sensitive to other people’s inner lives, but in a bad way. For instance, with one person, I will feel white-hot hostility and rage in me while talking to them, but it is a very hostile and angry person... it’s not me. It’s the unacknowledged shadow of the person, what is not being seen or expressed by them. Since most people don’t want to do their inner work, I’m stuck with their darkness. Close family members too, that I can’t just leave.
From what I understand of yoga teachings, what we see in others can only be a reflection of what we have within ourselves. If there is no resonance within us of anger or other darkness, then we are usually not very aware or affected by these energies in others. And if we do become aware of them, it will be from a more impersonal place that doesn’t directly affect us so directly. So what you are describing is a puzzle to me.
It may also be that this strong awareness and feeling that you have of anger coming from another person is a residue in you from a previous lifetime. But even then, it would not have the effect on you personally that you are describing. So, again, I am puzzled.
I don’t think you ever have to feel that you are stuck with other people’s darkness. If you are doing your own inner work, through meditation, right living, and working daily on releasing the darkness in you, then you won’t feel as personally impacted by other people’s problems and darkness.
Environment is very important, so I do appreciate what you are describing about having to live with others who have strong negative energy. It will be important for you also to try, as much as possible, to spend time with those who are positive and not living in such darkness. Doing this will allow you to build your own inner strength.
I hope these suggestions will provide a direction for your energy that can bring more light into your life, and of those around you.
In divine friendship,
Clear Away the Mental Clutter
June 23, 2015
I have been trying to meditate I have so much clutter I can’t clear away
Well, don’t we all? It’s tempting to think that, in order to meditate, you need to clear the clutter away. There’s logic to that, but unfortunately, it doesn’t work. At best it creates a temporary vacuum that quickly gets filled with pretty much the same clutter.
Instead, you need to bring into your meditation efforts something more attractive than the clutter, something that can lift you above the level of clutter. Make God that “something.” Meditate with God as your partner. Ask Him/Her to guide you, to show you how to reach for a higher octave or your own being. Cultivate your devotion to God, because that will lift you above the clutter, into the light.
Blessings on your efforts,
How Can I Meet Babaji?
June 23, 2015
I had put up a pic of babaji and started talking to him. One day in dhyaan I experienced tremendous energy and khechari mudra spontaneously. Since then whenever I think of or talk to babjis pic I have varying experiences(daily, maybe sometimes even 4-5 times a day) including khechari and its exercises.
However whenever I ask him that I want to see him or talk to him, nothing happens. I want to see/meet him or talk to/hear him. Please help!!
Many devotees would be deeply grateful to have had the responses you have already had as you have described them. Your faith and positive expectation that Babaji will visit you is admirable and touching. However, Babaji visits very few people. (Read stories in the book, Autobiography of a Yogi.)
May I suggest that your prayers continue but after praying meditate deeply and be very still. Let Babaji, God or the Master’s bless you in ways they deem are best for your spiritual growth. It is better not to frame your prayers with too many conditions. Pray that God help to love Him more deeply; to serve Him more willingly and without thought of self, and to be guided by wisdom in all things.
i’m getting spiritual chills everytime i do my spiritual practices or when i worship lord i get some chills around my body i.e cold sensations like something floating around me sometimes those chills are very strong,people tell me that it’s because there are some spiritual guardians around me and some tell it’s your aura,i’m confused please provide guidance to me.
Since I don’t know the specifics of your spiritual practices, I can answer your question only in a general way, and I hope it will be helpful.
Many sorts of phenomena, like seeing light, hearing sounds, having visions, feeling cold or hot, and so on can and sometimes do happen when one meditates. It is generally a sign that energy is on the move and that’s a good thing. Best thing to do, when it happens is to pray to your Guru if you have one, to guide you about the best way to proceed. It’s nothing to be afraid of and it happens to just about everybody at one time or another. Generally the sensations will pass away in time.
Keep the attention at the spiritual eye and always pray for help and guidance before, during, and after meditation—in fact, all the time. The experience of chills doesn’t happen to everyone, but that’s OK. When you meditate, make sure that you practice with relaxation, with loving God, and not over-doing any particular technique beyond your comfort zone.
Unrequited Love, an Enemy of Happiness
June 5, 2015
I recently met one girl and i am very much attracted to her. But she just treats me like a stranger . So i am having a bias in my mind . So what should i do ?
Yogananda often said that our desires will lead us a merry chase and then give us nothing in the end. There is nothing outside ourselves that can satisfy us. We will always feel unfulfilled until we find the fulfillment of all fulfillments within ourselves.
Until we find that ultimate fulfillment, however, and are no longer motivated by unhappiness-making desires, it helps to be open-eyed and self-honest about our desires. Never convince yourself that your happiness depends on the satisfaction of a particular desire. Offer your desires to God and he will help you transmute them, with your active cooperation, into the highest expression you can achieve.
The woman to whom you are attracted may well be a wonderful person, and may even be the right person for you, but it is difficult for you to know if that is the case if you are distracted by pangs of attraction. Try offering your longing for her to God. Pray for the right thing to happen. If she is the right companion for you, pray that God will make the connection. But also offer your longing to God so that He can fulfill it for you within yourself. Pray for His all-satisfying love while offering to Him your own Love. Offer your desire to God that he can help you channel that longing in a way that will help you grow spiritually.
If your desire persists but remains unresolved, take your mind off of it by vigorously doing other things. Give time for God’s compassionate plan to unfold for you. Even if you are overmastered by your longing and behave foolishly, give that to God too. Remain self-honest and offer your successes and your failures trying to overcome the pulls of wrong desires to God. He likes that.
Puru (Joseph) Selbie
Deities, Gods, and Goddesses
May 29, 2015
friends what are the diffrence between the hindu Goods and the old greek and the gods from egypt and the old scandinavien gods like tor and odin are the hindu gods more real then the others? odin was for sure real to does how pray to him ,or are they consider false gods?thank u jon
Dear Friend, Jon,
It is taught, down through the ages, that the Infinite Spirit creates and sustains the cosmos through the agency of astral and causal Beings: namely, gods, goddesses and the like. The existence of many levels of astral Beings has been affirmed and taught in every culture: angels, demons, devas, fairies and on and on.
These Beings play roles and have functions, much like a President or Minister or Government official. Thus the roles remain even if the names of those performing the roles change. In different cultures, names are given to the "deities" who hold certain universal roles. The sun god would be a common example. Known by many names, the role remains the same.
Some humans, more so in past times than now, worship these "lesser gods" perhaps to gain favor and material benefits; perhaps out of fear. But the highest teaching is that "God is One!" Thus the highest form of worship and inner communion is with the one and true God: the Infinite Spirit. Jesus prayed to God in the form of the father.
But our hearts and minds find it difficult to relate to an "infinite spirit" without name or form and not having been "introduced" as it were. Thus the worship of deities or one’s sat (true) guru form a stepping stone in the direction of Oneness, allowing our human hearts and minds and hands to relate and engage more easily.
It is less important to ask "Which god is more powerful or real" than it is to ask "How deep and sincere is my love, devotion and service to God" (in whatever form we hold dear and true to ourselves). The devotee should see in his beloved deity, the Infinite Lord standing behind, as it were. See the lesser god or guru as a vehicle for transmitting God consciousness.
So pray to God to help you find the "best way or form to worship." God is in all forms; all atoms; all people; all teachers. Best, however, to find that form which inspires and guides you to become the best you can be.
Sincerely with blessings,
- Guru-Disciple Relationship
- Health and Healing
- Karma, Reincarnation
- Kriya Yoga
- Paramhansa Yogananda
- Science and Yoga
- Spiritual Community
- Spiritual Parenting
- Spiritual Path
- Swami Kriyananda
- The Arts
- The Yugas
- Yoga Postures