Do We Really Need to Attain Samadhi?
April 29, 2015
Is attaining the permanent state of Nirbikalpa Samadhi (Nivikalapa or Nirbeej Samadhi) necessary for a soul to attain Liberation/Moksha?
In Adi Shankara’s vivekachudamani he seems to be indicating very clearly that unless one unites one’s soul with spirit in samadhi, there is no question of moksha.
However, in the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna in several places indicates several ways by which we can reach him and he does not seem to insist on Nirbikalpa Samadhi for Moksha.
According to Paramhansa Yogananda, nirbikalpa samadhi is indeed a necessary step toward the higher state of moksha (liberation). I suspect that Sri Krishna does not elaborate on samadhi states in the Gita because he is emphasizing the things we need to do in order to approach samadhi. First things first!
But do not be discouraged, for we do not know what states we have already obtained in past lives. Yoganandaji asked one of his most advanced disciples, when she was on her deathbed, if she had any last wish. When she asked for samadhi, he told her that she was beyond that. And yet, advanced as she was, she didn’t know! I find that very encouraging.
In any case, Hitesh, all we can do is keep meditating and leave the results in God’s hands.
Turn On the Light and the Darkness Will Vanish
April 28, 2015
I am a highly sensitive person suffering from depression since childhood. In the past I’ve experimented with hypnotherapy and shamanic journeying. I’ve not felt myself since. I continue to be plagued by dark thoughts and presences. I’ve practiced light worker ceremonies in the past. I feel this darkness wants to destroy me. How do I finally free myself? I’ve tried everything. Do I face it without fear? The darkness holds onto me so tightly.
We are very sorry to hear of all your difficulties. In a private e-mail to you, I will send a long list of suggestions from Paramhansa Yogananda’s and Swami Kriyananda’s teachings which offer many excellent suggestions on how to pull away from the forces of darkness, which seems to have a strong hold on to you.
To sum it up, Yogananda says: "Never fear the darkness or beat at it with a stick. Instead, turn on the light and it will vanish as though it had never been." The dark forces are a reality, but we should never give them more power by fearing them or angrily fighting them.
"Turning on the light" means to add as much spiritual power into your life as possible. Having a God-realized guru to help you is one of the best possible things you could do.
Sometimes we really do not have enough strength to overcome dark forces alone, but the Great Ones certainly do! It’s a matter of inviting their energy and light into your life and then, though it might take some time, you will see that by being in a partnership with this best-of-all kind of Divine help, you come out of your cave of inner darkness and depression into the clear light of perfect, unending joy.
As you have found out, hypnotism and shamanic journeying definitely can cause psychic problems. Be sure to leave these things alone in the future.
Finally, I suggest that you ask for further help from having others pray for you. Please contact the Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry and request healing prayers. I will pray for you also. Take heart! This is not a hopeless situation, especially if you are willing to put out enough strong, positive energy to meet what is troubling you.
Meditation Is Making Me Sweat — Is Something Wrong?
April 27, 2015
I am doing meditation but by blood pressure is increasing after meditation .Also at time of meditation sweat is leaving from all over my body .My question is is this natural ?if not please give me some suggestion
Since you have not described what kind of meditation you practice, I can’t answer it specifically, but I can give you some general tips that might help you. Usually true meditation doesn’t raise blood pressure, or cause excessive perspiration.
What can raise blood pressure is vigorous breathing techniques, holding the breath deliberately, and keeping the body or mind tense. The sweat can be caused by overly exerting the body through aggressive breathing techniques, by moving energy too quickly through the body, or encountering energy blockages.
Please check if what you are doing is straining your body instead of relaxing it. Meditation should not agitate or strain the body.
You might stop practicing your particular technique until you can discuss the specifics of what you are doing with someone who is an expert in meditation and can help you.
You can also try this meditation technique offered by Paramhansa Yogananda, which is unlikely to cause these symptoms.
I hope you will be able to meditate peacefully.
When Is a Karma Finished?
April 27, 2015
Which is the sign by we can tell that a certain karma has been definitely burned?
You know this when that particular karmic action is no longer in your awareness. You simply don’t find yourself thinking about it anymore, and you don’t feel caught by the energy of it when you do think about it. In addition, you can simply not be aware of that karma as something that bothers you. In other words, the energy around that karmic action has been dissipated – usually by your own efforts as well as by the guru’s grace.
As an example, if you were bothered by a particular habit, you might find yourself waking up one day and thinking, “I haven’t acted in that way (or had that thought) in a long time!” It simply seems to be gone. There can also be a feeling of lightness and freedom around that thought or action if it does come into your awareness.
Karma means action, and a karmic action consists, in essence, of a vortex of energy revolving around a certain thought and action. Some actions and thoughts involve a lot of energy, while others are smaller. Dissolve that energy vortex, and you are dissolving the karma. Of course, the opposite is also true. If you engage again in that particular action that was finished, then you are creating a new karmic action and a new vortex of energy.
For further information I would recommend reading the Karma and Reincarnation book, from the Wisdom of Yogananda series.
I hope this will be helpful.
No Love Is Ever Lost
April 21, 2015
Hello, my father passed away in June last year. I miss him everyday very much. I pray to meet him after I die. I never get his dream Never to meet him, such thought is unbearable. He was good.I live with my old mother. Thought of being alone after her causes great fear of loneliness, anxiety comes almost every night after sleep. Inspite of praying and chanting. I am unable to get rid of it. How to remove fear of loneliness, dependency on work ,friends. Grateful.
I am very sorry for your loss. Please know that no love is ever lost, and you will see your father’s soul again. Paramhansa Yogananda teaches us to continue to send our love to our loved ones after they have died. You do not have control on whether or not he appears to you in a dream, but you do have the power to send him your love, anyway. Please know that he will receive that love.
These words of Paramhansa Yogananda offer guidance:
Send your thoughts of love and goodwill to your loved ones as often as you feel inclined to do so, but at least once a year — perhaps on some special anniversary. Mentally tell them, “We will meet again sometime and continue to develop our divine love and friendship with one another.” If you send them your loving thoughts continuously now, someday you will surely meet them again. You will know that this life is not the end, but merely one link in the eternal chain of your relationship with your loved ones.
Please know that your father developed good karma by his goodness, and earned your lasting love. By this we know that he is in a blessed place in the astral world.
Yogananda also wrote:
Souls in the astral region are clothed in gossamer light. They do not encase themselves in bundles of bones with fleshly covers. They carry no frail, heavy frames that collide with other crude solids and break. Therefore, there is no war in the astral land between man’s body and solids, oceans, lightning, and disease. Nor are there accidents, for all things coexist in mutual helpfulness, rather than antagonism. All forms of vibration function in harmony with one another. All forces live in peace and conscious helpfulness. The souls, the rays on which they tread, and the orange rays they drink and eat, all are made of living light. Souls live in mutual cognizance and cooperation, breathing not oxygen, but the joy of Spirit.
Do you meditate? If not, it will help you very much. You mentioned that it is difficult to chant and pray. That can happen in grief, because when our hearts are open to God, we also open more to the grief inside, and so more tears come. And of course, we want to feel God’s bliss and the tears don’t feel like bliss at all, and so we become nervous to meditate deeply. Even so, please do try to do at least 5–10 minutes of Hong-Sau on a regular basis, and soon you will be able to meditate more. This short meditation video will help you to renew your practice. Your deepening calmness will bless you, and also allow your father’s soul to send his love back to you.
Deep grief is a heavy vibration, and the lighter vibrations from the astral world have a hard time cutting through it. Please know that he is already sending you his love and concern, but the grief and anxiety create static that make it hard to get through. The calmness of meditation will allow you to receive the love of your father, and also the love of God and Guru.
Your first step is to read the words of Yogananda, believing. And then pray and meditate, believing. Once you meditation goes deeper, you can also try this method that he taught, below.
To send your thoughts to loved ones who have passed on, sit quietly in your room and meditate upon God. When you feel His peace within you, concentrate deeply at the Christ center, the center of will at the point between the two eyebrows, and broadcast your love to those dear ones who are gone.
Visualize at the Christ center the person you wish to contact. Send to that soul your vibrations of love, and of strength and courage.
If you do this continuously, and if you don’t lose the intensity of your interest in that loved one, that soul will definitely receive your vibrations. Such thoughts give your loved ones a sense of well-being, a sense of being loved. They have not forgotten you any more than you have forgotten them...."
You mention that you are also anxious about the day when your mother has also passed on. For now, please do not think about this. Instead, deepen your relationship with God so that you can be guided in every moment of your life.
Please know you can also request healing prayers to help you develop peace and calmness at this time.
Director, Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry
Recommended Reading: Karma and Reincarnation by Paramhansa Yogananda
How to Find Lasting Peace and Joy
April 17, 2015
Hello- Thank you for taking time out to answer my question. I feel like I have reached a point in life where I feel that suffering never ends. I feel I keep trying to control how other people act, think and react. How do I come to accept things the way they are and help change me? Is there a way to find that peace, that joy that is permanent and that which last? How and where do I begin in that search
Your question "How do I find lasting peace and joy?" is a universal one. Once we realize we cannot control others reactions to outward circumstances, we realize the only reactions we can ultimately control are our own. This sounds very simple and yet it’s not so easy to master. It is our destiny is to overcome delusion and yet we must be actively engaged in the process in each moment to realize the goal.
Do you meditate? Is there an Ananda center near you? I urge you to find one and to attend as many classes as possible in person or online. Read the Autobiography of a Yogi and The New Path (both free online). Take the Ananda Course in Self Realization and practice the meditation techniques daily. You will begin to experience more peace and joy bubbling from within yourself which is the only place you will ever truly find it.
You have an opportunity before you to find everlasting peace and joy. Now it’s up to you to follow through to the end until you achieve endless bliss!
God bless you in your efforts.
Losing Faith After My Mother's Death
April 16, 2015
Hello, I believed in God all my life, until my mother died recently. On her deathbed, she said, "Lord Rama is standing with His big bow, but He cant kill my cancer cells." Now, I have suddenly begun to think this whole religion, karma and rebirth was created by a few wise souls who wanted righteousness to prevail on this earth. Birth/death/disease is completely random and part of human evolution, basically the survival of the fittest and God is merely faith. Any advise?
I am sorry for your loss and your feelings are completely understandable.
Life on earth would be unbearable if we did not believe we could improve our health and our circumstances by self-effort. The truth of the law of action and the consequences of action is "hard-wired" and proven by the laws of nature and the usefulness of science and medicine. Why, then, do we doubt this law of karma when it comes to the world of the unseen? Why doubt prayer, faith, reincarnation, and past lives?
If you mother truly perceived Lord Rama on her deathbed, that alone would be cause for hope. Every human body must die sometime. Do not lose faith over that which is inevitable to all of us but the causes for which we cannot yet see. When Arjuna grieved at the upcoming death of kinsmen in the battle of Kurukshetra (in the Mahabharata/Bhagavad Gita), Krishna gently chided him for his shortsightedness in forgetting that the soul is eternal and can never die.
Righteousness does NOT prevail on this earth in one lifetime but in "heaven": meaning in and through the law of karma, whether in this life or future lives. Think of the billions of galaxies, billions of human beings, thousands of years of human existence on this one planet alone! Just as there is a thread of continuity in nature through birth and death of succeeding generations of species, so why not can there be continuity in the thread of our individuality through multiple lives? Since time immemorial in East and West, it has been taught that the soul survives the death of the physical body!
Be hopeful. Be grateful for the love and the life of your mother. She is with you now, in your heart, your mind, and your thoughts. You simply can’t see her in the same way now.
"Survival of the fittest" doesn’t apply to the physical form which dies eventually, but to those who live with faith, hope and charity in faith and the knowing that we, as souls, are immortal and are children of God. Pierce the veil of maya and see in your love for your mother not only her living presence but that of God, the Supreme Spirit who is LOVE and LIFE in all beings.
May the Light of Truth and the Sunshine of Divine Love guide your heart to its rest in Him!
Leaving Someone Without Abandoning Them
April 16, 2015
Hi, I really hope you can help me figure out this dilemma. My mother is mentally ill and she has an extremely negative influence on me. She has no friends and my dad, my brother and me are the only family she has in Australia. Due to her condition she is the source of conflict in our family.
Is it correct to remove myself from her life to seek a more harmonious environment? Even if she ends up alone, experiencing unimaginable suffering?
Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you so much.
I certainly do appreciate that this is a difficult situation for you. What comes to my mind first is, do you feel you are doing your mother any good by being physically present with her? This may seem like a strange question, but do think about it seriously. If being in her presence has “an extremely negative influence” on you, as you have written, then I would doubt that this is the case.
In such an intense situation – the negativity you experience, and the fact that she is your mother – I would think that it is best to remove yourself from it. This may seem heartless in one way. But at the same time, I would also suggest that you not abandon her. I think you should put a lot of effort into understanding healing prayers done at a distance, and how to do them effectively. Then every day set aside time after your meditations to pray deeply for her. If done correctly and regularly, your prayers will have a much more healing effect on her than your physical presence. Here is the link for healing prayer on Ananda’s website. There is a 10-minute video on the right side of the screen for doing Healing Prayers at a distance.
Your mother is already experiencing suffering, whether you are with her or not, so I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on this. The karmic ties between people can be very deep, so it’s good to recognize them and to try to do something about them, especially when they are very negative.
I hope these suggestions and information will be helpful to you.
In divine friendship,
- 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