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

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Anurag
India

Question

Namaste! I have recently started doing Kriya Yoga, been mediating for over 2yrs which has helped me overcome fear largely. In my situation my task at hand is not my natural inclination. I am pushing myself to shift my focus for long, but lately it seems I am not able to find my way, and I am longing for God and Guru’s presence by my side. I am also doing Navi Kriya and want to know about improving Will Power and need some inspiration and direction. Jai Guru!

Nayaswami Parvati

Nayaswami Parvati

Ananda Village

Answer

Well the good thing is that you want to know God! Yogananda said that it takes very, very, very good karma even to want to know God! The way to improve your situation is to begin and maintain a regular, and daily, Kriya Yoga practice. As Lahiri Mahasaya said of Kriya yoga, it works like mathematics, it cannot fail. But only if practiced daily and regularly.

And the way to improve your will power is by using it. Will power is like a muscle, which builds over time as it is used in the right way. Use it now to determine your daily practice of Kriya Yoga. Don’t make this practice an option in your mind, but make it something you simply do every day, no matter what. You wake up in the morning and meditate. Again in the evening, either right before bedtime or earlier in the evening, you practice Kriya Yoga again. Be steadfast, be regular, and be joyful and loving in your practice. Kriya Yoga is the greatest gift we have ever received, and it will, if practiced regularly and faithfully, take us all the way to oneness in God.

To deepen your practice, also seek out other Kriyabans (those initiated into Kriya) and practice with them. Attend any kriyaban meditations in your area, and always refer back to the basics of the technique, so you know you are practicing correctly. In addition, have your Kriya practice reviewed regularly by an Ananda kriyacharya (Kriya Yoga teacher).

I gain inspiration both from the inspiration in the writings of Yogananda and Kriyananda, as well as from my gurubais. For inspiration I read the Autobiography of a Yogi, The New Path, and The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita in particular. Also recently, I have been re-reading the book Paramhansa Yogananda, A Biography. In addition, another favorite of mine is Awaken to Superconsciousness by Swami Kriyananda. All these books provide wonderful inspiration as well as deepening spiritual insights.

As you engage in this regular practice, and seek out satsang with other Kriyabans, you will feel yourself growing steadily in calmness, peace, joy, and divine love. The company you keep will make a big difference in how fast all of this develops. You will also, over time, have an increasing awareness of who you are (a soul and spark of the divine light) and what your purpose in this world is (to remember your oneness as part of the divine).

I hope this will be helpful to you.

Many blessings,

Nayaswami Parvati

Amrita
India

Question

I love my parents and my parents love me too. But like most other parents,they have also made mistakes in parenthood which has caused prolonged problems for me in childhood. I used to bedwet till about 15, 16. Instead of showing sympathy, they used to shame me on purpose in front of kin and blamed me of being lazy and indifferent.

Even in school, she would give me less food as she thought that was enough, compelling me to steal from my friends' tiffin boxes. Though they have changed, the damage caused undermined my confidence and performance for a long time. Hunger would not let me concentrate in studies.

Now I am in my 30’s, but I still feel angry at times, and in course of arguments, blame them for their negative attitude years back. But they have also done many good things for us as parents. So when I blamed them in anger, they feel very sad and that makes me sad too. Please help me.

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Amrita,

You are certainly not alone in this world, that is, in having parents who made mistakes in the way they raised you. Almost everyone has something they can say about how they wish things had been different during their childhoods.

But we must not let the past define who we are right now. The past is over! Ask God and Gurus to help you forgive and forget, and don’t put any more energy into blaming your parents for their errors — put it all behind you and get on with your life! You say that your parents have changed for the better. So that means it’s time for you to change for the better also!

There is no one whose life is free from mistakes. The trick about dealing with mistakes is to blame no-one, including yourself. Give it all to God — turn it all over completely. As many times as blame or anger it arise in your mind, or you want to say something hurtful or complain, ask God to help you to keep silent and to pray for those who have hurt you.

And don’t give in to anger — it can be very harmful to you! Anger is simply wishing that things were different from how they are (or were). It is a much wiser use of your energy to transmute that anger-energy into loving and forgiving energy. It might take some practice and some time, but you can do it! You will have a much happier life, if you strive always to do this.

It is a great blessing that you love your parents and that they love you also, and as you have said, "...have done many good things for you." Concentrate only on these good things. Many people would envy you very much in having loving parents — many people do not have loving parents or any parents at all! Count your blessings and, with God’s help, let all that negativity go away!

Annapurna
India

Question

How can we truly honour mothers on Mother’s day as per Guruji’s guidelines?? Is there any way we can show our love and respect for them in group meditations? Can you suggest any way by which we all can meditate together in a group asking God to bless them? How is it done usually in Ananda group meditation centres?

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Ananda Maine

Answer

Dear Annapurna,

To my knowledge there is no official way to honor mothers on Mother’s Day per Guruji’s guidelines.

At our Ananda center over the weekend, we had a Divine Mother meditation for three hours to share inner communion with our Cosmic Mother. In addition, we will pray that all mothers be instruments of Divine Mother’s love to all. It is perfectly appropriate to use the healing prayer technique Master taught with all the mother’s in the group receiving special blessings and prayers from others at the meditation.

In Divine Friendship,

ruchit
India

Question

Is there any way in yoga to heal ourselves if we are infected by harmful diseases , recently i was diagnosed by an herpes zoster virus in my body and i heard that to remove it permanently i need to take help to yoga,

if you know how can i heal myself, please provide guidance to me, it'll be really appreciated.

Mary Kretzmann

Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Village

Answer

Thank you for your question. There are several forms of herpes zoster, but I will answer in a general way.

Whenever you are told something is incurable, instead think of it as simply resistant to healing, but not impossible to heal. The pattern of the illness may be that it is typically incurable. But all things are potentially mutable, so apply your best energy to the situation.

Here are my suggestions:

Please read Divine Will Healing by Paramhansa Yogananda. It is available from Ananda Publications in India (and at Crystal Clarity in the USA). Read from it each day to increase your positive frame of mind for healing.

Please also purchase Scientific Healing Affirmations by Paramhansa Yogananda. There are many suitable affirmations in the book. Read it through, and learn to do some of the affirmations with depth and attention. Please start by doing this powerful affirmation daily, and then learn others. Also helpful is Swami Kriyananda’s book, Affirmations for Self-Healing.

One more suggestion is to play the Gayatri Mantra CD daily for at least one month. This is to help you to heal the body cells and also reset your body vibration to a higher level. It might also be helpful to listen to the  AUM: Mantra of Eternity cd playing very softly while you sleep. This can bring changes in consciousness within about 3 weeks. These mantras will help your soul to dissolve some old energies that may be holding you back. You can experiment with both CDs and see which one resonates with you most deeply, and focus on that one for a while. I want you to feel that there is some flexibility in this process.

Of course, please do learn to meditate as this will help you to focus deeply on your healing affirmations and visualizations.

Paramhansa Yogananda said, "I know many cures". One that he mentioned for skin ailments was coconut oil. Try to get the purest non-hydrogenated form you can buy. This is a known antiviral. So you can use it topically and you can also eat it daily. A typical dose to heal a chronic viral load would be about three tablespoons a day. You can also simply eat a good amount of fresh coconut daily.  These are simply my suggestions, and I advise you to use this as a starting point for your own research, but I have seen coconut oil help many ailments.

It is also advised to eat a healthy diet, of course, and to avoid artificial sweeteners as these seem to interfere with natural cures for herpes zoster. Another powerful remedy is oregano oil, another known antiviral.

Please do the affirmations and listen to the mantras, and know they will help to heal you directly, and also they can serve as a divine magnet to bring healing solutions to you. Paramhansa Yogananda demonstrated miraculous healing power, so please pray and ask him to guide you in your healing process.

I hope these suggestions are helpful to you. Use the mantras and affirmations to raise your vibrations and to help to dissolve the old karmic pattern. Then choose any of the above remedies and apply them with a positive mind. Put your faith in God even as you apply the remedies. God is the healer, but if you also use remedies, ask Him to infuse them with healing potency.

Be well.

Mary Kretzmann

Director, Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry

SJIK
Norway

Question

Hello

I am wondering what is the best way to get back to the road of spiritualty that leads to God ?

I seem to be in a kind of slumber and can`t seem to get on the spiritual path. How do i get back on it ?

I don`t know how to ask it any other way than this. It may be badly put. But this is the best way for be to put it.

From

SJIK

Nayaswami Seva

Nayaswami Seva

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear SJIK,

We actually have God already but fears, pressures, and pulls of life keep us from knowing that He is with us. Meditation is the key to return to God. You need to find a meditation technique that will work for you and practice it every day, twice a day, and many times in between life’s activities. In meditation you calm your mind and focus on the light or joy that comes from freeing your mind from thoughts and feelings of the ego. This calmness will change you eventually so that the pulls of the world are not tempting.

It would also be good to be with others who are also wanting to find God, those who are meditating and thinking of higher realities. Ananda has started communities that all who live there are focused on finding God and living in truth and harmony with each other. Suffering is not eliminated totally in communities but there is a willingness of all involved to help and work with each other.

There is such a community in Assisi, Italy. You can contact them to receive help even if you cannot visit. Ananda in Nevada City, California, has online training and support through our virtual community.

Do not ever despair. There is so much that you can do to uplift yourself and your life so that your problems are minimized and eventually eliminated. Reach out to those who can help you, those who are positive and harmonious, who understand. God is not far off. He is with you already.

Blessings to you,

Seva

Hitesh Khiani
India

Question

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.

Please clarify.

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Hitesh,

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.

Blessings,

Gyandev

James
UK

Question

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.

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear James,

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.

Argha
India

Question

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

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Argha,

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.

Nayaswami Diksha

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