Questions and Answers
In chapter 18 of The Autobiography of a Yogi, there’s a footnote that reads, “I do not recall the name of Sri Yukteswar’s friend, and must refer to him simply as ‘Babu’ (Mister).” — Until I read this note the chapter was fine; after reading this comment it hit me — why did Master not recall the name and use it? Everywhere he made sure that the names and details are there. Please help me understand. I felt if he wanted to use the name — he could have. But why he didn’t?
It’s difficult to know what Yogananda had in mind in this instance in using the general term, “Babu.” Perhaps he really did not recall the man’s name, or perhaps he never knew it, or maybe he didn’t clearly hear the name from Sri Yukteswar.
When I meditate on ajna and guru chakras I reach a uninterrupted blissful state. However, while in that state after some time I get clear, powerful visions of the Buddha in various forms and divine light showered by him on me. I am neither a practising buddhist nor have I ever visited a vihara or spoken to any buddhist monk so far. So I wonder why I am getting these visions? Thanks.
Perhaps these visions are simply a gift from the divine, to bless you spiritually and help you in going deeper still in your meditations. But because they are specifically of the Buddha, perhaps they represent a spiritual direction for you to explore further. That will be for you to determine, mainly in your meditations. One way to do this is to be aware of what kind of inspiration these visions leave you with. Is it simply Divine upliftment, or is there a directional feeling to the inspiration that you experience?
I’ve been in a committed relationship for 4 years, but my friend and I have grown feelings for each other. My boyfriend loves me very much, and so does my friend. Both are lovely, spiritual people, and I love them both for different reasons. Part of me wants to leave my boyfriend as a new relationship will be fun and exciting, but this will hurt him and shatter the life we have built together. My friend wants to be with me so there'll be heartache regardless of who I choose. What should I do?
To be in a committed relationship is to be loyal to one person and not share your intimate feelings with someone else. The fact that you have opened your heart to someone else means that you are not committed to your boyfriend anymore.
True, intimate relationship requires loyalty, respect, and honesty on all levels. Fun and excitement are fleeting and shallow. If you are looking for a long-term, committed relationship, there is a need for maturity and willingness to be with each other not only during fun and exciting times but also during the ups and downs of life.
While I am doing meditation I feel like a huge source of energy is falling to my forehead and pushing me forward and at the same time. My head itself is pushing against the energy. If I continue with meditation the energy comes down through nose to lower neck and center of chest.
I was continuously doing for 4 years, now I have stopped because of this experience. Is this normal in meditation?
Shall I continue?
When meditating, we might have a variety of experiences that can seem strange—and what you have experienced certainly fits that description. But since I don’t know what kind of meditation technique you were practicing, I can’t really know why it has happened to you.
Is there such a thing as a wasted meditation? I wonder about this sometimes when I meditate while being assaulted by sleepiness and restlessness. Like perhaps I even fell back a little bit from the goal of superconsciousness by succumbing to these things?
Good question! Who among us doesn’t sometimes have a sleepy or restless meditation? In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna asks Krishna: “What if I fail in meditation? What if I can never control my mind?” Krishna’s response goes right to the heart of your question: “No good effort is ever lost.” As long as you’re doing your best, neither God nor Guru will expect more of you than that. Paramhansa Yogananda put it this way: “God reads the heart,” which is to say, sincerity is the bedrock of the spiritual path.
Hello i am wondering would it be wrong of me to include Sri Anandamayi Ma with the Gurus ( Yogananda, Sri Yukteswar, Babaij, Jesus Krishna and Lahiri Mahasaya ) even if she is not one of the SRF or Ananda gurus? As I feel a connection with Anandamayi Ma as I do with the Gurus.
First I'll answer what I think you may have meant, and then what you literally asked. There are a few saints and masters that Yogananda considered in tune with our line of Gurus. Swami Kriyananda told of Yogananda addressing this once:
Several of the monks were reading the lives of saints. At this time, the Master gave us the following recommendation as to what we should read of those lives:
“Read the lives only of those in our own line: Saint Francis of Assisi, for example, and Saint Teresa of Avila.”
His expression, “those who are in our own line,” was one I pondered for a long time. The Master could not have meant, “those who are directly connected with our line of gurus,” for we’d have had no way of knowing who such persons were. He could only have been referring, then, to saints who had attained deep states of inner communion with God. Not all saints, certainly, even among those canonized by the Church, belong in this higher category.
—Conversations with Yogananda
Swami Kriyananda also gave some very good advice that is important and relevant for anyone who follows a Guru of any tradition. Many people don’t fully understand the importance of following one’s Guru 100% in everything. They also add to their practice and understanding what other teachers and Gurus give, and end up diluting what their own Guru gives to them. I know of one very popular modern saint/teacher who has said things that directly contradict Yogananda, for example, yet Yogananda disciples sometimes accept what this person says as truth.
In response to the more general question (not the one asked by you!) of going to other saints and teachers (much as the young Yogananda did), Swami Kriyananda advised that it’s fine to go for inspiration, but not for teachings, since the spiritual advice that even a true teacher gives might be for their disciples needs, and may in fact contradict one’s own Guru or at least be unhelpful.
That said, I’ve found Anandamayi Ma to be perhaps the most in tune and in agreement with our own line of Gurus, and I myself often read her words for the devotional inspiration they give me. I’ve also never found anything in her teachings that contradicts Yogananda’s.
But in general, it’s good to be cautious and ask the question that you ask.
As far as “including” her in our line of Gurus, well, she isn’t directly in our Guru lineage. But that doesn’t mean you can’t pray to her or have her photo on your altar. These things are very personal and individual, in the end. Swami Kriyananda also had a very, very deep and close connection with Anandamayi Ma, as did Yogananda.
I heard Yogananda also believed in certain “omens,” like not starting a long journey on Thursday. And that Swami Kriyananda mentioned them in one of his books. Can you tell me about what omens Master believed in?
Dear Stan, In one of Swami Kriyananda’s very early books called A Visit to the Saints of India, he offers a long list of omens or superstitions, which he had just learned about while visiting India in 1972, which are commonly believed there. He then says:
Master [also] had a few such ‘superstitions’.... Here are several that I happen to remember:
I am curious about great works of art, writing, music...
Are the artists channeling divine energy in this one aspect of their lives? (without knowing it?) I will say I am completely ignorant in regard to any of the works and the humans they came from. I don’t believe they were “spiritual” people, correct? So how do such enduring creations come to be? Thank you!
If we allow that our starting point is that the entire creation is a manifestation of divine consciousness, we can easily deduce that artistic excellence surely must derive, at least in part, from superconscious attunement. Great art communicates, though obviously not on rational or intellectual levels. Just as a person can be potentially psychic without being spiritually mature or advanced, so too a soul can develop great powers of intuition and talent applied to the arts, science, or indeed any field of human endeavor. Even the powerful magnetism of an evil person, say, Hitler or Stalin, draws its power from a higher, divine source: strange as that may seem.