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Questions and Answers About Meditation, Yoga, the Spiritual Life, and More

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Daniel
Argentina

Question

Which is the sign by we can tell that a certain karma has been definitely burned?

Nayaswami Parvati

Nayaswami Parvati

Ananda Village

Answer

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.

In joy,

Nayaswami Parvati

No Love Is Ever Lost
April 21, 2015

Geeta
India

Question

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.

Mary Kretzmann

Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Geeta,

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 can read more about these things in Karma and Reincarnation: The Wisdom of Paramhansa Yogananda. It is available in India, and in the USA.

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.

Blessings,

Mary Kretzmann

Director, Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry

Recommended Reading: Karma and Reincarnation by Paramhansa Yogananda

Pooja
USA

Question

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

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Ananda Maine

Answer

Dear Pooja,

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.

Padma
USA

Question

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?

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Padma,

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!

Nayaswami Hriman

Thomas Petak
Australia

Question

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.

Nayaswami Parvati

Nayaswami Parvati

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Thomas,

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,

Nayaswami Parvati

Meena
U.k

Question

Hello,

I would like to ask if there are any tips you can suggest to keep myself awake during morning meditation.

In my case, I wake up, cleanse my face and mouth in the morning, sit to meditate but at times feel so drowsy that I’ve to shorten the meditation or at times i fall asleep while meditating. I feel that if you can suggest tips of staying awake, I will be able to meditate on the duration i set myself on.

Thanks

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Meena,

There are things that you can do to help you stay awake during your morning meditation.

Paramhansa Yogananda created a set of 39 simple exercises which are called The Energization Exercises. He recommended to practice them before sitting for meditation. These exercises will recharge your body with energy, help focus your mind and fill your soul with joy.

(You can purchase the Energization Exercises DVD here. If you have an iPhone, you may also find the Energization Exercises app very helpful.)

So after you wash up in the morning, practice these exercises, then sit to meditate. Make sure that your meditation room has good air circulation and that the temperature in the room is on the cool side. You can wrap yourself with a shawl to stay warm. Here are a few breathing techniques you can use before meditation—start with them you meditate.

Once you learn the Energization Exercises, it will take you 12–15 minutes to practice them, and you will be awake and ready for your morning meditation.

Blessings on your practice,

Nayaswami Diksha

Joseph
USA

Question

Greetings of joy! ive been seeing a lot of astral symbols and I don’t always know the meaning. ive learned the meaning of some and im eager to know more. these astral symbols appear before my awareness bright with a similarity close to caricatures on a monopoly board. I know these symbols are meant to guide me and affirm whats going on with my consciousness at the time. Also I see numbers and Id like to know the meaning. please inform me of any informational resources. Thanks. Joseph

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Joseph,

Thank you for your greetings and joy to you also! Are these symbols and numbers coming to you as a part of your meditations? If so, then they are probably gifts to you from God to encourage you to go yet deeper into your meditative life.

As to their exact meaning, it would be hard to say unless I could know exactly what they looked like. If you want to e-mail me personally being more specific, I will try to answer back more specifically. You can write to contact@ananda.org.

But in general, it is probably best for you to pray to God/Guru to be given the answers to your questions about symbols and numbers. They are being given to you personally and thus, their meanings should be give to you personally also, from the Divine Source where they came from, if at all possible.

They best way to do this is to pray deeply at the beginning of your meditation, that the answers to your questions will be revealed to you. Then set aside the questions and go ahead with your regular meditation practice calming your breath and mind.

Try not to think of these things, but meditate with peaceful assurance that your questions will be answered in the right time. At the close of your meditation, ask again and sit quietly to see if it is revealed to you. If it doesn’t happen immediately, then go on with your life and have faith that the answers will eventually be offered to you at your next meditation or at some later time.

Often answers come to us in very unexpected ways and at unexpected times, especially when we sincerely pray for divine guidance.

S
Portugal

Question

hello

today I was trying to meditate (it must be the 4th or 5th time I try to do it in my life) and something intrigued me: during the meditation I saw an oval shadow and thought of the word 'oblongata'.

I googled it afterwards and saw what it was. I heard about it once but never thought of it again.

with your experience, could you help me in understanding if it was some kind of message or if it was just a subconsious suggestion? it brought me mixed feelings

thank you very much

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear S in Portugal,

When we meditate, many things can appear to us. Some are important and some or not. Some are messages from our higher Selves or God and some are just the meanderings of the subconscious or conscious minds. To determine the difference is not always easy, but we can try.

First, I would encourage you to keep meditating regularly, every day! If you don’t know how to meditate, then learn the techniques of meditation which will help you keep up a steady practice. We can help you with this.

Then at the beginning of the next meditation, pray that if this shape is to have a special meaning for you, then the meaning will be revealed to you at the close of your meditation or at some later time.

The word oblongata has a special place in Yogananda’s teachings — it refers to the medulla oblongata or as Yogananda calls it, the "mouth of God." It is where prana or life-force enters the body and is very important as a part of the techniques of meditations from his path of Kriya Yoga. Perhaps this is a sign to you that this is your path to follow. It is a very good path, indeed!

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