Questions and Answers
Hi, I was wondering if there were any prayers by Guruji or Swamiji, that I could use in the following 3 cases..
1. I’m terrified of driving after a road accident a few years ago.., is there a prayer I can say before starting the engine to help protect us on the road?
2. A Bedtime prayer that can be used with Children? Not too short or banal.
3. And also a Morning Prayer that can be used with Children.
Thank You Very Much!
First, I am sorry to hear that you had a car accident a few years ago. I assume it was serious because it has had this lasting effect on you. Many of us here at Ananda Village say a prayer before starting the car, and especially before driving off of the Ananda land. Many of us also have a small picture of Paramhansa Yogananda in our cars.
There is no prescribed prayer for this, but before you drive, see yourself and your car surrounded in a halo of light. Pray to our line of Gurus, and ask that your trip be guided, protected and blessed. Also, it is good to do other things to strength your aura. Do you have an astrological bangle? They offer a protective power. You can read about them in Chapter 16 of Autobiography of Yogi. Prayer and devotion also strength the aura, but the bangle helps us even when we have momentarily forgotten God.
You also asked about children’s prayers. You will find these free resources to be helpful. Choose whichever prayers seem suitable for your child.
- Prayer Demands for Children
- Life’s Little Secrets
- Healing Prayers with Children
- Finding God in Your Family
You will also enjoy this section on Family Life Resources: A Treasure Chest of Books and More. It offer free books and articles that will help you at any stage of parenting.
God bless you,
My daughter, who is almost 4, has a lot of tantrums when she doesn’t get her way. Still breastfeeding. Feel like I need help with my practice so that I can stay connected and see God in her and bring out/reinforce the healthy part of her. Any thoughts come to mind for fertilizer for healthy relationship/spiritual parenting? (I do realize that a lot of this is a call to deepen my own practice — a big challenge while also facing the other demands on my time and energy)
Thank you for your question. I started meditating in my early 20’s, married at age 23 and had my first child at age 24. My three children are all grown now, and they are well-adjusted and spiritually inclined individuals. Also, as young woman I was a preschool teacher for a few years. So what I share with you is based on my personal experience, and the inspiration from the teachings of my Guru, Paramhansa Yogananda.
Temper tantrums are an unfortunate aspect of childhood, but if they are too frequent it shows that something may be out of balance in the child’s life. Since you say that your daughter throws a tantrum whenever she doesn’t get her way, there are a few things that you can do:
- Get her to calm down, saying something like “Take a deep breath,” and ”Use your words…”
- If she insists on throwing a fit, a “timeout” may well be in order. I used timeouts for my kids on occasion, but I never exceeded one minute per year of age. So, a four year old would get a four-minute timeout. This is not harsh, especially if you tell the child we are trying to create a peaceful home here.
- I sometimes had to resort to locking the door of the bedroom (with a simple hook and eye) if the child would not cooperate with the timeout. I only had to resort to this a few times, but it does get the point across that you mean business. I still kept to the one minute per year of age.
I used timeouts as a last resort. Normally I would find ways to reward positive and cooperative behavior. One day I made a “star chart” that was simply a big field of blue, and the kids could place their star anywhere on the chart after they did something helpful, or without raising a big fuss. They asked me what the reward would be, and I said, “You will notice that when this sky of deep blue is filled up with gold stars, you will have had a happy mama and a peaceful home for quite a while…” That actually made sense to them, and they were only a little older than your daughter at the time.
Children need to learn to behave, not only so they can do well later in life, but also so they don’t make their friends and family miserable in the process. Tell your daughter you want to start working on this so you can all have a happy family and a peaceful household. An only child needs to be told that it is time to grow up, at least a little. In a larger family, such as was common in past generations, a four-year old could not have the entire world revolve around her every little desire. By then she could have easily had two younger siblings, and the child would have to think of the needs of others, even if just a little.
For this reason, it is also helpful for a child to go to preschool or kindergarten for part of the day. I don’t believe in all-day childcare, if it can be avoided (though I know some circumstances require it). But your daughter might really benefit from a part-time preschool program to help expand her reality, and learn healthier ways of relating.
Here are a few free online resources that may be a big help to you now:
- Do’s and Don’ts of Good Parenting, by Paramhansa Yogananda
- Education for Life, by Swami Kriyananda
- Finding God in Your Family, by Mary Kretzmann
Finally, take a moment to look over Family Life Resources: A Treasure Chest of Free Online Books and More. Here you will find many resources to help you at every stage of parenting. Read a little bit each day and apply the things the make sense to you.
You also ask for help on how to "see God in her." I think one of the best approaches to that would be to start the journey of helping her to see God in herself. Paramhansa Yogananda taught that the first gentle steps of spiritual training can begin at age two. With that in mind, consider using these resources for prayers at bedtime, etc. Some of these ideas are for slightly older children, so adapt accordingly:
- Prayer Demands for Children, by Paramhansa Yogananda
- Life Little Secrets for Children, by Swami Kriyananda
- Healing Prayers with Children, by Mary Kretzmann
I hope these resources are a help to you. Please don’t be overwhelmed by it — just read a little bit every day, and your own journey with your daughter will become clear.
God bless you,
Director, Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry
P.S. And last but not least, you may find this affirmation below very helpful, because when a marriage is happy and strong it is easier to carry out these noble ideals in family life.
Yogananda’s Affirmation for Increasing Marital Happiness
Father, please keep my husband (wife) and I perfectly united in body, mind and soul, and in ever-increasing happiness by Thy perfect law.
Where to find a yogi guru?
Has anyone in Ananda Sangha or any swami that you know, has attained nirvkalpa samadhi? can you show me the way?
Why did Swami Kriyananda did not achieve mahasamadhi like paramhans yogananda, inspite of being his direct disciple?
why did swami kriyananda had to leave the spiritual path and live a married life?
can you please answer my above stated questions..
please.. i am a sincere seeker and need answers.
Dear Luv Agrawal:
One doesn’t "find" a guru in the manner you describe: one’s karma draws to you a true guru by the depth, the sincerity and the purity of your efforts towards divine attunement. It is not ours to judge the spiritual realization of other souls. Our duty is to our own spiritual growth. Divine Mother will send to you what your soul needs at the right time.
How would you know the difference between someone who has had nirvikalpa samadhi and one who has not? Simply their saying so? "He who says he knows, doesn't; he who says he doesn’t, doesn't; he who knows: KNOWS!"
Be not concerned about Swami Kriyananda: his spiritual realization is between him and God. He has left this earth. Many great saints, even avatars such as Lahiri Mahasaya, Lord Krishna, etc. were married. And, who says Swami Kriyananda did not achieve mahasamadhi? Who is qualified to know that?
You are looking in the wrong places. Purify your body; calm your thoughts; open your heart in devotion. See and serve God in all and pray for guidance; pray for God to send to you whatever and whoever you need at this time to help you. The issue today is NOT who is a true guru, but WHO IS A TRUE DISCIPLE!
I wish you well on your journey to Self-realization!
I’ve read that various Hindu Gods (i.e. Ganesha) are actually given 'life' and an astral reality due to the tremendous energy generated by the masses' devotion to that form. Could this also be true of other unexplainable phenomena, i.e. the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot, where people’s intense interest actually 'create' an astral reality, such that those forms can 'cross over' sporadically onto the physical plane so they are witnessed by folks?
I remember Swami Kriyananda being asked this same question, about the "reality" of the Hindu gods and goddesses. He gave essentially the same answer you have mentioned. That is, the great devotion generated by masses of worshipers can cause the entity to take a "real" form, from time to time.
As for other unexplained phenomena such as the Loch Ness monster or Bigfoot, what you are mentioning about their having an astral reality seems quite possible to me, though I don’t remember and cannot find any specific reference to these two (or anything similar) in the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda or Swami Kriyananda.
There are many, many things in our world, which could come under the heading of "unexplained phenomena." There are probably a lot more "crossover" situations between the material world and the astral world than most people can even begin to imagine.
first of all i want to thanks diksha mccord for her diet recipes..my question is on re-incarnation...who was anandamoyi ma,ramana maharshi,rabindranath tagore,gandhi,ramkrishna paramhansa in their past incarnation?i heared that anandamoyi ma was avatar...
Dear Dhruv Parikh,
Although I have read about all these great saints, I have not heard or found information on who they were in past lives. But I have a question for you: Is yours a useful question? How would this information benefit you?
It seems to me that it is better to tune to the consciousness of those saints, meditate on them, read about their lives and get inspiration on how to make your life better by living in their consciousness as much as you can.
Anandamoi Ma was a great soul, regardless of whether she was an avatar and she is able to help us if we tune in to her consciousness.
According to Paramhamsa Yogananda, the intellect is in the forehead, the seat of the ego at the medulla oblongata, and the mind at the top of the head. However, the Sahasrara chakra is also said to be located at the top of the head. What is the difference between the location of the mind aspect and the Sahasrara chakra?
This is certainly an intriguing question you are asking!
Yes, you are right about Yogananda’s teaching about the locations in the body of mind, intellect, ego, and feeling as being the top of the head, the spiritual eye, the medulla oblongata, and the heart, respectively.
And these are the location of specific chakras also. This means that each chakra has a general location in the energy or astral body, which corresponds to a general physical location also. The chakras also have energetic powers/functions, used to keep the physical body, brain, emotions, and so on, functioning.
For example, it’s easy to see how the 4th or heart chakra in the center of the chest (not the physical heart organ) is the general location where our emotional/feeling life has its central "headquarters."
Your main question, as I understand it, is: "What is the difference between the location of the mind aspect and the Sahasrara (Crown) chakra?"
The "mind" in yogic terminology is the simple ability/function of the brain to be able to think.
Why Yogananda would say that the mind is more at the top of the head than all over the brain/skull area probably has to do with the ways that different parts of the physical brain function. For example, the pre-frontal lobes of the brain (positive aspect of the 6th chakra/forehead), where the spiritual eye is located is very sophisticated and also is the most spiritual part of the brain (again, according to yogic teachings). It is here that we concentrate and meditate deeply.
The intellect, as Yogananda describes it, can do more than just think. It can carefully perceive subtle and not-so-subtle differences in what the mind is simply thinking about.
Yogananda’s example: The mind thinks, "I am seeing a thing." The intellect discerns more carefully and says, "O, that thing is a horse!" The ego further identifies it by saying, "Oh, that’s my horse." Finally, the feeling nature of the heart chakra steps in and says: "Oh, how I love my horse! How sad I would be if I lost my horse!"
So, what is the difference between location of the mind and the 7th Chakra? One is the general location of the mind in the astral, not physical, body (7th chakra/top of the head/Sahasrara) and the other is the function of the mind/brain (simple thinking processes).
Again, one is a general location in the astral body, the other is the primary way that chakra’s energy functions in the physical world.
What is the meaning of serving the God? God is the supreme, how can I serve Him?
Your question, "How can I serve God when God is the Supreme" is very simple to answer. Look at the lives of the great saints, the masters, all lovers of God. See how they serve the highest in every soul and situation with love, peace, humility and freedom.
Jesus Christ said essentially, "He who serves another, serves Me." You can choose to be an instrument for God’s love in the world or an instrument for selfish desires.
We have these choices every moment. Which are you choosing? Which choices result in an experience of inner peace and bliss? When you experience soul peace and bliss, you know you are serving God as "the instrument is blessed by that which flows through it" (as Paramhansa Yogananda said).
Ask God to flow through you to be a channel for His Love in the world. Then be a willing instrument and allow His love to flow to others with love in your heart for the Beloved!
In Divine Friendship,
Once a swami demonstrated with two 'thin rods' how he could detect auras around with them. He told that saying Aum with anything creates negative energy and that after Aum there should be atleast a small pause or Aum should come after the word eg. 'Namashivaya Aum' and only then it will create positive energy. He also 'proved' it with those rods. Is this actually true? I ask this because I like chanting Aum Guru and I’m not really convinced.
Paramhansa Yogananda strongly recommended the mantra, “AUM Guru.” Swami Kriyananda relayed that recommendation to all of us at Ananda. I don’t think you will go wrong with that mantra.
You will encounter many differing points of view among the greater yoga community. Do not try to reconcile them all, because some of them contradict others of them. The important thing is to practice what your guru recommended, because your guru alone can take you to God.
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