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December 15
2014

G
Canada

Question

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?

Thank you

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear G,

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.

Siddharth Patel
India

Question

What is the meaning of serving the God? God is the supreme, how can I serve Him?

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Ananda Maine

Answer

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,

Kristy

Truthseeker
India

Question

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.

Thank you!

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Truthseeker,

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.

Blessings,

Gyandev

vishwas
India

Question

Hi , I am 24 year boy I have a couple of questions :

Is brahmacharya ( celibacy is one part ) is necessary to go deep in spirituality ??

My body moves vigorously in meditation and feel somebody whispering ( worried whether its ghost ?)

Some other symptoms in meditation : feel my body grows and crosses the earth and becomes one with universe and sometimes I feel I enter some planet ... Is these are illusions ????

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear vishwas:

Celibacy may be helpful but I would caution you from pursuing this without some guidance from someone who knows you well, is spiritually minded, and has only your best interests in mind.

As to the meditation symptoms, I have the same advice: find a meditation mentor who is experienced, and who you trust to keep your own highest interests in mind.

At your age it is important to develop a healthy life style: body, mind, and soul. Ananda has excellent online resources for meditation classes and has centers in cities around India.

Here are some how-to-live suggestions for daily life:

  1. Do physical yoga: hatha yoga to help the body relax and to gain control over your body’s energies.
  2. Make sure your diet is a healthy one: avoiding excessive consumption of sugar, caffeine, and avoiding all alcohol. Fresh and freshly cooked vegetables and a good protein source (vegetarian is best, usually) are important.
  3. Exercise. At your age some strenuous exercise (running, swimming, fitness, etc.) is very important.
  4. Media. How many hours a day do you spend on a computer, tablet or smart phone? Movies? TV? What you watch and how many hours spent passively on media can cause problems.
  5. Sleep. Your sleep patterns should be regulated so that you get at least 7, perhaps better, 8, hours of sleep and do so between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 p.m. (at least not be going to bed midnight or later every night).
  6. Meditation. You should have a solid meditation and pranayam practice that is NOT excessive, but gentle. Ananda has online courses that are perfect for this. / I highly recommend developing more devotion in your life and in your meditation. There’s nothing better than chanting! (During the day AND as part of meditation). When you have the symptoms you describe, pray to God in some form dear to you (deity, guru, etc.) to ask how to respond or to give you the mental strength to re-direct your attention from these symptoms to a more devotional focus.
  7. Satsang. Be around those who are wise, kind, and spiritually mind. This includes your reading material and listening.

Blessings and joy to you!

Nayaswami Hriman

Mark
Germany

Question

Hello, i want to know how can i deal with intrusive thoughts. This is not an ordinary thoughts, i think this is my karma. One woman said to me that i wasnt very good in the past and now i am having these thoughts as a result of my past lifes. Most often they are demonic, it seems like someone else sends them to me, and exactly what i scare most. Also these thoughts condemns others, but i dont want to condem them. Please, give me any ideas how can i deal with them. Thank you!

Nayaswami Parvati

Nayaswami Parvati

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Mark,

Thank you for asking this important question. One of the best ways I know to deal with intrusive thoughts, especially those that are negative, is to strongly emphasize the light — in your thoughts, in your life, in the music you listen to, in the friends you associate with. As you live your life more consciously in an environment of light, you will find these negative thoughts losing power.

One of the things you don’t want to do is to “entertain” these thoughts. By this I mean don’t give them energy by thinking about them — why they are there, where they come from, what you did in the past to attract such thoughts, etc. Thinking about them tends to give them more energy.

An important thing to remember about thoughts is something that Paramhansa Yogananda said about them. He said that "thoughts are universally, not individually rooted.” What this means is that the level of consciousness you live on determines what kind of thoughts you will attract to yourself. By raising your level of consciousness, and you will change the kinds of thoughts that come to you. This is why emphasizing the light in your life is so important.

Does past karma from previous lives have an influence on your thoughts? Yes, certainly it does. This is because karma is the result of repeated actions resulting in a vortex of energy and, therefore, consciousness. The way we begin to dissolve our karma is to withdraw energy from these past actions and to begin to act in other, more uplifting, ways.

With strongly negative thoughts, always keep in mind that they are not your thoughts and that you are not a bad person for having them. Thoughts truly do live on levels of consciousness. Change your level of consciousness, and you will change your thoughts.

A warning about negative thoughts: They can have a strong magnetism about them; one that wants to keep you involved with them — thinking about them, etc. Resist doing this as much as possible, and strongly put your thoughts and energy in a more uplifted direction. Swami Kriyananda writes about an experience he had with this when he was living at Mt. Washington in Los Angeles. He said he fell into a negative mood one day. To get out of it, he put his mind and concentration strongly at the point between the eyebrows. He said that after only five minutes he felt his consciousness shift, and the negative mood, as well as the thoughts associated with them, went away.

I hope these ideas will be helpful to you and that by using them you will find your consciousness uplifted more and more toward the divine light.

Siddharth Patel
India

Question

How do I overcome undesirable fantasy thoughts? It makes me away from God. Please guide me. Thank You.

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Siddharth,

It is difficult to overcome undesirable thoughts directly. The more attention you give to your unwanted thoughts the more energy you give them. Better to avoid the things that awaken the unwanted thoughts and, most importantly, deliberately and consistently fill your mind with other desirable thoughts.

1. Read uplifting material

Read scriptures or books, like Autobiography of a Yogi, that are full of inspiration; or biographies of great men and women; or scientific subjects that elevate the mind. Avoid books, magazines, or internet sites that draw you into your undesirable fantasies.

2. Chant or practice japa

Spend time chanting or doing japa everyday. If you give yourself, mind and heart, to the inspiration of a chant in the morning, you will find that it keeps "playing" in your mind throughout the day. The high vibration of that spiritualized chant will help keep your thoughts high-minded throughout your day. Or, practice japa by steadily and inwardly repeating a mantra throughout the day such as "Aum Guru" will similarly keep your mind occupied with high-vibration thoughts.

3. Meditate

Meditation is the key to lasting inner change. When you feel God’s presence in your heart, making changes in your inner and outer behavior becomes much easier. Make a sincere effort to go deep and still in meditation and you will find God’s uplifting vibration carrying you along throughout your day.

Warm regards,

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Tom
Lithuania

Question

(sorry for terrible english, first, hope you understand something) Im 18 years old from small european country, and my only desire is to seek God, i see absolutely no point in other things. it simply doesnt give me any joy. I really agree with Yogananda that environment is more stronger than will power. there is no any spiritual environment where i live. can someone give me advise where should i go to find what im searching? without proper english and almost no money.

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Tom,

I also pray that you find others of like mind and I direct your attention to Ananda’s Community and retreat center near Assisi, Italy. There are also meditation groups throughout Europe and Russia, also. I direct you then to Mayadevi Lauer in Italy. You can go to www.Ananda.it and send a message that way. They have special low-cost programs for younger seekers that can help make a visit more affordable.

Even if you live in a spiritual community, the true "company" is in your heart, your thoughts, speech and action. Learn to chant and talk to God in the language of your heart.

Blessings,

Hriman

Jen
Israel

Question

Im on the spiritual path and this is the most important thing in my life, my partner is jewish and we have three years living together. I love him so much but he feels very bad about my path,since the last year that I started seriously. Because of his beliefs, he think that is bad lucky that I meditate and so on. he never never said me dont do it but im scared, I think he is going down psychologically with fears, he loves me. we are so confused please help me, what can I do, im so scared

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Jen,

It sounds like you have clarity in one area: The spiritual path is the most important thing in your life.

Because of the confusion in your intimate relationship avoid trying to guess how your partner feels and thinks. The most important thing to do right now is to TALK with each other: communicate clearly and honestly with each other how you feel, what is important to you, what are your fears, what are you willing to compromise, and what you are not willing to. This will give both of you a clear picture of where each person is and whether you want to continue being together.

Blessings,

Diksha

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