Questions and Answers
Is marriage predestined? Is there any way to escape a marriage? Do we have the choice to choose our partner?
Paramhansa Yogananda once said, “It takes a master to understand karma.” The ordinary person would only tie his or her brain into knots, trying to figure it out.
So don’t worry about whether marriage (or anything else) is predestined. Simply try your best to align your will with God’s will, then act accordingly. That is the highest expression of free will: living in freedom from bondage to ego, to desires.
Whether the marriage is coming to you through your parents or through your own choice, you need to go inside and feel what is best, then do that best thing and leave the results in God’s hands. Yes, your decision may be karmically determined, but the real question is, Who is running your life: God or ego? If it’s God, then you’re on the right track.
I know that what I am about to ask is not a good thing for a person on the spiritual path( I am a kriyaban).But, my lack of hair is really affecting my self-esteem and I feel depressed. Can you provide me with a spiritual solution like a prayer chant for thick healthy hair?. Thank you.
P.S-please do not publish my name on the site. Thank you once again.
Thank you for your question. Ultimately we must understand that we are made of God’s light, but it is natural to want to look one’s best. You do not mention if you are male or female, or young or old. Is your "lack of hair" severe enough to get in the way of marriage or career? These days it is fashionable for men to shave the head, so that is why I ask you if you are male or female.
Here are a few ideas to help you:
- Practice gratitude for the things that are healthy and well in your bodily temple. Do you have healthy eyes, ears, skin, feet and hands and internal organs? If so, give thanks for the miracle of wellness that is happening in those areas of your health. Be grateful every day.
- From this grateful attitude, you can then visualize that every atom and cell of your being is well in God’s Light. Know that this is already true in your astral body.
- Please also do this affirmation every day for general wellness and lifting of your spirits.
- From this attitude of wellness you can pray to be guided to an answer, and then leave it in God’s hands. Be at peace. There are many solutions to help one’s hair to be thicker, in Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, and in western herbal traditions. Let prayer and gratitude guide you to find the solution.
- Finally, determine to be at peace with your situation, no matter what the outcome. Be not only at peace, but be in full joy and love. Be grateful for every good thing.
- Write something in a gratitude journal, every single day.
- And if still you find you are regretting your general lack of hair, please look up Nicholas James Vujicic. He is in his early 30’s and was born with no limbs. He said, “I never met a bitter person who was thankful, or a thankful person who was bitter.”
- And consider getting an attractive wig or headscarves, etc. Make yourself as attractive as possible, so you can then forget about it. Do your best and leave the results in God’s hands.
And last but not least, find a way to be of compassionate service to others, such as the poor orphans or widows in India. (Ananda India has recently started a trust to help the less fortunate.)
Please do not feel that I am saying this in order to minimize your feelings about your hair, or lack thereof, but rather to help you find the pathway to joy in the midst of this karma. I hope and pray you will be deeply blessed with Guru’s grace.
Director, Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry
Is going almost breathless and having out of body experiences during meditation better than feeling calmness and inner peace after meditation?
Yogananda used to say, "Whatever comes of itself, let it come." He used this phrase to describe the right attitude for dealing with what life brings you — failure or success, poverty or wealth, sickness or health — just let it come but do not let what comes define you or determine your happiness. If you live centered within your Self then whatever does come cannot change your inner happiness.
I think this is also the right attitude for what you experience in meditation — "Whatever comes of itself, let it come." — don’t deliberately seek any particular kind of experience. One genuine experience of Divine consciousness is no "better" than another. Instead, concentrate on becoming still in body and mind, and offering yourself to God. What you experience in meditation will grow and change over time.
In the Autobiography of a Yogi, Yogananda wrote that God is "ever-new Joy." Don’t become fixed on what you want to experience. Let God’s blissful ever-newness beguile you. Let the guru decide what experiences you need.
Puru (Joseph) Selbie
Where to find a yogi guru?
Has anyone in Ananda Sangha attained nirvkalpa samadhi or sahaj samadhi state? 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 he leave the spiritual path and opt for a married life?
Paramhansa Yogananda was already a fully realized master when he came into being. He had attained high states of consciousness and more. Whether Swami Kriyananda attained samadhi or not, we don’t really know. Yogananda told Swamiji that he would, but not until the end of his life. Many of us feel that he was freed. And many feel that he was free already because of the high state of his consciousness, his energy and accomplishments, and his compassion and love for all. Just any human being could not have done all that he has done unless they were deeply connected with God.
Swamiji did marry but he never left the spiritual path. Marriage doesn’t mean you cannot be searching for the Divine. He later divorced and became a Swami again. He always kept his discipleship with Yogananda a living presence in his life ever since he met Master and took vows from him.
If you want to find these states of samadhi, you too need to make the choice of always keeping your guru (especially if he is Self-realized) in your consciousness and to follow his guidance which you can receive in meditation.
Ananda continues to give teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda to all who ask. Through them you can find liberation. But it is up to you and your intensity and your energies that will make it all happen. Keep the focus of your attention on finding libration for yourself and give everything to God.
I enjoy reading about the lives of saints. But I have noticed how incredibly difficult their lives were. Let’s see, beheaded, stoned, imprisoned, burnt at the stake,shunned, scorned, crucified . . . and gee, I want to be just like them when I grown up (spiritually)! I don’t understand how a person who is on the verge of sainthood could still have such terrible karma. I’m not looking forward to this! Is this the final hazing before we get to join the fraternity of saints?
The sacrifices we see the saints make, they accept willingly, not in a spirit of mere resignation, but as the will of God. They are certainly working out karma, but in some cases helping out the karma of others.
Don’t be concerned for the future. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." The spiritual path makes us strong. What would destroy the spirit of most is handled with courage and faith by one who feels God’s presence and accepts "that which comes of itself."
Honor the saints and follow their example in the challenges of your own daily life and you will have nothing to fear!
I am searching to learn more about God, to be more in relationship with the world around me. I’m not really sure where to start, I have faith that when I am ready I will find my teacher but I would like to learn more about meditation and finding a spiritual path. Is anyone able to recommend any reading or anything that would be helpful to someone starting out please?
I would suggest several possibilities. There are a number of excellent books that you can read for free online on the Ananda Sangha Worldwide website: These include The Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda and The New Path by Swami Kriyananda.
Another online resource is the Ananda Virtual Community. You'll find a variety of activities that may be helpful to you.
Let us know if you have any further questions.
In divine friendship,
My small town has an Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) meditation group that I meditate with periodically. I have noticed that their invocation of the lineage includes both "Mahavatar Krishna" and Babaji separately. Their photos on the altar always include Krishna. I noticed this also in the Yogananda movie. Why does Ananda combine Babaji and Krishna? If this change was made by Swami Kriyananda, why? In most ways, SRF’s satsang is just like Ananda’s, but this difference stands out.
Actually, it was Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) that made the change sometime in the late 1960's; at that time they decided to separate Krishna and Babaji. It was at that time they added the photo of Krishna to the altar and changed the invocation. Ananda has felt to retain both the altar and the invocation as was given by Paramhansa Yogananda himself. If you look back to photos of the time when Yogananda was still in his body, you'll notice that Krishna was not included on the altar.
How do I repent for my sins? I have committed same mistakes again and again consciously. I have broken the Brahmacharya vrat in in depression many times. How do I come out of this guilt complex?
Paramhansa Yogananda said, "Life is a battle all along the way. May I win the battle on the very spot in which I stand."
It sounds like you are aware of your mistakes and you want to overcome them. Here is a question that you might want to look at:
Are you working with yourself as you are, or are you trying to become someone that you are not, forcing yourself to act in ways that are not suited to your nature?
Guilt is a waste of time. It keeps you stuck, constantly blaming yourself without doing anything to improve the situation. You need to use your will power to resist the guilt urge, and when it comes up anyway, to affirm the opposite.
Here are a few suggestions that might help you:
- Daily meditation practice, by yourself and with a support group. If you don’t have one, please check Ananda’s meditation section.
- Choose battles that you can win. Start with a small battle that you have a chance winning, and gradually take on bigger battles. Remember: You can’t fight all the battles at once. Maybe at this time in your life, Brahmacharya is not right for you. Maybe being in a relationship will actually help you grow and expand your consciousness.
- Choose to be in a positive supportive environment that will help you overcome negative tendencies.
- Use your will power consciously and direct your energy in positive directions. Our will power is one of the greatest tools that God gave us to become successful and to overcome negative habits. You need to use it wisely.
Best wishes to you,
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