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paige
usa

Question

Is starting a family a mistake on the spiritual path? My sadhana is much shorter than it was before I had a child, and I sometimes wonder if we made the right choice. Yet I do feel closer to God than ever even though the meditation portion of my life has decreased. Could you lend some insight to this?

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Friend,

The results of your decision reveal to you a greater depth and Atunement even in spite of having less time to meditate. God can come to us whenever we are, for God is our very Self. As our hearts are attuned to the divine presence we will feel that presence in ourselves, in our children, in every moment.

Indrani
India

Question

If despite not so good behavior, one has a soft corner for someone due to past connections, is it a weakness and attachment, or is it true love?

Nayaswami Seva

Nayaswami Seva

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Indrani,

Choose always to love. But understand that love needs to come from a higher source, such as your guru or God. I have found that we do not really know what love is as it gets all tangled with emotions and past experiences. It is best to always turn toward God and draw his light and love into your heart and spiritual eye. You are ready then to give love to all.

valerie
usa

Question

I work in a place that has people who influence my old bad habits. But the job pays well and I need to support my family. How can I distance myself so that these tendencies are not activated?

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Ananda Maine

Answer

Dear Valerie,

I understand you are trying to put some unhealthy or harmful habits behind you and those you work with still engage in those same diversions and perhaps encourage you to do the same. Your resolve is being tested!

Here are 5 suggestions to help you:

Rajesh
India

Question

Dear Sir, Pranam,

I have been following Yogananda and Babaji from the past 6 years and I am a Kriyaban. Sir, throughout my life my conduct has been honest and innocent like a child. Yet on many occasions, people have cheated me, badly affecting my morale. I have lost not only my peace, and money, but have lost faith as well.

Sir, when I don’t do anything wrong, why again and again do I get trapped and something goes drastically wrong? Is it because of very bad Karma of mine in my past life?

Pranam,

Rajesh

Nayaswami Pranaba

Nayaswami Pranaba

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Rajesh,

Karma definitely comes into play with everything that happens to us. The important thing is that in this lifetime we endeavor to make the choices to overcome these tendencies that draw to us the experiences that you have described.

The best way to overcome one’s karma, and to neutralize the effect other people have in your life, is to meet whatever karma comes to you calmly and pleasantly. Concentrate not your problems with others, but more on generating a strong flow of positive energy.

PNG
USA

Question

I have always struggled with cannabis addiction. I understand that this habit poisons not just our will power but also the lungs and the brain. Any addiction is counter to the teachings and the ray of the Masters. It is a hindrance to the seeker and inner freedom. In meditation I once felt the Guru say, “I can’t work through you when you smoke.” Could it be any more clear? Do you have suggestions?

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear PNG,

You’re quite right about the damage that this habit can wreak—physically, mentally and spiritually. And I agree with you: what the Guru said couldn’t be clearer. You know what you need to do. The question is, Will you do it? I suggest a few steps:

dhruv parikh
india

Question

In the King James Version of the Holy Bible, I read in Genesis that “...the descendants of Adam, when Adam was 130 year old he had son Seth. Adam lived another 800 years and died at age of 930. When Seth was 105, he had son Enoch and he lived 807 years.” I know this things are written in deep allegory. Can you please give me deeper meaning of this story?

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Dhruv,

You are correct that many things in the Bible are written in allegory. However, in this case, it may be that words of truth are being expressed. We know from the teachings of the great yogi masters that in past ages, people have lived for many more years than they do now. And this will happen again in future, higher ages. All this comes about due to the great cycles of time called the “Yugas.” We are now in Ascending Dwapara Yuga and you can see from recent history that each generation lives a bit longer than the one before it. In higher ages people live longer. In lower ages, people die earlier.

melanya
usa

Question

What is the difference between sympathy and empathy? And which is the more important quality to develop on the spiritual path?

Nayaswami Pranaba

Nayaswami Pranaba

Ananda Village

Answer

A simple way to understand the difference is that sympathy is when we feel pity or sorrow for someone else’s misfortunes, whereas empathy is when we understand and share the feelings of someone else.

Empathy is more important to develop on the spiritual path since one is able to feel the connection with someone who is suffering rather than just feel sorry for someone. Of course we also need to emphasize non-attachment so we are not caught in the potential whirlpool of emotions.

August 6
2014

Annalisa Rishika
Italy

Question

Hello, I am a disciple of Yogananda since 1992. My name is Anna, and Rishika is the name that Ananda has chosen for me as a gift from Guruji. I would like to know something about how to use this gift for creating a new habit, toward a positive goal, about which, as I read, Yogananda spoke.

Tyagi Jayadev

Tyagi Jayadev

Ananda Assisi, Italy

Answer

Dear Rishika, Many greetings.

Your name is indeed a gift, as it means “saintly.” It speaks to your soul and is a direction of your growth. We all have an ego and a soul, and there is a battle going on between these two. Your name stimulates you to win that battle, as it always reminds you of your true, beautiful, divine Self.

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