Questions and Answers
Sitting in Half Lotus Position at the end of hong-sau technique, when I exhaled and held the breath as much as is comfortable, something strange happened. I did not feel the need to breathe again and the top of my body began to spin counter clockwise faster and faster. I was scared and went back to breathe forcefully. I meditate using the SRF techniques for more than two years and is the first time this happens. I ask, is it normal? and what should I do? Should I keep breathlessness and allow the spin?
An experience such as you had is a very good thing. It is not unique, but as your past experience bears out, neither is it ordinary. The spinning was likely the result of your Kundalini energy beginning to rise, which needs to happen in order for one to grow spiritually. Kundalini rising should be a pleasant, enjoyable experience, not a scary one. However, even a positive thing can be a bit scary if it is extremely unfamiliar.
Swami Kriyananda recommended that, in a case such as this, you simply try to keep the body still so the experience stays as inward as possible, rather than getting translated into so much outward movement that it takes you out of the experience.
One more thing: Do not force the breath to stay out after you exhale at the end of Hong-Sau practice. Let it stay out as long as it wants to, but not longer. True breathlessness will happen on its own, not by force.
Best wishes for many more deep meditations.
how can i overcome the guilt inside me for the deeds done in the past out of ignorance?Now that i meditate and read religious books,i have come to understand the path of karma,but still this feeling of guilt is like choking me inside.I feel i have not come up to standards of society i live in and feel like betrayed my parents.How could i overcome this depression?
"The greatest sin is to call oneself a sinner," said Paramhansa Yogananda. I suggest you deeply contemplate these words because they hold an important key to answering your question about overcoming guilt.
You say you did some deeds in ignorance that may have hurt or betrayed your parents. Have you apologized and made amends to them? Have you let them know you are deeply sorry and have learned from your mistakes? Can you forgive yourself and grow from the wisdom you have gained?
I hope you can say yes to the above questions, because they are the first steps in overcoming the guilt you feel. The following is a quote from Swami Kriyananda’s essay, “The Final Exam,” from the book, Religion in the New Age:
Feelings of guilt will hinder you from making further progress, acting as affirmations of failure. Cast guilt, therefore, from your heart. You might even say to God frankly, “It’s You who set up this shadow show! It isn’t entirely my fault that, through inexperience, I didn’t know where the pitfalls lay!”
You are God’s child and God forgives you. Receive His loving forgiveness into your heart and let go of any attachment to guilt and errors you make.
In Divine Friendship,
Hi, a couple days ago I had quite the experience. Usually before going to sleep I meditate, while I was doing this I started to feel the beginning stages of the "out of body". I told myself that I was just too tired and wanted to go to sleep, then I had a ray of golden light surround mainly my head and golden orbs were flying in to my head and with each orb I can feel a rush of energy go through my spine. What does this mean?
These types of experiences indicate that you are likely tuning into the subtle astral realms of light and energy.
As we go deeper in our awareness, often the inner obstacles are released, which then allow these experiences to come to us. Enjoy them as gifts from the divine, but then release them back into the divine. Don’t cling to them. Rather, offer yourself into the center of whatever experience is coming to you. Give yourself more completely to God and then the right results will happen in the best possible way in your life.
Every sage teaches about non-duality and says there is nothing but The Self only. At the same time they talk about love for God. And here duality is created i.e. "I" and "God". Can you please help me understand this topic. Thank You.
Although there is nothing but God, our limited perception of reality tells us, “I am separate from God.” We simply can’t yet comprehend our oneness with Him.
Knowing this, the sages recommend that we work with what we can comprehend: a loving human relationship. When we love someone, our sense of sense of self begins to expand beyond the body and personality. Similarly, as we cultivate love for God, we begin to leave behind our limited self-identity. Because our separation from God is only an illusion, that is all we need to do; we need not become something else in order to experience our oneness with Him.
An oft-used analogy speaks of having a thorn stuck in your foot. You can use another thorn to dig it out, then throw both thorns away. Our sense of separateness is a misperception (a “thorn” that is stuck). We can use another thorn—love for God—to dig out that first thorn. Ultimately, we will throw away both thorns in the experience of our eternal oneness with Him.
Costin Chiroiu Boteanu
and all the very best to everyone involved in every form in spreading Ananda’s teachings worldwide. I want to ask you what are the spiritual implications for both after death rituals: cremation and interment .
Thank you very much.
Thank you for your kind words and all the best to you also. Thank you for writing us all the way from Romania!
It would take too long to answer you completely about the spiritual implications of death. But for a lot of good information on that subject, please see "The Final Exam" from Swami Kriyananda’s book Religion in the New Age.
Here’s a little more to answer your questions. After-death rituals? If you are with someone who has just died, Paramhansa Yogananda says it is good to chant AUM (Om-m-m) several times in his or her right ear. And pray deeply for the person to let go and go on into the astral world smoothly and without any fears, trying your best not to indulge in too much crying, emotional grief, that sort of thing. It might tend to hold a person down to his or her body, which you really wouldn’t want to do! Though you may be very sad for yourself, try to rejoice in their freedom! See them soaring in Divine Light.
We also have a beautiful Ananda funeral and graveside ceremony created by Swami Kriyananda. Part of that is the "Ananda Astral Ascension Ceremony" with really beautiful words, which are addressed to the soul of the departed. Let us know if you want more specific information about that.
Yogananda definitely said that a person’s body should be cremated as soon as possible after death (not buried). That way, the soul can go ahead and leave more quickly, to dwell in better places in the astral world, and not cling to the material body or this material world. We are now in the process of creating a beautiful new Memorial Garden by Lotus Lake at Ananda Village — a place for the scattering of ashes for all who wish to have that done for them here. Before now, people have done a variety of things, scattering ashes in the Ganges River in India or at any other place special or sacred to the deceased.
I am Yuvraj Arude 27 years old and want a guru. How do I find one?
It is well said that “When the disciple is ready, the guru appears!”
Seek inspiration and truth from those sources available to you by sincere study, meditation, service and prayer. As your soul is purified by your efforts, you will attract, step-by-step, the inspiration and guidance that you need.
The real question is NOT “Where is my guru?”, but “How can I grow spiritually?” This means “I am open and receptive to the lessons and teachings that I attract.” Always, however, use your common sense and trust your own inner guidance, lest you attract a false teacher. True gurus are very, very, very rare. But never give up, for God answers all prayers and deep and sincere prayers are answered more quickly.
Do you know of Ananda Sangha in India? I recommend that you visit the website, www.anandaindia.org. Paramhansa Yogananda, though no longer in the body, is a true guru. His teachings and his living presence through his disciples can help and guide you. Also, have you read his (now famous) life story, Autobiography of a Yogi? It is a must-read!
I am not able to understand what is the basis of relationship in this world? every time i feel some guy is suitable for me, he ditches me in the most horrible way known and i have always been truthful in all my relations. Is it karma or my ignorance that i am not able to see through people as they are? How can i develop this judgement for others so that i am protected in future?
The spiritual goal of human relationships is to help us get closer to God.
When someone is drawn to you, it is the result of your magnetism. It is not always easy to understand your own magnetism, but daily practice of meditation and daily constructive introspection can help you. Through these practices you will get to know yourself better, and begin to understand why these things have been happening to you. Then you will see more clearly the direction in which you need to change. All the while, pray to God to help you understand what kind of energy you are putting out that keeps drawing to you the wrong sort of men, and how you can change it. Also pray to God for the strength to make the changes that you need to make.
Here is a page where you can learn how to meditate. There is a video and written instruction as well.
I also recommend that you read Paramhansa Yogananda’s book, How to Love and Be Loved — also published as Spiritual Relationships in America. It will give you a much deeper understanding of human relationships.
Finally, it can be difficult to change your magnetism while you are in a relationship, so I suggest that you take a break from relationships for a while, until you can gain a better perspective on yourself and your relationships.
Blessings to you,
Is there anything wrong for a beginner to worship 'OM' as a form of God? I am a beginner. I am not interested in developing devotion towards any particular physical form of God. I am interested in Jnana Yoga rather than Bhakti Yoga. So is it alright to worship OM as a form of God by a beginner?
AUM is wonderful, the sound of the creation of the universe! But, as a beginner, you might want to approach meditation and the spiritual teachings with more of a sense of exploration. Otherwise you are determining from your beginning understanding of them what they have to offer you. It would be like coming to a professional to learn to play the game of tennis, but determining how you want to play before you even know much about it.
In the beginning of my own spiritual life and meditation practice, I also was drawn (by my mind and intellect) to a more gyana (also spelled "jnana") type of approach. But it was so dry and abstract that I didn’t really engage seriously in the practices. It wasn’t until I found a more balanced teaching that things began to fall into place. Without this I would have given up the practices completely — yet again.
Paramhansa Yogananda’s guru, Sri Yukteswar, who was considered a Gyanavatar (incarnation of gyana) during his lifetime, said that you cannot take one step along the spiritual path without developing the heart’s natural love. It’s not a matter of bhakti or gyana, it’s a matter of doing what works. And it’s not a matter of what we "worship," but of what we experience and become. So you don’t so much want to worship AUM, as to "become" AUM. It’s not enough to hear the sound of AUM. You need to eventually, through your deepening meditation practice, become one with it.
On the path of yoga, what matters most is your own direct experience in meditation. To gain this direct experience you have to commit to practicing, with devotion, the meditation techniques that will give this to you. Without having this, the ideas we have about spirituality, and how we relate to it, are only that — interesting ideas.
The meditation techniques that Ananda offers, based on Paramhansa Yogananda teachings, are very good for doing this. You might want to explore them through our Ananda Centers in India. You can find out more about this at the Ananda Sangha India website.
I hope these thoughts will be helpful for you, and I wish you many blessings in your practices.
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