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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

Costin Chiroiu Boteanu
Romania

Question

Hello,I am interested in the connection between mind and consciousness.As I understand consciousness enters the body through the brain and spine. The ovum and sperm unite to form the body at the medulla and life-force is forming the brain, spine, etc. Spirit is the consciousness, entered in a body, mind is related to it and after a life’s experience the mind is enriched (or not), the level of consciousness is raised (or not), and consciousness is exiting the body and is ready to come to a new life ?

Nayaswami Parvati

Nayaswami Parvati

Ananda Village

Answer

The role of consciousness in our lives, as I have understood it from both Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda, is all-pervasive. If you use the understanding of consciousness that they taught in your life, it will revolutionize the way you think about everything and the way you live your life!

Consciousness is the all-pervading reality underlying every level of existence: material, energy, and thought. In India this consciousness is described as Satchidananda: “Ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new bliss!”

It is this consciousness that brought the whole universe into manifestation out of Itself: first in thought, then through giving that thought energy, then by manifesting that energy as form in the material world. It is consciousness that works through the mind, through the personality, the feelings and emotions, and the body. Consciousness is the primary reality, not matter. When we look at the world in this way, we then find that attuning to the right consciousness is the most important thing we can be doing.

It is our level of consciousness that attracts to us the thoughts that we think. This is a revolutionary way of seeing the world we live in!

Paramhansa Yogananda brought a way to begin to access the reality of consciousness and energy when he came to America in 1920 and introduced the Energization Exercises. It is through these exercises, and understanding how to direct energy in the body through using our will power, that we begin to experience that we are made of energy. Once we begin to realize this, then we know that we are a much more fluid being than we ever imagined!

The greater the will power, the greater the flow of energy.

The greater the flow of energy, the greater the magnetic field.

And the greater the magnetic field, the more we will attract the consciousness that supports our efforts. If we want those efforts to include spiritual growth, then we associate with those who have a spiritual consciousness. In India this kind of association is called “satsang.”

When the soul leaves the physical body at death, for most people it enters the astral world and retains an astral body of energy as well as an ego. It remains there for a period of time, after which it is drawn again into a physical body through the force of its material desires. Until we are freed from ego and from our physical karma and desires, this cycle will be repeated endlessly.

Robin
UK

Question

re the 9 day cleanse diet, the raw vegetable salad;

can this be made from several vegetables at once ie carotts, broccoli, cauliflower?

thank you

robin

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Robin,

In the 9-day cleansing diet you can use one raw vegetable salad or mix several raw vegetables.

Here is a link to the 9-day cleansing diet written by Nayaswami Devi. She explains the process very clearly.

Blessings,

Nayaswami Diksha

Kim Simpkins
USA

Question

I am interested in the spiritual path, but have also observed many people who seem to use the path to disconnect from painful feeling and unresolved issues from childhood rhather than for authentic growth. How can we know what feelings and issues must be faced and whilch will "vanish in meditation" if we are persistent enough. Thank you for any clarity you can offer.

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Kim,

You’ve asked a very good question and made a good observation also. Yes, people sometimes use the path or their meditation practices to deny or disconnect from pain or unresolved issues. But they will soon find out that simply denying or disconnecting does not work as an effective way to deal with unresolved issues.

What we are going for with deep meditation is transmutation rather than suppression or denial. This means not denying your past issues, but learning to work with them as energy patterns, stored within yourself, which can be released through meditation techniques, especially Kriya Yoga, very effectively.

Then again, sometimes people do need assistance from others, in the form of counseling, to overcome certain deep-seated issues which they are finding that meditation alone simply can’t take care of for them.

But I believe your main question is "... how can we know what feelings and issues must be faced and which will vanish through meditation practices?" Answer: You really cannot know this absolutely perfectly until you have developed perfect powers of discernment or discrimination. This is what the great Masters have done and what we will eventually do also.

In the meantime, we can use any technique that we feel is most appropriate at any given time. How to find out what is most appropriate? Pray a lot as a part of your meditative life. Develop your intuition as a way to be inwardly guided to find that perfect balance between looking within and looking outside to others for help. Pray and then trust that you will be guided, meditate as much as possible, and these answers surely will come at just the right time.

Here’s a book I would strongly suggest that you read this book to find out more ideas on exactly how to do this. See Intuition for Starters. Blessings!

Kulwant
India

Question

Why so much stress is given on padmasana and khechari mudra? How padmasana help us spiritually except giving fixed posture? And is talabhya kriya enough to accomplish full khechari mudra, or there are some other techniques also? I also wanna know that is it safe to practise kriya yoga without any guru? I tried to find a guru but after failing i started practising myself. Thanks.

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Kulwant,

In addition to assuring fixed posture, Padmasana puts both hands and both feet in an upturned position. The soles of the feet and the palms of the hands are among the body’s best life-force receivers, so this position of the body provides unique benefits — provided there is no discomfort.

Khechari Mudra is given much emphasis because it is a powerful technique for sending energy directly from the medulla oblongata to the spiritual eye, thereby avoiding having energy go down the spine and out to the periphery of the body. Talabhaya Kriya is one excellent technique for working toward Khechari. Another is simply to reach the tip of the tongue as far back on the roof of the mouth as possible, and hold it there.

As for practicing Kriya Yoga without a guru, there are various techniques that have the name Kriya Yoga, and I do not know which of those you are practicing. Therefore I cannot comment on the safety of what you are doing. If you are doing any of the Kriya Yoga techniques with which I am familiar, you would not be endangering yourself. However, the real power of any technique is awakened only when you tune in to the guru’s consciousness.

In any case, do your sadhana with deep sincerity and devotion. God will send you to your guru when the time is right, and your guru will show you what is best for you to practice.

Blessings,

Gyandev

Meena
United Kingdom

Question

Namaste

Hope all is well with at Ananda.

Why is sex discouraged before marriage? Due to current social norms regarding that it is mandatory to have sex with a boyfriend while in relationship(s) before marriage takes place. What does Master say about that? Should it be restricted? Or is it Ok? I read in a christian book that when Solomon came into sexual contact with the egyptian models, it’s as if the Gods those ladies worshipped came into contact with his energy and thus he fell.plz expand topic

Nayaswami Parvati

Nayaswami Parvati

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Meena,

I have been thinking about your question, and here are some thoughts about this very important and little understood part of our nature. I would first like to share with you a quote from the Finding Happiness book, by Swami Kriyananda, in response to the “current social norms” that you mentioned.

See yourself as a cause, not an effect. Accept from others only what you choose to accept: their good suggestions but not their insistence on them; their constructive criticisms but not their anger. Radiate into the world around you the light of faith and wisdom.

This statement assumes that people are looking to gain light and faith and wisdom in their lives. In the yogic tradition, the sexual energy itself, unless it is understood and used rightly, is considered one of the great obstacles to spiritual enlightenment.

This is because it is a very powerful energy that can be used either to uplift you spiritually or to draw you deeper into delusion. When this energy is expressed outwardly in sexual union, it draws the energy in the spine down, and into the lower chakras. If it is over-used, then it can gradually dissipate a person’s overall energy. This, naturally, depends on how frequently a person engages in sexual activity.

On the other hand, if we work to transmute and uplift the sexual energy, we find that it supports our spiritual development, filling us with great strength and joy. Yogananda refers to this process in the book The New Path, by Swami Kriyananda. In the chapter on Renunciation, he explains to a group of his monks,

If the sex drive were taken away from you, you would see that you had lost your greatest friend. You would lose all interest in life. Sex was given to make you strong. If a boxer were to fight only weaklings, he too would grow weak in time. It is by fighting strong men that he develops strength. The same is true in your struggle with the sex instinct. The more you master it, the more you will find yourself becoming a lion of happiness.

At Ananda we have found it helpful to work with the idea of balance in the process of "mastering" the sexual energy. Since most people are not looking to live a life of complete celibacy, it’s usually more helpful for them to work on gradually channeling the sexual energy upward using the techniques of yoga. If you want to grow spiritually, then you will want to know more about how to use this energy for your own highest happiness and fulfillment.

Suggested reading on this topic would be:

Both of these books may be purchased from Crystal Clarity Publishers.

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