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Trajan
Europe

Question

Hello i am wondering would it be wrong of me to include Sri Anandamayi Ma with the Gurus ( Yogananda, Sri Yukteswar, Babaij, Jesus Krishna and Lahiri Mahasaya ) even if she is not one of the SRF or Ananda gurus? As I feel a connection with Anandamayi Ma as I do with the Gurus.

Nayaswami Devarshi

Nayaswami Devarshi

Ananda Village

Answer

First I'll answer what I think you may have meant, and then what you literally asked. There are a few saints and masters that Yogananda considered in tune with our line of Gurus. Swami Kriyananda told of Yogananda addressing this once:

Several of the monks were reading the lives of saints. At this time, the Master gave us the following recommendation as to what we should read of those lives:

“Read the lives only of those in our own line: Saint Francis of Assisi, for example, and Saint Teresa of Avila.”

His expression, “those who are in our own line,” was one I pondered for a long time. The Master could not have meant, “those who are directly connected with our line of gurus,” for we’d have had no way of knowing who such persons were. He could only have been referring, then, to saints who had attained deep states of inner communion with God. Not all saints, certainly, even among those canonized by the Church, belong in this higher category.

Conversations with Yogananda

Swami Kriyananda also gave some very good advice that is important and relevant for anyone who follows a Guru of any tradition. Many people don’t fully understand the importance of following one’s Guru 100% in everything. They also add to their practice and understanding what other teachers and Gurus give, and end up diluting what their own Guru gives to them. I know of one very popular modern saint/teacher who has said things that directly contradict Yogananda, for example, yet Yogananda disciples sometimes accept what this person says as truth.

In response to the more general question (not the one asked by you!) of going to other saints and teachers (much as the young Yogananda did), Swami Kriyananda advised that it’s fine to go for inspiration, but not for teachings, since the spiritual advice that even a true teacher gives might be for their disciples needs, and may in fact contradict one’s own Guru or at least be unhelpful.

That said, I’ve found Anandamayi Ma to be perhaps the most in tune and in agreement with our own line of Gurus, and I myself often read her words for the devotional inspiration they give me. I’ve also never found anything in her teachings that contradicts Yogananda’s.

But in general, it’s good to be cautious and ask the question that you ask.

As far as “including” her in our line of Gurus, well, she isn’t directly in our Guru lineage. But that doesn’t mean you can’t pray to her or have her photo on your altar. These things are very personal and individual, in the end. Swami Kriyananda also had a very, very deep and close connection with Anandamayi Ma, as did Yogananda.

joy,

devarshi

Stan
Belgium

Question

I heard Yogananda also believed in certain “omens,” like not starting a long journey on Thursday. And that Swami Kriyananda mentioned them in one of his books. Can you tell me about what omens Master believed in?

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Stan, In one of Swami Kriyananda’s very early books called A Visit to the Saints of India, he offers a long list of omens or superstitions, which he had just learned about while visiting India in 1972, which are commonly believed there. He then says:

Master [also] had a few such ‘superstitions’.... Here are several that I happen to remember:

July 3
2014

Diana Barrett
USA

Question

I am curious about great works of art, writing, music...

Are the artists channeling divine energy in this one aspect of their lives? (without knowing it?) I will say I am completely ignorant in regard to any of the works and the humans they came from. I don’t believe they were “spiritual” people, correct? So how do such enduring creations come to be? Thank you!

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Diana,

If we allow that our starting point is that the entire creation is a manifestation of divine consciousness, we can easily deduce that artistic excellence surely must derive, at least in part, from superconscious attunement. Great art communicates, though obviously not on rational or intellectual levels. Just as a person can be potentially psychic without being spiritually mature or advanced, so too a soul can develop great powers of intuition and talent applied to the arts, science, or indeed any field of human endeavor. Even the powerful magnetism of an evil person, say, Hitler or Stalin, draws its power from a higher, divine source: strange as that may seem.

Rachel
NZ

Question

Hi there,

I am struggling to find my inner vocation that suits me. I thought studying was what I wanted to do. I moved to a new place, gave up my job and became a full-time student. Now I want to try this other path and I am unsure if it is what I really want, since my last endeavor was something I wanted to try out, I am afraid to make a new decision. I have been reading “How to Be a Success” and in my heart I am feeling a little lost on what to choose.

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Rachel,

Sometimes a way forward will “feel” right, especially if you “offer it up” in meditation and prayer. But this method of finding clarity is not always successful. It could be because the various options you are considering for your way forward do not include the “one” that is right for you. Or perhaps your own emotional preferences about what you want to do are not allowing you to have a clear feeling about what would be best.

Devine
USA

Question

Even though I’ve committed to the path of Yogananda for 9 years, I find old habits stealing away my time that could be devoted to longer meditation. I was willing to renounce them easily in the beginning but now they have somehow subtly worked their way back into my life. I feel like I am like the Pandava brothers when they kept agreeing to gamble with Shakuni! Will this pass if I just keep on trying my best to meditate and serve Guruji’s work?

Nayaswami Pranaba

Nayaswami Pranaba

Ananda Village

Answer

To put this in perspective — I remember Swami Kriyananda once said that he always had a lot of respect for anyone that continued to remain committed to the spiritual path as the years go by. Why? It’s because life is always going to be a test that includes our past karma, as well as the karma from our present day choices. To remain firm and steady on our spiritual journey, no matter what challenges we face, is a tremendous blessing.

Roby
india

Question

How can I be free of lust? How can I convert this energy of lust into divine love? Why is it that this energy cannot stop? This energy corrupts my mind to lustful thoughts. I WANT TO BE FREE OF this problem so that I experience no problem in the spiritual path.

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Roby,

You are dealing with one of the greatest challenges on the spiritual path — but it is also the greatest opportunity. The energy that is manifesting as lust is the same energy that will give you liberation. Yogananda said our emotions were like “rocket fuel.” When we are troubled by lust our rocket fuel is focused downward in the spine. When we develop devotion and practice Kriya Yoga our rocket fuel is focused upward in the spine.

Jenny
USA

Question

How should we relate to spiritual authority?

Answer

I’ve always considered Swami Kriyananda to be Paramhansa Yogananda’s chosen messenger.

Master told Swamiji that he would not be merely a teacher, but that he would have spiritual responsibility for people. And an essential part of our relationship with him involves understanding how to relate to his spiritual authority.

June 27
2014

anu
india

Question

Hello

Since I suffer from backache I can’t sit for long. Can I do the hong-sau meditation lying down? I wont fall asleep.

Thanks

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Anu, The Hong-Sau technique of meditation can be done anywhere, any time, and in any position. However, meditation is much more effective if it is done, if at all possible, in an up-right sitting position, with a tall spine, and an open chest (heart chakra).

It is not merely a matter of not falling asleep. It is a matter of how energy flows in the body. When you are lying down, your energy (prana) naturally spreads out all over your body; and it becomes much more difficult to send the energy inward and upward toward the spiritual eye.

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