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APS
India

Question

Hello Ananda Family,

Firstly would like to thank you all from my heart for answering each and every question with patience and love. God bless you All.

My Question is out of curiosity.

Q: How have all Great Masters in past maintained the relationships with their siblings, even after attaining enlightenment? Although I have heard that there is no mine or yours left after enlightenment, but still others might not be in same state as they were.

Thanks

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear friend, APS,

If you haven’t yet read Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda, you will enjoy it and may find your answers there.

Yogananda had seven brothers and sisters. As he writes of himself, you can see him entering into the play of a "normal" childhood relationship with his siblings. If you also read the book, Mejda, written by his brother about Yogananda’s life, you see that his family always realized there was something special about Yogananda.

Siddharth Patel
India

Question

I am a beginner in spiritual life. I know that God is all pervading so I find it difficult to worship any specific form of God. To which form of God should I worship? What did Yoganandaji suggest?

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Siddharth,

Congratulations on beginning your spiritual quest. Much joy awaits you.

The best form of God to worship is the form that you can best relate to, aspire to, and love — whatever awakens your heart’s love.

For that reason, Yoganandaji suggested that most people would do well to relate to God as Divine Mother: God within creation. Since we too are “in creation,” one could say that’s the closest aspect of God to us. In reality, of course, there is no closer or farther, for God is everything. But our human minds tend to see things that way. We also think of the human mother as ever-forgiving and unconditionally loving, whereas the human father is often seen as more distant, more likely to discipline and judge us. Those qualities can — in our own minds, only — carry over to our perspectives on God. So it’s easy to see how we might naturally feel more attracted to God as Divine Mother than as Heavenly Father.

Robbie
Netherlands

Question

I’ve read that approaching God as your Beloved is dangerous because it's too intimate.

I've found though that approaching God as Beloved works better for me because I can think of my beloved all the time, as I do in human relationships, and it brings a tendency to feel that He's the only one I love and need. Also it is easier to see the Beloved in all. It seems harmless to me.

If it’s possible, can you explain more about the dangers?

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Robbie,

Yours is especially a good question because much of western culture (and certainly Dutch culture) is head, not heart oriented. The intellectual approach to life and truth is suspicious of traditional forms of devotion because they can seem or in fact be fanatical and irrational.

Siddharth Patel
India

Question

What is the meaning of surrender to God? How can I keep the attitude that God is the doer while working?

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Siddharth,

"Surrender" to God means many things but certainly starts with or includes openness to God’s presence in our lives. It includes being open to do (and think, and say) what is true, right, and just. It is another way of saying that we should be willing to do "God’s will" as it is shown to us by our common sense, moral and ethical guidelines, scripture, and the wisdom of the ages and sages.

Karen
UK

Question

Hi, Yogananda says that all desires must be fulfilled. Is this also the case with lower desires you may have when you’re young or emotional but grow out of? Will you have to 'suffer' the consequences of having those desires even after you’ve developed and now want different things? Thank you

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Karen,

Swami Kriyananda once asked Paramhansa Yogananda that very question: “Do you mean that even a desire I had once for an ice cream cone when I was six years old will have to be somehow fulfilled?" “Oh yes,” Yoganandaji replied.

Every desire traps some of your energy in a whirlpool. That energy must be freed in order for you to become Self-realized. It can be freed either through fulfilling the desire outwardly (not the recommended—or even feasible—approach), or through spiritual practices. As Patanjali put it in his Yoga Sutras: “Yoga is the neutralization of the whirlpools of feeling. Then the Seer abides in Its essence.” In other words, once you have dissolved the energetic whirlpools of desires, like and dislikes, etc., you will live in soul consciousness.

Karan K
Australia

Question

I find that when I fall asleep again after my morning meditations, I have scary disturbing dreams. The theme is always the same. Spirits of some sort or someone harming me in the dreams. I am always trying to say Om Guru or call out our Guru’s name but I can’t seem to find my voice, nothing comes out. I can only call mentally. Why does thus happen?

Nayaswami Parvati

Nayaswami Parvati

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Karan,

Many times when we dream what we experience are simply random thoughts that are stored in the subconscious mind. What is stored there is unique to each person, and contains every thought we have ever had (over all our lifetimes), no matter how insignificant it might be. In fact, the subconscious mind can be compared to a refrigerator, in that it does not discriminate, but simply stores thoughts.

October 16
2014

nishanth
india

Question

For a mind without perceptions does karma exist??

Good and bad exists only when you perceive, e.g. people perceive this is right and that is wrong and live in illusion.

When a child without knowing playfully kills ants, does this create karma?

Nayaswami Pranaba

Nayaswami Pranaba

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Nishanth,

Paramhansa Yogananda described the mind as that part of us that perceives the reality we live in. So the mere fact that we have a mind also entails that we have perceptions. The mind, by its inherent nature, tends to see the separateness of everything, but it also helps us to distinguish between good and bad.

Josh
USA

Question

Hello,

I’m having trouble praying for an opportunity for a career change. The job I currently have is unfulfilling. I’ve become certified to become a personal trainer in the hope of helping people improve their quality of life. However, I’m having trouble finding a job. I wish to pray for an opening but feel like it is a selfish request and isn’t “worthy.” I’m confused as how to proceed. Any guidance would be very appreciated.

Thank you and God bless,

Josh

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Josh,

Yogananda in his book, Whispers from Eternity, prefers to use the word “demand” instead of the word “prayer.” [Editor's note: See the "Hints to the Reader" section.] He said that we are God’s children and therefore have dominion over all things in the universe, even as He has. Therefore we have the right to demand of our Heavenly Father to help fulfill our needs.

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