About the Expert
Nayaswami Sadhana Devi
Nayaswami Sadhana Devi is a founding member of Ananda and a lightbearer, now serving in India with her husband Nayaswami Jaya.
Sadhana Devi and Jaya worked for many years to build Ananda Village in California, then served for a few years on the East Coast, helping to build another kind of community. In 2006 they came to India to join the Ananda Sangha staff at Gurgaon. After two years helping to build community in Pune they are returning to the Ananda Sangha headquarters in the Delhi area (Gurgaon), where they will continue to teach and work with outreach services.
Jaya and Sadhana Devi have a daughter, Shyama, in Portland, Oregon.
Posts by Nayaswami Sadhana Devi:
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A very close one of my family knows tantrik vidya. He can know from a distance what’s happening in whose life. He has told certain things about me, which arose my suspicion as its a little impossible 2 know prrsonal details as he told.
I don’t want to be suspicious about him, as it is a sin to doubt someone without proof, but what is the way to protect us from such intrusions of privacy. I have also been told someone did “tutka” on me.I had a turbulent life for the past 10 years. How do I take God’s help to protect ourselves?
As you seem to know, tantra can be a dangerous practice, especially for someone who is unfamiliar with its deeper truths. That said, there are ways you can protect yourself from evil influences of all kinds. The great masters are always with us and we can call on their aid at any time. Here are two techniques you can practice:
My understanging is that Master’s main mission was to the West. Why is Ananda putting so much energy in India. Isn’t the greater need in the West?
Yes, it is true that Yoganandaji’s main mission was for the West. When he came to America in 1920 there was little, if any consciousness of God within, or of the possibility that one could have a personal relationship with God. Yoganandaji’s directive came from Babaji through Sri Yukteswar, to go to the West, where people were beginning to yearn for that relationship. As it says in our ceremony, A Festival of Light,
I have been practicing meditation for more than 2 or 3 years but I skip out after every 2 or 3 days. When I meditate for more than 20 mins, my legs pain. Could you let me know how to meditate without getting into this pain? I am also able to concentrate max. for 25 to 30 mins. Recently I also started using the Hong Sau technique which seems good. I am only concerned on energizing myself to relieve the pain and meditate for a long time. Please guide me.
You are not alone in your leg pain! I am assuming that you are sitting on the floor in a cross legged position, perhaps in lotus or half lotus pose. This is a difficult posture to master, but over time it will become easier if you take it slowly. It should help you if you sit on a small cushion, with your hips on the cushion and your knees on the floor. You might want to try a little hatha yoga before you sit to meditate, perhaps with vajrasana, the firm pose, holding the pose just for a minute or two. This will help to relax the thighs and knees.
I consider myself an American practitioner of Hindu ideas. As a foreigner how can I expect to be treated when visiting India, and where do foreigners fall in the world of caste?
Living in India for the past 6 years I have found that Indians in general are courteous and friendly to Americans.
Of course, the more Westernized a city, the more likely are its residents to speak English and accommodate American customs. It's important for us as guests, however, to respect Indian customs, which often can be very different from ours (remember that we are on the other side of the world, and many things are opposite!)
During my meditation practice (seated observation of normal breath for 20 minutes/day) I become unable to sit for another moment about 7-12 minutes in. It's like I want to jump out of my own skim - it's new. I think it's just some strong emotion that I may not be ready for. So far I keep practicing without judging it and I will hopefully I'll get through it eventually. Any thoughts? Thanks!
Your dillemma is a common one, especially for beginners.
Most of us have to practice quite a bit to reach the ability to sit for long periods. Your solution seems to be a good one, and I am sure that you will eventually overcome.
I think I want to follow the spiritual path, but I don't know how to tell this to my materialistic family, as they might think I have gone crazy or think I have fallen into a fad. Do you have any advice for "coming out" about my desire to explore spirituality to parents and family members?
Your situation is common, and poses an interesting challenge to the spiritual seeker. How can we present our spiritual activities in a way that others can understand?
Yogis say that God is often experienced as peace and calm, and many seekers begin their spiritual search by seeking to increase these qualities in their lives. Most people, no matter how materialistic, can understand one's efforts at stress management - in other words, one's search for a way to reach peace and calmness.
i am not able to meditate more than 15.20 mins a day. and long stretches become disguised thought awareness programs.
yesterday however i noticed the emotions behind my thoughts, the emotions or feelings preceded the thought and were usually starting from the stomach!! that was good in a way since the thoughts would go away once i tracked the preceding emotion!!
is this real or just a egoic hallucination.
also no bad dreams or dreams for that matter within two weeks of med
Your practice of 15-20 minutes a day is a very good start. Congratulations!
As time goes by you will find it easier to practice longer, but quality is more important than quantity.
As you have discovered, thoughts will begin to intrude as you sit longer. The best way to deal with them is to keep your attention focused at the point between the eyebrows, which we call the spiritual eye. To concentrate at the point between the eyebrows, look upward - not crossing your eyes, but converging them slightly as though you were gazing at your thumbnail outstretched above you.
I have read that we come into this world to learn our lessons, if we understand why that test is there, and put positive energy in that direction, we can learn faster.
Now, in my life till now, I have found out that there is one test pattern that comes repeatedly. Whenever I love a guy, that guy never loves me. It happens only when I feel romantic love, not in any other relation. I feel very difficult to overcome and get back to normal. Please suggest what this test wants me to learn.
You pose a common question. It often happens that we feel love that is not always returned, whether a romantic relationship or some other.
True love is not about receiving love, but about giving love. Loving heroically means to continue to love, even when it is met with disinterest, or even disdain.
I have recently finished reading Swami Kriyananda's book "The New Path" and have thought of taking Kriya Yoga course. Somehow, part of me is not sure if I am ready to take them, even with your free online offer of the overview course. I have been meditating for quite sometime and really would like to have proper intructions to help me improve. Is there a way I would know that I am ready for the work of Kriya Yoga ? Or, any other suggestions? Thank you.
It's good that you are approaching this thoughtfully. You don't need to decide at this point about your readiness. The full course takes about 1 year, culminating in the Kriya initiation.
During that year you will be learning several of our preliminary techniques, which are general and can be applied to many meditation types. About half way through you will be asked if you want to become a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda and this line of gurus ( a requirement for the intiation). If so, your studies will continue.
I was told that God watches us in each and every moment. He guides us and he is our teacher. As God is our true teacher if we make a mistake or do sins isn't this his fault? that he didn't stopped us. Sure he shows us some signs even tries to change our way. But God has the power to do anything then why doesn't he stops us from doing sins?
Your question is a good one. As well as watching what we do, God also gives us free will. As you say, sometimes he shows us some signs, or tries to stop us from making mistakes. It's our choice, however, to heed these signs, or not, as we prefer. When we make a choice not to heed the signs, we usually suffer the outcome. When we try to keep God in our minds and hearts and follow his guidance we often find that our lives work better. Even if this doesn't happen we find that we are more able to face our tests with a calm and joyful heart. It's been said that Divine Mother has everything but our love. She wants us to come back to her, but only by our own will and choice. We can show our love by listening for God's messages to us, and by trying to learn from our mistakes.