No pain, much gain!

Question

I recently had a headache and wanted to take some asprin to help it, but I didn't because I thought that maybe it wasn't a "natural" solution. So my question is, are there medicines that are recommened by Yoganandaji or Swami Kriyananda for various illnesses,or should I let it "run its course"?

—Josh, USA

Answer

Your question is a good one. It is asked by many, i.e. are medicines “good or bad” and how should we as yogis approach our physical bodies.

Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda do not promote certain medicines for specific illnesses. Yogananda does talk a lot about diet and exercise, and of course the Energization Exercises as an energetic way of dealing with all physical, emotional and spiritual ills.

However, central to our teachings is the realization that we all have to work with reality as we know it. In the Essence of the Bhagavad Gita Swami Kriyananda quotes Krishna, “O Arjuna, be thou a Yogi!” meaning “be one who works with, not in rejection of the energies of the body and the natural tendencies of the mind.”

If one can sit in meditation or do some Hatha Yoga, or even deep relaxtion, and the headache goes away, wonderful!

If however the pain persists, take the aspirin, say a prayer over it, realize that everything in this world cannot be anything other than divine, and take it!

Pain is not “good” for us, nor does senseless suffering allow us to attain our highest spiritual aspirations.