Three Different Questions


Hi everybody! When I close my eyes and try to meditate, I can hear a sound which we normally hear when we place a conch near our ear. It is like a combination of waves and crickets sound. What is it?

Also in the book, “In the Sanctuary of the Soul”, Paramhansaji has written that prayer works only if we demand with love. How do we get that love in our heart?

Also I want to know when we feel doubtful or frustrated, while asking for something, is it given by God? If yes, how do we overcome it? By prayer?

—Sangita, India


Dear Sangita, It is most likely you are hearing one or more of the inner sounds (AUM sounds) of the chakras. So this is a good sign for you! If you would like instructions on exactly how to listen to and be absorbed in these inner sounds, you may learn how from Ananda Sangha, in a class, in book form, or on-line. The AUM technique of inner communion is the 3rd of the techniques of Paramhansa Yogananda’s Kriya Yoga path.

Developing devotion or awakening the natural love of our hearts may be accomplished in a variety of ways (the love is already there, we only need to become more aware of its presence). Prayer, chanting, meditation, self-less service to others, being with devotional people — all these are major tools to develop devotion.

Devotion means to devote your all your heart’s energy to God alone and then let that great power of God’s love flow back through your heart into the world around you, as Divine Unconditional Love. God loves us so much, we can’t even imagine! We just need to tune in more and more to that flow of love.

Yogananda teaches us to pray believing that God loves us as a parent loves a child (really even more!), and wants only the best for us. But often we don’t know what is best for us to have; we even pray for things which might end up being harmful to us. So it’s best to end every prayer, especially those in which you are asking for something specific, with a phrase like: “I am praying for this, but I pray that it will be Your will, not mine. I trust that You know best for me!” Praying in this way should take away all your sense of doubt or frustration.

And yes, prayer helps everything to be better in our lives, but only if coupled with its essential partner, meditation. Prayer is talking to God. Meditation is listening for the answers, which are heard best after your mind has become completely still and silent. Prayer without meditation is an incomplete practice — like a one-way conversation.