our intuition is correct: when Master said the “Ego is the Soul identified with the body” he includes the mind with the body. In fact, as you may know from your studies of the yogic teachings, we have three bodies! The soul arises from the thought (or ideational or causal) body while the ego arises in the astral body.

And yes, our identification with our thoughts and emotions, memories, fears, and subconscious impressions and tendencies: all of these are a part of the “body.”

Because the mind is so much more subtle than the physical body, and because it is closer to the soul (being astral) than the physical body, it is much more difficult to disassociate our “Self” from the mind.

There are two basic approaches to breaking the hypnosis of self-identification with thoughts and feelings: 1) Mindfulness; watching the thoughts (without reacting to them), and 2) Focusing our attention upward in the positive direction of the soul. This includes devotion to God, Guru, or any impersonal manifestation of the soul such as peace, love, calmness, communion with AUM, and merging with the Inner Light at the point between the eyebrows. This second approach is recommended as best both by Patanjali and by Yogananda and many other great preceptors. Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita says that the I-Thou relationship is much easier for embodied beings.

The power to know the Soul as our true Self comes with the combination of self-effort and divine grace, including the grace of the Guru.

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Sharing Spiritual Insights

Nayaswami Maria

Question from APS: Hi Ananda Family, My Question: How should we react and act when we start to get the glimpses of spiritual gifts like knowing someone’s thoughts/mind, getting to know at exact moment about distant events. Should we share with others? Even out of excitement? Also how to start working on them so that it can be of service to others and…

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What Is Real Love?

Nayaswami Gyandev

Question from John Pish: Master wrote, “Real love finds happiness, even at the cost of great personal sacrifice, in the happiness of the loved one.” In my conjugal relationship, I have been struggling with the notion of real love, personal sacrifice, and dysfunctional helping. What are the earmarks of real love’s personal sacrifice? How does it contrast with the sacrifice caused by helping those…

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In Meditation, Focus on the Medulla Oblongata?

Nayaswami Pranaba

Question from Vikash sharma: How to concentrate on agya chakra (spiritual eye) having conciousness on medulla oblongata..is dis method really taught by lahiri mahasaya and gurudev..if so why it is not taught in ananda classes?

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Is It Always Right to Apologize?

Nayaswami Hriman

Question from Sangita: Namashkar! We have grown up learning that a man of strength in character apologizes when he wrongs someone. He is not scared or ashamed to say sorry to make the victim feel better. On the contrary, recently I read an article in which American psychologists say that apologizing may not be a good idea always as we give away our…

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Overcoming All Karma

Nayaswami Pranaba

Question from jayantkumar dhruv: If one must reap the fruits of all of one’s good and bad deeds, how can there be moksha (liberation), since even good deeds will bring fruits and keep the individual bound to the physical world?

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The Ego Is Both Foe and Friend

Joseph Puru Selbie

Question from Santhosh: Why do people never shed their ego? Throughout my life, I have seen many things which had a great start, but unfortunately due to someone’s EGO it didn’t last for long. Why do people put their ego first and compromise their relationships? Does Karma comes into play here?

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Is It Karma or God’s Answer?

Nayaswami Seva

Question from Pia Chatterjee: When we achieve something, how will we know whether it is a result of our unconscious good karma or God’s answer to our prayer. Another question, I have started meditating around 6 months back. Is it natural that for the first few months for us to break down into tears by remembering our sad past? Tears roll down when I…

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Do I Get Bad Karma for This?

Nayaswami Gyandev

Question from Rakesh: Do we incur negative karma even if we hurt someone unintentionally? A woman whom I broke up with has landed with a mental breakdown. She is almost destroyed out of pain. Will I have to face the consequences for this?

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Which Voice is Speaking to Me?

Nayaswami Gyandev

Question from MIchael: Lately I have been praying deeply to God, asking Him to speak to me, to show me a sign. I begin connecting the dots of thoughts, like I’ll see a sticker on a car or a license plate, and then there will be a coincidence, like the sticker is of my birth place, then I’ll see something else and go…

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Why is God Not Protecting Me from My Bad Karma?

Nayaswami Parvati

Question from Ram Tej: I am a devotee of Shirdi Sai Baba. I am a bit fickle minded and leave everything at half done. I lost my job dependent upon my wife earnings and take care of kids @home while she works. Question is: Why God is not protecting me by melting my Bad Karma. I have a relationship with a married lady in…