Saturday Evening Satsanga
Q. How to be “in the present”?
A. Practice the Presence. Use a mantram such as, “Reveal Thyself” and keep a conversation with God going mentally all day. This is very devotional and personal, and helps keep us in the present. With continued practice, this talking to God will eventually become natural all the time. Center yourself inside. You will still be aware of what is going on outside, but your awareness is coming from somewhere deep inside yourself.
Q. Did the victims of the World Trade Center have similar karmas?
A. The tapestry of karma is unique for each person, but those souls who died September 11th had consented in some way to play particular roles in a very shocking and powerful way in order to help teach a lesson. God was thus giving to the world a lesson, “WAKE UP!! You need to learn a big lesson here!” The monk said that shortly after Sept. 11th one day he had unwittingly come very close to ground zero without realizing how close he was. But as he drew near he felt something very divine, something sacred about the whole area.
Q. Why do we continue to have so many wars? Now that Kali Yuga has passed and we have entered Dwapara Yuga, shouldn’t these kinds of events be tapering off?
A. There is a transitional age between Kali and Dwapara, called sandhya (pleural, sandhis). During this time we will see the destruction of the old institutions built on the Kali Yuga consciousness. God is getting rid of the consciousness of the lower age through all this present world turmoil.
Excerpts from the writings of Paramahansa Yogananda
Q. I am a grown man and yet I often find myself crying. Is that okay?
A. Yes, tears are good. It is harder for men to cry because of the way they have been raised to “be a man”. Develop the ability to cry. Having a sensitive heart is a good thing.
Q. What does “deep” meditation mean?
A. It means that you become unaware of your surroundings because you are totally involved in what’s happening within. The feeling that gradually comes from meditation is very magnetic, a very wonderful feeling. Don’t try to compare yourself with anyone else. It may take weeks or years to attain depth in meditation.
Q. Where do souls of pets go after death? Do animals have karma?
A. Pets go to the astral world and become pets in the astral. Or they may take other animal forms (we can do that too, in the astral – we can put on different “costumes” as we wish). Animals have karma, but it is not individual karma. It is mass karma of that particular kind of animal.
Q. Are angels astral beings? Do they incarnate?
A. It depends on your definition of “angel”. Angels that make themselves known on earth are very highly evolved beings. God may sometimes use them on earth.
Q. Why was it okay with Master to eat eggs?
A. Eggs are not meat. Mahatma Gandhi made a distinction by not eating fertilized eggs.
Q. Does Lake Shrine have conducted retreats?
A. Yes, conducted retreats are now given about once per month; and will increase over time.
Q. When will we see the self-sustaining communities within SRF that Master envisioned?
A. The ashram at Encinitas was once called the “Golden World Brotherhood Community” and was an attempt at a self-sustaining community. But it never really gelled. But forming these types of communities is on the long-term agenda and they will come some day when the time is right. Informal communities do exist in Encinitas and other areas. They are the seeds that will someday become more formal communities.
See also~ World Brotherhood Colonies
2002 SRF Retreat, Brother Atmananda and Brahmachari Dale, from devotee notes
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