Category Archive: Q&A with Swami Swaroopananda

Do not be overwhelmed by the Vedas

Q: The Vedas, with their divisions and sections, seem confusing and overwhelming. How can we explain the Vedas in simple terms to our students, to support the premise that the Vedas are the truth? Answer: The Vedas are neither confusing nor overwhelming. In fact, before it was divided into four parts, there was only one …

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Why did Gandhi and Jesus die by violence?

Q: In the Raja Yoga Sutras, it is said that by performing samyama – the combined, simultaneous practice of dhāraṇā (concentration), dhyāna (meditation) and samādhi (union) – on ahimsa, or non-injury, violence no longer exists in the presence of the practitioner. If that is so, why did Gandhi and Jesus die by violence? Answer: Look at the life of Mahatma …

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If You Want Peace, You Have to Create a New Movie

Q: What is the best response to world conflict, to interpersonal conflict? Answer: In the context of the law of karma, I’m going to say something very strong, which is that we are personally responsible for conflict in the world. We always say, “Bush is responsible,” or, “Obama is responsible,” but this is not true …

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Without Giving, Our Practice Can Stagnate

Over time, sadhana, or spiritual practice, can become mechanical, or it can start feeling heavy and serious. How does one remain inspired and light?

 Answer: It doesn’t matter what we do, the mind gets used to it, and if this happens in our spiritual practice we should not be indifferent, because it is a real …

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Swami Swaroopananda Q&A: Dispassion Does Not Mean Indifference

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Q: If one successfully attains vairagya, or dispassion, why would one do anything beyond one’s immediate responsibilities and duties? For example, why did Swami Vishnudevananda feel such a strong need to promote world peace, if he had attained vairagya? Answer: In the yogic scriptures, vairagya, or dispassion, is described as acting without desire for the …

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If The World Is Illusion, What Is The Purpose Of Science?

Swami Swaroopananda Q&A: World: Real, Unreal or Both?

Q: If everything is Brahman, is there really any such thing as an individual’s past life? Or is there really just a collective evolution? Answer: Both exist, but we first need to understand that many systems of philosophy have appeared within India. There are different points of view, and different ways that Ultimate Reality is …

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What Is the Relationship Between Grace and Karma?

Swami Swaroopananda Q&A: Learning to Distinguish the Real from the Illusory

As Printed in Yoga Life – Summer 2013  [Download the PDF here] Q: How does one cultivate viveka? Answer: Viveka means discrimination, or the ability to correctly discern one thing from another. For instance, when we go to the market, what do we do? We look for the good vegetables, which go into our basket, …

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How to Become Fearless & Develop Confidence

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