Category Archive: Q&A with Swami Swaroopananda

Can meditation help in controlling depression? : Q&A with Swami Swaroopananda

Question: Can meditation help in controlling depression, anxiety and mental illnesses? Answer: I once asked Swami Visnudevananda how to heal depression because we had a student who suffered from it. The first thing he suggested was lots of karma yoga because someone with depression should be busy serving others. Some people with depression also need …

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Yoga in the Modern World: Q&A with Swami Swaroopananda

Question: I feel discouraged when I look out at the experience of yoga as it is called in the world today. It seems that it has become an exercise class and lost its true meaning. I am wondering if you have any words of encouragement. Answer: In my view, what is happening today in the …

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Karma Yoga Practice and Benefits: Q&A with Swami Swaroopananda

Question: How is it possible to practice Karma Yoga without truly knowing its meaning? Answer: Fundamentally, there are two main spiritual paths. One is called the yoga of action, and the other is called the yoga of knowledge. Yoga of action is called Karma Yoga. Karma Yoga means, first of all, to do our duty as …

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What is love? Q&A with Swami Swaroopananda

Question: What is love, and what do we really desire when we want to love and want to be loved? Answer: Real love cannot be described. Love can be described by describing the feeling of love. Usually, when we love, together with the feeling of love comes a feeling of joy, happiness, and bliss. Love …

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Using right discrimination: Q&A with Swami Swaroopananda

Question: How does one use right discrimination without passing judgment? Answer: Right discrimination, or viveka, is not about other people. Right discrimination is about oneself. Viveka means discrimination between the permanent and the ephemeral, and it has to do with me, not with other people. It’s not about sitting and judging others. That is not …

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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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