Ask the Swami
These questions are answered by Swami Bhaskarananda. If you have a question for the Swami, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
QUESTION: When Swami Vivekananda explains that “all beings are potentially divine,” is he referring to the paramata–that aspect of bhagavan which resides in all beings–referred to in Bhagavad Gita? ANSWER: Yes, when Swami Vivekananda said that all beings are potentially … Continue reading
If one were to take initiation in the Vedanta Society, would he or she have to give up other spiritual practices?
QUESTION: If one were to take initiation in the Vedanta Society, would he or she have to give up other spiritual practices that have helped them along the way? For example, would the spiritual teacher expect the disciple to give … Continue reading
ANSWER: One characteristic of an uncontrolled mind is that it gets bored doing the same thing over and over again. Japa is repeatedly chanting the same Mantra. An uncontrolled mind is reluctant to do such monotonous chanting. In spite of … Continue reading
QUESTION: I need an answer to my question concerning a statement that you made about the “Gâyatrî Mantra” in your book, The Essentials of Hinduism. You wrote that the Sâvitrî Mantra (revealed to the sage Vishwâmitra) was composed in the … Continue reading
ANSWER: Spiritual progress is no other than progress in regard to one’s state of mind. As and when a person goes on becoming more and more unselfish, he or she is progressing spiritually. It is selfishness that makes a person … Continue reading
ANSWER: The word Paramahamsa applies to a person who has experienced God and knows the difference between what is “real” and what is not “real.” According to the Vedantic/Hindu tradition, God alone is real. Literally, the word Paramahamsa means “the … Continue reading
ANSWER: Japa is a time-honored technique that enables one to gain control over the mind, purify it, master concentration, and eventually have God-vision. This technique consists of chanting a holy name of God or a prayer over and over again. … Continue reading
ANSWER: According to the sages of India, the best times to meditate are when night changes into day and day changes into night. In other words, sunrise and sunset hours are the best times for meditation. Yogis have observed at … Continue reading
QUESTION: It is said that if we strive to perfectly perform even small daily tasks, we will meditate better. Why? What’s the relationship between the two? ANSWER: Meditation is the most intense concentration of mind. But it must fulfill two conditions. … Continue reading