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Pranams Swamiji

Please tell me any one Sanyasi who has experinced god in Ramkrishna math & He is alive today. I want to meet this type of Sanyasi.

I want to join Ramakrishna Math as a Sanyasi but I always have this doubt, that is it fesible to join in ramkrishna math, to get experince god in every day life? I am in contact with Ramkrishna math Pune.

Have you experinced God by heart? I have also Done one try for joining Ramkrishna Math but heart is going to become water.

Lastly, I again want say - I want try for joining In ramkrishna Math, but is there any chance to get experince of god by these means. Even if you say any foolish thing for experiencing god , I am ready to do that.



We are very happy to read your mail which shows your spiritual thirst. While admiring your noble intention we suggest you to pray to Sri Sarada Devi to shower Her grace on you and to guide you.

What is your idea of God? Which God you want to realize? The Real God, or the Apparent God?

The final and factual teaching of the Vedas, (mentioned very clearly in Upanishads) is that You are Brahman, the Infinite Consciousness, the Real God. There is only one Infinite Real God, which is called/recognized as Brahman (THE INFINITE) by the men of wisdom, and which is called/perceived as Apparent God with many forms, human beings and other living beings, by the Ignorant people. Infinitude is a TRUTH, and the finitude is a mere appearance born out of Ignorance. You can’t see the God, you can recognize that you are that God. As long as you see the God as an object, you are in ignorance. Being you yourself God, where is the question of seeing God? Anything seen as an object different from you is not God. All objects including the form of the God are “inert” matters. The Real God is “consciousness” who is manifesting as “I” in every conscious being. “You are that God”. This is the final and factual teaching of our Vedas about the God and Realization of God.

The only purpose of Sannyasa (Monk-hood) is realizing this Inner Divinity, which people generally call as God Realization. Sannyasa way of life helps a seeker, to achieve this goal - gaining the Self Knowledge. As an intermediary stage of spiritual growth, a sincere devotee getting Visions of ‘Apparent God with form’ is possible. But they are not considered as God realization according to the Vedanta. At the most these visions are the indications that the devotee is pure and growing in spiritual life. They are not required and not compulsory for the Self-knowledge. Self-Knowledge alone is considered as God realization.

According to Vedantic scriptures, like Upanishads and Gita, the spiritual growth is not measured by the number of visions he got. But, the spiritual growth is measured by his purity of life, renunciation, love for God and the absence of desires, fear of death, fear of old age, fear of future, guilt of pasts etc. Life and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda confirms these Scriptural Teachings.

Getting this Self-Knowledge is purely subjective and personal. A wise man never declares that he is having this wisdom. He generally hides it. Even if they divulge to one or two intimate people, recognizing and accepting their greatness is extremely difficult one. It is like a blind man trying to understand a person who is seeing the Glories Sun by his eye sight. Therefore don’t try to find out them. Even if you live with them, you can’t understand them. Even if you understand them, you won’t get much benefit, unless you are pure enough and qualified spiritual seeker. When Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Saradadevi and Swamiji lived in physical body, how many people understood them. Even after understanding their greatness how many got really benefited. Only a few disciples, who are pure and highly matured in spiritual life, got benefited. After their physical death only, generally we come to know about their greatness in a real sense. As long as they lived, for all practical purpose, they are well-known for their devotion to the Lord, Service to the humanity, Freedom from the desires, love for the humanity, compassionate towards all. Therefore, all your ideas about Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Saradadevi and Swamiji, that they are realized souls, is a mere belief based on some book reading. You can’t judge their spiritual greatness, unless you yourself are great spiritually. In our organization there were and still are many monks blessed with this Self-knowledge. Even if I name them, how can you understand them?

Give up all the funny ideas about God and God realization. If you are really interested in getting this Self-Knowledge, you need not and should not die. You should live a clean life and prepare yourself with moral values, Prayer, Namajapa and Satsangh. While following them and wait for the Lord's Grace. Joining the Order as a monk is not under your wish. The Lord has to call you. When He sees your earnestness and sincerity, He will certainly bless you with a Spiritual Guide and Renunciation. Offer your mind to Him and pray Him to manifest in your mind and make your life a purposeful one and with peace.

With prayers,

Yours in service,


My humble pranams.

Subject: Personality Development for girls

When girls studying in college are being lured by many aspects what are the main restrictions we should follow. Kindly tell us the way. Neither they are interested in reading books nor listening to bhajans or good. What is the way out from such a situation for youngsters like us when our ego is at the extreme and do not listen or obey to parents. gurus or teachers, neither we have respect for them, some extreme forces are held by us. I am unable to explain...Maharaj...



Your email shows the inner thirst for noble life.

We understand your difficulty to live a clean life, in a society which is mad after the sense pleasures and money. It is really a difficult task. In life one has to face all types of situations. Preparing yourself to face those situations by strengthening your mind is the only way. Human being does many things without knowing the full consequence of the action. But, only in the long run, he/she comes to understand that what he/she did is the cause of suffering at present.

We are giving the following suggestions for your question:

1. Noble Goal: First, of all, have a Noble Goal for your life. A goal, by which, your life can be peaceful and happy and by which, you can serve the society and can be a blessing to the humanity. For example, Mahatma Gandhiji had one noble goal called “Ahimsa” by which his life was peaceful and happy and by which he could serve the society, and became the father of our nation. Once the goal is fixed, then be strong in your Goal.

2. Conviction in your Divine Nature: Get conviction that you are a Child of Divinity. Human being is naturally Divine. By nature every human being is essentially good and something unique. He/she does not know it; therefore, he/she takes himself only as a physical entity and therefore seeks the physical pleasures. Only we have to invoke our goodness which is our real nature. If you can invoke the divinity in you as well as in your friends, and see, what a noble atmosphere comes in to your life!

Swami Vivekananda says, "The world is asleep to the Eternal, the children of the Lord are awake in that realm. These are the sons of God. There is but one way to control the senses--to see Him who is the Reality in the universe. Then and only then can we really conquer our senses."

3. Educate yourself: Study more and more about this subject. For that, you have to read the good books like Life and Teachings of Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhiji and other noble people. Whenever anybody talks to you bad, you change the topic to these noble ideas. In addition to your day to day duties, keep yourself busy with beneficial and noble readings. Read Swami Vivekananda's book (Lectures from Colombo to Almora, talks with Vivekananda Letters of Vivekananda etc.). Swamiji’s works contain the essence of all the Noble and Inspiring Teachings in a simple language.

4. Good Association: Try to keep the association of good and noble people. They will be the role-models and be the guide to your life. Have one good idea for the day! Think deeply about that idea. Share that idea with your friends. Try to find friendship with good people. Whenever any body talks about bad, why can't you talk about good? You can talk about Swami Vivekananda, and his ideas. You can talk about the problems facing our real-life and our country. If you do like this consistently without being irritated and with full conviction in these good ideas, either they will get your good ideas or they will go from you without disturbing you.

5. Brahmacharya: Complete Celibacy – at physical, Oral and Mental levels. There can’t be any compromise with this basic value for any one who wants to be successful and happy in his life. Leading a ‘clean life’ along with the control of mind and senses are the secret of strength and success in any pursuit. By this you save all your physical and psychological energy which can be used for higher and noble pursuits.

6. Prayer: Prayer is very important for every human being. During prayer he/she is contacting his/her own Real and Infinite Nature. You can chant any prayer to any form of the Lord you like. But it should be chanted with concentration, devotion and knowing the meaning. Then the prayer will benefit you more. You will get more inspiration and strength from the Lord for your day to day life.

7. Service: Try to serve your parents and the needy. Serving the parents means, reducing their physical and psychological burdens. They should not be anxious about you and your future. Your words and actions should make them comfortable and free them from anger, worries and anxieties. Serving the needy can be in the form of donating money, or teaching the students, or just spending time with them. Find out any service organization in your locality and give your time and energy whenever possible.

Leading a clean life with the practice of moral values, Prayer, Satsangh and Unselfish Service attitudes are means for better and purposeful life. Try these methods consciously and earnestly and see how the Lord comes in your life. He will certainly bless you. Offer your mind to Him and pray Him to manifest in your mind and make your life a purposeful one and with peace.

If you are staying in Bangalore you are welcome to our Ashrama and participate in the various service activities.

Visit our site http://www.ramakrishnamath.in/home/qa . We update lot of materials for youth. Enrich yourself with good things and be happy in life.

Wishing you for a good and successful life,

With prayers,

Yours in service,


Pranams Swamiji

Really i was interested to take part in all divine activities conducted by your mutt .but i couldn\'t come since i am staying at pondycherry . But I assure my presence when i come to bangalore for my job at WIPRO . Swamiji i have a major doubt how your people(sadhu,hermits) and even at students home i still remember many swamijis are looking very active having hardly 4 hours sleep or only 5 hours sleep per day and many are very energetic, and very active always fresh minded .how that is possible ? swamiji .even swami brahmananda said on his book \" guidance to meditation\" that the true spiritual aspirant should practice to have sleep only for 4 hours.but the materialistic doctors,people naively say one should have 8 hours sleep for the sake of memory ,concentration but on contrary to that you people are having much concentration,memory and energy than us. even when i practiced to have sleep on 5 hours i felt fatigue, and sluggish on afternoon hours not having energy after lunch so how to get myself on the track to get only 4 hours sleep and maintaining activeness, concentration throughout the day? i am really in need of that kind of motive.

please guide swamiji



As the quantity and the type of food differ from person to person, so also the quantum of sleep differs from person to person. Generally a grown-up human being needs 6 to 7 hours of sleep.

In the case of monks, it is 5 to 6 hours. The motive behind all the activities of the monks is to practice the spiritual disciplines. Their aim is attaining the Lord. Therefore, monks don't waste their energy in unwanted entertainments and sense pleasures. Moreover monks don't have anxiety, worry and other mental problems born out of worldly desires. Therefore only, they are, in general enthusiastic, energetic and cheerful. Monks get the deep sleep within the short span of time. As the sleep is deep, so the required time of sleep is less.

In the case of general public the aim of all actions is fulfillment of their own desires. Because of that desire, they undergo lot of mental troubles and since their energy is wasted in entertainments and sense pleasures, they need more rest.

Don’t imitate monks. Their life style is different with a different goal. At present you are not a serious spiritual aspirant. You are a young man with lot of nice things to achieve in the world. But, keep the Lord as the centre of your life. Remember Him and make him as the partner of your life. Arjuna did it. He was a most successful, attractive, efficient and famous person of his time. The secret of his success in life is, that he connected Lord Krishna, in every situation whether it is a moment of success or failure in his day-to-day life and always stick to the righteous way of life. That is the reason, when he was in need of spiritual guidance; he could get it immediately from the Lord Himself. This is the story of all the great people of the world. They connected their life with the Lord, and they are always righteous.

Why you want to reduce your sleeping hours? Sleep well. Be a hero. Earn lot of money and enjoy this world in a righteous way. Serve the underprivileged brothers of our society. Only cowards will sin and have fear. Avoid the wastage of energy through unwanted and unethical pleasures. If you keep the Lord with you, you can’t go astray and you will be free from all worries and anxieties. When you are free from these mental problems, then only you can be enthusiastic, energetic and cheerful. Stick to righteous way of life, keep the Lord in your remembrance, have the company of monks and righteous people, and feed your mind with noble and great ideas of Swami Vivekananda and other Mahatmas. When you have gone through the life in its ups and downs, when you want to over-grow from the normal man’s life-style, when you want to lead a serious and dedicated spiritual life, Lord will certainly bless you with spiritual guidance.

May the Lord bless you and guide you, is our prayer.

With love,

Yours in service,


Pranams Swamiji

Subject: I want to see God

Message/Query: Where , I will able to see god by my naked eyes, tell me. I ready to sacrifice for that.



If you can see your own naked eyes, then it is possible for you to see the Lord with naked eyes.

How can you sacrifice anything which you don't have? List the things which you 'consider' to have as your 'own' and ask the question, whether they are yours really.

In our Math, we have Yuvaka Sangha Classes on Sundays (at 3.30p.m.) which is specially conducted for the youths. If you are staying in Bangalore, and if you need more guidance, you are most welcome.

With Prayers,

Yours in service,


Pranams Swamiji

p> Subject: seeking guidence of swamiji

Message: shree mata!

respected swamiji,

1)i am a 15 yr old boy from dharwad.i am interested in vedantic philosophy and wish to become a sanyaasi. But I am the only child to my parents so, they need me. Please tell me what should i do? Should i take sanyaasa or no?

2)according to the verse "dwasuparna sayuja sakhaya....",we come to understand that it is the mind and body which is interacting with the material world.if this is the case then why is the soul subjected to the cycle of birth and death due to the karmas performed by the mind and body?



I am happy to see the letter typed by your little fingers in which you have mentioned about your noble desire and the interest in the Vedantic Philosophy.

1. Really it is a noblest aspiration for a human being to have. I pray for the fulfillment of your aspiration. Taking to monastic life needs a tough decision and the grace of the Lord. So, at this juncture, don't bother about your future. Don't bother about the permission of your parents. Sri Ramakrishna will take care of that. So, avoid all sorts of anxieties and try to finish your studies with good marks. By this you are preparing yourself to serve the Lord.

2. The final and factual teaching of the Vedas, (mentioned very clearly in Upanishads) is that the Jiva (ie. You/ I ) is Brahman the Infinite. There is only one Infinite which is called/recognized as Brahman, (the infinite consciousness) by the men of wisdom, and which is called/perceived as Jiva (the finite Individual). Infinitude is a fact, and the finitude is a mere appearance. This is the final teaching of our Vedas.

But, when a person thinks himself as a jiva, due to the ignorance, then he thinks that he is dyeing when the body is having the death. All beings have one particular Choice-less Situation. And that is, he/she has to die physically. Death is a fact with everything in the world. But physical death does not mean the end of the person. According to our Scriptures, every jiva takes millions of birth and death as long as he/she considers himself as a jiva. Unless a jiva understands the ultimate goal of life, that this life is to conquer the death through the love of God and wisdom of his real nature, he/she is subject to repeated death and birth and various sufferings. The only purpose of Sannyasa is to realize our own Inner Divinity, which people generally call as God Realization.

Surrender to the Lord with full faith. Offer your mind to Him and pray Him to manifest in your mind and make your life a purposeful one and with peace. Also we suggest you to read the life and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda for the general guidance for your spiritual life.

Leading a life of Brahmacharya, with the practice of moral values, Prayer, Namajapa and Satsangh are means for guidance in spiritual life. Try them and wait for the Lord's Grace. He will certainly bless you with a Spiritual guidance and growth. Offer your mind to Him and pray Him to manifest in your mind and make your life a purposeful one and with peace.

Along with the academic studies, we suggest you to read the life and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda to get more and more clarity of thinking.

To be a monk everybody needs personal guidance. So, whenever possible try to get the associations of monks.

With prayers and best wishes for your successful future,

Yours in service,


Pranams Swamiji

Subject: seeking answers to the doubts

Message: SHRI MATA

Respected Swamiji,I was very satisfied with your guidence and i thank u for that. I wouldlike to request you to clear few more doubts of mine.

1.According to the verse “POORNA MADAH POORNAMEDAM.....” this world which is poorna has come out from the brahaman.it is as poorna as brahaman.then why does shankaracharya says that it is maya and why does the dvaita philosophy callit as real?

2. Is the maya mentioned in durga saptashati same to that mentioned in advaita?

3."I am Brahaman” if this is the case then why am i subjected to the worldly bondages of mind and body?

4. Please give me the meaning of the 1st verse of isa upanishad and the 4th verse in the 9th chapter of bhagavatgita as described in the bhashyams of sri shankara.

5.What is the significance of kashaaya vastra,danda , kamandalu to a monk?

6.Do the monks of ramkrishna mission belong to the dasanami sampradaya?

7.Do you have any special pooja dedicated to sri shankaracharya in the math? please give me your views on the life,works,deeds and preachings of shakaracharya.

8. Lastly how can advaita help the vaidik religion in today’s society?



Lot of Philosophical Questions in your mind and that too at the tender age of fifteen!! May the Lord bless you!

Answers for your questions:

1. The world is as Poorna (Infinite) as Brahman from the standpoint of the essence which is Consciousness (Chaitanya). But the same world is Apoorna (finite) from the standpoint of the Name, Form and Function. Anything which is ‘temporary’ is considered as Unreal by the Upanishad. Therefore, the Advaitins, including Shankaracharya called it as Unreal/Mitya/Maya. But, other philosophers didn't agree with it. For them anything which is ‘experienced’ or which is ‘useful’ is "Real" though it is ‘temporary’. For Advaitins, Permanency is the only criterion for the Reality. For other philosophers, it can be either Experience or Utility. But the final teachings of Upanishads, clearly supports Advaitic View.

2. The word “Maya” is Vedanta means Lords Shakti with three gunas, namely Sattva-Rajas-Tamas. “Trigunatmika Maya” can’t exist independently. Nor the “Brahman” is available for any transaction namely, Creation-preservation-destruction. The combination of these two is called “Ishwara Tattwa”. Ishwar manifests sometimes as Male (Vishnu/Shiva etc) and at other time as Female (Shakti/Sarasvati/Lakshmi etc.) and other time as Neuter (Ardhanaarishwara). Divine Mother mentioned in Durgashaptasati is Iswaratattwa (combination of Brahman and Trigunatmika Maya).

3. When you say “I am Brahman” you mean you are “Consciousness”. But when you say “I am in bondage” you mean the body – which has name, form and function. Consciousness is never in bondage. Whereas, a thing with, name and form is ever subjected to the boundary of space & time. The problem of humanity is ignorance, with regard to the word “I”. The real meaning of “I” is consciousness. Since, the human mind is ignorant of this fact; it identifies the word “I” with other external things like body, mind and world. Just read these expressions. “I am overweight” – you mean your body. “I am hungry” – you mean your physiological system. “I am angry” – you mean your emotional mind. “I am intelligent” – you mean your intellect. “I slept” – you mean your causal body (Kaarana sharira). What do you mean actually? Are you a body, or mind, or intellect etc? In every sentence the word “I” is referred. But the meaning of the “I” is different in every sentence. This confused and ever-changing identity of oneself is the cause of all bondages.

4. The 1st mantra of Ishavasya Upanishad asks the humanity to see the Lord as the Essence of this world. If our mind is carried away by the external names and forms of this world, then we will be in trouble. The mantra gives a technique for us to be happy in this world. The technique is “Renounce the idea of reality” of names and forms of the world and see the “Ever Existing Essence” behind the names and forms of this world, which is the Lord/You the Consciousness.

Through the 4th and 5th shlokas of Bhagavat Gita 9th chapter, Bhagavan teaches us about His Real Nature (as Consciousness) and the apparent nature (with names and forms). Also he reveals his glory of “Simultaneous Immanent and Transcendental Nature”. That means, He is appearing as every form and at the same time he is not affected by the limitations of the form. He is Asangahah, therefore, not subject to any limitation even while associated with the names and forms.

5. Those are all the uniforms prescribed for the monks to remind the monk about his great responsibilities.

6. Yes. Monks of Ramakrishna Mission belong to Puri Sampradaya, one of Dashanami (Ten Divisions of Monks) Sampradaya of Shankaracharya.

7. We study his great Bhashyas and other Vedantic works. We celebrate the Janma titi (Birthday) of Sri Shankaracharya in our Math. In our Vedic tradition it is a well know fact that Sri Shankaracharya is the Incarnation of Lord Shiva, who came to this world out of compassion, to re-establish the Sanatana Dharma. As the Lord promises in the Gita, one and the same Lord manifests in this world as Incarnations like Rama, Krishna, Shankara, Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, etc., whenever there is a need. Read the lecture of Swami Vivekananda “The sages of India” and other works of Swami Vivekananda for more details. Also you can read a book, “Shankara Digvijaya” written by Sri Vidyaranya Swamiji” and translated in English by Swami Tapasyanandaji Maharaj, published by our Mission.

8. “Advaita” being the “essence” and the “last word” of entire Vedic Teaching, establishes the “Oneness of Existence”, “Unity in Diversity”. By coming near to this Oneness, by knowing our Real Nature only, we can be happy, peaceful and satisfied. If not, there will be always, competitions, jealous, wars and eternal dissatisfaction in the mind and in the world. This is the warning given in the Upanishads. Humanity can’t escape from the sufferings without knowing this “Oneness”. Read Swami Vivekananda’s, “lectures from Colombo to Almora” for more details.

Read the life and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda for more clarity in these subjects. Brahmacharya (celibacy) and Truthfulness are the secrets of knowing these subtle spiritual things. Be pure, truthful and pray. Then and then only, Lord will manifest in the pure mind and certainly bless you with spiritual knowledge.

You are welcome to our Math, when you happen to be in Bangalore.

May the Divine Mother bless you and guide you in your spiritual journey is my earnest prayer.

My hands are in pain because of typing. Good by!

With love,

Yours in service,


Pranams Swamiji

I am 17.I am doing my intermediate course.

Since few decades,there is a tough fight between the religious leaders and Sexologists about the concept of celibacy(Brahmacharya).Why is this so happening?u are giving quite opposite concepts regarding celibacy.This is creating a big confusion among the youth.(especially who can't neglect their religious leader's words).So,please clear the doubt regarding this concept for a general man.(not for spiritual seekers who sit in mathas and do service to others).

In the book "Youth,Arise!Awake!and know your strength" published by Rama Krishna Math,Hyderabad.In the page no.123(telugu version) it was written like this

"Ayustejo Balam Veeryam Prajna Sri Mahadyasaha Punyam Cha Mat Priyatvam Cha Labhyate Brahmacharyaya"

I want to ask you straightly,respected swamiji, what is the connection between Human male Semen and Wealth,Fame,Talent(not spiritual),respect,shining on the face and eyes(brahma-tejas in ur language)?

I am practicing Brahmacharya(only for the material benefits stated in the above sloka),firmly believing that above sloka is correct.I am not spiritual seeker in any way.Why i am asking this question is our great Swami Vivekananda has said to his dear young generations that,not to believe any thing without logic.Also,please state the source from which the above sloka was taken.

Thanking you,

Yours Sincerely,



Please read the following conversation between Swami Vivekananda and his deciple (Complete-Works / Volume 7 / Conversations and Dialogues - From the Diary of a Disciple (Shri Sharat Chandra Chakravarty, B.A.) )

“A few days ago, a new set of the Encyclopaedia Britannica had been bought for the Math. Seeing the new shining volumes, the disciple said to Swamiji, "It is almost impossible to read all these books in a single lifetime." He was unaware that Swamiji had already finished ten volumes and had begun the eleventh.

Swamiji: What do you say? Ask me anything you like from these ten volumes, and I will answer you all.

The disciple asked in wonder, "Have you read all these books?"

Swamiji: Why should I ask you to question me otherwise?

Being examined, Swamiji not only reproduced the sense, but at places the very language of the difficult topics selected from each volume. The disciple, astonished, put aside the books, saying, "This is not within human power!"

Swamiji: Do you see, simply by the observance of strict Brahmacharya (continence) all learning can be mastered in a very short time — one has an unfailing memory of what one hears or knows but once. It is owing to this want of continence that everything is on the brink of ruin in our country. Disciple: What ideal should we follow now?

Swamiji: You have now to make the character of Mahâvira your ideal. See how at the command of Râmachandra he crossed the ocean. He had no care for life or death! He was a perfect master of his senses and wonderfully sagacious. You have now to build your life on this great ideal of personal service. Through that, all other ideals will gradually manifest in life. Obedience to the Guru without questioning, and strict observance of Brahmacharya — this is the secret of success. As on the one hand Hanumân represent the ideal of service, on the other hand he represents leonine courage, striking the whole world with awe. He has not the least hesitation in sacrificing his life for the good of Rama. A supreme indifference to everything except the service of Rama, even to the attainment of the status of Brahmâ and Shiva, the great World-Gods! Only the carrying out of Shri Rama's best is the one vow of this life! Such whole-hearted devotion is wanted.”

The glory of Brahmacharya (continence) is repeatedly emphasized in all our Scriptures and by all our Great Teachers. It is emphasized as the one of the most important necessity for any human being who aspires for any achievement in the world. Whether you want to achieve the worldly goals like, good health, wealth, fame, etc. or spiritual goal, Brahmacharya is a must. There is no need for the Mahatmas to misguide the humanity. They don’t want anything from us.

The logic behind the importance of celibacy is that, by controlling your sense organs and mind, you preserve the energy, which can be utilized in fruitful purposes. It is like saving the money/wealth and using it with a purpose. If you save money in your bank a/c then you can use it to purchase any material. Similarly if you save your energies you can use it purposefully and achieve any goal in your life. No body throws away the cold coin or precious gems on the road. By violating the celibacy, you loose your physical energy and mental vigor. If your mind is all the time towards the sense pleasures, then how can you study. Therefore, at least, till you marry, you should keep yourself clean and strong. Without physical and mental strength, how can you face the life?

Don’t be carried away by the words of ignorant, selfish and money making people. You have to see the qualification and the intention of the people from whom you take guidance. If they are ignorant and selfish, then don’t follow them. Unfortunately, at this present juncture, the society is generally guided by ignorant and selfish people. Be careful in following others. Verify their credibility and follow them. Pray to the Lord, to bless you with the association of good people.

Many books deal on this subject. One book which contains complete details on Celibacy is "Brahmacharya" by Swami Shivananda Saraswathy, Divine Life Society. Please read that book and it will certainly guide you.

Also, read swami Vivekananda’s books more and more, and visit our site http://www.ramakrishnamath.in/home/qa . We update lot of materials for youth. Keep yourself strong and enrich yourself with good things and be happy in life.

With prayers for your successful life,

Yours in service,


Pranams Swamiji,

I am 36 years old, Married and have two daughters of 11yrs and 7 yrs.

I have taken initiation from Poojya. Geethanandji Maharaj. I am also working in _____. I read books about Gurumaharaj,Swamiji whenever I find time.

I have a question.

1. Why should we follow rituals(incl.dishes we prepare on the occasion) while doing pooja espectially on the festival days? As we are restricted the mind does not think of God, instead it becomes restless both physically and mentally because of lot of work.

If I want to do it in the way I want, family members may not agree as they want in the way they were doing. Here, the person who is doing will be strained as she is insisted to do so.

Can I be guided?

2. What is auspicious and inauspicious? Why festivals, functions are auspicious and ceremony is inauspicious? Should we believe in that?

3. How can we guide our children about this as there is fear when the things are not done properly?


Respected Mother, Namaste.

All pujas and festivals and ceremonies in our culture are just an attempt to remember the Lord in many ways.

Any puja performed with worldly desires should be done in a prescribed manner only. Otherwise it will create side effect. It is like a doctor’s prescription to the disease. We can not exchange the quantity of one medicine with the other nor can we change the dossage. Rituals are given to us, so that we can be methodical in our worship. As long as we desire for worldly things it is better to follow the procedures. But if our mind does not desire for any worldly achievements then we can do our prayer to the Lord, as we like. Then only there is no need for the procedures. But you can minimize the external pomp and show and should concentrate in the devotional part of the puja. You can try to convince your family members about the necessity of the devotion rather than the external pomp and show.

Any attempt to remember the Lord is auspicious and any attempt which takes us away from the Lord is inauspicious. If the festivals, functions, and ceremonies are performed with devotion then only they are auspicious. In your 2nd question you have mentioned “Why festivals, functions are auspicious and ceremony is inauspicious? Should we believe in that?” Which ceremony you have meant here we could not understand.

Since you are an initiated devotee, please read Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Mothers life and other related books.

Householder life is a very big responsibility. He/She has to face all sorts of situations like this.

In our culture, Mother and Father are the First Gurus for any child. So you be their role-model, and follow the values of life in your personal life. Generally children are habituated to imitate their parent. Seeing is powerful than hearing. When they happen to see something which is against what they heard from the parent, then they are in great difficulty in assimilating the values of life. Society can’t mislead a child which has great family bondage and love for its parent.

We suggest you to do regular pujas in your home daily both morning and evening. The puja may be a simple one with Arati and chanting of some stotras etc. But it should be daily. Please see that your children also to join in that puja.

Give them some books (pictorials) which deal with lives of great saints, and Ramayana and Mahabharata stories.

Also you can bring them to the Ashrama now and then and can introduce to the satsangha.

Don't worry. Surrender to Sri Sri Thakur and offer yourself and your family members to the Lord. He will take care of your entire family. World can’t harm the one who is in the lap of the Lord.

With prayers for all of you,

Yours in service,


Pranams Swamiji

Subject: Separation of Atma from God-head

My question may be naive. Please correct me in case I am wrong.

If everything in this Universe has originated from the Brahman himself, why the separation of Atman (in the form of human beings, animals and other forms) from the Supreme God-head has ever happened? Is it purely Maya?



It is nice to read your philosophical question.

The final and factual teaching of the Vedas, (mentioned very clearly in Upanishads) is that the Jiva (ie. You/ I ) is Brahman, the Infinite. There is only one Infinite which is called/recognized as Brahman (THE INFINITE) by the men of wisdom, and which is called/perceived as inert world, human beings and other living beings (the finite Individuals). Infinitude is a TRUTH, and the finitude is a mere appearance. This is the final teaching of our Vedas.

We can't prove that this world is different from the Brahman, (ie. You). Whenever "You" exist and aware of your existent, then only this world also can be recognized. In your sleep when your mind is not aware of your existent then for you, this world does not exist. So, the existent of the world (as a separate entity different from you) is dependant on the existent of your mind. When the mind is transformed by the various spiritual practices and the when the mind is enlightened by the Self Knowledge, then your individuality, external world are recognized as the one Brahman, the Infinite Consciousness.

In short, Perception is not the Proof for Existent. Perception of the duality does not the prove the Real existence of the duality. Perception of the blue sky is not the proof of the sky with blue colour. We all know that the sky does not have any colour. Perception of the sun rise is a visual error. It can't prove the sun rise, since; there is no sun rise at all. Perception of duality is because of the Self Ignorance, which is otherwise called as "Maya" in Scriptural language.

Read more and more about Swami Vivekananda and his teachings. For more guidance, if you are staying in Bangalore, you are welcome to attend our Sunday Class (at3.30p.m.) which is specially conducted for the youths, in our Ashram.

Visit our site http://www.ramakrishnamath.in/home/qa . We update lot of materials for youth. Enrich yourself with good things and be happy in life.

With prayers,

Yours in service,



I have been thinking deeply on the Why Sanyasa is required? Swami Vivekananda said "Live for other, only then you live else you are more dead than alive". As per my understanding, He meant that do something good to society around you. The same thing was done by Sri Shankaracharya, the same is being done by the monks of Ramakrishna order and other. Now, knowing this, I wanted to understand why is sanyasa required when a person can do good to the society, even by being a samsari. What is the purpose of a Sanyasi?. I would be glad to here from you.

With respect



It is nice to read your mail.

The only purpose of Sannyasa (Monk-hood) is to realize our own Inner Divinity, which people generally call as God Realization. Sannyasa way of life helps a seeker, to achieve this goal called attaining the Self Knowledge. Since a monk is free from all family ties and responsibilities, he can spend all his time towards this goal. His time is spent either in studies or in sharing his spiritual knowledge, or in serving his Guru and the Lord. Since a monk is considering whole world as a manifestation of the Lord, he serves this world also. His service to the world can't be called as social service. His service to the world is nothing but his worship to his beloved Lord/Guru. With all humility and devotion, he serves the needy and poor, considering them as the manifestation of the Lord.

In fact, we can't do any good to the world, but we can serve this world with the spiritual attitude, that this world is the manifestation of the Lord, whom we are trying to realize. This spiritual attitude produces, more and more devotion, renunciation, humility and prepares our mind ultimately towards the Self Knowledge.

In social service, the person may get some punya (merits), but, he is not getting any spiritual benefit. Since the giver (Donor) thinks that he is greater than the receiver, his social services are not converted, as a means for achieving the Lord. This attitude is entirely different from the attitude of a monk/spiritual seeker.

In present day householder life, it is very, very difficult to have this attitude. No time for any serious spiritual practices. With lot of duties and responsibilities towards his/her own family members, all the time, energy and other resources are spent for their own kith and kin. Therefore, Swami Vivekananda suggested to all spiritual seekers to renounce the small family for the sake of the serving the Big Family, namely this entire world. He has founded an organization for those who want to spend their entire life for the various spiritual practices in which, service of humanity, plays a major role.

For those who could not renounce completely and take to sannyasa life, but still want to serve the society, they also are encouraged by Swami Vivekananda to lead a dharmic (Moral) life, and serving the poor and needy as much as possible.

Swami Vivekananda, Sri Shankaracharya are actually the messengers of the Lord who came to this world with a mission of guiding the humanity. They are not ordinary jiva (being) like us. We struggle to attain the Lord. But, they have already got the Self Knowledge and they are fully aware that they are already one with the Lord. Their arrival to this world is a blessing to the humanity. We can't compare ourselves with these great manifestations of the Lord.

We suggest to you, if you are really interested to serve the humanity, don't get entangled in a small family. Sannyasa is the best way. Study more and more about Swami Vivekananda and his teachings. For more guidance, if you are staying in Bangalore, you are welcome to attend our Sunday Class (at3.30p.m.) which is specially conducted for the youths, in our Ashram.

Visit our site http://www.ramakrishnamath.in/home/qa . We update lot of materials for youth. Enrich yourself with good things and be happy in life.

With prayers,

Yours in service,


I have become very pessimistic and always get bad thoughts. I was not like this before.Now even if I watch any tv serial of pain I start thinking to myself what if i face the same problem? I dont get proper sleep in the night as i get bad thoughts. I always get scared of any small thing. I always get these kind of thoughts that my loved ones will be away from me? i want to be strong as this is really effecting me a lot mentally. Pls help me.


Dear ________,


In Bhagavat Gita the Lord says that there are 5 factors deciding a thing to


1.Past Karma

2.Strong Desire

3.Repeated thinking

4.Action (to achieve that desire)

5. Lord's Grace.

In your case none of the above mentioned factors are involved. So please don't bother yourself for the fantasies of the mind. Our mind is generally silly. We have to strengthen it by prayer, reading good books (like Swami vivekananda's literatures) and good action. Anything which makes us week and unhappy we should try to avoid. Divert your mind to the positive things of the life.

Pray to the Lord to give you the wisdom and strength to lead a purposeful life. Lead this life in a very purposeful way by dedicating yourself to the Lord and serving his children (who are poor and needy) by giving your knowledge, time, love etc.

Read the life of Sri Saradadevi. Your life will be with clarity of thinking and purposeful.

If you happen to live in Bangalore, you are welcome to our Math (timings 9 a.m. to 12 noon & 4p.m. to 7 p.m.) and get guidance from the elderly monks.

With prayers,

Yours in service,

Next Question:

Namaste swami ji,

It is always said that if our bhakti is strong it definitely gives us results. Is it true that God always tests those people who are strong or are more towards bhakti. What should one do when there are many problems in one`s life inspite of doing bhakti?

Answer :

Dear _____,


Bhakti definitely gives us results. It may not be as we wanted it. There are 3 types of results for the Bhakti from the Lord.

The Lord says,

1. "Yes". Whatever you wanted I am giving you. (May be immediately or a little latter). Make use of it and grow more and more"

2. "No". The thing which you wanted will harm you. Since as a loving One I can’t see you suffering, I will not give the result as you like

3. "Here is the better thing than what you wanted. Take this and come close to me. I want to keep you near me. Enough of all these toys, balloons, games and friends. Come to me immediately leaving all these things.

Which one you accept as the best result for your devotion, depends upon your maturity. As per the Mahatmas, the third result is the best result for our Bhakti. Like a loving mother he takes care of us. Real Bhakti is not for getting away from the problems or getting something from the Lord. That is business. The desire which you wanted to have is the end and you are using your Lord and the devotion for Him, as the means to achieve your desired end.

In fact, for a devotee, the problems come in his/her life help him/her to come back to the Lord. That is what we see in the lives of great devotees. They even prayed for more and more problems. In Mahabharat Kunti, (mother of Arjuna) prayed for more and more problems. Asked why, she told that "O Lord I want to remember you and depend on you all the time. I find my mind remembers you intensely only whenever I am in trouble. So please give more and more troubles to me".

At this present condition we may not be that much matured in devotion. But we have to understand that the life situations are the results of our own previous actions. Lord delivers the results of our own actions. He knows that all the situations in our life is meant for our spiritual growth and maturity.

All problems in human life is meant for knowing the fact that this human existence is a temporary affair, and the purpose of this human life is to go beyond the ideas of happiness and sorrow by loving the Lord as the End itself. We should understand that human life is a mixture of both happiness and sorrows. Nobody lived his life ever joy-full nor ever sorrow-ful. If the mind is matured it will learn from both happy and sorrowful situations.

The teaching we get from the lives of great devotees is this prayer:

"O Lord ! Please grant me the strength to change the choice-full situations by my self effort and grant me the strength to accept the choice-less situations as your blessing. More importantly, O Lord! Give me the clarity of thinking to know which situation is choice-full situation and which is choice-less situation."

We have to pray to the Lord for strength to face all the situations by ourselves with the clarity of thinking, in understanding the nature of the problem and act accordingly. We should put forth our effort if the situation has choices to act. If we find ourselves totally cornered by choice-less situation then the only thing to be done is accept that suffering and learn from it.

With prayer,

Yours in service,



I am a follower of Advaita Philosophy. I repeat a simple Mantra \"Om Anjaneyaya Namah\", and when i say this i try to see that Anjaneya[Hanuman] alone Exists as Inner Consciousness, ie, somehow in the initial stages of my mantra japa i had a feeling that namah means \"No-Me\" only God... and God is pure Consciousness. So when i say om anjaneyaya namah , i see within how there is no one : i see how there is body, mind and Consciousness which gives life to body and mind ... there is no \"i\" separate from Consciousness which is ever Still and unchanging Eternal God , Anjaneya himself.

By practice, this vision comes automatically to me when i repeat the mantra, it wont any effort on my behalf.

Is this right approach ?

Thanks and Regards


Dear ________,

Happy to know that you are practicing meditation.

The word Namah means "salutations". Om Anjaneyaya Namah means My salutations to the Hanuman who is the manifestation of Supreme Reality.

To know about the Consciousness or the Supreme Reality one has approach the competition teacher in the Spiritual Life. A Guru alone can lead us in the right spiritual path. We don't know whether you are initiated into this mantra by a Guru. Though there is no harm in your present type of meditation, still we suggest you to approach a Guru and learn the methods of spiritual practices and the Real Nature of Consciousness.

We also suggest you to read the life and teachings of Swami Vivekananda. It will certainly help you to understand the spiritual life more and more.

Leading a clean life (Brahmacharya) with the practice of moral values, Prayer, Namajapa and Satsangh are the means for guidance in spiritual life. Try them and wait for the Lord's (Hanuman's) Grace. He will certainly bless you with a Spiritual Guide. Offer your mind to Him and pray Him to manifest in your mind and make your life a purposeful one and with peace.

With prayers,

Next question

Message: Sir,

I have a doubt regarding the position of Advaita Vedanta on Self Realization.

1. At some places "Death of mind" is said to be liberation.

[Vivekachudamani, Advaita Bodha Deepika, Yoga vasishtam : Mrtam manah etc]

2. At some other places it is said "Since you are not the mind, why control mind?" [Panchadasi Chapter 7; Ashtavakra Samhita Chapter 1: Samadhim ichasi chet etc]

If Mind is not there there cannot be any communication, no possibility of conversation etc. Ramana Maharshi is said to have talked of Mind merging in heart , how can he live and communicate with people when there is no mind? Further, since scriptural position is that body itself is a by product of mind, therefore without mind where is body in the first place! so there cannot be any communication.

Please explain.



It is nice to read your philosophical questions.

We are giving below the brief answer for you questions.

"Death of mind” means conversion of an ignorant and desire-full mind into a noble, desire-less and wise mind. Through the knowledge of the Self, the old evil/ignorant mind dies. This conversion is talked from the relative stand point for the sake of spiritual practices

"Since you are not the mind, why control mind?" - This statement is from the stand point of Highest Reality. As Consciousness you are the infinite one who do not have one mind but who is the substratum of all the minds of the universe. Being All-pervasive Consciousness, you can't be tainted by the nature of the mind. Since you are the substratum of all minds, you are not one particular mind. Since you alone exist in reality and since mind is unreal, why you want to control the particular mind. Is there a mind which can exist separate from you?

All Jnanis including the Ramana Maharishi never claimed that they are body and are seeing the real world and interacting with the people. Their interactions with other people are from the stand point of the onlooker and not from their stand point. As far as a Jnani is concerned there is only one reality and that is he. There is no duality with which has to interact.

Whenever mind is talked as the source of body/birth, it is from the Lower standpoint. Not from the Factual stand point.

Advaita Vedanta can't be understood by self study. Please stop studying the Translated Vedantic texts by your self and try to get the competent teacher who can teach you systematically. Prepare yourself with purity of life and renunciation, and pray to the Lord to show you a teacher. Without the teacher, Purity and renunciation, Advaita Vedanta is a mystery for even the most learned person in other fields.

In understanding the basics of Advaita Vedanta the book “Jnana Yoga” of Swami Vivekananda may help you.

If you are staying in Bangalore, you are welcome to our Math for personal guidance and clarity.

With prayers,

Yours in service,

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