In Conversation with Paramahansa Atmananda


Q&A session

Q. From the medical profession to the life of a Yogi. How would you describe this transition?

Paramahansa Atmananda:  Yogi is a lifestyle as advised by Lord Krishna for a stress-free life and the prevention of psychosomatic diseases. The human body is a storehouse of diseases and most of those are psychosomatic. I wanted to combine the best of both – the healing power of modern medicine and the curative and preventive power of Kriya Yoga practice.

Q.  Whether such spiritualized life is feasible or possible?

Paramahansa Atmananda:   Yes! The Bhagavad Gita of Lord Krishna teaches in detail that one can achieve this spiritualized life by the practice of Kriya Yoga. In Kathopanishad, it is taught as,

  • Shreya – which means spiritualized materialistic life
  • Preya – which is purely materialized life that creates the bondage of sufferings, The Karma and Karma Phala

It has been said in Bhagawatam Maha Puranam:

I do things and get things done

We should plan our positive actions as per our best ability leaving the, on their actions-physical, verbal and mental. But then, positive thinking has a positive result and vice-versa.

Q.  An Ashram should have children to learn Kriya yoga and pass out as spiritual guides with practical knowledge. But there is no such thing. Reason?

Paramahansa Atmananda:   Noble question! There are many types of Ashrams. You’re for is probably related to Gurukula Ashrama where the purpose is to the teaching of various disciplines of life in the institute. There are other types of Ashram dedicated to yoga and spiritual practices lead that. The aims and objectives of our organization are practicing Kriya yoga as per the guidelines taught by Lord Krishna. But then, we appreciate your views. It is excellent and noble.

Q.  Will you please elaborate on these spiritual benefits?

Paramahansa Atmananda:   Spiritual benefits are to know about our self. Lord Krishna has taught in The Bhagavad Gita that each person is 3-in-1. Each person has a Physical, Spiritual, and God aspect. To quote the expression from Bhagavad Gita they are:

  • Kshyara – (Destructible Agent) – Body, Mind, Intellect, and Ego
  • Akhsyara – (Indestructible Agent) – Soul or The Spirit (Kutastha Chaitanya)
  • The Supreme – (Purushottama) – The Paramatma pervading Kshyara and Akhsyara

If a person identified himself with the destructible material aspect of the physical being, then one will never be free from fear and suffering of diseases, decay, and death. But if he identifies himself with the Immortal Spirit then he becomes free from all types of sufferings and once, realizes the supreme in his own, he becomes Jeevanmukta Moksha or Liberated.

Q.  Your Dhyana Kendra (Meditation Centre) has completed 35 years. Can we look forward to its Golden Jubilee in the presence of one of the living legends of Kriya Yoga, Paramahansa Atmananda?

Paramahansa Atmananda:   The question is from the aspect of ego-based material life. This is the human standard. This consideration is not in God. He is beyond such human consideration. He neither rewards nor punishes. He doesn’t give joy nor suffering. There is no good or bad consideration for him. He is the most impartial. What people report as sorrow or suffering, happiness, and joy, reward or punishment, success or failure is purely matter based and ruled by the Cosmic Law of Karma which is called destiny or Daiba.

This is under the domain of Mother Nature.  God is beyond that. The human being considers that the spiritual progress leading to God-realization or spiritualized material life and educate the people in the principles of religion and philosophy as applied to daily life. There are monasteries where only monks and nuns live under strict disciplinary conditions based upon their ideological thinking.

Q.  And the final question. What will be your age?

Paramahansa Atmananda:   Swamis never tell their age. But for your information, I was born in 1939. This, he rendered with a smile and the hour-long discussion came to an end.