1) What is the source of all mental problems?

All mental problems are spiritual problems coming from the lack of connection to the source and the absence of the sense of meaning to peoples life; believing themselves to be separate and competing with each other, identifying with their mind and emotions. The idea is the body and mind are only instruments of consciousness. If the body and mind become purified then it can reflect the light. So yoga helps the purification and this will bring the clear reflection of our consciousness, which will remove all mental problems.

2) Why modern science and technology are not capable of solving human beings problems?

Science and technology help material life and physical life, but cannot address spiritual questions. Spiritual growth and scientific growth need to go hand in hand otherwise technological growth will be at the expense of spiritual growth. In other words, we become slaves of technology and become more disconnected towards nature. This is not good.

3) How can we control our monkey mind?

Children need to learn to concentrate in general; but adults need to teach them to concentrate, so their minds can become calm and they can connect with themselves. In order to calm the mind we need to concentrate on mantra with a feeling of self-surrender to a higher power. So, there are three aspects: a concentration practice, a devotional practice of self-surrendering, and understanding that the mind and emotions are only instruments, which consciousness needs gain control over. We need to teach children the mind is not their true nature, that they are pure consciousness, on the journey from imperfection to perfection, using the mind as an instrument of experience, and learning to build their capacity to adjust their fluctuating positive and negative attitudes to a steady calm attitude.

4) What is mind? Where is it located? And how does it work?

Please refer to the chapter in the book Essentials of Yoga Practice and Philosophy about the mechanics of the mind. It is difficult to control the mind because we are not aware the mind is not who we are. In answering the previous question we spoke about the mind as an instrument to gain experience and readjust our attitude to calmness so we can reflect our true nature. If we don’t understand this and only react to the mind perceptions; it’s like driving a car without a driver in the driver seat and the car is out of control.

5) What is your suggestion to release all tensions of the mind?

To release tensions we need to learn to adapt and adjust. One can only adapt, adjust and let go if one doesn’t identify with the mind. It comes back to the question to understand that the mind is not you, and that you are pure consciousness. Meditation is definitely helpful because it gives you the direct experience of consciousness when the mind is no longer operating.

6) What is the best way to focus our mind?

The best are Bhakti Yoga techniques, to focus on mantra which is pure sound with a feeling of acceptance and self-surrender.

7) Why human mind is always busy? Human mind is busy because we think that we know, we think that we can solve our problems ourselves, we think that satisfaction of desires will lead to contentment; but satisfaction of desire brings more desires. Desires leads to the continuous revolving in the wheel of karma, of life and death, without peace and lasting happiness. So the yogic teaching tells us to calm the mind and control the mind to connect with the true Self that is beyond desires and that is the source of all happiness.

8) How yoga instructors can get to know about the secrets of the mind? Yoga instructors need to learn more about yoga psychology and philosophy by studying scriptures to remember the Self, having Satsanga listening to people of wisdom, studying their own mind and performing self inquiry learning not to fall in the trap of their own mind, meditation to have the direct experience of Truth, and by selfless service helping and counseling other’s suffering minds to understand better the process of detachment.

9) How can we focus on only positive things?

To focus exclusively on the positive as this will block out all the negative. Also learn to switch negative to positive by the practice of the 4 classical paths of Yoga. Karma Yoga teaches you to be selfless and adaptable; Bhakti Yoga teaches you to surrender to God’s will and accepting; Raja Yoga teaches you to replace negative thoughts and emotions with the opposite and to concentrate the mind, Hatha Yoga teaches you to channel and balance energies, and Jnana Yoga teaches you to see Unity, the Self in All.

10) What’s your suggestion to alleviate the pain and suffering of human beings?

Raja Yoga scriptures talk about 2 things to alleviate pains and sufferings (afflictions):

1. Concentration – on positive and uplifting object like a mantra and

2. Detachment towards everything else.

11) How much yoga practices can improve the quality of human beings life?

Yoga practices definitely help to alleviate the pains and sufferings by giving people calmness, strength, and detachment so they have Self Knowledge. Their quality of life will improve 100% as they come to understand the source of their sufferings and will not go on repeating the same mistakes in ignorance.

12) What’s your idea about the purpose of yoga seekers life?

The Yoga seekers want peace and Self Realization. Swami Sivananda said until the water of the rivers reach the ocean, we will not be at peace because we are like these rivers whose destination is to merge with the ocean. So Yoga practitioners need to keep practicing and refining their knowledge until the ultimate goal of Self Realization is attained; which is realizing that the individual self and God or the universal consciousness are One.

13) What should we do to have an ideal life without stress and tension?

Stress and tension are unavoidable but if you adopt the attitude of a Karma yogi, offering all results of action to God, you will alleviate stress, because the sense of doer ship will be less and the sense of gaining and loosing will be less. Karma yoga attitude combined with the Bhakti Yoga attitude of surrender and acceptance are helpful. Additionally, keeping the mind strong and stable in Raja Yoga and staying detached, remembering all is all the time perfect, like a Jnana Yogi.

14) What’s your suggestion to guide the youth in right path which is spiritual?

For youth, you can present asana as healthy exercise first. Pranayama and the rest of the five points of yoga can then be explained. In India people offer yoga as competition for young people and yoga is presented like a sport.

15) In an interview with Daneshe Yoga magazine in 2000, we talked about Raja yoga and Hatha yoga…so due to all changes since 2000, we face more sad events so would you please tell us how can we end up all sorrows in the world? All the problems you talk about are perennial; so what I said in 2000 and the situation now is the same. I am happy to hear that they are 300 yoga teachers and 500,000 yoga practitioners in Iran and that you are continuing to bring people to yoga. I believe that underneath the negativities that one might perceive in our world there is a consciousness revolution that is happening with millions of people practicing yoga in throughout the world. Recently the United Nations adopted international yoga day as June 21st.

16) Have you ever think about traveling to Iran? What’s your idea about Iranians?

I have never been to Iran but the people I have met from Persian culture are very spiritual. I myself will not be able to go to Iran in the close future but I am sending my prayers and good wishes to you all and invite students to join my webinar, online teaching, if they can. I am presently teaching yoga in Asia as well as I am of Asian origin. Please ask people to check our website www.sivanandayogafarm.org for the date and time of upcoming webinars, to access the previously presented webinar recordings, and for the schedule of when and where I will be teaching.

17) What’s your message to Daneshe Yoga Magazines readers?

The final message to all thereaders is the message of Sivananda, “Serve, love, give, purify, meditate, realize” and the message of Swami Vishnudevananda of, “Unity in diversity.” Om Tat Sat.


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