Question: Premaji, is it necessary to have a strong personal
will to grow spiritually and to find God?
- H. Costas ~ Arlington, Texas
Answer: Spiritual development doesn't happen automatically.
You may want enlightenment very badly, but it only happens through
your daily application of spiritual principles. One of these principles
is sankalpa, which means "will power" in Sanskrit.
You want to know if a strong personal will or sankalpa will help
you find God? Before I can answer this question I must ask what
God are you seeking? If you are a Catholic, your religious programming
may be to search for a Catholic God. If you are a Hindu, you are
taught to search for Hindu Gods. Religions condition us from birth
to expect God to appear in the form of our personal religious indoctrination.
It is the concept of a different God for each religion that has
produced over 6000 religious wars in 3,000 years!
In my opinion, religions have stood in our way of finding God.
They put us in a box of intolerance for other traditions and people.
Religions are as dangerous as nuclear bombs, and both should be
dismantled. I'm not suggesting we destroy religions, but instead,
disarm them. Let's begin by focusing on how we are similar, and
not upon our differences. It is time we stop searching for a Catholic,
Hebrew, Hindu, Buddhist, or Islamic God of a bygone era. In the
universal path of prema (love), which I teach as the path of loving
actions, God is defined as Love. Let's make ourselves available
to the experience of God in the form of loving actions. Whatever
your religion, it's time to make love a part of it, to discover
love within, actualize love in our lives, and manifest love in the
form of tolerance for others.
A strong personal will or sankalpa is of definite assistance in
finding God as love. It takes will power to feel compassion, love,
tenderness, and tolerance for others when you may think otherwise.
When you individually exercise your will power to consistently express
love, you grow spiritually. You put yourself directly on the universal
path of the heart, the path of love. It is never too late in life
to begin to realize your dream of enlightenment by developing your
will power. Just as muscles require flexing to stay strong, you
must flex your will power to strengthen it. Start now by taking
a moment for the spiritual practice of meditation. Sit quietly for
a few minutes, close your eyes, and breathe deeply through your
mouth, allowing your mind to rest. Strengthen your sankalpa, or
willpower, by resolving to give yourself this spiritual release
from the everyday world.
Another way to awaken to feelings of love in your heart is simply
by doing something loving. Start with an inanimate object. You can
use a favorite trinket, a stone or a tree. Every time you pass by
it, stop and give it feelings of love. Stick with one object and
do it every day. This will increase the flow of loving feelings
that come from your heart and strengthen your personal will power.
If it's enlightenment and evolution that you're seeking, it's
up to you to take the steps to ensure your happiness, health, and
higher consciousness. Enjoy your meditations. Love that tree. And
welcome to the experience of universal love within yourself.
With prema, from my heart to yours
Question: Premaji, is there a diet that can assist me to
advance on the spiritual path? I'm overweight and I use smoking
and coffee to lose weight. - Paula T. ~ Minneapolis, Minnesota
Answer: There is much confusion in this era about food
choices. Diet experts are arguing over whether we should avoid fats
or eat all the fat we want. They can't agree on whether or not carbohydrates
are hazardous or important foods that should predominate in our
diets. One expert mentions that protein is dangerous while another
insists that we don't get enough. The spiritual diet cuts through
the confusion and provides a lifelong guide that will enable you
to achieve health, weight loss and spiritual evolution.
What makes a diet spiritual? Consider two points: Is your diet
helping you in your spiritual practice? Does it support meditation?
Is it one that is based on reducing pain and suffering in your personal
world and the larger world in which you live?
Have you ever tried to meditate after a visit to Starbuck's and
a double serving of espresso? At lunch do you drink a can of soda?
Or iced tea for dinner? The possibility of meditating when you are
caffeine and nicotine wired is unlikely. Without meditation how
can you feel the tranquility and harmony of spirit?
For one month eliminate caffeine and smoking. Enjoy the effect
of spiritual peace on your mind and body! As you exclude caffeine
and nicotine you are decreasing your chances of lung cancer and
heart disease. On a spiritual diet you examine how your food choices
are adding to your personal and planetary well-being.
Are you practicing ahimsa (nonviolence) when you eat? If you are
eating animal products you must realize that an animal full of adrenaline
and terror died for you to eat its flesh. You are what you eat!
You are taking this suffering into your body. Science documents
that all animal products as food choices lead indisputably to cancer,
osteoporosis, heart disease, strokes and diabetes. It's difficult
to feel the natural spiritual joy and exuberance if your body is
riddled with cancer or other killer diseases. Ask yourself this:
is it spiritual to choose foods that will create pain and tragedy
for you and your loved ones? In addition, every healthy vegetarian
choice brings greater well-being and less violence to our planet
by putting an end to the epidemic killer diseases and to the rampant
cruelty in the animal industry. The healthy vegetarian choices are
whole grains, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables.
Every two seconds, a child dies of hunger on our planet. This
is because most of the world's grain is not food grain, but feed
grain for cattle. Meat eaters have their beef at the expense of
a starving child. Since you ate breakfast yesterday, 36,000 children
starved to death. Think about this the next time you indulge in
a steak. Why pretend to be spiritual if you are eating meat? 25%
of the world's population is malnourished. American meat eaters
are the most overweight and sickest population in history.
Walk your spiritual talk, cherish life and become a vegetarian.
With prema, from my heart to yours
Prema Baba Swamiji (as Dr. Donald Schnell) is the author of
The Initiation, a spiritual adventure story about his initiation
into the Ancient Order of Swamys by the eternal Babaji in India.
He is a widely respected expert in the fields of metaphysics, meditation,
Eastern spirituality, medical hypnosis, nutrition, exercise, and
yoga. He is the co-author of Fitonics, a health lifestyle
book. He conducts spiritual workshops with his wife Marilyn Diamond
of Fit For Life. ~ Prema Seminars: 603-225-3720 ~ You can
learn more about Prema Baba Swamiji at www.TheInitiation.com. Please send your
questions to Ask Premaji at TheInitiation@aol.com
or by snail mail to: Ask Premaji, 2316 Pine Ridge
Road #431, Naples, Florida 34109.