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Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is...

Sometimes students have written to or asked Swami Veda, Swami Ritavan, and other senior teachers in our tradition questions about practice. This is one such “Question and Answer,” or Q&A.


I have a few questions:

That blissful feeling that comes from self-realization, is it permanent or breaks up?  How does bliss feel?  Can you describe it?

Secondly, i take it that to achieve self-realization, one has to master the art of restraint and concentration. How does one go about doing this?  Like what are the first steps as a starting point?

Last but not least, what is your take on meat-eating and vegetarianism?


Michael Smith has answered this question.

From Michael Smith:

These are three analogies that Swami Veda used to give:

  1. “How can you describe what water is to a person who has never seen, tasted, or swam in water? or
  2. “How can you describe what it is like to fall in love romantically to a three-year old child?” or
  3. Let’s say you are a Martian and came to the planet earth. And let’s say that Martians never needed sleep. How would you, as a Martian, ever be able to understand the phrase “sweet dreams”?

How does one go about achieving self-realization; what are the first steps? A regular daily practice of yoga, a life style that supports it, a good teacher, and determination.

As a person’s meditation intensifies, there comes a greater appreciation for nature and all living beings. With that appreciation comes a strong inclination not to harm them or contribute to their harm.  Sometime this is not easy. An excellent book on this subject is GANDHI: All Men Are Brothers: Autobiographical Reflections compiled by Krishna Kripalani with an Introduction by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.

Editor’s Note:

If you have a question about spiritual practice, you can use the "Contact the Spiritual Committee" link on the Ahymsin website to ask it.

Previous columns can be read at “Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…



The Himalayan Tradition of Yoga Meditation

Purification of Thoughts     Dhyana    Mindfulness
Japa     Dharana     Shavasana
Breath Awareness     Qualified Preceptor
Guru Disciple Relationship     Unbroken Lineage
Yoga Nidra     Silence Retreats     Full Moon Meditation

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