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Here you can post any of your questions/comments about any of my books or anything that is posted in this blog. You can also post questions about Yoga, Meditation. I will try to answer all questions to the extent possible. If your comment includes any personal information such as e-mail and so on, I will use them if essential. But in no case I will publish those details, nor use the information for any purpose other than intended by you.

Feel free to ask any questions.

11 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Hello Dr. King

    I read part I and part II of Marvels of the Mind. I guess there is going to be part III. When is it due? What is it going to be on ?

    Thanks

    RJK

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  3. Thank you RJK for reading my books. I hope you found them useful.
    The third part will be on Yoga and Meditation. I hope to publish it sometime before end of this year.

    Best wishes
    Dr. King

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  4. Hi
    Is your paperback Indian edition of "How and Why of Yoga" available for people outside India? If so, how do I get one? Can you provide it directly? I can pay through paypal if you like.

    Thanks
    Bob

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    1. Hi Bob

      Thanks for writing.
      I think it should be possible to provide these low cost (< US $3) paperbacks to anyone who wants them. But shipping them outside India may nullify the cost advantage. Also large quantities may attract customs restrictions. The best way is to ask someone who either is visiting India or is returning from India to buy the books and carry them along. Please let me know whether that is convenient for you and how many copies you would be needing. Carrying a few personal copies should not create customs problems.
      Alternatively these books are available through amazon and many other online retailers. Though you don't get the price advantage.

      -- Dr.King

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  5. Hi Dr.King
    You have said that the mantra discussed in "Mantra to enhance your mental capabilities" can be chanted by even girls/women. But I have heard that women are not allowed since it causes hormonal imbalances. Is it true?

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    1. Hi Anoosha

      There are two parts in your question.
      1. Women are not allowed to chant the mantra.
      2. If they do, there will be some hormonal changes.

      Let me answer one by one.

      1. Women are not allowed to chant mantra

      I normally don’t bother much about individual opinions unless supported by relevant texts, reasoning or evidence.

      * I have not come across any primary Vëdic text that prohibits women from chanting this mantra.
      * Secondary texts (that are based on Veda) such as Manu smrti don’t prohibit but say that it is not necessary for women to go to school since their primary role is to serve the family (as home makers). There are texts (such as Harita Dharma sutra) that even say that women can go to school if they decide to remain as students (without ever getting married) throughout their life (Naistika Brahmacarya). In such cases they are obviously administered the mantra at the time of joining the school.
      * Much later tertiary texts such as “Parashara Madhaviya” ( 12th century text) based Parashara Smrti do ban women from chanting any mantra or for that matter from indulging in any spiritual practice. The reason given is that their primary role is to serve the husband and look after the children and if they keep themselves busy in such activities they cannot do justice to their role. If at all, they can do such things only with the permission of the husband and they should make sure that the husband is not in any way inconvenienced.

      So, it looks like some time in the history, women were relegated to a secondary role in the family and their existence was seen only as to serve the family. This is just a social convention that has no longer any validity.

      2. There will be hormonal changes if they do.

      I wonder whether the people who say such things know what hormones they are talking about.
      Yes, I have reasons to believe that certain prolonged practices can eventually result in hormonal changes. As I have explained in “How and why of Yoga and Meditation”, prolonged practice of paranayama, trataka, mantra chanting, devotional singing, meditation can all lead to the same ultimate result – attainment of samädhi. And samädhi can potentially bring in some changes in the structure of the brain. It can nullify the effect of preset impressions in the brain that are responsible for the way a ‘normal’ person behaves.

      Hormones are the mechanisms through which these ‘normal’ activities of the person are motivated. So it is possible that remaining in samädhi frequently can bring in changes in the production of hormones. **This can happen to men as well as women**.

      As you know, they are two hormones testosterone and estrogen that are produced in both men as well as women. In men, the former is produced in more quantity than the latter and in women it is vice versa. Testosterone makes men more manly – muscular, heavy, probably darker in skin complexion, coarser voice, strong and so on. On the other hand, estrogen in women is responsible for their being more “feminine”. It is well known that after menopause, the estrogen production in women goes down and they tend to exhibit ‘manly’ characteristics.
      Now coming back to samädhi effects – it seems at least in men they tend make them ‘feminine’ – softer body tone, fairer complexion (rather pinkish shade!), lighter body weight, melodious voice, and so on. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa for example used to take these as ‘signs’ of advancement of a person in spiritual practice. Though he talks only about men, just the opposite may happen in women as well. And the cause could be hormonal changes. This is yet to be verified, but quite likely to be true.

      The final word is that – if you are not aiming for samädhi (most are not), don’t’ bother about these effects and if these effects do occur, they occur both in men as well as in women and probably for ‘the good’!. A few minutes of practice does not, in any way, bring in any such effect. So don’t bother about this ‘reason’ being given.

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  6. In your book "How and why of Yoga and meditation" the image shown for meditation (lotus posture) shows the hands locked and placed on the thighs. How does one count the mantra chants if hands are locked? Normally it is said that the mantra has to be counted either by using a rosary or using fingers!

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    1. The emphasis on locked hands in the image you have mentioned was only to highlight how this posture imparts physical stability needed for prolonged meditation. There could be other hand positions that are equally suitable.

      Coming back to the question “how does one count when his hands are locked?”, counting during mantra chanting is probably a leftover of an era when better time keeping devices were not available. For the reasons I have explained in my book “How and why of Yoga and Meditation” , it is the duration that is important and not the count. You can ensure this duration by using a stop watch. Most cell phones or mobile phones have a timer facility that can be set to any predefined timeout. You can meditate till the timer times out with a beep. That way you can concentrate better on meditation or mantra chanting without diverting part of your attention on to the act of counting.

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  7. Dr. King
    I sweat a lot when I chant OM mantra/ I wonder why this happens! Am I doing something wrong?

    UKS

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    1. Hi UKS
      The simple answer to your question is – if done properly, chanting OM should not have any such problem.

      You say that you are sweating. That means you are doing something wrong. Are you forcefully holding your breath or exhaling/inhaling forcefully just to prolong the OM duration. In that case, it is possible that the exertion can produce sweat. In case you want to prolong the duration of OM, do it gradually over a period of time and not all of a sudden. There should be no discomfort while chanting OM. If you practice for a prolonged period, gradually your breathing is going to slow down without your effort. So don’t hurry it out.

      As I have indicated in my book “How and Why of Yoga and Meditation”, OM chanting is not for everyone since it can cause problems. Read the book for details. I know that many Yoga teachers advise OM chanting, but my view is that it should be done with clarity on what you want to achieve and what the repercussions are.

      Many Hata Yoga proponents as well as some Hata Yoga books talk about sweating while doing ‘Pränäyäma’ in Hata Yoga style. They give mysterious reasons for that. I don’t want to comment on that but I can only suggest that the sweating once again has to do with forceful breath control. One needs to be relaxed and gradual.


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