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Questions by readers- Answers by The Mother! These answers are in no way definitive; nor do they make any claims to authenticity. These are supposed to answer the seeking. The insights contained in these answers issue from patrons of The Mother, among who are saints, holy men, scholars and advanced seekers. To submit a question, send email to Do not feel disappointed if The Mother does not publish the answer to your questions. The Editorial Board will choose questions to be published in The Mother depending upon its significance and service to the spiritual seekers at large. However, we will strive to answer most queries and personally communicate the answers to those who put forth genuine queries. Editor.


Why is it said that a Yogi, Rogi and a Bhogi is always alert at night?


All the three Yogi, Rogi and Bhogi have something to do with the senses. Yogi has controlled the senses, rogi has lost control over the senses and bhogi is over-indulging the senses.

Now, the senses become sharper during the night. In the night everything in the world around you is at rest, you are also at rest. And this gives you an opportunity to automatically expand awareness through the senses. Yogi uses it to reach within, rogi is aware of the pain and pays close attention in order to avoid it and the bhogi is alert in order to get maximum pleasure form the senses.


Which is the best book to understand the Hindu religion?


Hinduism is better understood through the saints and their teachings. One can of course directly start reading the scriptures, but the wisdom contained in the scriptures is not accessible intellectually, it has a depth and mystery which only an enlightened master who is also versed in the shastras can unveil for you.

So start with biographies of saints like Adi Shankara, Sri Ramanuja, Sant Jnaneshwara, Sant Tukaram, Sant Kabir, Basava, Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath, Anandamayi Ma, Raman Maharshi, Sri Aurobindo, Swami Sivananda, Ram Tirth, Swami Bijoy Krishna Goswami, Nigamananda Paramahamsa, Swami Muktananda, Yogananda Paramahamsa, Swami Rama, Papa Ramdas, Neem Karoli Baba, Shivom Tirth Maharaj, Narsi Mehta etc.

Follow it with authentic translations of Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Uddhava Gita, Guru Gita, Ashtavakra Gita, Avadhuta Gita, Principle Upanishads, Srimad Bhagavata Purana, Shiva Purana, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Yoga Vashishtha and books on Yoga by BKS Iyengar.


How do you encourage young people to practice meditation?


Dakshinamurti, Sanata Kumars, Adi Sankara, Sant Jnaneshwara, Swami Vivekananda, are all young meditators.

The young have dreams and ambitions, and rightly so. They are just coming into their own, feeling the power that they can unleash. They are full of possibilities. They are yet to start living the life that they have chosen to live; therefore they are best encouraged by anything that will help them realise their dreams.

Meditation as a companion to realise your dreams, to study better, work better, love better would be their best motivation. And it’s not a false promise. Meditation isn’t a retirement package, it’s also not a pastime for the old, and it isn’t your way to monastic life. Meditation is for everyone. It helps everything. Especially the young. If one practices meditation while still young the quality of the entire life to come can be bettered. That’s why Jesus Christ sad, remember thy Lord in thine youth.

The young people are best equipped to meditate because their body and mind is fresh and healthy. As years roll by and the body and mind deteriorate, even if one wants to one cannot meditate.
For the young meditation can increase IQ, give better focus and concentration, improve intellectual efficiency, help do better in academics, overcome heartbreaks, give strength to do more work, impart improved health, reduce depression and anxiety, help in getting over addictions such as alcohol and drugs and boost self-confidence. You can give them any of these reasons to use meditation.


What is the concept of Bali (Sacrifice) in Hinduism? Why killing innocent animals when there is so much emphasis on compassion and non-violence?


Bali (sacrifice) concept comes from King Bali. He was the great grandson of Hiranyakashipu, the grandson of Prahlada and son of Virochana. This is the Bali who gave his all to the Brahmin guest who came to his doors. He gave his kingdom, his wealth, his subjects, his own head. He gave until there was nothing else for him to give and when whatever was his was spent, he gave himself, the giver itself. That went down in history. It was a sacrifice of all sacrifices, that is how the word Bali came, from his name. What King Bali gave, the daan, and the way in which he gave it, came to be known as Bali-daan.

He is a great soul so he is Maha-bali. There is another divine person who sacrificed his all, he is Mahabali Hanuman.

Bali concept involves offering oneself, not others. Raja Bali offered his own life not the life of a helpless animal.

If you kill a goat and offer it, what do you sacrifice? Nothing.

Bali is about sacrificing something of your own.

The concept of Bali or sacrifice is many rungs above the daan or charity. Here you have to give until it hurts. Not an animal, but your own self.


Is there any guru today like Trailanga Swami, Swami Samarth, or Ramakrishna Paramahansa?


The question may be rephrased as: Are there disciples today worthy of grace of Gurus like Trailanga Swami, Swami Samarth, or Ramakrishna Paramahansa?

As soon as the disciple like that becomes ready a Guru like the ones that you have listed appears, now and ever. God is realisable always, so the bearers of His creed will also be available always.
Nothing is lost. Everything divine rests undiluted, what is needed is a genuine seeker and authentic seeking. These great souls either come back in the body or invest