Heartfelt Answers to
Everyday Dilemmas on the Spiritual Path
by Asha Praver
“Dear Asha, why is this happening to me?”
Sorrow and stress are universal, but difficult situations can also be opportunities — life trying to guide us toward greater happiness — if we had the wisdom to see it. To find the hidden blessings within the various situations in life, you need faith, trust . . . and sometimes, a wise friend to talk to.
To many spiritual seekers, that person is Asha — who through her counseling and lectures has helped thousands worldwide gain a deeper understanding of themselves and the spiritual path. Based on letters to questing souls, this book shares the clarity, compassion, and inspiration of Asha — a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, lifelong student of Swami Kriyananda, and gifted spiritual teacher for over 40 years. Her responses are universal to people everywhere, with compassionate insight into the human condition. How to help others . . . How to see life as fair . . . How to be true to yourself...
“Every apple seed contains within it the potential to become a fruit-bearing tree. It doesn’t happen all at once though. It may be tiresome for the seed first to be a sprout, then a twig, then a sapling—but it is the fastest, in fact the only way to become an apple tree.
So it is with the soul. Self-realization is our divine destiny, but we can’t get there in one leap. Perhaps your repeated failure is not caused by lack of will power but from lack of patience—trying to reach the goal without first walking the path.
If you reach too far beyond your actual realization, inevitably you will collapse back—perhaps to a place lower than where you started, if you define yourself now by your failure. You may think you are compromising your ideals to aim lower, but in fact that may be the surest route to success.
Spiritual progress is both a science and an art. The science is comprised of the divine laws of the universe; the art is to know which to apply and when.”
What Others Are Saying
“This is an invaluable collection of Asha's best and trustworthy counsel. A brilliant read for those of us who would like to have the tools to handle everyday problems, even as she inspires us to reach our higher potential and level of happiness. As Asha leads the reader to self-awareness, she becomes a supportive friend who offers the best advice one could receive.”
—Dr. Pathma Naidu, Head of Counseling, Pathways World School, India
“Asha has a knack for taking timeless spiritual truths and presenting them in a way that is immediate, practical, and directly applicable to our modern lives. Her advice is compassionate and insightful, and helps us find the next step toward spiritual progress in any situation.”
—Graham Waldon, Manager, East West Bookshop
“From early in her spiritual life, Asha’s teacher, Swami Kriyananda, asked her to give spiritual counsel to new seekers. It is obvious why. She is a wise soul with a talent for putting deep teachings into words everyone can understand. This book is a gift to anyone searching for truth.”
—Richard Salva, author of Blessed Lanfranc: The Past Life of Swami Sri Yukteswar
Ask Asha - Table of Contents
1. I make the same mistakes over and over.
2. Nothing outside ordinary reality ever happens to me.
3. Spiritual hypocrisy has left a bad taste in my mouth.
4. My job and the rewards it offers seem pointless.
5. My partner cheated on me for fifteen years.
6. People will take advantage if we forgive everything.
7. I loved a powerful and good man, but he died.
8. The husband my parents have chosen for me is not my soul-mate.
9. I am in love with a man who doesn’t love me.
10. What does it mean in meditation to have an empty mind?
11. Sometimes in meditation I feel afraid.
12. In meditation I doze off and start dreaming instead.
13. Two “karmic bombs” went off this week.
14. How does karma get from one incarnation to the next?
15. Why do bad things happen to good people?
16. An ugly divorce has devolved into guerilla warfare.
17. Are all astral worlds beautiful?
18. How does a guru take on the karma of his disciples?
19. Is it bad karma to give up a baby for adoption?
20. My friend is negative about my spiritual path.
21. My boyfriend thinks only the Catholic religion is true.
22. Dark aliens from other planets have interbred with Earthlings.
23. I have lost interest in sex, but my wife has not.
24. Sex should always be a gift, not a responsibility.
25. As newlyweds, moderation in sex is out of the question.
26. My boyfriend thinks “sacred” drugs like LSD are a path to God.
27. Isn’t wearing distinctive religious garb just spiritual ego?
28. With so many wearing blue, Ananda now looks like a cult.
29. Will you be my guru?
30. I may have to kick my adopted son out of the house.
31. My elderly mother is bitter and unhappy.
32. My mother has really poor judgment about men.
33. Trying to fix my daughter’s hard karma only makes it worse.
34. My son’s wife is a compulsive nail-biter.
35. When does soul evolution begin?
36. If God is Bliss, why did He create suffering?
37. Why did God choose Mary to be the Mother of Jesus?
38. Jesus: Son of Man or Son of God?
39. I feel so guilty that my Great Dane was put to sleep.