5D Spirituality, Spirit Babies, Success and Support, Paramahansa Yogananda and Kriya Yoga

“You are totality. You are the consciousness of the Universe. If you can relax, settle down and let your mind transcend all the petty thoughts that you’ve been having, then you can step into that unbounded status, awaken that, and then stabilize it and live it as your reality and everything you need will come to you, not just money.”

Thom Knoles

Episode Summary

Yet another interesting mix of questions in today’s Ask Me Anything episode with Thom.

In discussing spiritual 5D, The Fifth Dimension, Thom explains how premature contentment is the enemy of enlightenment. Regardless of what we call it, whether it be a 5D spiritual awakening or the search for 5D spiritual meaning, or something entirely different, the true measure of progress is to become an exemplar of Self realized consciousness.

He describes the Vedic Worldview on the incarnation of babies (including fetuses) who only remain with us for a short while.
Thom also describes how common measures of ‘success’ (money and fame) are irrelevant to our effectiveness in meeting the need of the time.

In this episode, Thom also pays homage to Paramahansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi and an inspiring leader in the 20th century.

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Episode Highlights


Q – Please Comment on 5D (The Fifth Dimension) and Its Effect on Our Meditation Practice



Santosha – The Enemy of Enlightenment



Premature Contentedness



Dependence of the Individual Leads to Dependence On GovernmentSelf Realization Means Self Actualization



Chronic Brain Failure



The Earned Contentedness



Vedic Meditation Produces Ideal IndividualQ – What is the Relevance of ‘Spirit Babies’ and Reincarnation?



Jiva – Individualized Consciousness



The Quickening



Separating From the Body



Karma and Unfinished Business



Q – Should We ‘Bend a Little’ to Extend Our Reach and Generate Wealth?



Money Means Absolutely Nothing



Living an Authentic Life



You Minus the Thoughts = Bliss



Living an AuthenCo-incidence



You Are Totality



What Good is Money?



Q – How Does the Vedic worldview and Paramahansa Yogananda’s School of Thought Relate? Can you Compare Kriya Yoga to Vedic Meditation?



Living an Authentic LiYoga – Union of the Individual Mind With Cosmic Mind



Kriya Yoga and Nishkam Karma Yoga



The Airplane Method and the Jumbo Jet Method



A Branch of the Tree


Jai Guru Deva


5D, Spirit Babies, Success and Support, Paramahansa Yogananda and Kriya Yoga

Q – Please Comment on 5D (The Fifth Dimension) and Its Effect on Our Meditation Practice

In the spiritual community there’s a lot of talk about how the consciousness of the planet has risen to what is termed as “5D,” The Fifth Dimension. Can you comment on this and any impacts this may have on our meditation practice?

[00:00:57] I think it’s one way of phrasing it. It’s just another way of phrasing the same thing. There is no change in collective humanity, change is not embraced by people, until things get particularly serious.

Santosha – The Enemy of Enlightenment

[00:01:11] This is a very great entry into a concept that came down from one of the masters of our tradition, Maharishi Patanjali. Patanjali, who is known for having written a treatise, the Yoga Sutras, that is to say the aphorisms of unity, and Maharishi Patanjali, 2,600 or 2,700 years ago, was asked by one of his disciples, “What is the greatest enemy of enlightenment?” And to their astonishment, he answered, “Santosha.”

[00:01:44] Santosha means in Sanskrit, contentedness, but what he meant was premature contentedness, which could be also reinterpreted into another English word complacency.

[00:01:58] When we are prematurely content, it’s a little bit like enjoying the music that’s being played while riding in the lovely deck chairs of the Titanic. It’s all so lovely.

Premature Contentedness

[00:02:10] I did once ride in an aircraft with a man who, we were flying from Zurich to New York City, and he got into the aircraft, and was just saying “It’s so lovely and so nice, and the stewards are so nice. And look at this, this is so good,” and all of that. And then the airplane began to roll down the runway and, as we were moving, he said, “I can’t wait to get to Santiago.”

[00:02:37] And I said, “Oh, when are you going?” And he said, “Well, I’m on this flight.” And I said, “This flight is not going to Santiago. Are you stopping off in New York and then going to Santiago?” “No, this is the direct flight Santiago isn’t it?”

[00:02:51] So now suddenly his great complacency and contentedness about how lovely the flight was, was very disrupted and he had to jump into action, but of course it was a little too late for that, to see if arrangements could be made to fly from New York to Santiago, because he was definitely not going there in one hop.

[00:03:09] So then when we have premature contentedness, when our awareness is not acute enough to be able to see what the need of the time is, and the degree of revolutionary and radical action that we’re going to have to take in order to earn that contentedness, then we can live in a kind of complacent state.

Self Realization Means Self Actualization

[00:03:31] Now, fortunately, a critical mass of people on the earth have arrived in sufficient perceptual mode to be able to see that radical change is necessary as a major priority. And of that group, there’s another group who are the leaders of all of this, who realize something even more important, that the biggest radical change needs to be the change in an understanding of what you are and who you are and what your capabilities are.

[00:04:05] Self realization means Self actualization. In other words, if I get panicky because of global warming and climate change, and I just stay using, what is the average use of human brain potential on earth, around about 2% of the brain’s available computing is the average that most people use, because of the accumulation of stress, people are using about 2% of their brain’s capacity.

[00:04:34] That means they’re assessing the problems with 2% of their capacity to assess, they’re assessing their resources with about 2% of their brain’s capacity to assess, and they’re assessing the timelines, all with about 2% of the brain’s capacity.

[00:04:49] When that’s the problem, instead of staying within that 2% and getting panicky and doing what you can with your 2%, the first thing we need to do is to change those percentages, to release stress and awaken the entire brain to make the brain fully capable so that we have massive resources.

Chronic Brain Failure

[00:05:11] Why not use a hundred percent of our brain? We were born with that. But the answer is, through accumulated stress, our brain activity or brain computing power gets dumbed down to about 2%.

[00:05:22] As we practice meditation, we’re peeling away layer after layer of stress and unveiling greater and greater capability to act in ways that are effective. And simply becoming afraid is not an effective interaction with a demand.

[00:05:39] When change shows you that you had better change or else, and all you do is become afraid, that’s not an effective interaction with the demand for change.

[00:05:51] The effect of interaction is to awaken and unveil maximum brain power. And this is the great crisis on earth right now, is chronic brain failure. Chronic brain failure afflicts almost a hundred percent of the population.

[00:06:07] And even those who have enough consciousness to recognize that we’re going to have to change things radically are still not getting it. Really getting it means that we do something about our chronic brain failure.

Earned Contentedness

[00:06:21] Awaken the full use of our brain so that we can work within the laws of Nature and use the laws of Nature to ensure the progress, and as result of progressing, the survival of the human species.

[00:06:36] Now, if those people who are doing that are in The Fifth Dimension, I’m all in favor of the 5D. I think it sounds fantastic. I don’t fully understand the whole philosophy of that, but perhaps it’s just another way of saying in a higher consciousness state, a higher consciousness state, which is inspiring to other people who see it.

[00:06:55] And by being one of those inspirers, by being one of those exemplars, one becomes a preceptor who teaches by precept or by example, then we have an opportunity, we have a chance really of extending the longevity of the human status in a comfortable way on earth. We can earn our contentedness. Right now any contentedness is premature.

Q – What is the Relevance of ‘Spirit Babies’ and Reincarnation?

[00:07:20] Hi, I’m Victoria from South Africa. So I was listening to the episode about reincarnation and I was wondering what your thoughts are on this idea of spirit babies, or babies/human beings that goes through most of gestation and pass away in the womb, late in the pregnancy or during labor or just after birth, and where does this fit in with the whole reincarnation idea? Thank you so much. I love your podcast. Thank you.

Jiva – Individualized Consciousness

[00:07:51] Thank you. It’s an important thing to understand in the Vedic worldview, the Vedic way of thinking about reincarnation, the idea is that the Jiva, Jiva is the word for individualized consciousness.

[00:08:09] Individualized consciousness, which has lived a life, many lives, is wanting to return to have an opportunity to stabilize heaven on earth, to stabilize the underlying field of Being, knowledge of the big Self while in a body.

[00:08:32] And so then when that Jiva makes a decision to move in to a particular house, it usually will move in around about the four month mark or so of the mother’s pregnancy.

The Quickening

[00:08:49] This is traditionally called in English words, the quickening. Quickening means, on your fingernail, you have the quick, and then you have the part of the nail that’s able to be filed or cut. And so this is the use of that word. It’s a homonym for the other use of the word quick, which means fast, but quick means that part which is alive, and it has sensation in it.

[00:09:12] The quickening occurs at around about the four month mark. It’s not a stopwatch situation or anything like that, but around about the four month mark. And if the house demolishes itself, prior to that Jiva moving in, well then the Jiva doesn’t have an opportunity to move in.

Separating From the Body

[00:09:33] If the Jiva does move in at about four months and is in utero, and the house demolishes for one reason or another, a miscarriage or any other kind of cause of loss of the housing, then there is a need to separate from that body.

[00:09:52] And separating from that body is a very similar experience to separating from the body after one’s body has gone through full term and you’ve lived for a while, but less painful because you haven’t developed an attachment to the senses. You haven’t developed an attachment to all the familiarities that one has.

[00:10:15] And likewise, someone who only lives for a short time, maybe a baby dies at one month, or dies at four months, or dies at a year, or a child dies at some earlier stage, then that is the limitation of the functionality of that particular body.

Karma and Unfinished Business

[00:10:34] And also when we enter into a body, we bring with us a certain degree of karma. Karma means the limiting factors that we bring with us from previous lifetimes. It may be that we have an opportunity only to stabilize the degree of enlightenment a certain amount, and also to complete some unfinished business for a certain, relatively small, number of years.

[00:11:02] There are great saints who lived not, by the usual standard, very long lives. So for example, Adi Guru Shankara, one of the great masters of our tradition, after whom the entire tradition, the Shankaracharya tradition, is named, who lived some 2,580 years. He lived to be about 30, having completely revolutionized the entire approach of delivering and elaborating this knowledge, dropped his body at around age 30.

[00:11:34] Everyone knows the story of the rabbi from Nazareth who was crucified at the age of 33. There are some people who gain enlightenment at quite a young age. It’s very possible to gain enlightenment, even as a child, and there are many stories like that, but our striving for the most enlightened state commences with our entering into the physiology of a fetus at around the age of four months from conception, and this is the Vedic worldview about that.

[00:12:08] Thank you for your question. Jai Guru Deva.

Q – Should We ‘Bend a Little’ to Extend Our Reach and Generate Wealth?

[00:12:11] We create opportunities and we generate wealth in so far as we remain relevant to the needs of the time. Yet we live in a time in which opportunities have flowed for reality TV stars, shock jocks, and dizzy-eyed starlets. Will the universe look after its evolutionary agents living their authentic lives and will the universe nonetheless continue to look after its vacuous starlets too?

[00:12:35] Should one continue to live a wholly authentic life or bend a little in order to stay relevant and reach a wider audience?

Money Means Absolutely Nothing

[00:12:42] That’s a very amusing question. Thank you for asking it.

[00:12:49] What are these opportunities that the shock jocks and the reality stars and the, as my teacher Maharishi used to call certain people who came to visit him, pop stars and drug addicts, what are these opportunities?

[00:13:02] Well, they might have money but what else do they have? Their money’s not going to buy them out of a nervous breakdown. Their money’s not going to buy them out of a dreadful, unhappy relationship or an early death. The money’s not going to ensure that they don’t commit suicide.

[00:13:19] Their money’s not going to ensure anything. Money means absolutely nothing. We’re not interested in what money can do.

Living an Authentic Life

[00:13:28] What we’re interested in is living an authentic life. And what does authentic mean? What is the true nature of your inner self? Who are you actually? Who are you and what are you?

[00:13:40] Even those who think that they’re living authentically, probably are living a lie. And that is the greatest disease on earth right now. The living of a lie, a self-constructed sense of who I really am is no different to someone who has a completely blown up or producer-created personality that they advertise on TV.

[00:14:05] What’s the difference? If you get it wrong, you’re getting it wrong. It doesn’t matter how well publicized it is.

You Minus the Thoughts = Bliss

[00:14:11] And so then what is the true nature of you? What are you minus all the thoughts? If you could stay conscious and have all the thoughts stop, what would that be?

[00:14:23] And the answer to that, as any Vedic meditator knows, is a state of pure Bliss. Infinite creative intelligence, infinite energy, infinite potential to meet the needs of the time, the true needs of the time, the relevant needs of the time effectively.


[00:14:40] When we do that it’s not just money that comes our way, money is just one of many, many things that comes our way. Every kind of opportunity comes our way. Every meditator knows that the number of so-called coincidences, which people don’t like the word coincidence, but I like it because it means something that coincides with something else, a co-incidence, if you like to pronounce it differently, to give it different meaning, it’s not random.

[00:15:06] The synchronous things that coincide begin to happen with greater and greater frequency. Doors open that you didn’t know even existed. You meet the kinds of people you’re supposed to meet. Your body starts to become more physiologically fit, and I’m not talking about just muscles or looking good in your spandex. I mean that your body really starts to become fit for dealing with the need of the time, in a way that has longevity to it.

You Are Totality

[00:15:39] And of course, whatever degree of money is required to move all of these things, this will also come your way. But the first thing is to become highly relevant to the need of the time, and relevance commences with a true understanding of what you are, not just who you think you are. What you are.

[00:16:00] What are you? The Veda answers this question. You are Totality. You are the consciousness of the Universe. If you can relax, settle down and let your mind transcend all the petty thoughts that you’ve been having, then you can step into that unbounded status, awaken that, and then stabilize it and live it as your reality and everything you need will come to you, not just money.

What Good is Money?

[00:16:29] Money is one of those things. It has a value. It has a use, but it’s not everything. And what good is money if nobody likes you? What good is money if everyone crosses the street when they see you coming, cause they don’t want to contact you?

[00:16:44] What good is money if your body’s falling apart and diseased? What good is money if you are running out of physiological time? What good is money if you’ve turned yourself into a clown?

[00:16:57] Really, we need to get that stress-created sense of what we are, out of the picture and awaken our true inner identity. When we do that, relevance appears. When relevance appears, Nature supports. That’s the end of the story. Jai Guru Deva.

Q – How Does the Vedic worldview and Paramahansa Yogananda’s School of Thought Relate? Can you Compare Kriya Yoga to Vedic Meditation?

[00:17:19] Hello. I’m Sabbe) from Belgium. Inspired by your podcast, I read Autobiography of a Yogi and discovered many similarities with the Vedic Worldview. How does the Vedic worldview and Yogananda’s school of thought relate, and can you compare Kriya Yoga to Vedic Meditation? Kind regards, Sabbe.

Yoga – Union of the Individual Mind With Cosmic Mind

[00:17:42] Thank you very much and greetings from Arizona to Belgium. I really very much enjoy the international spread of my podcast.

[00:17:51] And the answer to your question is a very simple one. Paramahansa Yogananda was a guru who was born in the last part of the 19th century and who, under the influence of his own teachers, rapidly became an enlightened, relatively young, enlightened man.

[00:18:13] He traveled widely through Europe and then came to the United States and brought the message of, as you put it, Kriya Yoga. The Kriya Yoga, which is not a form of physical yoga, moving the body around into various kinds of positions, as we’ve come to know it in the west.

[00:18:30] Yoga in Sanskrit means the experience of the union of individual mind with Cosmic mind. That’s what the word yoga actually means. And there are various means to gain that. The different yogas all have an adjective in front of them.

Kriya Yoga and Nishkam Karma Yoga

[00:18:49] Kriya yoga. The word Kriya in Sanskrit means activity. Now our practice of Vedic meditation in India also has a Sanskrit name, Nishkam Karma Yoga. Nishkam Karma means, in Sanskrit, yoga having been achieved, that is unification of individual consciousness with its cosmic counterpart, unification having been achieved through Nishkam Karma.

[00:19:15] Nishkam Karma, through activity or through action hardly done. Hardly doing anything, one experiences yoga.

[00:19:24] So our technique is an effortless mental technique. So we can’t see that much difference between Kriya, which means activity, activity of a life supporting Nature, spontaneous activity, or Nishkam Karma, the effortless activity or action each of which causes the yoga experience to occur.

[00:19:43] During Yogananda’s time of teaching, so many people were able to access this experience of unification of individuality and universality that they began to refer to it as, because airplanes were a new thing in his time, the airplane method, that is to say it got you from A to B very quickly. It helped you grow your consciousness state.

The Airplane Method and the Jumbo Jet Method

[00:20:07] My master Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, used to make that book, The Autobiography of a Yogi required reading for us prior to taking teacher training in the meditation technique, which he now taught us.

[00:20:23] And he had a tremendous amount of respect for Paramahansa Yogananda. He said he was one of the people who really made something very practical, and he did the beginnings of trying to explain it from a quasi-scientific perspective, which was very, very helpful to the Western mind.

[00:20:43] Maharishi’s comment was that airplanes, propellor airplanes in the time of Yogananda, so that was the airplane method, and the method that Maharishi was bringing to the world, he referred to as the jumbo jet method. Hundreds and hundreds of people traveling at very fast speeds from less conscious states to more conscious states.

A Branch of the Tree

[00:21:03] And so there is relationship. In fact, Paramahansa Yogananda’s master’s teachings would be considered to be a part of the Vedic worldview.

[00:21:16] If we were to consider our tradition going back from Maharishi’s teacher to Guru Dev, who was the acknowledged king of the yogis, the Supreme authority of the Vedic worldview, and back through his master all the way back, thousands of years through each of the teachers to the dawn of civilization, we would see this as the main trunk of a tree, and one of the major branches coming off that trunk would be the Kriya Yoga body of knowledge. It’s a branch of the Vedic trunk.

[00:21:50] Yes, very good. Very good man Yogananda.

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