Wise men should not forget to count in themselves somehow.
Suppose, for the sake of argument, that Yogananda and everything you eat are unreal too. Can you thrive on that? Yogananda obviously forgot to count in himself and his teachings among "the unreals", but the wise men of Gotham were helped to it:
Once on a time twelve men of Gotham went fishing in the stream that supplied the town pond, and sometimes they fished from the shore, and sometimes they waded out into the stream to get better positions from which to cast their lines. As they were coming back one of them said, "We've ventured much this day wading. I pray God that none of us drowned."
"Let's see about that," said a second man. "Twelve of us came out this morning. I'll count and see if twelve are going back."
So he counted, "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven." But he forgot to count himself. "I can make no more than eleven," said he. "Surely, one of us is drowned."
Then the other men counted, but each forgot to count himself and could find only eleven. "Alas!" said one to another, "there's no doubt about it. One of us is drowned."
They went back to the stream where they had been fishing and looked up and down for him that was drowned and lamented greatly. By and by a man of Nottingham came riding past." What are you looking for there?" he asked, "and why are you so sad?"
"Oh," said they, "this day we came to fish in this stream, and there were twelve of us. But one is drowned, for now there are but eleven of us."
"Count me how many of you there are," said the stranger.
One of the men of Gotham counted, and as he did't count himself he made eleven.
"Well," said the stranger, "what will you give me if I find the twelfth man?"
"Sir," said they, "we'll give you all the money we carry on us."
"Give me the money," said the Nottingham man.
When the money was safe in his pocket he said, "Now pass in front of me;" and he began with the first man and hit him a crack on the shoulders with his whip.
"There is one," said he.
The next one he cracked with his whip likewise. "There are two," said he; and so he served them all down to the last, saying, "Here is your twelfth man."
"God bless your heart!" said all the company; "you've found our neighbour."
Do you really want to learn?
The SRF guru found missing: Alas, there is something missing in Yogananda's thinking: he forgot to include himself and his teachings in the world he says is unreal. How can you if you are unreal and the world is unreal too? A fine point that is obviously missing in some untrue yogi teaching is consistency - including counting in oneself and one's teachings in the real and true.
Fou est qui s'oublie. The French proverb says it is a fool who forgets himself. Be that as it may, if you rightly discard false guru tenets you could see it is OK to love wisely.
Yogananda's teachings in the light of Yogananda being a bluff or fancy
Now let us look at Jesus in the light of Yogananda's empty-looking salvation teachings above: The world of Jesus was not real, the happenings in the New Testament were not real, his teachings were not real - just like Yogananda in the world - nothing real! That should sum up large parts of Yogananda's teaching. Where does it take you? What are you saved to?
In SRF they do not keep the Canaanite slave forever [permanently] (Leviticus 25:46), although that seems like a valid part of the "original Christianity of Jesus" too, according to Matthew 5:17-19. In that passage, Jesus vouches for the Law; it must be valid and not changed, as he "came to fulfil the Law of Moses", and with it the command on keeping the Canaanite slave forever [for life, permanently], as it is a part of that Law.
Was pregnant Mary stoned to death on her father's doorstep?
Mary, mother of Jesus, was not stoned to death for being pregnant out of wedlock. Was she lucky there, or what? The Law that Jesus vouched for, could have his mother stoned to death with himself in her belly after it was found out.
Jesus' understanding of righteousness included corrupt sacrifice of one or more innocents to let sinners go on, seemingly unladen - the Bible's span is from butchering innocent animals to let culprits go on as usual [for example Leviticus 16], and to butchering a Son for the sake of culprits, is a form of hard-hearted corruption. Jesus vouches for the Law of Moses that institutionalises slavery, butchery of innocent animals, scapegoats and other cruelties in Matthew 5:17-19. The irony of it includes that the same law would have his own mother, the pregnant Mary, stoned to death on her father's doorstep for getting with child without being married. Stoned to death with Foetus Jesus in her belly, if found out, that is. (Deuteronomy 22:23,24)
Adding to this, pensively: "To saw off the branch one sits on is bad."
Hebrews were Canaanites, say Bible archeologists
Think of the phrase that "Confused garbage into young minds result in confused followers too". As bizarre as it seems at first glance, there is also mounting archaeological evidence that the Hebrews too were Canaanites, if it matters. The Jew - is there a better future for him than being a perpetual slave of other Jews, or can it be otherwise? Questions tend to pop up in an investigative mind. [More]
In SRF they aim to show Jesuan Christianity, but see what these outwardly peaceful-looking fellows really do and are up to. See if they grab and keep Jewish or Canaanite slaves, for example. Why not get an overview of what their priorities are too, while you are at it. Do they not keep Canaanite or Hebrew (Jewish) slaves. I hardly think so, all in all. They don't teach you to pluck out your eye either, contrary to harsh demands of Jesus for such vile self-maiming (See Matthew 5 for more, and consider how clowns are too).
We must face the facts to get worthy of those facts. Facade Christianity is common where no one meets the "acid test" of true followers of Jesus, that Good Faith Certificate. But first, admit that unless you are a Jew, you do not qualify for his teachings, he tells in Matthew 15:24 and 10:4-8. The renowned Bible scholar Geza Vermes points it out thus:
During his days of preaching, Jesus of Nazareth addressed only Jews, "the lost sheep of Israel" (Matthew 10:5-8; 15:24). His disciples were expressly instructed not to approach gentiles or Samaritans (Matthew 10:5-8). On the few occasions that Jesus ventured beyond the boundaries of his homeland, he never proclaimed his gospel to pagans, nor did his disciples do so during his lifetime. The mission of the 11 apostles to "all the nations" (Matthew 28:19) is a "post-Resurrection" idea. It appears to be of Pauline inspiration and is nowhere else found in the Gospels (apart from the spurious longer ending of Mark [Mark 16:15], which is missing from all the older manuscripts). Jesus' own perspective was exclusively Jewish; he was concerned only with Jews. (Vermes 2012)
To clarify these matters still further:
Jesus reserve his teachings and salvation for Jews (Matthew 15:24; 10:5-8; Vermes 2012), but only depraved Jews: those of sound moral and spirit are not called by him, and the healthy do not need him (Mark 2:17; Matthew 9:12-13; 12.11). Jesus further puts his sheep on a path to perdition in that he teaches his sheep what is opposed to sound self-preservation. Thereby eyes, limbs, property, fit living-conditions and life itself soon enough are at risk (Matthew 5: 29-30; 39-42). Finally, marring losses come to those who call him 'Lord, Lord' without doing as he tells. (Luke 6:46)
Dr Vermes informs that the Missionary Command of a resurrected Jesus who had failed in his mission for Jews only, is forged. There should be little doubt about that. [Joseph Wheless investigations in the matter]
An unreal danger to consider?
A danger with misleading teachings is that of being led astray. Another is of being made a fool, misused and badly handled. But learn and cultivate proficient meditation against all that.
Ramana Maharsi teaches,
"Reality . . . is that which is.
The Heart is the font of Reality, the seat of Consciousness and Consciousness itself. Appropriate, calm focus on the heart-centre helps a soul to manifest too. [Osborne 1971:34]
But Yogananda's teaching that the world is unreal, illusory, is it true? Not if his teaching is true!
Illusion teachings go on and on in some circles. You may wonder why, and what is behind it.
There is no material universe; its warp and woof is . . . illusion. [Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi, ch. 30 [Link]
These four did not count in themselves, not unlike the wise men of Gotham (above). If all is illusory, they and their words would necessarily be part of of, and they should be wisely cognised as illusory. So what about them, what about their teachings in the outer world, and what about you? And what about the perfect and unreal mate?
Getting back to being normally conscious after deep meditation, the outer world is perceived once again, and we can assume it was there during the meditation too as long as there were others about, sensing and being occupied in the world of matter.
Focused attention fosters one's finest potential. But focused attention on the guru-given idea that the world is merely illusory, has unwelcome effects, and may stunt keener sense. Yogananda (1893-1952) teaches that the universe is a swindle. Suppose it is not; then his teachings would be untrue. Suppose the world is all unreal; in that case Yogananda's teachings - part of the world, found in the world, would be as unreal as the universe, and not truer. Then his teachings would be untrue - and unreal. To paint oneself into a corner is somewhat similar. Refrain from sawing off your legs to stand safer, too. [Far more]
Admittedly, the teaching that the universe is not real, is not a solid one.
Here is more documentation:
When he [man] awakens in cosmic consciousness, he will effortlessly dematerialise the illusions of the cosmic dream. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi, ch. 34, [Link]
But if the earthly realm is illusory, the divine realm would not extend into it. If you happen to meet Babaji, do tell him that . . .
So the guru and founder of Self-Realization Fellowship at times tells us that the universe is lila (Skr: play, sport). He also uses words like "illusion" and "dream" in some of his books. And all this may remind us somehow of words by the fabled Chuang-tzu of ancient China when he spoke of the world:
This is all a great dream. Yet the stupid believe they . . . understand things . . . When I say you are dreaming, I am dreaming, too. Words like these will be labelled the Supreme Swindle. [Watson 1968:47-48]
Back to Yogananda and his Supreme Swindle teachings: To the degree that what Yogananda and some of his gurus maintain in the matter is correct, and hence false, a little "Gulp!" could well fit in.
The Supreme Swindle teaching guru Yogananda set up Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF). He repented that later, but Yogananda's hybrid church society still seems to exist. It seems to preach overarching Hindu teachings and keeps Jesus as one of its gurus, and German Shepherds.
Now, Lola Williamson has written a commendable book called Transcendent in America: Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements as New Religion (2010). One of three hybridised Hindu movements she looks into there, is Self-Realization Fellowship, SRF. The yoga society was registered as a church in California in 1935, and has its headquarters on a hilltop in the Mount Washington neighbourhood northeast of downtown Los Angeles and Chinatown. There are perhaps the most members in southern California, and world-wide there may be from less than 10,000 to a million members: estimates differ considerably. [More]
Not everybody appreciates that a guru enterprise - a modern decoction-religious society - is likened to a farm with its pigs and cattle and other animals to be herded and made use of in time, but see how far it fits. We may bear in mind something Jesus said about sheep and shepherds. He also held that proper investigations are fit, and the investigations of the authorities finally sent him to the cross . . .
❋ Hybrid meditation societies in a country represent adaptations to the inhabitants of that country, for good, for bad, or in between - in the short term, in the medium term, and in the long term. The best is to go for what is excellent at first, in the middle and in the long term, says Buddha. Not what just seems great, but what truly helps.
Self-Realization Fellowship - a part of the Supreme Hoax
To the shallow, all tends to seem shallow. To the deep and mysterious, the Self-Realization Fellowship tends to seem deep and mysterious like a hybrid, perhaps.
Can some Hindu teachings and the teachings of Jesus be well aligned unless as part of Supreme Swindle teachings? In your "universe dreams" - The over-arching guru teaching is still that the universe is a swindle, an illusion, a dream, and those who form part of it - your brother and old folks, perhaps - are in dreamland - sort of.
Then, if the world is unreal, an illusion, you cannot say a lot if you mean something. Meanings rest on the universal fabric, a Large Container, they too. Does it matter to know that Yogananda went on and on as a lecturer, speaking about meanings? Thereby his teachings were found in the world.
To put it with Chuang-tzu, adjusting to Supreme Swindle teachings is done by swindles. Id (zest) is for that too, methinks. And what is more, there are obvious dangers in saying "(It is true that) there is no difference between truth and untruth". You may see that tenet in a postmodern book by a certain Ericson. Mere bleating could be better, far better.
A question is how far Supreme Swindle teachings can liberate in a Supreme Hoax (universe). Just don't be taken in by guru hoaxes and insider jokes.
Yogananda as part of the world: Just an old dreamWe hardly do well enough if we deny simple facts, such as "Life is for the living," "As long as we live, we live." Yogananda, however, often stated that life was just a dream, unreal, an illusion. Thus you may come across:
The world is nothing more than a cosmic dream –This life is a dream. - Paramahansa Yogananda [1982:237, 240] [More such sayings]
To what extent was he dreaming it? And to what extent did he illusionate, and how? To whom is the world a dream?
Some pregnant statements make practical applications feasible. A saying is that phenomena are real when experienced as the manifested Self. "Everything must be within the Self," teaches Ramana Maharsi [cf. Osborne 1971:12-16, 19, passim].
Your referrals have been very helpful. I appreciate your assistance. - CP
To be investigative of propositions or teachings handed over, is part of good yoga, and a formidable teaching of Buddha.
Yogananda lore is at variance with Christian teachings.
A church can become become dogmatic in the course of time; it may halfway be expected. [Link]
Some appear to blame guru disciples who took over the management for what happened to SRF before and after the guru's passing, but "The Lord . . . does everything [SRM, Spring 1972, p. 20] and "God is the Sole Doer," are parts of Yogananda's teaching, along with that all is illusory. If so, we may come to suspect "The Lord was the sole doer of being helped to write Yogananda's so-called Autobiography of a Yogi by secretary disciples" as well. [Yogananda 1982:240; cf. Yogananda 1971:344].
How the Lord allegedly made Babaji promise something and break it soon afterwards. Who could be the source of it?
The Sole Doer teachings are taught by others in Yogananda's line. Babaji is into it during a conversation with Yogananda's guru Yukteswar.
Whose work is all this, and Who's the Doer of all actions? Whatever the Lord has made me say is bound to materialise as truth. [In Yogananda's Autobiography, chap 36]
Reflect a little here: "Whatever the Lord has made me say is bound to materialise as truth": Once Babaji promised Lahiri something, but got second thoughts and changed his promise. For a trifle. It stands out. Now, was it the Lord who stopped him from materialising truth and keep a promise? you may well wonder.
First Babaji said, "Wherever you are, whenever you call me, I shall be with you instantly." Lahiri thought it was a wondrous promise, but Babaji later changed his mind, saying, "'Henceforth, my son, I shall come when you need me, and not always when you call me. (Emphasis added - TK)"
It is all in the Autobiography of a Yogi, Chap. 34. (Yogananda 1998:277-278)
Babaji was not all true to his word. Why did Babaji shift his wonderous promise? The cause was just a trifle, we are told. He broke a part of his promise. And he did not give Lahiri a chance to adjust better within the first promise either.
He could have tried to trust a bit in Lahiri and give him some time to improve and not call him for so-called trifles after he had taken him to task for calling on him on his "whenever-word" (above). Trust and guru-promise durability were lacking. Giving Lahiri a chance to adjust better by instructing him within the first promise, could have worked far better. for what we know. But the issue right here is that shifting one's word over trifles might be said to look cheap.
To try a lot to be true to one's word is good. Try to and don't be fooled. It is part of the moral code for yoga beginners too.
[From Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi, chap. 34, "Materializing a Palace in the Himalayas"]
❋ Can you trust in gurus who change their promises over mere trifles? Should you?
From Yogananda's autobiography
"Blessed sister," Babaji said, "I am intending to shed my form and plunge into the infinite Current." [Compare "There's nae remedy for fear but cut aff the head (Scottish proverb)."]
Was that a benign, immortal promise? You hardly know, do you? Take into account these points too:
Further, in the SRF-edited, 13th edition of the yogi book we read:
Babaji consented . . . to assume life-after-life responsibility for the spiritual welfare of . . . Kriya Yogis . . . initiated by . . . Kriya teachers [Yogananda 1998:276n]
Why not look into the word 'assume' here? It means among other things pretend, usurp and take on. Which is it here? Consider the keys given above: The four gurus of SRF say the world is illusory - so stiffen up and try to make sure about these things before committing yourself to what is illusory only, resulting in a dwindling basis and loss of much that matters, including time and fellowships.
Don't assume way too much.
One more spin
Shyama Lahiri later wrote, "No one does anything; all is done by God [Gle, ltr 12]." Stop there a while. He implies, "No one is God". "God does anything" and yet implies it was God who made Babaji change an already made promise for a trifle, not a truffle.
If God is the Doer, which is a Yogananda teaching, he also made one third of the SRF monastics leave the SRF premises. Suppose it was for a good reason, or due to serious disillusionment. More significantly still, Ramakrishna tells how a Brahmin credited the King of Heaven with a bad deed, to escape facing responsibility for it (below).
An old Brahmin owned a beautiful garden. He loved the garden and spent a lot of time there. One day a white cow had strayed into the garden ans was eating the saplings that he had planted there with so much care. In a fit of rage, the Brahmin gave it such a beating with a stick that the cow died of the injuries.
The villagers heard of it and came to the Brahmin's house. "You have killed a holy cow," one of them scolded."
The Brahmin was afraid they would throw him out of the village for it, so he said: "It was done with my hands, but since Indra is the presiding deity of the hand, so it was Indra who killed the cow and not I." The villagers were not so sure about that. Did that mean that the Brahmin should not be blamed for killing the cow? The question was debated widely.
Indra, the king of heaven, also took an interest in this. In the form of an old man he appeared to the Brahmin owner of the garden, and greeted the old man: "Who owns this lovely garden?"
The Brahmin told him. "I do. Everything you see here - the footpath, the planted trees, the fountain - I own it all."
At this, Indra said, "It is a beautiful garden. How neatly and artistically your gardener has planted the trees."
The Brahmin: "That too is my work. The trees have been planted under my personal supervision and direction - and the pathway through the garden has been laid out by me."
Indra said politely: "When you take credit for all the works done in this garden, why then say that Indra is responsible for killing cow?"
(Ramakrishna 1974, No. 46; and Müller 1898:131-32.)
❋ There are some who try to avoid being responsible for their words and doings.
❋ When gurus break their words and say "God is the Doer, the Sole Doer," or "God made me do it," stop and think a while.
It may be hard to be a fished someone
Both shepherds and hunters eat sheep, and shepherds herd them in order to benefit from them in other ways too.
"Being turned into a herd animal has some dark sides." You may find ancients hints of such dark sides in the story of Circe in Ulysses by Homer, for example. The crew of Ulysses was changed into swine. Freedom for growth is not to be bah'ed by authoritarians. Instead many millions seem to imagine that being fished is good. And what normally happens to fished fish? It is killed. That is a basic.
❋ A cult deals in fishing (catching) and herding people. Manipulation and indoctrination could be part of a "game" that makes you sorry.
❋ Wolves kill sheep to feast on blood and meat. There may be saner ways.
❋ The cosmic person has two bodies: the superior body is pure consciousness and the other is the world. [Yoga Vasistha, - Venkatesananda 1984:404]
The highest wisdom and the highest genius have been invariably accompanied with cheerfulness. [Thomas Love Peacock, a Romantic satirist - Link]
Good and forewarning fables, tales, and proverbs - do they meet the Peacock criterium? Try to let them by adjusting the stories and lessons to the audience, by going for a cosy and not fear-ridden atmosphere, and garner things a bit to get a welcome gyration (spin) too.
Müller, Friedrich Max. Ramakrishna: His Life and Teachings, London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1898.
Dasgupta, Sailendra. Paramhansa Swami Yogananda: Life-portrait and Reminiscences. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, 2006.
Osborne, Arthur ed: The Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi in His Own Words. New ed. London: Rider, 1971.
Ramakrishna: Tales and Parables of Sri Ramakrishna. 5th ed. Madras: Ramakrishna Math, 1974.
Satyeswarananda, swami, tr. Complete Works of Lahiri Mahasay Vol. I: The Gitas: The Vedic Bibles. Guru Gita. Omkar Gita. Abadhuta Gita. Kabir Gita. 2nd rev. ed. San Diego: The Sanskrit Classics, 1992.
Venkatesananda, swami, tr. The Concise Yoga Vasistha. Albany: State University of New York, 1984.
Watson, Burton tr: The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu. New York: Columbia University Press, 1968.
Williamson, Lola. Transcendent in America: Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements as New Religion. London: New York University Press, 2010.
Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi. 12th ed. Los Angeles: Self- Realization Fellowship (SRF), 1981.
⸻.Autobiography of a Yogi. 13th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), 1999.
⸻. Man's Eternal Quest. 2nd ed. Los Angeles: SRF, 1982.
Yukteswar, Swami Sri. The Holy Science. 7th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), 1972.
Harvesting the hay
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