Try not to bellow for long gone others to come to you.
I don't pray. That may seem a strange thing to say. - Yogananda, in Man's Eternal Quest, 1982:121. [A rhyme! But don't disregard he wrote a whole book of "answered prayers", Whispers from Eternity]
Comments to the above
1. Real Buddhism advocates "avoid going to extremes". The Gentle Middle Way bears its name because Buddha does not advocate going to extremes, and not degenerate sacrifices either, such as sacrificing oneself for a lamb. Buddha further says in the Apannaka Sutta, that the best sort of human "torments and tortures neither himself nor others."
2. The essential part of good renunciation is forsaking lesser joys for greater joys. Yogananda is into that that too, in his Autobiography. Even sounder, just learn to meditate well and develop - and life may get more enjoyable. The Path of Buddhism is made for ascending and progressing away from a measure of dukkha (sufferings) and into sukha (good and sound happiness, pleasure, ease, or bliss, including joyful levels of meditation. (Consider a gliding scale for such gradations)
3. To threaten and vow one's way to "get there" may not work in all cases. The way Buddha advocates is a gentle one, avoiding extremes of ascetism and despair. The Gentle Middle Way is about it. Further: Apannaka Sutta. A balanced food intake helps meditation. Some learn it a little late. Tibets accomplished yogi patron Milarepa realised after long years of severe, extreme ascetism: "That was not necessary, after all!" (Evans-Wentz 1969:204-09, paraphrase) - The top thing to do is to learn a superior meditation method and do it with skill. That is what Buddha is into in the Bhumija Sutta.
4. Do thoughts really search others? Where is the evidence, in case?
5. The secret of higher meditation to take to heart: "Don't seek, but glide away". It suggests "learn to transcend" - Another fit point: "By helping yourself, you help your world." Your world is part of the world.
6. Buddha's blessings are his key teachings, all in all.
Yogananda's own guru taught that self-sacrifice is worse than foolish, as humans have greater value than sheep. Yogananda writes about that in chap. 12 of his Autobiography.
""Guruji, should one offer himself [as] a sacrifice rather than kill a wild beast?"
To prattle-praise what you go against, is that very well?
It could be a brilliant idea to abandon "Come to me, O thou Great One" for proper meditation. How did Yogananda form his poems and invocations? He used some main Biblical-seeming structures: [Several Yogananda invocations - "How he did it"]
For years among Christians in the US, Yogananda was striving to make an impression. Chat-praying [for show?] beyond the boundaries of true sincerity is no small error. For one thing, he acknowledged Jesus as a guru, Jesus who said his teachings and salvation was for Jews only (Matthew 15:24; 10:5-8; Vermes 2012). Further, Jesus and likened his followers to ill sheep too, telling that healthy ones do not need him. It appears Yogananda did not consider that. However, you can: see the New Testament references at the bottom of the page.
Do you want to keep healthy, or be deranged - an ill sheep of a sort? "How much more valuable is a man than a sheep!" (Matthew 12:12)" Consider the Buddhist heritage to become a better human also. However, Yogananda for some reason said his teachings were in harmony with those of Jesus for ill sheep, as he called his followers -but it is a so-called harmony only. [More evidence]
Jesus stood for this, too:
Don't be a praying-hypocrite who loves to pray standing and be seen by others. "Go to your room and shut the door behind you", and pray. (Matthew 6:5-6, rendered. A part of it runs almost exactly like "You're grounded! Go to you room!" if that matters here.)
Don't Yogananda's decisions to pray in public as he often did in front of many in lecture halls, seem odd in the "no-no" of Jesus to it?
There is still more - a Yogananda citation and a more detailed commentary that says "There is something wrong here, and not just one thing, for sure."
May simple word-pictures help you to carry sincere, inner truths into your way of living till you flower by more fit consistency than the Americanised Hindu monk Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952) demonstrates in many of his rather ceremonical and plump invocations aimed at a public.
Consistent insincerity is false and unfit for crowing farm roosters
Make some effort to stay within the boundaries of what you can safely say without transgressing. To lavish insincere hails and invocations "in east and west" (a literal translation from the Norwegian "i aust og vest", that is, widely and wildly) to what you really don't go for, suggests being hypocritical. At any rate it is not the best thing to do, as insincerity is tactless at bottom. And if others place much trust in hypocritical outbursts and say they are godly teachings, it might be so much for the worse.
Sound measure is to some a gate to better conditions. Proficiency in sound methods are too. See the final teachings of Buddha in the Mahanibbana Sutta: Just before his passing, Buddha praised a monk who did not come to see him and pay his respect to him as others expected he would do. Buddha summoned him, and the monk said: "I thought the best way to honour you was by becoming an Arhant [in deep meditation] before you departed."
Buddha said, "Excellent! He honours me best who practises my teaching best." (Narada 1988:287)
Buddha's teachings (Dharma) are blessings to know. In those extant teachings he enumerates 38 great blessings in the Mangala Sutta. Here is the first great blessing: "Not to associate with the foolish, but to associate with the wise; and to honour those who are worthy of honour." Further down on the list is this great blessing: "To have much learning, to be skilful in handicraft, well-trained in discipline, and to be of good speech."
Buddhism and Hinduism teach alike: Good ones should try to live out what is handy and matters in certain basic, regulated ways without doing themselves harm. Some such measures may help inner development. In Buddhism it is likened to turning the wheel of dharma. The clue for a lay follower is: Even if it is not totally in accord with natural living in everything, it allows for sound pleasures, having houses and homes, utensils and other goods, and fine food - and says "Avoid killing".
Buddha lays out a careful, graded path, with some rules for lay followers and stricter rules for monks and nuns. We may seek to incorporate suitable regulations. Benefits stem from living in fit ways more than from ceremonial formalism, Tibet's patron saint Milarepa (c. 1052 – c. 1135) shows.
We could benefit from wholesomely living up to Milarepa's "The worthiest one is engaged in turning a blessed human life to the best account. - Milarepa, cf. Evans-Wentz 1969:225)."
To recognise who are your friends, compare Buddha's guidance. [Link]
In trouble? Fix it as you can
First get out of trouble, if you have identified it, and then seek to remedy it, perhaps by taking expert councel. An allegory by Buddha:
A man approached Buddha and wanted to have all his philosophical questions answered before he would practice. In response, Buddha said, "It is as if a man had been wounded by a poisoned arrow and when attended to by a physician were to say, 'I will not allow you to remove this arrow until I have learned the caste, the age, the occupation, the birthplace, and the motivation of the person who wounded me.' That man would die before having learned all this." (Abr.)
The idea of profiting from trouble may apply to some, even if not everybody can manage that. Some problems are challenges, and some challenges may be solved, even with profit. Sound stress management gives a much similar scope too.
So be careful, heedful, and take heed of your company. Buddha warns against being with fools, not unlike the proverb "Stay away from fools that you may not be among their number". Refrain from using the criteria to harm people.
Are cult people well? A cult and sectarians have certain hallmarks, and soaring freedom of spirit and mind is hardly one. The idea is that emotionalism and devotionalism may limit one's fare and foster cramped living, even nervousness or worse. Contrast it with Buddha's Kalama Sutta.
Buddha teaches you not to give to undeserving ones, but also to help many with healing matters and sane teachings for the sake of the few. One may seek to balance these two. [Link]
Finally, Bible evidence
- for getting on a sound track. Bible references like Matthew 15:24 may be easily verified by help of the Internet.
Narada. The Buddha and His Teachings. 4th ed. Kuala Lumpur: Buddhist Missionary Society, 1988.
EB: Encyclopaedia Britannica = Britannica Online.
Evans-Wentz, Walter Yeeling, ed. Tibet's Great Yogi Milarepa.> 2nd ed. London: Oxford University Press, 1969.
Vermes, Geza. From Jewish to Gentile: How the Jesus Movement Became Christianity. Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) 38:06, Nov/Dec 2012.
Yogananda, Paramahansa. Whispers from Eternity. 8th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1959.
Yogananda, Paramahansa. Whispers from Eternity. Ed. Kriyananda. 1st ed. Paperback. Nevada City: Crystal Clarity, 2008. Online.
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