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Why Not Take Up Jogging?

If Yogananda's guidelines are so infallible, why has Self-Realization Fellowship removed many of them?

It helps to avoid many lamentable guidelines.

The fellowship of Yogananda was registered as a church in California in late March 1935. The ◦articles of incorporation are online. Many of Yogananda's aims and goals for SRF were removed in an amendment from 5 December 1954. Membership anyhow carries with it many guidelines of do's and don'ts, and some of the early Yogananda thoughts are there in SRF's Aims and Ideals, but not all of them. The omissions and changes indicate other attitudes than all those of the guru-founder:

  • Yogananda behind SRF officially talks against creature comforts to members, even though physical pleasures are the causes of much happiness and most joys in life too. One had better understand that Yogananda officially wanted his kriya disciples to negate the joys of life called creature comforts. It is horrible. (Article 2e:13).

  • SRF stands for no sex for the unmarried, and a much restricted, not quite fulfilling sex life for others. [Yogananda speaks against sex]

  • SRF also represents soap opera kriya marketing - it may fall flat on its nose if inspected. [Cf. "Kriya in the Scriptures"].

  • Counterproductive guidelines unfit for adults in that some of them infringe on the lives members a lot and may cause damage. Examples from the arenas of sleep, work and thriving: sleep deprivation, and also overwork to get ill from and die prematurely from; and horseplay yoga of the type "Cry for Divine Mother and she will come." It may be futile or unsuccessful in other ways too. For example, if She comes, what will she do? Spank you? Then, will she stay also?
    Yogananda Every Christmas, disciples and students gathered with the Master at Mount Washington for a long meditation, which usually lasts all day and into the night. During the Christmas meditation in 1948 the Divine Mother appeared to the Master, and the devotees heard him conversing with Her. Many times he said, with a deep sigh, "Oh, You are so beautiful!" He told many of the devotees present Her wishes concerning their lives. Then suddenly he said, "Don't go! You say the material desires of these people are driving you away? Oh, come back! Don't go away!" - The Master Said (1952:19-20)

    Old, direct disciples are hardly ever heard of boasting they were among those Mother-shooers. [Sob, cry, weep and wail for what?]

'Secret' may sell at many markets.

The hype surrounding kriya yoga is designed to present Yogananda's kriya as a golden carrot. To learn kriya, you allow him to ride-guide you. That is also in the deal. Since the core kriya yoga is the public and well known pranayama method called ujjayi, steer out of fangs and learn core kriya in full freedom; for that could suit you better, far better. Yes, the "secret Kriya method" was not so secret after all. It stands out that Yogananda's kriya marketing ("formerly secret, now available if you swear in to us") has been infirmly footed.


Wise persons are cautious.
The ecstasy in being cautious
Is the pleasure known by Superiors.

- Dhammapada 4.2 (in Sparham 1986)

Apart from the ecstasy of being cautious in a meditation way - one of riveted, well placed attention - many people could profit more from the pleasures of jogging than the yokes of Yogananda, just to make that clear.

Alfred Hitchcock shows the way

One day when Alfred Hitchcock was still a churchgoing Catholic, he was driving through a Swiss city when he suddenly pointed out of the car window and said, "That is the most frightening sight I have ever seen."

His companion was surprised to see nothing more alarming than a priest in conversation with a little boy, his hand on the child's shoulder.

"Run, little boy," cried Hitchcock, leaning out of the car. "Run for your life!"

Straight business ethics

Good meditation offers much help. Higher yoga - meditation - does not have to be elaborate to work well, studies on the swift mantra meditation method called Transcendental Meditation suggest.

Go for proficiency if you can. Deliver what you promise. Don't seek to impress and convince; find and present the relevant facts you can find instead.

Being factual-minded works better than being taken in.

Fakers are very many in this world.

When a gilded facade and great-looking phrases differ much from a content that is hardly profitable for yourself and for yours, make out something fit to adhere to instead. Facades and rigmarole for the shallow and duped guys? or something better, far better? Getting your life on an even keel is better than getting duped, sidetracked or fooled. Here, too, Yogananda teaches a little:

Yogananda Don't take my word for anything. . . . find out for yourselves. Don't get hung up on words . . . please remember. - Yogananda, in Dietz 1998

And this is supposedly to say we may not take Yogananda's word about finding out for yourselves or not getting hung up in words for anything either. It is at times different with "Run, little boy, run for your your life!"


Yogananda, opulently, copiously, Literature  

Dietz, Margaret Bowen. Thank You, Master. Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity, 1998.

Sparham, Gareth, tr. The Tibetan Dhammapada: Sayings of the Buddha. Rev ed. London: Wisdom Publications, 1986.

Uy: Buzan, Tony. Use Your Head: How to Unleash the Power of Your Mind. Harlow: BBC Active / Pearson, 2010. ⍽▢⍽ A British psychologist tells us how to study. However, an old slogan he makes use of to motivate learners, namely that that we use only one percent /or five or ten percents) of our brains, is not confirmed by brain research; let him speak for himself. The brain may be at work and fine without textbook study. Yet there may be room for building neuron networks and favour retrieval from the long-term memory (LTM) by fit and fair study methods. Otherwise, almost all we have spent time on learning, may soon be beyond retrieval - in a few weeks or more, much as the curve of forgetting suggests. Yet it can help to lLearn how to focus on keywords and key phrases (such memory pegs), overlearn a bit and memorise cleverly, and then you may not waste much study money on forgetting. I can recommend this book's study methods, but not its unfounded brain claims, because "to get over-optimistic could go before a fall," methinks.
    "Though an alluring idea, the '10 percent myth' is so wrong . . .," says neurologist Barry Gordon at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. He says "we use virtually every part of the brain, and that [most of] the brain is active almost all the time . . . the brain represents three percent of the body's weight and uses 20 percent of the body's energy." One had better take it into account.
    Brain researchers using imaging technology have shown that most of the brain's regions are continually active over a 24-hour period. "Evidence would show over a day you use 100 percent of the brain," says John Henley, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "Even in sleep, areas such as the frontal cortex, which controls things like higher level thinking and self-awareness, or the somatosensory areas, which help people sense their surroundings, are active," Henley explains. "There are people who have injured their brains or had parts of it removed who still live fairly normal lives, but that is because the brain has a way of compensating and making sure that what's left takes over the activity."
    What's not understood is how clusters of neurons from the diverse regions of the brain collaborate to form consciousness . . . Another mystery is that 90 percent or the brain cells are glial cells, which encapsulate and support neurons, but whose function remains largely unknown. Hence, it's not that we use 10 percent of our brains, but that we only understand about 10 percent of how it functions. [Robynne Boyd, "Do People Only Use 10 Percent of Their Brains?" Scientific American, February 7, 2008]

Yogananda, Paramhansa. The Master Said. Los Angeles, CA: Self-Realization Fellowship Publishing House, 1952. ⍽▢⍽ This is a first edition, from the year Yogananda passed away. Later editions of the book carry other titles, like Sayings of Paramahansa Yogananda. It is good to know that some of the stories in them have been changed too.

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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