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Worthy
Self is a worthy experience. Alas for some other experiences.

"Victim of Love"

There are many "Victim of Love" songs, according to "one, two, many". A victim of love does not gain from love, and may get cheated, hurt, scared, impoverished, severely harrassed, and made a fool of for the rest of his or her life. There is that risk. It should be well known. People react to broken love differently, trying to get over it. Skills can be helpful in this process for love victims who miss the other, and therefore suffer from a loss or bereavement (cf. James and Friedman 2009). If the love was enriching or ennobling, the loss may be bearable. The art of growing through one's losses may be a secret, although Tao Te Ching, chap. 48 speaks of it perhaps, but that depends on the translator.

Blackney, Lindauer and Charles Muller all think, in Blakney's words: "The Way is gained by daily loss, Loss upon loss." Lin Yutang has: "The student of Tao (aims at) losing day by day."

D. C. Lau: "In the pursuit of the way one does less every day . . . until one does nothing."

Lau suggests "doing less" rather than "losing".

Translations you embrace, could hurt you by giving you funny ideas that lead to loss and loss and ruin in the long run - What about "carefully ruined for gains in the darkness (hidden gains)"? Could it work? That may be what the Tao Te Ching teaches, if translators have got it right. I, for one, doubt it heartily. For ◦TM, mantra yoga, holds a helping hand against losses, and Buddhas teachings are also for gains here and on the other side of things. The Middle Path is for that.

Back to losing by being victimised by love:

"I was the perfect fool, I believed every word, victim of love, how could I doubt your love? victim of love," are phrases that Elton Hercules John [born Reginald Kenneth Dwight] repeats in his version of "Victim of Love" by "Bellote, Pete / Levay, Sylvester / Rix, Jerry".

Erasure, on the other hand, has that it is best to retire into a shell and resist untrue love, for: "This time I won't end up another victim of love, I've learned my lesson." (Songwriters: Bell, Andy / Clarke, Vince)

Whitesnake includes many ooh' between their repeated phrases. "I ain't no stranger to the cryin' game . . . I played with fire an' got what was comin' to me . . . Lord, I never thought I'd be a victim of love." (Songwriters: Bell, Andy / Clarke, Vince)

Eagles are also among those who have sung "Victim of Love". They sing: "Some people never come clean. I think you know what I mean . . . Victim of love, I see a broken heart . . . now you're a victim of love."

It could be that victims of love are victims of depleting love and not rewarding love, and not just losing a love. It often depends on who we give our love to - one at a time, is suggested. Fair, honest persons rather than meanies or dogs.

Kriya Ideology

Swami Yogananda, later Paramhansa Yogananda (1893-1952) became a guru in America, and after his death his disciples decided he could not write his title well enough, and changed it into Paramahansa and forged his signature for it. Not the way to go!

One of the first books ascribed to Yogananda by his fellowship, SRF, is the Science of Religion. It in, he shows himself to be a Messenger of Death, offering his believers a means to die at will. A scary trace, there?

Later, SRF found it fit to label him a Love Avatar, that is, Love descended into human form - so here we have a "Great Love and Messenger of Death" to consider, or is it "Great Messenger of Love and Death"?

Love is a risky and often dangerous thing to so many. It knocks out a lot of gullible guys for sure.

Be that as it may, the gurus of SRF sent the swami Yogananda to America almost without any education, he writes. In America he attracted others and rose to fame and also being hailed as Love Incarnate in his American cult, also called church since 1935. Should we say a thousand love victims were made? Or a hundred thousand, or more? Or less? Not without evidence.

After some time Yogananda did not present himself so much as a messenger of death by kriya, not so much in public, but stressed he handed out a yogi system that could give great joy and calm, bliss. A new refrain! Along that avenue he changed his catchwords about kriya as a means of speeding up human evolution to find great joy, bliss, love on a cosmic, nay supreme scale (you name it - hype) . . . In the early days his parole was that about half a minute's kriya (a round) equalled a month's natural evolution towards such mindfulness.

Later he taught his by then simplified, aborted kriya yoga equalled a whole year's natural, diseaseless evolution. By this he greatly changed the doctrine of his own guru, Yukteswar, who taught that "one kriya equals one month's development otherwise". Could Yogananda have made the handed-over kriya twelve times more effective by leaving out Thokar Kriya and yogic tongue-lifing, which both are considered indispensable by many traditionalist kriya yogis? Traditionalist kriya yogis in India hardly think that. [More]

Swami Satyeswarananda tells, for example, how Yogananda made kriya easier on the public kriya yoga by making big changes and modifications - and not knowing all the kriya techniques, like Navi Kriya either.

Removing the practice of Talabya Kriya or Khecharimudra - which is a precondition for practicing the Thokar, Omkar Kriyas and Brahmayonimudra - completely changed the Kriya practice . . . an unproven, new approach with uncertain ... results.

A greater number of [his followers] certainly would not qualify for Kriya. [1]

The swami further tells how Yogananda stopped the guru-disciple way of direct, personal transmission of the methods, added 37 "energisation exercises" of his own, the mantra method of Hamsa, and a method called the Om technique for listening "inwards" - and taught that sitting in the cross-legged lotus postures was not needed for kriya practice (thank God). Yogananda also made changes to the very first kriya, ujjayi. Concerning that basic kriya method, Yogananda's guru's guru wrote to a devotee,

All can be attained by the first Kriya; only sincerity is needed. The After-effect-poise of Kriya and blissful addiction are there at the very first Kriya. Go on practicing Kriya. Satyeswarananda. Lahiri Mahasay's Personal Letters to Kriya Disciples, p. 22 [2]

As time went by, Yogananda changed the sincerity part (above) too. First he said kriya worked like mathematics, then he added devotion as a needed part for success, for gaining Cosmic Consciousness, as he called it. And when the kriya he taught, failed to fulfil instilled expectations, what could he say? Once someone told him, "I have practiced kriya yoga a million times, but have not reached Cosmic Consciousness anyhow."

Yogananda answered: "But your attitude was not right."

A former disciple of Yogananda exposes another side to Yogananda's furtive gambits of promoting the handed-over, time-consuming kriya yoga among Americans:

After five years of effort in America, beginning in 1925 . . . Yogananda began to modify and adapt his teachings to the West . . . to overcome the . . . resistance of Christians who were suspicious of the foreign teachings of a Hindu swami. As a result, Yogananda began to enjoy remarkable popularity. . . . However, in his attempts to attract Westerners to the path of Yoga, he tended to focus on the miraculous, and most readers of his "Autobiography" come away with many romantic notions of the path. They are left with many unrealistic expectations. – Marshall Govindan.
[www.babajiskriyayoga.net/english/babaji_2.html]

When his popularity was rising among Christians back then, Yogananda established a headquarters in a little hotel atop a hill in Los Angeles in 1925. At the time Yogananda and followers bought the hotel it was full of vagrants and many of the windows had been broken. Yogananda did not own the hotel, for he was not an American citizen.

Former SRF Monastics and Control Issues

"Far from court, far from care." Some disgruntled SRF members and several former SRF monastics have quite recently stopped being affiliated with SRF. One third of all SRF monastics left the premises between 2000 and 2005 and tried to "move on", which can be done in silly ways or other was. And others, lay followers, who once were heavily involved with SRF as admirers and so on, have got second thoughts, and a few of them have come to think blackly about the guru's meditation techniques and guidelines:

FACE We ought not to fear to practice conscious death, i.e., give rest to the internal organs. Death will then be under our control. [Yogananda 1953:78]

Find more gist from Yogananda's book, The Science of Religion on-site [Link], or see or chapter 26 in the guru's Autobiography of a Yogi.

In SRF – which is not really a do-it-and-die-fast cult – they also teach an old meditation method called Hamsa (variously spelled). It is used to calm down. I have not seen any reliable evidence that the guru's methods are maddening or dangerous, but a "fool with a tool" can manage to damage himself and others in surprising ways at times. As they say, "Children and fools shouldn't play with sharp tools. [Mieder, Kingsbury and Harder 1996:606]" "A bad workman always blames his tools. [Fergusson 1983:207]" Neat meditation methods should not be called definitely harmful until good proof is there to sustain the claim.

I have not seen any scientific evidence that a million well done kriya rounds bring about cosmic consciousness either. It is fit to treat that Yogananda claim as another marketing blunder in the light of the teachings of Yogananda's own guru, who thought the goal was reached at least 144 times slower. "At least" because Yogananda also left out parts of the kriya system that are taught to be essential for the practice, and simplified other parts – in addition to bringing a 144 times more speedy scenario than his guru, whom he called a jnanavatar (glorious wisdom incarnated). Honour him thus? [Link]

Learn to inspect and it may pay. An alternative to it is to be taken in and having to pay dearly for it throughout the remaining life. That could be the fruits of being taken in.

Yogananda renders a hoax book by a Notovitch, he "buys" it wholesale. Experts have debunked the book. [More]

Yogananda stands up with a "spiritual commentary" to the medieval Persian poem Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam. Yogananda's approach revolves around "key symbols" that Yogananda "finds" and uses, but most of them appear to be missing in any original. "Spiritualizing" non-existing keys denotes a masquerade. [More]

The ultimate "trick teaching": Babaji teaches the universe is unreal. and Yogananda: "The world is nothing more than a cosmic dream — this life is a dream," said Paramahansa Yogananda [1982:237, 240]. Hence, that teaching is unreal too. But he did not stop to consider that.

Punk Yogi: "Sometime after I was born, I joined a cult — one of the nicest cults you could ever hope to be damaged by. . . . Lacking a purpose, I've found a new one in criticizing my cult."

He writes of Yogananda's fellowship headed by monks and nuns. It could be a help to others if fair critique and warnings reach out to others to warn them and turn them away from meannesses, not unlike the Irish David McWilliams (1945–2002) in "◦Turn homeward, stranger":

Turn homeward, stranger,
[or] you'll end up like me down on sinners' road.
with . . . feet that cannot run.

[Otherwise:]
Get out before you find
this place [is] stamped upon your mind
You'll see the starring painted eyes smiling down at you
saying that you're home at last, come in and join the queue.
But listen what I'm telling you, get out [or]
You'll just wind up like me.

Better be warned than succumbing to propaganda. That's what I say.

Collection

Anti-propaganda and Yogananda, Literature  

James, John W., and Russell Friedman. The Grief Recovery Handbook. 20th Anniversary Expanded ed. New York: HarperCollins, 2009.

Yogananda, Paramahansa Man's Eternal Quest. 2nd ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1982.

Mieder, Wolfgang (main editor), Stewart A. Kingsbury, and Kelsie E. Harder: A Dictionary of American Proverbs. (Paperback) New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Fergusson, Rosalind. The Penguin Dictionary of Proverbs. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1983.

Yogananda, Paramahansa. The Science of Religion. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1953.

Notes

  1. (a) Satyeswarananda. "Yogananda". San Diego, CA: Sanskrit Classics. Nd. Online.
    www.sanskritclassics.com/yogananda.htm
    (b) Satyeswarananda. "Talabya Kriya, or Khecharimudra, its far reaching implications and Yogananda." San Diego, CA: Sanskrit Classics. Nd.
    > www.sanskritclassics.com/mod3.htm
  2. Satyeswarananda. "Differences between the Original Kriya Tradition and the Modified Kriya Trend". San Diego, CA: Sanskrit Classics, Nd. Online
    www.sanskritclassics.com/mod2.htm


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