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Broken Windows and Frozen Smiles

At least good for therapists. To be cheated less, try to believe less. The long-range results of being cheated could be feeling haunted and plagued by memories after being taken in and considering the consequences it had. For all that, to clean up your memory halls in savory ways is supposed to be good for something - at least for therapists that you help to an income, and hopefully good for yourself too.

Two parrots (<i>Aratinga sostitialis</i>)
Could observers gain from watching a rusty lock on a door with plenty of gold behind it?

Many cults to fear. Let us talk about Yogananda and SRF, Self-Realization Fellowship. He started it. You may have observed that in SRF they claim Jesus as one of their gurus, on the work of Yogananda. In SRF it often comes down to that: to "the word of Yogananda". Is there a problem with trusting a Hindu swami who allegedly is backed up by Jesus as "one of the gurus"? Is there any good evidence that it is so? I hardly think so.

Suppose you have come to believe in the Bible in a way that suits those who prosper on your back. There are many denominations and cults out there, remember. Suppose you believe in the Jesus of the four canonical gospels. That means you get in trouble if someone shows the gospels are not for you, and that they are not wholly trustworthy either. We have Bible scholars to point out that. Bart D. Ehrman is one such merited scholar. He has written many books about how the New Testament came into being, in part as a result of forgeries, later additions and editing.

Granted that, what to say when a Hindu swami (monk) comes and tells you that Jesus is in his line of gurus, and Bible sayings - at least put in the mouth of Jesus -, gainsay such a possibility. What to believe then, if the late swami-monk Yogananda (d. 1952) starts to say white is blue and green is orange too, because he says so? Either you are taken in or you are not. When he also claims he holds the keys to the kingdom of heaven, is Jesus there? Really? How is it proven? We have Bible sayings to guide us a bit, but there are caveats also.

Gospels are not meant for non-Jews. The notable Jesus scholar Geza Vermes (1924–2013) sums up:

Fl. 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)

In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus says he was and is for Jews only. His teachings, salvation and healing ministry - for Jews only. What are his teachings and promises in the four gospels good for if you are a non-circumcised non-Jew? They may be taken as evidence of something, but what? Do note how enigmatic evidence has to be handled in less than credulous ways. Stout scholarship is for that.

Bible scholars in large numbers and Bible publishers now trust that parts of the four later-selected and edited gospels are later additions, and in part forgeries "in the name of Jesus" as well. There are many ways of misbehaving. The early church got infamous for forging sayings in the name of Jesus, shows Ehrman in for example Forged: Writing in the Name of God: Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are (2011).

Padmasambhava teaches

Nyingma delicacies. The ancient yoga teaching is that the figurative gold you, seek, is within - is your Selfhood. It can be developed also. What is needed is to learn where to dig for your gold, how to get inbringing results, and live sensibly while at it. Advaita Vedanta teaches it, and if you manage to withstand later, limited commentaries, the Nyingma Buddhist tradition of Padmasambhava teaches about the same about Self-liberation, which is equated with Self-realization by Padmasambhava himself. Here are accommodated excerpts from Padmasambhava's Self Liberation through Seeing with Naked Awareness, as translated by John Myrdhin Reynolds (2010):

1:5

Fortunate sons listen!

Even though that which is usually called "mind" is widely esteemed and much discussed, still it is not understood or it is wrongly understood or it is understood in a one-sided manner only.

Since ordinary individuals do not understand it, they do not recognise their own nature and thus experience suffering.

Therefore, not understanding your own mind is a very grievous fault.

1:6

This sparkling awareness, which is called "mind," as a source, it is the origin of the diversity of all the bliss of Nirvana and all of the sorrow of Samsara [the "world"].

True awareness is something desirable; it is cherished. Various names are applied to it.

Some call it "the nature of the mind" or "mind itself."

Some Tirthikas call it by the name Atman or "the Self."

Some call it "the Perfection of Wisdom."

Some call it by the name Mahamudra or "the Great Symbol."

Additions, translated by Dr Kennard Lipman (2010):

"Relax the mind in a state beyond concepts," teaches Padmasambha. (in Lipman 2010:7)

Nonduality [is] also termed pristine awareness. (in Lipman 2010:3, 8)

In this above-mentioned pristine awareness, samsara and nirvana cannot be found. (in Lipman 2010:19)

The pristine awareness [is of] of fundamental sameness. (in Lipman 2010:20)

Initial purity is just itself. (Cf. Lipman 2010:41

Lack of pure presence does not exist in the pristine awareness. (in Lipman 2010:42)

Great bliss of pure presence, pure and total presence. (in Lipman 2010:51)

Develop the creative potency of pristine awareness. (in Lipman 2010:56)

There is a pure field of reality. (Cf. Lipman 2010:58)

Essence, nature, nonduality, [goes] beyond separation or unification. (in Lipman 2010:58)

Pure presence . . . is itself the creative energy of pristine awareness. (in Lipman 2010:39)

Atmajnana, or Self-realisation. "Beyond concepts" is Advaita (non-duality) in Sanskrit. Pristine awareness is a synonym in these teachings. Atmajnana, Self-knowledge or Self-realisation, amount to the same attainment. The term Atmajnanais built up of Atma(n) (Spirit, soul, God) and jnana (true knowledge, or gnosis).

SRF's guru founder thought well of dictatorship

Self-Realization Fellowship, SRF, was established by the swami Yogananda and registered as a church in California in 1935. It is headed by swamis still. SRF today does not seem eager at to show all the yokes that Yogananda lays on members by an oath. Yokes are rather introduced only after the lobster is caught in the lobster pot, so to speak. Up front SRF present some "relics-idealised" picture of the guru who talked for and against himself on many serious issues, who advocated dictatorship, and so on. Don't you think dictatorship is a serious issue? Don't you think keeping silent about it is a shame?

What could observers learn?

Yogananda substantially changed the kriya yoga system he had got in India, leaving out what traditionalists say are vital parts of higher kriya yoga. His biographer Sailendra Dasgupta and Swami Satyeswarananda of the Sanskrit Classics in San Diego both specify what was left out by him, and what was included by him instead. [Psy 108-10].

TAO STUDY

Some Have the Experience

Buddha and others teach you should not give to undeserving ones. And yet what helps health, healing and knowledge of the Dharma, great appropriateness, may be dispensed to all, says Buddha too. [Details]

The Hindu teaching poem Bhagavad Gita says that very few seek Krishna, and fewer still arrive in one lifetime. It is great to progress toward it anyhow, is the teaching. Here are the Gita's words:

Out of many thousands among men, one may strive for perfection, and of those who have won perfection, hardly one knows me in truth [or in essence]. [Bhagavad Gita 7:3].

However, fair teachings help, and so do good methods. You could improve your chances of success accordingly. How fast we get Self-realised depends on many things. Here are some that stand out. How conductive your network is to wellbeing and a good fare counts too. By sorting out the factors that would influence your progress, your odds get better than average. Thus, learn best methods, use them wisely and well, and consider how friendly and helpful your associates are, and stick to sound moral and sound enough living, and protect your assets well. Why? By such means you get a better momentum, or advantages as you walk on and do not get ensnared or entangled.

The Gita says that "self-realized ones are rare". But proficiency in handling life, in dealing, and in yoga-meditation could make a difference.

You are encouraged to consider, too, that progress depends a lot on one's good guru, and for how you go on and meditate soundly and well. See for yourself what good and skilled meditation will lead to, if you care. You might get surprised.

In the garden of your life, if at all. Self-realization is a fruit in the fall of life. First you get or inherit a garden, then you see to it that the soil is good and uncontaminated. Then you plant seedling and protect them from animals and others. If the climate and local environment is favourable, fruit trees grow. One sunny day you see lovely flowers, and later there are fruits. One sort of fruit is likely to be uncommon that your neighbours have not heard about it.

At any rate, you go on and protect your garden with the trees in it, delight in several sorts of flowers and fruits and the one that is too hard to describe, says Yogananda too. Descriptions of it somehow are at best approximations, metaphors, for the fruit goes beyond concepts. It may still be enjoyed, and that is the basic.

In conclusion so far: How the goings are going to be, depends on gardening skills too, and on letting garden plants grow and develop without digging up their roots. The fruits you go for, are to be reaped in the garden of your body and life, if at all.

First-class seedlings and gardening methods count, and giving the seedlings time to develop count too. It would seem that those who learn the more suitable methods may be expected to get better success rates than those in other groups to compare with - or peer groups -, other factors being equal. There is some research findings that confirm that view.

Non-destructive ways of living can amount to much too, although there are things that depend on your neighbours, thieves and so on.

You may all the same get better results by resorting to well documented, first-class methods that are taught in fit and fair, fit and non-binding ways. Also, it helps to get established on a good way or path, in a good direction, being careful and guarded - and not stumble, not be misled, waylaid, robbed and moreas time goes by.

Do not get surprised at this. Bear in mind that your own fruits are got from the trees growing in the soil of your mind by fair and fit gardening efforts and not so much talk. It is most likely like that.

Lured, Trapped and Bound

Baits and infirmities. Some who pose as helpful gurus may be after your money and ride you like a donkey. The carrot in front may be great-sounding words that trap your mind. The stick may be: "If you leave me, you are bound to suffer," or something else that is scary to many.

Using demagogic carrots and a stick is what a low human donkey driver may profit from. One may say it is one of the ways of misbehaving.

Being bound and infirm and being set free and made stronger are different. The lobster or crab is lured into the pot by some bait. But does it get freedom while alive there? Have a look. Great-sounding words may serve as baits. Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) ways put a binding oath in a prospective meditator's way. It binds guys unconditionally to Yogananda for lifetimes, SRF holds. That is against Human Rights laws in a lot of countries. It is unwise to let yourself be lured and bound and losing the freedom you once had, all in the name of greater freedom, or what?

Would you follow Yogananda to jail in a future life if he keeps on behaving badly? It is also worth noting that Yogananda hardly says he will be on top or a kriya-giving guru throughout all the lifetimes . . . After you have followed up and checked his claimed past lives, you may notice he never taught kriya yoga in any of them, as far as we know. He was a tyrant in one life, and a vicious, marauding desert robber in another - why get bound and risk more low fare? (Psy 112)

Granted such claims of former lives of tyranny and robbery exist in the SRF world, if Yogananda reverts to former tyrant and bandid ways, what sensible souls would want to know him and have anything to do with him but to put him in jail or something?

So a future fare with Yogananda depends in part on how Yogananda turns out in the afterlives and next lives; not to mention yourself. This is pointed out because according to himself and SRF he has no straight record after he was enlightened as Arjuna. He could ill-behave as a vicious, murderous desert marauder again. Yogananda said he had been that too, according to his biographer. (Psy 112) [More]

Have Sense to Go for a Good Approach

Free for all: fit doubting. Adjust expectations and exercising for present quality gains, and do not be stupefied by things told. The ones who claim are the ones to furnish enough good proof of their claims. On this site there is evidence that Yogananda has told of former lives, but there is not solid proof to convince a jury of what really happened long ago, as "serial reincarnation" case. Granting that, you may put guru claims of past lives in the drawer, handling them as "unproved, not disproved" - just as hearsay has to be handled to be handled well: this is called keeping curious claims calmly at bey, in suspensio. In physics it is the same with postulates and theories that are launched. The fit response is: "Interesting. Now prove it." Until what is proposed is proved, it is handled as "speculation".

By keeping great or interesting claims at bey we have a better chance to regulate our lives too, better than those who get neurotic and cramped believers in a thing. So it is not bad to regularly dismiss a guru's unverified tales of past lives as belonging to a low sort of communication - "Undocumented tales spell something low in a way. At least something missing." Evidence is the key. If you get good evidence, you can keep rational, which is recommended by Yogananda also. And you can avoid being misled by bluffs, crazy tales, lies, confused minds and the like. The normalcy-helping strategy is free for all to use. A key: Ask for good evidence first, as a matter of routine. Compare: [Kalama Sutta]

Thinking "cosmic" so that it hampers good meditation, is not a fit meditation approach. Now, how can all those who learn the alleged "Kriya of Krishna" expect to get cosmic after, say, 1,000,000 rounds of breathing gently in and out in a quite common yoga way? It is the ujjayi breath that is the core part of kriya, according to Satyananda Yoga. Gentle variants of ujjayi could pass as kriya breathing. It is not stentorious.

To count on it, taking Yogananda's word for it, could be the great blunder. Swami Bhaktananda in SRF once told of a man who approached Yogananda, saying "Now I have done 1,000,000 kriyas, but I'm still not cosmic." Yogananda: "But your attitude was not right!" As if that should matter to a "scientific method", as he said it was - And this is to show there are low-levelled quibbles to deal with too.

To add to this: Soft breathing in a proper way helps Awakening. Interesting, waking up is had by breathing like children who fall asleep, by closing your eyes somehow, relax and drop thinking of Yogananda and "cosmic". Hence, in good yoga you try to wake up by regularly doing things akin to falling asleep and get skilled at it. Get used to it. And there are other things to adhere to as well, such as sound moral. As for example Patanjali shows, there is basic moral to adhere to in yoga too. Lying or wilfully bearing false witness in court, for example is not part of it.

Gardening is not just about doing things a certain amount of times. More should be counted in too. It is good to use discernment and skills too. Experience is also a factor to count in. If you go for good fruit or best results, try to get to the best methods and ways of life that help. Besides, have the good sense to see through pots and traps and concoctions. You may find backup that tells that TM, ◦Transcendental Meditation, works all-round best of all researched meditation methods, as measured.

Sinners and doctors

Sinners get ill from sinning. That is a strong point. Ill means "depraved and perhaps mentally and bodily ill" in this life or one or more future lives. Further, some illnesses can be healed, and others not. Also, what if a person who is seemingly healed (made symptom-free) by a doctor, is thereby losing a chance to get ill from the deeper causes of his illness(es)? Jesus told persons he healed to stop sinning som that their illnesses should not return. Dr Rudolf Steiner teaches good moral too. A disease tends to require adjustments. Those adjustments may be aborted by medicine, and thereby we "miss the bus", do not develop what the adjustments call. It so, getting symptom-handling medicine could led to a fall - maybe not this year or next year, but anyway, that is a teaching to consider.

Karma sees diseases as results of former transgressions. If so, a disease is an atonement. If the goal of karmic retributions is to restore balance inside, watch out for lots of cures that do not serve the whole being - spirit and mind and body - all of it. Holistic medicine seeks to have wider or fuller scope than medical doctors trained in handling drugs and their side effects. As a matter of fact, there is much to watch out for in a life -

Questions: Does a doctor sin when she wilfully subdues your symptoms by some drugs, and does the subduing of your symptoms to struggle with, make you "half of what you are meant to be" inside? Few think of it. Steiner adherents in the field of medicine, they do.

On the track of something from Jesus. SRF doctrine: "Yogananda's SRF aims to be in 100 percent harmony with Jesus, one of its six gurus". Aiming for it is one thing, but note how that aim is wrong. Jesus says "Don't swear," and still Yogananda and SRF keep a kriya oath to swear. Shewbread harmony shows a lot.

Jesus again: "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners [Mark 2:17]." If you would rather be healthy than a sick sinner, try to get rid of what hampers and hinders you from being of sound mind, and straight. If you are decent and fit, there is no need for Jesus, says Jesus in several gospels.

Even more telling, if you are not a Jew, it is bad to seek Jesus of the gospels or live his teachings, for Jesus said his self-maiming and poverty-embracing teachings are for Jews only, and that his Kingdom and Salvation is for Jews only too (above).

Second, all the apostles and their hovering Ghost decided to let non-Jewish followers get it easier than Jewish ones, and made only four requirements for Christians. Acts 15 tells the story. Basics get confirmed in Acts 21:25. Also worth noting is that the Christian deal (of the Apostolic Decree from ca. 50 CE), does not include one word by Jesus, or of following Jesus. The gospels may not have been written by then. But the first church was at work.

A Truth-Spirit bearing solidly false witness - can it be? The sayings that Jesus is credited with in the New Testament, are for Jews only. The Christians got a better deal, we have been told (Acts 15, etc.) - a guiding Spirit to tell what is right and true, a reminding and comforting Spirit of Truth, it is written. Now, it is a good thing to study both the map and the terrain: If you say the words of Jesus for his Jewish followers are maps, the later formed gospels are the terrain, a terrain that is teeming with forgeries, additions, corruptions and editing.

In his scholarly Forgery and Counter-Forgery (2013), Bart Ehrman examines Christian text forgeries of the first four centuries CE. He shows how unknown Christian authors used forgeries to defend their own faith and attack other interpretations of early Christianity. Further, some scholars resist acknowledging these forgeries, because the forgeries call into question the imposed authority of the New Testament.

But there is something deeper in it also: The Spirit of Truth that Jesus of the gospels talked of, was that Spirit really in control when a cannonade of forgeries attacked people in the early church? How could they walk hand in hand? you should ask. One had better go for plenty of truthful and harmonious dealings - not lying, not bearing false witness, not stealing and covering up - than get låk, ill, wretched, bad - basically. The Ten Commandments is also a thing to consider.

Sheep walk in fear and folks may not. So when a fellowship that claims many Christs, comes in the name of Jesus who warns against hungry wolves and false leaders and false "christs", protect your assets and rights. One may learn kriya breathing free from ties and oaths in other places. Yes, it might be better to be healthy.

Jesus also compare his followers to sheep in many places, and tells, "How much more valuable is a man than a sheep!" [Matthew 12:12] It should be better to be a healthy, morally OK individual, than the dwarfed followers.

Buddhist teachings for lay persons are formed to work for us a lot. You do not have to be a Buddhist to learn of them or use them, for they are free. Granting that, life orientations and their manifold decisions are fit for the private sphere of life.

Clown tomorrow, or better

If you don't keep your assets, but dispense with them in narrow and faultily rooted belief, you could end up in the clown-life by degrees. That could happen.

Below are some renderings from the now folded-in SRF Walrus discussion board. A back-up site is on-line yet. The SRF Walrus was started by one of fifty disgruntled SRF monastics who left the SRF fellowship premises between 2000-2005. Two thirds were left. They too might have had their problems. [SRF Walrus backup site]

Mature contributors on the SRF Walrus kept striving for right views on this and that. Some presented themselves as more or less victims of plots. It may not be so much what we believe, as how we live, that matters. Still, fit views mean a whole lot along the Gentle Middle Way, says Buddha, and advocates it, and also not to trust Führer words so blindly - the latter point derives from his groundbreaking Kalama Sutta.

LoOne may enjoy Yogananda's teachings although they fail - but it is better to enjoy, focus on, and thank for what really helps and is without self-contradictions and other inconsistencies

Finding faults of a sort with about nine tenth of Yogananda's teachings. Yogananda taught against finding faults with the tools - the kriya methods he simplified to accommodate to Westerners. Kakla Gopyl (psevdonym) left SRF and was not totally gagged: "The teachings failed me. So did the SRF institution."

SRF monastics hold: "If you do just one tenth of what is in the SRF Lessons, you will be saved." Implied is the "fault of redundancy" at least with nine-tenth of the guru's verbiage. Which tenth? For starters, learn to extract keywords and focus on them; that approach is probably best for long-range learning. Seek to sort out further from there.

"Saved" could mean being saved from all the material SRF has added to the meditation methods. Added, posted Lessons accrued over the years, and not everyone was happy about it. Things were simpler before the additional matter. Much was different and simpler. Guidelines and aims too. [Link].

Gundersen. It is true that Christ was a Norwegian American and wrote letters. In one of them he writes: "I have such a big family." Norwegian-American Christ was a real Christ in a way. The letters of Christ, the letters of Christ Gundersen (1908–45), give us a tantalizingly brief glimpse of what life was like for a Norwegian-American in Brooklyn during the first half of this century, tells Solveig Zempel (Io 185). [More]

As for the "Christ" (Messiah) of the gospels, he was never called Christ, but "Mshikha", "demon-possessed and raving mad." [John 10:20] and "blaspheming!" [Matthew 9:3]. His plans were broken and he was executed as a blasphemer. See for example Bart Ehrman's How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee (2014) for more. According to Ehrman and other Bible scholars, Jesus neither thought of himself as God nor claimed to be God. They have looked into the evidence.

In SRF the claim is that three kriya yogis in the Babaji line are christs, but Christ Gundersen is not subjected to SRF altar worship, even though he was a real Christ and Yogananda did not waver from using big-sounding words. Maybe he did not find the real Christ (Gundersen).

Why not "Let each tub stand on its own bottom" and refrain from "titlephrenia" by another bottom than your own?

Thinking is largely rooted in imagery The Yogananda goal of "Plain living and high thinking" could be interpreted to mean you should live on a plain, but not necessarily.

High thinking derives from lots of interesting tales first. First supply the good tales with helpful imagery to feed on. Then, as time goes by, let higher thinking be helped from that bed of images. That is an age-related, formative principle, and used in such as Waldorf Education. What is behind it? Zoroaster (born ca. 628 BCE, died ca. 551) taught:

Cultivate Feeling and Imagination in order to develop that fineness of structure in the body which renders it capable of the most delicate sensation and fineness of structure in the mind, which renders it capable of the most delicate sympathies - in short, Fineness of Nature. [Surti 1981:35]

Without fineness of nature all the noble powers of imaginaton are likely to lie dormant with nothing to work on. [Cf. Surti 1981:35]

Imagination is far from being a false and deceptive faculty. It is exactly the most accurate and truth-telling factulty which the human mind posseses. It is all the more truth-telling because in its work, much vain can be crushed. And so man becomes more of a mirror used to reflect many others. Perhaps no other efforts could lead up to that. [Cf. Surti 1981:36]

Imagination, its true force lies in its marvellous insight and foresight. So whenever we want to ascertain what could be the real and underlying facts of any case or object, go to good poets. They can assist seeing into the heart of things by this marvellous faculty of imagination. [Cf Surti 1981:36-7]

This can be done sensibly and well. Good tales have their place in good upbringing.

We have imagination (image-producing capacity, producing images) from within. Dreams often show it. Deep in understanding of concepts and symbols lies trained imagination. Imagination is well presented in the teachings of Rudolf Steiner and the Waldorf Education stemming from him. Fit tales may contain imagery and nourish an inborn, growing capacity of imagination.

"Traditional Californian-Christian"? After leaving SRF, Kakla Gopyl became a traditional-Christian - that is, she dispensed with some SRF christs, but not necessarily a hundred self-contradictions of the Bible and far worse than that. It is not easy. [More]

Yogananda had registered his own church in California in 1935. ◦The registration papers are online now. They state SRF was set up for the purpose of getting property. Tax benefits got into it too. Shortly afterwards Yogananda left the USA and thereby escaped a court case. He owed a former fellow worker 8,000 dollars, but did not pay him in any timely way, even after he was sentenced to pay by the judge James MacLachlin. Yogananda used the occasion to charge his former fellow worker for lots of money, but his charges were proven false and untrue in court. A salope was exposed. [More]

About a year later, in India, Yogananda's guru said to another disciple that Yogananda "had a disease - where a ghoul comes and sits on his back". (Dasgupta 2006, 83).

Ghoul: a malevolent spirit or ghost; a person interested in morbid or disgusting things . . . In Muslim legends, ghouls are evil demons thought to eat human bodies, stolen corpses or children, and then taking the form of the person most recently eaten. Such demons chould change their shape but had one unchanging feature: donkey's hooves for feet.

I figure the essence of the old guru's diagnosis is that Yogananda was possessed, and not in a good way. You may wish you had known things like these before getting into SRF or what?

You could have your own church. Kakla Gopyl: "If SRF has an alignment to Jesus, how can SRF hold themselves above His teachings?" Mind a Catholic professor denounces Yogananda as someone who commits heresy: [Link]

Be that as it may for now. Open to reaping benefits, getting our own tax-reducing church may be a good idea if the content and other factors are fit. You could probably have one formally, after free online ordinations. One online church says it has ordained over 20 million ministers in 49 years. One benefit: there have been clergy discounts on some plane travels.

Now, a sensible guy may feel that setting oneself up as a minister without much to believe in, looks weird. However, religious living lies a lot in the living, the ways of life, in varied wise ways and otherwise. There are big bad wolves of secularisation to consider too It is not only to prosper, but how we prosper. Dharma or God's Law should not be ignored, but taken into account.

LoA daughter is also a spiritual demand

In for beautiful harmony, perhaps. It is fine to live so well that you are without guilt and it is perfectly justified also. So seek to communicate things beautifully and don't strive to set yourself up as an authority if you are not. To go for the good and fair sides of fortune can beautify a life too. So get attuned to the flow of harmony welling from deep inside, and things may go well that otherwise would not. Such flows help in connecting with your kind too, if things go fairly well, which they may not under some dictator.

Who actually plucks out those who eat blood food? If others shut you out for being Yogananda-devoted, it may not become only their problem. Maybe you can get a pussycat - it counts for something. But all the teachings of Jesus are clearly unnecessary, if the Holy Ghost and all the apostles saw the light and got it right when they founded the Christian church: No gospels were included; they hardly existed, if at all, and there are only four things required for non-Jewish Christians. That is what Acts 15:28-29 tells us:

"It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things."

But do not be taken in: as seen from how a lot of Christians live, those requirements mean little. They eat wrangled poultry instead - and black pudding and so on to blood sausages. Few stop and ask, " Am I really a Christian? What will happen to me after I ate wrangled chicken without knowing how it had been slaughtered? What will happen to me after death? Will Jesus say, "Hey, you are not even a Jew! I don't know you." Such topics seem quite tabooed for the sake of conform adaptations. However, the four requirements for non-Jews are confirmed in Acts 21:25: "Abstain from what is offered to idols, and from blood, and from what is strangled, and from immorality."

You see, no commands or teachings of of Jesus-for-Jews-only went into the church.

At this point you see that one passage in Acts 15 has "sexual immorality", and the passage in Acts 21:25 has just "immorality". The shorter term takes on a huge meaning if it does not mean the same thing as just "sexual immorality". For example, it seems to mean that a Christian is not above the Law - or good moral. That is interesting, to say the least.

As for teachings of Jesus, they could have been sneaked in through some back door long afterwards - that is, without being sanctioned by all the apostles and their Spirit. Does it seem incredible that his "be poor", "maim yourselves as I say," were not really part of the growing, first church - "the one and only" church of all the apostles and the Holy Spirit? Do we stare at a tragedy here?

But consider the lay of the land: Despite the commands of Jesus - for Jews only, on his word - so-called good Christians keep their property, they do not share it or embrace poverty or ruthless self-maiming as Jesus asked for. They keep their eyes and limbs even though Jesus says "pluck them out" under certain conditions, and so on. They call him "Lord, lord," without doing what he says, and put high hopes in entering heaven anyway, for Gentile followers should "just" refrain from eating blood food . . . and three more. Yes, many who think adultery is gross and nasty, eat blood sausage and think they are saved, without even considering the deal in Acts 15. They think it together, but knowing is different from thinking.

Hare Krishna and death of the soul. Kakla Gopyl also says she is always amazed with the ways that SRF (and their followers) try to convince themselves that Jesus Christ is in accordance with the teachings of Krishna. But Krishna does not seem to be for self-maiming, unlike Jesus. If he had preached poverty, like Jesus, it could have been hard to be king with a large harem, and so on. Also, Bhagavad Gita says the soul is eternal. "The embodied Self . . . is eternal, indestructible and immeasurable. [2:18]" The guru Yogananda too says in several places the soul cannot die. But Jesus says: "Be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. [Matthew 10:28]" The "yes" and "no" about one and the same thing is often an indication of a trap or circus.

From the lifelong art of studying

Kakla Gopyl claims she read the autobiography about a 100 times in the past 30 years, memorized it, and eventually was able to listen to it on tape when in the car. So much wasted or molested time! For Kakla Gopyl left SRF after 25 years, and Yogananda too in time.

It should work far better to learn cosy study methods and study all right textbooks, and learn from them. They can inform you for your benefit for much longer, and even a life-time if subjects are carefully chosen.

The SRF leader Yogananda hobnobbed (associated familiarly), says Kakla Gopyl. Sweet life, la dulce vita, does not have to be a wrong and all too brief way of living, if done with tact and finesse. Fascism-linked soap living, on the other hand, is a thing to go against. Yogananda sympathized with Mussolini in the first half of the 1930s and praised dictatorship.

LoThe senior SRF monk

A senior SRF monk is just an SRF-er, and a juvenile just a juvenile. If you study and get to the gist of books and focus on that, you may remember more of worth for you, and waste less precious time. See it in the light of something a previous SRF member wrote: "I've read all the teachings up to 2000, many, many times," but they failed her and she left. Does it tell of an uncanny waste of precious time and precious moments, or not? I think it emphasises the value of good study methods, for one thing. They may also help against being outsmarted.

Buddhism

HUM SO FAR

The basics are: The number our years spent hardly matter as much as the skill of performance. How many times a book is read matters less than how well it is appropriated through study. One is to focus on key points and key issues for that.

Kriyabans have been initiated in kriya yoga. The core kriya yoga consists of gentle pranayama techniques. Pranayama involves special breathing. As for going into books and letters and other written texts, the main point is learning the gist. Some words - freely adapted from maxims allegedly by the Buddha can put things better into perspective:

  • It is not the number of books in your library that matters the most.
  • It is not the number of books you have read that matters the most.
  • It is not how many times you have read the books that matter the most.
  • It is what you have made your own from reading the books that matter the most (in this context).

To make the main content of texts our own, we normally use good study techniques. Besides, our main efforts should be in applying the very best yoga instructions and feel good about it. Also, proper application takes time and effort. Time enough has to be reserved for it for further aspects of learning and assimilation to blossom [Link].

Focus on key points with undisturbed interest or calmness, and memorize expertly to bring material into the long term memory (LTM)] suitably. The authors of many books indicate that perhaps five or eight repetitions carefully spaced out over time could do. Details are given elsewhere on the Gold Scales. Yet what is retainedm very often depends on the sort of material, the amount, the circumstances and other factors. [Ltr]

In the light of this too, reading the heavily post-mortem edited Autobiography of a Yogi a hundred times suggests much wasted time and effort. Add the grave risk of Yogananda "overload" to it, as the proverb indicates, "Too much of a good thing is a bad thing". Satiety is a sign of bad eating. Reading over-much without know-how and without being sensible, could jeopardise the long-range joy of learning and "being in the flow" - One is to do better than reading like a fool, which may foster antipathy in the long run. Reading the same book a hundred times indicates a form of thankfulness, perhaps, but the deep learning process may suffer of clueless repetitions only. Memorisation of clues may help. Tips on learning and studying: [Learning tips]

Implemented things show the dominant attitudes

An SRF member got tired of her prayers not being answered, so she thought Yogananda's teachings did not work. His no to much sex did not suit her.

HUM = COMMENT: Let us be fair: "One swallow does not make a summer." Many swallows make a summer, and "the more the merrier": From many cases we get a foundation for good statistics that helps us judge about a thing.

Let us say there is some reflection missing in the former member's talk. Basically she gives no evidence of how she would have fared without the guru's teachings. It could have been much worse, or much better, or about the same, theoretically speaking. So from a single story ("swallow"9 you should refrain from drawing strong conclusions. Learning to be tentative could help.

Yogananda teaches to lauch prayers into the Aum sound, which may be heard through meditation methods, he says. SRF teaches a method called the Aum technique. Now, in Tibetan Buddhism, as made plain by Christopher Hansard, the way is to visualise good outcomes is to activate your heart deeply. The last point is the most important: The Self resides in the heart, some Upanisads say, for example the Mundaka, Isa, Chandogya Upanishads. So heart matters are often highly significant matters.

If we accept this and try to visualise and nourish the good things in life, what may be our fate unless we are markedly careful, or even if we are so? It depends in part on how well nourished we get. What sort of deep nourishment do we consider? To the degree it is a hunger (desire) that motivates you, to the same degree you could suffer from lack of nourishment after you get your desire - if your desire was unhealthy or off the mark and not really nourishing. You could end up feeling dissatisfied if what you went for, was a whim or something else that hardly matters. Such things may not give us peace and contentment - may not nourish our deeper beings.

Another side to it: Can you shoulder partners and the possible shames they bring? Moreover, shame may come as a result of the work of bandits.

Good nourishment is a wide term for things to be created and re-created, methinks. A release is had when entering the fruitful tract and going into healthy attainments in such a field.

A repeat: Visualise good things in the depth of your heart (and hope for the best).

Three Hansard books:

  1. The Tibetan Art of Living (2001), The enjoyable book contains many self help meditations. [Tl]
  2. The Tibetan Art of Positive Thinking (2003). Readers say there is helpful knowledge in it, worthwhile advice and practical exercises.
  3. The Tibetan Art of Serenity (2006). The book contains standard meditation and relaxation techniques.

Teachings of Christopher Hansard's stem from the Tibetan Kum Nye, and some forms of Kum Nye belong to a body of knowledge which describes Tibetan practices used to promote health and healing. Many practitioners approve Kum Nye as a well balanced workout for the body enhancing suppleness and strength. Kum Nye has been popularised in the West through publications by Tarthang Tulku. Kum Nye is related to the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism and Bön traditions. [Wikipedia, sv "Kum Nye"]

Kakla Gopyl says Yogananda's teachings don't work, and others say otherwise. Some parts of the teachings work; many say. Perhaps five to ten percent of Yogananda's output and ten percent of all his methods could be wise to learn as long as freedom is preserved. But which five to ten percents? Here are my main criteria. [Link]. I might also have listed up the "top hundred less useful things" Yogananda decree, but have not made a tight list of it so far. Go for the formidable, very practical and top-notch sayings and see what you can do from them.

Our part is to adhere to lots of good stuff by bright intelligence and wisdom. The good Creator's spenta archangels give good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, says Zoroaster. [More]

Good thoughts, words and deeds back up solid and good order, which is rita (etc.) in Sanskrit. Other terms are used for good order too: from ancient Egypt, Maat. There is much to learn from ancient Egypt. Good moral result from fair Maat-adjustments, for example.

Guts (courageous resolution, or brave readiness to strive even against odds) may e one means to better life

"SRF put a spin on the Christian Bible, not unlike the Mormons. [Kakla Gopyl, 29 May 03]

HUM: Christian freedom, how far may it go? What is into it?

One's main circumstances do suggest things about significant, hovering influences

"SRF failed me when it was ultimately tested. [Kakla Gopyl, 4 Feb] - The SRF way of life is no life. It's not living . . . I wish I had those hours back that I spent meditating while my child was in the other room watching TV. [Kakla Gopyl, 7 Feb]

HUM: Some things also depend on how or how well SRF was tested, in which ways, under what circumstances, for how long and by how many. Single cases can be interesting, but do not carry much weight as proof if it is hard to form reasonable statistics on top of them. At least twenty-two cases may be had to make simple statistical findings somewhat significant - and preferably a large control group of non-SRF-ers.

Those who leave SRF in their 30s or 40s, a rather typical age for most ex-cultists, may consider all that has been lost before they do: Golden moments, golden opportunities, steering into a far better course when there was ample time and also non-barren women to spend time with.

The time spent on regrets over many years, may be added, but it hardly helps to brood for years on end over it. On the "bright side of it", one might have been spared of much also, even without knowing it. Count it in. Depending on how well you do it, you might even end up without regrets, a bit like Jorge (pseudonym). He once told me that as soon he had lost his thumb, working for SRF, Yogananda said, "If you had not been here, serving God, it would have been your life." What can you say to that? Could "If I had served God elsewhere, wouldn't that have done the trick, or even better?." And "What if I had kept on serving my Self elsewhere, shouldn't that have amounted to the same?" Those are good questions, and many answers to "good questions" may not be very helpful.

What is editor made, and what was Yogananda made of what he allegedly wrote?

"Writings of Yogananda have his unique voice. [Kakla Gopyl, 6 Feb] - When you really need the "blessing," it isn't going to come . . . With SRF I worried all the time. [Kakla Gopyl, 4 Feb]"

HUM: A unique, worry-giving voice, how is that? If it is unique, a comparison is going to halt. All comparisons halt, if the proverb is true. A story indicates Yogananda's voice held goat appeal: Here is a story from the early days at the SRF headquarters in Los Angeles:

Yogananda We used to have here at Mt. Washington a goat that was invariably attracted by my voice. One day, while I was speaking in this chapel, the goat came trotting in and right on up the aisle to me! . . . it simply liked to hear my voice. [Ak 23]

However, Yogananda used to dictate mostly by way of hints to his staff of secretaries and editors, according to such as Kriyananda (James Donald Walters, who once was a big shot in SRF and later started Ananda Sangha. This point - that Yogananda dictated hints and his various secretaries had to fill in and expand from that, undermines much of Kakla Gopyls' idea of a unique voice. If you want evidence, see how different the Rubaiyyat commentary is by two editors.

It was startling to this reader to learn that in neither edition is one even offered the original writing of Paramahansa Yogananda. Self-Realization Fellowship explained that all of Paramahansa Yogananda's writings had been so edited". From Himalayan Academy.

"Almost every sentence presents some problem," says one Yogananda editor (Kriyananda). [Link]

In the bed of Procrustes? There are alternatives to being whipped senseless. Some say their lives were largely ruined by SRF's Yogananda teachings, so a good thing to do is to try to find out what is wrong with them. Introspection is the stiff task, and comparison work could also be found to be helpful, since "The teachings of Jesus have nothing at all to do with the teachings of SRF," as one former SRF member said.

That calls for a little comment. There are some similarities between teachings among Jews and teachings of Jesus. He was not all original. And he wanted his teachings to be kept away from gentiles, he said too (Matthew 15:25; 10:18). That seems to close the door of salvation in the face of Yogananda, since the Kingdom, salvation and teachings of Jesus were to be for Jews only, on his word. The Bible scholar Geza Vermes confirms it. (2010:39, 41, passim).

But what did Jesus do after he was executed and died? There is room for many tales in the dark. Did he seek out Yogananda's Babaji in the Himalayas and asked him for help? Some would have us believe such tales, but they seem to mock the New Testament's rock bottom: that salvation is had by what is called the grace of God, and is actual, precious fellowship with the Holy Ghost.

So where is the fit evidence that Jesus sought help from Babaji in the mountains to have kriya yoga save people because he found God himself to be not good enough, ineffective or whatever? Was not the Apostles' Ghost good enough? That seems indeed implied in how Yogananda and SRF deals with Christianity, coming up with their own sort of it. It reminds of how the rogue smith and bandit Procrustes in Greek mythology treated his victims - stretching them and cutting of their legs so that they conformed to his iron bed, so as to force them to fit the size of it. Airy Procrustean handling is the work of some bandit, is implied in the myth. Compare Yogananda-SRF's wallowing in Procrustean handling of God-concepts.

Further note how single statements in the Bible and statements used by SRF may be the same, or sometimes look-alikes, while the over-all atmosphere of look-alike statements from different cultures carry fairly different overtones, so to speak. Yogananda-SRF's main teachings are of Hinduism, Elliot Miller of a Christian Research Institute sums up. [Miller link]

About some allegedly SRF ruined people

"I've seen people utterly ruined from SRF's "karma" belief system. [Kakla Gopyl, 4 Feb]

HUM: The crow learns to fly without karma teachings to help it. However, good theories may be very helpful to humans. Concepts of subtle things may be useful, and may also be abused. It depends on so much. If what is taught or understood is only the half of what is needed for rational dealing with life isses, the problem might not be karma teachings per se, but the problem of insufficient handling knowledge.

And, as usual, separate, single cases do not count much as evidence, all in all. Such cases are classified as "anecdotal evidence". For all that, some apt tales may instruct and entertain us, like Esop fables. Great and good karma teachings of Buddha are on this site. Also: [Cayce-teachings]

You who can move mountains, may or may not consider yourself saved

"The body of work that Paramahansa Yoganada produced is phenomenal [Not really] [Kakla Gopyl, 6 Feb]. The core of Christianity is Jesus died for our sins . . [There, there, two mystically handled goats could have accomplished the same thing that year, according to Leviticus 16]. If we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior then we are saved . . . [But he said he came only for Jews, and martyrs in the millions were mislead about the impending end of the world.] [Kakla Gopyl, 2 Feb]

HUM: Martyrs in the millions believed similar things. And they were misled to think when the end of the world would come. The gospels' Jesus was wrong again. Bart Ehrman has written a book about it . . . Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium. (2001). In this book, Ehrman examines textual and archaeological sources and proposes that Jesus can be best understood as someone who believed the world would end dramatically within the lifetime of his apostles and that a new kingdom would be created on earth. It did not happen. Does it make him a a false prophet?

How to deal with false prophets is show in the Old Testament. Consider this:

If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him (Deuteronomy 18:22).

False prophets . . . will become fools. [Jeremiah 50:36]

My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. . . . I am the Sovereign Lord. [Ezek 13:9]

Sadly, Jesus vouched for the complete Law of Moses (Matthew 5:17-21) - it is sadder than you might think - and said:

"Watch out for false prophets . . . inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognise them. . . . Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognise them. [Matthew 7:15-20, passim]

What to do? Anyone who aims for health, wealth, dharma (fit conduct and harmony etc.) and great freedom (Self-Realisation is the ultimate freedom of yogis). aims well, is great Hindu teachings. How to accomplish these goals of living is the basis of good old Hindu living, Buddhist and Hindu yoga and its ancient ways. Good luck with it.

Summary

IN SUM
  1. Learn to select what is fit - and try to enjoy life also.
  2. There are higher drives and motivations, and lower drives. The latters are due to lacks, theorises Abraham Maslow. Striving for money or material security counts a lot among materialists, but such striving is on a rather low level (the second level of Maslow's pyramid of needs.
  3. A senior SRF monk has adapted to SRF for years to get to be fit for a top-dog position. Those who sacrifice a lot may eventually find themselves to be stultified victims of plots and regret they had not been fully themselves.

IN NUCE Select theories and positions that suit you and your foremost background. That could help in life, at least a little.

And lo

ANECDOTE One may have to fight in a troubles-beset area to get important anti-sect information out of previous sect members. It should be far, far better to keep away from sects and sectarians in the first place. Fanaticism may flare up among such guys, for one thing, and neuroses or worse.

Contents


SRF problems, Yogananda's Self-realisation fellowship, Literature  

Ehrman, Bart D. Forged: Writing in the Name of God: Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are. New York: HarperCollins, 2011. ⍽▢⍽ Ehrman exposes the deceptions he knows of: Books in the Bible's New Testament were not passed down by Jesus' disciples, but were instead forged by other hands. It was common practice. The book is written for people who associate Christianity with truth, and find they are misled there.

Ehrman, Bart D. Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. ⍽▢⍽ Scholarly, comprehensive, and in-depth.

Ehrman, Bart D. How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee. New York: HarperOne, 2014. ⍽▢⍽ An apocalyptic prophet from the backwaters of rural Galilee was crucified for crimes, and was later held to equal with the one God Almighty, He moved from being a Jewish prophet to being called God after his execution. But what people meant by terms like "son of God" at that time was not what people are taught to think today. As Geza Vermes shows, the phrase 'son of God' was current among Jews and was synonymous with 'son of Israel' or 'a Jew very close to God'. (Vermes 2010:38)

Ehrman, Bart D. Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium. Paperback ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. ⍽▢⍽ Ehrman presents consensus views of Bible scholars to the general public.

Lipman, Kennard, tr. Secret Teachings of Padmasambhava: Essential Instructions on Mastering the Energies of Life. London: Shambhala, 2010.

Padmasambhava. Self-Liberation through Seeing with Naked Awareness: An Introduction to the Nature of One's Own Mind from The Profound Teaching of Self-Liberation in the Primordial State of the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities. A terma text of Guru Padmasambhava Expounding the View of Dzogchen, Rediscovered by Rigdzin Karma Lingpa. 2nd ed. Tr. John Myrdhin Reynolds. Itacha, NY: Snow Lion / Shambhala, 2010.

Surti, B. Thus Spake Zarathushtra. 2nd ed. Madras: Ramakrishna, 1981.

Vermes, Geza. From Jewish to Gentile: How the Jesus Movement Became Christianity. Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) 38:06, Nov/Dec 2012.

Vermes, Geza. The Real Jesus: Then and Now. Minneapolis, MI: Fortress Press, 2010.

Ak: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Man's Eternal Quest. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1975.

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

Ay: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi. 1st ed. New York: Theosophical, 1946.

EB: Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online or 2014 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD. London: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2013.

Io: Zempel, Solveig, ed., translation and introduction. In Their Own Words: Letters from Norwegian Immigrants. Oxford: University of Minnesota Press, 1991.

Ltr: Schunk, Dale. Learning Theories. An Educational Perspective. 5th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, 2008.

Op: Simpson, John, and Jennifer Speake. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Pa: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi. 11th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1971.

Psy: Dasgupta, Sailendra. Paramhansa Swami Yogananda: Life-portrait and Reminiscences. Portland: Yoga Niketan. 2006. Online pdf. www.yoganiketan.net

Say: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Sayings of Yogananda. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1958.

Tl: Hansard, Christopher. Tibetansk livskunst (The Tibetan Art of Living. 2001). Oslo: Hilt og Hansteen, 2004.

Tlv: Hansard, Christopher. Tibetansk legekunst og livsvisdom (The Tibetan Art of Positive Thinking. 2003)Oslo: Hilt og Hansteen, 2003.

Tvs: Hansard, Christopher. Tibetanske veier til sinnsro (The Tibetan Art of Serenity. 2006). Oslo: Hilt og Hansteen, 2006.


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