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Buddhism

Marring Teachings

Just because they are common doesn't mean they aren't marring.

There are cult teachings to fear

A swami named Yogananda (1893–1952) started SRF, Self-Realization Fellowship. He got it registered as a church in California in late March 1935. You may have observed that in SRF they claim Jesus as one of their gurus - in SRF, several claims come down to "the word of Yogananda". Judge James MacLachlin did more than suspect Yogananda of mischief: he found his money charges against a previous fellow worker false and untrue and judged against Yogananda. Dare to ask, "Is there any good evidence that Jesus actually is a guru in SRF, against gospel sayings against such an idea?" (Matthew 7:15-20; 24:5; 24:24 etc.)

When a Hindu comes and tells you that Jesus is in his line of gurus, and Bible sayings that are at least put in the mouth of Jesus gainsay such a possibility, what to believe? The basics are: Believe as little as you are up to, and make some efforts to see what the New Testament says in such matters. But also study how reliable the gospels are. Scholars have worked on that, and some have published books and articles about it. In short, "Believe less, inspect more" if you can. Otherwise there is a chance you are taken in a whole lot.

The gospel of Matthew says the teachings of Jesus and his ministry are for Jews only

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)

To clarify these matters still further:

Hm 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)

For Gentile followers, all the disciples and the Holy Spirit dispensed with all but a few laws for Jews. And not a word by Jesus for ill Jews was included in the Apostolic Decree from 50 CE either (Acts 15:19-29; 21:25). The four requirements for all Gentile Christians include no to eating blood sausages (blood food) and wrangled chickens and other poultry (choked animals)

Jungian The healthy man does not torture others. - Carl Gustav Jung

Good to simplify wisely

In the gospel of Matthew 10:5-8; 15:24, Jesus says he was and is for Jews only. His teachings, salvation and healing ministry - for Jews only. The later-added missionary command is spurious, a forgery, asserts Dr. Vermes. Joseph Wheless points out why. Gentile believers (non-Jews) got a deal without sayings of Jesus. (Acts 15:19-29; 21:25).

As for gospels, the early church got infamous for forging sayings in the name of Jesus, shows Dr. Bart D. Ehrman in Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics (2013). The four canonised gospels were selected from among many others and edited. Gospels that were not eventually included in the Bible are called non-canonical gospels. It is estimated that early Christians wrote at least twenty gospels. Several of them have been found again in modern times.

So in the earliest Christian movement, many different writings were circulated, and there were many traditions about the sayings of Jesus. Some of the leaders worried about which to use. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon and leader of a church in France in about the year 170, declared that "There actually are only four authentic gospels. And this is obviously true because there are four corners of the universe and there are four principal winds, and therefore there can be only four gospels that are authentic. These, besides, are written by Jesus' true followers." (Highlighting added)

His premises are marred by updated information that the earth is not flat, that cosmos corners are not found, and the idea of four main winds is just a concept. Granted that, his "deduction" is primitive folly, to be sure.

Today's scholars of the New Testament would not agree with Irenaeus for many other reasons, for it is not known who wrote the gospels we call Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and the Gospel of Thomas. They are all attributed to disciples of Jesus, but we do not really know who wrote them. And chances are they did not come as the earliest sources. The gospels of the New Testament have many differences among them. Different gospels - the canonised and others - see Jesus as a prophet, and not a Christ (Ehrman 2014). They voice different opinions or portrayals of Jesus from very different religious positions.

Church leaders in antiquity were arguing about which gospels to use. It was settled as late as 367 which books were to go into the New Testament in use today. However, one gospel is one too many for non-Jews, shows the alive Jesus in Matthew 15:24; and 10:5-8. To live well without commands of self-maiming, self-inflicted poverty and so, and be violently condemned as a hypocrite, may go a long way toward making life simpler, better (Matthew 5, thoughout; Acts 15:19-29; 21:25). Still, there are threats of damnation by the Catholic Church for all who are not members of it -

After all, the four canonised gospels reflect efforts to simplify in the jungle of gospels. A further effort, to make one gospel out of the four, was futile. The best simplification is to do away with all the teachings of Jesus for Jews only, to be on the safe side. That means getting rid of a large part of all the four gospels. And again, not reading them should be OK too, according to the fundament of Christianity, in Acts 15:19-29 and a spirit of Truth -

We may consider how much time and trouble may be spared by fit simplifications. No need to read a lot we can do better without. Consider the advantages, nay benefits, and stop Jesuan self-maiming -

(A source: Elaine H. Pagels, L. Michael White, Elizabeth Clark's contributions in "Emergence of the Four Gospel Canon" [1])

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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).

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Make the Best of What You Get

If you cannot get out of brambles, yelling a lot may not help.

Good to consider

Buddha teaches we should not give to undeserving ones. Still, what helps health, healing and knowledge of the Dharma, the great appropriateness, may be dispensed to all, says Buddha too. [Details]

We could improve our chances of success by fair teachings, good methods and help. How fast we develop may be intertwined with conductive your network is to wellbeing and a decent fare. Learn best methods, use them wisely and well, and consider how friendly and helpful your associates are, and stick to sound moral. Adhere to health-ways and health-preserving living if you can. Protect your dear assets well.

The Bhagavad Gita 7:3 says that self-realised ones are rare. But proficiency in handling life, in dealing, and in yoga-meditation could make a difference. Consider, too, that progress depends a lot on one's good guru. In ways such as these you could end up with a better momentum in life.

Good gardening on many levels

◦Beware, beware, keep your garden fair. - Let no man steal your thyme (folk song).

Your own fruits are got from the trees growing in the soil of your mind. It is good if you can avoid them getting bitter, as palatable fruits are boons -

Try to go for and protect your garden with the fruit trees and the berry bushes in it, and note that descriptions of a thing are somehow at best approximations, metaphors. The very essence of a garden, trees, and fruits go beyond concepts, but may still be enjoyed. Yet, success may depend on your neighbours, thieves, the weather and much else.

Gardening is not just about doing things a certain amount of times. More should be counted in. It is good to use discernment and skills too. Get into to the most helpful and sanity-helping methods and ways of life that help. There are sound moral mentions and a regulated living to adhere to also. Rudolf Steiner stresses the value of moral and character thus: "For every one step that you take in the pursuit of higher knowledge, take three steps in the perfection of your own character." (Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and How to Attain It, 1947, 69)

Findings on TM, ◦Transcendental Meditation, are clear. It works all-round best of all researched meditation methods.

1. Subtle karma teachings on health and disease

Karma teachings see diseases as results of former transgressions or new stresses - probably the last ones are most influential, as stress research reveals. Holistic medicine seeks to have wider or fuller scope than medical doctors trained in handling drugs. There is much to watch out for in a life - and suppose too early, symptom-lessening treatment is one.

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)? A disease tends to require adjustments. Some wise adjustments may be aborted by medicine, but if disease-impelled, decent adjustments are lessened or made unneeded too early by prescribed drugs or therapies (!) a moral fall might be due to it. If so, good therapies too early might be questioned (!). What do you think?

Consider if making symptoms less or go away too early, aborts or off-sets the struggle to get solved deep within, and may make a too quickly symptom-helped patient merely "half of what he or she is meant to be". Or one third, and so on. Ask for evidence it is so. If not, be free to doubt it, and doubt to your long-run benefit.

2. Teachings on health by Jesus

Jesus cautioned people he healed from diseases, to sin no more, or the diseases could return.

Jesus also says in Mark 2:17 that the healthy Jews do not need him; that he had come to call sinners among Jews, and not righteous persons there. (Matthew 15:24; 10:5-8)

Therefore, be healthy rather than a sick sinner, be healthy rather than a sheep led by Jesus. If you are decent, you do not need Jesus, says Jesus in several gospels. His self-maiming and poverty-embracing teachings are for Jews he considered ill, depraved, and his Kingdom and Salvation is for Jews only too.

Later, all the apostles and their hovering Spirit decided to let non-Jewish followers get it easier than Jewish ones, and made only four requirements for Christians. Acts 15:19-29 tells the story. It is confirmed in Acts 21:25. (WP, "Council of Jerusalem") 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.

When we discern this much, we are able to reject the Self-Realization Fellowship gurus' pitfalls. Why? They want others to believe they preach Jesus. But they are not Jews, and we may not be Jews either, and Jesus is not for those of sound moral and mind. To play Jesuans without qualifying, is it hypocricy? Bear in mind that Acts 15:19-29 is a game-twister and gives a better fare than that of Jesuan self-maimers (Matthew 5).

Tibetan teachings can help

In Tibetan Buddhism, as laid bare by Christopher Hansard (2001, 2003, 2006), a good way is to visualise good outcomes and thereby activate your heart. The last point is essential: The Self resides in the heart, some Upanisads say, for example the Mundaka, Isa, and Chandogya Upanishads. Heart matters are often highly significant matters.

Teachings of Christopher Hansard's stem from the Tibetan Kum Nye. Some forms of Kum Nye belong to a body of knowledge which describes Tibetan practices used to promote health and healing. Some systems of Kum Nye may remind of Yoga. 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 (born 1934) (e.g. 2006, 2007). Kum Nye is related to the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism and Bön traditions. [Wikipedia, sv "Kum Nye"]

Zoroaster wisdom

A inborn, growing capacity of imagination is given a human:

Hm 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]

Moreover, the good Creator's spenta archangels give good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, says Zoroaster. [More] The good-forms bring on good order eventually. Good nourishment may get even higher. Many forms of good can be created or formed. We can for example starty with visualising good things in the depth of our hearts (and hope for the best).

Good order is a part of Maat in ancient Egypt. There is much to learn from ancient Egypt about Maat-adjustments that are not unfit. Several of the Ten Commandments are traced back to Maat-teachings.

Solved, but . . .

There are only four basics laid out for non-Jewish Christians. That is what Acts 15:19-29 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."

This groundwork, essential to the Holy Ghost and all the apostles for non-Jews, seems quite tabooed for the sake of other, conform adaptations, such as having denounced blood food for Christmas: black pudding, Brat, Wurst and blood sausage - things like that. A certain lack of consistency flares up.

Consider the lay of the land: Despite the commands of Jesus - for Jews only, on his word - a Christian keeps his or her, do not share it wilfully or embrace poverty or ruthless self-maiming as Jesus asked from Jews. Christians also keep their eyes and limbs even though Jesus teaches his Jewish followers to "pluck them out" under certain conditions, and so on. And there is nothing wrong or hypocritical with keeping one's eyes, limbs and other organs for a non-Jew. It seems these things are solved in regular practice the world over, albeit only poorly in theory.

A wrong practice: Non-Jews are calling Jesus "Lord, lord," and ignore his words that his sayings that his teachings, salvation and ministry are for Jews only. A Gentile follower should make do with "just" refraining from eating blood food . . . and three more. Yes, many who think adultery is gross and nasty, eat blood sausage and think they are saved.

Consider forgeries

Let each tub stand on its own bottom (Proverb). Besides, "titlephrenia" flung high probably will not help.

Christ Gundersen (1908–45), gives us a tantalisingly brief glimpse of what life was like for a Norwegian-American Christ in Brooklyn once, tells Solveig Zempel (1991, 185). [More]

"Christ" (Messiah) of the gospels was never called a Gundersen, but "demon-possessed and raving mad (John 10:20)" and "blaspheming!" (Matthew 9:3). 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. Study the evidence before concluding (by a faith).

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.

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, for it should be better to be healthy than enrolled. Jesus suggests a healthy human is much more valuable than a sheep. (Matthew 12:12)

Thus, seek to be a healthy, morally OK individual if you can. If not, training might help a little at least.

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Saved from a Cult and Its Insistence

The more or less Americanised guru Paramahansa Yogananda (1893–1952) claimed he recalled former lives, and that he had been Arjuna, who as enlightened in the expanded version of the Bhagavad Gita. It would seem that after he was enlightened in that late-added Gita chapter, he reverted to former bandit ways as a vicious, murderous desert marauder (Dasgupta 2006, 112). What sensible soul would want to know him and have anything to do with him but to put him in jail for long? [More]

"Saved" could also imply being saved from all the material SRF has added to the meditation methods, if not the changed SRF meditation methods themselves.

By going for good evidence first, you can keep rational and avoid being misled by bluffs, crazy tales, lies, confused minds, group faith, and more. Such a normalcy-helping strategy is free for all. Ask for good evidence first, as a matter of routine. Compare: [Kalama Sutta]

Plain living

Yogananda's goal of "Plain living and high thinking" could be interpreted to mean you should live on a plain, but:

Yogananda Don't take my word for anything. . . . There will be as many interpretations of my lectures as there are listeners. - Yogananda (Dietz 1998, "Master's Teachings")

We don't really know what is right or real ... we are often incorrect in our judgements. - Yogananda (1982, 414].

No more blind believing. - Yogananda (1982, 456]

After all, this makes it easier. However, it is a paradox that if you take his word for anything against "group think", you don't . . .

Imagine!

"Californian-Christian"?

Yogananda registered his own church in California in 1935. ◦The registration papers state SRF was set up for the purpose of getting property and tax benefits. 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. Tsk, tsk! [More]

About a year later, in India, Yogananda's guru said to another disciple he had 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.

The essence of the diagnosis was that Yogananda was a possessed guy. To what degree his aged guru presented Yognanda's diseases figuratively, we may not know. And can we know for sure that the malevolent ghoul did not eat up Yogananda? A Catholic professor denounces Yogananda as someone who commits heresy: [Link]

Destroyed and eternal?

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. If he had preached poverty, like Jesus, it could have been hard to be king with a large harem, and besides, the Bhagavad Gita says the soul is eternal. [2:18]" The guru Yogananda too says in several places the soul cannot die. But Jesus tells it can be destroyed - both soul and body can be destroyed in hell. There is no harmony and decency there, for what we have been told. (Matthew 10:28)"

What you read into should bear fruits

A senior SRF monk is just an SRF-er, but the basics are: The number of years spent on a thing may not matter as much as the skill of performance, and it is often like that. Apply the teaching on a wider scale:

  • 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 (in this context),
  • And what you are doing with that also matters - for good, bad or in between.

In the light of this, reading the heavily post-mortem edited Autobiography of a Yogi a hundred times could mean long hours wasted. [Learning tips]

Also, the many who have left SRF - many in their 30s or 40s or older - may consider all that was lost or dumped before they left: Golden moments, golden opportunities, steering into far better courses when there was ample time and probably fertile, OK women to be with. The time spent on serious regrets may be added to the grievances. (Parsons 2012, 171)

Freaking in so many ways

Yogananda used to dictate mostly by way of hints to his staff of secretaries and editors, according to such as Kriyananda (James Donald Walters). This point - that Yogananda dictated hints and his various secretaries had to fill in and expand from that may hit a sensitive nerve in some, but see how different Yogananda's seriously flawed 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]

Dealing with budding neuroses

Neuroses bind you. Some profit from that.

The field of cults may be a hotbed of neuroses. There are up to 5000 cults in the United States, (Singer 2003, 4) and many psychologists and therapists who make a living off a lot of them.

Where is there reliable, fit evidence that Jesus sought help from Babaji in the mountains to have kriya yoga save people because he found God in Acts to be not good enough? Was not the Apostles' Holy Spirit good enough? Compare Yogananda-SRF's goading confusion work of God-constructs.

Further note how fragmented or seemingly similar statements from different cultures carry different meanings. Yogananda-SRF's main teachings are of Hinduism, Elliot Miller of a Christian Research Institute sums up. [Miller article (PDF)]

Avoid getting fragmented; go for integration instead. All who guess they can move mountains by just saying something to the mountains, may or may not consider themselves saved - Martyrs in the millions in the first church may have believed many gospel sayings, unable to free themselves from animals in the Colosseum and elsewhere in the large Roman Empirre. They had similarly been misled to think when the end of the world would come. The gospels' Jesus was wrong again. In Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium. (2001), Dr. Bart D. 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. Since it did not happen, he seems like a false prophet. Here are sayings from the Old Testament (the Law) on false prophets:

A prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say . . . must be put to death. You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?" 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 18:20-22.

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]

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. . . . by their fruit you will recognise them. [Matthew 7:15-20, passim]

Do not let great gullibility get the better of you. Better evade sects and sectarians in the first place. Fanaticism may flare up among such guys, for one thing, and neuroses may be seen too.

Those who sacrifice a lot may eventually find themselves to be stultified victims somehow.

  Contents  


Gospels, Nyingma teachings of Tibetan Buddhism, Yogananda and Self-Realization Fellowship, Literature  

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

Dasgupta, Sailendra. Paramhansa Swami Yogananda: Life-portrait and Reminiscences. Portland: Yoga Niketan. 2006.

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.

⸻. Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Hansard, Christopher. Tibetansk livskunst (The Tibetan Art of Living: Wise Body, Mind, Life. New York: Atria Books, 2001). Oslo: Hilt og Hansteen, 2004.

Hansard, Christopher. Tibetansk legekunst og livsvisdom (The Tibetan Art of Positive Thinking: Skillful Thought for Successful Living. New York: Atria Books, 2003) Oslo: Hilt og Hansteen, 2003.

Hansard, Christopher. Tibetanske veier til sinnsro (The Tibetan Art of Serenity: How to Conquer Fear and Gain Contentment. London: Hodder Mobius, 2006). Oslo: Hilt og Hansteen, 2006.

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.

Parsons, Jon R. A Fight For Religious Freedom: A Lawyer's Personal Account of Copyrights, Karma and Dharmic Litigation. Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity, 2012.

Singer, Margaret Thaler. Cults in Our Midst: The Continuing Fight Against Their Hidden Menace. Rev. ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003.

Steiner, Rudolf. Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and How to Attain It. GA 10. Tr. George Metaxa. Herndon, VA: Anthroposophic Press, 1947.

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

Tarthang Tulku. The Joy of Being: Advanced Kum Nye Practices for Relaxation, Integration and Concentration. Berkeley, CA: Dharma Publishing, 2006.

⸻. Kum Nye: Tibetan Yoga: A Complete Guide to Health and Wellbeing, 115 Exercises and Massages. New ed. Berkeley, CA: Dharma Publishing, 2007.

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.

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

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

Notes
  1. Pagels, Elaine H., L. Michael White Emergence of the Four Gospel Canon. in Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/story/emergence.html


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