1. Harmony can be something worthwhile
"Demonic men . . . claim that the world is devoid of reality, without a foundation . . . ." - Bhagavad Gita 16: 7-10, passim, in W. J. Johnson's translation].
If you admiringly want to do as Hare Krishna and get your own harem, well, the Bible never says it is bad or forbidden for Jews in their set ways back then. Polygamy is nowhere explicitly condemned in the Old and New Testaments, nor is slavery. For example, Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines (essentially wives of a lower status), according to 1 Kings 11:3.
Note in passing that Yogananda maintains his teachings are in harmony with the Bhagavad Gita teachings, and also teaches the universe is unreal. Surreal harmony! At least he found a following in the USA. [Massive documentation] -- [Victims of a lot].
Polygamy is legal in 58 out of nearly 200 sovereign states. Polyandry is illegal in virtually every state in the world. In Hinduism we find both polygamy and polyandry (that is, one woman has several husbands). Yogananda says that in a past incarnation he was polyandric, one of five brothers who shared the same wife. He said he had been Arjuna, without stressing Arjuna's polyandric side or that on Arjuna's request he was turned into a snake that slid into the bed of a woman who had refused him, and scared her to be his. "Times change, and we with them." (Mahabharata, Srimad Bhagavatam 10:22:1-28; 10:69 etc.; WP, "Polygamy in India;" Legality of polygamy")
We have to be firm enough to keep insights. Bear in mind as well: "Understanding is one thing, remembering is quite another." Understanding and recall work in part differently. A presentation that serves recall (memory) tends to be the more fit one, if full value of the learning efforts is sought and considered worthwhile. ◇
2. Crazy worship; lose a lot
Dr Steven Karpman's drama triangle seeks to diagram Games (hanky-pankies) that are around. Three roles are Persecutor, Victim, and Rescuer. If there is no genuine rescuing in games of helping, bad feelings result. If the world is unreal as Yogananda tells over and over, is he? Is he a rescuer, you think? One of the quickest ways out of the drama triangle is to be rational and ask, "What are the facts?" [Pla 80-82]
Wives get children, and all need some clothes, food, sanitation facilities and shelter. It is told in Hindu scriptures - poetry somehow, that Krishna seduced milkmaids and abducted 16 or 18 000 apsara females - what a task - and raised his own race through them. But the race of Krishna was also wiped out, and Krishna died soon after, the Mahabharata tells. It was not exhaustion that did it, but a poisoned arrow from a hunter who thought Krishna was a deer.
The loving, warring and shot Krishna is one of the six SRF gurus today. In 1970 or nearby his picture popped up among five others to be worshipped in SRF by monks and nuns and other interested ones. You may ask: "What is the greatest folly here? Lip service or emulation?" Also ask, "Why is it not abducting thousands of women per male follower that SRF publicly stands for?" if it is, do not ever expect a straight answer, for polygamy is against the law in most countries nowadays. Also note that women far and wide have not the same rights as men in this. (This is a description; not a prescription.)
A little thing, such as being shot, could kill the Lord himself in human form, then. And one hair in the soup can make the customer lose the appetite for it and complain, even loudly. Likewise, just one significant bad feature of a teaching may spoil much through some domino effect or other. Also, if just one organ fails in the body, the whole body may die for that reason. ◇
"Where all think alike, none thinks well," is a saying to consider in many circumstances.
3. Ignore much unreal and get it better if you can
How to deal with it unreal teachings? You can ignore them as well as you can. Otherwise you could rish losing some measures of independence, and get victimised. But adequate life balance could assist you.
Trust yourself and rise to date well. Maybe the best fruits of your labour help far and wide. ◇ ⚴
Going for harmony might be worthwhile, but insanely unreal or untrue worship is not.
Ak: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Man's Eternal Quest. 2nd ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1982.
Ay: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi. 1st ed. New York: Philosophical Library, 1946.
Coco: Leggett, Trevor. The Complete Commentary by Sankara on the Yoga-Sutras. New York: Kegan Paul, 1990.
Gdm: Mason, Paul. Guru Dev as presented by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: The Life and Teachings of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, Shankaracharya of Jyotirmath (1941-53). Vol 3. Penzance, Cornwall: Premanand, 2009.
Mmw: Ganguli, K., tr. The Mahabharata, Vols 1-12. 4th ed. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1981.
On: Mata, Daya. "Only Love". Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1976.
Pa: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi. 11th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), 1971.
Pla: Morrison, James, and John O'Hearne. Practical Transactional Analysis in Manangement. Reading: Addison-Wesley, 1977.
Sba: Prabhu, Anand A., tr. Srimad Bhagavatam. Filognostic Association of The Order of Time. [bhagavata.org], 2005.
Sf: Klostermaier, Klaus K. A Survey of Hinduism. 3rd ed. Albany, N.Y: State University of New York Press, 2007.
Sh: Raghunathan, N., tr. Srimad Bhagavatam, Vols 1-2. Madras: Vighneswara, 1976.
Via: Nikhilananda, swami. Vivekananda. The Yogas and Other Works. Rev. ed. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1953.
Yolt: Johnston, Charles, tr. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. London: Stuart and Watkins, 1968. [Online]
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