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Three Loops Aligned with Self-Realization Fellowship, SRF

A loop means a group of people to whom information is circulated. And to be in the loop means being part of a group of people dealing with something important. Such a loop may in time become a full-fledge circle - that is, a group in itself.

To be out of the loop conversely means not being part of that group. To be part of a group is important to many. What happens if such people get alarming information about the founder of their group, its leaders, and its teachings? They may not appreciate the whistle-blowers, one might guess.

The "lost monastics" of SRF

Regardless, here are some sources of information that give other portrayals or perspectives of Yogananda, Self-Realization Fellowship and their teachings than many tamed SRF followers have got and like. Maybe many of them keep thinking, "What has sanity and truth got to do with being a living groupist?" That attitude seems reflected in how so many groupists live. The problem is that distortions and lies take their tolls over time. Then various illnesses may set in, for the lack of a normal conscience, for example.

Troubles set in and accumulate if the facades do not correspond well to what is the real deals. Some insiders have gone to lengths to tell it, and they include for example many of the "lost monastics" of SRF. About one third of its monastics left in the years around 2002. Many of them had very much on their mind, and showed that those of SRF training were not as good comrades as one might have liked.

There are alternatives to the damaging works of cultishness or insane drivel. Bulwarking against foolish and rabid teachings tends to require healthy id development for most part, and sound enough circumstances. A next best remedy may be prevention of troubles by a variety of measures. Both protection of the young and prevention of great troubles should work better than hopeless attempts at cure of duped, indoctrinated and mentally deranged cultists with limited prospects of great recoveries by insensitive deprogramming or sensitive remarks alike. Yogananda-linked material on this site can be seen in such a light.

1. A handed-over yoga perspective. Exponent: Swami Satyeswarananda. The swami criticises Yogananda for deviating from the kriya yoga tradition he was meant to propagate. Keynote: "Yogananda drifted."

2. A view to Yogananda's actual teachings. Exponents: Kriyananda and Ananda. Ananda is founded by a former SRF vice president. He tries to show how SRF has gone after Yogananda. Ananda and Crystal Clarity have published books and pamphlets about it. Keynote: "SRF has drifted".

3. 'Sound yoga wisely for you'. Exponents: normal people. To end up in with a creed is not what higher meditation is for. Those who succumb much to gilded, wrong teachings, gross distortions and opportunistic drivel, may lose the inner freedom to see the bad. Still, hardened ones may be shamed repeatedly by eye-openers.

Keynote: A drift away from sound practices and sound teachings and good fellowship, is not fit.

Hung up on words

Should you find a wise critic to point out your faults, follow him as you would a guide to hidden treasure." [Dhammapada, v. 76].

Yogananda understands friendly help similarly in some ways. "Our best friends are those who criticize us the most, who never condone our faults." Not "the most", but "best" makes much difference where unsound group conformity has not got the best of many.

Yogananda also says, "Don't take my word for anything. . . . Don't get hung up on words," (in Dietz 1998). Such teachings may not have hit his publishers hard.

Tangled up or cast out

  • In a letter, Yogananda writes that starting the SRF organisation was a horrible blunder [◦Documentation]. If so, why enter? A ◦SRF Walrus Backup site may illustrate how bad it is to be an SRF outcast and tangled in Yogananda sayings.
  • The Sanskrit Classics, started by Swami Sayeswarananda, offers tradition-rooted, informative critique and information about how Yogananda and SRF teach kriya yoga and misuse the original kriya-line's directives.
  • Ananda sites wallow in Yogananda indulgence against his "Don't take my word for anything. . . . Don't get hung up on words." They also offer critique of Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF). SRF, a wealthy church with headquarters in Los Angeles, tried to gain control over Yogananda words by a lawsuit: they sued Ananda Church in hopes of gaining a monopoly on the teachings of Yogananda. The lawyer Jon R. Parsons (2012) writes of the drawn-out lawsuit that "morphed over the years into four lawsuits and two appeals, together with writ petitions to both the California Court of Appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court" (p. 13).


Self-Realization Fellowship, SRF and Yogananda, Literature  

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

Kriyananda, Swami. Rescuing Yogananda. Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity, 2010. Online.

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.

Williamson, Lola. Transcendent in America: Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements as New Religion. London: New York University Press, 2010.

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

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