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Reservations Contents  

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 they get alarming information about the founder of their group, its leaders, and its teachings? They will distort to keep their old faith as it smoulders, and may not appreciate the whistle-blowers either, one could 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 kriya yoga perspective. Swami Satyeswarananda, living in San Diego, openly criticises Yogananda for deviating from the kriya yoga tradition he was supposed to propagate in the West. The swami has translated books too, and has a site. Keynote: "Yogananda drifted"
  2. A view to Yogananda's actual teachings. Ananda, founded by a former SRF vice president, tries to show how SRF has gone after Yogananda. They have published many books and pamphlets about it. Keynote: "SRF has drifted".
  3. The cognitive approach of 'yoga wisely for you' seeks to give you supportive ideas to ingest if you can stomach them, so that you do not end up in the gutter, hopefully. The aim is not to stand up for a bad tradition, or for gilded wrong teachings, but to offer something more valuable. Here is how, in gross outline: (a) Beginners may learn to stay away from fakes that in the end make fools. (b) Those who succumbed more or less to distortions or opportunistic ideas and the like of Yogananda and his fellowship, may learn how to make the best out of it if they have enough freedom of mind for it. In a sect that can be doubted. (c) The hardened ones may be shamed repeatedly by eye-openers.

    Keynote: If others drift away from sound practices and sound teachings and good fellowship, wehad better not.

The sound practice of 'yoga wisely for you' may rise to be friendly help.

Yogananda Don't take my word for anything. . . . find out for yourselves. Don't get hung up on words . . . please remember. - Yogananda, in Dietz 1998

SRF may at times seem to take that word for nothing - perhaps due to publisher interests of interpretations that suit SRF - who knows? Worth noting is "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, but not as wisely formulated: "Our best friends are those who criticize us the most, who never condone our faults." Not "the most", but "best" makes much difference. This note seems to be stifled in SRF circles, alas, where a measure of guru-group conformity could get the best of many.

There are or have been discussion forums for SRF criticism and helping one another too, and even wanted to change SRF. It could be needed (cf. extract of Lola Williamson 2010). Two of the largest of these forums are defunct today. The now folded-in SRF Walrus was the bulkiest of these hodgepodge forums for several years. ◦A Walrus backup-site for its first years till 2006 exists (2017).

One drawback with some discussion forums is that their contributions are varied and need editing, which can be hard work. A remaining forum, SRF Blacklist, has taken up some of the main themes from it and added new ones. So an end to the Yogananda/SRF critique has not come so far.

Guru-rooted dissuasion

Apart from Yogananda and SRF on this site, here are:

  • In a letter, Yogananda writes that starting the SRF organisation was a horrible, absolutely foolish blunder [◦Documentation]. Accordingly, it could mean no disrespect not to enter and to dissuade others from entering also.
  • Sanskrit Classics, owned by Swami Sayeswarananda, offers critique and information about how Yogananda and SRF teach kriya yoga and misuse the guru-line's directives. It is from a traditional kriya yoga perspective. Highly informative.
  • Ananda sites with a lot of Yogananda pampering apart from not immodest SRF critique.
  • The SRF Walrus amounts to show how bad it is to be an SRF outcast and tangled in Yogananda sayings.


Self-Realization Fellowship findings, 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.

Learning with markers

On many pages are simple markers, brackets and some symbols. What they stand for and how they are used is shown on the page that the 'Gain-Ways link below will open.

Self-Realization Fellowship gurus, SRF, To top Section Set Next

Self-Realization Fellowship gurus, SRF USER'S GUIDE: [Link]  ᴥ  Gain-Ways: [Link]
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