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Sex, Begone! says Yogananda

Build Good Karma, Learn from the Wise

There are those who are led to believe that denying themselves autonomy, sex, and the like is good for them, and that some kind of subtle vigour can be helped that way.

If much self-denial is not good for them, then perhaps good for others who benefit from the self-deniers. "It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good (British Proverb)".

The fully functioning individual, as Carl R. Rogers understood it, may not be Yogananda-deprived of the essential functions and outlets of coupling and further. One may think about it . . .

Stick to whatever freedom you have, rather than let a cult take over by persuasion and too authoritarian deals, including teachings. Don't trade a lot of your freedom away because of big words (demagogy) coming your way.

Both Buddhism and Hinduism allow for getting fair wealth called artha, both encourage it and place it in a wider, sound context. In Hinduism it is one of four main life goals. Living out desires, kama (sound pleasures, delights, joyful sex and so on), is another. In Tantra, which is a significant part of both Buddhism and Hinduism, sides to the art of pleasures is found too.

The karma teachings of Buddha tell that many thoughts have to manifest in actions too to work truly well, and even then the results of good works may not all be likely to manifest in a life. Buddha tells us to stay away from fools for our own good. There are many sorts: louts (awkward, brutish persons), hicks, boors, dolts, oafs, klutzes, and blunderbusses are some. They can destroy a harvest.

One should seek the company of truly wise and liberating ones, Buddha also says. Wise men tend to be marked by unusual learning, judgement, or insight, and may or may not be known as sages, that is, distinguished by breadth of knowledge, experience, wisdom, and sound judgment. However, in some cultures or settings the village idiot may be the one to seek to the degree that "It takes a wise man to hide his wisdom and another to know him for it". The proverb may reflect an obscure tradition of preserving truly good assets by wearing a mask or something - and maybe not.

The wise young ones, the old wise ones, and geniuses may help us make hay when the sun shines. But will they?

If some long, many-lives perspective is missing, many sayings of building good karma may be over-optimistically understood. [More] Another question is if you get a lot of future lives here on earth to reap your good karma, or "good luck", if the planet is hit by an asteroid and the floods and volcanos go amok too, and so on. Be prepared for setbacks. Then make good use of the body and time and conditions you have left so long as it lasts. Life might be used for progress - and progress for man and woman. It takes what it takes.

Those who think that their works (karma) follow them in very subtle thought forms and refrain from sacrificing innocent animals or guys to get good times, are not as bad as they could have been.

Some more

The liberal guy may not say all blemishes and errors are too bad, one by one and separately, but they may add up. [◦Former SRF monastics speak of their grievances, a lot, and anonymously]

Submission is the issue

Yogananda requires deep submission. "Single persons should observe abstinence," is one of his decrees. "In such a case I might as well be a monk," you may think, but do not overlook the added burdens of monks and nuns. As for "Yogananda sex", here are verbatim Yogananda quotations: [Yogananda on Sex].

Compare this Yogananda counsel in a booklet by Margaret Bowen Dietz if you will:

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

Best thoughts come later, and often too late. [Swedish proverb]

And see what happened.

  1. In short, Yogananda was sent to the West to teach kriya yoga to Westerners, and be based on what is in The Holy Science, a slim book by his own guru. That books drowned in the output of Yogananda.
  2. He came to the United States, where he first taught the methods he was sent to teach. Then he started a career as a travelling orator. He talked for and against the same things. Much of his time and efforts were spent on telling things, such as "Each morning do bathe in the ocean of X-Ray which God has created for you. Without a daily bath in God's sea of X-Ray, you cannot be healthy. (Swami Yogananda, "HEALTH RECIPE – Bathing Daily in God's Ocean of X-ray." East-West, March–April, 1930 Vol. 4–4)

    The real question, however, is how long you can be healthy if you do. X-rays may cause cancer.

  3. Bits from Yogananda told, poems, sermons and so on, went in to a correspondence course that his SRF church publishes. He was not satisfied with showing how people could do kriya yoga.
  4. In fact, he and his fellowship also removed the more demanding parts of the kriya yoga system and put other parts in there. Parts that he removed, are told to be essential in the Indian kriya yoga tradition.
  5. Yogananda was not satifised with teaching the methods purely and stick to the lore of his tradition: he incorporated Jesus in his line of gurus to get a better welcome in the USA, and it worked, says Marshall Govindan:
    After five years of effort in America, beginning in 1925 . . . Yogananda began to modify and adapt his teachings to the West . . . to overcome the . . . resistance of Christians who were suspicious of the foreign teachings of a Hindu swami. As a result, Yogananda began to enjoy remarkable popularity. . . . However, . . . most readers of his "Autobiography" . . . are left with many unrealistic expectations. - Marshall Govindan. [◦Link]

  6. Yogananda found it fit to change his kriya yoga and add other methods to it. Other kriya yogis were sceptical to that approach. For example, Satyeswarananda sums up Yogananda's contributions as a modified mess, thinking that Yogananda "completely changed the Kriya practice and reduced it to something else which would be an unproven, new approach with uncertain or crazy fatal results." That is his verdict. [◦A Sanskrit Classics page]

Good education promotes fit scepticism - at least scepticism enough. Skilful scepticism and other skills may enrich the living. If not, good and pleasant living may be waning along with much joi de vivre. Research is evolved scepticism in one of its ways.

In a decent, all right family the loved children are enabled as they grow up and develop, and set free. But demands for submissions and "convential humility" may turn previously healthy individuals into neurotics and worse due to irrational teachings along with fears. Illnesses may come to the fore later than the harmful influences, even many years later.

There is wrong submission and too wrong submission, for example narcissist bootlicking. This was to hint at that submission may be a stiff Game. Authoritarianism may be the heart of cults and dictatorship.

Bootlicking and unreasonable submission may generate problems and downfalls to make folks afraid and even destructive, as Philip Zimbardo documents in The Lucifer Effect (2008). He writes "much of this book details how easy it is for ordinary people to begin to engage in evil deeds, or to be passively indifferent to the suffering of others. (ib. viii)" It may pay to be discerning about your company, as the Dhammapada tells. It should be fit to avoid bootlicking fools, no matter how God-turned they might seem to be by group-living.

Cultish disrespect for humans may grow

The hope of SRF-submitting ones may be that they, by discarding their normal human rights and freedoms through a pledge that is clearly against Human Rights, will be granted heavenly freedom or greatness later - maybe in another life, as the case may be. Hopes and trust played on make some people willingly bear up heavy burdens.

But what if the submission "game" ends for some reason? Some years ago a the newspaper in Los Angeles told that the then long-time leader of SRF had lived secretely away from the SRF headquarters in a villa for about thirty years. It was discovered, and presaged an "exodus" among SRF monastics between 2000 and 2005. The fifty monastics who left SRF premises, were about one third of all SRF monastics at the time. (Parsons 2012:170)

But only few dare to leave Yogananda, for Yogananda says in an article printed in Self-Realization Magazine:

Yogananda quotation There is only one guru uniquely the devotee's own. But if you turn away from the emissary of God, He silently asks: "What is wrong with you, that you foolishly leave the one I have sent to help you learn the divine science of the soul? Now you shall have to wait long, and prove yourself, before I shall respond again." He who cannot learn through the wisdom and love of his God-ordained guru will not find God in this life. Several incarnations at least must pass before he will have another such opportunity. - Paramahansa Yogananda, SRF magazine, spring 1974, p 6. From a talk at Mother Centre, 8/17/39

Is that it? Fear is a latent factor to reckon with. Strong submission and its growing loss of Eigenart (own distinctions, uniqueness) may sooner or later call forth cultish disregard for genuineness and for normal human rights -

Hailed gurus may not be flawless

In Yogananda's Autobiography there is a marring presentation of the supreme guru in the SRF line of gurus. On one occasion he broke a seemingly wondrous promise over a trifle, the Autobiography says (1998:277-78). [Beware and don't be drowned in jelly].

Sound criticism may work for good, but can cost overmuch too. The best approach would be not to enter SRF at all, for some scars run deep and much may haunt you for life after you leave.

Best thoughts may come too late. [Cf. a Swedish proverb]

A Chuang Tzu story

Chuang Tzu was fishing on the P'u River when the Prince of Ch'u sent two high officials to see him and said, "Our Prince desires to burden you with the administration of the Ch'u State."

Chuang Tzu went on fishing without turning his head and said, "I've heard that in Ch'u there is a sacred tortoise which died when it was three thousand (years) old. The prince keeps this tortoise carefully enclosed in a chest in his ancestral temple. Now would this tortoise rather be dead and have its remains venerated, or would it rather be alive and wagging its tail in the mud?"

"It would rather be alive," replied the two officials, "and wagging its tail in the mud."

"Begone!" cried Chuang Tzu. "I too will wag my tail in the mud." [Watson 1968]

Let fine attainments crown your reading

Real nourishment supports individual order and other good results, also called bearing fruits in time.

Many inexperienced youths are in for wrongly submissive and shameful dangers or cult exploitations and more from the society too. If so, they could be in for somewhat authoritarian deals for most part.


Sex begone, says Yogananda of Self-Realization Fellowship, Literature  

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

Parsons, Jon R. 2012. A Fight For Religious Freedom: A Lawyer's Personal Account of Copyrights, Karma and Dharmic Litigation. Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity, 2012. ⍽▢⍽ A revealing work by a reflective, able and humorous lawyer.

Watson, Burton, tr. 1968. The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu. New York: Columbia University Press, 1968.

Yogananda, Paramahansa. 1952. The Master Said: A Collection of Paramhansa Yogananda's Sayings and Wise Counsel to Various Disciples. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship Publishing House, 1952. ⍽▢⍽ Retitled Sayings of Yogananda and Sayings of Paramahansa Yogananda in later editions, where several Yogananda citations from the first edition are changed. It tells you cannot trust that Yogananda told exactly all that SRF has edited him to say, frankly. Consider SRF's editorial efforts for decades and many Autobiography changes.

Zimbardo, Philip. 2008. The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. Paperback ed. New York: Random House.

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

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