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Silly Praise

Non-silly praise might work well, and don't be too jubilant either. The question: How much is too much? It depends.

Along general gospel lines, though, a jubilant one may be too shallow to last, whereas a deep, fertile soul (soil, mind) goes for understanding and gives plenty in return after getting old. So (1) Make sure you know what it is you praise. (2) Tend your roots also, to get deep and last. (3) Trusting in low wealth makes for falls from a realy fruitful life. (4) Go for deep understanding that counts, then. [See Matthew 13:19-23]

Apply if you care.

Understand and bear fruit in time

There is lip praise and better ways and means of praise.

Scum praise is hardly of much worth in itself, although it may be a door-opener. The praise that worthy ones gives, seems better. And the best praise is treading the path of the most praised one. "He honours me best who practises my teaching best," said Buddha [Bht 287].

Some praise like others, without really knowing why, and some praise out of appreciation. Americans on the West Coast in particular manage to praise the Americanised guru known as Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952). Is it because they have seen his inner nature and found it to be beautiful? Or do they praise for reasons inferior to that? You tell me. It seems like a conundrem that common folks managed to recognise a guru directly.

What about the Yogananda followers in the church he founded in 1935 already? They praise him and continue to live off it. Various ailment signs are seen. They forge his signature while claiming his guidelines are without flaw - They keep on praising him as it suits them, while modifying or embellishing his writings so as to conform to a sell-well image fit for "a new church rising", an image much better than that of the pope, for example.

It can be hard to see through poor praise that is gilded, and good praise that is peppered. And many forms of popularity look strange.

In 1931 Charlie Chaplin invited Albert Einstein, who was visiting Hollywood, to a private screening of his new film City Lights. As the two men drove into town together, passersby waved and cheered. Chaplin turned to his guest and explained:

"The people are applauding you because none of them understands you and applauding me because everybody understands me."

People praise qualities or attainments they like to see in themselves too. "It matters less what religion a rich man is of as long as he is wealthy", for example. Wealth brings power, brings prestige, admirers, gold-diggers - you name it.

Then, in far too many cases, most people praise those who embody what the majority reckons with - and that is, statistically speaking, average, and not the full measure of being human, if we trust Abraham Maslow and the Bell curve of how human qualities are distributed. Accordingly, the less famous you get, the better or worse it could be for you, or the better or worse you may be - because of mechanisms that function in groups, ensuring conformism enough to keep it valid or running in its way. If you deviate like an artist, you might benefit under the wings of the mighty. A patron could take care of you.

However, there is a knack to getting fame too.

A Thought

Yogananda also said "The next generation will not give us a thought." [Ak 344]. See if it fits. They keep on publishing books and other material about their master, and thereby operate against their guru's words. It does not seem to bother them. Yet: "We do not find fault with Paramahansa Yogananda's guidelines. Since we believe that he had attained complete union with God and therefore his wisdom is flawless." This is certainly hogwash. [Evidence]

Large Words?

Yogananda also said, "In God's eye nothing is large" [Pa 85]. Accordingly there is no largeness to his teachings and organisation, and avatars are not really great ones, even though he also calls them that - great ones. "Realisation teaches you that self-mastery." [Ak 345] Oh, does it? Maybe "Accomplished Ones" serves better.

Now the Chandogya Upanishad teaches: "This Self of mine within the heart, is smaller than paddy or barley or mustard or a Shyamaka seed, or the kernel of Shyamaka seed. This Self of mine within the heart is greater than the earth, greater than the interminable space, greater than the heaven, greater than the worlds" (III. 14. 3)." It is a paradox. However, a higher teaching is that size - great or small - has nothing to do with it after you drop space-and-time for a little or long spell by diving well inside.

Illogic Abounds

That the words uttered by a truthful fellow come true, is one more Yogananda teaching. The evidence is that the generation after Yogananda did give him a thought, some more, so how could he have been a truthful guru? Not all that Yukteswar and Yogananda said, came true. In the case of Yogananda, his organisation - a guru cult if you like - spewing forth books by him - Have they reached illogic that counts?


Praise of Yogananda, Literature  

Ak: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Man's Eternal Quest. 2nd ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1982.

Au: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi. 13th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), 1998.

Bht: Thera, Narada. The Buddha and His Teachings. 4th ed. Kuala Lumpur: Buddhist Missionary Society, 1988.

Pa: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi. 11th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), 1971.

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