Thought about Yogananda
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The inner nature or essence of people is beautiful naturally, and is where a person's deepest purposes are embedded.
The seer Yajnavalkya studied the Yajurveda collection under the tutelage of his maternal uncle. Yajnavalkya was a really fast learner. He and his uncle came to have serious differences in interpretation. On one occasion, his uncle was so enraged that he demanded the return of all the knowledge he had imparted to Yajnavalkya. Yajnavalkya returned in indignation or (literally vomitted) all the knowledge he had learnt. After having regurgitated the knowledge had from his teacher, Yajnavalkya worshipped the Sun God and got new knowledge directly from the Great One (original man, Narayan) who taught him the Shukla (White) Yajurveda.
And Yajnavalkya is now esteemed as one of the founders of Indian civilisation, an eminent sage - things like that. Now the subject-matter of the two collections - the Black and the White Yajur - is almost the same. But the white is more systematic and contains some added texts. [Yaj, inside cover; also: ◦Link]
What Yajnavakya taught one of his two wives is the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.
Thoughts to feed on
One day you may have to investigate into things yourself, in part by forming quality questions. And it might help to form tentative, private conclusions when the data is inconclusive. Be based on hard facts more than religious hearsay. First diagnose, next seek a cure.
Being "cloister-martyred" instead of developing sound abilities is not the bad joke it may appear to be. It depends on who get confined in such settings, how bad and lenient they are, and much else.
Living means group living for most individuals.
Who admires the odious guys, is not good enough.
Even secret executioners are executioners.
Kings too have to check a lot.
The guru's teaching "Get rid of the good and normal egohood (with me as you boss)" does not suit a soul, because normal egohood (Skt. ahamkara) is an integral part of the totality of life. The way I see it, it is indispensable for personality development too.
Love is love is love. Compare "A rose is a rose is a rose."
Not a Thought about Yogananda?
Americans on the West Coast in particular manage to praise Yogananda. 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. Some 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:
In far too many cases, the majority of people praises those who embody what the majority reckons with - and that is, at least 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 - 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 could benefit from a patron.
However, there is a knack to getting fame too. So I will not say much more about it here.
Yogananda also said "The next generation will not give us a thought." [Ak 344]. See if it fits, and wonder why his cult says Yogananda's guidelines are infallible. 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. But don't they prove him fallible? And 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 hogwash. [Evidence.]
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 "Subtle Ones," and "(Well) Accomplished Ones" or "Golden Ones" serve 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, size - great or small - has nothing to do with it after you get rid of time and space by diving well inside.
That the words uttered by a truthful fellow comes 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 and awkwardly "canonising" many wrong utterances, counteracts that saying.
Ak: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Man's Eternal Quest. 2nd ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1982.
Ebu: Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica 2008 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD. London: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2008.
Pa: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi. 11th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), 1971.
Yaj: Chand, Devi, tr. The Yajurveda. Rev. ed. New Delhi: Banarsidass, 1980.
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