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Silly Praise

Non-silly praise might work well, and not overdoing the praise is good too. When is the best time to praise? How much of it is too much? It depends. The Norse teaching-poem Havamal says:

Praise day at evening,
a wife when dead on her pyre,
a weapon when it has been tried,
a maid after she has got married,
ice when it is crossed,
and ale when it is drunk. (v. 81)

It suggests: Reserve your praise well, for example until things are settled, if you are up to it. As for overpraise, it goes a long way toward mockery, consciously or unconsciosly, as the case may be.

Seedlings grow tall if . . . Seeds may be compared with seed thoughts, seed ideas. They enter a mind and either gets expelled, lie dormant or sprout to wither, flower or bear a fruit harvest, even a very good harvest.

Quite similarly with praise: There is early-sprouting praise in shallow soil, flowering praise that withers before anything substantial is reached, and praise that leads to good and lasting results and still new seeds also.

This may remind of a gospel story, but it should be heeded that Jesus allegedly says in Matthew 10:5-8 and 15:24 that his teachings were for Jews only. He did not take it back. Therefore, back off from Jesus, his teachings and kingdom unless you are Jewish. For they are in the Forbidden Gospels - forbidden teachings for non-Jews, according to Jesus. If you think the Missionary Command should change that, think twice. It is a later addition and besides a forgery, shows Joseph Wheless. Forgery is bearing false witness, a sin. (cf. Geza Vermes 2012, 2010:37,41)

Who praises whom, and why? We had better consider who praises whom, with what possible intent, and in what soil the seeds fall. Deep, fruitful soil is best for some seeds, whereas shallow soil fits Scots Pine - Seeds are different, the quality of seeds and soils and climates are different, and people are different. Climate counts too, and care helps too. The right sort of seed in the soil that fits it, goes a long way toward a sustainable, dear solution. Such hopes are what many farmers stick to.

Yet also consider: What fools praise and devote their lives to, can be shallow and wrong. What mediocre persons praise, may not be well enough either, after the flowering phrases have been delivered. Good persons, on the other hand, they are able to think things over well and for long, and may be able to bear good fruit too. We are told that the Americanising guru Yogananda (1983-1952) started to praise Jesus a lot after he had been in the United States for about five years. Marshall Govindam explains that after five years in America, Yogananda began to modify and adapt his teachings to the West in order to overcome the resistance of Christians.

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 Govindam. []

Or perhaps you would say Yogananda fawned on him for acceptance among stiff Christians at his time. It seems enigmatic or laughable in the light of bible research since:

During his days of preaching, Jesus of Nazareth addressed only Jews, "the lost sheep of Israel" (Matthew 10:5; 15:24). His disciples were expressly instructed not to approach gentiles or Samaritans (Matthew 10:5). On the few occasions that Jesus ventured beyond the boundaries of his homeland, he never proclaimed his gospel to pagans, nor did his disciples do so during his lifetime. The mission of the 11 apostles to "all the nations" (Matthew 28:19) is a "post-Resurrection" idea. It appears to be of Pauline inspiration and is nowhere else found in the Gospels (apart from the spurious longer ending of Mark [Mark 16:15], which is missing from all the older manuscripts). Jesus' own perspective was exclusively Jewish; he was concerned only with Jews. (Vermes 2012).

What devils praise, is not lasting good. So take care how the praised thing or animal develops in time too. What is commendable and praiseworthy, is good at the start, in the middle and at the end, says Buddha.

What persons praise and devote their lives to, may as well reflects their id (libido system) [Erik Erikson's scheme], and may be glimpsed through Abraham Maslow's pyramid of needs. See how people use their spare time, if they are privileged to have anything of the kind.

Abraham Maslow's Pyramid of Needs

Figure. 1. Abraham Maslow's Pyramid of Needs

Apply the best of Maslow as you care. Try not to let your praise go astray.

Narcissists pose still other angles and stipulations.

In conclusion, jubilant praise may not be so bad. However, it could go to far, for example in disregarding the surrounding network (another side to "soil") -, but perhaps transferring sprouts to a better place is possible. And the brooder may not come up with anything jubilant if no seeds strike root in that one.

Understand and bear fruit in time

Scums praise too. It poses added problems and concerns. 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 lies in acting on it also - by treading the path of the most praised one. "He honours me best who practises my teaching best," said Buddha [Thera 1988:287]. Such praise or appreciation should not be taken to be flattery.

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, for example by camouflaged, narcistic self-praise through loudly praising a gur who adapted to their thoughts and taught accordingly? You tell me.

Are those who praise Yogananda aware that he talked for dictatorship? The New Testament developed in tune with a lot of needs among followers to aggrandise the Jewish healer Jesus also. [See books by Bard D. Ehrman]

If it takes one to know one, how could the guru's followers recognise the dictatorship-plotter Yogananda as someone fit for their praise?

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.

Applauding Chaplin and applauding Einstein - for different reasons or for getting familiar with their names? When you come fresh out of the bush 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 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 seem to be - because of mechanisms that function in groups, ensuring a sort of averagingconformism 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 Next Generation Came and Went, and Another, and Yogananda is Still Talked Of

Yogananda also said "The next generation will not give us a thought." [Yogananda 1982 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. [Hogwash evidence]

Nothing and the Self inside

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." [Yogananda 1982 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? He could not. Not all that Yogananda's guru Yukteswar and Yogananda himself said, was true, or 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? I think not.


Praise of Yogananda, Literature  

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

Vermes, Geza. From Jewish to Gentile: How the Jesus Movement Became Christianity. Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) 38:06, Nov/Dec 2012.

Vermes, Geza. The Real Jesus: Then and Now. Minneapolis, MI: Fortress Press, 2010.

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

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