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The Sob-Cry-Wail Way of Yogananda
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Told to Sob, Cry, Weep and Wail

- even if you were pleased and happy to begin with.
Divine Mother beating a child
"Cry unceasingly, rending the heart of the Divine Mother" - Yogananda

You may have heard better advice, hopefully. So did Yogananda: "By being happy, you please Me," was one. (Yogananda. Whispers from Eternity, 1st ed. No. 189, its last line in standard language)

The unruly cry-baby set up as an ideal of menial torture of God in the name of yoga, is a facet of "Unless you become like little children . . . (Matthew 18:3)"? Better: Is it fit? Stop crying like an erring fool all night. The happy baby pleases, and good, likable meditation makes some persons happy!

Yogananda also taught: "Your smile must spread . . . over the whole universe. (Yogananda, 1982:326)." He also advised practising in front of the mirror: "If you feel that you can't smile, stand before a mirror and with your fingers pull your mouth into a smile. lt is that important! (Same work, p. 88)"

Should all guru followers try to combine these two guidelines by crying and torturing God at night while with their fingers pulling their mouths into widening, perhaps disfiguring smiles? It depends on how hard you pull and how hard you cry.

Many guidelines may not be fit and first-class, which could result in a feigning following - and feigning is a forerunner of hypocrisy. People do not help themselves that way in the long run.

Divine Mother Worship in the name of Jesus

"There's a right way, a wrong way, and the Army way." The guru Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952) advocates menial torture in the name of yoga. What kind of way is that?

Yogananda "Don't cry to Divine Mother like the baby who stops crying immediately his mother sends him a toy, but cry unceasingly, rending the heart of the Divine Mother like a Divine Naughty Baby, throwing away all lures and toys," says Yogananda. [East-West, "Getting Your Prayers Answered". February 1933 Vol.5-4. Emphasis added]

What is intrinsically unsound and marring may hardly get better for being repeated. Reasonable consideration could work better. And here is the better part of a prayer-demand he composed too:

Yogananda Divine Mother, I will play the naughty baby. I will sob unceasingly. No more toys of earthly pleasures shall stop my cries. O Divine Mother, Thou wouldst best come soon, or I will wake all creation with my cries. All Thy sleeping children will wake and join me in a chorus of wails. Forsake the busy-ness of the housework of Thy creation! I demand attention. I demand Thee ...!

[Whispers from Eternity, 1949 ed., No. 141 = Wfe No 141]

What should we say about his attitude? A baby cries when irritations make it do so; when it is wet, wet, wet, ill, or craving food, as the case may be. All that is perfectly natural. Crying for pleasant contact may not be as intense. And it could be wise to leave "naughty" out of consideration when it comes to babies too, and seek for the likely explanation for its crying. It could be in the diphers.

Now there are more naughty cryer examples in Yogananda's writings than the ones below too:

I will be Thy naughty baby, O Divine Mother!

Yogananda O Divine Mother . . . I will be Thy naughty baby; I will sob unceasingly. Never again shall I be silenced by trinkets of transient pleasures. Thou wouldst best come soon . . . I demand attention. [Wf 50]

"When the child refuses to be comforted by anything except the mother's presence, she comes. If you want to know God, you must be like the naughty baby who cries till the mother comes." [Wl 182; cf. Whi 32; Yj 77]

"Be like the naughty baby and cry for God. Be satisfied with nothing less . . ." [Dr 362]

"It is the naughty baby who gets the mother's attention . . . the naughty baby wants the mother only, and goes on crying until she comes. Cry until the Divine Mother comes! [Ak 446-47; cf. Iss 100-01]

"[A] statue of the Divine Mother assumed a living form and spoke to me". - Yogananda, [Ak 53]

The Master said: "The moment when Divine Mother beats you the hardest is the time you should cling tenaciously to Her skirt." [Tms 94]

Say, the sooner the better, "Infantile teachings: whew."

Yogananda's assurances of cry-baby response and his naughty baby fixation forms part of his deal that SRF claims is in harmony with "original Christianity as taught by Jesus Christ" [Au 432]. Yogananda and SRF do not seem to care at all how deranged sobbing and crying and whining can mislead disciples into marring inner torture and ineffective yoga either.

On the psychological level the guru-taught Mother crying may develop a neurotic and thus unsound, unproficient or illogical attitude. And to focus on some Other - an avatar, an idol, a golden calf - is to get caught by senses and fixated ideas, instead of gliding above and beyond such things in proficient, deep meditation. A word to the wise -

The Yoganandic discipline does not seem to be well allied to how the basic id system (libido) operates. A discipline that falls short about it, may cause faltering and dwindled self-acceptance, self-esteem and respect.

"The ancient sages of India taught that all habits begin to form in man at the age of three," says Yogananda [Ak 340]. Wrong. Think about all the things you started with only after that tender age, such as lacing your shoes - and today few master the art before the age of six. And who are those "ancient sages of India" that Yogananda uses for upkeep and woolly support? Keep your mind free from the dogmatic debris if you can.

The main point is: A lot of habits begin to form only later in life, for example drinking habits. Sexual habits form later too, if at all: some who trust Yogananda's sex stands, strive to live up to such as his "single persons should observe abstinence. [Jse 14]." The guru who hailed Mussolini and dictatorship in his own magazine in the February issue in 1934 (p. 3, 25), did not speak for a fulfilling sex life. His view was that "never fed, ever satisfied" was true about "unwholesome sense experiences." He included "overstimulation by sex" and "abuse the sensory powers by overindulgence" there. [Ak 194]. More on Yogananda's restrictive or repressive sex views: [Link]

Concerning Yogananda's "ancient sages" and habit formation: Suppose you move to another place after you were three and have to speak differently, go to school and develop study habits too.

Astarte sidelights

Astarte relief
Goddess of war and sexual love

The guru-formed Mother worship in SRF may in some ways resemble what took place in ancient European and Middle Eastern palaces with the Astarte figure in its chapel. The monarch and sometimes other members of the royal family played a leading role in the most significant cultic acts and festivals. Early Israelites seem to have adopted the local Canaanite rites, practised publicly till a reform of King Josiah about 622 BCE.

The Astarte figurine depicts a nude woman, often with exaggerated breasts and genitalia, and sometimes holding a child. The figurine was not confined to sacred places.

Ishtar, or Inanna, was the Akkadian counterpart of the West Semitic goddess Astarte: She was a goddess of war and sexual love in Mesopotamian religion, focused on very carnal love. Part of her cult worship probably included temple prostitution. She was widely popular in the ancient Middle East.

Inanna was also a fertility figure, characterised as young, beautiful, and impulsive. In later myth she was known as Queen of the Universe.

Inanna is not wholly unlike Yogananda's Mother God: his favourite Divine Mother was gruesome Kali, who is also backed up by skulls. Yogananda "was devoted to Mother Kali as his Divine Supreme Goddess [Psy 26]." His "Divine Mother" stands out as Kali in several places. Further, fierce Kali's "iconography, cult, and mythology commonly associate her with death, sexuality, violence." [1] One should add "and destruction" too. She is also revered as Bhavatarini (literally "redeemer of the universe".

By the way, there are often Yogananda sayings" that counter other things Yogananda tells. Here is one: "The purpose of life is to attain . . . tremendous happiness."[Paramahansa Yogananda, Ak 445]. Be as classy as you can, and avoid what is not first-rate. That could be real help.


Fool Yoga, Yogananda, Divine cult crying, 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.

Dr: Yogananda, Paramahansa. The Divine Romance. New ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1993.

Psy: Dasgupta, Sailendra. Paramhansa Swami Yogananda: Life-portrait and Reminiscences. Portland: Yoga Niketan. 2006. Online pdf.

Tms: Self-Realization Fellowship. The Master Said: Sayings and Counsel to Disciples by Paramhansa Yogananda. 2nd ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1957.

Wf: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Whispers from Eternity. 8th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1959. ⍽▢⍽ NOTE. Much post mortem edited by SRF.

Wfe: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Whispers from Eternity. Ed. Kriyananda. 1st ed. Paperback. Nevada City: Crystal Clarity, 2008. Online. ⍽▢⍽ Yogananda's 1949 edition of outpourings, from before his passing.

Wl: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Where There Is Light: Insight and Inspiration for Meeting Life's Challenges. 2nd ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 2000.

Yj: Yogananda, Paramahansa. The Yoga of Jesus: Understanding the Hidden Teachings of the Gospels. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 2007.

[1] Encyclopaedia Britannica, sv. "Kali"]

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