Sex, Begone! says Yogananda
|4 6 18|
Sex, Begone! says Yogananda
There are those who are led to think that denying themselves autonomy, sex, and the like, shows strength, and that subtle vigour is helped that way. They set their feet on paths with pitfalls and hardships, hoping to be transformed and divine along that path.
Build Good Karma, Learn from the Wise
Both Buddhism and Hinduism allow for getting fair wealth called artha, both encourage it and places it in a wider, sound context. In Hinduism it is one of four main life goals. Living out desires, kama, is another. In Tantra, which is a significant part of both Buddhism and Hinduism, sides to the art of pleasure is found too. Certain monastics seem to make virtues of more intrinsicly rewarding, but perhaps rigorous and maybe canonised goals: that will be their business.
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 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 of 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? You have to ask some of them much politely and follow up also.
If the longer many-lives perspective is missing, many sayings of building good karma may be over-optimistically understood. Good luck with decent thoughts and their harvests. [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, in other words.
Those who think that their works 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!
Loyality or Decadence?
Study what the man does too, and what he was for yesterday, not just what he says, for what he decrees today may be the least significant of the two. And even more significant may be what the guru established or set in motion - in this case it is SRF who is now considered a cult.
Yogananda also requires deep submission of kriya yoga followers, even unconditional loyalty. His decrees against sex are not liberal. He wants his followers to limit sex severely. That "single persons should observe abstinence," is one decree. "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. Willy-nilly submission to an authoritarian structure is one of many. As for "Yogananda sex", here are verbatim Yogananda quotations: [Link].
Very consistent submission-signals abound in the book Sayings of Yogananda [Say], for example. I also furnish a list of what words Yogananda uses the most in his interesting Autobiography, and that list gives the same idea. [Link]
Regular customs of "bowing at the lotus feet" of saintly personages is a sign of deep respect in other cultures. But it should not become a feature of very submissive Western cults, because members in such cults often suffer from insecurity, lack of assertiveness, and are typically bombarded with demagogy without realising it full well too. Also consider "There is a right way to do it, a wrong way to do it, and the way they do it in the Army."
SRF, the Yogananda-founded community of lay people and monastics, is headed by monastics. The monastic culture is not particularly progressive by and large, and stiffening. It tends to be that way in Christianity-attuned cloisters. This is to say that whatever Yogananda set in motion, the conservative monastics and former Mormons in charge may strive to continue as they see fit. May not all see eye to eye with Mormon-Hindu monastics, for example when it comes to stiffening and choking the sex life by taking the stand that once a year is quite enough, or not at all will do fine too. That is an example. Monks and nuns and unmarried Yogananda followers who do kriya yoga, are told by him that it is best to refrain from sex completely. Even in most Buddhist orders there are hard no's to having sex.
The guru demands submission, the monastic order submits regularly to its top-dogs and demands submission too - in part by holding up submission values and related values, such as humility, loyalty, and dogmatism, perhaps with some sugar-coating in the form of 'God'-words. Dogmatism typically consists of stiff claims, at times stiffened claims too. A very authoritarian structure can make free-flowing personal development and fisting much more difficult. i>Blunt authoritarianism is a deep problem - a "principle of blind submission to authority, as opposed to individual freedom of thought and action." It denotes that power is concentrated in the hands of a leader or a small elite. Authoritarianism stands in fundamental contrast to democracy. Good education promotes scepticism about claims that sound dogmatic or are made without evidence, hence an ignorant or unreasonable authoritarian regime is not likely to please the educated for very long. [Ebu "authoritarianism" and "propaganda"]
Much submission is not necessarily all wrong, it depends on circumstances and other things, but ideally, in a decent, all right family the loved children are enabled as they grow up and develop, and set free. If not, good and pleasant living is waning along with much joi de vivre, is the bet. Further, moanastic love that attacks self-development, self-assertion enough and much else by demands for submissions and "humility" as it suits top-dogs, is not for healthy individuals at all. There may be no need for conversion where such deals follow suit as part of the bargain.
So the fare in a "family" headed by monks and nuns, may not be altogether to the satisfaction of all, especially not young, alive persons of both sexes.
This was to hint at that submission is the stiff Game. If you want to do anything substantial about alarmingly uncultivated submission, first look at bootlicking (submission) in the light of Yogananda quotes against flatterers and flattery. There are some on the previous page. Further, SRF has not shown any interest in having some of his public blunders exposed, such as his outright hailing of dictatorship and the dictator Mussolini. See for yourself. Authoritarianism is at the heart of cults and dictatorship, so why think the guru of SRF matters?
Bootlicking and unreasonable submission may generate problems and downfalls to make folks afraid and even destructive. It pays to be judicious with your company, as Buddha tells. It is good to be able to shun bootlicking fools, no matter how God-turned they appear to be.
Those who submit wrongly to gurudevas may submit too much, or too little, or in wrong ways and areas, and so on. Yogananda as folks know him through his monastics-governed SRF, appeals quite much to submission, as part of his plot. Earlier guru takes to the contrary seem to have been forgotten in the process.
❖ Submission to the art and principles of growing individual freedom is not all wrong either - It takes what it takes.
❖ A dirty bootlicking appeal may have a godly surface.
Cultish disrespect for humans may grow
Some dogmas in SRF tend to snubness in members. They get the idea that they are a select elite. Snubness in spiritual matters is quite a problem. The hope of many submitting ones is that they, by discarding their normal human rights and freedoms, will be granted heavenly freedom or greatness later - maybe in another life, as the case may be. Booklicking may be a result of initial calculations by information that cannot be verified, and which is taken as granted by faith in such circles. There is much of it.
But what if the submission "game" ends for some reason? Some years ago the rumours that Yogananda had an illegitimate son, and the truth-telling that the present leader of SRF had not felt well in the company of the other nuns and monks at the SRF headquarters and had lived secretely away from there in a villa for twenty-thirty years, made headway for a main "exodus" among SRF monastics around 2002. One third of them left.
But only few dare to leave Yogananda, for SRF says one is in for colossal sufferings for lifetimes if leaving the guru. If that is so, how may it be proved? Bottom line: Fear is a factor to reckon with. It can be a big problem.
❖ Strong submission and its growing loss of Eigenart (own distinctions, uniqueness) may sooner or later call forth disrespect for genuineness and for normal human rights, and contribute to a control society.
Hailed gurus may not be flawless
Where members and ex monastics do not dare to deliver deserved criticism and use their real names in so doing, there is perhaps not much hope of householder thoughts, only of "getting away" and shunning some difficult issues, somehow, more or less. SRF members are bound by a guru-dictated pledge that demands submission in many walks of life.
However, it looks cowardly not to address the real source(s) of major problems and misery and instead turn (deflect) criticism to Yogananda's "loyal, monastic instruments": those in charge of his society. The neat principle of directing criticism to those in charge, who can make changes, is fit in general. But what if a long gone guru is that main responsible one, and present leaders follow in his track in a monastic order he set up? That makes changes more difficult to accomplish, if at all.
❖ The best thoughts come later, and often too late. [Swedish]
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." [Co]
Let fine attainments crown your reading
We often need to take care to check to what degrees what inspires and motivates us, also nourishes our future well-being and sound development.
Real nourishment supports individual order and other good results, also called bearing fruits in time.
Many inexperienced youths are in for guru-submissive and shameful dangers or guru cult exploitations that function by faking as punishments throughout life in such a perspective. It helps to be guarded against simpleminded degradations away from helpful attainments and not give up all your main assets on the dictates of enemies to your future well-being.
Co: Watson, Burton, tr. The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu. New York: Columbia University Press, 1968.
Ebu: Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica 2008 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD. London: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2008.
Say: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Sayings of Yogananda. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1958.
USER'S GUIDE to abbreviations, the site's bibliography, letter codes, dictionaries, site design and navigation, tips for searching the site and page referrals. [LINK]|
© 20022012, Tormod Kinnes, MPhil [E-MAIL] Disclaimer: LINK]