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Sometimes . . . beating [disciples] with the burning brands of his holy fire . . . Shri Shri Babaji Maharaj was always amiable and full of humor. (Jogesh Chatterjee 1964, ch 3)

What Does Babaji Look Like?

The crux seems to be that Babaji looks much as he himself wants to, appearing here and there, now and then. He often walks about unnoticed like a common man:

A disciple of Yukteswar told that once when she was sitting in Lahiri Mahasaya's company, "a simply dressed ordinary looking young man holding a staff" arrived. It was Babaji. (Satyananda Giri, 2001, chap. 3)

Pranabananda . . . was sitting one morning in Benares with his Guru when he saw an ordinary looking man coming from the Ganges and entering Lahiri Mahasaya's home . . . Babaji . . . [Yukteswar] asked about Babaji's age and came to find out that it was almost 500 years. (Satyananda Giri 2001, chap. 3)

Professor Jogesh Chatterjee writes that

We do not know the exact name of Shri Shyamacharan's [Shyama Lahiri's] spiritual Master, but he is generally referred to as Babaji or the Father . . .

Next to nothing is known regarding the life of Shri Shri Babaji Maharaj . . . The disciples of Shri Shri Lahiri Mahashaya who had seen him were all of the opinion that the physical features of Shri Shri Babaji Maharaj were almost like those of his favorite disciple Shri Shyamacharan. Only Shyamacharan looked much older . . . for Shri Shri Babaji Maharaj who is all spirit, and can assume any form at will, bodily considerations are entirely beside the point and therefore he would just assume a form similar to his beloved Shyamacharan . . . There might have been another reason for the different forms which Shri Shri Babaji Maharaj assumed at different times. It also helped to keep his physical identity hidden . . . (Chatterjee 1964, ch 3, passim)

How Old Is Babaji Actually?

Discern for yourself. Some versions:

Yukteswar wrote almost 120 years ago that Babaji was over 500 years by then, past his teens. Yukteswar's disciple Yogananda (1893-1952) writes Babaji is over 1200 years, possibly more. According to another book he is 1800 years, give or take. And once when asked, Babaji answered: "Since the time when the Himalayas rose up - Babaji has been on the Earth (Antonov 2009:114)." Dr Antonov holds a Ph.D. in biology.

The Himalayas rose up overground at the very least ten million years ago, depending on what is meant by the term - slowly rising slopy hills or taller and taller mountains. By the way, the Himalayas are still rising by about 5 mm yearly. (Wikipedia, "Himalayas", Ill.).

There may come a time when we need to check our sources and interpret sayings too. Also take into account the known history of humans on earth: The modern form of humans only evolved about 315,000 years ago, suggests Jean-Jacques Hublin (Nature.com). There were humanoids around some million years earlier, and monkeys much earlier than 10 million years ago.

Anyway, "Not how long the life is lived but how well counts the most for many."

Yogananda tells in The Master Said:

Yogananda These few years of your life are just so many seconds compared to the eternity . . . you are a perpetual inhabitant of your true country, Eternity. (Yogananda, in Self-Realization Fellowship 1952:84)

Everything is taking place in the present. . . . Everything is really happening in an eternal now. (Yogananda, in Self-Realization Fellowship 1957:57)

Conundrums are many. What matters is not to waste much time on them, but put time to good use instead. And claims about the age of Babaji are many too. There is a chance some of them could be wrong. Is the raconteur reliable? Is there some sort of evidence somewhere?

A source of error: Is it the last of the past lives of someone it is referred to, or is it a soul's memory of several past lives? Or could we get someone's mentions from beyond time-and-space, where there is not really any past, but "Now, I"?

1. What Satyananda Giri Tells

Swami Satyananda Giri (1896–1971), a disciple of Yukteswar, tells "We know nothing about whether He was associated with any sect or lineage. [F]rom Yogiraj's [Shyama Charan Lahiri's] earliest disciples [we are told] that He is a Fully Realized, Immortal Being who has lived in a human body for almost 600 years; He is alive even today [and] seems to be forever in the years just before middle-age . . . He was usually seen in the type of dhoti (cloth worn for the lower half of the body) that is the garb of Northwestern Indians . . . He would speak in Hindi . . .

Out of curiosity [Yukteswar] asked [Babaji] about Babaji's age and came to find out that it was almost 500 years. It's possible by the power of yoga sadhana to maintain the body in that way . . .

Ramgopal Babu spoke of his beautiful experience with Babaji Maharaj to Swami Yoganandaji. Once, at the end of the night, he came to the Dashaswamedh Ghat (a holy bank of the Ganges in Benares) at the instruction of his Guru. He sat and waited in the posture of a tapasyi (a meditator). Suddenly, he saw a brilliant and effulgent form of the Divine Mother. The beautifully radiant Lahiri Mahasaya rose out of the Ganges and stood next to Her; Ramgopalji was entranced. In this heavenly space then appeared the joyfully smiling Babaji."

(Source: Satyananda Giri 2001, Chap 3, passim, emphasis added)

2. Things Yogananda Writes

Yogananda says in his autobiography from 1946 and later editions, that "There is no historical reference to Babaji – No limiting facts about Babaji's family or birthplace . . . have ever been discovered. His speech is generally in Hindi – he appears to be no more than a youth of twenty-five – He has stated that he gave yoga initiation to Shankara (700?-750? CE), ancient founder of the swami order, and to Kabir (1440-1518 CE) – "Babaji has been chosen . . . to remain in his body for the duration of this particular world cycle. Ages shall come and go – still the deathless master, beholding the drama of the centuries, shall be present" (Ram Gopal quoted in Yogananda 1946: ch 33, emphasis added)

"Babaji, who is in divine communion with Christ, gave me the special dispensation of carrying this message to the West," said Yogananda (1982:292).

Yogananda passed away in early 1952. Later that year, a severely ill and fever-ridden V. S. Neelankantan started to wake up around midnight and write down what a voice told him. He said it was the voice of Babaji. In time, and with improving health, several books were written and published. The book comments at the bottom of the page says more about some of these books. The next tale was first published in some of them. It dates Babaji in less roundabout ways than Dr Antonov's book (quotations above). Dare to mean, "Because tales seem precise about dates from long ago, does not necessarily make them true." Other questions about Babaji's age may seek to clarify the tricky problems pertaining to being born many times as time goes on. One question could be whether and how far getting awfully old in one's body affects the memory.

3. Another story: Babaji Born

Being born is like being kidnapped. And then sold into slavery. [Andy Warhol]

In the year 203 CE a "King of serpents" (Nagaraj) was born in a small village in Tamil Nadu, where Porto Novo lies now.

After being kidnapped at the age of five by a Pathan and taken north to Dacca, he was later released. At the age of eleven he became a Sanskrit scholar in Vanaras (Benares). While still eleven he sailed by boat to the shrine of Katarigama on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. For eighteen months he contemplated on various philosophical systems.

Inspired by Boganathar he made progress in understanding what such as siddhantha yoga and soruba samadhi stood for. Next he wandered throughout South India and was initiated into kundalini yoga by Agastyar. Agastyar is presented as the guru of Boganathar. With the help of these two Indian gurus, Babaji was enlightened at twelve. [◦Link]

Retiring to a lonely Himalayan cave, he remained absorbed in intensive yogi training for years at a stretch, finally to emerge laughing at the limitations of death: He is said to have won physical immortality at the age of sixteen.

This story is a retelling. More can be found in the book Babaji and the 18 Siddha Kriya Yoga tradition by Marshall Govindan (1991). He has put together elements that Babaji tells in three books from the early 1950s. They make up The Voice of Babaji (2nd ed. 2003)

Age Uncertain, Whereabouts Dangerous

The sources differ widely about how old he is. They range from some thousand years to six hundred years, and also say he has more years in store. Yukteswar's and Yogananda's accounts disagree, you can see.

The avatar lives in mountain caves in remote, mountainous areas, Yogananda and others tell us. But he can also live in other places.

There was a very old man who lived for a long time near the cave of Babaji. The old man hoped to get initiated by Babaji, and one day prayed earnestly for it. Babaji would not give it to him. The old man said he would die if he could not get it.

Babaji said, "Then die, if life has become so cheap to you".

The old man jumped from the hills and died. (Chatterjee 1964, chap. 3, retold)

  • Yes, the whereabouts of Babaji are dangerous too.
  • What matters is not just how old you get, but how well you live.
  • Everybody wants to live long, and none wants to get old (Proverb).
  • One of the rather startling differences between a cat and Babaji, is that the cat has only nine lives.
  • Old age is not so bad when you consider the alternatives (Maurice Chevalier, attributed).
  • Don't believe much in someone you've never met, for there are better ways of handling one's living than that.

Near the door, sunlight

Yukteswar

Yukteswar recounts,

"I visited Lahiri Mahasaya in Varanasi. My guru smiled in greeting.

"Welcome, Yukteswar," he said. "Did you just meet Babaji at the threshold of my room?"

"Why, no," I answered in surprise.

"Come here." Lahiri Mahasaya touched me gently on the forehead; at once I beheld, near the door, the form of Babaji ..."

Babaji patted Yukteswar on his shoulder.

"Child, you must meditate more – you could not see me hiding behind the sunlight." [Abbreviated tale. (Autobiography of a Yogi, chap. 36)

Article by Marshall Govindan. [◦Link]

The Badger

I beat in every breast, see in every eye - Babaji. [◦Link]

Learn to consider - the link right above is to a Babaji-devoted page. It states that there is no true joy in the world. And then the question arises: "Is it the world where kriya is practiced a lot too?"

Considering what long-lived ones, and Babaji, could have to put up with in this world may be next.

BILDE

In 1996 a story of a British badger popped up in a TV news program. The cute animal had entered a washing machine on its own. The British housewife did not notice it and started the machine with the animal inside. It survived.

Was Krishna-Babaji in those two, confused eyes at very high speed at times, also rocked to and fro in the waves, to and fro and much likely also spun round and round at high speed in foaming water, because he says he sees through all eyes? At all times, through all of them? What if the confused badger swooned inside the washing machine and went to sleep afterwards, eyes closed - must Babaji see through closed eyes?

But for the time being the teaching appears to be: Babaji looked at the world through confused badger eyes - too.

We may next think of myriads of faceted insect eyes, cod eyes in the ocean, herring eyes, swarms of fishes, gyrating birds and on and on, and reckon that seeing through them all appears to require some adjustment above watching four TV programs at the same time. The question is if Babaji have to see through all cod and frog eyes, or if he has the ability to let it be.

  • It is often a great boon to be able to close your eyes (and remain on the outside of the washing-machine too).
  • Safety first - It is best to be on the safe side (out of the washing-machine).
  • The culinary art of living is not had by trusting much, but by mastering much on one's own, hopefully as a free individual.

Different authors, different claims and vistas

Different authors write from different perspectives. Marshall Govindan calls forth wide vistas, great achievements and a hoary, very obscure past where continents were differently placed than today. He writes:

Babaji is a great master . . . who is sometimes called Kriya Babaji Nagaraj, Mahavatar Babaji or Shiva Baba. His body has not aged since . . . he conquered death . . .

During the past forty years, several books, beginning with the Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, written in 1946, have referred to the great spiritual master . . .

Some writers have indicated that Babaji has taken different forms. Baba Hari Dass identified him with Llarlakhan Baba who appeared in Ranikhet, Uttar Pradesh, India, in the latter part of the 19th century and early part of the 20th century A.D. (Hari Dass, 1975). Leonard Orr (1980 and 1983) identified him with a youth who appeared near Ranikhet in about 1970. He was visited by many Westerners up until his sudden death in 1984. Swami Satyeswarananda (1984) has written about his incredible encounters with Babaji. All of these books have described fantastic experiences involving Babaji and the authors or others. The reader is often left feeling incredulous upon reading of such experiences. . . .

These authors have not furnished any details regarding the life of Babaji nor about how Babaji attained enlightenment and immortality. (Govindan, 13-14)

Marshall Govindan speaks of Babaji in a Tamil siddha tradition. He got information about Babaji and that tradition from 1970 onwards, after teaming up with Yogi S. A. A. Ramaiah (1923–, a direct disciple of Babaji. Govindan served Ramaiah and his work (Sangam) for eighteen years. Then in 1988, Govindan tells, he was asked by Babaji himself to leave Ramaiah's work and to go and teach Kriya Yoga to others under Babaji's inspiration. In 1989, Govindan was then inspired to share material on Babaji and the siddha tradition and the approach to life of Babaji and the Tamil siddhas. For two decades Govindan had then been gathering material about how to integrate spiritually and unfold one's inborn potential.

TO TOP

Babaji: Intermediate Summary

There are different Babaji sources, and they tell he is from very old to still older. After you have got to be, say, three hundred years old, one more year might make just a slight difference -

There are also more books on him today than four decades ago; there may be a hundred of them by a rough count (2017), perhaps even more. The books are by different authors with many wise-looking agendas.

Many of the Babaji publishers may not be among the well established ones. Some authors say they have talked with him and been taught by him.

Now, what or how are the topics he talks about? Many publicly available talks of the Babaji (1970–84) that appeared near Rishikesh may be classified as "Forewarnings of a major disaster", "Good coaching" "Who-am-I" answers" and "Talks with Babaji" with miscellaneous content.

And there is still more - booklets and pamphlets by anonymous writers and "channellingers" too.

Lessons on trust
In many cases distrust is better than stupid trust.

Distrust and caution are the parents of security. [Benjamin Franklin]

The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom. [H. L. Mencken]

Babaji material is variegated, and may not be so easy to get to grips with, as it often calls for trust - And a wise thing to know about trust is that it should be well deserved. "To get my trust you should deserve it," it other words, and "In some cases, great-looking words are not enough". "Big words won't fatten the cabbage" is a proverb akin to that.

I'll give you an example: In Autobiography of a Yogi by Yogananda and helpers, there is a chapter where Babaji makes a "wondrous promise" to Lahiri Mahasaya, and then drops the promise for a trifle. Lahiri's trust in the whole first Babaji promise was misplaced (1998:277-78). And that is not all of it, Lahiri was reprimanded for acting on the first, seemingly wondrous Babaji promise too. By Babaji. See for yourself; the incidents are not far apart in chapter 34 of the Yogananda book, and ponder, "What happened to 'whenever'?" If you trust Yogananda and his helpers in writing the Autobiography, to trust in Babaji could turn out to be precarious.

By first becoming a book-truster and believing things without much evidence, you may even find it absurd that Yogananda presents Babaji as a promise-breaker. It is all in chapter 34 of the Autobiography. The incidents are just a few pages apart. An elaboration is here: Babaji the promise-breaker - according to the Autobiography and some other sources also.

So maybe our trust in Yogananda could benefit from being carefully remoulded. Yogananda was not there when it happened; he was not an eye-witness. And he often dictated and wrote to impress.

There are risks in taking things on trust. Further, coaches and pep-talkers are hardly held accountable for what clients do with the counsels they get from them. In that lies a nut to crack, the nut of responsibility. Another side to the Babaji problems is that of many Babajis. There are many that are called Babaji, for the word means "revered father" and many are told of as that. Among those who are told to be the Babaji of kriya yoga, at least three persons appear to stand out. Haidakhan Babaji (1970–84) is one of them. He stresses karma-yoga.

Incidents

The US Professor Eve Jones (nd) first met Babaji in a temple in Vrindaban in 1981. He looked like her father. She told Babaji she had heard of him from Leonard Orr. Babaji's voice was extremely high. Later gave her a handful of candy. She had been trying to avoid all refined carbohydrates, and said, "No thank you, I don't eat candy."

He made a frown, saying, "Oh, yes, you eat."

So she did it.

Later he hit her after she had sat down in front of him in a half-lotus posture. When she moved to get up, he gave her a whack with his arm on the top of her right arm, sending her flying several feet through the air, still in her half-cross-legged condition. After she landed she began to cry, feeling confused despair and shock over being struck. Her husbands had hit her, lovers had hit her, her father had hit her in her childhood; and now Babaji, although it left no bruises.

"Why," she dared to ask him.

He pointed His right forefinger forward, waving his arm, and said, "Move more quickly!"

(Jones, nd., Chap 6)

⍽⍽⍽⍽

A little later she tried to take a picture of Babaji, and he agreed to it and even posed for her. But when she tried, she could not see clearly through the viewfinder of her camera. "All I could see was dark swirling smoke," she writes. She could not understand what could be wrong with her camera.

Babaji laughed. Another said to her, "Babaji's just playing a game with you."

A little later the thought came to her, "He's just like a giant baby!"

(Jones, nd., Chap. 6)

⍽⍽⍽⍽

On her second trip to India in 1981, she visited Babaji in his ashram in Herakhan. One night she lost control of her bladder on the first flight of stairs from her room, peeing all over herself. She did not think of anything she could do to clean it up on the stairs in the middle of the night, so she washed herself and went to bed.

Next morning Babaji had passed that special place on the stairs, saying, "Huh! It smells like a horse!" Later, in the garden he scowled and said she had to leave the ashram at once.

She: "Oh, no!"

He made a furious face at her and said, "Oh yes!"

But next day she managed to explain herself and apologise by way of a note. Someone translated it for Babaji. Finally he nodded and said to her, "You may stay."

(Jones, nd, Chap. 7)

⍽⍽⍽⍽

Rubbing it in

V. T. Neelakantan and S. A. A. Ramaiah write in Aum. Babaji's Masterkey to All Ills (Kriya) (nd): "Babaji's Kriya Yoga is the Masterkey to All Ills -." (p. 113).

Comment: Eh. The key to health and success should not be left out.

Now, allow me to draw a line: It is good to find books or booklets with this information included:

  • The real name of author, translator, collector. Such data may help further checking.
  • A title. If a book is for sale, knowing the title helps in finding it.
  • The publisher's name, address and the year of publication. An ISBN may help too. (Np = no place; nd = no date).

As for Internet publications, there may be problems with short-lived addresses and lack of a fair amount of the data in the list above. Retrievals are not always possible. Among those who have seen and talked with him are Swami Satyeswararananda, Marshall Govindan, Yogi Ramaiah, to name a few of them. Still others could have talked with him without recognising the shape-shifter.

Some sources agree that Lahiri Mahasaya (also known as Lahiri Baba) (1828-95), was initiated into kriya yoga near Ranikhet in the Himalayas in 1861, and that Lahiri in turn initiated about 5000 persons. Delicate ujjayi pranayama is the core kriya method, and ujjayi is public, and a well-known pranayama method in hatha-yoga. In kriya yoga, several other features of hatha-yoga are added, such as postures, mudras and bandhas.

Yes, basic kriya yoga is a form of ujjayi pranayama, which is not secret. Ujjayi comes with variants and elaborations added. That is what Satyananda Yoga teaches in books where kriya yoga is taught for free (Satyananda Saraswati 1981; 2001). Ujjayi variants are explained in a book on pranayama methods by Niranjanananda (2007).

One of Lahiri Baba's followers came to be known as Yukteswar (1855-1936). He too spread kriya and was permitted to "guru" others, he and other followers of Lahiri Mahasaya. It appears they taught quite similar basic techniques. Other elements of some "total kriya pack" were added, modified, or removed by some of these Lahiri followers. It could be that Lahiri taught more or less different kriya techniques to different disciples to accommodate for differences.

The monk Yogananda (1893-1952) in turn simplified, altered, and even removed parts of the kriya yoga that Lahiri Mahasaya says are essential. Yogananda also dispensed with the tradition's guru-disciple relationship - its rules of transmission (◦At variance). This is also to say that Yogananda spread kriya yoga in ways that went against the permitted ways of Shyama Lahiri, and changed his following into a mass movement that became a hybrid sort of church It was registered on 29 March 1935 in the state of California.

The Intrusive Non-Jew

Now "they" want you to believe that Jesus has teamed up with Babaji against various gospel sayings too -

In short: The gospels were written decades after the death of Jesus. The gospel of Mark is said to be the oldest, and from about 70 CE. It is good to know there are many forgeries in the New Testament too, and no quotations of Jesus we can be absolutely sure he said in the way they are written. He left no writings, and there are no quotations of him that we can be certain are verbatim. That is good to know. (Vermes 2005)

What we have are gospel sayings, and among them are statements by Jesus that his teachings, salvation, kingdom and healing minstry were for Jews only (Vermes 2012). Christianity for Gentiles arose ca. 50 CE, and Acts 15 describes how it came about without gospel words either, but with four requirements and a Ghost. That is it.

The Christianity that developed and split up over the centuries into fragments that made wars against one another, found its way to the USA too, and so did Babaji's emissary Yogananda. He embraced the main sorts of Christianity he found and formed his own church in 1935. In it, he embraced Jesus. The question is whether Jesus-for-Jews-only embraced him, not how well and long. Judged from the faulty gospels with the forgeries and additions and editions, he did not. For in gospels, Jesus warned against such guys as Yogananda, hungry wolves and that sort of metaphors. One might say Yogananda patted much Christianity he found, but twisted its nipples to suit him.

So yes, the accommodating Yogananda made a point of being in rapport with Jesus. Not the gospel's preacher and healer, but another Jesus, a resurrected one in rapport with the secretive Babaji, and that the Bible's salvation was to be superceded by kriya yoga.

As slapstick it is good. Otherwise, it hardly adds up. Also note that Jesus vouches for the law of Moses completely (Matthew 5:17-19). That old law says, 'Keep the Canaanite slave forever'. One command of Jesus are 'Go and molest yourself for having desires, man'. There is much more a non-Jewish Christian may be spared from too.

The commands of Jesus are for Jewish followers only according to Jesus (Matthew 15:24; 10:4-8; Geza Vermes 2010:37, 41) and Acts 15, where the Apostolic Decree is. It sets up four requirements as a New Deal for non-Jewish followers. Millions of them came to be tormented to death as part of public entertainment in the Roman Empire for some hundreds of years.

To call Jesus 'Lord, Lord' and even do miracles "in his name" without doing as he says, is a road to hell, Jesus teaches. What about calling Jesus "Lord, Lord" without qualifying, without being a Jew? The Bible marringly indicates that those who practice hypocrisy are not really Christians, but will be judged and sent to hell (Matthew 7:21-23). But it is much liberating for all non-Jews that Jesus maintains his teachings were for Jews only. Repeat: his teachings, Kingdom (read: salvation) and healing mininstry were for Jews only. Others were strictly forbidden. (Vermes 2010:37,41, passim).

What is more, granting that the Missionary Command at the end of Matthew is very, very likely forged, a common Gentile Christian is free from the gruesome commands of Jesus in Matthew 5, by the Deal for non-Jewish Christians in Acts 15. It is the Apostolic Decree. A Christian is required to abstain from wrangled poultry, blood food (including black pudding and blood sausages), adultery and one more item. Having a Ghost on board is not to be forgotten either, since that is getting saved in a Christian sense.

Things Jesus commands his Jewish followers are not necessarily wanted for non-Jews

Mind not to go a lot for Jesusian teachings as a non-Jew if you value your health. For Jesus also says he came only for ill Jews, and that healthy ones do not need him. He said he was a shepherd, his followers sheeplike, and that a man was more worth than a sheep.

You have to take it in stride what Jesus maintains: his teachings are not for non-Jews. Look to the bright side of it: "Hurrah - No more self-molestations and no longer a lackadaisal fare without thought for tomorrow." [More in such a vein]

Respect that the gospel's Jesus communicates he is not for non-Jews, and do it as soon as you can. So why did the emissary Yogananda seek to include Jesus in his line of gurus, and say that salvation ws not getting the Ghost falling over you, but a result of breathing in and out in regulated ways by a method that Jesus and Babaji found fit? To say so suggests that the Spirit in Christianity was not God, that Jesus of the gospels had changed his mind after his death, and did not warn against false messiahs and hungry wolves and did not want to be the sole christ and shepherd any longer.

All are not genuine helpers who seem to be so. Money, influence, acceptance, lands - many possibible Yogananda motivations may come to mind. Jesus in the gospels said no to having other masters than himself Geza Vermes summing it up:

Fl. 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).

Overlooked by many in the past, Christians (non-Jewish followers) have four requirements, and abstaining from blood food is one of them; it is set about en par with no to adultery and choked animals (including wrangled poultry) (Acts 15:19-29; 21:25). Also, getting Ghost-on-board is indispensible in such a deal too (see Wikipedia, "The Council in Jerusalem" for a survey).

Against riotous intolerance, Yogananda took to bizarre teachings of a unity between Jesuism ("original Christianity") and the Hinduism of Krishna. The said unity looks like a a sloven kind of opportunistic invention, but it has limped along in America in particular.

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 Govindan. [◦Link]

Set glorious hype aside to avoid getting duped. After studying Yogananda's dealings and their fruits of derangements or decadence or whatever, does Yogananda looks like a good fellow, or is he right in saying "We are all crazy." (1982:425) Note as well that there are signs that his later-developed fellowship-church is a cult. It depends much on what we mean by the term cult. Better be careful about it, but the signs are many, and told of by former SRF monastics as well.

Also worth noting, in Yogananda's teachings, vital elements of the kriya message are missing - many vital elements are removed -, and many conditions of transmission are dropped. Swami Satyeswarananda Giri offers an overview of the Yogananda fare. [A Wake-Up, from the Sanskrit Classics]

Believe that to believe all you hear is stupid many times

Yogananda's fellowship-church holds up a faith that his kriya is twelve times better than the one Yogananda set out with after being taught in the kriya tradition by his father Bhagabati Gosh, his Sanskrit tutor Keshabananda, and Yukteswar. The process is twelve times faster with Yogananda's aborted kriya, he teaches - and in addition he offers a twelve times shorter "journey" than his guru Yukteswar speaks of:

Yes, Yogananda claims - without evidence - that the total time it would take to get "cosmic consciousness" in the course of the disease-free, natural evolution, is "merely" a million years, where Yukteswar holds it is twelve million years. It seems that Yogananda followers are too little interested in good proofs in these waters. They could believe in an untruth - at most two untruths.

Travelling twelve times faster on a twelve times shorter "journey" - spells 144 times better prospects according to the hype, that is. Now, what could the price of believing it blindly and eagerly, except for heart-breaking disappointments? Yogananda's kriya pledge enslaves, and leaving him is not an option, according to him. Yogananda and his kriya church are marked by hype and inconsistencies. Their oath-binding for many lives to come in some cases is blatantly against "Do not swear" by Jesus.

And Jesus for Jews only is claimed to be a guru in a seemingly far-out deal here.

Yogananda's kriya oath goes further than his guru Yukteswar's ways - and he is told of as stern - by Yogananda. With Yukteswar, those who found they did not want his training, were free to leave (in Autobiography of a Yogi, Chap. 12). Also, Yogananda also left him for a while, until a fellow disciple of Yukteswar told Yogananda to return to him - shameful again. (Op. cit, chap. 13)

Better watch your steps and see where you are heading.

But this article is not about Yogananda's "one rule for me and another for you," and other gross inconsistencies and clownish statements; such things are documented elsewhere on the site.

Yogananda permitted several non-monastic followers to spread kriya yoga. A study reveals there are some differences among them as to how exactly to do it. Oliver Black, the Canadian Harinanda, Kriyananda, and others are known to differ a bit from the SRF kriya teachings. It is small wonder, since the kriya yoga teachings of Yogananda and SRF are edited a couple of times.

SRF, short for Self-Realization Fellowship, has suffered setbacks lately, in that one third of its monastics dropped out around 2000 in a local "exodus". The "quitters" were displeased and suffered mentally too.

There are many who inform about and teach kriya outside the Yukteswar-Yogananda flock. Well done kriya research has been done on the kriya yoga that pertains to Scandinavian Yoga and Meditation, a school of yoga that branches out from the Bihar School of Paramhansa Satyananda. There are many other kriya lines and kriya teachers. And there is ujjayi without fear of Babaji, at least with no mention of it. (Cf. Hewitt 1990, 1991).

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Babaji Incongruities

There is a good, reason-helping principle to learn from scientists: The burden of proof lies on the claimant. The other half of that "coin" is not to believe blindly any unproved and not well tested claims. It takes what it takes. Buddha advocates wise and healthy scepticism, and so does Yogananda too. Yes, he too.

So do not take on faith Yogananda claims about Babaji and Jesus banding together - let them prove their claims and come forward fitly in public and talk about how these things are, and how vital parts of the New Testament in case were forged and edited by Spirit-of-Truth-given people, if they were had. For Jesus the Jews whose New Testament teachings are for Jews only, according to Matthew, does not support Yogananda claims of having Yeshua (Isho) Mshikha on board by another name and title (Cf. Wikipedia, "Jesus (name)").

For the lack of any fit validation of the Yogananda claims, make no altar image of Hoffman's Jesus as they do in SRF, or ◦a face formed by forensic anthropology to worship on the words of Yogananda either, for low, ritual groans may be hampering - and what is more, very saddening, also to Yogananda who said, "A belief, whether false or true, is provisional. It can only be temporary" and "What is needed is investigative belief with sincerity" (2000:305-06) and "It breaks my heart when I see blind dogmatism" (1982:48)

If blind dogmatism broke his heart, why did he start it? By setting up ritual, crazy or slavish altar worship of Jesus the Jew for Jews only by "Do as I say, blindfolded believers," the guru Yogananda made one of many missteps, if chapter 36 of his autobiography is taken into account. Here he tells he was sent to the West for the sake of scientific-minded guys also. Such persons are trained in being sceptical too. Or were his teachings meant for gullible ones only? [Autobiography of a Yogi]

Certain Inconsistencies

"Only the witless one expects the blacksmith to wear a white silk apron," says an American proverb (Mieder et al 1996:54).

In Yogananda's Self-Realization Fellowship they worship Babaji and say Babaji is ever in union with a (bodiless) Jesus Christ, and that these two have thought out how to liberate mankind. Maybe they are belated; there is something squeeky about that wheel.

First, in Yogananda's autobiography it is said that modern kriya yoga started spreading to many with Lahiri Mahasaya in 1861, when he made Babaji relax some rigid rules for how to transmit it to disciples. Was a resurrected Jesus among the Babaji disciples in the Himalayas then? Facts may be hard to find. For the sake of such lacks, mere claims and beliefs are not much - and much in conflict with gospel teachings (for Jews only). (Autobiograpy, chap. 34)

It may be easy to claim and impress naive fellows, and difficult to supply trustworthy evidence for and against many grandiose claims. It could be that this fact has been exploited to form a following, for in the wide, grey area between fact and hearsay (faith), there is religious freedom and up to five thousand American cults so far.

After five years in the United States, Yogananda started to say "Jesus is behind me" and reinterpret the gospels so that they suited the guru too. He lacked skill, though great success followed - he became an orator. They are not always accurate and not always worth listening to. It took off - and Yogananda claimed there was a Babaji-Jesus fellowship (of communion, planning etc.) a Big Thing, against divers gospel sayings where Jesus warns against false Christs and hungry wolves. Such things. "What is good for the wolf isn't good for sheep."It is good to bear in mind that in gospel sayings that Jesus is credited with, his teachings, salvation and kingdom were for Jews only. It is much ignored. (See Vermes 2010:37-41; Matthew 15:24)

Since it is much overlooked, it ought to be repeated. Yogananda and his SRF promote a kriya yoga system you have to swear in to learn. Jesus of the gospels says categorically no to swearing. Yogananda says Jesus is one of the gurus.

Against scriptures and the normal guru-disciple tradition: Yogananda

The Yogananda transmission is one of the most severe subjections one may encounter. It may last for many lifetimes, according to him. I am tempted to say with his guru Yukteswar about Yogananda's soul-binding: "That is unlawful conduct." (Psy 85). However, I make do with this: "This is against scriptures and a better guru-disciple tradition." Yukteswar himself was wont to say to followers who found his training a bit harder then they liked, that they were free to leave him. It would be good if Yogananda had been as wise or large-hearted as Yukteswar is said to be - by Yogananda. to him and the claimed gurus behind and supporting him. Jesus is presented as one of them, but is it for real? That is the question.

By a set of yoga methods called kriya yoga since 1861. But the kriya message and discipline does not conform to the Christian message from nearly 2000 years ago. At that time Jesus and the Holy Spirit launched salvation for Jews only (Matthew 15:24 etc.) without telling that anything else was needed till the end of the earth. [More]

The gospel commission is to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always." (Matthew 28:18-20]

As known by scholars, these passages from the gospel of Matthew are late additions there. The fact does not make the just cited gospel words wrong and totally unreliable, for they are, after all, in the bible and attributed to Jesus - possibly after decades of oral transmission. Now in SRF they seem to feel justified in forgoing to baptise and teach vital parts of what Jesus commanded. Abandoned "flocks of sheep" may do likewise. But maybe SRF people should not, if they want to stand up for some "original Christianity as taught by Jesus Christ". The phrase is in their "Aims and Ideals". SRF teaches self-effort godward and harmony between science and religion too. [Link]

To make a long story short: Acts 15; 21:25 says God has given Gentile followers liberty from the much unfit, unseasonable and unreasonable insults and commands of Jesus, after all. Make sure it is not a quack liberty you think you have, then. Besides, if you commit to the "original Christianity of Jesus Christ", and not any present Gentile Christianity (for non-Jews) you may be done for. In Gentile Christianity you may still be done for; martyrs in the millions witnessed to that.

SRF has never introduced any all-round sacraments of Jesus just like other churches, for example Reformed Churches, and they maintain there are many Christs, and that Babaji is one of them. Now the embarrassment is that Jesus spent some time on warning against false Christs - other Christs than himself, no to many Masters and Rabbi teachers, while claiming that "Salvation would come from the Jews" [Mark 13:21-23; Matthew 23:7-9; Matthew 24:23-25; John 4:21-23]; These parts of the "original Christianity of Jesus Christ" are blatantly missing in what SRF has instituted as their public practices. Instead they live to implement things and seduce in the wake of their guru-founder Yogananda, a disciple of Babaji. Yogananda really spent effort on seemingly explaining away a lot of what Jesus really dictated and was up to. But many bible words put in the mouth of Jesus may be very hard to do away with by tendentious verbiage over and over anyway.

Now we do not deny that

  • Salvation may be from Hindus if they are Jews without foreskin, Saturday resters and so on.
  • Souls that stand up as Yogi-Christs may be "good publicity or good for the business", even though some that Yogananda labels Christs or Christlike, probably never barged into that dangerous title themselves: After all, a later-claimed Christ (Messiah) of the New Testament was crucified till he was dead . . . Did Yukteswar instruct Yogananda well enough for a noble mission? Look at the actions of Yogananda; they speak louder than most words.
  • Having several gurus (masters) is not what Jesus makes a point of in the gospel. To the contrary.
Guess that Yogananda by clearly tampering with the New Testament's Apostolic Deal for non-Jews might be leading many astray and worsen their life conditions or fare. Maybe Yogananda doings and sayings look awfully suspect after you have got bound. What then? Looking for harmony elsewhere may not always do.

A guru helps

Here is something we may learn from:

Where is a fit guru found? Gurus are of many sorts. The guru may be an ordinary teacher, or a divine one. The latter is hard to find. If you don't link up with one, you are probably free to improve yourself - as long as you can think there is a way (mantra-yoga, for example). As long as you can breathe, there is also a way (pranayama). So you may work on yourself and not resign to the circumstances and associates and the things business accommodations will have you give up for paltry gains. Look sharp to get the best out of life on your own, then.

Then will you find a holy guru or a holy guru get into your life also? Who knows. Various teachers have thoughts about that. Swami Venkatesananda (2004): "If he has not touched your heart, leave him alone . . . learn from him as a teacher but not as a Guru."

Question: "How does one . . . know a teacher to be reliable?" Dalai Lama: "Analyze well [and] investigate before accepting a lama or teacher to see whether that person is really qualified or not [and] look into the person's scholarship . . . whether the person implements those teachings in his or her conduct and experience."

A guru is a person who can really show you the true nature of your mind and who knows the perfect remedies for your psychological problems. Someone who doesn't know his own mind can never know others' minds and therefore cannot be a guru." - Lama Thubten Yeshe

"Without the guidelines and criteria of a thriving and full-fledged wisdom culture, the authenticity of so-called "Masters" is almost impossible to establish." Sogyal Rinpoche, in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. (3)

Depending on your karma, you may need to do quite a lot: Sogyal Rinpoche: "When we have prayed and aspired . . . for a long time, for many, many lives, and when our karma has become sufficiently purified, a kind of miracle . . . [voila: the inner teacher." - Ringu Tulku

Dalai Lama: "Rely on the teachings to evaluate a guru: Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism."

Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye from The Teacher-Student Relationship: "There are things we can do. . . motivations need to be acknowledged."

According to The Bodhisattva's Levels, spiritual guides should feel sincere compassion; show much courage; be tolerant and patient with [good] students;be tenacious; be able to communicate effectively with students. - Ringu Tulku

It is very easy to mislead many Westerners . . . by twisting the meaning of the teachings so that a teacher can take advantage of a student materially or for example sexually. In the old Indian tradition, teachers were often checked for twelve years . . . The reason why gurus are getting such bad names is because people should not have blindly trusted most of them to begin with! (5)

A spiritual disciple had better fulfil some criteria. He or she had better get out of three faulty attitudes: (1) refusing to learn, and scepticism; (2); forgetting everything, showing no interest; (3) being very prejudiced and believing to know everything better than the teacher. ✪ 

Besides, he or she had better fulfil requisites such as: (1) being open-minded; (2) not blindly following orders; (3) wanting results.

Hidden dangers: There are teachers, traditions and centres that are questionable, so it is good to make sure you know what and who you get involved with. - Ringu Tulku

Ket source: A Buddhist overview: [◦ Source].

Words by Yogananda as Documentation

Paramahansa Yogananda citations "Babaji ... Yogi-Christ of modern India". [Yogananda 1971:305; opp. 304]

"Prophets like Christ and Lahiri Mahasaya". [Yogananda 1971;283n] (2)

About Babaji and Christ: "... these two fully illumined masters ... one without a body". [Yogananda 1971;307]

"Yukteswar, a modern Yogi-Christ". [Yogananda 1971;194] (4)

"Lahiri Mahasaya ... and many other Yogi-Christs had blessed the soil." [Yogananda 1971;95]

"Babaji ... deathless guru". [Pa346]


[More such Christs]

Some "salvation issues" further above do not seem possible to reconcile. Besides, there is this pertinent question: Why did not Jesus-and-the-SRF-gurus start early enough to make a truly convincing contribution and dispense salvation techniques to outcasts and the much uncertain amount of generations that have passed since Babaji first appeared? Think of all those generations of missed opportunities to help people so that they, their families, their descendants could widen their influence and save and help or see to that the planet got well run, awfully better run than today, where "The inferior man seeks all that he wants from others [Confucius]". As a result, the planet, its air, soil, water, plants, animals, and most human inhabitants are mishandled and abused for profits, you know.

Think of the waste of time, such lost opportunities after salvational glory coming much too late. But listen to the counsel of Confucius here:

If an artisan wants to do his work well, he must begin by sharpening his tools . . . You should serve the wise and good, and make friends of men who have this moral virtue [Confucius, in Giles 1998:68].

Confucius goes on to say that perfect unselfishness is marked by sincerity and truth, and the wise man does not undervalue what is said because of the person who says it. [i Giles 1998:68]

  • Omniscients who come too late to the aid, come too late because it is so wanted. And get aware of bluffs.

Being Critical also Suggests not Overbearing with Great Cheats

Taking care in time is a good thing. Further, in Yogananda's book Autobiography of a Yogi we find a passage that shows we are allowed to be critical, very critical.

Yukteswar [The later swami Yukteswar] commented, "I have been thinking of the scientific men . . . greater by far in intelligence than most people congregated here . . . They are the men who could benefit greatly by meetings with India's masters."

Babaji's face beamed with approval. "East and West must establish a golden middle path of activity and spirituality combined," he continued. "India has much to learn from the West . . . in return, India can teach the universal methods . . . of yogic science." [Abbreviated. Cf. Link]

Scientists are trained to doubt sophisticatedly and pose counter-hypotheses, and delve into rigours of scientific methods. Hence, a legitimate candid question from such a budding scientist should be why we should believe Yogananda's words in the matter, or at all.

  1. What he states goes against great sayings of Jesus in the first place, and rather often too. We have gathered evidence on other pages. Try this one first, if you please: [Link]
  2. Recent offshoots or yoga groups that Babaji is a patron for do not include Jesus Christ as one of the Hindu masters - so must Jesus Christ be left out? Could there be a mighty reason?
  3. The guru branch's unifying schemes or synergetic outlooks - harmonising the teachings of Jesus and Krishna one hundred percent - do not seem very Biblical or well founded in the first place. But they do correspond to facets of Hinduism: It is syncretic.

Years of tutti-frutti and window-dressing may be over

Later offshoots in the Babaji tradition do not seem to present Babaji and Jesus as well united, as team of united fellow gurus. Years of window-dressing may be over. Further, other lines than Yogananda's spread kriya yoga too, for example the Bihar School of Swami Satyananda and his kriya yoga lineage. It includes the Scandinavian Yoga and Meditation School, which is "free of any commercial, political or religious interest", and shows research findings about kriya too. [Link]. Jesus does not serve as decor there. And none seems eager to tell and trick there. That is my impression.

Have the kriya gurus in Babaji's line forgotten to honour Jesus now that the Western public is tolerant enough to look into Hinduism as "a thing" in itself? Be that as it may, Yogananda's canon is here to stay, and was a door opener too. Dedicated monastics and publishers spread his deals and teachings, even though Yogananda once said "The next generation will not give us a thought." Followers did, though, and also gave him more . . . (Yogananda 1982:344]

One of the reasons why Oriental teachings can look intriguing to beginners in the West, is that they rarely specify too well - for example what kind of Hare Krishna they consider they are deep inside, and so on. Instead they are in a tradition where it has been very, very customary to fuse facts and fiction related to different gods into a whole. The method is called syncretic and breeds mixed stories and teachings.

The guru's arena has not escaped suicides, broken hearts and severe mental problems you would not always hear about in the name of divine perfection and all that. (#1.2)

  • Follow your heart if it is well. Do not forget that Babaji and his line of gurus teach essential self-help ways, and self-help has to be in the front seat and not left behind on the long road.
  • Forewarned is good: and keep your foreskin intact.
  • Believing tales to your loss - being duped and without good evidence and that sort of stuff - is not good for you.

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Babaji Teachings

All seems to fit Hinduism too, is not that so?

BABAJI is a somewhat mystical (transcendent) teacher inside Sanatan Dharma, also called the Eternal Religion and Hinduism by some. Quote from the Autobiography of a Yogi: "Sanatan Dharma came to be called Hinduism". (Yogananda 1971;346n) Maybe 'Hinduism' gives a too narrow outlook here, however.

Stories of Babaji abound. In Autobiography of a Yogi Yogananda writes of his and other people's experiences with Babaji in the 1800s mainly.

Not proved, but sort of documented

A thing that nobody believes cannot be proved too often. - G. B. Shaw

Not Babaji Maharaj Paramahansa Yogananda writes:

"Whenever anyone utters with reverence the name of Babaji, that devotee attracts an instant spiritual blessing." [Link]

I have not seen it happen. Besides, one had better not ignore that the Babaji you read of in Yogananda's autobiography, is not the only Babaji there is. The name means "revered father", and "revered mother" is Mataji. Many go by the name of Babaji

I got an e-letter signed 'Babaji' once. The sender sought to explain in English that Yogananda had been unruly - sort of -, and things had got out of hand there. I just let the letter be. Now, years later, I see that Swami Sayeswarananda is into much the same things as Babaji - that Babaji. At last!

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Pledges to Babaji

Give up a Lot and Note Your Losses

To get in touch with Babaji some try to say "Babaji" with reverence. That is what Yogananda tells in his autobiography. Another way is said to be by initiation in kriya yoga. Through that, one is said to be favoured too. Now the kriya yoga set of methods is for the few, those who are able to promise-put their heads on the block, so to speak. Basically you have to give up anything else to be initiated and put in touch with Babaji through that. To give up all in this contexts suggests slow abandonment of things and persons you have met. Such things are indeed spelled out in varous kriya pledges that have come down to us. Haven't you anything better to do?

The highest art of preservation, is that not to preserve oneself as perpetually young in body, mind and heart and keep up with the times still? The prowess or powers to accomplish that sort of ongoing rejuvenation, is still a quite dark land that science people have made many minor inroads into recently, and more is likely to come. In your inner self recedes what is needed to live on well and be capable of such wondrous feats and many others, if you solve all problems or riddles involved and learn to "tank up" somehow, informs yoga source books.

On one university campus in Fairfield, Iowa, there are those who train themselves in old ways of learning to fly through contemplation. They use well chosen parts of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras to levitate by steps and degrees. It must be funny to levitate, and interesting to witness it.

There is a story about how a "punk" who later became the guru of Yogananda, crept beneath the bed of a yogi that was said to be able to levitate. But with another in the room, even though he was hiding under his bed, the man never took off. Be prepared for instances like that. Those who really manage to levitate, may keep it to themselves, further. Well, read the story here: [Link]

The Self-Realization Fellowship pledge

There are some fellowships where kriya is taught stepwise to some who promise and swear they will do such and such, and not do other things, even figuratively. We have gathered such kriya pledges on another page so you can look through many kriya pledges at leisure. Some comments are added. Hence you do not have to stand defenceless, tied hand and foot as a subjected follower. In this respect, teachings of Yogananda's Self-Realization Fellowship fix a binding relationship to six gurus you may not have encountered, basically. One of them is Holy Babaji. Can you promise-dictate yourself for your future life through an oath you should not swear in the first place? Then you would hardly need help from anybody else, it may be figured.

There is more to this matter. A whole page is devoted to throw light on the SRF's kriya pledge. It is not so great as it looks like. [Link]

It must be good to know a bit about "balm-and-bed pledges" to gurus of the Babaji line, and keep your natural, child-natured frivolity all right. How far is it the freedom that Jesus gave his own as friends of his compared to the freedom of caught fish?

Not All Too Complicated

FACE In a pucker, Jesus said to a high priest he had spoken openly to the world . . . and said nothing in secret. (John 18:19-21]. But he had already told his disciples that the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven had been given to them, but not to non-disciples. (Matthew 13:11-17].

Jesus also said that his salvation, teachings and healing ministry were for Jews only. After he had been buried, forgeries were added to gospels to make it look like he wanted to make disciples of all men. "Jesus' own perspective was exclusively Jewish; he was concerned only with Jews," according to the scholar Geza Vermes (2012). Contrary to Dr Vermes' summary, Yogananda says in his autobiography that Babaji and Jesus are always in communion with one another.

Mark as well how Jesus of the gospels is one who may speak with two mouths about secret teachings. "Jewsus" (Jesus for Jews only) calls himself Truth in other places, and that followers need to worship in truth and righteousness. That righteousness should exclude slavery, but what does the Bible tell? Yahweh instituted parts of it [Exodus 21 ff], Jesus upholds slavery (Matthew 5:17-21), and teaches the greatest is the slave of all. On top of it, Paul endorses slavery in his letter to Titus.

Kriya pledges serve to make a sort of bondman out of you, by your oath. We suggest you study facts before you commit yourself and gain long-run consequences in your private life, dealings with others, self-sufficiency and own authority. The carefully guarded man and woman may escape being fooled that way.

To be quite realistic may help a lot, but being overbearing and overtrusting may backfire, and severely. If on the other hand you want to be punished, seek warmth from the moon and try not to let massive guilt or whatever it may be, ruin yourself, it is your choice. I hope you will make good use of your opportunities to build a good fare, rather. Much can be improved that way.

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TAO STUDY

The Babaji of Yoganandaji

From Yogananda's Babaji-presentation

Choose not a wife by the eye only, or a guru by the surface spectacles only. [Cf. Fergusson 1983:156]

LoGood shelter according to plan can make living better and more prosperous

Servility greatly minimizes spiritual powers, and that could degrade you in the long run

It is not impolite to have suspicions and doubts and behave politely and accordingly. It is in fact central to much sane development. Some parts of individual development takes you on and up, in part over and above the "ape" level of conformity.

It is hard and enervating to be subject to servile flatterers that host large doubts while waiting for boons and blessing and looking for good chances to curb "the old ones". Being tactless may not solve all the problems of this part of living either.

A repeat: Heirs are not flatterers by natural design, but there is a danger that some heirs turn into flatterers, and some turn tactless.

A need to preserve the good goings of old people can be felt and seen in many places. And a society may accomplish more efficient heirloom manners after analysing the construed plots of narcissistic heirs too.

Some seemingly devoted followers are known to obey and hail for long, only to start misbehaving when they inherit spiritual powers, and the old fail if they allow power and influence to fall in these wrong hands.

Flattery often relates to vanity of those flattered. Genuineness is different. To misbehave like a devout believer is not for the artist. The reasons can be awfully overlooked and distorted.

Often servility is rooted in being taken in - maybe after having swallowed a bait or three for it. It happens that servile persons have been greatly impressed first, and thereby their little rascal inside (id) is curbed. The little rascal is at the same time the little darling - the id of frivolity and jolly doings and laughter. It should not be dangerous to maintain that.

Servile persons may conduct themselves quite as in ape flocks. Leader fear may go into the bargains, and manners that seem cultivated to please or favour someone else - the guru or "old man" in question. The conclave is called authoritarian, and may go along with an established cult.

To remain hidden can be hard, and so can hiding distrust, carrying other heavy loads, and facing danger.

Neither courtesy nor frivolity is tactless

If the servile folks find out through introspection that they hope for very great benefits in the fare they are inside, maybe - or maybe not - they have taken to polite manners out of some measure of strategic calculations. If so, there is reason to suspect growing sourness from them if nothing better happens.

To have polite manners is not bad, but often needed. It is often well to tone down one's former merits by understatements and discretion, for example. Said in other words: There may not always be a fit time and place to talk of how good you once were. Better tend to the present, to what actually happens or may be about to happen. Such things matter. The approach helps one to complete a life better, maybe to compete better also.

You should not downgrade yourself in servility, for that is rude towards the god or image of God that you are inside, in the eyes of Jesus and Genesis. There are passages that show it. And you may not feel for being kind to offenders either.
      Hence, some balance on top of blandness or courtesy may hint at a deeper war going on. Jesus had his view on that too. Among a man's enemies may be persons of his own largest family - and gurus happen to talk of families of disciples - regulate conduct and outlets and do you follow this train of thinking?

Things are nasty if politeness is hard and teddy bears is felt to be helpful. The natural responses of men, women and children are formed deep inside as tentative ways out. It is fairly often like that. And yet, modern conditions are too cramped - they may bar frivolity among youngsters and truthful outbursts in front of the boss in power.

Neuroses may be had that way.

Conduct that paves the way for neuroses, assumes or misrepresents higher ideals at best.

Be true to the one you are, after all

To develop your Self, be yourself and adhere to what helps and not hinders inner development. Inner development can be said to be far more than mental - it depends in part on how we define mind and Deep Mind. Padma-Sambhava's great teachings go far into that subject. [Link]

Being yourself truly, being genuinely yourself, being sincere with yourself too - that is a prerequisite for delicate inner growth, and there are mental functions that suffer from the lack of it. Opposite to that, the "growth" of fakes just brings about veneers, facades, and they may break under severe stress and in unclear situations.

So on the one hand imbalanced politeness is at the cost of candour, on the other hand it is due to mismanaged calculations that aspire for favours. Between those set-up "poles apart" is the id-hard fare for good people, bonhommes. It matters. And just to look cool and calm is not it.

In the long run feigning can be established as a way of life, and feigning gives rise to hypocrisy. The persons Jesus condemned were - hypocrites. Not sexually promiscuous women like Mary and a Samaritan woman, but religious, fervent people - much impressive and faith-bulwarking top dogs.

Let us listen to a warning: If you cannot be the one you are, grosser problems may be underway - in part through bad tackling of innate resources. "This above all: to your own self be true" or "To your own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, you cannot then be false to any man (Mieder et al 1996:444; 613)," wrote William Shakespeare, and Paramahansa Yogananda intimated in a discourse that he had been him in a former life. Believe it or not.

Quietly "lose" the plots for underlings established by top dogs if possible.

Enervating ones can be backed up by intolerance and sucking up to leaders

Blandness, being distinguished in your own right among men, and keeping tall distance is often helpful. Maybe artistry helps too. There are many other ways. But if you do not manage to keep fair to yourself, and put on pretences, you are not like the one you appear in the eyes of others, and that is not full well - maybe it is part of a secret "war", though.

To keep fair and not fall victim of too hard conformity and its servile manners, some like to live alone. Also, some who try to keep honest to themselves may "listen" to messages of ongoing nightly dreams. It helps. If not really sincere, how can you deal in good ways with gurus and God? You may not find out, not be told, and that could be parts of tricks against you.

Yet there is room for politeness. Maybe there would be less tendentious or cramped submission to leaders if people did not crave enormous help and blessings they did not live up to by themselves, or maybe did not qualify for. Have you thought of that?

Yet, to aspire for a better fare or to become aware on higher, subtler levels is not necessarily bad. It is costly, though. Beware that no one tames you in the upward climb.

Nasty people hardly live up to anything costly, for they take up simple sham.

Awakened from false teachings?

Hope to be able to establish a handy middling path of clever and tidy activity on the one hand and contemplation on the other hand so as to make living fruitful. (See Yogananda 1971;343)

In Autobiography of a Yogi Yukteswar and Babaji seemed to be especially interested in the scientific, skilled people so that the scientists harvest great benefits. Ask yourself after you have gathered information to decide a bit from: "Is this just shewbread and window dressing?" (See Yogananda 1971;343) For Babaji's teaching is in part that the Lord is the only one who works [in using torture and building barbed wire fences and gas chambers too, then]. And why did Yukteswar have to stay up late at night to write a unitary book as Babaji requested? And why did not God do it without him?

"'At my request, Swamiji, please undertake another task,' the great master said. 'Will you not write a short book on the underlying basic unity between the Christian and Hindu scriptures? Show by parallel references that the inspired sons of God have spoken the same truths, now obscured by men's sectarian differences.'

"Maharaj,' I answered diffidently, 'what a command! Shall I be able to fulfil it?'

"Babaji laughed softly. "My son, why do you doubt?" he said reassuringly. "Indeed, Whose work is all this, and Who is the Doer of all actions? Whatever the Lord has made me say is bound to materialise as truth." - Autobiography of a Yogi, ch 36]

God - called the doer of all actions - did not do it all on his own anyway: Yukteswar had to write meticulously, so he entered a dangerous-looking role-play. His books seemed all right then, but after a century parts of it are not accepted as fit. You can see for yourself. The lesson might be, "Be aware of both false and dangerous teachings." (Yogananda 1971;344-6; Yukteswar 1972) [Link]

Westerners had better instruct Indians in substantial progress and its methods, accepts avatar Babaji. [See Yogananda 1971;343]. Hence: There is shelter in wit and classy humour, and in a good education. Classy study and wit are great things. Then there are potentially holy men that wait to be awakened - add fooled men too. Some of these wanted to enjoy pleasures and get away with submitting to avatars without checking the many disadvantages first. (See Yogananda 1971;343)

The doer is unrealistic and false and needs to be awakened in beyondness - is that it?

LoDo not leave out of consideration that somewhere Babaji's teachings can work for good

Here we find that the old avatar Babaji vouches for skilled eclecticism (selectivity). Earthly things can be terribly mixed - try to select sugar-like items if you can. [See Yogananda 1971;343]

Not stated by Babaji: Hindu scriptures are variegated. Hinduism shows numerous, often conflicting outlooks on the world and perhaps on the inside world as well. A major schism is between those who call the world real and those who call it unreal. Yogananda calls it unreal, his guru Yukteswar speaks of "the nothingness of the external world (Yukteswar 1972:3)," Lahiri Mahasaya says something in the same vein, and Babaji, as quoted by Yogananda, says the material world is illusory. (Autobiography of a Yogi, ch 34). Krishna, however, teaches differently - in the Bhagavad Gita he says clearly the world is real. [Bhagavad Gita 2:16 and 16:7-8]." And here is a less known quotation from Krishna's Uddhava Gita:

Sri Krishna The man of discrimination . . . can keep himself free from attachments . . . Meditate on Me regularly at the right time . . . abstracting the mind from all else and focussing it directly and well on Me . . .

By proper inquiry you will realize that whatever is apprehended by the mind, speech, sight or other faculties is only Me, and not something else. [Uddhava Gita, Raghunathan 1976:569]

None should be alarmingly confused in these matters. See if you can avoid it. [See Yogananda 1971;344-6]

LoWhat is regularly left out, but needed, can tease a lot

It happens that narrow religious beliefs get cramping and cramped and serve cults. Art may serve as an antidote to narrowness of mind. And art is much omitted in Babaji's scenarios in the Autobiography of a Yogi. [See Yogananda 1971;343]

You can fail to detect Babaji right in front of you, get confused by Shyama Lahiri, get angry and annoyed with Babaji and still be hailed as a wisdom avatar - Yukteswar is such an example. [See Yogananda 1971;347-8 etc.]

Quote: "New hope for new men!" (Yogananda 1971;340]

But what if it is better to go for materially rooted competence, and be thorough about that?

Gist

IN SUM

  1. Good shelter according to plan can make living better and more prosperous.
  2. Do not leave out of consideration that somewhere Babaji's teachings can work for good, eventually.
  3. What is regularly left out, but needed, can tease a lot.
IN NUCE According to plan and education, consider what is regularly left out by gurus and their followers, and consider whether it is truly needed to dispense with those items for the sake of pleasing guru dictates and make a willy-nilly of yourself in the following long process.

Babaji Sayings

Q: Is it you who supervises Russia now?" -- [Babaji:] Yes. (In Antonov 2009:116 )

Be courageous, facing the difficulties of life with bravery! (2007:10)

Live in truth, simplicity, and love and practice karma yoga! (2007:7)

I want you to become brave warriors and attend carefully to your own duties! (2007:7)

Those who are very alert and careful can be successful in their lives! (2007:15)

Pay special attention to everyone's health! (2007:13)

Think good! -- Be good! -- Do good! . . . one must be humane! (2007:9)

When human beings come in this world, they . . . forget God. (2007:10)

See Babaji here, [w]ho is working from morning until evening like a machine! (2007:14)

One has to perceive oneself as the Ocean - the Ocean . . .! (In Antonov 2009:115)

Don't fall behind. (In Antonov 2009:115)

Contents


Babaji, Literature  

Antonov, Vladimir, comp. How God Can Be Cognized: Autobiography of a Scientist Who Studied God. Tr. Mikhail Nikolenko. North Charleston, SC: CreateSpace, 2009.

Antonov, Vladimir, comp. The Teachings of Babaji. Tr. Mikhail Nikolenko, corrected by Keenan Murphy. Lakefield, ON: New Atlanteans, 2007.

Chatterjee, Jogesh Chandra. Yogiraj Shri Shri Lahiri Mahashaya. Kadamtala, Howrah: Shrigurudham (Ghosh), 1964. On-line read-only text at Yoganiketan (in Portland, MN).

Fergusson, Rosalind: The Penguin Dictionary of Proverbs. Penguin. Harmondsworth, 1983.

Giles, Lionel, ed. The Sayings of Confucius: A Translation of the Confucian Analects. Twickenham: Tiger Books, 1998.

Govindan, Marshall. Babaji and the 18 Siddha Kriya Yoga Tradition. 2nd ed. Eastman, Quebec: Babaji's Kriya Yoga Publications, 1991.

Hewitt, James. Yoga. 4th ed. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1992.

⸻. The Complete Yoga Book: The Yoga of Breathing, Meditation and Posture. London: Rider, 1991.

Jones, Eve. Stories About Babaji and Other Modern Miracles. Los Angeles, CA. Self-published, Nd.

Mieder, Wolfgang (main ed.), Stewart A. Kingsbury, and Kelsie E. Harder: A Dictionary of American Proverbs. (Paperback) New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Neelakantan, V. T., and S. A. A. Ramaiah. Aum. Babaji's Masterkey to All Ills (Kriya). Mylapore, Madras: Ramaiah, nd (1953).

Neelakantan, V. T., S. A. A. Ramaiah and Babaji Nagaraj. The Voice of Babaji: A Trilogy on Kriya Yoga, 2nd ed. Eastman, Quebec: Kriya Yoga Order of Acharyas, 2003. ⍽▢⍽ Three books from the early 1950s are reprinted and published as one: "The Voice of Babaji and Mysticism Unlocked," "Babaji's Masterkey to All Ills (Kriya)," and "Babaji's Death of Death (Kriya)." It is claimed that much of the content was dictated by a voice to a man who was severely ill with dysenteria. Those who suffer from such an inflammatory disorder, complain of nausea, abdominal pain, and frequent watery and usually foul-smelling diarrhea, accompanied by mucus and blood, rectal pain and fever - generalised muscle aches sometimes also. On rare occasions, the amoebic parasite that causes the disease, also invades the body through the bloodstream and spreads through it and infects the brain too. With and without severe dysenteria, Neelankantan identified the voice he heard as that of Babaji, he writes. Now, there are quite few verbatim quotations throughout large parts of the book.
    The responses to the trilogy are diverse:
    One Amazon customer suspects the messages are just supposed transmissions, and further tells "I was a student of S.A.A. Ramaiah back in 1975-1982. I was close friends with one of his "advanced" students who was called Avvai. She traveled with S.A.A. Ramaiah to India many times. She showed me a rough draft of said book -- it was never published by Ramaiah. She told me that when she was in India she learned that the co-author, V. T. Neelakantan, had confessed that he and Ramaiah had concocted the book themselves and that it was not transmitted to them by Babaji. . . . I don't know which is true."
    Another writes that "the book "The Voice of Babaji". . . to me, does not ring true, does not feel true, But it does feel full of mind and intellectual blah-blah", yet "there are many good ideas and philosophies".
    A third: "What I find challenging is the lack of structure and personified discourse." The title "'The Voice of Babji', raises expectation of the reader to read the words of Babaji verbatim. We could find some of these, but will little essence." That is a good point to note. In large parts of the book there seems to be no Babaji speaking at all.
    Thus, all Amazon reviewers do not find the book very rewarding. Some praise it highly, though, but for most part do not tell why. There is much focus on grandeur and much repetition of traditional ideas in the book.

Niranjanananda, Swami. Prana and Pranayama. Munger, Bihar: Yoga Publications Trust, 2009.

Raghunathan, N., tr. Srimad Bhagavatam, Vols 1-2. Madras: Vighneswara, 1976.

Satyananda Giri, Swami. Yogiraj Shyama Charan Lahiri Mahasaya. A Biography. Tr Amitava Chaterjee. Portland, Mn: Sevayatan and Yoganiketan, 2001.

Satyananda Saraswati, Swami. Kundalini Tantra. 8th ed. Munger: Yoga Publications Trust, 2001.

⸻. A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya. Munger: Yoga Publications Trust, 1981.

Self-Realization Fellowship. The Master Said: A Collection of Paramhansa Yogananda's Sayings and Wise Counsel to Various Disciples. Los Angeles, CA: Self-Realization Fellowship Publishing House, 1952.

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

Sogyal Rinpoche. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying: The Spiritual Classic and International Bestseller. Eds. Paatrick Gaffney and Andrew Harvey. Rev. ed. New York: HarperCollins e-books, 2009.

Venkatesananda, Swami. Guru — Disciple., Divine Life Society, 2004. Online.
http://www.dlshq.org/messages/gurudisciple.htm

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

⸻. The Authentic Gospel of Jesus. London: Penguin, 2005.

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

⸻. The Story of the Scrolls: The Miraculous Discovery and True Significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls. London: Penguin, 2010b.

WP: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi. 1st ed. New York: Theosophical, 1946. Online.

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

⸻. Autobiography of a Yogi. 11th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1971.

⸻. Journey to Self-realization: Discovering the Gift of the Soul. New ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 2000.

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

Yukteswar, Swami. The Holy Science: Kaivalya Darsanam. 7th ed. Los Angeles, CA: Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), 1972.

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