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Babaji Stories

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

How Old Is Babaji Really?

Gustave Courbet. The Meeting, or 'Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet'. 1854. Modified detail indicating a few Mahavatar Babaji teachings
The belief is that "Over 600 years old, he often walks about as a common man of different shapes and with a staff in his hand". [See all]

Three versions follow: Yukteswar, who asked Babaji, wrote almost 120 years ago that he 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.

1. What Satyananda Tells

Swami Satyananda 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." [Ys, 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 the book Ay, Chap 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 [Ak 292].

3. Babaji Born

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

Another story:

Nice cat
Adjust well too.
In the year 203 CE someone was born on the night before the new moon during the Tamil month Kartikai (or November). This happened in Tamil Nadu, in a small village. The seaport town Porto Novo lies there now.

His parents gave him the name "Nagaraj", or "King of serpents" to honour the great primordial life force ...

After being kidnapped at the age of five by a Pathan and taken north to Dacca, he was later released. He wandered with religious mendicants till the age of eleven - he migrated to Benares where he rose to be a Sanskrit scholar. [See note below]

Discontent with his early success, he sailed by boat to the shrine of Katarigama on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. For eighteen months he plunged into such contemplation (meditation) where he could analyse different philosophical systems with the bright mind of a twelve years old youth or so.

Inspired by a siddha, Boganathar, he was able to appreciate and understand what such as siddhantha yoga and soruba samadhi stood for. Next he wandered throughout South India and was initiated into the mysteries of kundalini yoga by a still remembered Agastyar. Agastyar is presented as the guru of Boganathar. With the help of these two South Indian gurus, Babaji was enlightened when he was 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 and he went on from there -

This story is a retelling on top of other Internet versions. More can be found in the book Babaji and the 18 Siddha Kriya Yoga tradition by Marshall Govindan. [◦Link]

Age Uncertain, Whereabouts Dangerous

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

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. [Ysl Ch 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].

Near the door, sunlight

Behind Mahavatar Babaji Nagaraj
Near the door, sunlight."
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. More here: Link]

Article by Yogi S. Ramaiah. [◦Link]

The Badger

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

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 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 went to sleep afterwards, eyes closed - must Babaji see through closed eyes?

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

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 adjustments. Maybe it is very fun, and not as boring and enervating as watching three TV programs at the same time. Maybe it could be fun!

  • 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.
  • The culinary art of living is not had by trusting much, but by mastering much on one's own, hopefully as a free individual.


Babaji: Intermediate Summary

Rembrandt painting or Babaji picture? Self-portrait, ca. 1655-8. Central part
Babaji picture? A Rembrandt [See all]

All we know is that he is said to be very old. Different sources give different ages.

He may look like anyone, like a shape-shifter. He may look like you and me.

And he is so secretive that very few actually see him - fewer still may recognise him if they chance meet him.

Our sources agree that the sadhu initiated Lahiri Mahasaya, also called Lahiri Baba (1828-95), into very secret kriya yoga on Drungiri Hill near Ranikhet in the Himalayas in 1861, and that Lahiri Baba initiated about 5000 persons. Publicly known kriya teachings branch out from here.

One of Lahiri Baba's followers came to be known as Yukteswar (1855-1936). He too spread kriya and was permitted to "guru" others, like some other followers of Lahiri Baba. It appears they taught similar basic techniques. But other elements of the "total pack" were added, modified, or removed. It is said that Lahiri Baba taught more or less different kriya techniques to different followers to accommodate for differences among them.

The world-famous Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952) simplified, altered, and even removed parts of the kriya yoga that Lahiri Baba says are essential. Yogananda also spread kriya yoga in ways that went against the advised ways of Lahiri Baba, and changed the following into a mass movement. The accommodating Yogananda said he was in rapport with Jesus, used his teachings as shewbred for managing things among Christians - you know how upset or near-hysterical some Americans have shown they can get over Communism or even French fries (chips), but not the communist elements of early Christianity - they are put aside.

Against massive, inbred intolerance he took to strange teachings of unity between Christianity and the Hinduism of Krishna. The said unity seldom fits well enough, in our opinion.

In Yogananda's teachings vital elements of the kriya message are missing, the conditions of transmission are altered, and many vital elements are removed. This goes along with the faith that his kriya is twelve times better than the one he set out with after being taught in the kriya tradition by his father Bhagabati Gosh, his Sanskrit tutor Keshabananda, and Yukteswar. The mentioned Goal is reached twelve times faster with Yogananda, he teaches - twelve times faster that the prospects his guru Yukteswar shows up.

What is the price for the said 144 times better odds than the kriya of Yukteswar? Yogananda's kriya pledge binds a follower to him in gruesome ways the world may never have witnessed before. Much of his "guruing" seems questionable; small and gross inconsistencies and untrue statements mark parts of his teachings. We document it elsewhere. At one time he used the catchword "scientific" to describe his taught methods, but he also dropped the "scientific" in moments his power policy or "monky business" could be at stake. Behind the whimsical-looking changes, severe submission of followers was maintained.

Now the earlier Yogananda also permitted some rather freestanding 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 "mainstream" SRF kriya teachings. 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.

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. It may come as a surprise to some, but it does not seem that Babaji and Shyama Lahiri are into the Bihar Yoga school of Satyananda. There are many other kriya lines and kriya teachers. And to the degree that it is so, Babaji is not found at the bottom of all kriya either.


Babaji Incongruities

Blatant Inconsistencies

"Only the witless one expects the blacksmith to wear a white silk apron," says an American proverb [Ap 54]. In Paramahansa Yogananda's Self-Realization Fellowship they venerate Babaji and say Babaji is ever in union with the (now bodiless) Jesus Christ. These two masters have thought out how to liberate mankind, according to Yogananda.

Eagle song
That I am with you always but far off could work well, sheep.

How? 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 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 (fit 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, the Christ (Messiah) of the New Testament was crucified till he was dead . . . Such a crucial element of the matter should not be overlooked. Did not Yukteswar instruct Yogananda copiously for his mission?
  • Having several gurus (masters) is not what Jesus makes a point of in the gospel.
This is to show that followers of Yogananda, and Yogananda himself, are not honest with you.

Words by Yogananda as Documentation

Paramahansa Yogananda citations "Babaji ... Yogi-Christ of modern India". [Pa 305 and opp. 304]

"Prophets like Christ and Lahiri Mahasaya". [Pa 283n] (2)

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

"Yukteswar, a modern Yogi-Christ". [Pa 194] (4)

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

"Babaji ... deathless guru". [Pa 346]

[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, Soc 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. [Soc 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.

[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 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 . . . [Ak 344]

One of the reasons why Oriental teachings can look intriguing to beginners in the West, is that they never 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.


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". [Pa 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, the guru-bombast appears to 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.


Pledges to Babaji

Give up a Lot and See Your Losses

Lo 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 the high priest, "I have spoken openly to the world . . . I said nothing in secret. [John 18:19-21]. But he had already told his disciples "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them [non-disciples]. [Matthew 13:11-17].

Yogananda says in his autobiography that Babaji and Jesus are always in communion with one another, and here we see that the Jesus of the gospels speaks with two mouths and calls himself Truth in other places, and followers need to worship in truth and righteousness. That righteousness should exclude slavery, but what does the Bible tell? It was written at a time when slavery was the public practice. Yahweh institutes parts of it [Exodus 21 ff], Jesus teaches the greatest is the slave of all, and the apostle Paul endorses slavery in his letter to Titus.

Kriya pledges serve to make a sort of bondman out of you, a serf or slave of a sort, by your oath. We suggest you study before you commit yourself to anyone. Look to the fruits and berries or a fare, and do not ignore the hard long-run consequences. Promises had better serve your freedom and not tear down the self-sufficiency you have. And what about your inner and quite instinctive authority? Are you asked to go against it for the sake of blatant guru take-over dictates?

Do not over-estimate the reach of fakers, and be informed that some fakers love to pose as divine gurus. As a matter of fact, Indian teachings say there are more fakes than genuine gurus. Be thoroughly guarded and escape fraud that way.

Do not overstretch to please neither Babaji nor anybody that batters your higher being by a fraud set up. Become realistic and not overbearing and overtrusting. There are better things to do, such as being educated and learn a profession.

If on the other hand you want to be punished, seek warmth from the moon and try not to let your guilt or whatever it may be, ruin yourself. Use your opportunities to build a good fare, rather. Much can be improved that way.



The Babaji of Yoganandaji

From Yogananda's Babaji-presentation

Lo Choose not a wife by the eye only, or a gurudev by the surface spectacles only. [Cf. Dp 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 [Ap 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 Pa 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 Pa 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." [Pa 344-6; Hos] [Link]

Westerners had better instruct Indians in substantial progress and its methods, accepts avatar Babaji. [See Pa 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 Pa 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 Pa 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 [Hos 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:

YES 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, Sh 569]

None should be alarmingly confused in these matters. See if you can avoid it. [See Pa 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 Pa 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 Pa 347-8 etc.]

Quote: "New hope for new men!" [Pa 340]

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



  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, Literature  

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

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

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

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

Pa: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi. 11th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1971. [Compare].

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

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

Ys: Satyanananda, Swami. Yogiraj Shyama Charan Lahiri Mahasaya. A Biography. Tr Amitava Chaterjee. Portland, Mn: Sevayatan and Yoganiketan, 2001. Earlier on-line:
[], now:

Ysl: Chatterjee, Jogesh Chandra. Yogiraj Shri Shri Lahiri Mahashaya. Kadamtala, Howrah: Shrigurudham (Ghosh), 1964. On-line read-only text at Yoganiketan, Portland, Mn: []. Earlier there: []

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