There are works on and by Yogananda (1893-1952) by other publishers than SRF (Self-Realization Fellowship), and in many respects they could be more fruitfut too, as Crystal Clarity / Ananda. Why so, in case? Because they may give a more direct and less SRF-adapted version of phrases, goals and happenings. Comparison work of this sort takes a lot of study and much time and effort. It is not nearly enough just to look flimsily through titles of other publishers than Self-Realization Fellowship and shunning much that SRF is not served bym but fair judgements depend largely on it.
There are also books on and by various Yogananda followers. Among those I have selected are some of the books by and on Kriyananda here, along with something on the second SRF president, a book by the third SRF president, and a couple on the first SRF vice president, Dr Minott W. Lewis, and one by Durga Mata.
Kamala Silva, Norman Paulsen, and Roy Eugene Davis are among Yogananda disciples who have written books.
There is also the Amrita Foundation, founded in Dallas, Texas, during the 1970s by former associates of SRF. They wanted to publish their own versions of the teachings of Yogananda (1893–1952), for they considered that the SRF editing distorted the texts too much. Amrita Foundation set about reprinting materials in the public domain, including original editions of Yoganandas writings. Among the reprints were Yogananda's original lessons on kriya yoga. Issues are sent out monthly to subscribers. Advice on diet and nutrition is also given, apart from meditation knowhow. Amrita has reprinted several first-editions of early writings, including The Second Coming of Christ, Songs of the Soul, and Whispers from Eternity. Of these three, The Second Coming shows how much the SRF-edited version of the work has swelled.
Publishing fights are found - fights for copyrights, and fights for versions to survive, for example. The attorney Jon Parsons (see 'Arf') takes us deeply into such sides of what alternative communities live by and fight over: publishing books and attracting people on the mundane level. Also consider that being greatly spiritual is not needed for going into lots of skirmishes.
Below are some works on or by disciples of Yogananda, and a very good survey by Jon Parsons of how SRF behaved over twelve years against Ananda, which was founded by Kriyananda, former vice president of SRF (see Arf below).
Why use acronym references? Used in texts, they are among the neat and brief ways of referring to works - a space-saving device. [Compare advantages]
Apa: Kriyananda, Swami. A Place called Ananda. Rev. 2nd ed. Nevada City: Hansa Trust: 2001
In 1968, some years after being driven out of SRF, Kriyananda founded the remarkable Ananda Village in Nevada City, California, and has motivated many to a taller way of living. Ananda is recognised as one of the most successful "New Age" alternative communities in the world, with Ananda communities in the US, India, and Italy.
Ananda receives many visitors each year, and teach many sides to meditation, yoga, and the spiritual life. There is a nearby Ananda Meditation Retreat, an Institute of Alternative Living, and an Ananda college is being made too.
The founder of Ananda wrote inspirational books - over 90 books on different subjects - and composed over 400 musical works too. He also edited several of Yogananda's works, and went through years of harrassing trials. Through Crystal Clarity Publishers his works have sold over 3 million copies worldwide and been translated into over 25 languages.
Arf: Parsons, Jon R. A Fight for Religious Freedom: A Lawyer's Personal Account of Copyrights, Karma and Dharmic Litigation. Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity Publishers, 2012
Highly informative, entertaining and well written. This eye-opener covers a 12-year legal battle launched by SRF against Ananda Church - both with Paramhansa Yogananda as their guru. SRF's intent was, the judge observed, "to put Ananda out of business." Ananda succeeded in freeing Yogananda material from SRF control. Many of SRF's existing copyrights were revealed to be invalid, including the publishing rights to Yogananda's autobiography. Further, research by Ananda's legal team uncovered that SRF - eager for monopoly - had altered Yogananda's works drastically.
Efl: Kriyananda, Swami. Education for Life: Preparing Children to Meet the Challenges. Rev. ed. Nevada City: Living Wisdom, 2001
The book is used to train teachers, parents and educators. At Ananda Village, parents can choose to send their children to the Ananda Living Wisdom School, which spans pre-school through high school. The Village's Living Wisdom School also serves children from the surrounding area, as well as international boarding students.
The Ananda College of Living Wisdom (a California certified college) offers AA and BA degrees, and is Ananda's newest development in "conscious education" - in fields such as business, the arts, world cultures, sustainability, and yoga philosophy. Founded at Ananda Village's Meditation Retreat, the college is now located at Ananda's Laurelwood community in Gaston, OR.
Ananda's Living Wisdom Schools teach according to the Education for Life philosophy originated by Swami Kriyananda and Nitai Deranja. Students are taught about the value of developing one's higher potentials along with more common subjects to study. [https://www.ananda.org/free-inspiration/books/education-for-life/]
Fm: Novak, Devi. Faith Is My Armor: The Life of Swami Kriyananda. Nevada City: Crystal Clarity, 2005
Kriyananda achieved much through great tenacity and much else, including co-workers. At 22, he became a disciple of Yogananda, who later told him to "ecture, write books, and edit" Yogananda writings - for as Swami Satyeswarananda points out, Yogananda was obviously weak in English too.
Kriyananda also travelled and lived and lectured in many places and in five languages, and wrote about 90 books. There are translations in 27 languages.
The book is online at Ananda.
Gi: Kriyananda, Swami. God Is for Everyone: Inspired by Paramahansa Yogananda. Nevada City: Crystal Clarity, 2003
The Science of Religion [Scp] is in part elaborated on, in part abridged. Check another abridged version of the book. [Dying before getting old - Yogananda's way]
Online 1st ed.
Hb: Kriyananda, Swami. Hope for a Better World: The Small Communities Solution. 4th ed. Nevada City: Crystal Clarity, 2002
In 1968, Kriyananda, a Yogananda disciple, started his first Ananda community outside Nevada City, California. He based it on some of Yogananda's programs or principles for "World Brotherhood Colonies" principles. Ananda has grown and includes schools (kindergarten through high school), private and community-owned businesses, gardens, a guest retreat and teaching center, a healing center, a museum and gift shop, publishing company, and a college. Adult residents practice Yogananda's changed form of kriya yoga.
Ananda has also started other World Brotherhood Colonies - in Palo Alto, Sacramento, and Nevada City in California; in Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington, and at least four abroad.
In 1969 Norman Paulsen created the Sunburst Community in Santa Barbara, California. In 1970 J. Oliver Black, the leader of the SRF Detroit, Michigan center, began Clear Light Community in Northern Michigan.
SRF has no such communities, although its founder, Yogananda, wanted them and often emphasised the need for communities "founded on a spiritual basis." However, Kriyananda had heard Yogananda tell audiences that living in Colonies would help people be free of many of the ills that beset modern society, including going for luxuries by getting debts - a source of long-lasting worries, apart from becoming slaves of attachments - to the end that possessions in turn possess them.
Yogananda wrote a detailed article in East-West magazine in April 1932. There he described how he thought people should live in his ideal communities, by forgoing parts of the freedom degrees that likable homes have and going about hatless, barefoot or in sandals in rain or shine. Pros and cons - [Hatless and in sandals through winder storms to accommodate to Yogananda decrees?]
There is reason to point out that "little-group models of ideal civilizations" and other utopias often fall short one way or another. Yogananda ideals included that people in his "villages" should grow their own food, educate their own children, and live a simple life as he told. "All butter and milk should be obtained from home-bred cows, and vegetables should be grown by the members of this spiritual farm on their own land. Lambs should be grown for wool for dresses, socks, and other articles. Hats should not be worn. All the people should wear sandals or go barefooted."
Poor Inuits if they should get bitten or smitten by such stuff - left with unfit, old Yogananda guidelines once again! But Yogananda was enthusiastic - he wrote a letter to Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, trying to get Ford's support for World Brotherhood Colonies. And at a garden party in Beverly Hills in July 1949, he declared, "The day will come when this colony idea will spread through the world like wildfire."
"Thousands of youths must go North, South, East and West to cover the earth with little colonies, demonstrating that simplicity of living plus high thinking lead to the greatest happiness!" said Yogananda.
Kriyananda thought that what Yogananda said about "World Brotherhood Colonies" was the most stirring lecture he ever heard.
The dangers of pooling include going too far, and thereby losing frivolity and other freedom outlets. So far, urbanisation dominates globally and the trend continues, but decentralised communities and a countryside may still be found and developed a lot, and a few Yogananda-inspired communities exist too.
If you cannot find better conditions to live in, a guru-subjected community may not be felt as very bad for a long time, or at all. It would depend on which guru is into it, and which guidelines are given the most weight and how sensible they are. Is it "barefoot and hatless in the winter snow", there is a risk that deaths will wipe out all. Just be aware of it.
Hwa: Kriyananda, Swami. The Hindu Way of Awakening: Its Revelation, Its Symbols: An Essential View of Religion. Crystal Clarity. Nevada City: 1998
Many symbols help summing up or pointing to experiences. In this book, Kriyananda speaks of symbols and deities in Hinduism and their underlying teachings. As for revelation, Kriyananda writes in the first chapter: "Any flash of certainty that enters the mind with sudden clarity, and that is neither clouded by imagination nor merely formulated as a reasonable hypothesis, is, in its own way, a revelation." If you enlarge it to such as "flash of certainty about something" it should be better.
He also says, "Revelations must be in some way verifiable." Better: "They had better be verifiable." Compare Revelations in the New Testament: Obscure and figurative, they have been taken to mean this and that and twisted and turned a lot over the centuries to suit many false ideas of cranks. And it would be better if all so-called revelations would fit into our world.
Kriyananda: "Revelation doesn't merely "make sense." It comes "like the goddess Athena from the brow of Zeus." "Einstein's intuitive recognition of the Law of Relativity was a revelation". Revelation transcends reason; it perceives the essential truth of a thing in its entirety"- "whereas the intellect must plod slowly over muddy fields."
Apt symbols may trigger and solidify deeper understanding for later-comers too. And "There are . . . many levels of intuitive insight," says Kriyananda.
Lim: Self-Realization Magazine. The Life Story of Dr. M. W. Lewis. Los Angeles: SRF, 1960
The Boston dentist Minott W. Lewis became the first American that Yogananda initiated in kriya yoga, one a Christmas Eve in 1920. He and his wife Mildred left Boston for California to reside in Encinitas in 1945, where he supervised activities of a papaya grove. In 1952 he was elected first vice president of the fellowship, and in that office he was at least formally one of the SRF managers who took it on them to "build down" Yogananda goals by removing some of them from the revised SRF Aims and Ideals from the 1950s.
Lwl: Kriyananda, Swami. Living Wisely, Living Well: Timeless Wisdom to Enrich Every Day. Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity, 2010
"Think of time as a radiation outward from your own center . . . in the changeless NOW," is one of the pearls, from February 2.
"Truthfulness requires an acceptance of things as they are. Wishful thinking leads to wishful talking, which can bend perception to suit one's own, and others', mere fancies." (June 2)
"Say what you mean, and then stop . . . it is important to be clear, succinct, and satisfied with sufficiency!" (June 5)
There is a Kriyananda quotation for each day.
Msf: Kriyananda, Swami. My Separation from SRF. Nevada City, CA: Ananda, 1992
Swami Kriyananda tells of skirmishes in SRF, and some people who gave him troubles there, lots of troubles. He also tells Yogananda's guiding words were not all right heeded in SRF, the former SRF vice president sums up. He apparently suffered there.
One may add that the SRF president, Daya Mata, secretly lived away from the SRF headquarters for thirty years (!), and most SRF monastics were not even aware of it. Ron Russell wrote in The Los Angeles Times on June 1, 2000:
Daya Mata, whose real name is Faye Wright, is all but invisible to the outside world. Her sister, Virginia Wright, who uses the Sanskrit name Ananda Mata, has long been the organization's treasurer. . . . [SRF] officials . . . say that [Daya Mata] was living as a monastic inside the Mount Washington compound and that she was too preoccupied with spiritual matters to be interviewed. However, as New Times reported, contrary to the acknowledged belief of even some monks living there -- not to mention a wider body of church members -- Daya Mata and her sister weren't living at the Mother Center at all. As Ananda Mata confirmed to a reporter who visited her, the sisters have shared an SRF-owned house in a neighborhood of million-dollar homes in the San Gabriel Valley foothill community of Sierra Madre since the late 1960s. For years, they've commuted to Mount Washington in a vintage pink Cadillac.
In SRF, the "absentee" counts.
This story that you've heard, you may think rather queer.
Nor: Kriyananda, Swami. The Nayaswami Order: A Renunciate Order for the New Age. Nevada City, CA: Hansa Trust / Crystal Clarity, 2014
Kriyananda founded a monastic order that does not say no to ministers getting married, and let them wear blue robes instead of ochre ones. "Robes, Pierre, that is a clue." Kriyananda launched his form of swami order in late 2009.
Earlier, Kriyananda had married in 1981, and publicly renounced his monastic vows in the Shankaracharya swami order when he married again in 1985. At that time he returned to using his birth name, James Donald Walters. He was later divorced. Then, in 1995, on his own, he resumed his monastic name and vows, but was found guilty of sexual harassment in a court of law. Eight or nine different women testified against him in open court. Other women did not want to testify for the sake of their families and children, and so on.
It started earlier. Kriyananda admits in chapter twelve in A Place Called Ananda that he had an affair with one of the nuns at SRF in 1960, five years after he first became a Swami as a member of SRF.
There was a nun at Mt. Washington [The SRF Headquarters]. . . . She fell in love with me . . . was too much for me. . . . Before I knew it, I found myself drawn into an emotion that I had hoped to have left behind me forever. I struggled against it, but to no avail.
Afterwards, several people have testified that through the 60's, 70's, 80's, and 90's while Kriyananda was claiming to be a celibate, he routinely and often engaged in sex acts with women. Most of them were his own followers, also called students. That is what "a large, loosely connected group of [anonymous] individuals who have had the misfortune to come across Swami Kriyananda at some point in our lives" write. [◦The Ananda Awareness Network].
"Put little trust in anonymous tales," is largely sound advice. At any rate, the aged Kriyananda believed a "new swami deal" would be OK. He therefore initiated himself in it and decided that (1) Nayaswamis (naya means new) can be single or married; can be freely creative if they mean to serve others. New nayaswamis - other nayaswamis than Kriyananda - have to have three nayaswamis to name them. "The more the merrier." If enough people enter and follow suit, it may work too.
Np: Kriyananda, Swami. The New Path: My Life with Paramhansa Yogananda. 3nd ed. Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity, 2010
Online. (Formerly The Path: Autobiography of a Western Yogi. Nevada City: Crystal Clarity, 1977). The book is part biography of Kriyananda, part memoir about his Americanised guru Yogananda and part attempts at "spiritual teachings". Some tell it is a great work; what current SRF leaders value it as, could be another story. Here is an example of Kriyananda's style:
An important question remained for me: Is right attitude based on mere mental resolution, or is it born of higher-than-sensory experience?
The American psychologist Calvin S. Hall Jr., PhD (1909–85) investigated the dreams of sleepers for years. He did so by waking large numbers of them during REM sleep and asking them at once to tell what they had been dreaming and what feelings that accompanied their dreams. His studies were focused on dream content.
Dreams are parts of mental workings, processings of experiences, ideas or other mental stuff. Dreams open a gate to otherwise hidden regions our minds, also called the subconscious or unconscous.. Hall found dreams reveal things about yourself, and may explain things too. Hall grouped dreams into five main life areas. [More on expert handling of dreams]
Consider the context also
Dreams are for the living, and often reflect plentiful sifting of mental content. Dreams of flying are fairly common. What do such dreams indicate about a person's subconscous areas, if anything? These dreams can be interpreted in many ways depending the context of the dream. Before analysing a dream of flying one needs to take into account the significant details of the dream, the feelings and possible symbols it them. As a result of such dreamwork, our dreams may give us many useful hints about living.
Dream analysis is highly subjective, although some pointers are given.
In almost every culture, dreams of flying are found
Dreams about flying are more common in adult males than other segments of the population. Men at large are under great pressure, and it has become fairly common for many males to confront their feelings about this pressure and an underlying desire to be free, by working it out in flying dreams. Hence, dreams of flying often represent a sense of freedom and serve as a sort of escape from pressures. (1)
Dreams of flying represent pressures and daily pressures, and may also provide tips on how to remedy situations, or they serve to highlight situations by dream work (interpretations of dreams). (3)
Edgar Cayce said that dreams of flying may tell of "traveling to be done in the waking state (Cayce Reading 2310-2)", or awakening to higher outlooks somehow (Cf. Cayce Reading 900-159, A-4). Be that as it may, in almost every culture, flying dreams represent freedom or a release from daily pressures. Usually, they occur when we are dealing with issues of freedom, momentum or a lack of it.
They can highlight an experience we are having, but have not yet been conscious of, and they can provide actual tips on how to remedy a situation.
[Section derived from "Dreams About Flying: Dream Meanings Explained"by Wendy Gould, The Huffington Post, last updated Sep 12, 2011. The dream facets in the article are opinions held by Jeffrey Sumber, a psychotherapist and author in Chicago.]
In seeking to interpret Kriyananda's dream of flying sensibly, one had better consider his settings, circumstances or stage of life also. He tells of such things too in the chapter mentioned (no. 8). The book is online at Ananda Sangha.
On: Mata, Daya. "Only Love". Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1976
"When I am gone, only love can take my place," the founding guru of SRF is quoted to have said. The book contains talks by Daya Mata, (1914-2010), late and largely absent president of the Fellowship. She tries to be fervent about her way of life as an institutionalised nun, perhaps.
But when she became the leader of the "business", she did not prefer to live among the other monks and nuns she was the head of, but lived in a villa with a view to the mountains. She kept it up like that about thirty years while almost every SRF monastic thought that their leader was living among them at the SRF headquarters on 3880 San Rafael Avenue in southern Los Angeles (CA 90065). After the Los Angeles Times broke the news about where she lived, and how long she had lived like that, about one third of the SRF monastics left the SRF premises between 2000 and 2005. About fifty left and about a hundred was left. When words and deeds mismatch, deeds tend to weigh the most.
Glimpses into strangely non-transparent SRF say something about the largely SRF absent or recluse author.
Poi: Kriyananda, Swami. The Promise of Immortality. Nevada City: Crystal Clarity, 2000
"Don't believe anything you are told," is still good counsel. Instilling faith in others is what minsters live off.
There are parallel passages in the Bible, in ancient Egyptian Maat-norms for example, the Bhagavad Gita, Tao The Ching in Lin Yutang's translation (Taoism, shown by Holmes Welch 1971:5-6), and in teachings of Buddha. In the latter case, between many of the Ten Commandments and Buddha's moral norms for lay followers. Behind many Bible commandments are older Egyptian norms; and behind Bible proverbs are proverbs of surrounding countries, including Egypt. That should be well known.
Yes, one can find parallell passages - but just to talk of some surface similarities is seldom good enough, since it is shallow and may be far too shallow. Fair treatment involves pointing out much more than that: settings, mind-sets, cultures and traditional rooting - and alternative interpretations, if any. Such things matter too, and help us against foolish goadings that in turn influence our thinking to make it at fault.
When, for example, some parallell passages are said to make "a convincing argument for the potential unity of all religious belief" it is a conclusion at fault. Study the main idea of inherited Christianity: according to some gospel passages it wants to be exclusive and take over, take over all minds. It complicates matters, though, that the Missionary Command to make non-Jews followers, seems to be a later-added forgery. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says his teachings, salvation and ministry are for Jews alone. He died as he lived: for Jews alone. And they did not receive him, although he often stressed some of their basic points, including the Law of Moses. His religion started as a tense sect and wallowed in religious wars since. Bart D. Ehrman has written many books on how Christianity for non-Jews by steps and stages got falsified and strangely let go of having only four requirements (Acts 15:19-29)
In the West, having some background knowledge about the Bible can be good against being taken in. As for Jesus-promises to Jews in some gospels, belief that real Christians are working mountain-thowing wonders, may slink and get deflated. Let it! "What is told, may not be true," is a good starting-point for deepening reflections. If you are idealistic and romantic, being taken in or swindled by bland words might be a risk.
Where Kriyananda was coming from: Kriyananda was a vice president in SRF, a cultish church society, before he was driven out from there and after some time started on his own. He wallows in teachings of Yogananda. So does SRF. In the wake of Yogananda doctrines it speaks of harmony between the teachings of Jesus and the Bhagavad Gita. However, Jesus apparently teaches in Matthews that the soul can be destroyed, and Yogananda holds that it is immortal, and still preaches one hundred percent harmony between Christiany and Krishna's teachings in the Bhagavad Gita. It is a hoax. So much for offensively harmonised teachings. If you believe in a hoax, you are in for getting a victim of it too. [Much more]
Now, back to the title: After promising something one had better deliver. The question, "How to get immortal" has varied answers, depending on means, and what levels of man or woman we speak of. Is it the body, the mind, or the soul, or all three? What to steer outside of, for our own good?
Further questions: Is immortality marring too? What about losing all your near and dear ones, building relationships again and again, see partners get aged and die, one after another? Can you cope with that? Is it enough to live long only? A better question might be, rather, "How to make the most best of each minute."
The idea is, "If you take good care of the minutes, it could add up to an improved life some way or other." If not, too bad! Lessons on how to profit from life in the best ways may be detected by consuming trials and errors, by listening to experienced guys from the past and present. There are very good sources on how to live, and other kinds of sources.
Psy: Dasgupta, Sailendra. Paramhansa Swami Yogananda: Life-portrait and Reminiscences. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, 2006
A biography on the founding guru of SRF. The biographer was another disciple of Yukteswar, and served as Yogananda's secretary when Yogananda visisted India in 1935-36 and thereby escaped a US court case. In the book are eye witness descriptions of scenes when Yogananda disappointed his guru severely and fell out with him too on one occasion that seemed rather important to them both.
On the last page of the text [p. 112] a fellow disciple says Yogananda himself told he had been a vicious, murderous desert marauder in a past life, and Yogananda shivered with horror when telling it.
Compare Yoganda's guru's words, "The vanished lives of all men are dark with many shames." [Autobiography of a Yogi, Chap. 12]
Pyt: Mata, Durga (Dufour, Florina Alberta). A Paramhansa Yogananda Trilogy of Divine Love: My Life and Service to My Guru. Beverly Hills, CA: Joan Wight Publications, 1992/93 and 1997
Durga Mata was not of Mormon upbringing, unlike the current and former SRF president, and others. Coming to Yogananda as a young woman, moving to his headquarters in Los Angeles in December 1929, she remained a disciple until she died in 1993.
The first year he nicknamed her "Gultuton," - "because if something did not go as it should, or, I did not like what I was doing, I used to mumble protest." (p. 30).
The book contains many other stories of her and Yogananda. For example, he tells her he was Arjuna in a distant incarnation. She also writes that Sri Yukteswar was Yogananda's guru by proxy. (proxy-guru!) and that Yogananda's real guru was Babaji, who was Krishna in his previous birth and Krishna was the guru of Arjuna. So much told or concocted, so very little proved or documented fairly and well! So many calls for wild trust!
In short, Durga Mata tells of twenty-two years with Yogananda, of interactions between the him and his disciples. In 1936, he asked her to move to his recently got hermitage in Encinitas where she served the coming, second SRF president on almost a daily basis, and she devotes parts of her book to him, too.
Her book can be a help to glimpse what life was like with Yogananda and in his surroundings.
Rajn: Self-Realization Fellowship. Rajasi Janakananda (James J. Lynn): A Great Western Yogi. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1959
The booklet tells of a disciple of Yogananda who first became known for walking barefoot in his office, for becoming a self-made millionaire, and who took over the leadership of SRF for a few years after Yogananda died in 1952, and died of pneumonia a few years later. After his death in the 1950s, SRF decided to change Rajasi to Rajarsi, similar to what they did to Paramhansa (see Sob).
Ryo: Kriyananda, Swami. Rescuing Yogananda. Nevada City: Crystal Clarity Publishers, 2010
- rescuing Yogananda's work from the hands of SRF's management, he says. Rescuing the guru from misinterpretation by Self-Realization Fellowship, and rescuing devotees who have become disenchanted with Yogananda as presented by SRF. The publishers have divided the responses into Positive responses; Responses that aere basically supportive, but not entirely; Respectful disagreements; and "Fiery cauldrons of emotion" SRF did not seem to respond publicly. It seems to be part of a policy. Kriyananda responded to comments in a letter. Excerpts:
From Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi: "It is often said that no man is great in the eyes of his valet. But in Swami Kriyananda's case, those who have known him the longest and worked with him the most closely are among those who hold him in the highest spiritual esteem."
Some sects use Jesus to their own ends - also to their own leaders' ends. Fooling is a common thing. Americans have got between 1.000 and 5.000 cults so far, depending in part on definitions and understanding. About 5.000 is Professor Margaret Singer's estimate (2003:xvii). Some cults mean to get assets, including money.
Forsthoefel, Thomas A., and Cynthia Ann Humes, eds. Gurus in America. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2005. ⍽▢⍽ Some Hindu gurus are known in America after attracting followings there. The book covers significant parts of the teachings of nine gurus, the history of each movement, and the particular ways of life (Hinduism) involved. Contributors tell of transplantations when gurus offer teachings in an alien setting than their native one, and go on and change some parts also. What will come out of it in the long run? Transplanting is followed by hybridisation, and that is a wake-up point made by Lola Williamson (below).
Singer, Margaret Thaler. Cults in Our Midst. Rev ed. San Franscisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003.
Vermes, Geza. The Authentic Gospel of Jesus. London: Penguin, 2005. ⍽▢⍽ Dr Vermes tries to sort out the most plausible of the gospel passages, conceding that the sources do not allow for certainty, since Jesus wrote nothing that is known, and gospels were written only decades and decades after his death.
Vermes, Geza. The Real Jesus: Then and Now. Minneapolis, MI: Fortress Press, 2010. ⍽▢⍽ Dr Vermes elaborates on this: The teachings, salvation and Kingdom and healing minstry of Jesus and his apostles were for Jews only, and gentiles were not allowed, but expressly forbidden. Most Christians are non-Jewish. The gospels' reach-out to gentiles after the death of Jesus pass as later-added forgeries. They were probably made up to suit a clergy that had cropped up, and most likely forged passages that are still parts of the New Testament. The Missionary Command at the end of Matthew is one such later-added forgery, maintains Joseph Wheless and others.
Vermes, Geza. From Jewish to Gentile: How the Jesus Movement Became Christianity. Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) 38:06, Nov/Dec 2012. ⍽▢⍽ He sums it up: Jesus taught Jews only, and expressly forbid his disciple to spread it to others. There are just a few exceptions. (Cf, Matthew 15:24 and 5:1-10). That means that some parts of the New Testament are forged, and that Jesus is not as he is made to be there, and that his teachings were not for non-Jews (albeit with an exception or so). Further, it also strongly suggests that the Jesus in SRF and Ananda is a lot removed from his own alleged gospel teachings - in part opposite several of them. Does it all suggest a lot of fraud somewhere? It does.
Welch, Holmes. Taoism: The Parting of the Way. Rev. ed. Boston: Beacon Press, 1971. ⍽▢⍽ A good introduction to Taoism.
Wheless, Joseph. Forgery in Christianity: Documented Record of the Foundations of the
Christian Religion. (originally published in 1868) About.com.
Williamson, Lola. Transcendent in America: Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements as New Religion. London: New York University Press, 2010. ⍽▢⍽ Here is a good book! The searchlight is on how various Indian movements get changed in meeting with folks in America, with resulting hybridisation of religious teachings. The SRF movement is one of the adapted movements covered. One can add Kriyananda's Ananda Sangha to a list where hybridisation efforts are made.
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