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Condemned Hypocrites

"They say they follow Jesus"


George Cheyne, a Scotch physician, when a person was talking about the excellence of human nature, exclaimed: "Hoot, hoot, man. Human nature is a rogue and a scoundrel, or why should it perpetually stand in need of laws and of religion?" (Fuller, 1970, 1)

Grant Wood. American Gothic.

Appreciation I am so happy to have found your site. - SK

Jesus condemns hypocrites violently (Matthew 23). There are many Christian hypocrites. Some of them say or think they are Jesuans too, while they avoid doing as Jesus commands, such as giving all they own to the poor (More: Matthew 5). Jesus maintains that those who become his followers are no less than ill (cf. Mark 2:17 etc.). 'Morally depraved' could catch much of what is aimed at by 'ill', along with 'mentally ill' or 'demon-possessed'.

Now, it could help to clarify some terms. Jesuism (also: Jesusism, Jesuanism) is definined by Wictionary as "the teachings or worship of Jesus, as opposed to Christianity as a whole." 'Jesuism' in the sense "a Christianity of the Gospels" is often contrasted with the theology of mainstream church dogma, and attributed directly to the teachings of Jesus that went into the four gospels. Yet there is no definitive meaning of Jesuism and no good ideology. Various groups use the terms Jesuism, Jesusism and Jesuanism. These include people who identify themselves as disciples of Jesus. That is a key point. Adherents may be termed Jesuists, Jesusists or Jesuans. (WP, Jesuism)

Now, if you say Jesus is one of your six unmet gurus, and you are a member of a group (sect) steered by Hindu monks and nuns, and disregard his commands to give all to the poor and instead give to your sect - are you a Jesuan for real, or fooled a lot? We look into sides to that.

Theology matters

Hm Don't be taken in: Lots of people say they follow Jesus and do not. Hybrid mishmash may lead its victims to alarming dangers.

A hybridised church, Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), calls itself Christian and seem to "go Jesuan" on its own terms, as SRF is headed only by Hindu swamis (monks and nuns). They have among their ◦public aims and ideals "To reveal the complete harmony and basic oneness of original Christianity as taught by Jesus Christ and original Yoga as taught by Bhagavan Krishna; and to show that these principles of truth are the common scientific foundation of all true religions."

Do these things seem confused and pretentious in the light of gospel sayings that Jesus came to herd only ill and depraved Jews - so-called sheep - and that he also said that healthy ones do not need Jesus? Being a sheep must be overrated. (Mark 2:17; Matthew 9:13, 10:5-8; 12:12, 15:24; Luke 5:31-33)

What SRF actually teaches, is modified kriya - ◦called a mess by the kriya yogi who runs Sanskrit Classics in San Diego. SRF's mess stems from their founding guru Yogananda (1893–1952), who said he came to spread kriya, but removed some parts, added things, and made changes, many changes.

As for his verbal messages, around 1925, after five years in the United States, he took Jesus on board - but only seemingly, since the guru also taught the world is an illusion, a bluff, so to speak . . . Anyway, a kriya teacher, Marshall Govindam, writes:

Hm 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]

Guru-followers, including swami nuns and swami monks, may say one of their aims is to preach (often self-maiming) Christian Jesuism along with Vaishnavism (that main branch of Hinduism), but do they live the Jesuism for Jews only? Are they fallen into self-maiming, not planning for tomorrow, and keeping Canaanite slaves always, as Jesus vouches for or commands (Vermes 2012; Leviticus 25:46 and Matthew 5:17-19)? Much in a life depends on that . . . Suppose they do not do as they say, or suppose they do not do all they say? What then? [Link].

There is plenty to be forewarned against so as not to be taken in all the time, including regulated, much shared hypocricy, ignoring lots of basics.

Should a false prophet be executed - is it fair?

Yogananda said he was a buddy of Jesus, but neither of them were executed as false prophets, even though Jesus vouched for that treatment . . . [Documentation]

Jesus who taught self-mutilation for this and that, and for embracing poverty and talked for a Law that would have had him executed as a false prophet when the end of the world did not come as he told - if he had lived long enough for it -, he said his teachings, ministry, salvation and kingdom are for Jews only - but not any Jews, only depraved ones (Matthew 14:25; 10:5-8; Vermes 2010:39,41; 2012; Mark 2:17; Matthew 9:13, 10:5-8; 12:12, 15:24; Luke 5:31-33). (Gasp of relief.)

Dr Vermes (1924–2013), a noted authority on the life and religion of Jesus, and described as the greatest Jesus scholar of his time, sums 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. (Geza Vermes 2012; cf Vermes 2010:37,41)

To claim Jesus and not qualify in any way, is it for good or bad, or both, some may reflect. Yogananda and other non-Jews do not seem to qualify for the teachings of Jesus for Jews alone. After peeling off a missionary command or two because they are much likely forged, much as Dr Vermes tells, we end up with "no Jesus, but God on board". It may seem to be "a bitter apple" to swallow to be without Jesus for Jews and his teachings for Jews, but then again, Jesus spoke for self-maiming and backed up bad ones by his "turn the other cheek" to them. Gentiles got a better deal, and the Spirit of Truth, according to Acts. (Matthew 5, passim; Acts 15;19-29)

Yogananda strove to be accepted among Christians, and in so doing disrespected the Jesus of the gospels who did not want his teachings spread to non-Jews (Matthew 15:24; 10:5-8; Vermes 2012). If the guru wanted to pass as a Jesuan of a sort, he could have noticed what all the apostles and the Holy Ghost agreed on in the Gentile Deal (Acts 15:19-29; 21:25): the Apostolic Deal for Christians is Jesus-free - not more or less Jesus-free, but wholly so.

Next, take into account how Jesus warns his Jewish followers against false teachers and how bad the fate of hypocrite followers might be in the end.

It seems too wrong for non-Jews to use teachings of Jesus as the basis of their religion. Acts 15:19-29 and 21:25 tell there are only four requirements and the Right Spirit into "the good, old religion" that was good enough for all the apostles and their glossolalia-noted Spirit. The four written gospels with sayings ascribed to Jesus in them, were made many decades later and edited, reedited and canonised even centuries later, and dozens of forgeries have been detected in them (Ehrman 2013)

In Christianity as founded by all the apostles and the Old Spirit of Christianity, all teachings of Jesus are left out

Acts 15:19-29 tells that genuine Christianity does not depend on any words by Jesus. Good. For many sayings he is credited with were written down several decades after he passed away. Further, there are forgeries in many. There were so many notorious forgerers among early Christians that Christianity got an ill repute back then, as Bart D. Ehrman documents in Forgery and Counterforgery (2013). The most distinctive feature of the early Christian literature is the degree to which it was forged, writes Ehrman in his presentation of the book on his own site. Professor Elizabeth A Clark informs:

Examining over fifty examples of early Christian forgery . . ., Ehrman uncovers [w]hat prompted ancient Christian authors intentionally to deceive their readers. . . . [T]he sheer magnitude of early Christian forgery startles the modern reader." (Amazon, Editorial Review)

Acts 15:19-29 and 21:25 suggest that one can be a Christian without learning one word by Jesus if the reminding and truth-telling Spirit is into it, and the four requirements are kept. That would be wise, it is stated in Acts 15.

Again, observe how much a Gentile Christian (common Christian) has to be thankful for through the Apostolic Deal for non-Jews. The Jesuan follower is bound to keep the Canaanite slave forever (Matthew 5:17-19 and Leviticus 25:46), while a good Catholic may be well-meaning.

Hm The Vatican Council exhorts all members to recognise, preserve and promote the good things in Hinduism. This is a serious matter, made official through the "Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions. Nostra Aetate". There is much to consider in the light of Buddha's splendid teachings too, where you are taught even how to benefit from wise doubts up to a point. The Vatican Council wants all members to recognise, preserve and promote the good things in Buddhism too [◦Nostra Aetate, proclaimed by HH Pope Paul VI on October 28, 1965].

There are many, many good things. The question is whether Yogananda's hybridised teachings and mix-methods are such things, and whether a one-legged stool is good, or a no-legged one, that is, a massive chunk of a seat (below).

If you respect the gospel's sayings . . .

In the light of the findings of ancient scrolls and contemporary Jesus research you may find many Yogananda comments on the teachings of Jesus unbecoming. Jesus taught only for Jews. Is it all right to disrespect it? If you respect the gospel's sayings put in the mouth of Jesus, you stay away from the gospel sayings attributed to Jesus. It's quite simple, or what?

Also, there was no such thing as a Christianity of Jesus, only Jewish followers. He addressed only Jews; he did not want his teachings spread to non-Jews. It is the the gospel of Matthew (14:25; 10:5-10). You ought to deal with it.

However, Yogananda and the church he founded, purport to preach Jesuanism, according to SRF's Aims and Ideals, No. 3 (link above). The ideal is found in the Self-Realization Fellowship church's registration charter from March 1935. SRF is led by Hindu swamis, monks and nuns, although there was no monasticism of Jesus. Monasticism in Christianity arose in Egypt well over 200 years later. Norm: If you want to be called a Jesuan, make sure you have no foreskin and stay away from becoming a monastery inmate and ruled by cliques who merely purport they follow Jesus in many ways. Why so? Jesus condemns hypocrites, for one thing.

For Christians, a stool is given to each, metaphorically. And the basic thing is the seat. As you know, a seat without legs is still a seat. There is a story about it in the Decameron, about Abraham, a devout Jew, who became convinced that the "wooden seat" of many in the Vatican was superb: Among the clergy in Rome he found "only lewdness, avarice, gluttony, and the like, and worse" in that "centre of diabolical rather than of divine activities". And because he saw that Christianity also flourished and grew, he came to the conclusion that it happened because it had "the Holy Spirit for its foundation and support." His friend Jehannot was surprised. [Decameron, novel 2]

Turned stool
A seat without legs

Log chair - a seat-block with support for the back.

In genuine Christianity there are only four requirements and Spirit take-over (Acts 15:17-29; 21:25). It may be illustrated by a stool. It has four legs if all four requirements are kept. If one requirement is broken, there there are three left, and so on, until one leg is left, or none - only a seat. Its thickness may vary among people, and much in a home may be a "dance" of designs.

Turned stool
A one-legged stool, we may say

Three- and two- and one-legged stools may be as comfortable as four-legged ones (picture), and a stout, thick seat too, if fitly designed. And please remember that such descriptions are not prescriptions:

If you have eaten blood food - black sausage, blood pudding, Brat, and Wursts and so on - there are three legs left. You may not fall to the floor when seeking to sit on stools with fewer legs than four, but seek to make sure. Another problem is that of secret sins against the four requirements for Christians: If your stool lacks legs or has shaky legs, or a secretly rotten leg or three, you could fall (to the floor and get hurt), because you were thinking all went well - blood sausage, wrangled poultry and so on - as long as neighbours and others did not know about it, or accepted it, or did likewise.

The four "legs" for Christians are the four requirements spelled out in Acts 15:19-29 and in 21:25 too. The seat is a Spirit.

Maybe you can get up and on and make the best of your life in the long haul regardless of how many stool legs you have broken.

Those powers . . .

Many claim to be Christians or Jesuans, but there can be quite a difference between claiming to be one and really being so. Observe, for one thing, that gospels promises tall, supernatural powers to true, Jewish followers -. Where is a good, Jewish follower, able to throw a mountain into the sea, by use of his tongue? By such works you shall know them or call the bluffs.

How many fall short of throwing mountains into the sea by their mere word, for example. Besides, if you hear of one, run far away from that one aiming for higher ground, for the huge tidal waves from a mountain thrown recklessly into the ocean may kill millions and millions, and not only all those who lived on the thrown-away mountain.

And the millions of martyrs would not have had to become martyrs in the light of the powers the gospel seemingly let them have by words put into writing decades and centuries after Jesus had been executed, promises meant for Jewish followers only, say Matthew 15:24 and 10:1-9, and most likely marred by forgery, such as the Missionary Command. (Vermes 2012, above)

Among non-Jew Americans

"One must howl with the wolves one is among," is a Danish proverb. Similarly, "When in Rome, NY; or nearby, do as Americans do." What the guru Yogananda had to deal with was a later-developed Christian faith among non-Jew Americans. The swami might perhaps have found out from the Bible, as bible scholars have done, that Jesus said things that mar so-called good Christians and Jesuans, but he chose another approach than this one:

Seek not to call him Lord, Lord, if you don't qualify: His words, teachings, and commands are for Jews only. It's in gospels. He also 'gospel-warned' against false teachers and ravenous wolves ahead of time.

There are many points that several scholars agree on;

The renowned biblical scholar Geza Vermes has examined every saying attributed to Jesus. What was the original message of the healer and moralist who lived and taught in Palestine? In The Authentic Gospel of Jesus, Vermes scrutinises all the gospel sayings of Jesus to come as close as well can be to what Jesus might have really said - by informed guesses, that is. For there is no certified verbatim quotation of Jesus handed over. He wrote nothing, and his disciples were not known for being writers either. So the "authentic gospel of Jesus" contains no phrases we may be sure he said. Gospels came into writing after their lifetimes as well, and contain forgeries, as Dr Bart D. Ehrman (1955-) also shows in some of his books. [Ehrman books with annotations]

Yogananda came to a a country rife with sects and gave rise to one more of them. It has branced out too. Estimates and criteria vary, but Dr Margaret Singer (2003:xvii) estimates there are about 5,000 cults in the USA. Other estimates range between 1,000 and 5,000 cults. (◦More). There are many indications that the Yogananda-founded Self-Realization Fellowship is a cult today [More].

A cult or sect may not be so bad. What matter most are what is in it and the effects it may have.

In a sectarian world, will there be benefits in getting a church of your own?

Some get away with it, and others don't. How to deal with fixated guidelines and selections? Yogananda tells how.

Yogananda Don't take my word for anything. . . . find out for yourselves. Don't get hung up on words . . . please remember. - Yogananda, in Dietz 1998, "Master's Teachings"

That seems like fair counsel. But he did not stop at that; far from it. The Yogananda biography by Sailendra Dasgupta tells of the misgivings when Yogananda resorted to many words to the preference of spreading the yoga-meditation methods he had been sent to the West to teach. However, Yogananda made changes to the kriya methods, and "changes were made to the original lessons. Yogananda's American disciples of early years were not happy with these changes." (Dasgupta 2006:54). SRF fellowship publishes many Yogananda books, lessons and words. Some Yogananda sayings are in conflict with one another, and other words not.

Fawning on Jesus without being qualified to get his teachings, may backfire - regardless of acclaim, miracles and "O Lord", tells Jesus, "Away from me, evildoers!" He spoke to Jews, he said his teachings were for Jews only. How many there are who disrespect that main point. (Cf. e.g. Matthew 7:22-23; 15:24; 10:4-10, and a Geza Vermes quotation above)

Salvation, published saying on doubt and better, different Yogananda publishers

Have you ever wondered why Yogananda dit not get proficient by the glistening future of textual criticism of the Bible as he wrote his commentary to Bible selections? And have you wondered why Yogananda quotations many not be faithful, verbatim quotations?

He often dictated to others by hints, leaving to others to make sense of them as best they could. Such was his approach. There are many sources of error in it, in line with "Grunts may be interpreted differently by different editors." [Not so verbatim: Yogananda]

For the lack of verbatim Yogananda quotations, better be very discerning. See how his Whispers from Eternity took off, among others. [Yogananda book reviews]

Quite whimsical-looking and fragmented teachings of Yogananda are given in lectures and sermons and books that have been edited and published by Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), but much material is not verbatim, not "real Yogananda". Perhaps you need to enlarge Yogananda's "Don't take my word for anything" to include: "- and don't trust my edited words either." Very good reasons are shown here [Yogananda is largely edited] - [Yogananda is divergently edited]

Trust in words is a problem when the words are much edited, and edited differently by different editors, all saying they are faithful to Yogananda, and so on. A trilogy of SRF-edited, general Yogananda talks are publicly available (Yogananda 1982; 1993, 1997). How hard or uncivilised the editing is, may be guessed at on top of: Another SRF-edited work The Second Coming of Christ is at least twice as voluminous as the same text from another publisher, Amrita in Texas. "Buyers beware," then. For more: [Yogananda books with comments]

All futurity and textual criticism

How fit was Yogananda for teaching and preaching "original Christianity of Jesus Christ"? The Yogananda founded SRF Church has this as one of its official aims and ideals (No. 3, currently). The monk that is proclaimed by himself and SRF to be an avatar, lectured and dictated a whole lot on Bible matters, obviously ignoring or being blank about textual Bible criticism. Dogmatic insistence does not bode too well; neither does a soap opera.

You may say, "That is odd, for Yogananda said, 'I read very little, because it is not necessary. By the time I get through a few pages of a book, I know from its vibrations whatever truth it contains.'" (Yogananda 1993:19). He said so, yet he is reading into the Bible a lot, while he slurs over a hundred self-contradictions in the Bible or so.

You continue, "Yogananda wrote that he 'stood in the land unveiled, and found streams of rushing, glistening thoughts, felt rippling thoughts of millenniums – of born and unborn civilizations . . . All futurity danced in me.'" (Yogananda 1949, No. 212, emphasis added). "All futurity" . . . without taking advantage of balanced, textual criticism.

Perhaps he did not see all the details for rippling thoughts he only felt?

Be that as it may, hearing or reading someone claim something is one thing; and the truth of the matter can be quite different. A whim may or may not be wrong, for example. Study a page on Yogananda's Rubaiyat ailing commentary. Be discerning about it, and why not let facts ride above soap?

Yogananda ignored reasonable measures when making a slapstick-looking commentary on Omar Khayyam's thought by arbitrarily using Edward FitzGerald's free use of the Rubaiyat as a basis for more than suspect handling. Say: "Oh dear, he managed to use the wrong man."

A trilogy may not be the best there is

Yogananda brings much Hindu lore into and onto Christianity, but did not bother to consult with Vatican prelates about Catholic doctrine and results from the studies of theologians, and scriptures interpreted authoritatively by the magisterium of the Catholic Church. Catholics are the main flock of Christians, and appear to have borrowed a lot from Pagan religions, by the way. Yogananda did not seem to bother with even elementary textual criticism either. (Cf. WP, "Catholic theology")

Yogananda comments on the gospels in The Second Coming, and talks at random about gospel sections in talks. All is not equally whimsical-looking, it is fair to say. Yet his stenographer and later leader of the SRF church, called Daya Mata, writes that Yogananda

seldom made even the slightest preparation for his lectures; if he prepared anything at all, it might consist of a factual note or two, hastily jotted down. Very often, while riding in the car on the way to the temple, he would casually ask one of us: "What is my subject today?" . . .

Sometimes, while he was lecturing . . . he would momentarily forget the audience. . . .

Not the least of [his] endearing qualities was his understanding sense of humor.

(Yogananda 1982, xi-xiii, passim)

We all may have our own styles of lecturing and working to deal with. The woman who wrote this and seemingly thought highly of him, was a later, long-time leader of SRF, called Daya Mata. When she was old, she also "signed a declaration, under oath, that the Autobiography of a Yogi had not been written by Yogananda himself, but by a committee." That is what her once vice SRF president says, after the SRF management had sacked him, allegedly because of vices . . . but whose vices? He sums up:

Daya herself signed a declaration, under oath, that Autobiography of a Yogi had not been written by Yogananda himself, but by a committee! . . .

She also wrote (still under oath!) in that same declaration that he had written Autobiography of a Yogi as a "work for hire."

The judge himself was not impressed by these outrageous assertions. In open court he asked SRF's legal representatives, "Are you saying that your guru was only an employee of yours, and had to do exactly as you, his own disciples, commanded him?" (Kriyananda, 2012, 47).

In murky waters, do not trust a lot.

Yogananda diverges from Christian theology on God the Father, the Holy Spirit, Christ, the soul, and the issue of reincarnation; yet holds there is harmony between his form of Hinduism and Jesuism. He appears to go against the sensible approach of "Straddle no more than your trousers can stand (Danish proverb)."

"Back to basics": Geza Vermes affirms that the teachings of Jesus, his Kingdom and salvation were for Jews only, and that Gentiles were strictly excluded (Vermes 2010;39, 41). Acts 15:17-21; 21:25 confirm it, by showing that the religion that arose around 50 AD, at the council in Jerusalem, did not contain one single saying of Jesus. His teachings for Jews were not included in the Apostolic Decree either. You are required to abstain from black pudding (blood food), wrangled chicken (choked animals), adultery, one more thing. And get and have the Holy Spirit of Truth on board. That is what being saved is in a New Testament sense. Gospel sayings reserved by Jesus for ill Jews only were not really required; they were not even forged by then - (Ehrman 2014)

Gentiles got a milder deal (Acts 15:19-29), and guru-elaborations on gospel passages mar that very nice point.

Going for salvation by human effort

Up to some level, human effort helps, especially if well done.

Yogananda stood up for dictatorship in 1934, and yet for giving freedom, et cetera. Consider the straddling required for all of it.

Yogananda was also seen to "sell out" parts of his original kriya and message in order to enlarge his net and get hauls of fish, so to speak. His biographer, Sailendra Dasgupta, writes: "Yogananda would say that lack of success in life had no place in America, and the only accepted and approved mark of success was financial prosperity - being a multimillionaire (2006:52)." And on one occasion Yogananda looked at his biographer from the corners of his eyes and said, "Look, I want to throw the net far and wide, so that at least a couple of big fishes can be caught." Another time he said: "No matter what the means." (Dasgupta 2006, 79, 101; see also p. 53; 54, 57; 109-12)

What happened to "Sell your possessions and give to the poor (Luke 12:33; cf. 18:22; Matthew 19:21; cf. Mark 10:21)"? It is one of the hallmarks of a Jesuan. "Why do you call me, "Lord, Lord," and do not do what I say (Luke 6:46; Matthew 15:7-9, etc).

One may discern tentatively between Schmuck Jesuans and other Jesuans. Also consider how "Good means may give good results, and bad means may fool others for a long time." Between 2000 and 2005, fifty SRF monastics left the SRF premises. Some dropped the SRF gurus as well (Cf. Parsons 2012, 171). Lola Williamson exposes such goings in Transcendent in America (2010). Extracts are here: [Extracts]

The SRF monastics were reduced by one third when disgruntled ones among them left. The remaining monastics work to serve their monastic fare and spread such parts of their guru's work as they find fit after interpreting and adding to them (editing work) and ignoring what seems less suitable to them, such as his desire for a university and, for brotherhood communities. "SRF-scrapped' may sound harsh, but see whether it is fit or not.


Basic Concepts Compared

Below is ample evidence that Yogananda replaces the understanding of old Christian constructs like Father, Christ, Holy Spirit, and soul. All that is in the gospels about them, cannot be aligned with it. Yogananda teaches Christian heresy, concludes "Father Mateo", a professor of Scripture and classical languages. He denounces parts of the doctrines of Paramahansa Yogananda on the grounds that (1) he teaches indifferentism; (2) seems to teach "the Pelagian heresy" of salvation by human effort; and (2) misunderstands and even implicitly denies the Christian doctrine of Incarnation. [Explication]

One had better be alert to that "Not every guru who says he teaches Christianity, does so in ways that the Church endorses."

In getting to grips with the New Testament, one might benefit a bit by getting aware that there are literal, traditional grasps, and figurative ones, or textual criticism, all of which could help to find lots of conundrums to waste time on. For example, the traditional dogmas on Father, Christ and Holy Ghost were not part of the very first Christianity. Besides, there are much-later-added material in the gospels apart from forgeries (Vermes 2012). The Deal of deals for non-Jewish Christians makes do with four requirements and getting an indispensible Spirit of Truth also. That is what Acts 15 says. And to remind of it, Jesus said in some gospels that healthy ones can do without him, As for his teachings, keep all of them reserved for Jewish followers. He said he did not want others to get them, not to speak of his kingdom. That is what Dr Geza Vermes goes into (above).

Daya Mata and others in SRF wrote out, edited and published a trilogy of Yogananda talks in time. Talks where Yogananda deals with special Nayas (doctrines, etc.) of Self-Realization Fellowship, are found in Man's Eternal Quest (Yogananda 1982). 'Naya' is Sanskrit, and means new.

Much of what Yogananda is quoted to say about God, Christ, soul and so on further down, is found "Christ and Krishna: Avatars* of the One Truth" is in Man's Eternal Quest, p. 294-307. However, there are other articles to look into too, such as "Is God a Father or a Mother?", "Will Jesus Reincarnate Again?" and more.

* According to the publishers, an avatar signifies the descent of Divinity into flesh (Yogananda 1982:294n).

In what follows, note the doctrinal divergences.

God the Father

Yogananda states in one place that the Father is "beyond phenomena":

We may say that God the Father, existing in the vibrationless void beyond phenomena, is the Capital that 'backs' creation. The Son, or intelligent Christ Consciousness that permeates the universe, is Management. And the Holy Ghost, or bodiless invisible vibratory power that produces all forms in the cosmos, is Labor." (Yogananda 1980, 10)

Gospels do not tell this, so there is something wrong here somewhere Cf. Matthew 5:45; 6:26; 17-3-21; Mark 9;7; John 5:17, 19, 21; 6:45


"It is impossible to make comparisons between the masters and foolish to try: they are all the same, they are all equal.

But to me Krishna and Christ stand supreme.—A God-realized master is known by his spiritual deeds." - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:296, 295)

He says it is foolish, but still does it, and one can and should compare gurus to eliminate the incompatible ones and try and find one or more suitable ones. It is an ancient lesson that finds expression in such general statements as "One out of ten gurus are genuine." Maybe it should be "One out of eight, or fourteen" and so on. At this point one may may wonder what 'master' means in this context. It suggests a Christ:

These two avatars, Jadava [Krishna] and Jesus, fully manifested the Christ Consciousness . . . (Yogananda 1982:297, 298).

If your consciousness is aware of ... several trillion of [thoughts], then you have Christ Consciousness, omniscience, conscious awareness of everything in creation (Yogananda 1982:322).

When you feel your consciousness in every pore of creation, you have Christ Consciousness ... The Indian name for this universal Christ Consciousness is Kutastha Chaitanya (Yogananda 1982:334).

The glossary gives this additional information: "Christ" or "Christ Consciousness" is the projected consciousness of God immanent in all creation . . . [Great yogis] feel the entire universe as their own body. (Yogananda 1982:470-71)."

What the Bible says about Messiah, which was translated into "Christ" in Greek, is different, is "oil-anointed (cf 1 Samuel 10). In the New Testament letters expanded meanings were added. It should be well to expose false play in this too. (Ehrman 2014)

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Ghost is the Cosmic Intelligent Vibration, whose sound is the Aum or Amen heard in deep yoga meditation ... In its vibration is our comfort ...

(Jesus,) another Oriental Christ ... spoke of the Amen sound as a vibration, calling it Amen or Holy Ghost. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:300)

And here is what Jesus of the gospels said about the Holy Spirit:

Hm You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses ... to the ends of the earth. - Jesus [Acts 1:8]

When the Counsellor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. - Jesus [John 15:26]

The Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. - Jesus [John 14:26]

He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. - Jesus [John 16:14]

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. - Jesus [John 16:13]

Keys are: "Be my witnesses", "Spirit of truth", "send in my name" "bring glory to me", and "teach all things". To teach all things is to teach much. It appears that Yogananda was not reminded that Jesus taught the soul can be killed either.

And here is more on the Holy Spirit of Christianity:

Irish gargoyl Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. [Acts 2:2-4]

"In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy." [Acts 2:16-18]

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. All the believers were one in heart and mind. None claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. [Acts 4:31-32]

While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. [Acts 13:2-3]

The Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. [Acts 19:5-6]

The kingdom of God: Righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. [Rom 14:17]

An offering! "The Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit". [Rom 15:15-16]

"Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit . . . You were bought . . . honour God with your body. "[1 Cor 6:19-20, abr]


To one there's given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. [1 Cor 12:8-11]

Further keys from the first church: "Speak in tongues", "possessions shared", speaking to apostles, deciding along with the apostles (Acts 15, etc), "Interpreting tongues and dreams", "being together in peace and righteousness", and "offer Gentiles to God", etc. The apostle Paul:

Gargoyl Offer . . . living sacrifices . . . (Romans 12:1; see Hebrews 5:1-5; 10:5-10; 13:16)."

Maybe Peter shows it better:

Gargoyl In Joppa, Peter saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of animals . . . and a voice told him,

"Get up, Peter. Kill and eat"

Peter said the food was impure or unclean.

The voice said, "Don't call anything impure that God has made clean."

This happened three times, and at once the sheet was taken back to heaven. [Acts 10:9-16, see 11:5-8]

Peter would not oppose that, and soon afterwards told the other apostles:

Gargoyl "God made a choice . . . the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. [Acts 15:-79]

The apostles and the Holy Spirit together decided to drop circumcision and drop what Jesus went for in Matthew 5:17-20 - but, again, Jesus said he had come for ill Jews only, and vouched for the Law completely: [Matthew 5:17-19]

The that as it may, the apostles and the Holy Spirit did break a lot of former commandments - by their works ye shall know them - and so the Canaanites were not kept slaves forever - for example, contrary to what the Law said and what Jesus said was to be valid for Jews only. From their Law, Jews enumerate 613 things to do and not to do, the 613 Mitzvot. One of these commandments that is vouched for in Mattew 5:17-19 is "Keep the Canaanite slave forever (Leviticus 25:46)." Not only lack of foreskin and a forced Sabbath (Saturday) rest mark such a Law.

Further mind that archeological findings suggest that ancient Jews (Hebrews) were Canaanites too. It might complicate matters . . . [More on that]

Still, a Christian fare is mainly one of being sacrificed, many passages tell. To be eaten up, as the Joppa-vision is into, as a sacrifice or offering without getting aware of it until too late, is is bad or not? Many apostles were fishers, and became fishers of men, says Matthew 4:19. . . . Are most fishers of fish kind to catched fish?

Be very warned: The Aum sound that Yogananda says is the Holy Ghost, is not know for being a muncher of men, but quite a food dispenser. "Food" suggests nourishment on many levels, such as "food for body, mind, soul" and further.

The syllable Aum (Om) - also referred to as omkara, pranava, akshara (immutable), and udgitha - is described with various meanings in Hindu scriptures. It is taken to mean "cosmic sound" and more, and is linked to high knowledge, including Self-knowledge. (WP, "Om")

The Soul

Hinduism teaches the soul (atman) is immortal, says Yogananda (1982:297) and "The soul and its joy last forever." (1993:296). And "Each soul is a part of God and is therefore imperishable." (1980:25) (See book data at bottom of the page).

Jesus on the other hand teaches that the body and soul can be destroyed in hell. (Matthew 10:28, Luke 12:4-6; Matthew 5:29).

Their teachings are in "complete harmony", says Yogananda.

⚶ ⚶ ⚶

"He who knows he is confused is not in the worst confusion.

The man in the worst confusion will end his life without ever getting straightened out."

- Chuang Tzu (translated by Burton Watson 1968:139-40) [More]


Some Schemes

Tony Buzan shows that by strategically focusing on keys - on gist - , we could steer better along than those who get duped and misled by distorted views and the like. [Buzan and Buzan 2010; Uy; Wikipedia, s.v. "Tony Buzan"]

Also, David Ausubel's "advance organisers" help some by highlighting what is thought to be significant in the coming material, relationships. Advance organisers offer help in knowing about difficult and complex material that is introduced. Some advance organisers expose the material, other such organisers draw in related material. [Wikipedia, s.v. "David Ausubel"]

As for learning texts, professor John Robert Anderson (1995) is among those who recommend a variant of the PQ4R study technique to help best remembering - such a study strategy leads to better memory for a text. Overlearning can also be a help, in its place. [Anderson 1995:5, 6; cf also WP "John Robert Anderson (psychologist)]

Narcissism Playing Religious

"I am your Jesus Christ!" said a black student to his family, when they talked of Jesus.

The name of the black student was not Jesus, just to make it clear. Many boys in Spain and Portugal and Latin American countries are named Jesus, and a 'Maria' may be put in after it too, with both boys and girls.

Narcissism in a prominent public figure may get more plain as decades go by. Look to the marring fruits and the wake and get sound suspicions first. Check. The more blanks you get on a checklist (below), the better it could be. Do biographers have anything interesting to add, for example?

An interactive group process can contribute to improve emotional and vocational functioning. (Ronningstam 2005:157-58)

In narcissism there is an interchange between stability and changeability and an oscillation and interaction between healthy and pathological narcissism. A life event "can either augment self-esteem and promote personal growth or lead to an increased sense of inferiority, with accompanying defensive grandiosity, interpersonal aggressiveness, and detachment. Our research has shown that pathological narcissism can decrease over time through corrective life events, even independently of treatment." (Ronningstam 2005:195)

Checklist: Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

To be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) a person must meet five or more of these symptoms: he or she:

  1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognised as superior without commensurate achievements)
  2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  3. Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  4. Requires excessive admiration
  5. Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  6. Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  7. Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognise or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
  9. Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

Dr James Morrison tells that people with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) have a lifelong pattern of grandiosity (in behavior and in fantasy), a thirst for admiration, and an absence of empathy. These attitudes permeate most aspects of their lives. They regard themselves as unusually special; they are self-important individuals who commonly exaggerate their accomplishments.

Despite their grandiose attitudes, people with NPD have fragile self-esteem and often feel unworthy, and remain overly sensitive to what others think about them, may feign empathy, just as they may lie to cover their own faults.

Lack of empathy engages their feelings of privilege in justifying the exploitation of others to achieve their own goals.

The disorder begins in teens or early 20s and endures. Contexts are diffuse.

NPD has seldom been studied.

(Main source: Morrison 2014:550-51)

Most professionals subscribe to this: causes may be complex and intertwined.

A theraphist must avoid reinforcing pathologic grandiosity (which may contribute to denial of illness) and weakness (which frightens the patient).

The therapist must be aware that the patient may not be able to acknowledge the real humanness of the therapist but may have to see him/her as either superhuman or devalued.

The goals of group therapy are to help the patient develop a healthy individuality (rather than a resilient narcissism) so that he or she can acknowledge others as separate persons, and to decrease the need for self-defeating coping mechanisms.

Empathy brings surprise and hurt experiences. In groups, the therapist is less authoritative (and less threatening to the patient's grandiosity); intensity of emotional experience is lessened; and regression is more controlled, creating a better setting for confrontation and clarification.

[Read on about narcissism]


God, soul, Father, Christ and Yogananda theology, Literature  

Anderson, John R. 1995. Cognitive Psychology and its Implications. 4th ed. New York: Freeman.

Buzan, Tony, and Barry Buzan. 2010. The Mind Map Book: Unlock your creativity, boost your memory, change your life. Harlow: BBC Active / Pearson.

Dasgupta, Sailendra. 2006. Paramhansa Swami Yogananda: Life-portrait and Reminiscences. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse.

Dietz, Margaret Bowen. 1998. Thank You, Master. Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity.

EB: Encyclopaedia Britannica equals Britannica Online now.

Ehrman, Bart D. 2005. Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. New York: HarperCollins.

⸻. 2009. Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them). New York: HarperCollins.

⸻. 2011. Forged: Writing in the Name of God: Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are. New York: HarperCollins.

⸻. 2013. Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics. New York: Oxford University Press.

⸻. 2014. How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee. New York: HarperOne.

Fuller, Edmond. 1970. 2 500 Anecdotes for All Occasion. New York: Crown.

Pranabhananda, Swami, and Christopher Isherwood. 1969. How To Know God. Mentor. New York, 1969.

Johnston, Clive tr. 1968. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Stuart and Watkins. London.

Klostermaier, Klaus K. 2007. A Survey of Hinduism. 3rd ed. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Kriyananda, Swami. Yogananda for the World: Freeing His Legacy from Sectarianism. Rev. ed. 2012. ⍽▢⍽ It is online.

Lamsa, George tr. The New Testament. Philadelphia, PA: Holman Bible Publishers.

Leggett, Trevor. The Complete Commentary by Sankara on the Yoga-Sutras. Kegan Paul. New York, 1990.

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

Miller, Elliot. Swami Yogananda and the Self-Realization Fellowship: A Successful Hindu Countermission to the West.. Charlotte, NC: Christian Research Institute, 2009.

Morrison, James. DSM Made Easy: The Clinician's Guide to Diagnosis. London: The Guilford Press, 2014. ⍽▢⍽ From the book: Narcissistic."These people are self-important and often preoccupied with envy, fantasies of success, or ruminations about the uniqueness of their own problems. Their sense of entitlement and lack of compassion may cause them to take advantage of others. They vigorously reject criticism and need constant attention and admiration." (p. 529)

Narada. The Buddha and His Teachings. 4th ed. Kuala Lumpur: Buddhist Missionary Society, 1988. — I recommend it.

Nikhilananda, Swami. Vivekananda. The Yogas and Other Works. Rev. ed. Ramakrishna-Vivekananda. New York, 1953.

⸻. The Gospel of Ramakrishna. Abr. ed. Ramakrishna- Vivekananda. New York, 1974.

Parsons, Jon R. A Fight For Religious Freedom: A Lawyer's Personal Account of Copyrights, Karma and Dharmic Litigation. Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity, 2012.

Ramakrishna. Tales and Parables of Sri Ramakrishna. 5th ed. Ramakrishna Math, Madras, 1974.

Ronningstam, Elsa. Identifying and Understanding the Narcissistic Personality. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. ⍽▢⍽ It is no bad thing to understand their disorder somewhat, even though some clinicians hold there are productive narcissists who succeed well in life. Ronningstam's guide is for most part written for clinicians. It tells of a tug of war between brashness on the one hand and painful shame and insecurity on the other.

Self-Realization Fellowship: Paramahansa Yogananda in Memoriam. SRF. Los Angeles, 1958.

Singer, Margaret Thaler. Cults in Our Midst. Rev ed. San Franscisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003.

Vermes, Geza. The Authentic Gospel of Jesus. London: Penguin, 2005.

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

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

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

Watson, Burton, tr. The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu. New York: Columbia University Press, 1968.

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

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

⸻. Sayings of Paramahansa Yogananda. 4th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1980.

⸻. Autobiography of a Yogi. 12th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), 1981.

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

⸻. The Divine Romance. New ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1993.

⸻. Journey to Self-realization: Discovering the Gift of the Soul. New ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1997.

⸻. Whispers from Eternity. Ed. Kriyananda. 1st ed. Paperback. Nevada City: Crystal Clarity, 2008. Online.

Harvesting the hay

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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