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The Disciplinarian and his Teachings

Yukteswar's disciple Yogananda describes him as a disciplinarian, a Christ, and one of unfallible guidance. Other Yukteswar disciples may not describe him like Yogananda, who both feared him and launched long-standing boasts of him.

Lavish Praise and Better

Being called Yukteswar Christ does not necessarily make him a ravenous wolf or temple-whipper in the steps of Jesus. Mind that in the gospel, Jesus forewarns against false Messiahs (that is, Christs).

Jesus did not want the term 'messiah' to be used about himself either, bible scholars like Bart D. Ehrman tell. According to Ehrman's How Jesus Became God, Jesus neither thought of himself as God nor claimed to be God (Ehrman 2014). Scholars think it helps to get duly informed before speaking up.

Israel's kings were sometimes called "the anointed ones". It was used for "kings". An anoined high priest and prophet could also be termed "king", and did not have to be Jewish: The Hebrew Bible refers to King Cyrus the Great of Persia, as a messiah. (WP, "Messiah")

Cyrus the Great is not included in Yogananda's list of christs in his article "Yogavatar Shyama Lahiri Mahasaya's Ladder of Self-Realization, for Salvation for All" in the magazine Inner Culture of March 1937. However, about ten so-called yogi christs are in the list.

In the New Testament (NT), the term "king" (messiah) took on wider meanings after Jesus was buried. The NT wants you to believe that all Christs but Jesus are false Christs and that they don't wish you well, and are compared to hungry wolves. (Cf. Matthew 28:18-20).

Yogananda's Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), registered as a church in California in March 1935, is still around, and publishes books and talks by Yogananda, and The Holy Science by Yukteswar. Big and proselytising words capture many, and so does melodramatic daytime soap operas (serials).

Yukteswar Teachings

Some Yukteswar's Yogananda-rendered counsel borders on escapism. Example: "Disbelieve in the reality of sickness . . . an unrecognized visitor will flee," said Yukteswar. But a fit diagnosis in time may help your cure and stop what is set adrift. Yogananda got medical treatments, also as prescribed by Yukteswar.

When tall words - taken more or less out of context to seem inspiring - conflict with the actions of those who said them and taught them, what they do may count more.

There are happy marriages, childhoods and other challenges

Love tends to make us committed, also to animals. Stress statistics further shows that love normally turns into a great punisher after initial, sugary phases. [More]

All the same, some who feel so called, may learn tantra yoga, sex yoga, and thereby get ardent backup. Love without losing control of all your main assets is a part of the art of living.

The Bhagavad Gita tells us to be steadfast in yoga, abandoning attachment, and seeking refuge in wisdom [2:48-49]. It is wise to learn to cope, too [2:47], to have all right books, fit, excellent marriage partners, family, children and values, and be staunch and mature and live in a free country, relatively speaking. [Also: 2:56; 3:19]

When your young ones get proplerly dressed, instructed or educated, not tamed and suppressed and scared overly, they should gain from maturing and growing up. It is in the art of living. Stages of id-linked development are here: [Link]

Many childhood attachments drop off as a result of development. Others may persist: the danger at bottom of such goings could be that of being stagnant.

If libido-rooted development of interests, character and a life stagnates, neuroses may grow so clownish they seem interesting - A danger is guessed at.

Good love and loving-kindness are essentials in higher yoga.

Gurus may fall ill

Don't speak unless you can improve on the silence. - Danish proverb

Guarding one's tongue is rather wise. Now, some gurus have fallen ill. Yukteswar is one of them. Autobiography of a Yogi tells of one such incident in Kashmir. So adjust your thinking above being duped by words to the contrary, or words that play down guru illnesses somehow. Some words are dear; many others are not, and some hurt much like wounds.

Disciples may fall ill too

"Roam the world as a lion of self-control; don't let the frogs of weakness kick you around," said Yukteswar. In february 1928, a Miami Newspaper told that two women went violently insane after attending a course by Yogananda. One woman thought she was a lion and was hospitalised. A news article:

A superintendent of a hospital for nervous and mental diseases told a court of law in Miami that a woman entered his hospital on January 31 and refused to eat unless assured that her food "had come in contact with the swami" [Yogananda]. The superintendent testified that she "imagines she's a lion, and attempts to roar and conduct herself as a lion does." She said the swami told her he was a lion and held Miami in his grasp.

Yogananda said she came to his meetings on request of her husband who asked that she be cured of sleepwalking. [◦Newspaper article][More about Yogananda in Miami]

A mental weakness had better not be aggravated through incompetence until it is in the newspapers.

Yukteswar disciplined Yogananda: Some of its fruits

There is hard-to-attain beneficial discipline too.

One question is whether one's self-control is suave and rewarding. Accept what you are. If you want to improve yourself, be yourself and a darling too.

Often we have a choice between self-control and being controlled by some other or others. Being much other-controlled is hardly ideal for the good ones.

Yogananda Sri Yukteswar's training cannot be described as other than drastic . . . hypercritical of his disciples, whether in matters of moment or in the subtle nuances of behaviour.

Whether Master and I were surrounded by his students or by strangers, or were alone together, he always spoke plainly and upbraided sharply. No trifling . . . inconsistency escaped his rebuke. This flattening treatment was hard to endure . . . As he laboured at this titanic transformation, I shook many times under the weight of his disciplinary hammer.

"If you don't like my words, you are at liberty to leave at any time," Master assured me. "I want nothing from you but your own improvement. Stay only if you feel benefited."

That shows Yukteswar allowed disciples to leave him. Yogananda, further:

For every humbling blow he dealt . . . with stunning aim, I am grateful beyond any facility of expression." (Autobiography of a Yoga, Ch. 12).

Dasgupta's Yogananda biography tells that one day Yogananda saw himself lecturing to Americans, and at once wanted to go to America. A short while before Yogananda's ship pulled out of the port, Yukteswar came walking along and went on board. Yogananda had not even tried to contact him! Thus, a regretful Yogananda fell at Yukteswar's feet on deck. (Dasgupta 2006, 42-47, passim)

What is more, his relationship with Yukteswar did not seem mature long after many years of drastic, hypercritical, upbraiding, flattening, hammering and humbling discipline. Yogananda'is biographer writes that Yogananda feared Yukteswar terribly in daily life. His behaviour towards Yukteswar "always was like that of a child," - described as a "desperate schoolboy's" condition even after Yogananda has become famous in America. (Ibid. 30)

Humbling discipline may produce a proselytising agent, but to be well-bred is different.

To be well-intending is not enough

Yukteswar's disciplinarian intentions might seem well meant - if not good, acceptable; if not acceptable, a last resort to get a wayward Yogananda back on track; or not even that. Yogananda was subjected to a form of discipline that educators en masse tell is a low and perhaps too bad discipline. It could breed an authoritarian in time. Yogananda grew up to hail dictatorship in his own magazine.

Yogananda said later that Yukteswar was wise and mighty, but "He was a bit too tough in his ways." (Dasgupta 2006, 30)

A tiny sprout is tender and soft and may easily be trampled down or killed. If not, after some time the tender sprout has grown to cover the earth with flowers, or a forest, depending on the seed. Let good, tender sprouts have their way within yourself too; develop those sides to yourself out of liking, and lo - in time the soft areas may be areas of strength or fit for benefits. Organic growth is not much fostered by damp-hammer discipline, of course.

Tender, delicate traits are fit for the future and do not necessarily bring any menial fare.

Tender sprouts are not well taken care of by repeated hammer blows.

Murderous guys, murderous idols, or?

Sigmund Freud has written a book about the unpleasantness of the culture. There are good sides and bad sides to it. Victorian moral reflects the stilted, stultifying and neurosis-making feigning and putting on airs that often is mistaken for culture, even high culture. Thus, so-called self-control is at times quite opposed to acting naturally. Whatever it is, go for getting the best of it, and get victorious enough to relax enough.

The natural ways may at times work like ways of animals or idiots. Hope to avoid very much strain.

Yogananda was asked to do something difficult on behalf of Yukteswar

On some occasions Yukteswar himself was far from living up to keeping a stiff upper lip. During one such incident, he could not compose himself when a friend of his died. Also, when a pet disciple had given in to bad habits, Yukteswar asked Yogananda to get rid of him. Yogananda:

"Master summoned me and brokenheartedly discussed the fact that the boy was now unsuited to the monastic hermitage life.

"Mukunda, I'll leave it to you to instruct Kumar to leave the ashram tomorrow; I cannot do it!" Tears stood in Sri Yukteswar's eyes. [More]

Now, there are self-help books with tips and tricks on self-assertion, fit self-confidence and timeliness. Some books that go for teaching you "to ask for what you want in life and get it with Assertiveness Training". [Cf Edo]

Also take into account there may be a dark side to asserting oneself in a culture dominated by big firms and their famed bosses. It could work well to learn some typified or even delicate techniques to assert yourself properly and deal maturely with manipulation. Also, see where the money goes and who benefits, if you aim at better living for many.

One should not ignore the need for sane protection as one works to lessen deep-seated insecurity, which is a problem for many American students, thinks Professor Emeritus Philip Zimbardo of Stanford University [Link].

Deeds and words ideally match.

Getting a good place to stay is foremost in the minds of many

Yukteswar's disciple Yogananda refused to marry. He went against the expressed wishes of his father Bhagabati, one of the Christlike kriya yogis according to Yogananda.

Being the right person is above finding the right person. Yet, if two persons are not compatible, striving to assert oneself only may not work out full well.

Fit assertiveness is quite an art. Some lower facets of the assertiveness art may be trained, but not by taming, and higher facets of fit assertiveness may not be directed from those outside and bystanders. However, heuristically tinged monitoring of oneself could bring many advantages. Some are found in Choosing Success, a book with a benevolent outlook. [James and Jongeward]

Don't discard or dismiss yourself and your own brains; find suitable conditions for getting into higher activitives of learning and living. [See Mastery learning]. — [One can adjust by means of Maslow's pyramid too]

Sound concepts are advantageous when they tend to freedom, decency and other good things in life.


"Everything in the future will improve if you are making a spiritual effort now," said Yukteswar. But even after great successes in yoga, Yukteswar still did not have a son, which he longed for.

"Everything will improve if . . . " What about the bad soup you had two years ago? Is it so sure that it will improve in the future? A question like that could set you thinking.

People put trust or faith in sayings of Yukteswar on the authority of Yogananda. Heh!

Buddha's long-run teachings about karma and fruits are in a nutshell: It should help to persist in creating lots of good karma through ups and downs of lives, he tells. It is not simplistic. [Link] — [Food for thought]

He that will eat the kernel must crack the nut. (American)

Some Pieces of Advice

Av fä blir aldrig folk. "Domestic animals never become people." (Swedish proverb) [To treat people well matters].

Buddha says the disciple is not to believe him foolishly, but work his own way up, adjusting to his teachings. [Link]

"It takes one to know one." To recognise and really appreaciate noble teachings, you have to be noble yourself. Artists may recognise and appreciate art a lot without being told.

It may take fishers or sensitive ones to understand that it is not good for the fish to be fished. Jesus wanted to fish ill Jews, and only Jews, he said [Matthew 10:5-8; 15:24; Mark 2:17].

Look into what really takes place as you go about minding your own essential business. You yourself deserve a good share of the fruits of your good labour also.

If a statement or lesson works for good nearly always, acting sensibly on it could be fit in the long run, or averagely speaking.

It pays to remain quite guarded in the public space.

A person's life space - his subjective evaluation of goals and the environment - at least co-determines his behaviour [cf Sop 10].

"There is nothing so practical as a good theory," as Kurt Lewin said [Sop 11]."

If things are lenient or fit for it, build good assets to improve your lot in life. Learn to gauge odds before venturing anything important.


Yukteswar look, Swami Sri Yukteswar comments, Literature  

Aronson, Harvey B. Love and Sympathy in Theravada Buddhism. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1980.

Ehrman, Bart D. How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee. New York: HarperOne, 2014.

Gyatsim Geshe Kelsang. A Meditation Handbook. 2nd ed. London: Tharpa Publications, 1993.

Horner, I. B. tr. The Collection of the Middle Length Sayings (Majjhima Nikaya). Vol. 3, The Final Fifty Discourses (Uparipannasa). Oxford: The Pali Text Society, 1999

Shaw, Sarah. Buddhist Meditation: An Anthology of Texts from the Pali Canon. London: Routledge/Taylor and Francis, 2006.

Tenzin, Thubten. Buddhism: Ancient Medicine for Healing Modern Minds. Australia: ecocompassionchurch, 2010.

Ak: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Man's Eternal Quest. New ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1986.

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: Philosophical Library, 1946. Online.

Edo: Fensterheim, Herbert, and Jean Baer. Don't Say "Yes" When You Want To Say "No". London: Futura, 1976.

Hos: Sri Yukteswar, swami. The Holy Science. 7th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), 1972.

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

Psy: Dasgupta, Sailendra. Paramhansa Swami Yogananda: Life-portrait and Reminiscences. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, 2006. (also: Google Books, partial view).

Say: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Sayings of Yogananda. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1958.

Scp: Yogananda, Paramahansa. The Science of Religion. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1953.

Sop: Smith, Eliot R., and Diane M. Mackie. Social Psychology. 2nd ed. Hove: Psychology Press, 2000.

Suc: Jongeward, Dorothy, and Philip Seyer. Choosing Success: Transactional Analysis on the Job. New York: Wiley, 1978.

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

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