Monday, May 16, 2011

009 Inhuman indeed!

Reference: Chapter 28 of Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramahamsa Yogananda.

After answering many questions, I was addressed by a lad named Kashi. He was about twelve years old, a brilliant student, and beloved by all.

"Sir," he said, "what will be my fate?"

"You shall soon be dead." The reply came from my lips with an irresistible force.

This unexpected disclosure shocked and grieved me as well as everyone present. Silently rebuking myself as an enfant terrible, I refused to answer further questions.

On our return to the school, Kashi came to my room.

"If I die, will you find me when I am reborn, and bring me again to the spiritual path?" He sobbed.

I felt constrained to refuse this difficult occult responsibility. But for weeks afterward, Kashi pressed me doggedly. Seeing him unnerved to the breaking point, I finally consoled him.

"Yes," I promised. "If the Heavenly Father lends His aid, I will try to find you."

*Common trait of monks to publicise that they know the future of their disciples , devotees and visitors. Gullible persons fall a pray. Kashi fell a prey here.

This great swan does not stop here!

Kashi died in a few days as if PHY's words have come true. The adolescent boy in an impressionistic age might have been frightened of the impending death. His body, consequently might have become sick. The boy died of cholera as per PHY's narration. PHY even predicted that the boy will be re-born in Kolkata and will continue his spiritual pursuits in the new birth also. PHY claimed that he visited the home of the boy's mother when he was in her womb and informed his parents that a male boy would be born and that he would be spiritual inclinations and predilections right from infancy.

I shall be irreverent to PHY if I comment that this whole chapter is a nonsense and if I do not comment I shall be a traitor to the cause of truth.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

008 Undue influence on children in schools

Undue influence of monks/fathers on students of the schools run by them

Autobiography of a Yogi of Paramahamsa Yogananda - 1946 Edition - Chapter 28
"Please tell me, sir," one youth inquired, "if I shall always stay with you in the path of renunciation."

"Ah, no," I replied, "you will be forcibly taken away to your home, and later you will marry."

Incredulous, he made a vehement protest. "Only if I am dead can I be carried home." But in a few months, his parents arrived to take him away, in spite of his tearful resistance; some years later, he did marry.

Blogger's Observations
The parents of the student may not be knowing that the monks/fathers/teachers are exercising undue influence on the students. Fathers-pastors-monks-nuns have no such right to prevail on the children's minds, without the knowledge of their parents.

Students should undergo their natural course/sequence of events in their lives. Marriage and Children are natural sequences and consequences, howsoever comfortable or troublesome such marriages may be.

However, students should be mature enough before they get married. They will automatically get such maturity in today's environment of unemployment and the difficulties involved in getting financially settled in life. The pastors/monks/mullas (preachers of all religions by whatever name and designation they are called), do not unfortunately have the capabilities or skills to provide true guidance to students. The Gurus would have preferred to marry and settle down, had they the skills and willingness to work hard and contribute in a right manner to the society.

Further philosophical comments
True renunciation does not lie in marrying or not marrying. Examples: The seven sages of Hinduism are married persons. The two greatest philosophers of renunciation of Hindu mythology -- Siva and Krishna are not unmarried. The key to true renunciation is recognising the 'passing by' nature of delightful and/or depressing events of life and the transient nature of possessions. Sages like Narada who took great pride in being bachelors, had to eat a humble pie in the hands of the illusions of the earthly events and possessions.

Note: I shall not call Sage Narada's falling into the trap of samsaara (this earthly trap of family, events and possessions) as viShNu mAya (the hypnotic character of God). It is the hypnotic nature of this Earth and its contents. The events and objects of this earth were relatively simple for a primitive human to overcome. These are now becoming more and more awesome, bizarre, complex, deluding, eluding, fantastic, grandiloquent, hortative and above all "bandaging and bondaging".
This is because modern gadgets like limousines, jets and helicopters, airconditioners, digital cameras, l.e.d tvs and home projectors, robots and numerous other sense-enslaving, sense-pampering, and sense-titillating stimulii facilitated by scientific discoveries and inventions, are being added to the human minds-whims-and fancies which were already laden with traditional galore of temptations like perfumes, gold, silver, precious stones, silk garments, aphrodisiacs etc. These additional appendages and bandages/bondages are forcing even monks (not to speak of deluded householders) to seek extension of the physical existence of their bodies by employing surgical procedures and organ replacements.

Notes on viShNu mAya
The word viShNu need not be taken as an indication of a Hindu God. The word viShNu has another meaning : "spread all over the Universe". Thus viShNu means this Cosmos and Universe. mAya means delusion, illusion and elusion. Our delusion about our existence on this Earth itself is viShnu mAya.

viShNu was a God even in North Europe, before the advent of 14c. Christianity. The Christianity called the pre-existing European Gods as 'pagan Gods'. The Christian mode of worship is based on the personal sacrifice of Jesus. The word 'Vishn' was nearer to nature and the phenomenon of Earth rather than 'perceived protection from the blood sacrificed by Jesus'. The pagan festivals of Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Finland, North Denmark, Estonia, Old Prussia of Germany have some remnants of the nature and harvest worship, in spite of the oppressions and repressions of Christianity. viShn or viShNu , therefore, is not to be taken as some idol. Even Hindus misunderstand the concept of viShn a some idol God. They do not realise the word 'nature' is synonymous with the word 'God'.

The concept of celibacy was restricted to the crucial stages of initial learning and studies. Students after attaining some level of maturity have to move on to the next stage of marrying and becoming householders. Thereafter, they do not cease to learn and study. Learning was a continuous process both in pre-marital and post-marital stages of life, even in old days. The spectrum of modern scientific knowledge is so extensive that one life time is not sufficient to learn even one column or row of it. Hence, marriage or sexual satisfaction or probably even procreation cannot be withheld even for students, particularly higher-high-school, college and university students.

Then a question will arise. What should be the role of a Guru or teacher. The teacher is to be just a friend, philosopher and guide of the student, without at the same time imposing himself or his ideas on the learner. The learner should develop and use his faculties. The teacher has just to inform the student and withdraw. The teacher can probably with some self-restraint caution a student, when the student is found to be falling into an irretrievable trap of excess sensuousness and titillations. Parents even, will have to play a similar role. Teacher cannot replace parents and the parents cannot replace teachers. The teacher may have to inform students, when their parents owing to their own orientations and predilections mislead the students. Parents have to correct when teachers misinform. The efforts of the parents and teachers have to be supplementative (al/ary). Sometimes, conflicts between the teachers' precepts and the parents' precepts do arise and confuse the students.

What happened in this instant case? Paramahamsa Yogananda succeeded in misinforming (or inadequately informing or excessively informing) the student. We cannot identify what the parents had done to persuade their son to marry. We cannot declare that the son yielded. This is because the narration of the events in the lives of the student and his parents, is not available. Autobiographies communicate to us only one side of the story. The impulses and instincts of youth-hood might have influenced the student's choice to marry. Unless it was a child-marriage, we need not find fault with the parents if they mildly pressed their son to marry, against his own wishes and the wishes of his spiritual teacher. This is because what is fit for a biological age/stage of life is to be undergone by the liver (one who lives--both in an active voice sense and a passive voice sense) and if a person neglects it owing to false teachings of his guru, he-she will have to regret it later. A person who neglects to marry at 30 may not get a good partner at 60 unless he-she is vulgarly rich. Okay, he-she is vulgarly rich and marries. But can he-she satisfy the urges of the partner? How about physical fitness? This age-conscious attraction and fitment of males and females is embedded in nature for the purpose of biological reproduction.

It will be rather naive to try to immunise or insulate the students from the pulls and temptations of the world, through the instrumentation of constant preachings of the gurus, spiritual or otherwise. History has proved that it was futile. Buddhist monasteries failed. Catholic convents and nunneries failed. Artificial confinements of the nuns and fathers had generated homophiles and paedophiles. The recently passed-away Indian multi-religious preacher Sathya Sai Baba had also been in the dark shadow of being accused of paedophilia and greasing the penises of youthful devotees. It is unimportant whether the accusations are true or not. It is important to recognise that sexual impulses and vibrations arise and continue in humans till decrepit old-age whether the renouncing person is cognisant of them or not. This is because of the role of pheromones. These impulses apply both to the successful preachers and teachers as well as the aspirant beginners.

007 What a negative teaching!

Paramahamsa Yogananda preached:

"Read a little. Meditate more. Think of God all the time."

*A person who reads less, becomes initially illiterate and ultimately inert. Reading, thinking and digesting helps in the metabolism of the brain, through continuous cell division.

*Meditation on only one thing serves no purpose, because meditating can take place only within limits of a person's intellectual perceptions the contours of which are determined by his studies, environmental exposures and emotional levels.

*Thinking about God all the time leads to 'obsessive compulsive disease (OCD)'. He will start to think that his hallucinations are his divine ecstatic fantastic grand experiences. He will even start seeing colors. Aurobindo's marathon poem Savitri has many such indications of hallucinative obsessions.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

006 Reply to Comments of Shri Anonymous

Shri Anonymous said...

I have read his "Autobiography" but was not much impressed. He was in search of a true guru and says he found it in Yukteswar baba. OK, that is his choice, but, why at all embark on a mission to spread his kriya Yoga? In my view any 'real' guru will remain without any advertisement - may be like Swami Yukteswar and his gurus - known only to a small circle of people (this is inevitable even for an ordinary man)and will not start a world-wide mission. That smacks of commercial purposes.

I know one person who was so impressed by the report (published by the Yogoda Satsanga, of course) that PY's corpse did not show any decay even after so many days and that was due to His kriya yoga practice. I wanted to ask that man what use it is to try for such a thing since, in any case, our dead bodies have to be disposed off within as short a time as possible for civic reasons, but did not tell/ask him as he was a very old man who thought he had found something invaluable!

Sir: I totally agree with you. About your comment "... what use it is to try for such a thing (trying to see that corpse did not show any decay even after some days through Kriya Yoga techniques)", I wish to narrate one personal experience I had.

A friend of mine who was a very fond devotee of Godmen, told me about a Godman in Bangalore who did not either have a male genital or female genital organ right from the date of his/her birth. According to my friend, it was an indication of the great divinity of the Godman. Then I asked him whether the place was flat and whether it was like a grass meadow with pubal hair or was it like an astro-turf? What link was there between divinity and sexual organs? I could not convince him, but my friend had stopped talking to me since then. I lost a good friend.

Even now I suffer from the disease of trying to convincing friends. I am endeavoring to cure myself of this ailment.

Thank you very much for your comment.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

005 I began to move heaven and earth

Paramahamsa Yogananda believed that he can move heaven and earth with prayers. In Chapter 25 of his "Autobiography of Yogi".

His (Yogananda's) younger sister Nalini was sick with blood dysentry, when he was in Japan. After returning, he took up her treatment.

"...I began to move heaven and earth with my prayers. ..."

But Dr. Bose shook his head mournfully. "She simply has no more blood left to shed."

"She will recover," I replied stoutly. "In seven days her fever will be gone."

A week later I was thrilled to see Nalini open her eyes and gaze at me with loving recognition

Though she recouped, her legs were paralysed. Now, it is the turn of Guru Yukteswar to cure her without even seeing her. Yogananda went to Guru Yukteswar and sought his blessings.

"... The incessant war for her life which I had waged by prayer had
exhausted me
. I went to Serampore to ask Sri Yukteswar's help. His eyes expressed deep sympathy as I told him of Nalini's plight. ..."

"... Your sister's legs will be normal at the end of one month." He added, "Let her wear, next to her skin, a band with an unperforated two-carat pearl, held on by a clasp. ..."

"... "Sir," I inquired, "is this an astrological analysis? You do not know her birth day or hour."

Sri Yukteswar smiled. "There is a deeper astrology, not dependent on the testimony of calendars and clocks. Each man is a part of the Creator, or Cosmic Man; he has a heavenly body as well as one of earth. The human eye sees the physical form, but the inward eye penetrates more profoundly, even to the universal pattern of which each man is an integral and individual part. ... "

"... I returned to Calcutta and purchased a pearl for Nalini. A month later, her paralyzed legs were completely healed. ..."


Paramahamsa Yogananda studied B.A. at Serampore. He believed that his Guru had miraculous powers. In Chapter 19 of "Autobiography of a Yogi" he narrated an incident of a telepathic message from his Guru Yukteswar in Calcutta that he would be present in Serhampore.

"... I was pleased that you got my telepathic message." Master's voice was calm, entirely normal. "I have now finished my business in Calcutta, and shall arrive in Serampore by the ten o'clock train."

As I still stared mutely, Sri Yukteswar went on, "This is not an apparition, but my flesh and blood form. I have been divinely commanded to give you this experience, rare to achieve on earth. Meet me at the station; you and Dijen will see me coming toward you, dressed as I am now. I shall be preceded by a fellow passenger-a little boy carrying a silver jug."

My guru placed both hands on my head, with a murmured blessing. As
he concluded with the words, "TABA ASI," I heard a peculiar rumbling sound. His body began to melt gradually within the piercing light. First his feet and legs vanished, then his torso and head, like a scroll being rolled up. To the very last, I could feel his fingers resting lightly on my hair. The effulgence faded; nothing remained before me but the barred window and a pale stream of sunlight. ..."

Yogananda and his friend Dijen go to the Serampore Railway Station and receive the Guru Yukteswar preceded by a little boy carrying a silver jug.


003 My Guru and I can extend lives and prevent death

Paramahamsa Yogananda's beliefs went beyond human reasoning.

For example, he believed that his Guru (Yukteswar) extended the life of a dying veterinary surgeon by six months at the request of his disciple (Yogananda). Yogananda wrote in Chapter 17 of Autobiography of a Yogi.

"... This case was one of my strangest experiences with Master. He healed the rebellious veterinary surgeon in spite of his disbelief, and extended the man's natural term on earth by six months, just because of my earnest supplication. Sri Yukteswar was boundless in his kindness when confronted by the urgent prayer of a devotee. ..."

Mr. Roy, the veterinary Doctor suffered from diabetes. He and his son Santosh visited Yukteswar's Ashram. Here, the conversation is quite amusing and interesting:

"Why bring a dead man to the ashram?" Sri Yukteswar looked at me inquiringly as soon as the door had closed on the Calcutta skeptic.

"Sir! The doctor is very much alive!"

"But in a short time he will be dead."

I was shocked. "Sir, this will be a terrible blow to his son. Santosh yet hopes for time to change his father's materialistic views. I beseech you, Master, to help the man."

"Very well; for your sake." My guru's face was impassive. "The proud horse doctor is far gone in diabetes, although he does not know it. In fifteen days he will take to his bed. The physicians will give him up for lost; his natural time to leave this earth is six weeks from today. Due to your intercession, however, on that date he will recover. But there is one condition. You must get him to wear an astrological bangle; he will doubtless object as violently as one of his horses before an operation!" Master chuckled.

"... As soon as the man gets well, advise him not to eat meat. He will not heed this counsel, however, and in six months, just as he is feeling at his best, he will drop dead. Even that six-month extension of life is granted him only because of your plea. ..."

Yogananda and Santosh got an armlet prepared and took it to Dr. Roy for wearing. Dr. Roy refused to wear it.

"... I am in the best of health. You will never impress me with these astrological superstitions." The doctor glanced at me belligerently. ..."

After seven days Dr. Roy fell ill, then consented to wear the bangle. The physician wrote of Roy's case as hopeless.

"... My guru has said that, after a sickness lastingone month, Dr. Roy will be well. ..."

Physician after 15 days:"... Dr. Roy has made a complete recovery!" he exclaimed. "It is the most amazing case in my experience. Never before have I seen a dyingman show such an inexplicable comeback. Your guru must indeed be
a healing prophet! ..."

Dr. Roy after six months without shifting to a meatless diet:
"... Tell your teacher that by eating meat frequently, I have wholly regained my strength. His unscientific ideas on diet have not influenced me. ..." It was true that Dr. Roy looked a picture of health.

(Santosh s/o Dr. Roy next day says to Yoganananda):
"... This morning Father dropped dead! ..."

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Paramahamsa Yogananda popularised the concept of "Kriya Yoga (pr: Kriyaa yooga)".

The grammatical meanings of Karma and Kriya are different. Grammatically karma means the object in a sentence. Kriya means verb.

Lexically both Karma and Kriya mean "action". There are many other meanings. Here, we are concerned with the use of the words Karma and Kriya in the philosophical concepts of Karma Yoga and Kriya Yoga.

This has been extensively discussed in Chapter 3 of Bhagavad Gita. According to Gita, the Karma Yoga involves a path of self-less action (Nishkama Karma). The practitioner of Karma Yoga shall not either desire fruits of his action or surrender them to the Supreme Spirit (Godhead). Thereby, he is discharged from the consequences of actions, both good and bad. The actions do not attach sin to him. Gita does not discuss Patanjali Yoga Sutras directly or in detail.

Based on the Patanjali Yoga Sutras (Patanjali's Yogic Principles). Eight-fold Path of Patanjali called Ashtanga Marga (pr: Asht`aanga Maarga).
Here, the stress is on meditation and Nirvikalpa samadhi (Union with the Supreme Spirit and losing consciousness of one's own existence).

According to Yogananda, the Sun God (Vivasvata) taught it first to Vaivasvata Manu. Manu in turn taught it to Ikshvaakus, kings of Sun dynasty from whom it descended to the successive kings.

According to Shri Yogananda, Krishna taught Kriya Yoga to Arjuna. Patanjali codified the Kriya Yoga later.

Went into oblivion when kings lost interest. Sages protected it and passed on from generation to generation. Yogananda claimed that his Gurus passed on Kriya Yoga to him:

Sages ---> Babaji ---> Lahiri Mahas`aya ---> Yukteswar ---> Yogananda.

According to Paramahamsa Yogananda, Kriya Yoga has many uses:

1. Prevents decay of tissues.
2. Advanced yogis can transmute body cells into energy.
3. Elijah, Jesus and Kabir practised Kriya Yoga.
4. Elijah, Jesus and Kabir materialised and dematerialised their bodies.
5. Jesus passed on Kriya Yoga to St. John and St. Paul.

001 Important events of Yogananda's life

Historians consider Paramahamsa Yogananda as second important monk who spread the message of Yoga abroad, next to Swami Vivekananda. Some critics consider him as the first prominent Hindu monk to settle abroad.

Before attempting an in depth analysis of his preachings and practices, I feel that it is necessary to list out important events in his life and his important views.

1. Birth: 1893. (Same year as the Vivekananda's first visit to the United States.

2. Original name: Mukunda.

3. Guru's name: Yukteswar.

4. Father's name: B.C. Ghosh.

5. Mother's name: Gyan Prabha.

6. Native Place: Calcutta.

7. Education: B.A.

8. Foremost philosophical concept: Kriya Yoga (Union of Action).

9. Foremost Institution abroad: Self-Realisation Fellow-ship (1935).

10. Foremost Institution in India: Yogada Satsang Brahmachari Vidyalaya (YSBV).

11. Main theoretical base from the scripture: : Eight-fold path of Patanjali. Patanjali Sutras and Ashtanga Marga (pr: Asht`anga Maarga.).

12. Approach towards Christianity: Synthesis.
(Most global English-using preachers from India have employed the technique of synthesis, because, otherwise the Christians would not listen. Business sense dictates that a marketer should synthesise rather than explore truth).

13. Approach towards miracles : Strongly believed.

14. Guru's Guru : Lahiri Mahasaya (pr: Laahiri Mahaas`aya).

15. Guru's Guru's Guru : Babaji.

16. Approach towards Mahatma Gandhi: Great admirer of Gandhiji.

17. Approach towards Ramana Maharshi: Visited Arunachal Ashram (pr: Arun`aacal Aas`ram).

18. Approach towards C.V. Raman : Met C.V. Raman at Mysore. Presumably admirer.

19. Approach towards Rabindranath Tagore : Great admirer of Tagore. Sang his songs.

20. Approach towards science : Believed that science cannot discover, what scriptures have already discovered.

21. Death: 1952.

Hindu / Indian Scriptures have their own limitations. Most spiritual teachers from India have failed to appreciate this a la the Buddhist, Christian, Islamic and numerous other religious preachers of the world. Their common fashion and pastime is to denigrate science, while at the same time enjoying the benefits rendered by the scientific discoveries and inventions.