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Date Posted: 08:21
Author: Hendrik - 13 Oct 2001
Subject: Re: Reply
In reply to: Anonymous - 13 Oct 2001 's message, "Reply" on 08:19

I watched a discussion taking place lately on Ned's board called "names or forms"; I guess it is this what is being referred to here.

Frankly I did not really understand what the debate was all about - I also did not read all the posts thoroughly - but it definitely included a good portion of finickiness put forward from several sides.

I coined this phenomenon "spiritual alcoholism". This always intrigued me. There are reportedly many realizations in yoga, but not few yogis are apparently led into believing that their own spiritual attainments and their respective traditions fill the whole spectrum and are the supreme and ultimate ones whereas all others are of very relative value at best.* To me this represents a sort of Christ complex from which many Kriya teachers including Ned, Yogananda, Satyeswarananda, and Shibendu Lahiri seem to suffer to a greater or lesser degree. It is something that not attracts me.

All this may be understandable and acceptable so far, but things become unbearable when some of these people turn abrasive and attack others who represent a neighboring tradition. It is the height of ego-ness. Is the meaning of sadhana a competition of who owns the best path or who is winner in concocting the driest philosophy?

This insipid philosophical self-assertion seems especially common to the path called Kriya Yoga. Unfortunately I am not able to exclude myself here and must frankly admit that for some part I have become a clever shit as a result of my association with Kriya. A lot of other devotees as well as teachers apparently suffer from the same ill, in some cases augmented by grandiose visionary stuff or some tradition that makes them look like sectarians to the eye of the unenlightened beholder.

Please show me an egoless Kriyavan. As is obvious from the style of many posts on these boards Kriya does not solve our psychological problems but rather turn some of us into fairly aggressive characters.

I have the impression that Kriya Yoga may be generally not suited to the psychology of Europeans/Americans, perhaps it was for this reason that Yogananda altered and toned down the techniques. I remember that in the case of one of his closest disciples he did not permit her to practice a hundred pranayams a day as she would have liked to, and elsewhere he stated that one should never exceed the daily limit of 108 pranayams (except from well-prepared occasional special settings), whereas in the Indian lineages practice of several hundred Kriyas a day is common. It shows that Yogananda must have had a considerable insight into the requirements and limits of us Western folks. He also understood that regular practice was just that - regular practice - and there remains a lot of inner work to do also outside the couple of hours of daily meditation.

...I object to calling Ned a "Kriya Nazi" - that is a very mean term. A Nazi comes out of his den and hurts those who have done nothing bad at all whereas Ned attacks only all those who dissent with him. Let's better call him a Kriya Mullah, though I'm not sure if this is the appropriate phrase. Any other suggestions?

In fact Ned has all right to delete posts as he sees fit, because he is the moderator of his own board. But it would be wise if he gave his board a more appropriate epithet than "univeral". I see that today he rechristened it "Yoga Niketan Traditional Kriya Yoga Board" which appears to be a more befitting title. Let's hope that the change of name is not a temporary one.

*One should keep in mind Totapuri, one of Ramakrishna's teachers, who long after realizing the formless Brahman met Ramakrishna and from him learned that there is a great truth in dualism, something that widened the scope of his own realization.

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