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Date Posted: 12:35
Subject: Re: To Ketch re Paulsen
In reply to:
's message, "Re: To Ketch re Paulsen" on 12:30
Does this all mean that you have never pursued Kriya sufficiently to produce any results for yourself? No actual raising of consciousness has taken place?
This is not a matter of sufficiency alone.
I refer you to the insightful thread that Gerti mentioned above in another post. There someone writes:
I'll tell you what lurks in my mind: there is a certain personality type that takes to this particular set of practices, and combined with various physiological attributes, those people have some kind of psycho-physiological response that is defined as "results" in meditation. There are enough of those people to keep this organization going. Others respond to some other set of practices, so there are other "teachings" with devoted adherents.
I have read in many places that Master used to say to people to try the techniques sincerely for a year, and if they didn't feel benefited, to move on with his blessing. Sure sounds to me like he knew that not every person on the planet was his disciple, nor is this particular set of practices the best for every person.
The same thing has been lurking in my mind for long, too. Although I am not a devotee of Yogananda I meanwhile get the feeling that he had real insight at times - something that cannot be said of too many teachers.
(a) From own experience I cannot confirm that Kriya and the common preliminary techniques produce any worthwhile results. After all the things I have been told by various Kriya acharyas and other sources, I should guess this is impossible and a real feat. - Even more, I lost all my zeal, the little "realizations" I used to have before also left me almost without trace and I am now standing in the center of nowhere. Thank you, Kriya! All in all the time that I was connected with Kriya led me exactly in the opposite direction of what is assumed it does as a general rule, and this in many fields.
(b) I got taught SRF's first Kriya by four different ministers, and each one of them taught it slightly different as the others did. Shibendu also taught me some Kriyas, and he is not consistent either; moreover his Kriya differs from both SRF and Ananda in many points.
I came to know three different people who had been with Hariharananda and eventually left for the reason that the Kriya techniques are essentially altered each year by his acharyas. Don't ask me why.
Two people e-mailed me and without myself asking them for it outlined Shankarananda's Kriya pranayam to me. It differs considerably from what I was taught by SRF and Shibendu (who after all, teaches largely similar stuff as SRF, as far as techniques are concerned).
Someone sent me a scan of an outline of Paulsen's brand of Kriya, taken from one of his publications. Paulsen has simply taken what he learned from Yogananda and added a variety of color visualisations, home-made imaginations, and some Christian accessory to it, that's all. Nothing further, no new Disposition etc. as he asserts. It is the work of an immature, childlike mind. His claim that this hodgepodge represents an improvement is ridiculous. In reality it is an annoying dilution of what Yogananda taught and suitable only for those who find favor with Paulsen's ornaments.
And so on. After listing all those examples I wonder who of these teachers really understand how Kriya works, not to speak can be sure that what they teach constitute valid yogic directives at all.
(c) I met several people, definitely sane characters, who experienced considerable mental suffering or physical pain from practice of just a bit of Kriya. One told me she had to stop lest she not be forced to commit suicide.
(d) I came to know other people who achieved remarkable results by Kriya practice. At least two of them have posted on this board. But both had had countless spiritual experiences and followed various paths for decades before they came to Kriya Yoga. An indication that the suggestion being made on the SRF research department may hold some truth.
(e) Not few people who embark on Kriya sadhana are obviously mentally or emotionally confused and unfit to do yoga at all, especially without a stern guidance. I came upon seveal such people, in person as well as by e-mail and through reports by others.
-- Therefore I widely agree with the findings of the (yet unofficial) SRF reseach department.
From what I saw and experienced or not experienced I cannot recommend the practice of Kriya to the spiritual aspirant. The question whether Kriya is generally suited to the psychophysiological standard types of the Western World I have not resolved in my mind yet, but I have growing misgivings about it. The peculiarities of different types of people is surely worth consideration and a rewarding subject for scrutiny. But I suggest it is also a matter of personal intuition rather than a science whose tenets can be laid down in books.
My one appeal is that for a capable teacher who has both authority and can steer you clear of danger and is bold enough to give you a kick in the ass when needed. Somewhere out there these teachers may exist, but not necessarily at mother center or among the Kriya teachers promoted on the Internet. It is as difficult to find one as it is finding a suitable mate for life.
If you practice on your own, add your favorite fancies that you may have gathered in childhood and adolescence to it, and there is no one present who will call upon you to purge your mind of such junk, you will at best end up where Norman is now - a fairy-tale uncle who got caught in the web of his own psychology and conditioning, a tissue of borrowed half-truths and nebulous and fleeting insights. That in spite of this Norman is still among the sane is a sign that he must be a good-natured man, maybe a childlike character of sorts. I am not a psychologer and cannot say where exactly his problem lies. But he is following his own path, and that is not my business.
Sorry that I sound so negative, this year was not an easy one for me. If you want to read something constructive I refer you to the new SRF research deparment - a laudable effort.
And about Norman... you may send him my good wishes, and the good advice to abridge his autobiography by another 200 pages and publish the remainder plus the old omitted Sunburst stuff in a separate volume - as a novel, as other people do.
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