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 Those gurus -- wheat and chaff
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yogani

USA
5081 Posts

Posted - Feb 13 2007 :  11:51:29 AM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
quote:
Originally posted by Swami Vajra

Check out www.strippingthegurus.com and read some disturbing truths about some of the big name Gurus. No one is perfect, we must keep our balance at all levels of knowledge.


Hi Swami Vajra:

Wow. Thanks for that. The table of contents made me laugh until I cried.

But no need to cry anything but happy tears. The secret is out...

The guru is in all of us.

And for the benefit of all those spiritual teachers and gurus -- without them we would not be where we are today, and where we are today is a vast improvement over where we were a century ago. To a large degree, they were victims as much as anyone. We gave them the power over us, and as the old saying goes, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" ... at least in worldly affairs it can.

AYP is bound and determined to be something different ... an entirely written teaching that cannot abuse its readers (hopefully). An exciting experiment!
---------------

PS: Also see this lesson called, "The Difference Between Enlightenment and Perfection": http://www.aypsite.org/260.html

david_obsidian

USA
2602 Posts

Posted - Feb 13 2007 :  4:46:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Yogani said:
We gave them the power over us, and as the old saying goes, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" ... at least in worldly affairs it can.


Yip! And That's why I'm watching your back for you, Yogani, not letting people give you too much power over them, however well-intentioned they may be.
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yogani

USA
5081 Posts

Posted - Feb 13 2007 :  5:41:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by david_obsidian

Yogani said:
We gave them the power over us, and as the old saying goes, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" ... at least in worldly affairs it can.


Yip! And That's why I'm watching your back for you, Yogani, not letting people give you too much power over them, however well-intentioned they may be.



Thank you, David.

I don't want to end up like those poor blokes in the book.

The guru is in you! And you! And you! And...
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Christi

United Kingdom
3160 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2007 :  07:19:19 AM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Shivakm,
Welcome to the forum.
quote:
However about strippingthegurus, I don't take it as lightly as Yogani did. I don't venture into the personal life to gurus. I only want to look at their teaching. For that matter I do not care how where or what Yogani is and only care deeply about the lessons that he has given us with such earnestness and dedication. I personally think that it is repulsive to get into the personal life of gurus or any one else for that matter and give so much importance and discuss about it.

I would agree entirely with what you say. In fact Yogani has already asked forum members not to engage in Guru bashing on this forum:
quote:
Yogani wrote:
We do not permit the bashing of any tradition, guru, or teacher ... or each other, as has already been said. It is counter-productive to our purpose here, which is the ongoing positive integration and refinement of the best methods available, regardless of source.

I do not think that this book should be referenced on this forum and would like to see those references removed. It is a blatant attempt at a smeer campaign and character assasination of some of the greatest teachers who have ever lived. I agree with Yogani that the contents page is very funny, but the book isn't written as a witty review of some great teachers. It is written as a serious account, making numerous claims about real people that could be challenged in court as slander. Many of the people reffered to are no longer alive and so cannot defend themselves.

quote:
Shivakim wrote:
I have already listened to this radio interview. I am not using the mantra "I AM", I chose the mantra "Shrim" instead.

this is interesting. I have started using this mantra in addition to the I AM mantra, but only when I am doing practices directly to open the crown chakra. So I use the I AM mantra during my deep meditation session, and then the Shrim mantra afterwards, after Samyama practice.

Very interesting discussion by the way.
Christi
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Mike

United Kingdom
77 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2007 :  07:47:58 AM  Show Profile  Visit Mike's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Christi

I take your point that not everything in that book has been proven in a court of law... much of it is "allegations" and we should take it in that light. Much of it is not though... The role of Zen in supporting Japanese militarism and the sex scandals in the States... The Catholic church covering up and suppressing long terms sexual abuse etc etc [just to mention two non-yogic 'proved in court' examples].

Thus I have to say I am completely against the idea of supression of the information and shocked at the suggestion

The internet is full of all sorts of stuff and we all have to think for ourselves. However when it comes to the dangers of guru-isation, and sect-isation the pattern is completely clear!

Not only that it continues and is continuing today - I have both personally witnessed and read about such matters in non-yogic circles. Indeed the odd one or two of my friends I am quite sure are suffering from mild forms of this right now... Thought control is easy when you have a charismatic teacher with some skills in meditation/energy arts and impressionable students especially when in blank states of mind.

Just like one can never warn children enough about the dangers of crossing the road I think we can all never be warned enough about taking care of who we give our power too.

I appreciate your pain and aversion [I found it very interesting actually but after a while could read no more myself...] but the pain and aversion is the way it is... just as the allegations are the way it is... just as the fact that many will be true and many will be false...

We cant edit reality just try to have more equanimity towards it [IMHO]...

quote:
Originally posted by shivakm
I don't venture into the personal life to gurus. I only want to look at their teaching. For that matter I do not care how where or what Yogani is and only care deeply about the lessons that he has given us with such earnestness and dedication. I personally think that it is repulsive to get into the personal life of gurus or any one else for that matter and give so much importance and discuss about it.


Shiva

I can see where you are coming from and respect your views and position on this.

Taking an abstract position though - spiritual practice is intended to be transformational - isn't it... And what can be transformed? Two things:

i) ones relationship one's own individual experience of existence (Tao/Brahma/Emptiness/whatever);
ii) ones relationship to other people.

Surely "the proof of the pudding" is that "good" practices and "good" teachers help one improve both...?

Surely if a teacher/practice systematically produces bad results (on either point) then at a very minimum it should give one cause for concern about following that teacher or the practice?

Or put it another way it doesn't seem very spiritual to me to sexually or violently abuse other people.

Thus - for me - I arrive at the opposite conclusion - whilst I am not going to spend my life focusing on the subject I certainly do think that one cannot blind oneself to systematic failings of individuals and systems.

It is I think one of Yogani's key brilliancies (as well as making a huuuuuge chunk of wisdom practices "open-source" - freely available for all of mankind) to invert the whole guru thing and make the guru focus oneself.

As he rightly says historically the knowledge was preserved in these cultural ways... and we are all very grateful to these traditions.

However in these days of openness we can see that in some/many cases it was preserved at the cost of terrible abuse and suffering... but then the past was a more violent place - world wars killing tens of millions of people etc etc.

These days though no need for creating fertile climates of "concentration of power" and "absolute obedience"... as per above "the secret is out"!!!

With maximum respect to the guru within Yogani and peace to all.

Mike

Edited by - Mike on Feb 14 2007 08:13:10 AM
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Christi

United Kingdom
3160 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2007 :  11:19:46 AM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Mike,
Thanks for the reply.
quote:
Mike wrote:
Christi

I take your point that not everything in that book has been proven in a court of law... much of it is "allegations" and we should take it in that light. Much of it is not though... The role of Zen in supporting Japanese militarism and the sex scandals in the States... The Catholic church covering up and suppressing long terms sexual abuse etc etc [just to mention two non-yogic 'proved in court' examples].

Thus I have to say I am completely against the idea of suppression of the information and shocked at the suggestion


I think you have missed the point here. The question is not about suppression of information. It is about what is permissible or not permissible on this forum. The specific point here is the question of whether or not direct open criticism of spiritual teachers is permissible or not. Naz was recently told that her posts may not appear on the forum. Why? Because Naz was openly criticizing both Yoganis teachings and the teachings of the Maharishi. It wasn't my idea to sensor her posts, it was Yogani's. Are you shocked? It's all here:
http://www.aypsite.org/forum/topic....OPIC_ID=1389
You can read the discussion for yourself.
Doc has also been told not to post anything that openly critisises spiritual teachers.
http://www.aypsite.org/forum/topic....&whichpage=2
I hope he won't mind me paraphrasing him:
quote:
Doc wrote:
...these last two posts have created some confusion for me and, combined with previous e-mails to me, have also generated an uncomfortable feeling of a 'double standard' at work behind the scenes, so to speak. ...
I was informed, for example, that it would be inappropriate and unacceptable for me to post mention [on this forum] of factually verifiable, undeniably true, documented information regarding an individual such as Osho because it would constitute 'Guru Bashing', especially among those who follow his teachings and methods. ...

Additionally, I was warned not to post anything which was at variance with AYP teachings and practices so as not to confuse AYP practitioners or generate any doubt in their minds regarding what they have been taught, which request I have made every effort to honor.....





Yes, it is censorship, and quite heavy censorship, for a teacher to ban any criticism of themselves or their teachings, but personally I agree with Yogani that it is a good idea. Yogani was very clear about why he wanted to impose it, because it meant that people could focus on more useful discussion, such as building an effective spiritual practice. Other things are banned on the forum such as personal attacks, and political debate. I was asked yesterday to remove a very funny joke about American foreign policy by one of the moderators. Suppression? Freedom of speech?
So the bottom line is, either direct criticism of spiritual teachers is permitted on this forum or it is not. And if it is permitted then it must allow for direct criticism of Yoganis' teachings as he is a spiritual teacher too.
If we do not allow such criticism, then links to books such as this one must surely count as "the same as", otherwise someone could just attack a spiritual teacher just by linking to other websites. Personally I am all for freedom of speech, but in a forum such as this, it would be all too easy for discussion to degenerate to unhelpful criticism of either teachers' personalities or their teachings. This kind of discussion could take place, but it could happen on another forum (like Guru-bashing.com/forum or Evilbrainwashingcult.org/forum or something). Actually there are already plenty of websites already in existence that are dedicated to just this purpose, so why repeat it all here?
I did not make up the guidelines that are currently in place on this forum. I am simply saying that I think they are good ones, and should be applied consistently. That consistency would include the removal of references to the book being discussed.
I have written quite a lot on this subject recently, as I stepped in to try and stop the character assassination and attempted destruction of the spiritual teachings of Samael Aun Weor a couple of weeks ago in this thread:
http://www.aypsite.org/forum/topic....OPIC_ID=1848

I hope you can understand my position.




Christi

Edited by - Christi on Feb 14 2007 1:02:57 PM
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david_obsidian

USA
2602 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2007 :  11:23:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Christi said:
I do not think that this book should be referenced on this forum and would like to see those references removed. It is a blatant attempt at a smeer campaign and character assasination of some of the greatest teachers who have ever lived.


I agree with Mike.

Regarding forum rules, the question arises, can we make link to something that does not follow AYP rules? I think we should be able to, though not obviously with every post. Because not being able to link to something unless it follows AYP posting guidelines seems too restrictive.

BTW, Yogani did not endorse the work, just laughed at the table of contents.

We really don't need to discuss the merits of the work here.In fact, we probably should not, because that is getting into its topic. Some of us think it is terrible, some of us think there is stuff in it that should be known. It's out there in the big bad world, not part of AYP forum. Enter at your own risk.
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david_obsidian

USA
2602 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2007 :  11:37:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Christi, we posted at much the same time, so I did not see your post.

I think you have missed the point here. The question is not about suppression of information. It is about what is permissible or not permissible on this forum.

This is very true, Christi. Speech on a forum like this is not entirely free for good policy reasons. Under those circumstances, 'censorship' is just a pejorative term for 'moderation'. So I suppose a question is whether a link to unacceptable content is by virtue of that alone, unacceptable. For the reasons above, I would suggest not having such a restrictive policy, but ultimately it is up to Yogani to make the decision on that.

One other thing to keep in mind BTW -- the forum rules have evolved. Further back in time, many things were accepted that would no longer be.

christi said:
Naz was recently told that his posts may not appear on the forum. Why? Because Naz was openly criticizing both Yoganis teachings and the teachings of the Maharishi. It wasn't my idea to sensor his posts, it was Yogani's. Are you shocked? It's all here:
http://www.aypsite.org/forum/topic....OPIC_ID=1389
You can read the discussion for yourself.


Christi, in order to give me a clue of what on earth you are talking about, can you give me the link to the part where Naz was recently told that her posts may not appear on the forum?

You have a link to a long discussion between Naz and others. Occasionally, Naz received some criticism for her style, not for non-AYP content. She seems to have received the last word on the thread so far. I see no evidence there whatsoever about her not being allowed to question AYP teachings. Here's a direct link to the part where she speaks actually insultingly about Yogani's teachings which was printed in full:
http://www.aypsite.org/forum/topic....page=2#14111

I'm not sure saying the gospels read like a TV commercial would pass here; if there is a double standard, it may be a little against AYP.

You can link directly to one post of a topic, and you really need to for the sake of your readers when the topic is long. Click on the world-with-arrow icon on the post in question, and copy the link when it comes up. I'm waiting to see the censorship of Naz that you say is 'all there'.

Thanks.

Edited by - david_obsidian on Feb 14 2007 12:00:35 PM
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yogani

USA
5081 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2007 :  12:15:04 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi All:

Just to clarify, any constructive criticism of spiritual methods and approaches is welcome here, no matter who has taught them. That includes questioning any part of AYP -- plenty of discussions of this kind have occurred, and they will continue. We'd like to get at the truth of human spiritual transformation, and be refining the methods indefinitely. It is the purpose of AYP and this forum.

Debates on transgressions in the personal lives of spiritual teachers are not welcome here, because they distract from the business at hand -- the examination of spiritual practices and experiences.

On the other hand, I am not opposed to anyone going to any other literature or forum to learn about or discuss the relative merits or demerits of any spiritual teacher or tradition. So there is no censorship in that sense -- anyone who wants to dig in the dirt of any teacher or tradition is welcome go do it somewhere else. We just don't want it going on here for practical reasons. It is an endless quagmire that will undermine the mission of this forum.

Is it inappropriate to be posting links to such literature or forums here? If it is done constructively within the context of our discussions on practices (as is the case above), I don't see a problem with it. We don't live in a vacuum here. On the other hand, if it becomes someone's mission here to redirect traffic to such sites on an ongoing basis, it will not be welcome, of course.

As you can probably tell, I find some humor in the machinations over this or that guru scandal. It is such old news. It is well known by now that there has been plenty of in-the-dirt chaff coming along with the wonderful spiritual wheat over the past century. I am a wheat man myself, and prefer to leave the chaff to others -- the defeatists who will eventually realize that what they have been looking for so angrily they already have within them.

And I do understand that those who are devoted to a particular spiritual teacher or guru (living or not), and to the concept of the sanctity of the guru/disciple relationship, will be upset. For that, I hope the notable lack of guru bashing in this forum will be a relief, and I do apologize for the occasional fun-poking that might occur by me on this subject.

I deeply love all who have brought spiritual teachings to us in all times and places. Had it been otherwise, we would not be able to be here doing this work now ... that is a thought I find truly depressing. Thank goodness it is not our reality. We are so fortunate to have been blessed by the spiritual teachers and gurus. So I say, let go of the chaff and enjoy the wheat!

The guru is in you.
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Christi

United Kingdom
3160 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2007 :  12:33:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi david,
Sorry about the poor links, I'm not up with the technology yet. I said that Naz was told that her posts may be sensored, not that they were. I had already quoted from this thread above in a previous post, but will do so again with the link:


http://www.aypsite.org/forum/topic....page=2#14124
quote:
Naz wrote:
I've just read the last message of Yogani. It was actually to be expected. So, before I continue, I'd like to check out if my further open messages are welcome by the host of this forum.

Yogani replied:
Hi Naz:

You are free to speak your mind, within limits. We do not permit the bashing of any tradition, guru, or teacher ... or each other, as has already been said. It is counter-productive to our purpose here, which is the ongoing positive integration and refinement of the best methods available, regardless of source. We will do our best not to bash you, but if you want to be welcome, you must return the favor. It is up to you, and the moderators.

They will be tightening the reigns on your posting from here forward.


(Underline added.)
As far as I could tell from following the discussion in this thread, the only traditions and teachers that Naz was "bashing" were AYP, Yogani and the Maharishi and TM. But please feel free to correct me if I missed something.

Christi

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trip1

USA
739 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2007 :  12:45:51 PM  Show Profile  Visit trip1's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
After viewing the site mentioned above, I wanted to point out that there are also articles focused on disproving the benefits of meditation hosted on that site as well. Did nobody else notice this or are we simply choosing the parts which agree with our point of view and disregarding the rest (which obviously does not)?

Here's a choice quote for everyone speaking that site as gospel: "I am troubled that he (Ken Wilber) may continue his unfounded, misleading, and potentially harmful pronouncements concerning the benefits of meditation, claims that I consider to be, as the subtitle if this essay indicates, “a baffling babbling of unending nonsense.”"

On a side note, isn't this conversation getting a bit old?
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Christi

United Kingdom
3160 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2007 :  12:53:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Yogani,


quote:
Yogani wrote:
Just to clarify, any constructive criticism of spiritual methods and approaches is welcome here, no matter who has taught them. That includes questioning any part of AYP -- plenty of discussions of this kind have occurred, and they will continue. We'd like to get at the truth of human spiritual transformation, and be refining the methods indefinitely. It is the purpose of AYP and this forum.

Thanks for that clarification. Over the linking to other sites issue, I can understand both your and Davids' reasoning and would agree with this position.

Christi

Edited by - Christi on Feb 14 2007 1:06:45 PM
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david_obsidian

USA
2602 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2007 :  1:01:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
trip1 said:
Here's a choice quote for everyone speaking that site as gospel...


Definitely trip1, I would advise no-one to take Geoffrey Falk's words as gospel, and I would doubt if he would advise it. At times he places a burden of proof that is so strong that I would consider it unproductive. So I would consider his criticism of Ken Wilber to be going too far at times.

On a side note, isn't this conversation getting a bit old?

It can only get old for those who either participate by reading, or, like you, make it yet older for themselves by also writing.
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trip1

USA
739 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2007 :  1:23:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit trip1's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
It can only get old for those who either participate by reading, or, like you, make it yet older for themselves by also writing.




Hi David,

Agreed. Unfortunately for this thread, it started out on a productive topic and ended up as many other great threads have at the hands of a few forum members with a chip on their shoulder. Would it be so hard to have a topic or two dedicated to the subject of gurus in spiritual traditions and when called for, add a link to that discussion in other threads (such as this) when needed?

I can assure you that those threads will never get old to me as I won't be taking part in them.
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riptiz

United Kingdom
740 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2007 :  1:29:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit riptiz's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Well Trip,
I am well known on here for crossing swords with David over guru bashing in the past but any site that talks of meditation as “a baffling babbling of unending nonsense.” is not even worth mentioning on here or any serious site concerned with meditation. Now that part is a 'joke'.
L&L
Dave
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yogani

USA
5081 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2007 :  1:37:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by shivakm

quote:
Originally posted by Swami Vajra

Check out www.strippingthegurus.com and read some disturbing truths about some of the big name Gurus. No one is perfect, we must keep our balance at all levels of knowledge.




Swami Vajra: The first part of your comment about your experience giving and receiving mantras and how the practice makes the difference was very useful. However about strippingthegurus, I don't take it as lightly as Yogani did. I don't venture into the personal life to gurus. I only want to look at their teaching. For that matter I do not care how where or what Yogani is and only care deeply about the lessons that he has given us with such earnestness and dedication. I personally think that it is repulsive to get into the personal life of gurus or any one else for that matter and give so much importance and discuss about it. When I questioned about the guru/disciple discipline and the passing of "mantra" the question was just about that and not how the gurus who passed on the mantras lived their personal life. Their personal life is none of my business. I briefly looked at how this book tried to smear some of the well known teachers like Vivekananda and Ramakrihsna Paramahansa and I should only state that it is sad that some one would venture into this kind of attempt at putting the personal life of teachers under microscope. I also do not know how true the statements made on their website are. I feel that it is also unfortunate that you quoted such a site on AYP where we discuss and respect all traditions. Of course you are entitled to your own beliefs and opinions, but why smear others. By reading briefly on the book that you quoted, on the chapter about J.Krishanmurthy, I can say that it is a gross misrepresentation of Krishamurthi's teachings (I should not even say teachings because he never claimed that he was teaching anything). Any one who has read the notes/books of J.Krishnamurthy (commentaries on living series or other books) and has listened to his talks will know that he never claimed any teacher or guru status. In fact he admonished such things repeatedly and asked us to just inquire into our own nature and live in a state of "beingness". He never advocated any one path to enlightenment. He was always adamant that no other person or guru can take us to enlightenment and we have to find it ourselves.

Shiva.

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yogani

USA
5081 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2007 :  1:38:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by david_obsidian

Shivakm said:
I don't venture into the personal life to gurus. I only want to look at their teaching. For that matter I do not care how where or what Yogani is and only care deeply about the lessons that he has given us with such earnestness and dedication.


Shiva, if you only want to look at their teachings, and are prepared to listen to critiques of their teachings at times, I think you have an appropriate view of the guru.

The problem is when a person has a mythological, magical view of the guru and believes it literally. That's guru-mythologization, as I'm using the term here. In that case, the real guru-person is falling short of what they are believed to be and it can be good for a 'disciple' to know it.

If a person has a mythological view of the guru, but does not believe it literally, they are all set. In such a way, you can use your guru as a symbol for god, and love the guru as you would love god, while knowing that the person is a limited person with shortcomings. Can you keep your bhakti without guru-mythologization? One is useful, the other can be harmful.

Can you have guru-bhakti without guru-mythologization?

You tell me.


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yogani

USA
5081 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2007 :  1:57:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi All:

This discussion on gurus was split off from a mantra/meditation discussion here: http://www.aypsite.org/forum/topic....OPIC_ID=2049

Please keep in mind that the same moderating guidelines apply in this topic as in any other in the AYP forums, so be kind to those gurus. They are always a reflection of our own aspirations.

The guru is in you.
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Mike

United Kingdom
77 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2007 :  2:21:24 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mike's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Just a small point... in some of the above posts there does not always appear to be a recognition of the difference between:

a) criticism of individual gurus (which is undoubtedly an unproductive topic and this isnt really the place);

b) a recognition that although it has strengths the guru system also inherently has a big weakness. Now this isnt necessarily a very productive topic of debate either ... but there is an inherent tension in having a non-guru yoga system (ie AYP) in a guru-dominated cultural context... In other avenues - notably Buddhism - there have long co-existed guru-based and non-guru-based approaches. Its just new to yoga not the human race

I suspect the friction comes as those who prefer/study under the guru system feel that the potential disadvantages are sometimes emphasised more than the potential advantages..? Either that or there is some internal cognitive dissonance in some folks studying under gurus due to internal uncertainty... an 'in two-minds'-ed-ness about their current situation?

Also its worth recalling that the original thread started with someone's concern that one *couldnt* learn a mantra other than by direct transmission from a guru... Now the person that passed on that belief seems to me to be supporting a real case of "closed-shoppism", of implanting in others limiting beliefs (which on the evidence of AYP practitioners is not true)

But ultimately - whilst the world is changing (always has, always will ) there is undoubtedly a place for non-guru systems as well as guru systems... Folks are free to chose what they wish

I cant really see how one can say that guru-systems or non-guru-systems are better per se... at the end of the day its all personal preference as to what one choses.

But there certainly seems a high wheat:chaff ratio in AYP - and ya' gotta love the course fees

Mike

Edited by - Mike on Feb 14 2007 2:33:25 PM
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shivakm

USA
41 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2007 :  5:46:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit shivakm's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by david_obsidian

Shiva, if you only want to look at their teachings, and are prepared to listen to critiques of their teachings at times, I think you have an appropriate view of the guru.




I am totally prepared to listen to the critiques of their (gurus) teachings. Criticisms of their teachings are needed in my opinion. Even the criticisms about their personality are needed to certain extent (even though I feel that venturing into personal lives is repulsive). I think criticism is very constructive and brings a balance. And we do need balance in this world where lot of false gurus pop up in hundreds each day and take advantage of blind believers. But constructive criticism is one thing and blatant racism is another. Lets look at couple of quotes from this book (the link which Swami Vajra provided)



"Well, it was India, after all—what exactly did they expect, if not deathly spicy cuisine, mosquitos, bedbugs and interminable heat? If they wanted bland food and cool weather, they should have stayed in Liverpool, awash in bangers and mash to fill the gap."


"He (Yogananda) loved to order women about—after all he was a Hindu.... He had a violent temper and was a little bit arrogant"

As long as the author says that Yogananda ordered women around, I don't have a problem with that. Thats a criticism. But when he says "after all he was a hindu", this is nothing but racism. Do all Hindus order women around? I am a Hindu, does that mean that I order the women in my life? And the same racist opinion goes for the comment about India.

I do not take exception to criticism of the gurus. In fact I welcome that with open heart. I only take exception to the link that Swami Vajra provided here on the forum. I even feel that such links which are racist in nature should be removed from the forum. But I would leave that to Yogani and others, they know what is best for all of us and how much of censoring is needed. There are such sectarian comments all over that book. India has its own problems and we are all well aware of it, but the India that I know is not definitely not so bad as the author describes. And when some one starts criticizing gurus they should take gurus, cults etc. from all over the world if they are neutral. There are plenty of them every where. But it is clearly evident that this author only wanted to zoom in on India and Hindu tradition more than 95% of the time. And the quotes above clearly indicate the contempt that he has towards India and the Hindu tradition. I have read some of the books that this author has quoted on the book, It was very clear to me that he choose certain books among a large collection and within them chose certain phrases that suited his purpose and interpreted them freely the way he wanted and to comply to his goal of painting the particular guru in a certain way. If we want to do this we can almost smear any genuine teacher anywhere on the world by taking selective comments from the critics and interpreting them freely the way we want to.

quote:
Originally posted by david_obsidian

Can you have guru-bhakti without guru-mythologization?

You tell me.




Can guru-bhakti exist without guru-mythologization? Yes, I think so, Absolutely! (Not that I say mythologization is wrong in any way, I feel that it has its own value also). Take Ramana Maharishi for example. I have great bhakti-devotion towards him. But I don't mythologize at all. And he never claimed in his life that he was anything other than a normal human in flesh and blood who understood his real nature.

Shiva.

Edited by - shivakm on Feb 14 2007 6:08:13 PM
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david_obsidian

USA
2602 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2007 :  6:12:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Shiva said:
Can guru-bhakti exist without guru-mythologization? Yes, I think so, Absolutely! (Not that I say mythologization is wrong in any way, I feel that it has its own value also). Take Ramana Maharishi for example. I have great bhakti-devotion towards him. But I don't mythologize at all. And he never claimed in his life that he was anything other than a normal human in flesh and blood who understood his real nature.


That's it Shiva -- Ramana didn't self-mythologize. And I believe the reason he didn't was that he had enough development and vision not to. This is part of why he is probably one of the most generally-highly-regarded saint of 20th-century India.

Not that I say mythologization is wrong in any way

Well, I don't think it is wise and good, but it is not all bad either. By the way, gurus can and do officially repudiate their own mythologization while they actively cultivate it at the same time -- be on the watch out for that one -- repudiation of the myths about oneself does not mean that one is not cultivating them, any more than my saying 'I am a Saint' implies that I am not a sinner.

I'm sorry you saw something racist or insensitive through that link, but it's mild in the big picture of racism, and not necessarily Geoffrey Falk's opinion either -- he's quoting a guy called Rawlinson who is quoting Shelly Trimmer.


Edited by - david_obsidian on Feb 14 2007 6:20:49 PM
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shivakm

USA
41 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2007 :  6:24:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit shivakm's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by david_obsidian

[purple]Shiva said:

I'm sorry you saw something racist or insensitive through that link, but it's mild in the big picture of racism, and not necessarily Geoffrey Falk's opinion either -- he's quoting a guy called Rawlinson who is quoting Shelly Trimmer.




Is not quoting racist comments from another source to suit my own needs and promote a certain idea also another form of racism?

Say for example I take several quotes of Ku Klux Klan or Nazi leaders and present them in my own book to give certain idea to its readers. Also I completely omit all the opposing views to these quotes. What will this be considered as?

Edited by - shivakm on Feb 14 2007 6:30:02 PM
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david_obsidian

USA
2602 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2007 :  6:39:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Is not quoting racist comments from another source to suit my own needs and promote a certain idea also another form of racism?

I'd say no, not necessarily, though it could be not racist, yet racially insensitive depending on the audience. It all depends on whether the quoter is supporting the racist comments of the person quoted. Sometimes it isn't obvious whether support is occurring or not. So I generally give the benefit of the doubt in what I hear, but consider it my duty to be sensitive in what I say.

And regarding laughing and poking fun, it very much depends on who or what is being laughed at. When I looked at the full quote, I saw the Beetles being laughed at up there, not India.

Say for example I take several quotes of Ku Klux Klan or Nazi leaders and present them in my own book to give certain idea to its readers. Also I completely omit all the opposing views to these quotes. What will this be considered as?

Again, motivation and what exactly you yourself are trying to say in your book is key. That will decide whether you are being racist or not. Then, actual racism aside, there is still the question of whether you are racially insensitive or not.

Edited by - david_obsidian on Feb 14 2007 6:44:14 PM
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david_obsidian

USA
2602 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2007 :  6:49:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
promote a certain idea (idea being promoted a racist view) is considered as racism also.

I actually agree with that, Shiva. The part I underlined is crucial. There may just be some misunderstanding.
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shivakm

USA
41 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2007 :  6:50:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit shivakm's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by david_obsidian

Is not quoting racist comments from another source to suit my own needs and promote a certain idea also another form of racism?

I'd say no, not necessarily, though it could be not racist, yet racially insensitive depending on the audience.




I think we both have a different view towards racism. In my view to quote comments from another racist source to suit my own needs and promote a certain idea (idea promoted being a racist view) is considered as racism also. Even though I got lured into this topic, I now feel that is not so important at all for my grwoth. So, I will stop the discussion here and say nothing further (on racism).

Edited by - shivakm on Feb 14 2007 11:50:44 PM
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david_obsidian

USA
2602 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2007 :  6:56:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Fine, though I'm not so sure how much we disagree -- if at all.

BTW, you can edit your posts Shiva on AYP forum, after posting them -- I don't know if you have discovered that yet -- it's the pencil and paper icon appearing on your own post.
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