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Should Free
Registered User
(4/30/02 11:23 pm)
VERY intrusive organization
Have you thought that SRF is a VERY "intrusive" organization? And when I say intrusive I mean that they "intrude" in members' lives to a degree that it is completely unacceptable. For example, "what you should eat, how much sex you should have, how you should dress (there are certain colors that are silently preferable and others that reflect a "lower state of consciousness"), what you should drink, what you should read, what you should like and dislike (nothing), what is the best type of partner, how you should manage your marriage relationship, how to raise children, how to speak in public, how to practice meditation to the minute details -- a very rigid approach -- and what you should do with your time EVERY MINUTE OF THE DAY, and on and on.

Not all religions or spiritual paths are so intrusive and controlling. I have been interested later in checking a spiritual path that is new. In fact, it is just emerging, but based mostly on the Zen traditions. These are the teachings presented in "The Power of Now" and related books and tapes by Eckhart Tolle. The focus is about how to live in the present moment to attain enlightenment. I have found NOTHING like in SRF. Tolle seems to limit his advice strictly to his expertise and does not intrude on how people should manage their lives. Mind you that I'm not interested at all in "belonging" to another religion, organization or spiritual path. However, now that I allow myself to read whatever pleases me, I'm finding very interesting things out there, and very spiritual. When I compare SRF with this modern, emerging teachings I see two things that are FUNDAMENTALLY different. One is that Tolle's teachings are integrational instead fragmentative. And second, he does not intrude in peoples personal lives at all. He may do it in the future, but 'till now I do not see the SRF's intrusiveness anywhere.

I suspect that Ramana Maharshi and other masters as well had this same approach. R.M. seems to have limited his advice to how to find the answer to "who you are," and does not seem he intruded much -- with thousand rules -- on how you live your life.

I suggest that SRF limits its influence in people's lives to the spiritual aspect, period. More specifically to Kriya Yoga and the techniques. They do a VERY poor job when they intrude in other areas. Bad teachers, poor communicators, should language, rigid ideas, black and white thinking, monastic ideas indiscriminately passed to lay members, etc. etc. etc. contribute to this shameful situation.

Leave the rest to science, psychology, and other type of health practitioners. SRF would definitely made less mistakes and hurt less people.

Edited by: Should Free at: 4/30/02 11:29:56 pm
Registered User
(5/1/02 6:31 am)
Re: VERY intrusive organization
I agree. SRF is thinking we some how need it to find God!

Well, I suppose it is thinking it must control us to maintain its position and power.

Registered User
(5/2/02 6:42 pm)
Re: VERY intrusive organization
Maybe I have not been that long on the path as you guys, but SRF has never called me asking questions or knocked on my door. I just see it as a "guideline setter" on how to live to maximize chances of Self-realization occording to the teacings of P. Yogananda. I don't feel obligated to follow SRF, to go to any of their functions, or to buy any of their literature. Instead I freely chose make any such action. Maybe in the future I will feel differently. What I do know is that God is watching me and thats what counts.

Should Free, what you should be doing is meditating. Just joking with you using the "should" language. Seriously, I've stressed myself out about things with SRF that bothered me, but ever since I've let go of those feelings I've felt a lot freer and more enthusiastic about my meditations and progress towards God. Don't let your negative feelings affect your meditations and enthusiasm.
There are things with the leadership of SRF that bother me too, but I've come to understand that the best way to influence the future of the society is to concentrate on one's individual progress towards God. Remember you don't have to do anything SRF or Master tells you, make your own choices, your own evaluations of yourself. Don't let the "should" language stop you on your divine quest. SRF is guidelines, not God. You Master, and God know what you have to do in this life.

"The deeper the Self-realization of a man, the more he influences the whole universe by his subtle spiritual vibrations, and the less he himself is affected by phenominal flux." -SriYukteswar

Registered User
(12/8/02 11:10 am)
Re: VERY intrusive organization
Agreed! SRF / Master call this the 'Howto Live School" of Philosophy. Also agree that while Hindus can be very dogmatic their teachers focus on how to Be Good and Do Good not running lives. But then they don't have to, the Manu Shastras spell out in detail everyone's duties. It's called Social Engineering.

BUT, could Master's desire to create a How to Live philosophy that runs every facet of one's life be prompted by ideas found Mr Ben Franklin's Autobiography? Maybe Master saw this as an American Tradition. In fact, Master aslo had a fondness for Mr Henry Ford practically deifying him. It's known that Mr Ford was very inetrested in running the lives of his workers. Again, another affirmation, in Master's mind, that this was some kind of "American Tradition?"

Registered User
(12/8/02 11:22 am)
Re: VERY intrusive organization
...and remember that Luther Burbank advocated the selective breeding of people. Then you'd have some bureaucrat of eugenics who would dictate whom you're allowed to have a child with. How much more intrusive could you get? The AY is dedicated to him.

Edited by: mangomoy at: 12/12/02 5:30:03 am
Registered User
(12/11/02 5:15 am)
Re: VERY intrusive organization
Dear Shouldfree,

I forget if you were a monk or a lay member?

I was never told what to eat when I was in SRF; instead I was told that some members are vegetarian and some aren't, and so I should do what I felt best for myself.

As to clothing. Yes. I found that most wore darker colors, and so I did the same because I had this feeling that I should conform. Yet, I have seen that some members wore red or purple, etc. but very few, but they were not shunned for doing so. Some were even doing volunteer service.

While there was a book on marriage that was written by Yogananda, I never felt that they even entered into my marriage in anyway, but then I didn't go to them for marriage counseling.

Now I did find the meditation approach to be very rigid. As long as I was just doing the Hong-sau technique, I was fine, but when I began doing my second kriya, It became very tedious, and I longed to just do Hong-sau and Kriya Proper and leave it at that, but that made me feel guilty, but still, I had to just do what felt right to me.

That was funny when you said that they told you what you should like and not like, i.e. "nothing". That was Yogananda's idea, and yet he had so much fun. He "liked" to play tennis, go to movies, read Dagwood in the papers, went on picnics, joked around, etc. I never did understand the idea that we should not put any judgement on liking or not liking anyway. I still hate liver. I bet I could have served him a meal that he would never have forgotten, one that he would have even caused him to make his face pucker. I remember going to Deer Park Monastery for their day of mindfulness, and we were to eat each bite of food with mindfulness, that is, enjoying the taste, chewing each bite 50 times, etc. I picked up a strange looking mushroom, put it in my mouth and almost gagged. I chewed it three times and swallowed. At least I was very "mindful" of how it tasted. I decided then and there that if I ever went to another day of mindfulness, I would just eat the rice and bring salt and butter for the vegetables.

Edited by: chela2020 at: 12/18/02 5:09:17 am
Registered User
(12/11/02 11:32 pm)
Re: VERY intrusive organization

[quote] As long as I was just doing the Hong-sau technique, I was fine, but when I began doing my second kriya, It became very tedious, and I longed to just do Hong-sau and Kriya Proper and leave it at that, but that made me feel guilty, but still, I had to just do what felt right to me.[/quote]

I too found the Kriya techniques beyond the first to be tedious. The 3rd and 4th even more so.

I have read in other's posts that they felt the techniques are ineffective. It would be interesting to anonymously poll adherents of different meditation societies as to the effectiveness of their practice - of which, my interpretation anyway, is to open the doors to SPIRITual experience.

I realize the subjective nature of a study such as this. However, I believe it would show that the vast majority of those practicing (for decades) sit in silence and darkness.


Registered User
(12/13/02 6:24 pm)
Re: VERY intrusive organization
We should also remember that Henry Ford wrote an intensely anti-Semitic book named "The International Jew" and was the recipient of the highest award that Adolf Hitler presented to non-Germans, including Mussolini.

Registered User
(12/14/02 4:34 am)
Re: VERY intrusive organization

I only know that the Hong Sau method was effective for me, as was Om Namah Shivaya and Nam Myoho Ringe Kyo. It is hard to say whether Kriya is effective or not. I had a friend who claims it made her irritable, but then if you use a mantra too long, which she did in the beginning because she does things her way, doing 100 a day after initiation, it can do this. Sometimes long meditation can bring up so many ugly things that we thought were long buried, that one doesn't know what is going on unless they have an illumined being to talk with. So when some people on this board say that Kriya was bad for them, I would want to know why? And in order to know why, for myself, I would want to know that I was asking someone who knew. If meditation is peaceful for some and they are having wonderful experiences that is great, and it would be good to know that Kriya is doing this, but since we are taught to also do Hong-sau and the Om technique, how do we know what is doing what? As to the dangers of meditation I have read, "People who meditate only for a few minutes a day may not know anything about these reactions...When we try to concentrate the mind within, we profoundly disturb the unconscious part of the mind...These disturbances affect our actions and attitudes towards others which, in turn, invite reactions from the society...Your troubles may increase for a time...Old tendencies, old memories, old desires, get greater strength, and want to find expression on the physical plane..." And it goes on and on even saying that some who do too much can go insane.

Registered User
(1/27/03 9:28 am)
Self-Realization Fellowship is a NON-intrusive Path
In my experience with Self-Realization Fellowship, I have found them to be as non-intrusive as possible. The case is also similar for others whom I have known on this path.

Of course there may be exceptions, or when some unfortunate devotee either got wrong advice from a counselor who got his question wrong. Or when the devotee does not even understand the answer, or have the disciplint to carry it out.

Then there are a few would-be devotees who keep calling a number of counsellors from a game playing attitude. Or from a counselor who used language that sounded more restricting than SRF actually intends. Or from the devotee who is not tuned into the idea of even having any guidance. I have met devotees who, although claiming they are desperately seeking an answer to their problem - are in such a frame of mind that they would never accept any suggestion from anyone. They may just be lonely and want someone to talk to, or are wanting to be told they are right and all others are wrong. It's quite a mix out there!

It is because of this policy and attutude of non-intrusiveness, that so many idependently natured seekers are attracted to Self-Realization Fellowship in the first place. If they understand the teachings - results are great. If they don't understand what they are doing [or don't even do]of course the results won't be there - or even seem negative.
It is safe to say the no results may come with a careless or wrong frame of mind, living a life that doesn't support ones best interests, or because a dev is still trying to mix different systems - a great formula for non-success!

It is easy to blame the tools!

Then there is the not so simple matter of Master-Desciple relationship. If you are listening to your teacher, and if you are a sincere student/devotee, no one should have to be telling you what to do or not to do.

If you cannot find a clear direction in your sadhana from the Lessons or Yogananda's writings, try harder! It may take time or it may happen quickly - depending on you are ready or willing to accept/understand different things. It happens to all of us in different ways surely.

But failing the above by the devotee, if you call Mother Center for advice, they may assist you. When this is at the devotees request - don't consider it intrusive. If you don't want anyone else to make any suggestions about what you should or should not be doing in your spiritul life - perhaps you shouln't be asking in the first place?
Although it would seem, that all advice received is left up to the recipient whether they use it or not.

Or maybe you are not even ready to have a Guru of some other type of teacher.
It is the purpose and duty of the Leader/Guru to give direction, if you are your own teacher then that is a different matter. Stay on your own.

Generally, the way Self-Realization Fellowship functions is to present the masters [& others ] suggestions as to the better way to do ones sadhana, and it is left up to the devotee to do or not to do. This is the SRF non-intrusive approach.
Persons are normally treated as free agents, as one should not even be in this situation unless one understands ones own personal responsibility for ones spiritual life and their sincere part in the Master/Disciple relationship.

The SRF exists mainly to help all devotees to succeed on their spiritual quest and protect the masters work from being misrepresented while sharing this path with the world.
At this they have so far done a great job.

So for anyone who wishes to be part of this great
non-intrusive Path, where one is not on their own as the Guru will assist you directly, welcome aboard.

with respectAstral.7

Edited by: astral7 at: 2/4/03 8:01:17 am
Registered User
(1/27/03 4:35 pm)
how long have you been in srf? what groups/organizations did you associate with before SRF?

Registered User
(1/27/03 5:30 pm)
The Non-Intrusive nature of Self-Realization Fellowship.
Although your genuine questions are sincere. Can only sensibly reply in the following manner.

I really feel that the number of years doing anything may not be a meaningful fact in the life of a devotee, as the master was likely training us even before we heard his name in this life.

Then again, it's not the years but what one does with those years, and even more so where one is starting from and starting with what gifts already developed.
Like some guy-gal who has a naturally powerful concentration already developed - will travel 5 times faster on the path than us average joes.

Asking how many years with SRF is a question I usually keep away from, as it seems too much like the tired old question of asking someone their age. Although we would like to assume that someones age tells us a lot about them - it aint true at all.
That is what Yoganandaji suggests - keep em guessing!

Other organizations - I've long ago left all that behind me with loving thoughts of them.

Furhter to the discssion above.

Paramahansa Yoganandaji and His Self-Realizaiton fellowship do not attempt to control any part of a persons life, nor do they intrude in our lives. Nor does any other true Guru.
Giving us the tools - the best set of tools I've ever seen for my needs at least [to each his own]- to gain control of our own lives while becoming freer and more independent agents is what they do.
Guilt is never a part of this process, unless one has screwed up ideas floating around inside. That is what the hell-fire screamers attempt to control others with.

In fact - if one will just study a bit about these Master-Disciple encounters, it will become obvious that from the outset the devotee steadily becomes a freer and healthier person when working properly with these great tools.
This is the main blessing of seriuously working with a true guru. He works with us only through love, and by working with Him we can expresss our love. His patience knows no bounds.

"No person has more problems that he -her who doesn't really know what they want."

ever regardsAstral 7

Edited by: astral7 at: 1/27/03 6:00:24 pm
Registered User
(1/27/03 6:18 pm)
Re: The Non-Intrusive nature of Self-Realization Fellowship.
The reason for the years question is that we old timers usually find that people come to this path after reading the AY. They assume that SRF is a culture lifted from the pages of that wonderful book. SRF is a very secretive organization and the internal workings are not easily seen by new people. It therefore takes sometimes 15 to 20 years before you are around enough, know some of the monastics (or ex-monastics), and have volunteered at enough events to know SRF. We have found the years question to be a pretty good indicator of the phase the person is in.

Sincere seekers follow the same route. Casual seekers can remain on the fringe for many many years. Sincere seekers want to help and are drawn more toward what they THINK is servin their Guru only to find that behind the curtain is not what they thought was there.

Edited by: member108 at: 1/29/03 6:05:36 pm
Registered User
(1/28/03 7:13 am)
To astral 7
Then, according to your argument, Yogananda is not a guru, because people are not more free and healthier after being on the SRF path.

Registered User
(1/28/03 8:33 am)
Re: To Username
You are correct , according to my statements above
this makes Paramahansa Yogananda a true Guru, one of the great ones, and Self-Realization Fellowship is doing His work very well. Yogananda still works through the SRF, if you are unable to see this, it may be becuase a lack of attunement with the Guru.

Don't look for perfection in this world - you will always disappointed.

re other post - I went through those phases about orgs before I got to SRF. Therefore in my case your question is still redundant.
If you are still going through them I wish you luck!


Registered User
(1/28/03 11:05 am)
Re: To astral 7
Talk to me about srf in 10 years.

Registered User
(1/28/03 12:08 pm)
Re: SRF is Non-Intrusive
In ten years we will both see things differently!

"Don't look for perfection in this world - you will always be disappointed!"

Registered User
(1/28/03 2:16 pm)
Re: SRF is Non-Intrusive
Dear Astral,
I find it interesting that you are unresponsive to the question regarding your length of time with SRF. Username's point, I think, is that one often finds, after a number of years with SRF, that the organization doesn't match up with the image of it one may have formed by reading the Autobiography. It doesn't seem too likely that years in "other orgs" would enable you to have the developement to have the experience to which he alludes.
I notice you also like to fall back on the old "if you aren't getting results, you aren't doing things the right way" argument. You claim the PY continues to guide SRF, and if someone isn't aware of that, perhaps they aren't sufficiently "tuning in" to the guru. Well, maybe. But, on the other hand, perhaps PY in his current discarnate state doesn't "guide" ANY organization, but only guides certain disciples. Or perhaps you are simply fooling yourself, or whistling past the graveyard because nothing is happening for you. Or perhaps PY wasn't sufficiently spiritually advanced to guide anybody from beyond the grave. Or perhaps the whole notion of ANY guru throwing wide the gates of heaven for a disciple is twaddle. Or perhaps you are a MC plant on the board. Who knows? But your argument cuts no mustard with most of those who post to this board, so perhaps you might want to come up with something more substantive than "if you aren't getting results, its because you aren't trying hard enough or the right way". This argument is a slap in the face to the many on this board who worked assiduosly with the SRF techniques for years, and who now call in to question, for excellent reasons, the actions and policies of those who steer SRF.

Registered User
(1/28/03 10:08 pm)
Re: SRF is Non-Intrusive
You wrote
"This argument is a ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;to the many on this board who worked assiduosly with the SRF techniques for years, and who now call in to question, for excellent reasons, the actions and policies of those who steer SRF."

Many of the anti srf brickbats I've seen on this board appear unsubstatiated, and incomplete, and partly weak.

And about working hard for years on something-You guys are not alone! But there is a great difference between working hard and working smart. Once I figured that out everything got a lot better. I stopped blaming everyone else!

I too have had your similar experience, working with various things for years and not getting results - why? Read on===

Because it took me longer than I realized to learn to read and listen! - then I started getting results. Try it - it works great.
It took me a while longer to get the bigger picture - and realizing it is so easy to criticize the tools and other people whose decisions we may never have to be responsible for, seems too easy and too empty.

It also helps one to realize that they don't know the reasons many organizational decisions are made, the critics rarely know a fraction of what they think they do. It is true that somethings go wrong.
Is that whole process a way for the devotee to say, since there can't be anything wrong with me - it must be them.
But it is interesting that those same devotees are the ones saying we get no results from this stuff - now we know why -don't we!

And if anyone here knows a bunch of people that are having the problems you are claiming they have, it may all be that same attitude that prevents them from clearly
understanding what they are reading and hearing.
Just what I see from here. Do you see the connection?

To repeat your suggestion, I would also say that it takes about 35 years for a serious devotee to get the big picture.
If one is really wanting to grow that is.

You want evidence , I have tons of it but not much time.
Here is one example for now.

This evening I was at a small meditation group in a big city.
After the med was over I asked a devotee how the Kriya was going. She said since she got the "whole kriya" teaching from some ?? new guru in Montreal things were going much better.
I asked her - since she had gotten Kriya from SRF and from the wannabe guru, what was the actual difference?
Well, here we are - although many years went by since she took the first part of kriya, she didn't realize the SRF had the other levels of Kriya, and that the lessons and Yogananda placed very great emphasis on visualization. END
After many years she is now going to apply for the rest of her kriya lessons.

So there's one of these examples we see every day of missing out because of not reading - not listening!

At any rate she said the latest guy that taught her Kriya was not much of a teacher, and she was surprised that there is so much more to the Self-Realization Fellowship Teachings on Kriya Yoga that she was not aware of.

There is another area - one that the Divine Lady Daya Mata
speaks about a great deal, as it was her lifes' specialization.
The idea of loving Divine Mother via devotional meditation.

I myself did not make that much progress until I figured out and carefully read in the SRF lessons that Devotion is half of the battle. And many other things i missed too!

Doing a techinque alone may be a lot slower without the greater power developed by love. More gas man!

But doing it with a negative attitude is the worst trip.
And only doing it half the time is bad too I'm sure.

Until I paid more attention to the Devotion & Visualization that Master Yoganandaji teaches us much about it wasn't going that great. I guess that is why He says Self-Realization comes from "Kriya Yoga plus devotion."

So as we grow and change, every once in a while I find something that I never knew before. Every once and a while resltess devotees will learn that the greatest problems are not in the SRF lessons, not in the SRF organization - but in our limited minds and distorted attitudes[laziness even]. Someitmes even in a total misunderstanding about the Master-pupil commitments.
A committment that gives real freedom to the loyal and patient devotee.

Regards and respect astral-7

Registered User
(1/29/03 8:15 am)
Re: SRF is Non-Intrusive
Many, many people do not know this, because SRF doesn't tell me in the lessons. No where in the lessons or the first kriya lesson do they tell you that they have more kriya lessons. Why do they keep this a secret? People spend years , sometimes 10 - 20 years practicing only kriya 1 because they have no idea that there are higher kriyas!

Registered User
(1/29/03 8:29 am)
Re: SRF is Non-Intrusive
Devotees that go to personal initiations given by the Monks should also know about the existence of these higher Kriyas [ given in the Lessons].

The point of the above story was - how devotees take so long learning to read and listen. It is in the lessons - and most persons do see that they need to get those higher kriyas, so when they are ready they do send for the rest of the Kriya lessons. The only problem was with reading clearly.

Those who fail to send in their progress report may result in the SRF believing that the student didn't continue with the initial Kriya for whatever reason.

And because Self-Realization Fellowship
is so NON-INTRUSIVE, they don't bother the devotee.

Remember, this is a path that one goes on when one wants to be responsible for ones own progress in the spiritual. If one is not mature enough to do this - one is still trying ones to be ones own teacher. Why would one go to a piano teacher for one lesson and not show up for the rest?


Edited by: astral7 at: 1/29/03 12:57:44 pm
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