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New User
(3/10/04 9:07 am)
The Deeper Roots of the Teachings

I'm new on this board. I have been reading it for a long time and finally took the plunge and posted my first message a few days ago about my long association with SRF and the pains of separation. I posted it here pub78.ezboard.com/fsrfwalrusfrm23.showMessage?topicID=169.topic.

I wanted to share some things that have helped me immensely in my understanding and coming to terms with my relationship with SRF, its teachings, and its gurus.

While I was still at SRF I was always searching for the roots of its teachings. SRF makes it seem like they are Hinduism, and for a Westerner who didn't know any better I pretty much accepted that SRF=Hinduism. But as I started digging more and more I realized that not only was that not true, but that Yogananda himself didn't bring anything new. Rather, what he did was sort of synthesize these teachings which are thousands of years old and filter them through his own lenses, which SRF then filtered even more through their own (and the fundamentalist Christian backgrounds of their leaders).

After researching and reading many books on the subject of Hinduism and Yoga, the ones that have helped me the most, as a Westerner, are Dr. David Frawley's writings (he is a prolific writer of many books and is widely accepted in India as a Veda scholar). His website is at www.vedanet.com.

His book How I Became a Hindu really helped to put things into perspective for me. Three incredible works that have helped me to understand the often-mentioned but not very well understood Vedas are In Search of the Cradle of Civilization, The Rig Veda and the History of India, and Vedic Aryans and the Origins of Civilization. They really help me to understand the vast roots that the SRF teachings are based on.

I've also subscribed to Hinduism Today magazine for several years. It helps to understand and learn about Hinduism and one's fellow spiritual seekers around the world, especially since SRF seems to isolate its teachings and its members so much from the rest of the Hindu world community, and it stresses not reading other teachings, which I think is detrimental and cult-like.

Especially useful is Satguru Subramuniyaswami's Dancing with Shiva, a veritable encyclopedia of Hinduism. More about this book, the magazine, and lots of other helpful stuff is at www.hinduismtoday.com/.

These are some of the things that have helped me the most during my painful period of doubt and anxiety with SRF, and a time of serious questioning about where to go from here and "life after SRF". I hope others might find some benefit in them too.

Edited by: seekerseeking at: 3/10/04 9:24 am
Registered User
(3/11/04 7:41 am)
Re: The Deeper Roots of the Teachings
It is true that the Yogananda/SRF teachings originate in the distant past with the rishi's revelations finally recorded for posterity and known as the Vedas.

But P.Y.'s blending of Yogic/Hinduism with Christianity has resulted in a synthesis that if seen objectively isn't really Hinduism or Christianity (at least as we know it today). By that I mean, a Hindu theologian would not recognize Jesus the Christ's teachings at part of Yogic/Hinduism, nor would a Christian theologian recognize Krishna's/Patanjali/Babaji's kriya yoga teachings as part of Christianity. Probably better stated, both theologian's--Hindu and Christian--would denounce P.Y. as a syntheist (sp?), taking a part from one religion here, another part from another religion there and combining them to found a new religious/philosophical tradition.

And that's why the Hindusim Today in an article that appeared in their magazine year's ago stated that SRF isn't a Hindu organization. In fact they quoted from SRF's Aims and Ideals to buttress their point, particularly the part about the "original teachings of Jesus Christ." As I say, Hindu's while venerating Jesus the Christ as an Avatara, don't necessarily include them in the religion. At any rate, that's why the monks who publish Hinduism Today felt justified describing SRF as non-Hindu.

Yet if one attends SRF temple's one can see numerous Indian/Hindu's. And as we know, Jesus the Christ is prominently displayed on the altar's of every SRF temple so apparently the SRF Hindu devotee's have made peace with that and felt it not a deterent to their spiritual lives.

By the way, I too have read many of Frawley's books and found his explanation of Hinduism, Yoga etc. to be very helpful in filling in the blanks in my otherwise incomplete understanding of this most ancient of spiritual movememts, Santana Dharma.

Also, "life after SRF" seems to me to be a misnomer. SRF is an institution, and as such is utterly and competely incapable of convering Realization. So if one is "in SRF", or "out of SRF" isn't the issue. As always it comes down to our own spiritual determination and our own desire to find Truth and Freedom manifesting in our lives as the willingness to meditate, discipline the wayward mind, and accept ourselves (warts and all) as Manifestations of the Infinite. SRF can only stand on the sidelines and encourage us along the path when we have difficulty seeing clearly. We must take responsibility, let SRF remain what it is, and get on with what Awaits.

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