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Wasteland of Gurus/Swamis in the past 60 years

Wasteland of Gurus/Swamis in the past 60 years

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A detailed article on the growth and development of yoga and spiritual methods from Hindu yogis and swamis in the west from 1950 onwards.The tainted nature and their sexual perversions and downfall are mentioned along with positive influence on western society. The positive benefits to India by social service
organisations also highlighted. Recent trends briefly summarised. Brief introductions given to Advaita and goddess worship from Hindu experience.
A detailed article on the growth and development of yoga and spiritual methods from Hindu yogis and swamis in the west from 1950 onwards.The tainted nature and their sexual perversions and downfall are mentioned along with positive influence on western society. The positive benefits to India by social service
organisations also highlighted. Recent trends briefly summarised. Brief introductions given to Advaita and goddess worship from Hindu experience.

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Published by: Dr Srinivasan Nenmeli -K on Sep 15, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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04/13/2012

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 Wasteland of swamis/gurus/yogis in the second half of 20thcentury and beyond  N K Srinivasan
This article surveys the scene of nearly a hundredswamis/gurus/yogis of Indian origin who started to spreadyoga/Vedanta in various streams in the west---- in westernEurope and the USA . Most of them were beginners in yoga ;several of them were charlatans or sexual perverts whospoiled the fair name of Hindu traditions. While the greatones like Swami Sivananda of Divine Life Society, SwamiChinmayananda and Paramahansa Yogananda [the authorof "Autobiography of a Yogi"] taught thousands of sincereseekers with high degree of rigor and sincerity, mostothers pandered to the needs of restless westerners .Their aim seemed to be rapid expansion of theirclientele; some even have started 'franchising" their yogateaching ,like McDonald chain of restaurants, usinginstructors with a few weeks of training. Some have
 
correspondence courses and certification procedures withthree or more levels of short training for the aspirants.While yogis like B K S Iyengar had taught routine "hathayoga" in a disciplined manner, others mix and matchdifferent techniques with tall claims. The reputation ofsuch masters like Iyengar is impeccable.But how manysuch masters are there in this field?{ I do not include those teachers who taught only 'HathaYoga' in this survey article.]The Yogis/Gurus claim special powers and also tell othersthat a "guru can do no wrong", and 'a guru is doingeverything for betterment of the chelas or disciples",adding that "one's ego should be crushed at the feet of aGuru"--like the mythical crushing of asura or demon at thefeet of dancing God, Lord Nataraja. Such statements implyinvesting enormous power with a guru over disciples,especially over women disciples leading to sexualexploitation. Statements like these which are stated inadvaitic terms for true celibates or sannyasis do not
 
apply to perverted ,half-baked gurus we find today.
Training of Gurus
It is very important to investigate closely the training aguru had received or experiences--- he/she has had in thisarea of work. Most yogis and gurus I have heard about hadreceived only very short training for a few months to acouple of years of formal tutorship. This is differentfrom the long training with a master spanning severalyears in secluded places---the classical ashram processfor any guru. Some have even faked their experience withfalse information too.One Advaitic guru , though a highly educated professional,had no formal training at all ,but had listened to anenlightened master and translated the master's speech fromlocal language to English. After some years, he wouldbecome an authority of Advaita in his own manner and tryto train others.

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