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Roman

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Wednesday, November 9th 2011, 2:10am

Call to Australians, New Zealanders, Germans, Austrians, Americans, Dutch and all born in free world people!!!

Thanks Roman for sharing your true experiences.
For the last few years I was questioning the peace conferences, i knew first hand how much money they cost, and much time and effort was put in to it by organisers, and then only yidl people came. I did not understand why swAmi bothered, i could not see how it made the world a better place, and I could see how it made his disciples exhausted and the ashrams broke. And i thought the money that they costed could be better spent on a REAL humanitarian cause...

Now i see clearly that it was his sociopath narcissim...

Once when we were in Strilky, we were all told one day to wear civilian clothes, and we were bussed to the YIDL organised Childrens peace conference. It was a complete rent-a-crowd, it was in a huge gymnasim, and there was no public there just the 800 yidl people brought in. Even then, as devoted as I was, i thought it was a joke. Me and my friends snuck out, and walked the sreets of the city and got a coffee and came back at the end.. we were in Czech for the first time and thought this was a much better use of our time!
This childrens peace conference had this piece of propaganda, performed by yidl children. It was a play with two families side by side, one were the yidl vegetarian family doing yoga and singing bhajans, the other was a family eating meat, drnking alcohol and then turning violent. Only the yidl family was happy. Even then I thought, this is really bad, its just not right..

It is so many of these experience's that contributed to me waking up when the scandal broke in March 2011.. its amazing once your eyes are open you can see clearly just what a dodgy indian guru this rajasthan swami is...
and you can see that we were the victims of thought-reform, mind-control and hypnosis...

All those who were born and brought up in free western democracies, please enlighten me. How could you ever put up with crap like this without realizing that swAmi and all his stunts are just production of demagogy and and mockery of free spirit? I am not asking in some offensive or patronizing way. I really do not understand. We, who were born and grew up in a totalitarian regime were somehow pre-conditioned to be vulnerable to fall in hands of this sorry fake guru. We've developed certain mechanism within ourselves to cope with our misery brought to us by our birth in a wrong time and wrong place. Hence we are such great seekers of explanations found in law of karma. Why is my life so f...cked up just by living on the wrong side of the border? We would joke about it in somehow masochistic way. The whole culture, art, interactions of people were like that. The gurudev sounded so familiar to us, we knew that he must be real, he talked to us the way we could understand. I would just really like to know some of your thoughts on that. What was the trigger that made you to finally succumb to the illusion of him being the real savior of everything and to ignore of those monstrous warning signs? I know how really hard time I had here in the US to sell this whole thing. It didn't resonate with Americans much. Eventually bigger numbers of disciples brought some more people, but also, people were coming to the ashram because of us. I won't even tell you how many long time yoga students left after they saw swAmi the first time.

I am aware that I am a little bit generalizing for both sides of the free/unfree world. But that is just for purpose to communicate what is on my mind. I would really appreciate some sincere discussion on this topic because I think it can explain certain things which are deeply within us and help us find clues how to deal with all this mess.

Thank you!

speakup

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Wednesday, November 9th 2011, 12:05pm

Thanks Roman for good discussion topic, at the risk of giving Batawe ;) a run for his money, here are some thoughts:
I think that regardless of what type of political or cultural system we are all social beings and somehow quite easily influenced by those around us that we spend a lot of time with - we like to belong.

The thing with Y... and other cults - you don't realise at first what you are getting involved in. I just started going to some yoga classes and courses at the yoga centre - introductory 6 week course, then the meditation course, attending regular courses, then a satsang or two. I had been meditating for a few years and trying different Buddhist meditation groups, I really loved the yoga because of the mind/body effects and because it had this deeper spiritual dimension. The people were really friendly and encouraging - genuinely good people. I started to think about teacher training and made some enquiries - that's when the issue of devotion to the guru, mantra, seva etc was first raised as being something I would have to commit to if I was to do the teacher training. I didn't rush into any decision at that point.

I think about 9 months after I started going to yoga classes Sw. visited the centre - I went along to a couple of talks and he seemed very charismatic, nice atmosphere etc. There was also a weekend retreat organised out of town which I had already booked to go on. It was then that I took mantra. Looking back this was a very vulnerable point in my life for a number of reasons I won't go into - but I was searching for something, and this yoga path seemed to offer some answers.

At first while I memorised the mantra, I really didn't practice it much and stuck the mala in a drawer. It was probably some months later that the teacher training course started. I think I decided to do it because I was really interested in the philosophy and wanted to learn to teach rather than feeling particularly connected to S. Part of the teacher training involved the constant emphasis on the devotion to the Master, attending satsang regularly, seva, wearing the mala etc. So gradually over the next couple of years I became more and more involved and committed. I can remember having some pretty major doubts on the way, in fact I pulled out of the teacher training for a while, then came back in.

What I really felt strong doubts about was the amount of time and involvement that was expected of me - I was a sole parent, I was working full-time and things were pretty tough for me, so to find the time to spend at teacher training, satsang, volunteering, weekend workshops, cleaning for S. visits etc. etc. just seemed too much at times - it was too much and was quite unreasonable in retrospect. I also got very angry when at some point in the training I was told that even if I passed the final exam, I wouldn't get a certificate until I had undertaken the mandatory visit to India - this was very difficult at the time as I had my sons to care for and no spare money to travel. God knows why I didn't walk away then, but I had invested all this time and energy and had made some lovely friends, I had also started to feel quite devoted to S. by that stage.

Anyway, to cut a long story short - here I am after spending almost 10 years with the organisation. I think it took years for me to overcome the major doubts that I had - I can remember he always used to say "doubt is like sand in the salad"! In other words don't have doubts they will spoil things. The process is often gradual, it doesn't depend on just our capacity to question - in this organisation and with this leader - questioning is prohibited - so if you want to belong you quickly learn that this is not acceptable behaviour. Basically, you become indoctrinated, you accept the culture of the organisation, you accept "guru vakya", you just accept the whole damn thing!

For me it has been really helpful to understand that this organisation is a cult and uses the same well documented methods of thought reform and influence that operate in cults throughout the world. Many different types of cults operate in democratic countries, whereas in communist countries totalitarian regimes operate like one big powerful cult. Some of the current understanding of cults comes from the groundbreaking work of Robert J Lifton who studied the Chinese communist party and how it was able to control and influence people. While we have all grown up in different countries and maybe different political systems, I believe we are all essentially the same in our need to belong, our desire for love and happiness and our search for meaning. Add to that mix a good dose of idealism, and we are all (to varying degrees) vulnerable to getting involved with a cult with a highly charismatic leader with hypnotic skills (that's a topic for another post). :crazy:

batawe

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Wednesday, November 9th 2011, 2:31pm

huu, good question, but what is the answer?, Don't worry "Speakup", I'll try and reduce here the reply to minimum (hopefully;), let's see:

- we are by default more of a believers than rational, though we are called "rational animal", to really form yourself or your mental apparatus, you need time and discernment; to develop critical thinking takes time, not many do it.

- connected to the thing previously said, we tend to take things easy, relatively nice atmosphere, acceptance (the psychological part, connected with child's need to belong, feel the love etc., to be a part of 'bigger family' etc.), and a Father figure in this case, we shouldn't exclude this part; here we are/were united under One Father, or psychoanalytically the Master-signifier (discourse of the Master, though this discourse is also present in other forms and institutions like university etc...but the difference is still present in the fact, that there the knowledge is shared to many individuals at the same time, but with the attempt to develop and 'produce' and work and become an autonomous subject, not a slave to the end, and belonging to the 'organic family', like in some feudal or strict family ties and bonds...), and the knowledge is distributed from this privileged point of the Master's position and the thing which is needed to maintain this relation is transference (Love) to the Master, or bhakti. Without bhakti, no realization...

- many indians and would say indian Masters as much as I was able to hear it from their mouths, do not like this indivdualistic westernized attitude or functioning in the world; it 'breaks' the family bonds, the many examples, of how the old communities where the people sticked together and family stayed with family, is somekind of Ideal to which we should strive and the Wester people lost it, and everybody lives apart or away from his family etc...the whole thing can become than just saga about the old days which were the best days,,but that is also a fantasm, but we like to dream and dreams are soothing, but it goes against the reality and facts and ability to adapt, though you can maybe live here, still you cherish the 'village' ideals.

- so, in this sense, the 'primary' organic family, the family ties that are strong and where the family lives and breathes together, like in some triibal form, this is the old-school Ideal, it is 'feudalistic' approach, the big family with 15 kids and one strict Father is just fantasmatic and emblematic example of that 'unity'...my opinion or thesis on the today's guru-phenomenons, coming from India, is that they still try to maintain this 'tribal'-family-like community (gurukul, which is not the same as today's schools at al, nor was probably the concept of gurukul's in those ancient vedic times, or whatever, been the same as today's universities etc...); they are the chosen ones and the leading 'animal' in the pack or the herd...

-there are little things which I saw only later which gave me the hint which I never pondered before and never even bothered to look and see; for example: when I saw some photos from hospital in jadan, that at every corner or the wall, there is Sw.'s picture, it was obvious to me, that it is old school, communist-socialist-element, like Tito in ex-Yugoslavia on the walls of the classroom, I got it immediately, that this is the old form, the old way, the communist way, and there is no freedom and individuality and even if you build and start the university, as long as the headmaster is the guru, this university would crumble in-itself sooner or later...and additional example of this 'tito'-symptom is the same clothes, singing songs, praises, like children in the school, supporting the ideology of the founder...how come that I didn't see this before? etc...it's strange.

- but I didn't see all those elements, and my case is specific (like probably many other cases of all the various calibers of people that also stumbled in our case to this specific yoga path etc.); I was preoccupied from the initial point of my search and studies with metaphysical subjects and I never analyzed thorughly form where does this yogic path or school comes from, and to see who are these guys, from Sw. to Gu. to Maha..ji..etc...I was just searching for something, and as I was familiar with certain aspects of yoga from my elementary school when I was 10 or 11 years old, practising it from a book (asanas only) with my friend, and I also read philosophical books later on and just the metaphysical topics and yogic pursuit, or better the yogic idea(l), it somehow came to me again, and at that time I just thought, that when I met Sw. (and of course he was appealing to me, same like some singer from a metal band;), and I just went with it, needed some sort of change at that time and all this new stuff was just seemingly the right thing to do; I was not religous about it, but slowly slowly you begin to become more diligent, serious and this was also due to my own character (not just that somebody told me to), in a sense, nobody was telling me anything in the Yi..l at that time, I was the one who pushed things, and asked questions and wanted to know, so I didn't felt no religious push from anybody, so in this sense I felt free...and many people know what is yoga, it's not something new in the world...what will be the harm?

- so, you start practicising and you slowly identify with the subjects, themes of the yogic practice, and more and more you want to become disciplined, do things, and study etc...which is fine, but, maybe some are more moulded for it than somebody else, there are people who started with the thing and left it, there are those who started and stick to it, till the end etc..so many stories and variations, and different approaches and reasons, psychological ones, philosophical etc...and there are many scholar people, who do not really do any yoga themselves, though they study and write papers, I would say that indian universities are fool of them, at least the philosophical cathedra...

- and the metaphysical subjects are part of western culture also, first we have christianity here and than the whole philosophical or poetic and hermetic etc. movements that deal with the subjects all the time, and this idea that you can realize the truth, become the truth, know god etc...is prevalent and exists everywhere, even paganism is natural 'religion' etc...so when you add all these things up, there are multi-variations which than inspire people, give them something to 'eat', we search for the meaning etc...and than we discover something and like children become fascinated, enthusiastic and time shows what was the real sense of it (differently for all)...

- but the main thing, is than this presupposition, a belief, that here we have someone, who knows, who realized (guru), who begins to physically 'represent the truth for us, and we just unconsciously go with it, we do not question, it's just part of the process, he is the knower of truth, though we don't really know, we were just told, and the titles are great, and we suppose if somebody got this titles, he must in some way be authentic etc...and it's funny, I remembered that saying which say: that monk's robe is one with the monk, and monk is also a monk by his robe...there is this strange and banal and ridiculous element, imaginary element which is very powerful, mere appearance of a guy, when we see someone with a robe, he immediately looks more 'divine' and more powerful, and more, I would say, determined than us,,,he somehow decided to go on that path (taking the robe) and we are somehow fascinated with his own desire or better our own unconscious desire to be like him, as he appears to possess the secret to god or something...he looks self-possessed and we just automatically fall for his authority,,and to add the titles,,if he has a robe and if he has titles, spiritual name,,than we do not have relation to some 'ordinary' man, we have this special contact with someone spiritual, which not only the symbolic community accepted him, all the other big-named-masters and kings, but even the god himself ordained him and we are here to be inspired and follow the path if we find the calling for it...and we all heard some sort of calling I guess; though it was a mixture of external events, circumstances, books, friends and inner feelings and imaginations that somehow we want to become that truth, realize it etc...

- and the main point again, is that the Master becomes the symbol of this, the symbol of what we want to achieve (though we never achieve it)...and all this stuff, especially for the western mind, is appealing as it looks exotic, different and you just check it and sniff it and maybe you find yourself ijn or you step immediately out....and what annoyed me more and more through the years is when I realized, when meeting and talking to all this spiritual people/sadhaks of different schools, and in those debates I already saw myself as radically different, as I was philosophizing and asking questions and raising certain doubts, though i was still continuing with my practice at that time,,but in reality I was split into two...I didn't reconciled my philosophical background nor aspirations with the spiritual sphere, though I tried, and I believed to a certain extent that I did it...but I haven't...I just had my doubts, but the thing that prevented me to totally step out and just stand on my feet, was still this feeling of belonging,,though I raised certain doubts I still referred to this path or Sw. as to someone who is beyond the traditions and presupposed the knowledged onto him, and just projected my own thing onto his Person; still, for some period, he was there standing in my mental space,,I still knew,,like I am I disciple of this and this master, and however I was critical to many things in general, regarding metaphisics, and yoga and philosophy,,,I was still somewhere a part of certain group, a (yogic) school and neither I did find a good conversationalist about philosophy in the yogic community, I also didn't find a good conversationalist in the philosophical sphere about yoga....

- and even later, I was somehow irritated by this new and modern thinkers who also had their love affair with yogic stuff...I once listend to a guy, who was invited by our teacher in the university /teacher of Asian philosophy), and she invited this guy, who was originally a theologian, and he started to study philosophy and he also wrote something already on the philosophy of vedas etc...and when I listened to the lecture at that time, even than I was annoyed by him, and irritated and just didn't like all this strange hybrids of theologians and mixture-breed-guys....I distrust theologians totally, like psychologists,,,two 'sick' species for me, and I am hammering them in Nietzschean way, without mercy...

-anyway, my personal fall for yoga was naively at that time but still, it was philosophical,and I needed a time, to dethrone them all, and to say, fu...k you all...I am going my own way, and I am not worshiping anybody, neither Nietzsche for that manner or anybody else,,I will take and learn what I can take and learn and modify myself..like it or not...I have no other choice...belief in gods is very boring and I really don't know what to ask from them anyway,,,whatever you ask, somebody already told us what to ask for...

- hopefully this threw some light on the question...it's complex thing or procedure:), but I guess without this sh--t I wouldn't saying this either,,so everything served its purpose, though I can say this only on retroactively , which from the current point of view looks back to the past and re-writing it form this standpoint, redirecting the overall meaning that suits the current situation, which is the only thing we can do, and with every step we do or make, decision or attitude , we change the configuration of (past) elements, like I said, past is not something fixed, though actual events happened in the past, but this 'pure' past, the virtual past is open for rewriting, and we are doing it, at this moment....we reconfigure the elements to fit our story, to redefine the past and to reset the elements within it and use them but for different purpose to help us go forward and to be caught by it, as if the past is not redefinable and we are stuck with it,,,no, we can even redefine the meaning of the past happenings if we see them differently from this perspective...if we are totally caught by our past, than we cannot do anything, it is already written, but we can decide to do differently and we will rewrite it,,and even if somebody says: "but everything is already written, even this decision of yours",,,it is just psychological mumbo jumbo, trying to appear as if having some necessary ontological meaning (and how does this person knows this anyway?)...I say: Nothing is already written, we are writing it, and only retroactively when something already happens, we retroactively say: "it appears as necessary", the last event open the space for all the previous elements so that this event now appears as if necessary from the eternity....so, I guess all of this happenings were 'necessary' also...so nobody couldn't nor should object, neither the guru, nor the disciple;).-...nothing was written already and eternally somewhere beyond or before,....than God wrote also that XY 'decided' to have some fun with YX, it was eternally written...well, i wouldn't say so...we write it all the time and than it appears as if ordained by god...
:scare:

Veritas

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Wednesday, November 9th 2011, 5:26pm

All those who were born and brought up in free western democracies, please enlighten me. How could you ever put up with crap like this without realizing that swAmi and all his stunts are just production of demagogy and and mockery of free spirit?

I can't answer this question, as I never participated in this circus. I have always seen it (from quite some distance) as a play to draw attention towards the organisation and recruit new members. The "photo-hunt" seemed to be one of the main-purposes of all that fuzz, get a photo with some celeb, another feather for the vain peacock. And for the followers of course: "look with whom my beloved master rubs shoulders." I always disliked that and wondered why in earth they were supporting this. I thought it was occupational-therapy, give them something to do, so they can feel important, or believe that they have contributed to something meaningful. (???) (wtf)

PS: I think what suppression was to the "easterners", lack of meaning was/is to the "westerners".

mangotree

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Saturday, November 12th 2011, 8:11am

what did i think i was doing in yidl

This week i had the pleasure of teaching a yoga session to a group of women with breast cancer. These women are recovering from surgery and chemo and radiotherapy and all other such intrusive and challenging stuff that goes along with cancer. Teaching them reminded me very vividly of why i became involved in yoga and with yidl, it was just this level of contact with people that drew me towards it. It is very real, sometimes very meaningful and potentially even helpful to people.

My background was in health education and for me teaching yoga was a very real way of connecting with people on the level of health and wellbeing. Yoga offered the possibility to move beyond what was happening purely on a physical level and connect that to what was happening physically and mentally. Most importantly it was not just about some bla bla talking about health but rather providing people with an opportunity and a space to do something practical for their own health. Having the opportunity to teach something where people value what is offered and feel better in themselves when they leave the class and is a rare gift, a treasure.

So why yidl and not something else? Well there were a few reasons, firstly yidl offered meditation and more of a holistic focus on health, whereas many yoga classes were purely based on asanas, even back then. This connected me to yidl. Why else? Well here is a rather comic reason also - at the time i started with yidl i had just moved to a new area and was living one block away from a yoga centre that had a similar focus to yidl but when i went to knock on the door and ask about classes the person who answered was tired, grumpy, rude and generally unhelpful, so that idea was demolished in moments... What more - well I really liked the people i met there. For the most part they were warm, open, friendly and seemed interested to do something meaningful with their lives beyong buying a house and a car. And what about XXXX? Well, he was part of the package somehow, part of what inspired people in what they were doing etc. I was involved with yidl for a year before i actually met him, so i had quite some time to get used to the idea, although i must tell you it did not seem so interesting and attractive to me at first. Simply I was open enough to see what that was all about.

In part fitting in to yidl did not feel that much different than the sort of compromises and adjustments you make being part of a family, there is a lot of stuff you go along with, allow yourself to connect with and simply get used to even when it doesn't sit quite right. Sometimes these things are honestly attractive to you, sometimes you feel they are complete nonsense and other times you feel how by allowing yourself to make the most of them it will be best for everyone involved. What comes to my mind is Christmas. You think perhaps its a complete nonsense, based on something that is not true or real, some tradition to be endured. Yet on the other hand to go along with the whole deal and offer the best of yourself throughout the whole thing and share in the joy of others is also a part of what it is. Who are you to spoil it when you feel disillusioned by the whole mess because you see your family members fighting, some tension in the kitchen and your uncle rolling drunk in his chair. You just make the most of it and have some fun with the kids.

So, i guess what i have to say is that being in yidl had all its nonsense, things that were attractive, things that were repulsive and stuff that i just decided to put up with. But this does not seem so very different from belonging in a family, being part of society or any other group in the rest of life to me. On one level at least its just part of the game.

And when i came to understand that the level of nonsense that was happening in yidl was far far worse than what I had ever imagined then I knew i had a choice to make - choose to stay and try to change it, choose to go and try to change it, or simply to step away.

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Saturday, November 12th 2011, 10:58pm

thanks i enjoyed reading this. i like the analogy of christmas.

LenkaKT

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Monday, November 14th 2011, 6:15pm

mangotree, yes!
My story is very, very similar to yours

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