"Those who abuse the power of religion or who only pretend to follow religious practices for their own self promotion become hypocrites and are sometimes perpetrators of evil; they are the wrongdoers, not religion"
Paramahansa Yogananda, "Journey to Self-Realization", pg 178.
"Many teachers will tell you to believe; then they put out your eyes of reason and instruct you to follow only their logic. But I want you to keep your eyes of reason open; in addition, I will open in you another eye, the eye of wisdom."
Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, to Paramahansa Yogananda
"There are many who are trying to lead others, but who have no right to lead. The blind cannot lead the blind. No one can take you to God unless he himself has found God. Societies develop around charismatic personalities, but they die out with those personalities. A true guru has no personal ambition for name or fame; his one desire is to serve others with the realization of God. I sought all over India to find a true master. I searched in books; I journeyed from temple to temple, from one holy place to another; but my doubts followed me everywhere. But when I found that one who had realization -my guru, Sri Yukteswarji- and saw that divine spirit in his eyes, all doubt went away. Through his blessing my whole life changed. That is why I stress to you the importance of a true guru and his teachings. I told Master I would never teach about God unless I had tasted Him. By following Guru unconditionally, I found God. When you are steadfast in the principles of the guru-disciple relationship, the spiritual path becomes very easy. You cannot then go astray. No matter how delusion tries to pull you away, the master who has experienced God knows your trouble and will help you to steady yourself on the path again. That is what the guru does for you if you are in tune with him. Even though you and the guru may be thousands of miles apart, his help will reach out to you. I feel Master with me all the time, even though he is no longer incarnate on this earth plane. To have the guidance and grace of guru with you-that is the easiest way to way to move along on the spiritual path."
Paramahansa Yogananda, quoted in Self-Realization Magazine, Spring, 1990, pg. 3.
" In India we emphasize very strongly that God can be received only through the proper spiritual representative. In the West the emphasis is on filling the church, without much concern as to the inner spiritual qualifications of the preacher. In India we search everywhere for one who is such a model, when in such a one we see God in action, we call him "Guru", and follow him faithfully. Guru is he whom God appoints to lead you out of the darkness of ignorance into the land of His eternal light. A seeker may have had many spiritual teachers, but he can have only one guru. When he finds his guru, he follows him solely and steadfastly. God is visible in the lives of those who love Him and are in tune with Him. Thus whoever attunes himself with his guru finds God. Do you see how important it is to follow one who can show you the way to God through his example? When you are tune with your guru, the visible representative of God, He will come to you in that form while you are meditating. Then you will know that God is real and that He works through the guru."
Paramahansa Yogananda, Thursday evening service, SRF Headquarters, December 21, 1939, quoted in SRF magazine, Summer, 1976.
"He alone who is God realized, and who has been commanded by God to redeem souls, is a guru. One cannot be a guru merely by thinking he is. Jesus showed that the true guru acts solely at God's behest, when he said: "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him." He gave all credit to the power of God. If a teacher is without egotism, you may know that God alone resides in his body temple; and when you tune in with him you are in tune with God. Jesus reminded His disciples: "Whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but Him that sent me."
SRF magazine, Special Centennial Issue, Winter, 1993, pg. 3.
"The teacher who accepts personally the adoration of others is merely a worshiper of his own ego. To find out whether a path is true, discriminate according to what sort of teacher is behind it, whether his actions show that he is led by God, or by his own ego. A leader who has no realization cannot show you the kingdom of God, no matter how large his following. All churches have done good, but blind belief in religious dogma keeps people spiritually ignorant and stagnant. Many times I have seen vast congregations singing God's name, but God was as far away from their consciousness as the distant stars. No one can be saved just by attending church. The real way to freedom lies in Yoga, in scientific self-analysis, and in following one who has traversed the forest of theology and can lead you safely to God."
SRF magazine, Winter, 1993, pg. 4
"To keep company with the Guru is not only to be in his physical presence (as this is sometimes impossible), but mainly means to keep him in our hearts and to be one with him in principle and attune ourselves with him."
Swami Sri Yukteswar, The Holy Science, pg. 37.
"Those who have come to Self-Realization truly seeking inward spiritual help shall receive what they seek from God. Whether they come while I am in the body, or afterward, the power of God through the link of the SRF Gurus shall flow into the devotee just the same, and shall be the cause of their salvation."
Paramahansa Yogananda, quoted in a letter from Self-Realization Fellowship to students, August, 1994.
"God has sent you to me, and I shall never fail you...Even when I am gone my help will always be given to devotees all over the world, if they keep in tune. Never think for a moment that when I am physically absent from you all, I am not otherwise with you. I shall be just deeply concerned for your spiritual welfare when I am no longer in the body as I am now. I shall always be watching over each one of you, and whenever a true devotee thinks of me in the silent depths of his soul, he will know that I am near."
Paramahansa Yogananda, quoted in the SRF calender, August, 1993.
"Once I found my guru, I never followed any other teacher."
"Numerous bewildered seekers in the West erroneously think that an eloquent speaker or writer on metaphysics must be a master. Proof that one is a master, however, is supplied only by the ability to enter at will the breathless state (sabikalpa samadhi) and by the attainment of immutable bliss (nirbikalpa samadhi). The rishis have pointed out that solely by these achievements may a human being demonstrate that he has demonstrate that he has mastered maya, the dualistic cosmic delusion. He alone may say from the depths of realization: 'Ekam sat' (Only One exists)."
Paramhansa Yogananda, quoted in the SRF booklet "In Memoriam"
"My message for the world has already been expounded in my speeches, classes and writings. Do not be misled by persons who, after my physical departure from the earth, will assert that they are receiving new teachings from me. To sincere seekers who in prayer request my help, I will always give it gladly and silently"
SRF magazine, April/June 1966, pg. 18, the "Spiritual Interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita," and
"God talks with Arjuna;" the Bhagavad Gita, translation by
Paramahansa Yogananda, pg.991.
"...When a master is no longer encumbered by incarnate constraints, his transforming succor continues just the same, but he does not demean himself and hisspiritual effectiveness by seeking gross expression again through 'mediums.' Having given his divine message and testimony while on earth, he doesn't have any 'afterthoughts' requiring revelation by psychics and spiritualists."
"God talks with Arjuna; the Bhagavad Gita, translation by
Paramahansa Yogananda, pg.992.
Spiritual Teachers and True Gurus
Here are some very important quotes comparing Walters/Ananda teaching with the real teachings of Yogananda on the issue of spiritual teachers. As you can see, Walters/Ananda teaches you must have a "spiritual teacher" even if you have a guru. Yogananda says, "We may have many teachers in the beginning of our spiritual search, but we have only one guru. After he has been found there is no need for other teachers." This is the heart of Walters great evil. To lead people away from direct connection with their guru.
"Now I'm not a guru...I'm not there yet...So I'm a
Ananda church teaching by Anandi Cornell, Ananda Monastic
training director and Lightbearer; qouted by former member.
"First you find your guru...then you have to find your spiritual teacher"
"We may have many teachers in the beginning of our
spiritual search, but we
SRF Lessons, 1956 copyright, S-2, P-51, pg. 3.
SRF Praecepta Lessons, 1938 copyright, K-3, pg. 2.
Paramahansa Yogananda, Thursday evening service, SRF
Headquarters, December 21, 1939, quoted in SRF magazine, Summer, 1976.
Paramahansa Yogananda, quoted in Self-Realization Magazine,
Spring, 1990, pg. 3.
SRF magazine, Special Centennial Issue, Winter, 1993, pg.
SRF magazine, Special Centennial Issue, Winter, 1993, pg.
We got a copy of this letter about 1996. It shows how Walters "World Brotherhood Colony" is actually more like a communist dictatorship, with people afraid to speak out. Yes, Yogananda did want Colonys, but Walters has failed in this. SRF has real colonys, with hundreds, even thousands of devotees living around the temples in California. Whole apartment buildings are owned by SRF devotees, to house the colony members. The focus of their lives is on God and Guru, not glorifying a misguided leader. Ananda uses their people as slaves, wasting their time and money to defend Walters and the conflict he himself has created.
The Ananda church states in it's advertising that it is one of the "most successful new age communities in the world", a living example of Paramahansa Yogananda's dream of "World Brotherhood Colonies". Is it?
Below is a letter written to Mr. Walters by a member of Ananda, who speaks of their deep fear of condemnation, shunning, or the loss of their jobs or homes, if they question Mr. Walters leadership in any way. Is this your idea of a World Brotherhood Colony?
"I hope you are recovering quickly from your surgery. I pray that you will feel fine very soon. I have been at Ananda for many years and my philosophy of life is based on Master's teachings and your channeling of Master's teachings. I have experienced great spiritual powers coming from you for many years and find myself often quoting what you have said. I cherish the stories that you have shared about Master over the years. You have inspired me to be a truth seeker and to actively use the yogic principles especially trying to create harmonious energy and employ the concept of ahimsa."
"I feel that I need to share with you my feelings on certain issues. I think that I, along with most people at Ananda have believed that you are infallible because you are such a great spiritual master. However, unless one is always in an enlightened state like Master was, there is always the possibility of making mistakes. I am currently torn because I do not want to say anything to offend you and I want to be loyal to you. At the same time, I feel compelled to state my principles which you have shaped. I am very much afraid to write to you because I feel that if I express my truth,
I will be condemned perhaps by you, or the leaders of the community. I have talked to about 30 or 40 Ananda members who also would like to write to you but are scared that they would lose their status in the community if they questioned anything you have done. When I suggested we write a group letter and all sign it, the response was still fear. Some people have expressed fear that not only they would be shunned but they could lose their jobs and possibly their house. The truth is that perhaps 35% of the community would like to be able to openly question you but are in fear.
I don't think that Master would want his disciples to be living in a community based on fear. Whenever only "safe" people will get together to speak their feelings, living in the community becomes quite paranoid if we always have to whisper and be afraid of the wrong person hearing us expressing our truth. Therefore, I am unable to sign my name to this letter although for many years I have always signed my name to any letter I've written you. It doesn't feel good living in fear like this."
"I knew Anne Marie and was concerned by certain statements that you wrote about her. I don't feel that the yogic principle of Ahimsa were being followed when you said she was on the prowl and a homebreaker, etc. Surely Danny who was married at the time was at least 50% responsible for the affair but the tone of the letter was blaming Anne Marie and nothing was said of Danny's responsibility.
As a truth seeker I felt that it was only right to hear Anne Marie's side of the story. What bothers me is that we were only presented one side of the story and it never feels right when one side (the only one we hear) is always 100% right and the other side is always 100% wrong. After questioning, I was given facts that are different from what I have been told at Ananda. I don't know the entire truth at this point but I do know that what is spiritually the right thing to do is to hear both sides of the story and never condemn anyone. It seems that when Sundaram or Anne Marie spoke out they were both condemned as vindictive people who are part of an SRF plot.
I don't feel comfortable with name calling, i.e, people are liars. This tactic is not following the yogic principles and creates a feeling of fear at Ananda." "Over the many years that I have been associated with Ananda I have heard stories about the young women that you may have been involved with. I don't know the entire truth. However, as your position as a spiritual leader who everyone craves to be near and trusts, I feel that you are in an especially powerful position to easily become romantically involved even if you didn't force anyone. I also feel there is a great difference between making mistakes and continuing a sexual relationship. I don't feel that defending spiritual leaders who get involved in sexual relationships with young women is going to help Ananda's image. The law suit states that there are a number of women mentioned who state they were involved with you. If you were involved with women (even in your powerful position as Swami) that doesn't offend me as much as if you were trying to cover it up. I would then feel betrayed."
"I love Ananda don't want to see all this wonderful work compromised. Already I've heard comments about the recent newspaper articles from people outside of Ananda. The reporters love exploiting spiritual teachers. What I fear is that if this case goes to trial and women testify against you, the reporters are going to concentrate on that regardless of the truth and Ananda will become known as another sex community. You have built a beautiful work and I don't want to see it lessened by some mistakes you might have made.""In my opinion, the best option at this point for community members as well as the public is to hold a press conference and speak the truth.
If you feel that you did something that was not right, admit it without blaming others and settle the case out of court. However, if there is a court case and you attack the women or say it's all an SRF plot, I really fear that Ananda's reputation could really suffer. The reporters love the drama of the struggle but if you simply admit the truth, the sensational publicity would not persist. I really hope that you are open to hearing the contents of this letter and will understand that it is written from a sincere desire to see the integrity of Ananda continue and to live in a community based on openness rather than fear."
"I have also been afraid to tell you the truth that I find the festival of light boring and tend to avoid going on Sunday Service because of it. I used to really find the old Sunday Services spiritually inspiring. The truth of the matter is that at least 75 community members have privately told me that they also get bored with the festival. While perhaps 50% of the members might really enjoy the festival, it's very disappointing spiritually for perhaps half of the community. However, people are afraid to tell you the truth that they do not find the festival uplifting spiritually. I think it would be wonderful if people could tell you the truth about how they really feel about the festival and that you could spiritually accommodate the spiritual desires of half of Ananda."
"A loyal Ananda member"
This document has been recently posted by e-mail, we're not shure on the maker's identity, but we strongly think they are behind members of Ananda Assisi community.
Having spent several years reading and analyzing thousands of questions and doubts, we are now able to write you with the necessary clarity of soul and mind.We'd prefer to talk to you looking you squarely in the eyes, but we know only too well that if we did so, you'd prosecute us just because we like to talk to people.
The facts we're going to talk about are now public information, available to anyone,in public courts. Therefore, we simply use our right to speak out, perfectly aware that we're talking to people we know very well, with whom we once shared choices and purposes. First of all, we'd like to remark that legal actions are not pertinent in the spiritual world and we invite you all to listen in peace.
Who we are is not important. What is important is to help Kriyananda understand that the time has come to admit to his responsibilities vis-a`-vis the charges leveled against him in and out of the courts. We know that many people at Ananda were not directly involved but still blindly support him without a) knowing the facts or b) denial and inaction once these facts are known.
Kriyananda, how long do you intend to continue to declare that everybody is against you? You say that Tara Mata, Daya Mata and the entire SRF organization are against you and yet you have done no wrong! You're just a poor monk, living only to serve our Guru!
We don't agree with the way you're misrepresenting the truth.
While it's true that nowadays we blame you, there was a time when we appreciated you, worked for you and supported you. Yet you now say that we're wrong and nasty and that you've always been an honest man! Remember that many of us have trusted you and your promise for a life in the light serving the Gurus... but what have we got now? You are the one destroying your community, not outside forces. Those among us, German, American, and Italian, who know you well are perfectly aware that many of your initiatives are to increase your own fame, not that of the Gurus. Perhaps this is why they haven't been so successful. Of course, you say you've brought many souls to Yogananda and there's some, like Asha Praver, who say that without you, many would have been left without guidance!
This is not the truth-the truth is that you have misguided many.
The truth is that you were "invited to leave" SRF for some of the same reasons for which you were brought to court-sexual activities with female devotees in an environment in which you should have worked only for our Guru. And now your faithful ones tell us that falling is a human matter, and that we should not be hurt by this. Don't you think the example you set for your followers is important? Are they happy to know that you're not in tune with your vows and out of tune with Yogananda's wish for your spiritual unfoldment?
At this point, instead of admitting your mistakes, what do you do? You focus on Tara Mata, Daya Mata and others as the "culprits" responsible for your misfortunes and make false statements against them in an effort to make them appear as "unreliable voices".What is your answer to the female devotees whose confidence and trust you've abused? Are you really sure they were happy to give you pleasure? In exchange for what-spiritual "evolution"?
There are answers we want to hear from you, instead of so many rationalizations and excuses on your website. Maybe if you did, at last, give us an answer, perhaps we could start believing and trusting you again. After all, anybody can make mistakes, and you are no exception.
Be aware of the fact that people living in your community are not happy. They work for token pay; they give all the money to the community, and are often left with nothing of their own. They are forced to silence if they don't want to be thrown out of the system you have structured... much poorer than when they walked in with no reward or pay. Is this the way to" stay away from worldly attachments"? What's the difference then, between your system and that of Scientology or Hare Krishna's? Please give a public answer to these questions.
How about people living and working in your community? What rights do they have to really express their opinions, their discomforts? What rights do they have and what kind of guarantees do you offer?
Ananda today is a community managed by a few individuals who travel, enjoy life and go on holidays at the expense of those who work for free. In the "real world" this is called oligarchy.
Is this the type of spiritual socialism Yogananda wished for the "new world"?
The community is situated in one of the most appealing natural sites-it's like a beautiful postcard-but what will happen when you're gone (if you don't bankrupt it first, of course)? What future will come to residents without your "fatherly voice"? We can easily imagine that your faithful will take care of themselves.
Why did you come to Italy, if you're a free man, as you say? Why don't you go back to the States and help pay the damages and heal the pain caused by your misbehavior?
Your community sells postcards, music, pictures, books and much more nonsense with the image of our Master, making a lot of money from it, and with it promoting the community.You are not "modestly serving the Guru" in silence and prayer, as many others do. You are managing a commercial company based on resources you do not legitimately own. Instead a "World Brotherhood Community" should be concentrating on living the actual teachings. Your interpretation"...you've got a great work to do" is very forced and out of Master's attunement. Why should we follow you? Who are you to tell us what is Master's will? Are you called to openly fight against Yoganananda's organization in order to get the right to do their work instead?
We think you are not that important. Many other monks and nuns, greater than you, with more years of humble service, are silently working in SRF not for the organization's sake-but for the devotees of the world. Frankly, we don't think the way you have done communities (creating conflict with fellow disciples,permitting people to live in fear and putting yourself above the Guru and his teachings) is in tune with with Master's vision of World Brotherhood Communities.
More and more people now understand the reasons you persist in commenting on alleged omissions and changes in the original texts, but Yogananda's teachings are tied to SRF, not Ananda. What are you trying to do? Compete with Yogananda's will and replace his teachings with your own? You must realize that you cannot destroy the trust of people in SRF. In the collective soul, SRF is Master's chosen organization.
Finally, let's talk for a minute about all your arguments espoused ever since your expulsion from SRF. Please stop! We can't stand it anymore-everyone knows the truth by now! SRF had to make a painful decision about you, and they did. Then they had to defend themselves from your attacks and public statements, aimed at trying to force them to admit responsibilities and mistakes that are, indeed, yours alone. It's obvious that no peace or dialogue is possible under these circumstances. You should admit what you are and what you did. SRF may not be perfect but it never strayed from the path of serving Yogananda faithfully, according to his high ideals. Can you say the same?
Yogananda devotees all over the world are sick and tired of all these pathetic and humiliating arguments.
Please stop. The entire world is watching you bring disgrace and embarrassment to the Master's legacy. The light of Kriya is needed more than ever now, because the world is in danger and this precious gift should serve all mankind-not your personal purposes.
Please stop the conflict. Please find a way to work in order to serve God. Please once and for all give up your grandiose delusions, which create terrible conflict within Master's family.
Do this before it's too late, before hate among brothers starts reproducing itself in a hopeless chain. It's already begun but you can help stop it- it's your choice!