To someone who wrote asking me my thoughts as to why a very famous guru and his organization taught/teach a yoga method that is not supported by a single authentic yoga text or tradition.
A person with an active mind in a guru or yoga cult eventually collects a number of “why does?” “why dids?” and “why nots?” regarding the Master or the Divine Institution. The answer to all these questions in my opinion is simple: Ignorance, incompetence and dishonesty on the part of both the deceiver and the deceived.
The real tragedy is the complete lack of a sense of personal responsibility on the part of the “devotee” to have the integrity and common sense to make sure he is not being fed a sucker line and to differentiate between nonsense and lies and wisdom and truth. It is very like the person who is married to a hellish spouse but whose “love” and ego-investment either blinds them to the truth or makes them deceive themselves about the truth of things. Every “special child/grandchild” I have met has been two steps from being a walking stalk of broccoli, and every “special wife” I have met has been a flaming harpy. Ego is at the bottom of it all. “How could I have been so wrong?” “I was/am wrong,” and “I am responsible–no one else” is seldom if ever said to themselves by the True Believers.
I have followed more than one fake guru and diligently practiced a string of worthless yogic techniques. It was all my fault: I loved, believed in and trusted because I was a sentimental fool letting my gullibility and ego cancel out my intelligence. (But deep down like all cultists I had doubts, fears, insecurity and smothered discontent.) I even had “superconscious dreams” of each false guru, too. There is no denying: I worked at being fooled.
It is indeed a terrible wrench to realize that Sri Gurudev is a fool or a fraud, that the beloved gurubhais and gurubhens are pathetic dupes, that personal, sacred experiences are complete illusions and the divinely dispensed technique is either worthless or actually harmful. And most painful of all: that one has been an utter fool–and often more than once. But it is better to realize and act on the truth than to remain in the prison of willing delusion. That never results in anything but continual though unacknowledged suffering.
Wrong next steps
It is also a great tragedy when people do not leave the guru/yoga cult quietly, sincerely relieved that they have at last seen the truth, and get on with their lives (even investigating other possibly good and authentic teachers and teachings), but turn into bitter, resentful and even hate-filled crusaders denouncing all teachers and groups and screeching to the world that they are all fake and criminal and even “of the devil,” sometimes writing books and starting organizations to combat all they now hate. That is easier on their ego than hating themselves, but no less self-destructive.
- The False Guru Test
- What is a Worthy Spiritual Teacher Like?
- Real Spiritual Teachers vs. Super-Gurus