A hint from the book "Sayings of Paramahansa Yogananda."
Page 42 (c) Self-Realization Publishers LA USA
"I am going to the hills to be alone with God,"
a student informed the Master.
"You will not advance spiritually in that way," Paramahansaji replied.
"Your mind is not ready to concentrate deeply on Spirit. Your thoughts
will dwell mostly on memories of people and worldly pastimes, even though
you remain in a cave. Cheerful performance of your earthly duties,
coupled wit daily meditation, is the better path."
Now, living in a commune is not quite the same as being a hermit.
But as Yoganandaji has pointed out elsewhere, pp where "the Lord has
placed you in life may be the best place for you to win this battle.pp."
In fact many of those who got involved with JDW at Ananda at the beginning
had to very seriously change direction with him as he started out
directing everyone to live a sort of monastic life, only to find out he really
still desired to be a householder himself - at which he did not succeed.
In fact, by his own admissions, he never did remain faithful to his monastic
vows and was never a swami after c1983. Having abused many naive women
over many many years, even before he was fired from SRF.
So he pulled every one else through his own learning curves while
not understanding that even though his charisma could sway some
people he was not a real spiritual leader for them.[history tells the rest]
Had things been different, he would not have carried on as he did for
so many years. He still was learning a lot of the basics like so many
of us other devotees. He was never spiritually mature leadership quality.
WBC was one of Paramahansa Yogananda's great visions/ideals.
But, before His Mahasamadhi He made some major changes in
His visions for His church of Self-Realization Fellowship/YSS.
As He began revising His wonderful Autobiography of a Yogi
since 1946, He personally removed a large portion of a page that talked
about these colonies [WBC.s] and he ordered the rest to be
removed by His editors in chief in later final editions.
He also disbanded the one WBC at Encinitas CA many years earlier.
Yogananda effectively got out of the WBC business.
He recommended to His devotees that the kind of "communities" He wanted for them for
now was to move and live in close proximity to the SRF temples they were attending.
The Master was obviously aware of future problems and failures of JDW.
Paramahansa Yogananda's final vision has now flourished as a great number
of consciousness raising communities within the gigantic world wide community
known as the Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Sat Sangha.
Within this great world wide SRF/YSS community these hundreds of smaller
spiritual "World Brotherhood Communities" of SRF/YSS Temples environs,
Meditation Groups, and meditation Circles" are all having a profound
& positive effect on world peace, and are creating a spiritual renaissance
and serving to create many enlightened kriyabans in SRF/YSS.
When Sri Sri Daya Mata became the President and leader of Yogananda's
great world legacy -SRR/YSS, there were about 60 temples and med groups.
When she passed on there were well over 500 groups with millions of members.
This kind of growth requires wise use of all resources. Master was right to delay
the idea of WBC's, in favor of looking after all the other growth properly.
The founding/ setting up of a WBC commune however is no small venture,
and the larger it is the more complex all the issues will become - like a small town.
This is not what the master intended, groups of a few dozen should be the limit.
And it is easy to say that it will be based upon the teachings of Yogananda, but
upon whose interpretation of those teachings will it be based? And will that group
have true spiritual and moral leadership of the caliber we see in Yogananda's
YSS/SRF communities? In many well known experiments with WCB.s , these show
a lack of true spiritual leadership and have caused many problems for devotees.
[ see http://www.anandainfo.com/services/swami_kriyananda.htm and https://swamikriyanandatruth.wordpress.com/about-2/]
Leaders of some groups have attempted to gravitate devotees away from SRF
and Yogananda in order to promote their own egoistic obsessions and other
base instincts. The executives of one group got the reward of being called
"Nayawamis" for doing so much work to cover up their founders sins.
Alas, this is simply a pseudo monastic path with no spiritual roots.
Why this change in Yogananda's vision and practice?
A great idea does not become less when one finds
the timing [of the world] is not yet ready.
When a spiritual organization is in the very early growth stages it can
make much better use of its resources by concentrating on the Master's
main purpose for being in America - not to create spiritual communities
but to spread and teach Kriya Yoga and advanced the spiritual lifestyle.
To give any great emphasis to this ideal of WBC's when resources were
seriously needed to serve new members and complete other major tasks
would be very impractical and anti productive.
Sri Daya Mata understood where best to use SRF resources and kept
away from the commune activities of other groups. This is why there
has been such wonderful growth of Yogananda's SRF over those years.
Also, Communes effectively isolate devotees from the social fabric
of the world. When devotees remained near temples and continued their
sadhana in the midst of so many other groups in the public scene, they
served at greater purpose of helping others get to know of Kriya Yoga.
Devotees also had a better balance by daily intermixing with other faiths.
I don't live in a WBC, so every week I attend the local group of
Self-Realization Fellowship Meditation Circle as Yogananda recommends.
This is the great SRF spiritual community experience Master talked about,
to accelerate ones spiritual progress and personal transformation.
The working with many other sincere SRF devotees is very rewarding both
as a community and spiritually without the restrictions and dangers of
being tied down to a "commune."
"The receiving of Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons is not the end of
your relationship with SRF but only the beginning." PY
Yogananda shares His vision for SRF/YSS with Kriyabans
The Wisdom of Paramahansa Yogananda
Self-Realization Fellowship site [Lessons, Books, & Meditation]
Personally, there was a time when I too was all excited about WBC's.
Then in circa 1979, after a meeting and a chat with Ananda's founder (JDW at Ananda),
I decided that his community would not really help my spiritual life.
I was not impressed by JD Walters SK, and that meeting taught me to avoid all unqualified wannabee gurus.
I was thus saved from the greatest error in this life. It took a few more years to
understand that Yogananda Himself began to put this WBC idea on hold.
[So if you strongly disagree with me - you too can take a few
more years to get the bigger picture.] And as time went on it became
obvious and proven that under the friendly and warm superficial face of
that institution [Ananda], there were a lot of toxic behaviors going on.
The evidence is out there...the court records are out there - read them. /Because you won't get the truth from your institutionalized Ananda leadership.
The basis of this ideal is still a great and amazing vision, but in the 20th century
[and who knows till when] qualified leadership to lead such projects
properly simply too rare. After Yogananda's great mahasamadhi in 1952
Self-Realization Fellowship duties and growth were still very demanding.
We can thank the wise and practical leadership of saintly Daya Mata and others for
not wasting the orgs resources on such a project that can be done better in the future.
Remember - this was a project that even Yogananda showed signs of slowing down on.
Plus, as we have seen, spiritual communes can at times create whole sets of new
problems, which in some cases can harm Yogananda's mission by changing
His teachings and attacking His church for their own desperate attempt at supremacy.
There are some cases where the main purpose appears to be the fulfilling
of the leaders distorted agendas. His /her own need to prove something to the world.
And some of those who thought they knew better than Yogananda really did do much
more harm and confused a lot of lives including their own. They were on egocentric
fanatical trips deluded by their exaggerations of self-importance - usually in
control of everyone else but themselves as history so clearly records.
So much for not listening to the Guru!
see anandauncovered.com and https://swamikriyanandatruth.wordpress.com/about-2/
See -- it is sad that even though JDW himself admits to all the stuff in these above web
sites, Ananda is still in denial. The apple does not fall far from the tree!
[the evidence is out there! read it ]
Most spiritual [natural living] communities founded in the 1960's, 70's, & 80's
either totally failed, or failed many of those who lived there, or lost
their original mandate and became even more materialistic and insecure.
It is a sad record of blind and impractical agenda created by
one man/womans effort to prove themselves at the expense of others lives.
When Self-Realization Fellowship publishers were able to finally
publish the fully revised editions of Yogananda's Autobiography with
all the changes the Master had requested it was in circa 1958.
There was no mention at all in that and present editions about WBC's.
This is a great thing - none of those failed and/or abusive communities
could point to that great book A/Y and say that "Yogananda said we
should do this." But of course there are always some who do not see
subtle warnings and cautions of the Master. There will be plenty of
time in the future when people are more evolved to do some work in that area.
The same thing happened with some other aspects of Yogananda's
vision for His global teachings of Kriya Yoga and world peace.
Those who knew how to listen to the master did pick up on these
changes, those who were blinded by their own ambitions would
not accept His latest suggestions - they imagined they knew better!
The Self-Realization Fellowship is Yogananda!
Another change the master emphasized was the importance of having
all of the teaching and organizing of His world wide work centered fully
at His international headquarters at the SRF Mother Center in LA USA.
To this end did He put this in writing, "divine Mother has shown me that
in the earlier generations of this work all of it must by centered from
Headquarters [SRF], otherwise in a few generations it may all fall apart."PP
[this is paraphrased from a letter sent to the center leader in Mexico city]
To this end Yogananda also wrote that He wanted all of his intellectual
property to belong solely to Self-Realization Fellowship. Those who publish
Yogananda's works outside of SRF/YSS have no real loyalty to Him.
And therefore will not be attuned to Him for guidance and other blessings.
That is why He gave so many more mentions of "Self-Realization Fellowship"
when He added the 49th chapter to His sacred Autobiography of a Yogi.
Whereas previous to the mid 1940's the master was a little more open
to encouraging too many persons with the blessings of teaching others
about Kriya Yoga. Of course by now it is well established that
Ananda not only continued to steal and use such SRF material for many years
, but in all the books written by their deceased leader is a vast collection
of plagiarism and copy cat projects that essentially disregarded the wishes
and visions of Paramahansa Yogananda. They also authorize themselves
to initiate others into kriya yoga and have established a new pseudo
monastic tradition, a tradition that has no valid spiritual basis or
connection to the ancients Swami orders of India. Kriyananda's flagrant disregard for
this sacred tradition and institution was demonstrated in various ways.
He not only broke his monastic vows early on, but also insulted other advanced
monastics and took it upon himself to create a dead swami lineage with
no spiritual person to lead it.
Yogananda, however said only SRF ministers
should teach and initiate new devotees into Kriya Yoga. This would be
consistent with many other things Yogananda said in this matter.
As JDW well knew by the following letter he wrote in 1957 to a
devotee; "It is our policy to permit only ordained ministers
to give the Kriya Yoga initiation.
Master said that after his passing he wanted only --
-SRF renunciates to be ordained as ministers,
and at that only after a minimum of seven years
in one of our colonies[ashrams]..."
signed -D Walters, 1957
he had no serious regard for the wishes of Paramahansa Yogananda.
Did Yogananda really want Self-Realization Fellowship to be the
hub and center for this wonderful new spiritual legacy for the world?
Yes - In over 100 places in His writings and talks Yogananda makes this
absolutely clear. If you doubt this you haven't done your research!
I fully trust all those publications from SRF and those
who edited Yogananda's work. Any errors that ever happened at
SRF of very minor compared to the record of some other groups.
I do not fully trust publications from other groups who put
Yogananda's name on books He did not write, books He did
not authorize - as he gave all His intellectual rights to SRF only...
How great prophets tweak their visions and plans according to the
practicalities of changing situations.
Jesus, for example, emphasized early in his ministry that his purpose
in returning to Southern Judea was for "the salvation of the Hebrews."
As time went on, and Hebrew leadership rejected his claims, He changed
this emphasis and told his disciples "go out into all the world and baptize
those who will believe."
Like some persons after Yogananda left the scene, JC's disciples did
not hear His changes of vision. As a result they would not baptize you
unless you were a Jew [Hebrew in those days]. Jesus had to appear to
Peter to correct this serious error [vision at the home of Simon the tanner]
following which many apostles had a meeting where there approach
was corrected on this issue by the whole group.
LINKS; Yogananda's Legacy Canada
Yoganandas legacy launching & Biography
So if Yogananda wanted to leave everything the same why would he go
into such a serious effort to make important vision changes.
If Yogananda wanted persons to read the 1946 outdated editions of
his Autobiography of a Yogi why did he keep making so many changes
with each new printing. His latest is His Greatest message! Until the
great Mahasamadhi He kept giving us His very best! Get with it!
Do you still think you know better than the Guru? Kriyananda did,
and he ended up being a "great disappointment" to Yogananda!
Be assured that the Self-Realization Fellowship is accurately fulfilling
the mandate and vision left by Paramahansa Yogananda, their work and
leadership over the last many many years has been outstanding. And
they have not changed any teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda!