July 21, 2009

Dwapara Yuga: Free Speech and Sacred Cows

  • Researcher - The average radio listener listens for eighteen minutes. The average Howard Stern fan listens for - are you ready for this? - an hour and twenty minutes.
  • Assistant - How can that be?
  • Researcher -Answer most commonly given? "I want to see what he'll say next."
  • Assistant - Okay, fine. But what about the people who hate Stern?
  • Researcher: Good point. The average Stern hater listens for two and a half hours a day.
  • Assistant - But... if they hate him, why do they listen?
  • Researcher: Most common answer? "I want to see what he'll say next."
(Dialog from the movie "Private Parts", a biography of Howard Stern).

For younger or non American readers, Howard Stern is a 'shock jock' radio host in the US one of many who provokes his audience by not simply parroting back to them what they expect to hear but challenging their preconceptions, attitudes of provincialism, puritanism and hypocrisy and most especially lampooning sacred cows.

Amusingly those who disagree with him, especially his right to express his opinions at all, are the most loyal listeners. In their sometimes exaggerated positions, Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh are two book-ends of the political and social spectrum in America, having both carved out unique artistic formulae, reaching millions. The author is a listener of neither but respects their right to free speech. A mark of dictatorship is a single voice and suppression of dissenting viewpoints however propagandists choose to dress it up in nationalist, patriotic, true believer colors.

In the 20s and 30s, Yogananda was one of the most popular speakers in the US, with a mission not of entertaining but propagating the message of simple living and high thinking with realization of oneself as the religion of Dwapara Yuga. In his lifetime, angry mobs of religious zealots and even two lawsuits by once close associates were raised against him. That tradition seemingly continues with different branches of Kriya Yoga raised against one another.
  • If you wish to hear only from one particular Kriya Yoga Group, why not simply go to their site or a sponsored forum and discuss how much it works for you?
  • If you are wishing to put down a particular Kriya Yoga Group, why not simply go to their anti-site (it's rather like atomic theory!) or anti forum group and discuss how bad they are and how they don't work for you?
Group sites are listed here. Anti group sites can easily be found using Google or Yahoo.

The author would like to thank everyone for reading this blog, especially for those most loyal of readers who disagree with every word, asking for on one hand censorship and on the other, publication of their polemical views always expressed as 'against' and never 'for' anything!

The blog author humbly repeats Babaji's advice to anyone excessively, obsessionally 'for' or 'against' any particular group or organization: "Everything on earth is of mixed character, like a mingling of sand and sugar. Be like the wise ant, which seizes only the sugar, and leaves the sand untouched."

Apply the science of religion - question everything, verify everything and meditate! You will be tuning more deeply into Dwapara Yuga and Yogananda! As the Chinese Proverb has it "Be careful what you wish for - you might just find it!"

Friends - Free speech is truly a wonderful thing. I thank everyone for comments and reviews. It is such a pleasure to be able to discuss Yogandaji's teachings, even with those who from their actions wish only harm to those who do not agree with them.

"Thou art our Father. We are made in Thine own image. We are sons of God. We neither ask nor pray like beggars, but demand as Thy children, wisdom, salvation, health, happiness, eternal joy. Naughty or good, we are Thy children. Help us to find Thy will in us. Teach us to use independently the human will (since Thou gavest that to us to use freely), in tune with Thy wisdom-guided will."

Bless you all

Dwapara Yuga: Moon Landings


It was 40 years or two generations ago that man landed on the moon, a stunning underlining of the space-conquering nature of Dwapara Yuga and a hard feat for the traditionalists to explain who believe we're still mired in the pure materialism and ignorance of Kali Yuga.

Much more than a simple technical tour de force, the mission to the moon inspired generations of young people with undreamed of possibilities (although for some that still meant the draft and the Vietnam war). As the Houston mission control photo on the right illustrates, this was accomplished in an era of rotary dial telephones, message tubes and slide rules.

The author later, at age ten, wrote a letter to NASA asking to be an Astronaut and was rewarded with a large pack of color photographs and a letter suggesting to return with a degree in Physics in hand.

Sadly, after the Apollo missions (and parallel although quieter successes of spy satellites that allowed arms treaties to be negotiated), the Space Shuttle was something of a 'space bus' that inspired few (including the author), overshadowed by more captivating VTOL and Stealth airplanes themselves symbolic of the increasing mastery of space and finer energies associated with Dwapara Yuga and notably absent in the period of Kali Yuga (although scripture and artifacts suggest their presence in the previous, falling higher ages).

At KSC today, the Apollo exhibits are magnificent and awe inspiring and the Shuttle with all its problems and delays, simply expensive and dull (flawed from the start with its dual military and civil specifications that fully satisfied neither). Ironically, having begun the space race against Russia, as the Shuttle retires next year, it will be Russia that picks up its mission workloads underlining the hubris of declaring oneself a unique super power but lacking the checkbook to cover it or even teachers' salaries in California, one of the richest places on Earth.

With purely technical and scientific breakthroughs unsatisfying, the accent should equally be on exploring inner space as Rishis did in millenia past, looking beyond the five ordinary senses, Astral and Causal planes to Cosmic Consciousness.

July 19, 2009

10 PRINT "DWAPARA YUGA IS HERE "; 20 GOTO 10

In the original home computer era, two generations ago, every machine came with a version of the Basic programming language.

Today, to be able to do that on Microsoft's Windows, Basic is priced higher than the total cost of a modern laptop. Ironically it was Basic which allowed Gates his start in the industry and the capital to begin amassing software written by others (DOS, VMS, Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc.) and cornering the market via restrictive licensing.

In the original incarnations of the Web a generation ago, prior to Internet Explorer, as much emphasis was placed on writing web sites as in reading them. Berners Lee the inventor of the world wide web intended it to be a two-way medium linking people, not the one-way totalitarian world of newsprint, television radio where a tiny contingent of executives and/or government officials decide what is news and what is not to be reported in the national and corporate interest.

There are some small oases of independence left, for example, Open Source Software like Ubuntu that continue the old spirit of personal development but other early pioneers like Red Hat have lost the plot.

The examples above are symptomatic of big business' great desire for the public to simply consume products rather than in anyway participate in creating original works themselves -- like a myspace page made up of other's music, videos, paintings and thoughts. Even given names are becoming more and more uniform, with generations of Paris' and Brittney's around the world.

Such big business practices are rather like so-called religious people dressing up for Sunday services, handing in donations largely to pay for fancy buildings and priestly lifestyles, hearing pre-prepared texts and going home with little personal connection to Jesus, Krishna, Sri Yukteswar or any Saints and Sages.

The 1893 Chicago World's Fair at the dawn of Dwapara Yuga brought Tesla's electricity and Vivekananda's Eastern thought to the attention of America but at the same time it was the dawn of the era of Big Corporations and Big Religion, one size fits all, buy it here, already thought out, come in for social and business networking (more attend Church today than in Colonial Times).

The American Theosophists of the era tried to manufacture their own saint in Krishnamurti and Tesla's patents were stripped from him during his lifetime.

In line with Dwapara Yuga, this blog emphasizes personal meditation, personal following of Saints and Sages and personal creativity in all its forms from writing, to music, to dance, to sport, to painting, photography, films, theater, to programming. Everyone started small, like Tesla with a few small devices, Night Shymalan with a home camera, or Linus Torvalds with just an old PC.

July 18, 2009

Dwapara Yuga: Prayer demand for prosperity

Whispers from eternity (1949 Edition) by Paramhansa Yogananda.

"Thou art my Father, I am Thy child. Thou art the Spirit; I am made in Thine image. Thou art the Father who owns the universe. Good or naughty, I am Thy child, and, as such, have the right of possession over all things; but I have been truant and wandered away from Thy home of cosmic plenty. Help me to learn, first, to identify my consciousness with Thine universal consciousness. Rescue my consciousness, shipwrecked on the tiny island of the body. Expand me, and make me feel that I am again Thine image. And when, by Thy grace, I shall find that, like Thee, I am everywhere, then I shall have dominion over all things, as Thou hast."

"Prayer Demand" is Yoganandaji's original vocabulary, as a child speaking to his Father, versions edited after his death change it to "request", losing the original intent. The original version of "Whispers from eternity" is available online. It was the only book actually edited by Yogananda in his lifetime. He considered it a scripture on par with both the Gita and the Bible.

The shipwreck pictured is a Liberty Ship sunk by U-boat off Whitsand Bay, Cornwall, England, the mast of which was visible above the waves for many decades after WWII. If you are reading this then you have good karma and are also not completely submerged in the cosmic delusions of Maya/Satan. Sri Yukteswar explained to Yogananda:

"Forget the past. The vanished lives of all men are dark with many shames. Human conduct is ever unreliable until anchored in the Divine. Everything in future will improve if you are making a spiritual effort now."

July 16, 2009

Dwapara & UFOs

Kriyananda in a recent talk (July 4, 2009 Ananda's Spiritual Work) reiterated the key signs of Dwapara Yuga as explained by Paramhansa Yogananda: a growing understanding of the energy nature of the world and the breaking down of barriers in the physical sense of conquering space (and more subtly the breaking down of barriers dividing people, as per recent blog posts).

As an extension of the space-conquering thought, he highlighted his belief in UFOs and other worldly civilizations and visitors, although admitting to have never seen any such phenomena. The blog author shares the belief but has never had any sightings either. Kriyananda goes on to explain that the ship mechanisms may work in ways not yet discovered by modern science still at the dawn of Dwapara Yuga. UFOs underwater brothers are the much less oftenly reported USOs.

It is well known that Yogananda shared such beliefs and UFOs were seen by many disciples, including Tara Mata, Norman Paulsen and Daniel Boone, the latter two making them as much a focus of their lives as Kriya. Coincidentally, the modern sightings date from 1947, the dawning of the atomic age, the year after the publication of Autobiography of a Yogi. Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter are just two of the world renowned people to have observed UFOs.

Understandably, many regular people are afraid to mention such phenomena since they invite instant ridicule and potentially professional retribution or might slow up donations for a charity overly wary of its media image, with Hollywood's caricature of 'tin foil hats' and elaborate conspiracy theories. In America, a recent poll revealed one in three believe in the phenomenon with one in twelve having experienced it personally, an astonishing number for some kind of hoax. A more scientific approach would not be to question the mental soundness of witnesses but rather investigate thoroughly, if nothing else, what may be manifestations of natural phenomena not previously studied.

After all, it is only 200 years or so since Ben Franklin pointed out the nature of lightning with his kite and key experiment and it's a quiet arrogance to imagine that all of nature has been explained and studied. Franklin believed in proofs and not speculation, a founding spirit of Dwapara, hard science and the United States.

July 15, 2009

Dwapara Yuga: Caring about health

Me, my, I and mine. Us four and no more. The war cries of selfishness. After all even a monster such as Hitler loved his family and pet dog "Wolf" and most people can say no more than that they look after their own and no more.

The Lord's Prayer begins "Our Father who art in heaven", clearly stating our relationship to one Father, making us all Brothers and Sisters, as echoed by Vivekananda in his famous "Brothers and Sisters of America" speech in 1893 at the first World Congress of Religions.

The author has always noted that the more rural and under developed the land, the more friendly and open the natives. It is eye opening to see the friendly smiles in the poorest sections of South America or India and contrast them to the masks of indifference and arrogance in the rich of LA, Paris, Delhi or Santiago.

Sadly with greater and greater diplomas and more material wealth, few mansions, tinted windowed cadillacs and security gates welcome any kind of stranger to their particular clan, clique or cartel since it's very existence depends on having an inner circle paid for by a larger outer one of no or low paid, non initiates, by definition, not "in the know".

The Kali Yuga ideal whether of Exeter-Harvard, Druglord, loyal Maoist, Communist or ENArch is a two track system of haves and have nots reflected in healthcare, education, civil society and even religion with leaders in palatial mansions and worker bees just a step up from the streets.

In truth, the gap is not one of left or right, Republican or Democrat but rather one of selfishness and a maintenance of a state of ignorance through careful propaganda to obscure clear exploitation and abusive practices.

The solution lies not in some utopian vision that denies all differences in people and circumstances, rather a real equality of opportunity (the motif of Dwapara Yuga) and not a window dressing where the words are right but the reality not. America was founded on such Dwapara ideals but has been creeping more and more to the European aristocratic model with its inner circles of gated communities, private schools and colleges, slowing real social mobility.

America is in its current crisis only now recognizing the great suffering and waste of not having universal health care, where a loss of job, or an unexpected illness can mean losing everything with medical bills the leading cause of bankruptcy. Most only discover the ruthlessness of insurance company when their conditions is discovered.

The same rich system crams salt, sugar, pesticides, hormones and antibiotics into ever larger portions of food knowing full well their 'investment' will come to fruition in sales of medical equipment and treatment in just a few years - a truly vicious cycle in which a few exploit the many with, as a first, step ignorance.

As China and India become more wealthy, those same systems are being set in place as 'progress' westernizes them and populations become materially wealthier for a while but sicker.

It was no accident that Yoganada began his US mission emphasizing not the creation of ever more beautiful churches and property investments (the spiral of greed that brought the Protestant Reformation to the Catholic Church which had forgotten its Saints in a quest for material wealth, properties and a control of knowledge) but individual healthy diet, exercise, sun bathing and personal meditation with a universalist touch of touring difference churches and temples each weekend to remain open-minded.

July 12, 2009

Dwapara Yuga: Electromagnetic Pollution

Dwapara is the age of energy.

In Kali Yuga, prior to 1700, the concept was almost unknown with water, human and animal power only. The last steam powered devices, remnants of the previous falling Dwapara Yuga, were lost with the fall of Greek Civilization.

In early Dwapara we are surrounded by energy in many of its forms, a general boon but potentially nausive when undesirably present in the home or workplace in the form of electromagnetic pollution. European laws are increasingly strict but US ones trail, emphasizing corporate profits over public welfare. EMF pulse bombs and devices are part of the Cold War arsenal in many countries.

A Trifield meter is an inexpensive device that lets you scientifically check for electrical, magnetic and radio frequency/microwave pollution yourself with no need for expert assistance or specialized training. Zero readings represent safety and higher ones a need for further investigation.

I guarantee you will no longer wish to be in the presence of high tension lines, transformers, industrial machinery, microwave ovens or too close to electronic devices once having tested their fields. Feng Shui and Vastu Shastra have always emphasized the importance of a harmonius environment. Kriyananda noted the perturbation that the electrification of Ananda village brought. Many sensitive people cannot support the near ubiquitous Wifi and Cell fields in cities. In his later life, Yogananda did not write in the by then worldly locales of Encinitas or Mount Washington, rather the isolation of Twenty Nine Palms in the dessert.

A nukalert is a key-fobbed size radiation detector, less necessary today than during the cold war but of interest if you live near landfill or ex industrial sites (both popular sites for new subdivisions), nuclear power plants, recycling plants, chemical works, or military bases (depleted uranium is today a standard round).

Apart their vibrations of dread, many old war sites like those in Belgium are to this day contaminated with unexploded munitions and pools of poison gases. So in any locale it's important to know the real history (and not the promoter's version of it) to know if your home is poisoned from gold mining, a Cold War Weapons dump, or the more prosaic Indian Burial Ground. Often just the old name will tell you everything you need to know. For example, the home of professional golf and tennis in the US is in Ponte Vedra FL, previously known as Mineral City, FL (for the mining of Titanium to make poison gas). The sedate, private Texas Christian University of today once sat in an area known as Hell's Half Acre, the vice capital of the state. One has to wonder if the residents of Matanzas, FL do not speak Spanish to know that the word means massacre, after the cold blooding killing of French settlers there.

This can work the other way too, having a home on or near ground hallowed by saintly masters centuries or millennia ago, although the effect can be decidedly mixed e.g. in Reading, England where the Abbey, once one of the most important in Europe and a major pilgrimage center, is now destroyed, partially covered by the prison that once held Oscar Wilde, next to the Oracle Center, a giant mall ironically named for the poorhouse on whose site it now stands. In India, sites such as the Golden Temple in Amritsar seem to be equally bloody or inspirational, according to the period of time, much as the Indian capital, (New) Delhi, itself.

Meditation and chanting (kirtan) can transform any place. Paramhansa Yogananda was an early proponent of kirtan in the west, chanting Guru Nanak's Hey Hari Sundara ("Oh God Beautiful") with 3,000 people at Carnegie Hall in 1923.[5] Kirtan became more common with the spread of Gaudiya Vaishnavism byA. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in the 1960s.[6]

July 9, 2009

Dwapara Yuga: Bread, circuses and earthships

The continuing economic depression prompted the reflection of how bread and circuses were used by the Roman elite to keep control over the mob (non elite) with inexpensive food and lots of popular diversions lest the many realize their sacrifices and oppression for the benefit of a few, whether the senators of 2000 years ago or of today, socialist leaders, fascist leaders, generals, captains of industry, or pick from our any brand of wealthy lawyer or industrialist willing to 'sacrifice to help us'.

Then as now, a rich elite (still above the law with near every matter from murder to fraud settled with a fine or community service unless a scapegoat is needed) and impoverished lower classes, many of whom do not even outright own their own homes (as their parents did, a mortgage is not ownership), let alone having money for education, retirement or healthcare (even in socialized Europe the gap is there) but food is cheap at 'everyday low prices' and entertainment is piped right into the home, with ads on near every channel and web page.

Interestingly, the US Department of Labor defines 45% of Americans as Working Class yet most consider themselves Middle Class and especially not "Workers", rather "Associates", or some other euphemism that hides their role of limited upside in good-times but maximum downside in any kind of downturn. FW Woolworth bluntly put it, there are no "cheap goods" without "cheap help". Then as now, the poorest of the poor become foot soldiers for income, education and citizenship. Longshanks in Braveheart observes "Arrows cost money. Use up the Irish. The dead cost nothing."

The gap between rich and poor is today similar to what it was in the 1920s with jet-setting billionaires and their hobby sports franchises paid for by millions of poor working two or three jobs and/or many hours since real buying power has eroded from salaries that used to cover buying essentials outright to long-drawn out credit card and loan payments.

In the US South, a model for the Western World, people step from air conditioned McMansions into air conditioned, giant SUVs to go to air conditioned, unhealthy glass skyscrapers and back choking 10 lane superhighways with pollution, eating fast food there and back driving factory farming, with children brought up by Internet, video games and TV, and all tempted by the easy gratification of alcohol, cigarettes, prescription/illegal drugs and a fling with the neighbors, as glorified on daytime television.

Wal-Mart offers discount prices on foods and all manner of consumerist non-essentials and there's always the latest political-religious-entertainment scandal, Cowboys or Manchester United game (and we still have chariot races, turning left into oblivion) to distract in the media while jonesing between ever-longer work sessions, now extending into evenings, weekends and vacations thanks to the 'benefits' of mobile technology.

On a practical note, other than keeping perspective on media hype, how can we step further away from the rat race (without living tax free on donations in some 'do as I say, not as I do' church, or crony welfare from political lobbying)? Tempted to violence and revolution? Just look back to the 30s where similar problems were 'solved' in these ways and learn that lesson. Just think how the 60s hippies got free everything back in the day and have become the exploitative establishment today. Reading the right books, following the 'right' worldy leaders and mouthing slogans or taking up arms is not enough. Why not look to improve and reform yourself?

The world's first barcode appeared on a pack of gum in 1974 and if you aren't careful, you too will have your price and sell-by date in today's society unless you make moves to improve today. In the giant shell game of modern society, if you don't know who the chump at the table is then it's you and the other players have armies of lawyers, accountants and marketeers to keep you in the dark.

Yogananda was very clear in the need to be thrifty and the inevitable correction that would come to America (and by extension the West) if selfish attitudes and wasteful practices continued (end of the world talk in 1940, actually about Dwapara Yuga and not a literal end of the world).

He and Sri Yukteswar were careful within their purses, a contrast to today where the author well remembers an ex SRF minister even a generation ago whose family ate from paper plates at every meal, throwing them away, just to avoid doing dishes! To be fair, this is not a teaching of SRF rather a sign of Southern California's Great Wealth then as now.

To take the example of the home, the most extreme with zero utility bills is the Earthship incorporating systems for:
- Water capture
- Greywater recycling
- Blackwater recycling
- Solar water heating
- Solar heating / Thermal mass
- Solar and Wind energy
- Facilitation of growing food internally and externally

Many of the basic elements can be used in a standard home by reducing loads
- Efficient lightbulbs and cutting off unused loads at the powerstrip
- Low flow WCs
- Cutting back on sprinkling systems
- Lowering AC and Furnace settings

Today, Earthships are expensive for their sizes, from 2 to 400K for just a few 100 square feet, with costs coming not from the near free construction materials, or relatively modest systems package (filters, inverters, batteries etc.) but the large amounts of manual labor. Perhaps the example of Levittown could be applied to mass produce such homes, or their key systems alone. After all, the obnoxious malls that litter that landscape multiplied from zero in the 1950s to thousands today in answer to consumerisms.

Canals, railways, cars and now planes changed the places where people could live from simply being on the oceans, seas, lakes and rivers. Today that transformation is coming with the Internet. Older, uninformed employers have not yet recognized that there is little reason to ferry everyone in and out of the office and we are poised for a reversal of the transhumance from country to town, as more and more people recognize the huge cost and low quality of life tied to these absurd and wasteful practices.

In short, remember that Yogananda asked that we look for the good in everyone and everything and apply it personally, not just in political, social club and church (in so much as they differ) affiliation and try not to be caught in the Kali Yuga distractions of bread and circuses. A wish to live ever in the present and to know nothing of the past, including what Yogananda actually said is a peculiar narcissism, potentially a trap for many lifetimes.

"Worldly people do not like the candor which shatters their delusions. Saints are not only rare but disconcerting. Even in scripture, they are often found embarrassing!"

(c) Dwapara 307-314


The views expressed are the personal, independent views of the author and are not intended to reflect the views of any other individual(s) or organization(s). A list of official Kriya Yoga Organizations can be found here.