I have received so much of feedback including comments about the latest young yogi, Swami Vishwananda of course, that I thought I should create a blog specifically for him regularly collating feedback and updating persons dedicated to revealing his true nature.
From my original post, the question of godmen I compared Vishwananda to Sathya Sai Baba to whom there is the blatant copying:http://thequestionofgodmen.blogspot.com/2006/03/sai-baba-vishwananda-etc-question-of.html
I have since highlighted in the comments section of the original post, further deep concerns regarding Vishwananda which I include in this blog.VISHWANANDA UPDATE (1):
My original article on the question of godmen has generated alot of interest on Vishwananda. It seems that the universe is working in favour of enlightening us on the true nature of this worldly 'spiritual' being by an increasing feedback in response to this blog. As I've stated on the Sathya Sai 'Copycats' blog (see first comment), there is more feedback on Vishwananda having attended Sai services in UK until some years ago and acquainted himself with some of the Sai youth. Apparently some Sai members (predominently youth) have left to join him. It sound like some kind of brainwashing is underway or more specifically manipulation via yogic powers as people have indicated an experience of increased sexual energy in his presence yet seem to justify it in the name of individual issues!! My experience and understanding of individual concerns of the psyche is that things manifest only when one is ready to deal with it. My opinions are perhaps beside the point in this situation however, especially as word as got out (in response to these blogs) that Vishwananda spent time in prison in Switzerland some years back allegedly for stealing religious artifacts. I don't wish to say more on this as yet as I cannot verify everything except say that the information of him spending time in prison appears authentic.I really do urge people to be very wary as there now is increasing validity in avoiding him. It you would like to share any personal comments, please feel free to email me at: email@example.comVISHWANANDA UPDATE AND KRIYA YOGA (2):
Thanks to the recent anonymous comment (the question of godmen blog) on Siddhis or manifestation of power (as is more commonly understood). Attaining various siddhis is not uncommon on a yogic path and many people on a spiritual path begin to develop hints of awakening or power e.g psychic abilities or heightened intuition. These can very often be a stumbling block as the previous post emphasised as one may become attached to these powers rather than keeping the focus on God. Furthermore these powers may provide a huge temptation to abuse them as Vishwananda had done. Vishwananda is associated with Yogananda, both of whom have alot of siddhi power and apparently practiced Kriya yoga. This form of Kriya yoga should be taken with a pinch of salt based on the characters of the so-called gurus practicing it.For those interested in Kriya yoga, a more enlightened form can be explored via this website:http://www.kriyayoga.org/muruga.html
Although I do not feel the need to follow any specific yogic paths, I have explored the teaching given directly by Babaji to the original members of the above website, and it is far more in tune my own path and beliefs than anything that was written by Yogananada or any other similar gurus. Vishwananda cannot possibly be an exponent on Kriya yoga even though he may have technical knowledge on Kundalini yoga, practices etc. Kriya yoga as I understood it, is a holistic principle based on service to man, character, dharma and so on.
A extremely relevant webpage on the 'guru papers' by Kramer and Alstad. This absolutely applies to the likes of Vishwananda and others:http://web.ionsys.com/~remedy/Kramer%20and%20Alstad.htmUPDATE: (June 2006)
I did a bit of surfing recently and came across one of the SRF (Yogananda) chatboards only to find a priceless piece of feedback by Carter Phipps. Information is that Haidakhan Babaji who had materialised in human form and lived during the 1970's and part of the 80's spoke about Yogananda and his lineage of gurus. It is an interesting article but specifically relevant to Vishwananda's claim of being Yogananda is that Babaji had said that Yogananda had reincarnated as a woman who had been living from childhood in South Africa. On a personal level I find words spoken by Babaji directly to be more authentic than any other source. I'm sure most of you will find this very interesting and look forward to hearing any other views.http://www.wie.org/j21/babaji.asp?page=4
Vishwananda's obsession with being the reincarnation of Yogananda is responsible for his somewhat notorious rise to fame in the spiritual world. This quiet piece of information is given by Leonard Orr whom I had heard of before in connection with Haidakhan Babaji and I believed was a devotee - hence a credible source. Orr first met Babaji in 1978 (which coincidentally is the year that Vishwananda was born) and on this occassion Babaji mentioned that Yogananda had reincarnated in Africa and was about 12 years old then i.e 12 years before Vishwanda was born. As you will read from the artical Orr subsequently met the individual in question who turned out to be a woman.
I've had a great deal of concern about Vishwananda's fanciful claims and I have found information about him and from him lacking in substance. I am still waiting for further feedback on his time spent in prison but as stated before this seems to be authentic and hopefully this is something that the relevant organistions, authorities are keeping abreast of.
Another relevant website (in response to a recent comment on Swami Kriyananda or J. Donald Walters) is - http://www.ananda.org/inspiration/books/path/contents.html
I have read bits of this book in the past and it definately provides some interesting feedback on Yogananda and his other lives. On a personal note, I have not subscribed to Yogananda's teachings and also found him (along with other gurus) to be out of touch with the modern world of 'intellectual' spiritual development where not enough emphasis is placed on individual growth and too much emphasis is placed on adhering strictly to a guru. I firmly believe that a spiritual path is an individual journey and any master should demonstrate that respect.New Update (Sept 2006)As the growing number of sources regarding the truth of Vishwananda and the like is well on the horizon, I have some further information to consider. Notably the fact is that Vishwananda promotes himself as one who embraces all faiths, cultures and race groups. Apparently this is one of the many things where the truth is being stretched as he has proven to be not particularly in favour of those of African or black descent. He fully demonstrates his adherance to the affluent West. Other than the obvious reason of bringing this to attention, a more underlying reason is that Yogananda did have a group of 'African American) deciples as the following website proves:http://www.yoganandaafrican-american.com/I am not a personal supporter of Yogananda and I don't thing he was politically astute but I cannot accuse him of being prejudiced in the time that he lived. Hopefully for the supporters of someone like Vishwananda, they do have a balanced view of what it means to be all embracing.Another Update:
Although this page has been dedicated to comparing Vishwananda to Sai Baba whom he has been obviously copying, it is worth considering prominent Sai devotees as well who may have alot of influence.
A couple of examples are taken from reports again from those seeking help regarding Vishwananda and where it was not received.http://www.anahata.net/
The above website is a primary example of a prominent Sai member who also strongly follows Vishwananda. One wonders where Sathya Sai Baba stands on this issue? Will Sai devotees who also follow Vishwananda be able to help those who have had a bad experience with Visham - the answer is likely to be 'no'.
What about some Sai devotees who have been 'blessed' with miracles as well as objects for healing. What has been the response for dealing with Vishwananda - an array of conflicting answers but also hints of acceptance of Vishwananda's group!!
My personal thoughts are that such devotees may end up giving Sathya Sai Baba (whom I assume they see as their Sat Guru) a questionable reputation if support for Vishwananda is also evident. Hopefully they will consider the implications of links to Visham as well.
Information from blog site http://sathyasaiprophecies.blogspot.com/
provides some interesting details on a conversation made by Yogananda to one of his followers. As these pages question Vishwananda in particular alongside his claim to being Yogananada, it is worth questioning even further why Vishwananda detached from Sathya Sai Baba (although there still is debate on that) and why followers of Yogananda have generally not spoken in favour of backing Sai Baba to my knowlegde.
This is the content of the conversation from Yogananda to his follower available on link:
Shortly before he left his physical body behind, Paramahansa Yogananda was approached by one of his close American disciples, a woman.
“Master,” she said, “I know you are planning on leaving your body. You must take me with you! You are my God!”
“Nonsense,” replied Yogananda. “God is God; I am your Guru.”
“But Master, if you leave without me, I will commit suicide!”
“Enough of that foolishness! God Himself is now incarnate on Earth, in South India. His name is Sai Baba. When I leave you are going to live with Him.”
(His prediction proved correct; after Yogananda’s death, that devotee spent the rest of her life at Sai Baba’s ashram.)
Once again questions are raised about Vishwananda, his claim to being Yogananda and his relationship (or lack of) to Sai Baba.
http://was-yogananada-a-yogi.blogspot.com/2007/03/my-2-cents-worth-on-self-styled-swami.htmlPlease check this blog regularly as I will be feeding into it any incoming information as well as highlighting obvious problems in the spiritual path that he is trying to advocate which as one of the comments refered to the feeling of good darshan and unconditional love, also suggesting you can get this good energy but still indulge in bad actions. There is also reference to Vishwananda's claim to fame through past lives - also intend to look at the problems of this as well in more detail.