No one post could wrap up all the loose ends to our ongoing group exploration of sex scandals among the Enlightened. My contribution today aims to share one spiritual teacher’s perspective on a certain group of Enlightened men.
This cohort of world gurus uplifted millions, yet their personal reputations have been tarnished by scandal. Examples of these world teachers:
- Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of Transcendental Meditation (TM)
- Yogi Bhajan, founder of Kundalini Yoga
- Swami Satchitananda, founder of Integral Yoga and the Yogaville community
- Yogi Amrit Desai, originator of Kripalu Yoga,
- Sai Baba
Were they spiritually Enlightened?
Definitely, according to my subjective assessment with aura reading. (Okay, Rose Rosetree profiles all of these gurus as Enlightened except for Yogi Amrit Desai.)
Objective reality informs us that each one suffered scandals that shook their spiritual community, sometimes scandals that broke laws and outraged the public.
How could that happen to even one Enlightened guru? And so many, so very many. Perhaps you can think of even more than those named above. You might name some in a comment below. This article is a kind of compassionate, questioning, In Memorium.
Because in today’s post, I’m going to share nine thoughts that help me to understand how it could be possible for someone in Enlightenment to get caught up in sex scandals or other notorious behaviors.
1. Enlightenment is a state of consciousness
Just that. Enlightenment is personal, how an individual lives in relationship to God while still maintaining a human identity.
I have written elsewhere about Enlightenment Profiling, and the criteria that I employ as an aura reader to learn what is going on with a person’s state of consciousness.
Many a crude, arrogant person calls himself “Enlightened” and others have no way to disprove it, not until they learn Stage Three Energy Literacy, where so they do aura reading so well that they can go all the way to comparing chakra databanks.
Sure, you can do this directly, find out for yourself. Use techniques of Aura Reading Through All Your Senses(R) or Skilled Empath Merge or any other accurate form of aura reading. Pay attention to the consciousness, not any other publicity put out by the guru or the Movement. You can find out for sure.
Personally, I have read auras of all the Great Enlightened World Gurus mentioned above. Maharishi, Satchitananda, Bhajan. To my perception, definitely, each one had attained Enlightenment (except for Amrit Desai). Not an Osho-like pretense of sanctity but an authentic, magnificent of consciousness.
That state of consciousness being deeply personal, it does not show in behavior, clothing, or lifestyle. Among our blog community, look who has moved into Rose Rosetree’s personal Enlightenment Life List:
- Julie, delightfully shy, even among librarians; also outstandingly brainy, even among librarians
- Jill, who makes jewelry out of wool and walks around transforming people, bit by bit, through her darshan — most recently at gun shows
- Anita, a brilliant, highly respected psychiatrist at Yale
- Adam, healing through acupuncture, lighting up the entire continent of Australia
- Stephanie, a quirky creative textile artist with a laugh that could melt hearts of stone
- Pantelis, a humble and tender healer in New York
- Lara, about whose life I know pretty much nothing, except that I have read her aura from her photo and hello! She’s there… at the beginning of her journey within Householder Enlightenment.
- Stay tuned, blog readers, in 2013. A goodly number of my clients and students are oh-so-close to Enlightenment. Many will be added to the Enlightenment Life List this year, I suspect.
Each person’s singular version of Enlightenment is different, for these Blog-Buddies, for other Enlightened folks I know personally, for myself as I continue to learn during a protracted and delightful Orientation Phase of Householder Enlightenment.
Regardless of state of consciousness, of course, each human being is unique. That individual’s state of Enlightenment, though meeting certain general criteria, is still unique.
Enlightenment, for the Great Enlightened World Gurus, or for anyone? It’s a state of consciousness, not like wearing a badge that reads “Sheriff.” Or “I’ve got it made.”
2. Householder Enlightenment is different from Renunciate Enlightenment
The Great Enlightened World Gurus were all renunciates, swamis, yogis from a tradition that pretty much required celibacy. (Exception: Yogi Bhajan. He gave followers permission to marry. He, himself, turned out to have quite an extended definition of “marriage.”)
All these outstanding, charismatic teachers brought meditation and yoga from India to America and the world. (Exception: Sai Baba. The world came to him.) No exception, each of these Great Enlightened World Gurus taught householders.
Brave spiritual leaders, they made it possible for millions of householders to start growing spiritually with jet-propelled techniques for purifying consciousness.
They rocked our world, transformed consciousness almost beyond recognition… if you read auras and compare photographs of folks from the generation before the 1960’s, comparing that to folks living now, you’ll see what I mean. Even better, read auras of some who studied back in the day, and compare those photos to their photos now. (Of course, with full Energy Literacy, every photo is an aura photo.)
Granted, these gurus didn’t understand the concept of Householder Enlightenment versus Renunciate Enlightenment. This is what we at this blog, among others, are just starting to sort out.
To this teacher and writer, bringing Householder Enlightenment to the world is the leading edge of my work. My joy. My greatest curiosity. My deepest service.
For me, this was made possible only because of the great world guru who helped me, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. For others, like Shakta Kaur Khalsa, inspiration came from other great world gurus.
We spiritual teachers of today stand on their shoulders, just as those who come later will stand on ours.
3. Enlightenment does not confer omniscience
The Great Enlightened World Gurus didn’t understand the dangers of living a lifestyle in the mixed-up middle, part renunciate and part householder.
Furthermore, they didn’t necessarily understand that women were equal to men.
They didn’t know much about sex.
They hadn’t received coaching about how to deal with oversized fame, or thousands of groupies throwing themselves at them.
Often formed as renunciates in Asian ashrams, they were socially unprepared for Western culture, even less prepared for celebrity.
4. A reunciate needs either community or silence
What protects a renunciate, someone who aims for a life of simplicity and selflessness? Typically Indian monks either live in ashrams or they abide in seclusion.
Maharishi’s guru, Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, for instance, meditated in silence for years before being promoted to his official duties as Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math.
Instead of seclusion or sacred community, these Great Enlightened World Gurus had to form communities of their own.
Difficult, isn’t it, for anyone to create a spiritual organization and keep it pure? (Personally, I have no desire to form an elaborate organization, just for this reason.) Organizations corrupt. Organizations about The Absolute tend to corrupt absolutely.
5. Creating organizations, dealing with groupies, can corrupt
Corrupt the behavior of an Enlightened person, that is. Not necessarily corrupt the consciousness of Enlightenment.
Even Paramahansa Yogananda couldn’t escape corruption, at least when it came to his organization. Yogananda, a predecessor to the cohort of Great Enlightened World Gurus, came to America in 1920. Magnificent Yogananda maintained an exemplary life as a reunciate.
Astoundingly incorruptible, Yogananda’s body was exhumed 20 days after his physical death. It hadn’t begun to physically decay.
Pure though Yogananda was, consider. He was kind of famous. Never did he have to deal with the degree of fame (and temptation) of the Great Enlightened World Gurus in the age of Time Magazine and TV interviews and flower children and full-out Kali Yuga.
And although he remained utterly pure to the end of his incarnation, what has happened to Yogananda’s beloved organization, the Self-Realization Fellowship? Not so pretty.
Sadly, the organizations of every one of the Great Enlightened World Gurus could, by now, be considered a cult. Even though I doubt that a single one of the Great Enlightened World Gurus ever intended to form a cult.
Gotta love Earth School, right? It’s an incredibly tricky place, where evolutionary challenges face us all. No person or organization is exempt. No exception for anyone whomsoever. None.
All the more reason to develop and use energy literacy, BTW….
6. The gurus had to carry their burdens as big authority figures
A guru within Hinduism is trained to run an ashram of other renunciates. He has skills and memories and beliefs from that formation.
The courageous Great Enlightened World Gurus went into householder life in a completely different culture, with pressures added by fame. (Exception travel-wise, Sai Baba: But again, the whole world came to him. And brought money.)
Part of their spiritual formation was that, in matters of leadership, they had to be authorities. Not unlike what Catholics created for their pope at the top, priests at the local level. Even if there was no training in how to be a leader in a completely different society, with different cultures and expectations and the pressures of mega-money and celebrity.
Further, the burden of supreme, infallible Authority Figure was exacerbated by the requirement that The Path, that particular type of meditation etc., had to serve all needs.
Related personal example: While in TM, I remember how it was considered a sign of weakness, and disloyal, to consult a psychotherapist or a healer or any expert for personal development. Nobody outside The Movement was allowed.
And that was just Movement pressures exerted on little me, a humble “Governor of the Age of Enlightenment.”
Imagine what it was like for these gurus to handle their sexual temptations, inner conflicts, etc. They had to be/seem/feel like Almighty Authority Figures.
Is it so hard to imagine that they were ill equipped, humanly, to handle personal challenges? Or to even interpret those challenges rationally?
7. Authority figures know some things, not others
Let’s shift context just a little to make this point about knowledge.
On a regular basis, I have new clients who are “positive” that a particular cord of attachment is the source of their problems. Or they “know for sure” that a energy cord attaches to an “energy vampire.” Or that it will supposedly help with cord-cutting if they tell me all their theories about their cord.
As human beings, these clients are authority figures, experts on their own lives. However, the clients I’m thinking of (quite understandably) lack knowledge of Energy Literacy. With no formal professional training at Energy Spirituality, they have only the most cursory and incomplete appreciation for any of the skill sets involved in this form of aura healing, which emphasizes permanent removal of emotional and subconscious STUFF, then filling up with what wakes up the soul.
Totally understandably, these authorities on their human lives, not having that different realm of expertise, seriously misinterpret the STUFF they have. Luckily, I’m there as an expert on this (not everything, but this!) So I can help to sort things out and help them.
Another example about knowledge: In my own human life, there is plenty of scope for serving as my own authority figure.
Yet there are also many things where I am clueless. When I have a human problem, I can be extremely clueless and need help from other human beings. It doesn’t matter, in this context, that I experience God living as me.
Like that great saying, “Heaven helps those who help themselves.”
Therefore, depending on the human problem, I seek help from time to time from other experts. Sure, this still happens after my moving into Enlightenment. Because human challenges do not necessarily vanish due to a state of consciousness.
And lucky me that I use my New Age Consumer smarts, my spiritual discernment with Energy Literacy, to find experts that I can trust.
Woe to the healer or teacher who can go to nobody! Imagine how much harder — and, weirdly, more lonely — for a Great Enlightened World Guru presumed to be perfect in every way!
8. Enlightened World Gurus had to handle craziness from society as well as followers
In “Goddesses and Angels,” Doreen Virtue recounts how she had to receive loads of energy work to remove astral-level debris caused by folks who attacked her line of work, were jealous of her, etc.
It’s the same thing for celebrities in any field.
And it surely was just the same for each of the Great Enlightened World Gurus.
Did they receive in their training, as renunciates, how to handle the slings and arrows of outrageous celebrity attackers or groupies? Doubt it.
9. Ultimately, each of the Great Enlightened World Gurus taught two lessons
First lesson was the claim to fame, the gorgeous technology or way to serve needs of their millions of followers. Guess what additional lesson each of these gurus wound up teaching, and teaching in the sticky way that Earth School does best?
Those sex scandals have allowed Movement members to re-think the need to follow a guru or cult leader.
Years ago, I remember talking to my friend GLADYS, a devout follower of Yogi Bhajan. Until sex scandals rocked that Movement. “I’ve graduated,” GLADYS told me.
This was a few years after I had graduated from TM. It was fascinating, watching this refugee from a different cult… do her own exiting.
GLADYS took her entire wardrobe of white clothing and used RIT dye to make her clothing colorful.
Did a great job, too! (That really impressed me, as every time I have tried dying anything more complicated than an Easter egg, it turned out to be a messy, weird-looking, splotchy mess.)
GLADYS went on to change the Kundalini Yoga name that had been given her by Yogi Bhajan. She reclaimed a life.
I have known her, off and on, for decades. GLADYS has not just graduated from Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. She has graduated from cults.
Same with me.
Besides GLADYS and me, millions of souls have needed to learn that same lesson. Without the sex scandals, many of us couldn’t have learned it.
In the words of some of you wise Blog-Buddies (from recent comments at previous posts on sex scandals of Enlightened World Gurus):
In the long view, from a spiritual perspective, there were no victims.
Blog-Buddies, I cried writing these words. Offered here is no smart-alec quick judgment, either pro or con.
I’m writing as someone who once loved my guru more than life itself, loved him more than anyone I have ever loved in this lifetime. At least in that way of utter devotion that some of us have known… on a path of heartfelt renunciation and service given without measure. (Not to worry. Other, more human loves have enriched my life as well, especially since leaving TM. But oh, I do know the unique kind of pain involved in spiritual trust gone wrong.)
And I’m writing from the other side, too, in a way. I have given my adult life to being a spiritual teacher, and plan to do so while I still breathe and think clearly — unless given some other assignment. For me this topic is very personal.
The essence of my perspective on the sex scandals of Great Enlightened World Gurus? It comes down to this:
Awakening into truth and a direct access to the Divine, each of us can have Enlightenment. We can each attain Householder Enlightenment.
It CAN be pure. It can be very real.
As millions of us non-celebrity folks awaken into Householder Enlightenment, it will be “Our own fault.” Yet we will be following in the footsteps of this world’s Greathearted, Doing Their Very Best, So Human, Gurus.