By Durgadas, Ved Kovid, AYT
(c) Durgadas (Rodney) Lingham.
All Rights Reserved.
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Delusional states of grandeur and denial are the two main tenets of the New-Age systems of the modern day. Crowley, Danielou and others come to represent Tantra in the minds of the bourgeoisie classes, unable to find Brahmanas and others to avail themselves at their disposal as true percepters of tradition – or rather, heed their teachings and retain such in a traditional linear manner. These types are up there with so-called Sanskrit scholars such as Max Muller and Monier-Williams and likewise have as much credence to their works relative to the historical traditions of India and Brahmanism.
I have given much thought to my sadhakas over the years and have seen the rise and fall of several New-Age groups and systems. Sadly, most are on the rise, with people abandoning one group in favour of another more “popular” one – here having all to do with marketing above anything else.
One of the most insulting aspects to traditional faiths is westerners posing as Brahmanas, Shamans, Lamas, Zen Masters, Yogis and Jnanis who embrace such from a philosophical or yogic or New-Age background. They confuse even oriental egotistists coming to the west that “cash in” on pseudo-traditional views and reliance on their brown skin and long coconut-oiled hair compared to the genuine acharyas of tradition that seek to teach it in a wholesome manner and also wish to uphold the traditional aspects as opposed to infuse them with inconsistent and uncomplimentary elements as the westerner does.
If we compare the ancient Polynesian beliefs to the modern Hindu, both being continuous traditions, we do find correlations. Yet, if we compare the teachings of Theosophy, Aleister Crowley, Eckhart Tolle etc. to modern Hinduism or culturally appropriated aspects of Polynesian traditions to the modern Hindu, there are contrasts and are not quite the same.
For even an advanced yogi in India or Brahmana to compare himself to the likes of Sri Ramana Maharishi or even claim he is a Jnani (not a Jnana-Yogi) for example exudes narcissism – the exact opposite of what Yoga and true jnanis seek to negate!
Yet today, social media has become a place for stating that one has just done their tapas, that they are jnanis or black-magicians or warlocks and such. It appears strange to me; there were biographers of great yogis and sadhakas, but these are not the same publicising when one last flushed their toilet or chowed down on a vegan burger! Every now and then is fine, but constantly becomes an issue – especially stating one has just performed tapas and is reaching a heightened state!
Sadly, the ‘selfie’ of today’s world has NOTHING to do with the jnani’s realisation or the yogis‘s attainment of any persuasion from austerities to devotional or otherwise and should not be complimented by quotes insinuating one is equal to or has transcended the state of traditional masters. A Buddhist Lama doesn’t pose as a Brahmana and the reverse is also the same! Yet in the west, it appears that the ancient illumination of Grecian-inspired theater has caused many to delusionally play the role of the Hollywood actor, forgetting their own personal dharma and place in the world!
Swadhyaya or self-study that includes the mastery of the classics from a traditional viewpoint is also not about mastering the art of continuous streams of selfies to convince the masses one is better read than they actually are by posing with a book in hand. One’s references, citations / footnotes and even extensive sources / research bibliography which is often missing would clearly indicate this, as also ones own creative insights that are not simply borrowed from another, including non-standardised references and translations in the same piece, invalidating their writing and educational background in traditional learning over the Université de Phoenix style of pseudo-scholarship!
The behaviour of such people is akin to mockery of the ancient masters of these traditions and their deities – which the shastras of India clearly warn against, especially relative to somatic diseases as well as psychological disorders. It appears these history, philosophy and linguistic majors have clearly skipped these passages (if they’ve at all even read them over their concise western-authored pocketbooks, websites, wikipedia-style references and other such duplicitous sources).
So, why must we try and clone ourselves? Why can we not be individuals and why do we constantly seek to compare ourselves to ancient Indian masters?
The answer is obvious! It is about illegitimacy of our own knowledge, background and training. No European can really stand to be a Hindu, just as no Hindu can really pretend to convert to Christianity and embrace the entirety that is the European Christian tradition! There are deeply ingrained cultural factors at play that remain with one. If your dharma in this life was to be a Hindu yogi or a Hindu – you would be a Hindu from a very young age and not be bothered about New-Age and quasi-traditional systems such as Carribean African traditions, pseudo-Polynesian traditions, neo-Shamanism, neo-Paganism, modern-Druidism and other such incomplete and partially Christianised appropriated systems of modern fancy.
Yet such adherents echo like a bleating goat, their zeal for “traditionalism”. I guess they learnt such over science as they fell asleep and realised that PR skills and marketing techniques that appear to comprise the bulk of most culturally misappropriated “courses” today over anything else – even clinical training. Here, legitimacy cannot be fabricated, no matter how good ones marketing spiel may be and even if it compares with Amway!
Some western GPs, OMDs, TCM practitioners, Chiropractors and others wish to assert their superior knowledge over the Ayurveda graduates from India, both traditional systems of practitioners to holders of a BAMS. Such simply raises questions about their own deep-down inferiority complexes comprised of jealousy that asserts itself in their superiority complexes, always seeking to undermine others.
They generally have no clinical or practical training or formal education in Ayurveda of any substance, especially not clinical Panchakarma – which is even required outside the B.A.M.S system for many Ayurvedic vaidyas in India, what to speak of others! Yet today such graduates of allopathic systems and pseudo-systems of other disciplines, oriental and western think such can be supplemented by reading a few books and such while dismissing the majority of properly-trained individuals that have devoted their lifetimes to a proper training, education and study over “armchair knowledge” and semantic games!
Otherwise one is simply the blind leading the blind.
There are indeed shoddy B.A.M.S graduates and Vaidyas practicing Ayurveda, but there are is more imperfection and blatant quackery in the fields of New-Age and American Ayurveda practitioners that include OMDs, Chiropractors, Herbalists, Naturopaths and other similar types. There is here also a difference between deeper knowledge of Ayurveda and actual study, reflection, clinical instruction and practice or certification and training and fabrication of such or a New-Age adaptation of this.
While some such as Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Vasant Lad are sometimes said to be behind these New-Age incarnations of Ayurveda, their personal knowledge and background appears to contradict this, supersedes most of their students and is often down to what has historically suited the American psyche over the deeper application of true traditional Ayurveda, in addition to the legalities and background education of practicing such in the USA. Here again, popularity sometimes outweighs the zeal for tradition and indeed, it is also difficult, especially for American audiences to wish to even accept these tradition teachings, being so indoctrinated in superstitious nonsense – even from within their Christian denominations when compared to more orthodox forms as Catholicism and European Protestants! The American diet alone presents a good example here, as culture overall.
As for the mix-and-match systems, these seem quite unusual indeed. One cannot match systems of tinctures for example of European herbalism to the herbal wines and formulas in Ayurveda and related systems. Likewise, acupuncture and reflexology like chakra-balancing has no historical (original) foundation in orthodox systems in India and as in China when employed by lesser classes, was employed in the fields of blood-letting and for analgesic purposes alone, not for actually curing diseases.
These are no more historically valid and accepted as orthodox practices than western Vaishnavism (ISKCON), Osho’s movement, the TM Movement or the south Indian Ayyavazhi movements with their diversified and Abrahamic-influences are traditionally Hindu or the pan-African systems of the Caribbean to Blavatsky’s Theosophy or Crowley’s Tantra – all of which are adulterated systems. These occurred even thousands of years back as well – we see such in Zoroastrianism for example as a variant of the original Vedic system with its radical change in elements.
Variations in tradition, like pronunciations in Sanskrit have numerous defences at the hands of New-Age warriors. An example is the myth that ‘Sanskrit is an ancient and deceased language’. This popular myth allows westerners to butcher Sanskrit or argue the variations in Indian pronunciations which are not the same as their own mispronunciations. It is the typical Eurocentric excuse also used by Christians to validate their Biblical rendering by undermining the Jews. Similarly Brahmanism that retained Sanskrit and chanting of the Vedas remains active and a continuous oral tradition in India and has been patronised throughout history as also required for scholarly pursuits and commentaries.
Other deviations include chakra-balancing through gemstones, crystals and other weird and wonderful exotic practices by New-Agers that defies the Indian system of chakras as psychological states of consciousness and, when compared to physical organs and systems, are dealt with with practical methods such as dietary regimes, herbal formulas and even surgical intervention when required. Pranic-healing through the waving of hands and imparting of so-called prana of life-force is historically the employment of strategic regimes of pranayama or breathing practices, which is a science in itself and such were adapted as per environmental factors, diseases, age etc. as prescription of a diet or herb in Ayurveda – quite a contrast from the easy and simplistic Lemurian-style system employed by westerners dressing as Hindus! These practices mean nothing more relative to authenticity than one wearing a lab-coat and performing aromatherapy does a Licensed Medical Professional!
Delusional states arising from egotism and thereby denial are powerful psychological disturbances opposed to the yogic path of admittance of faults and seeking to transform one’s self from these flaws – which we all have and are all born with in the human form. There is no need to equate ourselves as Christ-figures, infallible in our own eyes and are unwilling to change or even accept boundaries, which simply complicates our own personal karma!