Disrespect of Tradition

By Durgadas

(c) Durgadas (Rodney) Lingham.
All Rights Reserved.

 

Background:

I have mentioned about books and other aspects of Hindu culture that are sacred, as also Gurus as well. We must honour the physical, which means acting humble and not trying to go more beyond our human psychological complex.

That said, I constantly see egotism arise to the point where it absolves itself in an introverted manner, disrespecting and disregarding tradition. Here, those coming into native faiths violate the native traditions as their Christian masters did before them.

Acceptance and admittance of transgressions are a sign of a true sadhaka. Egotism and ignoring these and pretending that one is one a path of evil and destruction and honours these violations as part of “breaking the cycle” of birth and death, is not the same thing. It is a deeper and darker shade of one’s psychological complex dealt with in Ayurveda as a lesser personality and also personality-disorder that requires actual medical treatment.

Many of these issues commence in youth, when one has no real established boundaries by parents. Here I mean the types of parents that shouldn’t really be parents at all as they give their children too much freedom and false senses of security and encouragement, which fails to set boundaries in later life. Yes, I am talking predominantly about the lower-socioeconomic and beneficiaries here, though this is not always the case. The upper middle-class “spoiled brat” syndrome is also well-known to us.

When this comes into native traditions, it creates a problem. First, these types don’t accept authority of others, but will constantly be seen to defend tradition from other angles, usually quoting a few well-known Indian Yogis but mainly western authors due to their subliminal Eurocentricism that has not yet been addressed. They will also seek to undermine those more qualified than them (as certain Ayurvedic Practitioners and others do graduates of the B.A.M.S system of India and others as I’ve noted elsewhere).

Secondly, they will always see themselves as being superior and even when violating traditional taboos, will explain it away by “taboo-breaking” Vamamarga practices or employ other excuses, but usually these fail to native people as a hypnotist fails with a stronger mind! This is especially with regards to desecrating books through scribbling, writing in them and having them around animals to comparing themselves to traditional Yogis and Rishis or avatars and even creating the perfect pose and picture (today’s “selfies”) to grandstand to the masses “How Great Thou Art“.

It does get beyond a joke. Such sadhakas who, although initially promising, should be stripped of their positions within traditions of such behaviour occurs and is ignored constantly. If the traditions were not what they were seeking, then they should leave and start having a deeper look at themselves and how other members of tradition behave and the lengths and sacrifices they personally make to allow others into these folds.

If respect is not there and there is a hodgepodge of incompatible beliefs, then one should choose the best system and go with it – not simply try and “reinvent” their own system (New-Age style) based on a hybridisation of various philosophical systems or even medical ones and then launch an attack on other New-Age systems as if again to distance one’s self through denial! Such becomes quite apparent to the masses eventually what one is trying to do, which is usually that one is less-informed and has constantly plagiarised others – especially if their correlations have no creative insight or new context / additions and if one has finished one or a few books as they approach middle-age alone!

In many systems, various sadhakas have taken over from higher teachers that have ruined tradition. While the tradition of Paramhansa Yogananda’s Kriya-Yoga was a diminutive system, the majority disregarded and distorted it. Swami Kriyananda worked tirelessly to help rebuild it. Swami Muktananda also left two sibling-successors to take over, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda and Nityananda – which wasn’t perhaps the best move.

In my own traditions, I wish to establish more discipline and also respect for tradition so that there is a reduction in such occurring. This may mean however sometimes that even those of a Brahmin or more spiritual backgrounds that understand the need for traditional lineages and teachings becomes successors to continue this, compared to ordinary sadhakas or those who have proven difficult and have constantly violated tradition, yet live in the shadows of their own denial due to having not addressed, but accelerated their ahankara or egotism.

Much here arises from systems that have been blended and mixed to the point there are no definitive lines between one actual traditional system and another pseudo-traditional system one adheres to, which culminates in a quasi-traditional cross-contaminated hybrid model of confusion and auto-contradictions, which we shall examine.

The Dangers of Mixing Systems:

The blending of different systems is not always conducive to the overall goal traditionally, which such, as with comparative philosophy may be useful in western academic circles, but as also with the historical foundation of such, it has no place when superimposed upon native traditions and philosophical nuances.

As an example, in the systems of Homeopathy and Naturopathy as even the modern implementation of pseudo-healing methods, to interpolate elements from Ayurveda such as the doshas, daily and seasonal routines for some factors that otherwise contradict Ayurveda on other levels, does not always work. This ‘selective supplementation‘ to validate one system simply reveals the system’s own incapacitation.

Some practitioners of acupuncture for example needle marma points or employ exotic TCM methods to “stimulate” them, when such was never required or actually used historically and was confined to highly-specialised technicians of martial arts schools for manipulation, which still did not rely on these modern mixed methods. Secondly, some may here also employ Ayurvedic elements in TCM points and acupuncture, but also also contradicts the entire system as also violates the basic tenets of Ayurveda.

Even relative to placebos [1], taking acupuncture as an example, we need to look at a few points:

1. Placebo-based systems as also analgesic uses and such can be compared short-term to CBT, hypnotherapy and such as well which have had short-term positive but long-term negative effects that Ayurveda itself (if one wishes to practice is traditionally), assesses.

2. If one employs dinacharya and ritucharya to validate acupuncture over others, yet mixing system’s doesn’t work here. Especially also as needling is contraindicated in Ayurveda as the skin is related to vata as is the nervous system and would see it as deranging vata further long-term thus throwing other doshas out.

Of this alone, some salient sub-points arise:

(a) If we argue that modern needles are so fine they cause no harm, then we contradict the entire basis historically of 

(b) That no fine needles such as today existed in ancient China, thus causing greater damage to the localised areas (based on historical methods) and also questions the modern-practice as an “ancient” one at all or if so, that the modern is admitted as a New-Age invention and thus requires no Ayurvedic interpolations that work against it.

(c) As with [1] it does not reveal any Ayurvedic long-term analysis one to two decades later in relation to diseases arising or other side-effects rather than initial effects (which places it in the same category as western biochemical drugs on the human system.

(d) Such studies would contradict both TCM and Ayurveda on the basis that not all participants are utilising or have been examined as per prakriti and vikriti and as most people have vata disorders these days, especially as a result of lifestyle and diet etc., such studies also further would reveal a heightened sensitivity relative to what Ayurveda would see as “placebo effects” or even typical power of suggestion relative to healing and pain relief as common with many such techniques.

 
Finally, here we would call into question relative [to (d) above] that assessing the manasika prakriti or mental constitution and state of the individual, which almost always involves a vata excess, that such would in most people create a hypersensitive response that could again be seen relative to  the effects of hypnotherapy or placebos in general.

From an Ayurvedic perspective here also, individuals from the same State or Nation due to various regional / geographic influences upon the skin and psyche due to elemental factors (climate) and such would play a role compared to those of another region; in addition as noted the prakriti and vikriti groups would have to be clearly defined to arrive at a traditional conclusion based on Ayurveda.

Thus, these points often raised to claim the validity of these systems eventually contradicts the exact traditional nature that they seek to uphold and places their system somewhere between New-Age quackery and modern science!

Relative to other philosophical systems, those which have been already pasteurised and labelled as “traditional” such as western Buddhist traditions or even the Chinese Mahayana compared to the original Theravada or even Indian Mahayana traditions will show non-origin concepts, just as the modern Catholicism of Mexico and related areas have admixtures of both pre-Spanish and Catholic elements and cannot be considered to be original and authentic or traditional in that sense – any more than modern Vaishnava movements from Sikhism to ISKCON represent traditional vedanta and Hinduism!

Blending these tainted systems in with neo-Tantra, neo-Vedanta and then calling such systems “traditional” and charging others with New-Age tampering of these, is itself the pot calling the kettle black!

Here, tradition becomes disregarded as one then contradicts native teachers, Gurus, teachings and traditions by interpolating outside elements out of both context and originality in an attempt to justify one’s own concocted system or quasi-dharma, much in the same way that original Christianity was a queer mixture of various elements and influences from Judaism, esoteric Judaism, Mithraism and Zoroastrians as also Buddhist teachings and possibly vedantic influences from visiting Gurus of India to Caesar in Athens who self-immolated themselves!

A true return to tradition should be that. If one wishes to blend systems, one should at least here have the decency to not decree their stance as puritan traditionalism, nor seek to be endorsed or associated with traditional teachers doing their best to uphold these exact distortions against the test of time and tides of change – simply to excuse their own violations, actions and disrespect for tradition on many levels!

The Root-Cause and Way Forward:

Many people are social and spiritual leeches, wishing to leech from others their knowledge so that they may repeat it to gain a public following or appear more informed in a lecture or others. Such people are often clones or personality chameleons and have no real clear-cut or defined personality of their own. Like a monkey swinging from branches, they may move from teacher to teacher as social vampires.

People want to be authors and yogis before doing tapas or austerities and sadhana or spiritual practices. They want to be Olympic swimmers before first learning how to swim – or even having the dharma of a swimmer, simply bewitched by the magical world of mayaic (illusory) allures that persuade one against their dharmas – sometimes even by familial influences or others, conscious and subconscious.  People wish to fabricate their own importance rather than following their antaradharma or inner-dharma in any one given birth, seeking to usurp the rights of others.

A good example is that one may have been Max Muller or even a [western] Indologist to even an insignificant follower of Yogananda in a past life that comes to embrace Ayurveda and Vedic culture that way as an American in the next birth – even from a younger age. But it may not still reveal any creative yogic samskaras (yogic traits created by actions past and present that shape the current incarnation) by way of insights as people confuse it for!

The thing is to be content (develop santosha) with where one is, in any one given lifetime. One needs not to compare one’s self with another, nor wisdom or even try and gain or attain such a state. Yet, many try and fail, as the human vital-emotional is a fragile complex and always reverts back to the original, as occurs with New-Age faiths and even those who may initially [appear] promising, but then fail again or remodel their samskaras in vain attempts to elevate the ahankara (ego), rather than to attempt to negate it.

 

Footnotes:

http://www.csicop.org/si/show/the_poor_misunderstood_placebo

 

 

 

 

 

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