Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Superstition In The Indian Press

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

You've heard us inveigh time and again against superstition in spiritual culture. It's a great bugaboo around Guruphiliac HQ and the main reason this blog exists.

Well, it's going to be a long, hard slog before any inroads can be made into the trash heap of supernatural nonsense that overwhelms Vedic-based spiritual culture. Case in point: miracle-mongering in the mainstream Indian press:
A panditji walked past Ravidas, flaunting two huge bangles of gold... suddenly Ravidas heard a wailing and saw the same Panditji weeping and carried prostrate on a cot. His heavy bangles had slipped off into the Ganga and he was made ill with grief. ‘Is that all the reason for this wailing?’, the Guru asked , ‘Two trinkets of metal?’ The Guru dipped his hand in the wooden bowl (kathauta) containing the water that he used to soften up leather, and lo, produced the two lost bangles!
Cute, quaint and quite the load of malarkey.

Alas! Anyone up for helping us excavate the Himalayas with a garden trowel?

46 Comments:

At 2/07/2007 7:56 AM, Anonymous Betty said...

I read the article and it is not presented as anything other than a beautiful story. Are you also against telling children about Santa Claus? Why does it bother you so much that many people are still at a child level of development. Is an adult likely to believe in Santa Claus? No, but he or she may be able to carry in their hearts some of the wonder and inspiration most of us need in this world.

 
At 2/07/2007 8:52 AM, Blogger jody said...

Recounting quaint nonsense as a way to stay childlike is one thing, believing self-realization will make you a Santa Claus is entirely another.

 
At 2/07/2007 9:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I read the article and it is not presented as anything other than a beautiful story. Are you also against telling children about Santa Claus? Why does it bother you so much that many people are still at a child level of development. Is an adult likely to believe in Santa Claus? No, but he or she may be able to carry in their hearts some of the wonder and inspiration most of us need in this world."

All the adults world-wide and many children know that Santa is fiction. You're completely missing the point.

If you think "wonder and inspiration" disappear when fairy tales are treated as fairy tales, you're setting your expectations improperly and have no one but yourself to blame.

 
At 2/07/2007 10:08 AM, Blogger TheBlade said...

The thing is Betty, grown adults do believe that kind of stuff. And the stories are told by grown adults, to grown adults, as though they are literally true. You'd be surprised how many Western yogis swallowed Paramhansa Yogananda's similar stories, hook, line and sinker, as if they were literal truth.

Alas! Anyone up for helping us excavate the Himalayas with a garden trowel?


I'd prefer to be one of a handful of vampire-slayers, wooden stake in hand, outnumbered by vampires a million to one. The situation is no more hopeful than facing the Himalayas with a garden trowel, but it does have more romantic appeal. :)

 
At 2/07/2007 10:12 AM, Blogger jody said...

You'd be surprised how many Western yogis swallowed Paramhansa Yogananda's similar stories

That's why I find Yogananda to be the Walmart version of Vivekananda.

 
At 2/07/2007 10:39 AM, Anonymous durga said...

blade said: I'd prefer to be one of a handful of vampire-slayers, wooden stake in hand, outnumbered by vampires a million to one.

So you're into vampires Blade? You must have rented Nadja by now.

btw, I think I will make you my guru. I am now doing the ayp deep meditation you recommended. It better work else I will demote you and go into the vampire slaying business.

 
At 2/07/2007 11:07 AM, Blogger semblance s and orchestra said...

Betty is right !
The self realized sanyasi and santa claus are similar in more than one way. They grow beard and wear strange colored robes and have a big belly. Both now have become a joke and everyone knows that they are both myth and stopped wasting their time except the esteemed guruphiliac team and the hopeless hindustan times.

The self realization idea itself is a joke because there never really is any realization or enightenment per se.
They exist only for fools who beleived that they are bound.

Betty is right about santa clause thing because the self realized sadhu has become more comical than the santa !

 
At 2/07/2007 11:17 AM, Anonymous Betty said...

Some whining anonymous said, "If you think "wonder and inspiration" disappear when fairy tales are treated as fairy tales, you're setting your expectations improperly and have no one but yourself to blame."

If you think I do the above you are as dull witted as I assume you are. You guys,including Jody and Blunt Blade go on repeating the fairytale that because someone believes in miracles, they will be held back from self realization. There is no proof of that what so ever. It is just a dogma you hold firmly to because it makes you feel superior to others.

Nothing you say or do here will change a person who needs to believe in miracles, like a fundementalist christian believes in Jesus Christ. When they don't need that belief anymore, it drops off naturally like the snot off Blade's nose.

You fellows have false faith in your own minds. You as babyish as someone who might read this story in a newspaper and think they will be saved by it.

 
At 2/07/2007 11:19 AM, Anonymous Betty said...

semblance s and orchestra said...
Betty is right !


I resent that someone as full of shit as you are would agree with me.

Bite me semblance!

 
At 2/07/2007 12:14 PM, Anonymous durga said...

semblance said: The self realization idea itself is a joke because there never really is any realization or enightenment per se.

Semblance, do you mean to say there is no self realization in the Hindu guru tradition because the system is no longer valid and has become a cliche, or you don't believe in the idea at all?
I think maybe a middle ground should be considered between that of the idealized enlightened guru and no attempt at all to transcend concepts of the self, and so remain stuck in addictions and unconscious behavior.

 
At 2/07/2007 3:07 PM, Blogger semblance s and orchestra said...

DURGA said >>>> I think maybe a middle ground should be considered between that of the idealized enlightened guru and no attempt at all to transcend concepts of the self, and so remain stuck in addictions and unconscious behavior.

~~~~~ Theres just a fineline between the idolized and the idealized. The idealized can become idolized someday. The day when someone dare tell that there aint a thing called the enlightenment and that you and I are already free is when I think we have seen the real Guru. The true awakening is not just waking up from ignorance of the self but it is waking up from the dream that you are bound.

Nirvana shatkam (6 verses of awakening) by the Adi Shankara
(8th century) perhaps touch upon this more bluntly besides the upanishads.'Na Bandaha Na Mokshaha' (no bondange (hence) No Freedom too.

But then such a Guru would wake you up from the dream to tell you that its just a dream so dont sweat can be turn off and will soon become jobless. But the guru who will keep you buried in the play of your frivolous mind
certianly will be a santa 'class' and will appear inevitable.

The middle path always is ambiguous and can mislead. There aint two ways about the singular Truth. Either you are dreamin' or awake.

The true master must liberate the disciple from his own illusory self and (eventually liberate him from the master himself)..

 
At 2/07/2007 3:40 PM, Anonymous durga said...

Semblance said: But then such a Guru would wake you up from the dream to tell you that its just a dream so dont sweat can be turn off and will soon become jobless. But the guru who will keep you buried in the play of your frivolous mind
certianly will be a santa 'class' and will appear inevitable."

Chuck, help me out here. I am trapped in my illusory mind and don't understand.

 
At 2/07/2007 4:01 PM, Blogger semblance s and orchestra said...

I resent that someone as full of shit as you are would agree with me.

~~~ Yup ! full of shit and yet to hit the rOOf !!!

 
At 2/07/2007 6:16 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

> Nothing you say or do here will
> change a person who needs to
> believe in miracles

So you're saying that all teaching in the world is a waste of time and ought to be stopped? Or are you saying that children may be taught, but once we're adults, all attempts at education are foolish?

Stuart
http://home.comcast.net/~sresnick2/socalled.htm

 
At 2/08/2007 4:22 AM, Blogger semblance s and orchestra said...

Durga said>>>>Chuck, help me out here. I am trapped in my illusory mind and don't understand.

~~~~ Lo Durga ! Wrong choice my dear wise One ! Asking chuck for help is a clear sign of illusions.

Chuck is already burdened with his poor auto part sales, despite his own illusions of being a best seller of the stolen parts. His beleif that he is an offshoot of some horse, makes him lift the tail of every horse in texas and search for his ancestory since he was born.

He is the best help around but its his day off from guruphiliac because reports told us that he was seen busy trying to push a stolen chevrolet silverado crew cab to a redneck in his small town called dung box.

Check with jody. He can come out with some ammunition perhaps from his HQ.

 
At 2/08/2007 8:05 AM, Anonymous Betty said...

Stuart said...

So you're saying that all teaching in the world is a waste of time and ought to be stopped...or all attempts at education are foolish?

No, I'm saying your head is up your ass. The teaching represented by these kinds of stories is appropriate for all the people who want to believe them. When it's no longer meets their needs, they move on to become assholes like you, Blade, and Jody, guys who get their own needs met in solitude, so to speak...

 
At 2/08/2007 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on Jody! It was not a news. It was a story on a 16th cenrury saint in some spiritual column of the newspapaer. I hope you understand the difference!

 
At 2/08/2007 10:48 AM, Blogger jody said...

I hope you understand the difference!

Of course I do. However, even though he uses the word "legend", the author is still reporting on a miracle as if it actually happened. While we'll never know for sure either way, it's clearly more acceptable to believe these sort of things in the Indian press than the European or American press.

 
At 2/08/2007 1:23 PM, Blogger TheBlade said...

Betty said:
The teaching represented by these kinds of stories is appropriate for all the people who want to believe them. When it's no longer meets their needs, they move on to become assholes like you, Blade, and Jody...


There is some truth to that. Things are never black-and-white. Childish leelas have their place in the universe: so do the people who expose the childish leelas. And maybe there is a place too for people who expose the people who expose the childish leelas. :)

 
At 2/08/2007 1:53 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

Betty said...
> The teaching represented by
> these kinds of stories is
> appropriate for all the people
> who want to believe them. When
> it's no longer meets their
> needs, they move on to become
> assholes like you, Blade, and
> Jody

But where are *you* in this process? Do miracle stories meet your own needs? If they no longer meet your needs, then (by your definition above) you've become an asshole. In that case, you ought to include "betty" in your list of assholes.

If your needs *are* being met by miracle stories, then what are you complaining about?

Stuart
http://home.comcast.net/~sresnick2/socalled.htm

 
At 2/08/2007 3:58 PM, Anonymous durga said...

Betty...I did not think for so long that you could be an asshole too. It suddenly appears to me that Im surrounded by all kinds of assholes.

 
At 2/08/2007 4:16 PM, Anonymous Betty said...

Stuart said...

If they no longer meet your needs, then (by your definition above) you've become an asshole. In that case, you ought to include "betty" in your list of assholes.



Stuart,

You are correct that I am also an asshole. As you are also admitting to being an asshole, I take a dignified squat beside you, Jody, Blade, and all others, excluding only semblance and Chuck. People have a right to draw nourishment and inspiration where they find it, as I have from time to time here with you all. Blade believes in Science and technology like right wing christians believe in bible prophecy, everywhere seeing signs and wonders. You and Jody believe in your own minds’ ability to know what is true and false, all the while saying that the mind and the world are unreal. How can what is limited or unreal determine what is real? At least you are right about one thing, all of us are assholes...

 
At 2/08/2007 4:17 PM, Anonymous Betty said...

durga said...
Betty...I did not think for so long that you could be an asshole too.

Bite me, Durga!

 
At 2/08/2007 5:16 PM, Anonymous durga ma said...

durga did NOT say: Betty...I did not think for so long that you could be an asshole too. It suddenly appears to me that Im surrounded by all kinds of assholes.

Wow, 1st time I've had someone speak in my name. Whoever it is, that is lame. Speak for yourself.

 
At 2/08/2007 5:58 PM, Blogger TheBlade said...

Betty said:
Blade believes in Science and technology like right wing christians believe in bible prophecy, everywhere seeing signs and wonders.


Alas, my faith is nowhere near so strong --- and my reason, fortunately much stronger. My 'belief' in Science is qualified -- largely based on what it has done and shall actually do. If you see it as a cure-all, speak for yourself.

 
At 2/08/2007 5:59 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

Betty said...
> You and Jody believe in your own
> minds’ ability to know what is
> true and false

You *speculate* about what Jody and I believe, and then state it as if it were fact. Unless you're a mind-reader, you're only guessing at what others believe.

The failure to distinguish between experience and speculation leads to lots of confusion.

Stuart
http://home.comcast.net/~sresnick2/socalled.htm

 
At 2/08/2007 7:39 PM, Anonymous Betty said...

Stuart said...
You *speculate* about what Jody and I believe, and then state it as if it were fact. Unless you're a mind-reader, you're only guessing at what others believe.


If I do I'm certainly not alone in my ass-umptions. You, Jody, and blade make plenty of them yourselves.

PS Durga, that really didn't sound like you and now that I know you haven't become as crude as I am, I un-bite you.

 
At 2/08/2007 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm right! No! I'm right! You are all full of Sh*t! No!! You are!! Bite me! etc.

Sounds like a bunch of 10 year olds.

 
At 2/08/2007 8:18 PM, Blogger jody said...

Sounds like a bunch of 10 year olds.

I guess that makes you the stern and joyless mommy or daddy.

 
At 2/09/2007 4:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I hope you understand the difference!"

Jody said:

Of course I do. However, even though he uses the word "legend", the author is still reporting on a miracle as if it actually happened. While we'll never know for sure either way, it's clearly more acceptable to believe these sort of things in the Indian press than the European or American press.

Jody. How long it has been that you stopped reading European or American newspapaers?

Pick any damn newspaper at Christmas time and read the spiritual section. And tell me if you don't find a story about how someone was born from a virgin, how he miraculously cured people, how he became alive after death etc. etc. Why does it sound any less superstitious to you?

 
At 2/09/2007 7:40 AM, Anonymous durga said...

blade said: My 'belief' in Science is qualified -- largely based on what it has done and shall actually do.

Depending on who the political administration is that controls the funding. Without that, your cherished science won't go anywhere except into the dev't of better smart bombs.

 
At 2/09/2007 7:42 AM, Anonymous durga said...

betty said: I un-bite you.

Thank you Betty. I will now go about my day in a little bit less pain.

 
At 2/09/2007 8:43 AM, Blogger jody said...

Why does it sound any less superstitious to you?

Touché. You are quite correct. Both the Western and Indian press publish nonsense about supernatural powers.

 
At 2/09/2007 9:50 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a bunch of 10 year olds.

.........................

The truth is that you are absolutely correct. So in the names of semblance s and orchestra, betty, stuart and blade, I offer apologies.

 
At 2/09/2007 10:49 AM, Blogger TheBlade said...

Durga said:
Depending on who the political administration is that controls the funding. Without that, your cherished science won't go anywhere except into the dev't of better smart bombs.



Durga, you speak of 'your [my] cherished Science'. I cherish many of the things Science has brought -- so does practically everyone, including those who hate Science. That I know and recognize that I cherish them -- in contrast with the Science-haters who do not -- is because I have a kind of insight and self-reflection that the Science-haters do not. That's all it takes not to be a Science-hater, just insight and self-reflection on this particular issue. This does not make me the Science-worshipper some people want me to be.

A Science-hater wants you to be either a Science-hater (so that you agree with them) or a Science-worshipper, so that you are easy to win arguments against.

I'm not going to take up that role however. If someone wants to argue with Science-worshippers, they should find one.

 
At 2/09/2007 11:40 AM, Anonymous Mule Puky said...

Blade said, "A Science-hater wants you to be either a Science-hater (so that you agree with them) or a Science-worshipper, so that you are easy to win arguments against."

You still sound like a fundementalist preacher. He that is not for me is agin' me. I am not a science hater by a long shot. You are very quick to tell other people what they are and are not.

 
At 2/09/2007 2:12 PM, Blogger TheBlade said...

Mule Puky said:
You still sound like a fundementalist preacher. He that is not for me is agin' me. I am not a science hater by a long shot. You are very quick to tell other people what they are and are not.


That's pretty funny Mule Puky. I didn't say anything about you at all up there. Then you say I sound like a fundamentalist preacher. Then you tell me I am very quick to tell other people what they are and what they are not.

I hope you are intending the irony. LOL. :)

 
At 2/09/2007 4:48 PM, Anonymous durga said...

Blade said: That I know and recognize that I cherish them -- in contrast with the Science-haters who do not --

maybe I should not have used the word "cherish" implying that I am anti-science. I was just a little antagonized by your remark about the book I had mentioned. I am neutral about science. it's not an issue for me. I am just against some of the ways it is being put to use, as I've already said.
If you want to see a nasty argument between a science dogmatist and some normal level headed rationalists, go to my virtual friend's blog:
http://cosmicconnie.blogspot.com/ under the entry "you're shattering my paradigms" and click on the comments. That's a fanatic for you. He got so infuriated about the argument in favor of acupuncture that he wrote his own blog entry against her and her beau, which fueled additional blog entries on their part in self defense. I hope you don't ever become like that , Blade.
That's a humorous blog. Connie is a good writer.

 
At 2/10/2007 4:32 PM, Anonymous Mule Puky said...

TheBlade said...

That's pretty funny Mule Puky. I didn't say anything about you at all up there.


You had already said plenty previously about me. You jumped on my statements like a Hare Krishna would on an Advaitan.

You talked about science and technology like an old time Catholic would his Pope and his Church. Those are the facts, Blade.

 
At 2/11/2007 9:41 AM, Blogger TheBlade said...

>> Mule Puky said:
You jumped on my statements like a Hare Krishna would on an Advaitan.

Yes, I jumped on your statements -- hard. You can describe it any way you want, but probably the most apt is of me jumping on a diatribe against Science. The record's back there -- you went on a spin, Puky, lashing out against Science and Technology like a crazy man.

This doesn't make me a sort of scientific fundamentalist or anything. Just a person who's going to pull you for making such hateful, exaggerated distribes.

Why not close that book -- recognize what you did and move on. Chalk it up to a rant you went on and got pulled on it. No big deal. Or, if you think I'm making no sense, decide that I'm not making sense and move on. Again, no big deal. Either way, I'm not talking about you up there, but rather about science-haters.

 
At 2/11/2007 9:49 AM, Blogger TheBlade said...

P.S. Mule Puky, I hold nothing against you and I don't want to fight. I said nothing permanent about you, ever. You went on a rant, and I went on a counter-rant. To me, there's no basis there for continued acrimony.

 
At 2/11/2007 9:56 AM, Blogger TheBlade said...

>>> Durga said:
I hope you don't ever become like that , Blade.

I checked out Connie's site. Funny indeed. Thanks.

 
At 2/11/2007 2:00 PM, Anonymous durga said...

Blade, I left a message for you back there in the brother in arms post. Wonderin' if you or Jody have read any of those guys.

 
At 2/11/2007 9:40 PM, Anonymous Mule Puky said...

TheBlade said...
Mule Puky, I hold nothing against you and I don't want to fight.

Alright then, Blade. The record is clear to both of us. I have often appreciated your postings. I am happy to make up and play nice again.

 
At 2/12/2007 10:41 AM, Blogger TheBlade said...

>>> Durga said:
Blade, I left a message for you back there in the brother in arms post.

I saw that Durga. Unfortunately, I haven't heard of any of them. That doesn't say anything bad about them -- I'm just not much of a scholar.

 
At 2/12/2007 2:55 PM, Blogger TheBlade said...

>>> Mule Puky said: I am happy to make up and play nice again.

I'm OK, you're OK :) -- those gurus are bastards/not -- the way guruphiliac was meant to be...

 

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