Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Guru In The Ghetto

File under: The Siddhi of PR

Today's LA Times brings news of Sri Natha Devi Premananda, whose ashram sits right underneath the final approach for LAX airport in an area known more as the birthplace of gangsta' rap than as a place of peace and enlightenment.

Premananda got her start as New Orleans transplant Claretta Cayette. After reading that fantasy fable known as Autobiography of a Yogi, she set sail on her spiritual quest, which took her all over the world to sit "at the feet of enlightened masters".

And wouldn't you know it, a "voice" told her to go home and make a place for visiting masters in America. This was after many "visitations" by that standard pretense for all things miraculous in Yoga, the mythological figure Mahavatar Babaji. She even claims visitations by that flimflamming, kid-diddling avatard, Sai Baba:
Not only was I receiving blessings and instructions from my Beloved Babaji, but also from Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who would occasionally make his presence known to me in a very conscious way. I was first introduced to him in November 1981. During my nightly prayers I heard a sweet voice that said: “Get up and turn on the TV. I did as I was told, and the moment the picture came up I saw a man walking very gracefully across the screen. He was dressed in a long white robe and he materialized a beautiful white lotus flower in his right hand. Each of the petals was moving as he proceeded to walk in that graceful manner. Then, suddenly, the announcer’s voice explained that this was Sri Sathya Sai Baba of India, the modern Christ.
While we think it's grand to have a meditation center where it's certainly really needed – in a place rife with gang warfare – we can't help but be completely dismayed by the myth-making aspects of Premananda's story. Perfect for an up and coming guru seeking a bit more funding for her seemingly worthy satsang, but also a source of the standard occluding mind-fucking that occurs around these type of situations.

That said, we wish Sri Premananda much luck with her endeavors to bring peace to the war-strewn streets of Los Angeles, but also pray that she learns to keep it real above all else. Until that happens, Premananda's little island of peace in the ghetto will remain a stinking cesspool of occluding nonsense about self-realization. It may be one little step forward for a bit of calm in a storm, but five giant leaps backward for any true spiritual understanding.

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3 Comments:

At 8/25/2007 1:55 PM, Blogger A Phoenix said...

It has been my experience that there are individuals who are deluded into believing that they are "larger than life" in order to reconcile their own feelings of smallness, helplessness and hopelessness and seek to over-compensate by "puffing themselves up" as an antidote to their ordinariness. Much of these feelings may be triggered by the brutal world that pummels sensitivities. Prophet and Guru "wannabes".
Protect us from them all!
Coming from a certain place, it is certainly understandable.
I have known Shri Natha Devi Premananda for several years, and I am the (embarassed and rueful) artist of the portrait of "The Queen of Peace" of the desert of Joshua Tree, which she reveres and has made an icon of worship of.
There is a DVD of the painting (my painting) out there that shows "The Mother" supernaturally speaking for 28 minutes.
It certainly is impressive to the impressionable.
This really pisses me off and I consider it an incredible travesty and sacriledge.
The prevailing belief system out there is that Mary was ascended to heaven after her death and is now installed as a power.
This is a completely false teaching and belief system.
Only Jesus ascended to heaven. Period.
Furthermore, in the Bible, it is against the second commandment to make graven images or worship at their feet with incense, candles, ablutions, etc.
Since no good deed goes unpunished, this commission has stripped me of everything in this life, and I am paying the price for my betrayal.
I learned the hard way.
I was tricked. I wish I never rendered this painting, truth be known. But I acknowledge that it was my ego that entrapped me into this folly.
I actually believed I was doing Christ's work and my little self felt much compensated by this.
While Shri Natha Devi has done many good works for the community and really does mean well, I feel she is misguided, and I wish no part of the abomination I got involved with.
God says that, "it is not through works alone that we are saved and eligible to partake of the kingdom of heaven."
It is only through God's grace and the adherence to His commandments.
Since she is not sure whether she is a Roman Catholic Christian, Buddhist, Hindu or Native American, she has created an amalgam of all of them.
This is not the teaching of the Bible. In fact, it is strongly warned against.
I feel deeply she is mislead and penetrated by forces that serve to gratify her egoic needs.
Perhaps by very dark forces that have this world in a choke-hold, as have been prophesized.
This is certainly illustrated in the Book of Revelation.
It is said that the devil has a toolbox for every taste and weakness.
We are certainly in the "end-times" as demonstrated by the increasing iniquity and savagery by humans degenerating into animals as sub-species abusing one another.
I realize I am exposing my true feelings about this, and I make no apologies, having given it some great consideration.
It's a terrific marketing ploy to raise money and ensnare those who don't know the truth.
It is said,"If you don't know where you stand, you'll fall for anything."
I sure did.
I wish to God I didn't.
Yasmina
PS- By the way, I would not be surprised, in the least, that this unpopular and contrary rebuttal will not make it to post. That fact will only underscore that there is a campaign of disinformation.
Oh well...

 
At 8/26/2007 1:06 AM, Blogger A Phoenix said...

As a further aside...
It never ceases to amaze me: this seduction of hierarchical dominance and rules of protocol that these so-called "gurus" demand and demonstrate to instruct their followers to show respect for their supposed station.
'AS IF' they are worthy of such lauditory consideration because they are legends in their own minds.
Even the angels in the Bible were adament about not having anyone bow down to them.
I have been on a spiritual path for most of my life, and 'I have seen everything' you can ever imagine.
I, also, have known many 'supposed' masters and have witnessed apparent 'miracles'.
It's all posturing.
I got naively suckered into various belief systems because I wanted to believe someone outside myself had the answers to the pressing questions about life's purpose that I wrongly felt I wasn't capable of arriving at on my own.
For argument's sake: say there are 6 billion people on this planet who come into this world alone, and who die alone.
That means there are 6 billion realities.
Their only true relationship is one-on-one with their Creator, however that looks.
No one else has the astute handle on our life-giver's purpose for each and every unique, precious individual in this universe... whom it is written, knows every hair on your head intimately.
If you are a follower of ANY belief system, you've already been led down the slippery slope of herd mentality.
But, humans being the way they are, have been indoctrinated into looking outside themselves for the answers; to be TOLD someone else's perceptions of reality, when they are already embedded within us.
That is someone else's agenda, and it's an ugly ruse all about mind control and manipulation.
We have been taught to not trust ourselves or feel we are already enough in God's eyes.
We are.
That is the rub...
and the source of much misery and confusion in this world.
Do yourself a favor: look around you at all the beautiful, irreplaceable wonders that already exist, and be grateful you are alive to experience them.
Look closely at each and every one and marvel at them. Observe them.
When you do, you are experiencing profound truths on your own, because, by doing so, they reveal patterns that illustrate a larger picture.
For those who have eyes to see, and ears to hear...
I've said my peace.

 
At 5/19/2008 10:01 AM, Anonymous a phoenix said...

Lo and Behold!!! ~~~MATAJI ~~~
Now The Shri is calling herself "Mataji" as an illustrious title to her ever-growing name.
She's capitalized on my effort and has made a money-making enterprise of selling prints of the icon I painted. She's also promoting the "miraculous" DVD of the icon speaking as an enhancement of her Queen of Peace Minstries.
I noticed, in her new and improved website, all traces of my name have been eradicated...not even mentioned in a thank you anymore. Good! Finally!

--> http://thequeenofpeace.org/

Either she got the message I want nothing further to do with the icon and what she is doing with it, or she's laying the groundwork for the "miraculous materialisation" of the icon she'll write in her future mythology when everyone's memory has grown fuzzy. We'll have to wait and see, as she continues to grow in legendary stature in her own mind.
I also noticed that she has embellished the event "unveiling of the Icon" and added fantasy detail that was absent in the original press release, she has now rewritten. I was there at the event. So much of what she claimed happened is overactive fevered imagination and playing let's pretend we're in the presence of the holy and act as if...while we congratulate ourselves for being ' the chosen' to partake in this Blessed Event. Ptuui.

I find it all so vastly amusing!
I saw this deep-down tendency in her from the beginning and hung around her as witness to her growing self-importance.
She knows I know she knows I know...I'm onto her. That's why we used to just look at each other and laugh hysterically.

She is shooting for becoming "The Big Sai Maha" in her amalgam of Roman Catholic Christian-Hindu-Tibetan Buddhist-Native American teachings.
Maybe even fancies herself being the embodiment of the Cosmic Mother on Earth and she'll sit, as Mataji, with the Earth Flag at her feet while being fawned over by her disciples.

Oh, puleeez!
At least I know how to flush the toilet.

 

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