Muktananda Gets Whitewashed For 100th
File under: Gurubusting and Hands Where They Don't Belong
We've got a few issues here at Guruphiliac HQ, as you are all well aware. Along with our well-documented problems regarding superstition and ideas about self-realization
Today we found this article commemorating the 100th anniversary of Baba Swami Muktananda's birth. He was the founder of Siddha Yoga, which was made even more famous by the efforts of one of his appointed successors, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, whose omission in this piece speaks loud and clear.
Also omitted is any mention of the many scandals which spun around the Baba during and after his life. Included in these are whispers of the Baba getting very cozy with the ladies, including a few young ones.
The article makes a perfect example of what hagiography is – biography minus the dirt. Like it or not, many, although certainly not all gurus, have a bit of dirt on them. But since the idea of sainthood is connected to the idea of purity, saint-making involves indifference to the tales of woe and misconduct that float around many a dead and living guru's satsangs.
There is a missed opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the guru after they get covered in a couple coats of sainthood. For instance, Muktananda stepped over the line for some sort of reason. Wouldn't it be more instructive to know why? Was he beset by lust, or did he have a sincere desire to enact some kind of tantric magic with those ladies. Perhaps his guru, Nityananda, gave him the instruction in how to accomplish the rite.
Folks are quick to jump to the conclusion that sexual misconduct is not possible for a realized soul. So, they either refuse to believe the stories, or they refuse to believe in the accused guru's enlightenment.
Where's the grey? Mostly in the little stories that fly around the various satsangs "explaining" or otherwise rationalizing the offensive behavior. But don't count on finding out about it in a press release or the life stories of the revered figure as they are recounted countlessly by the world's herd of guru-bhakta sheep.
As a result, more and more coats of sainthood go up, essentially bleaching the humanity right out what was once a dynamic and complicated creature, just like everyone else. That's what a wayward guru teaches, that even the freaks and disturbed can come to know the truth that shines in all.
You only have to pull away the curtain of PR spin and look behind the screen of the cultivated act to see that many of the whitewashed deities known as saints have all the "color" the rest of us have, and sometimes quite a bit more. We say this color is essential to a true understanding of a guru's life and message, and it's something we strive to provide for our lovely readers as much as we can muster.
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