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Seeing the Swami in a New Light
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Forum Posts: 69
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June 22, 2006 - 9:49 pm
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I haven't had occasion to meet too many swamis yet, so I know most by their picture and writings. So, please, anyone that is more acquainted with those guys should pipe in and help me out.

I did meet one at a weekend workshop one time, and he really made an impression on me by the worldliness that accompanied his piety.

The first time I saw David Lipschutz from Temple Kriya in Chicago was when I was cruising up to the studio for a weekend class. There was this cheerful-looking man with long hair, long beard, and flowing robes pacing around in the parking lot, talking on a cell phone.

First, I thought, "Dang, that's a swami. That means there's a seminar here and regular weekend classes will be cancelled".

Then I thought, "Hey! I just saw a swami pacing around, talking on his cell phone".

Several months later, I actually went to a workshop that David was presenting regarding karma.

At the very beginning, the yogini that owns the studio was doing a sound check. The microphone was positioned to be in a good spot for him sitting on the floor.

"David", the owner of the studio said, "could you turn on the microphone?"

He proceeded to caress the mike and coo, "Oh, baby". As you would imagine, the house broke down in laughter.

Later on that evening he gave us an example of karma. He said, "So, what happens when you ignore your spouse during the work week, and then Friday night comes, and you're like, hey, baby, nudge-nudge"?

Well, that was it for me. For the whole rest of the weekend I hung on David's every word and experienced a deepening of my yogic spirituality.

Does anyone else have a similar experience to relate?

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August 14, 2006 - 3:35 pm
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There are many good stories, but I don't want to air any particular dirty laundry. Swamis, Gurus, and Master Yoga teachers are all human. As Paul has said, "We cannot be enlightened all the time."

Having a beer with a Swami and a few laughs over a camp fire was a good memory for me.

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October 27, 2007 - 11:18 pm
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It is interesting that people want something to believe in as much as something to tear down. People love hers, but at the same time want to burn them at the stake. Swamis are just like the rest of us, but have been studying Yoga longer. There is no need to worship them and their is no need to tear them down. People often look to Swamis for their answers, but Swamis are real people too.

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June 7, 2008 - 9:08 am
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Recently, I had a chance to meet a yoga swami while visiting New Jersey on business. He has written much about the subject of yoga. I should have seen it coming, when he said everyone else was teaching phony yoga. He teaches real yoga and everyone else is a fake. He has stated that yoga is for Hindus only and the only fundamentalists on this earth are Christians. If I wanted to study from him, I would have to become a Hindu, denounce Islam, and be rid of my current name. Some of his followers have changed their "Christian names" to stay in his good graces. This man is no swami. He is a cult leader and a vortex of hate, intolerance, envy, and jealousy. He hates the United States, but lives there to spread his fundamentalist venom. He hates BKS Iyengars, Bikram, and Amrit Desai. Below is a quote from a true yogi. He is not a phony. :twisted:

Quote:
Yoga is for everybody. This trite phrase is proclaimed by:

1. The fundamentalist/universalist Hindu who believes that Hinduism and its many Yoga teachings and practices are The religion for everybody. Just like the Christian fundamentalist, for example, there are some Vaishnava and Saivite Hindu fundamentalists/universalists who claim, respectively, that Vishnu/Krishna and Siva are The One True God.

2. The cult leader out to establish their own personality and Yoga organization. Bikram Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, (ex) "Yogi" Amrit Desai and a host of Christian named "Yogis" are a few examples of those who make this dogmatic assertion.

3. Those who are uneducated in the various religious/spiritual traditions and are easily influenced by charismatic individuals and peer groups.

A mature Hindu will, of course, state that Hinduism and its many Yogas is open to anyone (so interested) to study. The same wisdom would apply towards the more mature in any religious/spiritual tradition.

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June 7, 2008 - 8:22 pm
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Namaskar Tehnyk2,

You did see him for what he is. Unfortunately, I know of the person you speak of. He hates Englishmen, Americans, Irishmen, Italians, Jews, Moslems, Christians, Swamis, and the new age movement. Yet, he lives in New Jersey. Go figure. :roll:

His definition of a fundamentalist is someone who teaches Yoga, but is not a Hindu. He also hates Hindus who associate with non-Hindus. Since I am a Hindu, let me state that he is an embarassment to all Hindus. His education is good, but his mind is twisted. He is obviously a deeply prejudiced man and the title of Swami before his name is an eye sore.

Strangely he gives interviews with Christian fundamentalist because he likes to stir up hate and fear toward the Christian Yoga teachers and classes. That's about it, but he is not a good example of a Hindu.

Peace,

Priyah

I wish you well

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June 8, 2008 - 6:48 am
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Namaskar,

This reminds me of the moth and the flame. It is interesting from the outside looking in to observe the cult, the fundamentalism, and the dogma. This isn't something you want to get close to because you will be burned, but you can learn from it. To use Yoga as a tool for manipulation will always cause problems for the teacher. Yoga expands the mind, so it is hard for a teacher to prevent students from mental growth. Here are some ideas to protect you.

There is a huge grey area in life. Avoid people who insist on left or right only philosophy. Learn to say No, and listen to your intuition. Avoid organizations, groups, or people who claim to know how you should live. Give your trust to others only when, and to the degree, it has been earned. Learn that your self-worth doesn't depend on one groups opinion.

Shanti,

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April 7, 2009 - 5:20 pm
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Namaskar Everyone,

I don't know whether to be shocked, depressed or heart broken over the number of self-serving swamis. Many of them call each other names or imply that someone is a fake while they are the real thing. Many of them insist that you wear their picture around your neck. Many of them have no right to the title swami. Anyone can call themself a swami.

Anytime you want to call me Swami Vanessa Brewster is fine. Male attendants will be required to wear less clothing during meditation sessions at my temple, that will be built on fraudulent donations. :twisted:

If your not laughing, I'm sorry. But this has gone on long enough. How many swamis have used their title to exploit their students? How many swamis have slept with their students? How many swamis parade around and don't know anything except how to manipulate people?

Sometimes you hear about unsafe yoga teachers and some of them abuse their position as well. But no where near the massive amounts of abuse swamis have taken advantage of the public. The gentleman (I use the term loosely) you refer to above calls everyone a yoga phony and he is the biggest fake on two feet. Thank you for not mentioning his name because he deserves no fame.

If I made you cry, I'm sorry. If you want some spiritual guidance go to a real religious center. You don't have to change your religion at all. The answers are within your religion. Just stay away from the narrow minded fools who would like to have us killing each other over petty differences.

Peace,

Vanessa

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April 8, 2009 - 12:24 pm
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Namaskar Vanessa,

You should slow your coffee intake before writing. <img src=" title="Laughing" /> I guess I can't convince you that there are good swamis. One thing to realize - a few destroy the reputations of many. "One bad apple..." as they say.

Best wishes to you and yours,

Priyah

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April 9, 2009 - 2:58 pm
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<img src=" title="Laughing" />

When Mark started this thread, I don't think he thought it would take a twist into the subject of fake swamis. And this whole section of the forum is "Why do we love Yoga?" But it's worth mentioning that the longer you teach or practice yoga the more experiences you learn from.

When i first started to learn yoga my teacher would say, "Yoga is a seed for self-growth and as we grow it leads us from ignorance to truth." While swamis, gurus, priests and ministers are buried in scandals it is wise to avoid throwing more dirt. Why beat a dead horse?

As Paul has said many times: "At a point in your training, you will come to discover the true teacher within." The beginning of this point is the point of self realization. That is the time when we know ourselves and the world around us. Sound familiar?

That's why I love yoga.

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