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20.01.10 at 2:30 pm ·
For another perspective on this, get and read Gopi Krishna’s book, ‘Living with Kundalini’.
G Krishna was born into a Brahmin family that had its original roots in Kashmir and fled Mogul persecution, taking refuge in the Sikh run regions in the Punjab. G Krishna was born late in the 19th century and lived into the late 1980s. His descriptions of India span the Raj to the time of Indira Gandhi.
Mr Krishna practiced some sort of yoga at home, as a householder, and it triggered a very disabling reaction for him when he was middle aged. He needed years before he could regain his health and sanity and one of the finest things in his book are descriptions he gives, first of his own mother, and then his wife, and how his own wife and children cared for him, and saved his life. Later, Mr Krishna and his wife dedicated themselves to the most remarkable project of combating the Indian tradition of demanding ruinously expensive weddings and dowries, and at risk to themselves, they sheltered women and girls in flight from abusive marriages.
Krishna reported how word got around about his attainments and that people tried to get him to be their guru, but he refused.
Why I recommend the book is that Mr Krishna described how his own father became crippled by strenuous spiritual practice, neglected care of his own family and plunged them into poverty by giving away too much household money to any and every sadhu and holy madman who approached the doorstep.
Gopi Krishna then described the behavior of these reputedly holy madmen, their shocking behavior and many of their crooked tricks. He observed all this as a boy, was dismayed by his own father;s behavior
and made a resolution that he would be himself a family man, be self supporting, and he would never force others to take care of him so long as he could earn a living. Gopi Krishna likened sadhus to being like invalids, forcing others to take care of them and did not want to emulate this traditional pattern of behavior.
And Mr Krisnha would not have approved of dining on feces as an exhibition of enlightenment, either.
If only as a description of life in Old India, Gopi Krishna’s book, Living With Kundalini is a good read. He also described watching people grovel to gurus, and felt shame when watching this kind of self abasing behavior. To him it looked like slaves submitting to tyranny and he saw no good in it.
And it is extraordinarily rare to read of an Indian spiriutal aspirant who responded to his special experiences by trying to combat a custom deeply entrenched in Indian tradition–ruinously expensive weddings and dowries.
Gopi Krishna admitted that as a first step, he had to face how he had once happily participated in such festivities. He also said that if young men
had to endure what brides had to endure, none of them would ever choose to get married.
This is very strong stuff coming from an Indian gentleman born over a century ago. He also mentioned how some friends of his either lost their sanity or came very close to doing so whilst practicing methods prescribed by various wandering sadhus and such.