A Common Hindu’s Reply to Blissful Athlete

Jordan Kremyr, a former Canadian professional ice hockey player, recently quit his former fast-paced life and opted to dedicate his life to the cause of dharma. He is a sincere student of Paramahamsa Sri Nithyananda Swami and currently teaches yoga to the disciples of the Swamiji. He is active on most social media platforms including YouTube and goes by the name “Blissful Athlete” (BA).

A video describing his transformation from a staunch atheist to a staunch sanatani can be seen here. His videos target foreign enthusiasts of yoga/sanatana dharma and provide ample support to consider accepting Sri Nithyananda Swami as the spiritual teacher for self realization. However, on18th February 2018, he uploaded a video titled “Top Spiritual Gurus | Sadhguru or Nithyananda?” (https://youtu.be/XqtsHwRI-aA)

I am a citizen of Bharat and a neutral sadhaka of sanatana dharma. I believe in karma. I visit temples once a month. I have a very preliminary level exposure to yoga. I occasionally fast on ekadashis. I believe in wearing traditional attire during festivals and family gatherings. When I first saw BA’s YouTube video, it struck me immediately that he was slowly moving away from establishing the authenticity of his own master to breaking down someone else’s master.

Here is my response to the video (numbering of points are with reference to BA’s statements in his video):

1) From my common sense point of view, if sadhguru means coming from experience, it need not mean that that experience doesn’t contain the wisdom of the Veda & Upanishad. 

2) Swami Nityananda being compared to Pope and Dalai Lama is, in itself, a downfall in argument. This is because:

  1. there is no need for comparison
  2. there is no one apex body for sanatana dharma and
  3. paths cannot be compared and quantified based on time, popularity, success rate etc. 

3) Verbal argumentation vs. yoga: they are different paths. No one path is superior to another. It is entirely dependent on the individual as to what suits him/her the best. Not everyone can tread the path of bhakthi or tread the path of realisation by mind, or the path of yoga. I believe that such paths are starting points. The one who starts by verbal argumentation will see effects on physical and heart at the final stage. The one who starts by yoga will see effects on mind and heart at the final stage. The one who starts by bhakthi will see effects on body and mind eventually. 

4) What Sadhguru teaches by way of verbal intellectual enlightenment has many layers. Personally, I have had tears in my eyes listening to him. I am not his follower. I have watched around 20 of his videos. Apart from that, I have no other association with Isha. When what he says has depth, and when you see it, many things become clear. Yoga is not only about the physical process. It is also about the mental process. A householder (Grihastha) has to lead a proper life. Hence, clarity in the social practices and outlook of why we do what we do is important. If those things don’t sit properly in one place, it would not help people in sudden transition to the “seeker” state. 

5) If a guru’s presence is enough, it is. His verbal enlightenment is not his only way. He can guide anyway. And one cannot judge a guru and say, “No, he cannot give you enlightenment because he doesn’t know veda and Shastra.” That is narrow-mindedness.

6) The ego of BA is proof why he is currently not treading the right path, irrespective of what his guru has taught him. I cannot say which path is right. But I can see what major hurdles are in his path. 

7) BA says he is not putting down Sadhguru (4.08 minutes), after all the bashing he has done. If he wants to lift up his guru, he should talk of practices, not of people using those practices. 

8) BA further says in the video,”Are they aligned to shastras? Words given by Sadashiva himself.” Why is Sadashiva the only true teacher/god? Is this even the path of sanatana dharma?

9) Mere performance of complicated asanas is not completely yoga and will not lead to moksha. The heart, mind, and body should be completely engaged and towards God always. There is no one way. Yoga isn’t the only way for body to be immersed in Him. It definitely takes the seeker very much ahead for his heart and mind to be more receptive to Him. But it isn’t the only way.

-By

Chitra Ramanujan (an IT professional based in Bengaluru)


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