Excuses, Misery & the BK Laity

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Excuses, Misery & the BK Laity

Post02 Jun 2008

Excuses, Misery & the BK Laity - posted by proy on 30 May 2006

As I am a slow typist and have a lot of work on just now I have decided to publish my details about stopping morning class Charles Dickens style, in instalments. This is part one and is about excuses, more to follow.


“Excuses” is a word I hear a lot from BKs, and is one of the reasons why I feel uncomfortable going to the centres, and so get a better meditation experience at home. Why? Well, I am a person who never gives excuses because I find they are a very unhelpful way of communicating.

A specific example from every day life is that I do not much like people to stay overnight at my home. If I were to say, for example, “I would love you to stay over night but I don’t have a spare bed”, then I would leave myself open to the other person saying something like, “That’s OK, I can sleep on the floor, or on the sofa, etc., etc.” So rather than try to be polite, and hope they take the hint, I am just completely direct. I just say, “No, you can’t stay overnight at my house.” If they question me why, which they are seldom rude enough to do, I just say, “Because I don’t want people staying overnight at my house, end of discussion.”

To apply this to BK life, I have never said that I want to go to morning classes seven days a week, so I do not expect to be accused of making excuses for not doing so. Yet I am constantly bombarded with Quips such as, “There is no excuse for not going to morning class every day,” or “What is your excuse for not coming to morning class more often”, or “Excuses don’t wash around here.”

As far as I am concerned I have no need to make an excuse for not doing something I have never expressed a desire to do. That would be as if, like in the everyday example, I said, “I would love to come to morning class every day, but…...…Whatever”. I never talk like that. Consequently the pressure is always on me that I am not doing enough, and that other BKs are dissatisfied with my contribution. I am not talking here about just the Seniors, they all play this “Excuse” card just about every time I go to the centre. How can I meditate or experience Yoga in such an atmosphere of pressure and unwarranted bullying and browbeating? Well, I can’t, so I meditate at home instead, and have a good Yoga here.

You may ask why I don’t confront the perpetrators of these insults with their behaviour, and explain the effect it has on me. The answer is I try, but they are very skilled at making it difficult for me to do so. One of their tactics is to play the excuse card on me then turn around and walk off in apparent disgust, giving me no opportunity to reply. In my view this behaviour is both abusive and cowardly. I may feel merciful towards a coward, but I will not abide abuse. Therefore I stay away.

If I feel, having completed this whole dissertation on the details of why I feel like giving up on the BKWSU, that it will change anything for the better, then I will send the whole document to the Seniors in London. But maybe I will just give up trying with them and get a life. Maybe I am a Golden Age soul and the Brahmin religion is entering its Copper Age and is of no further use unless it reforms itself vigorously.


Another factor which made me feel like distancing myself from the BKWSU was my experience at the Global Retreat Centre at Oxford. The retreat programme I went on was excellent, and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in the BKs. The speakers were informal, lively, and full of wisdom and humour. The workshop sessions were a joy, illuminating and uplifting. Ten out of ten for the programme.

As soon as we left the work rooms everything changed. The atmosphere created by the resident BKs, and some of the visiting ones, was, with two notable exceptions, abysmal. I do not lay the blame on the individuals concerned, and as I say, two people were wonderful. The atmosphere of misery was all pervading, and must be due to some fault in the way they are living, rather than in any of the BKs themselves. The resident BKs were, except for those two, cold, unfriendly, and miserable. I felt sympathy for them, they seemed so unhappy. Surely living a BK life should make them happy?

One dreadful example was the Sister in charge of serving up the meals in the dining room, who was wearing a huge orange apron. She was bossy, rude, and unpleasant. She created a terrible atmosphere both for her co-workers and for the guests. This must be contrary to all the BK principles regarding the putting of good vibrations into food. If she had displayed a similar attitude in any restaurant or cafeteria in the country she would have been out of a job and on the street within twenty-four hours, and rightly so.

Again, I do not blame the individual herself. Who knows what she was going through? But why was she given this job, and why is she not being helped? What a huge contrast to the way the food is served in Madhuban, with kindness, drishti, and a smile.

Are all the big centres like this? If so why? Yoga with Shiva should make us happy. Why are the residents of this important centre miserable? Nothing is ever enough because there is no Laity?

There is much discussion about whether the BKs are a religion or not. I believe they are not a religion, or at least not meant to be. A religion is inclusive. The BKs are exclusive. You are either born a Brahmin soul or you are not. You will either become a deity or you will not, The Cycle is pre-determined. Therefore, in theory, there is no place for a laity in the BKs.

A sort of laity has developed. These are the people who are being served by the BKs. Hopefully these people will become happier and more at peace, but they will never become BKs. These people are apparent at every centre, probably. They stay around for years but never get very far towards living a Brahmin lifestyle or understanding the philosophy. However, there is no official role for them, and there are many roles they are just not allowed to perform, eg cooking, so they are left with just hanging around the centres.

The other side of the equation is that for those who are BK material nothing they do is ever seen as being enough. I know I will be a BK for the rest of my life even if I never go near another centre. I have had direct experience of Shiva and the transformative power of Yoga. My life will never be the same again. I know that this is the time in which Shiva is revealed to the world, and that I have a role to play in that revelation.

The narrow interpretation of this is that I should become a centrewasi or at least a seven day a week morning class BK. The wider interpretation is that I can have another role to play. We are all unique players in the drama, and I do not know what my role is except that I am certain that I must be fulfilling it at every individual moment of my life. What else could I be doing but fulfilling my own role? Any other interpretation is impossible within the BK Gyan. So I will have to acknowledge that if others put pressure on me which drives me away from the institution, then that is also their own accurate role. Everything must turn out right in the end, whatever happens.

What do others think? Should a laity be created even though this goes against the principles of Gyan? Should centrewasis ease up on the pressure they put on newly born Brahmin souls?

What do I think?

Yes, a laity would be a good idea, as it would give many good souls who are not BKs a role to play within the institution. I think the centrewasis are coming from a place of love and enthusiasm, and do not realise that this is often perceived as a form of pressure which drives people away. I have found that, having heard of my grief, the organisation and the centre have been very understanding and kind, if a little baffled. Often they are people who took the course, went straight into morning classes, and then moved into a centre. That is the natural course of events for them, and it is out of kindness that they seek to push me along the same path. I am now fully reconciled with my centre, and we have a good relationship. The organisation is strong, and can stand a bit of change as it moves more fully into a Western environment.

I am happy to report a happy ending. But is there ever an ending?

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