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From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Re: quesstion
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 10:33:16 -0800

Jeff wrote:
> You seem to have been around the block a few times so I thought 
> perhaps I could ask you your opinion of Swami Virato. Thanx Jeff

I have never met him. I am unsure as to the content of his teachings,
which may be useful or useless. I am unaware that he has any known
lineage or affiliations with other gurus. There have been rumours in
usenet that he has taken sexual advantage of young female students, but
these have never been substantiated, and so may have been troll-work or
personal vendettas. My opinion of him is not enhanced by his use of the
culturally conflated name "Swami Nostradamus Virato of the Nepal
Institute." This is not to say that i judge him by his name alone, but i
do get the impression that he is attempting, with this name, to claim
descent from lineages of which he may not be a master. 

Please note that it is not the use of a self-bestowed name (Nostradamus
Virato) that sends up alarms, but the self-applied Indian title "Swami"
coupled with the high-sounding name "Nepal Institute." As an old hippie
who has seen many self-proclaimed gurus come and go, i have long had my
own parodic take on this style of name; starting back in some humourous
articles written for back-to-the-land papers in the 1970s, i began to
jokingly sign myself 

   Swami Catyananda
   Arcadian College of Arcane Knowledge
Y'see how silly that sounds?  (For a lovely take on the self-naming
proclivity of gurus, read the novel "Masters of Atlantis" by Charles

Ultimately, i believe that sacred sexuality would find wider acceptance
in the world (bringing to us all the emotional, spiritual, and material
benefits implicit in that acceptance) if the teaching of it were
conducted *outside* the appropriated exoticism of an all-too-obviously
faux-Indian, faux-Nepalese, faux-Medieval European context. This is why
i respect teachers like Lori Grace, the Muirs, and Margo Anand: they
have studied the sex-mystical traditions of India and elsewhere, but
ultimately they present their own modern form of neo-tantra stripped of
cultishness and guruism. Also, those who publish their teachings rather
than insisting on students paying great sums to attend personal training
classes earn my greatest respect, for they make their material
accessible to people who may be too proud, too poor, too lazy, or too
shy to seak out *any* sort of teacher -- in allowing the student's body
itself to be the guru, sacred sexuality becaomes avaialble to anyone
with a sexually functional body. 


catherine yronwode ------------------------
Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Lucky W Amulet Archive ---------
The Sacred Landscape -------
Karezza and Sacred Sex ------
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Comics Warehouse ------
news:alt.lucky.w --- discussions on folk magic, luck, amulets, charms

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