The claim of “tantric practices”

The official Statement to the Shiva Yoga community said the following:

It is well-known that our lineage is a Tantric path, involving worship of the Goddess with strict disciplines. Swamiji has never claimed to be a sexual renunciant nor demanded celibacy from any of his students, and until now Swamiji has kept aspects of the teaching and his personal activities secret in line with age-old Hindu Tantric scriptures.

We refute this statement for the following reasons:

1) If many of the women involved with Shiva Yoga need counselling and therapy following these “practices” then who benefited from them? Clearly not them. What form of worship of the Goddess puts her in therapy or requires her to seek counselling?

2) If the husbands and boyfriends were uninformed and unconsenting to the secret tantric activities going on with their partners, then how was this deception meant to benefit them?

3) If Russell Kruckman (Swami Shankarananda) was indeed practicing some form of secret Hindu tantric yoga, then why had he never mentioned it before, even to his longest serving students? And when was he planning to teach it so that other seekers might benefit from this hitherto unheard of path of mysticism?

4) Shiva Yoga claimed that Swami Shankarananda’s “activities” were in alignment with age-old Hindu Tantric Scriptures, yet to date they have failed to reference any particular passage or scripture that could support this claim.

4a) Even if such a passage or scripture exists, why does Shiva Yoga regard the morality of ancient India to have greater precedence over common sense notions of ethical behaviour for religious / spiritual leaders in modern Australia?

4b) In the same letters, the management committee refers to these “tantric activities” previously lauded as being “in line with age-old Hindu scriptures” as “inappropriate” and Swami Shankarananda refers to them as “stupid” and “disastrous” – What caused this sudden change in their moral compass regarding the “activities”, other than the fact that they were exposed?

5) Swami Shankarananda appears to have lied to the women involved, telling them such things as they were “the only one”, or that it was “the fast track” to enlightenment or healing, or that sex with him was her Sadhana (spiritual path). What kind of ancient yogic practice has lying as its foundation?

6) Most importantly of all, the testimony of some of the women themselves which can be found on this page, in which they deny having been initiated into any form of tantric yogic practice or that they were willing partners in the “activities”: http://www.leavingshivayoga.guru/testimonies/

Claims about secret tantric yoga by the Shiva Yoga Management Committee and Swami Shankarananda appear to be a cover story to try to counter the “accusations” of sexual misconduct.

Further, in the Official Statement to the Shiva Yoga community the Management Committee board members state this:

The Committee has legal advice that based on the information known there is no basis for any criminal complaint.

Several of the women have also made full written statements to the Victorian Police.

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