agama yoga: review of tantra school in thailand

topic posted Fri, June 8, 2007 - 7:23 AM by  Unsubscribed
Many people rave about this school, but in my experience as a long time practicing and teaching yogi, and a rationally skeptical human being, this agama yoga school is more like a cult. Rather than teach through leadership, they indoctrinate through sublte manipulation. we all want to have life explained to us, to have it in our control, to understand oursleves in some transcendent way. we live in terror that the mystery will consume us, but it is the mystery that awakens us. if you are looking for the meaning of life you will never find it and you will fall prey to those who say they have it for you. "Don't go back to the Matrix Neo". Agama Yoga, in my opinion, offers a Matirx of outdated, misunderstood, and exploited yogic teachings. some of it is good meditative yogic teachings, i learned plenty, but you have to sift through a ton of shit to get a few gems.

we aren't really looking for the meaning of life, we are looking for the experience of life, and it's right here in front of you right now.
check out my blog review of agama yoga for a more in-depth, albeit somewhat sarcastic yet kinda scholarly, critiique of agama yoga.
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  • Hello,

    I was looking for an opinion about this school. I've practiced yoga at a "school" where Agama leader Swami was an advanced disciple at that time (15 years ago, maybe more)...after a while, when he was activating in Denmark , teaching yoga there, he split this school and founded this Agama. I don't know anything about Agama, but reading the curricular area I found many things in common with the yoga school I was enrolled at (this is originated in Romania, ruled by a very controversial guru - who is now "exiled" in Sweden after a public scandal). Things like yang spiral, the art of blessing and so, are very familiar to me, too, so I suspect Agama school of using the very same techiques as the one it descended from. Since mother school (MISA) is really a cult, I assume your opinion may be right...I recognize the same style - lots of things, some of them good and appliable with results, but most of them only pickings from who knows where just to keep you stuck there as a student or practitioner, as long as they can...My final opinion regarding this kind of public yoga schools is they are more or less only a business for the ones that created them...the real yoga is probably esoteric and this is the way it should stay, many people take it as a hobby or something (just like practicing fitness, body building, etc.), so who is really prepared and able to do something real I'm sure will meet the right guru to guide them along the way.
  • i'm an agama student in my second year of studies. i don't disagree with a lot of what derek has said here, although i don't think i'd take such a harsh view. "more like a cult"? okay, fine. it's not a cult though. it is a group of people who are pretty intense about practicing, many often putting in upwards of 5-6 hours of practice per day. it's a small community, on a small island in a developing corner of the world. the teacher is charismatic and outspoken in his beliefs. and there are a lot of funny ideas that get floated around -- conspiracy theories, subtle energies, entities and spirits and otherworldly beings which exist outside of the normal plane of our reality, blah blah blah -- but no more than you'd find floating around the average hippy backpacker joint in chiang mai or goa.

    so, cultish? yeah. manipulative indoctrination? i think that's going too far. you do have to sift through some shit. but the gems are true gems, in my opinion, and the shortage of gems these days (anywhere you go) to me makes them worth digging for here.

    more at
  • Re: agama yoga: review of tantra school in thailand

    Sat, September 15, 2007 - 2:38 PM
    Dear Derek,

    I am sorry that in your very very short visit to the Agama yoga school you have become so sarcastic and have misunderstood so much,
    I have been a student of this yoga school for the past 3 years, you my friend have been with the school for barely 3 months, 3 years i must admit is also a very short time. as i have not yet come even close to verifying the claims which the teacher of the school Swami Vivekananda Saraswati claims about the structure of the subtle universe, or as to how various yogic techniques work, and to what spiritual states of conciousness are.

    However i must call your attention to the fact that in all traditions the timespan for people to reach achievements which qualify them to either refute or confirm their teachings is rather high.... Tibetan yogis study for years upon years. taking meditation retreats longer than 3 years (try viewing Arnaud Desjardin's film "The Message of the Tibetans" or the documentary called "The Yogis of Tibet". this is true also for any other type of practice. you cannot as a white belt Judoka comment on the efficacy of judo (and i know you have been practicing some kind of yoga for years a black belt in Muai Thai boxing does not give one understanding of Shaulin Kong Fu or Aikido - i apologize for the martial arts comparison but i feel it one people can understand).

    And so i must comment that you are too fast to judge, and you are not in a position in which you can judge. i would rather like to hear the opinion of some great Tibetan lama, or some other person of real achievement. (actually i have such verification and can send you a picture of swami with a very respected Tibetan Lama).

    As for the issue of Agama being a cult, i quote from your blog: "the term cult is not in itself pejorative but simply descriptive. It denotes a group that forms around a person who claims he or she has a special mission or knowledge, which will be shared with those who turn over most of their decision making to that self-appointed leader". and so if you had been in agama yoga for more than a month you see that from this definition alone (i will not go here into a full analysis of the 10 characteristics of a cult i shall do this at some other place) agama yoga is not a cult since the knowledge is shared in open classes and the only thing one is asked to turn over is a sum of about 6$ per class. i will comment no further on this here now.

    After 3 years in this school i will say the following: i am practicing the teachings of Swami Vivekananda Saraswati and the Agama Yoga school. i am not indoctrinated by any means, this i demonstrate by the fact that i practice other methods as well such as Tibetan Nyingma Meditations, and Vipassana, and also techniques which Swami has claimed to be not as effective as his. therefore i am not going blindly after anyone. and can only conclude by saying, try it for a while, do not be impatient give it a couple of years and then see. i have done so and have not been disappointed, in time perhaps you will realize that some of the things You considered to be shit seemed to be so on account of Your imperfect vision (as the Tibetans would say) and you will be able to take full advantage of the knowledge given to you.

    May you always be happy and have the causes of happiness
    May you never suffer and not have the causes of suffering.
    May god be with you.
    • Re: agama yoga: review of tantra school in thailand

      Fri, September 4, 2009 - 8:50 AM
      i am back in rishikesh after some years and note "" swami's""" folk use a different name here. he is banned from india. he is indeed a charming fellow with some charismatic appeal and no doubt some folks find his presence change there perceptions added to the relation of them studying with him and playing with "energy". i have to say that i can understand an anti hierarchical attitude but not so easily understand narci's dubious swamiship. it doesn't shine a good light on poor guru ji who has now left the body so we'll leave him aside. but a swami is someoen is a tradition and to come and do a deal to wear the orange stinks of marketing. bit like idi amin, self appointed last king of scotland and emperor of his own living room. no one mentions the swami sleeping with 3 young women a day one of whom he only seemed to re bed for her spiritual growth when a shortage was apparent- the early days in everybusiness can be hard. (again in another context - what has it to do with me but a factor in him getting kicked out of vedniketan and india, which turned out fine for him financially anyway). the mechanical monotone inssesant talking, theoverwhelming amount of info(both cult techniques) much of which is actually bullshit which i think you'll find he doesn't care about, its funcition is to disorientate rather than inform (yes i've only seen the first 6 months notes some years ago so after 3 years no doubt....
      i didn't find one person who has been involved with a serious guru anywhere near this man. and you could have a picture with me and the dalai lama and serveral people considered enlightened by many, i can assure you it would not mean they endorsed me.
      you get the guru you deserve as they say and lots of nice folk join cults and come out alive and well, its not a black and white thing anyway, but just leave you with a common saying in india, the path of boga, or sense indulgence is like trying to cross a river holding on to a crocodile, which seems a silly thing to do when its only a monsoon flood plane anyway. good luck and try holding a big fish in his mouth.
      ps sorry its disjointed but its time to go and enough time has been spent , no one listens to anyone apart from themselves as ug krishnamurti affirmed, he would have love our romanian friend!!!!