Sayings of a modern mystic who was down-on-his-luck
(more about the Yogi)

"Being born in a garage don't make you a Buick"

"Being born in a garage don't make you a Buick"


People are always interested in pedigrees. A lot of the Sangha members always said they were "born in" this group or that group, and they'd lord it over the others. "I was born a Buddhist," they'd say, or "I was born Baha'i." (The Yogi would often reply, "I was born a baby.")

I guess that when the Yogi said, "Being born in a garage don't make you a Buick," he meant that just because your parents belong to some religion, you don't "automatically" get the benefits. You still have to make a personal commitment and accept the discipline for yourself. You still have to practice to reach the goal.


Ananda's analysis is a good one. The "cradle Catholic" or the child born in a Hare Krishna ashram may have the advantage of early exposure to important ideas, but they still are not "perfected" until they do the work themselves.

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1. What are the plusses and minuses of being "born into" a particular tradition?

2. How can one be sure that one's spiritual path is one's own, and not a path imposed on one by others?

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