Whitney comes from Colorado, USA, and has studied at Shri Kali Ashram for the past eight years. He currently divides his time between helping out at the ashram and giving workshops and talks in other parts of the world. He is a registered E-RYT 500™ with Yoga Alliance®.
After deciding that he needed a break from his corporate career, Whitney was playing semi-professional football (soccer) in Germany. While on vacation, he met Bhagavan Shanmukha at Shri Kali Ashram. He initially stated the intention to stay a month to learn yoga āsanas. Now he is a senior yoga teacher at Shri Kali Ashram.
Whitney realized that the teachings at Shri Kali Ashram, the heritage of generations of Tantrics, were applicable on many levels beyond the merely physical. Now he says that he will only leave when he has mastered the whole of the Vedic system. He thinks that there is nothing more important in life than having the knowledge and skill imparted by spiritualism. “I've experienced materialistic life,” says Whitney, “I was successful, but I wasn't fulfilled.” He is now happy in life, which he credits to Bhagavan Shanmukha and the Tantric science. Whitney performs masterfully in āsanas, prāṇāyāma, bandhas, and kriyas and has gained a deep understanding of the energy aspects of Tantra i.e. chakras andkuṇḍalinī as well as the Tantric ideology, the Veda, and Sanskrit.
Like the other students in Shri Kali Ashram, Whitney is not just playing with or intellectualizing the science. All our long-term students both perform and understand all the practical aspects of Tantra. Most people only have a few āsanas which they perform well. At Shri Kali, the students or sādhakas gain a well-rounded education in a very short time including almost all the āsanas andprāṇāyāmas. “Living here is a full day”, says Whitney “and I love it.”
“One of the things that helped me most when learning from Bhagavan Shanmukha is that, not only is he a great ācārya of the Shaiva-Shakta system, but also very well versed with psychology and sociology,” says Whitney. His interpretation of these sciences is genuinely unique and helps his students come to terms with their realities very quickly. This makes them drop all abnormalities and insecurities and focus on their spiritual identity, their true self and their life. You can't learn Tantra with neurosis. Complete psychological health is our basic starting point, not a distant end goal like in so many contemporary ‘Tantric’ centers. This also saves time and effort for the student. I have seen people wandering around all over the world, profoundly and obviously unsuccessful and unhappy in every aspect of their life, but holding to their delusion of enlightenment. If they had dealt with Bhagavan, he would have saved them years of misguided beliefs that have caused them to meaninglessly waste this precious life.”
“Bhagavan is strong about actually adopting a wholesome spiritual identity that removes fear from its roots and impresses a positive, new spiritual identity and a culture—what he calls ‘software without bugs’ that actually enables one to live life to one's full potential. This takes an expert ācārya and a complete science. I have not found this anywhere in the USA or India. That's why I feel fortunate to learn at Shri Kali Ashram. Even though it's small compared to many of India's more famous ashrams, the knowledge here cannot be compared with other ashrams. Bhagavan has a vast pool of information. I've seen people who've been studying yoga for decades, and even university professors, come and ask for information that they can't get from their gurus or mentors and I've never seen Bhagavan without an answer.”
“I've seen how unscrupulous people guised as gurus exploit seekers by misrepresenting the science and thwarting that person's life. These so-called gurus keep students within the limitations of their fear and make them keep paying to learn various techniques to compensate. At Shri Kali Ashram the culture is to remove this dependency and actually empower the student. At times people hold to the ‘software of fear’ and resist autonomy. It is impossible to have clarity of meditation and be a spiritualist without dealing with the underlying neurosis. Bhagavan always works honestly at healing dysfunctions. That is his success—his honesty. Then real Tantra can begin.”
“My personal goal as a Shri Kali teacher is to share this spiritual information so as to free humanity from their fears and woes and enable them to actually live a life. There is no point in hiding or merely compensating in the name of Tantra. We live this life only once and it is important not to be trapped by the software of fear and live a trip!”