Hi Ed Good morning. This is S. from Coimbatore, India.
As I have mailed you earlier, reading through Robert's satsangh transcripts is as good as doing Enquiry or dhyana. I can compare this with what Ramana used to say about Ribhu Gita (reading Ribhu gita is as good as being in Samadhi)...
And, just thought will check with you on few things related to the sadhana.
1. Generally those who follow the path of Raja Yoga / Kriya Yoga don't talk/accept about the Spiritual Heart / emergence of 'I' from the heart on the right side of the chest, as mentioned by Ramana & Robert. They only stress about Sahasrara chakra as the seat of samadhi experience.
Though this is something we can check by our experience & practice, I would be eager to know how Robert viewed this, particularly when he was with Paramahamsa Yogananda in his earlier days before he came to Ramana.And, so Robert must have spoken about this difference in the approach of these schools.
RESPONSE: Really, Robert only talked about self-inquiry or beginner practices, nothing about Kriya or Raja yoga. He had a disagreement with Yogananda about all the Kriya techniques saying they were irrelevant. Yogananda then told him to go to India to Ramana. Robert said Yogananda could hardly wait to get rid of him.
Robert and Ramana are quite clear though that the spiritual heart does not exist. It is a fantasy just as is the world. Not real. But beginners often need an imaginary focus point, and that's what they gave. As long as people feel they are bodies, it helps to have this imaginary focus point. When your awakening happens, yoy'll see that it is not real, just as the body, world and mind are not real.
So, could you please tell me about how Robert viewed this as the Yogi's do attain the state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. I also remember reading Ramana where he used to say that Nirvikalpa Samadhi is not a necessery stage before realization.
It is not necessary. It is only a temporary experience in consciousness. Only the permanent is important, and nothing in consciousness is permanent.
2. Also, not all those who follow the path of Vichara go thro the experience of Heart. Like, Nisargadatta say that he never had the experience with Spiritual heart. So, is that something dependent on individual's practice? Has Robert said anything about experience in the spiritual heart as something that need not happen with everyone?
Just as I said above, the heart center is only imaginary as is the body and mind. However, many people experience heart center experiences that motivate them to go deeper. Ultimately though, not even the body exists as we imagine it, let alone the various chakras. You want to go beyond these concepts as opposed to focusing on them, which makes them more "real."
If you "see" the world in a new way, devoid of the min's shaping, it is a wonderful and mysterious experience of oneness without center or objects. However, you do need the mindscreen back in order to function as an imaginary entity within the imaginary world.
By imaginary, I mean the mind enforces patterns on the formless, and as such it has a practical reality for purposes of functioning. That is what the mind is, a survival tool.
But the world perceived without interpretation is a dancing oneness of mixtures of seeing, hearing and tactile senses without easily recognized forms or reason. Mind imposes patterns which allows the body to survive.
Ultimately though, the only REAL is beyond consciousness altogether, beyond the dancing oneness world, the mind, the heart or even consciousness itself.
Thanks in advance for your reply.