15 April 2011

Lots of people have asked me about the relationship between the guru and student, especially the place of love. In this video you see four teachers, in order: Chetananda, Shankarananda, Andrew Cohen and Master Charles. All, I think including Cohen, are a product of Muktananda. Notice in the end one of them begins to talk about love and its transient nature, but how true love is everlasting.  

I post this video only because Sw. Shankarananda almost was going to share a satsang with us in June, and one of my students researched him and his associates on the web.

Please, just listen to what they say and the distinctions and complaints they make. Our student said, "I have never heard such whining and complaining."

Watch the video two or three times. Ponder what they say and give feedback.

I disagree with much if not all of what they say. I do not see a dichotomy between spiritual and human, personal and transcendent. I just don't see it. Nor do I see what Cohen claims is taking place: The guru is taking on the karmic burden of a disciple just by listening to complaints. Nor do I see as true, at least for me, seeing myself as set apart or different from my students. Nor do I feel I have to stand back and act in some role being careful of what I say, and holding back. Nor do I feel dumped on. Our satsang family does not appear to dump, nor do I feel I am taking on their burdens in any way. I feel equal. I see no difference between me and any student. When I look at you, I see myself. When I look at you I see deeper than your personality, thinking and problems. I see me at a deep level of consciousness. And we share that mutual recognition.

I don't feel any of what these guys are talking about. So, I guess I am not a guru.  I am Ed and I love you. I do agree though that both student and teacher are transformed in a relationship not only of love, but more deeply a kind of grace that consciousness, more accurately, the self showers on the self during satsang and within our spiritual family. I feel the transformative effects in me due to these interactions, and I both see and hear of transformations happening within our community. Everyone feels embraced and as if they are going deeper into themselves, and it produces both happiness and peace. All these other comments about the bitter role of the poor, put upon guru, to me are pure bull.

At our next satsang I will discuss some of this.


  1. I hear what your saying Edji. I also agree with you. Now Andrew Cohen is a product of Papaji. However he did some nasty things to Papaji so this guy in my opinion is a big fake.
    It's just my opinion though I am sure mileage will vary.

    Much love
    Randy and Whiskey

  2. Did Robert nod when you asked him about Muktananda?

    I somehow feel that he didn't. Did he? :)

  3. "Everyone feels embraced and as if they are going deeper into themselves, and it produces both happiness and peace."

    that's very true, indeed!

  4. They are too far removed from whatever jobs they used to do before they became gurus. It reminds me of songwriters, who start out writing great songs about real life, get famous, then start writing songs about how hard it is living on the road being famous rock stars.

    Can you imagine Jesus, Buddha and Ramana sitting around bitching about their jobs? Me neither. Especially if they knew they were being videotaped.

    Who is this for, really? Is it meant to make their students love them even more for the great “sacrifices” they are making for the sake of enlightening others? It’s enlightening all right, but not in the way they think.

    And what’s up with the clothes? I think it’s just another way of showing us how special they are.

    Bless them all, each and every one.

  5. My sister asked me to watch this. She asked me to watch the whole thing and then share with her my impression of what I had seen.

    "Spiders." ...was what I heard myself say.




  6. Hmmmm

    Students seems a wee burden to these 'Gurus'.. The part on real love at the end was nice though..


  7. Everyone one finds their own level in this world. These people don't make any sense here in this family. but their work( or rather hard work) is exactly what some people need. Such seekers and gurus always get together. Perfection at work...

    Edji you are right, you are not a guru, you are 'The End' of all gurus, paths, seeking, finding, everything!

  8. When Robert used to have lunch with disciples, he apparently used to remark that they spent most of the time telling him about their problems.
    When disciples came to Ramana with their problems all day, he apparently said after, "To whom shall I go with my problems?"
    When people in robes or spiritual outfits showed up to Nisargadatta, he apparently would toss them up before they were even all the way into his loft.

  9. I'm doing fine, Edji. I just abide in the inner state, in the space of beingness. It is changing, growing, consuming me. I sit in formal meditation at least once a day. Aside from more active energetic experiences, and a greater sense of peace, the abidance is the same as out of meditation. Basically, I feel the same in meditation as I do out of it.

    I would like to go deeper, and you mentioned a retreat, which sounds like a great opportunity, but I am at peace and accepting of where I am now. This space is closer to who I Am, and I feel more comfortable here -- less suffocated by the mind, and more free. I also know things will change with time, and I will go deeper when the time is right.

    Worldly life is fine too. I participate more than I should sometimes, I think, but it's only natural. I don't fight it. The girl was a dangerous trap - beautiful, but dangerous!

    Thank you for asking about how I'm doing, Edji. It means a lot to me to have you there.

    I watched the guru video also. I did not get the feeling these men have had very deep realizations, and if they have, they use a ridiculous guru image in the name of their teaching, which is a detriment to it. The fact that they complain about taking on their students problems really makes me wonder. If one is truly sensitive, one has no choice but to be open to the suffering of all sentient beings, whether they are students or animals. Their manner of speech and what they said didn't resonate with me at all. It seems like they are acting in the way they think a guru should act, instead of just being true to themselves, and in the process sharing their teaching. I think that's what a true guru or teacher does, and I think that is what you do, Edji. R.

  10. I thought you guys might enjoy this newsletter of 2008.

    especially the first part about Yogi Ramiah...


    Yogi Ramiah: "Learning that Bhagavan knows Telugu, I went to
    him, offered my respects, sat in his presence and was
    looking at him. I found that he was introverted, his eyes
    were not moving, breath appeared to have stopped —
    no movement was visible in him. Seeing that, I also
    turned my vision inside. As I had acquired dharana siddhi
    at the tip of the nose, I found it easy to turn my vision
    inside. When the vision is turned to the drik (subject)
    inside, the drisya (objects) are not seen. Self was all
    pervading and perfect (purna). In this state I was sitting
    for two hours. I came to the conclusion that when the
    mind was subdued and the objects are not seen, the
    subject and object are merged in the Self, and that Self is
    all pervading and perfect. Ganapathi Sastri had come
    there and I questioned him about this. The sastri replied
    that the subject and object are different. I couldn’t agree
    with what he said. Bhagavan immediately said that when
    the mind is subdued there is only one thing, and that the
    subject and object are not different. I felt very happy on
    hearing this and concluded with certainty that he was
    the Guru and that he had realized the truth."

    Does Ramana's "Guru business or Guru role" look effortfull to anyone at all?
    At least to me it doesn't. He just sits in his own nature. like breathing - even easier then that.

  11. Janet, Love is the essence of consciousness. When it gets associated with forms and objects in consciousness, we have various forms of love, such as parental, child, romantic, etc.

    But when consciousness is transcended, there are no objects, no forms of love, and even the sweetness of consciousness itself is lost.

    Love is a glue within awareness holding everything together. But when you become aware of that which is beyond consciousness, there is no love or anything except peace and completion.

    At least that is my bullshit assessment of the moment.

  12. Spiderman, ha, ha, they seem to feel sorry for themselves.

    They have two natures: a divine and a human nature and they carefully have to balance between these? They have to carry the heavy burden of transforming the karmic rubbish of 50.000 years mankind? They can have no fun (relation) with there disciples for they are raising to far above them? Splitting an atom is easier then living together in a community with 150 people? They can not be spontaneous for they have to watch their words and behavior for the danger that their incapable disciples will got them wrong?

    It seems to me that it is not there students that dump garbage, they do. Do they cut their own superior throat yet?

  13. Yes I saw the video. I will watch again.
    To me they seem to insult everyone not just the students (who have deep devotion towards them) but also the teachers, the tradition, the bond and finally even themselves. Its clear they are a bunch of egocentric fools who are after power and now have no capacity how to handle the adulation.
    They are a curse in the name of teachers.

    All the talk of Love is pure bull. I dont believe that one bit. One who truly loves cant engage in the earlier conversation they had as regards the students.

    In todays world compassion is completely lost and it is replaced by such power hungry, self deluded, self deceptive personalities. How can they not feel the deep thirst for divine Union which is craved and yearned by the seeker? Have they forgotten their own past in the midst of all this fancy adulation?


  14. Nice summary Dennis. I feel disappointed as Shankarananda was once a good friend. I thought he would grow out of his "Muktananda was the only teacher" viewpoint but he did not. He didn't like Robert or my primary Zen teacher.

  15. How can they talk like that? Did they jump from some heaven or something? Haven't they been through the pain and agony of any seeker, the helplessness, the delusions and all that..? A truly awakened being cannot but be compassionate...I'm shocked the way they complain...Will a mother ever complain or throw away a child, however bad the child behaves? Sad to see this Edji.. :(


  16. Trying to see this from another viewpoint:

    1. Who am I to get all righteous just because my teacher wears pink tie-dye T-shirts and sweatpants, instead of flowing satin robes? That's just right with me, maybe not for someone else.

    2. At least they're not lying about how they feel.

    I hope the work they do brings some measure of happiness to them and their students.

    Blessings to us all.

  17. Hi Ed. I listened to the video of the four Guru's. To me they sounded like 4 "ego's" complaining about how unfairly life has thrust this "job" of Guru on them.

    I mean, I could be wrong, I am not spiritually evolved enough to be able to determine who is realized or who isn't. But, their speech seemed to be that of thinker's and
    not spontaneous and free, like someone who has no I (ego). To me the mark of a teacher is - no me there, who would be there to complain? The Guru's acts
    would not be self-centered, but spontaneous and particular to each circumstance - without the intervention of a "me".

    They also seem to have taken on the job of nurse to their students. God, I am here in Canada and you are in the U.S., you don't see the need to run your student's life, you sit as advisor when asked, you don't need anything from us, it is we who pull up our own bootstraps and follow your guidance as best we can.

    I also sensed an atmosphere of self importance among them, how they had taken on such a thankless task as saving humanity. You and Rajiv are nothing like that.

    You are in my corner Ed, and with your encouragement, I travel the path as best I can - who could ask for more!

    Thanks Ed,


  18. Yes, to hear their version of things in the Satsang setting, the guru role has to be one of the most thankless "jobs" one could ever aspire to. It might just be that underneath it all, these "gurus" really resent doing what they feel so obligated to do.
    Better then they find employment at something more "rewarding".