24 April 2012

The Evolution of the Guru

A year ago I posted the below interview between Andrew Cohen, my friend Shankarananda, Chetananda and Brother Charles.  At this time we were in the midst of looking for an LA Ashram location.  I thought these guys were utterly arrogant.

A year later, I have learned so much.  Listen especially to Chetananda.  He is the guy on the left.  Shankaranada is next, then Andrew Cohen, then Brother Charles, who I thought was certifiable.  Yet, even he had something to say that was true.

The guru just wants to share his or her joy and to play, but the people who come have little joy and little playfulness.  They come with expectations which the teacher and others are always failing.

As one of my students said, they think you know everything, including what you want, and they want you to drop that in their lap immediately instead of spending 40 years like I did.

You see, there is a lot of expectations about what a guru is and how they are supposed to act, but students hardly ever put any boundaries on themselves.  They usually don't ask, "What is expected of me?  What is my part and my burden?"

Really, watch it twice and watch it again tomorrow.


  1. This is Roberts teaching on this same topic;

    Many people still can't understand why people who become self-realized seem to suffer, physically or otherwise. A week doesn't go by when somebody doesn't ask me this question, "How can a person who claims to be self-realized like Ramana Maharshi and Ramakrishna and many others, die such horrible deaths? Is it worth going after freedom like that? Is it worth becoming liberated when you're going to die a horrible death of cancer, or something else?"
    Now this kind of question is completely ludicrous to me. It's ludicrous to me because who asked the question, the Jnani or the ajnani? Who suffers? Can't you see by now, that what you see is only in a certain dimension. Where most of you are right now, you see birth and death, sickness and health, poverty and riches. You see duality. So naturally your body was born to die if that's what you see, and that's where you're coming from, and suffering appears to ensue. But from the Jnanis viewpoint, there is no one who was ever born, and no one suffers.
    Ramakrishna appeared to be wasting away, and some of you say, "How can you say that? Look what happened to him? We witnessed it. We saw it. We read about it." Who's this we? Who are you anyway? If you consider yourself a human being, naturally you are going to witness suffering. But did Ramakrishna admit he was suffering? Did Ramana Maharshi admit he was suffering? They were laughing all the way to hell. No ones ever suffered, and no one will ever suffer. It's the way you see things. You have to lift yourself up, and you have to see things from a different viewpoint. You did not come to this earth. You were never born. Your body is not even maintained and sustained. Neither is the world. There is only the absolute reality.
    So many of these Sages, to make the public feel better, they say what happened to these people is they took on the karma of their devotees, now that's a lie. It's a lie because there's no karma! There is nothing to take on! It appears like this to the ajnani, who beholds, with his or her eyes, somebody suffering.
    Now I don't want you to go out and laugh at the people in the hospital who are dying, or go to a dying person and say, "You're not suffering. You're just making believe." That would be nonsense, stupidity. When you realize a person believes that they are suffering, you should never tell them they're not, because at that stage of life they don't know what you're talking about. It is therefore your duty to help. It is your duty to come to the aid of everyone in trouble, as long as you believe you are human, and you are the body, and you go through experiences. So does everybody else that you see. But when you come to the life of a Sage, it's a completely different ball game. The Sage doesn't see the same things that you see.

    As you can see Robert was totally beyond the beyond, there was no karma to take on whatsoever.

    Silence IS.

  2. Heres another example of Robert in dialogue at satsang on the taking on of karma;

    ST: Why can't you take on karma?
    R: Don't have any left.
    ST: Not personal karma I mean world karma?
    R: Because there is nobody left to take it on.
    SG: In the world?
    R: No in the person, he asked why can't an enlightened person...
    SG: He doesn't want to take the responsibility that’s not what he is after?
    SF: There is nobody left in him!
    SJ: There is no perception of karma because it doesn't exist anymore.
    R: There has to be somebody to take on karma.
    SG: If you thought it that way then the enlightened person because there can be karma for any person? SH: There is no person there! The person vanished!
    SG: The person vanished yeah but the person is there because we see him and he is real.
    SH: That is your idea of what you are seeing.
    SG: He's real, he is because if you go and lift the arm there is something there.
    R: Well that's your perception.
    SH: It's the way you look at it.

    Silence IS.

  3. Here's another from Roberts dialogues;

    Well there’s one school of thought that tells you that the Sage takes on the evil karma of the devotees. I do not agree with this. The Sage has absolutely nothing in him or her to take on anything. There has to be a taker. There has to be a part of the Sage that is still active in this world in order to take on the evil karma of somebody else. But since karma does not exist, evil does not exist therefore how is this possible for this to happen. This is a story that is told. Perhaps some yogi's may take this on themselves. If they have transferred the disease to their own body perhaps they can do this. As a rule Sages never do anything like this.
    The actual reality of the fact of the Jnani is this: There is health and sickness, disillusion, regeneration, good and bad this has to be transcended. Instead of trying to bring health to a sick person the proper action to take I believe would be to transcend both, health and sickness. For one leads to the other. Who is healthy and who is sick? The ego. If the ego goes where can there be sickness or health? There is only sickness and health because the mind or the ego seems to be active.

    Silence IS.

  4. I preferred Robert in his baseball cap n trainers. I think if you dress the role you're gonna attract a fair share of nutters. Ed, make your life easier and bring out a checkbox enlightenment app for iphone then all those wanting immediate salvation can buy it for $3.50.

  5. the above is all true - but what did Robert or the Beyond/Silence appearing as Robert do with Dimitri (Robert s dog)?

    Concerning the video of these Gurus - i am not necessarily attracted to them..they somehow do not speak to my heart..nor am i interested in the people that are usually around or attracted to them..

    thats also one of the reasons i had to disassociate from You Edji on facebook...there s just too many people around you (more then 1000) that just know so much better and so much more about realization, Self, God and the universe then You,Robert,Ramana, Buddha and thereby at the same time have no idea what kind of energy - not from the heart- they are eminating--just mental bull s. energy...and that at times can be really difficult and distracting..

    Your real devotees or earnest students of course are a totally different chapter-in the most positive and highest sense.

    SILENCE IS - and from That LOVE is born.

  6. It is all mind. So, I come with all the shit, poop all over the place and around myself and think "what the fuck.. this guru stinks... i am out of here...".
    But if by some luck or Grace i have seen through my arrogance and pride, I stay.
    This is how it basically works. :D

  7. "All of our humanness is really a manifestation of the Divine."

    I feel this deeper and deeper every day as the Self permeates all aspects of experience.

    And this is a good thing, because experience is not going anywhere, nor does it need to. What freedom, just in seeing this. What understanding and compassion arise just in seeing this.


  8. Sometimes the guru really is just covered in shit though. Let's not make excuses for bad behavior.

  9. Spiderman is some profound shit, btw.

  10. They do make it clear that assuming the role of teacher can be onerous. But isn't their taking on of that role responsible for the situation they describe? I would expect (perhaps erroneously) that if one is certain that everyone is already realized then it wouldn't be such a burden. Isn't that why Robert felt no need to create much of a following and even said (I believe) that he was not a teacher or a guru.

    Perhaps the teachers with mixed reputations have them because they dropped this feelings of concern (responsibilities) for representing themselves properly. On the other hand Edji speaks of some of these as being very brave by allowing their (apparent) foibles to be so visible. But is one brave if there is no longer anything to fear?

  11. I think you had it right the first time, Ed. These guys are arrogant a holes. What is it about being realized that lets these guys beleve it's OK to fuck their female and male disciples, lie in order to steal their followers' money, threaten them with guns, etc? All of them have been accused of one or all of these, repeatedly.

    There is no great insight provided by them. Even a half assed parent does much more for their children than these guys do.

  12. I'm pretty sure this is a different segment of their discussion than the one you published before. This may account for your different take on it. They're not bitching about their jobs quite as much here.

    I do appreciate your unending willingness to reconsider your previous views and pronouncements. That alone is a valuable example. I wonder if these guys are as willing to do that as you are?

    Just God pretending to be four fools in funny clothes. But then, who isn't?

  13. If Buddha wanted to get realized today would he sit down unter the Bodhi tree or watch youtube videos ? :)

  14. @ Jeff J: Actually this is exactly the same video Ed published a year ago, on April 15th 2011.

    Interesting what Ed said back then and also some of the comments, like that one:

    "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.. :("

    I would say a good mother or a truly awakened being can complain, but they will only do so for the benefit of the child/disciple...

  15. @ Anonymous: You're right, it does look like exactly the same video, I couldn't find the earlier one before. Rereading my own comments from then, I guess my perspective hasn't changed as much as Ed's has in a year, I still find their costumes and their comments to be equally pretentious.

    God pretending to be four fools in funny clothes? Or four fools in funny clothes pretending to be God? Who the heck really knows?

    Blessings on all of us.

  16. yeah, i've like chetanananda for a long time. juicy, lots of 'shakti'. alot of interesting points. i like what they said about the guru being the 'garbage dump' for everyone's shit. i see why u like this ed. it's so rare to see four teachers talking so openly about the good, the bad and the ugly of being a 'guru'.

  17. Ed, concerning the questions you mentioned "What is expected of me? What is my part and my burden?", what answer do you give your students?

  18. This is a joke, right?
    Ed, you and you guru friends should know that it's all perfect, just as it is. But I don't think you'll get much sympathy from most working people for having to earn your guru status.