Realizing the Manifest Self--the Life Force permeating our humanity--and the Unmanifest source from which it arises.
17 May 2012
A Response to My Previous Post Below:
WOW!!! Once again you speak brutally honest and straight from the heart. These are things perhaps neither a hardcore "traditional advaitin" nor a "neo-advaitin" would understand or want to acknowledge. There are few wonderful facts that you are pointing to which a seeker and teacher may come across. I am completely in agreement with you about how most feel they "got it" just by reading Sri Ramana or Maharajs book--the awe that Advaita exhumes can often be very misleading. Its at a mental plane and you will see that how easily such people will trip off their "realisation" when faced with a real challenge. Without real penetration into the void and even deeper beyond it (where the world/I-ness/senses cease to exist) unless that state is truly witnessed, there is no real gain. Later Turiya and void of all voids (unknown) is known and goal is achieved (non dual state of Advaita).
Though I can understand why you say that traditional advaita or rather self-inquiry (Advaita is more like a goal while inquiry is still one of means like yoga, Bhakti or karma) seems dull as a practice because it underplays the personal love however in my experience it is not necessarily so. Atma -vichar merely emphasises attention to be paid to the I -sense but it is most unfortunate if there is no love between the student and teacher (even of a personal nature). Infact if it lacks a personal love and close proximity with the teacher most of them drift away from the goal. The reason is the Guru is one of most powerful instrument towards achieving the goal. A drift away from the Guru is a delay away from the goal. Ofcourse one can still keep practicing on its own and still get there but there will be no powerful medium of inspiration to guide. Of course the teacher always points that the attention be paid to the Self within however such adherence also is only possible if there is love and surrender for the teacher. Most take the teachers words literally and fail to understand that the key to unlocking the door is through love of ones teachers. The one point that most miss is that Grace works through some form and channel. Even Sri Ramana who had no physical human Guru still needed Arunachala as his Guru. In the ultimate sense there is only the Self --of course. There is no Arunachala too. Sri Ramana knew that. Yet he too worshiped Arunachala --a outer form apart from the Self.
Much is transmitted through a physical Guru to his students on very subtle levels so being in the presence is definitely advantageous. Yet shaktipath is a mystery. It has its own intelligence. It is transformative for both the Guru and the student. The guru may seem to be a medium through which this Shakti works but he is unaware how this will actually work in him and his students. A guru is only an instrument of the Shakti and allows it to work in any capacity it deems fit. This is ofcourse only my experience.
You have your reasons and experience to emphasise a particular way. It's your choice and way. According to my experience you cannot advocate only one way to everybody. Each will find his own way whether Bhakti, Jnana, yoga or Zen. The personal love will automatically develop if its strong.