The "True" Teacher!
Below are six short videos from YouTube of Nisargadatta. He was Jean Dunn’s teacher, and I think, the clearest and deepest of the 20th Century Jnanis. His personality is entirely, 180 degrees opposite that of Ramana and Robert Adams. The latter two are the “presentation molds” that many of you accept as signs of a “true” guru. Quietistic, smiling or at least vacant, always loving, always beatific, gentle, with a quiet, non-inflected voice.
Take a look at Maharaj. He appears agitated, smoking like a chimney, he eats meat, and his movements are jerky, chaotic, and awkward. He is irritable with his students and not at all patient. He seems to be in a great hurry all the time. Often he kicks people out of Satsang for no known reason and plays games with some of his students, just as Jean Dunn, in order to make them uncomfortable. In all ways, he is an anti-Ramana and an anti Robert.
Even Robert said he did not care for Maharaj because the latter was “rude.”
Yet Nisargadatta, almost as much as Ramana and Robert, created the face of Advaita we now see in the West. Even most the neo-Advaitins claim him as a progenitor.
Now, I also studied closely, for a long period of time with five Zen masters, including Seung Sahn Soen Sa. Seung Sahn too was a 20th Century powerhouse that transformed the face of Zen in the United States and in Europe. He must have had at least a dozen centers teaching his style of Zen when he died. He may have had 30 or 40 for all I know. He published a half dozen books and had thousands of students.
I was lucky. I had a lot of contact with him in the mid 70s when his base of operations was in Los Angeles. Seung Sahn too, always appeared to be in a hurry. He was a dynamo. AND, his anger was legendary! Often we would hear S.S. on the phone to someone in Korea or in Providence, shouting at the top of his lungs. He went ballistic when someone presented him his oatmeal one morning with raisins in it. He screamed, “I have diabetes; I can’t have raisins.” One of his monks told me that if anyone fools around with any of his major donors, he almost tears their face off.
Thus, I am curious. Why are so many of you out there convinced that a “true” teacher always looks and acts like Ramana? Please tell me, what is it that you get out of a teacher that has a quietist presentation like Ramana, rather than having a rich, dynamic, and energetic delivery with a full range of affect? Is it that you too have a “rich and overly energetic” presentation which you find painful and you seek respite from yourself in creating an illusion of peace?
I do not get it. For many of you, a “true” teacher never gets angry or agitated. He does not participate in life. He lives in a different world, a world of peace, gentleness, no anger, no reaction to the world, desireless, sexless, and not a hint of judgment? Are you that needy of escape from your own humanity? Robert himself was not the way he came across is Satsang.
Even in Satsang his sarcasm came across, but when you were with him, his sarcasm, which is a judging, became sharper, and behind people’s backs, he would be judgmental. Never in public mind you, but personally he would express his judgments about people, including who to trust or not trust, who was advanced and who was not.
Look, I am 70 years old. Maybe I have another ten years of teaching. I am in a hurry too. I hate watching people cling to their ideas of what a “perfect” teacher is like, or how they should express themselves, or what their inner state is like.
These concepts prevent you from realistically seeing yourself as you are and becoming yourself, because these concepts are filters by which you judge, and thus accept or reject, the teaching being offered, and also accept or reject the energetic impact of the teacher on you.
It is really, really difficult to come to a teacher empty of concepts and judgments. And, this is precisely what a teacher is trying to teach: How to become empty of concepts, completely open. This is why I attack your concepts about spirituality and gurus.
Move past your rejections and your limiting concepts, and behold Nisargadatta the Terrible!