I have been following your blog since late 2009 and have read at least if not all your posts and Q&As..
Initially when you were talking the methods of self-inquiry and Gnana marga only (making mentions about love, energies and Bhakti not very often), people seemed to like it a lot. Now when you are talking about the path Bhakti and love as a means to get in touch with the beingness, everyone seems to have a been taken aback..Many things happened on FB and the blog which seemed to unleash a rainbow of emotions in the participating sangha members and apparently in you too...
Do you think the path of love or devotion can be an unfailing path to get in touch with our beingness..? Are there not too many pitfalls in it where the identifications with the body, gender, energies and sensations, lead to creation of more vaasanas and get us trapped in the same? I feel this is the fear of most people, these days in resorting to devotion, Bhakti or love..Are you setting it as a common path for everyone who wants to get in touch with the Self? Or do you choose the path for each disciple of yours?Why not advocate the path of selfless service also(devoting the energy on say social service, family duties, simple domestic activities or intense physical exercise or activity as a path of releasing shakti and bringing stillness (Basically Karma yoga))? This way more people shall be benefited too..Not like in love, where just the two or just one person(in case of devotion to a deity) is involved..
Pardon if the question is childish...But this is a genuine doubt..Why not choose the proportion of Karma Gnana Bhakthi in alignment to each one's vaasanas? Why are your posts very polar at different points of time? Or is this some way of cooking us all?
Sharadha, very good question, one I am sure many ask.
This is why I teach as I do:
Really, I want you all to find your own way, but you do it with me holding your hand. We are walking together, side by side, hand in hand, while you wonder about your existence. You have to meet your existence and the world, and one another from the heart.
You can only do that once your mind stops, gives up, and becomes clueless.
My teaching is to drop all concepts about enlightenment, God, the path, Awakening, karma, meditation, etc., and allow feeling from the heart rather than thinking, judgments and oughts from the mind to control your existence.
Now, today we have a strong current of Advaita pervading everywhere and people grab onto these concepts, and many think that just understanding them is enlightenment. It is not. Understanding is of the mind and the mind can never grasp beingness or the heart. Mind has to go to learn how to shut up the constant thinking, talking and searching done with the mind, and solidly rest in beingness so that the heart can lead your life.
But this is not so easy, because there are so many concepts about what an enlightened being is like or is supposed to be, so many concepts about Awakening and who is awakened or not. Currently the idea is going around that everyone is awakening easily just by looking inside for a few seconds, into beingness, and not finding the self as an object.
But this is hardly the first step; you have to learn how to feel with the heart, literally. There is a heart-center, and you need to learn how to perceive the world through that heart center. When you can do this, finally you are at the beginning of the path.
Given this step you can really love, really love like never before.
But this whole trip is made so much easier if you fall in love with someone, something, or an animal. This outwardly directed love, IF YOU ARE MATURE ENOUGH, can lead to Self-Realization.
This is the path I now teach, a path to knowing yourself, not to the Absolute, not to the witness, not to residing in and identifying with beingness.
Yes, I could teach a path of service, and I do mention it a lot, such as ending the killing of animals for meat.
But the way I respect most is love as a royal road to Self-Realization. Once you have Self-Realization, all the other types of awakening are easy to find. But the way of Self-Realization only begins when first you grasp yourself as God, as the divine, as the Self, and there after your life is so rich. Unlike the Jnani, you never feel you may have missed something.