TAKES THE MYSTERY OUT OF ADVAITA
Photo © Rasa Von Werder
ASHANKAH'S YAHOO GROUP
Dear Rasa Yogi, your last message was a good reading. However, as usual I have found that your thoughts on ‘Advaita’ to be little different than as I have understood it and hence I would like to comment a little on some of the lines from your last message. Possibly this could reduce the gap between our thoughts. But, of course, sinking the gap is neither very important nor the intention of my commenting.
[I am now at odds with Swami G and had a little torment, as she wants me to give up all duality, including the War with Sarlo!]
Like Swami G I too believe that you could give up the war with Sarlo, however, that has nothing to do with Advaita.
Advaita (non-dualism) doesn’t mean that a non-dualist cannot fight against evil. Lord Krishna instigated Arjuna to war against evil that doesn’t mean that Krishna was a dualist. He was a hardcore Non-Dualist. On the contrary his philosophy of non-dualism is more complicated to understand. He said, “I am in everyone but everyone is not in me’
“The ‘Spirit’, what we call God, is manifest in all beings – living as well as non-living”; that is ‘Advaita’ philosophy. Anybody who agrees to this statement, not just in letters but in spirit of the statement, is a Non-Dualist. Then, it doesn’t matter whether that person is aggressive or passive, whether he is a ‘saint’ or ‘sinner’, he is in his twenties or nineties.
A very simple example would show how most people, knowingly or unknowingly follow this philosophy of Advaita. After someone dies it doesn’t matter to the “Body” of the dead person, whether the body is thrown in gas chamber or given a grand funeral. But still since ages, all over the world, people cremate/ bury the ‘body’ with due respect. Why so much respect to a dead body? Just for the fact that though the ‘individual spirit’ leaves the body at the time of death the ‘universal spirit’ is still manifest in the ‘body’. Even a microscopic object cannot exist if That Spirit is not manifest in it and that knowledge, “Every being is manifestation of God’ is ‘Advaita’ philosophy.
Advaita doesn’t mean that evil shouldn’t be punished. Advaita just teaches that since every being is divine, it should be treated spiritually. Advaita doesn’t mean that a criminal shouldn’t be tortured; Advaita means that before a criminal is tortured he should be given enough chance to reveal the truths. Criminals should be given the freedom to use their Free Will to choose between (a) revealing the truth without being tortured and (b) revealing the truth after being tortured. Advaita doesn’t mean non-killing; Advaita means, if it comes to killing, give him an easy death. Evil has to be punished but there is always a spiritual way of doing that. Understanding that spiritual way is understanding ‘Advaita’.
are all souls to be there all the time, even the saints? I trust not. Why?
Because this state of Peace, absolute Peace, has no AMBITION. Where a contemplative
is without a doubt is a place of
being 'above it all' in the highest reaches, and everything flows and happens. But this is not for everyone at all times, I trust - or else why did Jesus and many others WALK THE EARTH SEEKING DISCIPLES AND PROVOKED GREAT SUFFERING FOR HIMSELF AND DISCIPLES? Same as Jesus were Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., and they also suffered Jesus' fate, as have all martyrs and many activists! And yet, should not this work be done? Should all saints become 'ENCLOSED' - NONDUAL - CONTEMPLATIVES?]
Everyone has ambition. Many a time we just don’t understand other people’s ambitions. British ruled India for more than three centuries. Post mid 19th century and beginning of 20th century India’s struggle for freedom became too intense, which gave rise to several diehard freedom fighters. However, even at that time there were great people like JC Bose, CV Raman, JRD Tata, Swami Vivekananda, RR Mohan Roy, et el. who were concentrating on invention, technology, industrialization, spiritualism, social reforms, etc. Many freedom fighters might have been thinking that the country is going through the toughest time under British and these people are busy with technology and spirituality instead of fighting for freedom! But the fact is that there is too much to do and everyone has ambitions. Just that everyone cannot be working on just one goal. Some great souls such as Jesus, Gandhi, ML King do things which is visible to masses. While there are some others, whose work is not very visible to the world but we never know who is doing what in silence.
[But if you are called to action, you must be in the life of action, not in the life of the hermit!]
One ‘Destination’ can have several paths. Some Saints preach millions whereas some others prefer enlightening just a few, knowing that those few would preach millions. Hardly a few people from countryside knew Sri Ramakrishna during His lifetime. However, his handful of disciples has taught the Master’s teachings worldwide.
Hardly anybody heard of great ones such as Sri Laheri Mahashya and Sri Yukteshwar Giri. But their initiated disciple Sri Yogananda Paramahansa spread the Gurus’ teachings worldwide and today even after his passing away from physical world there are millions of disciples and followers of that lineage of gurus.
The gurus of Sri Yogananda were married, had family and did full time job to earn their living. But these things have nothing to do with Self-Realization. ‘Religion’ has a thousand restrictions; ‘Spirituality’ has no such restrictions. The only rule of ‘Spirituality’ is to do everything spiritually. It shouldn’t matter whether we reach our goal with life of action or life of hermit as long as we live it spiritually.
[But don't some people have to walk with sinners? With those who are down and dirty with sin, filthy with it, really stuck in lower planes? Who will go there? Not many. But I will!]
Honestly speaking I believe that whatever a person does he does it for his own happiness. Even when it looks as if we are doing it for somebody else, it’s still for our own happiness. When we help a friend it may look as if we did it for the friend’s happiness but the truth is that we help our friend because we feel happy in his happiness and thus indirectly we do it for our own happiness.
When a man buys a diamond necklace for his wife, he doesn’t do it just because his wife would be happy but because in his wife’s happiness lies his happiness. If a man buys a necklace and secretly slips it in a lady’s bag in a crowd then that lady would definitely be happy when she finds it on opening her bag. But people don’t do such a thing because, as mentioned, we wouldn’t try to make somebody happy if we don’t enjoy the happiness in that person’s being happy.
Well, if that’s true then let’s accept that everything we do in life is for our own happiness, directly or indirectly. When a wife and children demand time from a workaholic man, who is always after making money, the man says that he is doing all that for the family and not himself. When politicians ask for votes they too claim that they want to be elected so that they can serve the state and country, they don’t accept that they are doing it for their own happiness. So much so, many spiritual teachers ask for donations to publish books and journals to spread their name and fame but claim they are asking donation for spreading spirituality.
We, who are really spiritual, should get out of these claims and admit that we are not doing anything for anybody but for ourselves, our own happiness.
Let’s walk with so called sinners, only when we believe it to be the voluntary work of God and know that we are doing it for our own happiness.
I apologize in advance, if I said anything wrong. But, if so, I always love to be corrected.
At many a place where ‘he’ is mentioned it’s understood
that it could be ‘he’ or ‘she’. Just for the ease
of writing ‘he’ is used instead of ‘he or she’.
ASHANKAH'S YAHOO GROUP