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#3216 - Thursday, July 3, 2008 -
Editor: Jerry Katz
Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights
Here are two articles on popular nonduality.
One article introduces a new website, Guru's Feet: "As having a "guru" within or without is important for one's spiritual development, a special emphasis is drawn in Guru's Feet to sharing and finding valuable information and opinions regarding gurus, spiritual teachers, masters, etc."
The other is by Deepak Chopra about Nisargadatta Maharaj's book, I Am That: "Just as reading one scene of Hamlet is enough to convince you that Shakespeare is a great writer, reading five pages of Nisargadatta convinces you (if you can be convinced at all) that this untutored man is in touch with deepest wisdom."
A new and popularized website for nondual teachings is Guru's Feet: A Meeting Place for Spiritual People, at http://www.gurusfeet.com The website has blogs, forums, networking opportunities, a list of gurus (I think you could even add yourself or someone else), and even an online temple. You have to register to access much of the site, however there are no charges. They do accept donations and carry Google ads.
The following is from GurusFeet.com:
We have come to find out that ultimately there is very little difference between the many spiritual traditions, gurus and sects paths may slightly differ in appearance but the destination, cause and essence are the same, come on, by definition, there can be only one god, call it whatever name you like.
Consequently, we have decided to develop Guru's Feet to provide the first worldwide united spiritual portal truly open to diverse spiritual people and different spiritual communities, a fun place to meet, share and consequently grow in each one's spiritual development path. This is our modest contribution to helping humanity.
Guru's Feet provides social networking facilities, gadgets and applications, as well as community and content services, all customized and developed with the special needs and sensitivities of spiritual people in mind (and beyond the mind :).
As having a "guru" within or without is important for one's spiritual development, a special emphasis is drawn in Guru's Feet to sharing and finding valuable information and opinions regarding gurus, spiritual teachers, masters, etc.
Recently, Guru's Feet Universal Online Temple was debuted to allow people from different sects to unite their energies, pray and meditate together.
We really hope that you find Guru's Feet spiritually beneficial and important as well as enjoyable!
If you have any suggestions or comments, we urge you to promptly contact us and share them with us.
Many people who appreciate what we are doing ask how they can help. We never charge for using Guru's Feet but we are grateful for any gifts people wish to freely give. Given our very limited financial resources, they would facilitate the maintenance and further development of this important project. If you wish to make a financial contribution, please kindly visit the donation page.
Deepak Chopra recently wrote about Nisargadatta Maharaj for the Newsweek/Washington Post website. You can visit the page and make a comment. Only one comment has been made so far. It seems like I'm no longer surprised to see articles like this in the mainstream press.
There's a single book that I reread every year: "I Am That" by Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897-1981). The title is a quotation. In India the goal of enlightenment is to see reality as a whole. When all illusion has fallen away, one looks around and can say, with complete confidence, "I am That, you are That, and all this is That."
What does the word "That" mean?
It means the essence of existence. What does the essence of
existence mean? There is no adequate definition, and therefore a
huge mystification has built up around "That."
Nisargadatta Maharaj, whose name is almost totally unknown in the
West, comes as close as possible to putting pure essence into
words. In my experience, every reader who has discovered his book
considers it magical, and those of us who treasure it feel that
it opens a window into eternity, in part because of what
Nisargatta says, but much more because of its astonishing ability
to change the reader.
The Wikipedia article on Nisargadatta (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nisargadatta_Maharaj) informs us that the 1973 publication of "I Am That" made him world famous. That's a stretch, but the book did rise to the top of required reading in modern Indian spirituality. The text is made up entirely of transcripts of informal talks given above the tiny shop that Nisargadatta ran in Mumbai. He himself couldn't write, being an uneducated farm boy who moved to the big city. He reached enlightenment in a remarkable way. As he walked behind his plow in his native village, he reminded himself that he was the essence of Being, not a person with human limitations. Or to be precise, his guru told him "You are That."
It is believed in India that the liberated state, or Moksha, takes hundreds of lifetimes to attain. One supposes, then, that this illiterate farm boy must have prepared a long time for the breakthrough into enlightenment. So far as we know he never practiced spiritual disciplines. As he put it, his guru told him "You are That," and Nisargadatta believed him.
I won't give away what Nisargadatta talks about in this book -- he is never trivial, however. One is immediately transported into his extraordinary presence. Just as reading one scene of Hamlet is enough to convince you that Shakespeare is a great writer, reading five pages of Nisargadatta convinces you (if you can be convinced at all) that this untutored man is in touch with deepest wisdom -- he breathes an air more rarefied than ours. He possesses a quality we struggle to express in English-- absolute knowingness. As simply as Nisargadatta speaks -- simple enough to be understood by a ten-year-old -- the effect upon the reader is powerful enough to cause deep sympathy and trust, and in some readers there is actual transformation. Every time I reread "I Am That," I close the book convinced that the world would change entirely if everyone in it took Nisaargadatta's wisdom to heart.
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