|Dr. Robert Puff||
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In this issue, Greg Goode's regular Friday column. Also a very nice step by step introductory teaching in Advaita. Only the first 40 of the 1008 brief steps are given; you can visit the link and read all of them.
Why it's OK not to be Ramana Maharshi
There's Ramana, who
passed away in 1950, and who is revered and worshipped by more
people every year. A quick google search yields over
230,000 hits for web pages with the search term "ramana
And then there's me. Ordinary joe.
Would the outcome of self inquiry actually transform me into Ramana Maharshi? Would it make me similar to Ramana? Would I attain a person-to-person comparative similarity to him? What would that similarity consist of? The same height, weight, eyes, accent? The same physical, mental or meditative states? The same renown?
I've known people who seriously consider these questions. Others have asked these questions about Jesus, Buddha or other world-renowned teachers.
For myself, I do not have these questions. Let Thine Eye/I Be Single. The "I" of Awareness is unconditional, always and already. It is equally the being of Ramana, Jesus and Buddha, as well as all ordinary joes and janes. Awareness is the being of all. So "this joe" doesn't need to be "Ramana" because "I" already is.
A step by step first exposure to advaita
Through a dialogue of 1008 entries
Important note: The following rambling conversation has been composed as an attempt to bring to the lay reader some truths of advaita, without venturing into long passages. So a conscious effort has been made to reduce each bit of the conversation to a single line (with just eight exceptions). It has turned out to be a no-holds-barred dialogue, long and continuous. In the modern days of desire to learn without tears, this perhaps would carry a message to those of us who, inspite of their intelligence in everything pertaining to the world, think of themselves as dummies in advaita. Incidentally I imposed on myself another restriction, namely I will not exceed 1008 entries in this conversation. And thus it has been a useful nidhidhyAsana (Contemplation on what I have learnt) exercise for me. And one may notice, the whole treatment goes in slow motion, step by step. Concepts are brought in, one step at a time. I think this is good for a purposeful nidhidhyAsanA, especially for a beginner on the spiritual path. I apologise for not breaking it into smaller sections or chapters, because the continuous flow of thoughts would not admit breaks.
My PraNAms to all the Great Gurus of the world and the Guru of Gurus, Shri dakshhiNAmUrti.
A step by step first exposure to advaita
Through a dialogue of 1008 single lines
2. Guru : JnAna-vairAgya-siddhir-astu (May you achieve Wisdom and Dispassion)
3. S: I wish the painfulness in the world were unreal.
4. G: What makes you wish so?
5. S: Because I feel the pain.
6. G: Who is this that feels the pain?
7. S: I, myself.
8. G: Did you say yourself or your self?
9. S: What is the difference?
10. G: There is a lot of difference. But please answer my question.
11. S: I dont see any difference.
12. G: That is the problem; in fact it is a disease called samsAra.
13. S: I dont see it as a disease, but I see you are hinting at something. Can you explain?
14. G: Your self is different from yourself.
15. S: I see you are referring to that something called my self, which is not myself ?
16. G: You may better call it your Self, with a capital S.
17. S: Where is it? I have not seen it or felt it.
18. G: You have never seen it because it is you yourself.
19. S: Just now you said there is a difference between myself and my Self.
20. G: But you said you dont see any difference.
21. S: So what is right? You are confusing me.
22. G: Good, that is where you have to start. State your confusion clearly.
23. S: What is the difference between myself and my Self?
24. G: One is perishable, the other is not.
25. S: I see. Yes, myself is perishable. But I am not clear why my Self is not perishable.
26. G: You are jumping the line.You have not yet accepted there is a Self other than yourself.
27. S: I thought you said that my Self is myself.
28. G: It depends on what you mean by the words myself and my Self.
29. S: Are you not playing with words?
30. G: No. yourself is what you ordinarily think you are. your Self is what you are.
31. S: Then what I am is my Self. Is that right?
32. G: Yes, that is the final teaching of the Upanishads. Better to call it The Self.
33. S: What difference does it make to my daily life?
34. G: It makes this difference; if you dont absorb this teaching, you are bound to suffer.
35. S: Are you referring to me or , my Self which you are calling The Self.
36. G: The Self will never suffer; it is you who will suffer.
37. S: I am still not clear why you are making this distinction between me and my Self.
38. G: When I talk to you as you I am only talking to you as a body, with mind & intellect.
39. S: And in the other case?
40. G: I am referring to the Self or the Atman that is permanently within you not the body, mind or intellect.
Read the remaining 968 lines! http://www.geocities.com/profvk/advaitadialoguepage1.html
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