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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Spirituality & Beliefs > Non Duality

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  #41  
Old 24-11-2017, 10:57 AM
iamthat iamthat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blossomingtree
"I spent many years looking into various teachers of Advaita, or Nonduality. (It's also been called "neo Advaita" by some, which is meant to be derogatory from what I can tell.)

It all started when I read a book by Gangaji, who claimed to be in the lineage of the apparently saintly Ramana Maharshi of India.

Conventiently, Ramana Maharshi has been dead since 1950, so he can't be questioned about any "lineage". But I've read in several places that he never designated one. (If only I had known this when I read the book by Gangaji.)

I feel lucky that I didn't go completely insane while attempting very diligently to follow the advice of Gangaji and other Advaita "teachers".

Thanks to blossomingtree for the various postings - I have always considered the Neo-Advaitists to be somewhat limited in their understanding, although I still enjoy reading some of their ideas.

Regarding Gangaji, she was obviously not a direct disciple of Ramana Maharshi, but instead came to HWL Poonjaji (who was a direct disciple of RM) in 1990, who gave her the name Gangaji and asked her to share what she had realised.

But one of the criticisms levelled at Poonjaji is that he was too ready to credit others as enlightened or fully realised. Or perhaps some of his students were over-eager to get out there and teach before they were ready to do so (eg Andrew Cohen).

No doubt this discussion will go on and on.

Peace.
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  #42  
Old 24-11-2017, 11:07 AM
Shivani Devi Shivani Devi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iamit
A discussion can be had about the differences between TA and NA and how each can be helpful to seekers depending on the character, and I look forward to that debate without abuse towards the participants in it.
Dear Iamit - would you like me to go into the whole philosophy of my character according to Advaita? I can assist you there.

Whether it be Traditional or Neo Advaita, there's ONE word missing...one word that makes ALL the difference here.....VEDANTA!

I am more of an Advaita Vedantin than a TA OR NA and why is that? simple...because I am a Hindu....a pure, dyed in the wool, Hindu.

I belong to the glorious religion of Sanatana Dharma...pretty much a scholar on it...and I have very deep beliefs and convictions relating TO it.

Even most people who are TA would not have even studied the Vedas and Upanishads...I spent 10 years DOING so.

I had to put down the Chhandogya Upanishad halfway through it because I became totally immersed in a bliss state and I realised; "now I UNDERSTAND why they call it Vedanta...I GET IT!"

Ved = Vedic Wisdom and Anta = the end OF!

Vedanta means the end of Vedic wisdom...and what happens when you can know NO more? when you cannot think any more? when you can't philosophise any more? argue any more? reason any more?...you realise Brahman for yourself!

So, if Vedanta means the 'End of the Vedas" then Advaita Vedanta means the totally non-dual ending of all that can be known...what could possibly come after that? a whole NEW non-duality? I don't think so.

...and THIS is my core reasoning...and THIS is why I take issue...and THIS is why I say everything I DO about it...even though, as you know, I'm not really saying it. ;)
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  #43  
Old 24-11-2017, 11:49 AM
Gem Gem is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iamit
Yes, including NA speakers.

I just bag ND NA all together, but to me, what it comes down to is, if I can see how what is said is true of myself, then I'm like, 'oh yea I can see that' - but if I can't see how it applies to myself, I try to keep an open mind anyway.

Personally, I don't have an attachment so much that it seems important, so I find it all OK, and you know, 'what me worry', as Alfred E Neuman would say.
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  #44  
Old 24-11-2017, 12:05 PM
Moondance Moondance is offline
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Originally Posted by Gem
but to me, what it comes down to is, if I can see how what is said is true of myself, then I'm like, 'oh yea I can see that' - but if I can't see how it applies to myself, I try to keep an open mind anyway.

A wise approach, Gem.

NA doesn’t actually exist beyond a cartoon sketch… of a straw man. What is really going on here is that we have a traditional, gradualist, methodology (which I respect and have found illuminating over the past couple of decades) which exists alongside other schools and religions.

Then there are the various expressions that are on the outside of these systematized schools. These include the various and diverse satsang/nonduality expressions from Ramana Maharshi onward - including Nisargadatta, Balsekar, Alan Watts, J Krishnamurti, Jean Klein, UGK… etc. More recent satsang/nonduality speakers include the likes of Tony Parsons, Adyashanti, Toni Packer and Eckhart Tolle etc.

Alongside this we have the influence of Western philosophy: The Absolute Monism of Spinoza. Idealists such as Kant and Schopenhauer. Hume’s investigations of the absence of self etc. Then there are the poets, mystics and artists; Rumi, Hafiz, Lao Tzu, William Blake… and so on.

None of these present a true gradualist, systematic approach though many of them advocate self inquiry, meditation (my own particular bias), immersion in nature, solitude etc.
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  #45  
Old 24-11-2017, 12:16 PM
Shivani Devi Shivani Devi is offline
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I also have the intuition that a LOT of it could/may be based upon past-life influence or karma as well.

For example, those who are new to the philosophy, the philosophy will be new to them and they would gravitate more towards the contemporary thinkers on the matter.

If one has studied the philosophy in a past life/lives, the traditional methods will feel like a comfortable old chair, whilst the new schools of thought tend to present themselves as a rather re-hashed and totally superficial version of all they are already familiar with.

However, as they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating...just don't choke on it.

Namaste
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  #46  
Old 24-11-2017, 12:21 PM
Gem Gem is online now
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Originally Posted by Shivani Devi
Not at all, Gem.

I am all for other paths and other teachings. I'm quite open and liberal in regards, but promoting one philosophy from the very one it arose from, by attacking and discrediting that whole philosophy just isn't cricket in my 'rule book'.

Indeed, it''s just not cricket hahaha.

Quote:
I'd like it for somebody to present an idea or a system based on it's own merits, not seek to garner support by saying that other teachings are misleading, indoctrinating and irrelevant compared to it.

I think people take little snippets which can be fairly criticised, but don't actually make everything said invalid. So there's two problems innit. First, believing what is said on the authority of the teacher, or dismissing everything that is said on the invalidation of the teacher. I think it's easier to just listen to what is said and be happy.

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I feel that if a person or people need to do that to get their message across, it doesn't say much for the actual content of the message, does it?

Well everything taken as knowledge has influence, so it's worth being aware of the power inherent to 'positions' such as 'experts' and 'teachers'.

Quote:
So, we are taught to be tolerant of other's beliefs...can we thus be tolerant of the intolerant?

Well, to me beliefs aren't all that important, and when they do become important, they become dogmatic, which is the same as being convinced, and being convinced is influence, and then they get the compulsive desire to convince someone else, and we're back in the right wrong power trip... teehee.

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People will say we should respect the philosophy of others (and I see how some are trying hard to do that because they know they should be doing it and for no other reason) but can we respect the disrespectful? can we agree with the disagreeable?

It's not so much the content of TA vs NA, but then again, I'd like to see where any of the philosophies of TA can be refuted in logical debate with the philosophies of NA...having said all that, who can even refute the Mahavakyas?

I hardly know anything about TA or NA and I've never even heard of Mahavakas. Any opinion I could have would be grossly uninformed. Maybe in regards to Buddhist teaching I could say something reasonable, because I'm fairly well grounded in that - hardly an expert, though.

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The only thing that both concepts have in common is the term "Advaita" or "non-duality" and am I the ONLY one who thinks (with all due reasoning aside) that the Non-dual can be made and MORE Non-dual by making it "new"? and that Brahman evolves and changes with the times? nope.

This is my whole reasoning in a nutshell.

In reality all this is new, and the old stuff is in the past... so I really don;t care about any of 'the teachings'. I like them a lot, but I wouldn't lose a wink if they all suddenly were gone. I'd just get up and have breakfast like any other day... with a strong coffee of course.
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  #47  
Old 24-11-2017, 12:47 PM
Shivani Devi Shivani Devi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem
Indeed, it''s just not cricket hahaha.



I think people take little snippets which can be fairly criticised, but don't actually make everything said invalid. So there's two problems innit. First, believing what is said on the authority of the teacher, or dismissing everything that is said on the invalidation of the teacher. I think it's easier to just listen to what is said and be happy.



Well everything taken as knowledge has influence, so it's worth being aware of the power inherent to 'positions' such as 'experts' and 'teachers'.



Well, to me beliefs aren't all that important, and when they do become important, they become dogmatic, which is the same as being convinced, and being convinced is influence, and then they get the compulsive desire to convince someone else, and we're back in the right wrong power trip... teehee.



I hardly know anything about TA or NA and I've never even heard of Mahavakas. Any opinion I could have would be grossly uninformed. Maybe in regards to Buddhist teaching I could say something reasonable, because I'm fairly well grounded in that - hardly an expert, though.



In reality all this is new, and the old stuff is in the past... so I really don;t care about any of 'the teachings'. I like them a lot, but I wouldn't lose a wink if they all suddenly were gone. I'd just get up and have breakfast like any other day... with a strong coffee of course.
Thank you for all of that, Gem.

I disagree that such teachings which can be seen as being 'perennial wisdom' could ever be 'in the past' and any 'new teachings' could take any precedence over them as there is no 'time' in the void. ;)

The 'mahavakyas' are great expressions of a 'realised truth' like "I AM' or "Consciousness alone exists" or "The universe is within" and once said, how many times can it be rehashed with personal bias attached?

Yes, there also comes a point where "I believe" gives rise to "I know" which gives rise to "I have experienced" which leads on to a state of pure unindividuised awareness of absolute perfection (Nirvana).

I say all these things for the benefit of others, as I'm pretty much beyond the whole power-trip myself, and I guess I allowed myself to get caught up in the whole discussion and posts started by somebody who is defending their beliefs by attacking others and then playing the 'victim role' when they do so in return...and yep, I should know better than that.

My problem is, Gem...it's not a power-trip, but I'm happy when I can get people to turn their own minds upon themselves and look inwards to find their own answers...but I'm the only one who's aware that I'm doing it...and I should have realised this by now, but I still persist, hoping that one day, another may reach a lovely awareness and get to the next level...not based upon what I know...but based upon what they do.

...and of course, I am aware that in another century or two, all of the 'traditions' will die out because they are 'too old'...even the timeless wisdom will run out of time because it is 'human nature' to BE that way and think that unless it is 'modern' it is irrelevant...however, like I said before, all the 'old scriptures' already foretold this was gonna happen anyway, so why am I surprised? We see it in the 'modernisation' of native peoples all over the world...science calls their beliefs and practices "superstitious" because they aren't modern...aren't 'scientific' and so, whole cultures and races of people get wiped off the map because it is the 'modern thing to do'...but I digress.
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  #48  
Old 24-11-2017, 09:28 PM
sentient sentient is offline
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Perhaps every forum needs their trolls or tricksters and I suppose Kierkegaard with his two wigs story would agree:
http://www.spiritualforums.com/vb/sh...ght=highwayman
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Last edited by sentient : 24-11-2017 at 10:35 PM.
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  #49  
Old 24-11-2017, 10:16 PM
Gem Gem is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shivani Devi
Thank you for all of that, Gem.

I disagree that such teachings which can be seen as being 'perennial wisdom' could ever be 'in the past' and any 'new teachings' could take any precedence over them as there is no 'time' in the void. ;)

Like they say, Dhamma is universal, but Gotama the Buddha is long gone, and now monks repeat it like parrots, and the devotees repeat it again, and soon enough we're all convinced it is true because it's written down and can be double checked. This becomes affirmed over thousands of years, which is a very deeply ingrained condition.

Quote:
The 'mahavakyas' are great expressions of a 'realised truth' like "I AM' or "Consciousness alone exists" or "The universe is within" and once said, how many times can it be rehashed with personal bias attached?

Yes, there also comes a point where "I believe" gives rise to "I know" which gives rise to "I have experienced" which leads on to a state of pure unindividuised awareness of absolute perfection (Nirvana).

I say all these things for the benefit of others, as I'm pretty much beyond the whole power-trip myself, and I guess I allowed myself to get caught up in the whole discussion and posts started by somebody who is defending their beliefs by attacking others and then playing the 'victim role' when they do so in return...and yep, I should know better than that.

My problem is, Gem...it's not a power-trip, but I'm happy when I can get people to turn their own minds upon themselves and look inwards to find their own answers...but I'm the only one who's aware that I'm doing it...and I should have realised this by now, but I still persist, hoping that one day, another may reach a lovely awareness and get to the next level...not based upon what I know...but based upon what they do.

Ok, I understand that because in my threads I often say that no one can understand the conversation unless they check in against themselves, but I don't really care if they do or not - it's just that it's necessary to understand the topic.

Quote:
...and of course, I am aware that in another century or two, all of the 'traditions' will die out because they are 'too old'...even the timeless wisdom will run out of time because it is 'human nature' to BE that way and think that unless it is 'modern' it is irrelevant...however, like I said before, all the 'old scriptures' already foretold this was gonna happen anyway, so why am I surprised? We see it in the 'modernisation' of native peoples all over the world...science calls their beliefs and practices "superstitious" because they aren't modern...aren't 'scientific' and so, whole cultures and races of people get wiped off the map because it is the 'modern thing to do'...but I digress.

Now we have the scientific knowledge, but its essentially the same old power game. And of course we have to convince different cultural groups that we are right, more 'advanced' and so forth. Very similar in its operation as 'spiritual knowledge' is.
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  #50  
Old 25-11-2017, 12:34 AM
Shivani Devi Shivani Devi is offline
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Yes, Gem. I understand this too.

In much the same way as Advaitins will repeat whatever their teachers or gurus will say by rote, without understanding any of the concepts involved either.

To be honest with you all, all of this is just 'mental stuff' and even mastering the mind, repeating mantras by rote, becoming aware of the nature of reality itself, won't lead to the full realisation of it.

You can parrot "I am that" or "I am oneness" as much as you like, but nothing will happen, because in the end, it is a heart thing. The heart is the door that leads to this understanding, to this realisation and not the mind.

So, what would happen if the Buddha did not exist...if Shankaracharya did not exist? If all those writers mentioned by Moondance did not exist? then it would be up to us to seek realisation (if we even knew about such a thing) through drinking coffee...caffeine would be 'God' to us.

However, I do understand the concept of the moving pen writing, and once having written, moves on and then it's up to others to deal with the fallout from it.

So yes, I am an Advaita Vedantin, but at the same time, I'm a Bhakti Yogi...I'm also a dualist in all splendour and glory until non-duality is attained through this duality...until the heart gets involved to totally bypass my 'conditioned mind' with all of this 'Advaita stuff'....because what we have witnessed happening here is the whole limitation of it.

True knowledge beyond the parroting of it (book knowledge) will die, Traditions will die, all cognitive dissonance will die...even Dharma (Dhamma) itself will die...but there's one thing that can never die...one thing that will remain no matter how many aeons pass...it is something that can never be 'in the past' or 'modernised'...something that cannot be added to...subtracted from...changed in any way...and no, it isn't Brahman...it isn't consciousness or the absolute 'one-ness'...it is unconditional love...pure and simple.
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