James Swartz – A Review and Critique by a Seeker

I recently stumbled upon the website http://www.shiningworld.com and went through some of the articles by James Swartz, an old guy who is teaching the age old Vedanta and claiming himself to be enlightened. There are many so called enlightened teachers in the West who are offering satsangs, courses and retreats and James Swartz is one of them. But he is not teaching neo-advaita (and  I dont think neo-advaita is really helping people towards realizing the Self either.. That is just another big joke); He is teaching the traditional Vedanta and he was a disciple of Swami Chinmayananda in India.

I usually don’t write long articles or posts criticizing the spiritual teachers and questioning their enlightenment. I am completely aware that trying to find out if somebody is enlightened is not going to help me towards my own liberation. But this post is somewhat like a question; I am not saying any conclusive statements about his enlightenment. I just find it questionable. Even though this post is not going to help me towards my liberation even a little bit, I don’t care..

I also want to stress on the fact that a person who is not enlightened cannot really help others towards realization; It will be like a blind man leading other blind men. At the same time, one must be aware that if he or she is a true seeker and have a real thirst to know the truth, being with a false Guru or unenlightened teacher is not going to be a problem. But most of the time, in reality, the people who get stuck with unrealized teachers don’t make any progress at all but fall under the illusion that they are getting some valuable help towards spiritual enlightenment.

Also, there is also a well known saying: A Guru will appear when a disciple is ready. You don’t have to really search for an enlightened person to guide you. It will automatically happen.

But, there are people who get impressed with the talks of so called enlightened people who are not really enlightened. And, usually, there is really no way to tell if a person is enlightened or not; Only a true liberated person can recognize another liberated person. But there are some signs which may indicate that somebody is not enlightened. In this post, I am going to talk about those signs that I have observed in James Swartz’s teachings and attitude.

Also,  Vedanta just read as a piece of theology is not going to offer much help. In India, so many books are published on Vedanta and thousands of people read them. All that reading doesn’t make much difference in their lives, except that their egos may feel good because now they know something that others don’t know. There is also a good feeling that generally comes from knowing things and committing them to memory, which is not in anyway going to offer lasting fulfillment in a person’s life. But if there is no transformation at all, then not only Vedanta, any doctrine will become a bunch of concepts and ideas in people’s mind, strengthening their ego further. So, there needs to be a presence of a realized Guru to guide the people.

Now, Let us get back to James Swartz. The first thing that I want to talk about is the enlightenment quiz that he has in the website. It has 34 questions and just by answering the quiz, he says, will give you an idea if you are enlightened or not.Here is the quiz: http://shiningworld.com/site/index.php/resources/enlightenment-quiz

Before I came across this quiz, I had read a few articles written by James and also watched a couple of short videos. Then I answered the quiz and scored 87, which means that I am enlightened. But this seems to be a big joke and utter nonsense. If you are a little intelligent and if you read some of his articles, you can score above 90, especially if you are good in answering quizzes. The quiz only tests your ability to understand things and your memory. Why would a real enlightened person will have such an unnecessary and misleading quiz in his website?  James also says in an interview that he comes to know about at least a number of enlightened people every year based on this quiz. (The Quiz doesn’t really have an interactive form where people can submit the answers. The results of the quiz are not stored in the database. So, I assume he says that based on the emails he might be receiving from people who answered the quiz with a score more than 80 or 90.)

Also,when it comes to the usage of words, each and every person might use a word in different sense. For Vedantins , everything is Self but for Buddhists, there is no self at all. So, even if somebody who is truly enlightened takes the quiz, he still might not pass the quiz because he might be using the words mentioned in the quiz in a slightly different sense.

I found a lot of criticisms by James Swartz against Osho. But a lot of things he says about Osho is completely incorrect. For example, here is one passage where he talks about Osho (from http://www.advaita.org.uk/discourses/trad_neo/neo_vedanta_swartz.htm):

“The Neo-Advaita movement owes a considerable debt of gratitude to the teachings of Bhagawan Rajneesh who rechristened himself as Osho when his bad karma became unbearable.  Rajneesh perverted the tantric concept that the essence of every experience is Awareness.  Tantra is a very broad concept that applies to every conceivable kind of experience and insists that its practitioners enjoy the same qualifications as those practicing Vedanta sAdhana.  But Rajneesh focused his attention on the sexual aspect, not that much focusing was required, and opened wide the gates of tantra to tens of thousands of immature disaffected Western hedonists with his brilliant concept ‘Zorba the Buddha.’  Zorba the Greek was the literary creation of a Greek writer Nikos Kazantzaksis.  Zorba was not a bad guy but was he emotional!  He was the original party animal: lusty and enthusiastic in his pursuit of pleasure.  As is well known the Buddha was a holy ascetic.  By wedding the two ideas he provided a clever ‘spiritual’ justification for the unrestrained pursuit of pleasure in the name of spiritual growth.  Wags not unfairly called his sAdhana the ‘fuck your way to God’ path.  I was once told in all seriousness by a devotee that Osho ‘’gave us permission to do what society forbids us to do.”  When he died thousands of his disciples gravitated to a relatively unknown guru”

First of all, Osho didnt pervert the tantric concept. Osho has talked about all 112 techniques of Vigyan Bhairav Tanra, which includes various techniques and only about 5 or 6 techniques talk about sex. Many people misunderstand Osho as a sex guru and James is criticizing Osho based on the incorrect public opinion. Osho just taught a way to go beyond our unconscious cravings, including sex, by bringing awareness in what we do. But people understood it the wrong way and thought that Osho was preaching people to do more sex. That notion is completely wrong.

Osho’s main focus was awareness, not sex. Also, out of over 600 books of talks by Osho on various topics, there is only one book which talks about sex, which is called ‘From Sex to superconsiouness’. Even in that book, Osho teaches the way to go beyond the sexual desires by bringing awareness to it. When we become more and more alert and aware, the desires stop by themselves. In all the other books of Osho, he covers a wide range of topics from different traditions like Yoga, Zen, Vedanta, Buddhism, Christian mystics, Hasidism, Sufism and more.. He has talked about devotion, love, compassion, meditation and thousands of other topics and the talks about sex are not even 2% of them.

Also, his understanding of Osho’s concept of Zorba the Buddha is completely wrong. Osho said that it is not completely necessary to abandon the family, renounce everything and stay poor to realize ones true nature. He says that one can be rich both in the inner and the outer world. For example, King Janaka, the father of Sita in Ramayana was a realized being but he was the king of a whole empire. Osho simply says that one can be like Janaka or Zorba and can still realize their own self. Zorba is just a way to exaggerate his point on this. He picked up the extreme example of Zorba in a poetic way. In my opinion, when Zorba and Buddha is brought together in a man, he actually gets balanced in the middle. It doesn’t mean that he is asking to follow the way of Zorba. He is actually asking people to follow the way of Buddha without suppressing the part of Zorba who is in each and every individual.

To put it in one sentence “You don’t have to abandon the material world in the pursuit of spiritual world” is what Osho says.

Here is an excerpt from Osho’s talks:

“Zorba can sing, dance, enjoy food, drink, love. He will have a life, but he will not know who he is. He will not know the meaning of existence. He will never come to experience the deathlessness of life, the eternity of his existence — that he has been here always, and will be always; only forms change. He will never enter into his own center. He will always remain in the cyclone, very busy, concerned with everything except himself. And the center of the cyclone is the most ecstatic experience, the ultimate experience of human consciousness. Beyond that there is nothing; you have arrived home. But I don’t see that there is any problem, there is no contradiction. You can arrive home, you can be at your center — what prevents you from laughing? In fact, you should be the only one who can really laugh, can become laughter; who can really love, can become love itself — where the lover disappears and only love remains; one who can dance and dance to such abandon that the dancer is completely gone, there is only dance.

This is my effort:
To bring ‘Zorba the Buddha’ into the world.

 That will create a unity in you; your body and soul will have a unity. If you are one, you would like to dance in the open air under the sun. That will be your real prayer. Nothing is said, nothing is asked, but you are showing your gratitude to existence. Zorba the Buddha will not only destroy the split in man, it will destroy the split in society.

There is no question of escaping from anything. Every moment everything has to be enjoyed without any guilt, without any inhibition. But all the religions have been against it.
I proclaim with this manifesto a totally new sky for religious consciousness: the sky of completion, the joining of the inner and the outer, of the material and the spiritual, of Zorba and the Buddha.”

James is not only criticizing Osho but many other teachers. By the comments about Ramana Maharishi whom he doesn’t consider as a perfect teacher in spite of being a self realized person, James also implies that he is a better teacher than Ramana. He also devalues the way of Ramana Mahirishi’s teaching through silence. James believes that being in the silent presence of a master doesn’t have much value at all but many people know that there is a lot of transmission that happens from a master to disciple in pure silence. The transmission between Buddha and Mahakasyapa is a perfect example.

In an email by James to a questioner, he says the following:
(From http://www.shiningworld.com/site/files/pdfs/satsangs/Silence_versus_Words.pdf )

“The Vedanta sampradaya does not have a problem with Ramana’s moksa. In fact, it accords Upadesa Saram the status of an Upanishad. However, Ramana was not a teacher. He said so himself. He spoke to whomever was in front of him according to the understanding of that person. So there are apparently contradictory statements in his “teaching.” Statements made at different times to different people do not mean that the person that uttered them didn’t know who he or she is. Nor does it mean that either statement is untrue, given the context. But when you put them together they seem to contradict each other. So there should be a way to resolve these apparent contradictions. Ramana’s apparently contradictory statements are the words of a jnani, which can be resolved with reference to Vedanta’s teachings. Many people are confused by Ramana’s statements, not because Ramana was confused.”

This clearly shows that James is trying to stick to an organized teaching where as a true enlightened master will really talk to a seeker according to his level. What is the use of reading some mere information and committing them to memory from an organized teaching alone? I am not devaluing Vedanta, but I am saying that a generalized organized teaching alone is not going to be of much help unless there is a realized Guru  available to impart the teaching according to the level of the seeker. James may say that he is already doing that, but from what I have observed he only seems to give more importance in just the load of information alone. In fact,from what I have seen, a realized Guru gives an organized teaching only a secondary importance. A realized Guru always speaks from his own authority and he only uses the information available in an organized teaching as an additional device. James’s interest in criticizing other teachers and putting them down as not perfect teachers simply shows that he is trying to make himself superior, though he doesn’t directly say that.

While James Swartz dismisses most of the so called spiritual teachers as self-deluded (May it is true, but I am pointing out that his desperate interest in doing this only shows his interest in showing himself superior), he himself has authorized some of his students to teach and declared them as enlightened. I think it is very easy to convince James that you are enlightened, you just have to parrot what he says but show some confidence on what you are saying and act as if it comes from your own understanding. If what you say agrees with what he says, then James Swartz will probably declare you as enlightened. Because, from what I have observed, how much of what you say is aligned with traditional Vedanta is the only criteria that he will use to decide if you are enlightened or not. His enlightenment quiz is a perfect example for that.

I also came across something from Ted Schmidt, one of those guys who have been declared as enlightened by James. In that excerpt, Ted comments about J.Krishnamurti and Ramesh Balseker. While I doubt Ramesh’s enlightenment, I don’t have any doubt that J.Krishnamurti is a liberated person and he is also a great orator who has been admired by a lot of people for his clarity and wisdom.

Here is what Ted Schmidt says about J.Krishnamurti and Ramesh Balsekar:

“I am familiar with both of these teachers, but to be honest, it has been quite a while since I last delved into their teachings, so I cannot really give you a comprehensive critique of either. I can say, however, that while both gave voice to the non-dual nature of reality, neither employed a teaching methodology that systematically unfolded the implied meaning of scriptural statements or utilized any of the traditional prakriyas (i.e. methods of inquiry) to guide one through a logical analysis of one’s own experience by means of which all erroneous notions concerning it would be laid to rest and the irrefutable truth of one’s essential nature would stand revealed. In addition, neither offered any practical means of preparing the mind for the assimilation of self-knowledge. To the best of my recollection, both Krishnamurti and Balsekar repudiated the necessity for spiritual practice as a result of their confusion concerning the nonreciprocal relationship between paramarthika satyam, Brahman’s non-dual being (i.e. pure, limitless awareness) and vyavaharika satyam, the seemingly dualistic apparent reality of which Brahman, pure limitless awareness, is the adhishthanam, the substrate. Though the apparent reality is entirely dependent on pure awareness for its existence, pure awareness is entirely free of and uninvolved in the apparent reality. Moreover, in terms of the law of karma, the whole purpose of the apparent reality is to provide an arena in which limited entities execute limited actions and enjoy limited results. Thus any attempt to impose such principles as limitlessness, attributelessness or actionlessness on the limited entities that exist within the dualistic context of the apparent reality, whose very existence is defined in terms of distinguishable attributes and discrete actions, is completely untenable. In short, in their best moments both Krishnamurti and Ramesh Balsekar spout the highest truth, yet fail to provide any viable means of assimilating it.”

This again shows the same interest of their whole group in putting down other teachers, especially people like J.Krishnamurti. Ted goes on saying that J.Krishnamurti had a confusion in understanding absolute reality and relative reality. While I agree that much of J.Krishnamurti’s teachings were from absolute point of view, I won’t agree that he had a confusion on absolute and relative reality.  J.Krishnamurti did uncover the true essence of meditation and taught people to be aware of their body, mind and emotions which is helpful for modern men. In fact, the world has changed so much in the last thousand years  and people’s mind have become more complicated. In the modern world, J.Krishnamurti’s teaching of bringing awareness to our everyday life can be much helpful than the practice of Sravana, Manana and Nidhidhyasana of traditional Vedanta.

I have gone through many other criticisms of the spiritual teachers by James and his group, and as far as I have read, they have not accepted anybody, not even a single person as a perfect ‘teacher’ and they always criticize about how incomplete the teachings are.. (They probably accept all the Vedanta teachers who just repeat the teachings of Vedanta as it is  as complete teachers) Do they mean to say that James, his Guru and his authorized teachers are the only people who give out perfect and complete teaching? All I find in their way of teachings and satsangs are deep theoretical discussions and Sanskrit jargons. They are trying to create pundits and scholars but not enlightened people.

I also went through some excerpts from James Swartz book “How to attain enlightenment?” and he has given the same criticism about Osho and many other teachers in his books. He brings up those criticisms whenever he finds a chance.

It is very much appropriate to quote a message from Ramana Mahirishi here:

“The scriptures serve to indicate the existence of the Higher Power or Self and to point the way to It. That is their essential purpose. Apart from that they are useless. However, they are voluminous, in order to be adapted to the level of development of every seeker.
As a man rises in the scale he finds the stages already attained to be only stepping stones to higher stages, until finally the goal is reached. When that happens, the goal alone remains and everything else, including the scriptures, become useless.The intricate maze of philosophy of the various schools is said to clarify matters and to reveal the Truth, but in fact it creates confusion where none need exist. To understand anything there must be the Self. The Self is obvious, so why not remain as the Self? What need to explain the non-self? I was indeed fortunate that I never took to it (i.e. philosophy). Had I taken to it I would probably be nowhere; but my inherent tendencies led me directly to inquire ‘Who am I?’ How fortunate!”

It is clear that much of scriptural knowledge, even though intended to serve as tools, always end up creating more confusion. Ramana Mahirishi also says how fortunate he was in not learning those. While James claims in most of his talks that he is also not trying to give a philosophy, he is actually giving more importance to the theoretical knowledge about reality.

One thing that really convinced me to write this post was a discussion that I had on an online forum with a person who is learning from James Swartz. I was surprised to see how much influence James has made on her because all her discussion reflected the same attitude that James has:  Finding faults with words and usage of words, finding faults in spiritual teachers etc. The worst thing was, she had the same prejudice against Osho. Whenever I posted something that was said by Osho, she kept posting stuff that said something against Osho. When I asked her why she was doing that, she said she wants to help people by asking them to be wary of Osho’s teachings.That was something that I couldn’t accept because Osho has done extraordinary work in explaining each and everything about spirituality in detail and he has also brought out the real essence of all the major spiritual traditions in the world.

You might argue that Osho also criticized many spiritual teachers. But his criticism was really based on his genuine interest in shattering the false beliefs that people had and leading them in a proper way towards enlightenment. He didnt do it out of hatred or to assert his superiority but he did that out of his compassion on people. He has spoken positively about authentic spiritual masters like Ramana, J.Krishnamurti, Buddha, Mahavira, J.Krishnamurti, Gurdjieff, Kabir, Nanak, Meister Eckhart, Jesus Christ, Ramakrishna Paramhamsa, Patanjali, many popular Zen masters and the great sages of Upanishads.  Also, my post is not about whether criticism is right or wrong but the intention behind the criticism and the discrimination between a real enlightened person and a fake one.

To the students of James Swartz: You may feel impressed not because James Swartz is impressive but Vedanta is impressive. (James Swartz might be a great guy, I am not against him but I just want to give you guys something to think about). Vedanta is still new to the Western world but it is an age old tradition in India. But if you are really interested in ending your suffering and knowing your true nature, you need the presence and guidance of a true enlightened master and not just somebody who thinks he is enlightened. It is possible to walk in the path without any Guru, but it is very difficult. It is going to further complicate the process if you are in the hands of somebody who has not yet made it.

I have no doubt that James is an excellent writer. He speaks a lot of things with great clarity which shows that he has taken his time to read many scriptures. That is the only advantage that he has over the other people who call themselves as enlightened. He can help you to learn stuff and become well versed with Vedanta and its scriptural base but I really doubt if he could help you towards your enlightenment.

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Path of Samadhi and Pragna – Talks by Sadhguru and Osho

As I have mentioned in one of my earlier posts, there are many similarities between what Osho said and what Sadhguru said. Here is another example of such similarity, where both men say that there are only two paths in spirituality; the path of Samadhi and the path of Prajna. Both men use the same examples for the two paths, Ramakrishna and Buddha respectively.

(This is actually a Buddhist distinction, but usually the terms Samatha and Vipassana are used, instead of pragna and samadhi, respectively. Osho used different terminology when talking about this distinction. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev also used the same terminology and even gave the same examples given by Osho, which is another indication of the fact that Sadhguru has read or listened to the talks of Osho… I have explained it more in my articles The Journey of a Seeker – My Story and  Sadhguru on Osho – The Two Diamonds to Discover your Inner Self! )

This clears many things up for spiritual seekers. And also, It is very good to read both explanations which makes things more clear.

First, Let us look at Sadhguru’s talk about Samyama:

Now, when we say Samyama – It is a state where your awareness has reached a point – where you clearly know – when I say “Know”, knowing is always thought in terms of “Oh! I – Know”. It is not that knowing, you are fully aware that you are not the body, you are not the mind, you are not the world. Your body is separate, the mind is separate – these are the three things that you are always getting identified with. You get identified with the body, the mind, the surroundings around you – this is the trap.

If you are in Samyama, the body will be there, mind will be there, world will be there but you are not part of all these three things. If you are free from all these three things, there can be no suffering. If you are in the body, body can suffer, if you are in the mind, mind can suffer, if you are in the world, world can make you suffer. If you are not in any of these three things, you are outside of these three things, this is your Mukthi – That is the aim of Samyama. It is the height of awareness, where your witnessing has separated everything. If your witness is sharp enough – it will slice off the body, it will slice off the mind, it will slice off the world – it will leave you free from all these things. In what way it is connected to Samadhi? It is not connected to Samadhi. It is a way of bypassing all Samadhis.

Fundamentally, on any Spiritual path, there are only two types of spiritual processes in the world – the path of Samadhi and the path of Pragna. Pragna means the path of awareness; Samadhi means the path of dissolution. Samadhi – there are various types of Samadhis. Mainly in the tradition, they classify Samadhis into 8 forms, some 14, some 18 and it goes on. Samadhi is like a prize – it is a gift nature gives you for doing so much Sadhana. Now, nature gives you a break – when you are in Samadhi, you are blissful. You are free from everything. Nature offers you a bottle of drink and says, OK, you have done so well, so drink this and be happy. So drink this and you are fine for sometime, but once you come back, almost everything is the same. It leaves you transformed to some extent, but still you are not free from everything. However, whichever Samadhi you are going through, it is the same. All Samadhis we are talking about, 8 or 16 or whatever type – they all belong to Savikalpa or Savi Tarka Samadhi.

All these things involve certain qualities – they are good. It is just like by doing good Karma, people go to heaven. Heaven means it is a small escape that a man has in the process of life and death because of good karmas, he gets a break, where he is blissful. Different levels of bliss are available; there are different levels of heaven – different grades of heaven. You want to call it as heaven or different dimensions of life or different levels of consciousness, whatever. Samadhi is one more heaven. When you are alive, nature gives you a little bit of heaven because you have been so good, this is a prize offered to you. But a person who is in a hurry to reach the goal should not take these Samadhis. Samadhis are very beautiful, very transforming. Also very transforming for the atmosphere. It is beneficial for people around us when we go into Samadhis. The whole atmosphere gets charged because one person is in Samadhi, as many of you have witnessed.

But, I would not consider even the Samadhi state as real growth – it is only a prize that nature has offered to you. If you want you can enjoy it or you can just leave it and go on. Initially, these prizes that are being offered to you are precious to you. But as days go by and everyday you start getting prizes, then prize becomes meaningless. The first medal that you got in school or college, that is very valuable, you put it in the showcase. Suppose you become a big sportsman and you get thousands of them, then all over your house it will be there. You will throw it somewhere and go because you got many and the same happens to this also. A person who earns too many Samadhis, after sometime does not want any more Samadhis – that is one way. Or another person who is going on seeking more Samadhis, wants to remain there for longer and longer. Deep attachment will arise to this state that you want to be in this state always, because it is blissful. It is like being in the lap of God. It is like going back to the lap of existence where nothing can touch you, where you are free from everything. It is like a child getting addicted to the mother’s lap – that is the Samadhi state.

A person who is walking in the path of Pragna wants to bypass Samadhis. The path we prescribe for people is Pragna, but this person’s (Sadhguru) presence becomes Samadhi. That is what is happening here. What is happening here now, in the normal sense, you cannot categorize it in any way, you cannot describe it in any particular way because so many things are mixed up here – which is not usual, which is not normal in any other place. This you can see because the path we have chosen is scientific in a particular way, but this person (Sathguru) presence is of a totally different nature. This person speaks one way but his presence is completely different. Because of this contradiction the possibility of growth is much better, at the same time the possibility of confusion is also much greater – because the situation is like that.

If you talk to this person (Sadhguru), he talks very logically. Everything he speaks, nobody can deny, because it is pure logic, nobody can disagree with us – isn’t it? But fundamentally what I do with my energies is not at all logical, it is totally illogical – these two things are diametrically opposite, these are two different paths. Normally one person does not follow these two paths at the same time. Here we have chosen both because our energies come from one source but our understanding comes from the present society’s needs.

Today, if we do not talk science, you cannot do what we are doing. But if you do not carry these energies, you still cannot do what we are doing. So this is a combination of these two things – we are not consciously mixing how much of this, how much of that, we have just allowed them to flow whichever way it flows. Let Shiva decide, we are not deciding. Whichever way it flows, that way it flows. But this is a rare situation here two things are happening at once – where Samadhis are possible and the highest state of Pragna is also possible. But our focus, our work is toward Pragna – our work is towards awareness and not towards Samadhi, but Samadhis will invariably happen in this place because our energies are like that.

When we are talking about Samyama, that level of awareness – it is a way of bypassing all Samadhis. I am not saying Samadhi is bad, it is a beautiful state to be, it is a wonderful thing to happen to any person. But when a man is in a hurry, he does not gather his prizes and go. Suppose your house catches fire, now you are not concerned about gathering your this, that and all. Whatever is life saving, that you gather and run or you do not gather anything – you just run. With clothes or without clothes, you run, because life is of paramount importance and everything else is secondary. Right now, the situation is like that. We do not bother to gather these prizes, otherwise we can gather many here – many prizes have come our way. We can very easily gather, we can go into Samadhis, enjoy and attract more and more people. We do not have to teach yoga, so much of your breath you do not have to waste. You do not have to build this ashram, people will come and build a huge temple for you, everything they will do. With Samadhi, nature gives you a prize, society also will confer prizes upon you.

With Pragna it is not like that, but it is a path on which one can steadily progress. There will be no distractions – it is little round about but it is steady. Fundamentally why these two things have been separated is – see, whatever process of growth that we do is ultimately to dissolve the nonsense we have gathered in our unconscious mind, in the form of karmas. In Pragna, all these unconscious layers are made conscious – you take it into your conscious and dissolve. That is something you do out of your awareness – this is “Being a light unto yourself”.

Now in Samadhi state, you go into the state of unconsciousness where you reach the very bottom of unconsciousness, you do not bother to dissolve them. Normally people who are walking in the path of Bakthi are the people who go into Samadhi states very easily. Now he has not taken on himself, he has said everything is Shiva, everything is somebody. So in his unconscious, simply because of the intensity of his experience, he moves to the very bottom, he reaches to the other side unconsciously.

Pragna is a much longer process, much more laborious, but here you know whether you are walking forward or backward. One step backward, and immediately you know – it slaps you and tells you. In Samadhi path, you do no know whether you are going forward or backward. After a long time you look back and see only then you know. Till then you really do not know whether you are really progressing or retarding. On the path of Samadhi your dependence on whatever – your Guru, your ideal or deity is too much. On the path of Pragna your dependence is little.

So, for today, for modern day people, for modern minds, Pragna is a better way. If you want examples, for Pragna and Samadhi, two great masters have walked these paths. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, the Samadhi path and Gauthama Buddha, the Pragna path.

Here is the Osho’s version from the book “Nansen : The point of departure”:

Before we go into the answer of Obaku, you have to understand the meaning of samadhi and prajna. 
It is a very intricate and complex question. Samadhi can be understood watching Ramakrishna. That 
will give you the basic symptoms which can be observed from the outside. 

Ramakrishna used to go into samadhi for hours. Once for six days he was in samadhi. And samadhi 
to him and to his followers - and there is a great tradition from Patanjali, five thousand years old, 
which believes in samadhi - means to become perfectly unconscious. To every outsider he was 
almost in a coma; to the psychologist he had gone deeper into the unconscious layers of the mind. 
And there was no way to bring him back. 

Automatically, whenever his consciousness surfaced again, he would become aware. And whenever 
he came out of this samadhi, this deep coma-like unconsciousness, he would weep and cry, ’’Why 
have you taken away that great beauty, that great bliss, that great silence that I was experiencing. 
Time had stopped, the world was forgotten, I was alone and everything was at its perfection. So why 
have you taken it away?” He was asking the question to existence. ’’Why don’t you let me continue 
it?” 


Now, Buddha himself would not consider it a samadhi. His samadhi means prajna, and prajna 
means awareness. You have to become more and more conscious, not unconscious; just two 
polarities, samadhi and prajna. Prajna is perfect awareness of your being. And samadhi in 
Ramakrishna’s case means absolute oblivion. Nobody has gone into the deeper search for what 
exactly is the difference deep inside. 

Both talk about great blissfulness, both talk about eternity, truth, beauty, goodness as their ultimate 
experience. But one is completely unconscious - you can cut his hand and he will not know - that 
much unconsciousness; and Buddha is so conscious that before sitting on the floor, first he will look 
to see if there is any ant or anything that may be killed by his sitting there. In his every act he showed 
immense awareness. 

I have told you the story that one day passing through a street in Vaishali, a fly came and sat on 
his head. He was talking to Ananda about something. So just automatically the way you do it, he 
simply waved his hand. Then he suddenly stopped talking to Ananda and again waved his hand. 
Now there was no fly. 

Ananda said, ’’What are you doing? The fly has gone.” 

He said, ’’The fly has gone, but I acted unconsciously. I waved my hand automatically like a robot. 
Now I am moving as I should have moved, with full consciousness, awareness.” 

So these seem to be two polarities. Both have become a point of great debate as to who is right, 
because the experience they talk about is the same. My own experience is that mind can be crossed 
from both ends. One tenth of the mind is conscious, nine tenths of the mind is unconscious. Just 
think of mind: the upper layer is conscious and nine layers are unconscious. Now mind can be 
passed from both the ends. You cannot pass from the middle, you will have to travel to the end. 

Ramakrishna passed the mind by going deeper and deeper into the unconscious layers. And when 
the final unconscious layer came, he jumped out of the mind. To the world outside he looked as if 
he was in a coma. But he reached to the same clear sky although he chose a path which is dark, 
dismal; he chose the night part of consciousness. But he reached to the same experience. 

Buddha never became unconscious in this way. Even walking he was stepping every step 
fully conscious and gracefully, every gesture fully conscious, gracefully. He transformed his 
consciousness to such a point that unconscious layers started becoming conscious. The final 
enlightenment is when all unconscious layers of the mind have become conscious. He also jumps 
out of the mind. 

Both samadhi and prajna are no-mind states, going outside the mind. So the experience is the 
same but the path is different, very different. One is the white path of light that Buddha followed; one 
is the path of darkness that Ramakrishna followed. And it is obvious that the people who cannot 
understand both, who have not followed both the paths and come to the same experience, are going 
to debate and discuss to no end. 

One will say that Ramakrishna’s samadhi is a coma, that he has lost consciousness. Another will 
say that because Buddha never goes into Ramakrishna-like samadhi, he does not know anything 
about samadhi. But my experience is, both know the samadhi, both know the prajna. Ramakrishna 
first knows samadhi and out of samadhi prajna is born. Buddha knows first prajna and then out of 
prajna samadhi is born. It is only a question of understanding that existence is always contradictory, 
made of opposites - night and day, life and death. 

Ramakrishna’s path is of unconsciousness. Nobody has deliberately considered the point. And 
Buddha’s path is of pure light, of continuous awareness. Even in sleep Buddha sleeps consciously.

Akshi Upanishad – Seven Steps to Samadhi

Akshi Upanishad is one of the minor Upanishads in Hinduism, which lists seven major steps to Samadhi. A detailed commentary on this Upanishad was given by Osho, which has been published as ‘Vedanta – Seven Steps to Samadhi’.

The following is the translation of the second part of the Upanishad, the major part, which deals with all the seven steps leading a seeker towards liberation, as it appears on the book by Osho:

surya_the_hindu_sun_god_asian_art_museum_san_francisco

Image source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akshi_Upanishad#/media/File:Surya_the_Hindu_sun_god_Asian_Art_Museum_San_Francisco.jpg

 

Step 1-Yog

The sun god said:
I shall now explain to you this most rare knowledge, upon the attainment of
which you will become free while yet dwelling in this body. See in all beings
the Brahman, who is one, unborn, still, imperishable, infinite, immutable
and conscious; so seeing live in peace and bliss. Do not see anything except
the self and the supreme. This state is known as yoga.
Rooted thus in yoga, carry out your deeds.

The mind of one who is thus rooted in yoga gradually withdraws
from all desires, and the seeker feels blissful while engaging himself
each day in meritorious acts. He has no interest whatsoever
in the contrary efforts of the ignorant.
He never betrays the secrets of one to another;
And he occupies himself solely with lofty deeds.
He performs only such gentle acts as do not disturb others. He fears sin and
does not crave any self-indulgence. He utters loving and affectionate words.
He lives in the company of saints and studies the scriptures. With complete
unity of mind, speech and action he follows them. Seeking to cross
the ocean that is the world,
he cultivates the above-mentioned ideas. And he is called a beginner,
one performing his preliminaries. This is called the first stage.

Step 2- Vichar bhoomika

Now follow the traits of seekers of the second stage,
Called the stage of thought.
He lives in the care of learned men who explain best what
listening, remembering, right conduct, contemplation –

dharana – and meditation are. Having acquired knowledge of such
scriptures as are worth listening to, he efficiently discriminates
between what is duty and what is not, and he knows well the division
between a word and the thing it symbolizes.
His mind does not suffer from an excess of conceit, pride, greed and
attachment, although externally they are apparent to some extent.
He gives up his external impurities as a snake casts off its slough.
Such a seeker acquires the actual
knowledge of all these things with the grace of the scriptures,
the guru, and the sages.

Step 3 Asansarga

After this the seeker enters the third stage of yoga
which is known as nonattachment. He fixes his mind unwaveringly
on the meaning of scriptural words.
He lives in the monasteries, ashrams, of saints well established
in austerities. He occupies himself with the discussion of the
scriptures and sleeps on a rocky bed. Thus it is that he lives his life.
Because he has attained peace of mind, the man of good conduct
spends his time in the enjoyment of pleasures that come naturally to
him from his excursions into the forest.
He remains detached however, from the objects of desires.
Through the ritual of meritorious deeds and the cultivation of right
scriptures, he attains that clarity of vision which sees reality.
On completing this stage,
the seeker experiences a glimpse of enlightenment

There are two kinds of nonattachment:
The ordinary and the sublime.
That attitude of nonattachment to the objects of desire in which the
Seeker knows that he is neither the doer nor the enjoyer,
Neither the restrained not the restrainer, is called ordinary
Nonattachment. He knows that whatever faces him in this life
Is the result of the deeds of his past life.
Whether in pleasure or in pain, he can do nothing.
Indulgence is but a disease and affluence of all kinds a storehouse of
Adversity. Every union leads inevitably to separation.
The ignorant suffer the maladies of mental anxiety.
All material things are perishable, because time is constantly
Devouring them. Through the understanding of scriptural precepts,
One’s faith in material things is unrooted
And one’s mind freed of them.
This is called ordinary nonattachment.


When thoughts like: “I am not the doer, my past deeds are the doers,
Or God himself is the doer,” cease to worry the seeker,
A state of silence, equilibrium and peace is attained.
This is called sublime nonattachment.

Step 4 Swapna

The first stage, to which contentment and bliss
Impart sweetness, springs from the innermost recesses of the seeker’s
Heart, as if nectar has issued forth from the heart of the earth.
At the inception of this stage the innermost recess
Becomes a field for the coming of the other stages.
Afterwards the seeker attains the second and third stages.
Of the three, the third is the highest, because on its attainment all
The modifications of will come to an end.
One who practices the three stages finds his ignorance dead,
And on entering the fourth stage
He sees everything, everywhere, equally.
At that moment he is so strongly embedded in the experience of
Nonduality – advaita – that the experience itself disappears.
Thus, on attaining the fourth stage
The seeker finds the world as illusory as a dream.
So while the first three stages are called waking ones,
The fourth is dreaming.

Step 5 Sushuptipad

On the attainment of the fifth state, the mind of the seeker ceases,
like clouds in an autumn sky, and only truth remains.
In this stage, worldly desires do not arise at all.
During this state all thoughts of division in the seeker are stilled
and he remains rooted in nonduality.
On the disappearance of the feeling of division, the fifth stage,
known as the sushuptapad – sleeping –
draws the enlightened seeker into its nature.
He is perpetually introverted and looks tired and sleepy,
even though externally he continues his everyday activities.

Step 6 Bhavshunya or JivanMukta stage

On the accompaniment of this stage, the desire-free seeker enters
the sixth one. Both truth and untruth, both egoism and egolessness
and all sorts of mentations cease to exist in this state,
and rooted in pure nonduality, the seeker is free from fear.
As the entanglements of his heart dissolve, so all his doubts drop.
This is the moment when he is completely emptied of all thought.
Without attaining nirvana, he is in a nirvana-like state
and becomes free while yet dwelling in the body.
This state is like that of the motionless flame of a lamp.
and then comes the seventh stage.

Step 7 Videhmukta

In this seventh stage, the stage of videhamukti,
liberation while living in the body is achieved. This stage is totally silent
and cannot be communicated in words.
It is the end of all stages, where all the processes of yoga come to their
conclusion. In this stage, all activities – worldly, bodily and scriptural –
cease. The whole universe in the form of the world – viswa,
intelligence – prajna, and radiance – tejas, is just aum.
There is no division here between speech and the speaker.
If however any such division remains, the state has not been attained.
The first sound ‘a’ of aum, stands for the world,
the second ‘u’ for radiance and the third ‘m’ for intelligence.


Before entering samadhi, the seeker should contemplate on aum most
strenuously, and subsequently he should surrender everything, from gross to
subtle to the conscious self. Taking the conscious self as his own self,
he should consolidate this feeling: I am eternal, pure, enlightened, free,
existential, incomparable, the most blissful Vasudeva and Pranava himself.


Since the whole visible world comprising a beginning, a middle and an end,
is sorrow-stricken, he must renounce everything
and merge into the supreme. He should feel that he is blissful,
taintless, without ignorance, without appearance,
inexpressible in words, and that he is Brahman,
the essence of knowledge.

Do Enlightened/Self Realized People Get Angry?

People have so many different ideas about how an enlightened person must behave. Some have an image of an ascetic begging in the streets; Some may think that enlightened person should always behave like a Buddha, warm and kind. People have different opinions, ideas and measuring scales and they think that they can recognize an enlightened person using these ideas that they have in mind.

Before I jump into the discussion about enlightened people getting angry, let me give you an excerpt from one of the talks from Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev regarding what I said:

“When you sit in front of a living Guru, you have many problems, judgments, likes and dislikes, because invariably you end up looking at his personality. People have left their Gurus for all kinds of frivolous things. This happened with J. Krishnamurti, a realized being and very wonderful man. There was a certain lady who was very close to him and deeply involved with his work. She was always around him and traveled to many places with him. Once when he was in Amsterdam, Holland, he went into a shop to buy a tie for himself. He was so meticulous about choosing a tie, because he was very conscious about everything and also what he wore. He could throw the tie away if he wanted to, but when he wears it, he wants it to be in a certain way. So he went into the shop and spent nearly four hours picking out one tie. He pulled out every tie in the shop, looked at it, put it on, and then said, “No.” It took him four hours to select just one tie. This woman watched and watched and watched, and as minutes passed, in her mind his enlightenment receded. She thought a man who could be so concerned about what kind of tie he wears couldn’t be enlightened, and she left him. Many such stupid things are done because of your judgments.”

– From http://www.dhyanalinga.org/difference_qa.htm

The above example from J.Krishnamurti’s life has also been said by Osho. In this post, I have also included the talk where Osho quotes this incident. Osho says that the lady then came to him to take sannyas but Osho refused to give her sannyas because of this.

Now, let us move on to the question “Do Enlightened/Self Realized People Get Angry?”

The answer is “Yes”..

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev has talked about Sadhguru Sri Brahma who he was in his previous lifetime. He was not nice to people at all.

“Sadhguru Sri Brahma was not a nice guy. He never called anyone by name – he only said, “Eh!” “Eh” was the one name for everyone. People were terrified of him, just because of the way he was. But at the same time, they loved him immensely. That is the beauty of contradictions.”

“People saw him as godlike, but they were terrified of him, because he seemed to be always angry. He was not angry with anyone – he was simply ferociously intense. Sadhguru Sri Brahma was like fire – simply on.”

From http://isha.sadhguru.org/blog/yoga-meditation/history-of-yoga/sadhguru-sri-brahma-seventh-hill/

Another example would be none other than J.Krishnamurti. Here is the excerpt from ‘The Book of Wisdom’, a collection of talks given by Osho between 11/02/79 to 10/03/79. As I said, Osho also talks about the same incident, Krishnamurti buying a tie in a mall:

“Seeker:  You have said that Krishnamurti can get angry. How is that possible, as in enlightenment there is no one there to be angry?

Osho:   Henk Faassen, in enlightenment there is nobody there to get angry, and there is nobody there not to get angry either. So whatsoever happens, happens. Krishnamurti does not get angry the way you get angry. Everything with an enlightened person happens on a totally different plane. His anger comes out of his compassion. Your anger comes out of hate, aggression, cruelty. He becomes angry — sometimes he starts pulling his hair out, he hits his own forehead — but out of compassion.
Just think, for fifty years or more he has been teaching a certain kind of truth to the world, and nobody understands him. The same people gather each year to listen to him — the same people.

Once he was talking in Bombay… somebody reported this to me, and the person who reported it to me is an old lady, older than Krishnamurti. She saw Krishnamurti when he was a child, she has seen him and listened to him for fifty years. And because she is a little deaf, very old, she sits in the front on a chair. And for fifty years Krishnamurti has been saying that there are no methods for meditation, that meditation is not needed at all. Just be in the present and live your life, that’s enough meditation, no other technique is needed….

For one and a half hours he poured his heart out, and at the end the lady stood up and asked, “How to meditate?” Now, what do you suppose he should do? He hit his head.

This is not your anger. This is so unbelievable! He is tired of this lady, but this lady is not tired of him. She comes to every talk to listen to him, and asks the same stupid questions.

When I say Krishnamurti can get angry, I don’t mean, Henk, that he can get angry like you get angry. His anger is out of compassion. This situation is unbelievable! He wants to help this lady and he feels so helpless. He tries this way and that. His message is very simple, singular, one-dimensional. For fifty years he has been saying only a single word. In essence his whole teaching can be printed on one side of a postcard. He has been saying it in as many possible ways as one can invent, but it is the same citadel that he attacks from the north, from the south, from the west, from the east. And still people go on listening to him and go on asking the same old foolish questions.

He certainly gets angry. And when a man like Krishnamurti gets angry, he is pure anger. Many in India have felt very disappointed with Krishnamurti because he gets angry. They have a certain concept that a buddha should not get angry. They go with a prejudice. And when they see that Krishnamurti can get angry, they are disillusioned, “So this man is not a buddha, he has not become enlightened yet.”

I say to you that he is one of the most enlightened persons who has ever walked on this earth. Still he can get angry, but his anger comes out of compassion; it is condensed compassion. He cares about you, so much so that he becomes angry. This is a totally different quality of anger.

And when he becomes angry he is real anger. Your anger is partial, lukewarm. Your anger is like a dog who is not certain how to behave with a stranger. He may be a friend of the master, so he wags his tail; he may be an enemy, so he barks. He does both together. On one hand he goes on barking, on the other hand he goes on wagging his tail. He is playing the diplomat, so whatsoever the case turns out to be, he can always feel right. If the master comes and he sees that the master is friendly, the barking will stop and his whole energy will go into the tail. If the master is angry with the intruder, then the tail will stop completely, and his whole energy will go into barking.

Your anger is also like that. You are weighing up how far to go, how much will pay; don’t go beyond the limit, don’t provoke the other person too much.
But when a man like Krishnamurti becomes angry he is pure anger. And pure anger has a beauty because it has totality. He is just anger. He is like a small child, redfaced, just anger all over, ready to destroy the whole world.

That’s what happened to Jesus. When he went into the great temple and saw the moneychangers and their tables inside the temple, he was in a rage. He became angry — the same anger that comes out of compassion and love. Singlehanded, he drove all the moneychangers out of the temple and overturned their boards. He must have been really very angry, because driving all the moneychangers out of the temple singlehanded is not an easy thing.

And reports say — I don’t know how far they are right, but reports say that he was not a very strong man. Reports say that he was not even a very tall man; you will be surprised, he was only four feet six inches. And not only that — on top of it he was a hunchback. I don’t know how far those reports are true, because I don’t want to go to court! But it is there in the books, ancient books, very ancient books.

So how did this hunchback, four feet six inches high, drive out all the moneychangers singlehanded? He must have been pure rage!
Indians are angry about that. They cannot trust that Jesus is enlightened — just because of this incident.

People have their prejudices, their ideas. Rather than seeing into reality, rather than looking into an enlightened man, they come ready with so many concepts, and unless he fits them he is not enlightened. And let me tell you, no enlightened person is going to fit with your unenlightened prejudices; it is impossible.

It happened, a lady came to me. She had been a follower of Krishnamurti for many years, then a small thing disturbed the whole thing and the whole applecart was upturned. The thing was so small that I was surprised. There was a camp in Holland where Krishnamurti holds a camp every year, and the woman had gone there from India. Nearabout two thousand people had gathered from all over the world to listen to him. The next morning the lectures were going to start, and the woman had gone shopping. And she was surprised, Krishnamurti was also shopping. An enlightened person shopping? Can you believe it? Buddha in a supermarket? And not only that — he was purchasing a necktie. Enlightened people need neckties? And not only that — the whole counter was full of neckties and he was throwing them this way and that, and he was not satisfied with any.

The woman watched, looked at the whole scene, and fell from the sky. She thought, “I have come from India for this ordinary man who is purchasing neckties. And even then, of thousands of neckties of all colors and all kinds of material, nothing is satisfying to him. Is this detachment? Is this awareness?”
She turned away. She didn’t attend the camp, she came back immediately. And the first thing she did was to come running to me, and she said, “You are right.”
I said, “What do you mean?”
She said, “You are right that it was useless wasting my time with Krishnamurti. Now I want to become a sannyasin of yours.”
I said, “Please excuse me, I cannot accept you. If you cannot accept Krishnamurti, how can I accept you? Get lost! … Because here you will see far more disappointing things. What are you going to do with my Mercedes Benz? So before it happens, why bother? What are you going to do with my air-conditioned room? Before it happens, it is better that you go and find some Muktananda, etcetera. You have not been able to understand Krishnamurti, you will not be able to understand me.”

People like Krishnamurti live on a totally different plane. Their anger is not your anger. And who knows that he was not just playing with those ties for this stupid old woman? Masters are known to devise things like that. He got rid of this stupid old woman very easily.”

– From “The Book of Wisdom” by Osho

To conclude, it is not possible to find if somebody is enlightened based on their outward behavior. Some of their behavior may come from their genetics, as they still live with the same body after enlightenment.

The Presence of a Master or Guru

When you are on a spiritual journey, you are very lucky when you find an authentic Guru who can guide you. If the Guru is not realized himself, it is like a blind man guiding blind men, which has been used as an example by many masters. But if you do happen to find a real Guru, then his presence helps you more than what he actually says by words. His very presence acts as a catalyst.

In our Indian tradition, we have been so fortunate to have many realized beings like Ramana Maharishi, J.Krishnamurti, Ramakrishna, Osho and thousands of realized beings who lived many centuries before, like Buddha, Shankara and Mahavira. We are also very lucky to have Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, a realized mystic and yogi who is alive with us today. With his tremendous work , wisdom and vision, he has also consecrated Dhyanalinga, which has the same power of a Guru’s presence.

What is so special about being in the presence of a Guru or Dhyanalinga? Here are some excerpts from Osho and Sadhguru:

BELOVED OSHO, SITTING WITH YOU IN DISCOURSE AND HEARING YOU TALK ABOUT ENLIGHTENMENT AND SILENCE, I FEEL IMMENSELY BLESSED, SOMETIMES ALMOST TOUCHING THIS SPACE OF COMING HOME, AND SILENCE COMES TO MY MIND. BUT AS SOON AS YOU LEAVE THROUGH THE DOOR AND THE MUSIC STOPS, IMMEDIATELY THE CHATTERING INSIDE STARTS AGAIN. FOR ME IT IS MUCH MORE DIFFICULT TO BECOME SILENT WHEN I AM MEDITATING ALONE, BUT SO EASY IN YOUR PRESENCE. IS THIS NATURAL IN THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A MASTER AND A DISCIPLE?

Deva Anuragini, it is very natural. Being in the presence of a master, silence happens on its own accord. Just as in the deep Himalayas, where the snow is eternal and the silence almost ancient… just sitting there under a tree, you start feeling, falling in tune with the immensity that surrounds you.

To be in the presence of the master is even more deep-going. Because what is the meaning of being in the presence of the master? It is being with someone you love, someone you trust; someone with whom you are ready to go into the unknown. Being in this climate, you forget your trivial matters; and forgetting comes easy, not by your effort.

The master is silent and silence is contagious.

His heart slowly slowly brings you also into a synchronicity. You start beating with his heart, in the same rhythm.

This is a beautiful experience in itself, but it is only a lesson on the path; it simply gives you a glimpse. Silence has to come to you in your aloneness, then it is your own. Otherwise, silence in the Himalayas belongs to the Himalayas; you are simply overwhelmed. And the silence in the presence of the master belongs to the master; you are simply touched. That’s why, as soon as you are left alone to yourself, your old mind is back; it has just been waiting by the side. It comes with a vengeance.

You have to understand one thing: that the presence of the master simply gives you an indication that you are capable of silence, that mind is not your master. That it is not an impossibility; that you can have a little taste of it. Whilst being alone, remember it: that the mind is just a servant mechanism.

Watch it; it is very ancient, and your silence is very new. Your silence is almost like a roseflower and your chattering mind is like a rock, very ancient, very old. It can crush the roseflower at any moment unless you are aware, unless you learn one lesson — that mind may go on, yakkety-yak, chattering, but you should not become part of it.

Certainly you are not the mind, just as you are not the body. You are within the body, within the mind, but your center is separate from the cyclone. It has a totally different quality to it. Silence, stillness is just natural to it; it is its flowering

             – The Invitation, Chapter 6 by Osho

BELOVED OSHO, IN ALL THE YEARS WITH YOU I FELT MEDITATIONS SIMPLY ‘HAPPENED’ TO ME. THEN IN THE LAST TIME WHEN I WAS AWAY FROM YOU I FELT THIS WAS NOT ME, BUT YOUR GRACE OVERFLOWING TOWARDS ME. FOR THE FIRST TIME I SAW THAT I NEEDED TO GIVE MEDITATION A PRIORITY IN MY LIFE OR IT WOULD NOT HAPPEN. NOW, MELTING IN YOUR PRESENCE AGAIN, EVERYTHING I COULD EVER DESIRE IS HERE.OSHO, WHAT HAPPENS TO THE DISCIPLE WHEN ONE IS WITHOUT THE MASTER?

There are only two possibilities when the disciple is not with the master.

One is that he goes back to the zero where he had been before he met the master.

The second is, seeing that if without the master things that were happening in his presence are not happening, it simply means that his presence has not become an intrinsic part of your being.

The master need not be outside you.

In fact, he is always inside you, and if you can remember it – ”The master is inside me”…. And the master is not asking much, just a small place, a small bedroom with an attached bathroom.

Once you start feeling yourself as carrying the master within yourself, everything that was happening in the presence of the master not only continues but grows a thousandfold. Because it was the master outside, there was a distance. Now there is no more distance; even the distance has disappeared. You are not alone.

It is only a question of how much you love, of how deep is your devotion, of how great is your disciplehood.

   –  The Osho Upanishad, Chapter 27

Last night you spoke of satsang and the importance of the disciple’s proximity to the guru. Does this mean physical proximity? Is the disciple who lives at a great physical distance from the guru at a loss?

Yes and no! Yes, a physical closeness is necessary in the beginning because you cannot understand anything else right now, as you are. You can understand the body; you can understand the language of the physical. You exist at the physical, so yes, a physical closeness is necessary – in the beginning.

And I say no also because as you grow, as you start learning a different language which is of the non-physical, then physical closeness is not necessary. Then you can go anywhere. Then space doesn’t make any difference. You remain in contact. Not only space, but time also doesn’t make any difference. A Master may be dead, you remain in contact. He may have dropped his physical body, you remain in contact. If a trust happens, then time and space both are transcended.

Trust is the miracle. You can be in closeness with Mohammed or Jesus or Buddha right now if trust is there. But it is difficult! It is difficult because you don’t know how. You cannot trust a living person, how can you trust a dead? If trust happens, then you are close to Buddha right now. And for persons who have faith, Buddha is alive. No Master ever dies for those who can trust. He goes on helping; he is always there. But for you, even Buddha is there physically, standing behind you or in front of you, just sitting by your side, you are not close to him. There may be vast space between you. Love, trust, faith, they destroy space, time, both.

In the beginning, because you cannot understand any other language, you can understand only the language of the physical, physical closeness is necessary – but only in the beginning. A moment will come when the Master himself will send you away. He will force you to go away because that too becomes necessary – you may start clinging to the physical language.

Gurdjieff almost always, all his life, will send his disciples away. He will create such a miserable situation for them, then they will have to leave. It will be impossible to live with him. After a certain point, he will help them to go away. He will force really them to go away, because you should not become too much dependent on the physical. The other, the higher language, must develop. You must start feeling close to him wherever you are, because body has to be transcended. Not yours only, the Master’s body has also to be transcended.

But in the beginning it is a great help. Once the seeds are sown, once they have taken root, then you are strong enough. Then you can go away, and then you can feel. Just going away, the contact is lost – then the contact is not much importance. Trust will grow, further you go away. Trust will grow more, because wherever you are on the earth you will feel the Master’s presence continuously. The trust will grow. He will be helping you now through hidden hands, invisible hands. He will be working upon you through your dreams, and you will feel constantly, like a shadow, he is following you.

But that is a very developed language. Don’t try it from the very beginning because then you can deceive. So I will say, move step by step. Wherever trust happens, then close your eyes and follow blindly. Really, the moment trust happens you have closed your eyes. Then what is the use of thinking, arguing? Trust has happened and trust will not listen to anything now.

Then follow and remain close unless the Master himself sends you away. And when he sends you away then don’t cling. Then follow. Follow his instruction and go away, because he knows better. And what is helpful he knows.

Sometimes, just near the Master, it may become difficult for you to grow – just like under a big tree a new seed will have many difficulties to grow. Under a big tree, a new tree will become crippled. Even trees take care to throw their seed far away so that the seeds can sprout. Trees use many tricks to send the seed away; otherwise they will die, they fall down just under the big tree. There is so much shadow. No sun reaches there, no sun rays reach.

So a Master knows better. If he feels that you should go away, then don’t resist. Then simply follow and go away. This going away will be coming nearer to him. If you can follow, if you can silently follow without any resistance, this going away will be a coming nearer. You will attain a new closeness.

–  Osho, Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 1, Ch 2, Q 5

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev talks about the presence of a master:

Questioner: To grow spiritually, is it necessary to be in the physical presence of a Guru?

Being in the physical presence of somebody is needed because your perception is still so dependent on what you hear and see. Unless you see with your eyes that there is somebody sitting there, your perception does not open up.

Many people are actually not mature enough to be in the physical presence of a Guru because if you are in the Guru’s physical presence, your judgments about him will not stop.

You will watch the way he eats, the way he drinks, the way he speaks, the way he mixes with people, what he does, what he does not do. From this, you will helplessly form opinions. The more opinions you create within yourself, the less receptive you become. This is one reason why a lot of Gurus always kept themselves out of reach of their disciples. Once in a way they appeared but the rest of the time, they were only available to two or three people around.

They did not do this because they had an allergy for people or because they thought they were too big to mix with people. It is just that, this was their device. They knew, if people ate, slept and walked around with them normally, people would miss their whole aspect and would just get entangled with the Guru’s personality.

So being in the Guru’s physical presence can be a blessing but can also be a big barrier because then, you will helplessly make your opinions about him and miss the whole dimension of who he is.

Sadhguru on Osho – The Two Diamonds to Discover your Inner Self!

When I first saw Sadhguru at the marina beach satsang (I think it was in 2003), I was in a great joy  to have seen a living enlightened master. I wanted to know more about him and Isha and I eventually fell in love with the whole thing. Everybody has seen many similarities between the two great gurus, especially in the clarity of speech and the way of putting things that are beyond the physical realm in beautiful words.

Osho always insisted on being with a living enlightened master, but he left his body in 1990.  Even though he said he would still exist outside the physical realm, understanding or feeling the presence of a master who is no longer in his body is not really possible for everyone.  Sadhguru not only fulfilled my desire to be in the presence of a living enlightened master but has also consecrated Dhyanalinga with all the seven chakras which graces the meditators with the same power that is radiated in the presence of a living enlightened master.  Sadhguru says that to be near Dhyanalinga and to be near an enlightened master is the same thing. To know more about Dhyanalinga, visit www.dhyanalinga.org/

I was always wondering if Sadhguru ever talked about Osho and finally came to know he has, in response to the question raised by a seeker, the same question that I had in my mind. Here is what he said:

“When a person is influenced by somebody and is in deep appreciation of someone he can see the same qualities in other people who he appreciates in a similar way. Many people come up to me and tell me I speak like Vivekananda, some say I speak like Krishnamurti, others think I speak like Rajneesh. I neither speak nor dress nor live like Rajneesh or anyone else. It’s the people’s love that makes them see things that way and that is fine. Its not that I have not spoken about Rajneesh-I have. It’s just that his approach was different than what we have taken so it is not necessary for me to speak about Rajneesh. I don’t speak of JK also because his approach is very different as well.

With all due respect to Rajneesh and all the phenomenal work he has done in his own way, some of the things they did was in reaction to the social situation in the world then. The society was at a certain stage at that time and he wanted to provoke people to change in a certain way. It is not my way because I don’t think it would produce the kind of result I want. You know my mission is to plant undercover yogis-there is a need to plant people who are at the peak of inner well being to work in society and change the society from within rather than provoking and creating a reaction.”

sadhguruosho

Also, for people who are skeptical about Osho due to the controversies around him, I would like to include some excerpts from various talks by Osho that matches what Sadhguru has said on the similar topics. If you have listened to Sadhguru’s discourses, you will immediately recognize it.  In fact, even though there are a few differences in the approach and the vision that both have had, I often feel that Sadhguru is the extension of Osho’s work.

(Updated on June 9th, 2017: I am pretty sure that Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev has read or listened to many of the Osho’s talks but for some reason, never mentions him at all. I have given some obvious examples of how Osho has influenced Sadhguru in two of my other posts The Journey of a Seeker – My Story  and  Path of Samadhi and Pragna – Talks by Sadhguru and Osho )

Let us move on to the excerpts:

Osho about memories of previous lives

In this life, what we suffer today is forgotten the next day and what we suffer the next day is forgotten the day after. But the memories of your previous lives will break upon you in their entirety, not in fragments. Will you be able to bear it? You gain the capacity to bear the memories of past lives only. when you are able to bear the worst conditions of life. Whatsoever happens, nothing should make a difference to you. When no memory of this life can be a cause of anxiety to you, only then can you be led into the memories of past lives. Otherwise those memories may become great traumas for you, and the door to such traumas cannot be opened unless you have the capacity and worthiness to face them.

  • Dimensions Beyond the Known   CHAPTER 2

I told you earlier that after awaking from sleep your dream is remembered for about one hour. Similarly, after taking a new birth, for about six months, up to the age of six months, almost everything is remembered. Afterwards it slowly becomes lost. Those who are very imaginative or very sensitive may remember a little longer, but those who have made efforts and who have experimented with being aware during the previous life can remember for a long time.

  • Dimensions Beyond the Known   CHAPTER 3

About miracles

WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER MIRACLES REPORTED IN THE BIBLE? FOR EXAMPLE, THE ONE WHERE JESUS FED THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WITH TWO LOAVES OF BREAD AND FIVE FISH. CAN YOU EXPLAIN IT?

Many things are possible. Nothing is a miracle, nothing. Even materialization is not a miracle: it is a science. Materialization is possible. So are many other things. Something can be brought here by an unknown route. You are not aware of the route, but something suddenly appears here. That is not materialization.

  • The Great Challenge  CHAPTER 9

About Temples

Temples used to function as receptive instruments. Though godliness is everywhere and human beings are also present everywhere, only in some specific circumstances within us do we become attuned to that godliness. So temples served as centers of receptivity to enable us to feel the divine existence, godliness, spiritual elevation. The whole arrangement in temples was motivated with this end in view. Different types of people thought up various arrangements, but that is not of much consequence. It makes no difference if various manufacturers produce radios incorporating their own specialities, with different shapes and forms, as long as the ultimate purpose is the same.

  • Hidden Mysteries Chapter 1

On breathing and about Crucifixion of Jesus

Yoga divides man into two parts: the sun part and the moon part. The sun is symbolic of inner positivity and the moon is symbolic of inner negativity. Sun does not mean the outer sun nor does moon mean the outer moon. These words are used for the inner universe. There is even one breath that is known as the sun breath and another breath that is known as the moon breath. Every forty to sixty minutes, your breath changes from one nostril to the other. If you need more heat in the body, or if you suddenly grow angry, your sun breath starts functioning. Yoga says that if you use your moon breath when you are angry, then you cannot be angry at all, because the moon breath creates a deep coolness inside. The negative is cool, silent, still. The positive is hot, vibrant with energy, active. The sun is the active part in you and the moon is the inactive part in you. When one first becomes acquainted with the sun, the light is burning hot, like a flame. If you analyze the inner life of Buddha or of Jesus with this distinction in mind, many things which are ordinarily hidden will become apparent. For example, whenever an enlightened one like Buddha is born, his early life will be very revolutionary. The moment one enters the inner dimension, the first experience is of a fiery flame. But the older Buddha grows, the more an inner coolness is felt. The more perfect the moon stage becomes, the more the revolutionary fervor is lost. That is why Buddha’s words are not revolutionary. Jesus did not have this opportunity. He was crucified while he was still a revolutionary and he died, as far as Christianity is concerned, at the age of thirty-three. If you compare Buddha’s sayings with those of Jesus there is a clearcut difference. Jesus’ sayings look like those of a young man – hot. Buddha’s early sayings were also like this, but he was not crucified for them; he lived to be eighty. The reason he was not crucified is that India has always known that this happens. Whenever a person moves within, whenever a buddha enters into himself, his first expression is fiery, revolutionary, rebellious. He bursts open and explodes into fire. But then that phase disappears and ultimately there is only the moon: silent, without any fire, with only light. That is why India has never killed anyone; that is why India has never behaved the way the Greeks behaved with Socrates or the Jews with Jesus

  • The Great Challenge  CHAPTER 9

About sound and Sanskrit language

Western languages emphasize the linguistic rather than the phonetic, whereas the vedic view gives more importance not so much to the meaning of the written or spoken word as to the special sound it should produce, and the composition of that sound. Hence the Sanskrit language is phonetic, not linguistic; the emphasis is more on the sound than on the word. And so, for thousands of years it was felt that these valuable scriptures should not be written down, because it was natural that no sooner would it be written down than the emphasis on sound would be lost. The insistence was that the knowledge be passed on by word of mouth, rather than in writing, because in writing words down – they would be mere words, and the subtle sensations associated with the sound would be lost and so become meaningless. If we write down the word Rama, those who are reading it will say the word in many different ways. Someone will put more emphasis on ”r” and someone else, more emphasis on ”a,” and still somebody else will put more emphasis on ”m.” It will depend on the individual reader. So as soon as a word is written down, the effect of sound is destroyed. Now, to understand the effect of the sound of those words, a whole decoding exercise to pronounce the words correctly will have to be done. So for thousands of years there was a strong insistence on not writing down any scripture, because the ancient seers did not want the phonetic arrangement lost. The scripture had to be passed on to others directly by word of mouth, so scriptures were known as shrutis, meaning that which is learnt by listening. What was passed down in the form of written books was never accepted as scripture. It was all scientifically based on the arrangement of sound. At some places the sound had to be soft, and at others it had to be loud. It was very difficult to write these words in script form. The day the scriptures were reduced to writing, the essential, inherent, original, inner arrangement of sound was lost. It was no longer necessary to understand only through listening. You can read a scripture – it is available in the market. Now there is no relationship or relevance to sound. It is important to note that the emphasis of the scriptures was never on the meaning. The emphasis on meaning became relevant later, when we reduced those scriptures to writing. If some thing written down has no meaning it will look insane, so meaning has necessarily to be given to the written word. There are still some parts of vedic lore where no meaning could be deciphered – and these are the real parts, because they are totally phonetic. They do not convey any meaning.

  • Hidden Mysteries Chapter 1