Gems Of Wisdom From Various Self-Realized Masters – Infrographics

Just a short info-graphic I made which includes the quotes of Lao Tzu, Buddha, Ashtavakra, Ramana Maharshi, Osho, and Meister Eckhart.. The quotes are direct pointers to the non-dual truth. For more quotes, visit this page: Inspiring Quotes of Lao Tzu, Buddha and Many Others.

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The Truth About Yantras, Chakras, Temples, Tantra and Agamas

A Yantra is nothing but a map for meditation. The map can be used externally to build temples and internally to practice Yoga. A Yantra represents something called a Mandala.

Here is a raw skeleton of a simple Mandala:

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If you want to construct a room only for meditation (certain Tantric meditations that I will discuss shortly), you can construct a beautiful room with this map. The circle at the center is a place for an idol or a statue. This statue itself should be designed in a way so that each aspect of the statue represents a deep meaning. This central idol is surrounded by three small idols around it. The idea behind such a place is to create an emotional association with meditation by decorating this room, playing melodious songs, by making it a practice to take bath before entering the room etc. When you meditate in this place every day, just looking at the map or mandala can trigger a meditative feeling in you or make you ready to meditate. It can capture your attention in a minute and change your thought flow to something that is advantageous to meditation. This works based on something called ‘classical conditioning’.

If you want another example for classical conditioning, then do this: think about the days when you fall in love for the first time, wear the same kind of perfume that you were wearing in those days and listen to the song that you heard often those days. It will remind you of those beautiful days. This can be used to your own advantage. This is the science behind Yantras and temples. It is based on psychology, not based on physics or chemistry.

There is also a kind of meditation that you would do with these yantras and the temples modeled using Yantras. Let me first give you a model of another simple Yantra here:

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It has four surrounding deities instead of 3. This was actually the very common form of design when people started to use these things in the very beginning. Because these four surrounding deities represent four directions. Almost all religious groups in ancient India including a lot of folk religious practices had deities for directions. These deities were simply absorbed into Tantric practices as devices. This also helped those religious practitioners to convert their superstitious religious sentiments to a psychological device.

Here is an example of Vajrapani mandala in Vajrayana Buddhism following the same model:

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First, I will explain how you meditate based on this Yantra. You have to visualize yourself as the central deity and visualize the four deities of four directions as the extensions of yourself. This is the basis of Vajrayana and Tantric meditations. With more practice, you can visualize the mandala quite accurately.

You can make it more effective by constructing a temple using this mandala. When you fill the temple with unique sense perceptions like lamps, smell of camphor and flowers, chants etc and keep the place free from other distractions, then doing tantric meditations in such a place will gradually associate all these sense perceptions with meditation itself. So, an exposure to even one of this sense perception will be helpful to a great extent by changing the course of your thought stream and making it inclined towards meditation.

The energy you feel when you enter such a place comes from your own body and not from the mandala. Because a rush of emotions certainly affects your body as much it affects your mind. (When a teacher enters a noisy classroom on the day when you forgot to do your homework, does the energy of sudden fear you feel come from the teacher or happen in your own body?).

During the Vedic period, there were no temples or idols. Temples emerged as the result of people who started practicing these meditations in the late 1st millennium BC, probably a couple of centuries after the period of Buddha. Almost all Shiva temples are built with Shaiva Agamas and all Vishnu temples are built with Pancharatra or Vaikhanasa agamas, which are Tantric agamas that deal with these things in detail. (Sri Ramanuja played a major role in promoting Pancharatra. He replaced Vaikhanasa with Pancharatra in Sri Rangam temple and most of the other temples too. Tirupati temple is an example of the temple which follows Vaikhanasa agamas).

The beauty of such mandalas is that, the people who created it made sure that each aspect of it has a deep spiritual meaning. So, this accomplishes another purpose as well, by acting as mnemonic devices. When you understand how it works, you can take advantage of all the benefits it offers.

For example, Pancharatra has a concept of Viyuha in which there are four deities: Vasudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha. Here, Vasudeva represents the Purusha or Shiva or the absolute; Sankarshana represents Prakriti or Shakthi; Pradyumna represents the mind (your likes and dislikes) and Aniruddha represents ahamkara (ego). In some tantric texts, nine deities are used instead of four: (1) Vāsudeva, (2) Saṅkarṣaṇa, (3) Pradyumna, (4) Aniruddha, (5) Nārāyaṇa, (6) Nṛsiṁha, (7) Hayagrīva, (8) Mahāvarāha, and (9) Brahmā.

But just buying a Yantra and keeping it in the home will do nothing. You need to understand what each aspect of Yantra represents and use it for meditation after completely understanding the design, the purpose and the pointers that the Yantra represents. Because all these are psychological.

But there is another purpose for Yantras which is the most important one. After some point, you should start seeing your own body and mind representing a Yantra. You understand yourself as a living temple and locate each deity at a particular place in your body.

shatkona

Let us take the above image as an example. This is a Shatkona, my favorite one. The symbol has two triangles.

  1. The regular triangle represents the absolute and each side of it represents Sat, Chit, and Ananda which means truth, consciousness, and bliss.
  2. The inverted triangle represents Prakriti and her three states or qualities: Sattva (balance), Rajas (activity), Tamas (inertia or lethargy).

The union of these two triangles represents the union of Purusha and Prakriti, which is actually the essence of non-duality. So, this star is a perfect symbol of spiritual enlightenment itself.

If I have to use this mandala for a temple, then I would need 7 deities, one for the central deity and 6 for the surrounding ones. If I were to internalize these 7 deities then I would need 7 locations in the body. When you are in a cross-legged sitting position, how would you divide your whole body starting from your butt to your head into 7?

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This is how you can do it. There is no other way! This is the truth about chakras.

Do you know that initially there were only 4 Chakras and not 7? I will tell you why.

Before the common era and during the late first millennium BC, there was no concept of chakras. But people did have a concept about Nadis. They thought that there is a Sushumna Nadi in the center. People believed that when a person dies, his spirit exits through one of the nine holes of the body. They also believed that if the spirit goes upwards through Shushumna Nadi and exits the body by breaking the top of the head, he will go to heaven. That sounded reasonable to them because if the heaven is somewhere above, then spirit should move upwards. Many texts talk about voluntarily moving the soul or spirit through Shushumna Nadi at the time of the death to make sure that the person reaches the heaven. They called this practice Utkranti. Utkranti was also used to mean traveling from one body to another. It is this Utkranti which is called as Mahasamadhi in modern days.

The concept of chakras actually emerged much later. Chakras are just an attempt to internalize the locations and deities of a mandala or a yantra. It developed just a 1000 or 1200 years before, between 8th century AD to 10th century AD.

  1. Hevajra Tantra, one of the Buddhist tantric texts during the period of 8th century AD talks about just 4 chakras. The reason they chose four is quite obvious. It is because most of the early Tantric mandalas were based on four directions and assigning 4 deities to each direction. In Buddhist tantras, the following four deities called ‘four heavenly kings’ were used in meditations. The concept is same as the four forms used in Pancharatra. So, during 8th century AD, they internalized these four deities as four chakras in the body.

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2. Kaulajnananirnaya which contains the core teachings of Matsyendranath describes a system of 11 chakras. This text is also from the same time period. Please note that Matsyendranath is one of the yogis who is quoted by Sadhguru often. But Sadhguru himself doesn’t know that Matsyendranath talked about 11 chakras and not 7.

3. Abhinavagupta, a great mystic of Kashmir Shaivism had adopted a five chakra model.

4. Sat Chakra Nirupana, another Tantric text talks about a six chakra model.

This is how slowly the system evolved into the current system of seven chakras. They are conceptual and were only meant for visualizations. But it is this concept of Chakras which has become a huge business in the world today.

Here is a picture of Kali Yantra:

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First of all, What do these 36 corners represent?

During 8th – 6th century BC, people were interested in going inward to find a way out of suffering. When they explored and enumerated the contents of the consciousness, each sect or group of monks came with different numbers as indivisible entities of one’s conscious field… Buddha came with five and called it five aggregates. Vedanta also came up with five and called it five koshas. Samkhya came with 24 units or tattvas by including sense perceptions, sense organs, organs of actions (hands, legs, speech, excretion, reproduction) and five elements. This way of enumerating the contents of consciousness and coming up with these basic units continued for about 1500 years. Kashmir Shaivism, which is the youngest of all ( which has influenced Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev a lot ) came with 36 basic units. They are called as 36 tattvas. The 36 corners of this yantra represent 36 tattvas.

Each unit was like an atom of the internal world. Vaisheshika, a school of thought in India is called as atomism because it enumerated the contents of consciousness this way and divided them to inseparable things called ‘anu’. But this has been greatly misunderstood by people. There are people who think that these anus/atoms are the actual atoms that we study in Physics.. No, not at all!

Let me explain how this enumeration works. Let us say you look at a tree. You can explore the tree and enumerate its units by dividing the tree into its parts, narrowing down to its molecules, atoms, electrons and quantum particles.

But this is not what we do in spiritual practice. In spiritual path, this is how people see it:

1)When you look at a tree, there is a perception of a form. But where does this perception happen? It happens within the field of consciousness. So, a visual sense perception is actually one of the 36 units.

2)This visual perception is accomplished through eyes, hence eye as a sense organ is also one of the 36 units.

3)Is what is perceived a solid, liquid, gas, the heat which reacts with these three or the empty space in which it occurs? It is a perception of a solid structure. And this solid nature is made as one of the 36 units too, making it as one of the Panchabhutas.

4)Now, what kind of feeling does this perception create in the consciousness? It may create like, dislike or a neutral feeling. This is called manas and it is also one of the 36 units.

5)Does this perception trigger a memory? Oh yes… So memory or Chitta is also one of the 36.

6) What did I use to discriminate all these things? I used my intellect. So intellect or Buddhi is also one of the units.

7) Who is doing all this? It is just happening but it gives you an illusion that ‘you’ as a personal entity separate from the existence is doing it. This is ego or Ahankara is also one of the 36.

This way, people enumerated the contents of consciousness which was helpful for them to discriminate between the awareness and the contents of awareness.

So, this enumeration has got nothing to do with physics or chemistry as many people tend to believe. It is a process of deep investigation of the contents of the field of your conscious subjective experience itself.

The central Bindhu in the Kali Yantra or the central Linga in the Linga Bhairavi yantra represents the Atman, witness or your true nature. The 5 inverted triangle around the Bindu represents the Vedantic way of enumeration which is 5 koshas. They represent your body, breath, your mind, intellect and experience/bliss.

The eight lotuses represent Prakriti or nature and symbolize another way of enumeration. The eight things are solid, liquid, gas, heat, space, activity, inertia and balance. This is a bit outward focused and was probably added to symbolize the nature as we observe it through our five senses. A meditation using this Yantra will require a very complicated visualization.

I can go on and on and explain why Yantras have played a very important role in the spiritual history and how useful it is in meditation. Because using a Yantra has multiple purposes:

1)Taking advantage of classical conditioning and easily get into a meditative state.

2) Mnemonics to remember certain core pointers.

3) A map to construct temples.

4) Helps in the ‘doing’ oriented meditation like Shamatha, Ashtanga yoga etc because of the requirement of complex visualizations.

5)Prepares the ground for ‘non-doing’ oriented meditation: self-inquiry/mindfulness. This is the most important part. Everything that is done in a spiritual path is done to prepare oneself to the direct approach towards spiritual liberation.

When a seeker asked Ramana Maharshi about Shri Yantra, he replied very beautifully with no mumbo jumbo or nonsense:

Talk 405.
19th April 1937

A respectable and orthodox gentleman asked about Sri Chakra.

Ramana Maharishi: It has a deep significance. There are 43 corners with sacred
syllables in them. Its worship is a method for concentration of
mind. The mind is wont to move externally. It must be checked
and turned within. Its habit is to dwell on names and forms,
for all external objects possess names and forms. Such names
and forms are made symbolic mental conceptions in order to
divert the mind from external objects and make it dwell within
itself. The idols, mantras, yantras, are all meant to give food to
the mind in its introvert state, so that It may later become capable
of being concentrated, after which the superb state is reached
automatically.

I recently wrote a detailed post on my blog by making use of all the concepts used in Tantric meditations. You can read it here: A Shamatha Meditation Based on Symbolism, Visualization, Mnemonics and Classical Conditioning

It is about a 3-level meditation that also includes a Yantra, but a visually appealing one:

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The Spirituality of Ancient Greeks: Xenophanes, Parmenides, Prodicus, Gorgias and Socrates

Here is a beautiful analogy on the spiritual path, self-realization, and liberation:

“Plato has Socrates describe a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall from objects passing in front of a fire behind them, and give names to these shadows. The shadows are the prisoners’ reality. Socrates explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall are not reality at all, for he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the manufactured reality that is the shadows seen by the prisoners. The inmates of this place do not even desire to leave their prison, for they know no better life. The prisoners manage to break their bonds one day and discover that their reality was not what they thought it was. They discovered the sun, which Plato uses as an analogy for the fire that man cannot see behind. Like the fire that cast light on the walls of the cave, the human condition is forever bound to the impressions that are received through the senses. Even if these interpretations (or, in Kantian terminology, intuitions) are an absurd misrepresentation of reality, we cannot somehow break free from the bonds of our human condition – we cannot free ourselves from the phenomenal state just as the prisoners could not free themselves from their chains. If, however, we were to miraculously escape our bondage, we would find a world that we could not understand – the sun is incomprehensible for someone who has never seen it. In other words, we would encounter another “realm,” a place incomprehensible because, theoretically, it is the source of a higher reality than the one we have always known; it is the realm of pure Form, pure fact.”

Source: Ferguson, A. S. “Plato’s Simile of Light. Part II. The Allegory of the Cave (Continued).” The Classical Quarterly 16, no. 1 (1922): 15-28. http://www.jstor.org/stable/636164.

Immediate source: Wikipedia

This Allegory of a cave is narrated in his book ‘Republic’,  in which Plato is sharing what Socrates, his teacher taught him. We know about the teachings of Socrates only through Plato. He was the one who put them in writings. So, if one needs to understand Socrates, he has to read Plato.

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Plato’s Allegory of the Cave by Jan Saenredam, according to Cornelis van Haarlem, 1604, Albertina, Vienna. Image source: Wikipedia

This analogy is indeed a wonderful one. The prisoners who take the shadows to be more real than the fire which causes the shadow to appear. The same way, we take the changing appearances on the screen of the conscious subjective experience as more real than the constant screen of pure conscious subjective experience itself which is the knower of the appearances.

The thoughts on non-duality from Greek philosophers appear in the Greek literature as early as the Buddha’s time in India. So, the time around 600-400 BC seems to be a very important time when the world saw wise sophists in Greece, the scientists of the inner world like Buddha in India, and Lao Tzu in China. If North East India was the spiritual cradle of the East, then we can say that ancient Greek settlements were the spiritual cradles of the West.

Xenophanes (570 BC – 475 BC)

Xenophanes (570 BC – 475 BC) who was born in Colophon, a city of Greek settlements in Ionia (an ancient region on the central part of the western coast of Anatolia in present-day Turkey, the region nearest İzmir, which was historically Smyrna.) was probably the earliest known sophist who touched on certain important things. Xenophanes was a great poet. His poems were written in Ancient Greek poetic meters and were elegiac and iambic poetry.

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A fictionalized portrait of Xenophanes from a 17th-century engraving. Image source: Wikipedia

Xenophanes was probably one of the earliest known skeptics in the human history similar to Buddha. He questioned traditional beliefs and encouraged critical thinking. Here is one of his wonderful poems of skeptic nature:

But if cattle and horses and lions had hands
or could paint with their hands and create works such as men do,
horses like horses and cattle like cattle
also would depict the gods’ shapes and make their bodies
of such a sort as the form they themselves have.

Ethiopians say that their gods are snub–nosed [σιμούς] and black
Thracians that they are pale and red-haired

  • Diels-Kranz, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, Xenophanes frr. 15-16

Xenophanes was not an atheist though. He believed in a God who is beyond human morality, does not resemble the human form, cannot die or be born (God is divine thus eternal), no divine hierarchy exists, and who does not intervene in human affairs.

We at current times may not be able to agree with many of Xenophanes’s views. But he was one of the earliest philosophers who talked about something that I insist often in my blog posts. He made a clear distinction between what is belief and what is true knowledge. If you read a theological concept in a book and think that it has given some knowledge to you, according to Xenophane it is not a true knowledge but just a belief.

Parmenides of Elea (515 BC)

Parmenides of Elea (515 BC) seems to be the most important person in the Greek spiritual history… He is said to be the founder of metaphysics and ontology. I think he is probably one of the most underrated persons in the world.  He is said to be a pupil of Xenophanes. Here is an excerpt from http://www.parmenides-of-elea.net/. This is the same as Advaita Vedanta:

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Bust of Parmenides discovered at Velia, thought to have been partially modeled on a Metrodorus bust. Image source: Wikipedia

“According to Parmenides, existing cosmic space is not unlimited but is an enormous sphere. It is entirely filled by “Being”. “Being” is the only and homogeneous substance that, permeating all things (including human beings and the air) that our senses perceive in the cosmos, constitutes the cosmos itself. In fact, in the “vision” of the eleatic philosopher the cosmos is not composed of numerous entities – planets, stars, people, animals, trees, flowers, houses, mountains, clouds, etc., of different appearance and color, capable of transformation, movement, birth and death – that appear daily before our eyes, but consists of Being, which is an eternal, not generated, one, huge, limited, spherical, motionless substance, not becoming but always equal to itself, homogeneous, of the same density everywhere, not divided into multiple “things” but continuous. 
So: only Being exists. This Being, which is one, is perceived by humans as “broken” in many things, all the things that our deceptive sight daily sees:

To this One so many names will be assigned
as many are the things that mortals proposed, believing that they were true,
that they were born and perish, that they exist and do not exist,
that they changed the place and their bright color” (8,38-41)

Literal translation:
“It will have for name all things,
how many the mortals proposed, believing that they were true,
that they were born and perish, that they exist and do not [exist],
that they changed the place and their bright color” (8,38-41)”

It is really amazing to learn that all these concepts of non-duality existed among ancient Greeks at the same time when it was growing in India. 

Prodicus of Ceos (465 BC – c. 395 BC)

Prodicus of Ceos (465 BC – c. 395 BC) is said to be the teacher of Socrates in at least one lecture, as mentioned by some sources. He has done some good work on ethics and linguistics. He was pretty strict about the word usage.

We don’t have any information regarding his ontological views on reality. But he was certainly a skeptic:

“Prodicus, like some of his fellow Sophists, interpreted religion through the framework of naturalism. The gods he regarded as personifications of the sun, moon, rivers, fountains, and whatever else contributes to the comfort of our life, and he was sometimes charged with atheism. “His theory was that primitive man was so impressed with the gifts nature provided him for the furtherance of his life that he believed them to be the discovery of gods or themselves to embody the Godhead. This theory was not only remarkable for its rationalism but for its discernment of a close connection between religion and agriculture.” 

 –   From Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prodicus)

Gorgias  (485 – c. 380 BC)

Gorgias  (485 – c. 380 BC)  is another important person in the Greek spiritual history.  He was also a sophist who was born before Socrates but after Parmenides of Elea. He used to collect huge fees for teaching, a practice which was criticized by Socrates who was probably born a couple of decades later than him.

His famous work  was ‘On Nature or the Non-Existent’ in which he has argued the following:

Nothing exists;

2) Even if something exists, nothing can be known about it; and

3) Even if something can be known about it, knowledge about it can’t be communicated to others.

4) Even if it can be communicated, it cannot be understood.

This sounds like a nihilist view. But I can see that he is clearly talking about the same concept which is called as ‘Maya’ in Indian Tradition. The external world and all the sense perceptions we use to know the world are only appearances on the screen of conscious subjective experience. Nothing can be seen outside of it. So, he attests that the existence of these fleeting experiences can be doubted but you can never doubt the existence of self-evident conscious subjective experience which remains constant. So, what we call as objective in this sense is really an appearance on the screen of the subject. Read this for more details: https://nellaishanmugam.wordpress.com/2017/12/30/ramana-maharshi-and-the-cinema-screen-analogy/

Even though Socrates became very famous among all the Greek philosophers, all these people seemed to have played a great role in Greek spirituality. I will probably be doing further research on this too.  It will require a complete post to talk about Socrates. So I will reserve the topic of his teachings for a future blog post.

Why Is Spiritual Enlightenment Indescribable?

The answer is actually pretty simpler than what most people think.

First of all, any kind of experience or any way of experiencing life cannot be really described.

How will you describe stomach pain? Go ahead and try it… You may say ‘it is very painful; my stomach is really aching as if something is biting it, crushing it or pinching it’.. But this doesn’t really describe the stomach pain. These words do not translate the experience of stomach pain.

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But still, the person who hears the word ‘stomach pain’ recognizes what it is. How? Because the person who hears it has already experienced pain before. The word ‘stomach pain’ has been associated with an experience that you are pretty familiar with and there is consensus on it among everyone because almost everyone has experienced stomach pain.

When you look at a tree, what is actually happening is an experience of a certain pattern of sense perception. This experience of perceiving a tree is completely private to your inner world. But as soon as you utter the word ‘tree’, the other person understands what it is. Why? Because the word ‘tree’ is associated with certain kind of visual perception which everyone is familiar with. And there is consensus on it among everyone because almost everyone has seen a tree and used the word ‘tree’ to name it.

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All perceptions that happen through our five senses are nothing but experiences. But you can communicate what you are experiencing simply because another person has also experienced these perceptions and we have associated a word for each individual pattern of sense perceptions.

When I say ‘I looked at a beautiful flower on a cold winter morning during sunrise while hearing the sounds of birds’ you get the picture right? But a person who is blind and deaf from birth will not get the complete picture. He only understands how a ‘cold winter’ feels like because that is the only thing he has experienced among a myriad of sense perceptions which are actually conveyed in that sentence.

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In fact, your entire life happens only on the basis of conscious subjective experience. You understand that there is an external world only by inference. And only because of certain consensus that exists about this ‘external world’, we are able to deal with practical things in life. That is why we call the external world as ‘maya’ because it is actually an appearance that appears in the conscious subjective experience. This is self-evident. You just need to shift the focus to see it.

A small kid less than one-year-old thinks that an object doesn’t exist as soon as it disappears from its view. Only later, it starts inferring using the intellect that an object continues to exist even after it is hidden from the view. This is called object permeance and is one of the concepts in psychology: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ob… .

The same way, a child later develops ‘theory of mind‘ with which it knows that others also have a mind. Please note that all this have been accomplished only by the inference of the intellect (Buddhi) alone! It is this inferential knowledge, which has become reified or solidified in our mind as time passed by. The nature of Buddhi is to categorize things, and one of the earliest categorizations that it did was the division between ‘me’ and the ‘world’. The reification of this categorization is what ego or ‘ahamkara’ is…. A spiritual practice is nothing but retracing our steps and going back to the source.

When we are talking about enlightenment, we are not talking about a distinct experience but a way of experiencing reality.

How can I explain how it feels like to not to have a sense of separate self to a person who is not experiencing the reality that way?

How can I explain how it feels like to be out of psychological time, to a person who is still trapped in psychological time?

How can I explain how it feels like to live with an unaltered state of consciousness to a person whose consciousness is altered by duality?

I can only give some clues. It feels more authentic than the regular way of experiencing reality; it feels as if a huge load has been lifted off of your shoulders; it feels as if you are weightless; it feels pure, innocent, conflict-less and it really is indescribable simply because most of the people are not experiencing life this way.

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But even if you understand all this, it would be only an intellectual understanding. It is self-realization which gives you a direct perception of the truth. Only then you really see it, just like how a person who was blind from birth suddenly sees the world one day after his eyesight has been cured. Whatever he has heard by verbal testimony is now confirmed by his direct experience.

Read the following posts for more about enlightenment and spiritual path:

Spiritual Enlightenment Comics: You Are The Truth

What is Spiritual Enlightenment?

Is Spiritual Enlightenment Known or Experienced?

God: Who/What is God?

The Meaning of Truth, Consciousness and Bliss – Satchitananda

Ramana Maharshi and the Cinema Screen Analogy

What is Ego in the Context of Non-Duality?

For Seekers of Liberation

An Invitation To A Spiritual Journey Towards Self-Realization! – Sanskrit Poem

A recent Sanskrit poem that I wrote, in free verse:

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जीवायाः गुरुत्वम् यस्मिन् अस्ति ।

यस्य आचरणं गुरुकार्यमस्ति ।

यस्य मार्गदर्शनं अन्तः स्थितेन हृदयरश्मिना सद्गुरुणा भविष्यति ।

येन मार्गेन गमनं रज्ज्वां चलनं इव सावधानेन

विवेकदृष्ट्या वैराग्यभावनया  शमादिषट्कसम्पदः प्रभावेण

मुमुक्षुत्वस्य शक्त्या करणीयं अस्ति ।

यस्मै मार्गाय सत्यस्य संश्रवणं दैनन्दिन अभियोगः गभीरा साक्षिभावना

नेति नेति मनसः कषायाणां उपरि आगमनं एतस्य सर्वस्य आवश्यकता वर्तते ।

येन मार्गेन यात्रा अस्मान् मोक्षं प्रापयते ।

तस्मिन् मार्गे वयम् सर्वम् गच्छाम ॥


Transliteration (IAST):

jīvāyāḥ gurutvam yasmin asti ।
yasya ācaraṇaṃ gurukāryamasti ।
yasya mārgadarśanaṃ antaḥ sthitena hṛdayaraśminā sadguruṇā bhaviṣyati ।
yena mārgena gamanaṃ rajjvāṃ calanaṃ iva sāvadhānena
vivekadṛṣṭyā vairāgyabhāvanayā śamādiṣaṭkasampadaḥ prabhāveṇa
mumukṣutvasya śaktyā karaṇīyaṃ asti ।
yasmai mārgāya satyasya saṃśravaṇaṃ dainandina abhiyogaḥ gabhīrā sākṣibhāvanā
neti neti manasaḥ kaṣāyāṇāṃ upari āgamanaṃ etasya sarvasya āvaśyakatā vartate ।
yena mārgena yātrā asmān mokṣaṃ prāpayate ।
tasmin mārge vayam sarvam gacchāma ॥


Meaning:

Let us all walk in the path

In which  lies the significance of life,

Walking in which  is very important,

For which, the guidance is offered by the light which resides in the heart, the satguru (true guru),

Walking in which  is similar to walking on a rope,  has to be done carefully, with the discrimination between what is real and what is unreal, with an attitude of non-attachment, with the impact of the six virtues and with the power of the desire for liberation,

For which  there is a necessity of listening to the truth, everyday practice, a deep witnessing attitude (choiceless awareness),  rising above the kashayas (everything that one is attached to and can be witnessed in the stream of consciousness) by realizing ‘not this, not this’ (neti neti method),

That which takes us to liberation!


 

Spiritual Enlightenment Comics: You Are The Truth

A short comic on spiritual enlightenment and the spiritual path. A young guy visits an old self-realized man living in the forest to receive instructions on the spiritual path. The comic includes a portion of the poem that I wrote, which you can read here: https://nellaishanmugam.wordpress.com/2017/06/24/you-are-the-truth-a-poem-about-non-duality/.

 

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For a complete guide for spiritual seekers, visit this page: For the seekers of liberation.

 

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and Isha: Pride and Prejudice

Let me start this post with a short story. Because, most of the times, using stories and analogies is the best way to illustrate something clearly and make people understand. This is especially true when it comes to discussing anything related to the spiritual path or spiritual enlightenment.

Once there lived a parrot which hatched its egg on a beautiful day. From the broken shell of an egg emerged a beautiful parrot chick. Let us give it the name ‘Vikruthaksha’. (Don’t name your child Vikruthaksha because the word Vikruthaksha means having unnatural eyes or blind 🙂 ). I will give the reason why I named it that way after the end of the story.

The name of the mother parrot is Sathyadarshini. The young parrot chick Vikruthaksha was born inside the dark cavity of a peepal tree. The cavity was completely dark except some rays of light which was entering through the opening. Every day, Sathyadarshini brought food to the parrot and took care of it very well. As Vikruthaksha began to grow inside the cavity, Sathyadarshini started to talk to her about how beautiful the experience of flying is.

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Vikruthaksha asked his mom, “Mom, what do you mean by flying? I don’t understand”.

Sathyadarshini said, “You won’t understand that yet dear. Because you have never experienced yourself flying. But I can tell you that you will have an experience of boundlessness and complete freedom. You can fly everywhere and look at the green fields, rivers, streams, and forests from the above, while almost kissing those beautiful white clouds floating in the blue sky! Right now, you are here as a part of your growth. But it will not last long. Soon, you will come out of this small cavity completely liberated. Then you will know how wonderful it is”

Vikruthaksha said, “But mom, I am very curious to find out how exactly it is going to be. Can you explain that to me with something that I can understand?”

Sathyadarshini replied, “Sure.. Once you start flying, you can find your own food. You will find a variety of colorful fruits all over the world. Right now, you are not grown enough to digest all those tasty fruits. But one day you certainly can. You can experiment with a variety of fruits and taste them whenever you want. And they are pretty delicious, wonderful and extraordinary.”

Vikruthaksha said, “Oh, you mean it is all going to be tasty? Now I understand”…Sathyadarshini smiled at him, kissed him and flew out in search of food. As far as Vikruthaksha was concerned, the only thing he could understand about flying was that it was going to be tasty.

Vikruthaksha began dreaming, thinking and trying to conceptualize how flying would feel like. He couldn’t wait to feel the experience of it!  Hours passed by as he kept thinking about it. It was getting late but Sathyadarshini never came. She was shot down by a hunter. Vikruthaksha began to feel hungry.

A few hours later, a human hand entered inside the cavity.. Seeing that, Vikruthaksha got scared, as it had never seen something like this before. A human voice spoke to it in the language of the parrots, “Dear little one! Don’t be scared! I am going to take you to my home and teach you how to fly. First, eat this piece of fruit. I think you must be hungry”. The hand dropped a small fruit inside the cavity, in front of the little parrot.

Hearing the word ‘fly’, Vikruthaksha got very excited. He started devouring the fruit. Finding it to be a new kind of fruit which was extremely tasty, Vikruthaksha shed tears of happiness while thinking, “This is something that mom has sent, since I wanted to fly! Oh my God, it was so quick! I can’t believe that I am going to fly soon and eat a variety of tasty fruits every day!”..

The man said, “Come on. Sit on my palms! I will take you home!”.. Vikruthaksha immediately hopped on his palms and the man took him home. Let us call this man Mayavi.

Mayavi took Vikruthaksha to his home and placed him in a golden cage that was decorated with embedded diamonds and pearls. The cage was in a brightly lit room. Once he placed Vikruthaksha inside the cage he gave him a fruit and said, ‘This is a consecrated space! See how beautiful it is.. I will give you fruits every day and you can just sit and enjoy’…

Vikruthaksha couldn’t thank Mayavi enough. Every day, Mayavi gave him some fruits. Vikruthaksha spent his time there sleeping and eating. Day by day, Vikruthaksha felt bored once in a while. But it was ok; because the routine was pretty good with all the fruits and stuff. And he always remembered what Mayavi told him, “Look, this is a very precious cage because it is made of gold and diamonds.. So, it is actually priceless. No other parrot has this privilege! They don’t understand unless they experience it.”

Soon, Mayavi brought a bigger cage and also brought more parrot chicks to the cage. Vikruthaksha lived with all those parrots and soon got trained to speak in human language. Mayavi would say something, and Vikruthaksha would repeat it. In the long run, all the parrots along with Vikruthaksha became pretty good in repeating whatever Mayavi says.

One day Mayavi said to all of them, “Dear people! I am sure you are all experiencing the effects of this wonderful golden cage! Some idiotic parrots do not understand any of this. I am on the mission of creating such undercover parrots like you so that you all start flying. Do you know the value of the gold and diamond which this cage is made of? Moreover, just think about the taste of the fruits you are eating. You would have never got all these in the cavities where you were living.”

All parrots repeated, ‘Yes Sadhguruji, we are so grateful to you!’. The poor parrots never learnt to fly and could never even think that they could actually fly out the cage into the wide open sky. They did not know their true potential and they mistook this experience of eating a variety of fruits in a well-lit cage as flight.

One day, a parrot called Kalyanamitra who lived in its natural habitat managed to peek its face inside the room through an open window. The parrots in the cage looked at it. The only thing which was visible was Kalyanamitra’s face.

Kalyanamitra asked, “What are you guys doing here?”

Vikruthaksha replied, “Don’t you see? We are trying to fly. Do you want to learn how to fly too?”

Kalyanamitra replied, “You guys are mistaken. This is not what we parrots call as flying”.

One parrot got frustrated and said, “You are an idiot… First, try and see if it works. Then judge!”.

Kalynamitra started laughing and said, “Poor guys.. No, this is not the real world.. You guys are missing out a lot. You already have the mechanism to fly and it is already inbuilt. You don’t have to rely on Mayavi to fly. First, you need to come out of the cage. Next time when he opens the door, just get out quickly and come outside”.

Vikruthaksha said, “You must experience and see. There is no use in just talking from there. Don’t ask us to get out. You try to get in. It will be totally worth it”

Kalynamitra said, “You guys want fruits right? Come out.. There are plenty of fruits out there. If you think this is what ‘flying’ is, think about what your mom told you.. You guys aren’t even spreading your wings. This guy who put you in the cage is misleading you!”

Another parrot got very angry and said, “Shame on you! It is clear that you have come with a hidden agenda. But you don’t understand a damn thing that we are talking about! It is funny that you are using logic to dissect all these things. You can’t understand all this with your stupid logic. Our Sadhguru Mayaviji is a boon for parrots because someone like him appears on this planet once in a millennium!”.

Kalyanamitra couldn’t say anything anymore. All he could do was to occasionally visit the parrots and remind them that what they think as ‘flying’ was not ‘flying’ at all. After all, Kalyanamitra didn’t have anything to lose. He was enjoying his boundless freedom and he thought that these poor parrots could taste this freedom too. Maybe one day these parrots would understand!

                                          ————–The End of the story————–


 

All right.. I think it will be easier for you to understand what I am trying to explain using the analogy presented in the story. First, let us look at the name Vikruthaksha. As I mentioned earlier, the name simply means being blind. When it comes to spiritual enlightenment, everyone who is not liberated/enlightened is blind; because he or she doesn’t really understand enlightenment by experience. The understanding is only conceptual and intellectual.

The spiritual enlightenment is similar to the experience of flying in the open sky. But a distinct spiritual experience is similar to eating a fruit by these parrots. The first thing that people need to understand is, a spiritual experience is not spiritual enlightenment; and spiritual enlightenment in itself is not a distinct experience that comes and goes.

There has been much confusion with the word ‘experience’ in the spiritual community. So, let me explain that first. At every moment, a person is experiencing life. Experience is inseparable from life. Your reality really is your conscious first-person experience. Because the whole world including your body and mind appear as objects in your conscious experience. When you were born, this pure conscious experience was the only reality. But as you started growing up, you developed a sense of separation from the world. Instead of a unified experience of reality with no distinctions, you started to experience the world with all its distinctions: You, other people and the world.

This separation between you and the rest of the world only exists in the mind. In fact, the separation itself is like a mirage and not real. But this separation got solidified in your mind in the long run as a part of the growth. This is not something evil, because this separation is pretty much a part of the growth and is supposed to happen. In the long run, you also develop a self-image or self-concept; with that, there also arises a need to protect and enhance this self-concept.

You then need many things to identify with and color your self-concept: Your parents, your relatives, your friends, your house, your properties, your beliefs, your values, your desires, your language, your race, your community, your country, your religion etc. The list is endless! Then each person you come across either falls into one of your groups or the outside group.

For example, a next door neighbor is an outsider because he doesn’t belong to your family. A person who speaks a different language, someone who belongs to a different religion or someone who belongs to a different country is an outsider in some way. And there is always a subconscious need to become better than another person or another group in some way. What you want to become may vary; for example, you may wish to become more righteous than others, more religious than others, more wealthy than others, more successful than others, more talented than others, more spiritual than others or more knowledgeable than others.

This also creates in-group out-group bias and prejudice. No matter how polite and helpful people appear to be, it is only on the surface; because, the hatred and anger that is fueled by the prejudice are always there in the depth of the mind, waiting to erupt at anytime. If someone from one religion makes a negative comment about another religion, you can witness this. This always happens between two groups, no matter what kind of group it is. And by your very nature, you will always want to conform to the standards of your own group. This group can be even as small as a group of friends that you belong to. And among the group of friends, there are still many divisions which can be narrowed down to ‘you’ vs ‘another’.

So, as a person belonging to one religion you may try to show that your religion is better than the others; as a person belonging to one country, you may try to show that your country is better than the others; as a person speaking one language, you may try to show that your language is better than the others;  This is what creates prejudice and it is the worst poison when it comes to spiritual path.

I am not talking about what is morally correct; I am talking about what won’t work if you are on the spiritual path. So, as long as your thought processes and decision making are controlled by prejudice, you haven’t even placed the first step in the spiritual path. This is true no matter how much books you have read, how many pilgrimages you have gone, how many gurus you have met or how many meditation camps or programs that you have attended.

And at the core, you are also trying to be better than your friend or your neighbor or any person who is an ‘other’; This puts you on a hedonic treadmill and makes you run the rat race that you call as ‘life’.

This tendency to ‘become’ something always lingers in the mind, either consciously or unconsciously. This craving to protect and maintain a self-concept creates a psychological time and also a future. Your tendencies, thought processes, speech, and action are then always aligned in a way which makes you think life as a journey from point A to point B in time. A simple definition of spiritual enlightenment is breaking out of this psychological time.  

But once you break out of the psychological time, you feel like a huge load has been lifted off of your shoulders. Even in your everyday experience, you would start to feel physically and mentally weightless. The experience of reality becomes pure, without clouded by the sense of a separate self. You just have a minutely subtle temporary sense of self when you interact with others and this arises only for practical purposes. But other than that, your life is a blissful vacation with nowhere to go and nothing to attain anymore. Because now, you are one with existence, which is always here and will be always here. This is the absolute and nothing is outside of it…Then the story of ‘me’ which is usually the center of a person’s experience of reality moves far away to the periphery and loses its significance. Then, the story is only important for practical purposes. When you are just with yourself, the story is no longer needed.

What people call as distinct spiritual experiences are just distinct experiences. They may be a good indication that you have progressed in the spiritual path to a certain extent. But this is just a part of the journey. There are some so-called spiritual gurus who completely ignore spiritual experiences and make it intellectual; there are some so-called gurus who exaggerate the importance of such spiritual experiences.  If you want to compare the difference between the two, compare it with the flying and eating the fruit in the story of the parrots.

Enlightenment is like the flight of those birds. It is the ultimate freedom. That is why we have always called it as mukthi or moksha. Both of those words literally mean ‘liberation’ or ‘freedom’. And these spiritual experiences are like the fruits. If you crave for spiritual experiences, it is also a craving and it also binds you. But once you are liberated, each and every moment becomes worth it. You are experiencing your life itself in a different way!

Now you can guess what happened to most of the people who are following Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. In fact, it is the reality of most of the gurus and their followers. You can compare their followers with those parrots who were in the cage, parroting exactly what Mayavi says!

Each person has his own cage: for some people, the cage is the guru himself; they are too attached to the guru that they can’t let go of him and fly.

For some, the cage is the sense of belonging that they get because of the presence of other people in the community. The sense of belonging is actually a need for humans and some people just become ok when this need is fulfilled by becoming a part of their community. There is nothing wrong with that; but if you think this has got anything to do with spiritual path or enlightenment, then you are mistaken.

Yet for some, the cage is just the cocoon of various beliefs and concepts they carry in their mind about them, their spiritual path and their guru. They use all this to derive a sense of identity, which is totally opposite to what is supposed to happen in the spiritual path.

One needs to be extremely courageous to walk on the spiritual path, because he has to walk alone, gradually leaving back everything that he has thought of as ‘me’ or ‘mine’. I am not talking about running away from the society and renouncing the life. I am talking about living in the society but getting rid of identifications. Because all such identifications are like cages which stop you from flying; no matter how beautiful those cages are!

Most of the people in Isha do not seem to understand any of this, because they have become exactly like those parrots who simply repeat whatever that their guru says. It is true that some of them go through certain experiences solely because of the practices that they have been doing. Those practices are certainly useful but what Sadhguru speaks is completely misleading. Because, he himself is living in a cage. The only difference between these people and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is that Sadhguru is living in the most beautiful cage that these people have ever seen. He himself is conditioned by his own beliefs and identifications. I could clearly see this only after my own liberation.

When I try to explain this to these people, most of these people respond exactly the same way as how Vikruthaksha and other parrots responded to Kalyanamitra in the story. But I am pretty sure that there are a lot of intelligent people in Isha who will be willing to explore my blog and also the books of authentic people like Ramana Maharshi or J.Krishnamurti. So, for people who really have the ears to hear what I am saying, I am going to share something that happened recently, just to show how much brainwashed at least a certain people who are following him have become.

I had a conversation with a person who commented on one of my answers in Quora.To provide a context for that conversation, let me first include the actual answer that I wrote. Let me also explain what directed me to actually write that answer.

You will notice certain prejudice when it comes to Isha people: Prejudice against Science; Prejudice against Christianity, Christian missionaries and Islam (For any criticisms about Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, they are programmed to reply by saying ‘Some Christian missionary is paying you’); and to some extent, they are also prejudiced against the West.  This may not be true about all people who are in Isha or who listen to Sadhguru. But at least, most of the people who go about commenting on the internet actually reveal this prejudice. Most importantly, they reply to any kind of valid criticisms with ad hominem attacks. I have nothing against these people. In fact, the only reason why I am taking my time to write all this is in the hope that at least 1% of people who read this will understand what exactly I am trying to say. There is more danger to listening to Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, because of much misleading information he is giving regarding science, history, and etymology.  

So, I answered a question in Quora which asked ‘Why are Christian missionaries so paranoid about Sadhguru’. Before you read the answer, let me give you a disclaimer. As far as I am concerned, religion and spirituality are two different things. A large part of the holy books of most of the religions was written when people were living in a barbaric age and gave absolutely no importance to human rights. But I was hoping that at least the nature of my answer will try to see where exactly people are going wrong. I wanted to insist that love and peace have actually been the teachings of people like Jesus. When their teachings were written down, they obviously got distorted, which is a topic for another post.


The question asked in Quora: Why are Indian Christians so paranoid about Sadhguru?

My answer:

I see an irony in this question…

Let us look into the meaning of the words ‘Hinduism’, ‘Christian’ and ‘Islam’…

Who is a Hindu?

I am going with Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev himself, when defining the word ‘Hinduism’. He defines it as follows:

The term and concept of Hinduism was coined only in recent times. Otherwise, there was really no such thing. The word “Hindu” essentially comes from the word Sindhu. Anyone who is born in the land of Sindhu is a Hindu. It is a cultural and geographic identity. It is like saying “I am an Indian” but it is a more ancient identity than being an Indian. “Indian” is only about seventy years old, but this is an identity that we have always lived with.

Anyone who is an Indian is a Hindu. I totally agree! (And since Sadhguru is defining the word ‘Hinduism’ by his interpretation based on etymology, I am going with the same logic to define Christianity and Islam)

Who is a Christian?

Anyone who follows the Christ is a Christian. What is the core message of the Christ?

Matthew 22:36-40 New International Version (NIV)

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

38 This is the first and greatest commandment.

39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Jesus only gave two commandments. And both commandments are about Love. Anyone who loves another human being as himself is a Christian.

Who is a Muslim?

The word muslim (Arabic: مسلم‎, IPA: [ˈmʊslɪm]; English: /ˈmʌzlɪm/, /ˈmʊzlɪm/, /ˈmʊslɪm/ or moslem /ˈmɒzləm/, /ˈmɒsləm/[24]) is the active participle of the same verb of which islām is a verbal noun, based on the triliteral S-L-Mto be whole, intact

The word ‘Islam’ is about wholeness and peace. Peace is a synonym for the word Islam. And I know that a person who feels complete and whole is peaceful!

Can somebody be a Hindu, a Christian and a Muslim at the same time?

Yes.. Anyone who is an Indian and who walks in the path of love and peace is all the three.

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I made this pic about two years before..

But I think I made a mistake in that picture. It should have been ‘One God, one Mankind’.

We create all the imaginary divisions among people, when no such divisions exist. As far as I am concerned, there are only two kinds of people:

1)One who believes…

2)One who knows…

When you believe in something, you still don’t know. Once you know, there is no need for beliefs..

I agree with Sadhguru when he says the following:

The conflict in the world is not between good and evil, as is so often projected. The conflict is always between one man’s belief and another man’s belief, whether it is within the family or between nations. The moment you believe something, you are in conflict with the opposing belief. You can postpone it with moderate talk. But conflict is inevitable.

But then I came across this on a Sadhguru’s Youtube video, after seeing these pics in a Quora answer. The comments highlighted in red are from people who believe in Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’s words:

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Make sure you also read the comment from ‘Core Puncher’ highlighted in green. Someone commented me in a Quora answer that I am a shame to India, because I criticized Sadhguru. (Please note: Criticism is not hatred). But what do you see in the above comment, which is obvious?

Anybody who is paranoid about another human being, her/his race, religion, nationality, gender etc cannot be a Christian (man of love), cannot be a Muslim(man of peace) but can still be a Hindu. And I don’t see anything wrong in converting this non-Christian person into a true Christian, a person who loves another human being as himself.

But unfortunately, the followers/believers of Sadhguru has been trained to label anyone who expresses any skepticism as someone who is funded by a Christian Missionary! You will see this in many places.. Does somebody criticize Sadhguru? Is somebody skeptical of anything he says? Well, then he should be funded by a Christian missionary to do this.

I have also been criticizing Sadhguru for a while, highlighting many things I disagree based on what I have known/experienced (not based on what I believe). I know that someone at sometime is going to say that a Christian missionary is giving me money. And someone almost did that yesterday.

He didn’t specify anything about Christian missionary. But he implied that I am trying to convert Hindus to another religion. He left the following comment in my post Why Do I Criticize Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev? :

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But in a way, he is right. I am trying to convert people who are religious/belief oriented to a true Christian, a person who can see and love another human being as himself. What is wrong with that? The whole post talks mainly about blind and abusive behavior.

I am certainly a Christian missionary who wants to stop such abuse and who wants Isha volunteers to understand the real meaning of the word ‘namaskaram’, a word that is used by them to greet other people.

I already explained the meaning of the word ‘Namaskaram’ in another answer that I wrote:

Every person is essentially nothing but this Truth which is beyond all the names and forms. In other words, You are That! But if you still consider and experience yourself as a person with a body and mind, then it would be correct to say that this Truth is inside you. That is why Jesus said ‘The Kingdom of God’ is within you.

This is also the reason why people say ‘Namaskaram’ because when a person says namaskaram to another person, you are essentially bowing down to the Truth inside him or the Shiva inside him. And this Truth is also your inner Guru, the true Satguru!

This inner Guru is capable of guiding you towards the truth when you are sincerely seeking liberation. This is what Buddha meant when he said ‘Follow your own light’. This inner light is Shiva. When we talk about Dakshninamoorthy, we are talking about the same inner Guru.

Do you know what is an ‘ad hominem attack’? I want everyone who doesn’t know about it to understand what it means.

Ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person”short for argumentum ad hominem, is a fallacious argumentative strategy whereby an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.

If somebody has an argument and if you personally attack his intelligence or anything else instead of refuting his views by proper objections, it is an ad hominem attack.

It is not only a fallacy but it is certainly not a sign of love and acceptance. Calling someone as ‘idiot’ or ‘stupid’ and stating such an attack as an objection to anything that you want to disagree with is an ad hominem attack.

You cannot expect such a love and acceptance by everyone, but it is certainly expected by someone who meditates or who claims to have realized the ultimate love, peace, and freedom. But I have found that most of the so-called Isha meditators always react this way to any kind of criticism by saying ‘shame on you’, ‘you are an idiot’etc etc etc.

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I think all Isha volunteers recognize the picture in the right, where Sadhguru is hugging and giving love to such a prisoner, who is living in jail for whatever criminal offense he has committed. The criminal offense can be anything like murder, rape etc. How kind of Sadhguru to even shower love on somebody who has committed some inhuman crime! Right?

But I came across a tweet which was tweeted recently by Sadhguru. Let me elaborate…

Prashant Bhushan, a lawyer and founder member of the Swaraj Abhiyan has shared an article from http://savukkuonline.com on his Twitter account.The article he had shared talks about many allegations about Sadhguru with a very critical tone.

I don’t know anything about Prashant Bhushan. But whoever he might be and no matter what kind of person he is, let us put that aside. But if Sadhguru can unconditionally love someone who is in a prison, how do you think Sadhguru would have responded to such a tweet? Here is how he responded:

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Please also read Sadhguru’s long message that you see just above Prashant Bushan’s tweet. This is called as an ‘ad hominem attack’.

This tweet by Sadhguru has 6,600 likes, 4,100 retweets, and 682 replies.. And most of the replies are quite abusive. You can read the replies by the so-called Isha meditators yourself. Many people called this lawyer a stupid and many people even called him as a ‘dog’ who is barking.

But I was happy to see one person who responded like this:

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He wrote something on Twitter and about 600 people have abused and personally attacked him by saying all kinds of words, including the phrases like ‘he is a barking dog’.

(That is an extremely abusive phrase that Isha people use often, by the way. And I understand that Mr. Prashant Bhushan is noted for his use of public interest litigation (PIL) to support a number of causes related to corruption, environmental protection, and human rights. So, obviously, such an abuse is not something that a social activist deserves)

Well. Even a barking dog is calmed by love. Human beings have done it for ages:

 

Jesus, even when he was nailed to the cross because of all the allegations against him said ‘”Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” . And he promoted love. He asked people to love even their enemies.
I don’t think there is anything wrong to be a true Christian, a person who loves another person as himself. And according to Sadhguru’s own definition, an Indian Christian is none other than a Hindu Christian! Why would a true Christian be paranoid about another human being? If he is, he is not a Christian!

————–The End of Quora answer ————–


I hope what I am trying to say make sense now; ok, now please read the conversation between me and a guy who was trying to defend Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev here. I first need to thank him for commenting on that answer of mine. Because, after seeing the way he was reacting, I was completely convinced that I should write this post on my blog.

I was extremely shocked to see that he totally missed the point even after reading how much I stress love, peace, and friendliness in this Quora answer. If he has been brainwashed in such a way, then I think it is getting dangerous.  I am going to use the name Vikruthaksha in place of his original name.

Here is how the conversation went:

Vikruthaksha: The difference between a fool and an intelligent man is that an intelligent man knows how foolish he is. Your life, your choice.

Me: How is that relevant to anything that is written in my answer? Please explain…

Vikruthaksha: If you didn’t get it already what the man actually wants to say after all your meticulous research, you’d never get it. At least not by anyone else’s explanation. But that’s ok. Your life, your choice.

Me: how long do you know Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev? Your reply is similar to what I would have said 14 years before…I think I have to tell you whatever that you said. Find out whether you really know what you think you know.

Vikruthaksha: No please don’t assume you’re capable of telling me anything. I don’t take instructions from people who are slave to of their own distorted mind. No thanks. You have a good day and a good life.

Me: Actually, you have made an assumption about me but completely missed the whole point of this answer…Come out of your blindness and seek your inner guru…

Vikruthaksha: I didn’t have to assume a thing about you. You already put it all up there on display.

Me:  The underlying message of this post is love, compassion and forgiveness… if this answer seems to be coming from a ‘distorted’ mind to you, then it is time for you to look into yourself…

Anyway, replying to a post with an ad hominem attack instead of refuting something with valid counter arguments seems to be an incurable disease for many people.

Read the answer again if you haven’t..What exactly is the part you disagree with and why? Just because what I say is not in agreement with what you believe,you are lowering your own standards by engaging in ad hominem attack… I would be wary of anybody who wants to say anything about spirituality If he doesn’t even understand what love is.

Your assumptions about me are completely wrong! You are talking to somebody who has realized himself, who is no more as a person and who has found the divinity within himself…

Be a human first; for people who can’t understand divinity within themselves, the only thing I have to say is to learn at least to be a human. After all, that is exactly what I have tried to convey in this answer… Just open your eyes and see it…

Vikruthaksha: The way you call yourself realised. Lol. Cute. You’re so lost buddy. Maybe it’s time for you to stop pretending.

Me: let us leave my realization aside.. do you have anything to say about the rest of the things I have said? When the central topic of this answer is love, what is your explanation for your statement that this answer is coming from someone who is slave to his distorted mind? Do you even have the capability to explain? Because, you are not even realizing that your comments are adding credibility to what I have written about anybody who blindly supports Sadhguru..

Vikruthaksha: I dont care what i look like to anyone. About your answer, do you realize that your looking at this through intellect (which only knows how to disect and compare) and not the other dimensions of your mind. Your focus is on disecting what’s not when youve completely ignored whats there. And only because your way of being, you have an answer for this distorted question. What should i say to a man who chooses to be horse eyed. Nothing. My only attempt, if any, to such a man would only be to shock the man into his senses. Be productive or mind my own business. Those are my only options to choose from. And I’m the only one who allows access to those options.

Me: Read this reply carefully, because it is very likely that you will miss it..

First of all, if you are listening to Sadhguru, you need to at least pay attention to certain very important things that he has said.

I know the limitations of intellect and mind.. And I know when to use the intellect and when not to use it. And for your information, Sadhguru himself has said that he never said anyone to not to use their minds…

When I have to have a conversation with someone, the only tools I have is language, logic and intellect. When I am done with the conversation, I don’t have any use for any of it. Because, the experience of my life is not limited to anything, including intellect, mind,senses or the whole body. But the problem is, there is no possibility to translate that experience into language. It is completely indescribable; because after enlightenment many psychological distinctions disappear and psychological time disappears with it too.

The whole point of this answer is very simple. I see a lot of hatred and prejudice among the followers of any guru, including Sadhguru. You may deny you are not a follower but you are a meditator; but you have just revealed that you are too emotionally attached to a physical form and are simply parroting what Sadhguru says…

You asked me in the beginning if I have understood what Sadhguru says; I have understood many things he said more than he himself has understood it. Because, he himself is parroting Osho.

First, these Sadhguru followers have a standard convenient rebuttal for anything that they cannot refute with their intellect and reasoning. Immediately they will say, ‘you are using intellect and logic; It can only dissect’. Yes, it is true that you can only use it for dissecting. But that is not an excuse to not to use your intellect! Everything has its own purpose in the existence, including bull shit and horse shit. They help in growing plants!

If anybody who is using intellect is having distorted mind, then Adhishankara’s mind should be distorted, Buddha’s mind is distorted; and J.Krishnamurti’s mind is distorted according to this argument. Because, all these people used intellect to its maximum potential. After self-realization you can use anything to its maximum potential and the experience of reality is completely boundless!

Second, Sadhguru himself says first you need to help yourself towards your own liberation. He also says not to talk about anything that is not in your experience! But guess what, his own followers are not listening to him. You said that minding your own business is one of the choices you have. The truth is, when it comes to spiritual path, minding your own business is the only choice you have. Get liberated and then talk whatever you want! Until then, you do not have the measuring scale to judge me!

Surprisingly, whatever you said about me applies to your own mindset. The first thing you said was “The difference between a fool and an intelligent man is that an intelligent man knows how foolish he is. Your life, your choice.”… But this is exactly what all the Isha followers are doing. After listening to some of Sadhguru’s youtube talks and doing a couple of programs, they now think that they know more than the rest of the population and everyone else are idiots.. And the very reason why I started criticizing Sadhguru is because of this behavior. At least, some people who have read my blog, including some long term volunteers of Isha, have realized what I am trying to say.

Then you said I am pretending… Do you realize that you are actually pretending to know what spirituality is? Above all, you are pretending to know the state of my mind..

Until you see the peak of spiritual path, do not give in to such mind games! I saw Sadhguru way back in 2003 and I was an insanely addicted to his talks, books and Isha. From the year 2002, it is has been a very long, lonely journey and a life or death problem.. Most of the people are not really ready to do that. They are just looking for some sense of belonging; something that they can attach themselves to. Anyway, it is only after something that happened in 2014, after 12 years of journey which was almost like walking on the rope 2000 metres above a deep valley, I realized my own self, without a doubt. It is only after all that, I realized how misleading certain things that Sadhguru himself says…

If you are really listening to Sadhguru, then let me remind you of some of the important things that he himself said:

  1. Be skeptical and open-minded.
  2. Truth is the authority; authority is not the truth.
  3. Don’t talk about anything that is not in your experience
  4. Don’t indulge in judging others. Mind your own business.

These are not commandments. These are told to you simply because without understanding these basic principles you will not progress in spiritual path. The reason why many Isha people do not understand such things is because Sadhguru himself talks about many things which are misleading and have the capability to distract you from the spiritual path, In fact, he has said many things which are completely wrong about the nature of enlightenment.

You don’t have to believe me; but just be open-minded and be willing to explore my blog: http://nellaishanmugam.wordpress…. I have no reason to pretend and whatever I have written there is based on my own experience. To start with, read this: For Seekers of Liberation.

Remember, you can say whatever you want; but I don’t have anything to lose…. I have gone beyond anything that a typical human being can conceive of in his mind.

Vikruthaksha: And again, with this you’ve assumed a world of things. You’re way way off the track. I do not wish to drain my energy on someone this lost. Since you do not seem to have the tendency to pick up a cue, let me spell it out for you. I see you naked down to your confused core. I see your experience of life. And i pity you. You deserve better. I deserve better too. There are much better things to do.

Me:  You are repeating just this one thing over and over again.. First, tell me what exactly is the purpose of your conversation, starting from your first comment..

Just for the sake of argument, let us assume that I am completely lost. What do you think your comment will do to me? I only see a reaction and an attempt to quarrel.. Do you even have the capability to have a normal friendly conversation here? Do you think repeatedly saying to someone that ‘You are so lost, confused etc’ will actually help him in anyway? The only thing it may do is help you to vent your frustration or anger.. If it is indeed helping you to vent your frustration, you are welcome to do so..I will be happy to be helpful.. I think this list of 100 abusive words can help you: The Online Slang Dictionary

I don’t know anything about you and your life. And it is also true that you don’t know anything about me too. I am saying all this because I have traveled in the path and I understand the mindset of the seekers. There are many things which people realize only in the passage of time..

Sumit, First, understand the difference between a normal discussion and a series of ad hominem attacks…

(He hasn’t replied yet. In case he replies, I will add it here)


 

This post is a wake-up call to people who are still relying on a single external authority for their spiritual growth, no matter who that authority is…  My posts which are critical about what Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev says are only intended to echo Buddha’s final message: Appo deepo bhava – Be a light unto yourself.

Also read the following pages:

Why Do I Criticize Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev?

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

Why do some people accuse Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev for copying Osho when Osho himself was a “potpourri” of various religious teachings?

Who taught yoga to Adiyogi according to Sadhguru?

Does Rudraksha from Isha foundation rotate according to the quality of food as Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev claims? Does it still work if you tie the Rudraksha on something static?

Do you think that Mr. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is a fraud?

Is Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev trying to convert Shiva Purana to science? Why does he insist that the fantasy stories in Shiva Purana and other mythological stories are based on science?