Testing the realization of "gurus"

Allan Curry un824 at FREENET.VICTORIA.BC.CA
Wed Jul 2 20:02:25 CDT 1997

Dear All,

"Avasthatrayasaksin (witness of the three states) is a reflection, on the
plane of the manifest, of the transcendent Brahman-atman beyond the three
states, while at the same time permeating them"
                --  "The Pathway of Non-duality: Advaitavada"

"That which is ever awake even in sleep, sending forth the variety of
ideas, is the Real Self, and all immortality; all the worlds are held in it
(as it were, in suspension), there is nothing which transcends it.
It is this".    -- Kathopanishad

I've assumed that quotes like this imply the awareness of realized beings
is continuous 24 hours/day during all three states. I asked a supposedly
enlightened person by email recently if he experienced such continuous
awareness during the sleep state. His response was to the effect that his
body/mind experienced what every other body/mind did. When pressed for
details, (given that most body/minds do NOT experience awareness during the
sleep state), he replied that I was clinging to a mere idea I had about what
an enlightened person should be and he was (by implication) beyond such
silly ideas.  The sleep state of the A.Curry body/mind has been witnessed
without a doubt, (although far from ALWAYS), so I know its possible. Why
would anyone with similar experience not have simply answered the question
"yes" or "sometimes". I strongly suspected therefore that this "guru"
hedged the question because he did not actually have Brahman's point of
view (ie. Avasthatrayasaksin).  I can't think of anything worse than
pretending to be a realized being who's in a position to guide others,
but maybe that's just another silly idea of mine!

Question: Is it OK to try to ascertain whether a "guru" actually is a realized
being by asking such questions of them, or are we supposed to just "take it
or leave it"? Is witnessing the sleep state a legitimate criteria to use to
determine who is a realized being and who is not?

Question: Can a teacher help AT ALL if they are not a completely realized
being themselves?


Allan Curry

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