Brahmasutras IIIa

S. V. Subrahmanian svskotra at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 31 21:12:53 CDT 2000

Shri Anandji,

I couldn't agree with you more!

>  This is indeed golden advice! Let me broaden this point to include
>  all of advaita. These days, there seems to be a strong tendency
>  among "truth-seekers" to trivialize advaita. By such trivialization,
>  advaita is shown to be a mere jugglery of words, a mind-game, if you
>  will. Ultimately what you end up with is something like: OK,
>  if you think you are bound, then you are bound. If you think you are
>  liberated then you are liberated. So bondage and liberation have no
>  meaning. Hence, no need to even try for liberation for it is a
>  meaningless venture!

If at any point of time, you are challenged to show a practical example
of someone like the above, please feel free to quote my name -:)  I am
a real life example of having been a victim of that dreadful disease.
Thank's to Ishwara's Grace, I was cured before it was too late.  I have
a name for such philosophy : "new-age-advaita".

>  In tracing the cause for this trivialization, it occurs to me that
>  the culprit is what is called "instant gratification." The world
>  today is a "fast moving" one. What was not possible yesterday or
>  what was time-consuming yesterday is now instantaneous! It has become
>  perfectly normal to expect all tasks to be done faster and faster
>  as time progresses. While this may be true in the material world,
>  the foolish person expects the same to apply in the spiritual world!

Yes, that is partly the reason.  The second half of the cause, is the people
who cater to these people who seek instant gratification.  Look the number
of books that have come on enlightenment.  They are great in their content.
They accurately (close!) describe the state of enlightenment, but vastly
simplify the means to attain it.  A sample of all the new-age books in
the shelves of Barnes and Noble is ample proof of this trend.  New Age authors
contribute to this confusion.

They describe an ideal situation, a simpleton becoming a Master within a
period of few years, with just a bunch Zen koans and philosophical axioms to
work with, without having to go through any rigours of sAdhana.  Oops - If
I say one has to do sAdhana, I will be accused of mystifying what is so
simple! - sorry Shri NewAgers!!

>  The fool thinks that the same results of studying vedAnta according
>  to the teachings of the Gurus of the past can now be had in a
>  matter of a few months, nay even days! This is simply not true for
>  an overwhelming majority of us. The results of advaita cannot be
>  had by following a crash course. But the fool thinks otherwise.
>  When confronted with advaita literature and various sAdhana's,
>  he is more likely to brush them aside as "minor details" which are
>  cumbersome and unnecessary. And what happens when you are confronted
>  with minor details? You get bored and become sleepy! My Yoga and
>  meditation teacher once told me,

And you would be surprised at the number of teacher, who make promises.  I know
of a very popular system, which says their methodology skips all the rules and
regulations of Sastras, as one gets caught up with it.  Its students, claim
to have siddhis and I know of one, who goes in to samAdhi every evening!  
Yet, when I tried to correct him once that his pronounciation of
one of the shlokas was wrong, I had to run to save my life.  A little nudge
disturbs their balance attained by their "samAdhi-experiences".  If 30 years of
that system, has not given them patience, I would like to go back to Sastras!!

>  But then such revisiting requires perseverance and takes time,
>  something that is against the expectation of "instant gratification."
>  Unless the temptation to trivialize advaita is discarded, there can be
>  no hope.

The following in my opinion are the key words to look for which when one hears
one should run away:

"Its all a matter of belief.  Just believe and you are done!"
"What do the SAstras say after all!"
"Vedanta in 30 days"

The killers are:
"Its all the same", "They all say the same thing".

Sorry for being venomous in my writing,  I just need to get a little
wiser and patient in dealing with such things.

To sum up:
Albert Einstein said once: "Theories should presented in the simplest
fashion, but not more simpler that what they are".

"asampradAyavit SAstrajno api mUrkhavat upExaneeyaha"

S. V. Subrahmanian.
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