[Advaita-l] An anecdote

Anil Aggarwal aaggarwal at wi.rr.com
Sun Apr 1 17:59:09 EDT 2018

Very truly said

Sent from my iPhone

> On Apr 1, 2018, at 4:44 PM, Ryan Armstrong via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> Namaste Again
> Before offering answers, I must explain my understanding of the word "guru".
> I present an allegory:
> To get to the top of Mount Everest, I would first look at some maps and
> read guide books.
> Then I would approach a local who has already been to the summit and ask
> for his guidance.
> I would need to trust the local's judgment and should he say "Go left" and
> I willfully go right, I cannot expect to have him lead me to the summit.
> The maps and books are like the scripture, the guide is the method
> personified in the guru.
> If the guide has not summited the mountain, can I expect his leadership to
> be true?
> In the case of the guru, having the intrinsic knowledge of "Who I am", the
> student cannot know what to expect but would need to trust.
> A teacher without this knowledge should not, in my understanding, be
> referred to as guru.
>> What is the reason for the student, even after listening to the teaching,
>> cannot know the *vastu*?
> Listening is only the first step.
> It constitutes the श्रवणम् . The student is still required to practice
> मननम् and निदिध्यासनम् in order to have the scripture infuse the being.
> If this is not done, the knowledge remains only at the level of information.
> Other parts of the teaching may take the form of a direction from the guru
> to perform such and such action or austerity.
> Unless the student practices the teaching in all aspects of life, the vastu
> will not become clear.
>> Is there something lacking  in the student because of which he cannot know
>> the *vastu*?
> Ultimately, the student lacks nothing.
> But (as in the previous post) I believe I am lacking, and so I lack...
>> Or there is something wrong with the method of teaching by the Guru ?
> I am not sure if I am qualified to speak on the guru's method.
> Perhaps some methods are more accessible to certain people - I cannot
> really say.
> My own case is quite interesting in that I do not have a "direct" guru.
> I live in South Africa, and belong to a School which was founded in London.
> The founder sought contact with the wise and came under the direction of a
> guru.
> From this direction, the School follows the teachings and whilst there are
> extremely devout, still and wise people in the School I have no direct
> contact with a guru.
> I have raised concerns about this within the school, and our present leader
> told me that these same concerns had been raised in the London School.
> He posed this question to His Holiness: Can members of the School achieve
> liberation without direct contact with the maha-purusha?
> His answer was "Perhaps"
> And then he told the story of a young boy whose parents had let a room in
> the house to a wise man.
> The holy man would spend hours in the room meditating.
> The young boy would sit in imitation of the wise man, curious as to why he
> sat motionless for so long.
> Day after day, he began sitting alongside the saint in pure imitation until
> one day, the smallest particle of bliss came to him and he "tasted" what
> the saint was experiencing.
> The story seems to point to the desire of the student being of the most
> importance.
> In another example, a couple of months ago, one of the members of the group
> posted a YouTube link to an interview with Kanakammal, a devotee of Ramana
> Maharshi.
> At three points in the half hour of the video, she was describing a
> recollection of the Bhagavan with such purity, the shakti of the Bhagavan
> became present.
> The heart burned with great love and tears were streaming from the eyes - a
> small reminder of the eternal presence which is the Bhagavan.
> Is it that the student has not been taught by the Guru the standpoint from
>> which the teachings have to be intereorized?
> This is a good point, but again would vary.
> Different teachers have used various methods of instruction.
> Another post on this forum in recent weeks was a quotation of Ramana
> Maharshi.
> Please excuse the paraphrase, but he speaks of waking in the morning and
> looking in a mirror.
> It informs you that you need to shave. any other mirror will provide the
> same information - but you still need to shave.
> The initial parallel was to the scriptures as mirrors, but in a way the
> guru is equally a mirror - He can show the way but it is up to you to take
> it.
> Is it that the Guru himself has not the capacity to help / guide the
>> student to cognize the *vastu *within himself by himself?
> Years ago I read a book "Autobiography of a Yogi" and in it, Yogananda
> describes how his guru tapped him in the region of the heart and he
> perceived "cosmic consciousness".
> Aadi Shankara imbued Shri Thotakaacharya with the full knowledge of the
> shastra in a mental movement.
> What efforts had these made, perhaps over millenia, to be shown such grace?
> Again, I can only speak of my situation.
> I once spent a few hours with the founder of our School.
> I had asked several questions and received answers.
> Then he was silent.
> For a while, the mind jumped around looking for a "good question".
> I looked over at him and he was regarding me with complete dispassion and
> equally complete awareness.
> I smiled at him but he remained unchanged in his regard, and eventually,
> the mind settled and the being rested in the sat of the moment.
> The force of that presence is still in effect today!
> Finally - the guru cannot provide the Vision of the Vastu - nothing can
> provide it because it is ever present and ever-realised.
> I request you to provide the relevant replies to remove these doubts of
>> mine. Thanking you in anticipation,
>> With respectful namaskars,
>> Sreenivasa Murthy
> With Warmest Wishes
> Ryan
> -- 
> Regards
> Ryan Armstrong
> +27 82 852 7787
> ryanarm at gmail.com
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