Ryan Armstrong ryanarm at gmail.com
Wed Apr 17 18:10:22 EDT 2019

Dear Bhaskar ji
This is a lovely anecdote.

In South Africa, the tradition is "ubuntu".
It is not exactly advaita, more "community is more important than
individual" or, say a movement towards SamaSHTi from VyaSHTi.
It is sometimes expressed as "I am happy because you are happy".
Sadly, in the cities this tradition is almost completely lost now.

There is another example though of innate knowledge of One's Own Self.
In the 1400s in Florence, Italy there was a rich banker - very powerful.
He obtained in a trade original Greek manuscripts of Plato from an Arab -
but who was there to translate them?
Greek was "out of fashion" and Latin was all the rage!
Well the banker (his name was Cosimo de Medici) saw in the 11 year old son
of his personal physician a certain "talent" and had him learn Greek at
that early age.
This young boy was Marsilio Ficino who went on to become a Priest ( in the
Catholic Church, this involves being a celibate.)
He also founded and oversaw an academy based on Plato's dictum "know
thyself" many of the Renaissance aritsts were under his direct tutelage,
including Michelangelo at one point.
In his entire life, it is said he never left Florence but simply remained
in his small chapel, practicing his daily devotions.
His reason - he did not believe there was anything of value to gain by
going anywhere that could not be obtained exactly where he was.
And yet, Popes, Rulers - even Lorenzo de Medici - would constantly write to
him asking advice.

Here is an extract of a letter he would write back:
I have received your letter speaking unvaryingly about the changeability of
things; by unvaryingly I mean truly, since I consider that which does not
vary to be nothing other than truth.
Indeed, truth itself is so totally unmoving that the truth even of movement
is unmoving.
For what is the truth of movement except its own unchanging law which is
comprehended in the true definition of truth?
Truth is such that it can never be other than itself.

Such was the manner of his constant responses.
This has now come to mind, with the mention of Dr. Roles.
Because he and the Leon MacLaren,  founder of the institution to which I
belong worked alongside each other and both approached His Holiness at
around the same time.
I am not sure how, but some member of the School found these letters in
Latin in the Vatican archives and a team was formed to translate them.

It would not surprise me though, if there was not some Vedic influence
during Plato's time - certainly the work of Pythagoras and Hermes
Trismegistus see to indicate this.

With respectful namsakaras

On Wed, 17 Apr 2019 at 09:00, Bhaskar YR via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Thank you Akhilesh ji for letting us know that Rupert Spira had
> familiarity with the Advaita teaching through a student of the
> Shankaracharya.
> The way Sreenivasa Murthy ji asserted that Rupert Spira had not done any
> Advaita study, I thought he definitely knew Rupert personally!!
> praNAms
> Hare Krishna
> This incident reminds me one more episode about 'advaita from unknown
> sources' 😊 Few years back some one quoted some statement which was
> supposed to be  from South Africa's deepest forest tribal leader which was
> almost similar to 'ahaM brahmAsmi'.  Everyone who are familiar with Shruti
> teaching surprised to hear this from completely unknown source that too
> from the person who might not even heard that there is country called India
> and a scripture called Upanishad 😊  Well, what would be the source of his
> knowledge then??  We were ready with the answer, he might be a uncivilized
> tribal in his current janma but he should have been an Advaita jnAni in his
> previous janma without this pUrva janma samskAra, shAstra jnana, he would
> definitely  not be able to give teaching like this in his current janma
> since shAstra is the ultimate source to gain this type of jnana.  A
> judicious and traditional way to bring every Advaita teacher within the
> ambit of vedAnta 😊
> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
> bhaskar
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Ryan Armstrong
+27 82 852 7787
ryanarm at gmail.com

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