Monday, December 26, 2005

Xmas Sri Sri In NJ

File under: The Siddhi of PR

Our old friend, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, eternal Nobel Peace Prize hopeful, master of self-promotion and unrepentant hypocrite, gave a satsang in Franklin, New Jersey on Christmas Day, where it was reported that close to 1000 people were in attendance.

Sri Sri offered the usual pabulum geared toward a Western audience. The globetrotting guru would obviously like to expand his market share here, but there's a 300-foot hug-giving monster standing squarely in his way. It's no wonder he lusts for the Peace Prize. It would go a long way to creating the brand-recognition he needs to topple the Ammachi juggernaut and come out on top as the leading Indian guru in America.

We'd say just duke it out with the eyeball lightning, but Sri Sri is probably about 600 gigawatts short of the juice he would need to be victorious.

21 Comments:

At 12/27/2005 8:09 AM, Blogger facedog said...

What's so bad about Sri Sri? Does he claim to be God. Does he say that we will all be working miracles soon or that miracle working is an element of self realization? What ideas does he put into his devotees' heads that slow down the dawning of awareness?

Actually, Sri Sri is a kinder, gentler clone of his Guru, Maharishi. Everything he knows he learned from Maharishi. He is trying to make the world a better place. This is not exactly a bad way to be spending the time.

In my own life, there is not a day that I do not commit some act of dishonesty or hypocrisy. How is it different for those living on the more well lit stage, except that people see it and judge it more harshly. Is there some envy in this report about Sri Sri?

 
At 12/27/2005 1:37 PM, Blogger marcy_peanut said...

Facedog--why don't you have a blog?? I want to discuss spiritual issues with you, but have no way of communicating with you!

Email me.

-------

Jody, it has become VERY apparent to me that you need to spend less time contemplating the hair on your dog's ass, and more time contemplating the Truth.

Please do a focus post on the Religious Right. I know that you told AnonyMouse that you don't post on the Christian religious leaders because they don't claim to BE God (which of course, means that they are missing the whole point of the Bible).

The problem with the Religious Right movement is that these leaders don't pretend to BE God, however, they do pretend to KNOW everything ABOUT how God works. In my estimation, most of them (and not only the one's on the right. And certainly not ALL religious Christian leaders) know about as much about God realization as you know about the hair on Crisco's bum. Or is it Cisco???

This blog is a guilty pleasure of mine. I need to stop frequenting it, though. Last night I was absorbed in a soothing meditation, enveloped in the warm, loving Shakti. The Blue Pearl presented itself to me, shining brightly from the crown of my head. Then, I had a vision of your dog's ass.

 
At 12/27/2005 5:21 PM, Blogger falseguru said...

Hi Jody,

I am wondering what value you see in the Guru, assuming that he/she is Self Realized. You do not believe that the presence of such a person can assist in the awakening. The ideas presented by Shankara and others can be carried forward in the form of scriptures. Are you suggesting that the act of believing accurate information about the nature of the Self can bring about awakening?

What other sadhanas do you practice and find helpful?

falseguru

PS

Sorry Marcy, I don't have a blog and don't really have a lot of time to communicate with Jody. I've been away from work for a while and now must return to a more demanding schedule. I have enjoyed these talks with Jody and find him having a good and sincere heart. But I still won't tell him the name of my Guru. Jody would find a fault there and, as the scriptures say, it's best to stay clear of someone who criticizes your Guru. I wouldn't want to avoid Jody. Happy New Year to all.

 
At 12/28/2005 6:16 PM, Blogger jody said...

The Blue Pearl presented itself to me, shining brightly from the crown of my head. Then, I had a vision of your dog's ass.

Then it's obviously working, Marcy.

The Blue Pearl has as much to do with the truth of your self as my dog's ass.

 
At 12/28/2005 6:29 PM, Blogger jody said...

I am wondering what value you see in the Guru, assuming that he/she is Self Realized.

The value of such a person is in their rendering of the ongoing revelation of self-realization, and what that does not entail as much as what it may entail.

You do not believe that the presence of such a person can assist in the awakening.

But I acknowledge that it can happen in the presence of such a person. However, the greater value of that person is that they will be able to tell you what isn't realization. There is so much that is confused as realization. Peak experiences, blissful emotional states, blue pearls, etc.

The ideas presented by Shankara and others can be carried forward in the form of scriptures. Are you suggesting that the act of believing accurate information about the nature of the Self can bring about awakening?

No. But I suggest that the less you think about realization, the less occluded it will be in your life.

What other sadhanas do you practice and find helpful?

In my experience, bhakti yoga, mantra meditation and transgressive tantric practices. Your mileage may vary.

If someone asked me what they should do, I would say forget about realization entirely. Pick a form of God you are attracted to and do whatever you can to make yourself completely surrendered to it. Practice meditation as much as possible. Pay your bills. Experiment with various forms of psychological self-deconstruction, including psychedelics if so inclined. Find a really good therapist for yourself. Don't expect any success but constantly acknowledge that you are always a hairsbreadth away from the truth of your being.

Now you know why I'm not a guru.

 
At 12/28/2005 6:33 PM, Blogger jody said...

Is there some envy in this report about Sri Sri?

Click on the links. Sri Sri failed to engage in a debate with a rationalist by resorting to the Advaita shuffle. He failed to censure a Hindu racist who promoted anti-Muslim sentiment. He grandstands every chance he gets. It's all about Sri Sri, not what he teaches. It's a cult of personality, and it gets the thumbs down from me.

 
At 12/28/2005 8:05 PM, Blogger Antarananda said...

The value of such a person is in their rendering of the ongoing revelation of self-realization, and what that does not entail as much as what it may entail.

Any true Guru worth His/Her salt is always actively engaged in this. A true Guru does not mollycoddle.

But I acknowledge that it can happen in the presence of such a person. However, the greater value of that person is that they will be able to tell you what isn't realization.

As someone said, the real function of the Guru is in acting as both a mirror, as well as a catalyst to the removal of dust covering the mirror of our own minds. However, the ultimate responsibility for shedding ignorance rests with the disciple.

In our email exchange earlier, you wrote to the effect that Vivekananda attaining enlightenment in Ramakrishna's presence, through his touch, was a mere chance happening, and that Ramakrishna as a Guru was not directly responsible for it happening!


There is so much that is confused as realization. Peak experiences, blissful emotional states, blue pearls, etc.

Here's a fair assumption: the lion's share of your readers are intelligent. Judging from the above responses, they are also well aware of the distinction between the stages of progression towards realization, which might comprise various experiences of bliss, visions, suprasensory experiences etc etc, and the final establishment in That. "Before enlightenment, chopping wood and drawing water. After enlightenment, chopping wood and drawing water".

However, mere intellectual understanding of the fact that we are the Self is not the goal. Heck, every Hindu child in India knows that on some level. The unshakeable expression of that in our lives is the whole point. I don't think anybody who cares to read and/or comment on your blog confuses the two. Whether you choose to discount it or not, the path towards greater awakening, or Self-realization or God-realization, or whatever name you choose to call it by, is most certainly one of experiencing greater bliss, silence in the mind, freedom from anger, fear, lust, greed etc. It is the truth; whether or not you believe it to be mythology or fantasy is not my concern.

The sheaths, or layers of the body from gross to subtle are succesively concentric, as you might be aware, as the Physical layer - Annamaya kosha, Energy layer - Pranamaya kosha, Mental layer - Manamaya kosha, Wisdom layer - Vignyanamaya kosha and the Bliss layer - Anandamaya kosha, which ultimately covers the effulgent Self or Atman. So, it is natural that as we transcend repeatedly through our sadhana or awareness or association with the Guru, we do reach deeper and deeper experiences of bliss which accompany the growing wisdom or gnyana. It has been my own personal realization and experience, and, it stands to reason, that of countless Rishis and sages and realized Masters. And as I said earlier, nobody is confusing the growing bliss or wisdom with the fact that indeed, underlying it all we are all the Self or Brahman.


In my experience, bhakti yoga, mantra meditation and transgressive tantric practices [are helpful].

To use your style of argument, bhakti causes us to be stuck in the Anandamaya kosha (unless you are a transcendental Bhakta like Ramakrishna), and mantra causes us to be stuck in the Manomaya Kosha. That does not discount the value of sadhana, but ultimate flowering of consciousness and realization of the Self happens despite the sadhana, through grace. Whether through God, or Guru or perfection having been reached through many janmas (lifetimes) of practice, as in the case of Ramana Maharshi or Buddha, grace is essential.


If someone asked me what they should do, I would say forget about realization entirely. Pick a form of God you are attracted to and do whatever you can to make yourself completely surrendered to it. Practice meditation as much as possible. Pay your bills. Experiment with various forms of psychological self-deconstruction, including psychedelics if so inclined. Find a really good therapist for yourself. Don't expect any success but constantly acknowledge that you are always a hairsbreadth away from the truth of your being.

For once, you're making sense, and that's not a backhanded compliment. Oh yeah, when the disciple and Guru both do not encourage co-dependency ("stickiness", as Paramahamsa Satyananda called it), then the Guru can function as the ultimate therapist!

 
At 12/28/2005 8:33 PM, Blogger jody said...

A true Guru does not mollycoddle.

Hear, hear!

the ultimate responsibility for shedding ignorance rests with the disciple.

Bravo!

In our email exchange earlier, you wrote to the effect that Vivekananda attaining enlightenment in Ramakrishna's presence, through his touch, was a mere chance happening, and that Ramakrishna as a Guru was not directly responsible for it happening!

The Mahashakti did it. Ramakrishna was the instrument. She could have chosen anyone, imo.

they are also well aware of the distinction between the stages of progression towards realization

I don't believe in stages of progression toward realization. There is personal transformation pre- and post-realization, but as you say below, it's all and only about grace.

mere intellectual understanding of the fact that we are the Self is not the goal.

I never said it was. It's the experiential reckoning as an ongoing revelation of our nature as the Self. But making it a goal has the same effect as straight-arming it away from ourselves, imo.

The sheaths, or layers of the body from gross to subtle are succesively concentric...

That's all one ideology. I don't necessarily accept it as being better than any other. Whatever floats your boat, etc.

nobody is confusing the growing bliss or wisdom with the fact that indeed, underlying it all we are all the Self or Brahman.

I guess we travel in different circles. I encounter misapprehension about realization all the time, mostly due to misconceptions about gurus, hence the blog.

To use your style of argument

I think that's your impression of my argument. Ramakrishna said, "Bhakti is the easiest path." It's where I've come from, so it's what I'm calling a decent approach.

grace is essential

Bravo!

For once, you're making sense

Thanks!

 
At 12/29/2005 11:16 PM, Blogger marcy_peanut said...

The Blue Pearl IS the Self.

Remember when we were talking about 'who is looking at the computer screen', and you said, 'Jody is', suggesting that I was wrong in contending that the Witness, the Self, is the one who truly sees. Jody is the limited mind/ego. He (his ego/persona) was born and will die. The Self is never born and will never die. The Self is the Witness of all. When a person is in Witness mode, the person is not using his or her mind to 'Witness' (that would be mental gymnastics). When one is the Witness--beyond the mind, one is the pure, untainted Self, just as in deep sleep (beyond the dream state).

I understand how someone who hasn't had the experience of the Self (of the dissolution of the limited mind) would think The Witness is mere mental gymnastics. I'm not talking about a focused mind sort of witnessing.

I am ABSOLUTELY convinced that you know nothing about the Self, other than what you have read. You dismiss everything that everyone says about their EXPERIENCES of the Self. You say that one cannot experience the Self, because the Self is beyond experience. The Self is what remains when the ego falls away.

It is difficult for an ajnani to remain free of thoughts. To be beyond that state, beyond thought is where the jnani lives. A jnani is unfettered by any thoughts whatsoever. He lives in eternal peace.

Once the source of the contemplation, "who am I" is discovered, the "I" disappears, and all that is left is the Self.

Anyone can 'say' that the Self is beyond stain, beyond comprehension, beyond definition, and can deflect other's experience of the Self as being more or less important than the hair on his poor dog's ass; however, those statements have about as much to do with Self-realization or the Truth than the hair on Jesus's face.

Truth is in experience. This dispute could go on for eternity. However, there is nothing new to learn here. At the pleading of two of my spiritual teachers, I will leave this diputation to you and your fellow bloggers, and I shall turn inward.

It pains me to bid you farewell, Jody. However, this self induced maya is not healthy for the spiritual mind.

Peace and love to you, as always.

 
At 12/30/2005 8:37 AM, Blogger jody said...

The Blue Pearl IS the Self.

Higher than the senses are the objects of the sense.
Higher than the objects of sense is the mind;
And higher than the mind is the intellect.
Higher than the intellect is the Great Self.
--Katha Upanishad

What you've described is an object of the sense. While you may take pride and feel accomplishment and achievement in your seeing of this "blue pearl," you may as well be seeing dirty rocks for as close to as it brings you to the Self.

 
At 12/30/2005 9:41 AM, Blogger facedog said...

Dear Jody,

I really don't agree with your take on spiritual experiences. That they are finer imaginations of the mind, yes, but these experiences serve to inspire us to keep going. They are as real as air and food and they act as fuel to keep us attentive.

I realize that phrases like "keep going" etc are not acceptable nondual concepts but as long as I remain identified with the doer, I must keep going.

Also true that it is not helpful to take pride in our experiences. But even if we do become prideful, that too will leave and we will aspire to go deeper.

My own Guru once stung me by telling me that my cherished experiences of "the Witness" and periods of pure consciousness were themselves, imaginations, and attempts of the ego to grasp the Divine. He also insinuated there is no cherished God. But still reccomended that I continue to pray for the grace of God and Guru.

Before samadhi, we are forced to try. One breath demands another, and we have to eat and so forth.

So long, Marci.

 
At 12/30/2005 10:55 AM, Blogger jody said...

I really don't agree with your take on spiritual experiences. That they are finer imaginations of the mind, yes, but these experiences serve to inspire us to keep going. They are as real as air and food and they act as fuel to keep us attentive.

That may all be so for some, but to confuse an experience with the Self is a fatal error for the seeker.

I realize that phrases like "keep going" etc are not acceptable nondual concepts but as long as I remain identified with the doer, I must keep going.

One can keep going without having the need to perceive progress, which is an illusion with regards to self-realization. One can just keep going, knowing in their hearts and trusting that what they are seeking is already with them, entirely outside of any experiences they may have during meditation.

Also true that it is not helpful to take pride in our experiences. But even if we do become prideful, that too will leave and we will aspire to go deeper.

One can only hope.

My own Guru once stung me by telling me that my cherished experiences of "the Witness" and periods of pure consciousness were themselves, imaginations, and attempts of the ego to grasp the Divine. He also insinuated there is no cherished God. But still reccomended that I continue to pray for the grace of God and Guru.

So why the defense of Marcy's experience? Your own guru told you all you need to know about this, yet you persist in clinging to experience.

Before samadhi, we are forced to try. One breath demands another, and we have to eat and so forth.

Absolutely. So keep trying. Just don't confuse the effects with the desired result, as Marcy seems to have done with her beliefs about her "blue pearl."

So long, Marci.

I'll be sorry if she leaves too, but completely understand why she would.

 
At 12/30/2005 4:56 PM, Blogger facedog said...

Jody said:
So why the defense of Marcy's experience? Your own guru told you all you need to know about this, yet you persist in clinging to experience.

............................................................................................................

Marci’s experience is for her benefit, designed especially for her by her own divine intelligence.
I was able to accept and integrate what my Guru told me about my experiences being imagination, because I love and trust my Guru. His teaching was for my own growth and he might not have said the same thing to someone else. There is also a mutual respect. He respects that I would not create a dogma around what he said to me and start giving it freely to others who might not be able to understand what he was saying.

These kinds of experience are inspiring, especially for the person having them. I do not cling to them nearly as much as I did when I was younger. I got very tired of strange, uncontrolled energies, tired of sudden lights and even tired of feeling devotional about mythic personalities, got tired of being the one whose name I still answer to. There seems to be a correlation with age. I am in mid, going to late 50's and the sexual energy has decreased. With it the “experiences” have subsided as well. Truthfully, I don’t miss any of it now. I want peace and the expansiveness of fewer beliefs and ideas about everything.

Pride will go away because everything goes away. Marci needs her inspiration and deserves to have it. To tell her that her experiences are not True, when there is no relationship between you, based in trust and love will not help the mind relax enough to give way to greater clarity. She has a Guru for that, or will find one.

PS I enjoyed your ideas about the value of a Guru and your sadhana tips, as well.

 
At 12/30/2005 5:34 PM, Blogger jody said...

Marci’s experience is for her benefit, designed especially for her by her own divine intelligence.

That's a way of looking at it.

These kinds of experience are inspiring, especially for the person having them.

As long as they don't inspire attachment to spiritual achievement, oxymoron that such is.

I want peace and the expansiveness of fewer beliefs and ideas about everything.

You are peace at all times. You've never been anything else.

But don't equate expansiveness with realization. Feelings of expansiveness are just more objects of the senses.

To tell her that her experiences are not True, when there is no relationship between you, based in trust and love will not help the mind relax enough to give way to greater clarity. She has a Guru for that, or will find one.

I'm not saying it's not true, I'm saying it's an experience, and experiences are not realization.

I'm not trying to be her guru, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't call it as I see it.

PS I enjoyed your ideas about the value of a Guru and your sadhana tips, as well.

Thanks, facedog.

 
At 12/31/2005 7:34 AM, Blogger facedog said...

Hi Jody,

You have proven that you always tell it the way you see it and that you can take a punch as well as give one.

Still think you're being too tough on Sri Sri. India is one of the most corrupt places in the world. Could be he just doesn't enjoy fighting as much as you. It is often best to walk around a snake, rather than go mano-a-mano with one. India and the rest of the world are so full of snakes that he might easilyy create a full time job fighting them.

 
At 12/31/2005 10:11 AM, Blogger jody said...

Still think you're being too tough on Sri Sri. India is one of the most corrupt places in the world. Could be he just doesn't enjoy fighting as much as you. It is often best to walk around a snake, rather than go mano-a-mano with one.

Sri Sri failed to censure the genocidal policitican by saying that he doesn't "comment on individuals because individuals are just part of one wholeness." A few short weeks later, he's commenting on the death of the pope, another "individual," but perhaps more advantageous to be talking about.

The bottom line is that Sri Sri is an operator first, and maybe a guru, second. It's all about Sri Sri, which is why I'm not down with him much at all.

Besides, catching snakes in the wild is one of my favorite hobbies. If there's one thing I won't do in the bush, it's walk away from an opportunity at playing "Crocodile Hunter".

 
At 12/31/2005 3:02 PM, Blogger facedog said...

Hi Jody,

About Sri Sri, I was just trying to get a little rise out of you. Sorry. No surprise about you being a snake handler. Looks like you have stirred up a nest of them with the porn guru. Good luck, I'm on your side but just a little bit out of the way.

facedog

 
At 1/06/2006 8:04 PM, Blogger ontheotherhand said...

facedog,

What's so bad about Sri Sri?? How well do you know the man? Not very well by your description: "kinder, gentler..." Does he claim to be God? You ask? Well.....yeah. Krishna sometimes, Siva at other times. Openly, and without reserve. What ideas does he put into his devotees' heads that slow down the dawning of awareness? Plenty of them, like showing off various siddhis (claiming to stop the rain on various occasions, producing fragrance from his hands, etc.), encouraging "longing" in disciples, which to him is encouraging people to sit and cry uselessly for hours for nothing, and then telling them that this is true bhakti. I could go on.....If Jody is envious of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, it would only be possible if he did not know him or what he goes through. Sri sri is not a happy camper. The whole "laugh, sing, dance, meditate" hoodoo that he pushes is a sham, and, as Jody so aptly put it "hypocrital". Get up close and personal, then see for yourself.

 
At 1/07/2006 10:08 AM, Blogger jody said...

Hey, ontheotherhand, if you have any personal experiences about Sri Sri you'd like to share with us, please send them along to tips@guruphiliac.org.

Thanks.

 
At 1/12/2006 11:55 AM, Blogger facedog said...

hey on the other hand,

thanks for the info. I didn't know these things about sri sri. As per Jody, I don't feel bad for picking on him a little. Hopefully Jody knows it's not meant to insult or hurt his feelings.

 
At 1/12/2006 3:16 PM, Blogger dontbullme said...

More info on this modern psuedo-spiritualism guru...

I been to his christmas event in NY. Its a pure publicity stunt for his silver jubilee event. He is supposed to come at 6 PM. But he came at 8 PM and slept (psuedo meditation) for 20 minutes. woke up and started doing some wierd stuff....people started laughing...I have no idea why they were laughing.

People are infact started considering him as god. Recently i got an email from this cult group..this lady she had an accident...moments before a bus hit her, she said Jai Gurudev...thats it...nothing happened to her...WHAT A CRAP.....

So this year he is again nominated for Nobel Peace Prize...he must have begged the democrat to nominate him before the silver jubilee event for the sake of publicity....

I heard rumors that this guy moves in a Benz car...I wish someone can clarify this...

Here is what my suggestion is to people falling for these gurus...

"Every person in this world have problems. When you face a problem, please dont think that god is only punishing you and for gods sake dont rush to a Guru. Just take the punch and let it go...It's a beautiful life and there are lot of good things in life"


Pleaseeeeeeeeee i'm not a guru...now dont come to me..

 

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