Sunday, November 12, 2006

Nithyananda On The Power Of His "Presence"

File under: Gurubusting

Our friend Antarananda loves him some Nithyananda. We really can't blame him, but we can blame Nithyananda for working the "guru's magic presence" ploy:
Q: Whenever I am in your presence all questions disappear and everything seems possible. But when I am away from you, all the familiar doubts creep in. Why does this happen and what can I do about it?

Nithyananda: If a question disappears on its own in my presence, then it is time to realize that it was not a true question at all; it was merely a play of the mind. When you are with me, the mind is no more in control - you simply flow into meditation. You become a loving, serene silence. In this state, only a question that is truly your question, one that is completely relevant to you, will still remain with you.

In my presence, you become so intensely aware, so completely present that there is no space for questions to arise. When you leave my presence, the mind is free to impose the past and the future upon your present - for what else are your questions but the play of the past and the future upon your present? Just like the ego, there is no point in fighting with or condemning the mind. It is a pointless struggle which you are sure to lose. Instead, it is enough to be aware that this is the very nature of the mind; it can be expected to behave in no other way. It is bound to bring in anxiety, confusion, doubt. Just to be conscious of this is enough.

Do not pass judgement on the mind - even to get angry with your mind is to lose your energy to it. As you witness the workings of the mind, you will slowly become aware that you are not the mind - you are more than the mind, you are the watcher. Once deprived of your energy, the mind cannot go on! In the place of the chaos of thoughts that you call your mind, a clear, intense consciousness will arise. At that moment, all questions dissolve and the mind is no more.

This is the experience you find yourself having in my presence. And what I have just told you is the way to make it stay with you always - even when you are not with me! It is a slow process - give it time. It will happen.
Perhaps folks are just so ga-ga for their magic space daddy that they get a little dense when he's around. The same thing happens around famous celebrities, giving Brad Pitt just as much magic presence as Nithyananda claims to have.

22 Comments:

At 11/14/2006 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like good advice to me, Jody. Sounds like the teacher is simply responding to this person's experience in the same way someone would answer a question you might have about a ski pole.

He's not saying that this experience is only posible in "my" presence. When you feel elation going down a ski slope, do you refrain from saying that the snow was great that day?

 
At 11/14/2006 7:22 PM, Blogger jody said...

He's not saying that this experience is only possible in "my" presence.

No, he's saying his presence engenders "spiritual" experience, as if the fact of his self-realization makes him some kind of God base station.

It's a common conceit, and in my opinion dead wrong. It's simply the fact that people are ga-ga over him that they forget what they wanted to say. But since Nithyananda is so clearly sacro-mythically inflated, it makes perfect sense to him that his "energy" has such an effect on others. I bet he can even "see" this energy working.

My elation on the ridges has as much to do with my truth as the Self as my dog's ass. There's very, very little that I'd rather be doing, but all the happiness and joy I derive from it is purely within the purview of the phenomenal world, just as the experiences that Nithyananda's devotees are having. I find it helpful to remember to neti, neti in my joy when I'm having it. It doesn't appear to affect the enjoyment, but brings me right back to where I've never not been.

 
At 11/15/2006 4:47 AM, Blogger sattvicwarrior said...

everythign you say makes good sesne. but the point is the people STILL are affected by his presence. and i am sure you could say that about any ones presence if tha have that " charisma". if its meant to do good.[ or even bad] then so be it. every one for the most part needs an icon of sort.
but when the cash in on it then i totally agree with you .
great blog by the way.

 
At 11/15/2006 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jody said,

"No, he's saying his presence engenders "spiritual" experience, as if the fact of his self-realization makes him some kind of God base station."

I have not met Nithyananda and have no interest to, but he really does not say the above, in my opinion. He is simply dealing with the direct experience of his student. This is a very common experience among many different teachers and people with charisma.

In any case, the advice given by Nithyananda:

"it is enough to be aware that this is the very nature of the mind"

is good advice.

Jody said,
"My elation on the ridges has as much to do with my truth as the Self as my dog's ass..."

This is true of all experiences anywhere and anytime. But to be aware of what underlies the elation and thoughts is helpful. That is what Nithyananda is suggesting. No matter the quality of Nithyananda, it remains sound advice.

 
At 11/15/2006 10:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jody,

It occurs to me that when I've least expected it, some kind of "Presence" which was very powerful, surprised me and affected me deeply/spiritually. Twice, it was in the presence of nothing in particular at all, but resulted after a series of thoughts that were particularly disgusted with life-and-the-way-it-is-proceeding-right-now...... But on several other occasions this Presence took me by surprise in some cases, in places where I (later) found out were places of pilgrimage in times past and had been visited by many saints who did sadhana there. In the case of places that were billed to be "so and so's place of meditation", I had expected to find nothing more than a nice cave or tree or whatever. But what I actually experienced was far different from meditating, say, in my living room at home. It's easy for me to write off experiences I've had around "masters" because I agree that human charisma plays a huge role in these things (if not the only role). So you get Brad Pitt, or Sai Baba and it makes no diff. But it's hard difficult for me to write off the other experiences, when I didn't want them, and never expected them.

Sometimes the same "Presence" has happened in temples in India, going along with family reluctantly, where I expected only to be irritated by crowds, but was suddenly overcome by such clarity and Reality, that it was astounding. How to explain these things away? I didn't want them to happen, didn't expect them to happen, yet they happened.

I have to say that these occurences have never happened in the bazaar or while driving a car, or around my friends, etc. So it seems there is a distinct Presence of some kind that feels "Divine" and happens in natural places and also in places (sometimes at least) of worship or where saints have done their practices in the past.

So??? How to explain that phenomenon (in your opinion -- you can't do anything to negate what happened to me, but I'd like to hear how you'd explain it away vis a vis your dog's etc.)

 
At 11/15/2006 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jody, you seem to believe that Gurus are fully responsible for what their students choose to believe about them, namely that they are gods, or have magic powers. In many cases they do exploit their students. You do a great job shining a light on this.

But in some cases, even when the teacher repeats over and over that only God can work miracles, that thy don't in fact consciously or unconsciously give experiences to their students, the devotees believe what they want to believe.

When my children were young, they thought I was the best Dad in the world, that I was all powerfull. I didn't try to make them believe these things about me. It was their own need. Now they know I made lots of mistakes and was really selfish at times.

 
At 11/16/2006 9:06 AM, Blogger Tom said...

Transmission is not a "magic power." As Ken Wilber has pointed out, spiritual transmission works in much the same way as the transmission of any state of consciousness. If you're depressed, you'll tend to transmit that to others. If you're happy, people around you will tend to pick up on it and feel better themselves. And if you're abiding in a state of ego-free simplicity, beyond the agitation of the mind, anyone paying attention to you will tend to pick up on that as well.

It's not miraculous, and it's not inherently megalomaniacal either. It's pretty straightforward, actually, and doesn't really make sense to refute, save for a gleeful indulgence in cynicism, which is what this site seems to relish in. Just what the world needs, right?

Oh, wait, you're just being "realistic."

 
At 11/16/2006 8:35 PM, Blogger jody said...

If you're depressed, you'll tend to transmit that to others. If you're happy, people around you will tend to pick up on it and feel better themselves. And if you're abiding in a state of ego-free simplicity, beyond the agitation of the mind, anyone paying attention to you will tend to pick up on that as well.

What you're talking about is mood transfer. I can go along with contagious contemplation, but not the transmission of anything that could be called self-realization or enlightenment. Besides, folks getting sattvic around their gurus is what is expected of them, and what many of them come for. That makes it more of a learned behavior rather than something they "get".

Many big-time gurus advertise themselves as psychic power stations. That is mystifanatical nonsense. The Kracki's deeksha scam is the most blatant example of this, but Gurumayi, Muktananada, Sai Baba, Swami Ramdev, and certainly Ammachi have all worked this angle despite the fact it's a load of mythological hot air.

 
At 11/17/2006 9:48 AM, Blogger facedog said...

Jody, I certainly agree that noone has the ability to transmit self realization, but are you saying that the increase in mental silence and intuitive alertness that many feel in the presence of their teachers or in sacred places is just a mood?

 
At 11/17/2006 10:03 AM, Blogger jody said...

are you saying that the increase in mental silence and intuitive alertness that many feel in the presence of their teachers or in sacred places is just a mood?

I can't say for sure what causes folks to get contemplative in sacred places, but I can say it's less likely to be some kind of astral infusion of spiritual energy rather than the fact that it's generally what's expected of those places when you are in them. If you suddenly find yourself contemplative in a particular place, it may have nothing to do with the place and everything to do with your neurochemistry at the time.

 
At 11/17/2006 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jody, I once had a "big spiritual experience" while watching the original DIRTY HARRY movie on a 14" screen TV. Just at the moment Harry was about to blow away the bad guy, saying "Well punk..." Out of the corner of my eye I saw a tiny ball of blue light. When Harry's gun went off the blue light exploded and the room was filled with thick sort of pure consciousness. This happened after I had not used any form of recreational drugs for over a decade.

But I have found that I am much more likely to experience this contemplative awareness while meditating in sacred places, including by waterfalls, in temples, churchs, or in the presence of my teacher than in watching Dirty Harry for a 3rd or 4th time.

 
At 11/17/2006 9:18 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Jody, was Shankara a spiritual materialist? And was Patanjali deluding himself? I used to be dubious of subtle energies, but I've had enough experience of them--and been in group situations where others have independently observed the same phenomenon--that I'm a firm believer now. There's definitely something to it.

Granted, people are also quite capable of working themselves up into quite a state, "spiritual" or otherwise, through the power of their beliefs alone (see the trailer for the new film "Jesus Camp" for a disturbing look at this). So of course people can get all in a tizzy in the presence of a "guru" figure. But that doesn't mean that there aren't guru figures who actually can transmit spiritual experiences and states at an energetic level.

As I said, I've experienced it enough times--and during rather rational, non-worked-up states of mind--that I can't doubt it, in principle. And, yes, how gurus *use* such "magic powers" in sometimes less than wholesome ways is definitely also a valid question...

 
At 11/20/2006 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jody,

Not only Nithya ananda, his father also became god now. Nithyaananda declared that his father has enlightened before his death. Then onwards his devotees started celerbrating 12 November ( Nithyananda's father death day),
and doing worship to his father's photo.
Most of his devotees started giving energy darshan to public.
Nithya ananda certified totally
surrendered devotees already became
demi-gods. Even his mother and brothers may become gods after some
time. Even he may make his
pet dog/cat into god. Anyhow ,In his
presence his devotees brains does n't work. They blindly start worshiping even his pet animals.

 
At 11/20/2006 4:18 PM, Blogger TheBlade said...

But that doesn't mean that there aren't guru figures who actually can transmit spiritual experiences and states at an energetic level.

Tom, the presence of a particular guru can sometimes be a catalyst for a genuine or profound, and even lasting, experience, but the truth is, many things can be. I don't think the odds are high in any instance that any particular guru can 'grant' you such a transformation by his or her presence. It's a matter of numbers and cultivated expectations. In this regard, a visit to a guru is more like a lottery ticket than a meal ticket, though it is often presented as the latter.

 
At 12/17/2007 1:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jody, to experience Nithyananda, you need to understand what is god first and for that you need to evolve better from the state you are in now. well, what to tell you ! The amount of pity I have for you is same as that I have for those who were against Christ and those who killed him who said earth revolves around sun! However God is compassionate enough to take care of all alike. so u don;t have to worry. your time will come too!!

 
At 12/17/2007 7:29 AM, Blogger jody said...

you need to evolve better from the state you are in now

Mmmm, mmmm. That Kool-Aid you're drinking must taste good!

 
At 12/21/2007 2:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you need to evolve better from the state you are in now

As the proverb says, it is only the fruit laden tree that receives the shower of stones from passers-by. The good always provoke the bad into calumny; the bad always provoke the good into derision. This is the nature of this world. One must be surprised if such things do not happen.

I am not writing to give you the goodthings of Nithyananda or any guru for that matter. There is no need, if I do, it is just the ego. Just have a small advice for you, try to see the bigger picture, don't waste your life writing this blog but spend it in experiencing the reality. Once you experience, you will know who is fake and who is real gold. Invoke that intuition in you , the rest is a mere set of words which will perish along with your body.
Don;t waste your life in finding the real guru, use to experience them.
I have to tell this, coz 2 days back when I came across this blog, I realized people like you are wasting life in writing blog but not even a bit of awareness. be in the presence of a master and follow what he preaches for sometime and write FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE........ else this is very shallow. Your Well-wisher and nothing else ---- take care

 
At 12/21/2007 7:17 AM, Blogger jody said...

don't waste your life writing this blog but spend it in experiencing the reality

The "reality" is never separate from anything we do.\

you will know who is fake and who is real gold.

I'm not saying Nithy is fake, I'm saying he's surfing on the adoration of his devotees. I'm saying he plays up the mystical bullshit to get people attracted to him.

This isn't a waste of time, it's my life's work. Just because I'm sick of gurus who use superstitious ideas to place themselves higher than the rest of us doesn't mean I'm not seeing things with clarity.

 
At 12/30/2007 7:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This isn't a waste of time, it's my life's work. Just because I'm sick of gurus who use superstitious ideas to place themselves higher than the rest of us doesn't mean I'm not seeing things with clarity."

Fools are those who goes behind the 'words' of any Guru and they sure will get fooled by many fake Gurus. Intelligent are those who realize their Guru thro' experience. Guru or God can just be experienced. Your life's work of exposing the wrong may not be wrong, but the method you are using should not be just going by their words- experience those who you are going to write. Try their teachings with all your mind for at least a few days and then know for yourself. Those who you are trying to help are the fools who would have gone behind some Guru's 'words'. Only fools need help, not those intelligent ones who knows.

Having a Guru or not does not matter; Knowing Guru or not doesn't matter. Guru does not help anyone. Answers to all questions lies in us. We are as intelligent as any Guru on earth, if a Guru can make you 'experience' this, it is the true Guru- but once you know it, you don't need a Guru.

Helping others is good, only if it is from our experience, else, we may mislead others and waste of yet another life. Take care.

 
At 7/29/2009 2:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A very good explanation given to Jody. I am not against Jody but concern for her .

 
At 9/25/2009 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you can experience the beauty of "yourself", you can experience the beauty of Nithyananda (eternal bliss)

 
At 9/25/2009 4:08 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

Nithyananda is no more eternal bliss than my dog.

 

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