Saturday, June 07, 2008

SF Chron Writer's Vision Of Obama As God

FIle under: The Siddhi of PR

We keep looking for the tongue stuck in his cheek, because otherwise, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mark Morford has whipped up a batch of sweet, sweet Kool-Aid for U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama, who he appears to seriously consider as a contender for the lead role in the second coming of Christ:
Here's where it gets gooey. Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul.
"Spiritually advanced people." That's something like being a theater director for a community playhouse with only one person in the audience, the same director. Morford would appear to be waylaid in some kind of New Ageā„¢ Babylon, sounding much more like a Benjamin Creme-influenced neo-Theosophist than someone actually capable of valid insight into these matters. If he's not having us all off, that is.

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47 Comments:

At 6/08/2008 8:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Well!
Surely this is an attempt on your part to try and look secular in your "guru-bashing" and not a hater of teachers from india alone!

In any case, it is a good start to fairness and if you continue on this lines I might join your team of guru bashers!
~Chris

 
At 6/08/2008 12:52 PM, Blogger nathan said...

But, but, Maitreya is already here waiting to make the Day of Declaration! Maybe if we're all lucky, Barack "Black JFK" Obama will pick "Maitreya" as his running mate!

 
At 6/08/2008 7:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God help us when politicians get sacro-mythologized! It's a sure sign that we're developing South American political diseases, and the economy is going to TANK!

A 'black JFK' we might be able to handle, but what if we end up with a male Eva Peron in the Whitehouse?

 
At 6/09/2008 9:40 AM, Blogger Bruce said...

We've already had a big dose of politician idolatry back in the Saint Ronny Ray-Gun years -- I'm not sure it matters much whether such mass sycophancy has a quasi-spiritual aspect or not, imo what's troubling is the cult-like devotion and the absence of responsible skepticism that seems to typify some of the more extreme Obama followers. I don't think Obama himself has done anything overt to encourage such people; imo the guy's just very charismatic, and that seems to overwhelm some folks into a worshipful trance.

 
At 6/09/2008 10:27 AM, Blogger yomamma said...

Morford is just reporting on what is pretty par for the course in babylon by the bay. liberals haven't had a chance to get giddy and stupid since JFK! Sorry Bill you blew it buddy! Don't spoil the fun Jody! don't you know that good looks and youth = goodness and light and evolution and all that? Sure it does! Of course the good, evolved forces are going to fix all the evil that hath been wrought by the evil evil doers and we will have new heaven and new marketing scams for ever and ever, amen!

Chris, Jody is not hating Indian gurus , he is just hating their habit of claiming extra holiness,and godness above and beyond us tamasic mortals. Most of these guys are self proclaimed self marketed faux holy guys who bear little resemblance to holy guys of the past like Rama Krishna or Ramana Maharshi, and guys like Baba Hari Das at Mt. Madonna who don't claim to make miracles and to be and incarnation of Krishna and all that cow dung. still i thank jody for going off his usual beat and looking at the particular koo-koo- ness we have here in SF and Bay Area.

by the way , i have looked at a bit of SRI SRI on the You-tube , and I think he's kinda sweet, jody can't ya give him another chance? I'm not saying he's authentic , I'm just saying he is sincere and maybe capable of some good.

 
At 6/09/2008 10:30 AM, Blogger jody said...

jody can't ya give him another chance?

Not until he holds a conference for all AoL teachers and instructs them to thoroughly repudiate any claims or ideas about his divinity.

 
At 6/09/2008 11:58 AM, Blogger yomamma said...

Isn't there a story about Ramama Maharshi , where someone said some thing untrue about him, and he just basically said, why bother , when someone asked him to address it? Does Amma tell her Devos to deny her divinity? I don't think so .
This is part of the Hindu deal, devotees want to grovel, the guru seems to not want it ,or say they don't, but there it is. The Brahmin class , the priestly class traditionally had a good deal in India, why wouldn't people want to buy into that? to adopt it? I think that this has been the definition of religious power forever, pretend to be not of this world , all the time that being all you are. Oh I'm so bad!!!
Eknath Easwaran said that hindu mythology is never intimidated by logic or consistancy, but you see this exercised in every day life to the point of insanity, and a literalness that gets exploitative. Where do you draw the line?

 
At 6/09/2008 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Strangely enough, with all of the deification some people ascribe to Obama, he seems to be the politician backed by the fewest actual cults and LGATs. Clinton, the GOP's support through the Moonies, even Ron Paul's support for Scientology are disturbing.

 
At 6/09/2008 3:14 PM, Blogger jody said...

Where do you draw the line?

The very common phenomenon of guru deification is well known. Therefore, any guru who does not educate themselves about this and take steps to mitigate its effects are responsible for engendering ignorance rather than clarity, making them fair game around here. That's my line.

 
At 6/09/2008 4:34 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

what has Amma done to mitigate these effects??

 
At 6/09/2008 4:50 PM, Blogger jody said...

what has Amma done to mitigate these effects??

Nothing. But looked at overall, I still find her to be the best of the big-time when you do the math.

 
At 6/09/2008 6:51 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

I don't really know what that math would be. Her organization produces reenactments of her miracles. She has spoken at a UN event that has been promoted/ marketed. of which said content is fuzzy junk like , being a mother is good, women can help the world by being mothers. her ashrams promote "beauty workshops for women" ( so they can attract those sperm donors?, and get on their way to their predetermined lot in life?) She's just a Male guru in mommy clothing, sounds like more kool aid to me.

 
At 6/09/2008 6:55 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

jody said...
Not until he holds a conference for all AoL teachers and instructs them to thoroughly repudiate any claims or ideas about his divinity.

Synchronistically, I just located this link to J Krishnamurti's famous resignation speech:

http://www.prahlad.org/gallery/ommen_speech.htm

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

 
At 6/09/2008 8:06 PM, Blogger jody said...

Her organization produces reenactments of her miracles

Yes, a great sin on her part for letting them do this.

She's just a Male guru in mommy clothing, sounds like more kool aid to me.

For sure. But another big difference came to mind between Amma and Sri Sri. When you hear about Amma in the press, it usually has something to do with her tour, and it's not the kind of press generated by her own PR department. Sri Sri's org writes its own news, which is published by various podunk Indian news sites. Amma lets her hugging and tsunami relief work do the talking. Sri Sri does all his own talking.

I'd be hitting Amma more if she was more like Sri Sri, because there'd be a lot more material to riff on.

 
At 6/10/2008 8:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yomamma, thanks for your comments.
Jody, if you are familiar with indian media and their desperation for news and how big a flock of reporter-flies buzzes around celebrities, then you might be a bit lighter in your cynicism. In India, Sri Sri is a household name and given the huge volume of people who have taken his courses in the middle and upper middle class and also the extent of rural population that has been affected by his 5H and YLTP and rural development programs, he wields a huge public influence and is a bigger celebrity than several movie stars, in fact one can find a lot of indian movie stars roaming around the ashram getting hardly any of the attention they are used to-one such actress nagma was my buddy in a course a few years ago and she seemed to be able to roam around the ashram without anyone caring as much compared to the clamour and giggling crowd chasing Sri Sri when he walked by.

A media cell came up to prevent false news from popping up-reporters in india often make up headlines based on scant or no evidence. Given the kind of game Sri Sri plays, trying to pacify terrorists as well as provide programs to enhance alertness among police through his programs, it is necessary to pronounce clearly the stand on various events because otherwise his stand can be misrepresented like in the Modi case as you are aware.

The thing that i liked about him was that he never claims he is "supremely divine" or "god" or anything like the koo-koo "kalki" or "Bhagavan" or "Divine Mother" kind of gurus seem to do, and that is what attracts all the intellectuals and skeptic young adults too! He is a simple yogi unafraid to say "I dont know" in front of millions of people, and natural enough to admit his mistakes in public-clearly not an act of self-aggrandisation or claiming his special divinity.
He does say again and again that you are what i am and we are one and so on...and in fact his courses even have processes to make one realise that there is divinity behind every pair of eyes (even if it is more hidden in some like jody and more visible in others liek anew born baby!~ just kidding)

His felony as per you starts from the fact that he has added one more Sri to his name -go roam the haridwar streets you will find people whose names have 100 and often 1008 Sri in front of them-atleast he just has tolerable two! In fact there is a jocular term in the Art of living inner circle to describe people who sometimes come to courses and make these coo-coo claims about meditation experiences
or airy fairy self-realisations -"Blue Star" and such people who seem to claim some "special" powers
or some "vision" or "divine experiences" are viewed with humor.
Sri Sri's take is that there is divinity even in the heart of criminals, and that if they experience the samadhi, the peace of mind then they really transform and start acting more compassionately and humane.

He is a humble and compassionate man eager and willing to learn-which you will perhaps never concede because of unwillingness to trust or meet for yourself. A large number of youth who come to him including me are skeptics who are willing to test and try and doubt and go to him with an arrogance similar to how Vivekananda went to Ramakrishna. And by the way if there was internet and cell phones in the age of Vivekananda he would have made Ramakrishna famous.There are idols in Dakshineshwar with Ramakrishna being worshipped like God! But you cant blame the devotee's devotion and heartfelt, brainless exaggeration as self aggrandisation of the Guru! These are two separate things. Even J. Krishnamurthy -heck even Einstein was and is deified and had to say
"to punish my contempt of authority nature made me an authority myself"!

And there are any number of talks by him which start with a sanskrit shloka saying saying you are as much a part of divinity as anyone else. One of these days I shall compile some of these and put it on youtube, as I dont have time to go through the tons of videos out there and see which one talks about god. This idea that you have that Sri Sri claims he is "more divine than tamasic mortals" sounds much more like a prejudice than something you can back up by claims.


In my experience the chaos in the Art of Living organisation is in part due to the independence of thought that Sri Sri tries his best to encourage among students, and as a result of this empowerment volunteers feel like they are the boss-in part this is the reason for the rapid growth of the organisation!
If you study anything about Indian culture and traditions you will come up with the centuries old idea that the Guru is honored and worshipped
as all encompassing of the Brahma-creative, Vishnu- maintaining and Shiva-clearing/closure causing
elements, and it is a tradition to
see these elements as part of the Guru element. A lot of active volunteers of Art of Living hail from this Indian tradition and are conditioned to do that, you cannot blame Sri Sri for that. I myself get irritated with these jerks and feel that it is a convenient excuse for them to not really listen to whatever ideas Sri Sri presents about the self being all powerful and so on.
You can ask around and you will find that Sri Sri does discourage people touching his feet and trying to shower flowers on him and on numerous occasions refuses to feed the need of approval among the seekers who ask questions such as "should i do this or that" saying "choice is yours, blessing is mine". Even the sudarshan kriya taught in the basic course is run by the chant "Sohum" which is a sanskrit word meaning I am a part of the divinity-he is rooted in the Shankara tradition and tries best as he can to control the mania and chaos that the devotion of people creates. So I would indeed side with yomamma and urge you to reconsider your judgement on him.
Not that it matters, just in keeping with the fairness and the grandeur of your aim to act like a conscience in the business of self realisation.

~ Chris

 
At 6/10/2008 11:49 AM, Blogger yomamma said...

One of the ways Amma might be safer and more palatable, is that she is holding a more symbolic place than SS. She doesn't make much of a stand on anything, except of the motherhood is good , get your make-up on straight sort. SSRS sticks his neck out further, he dreams pretty big, so you gotta give him that, he seems less idol-like to me than Amma.
which i guess leads me back to the original subject of this topic, do people choose the more idol-like, the more charismatic candidate, for similar reasons. Could Hillary in her sensible pant suits ever compete with lightworker Obama? Can busyboy Sri Sri ever compete with lovable Mommy Ammy? Stay tuned.
This lightworker bull is just the new age slant on the same old tired story; A Hero will save us, which makes them no more evolved than your average Jesus Freak.
I think Chris is the most articulate proponent for SSRS we've ever seen in these parts, Chris , Just don't accuse Jody of being a disgruntled X-dev or the jig is up.

 
At 6/10/2008 12:13 PM, Blogger jody said...

Chris is the most articulate proponent for SSRS

Chris' being articulate doesn't mean he's just about elegant discourse. He is presently making every effort to discredit me, most of which I'm moderating because it's the same old tired crap that was generated by my "fan club" when I started this blog.

It will not become a subject for discussion here.

The tendency of Vedic-based spiritual institutions to deify their leaders is well-known. Regardless of how well or often Chris believes Sri Sri repudiates the idea of his special divinity, there is still a big problem in AoL, as evidenced by Zhoro's letter and the miracle mongering that's been aimed at the comments lately:

"While I was listening to the miracle I could feel tears rolling out of my eyes. Gurudev has saved the life of the sole breadwinner of a family. Along with Sri. Subramaniam and his family I am also grateful to my Divine Master for strengthening my confidence in Him."

Case closed. Regardless of how much Sri Sri repudiates his divinity, he's got thousands believing the opposite. It's entirely customary for Hindu gurus to deny any special divinity. Ammachi does so all the time, but look at what's running her satsang. Sri Sri is attempting to the do the same thing, only with lots of extra added fame. Amma hugs and moves on, while Sri Sri issues broadcasts a press releases every time he takes a piss in another country.

 
At 6/10/2008 2:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one should deny their divinity. It is time for each person to realize, not deny, their divinity.
What else could we be?

I imagine if the electronic age had been existent during the lives of any other spiritual teacher, they'd have received the same criticism, after all, Christ receives it still.

I suppose being a person like Sri Sri who puts their efforts into encouraging others, some of who see so little reason for being in this day and time, where heart is so crippled, can be shot apart by anyone, like you, for instance.

But my question is, why don't you just let folks figure out for themselves what is good or bad for them?
Vedanta doesn't discourage the use of the mind at all, rather it is balanced with devotion.

It is devotion that most American completely lack experience of. After all, how many men are devoted to their families, and wives?

I think the divorce rate, and delinquency testify to that answer.

Americans like to think they are rugged individuals who can bite off their thumb to make a point.

Is it any wonder we have no clue as to what devotion is?
Isn't it sad, our families are torn apart by big thinkers, independent men with so called big minds.

Well, who can't see what is bad? That's easy!
What is hard to do is to see what is good.

But why do we wish to tear everything apart?
Where is destruction getting any of us?
Being a smart mouth, where does that get you?

I think you feel so insecure that you have to convince yourself your brain is broader than anothers.. and you can see what others can't see, maybe? Sorry to bust your bubble like that, ( minds like yours are a dime a dozen) but if it hurts, let it sting, and maybe you'll find your heart after all.

Sri Sri doesn't happen alone, many people, foolish or wise are devoted to him because they want to devote themselves to something worthwhile.
Do you have a better cause?

Maybe you could develop one since you understand all of this so much better than anyone else does.

At least his words have supported something useful, other than a mere blog that bashes and destroys to build up ones own sense of security..

how is it workin for ya?

Grace to ya man!

 
At 6/10/2008 2:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS. If you ever read anything by Sr Sri, you'd know he says it is one's belief that heals them..always the case. Let folks have something to believe in...Lord knows we need help to exercise the faith muscle..

your diatribe sure doesn't cut it..

The earth is full of cynics like you.
Your commentary is sad.
It's people like you who deflate us all, unfortunately.

_()_

 
At 6/10/2008 2:50 PM, Blogger jody said...

why don't you just let folks figure out for themselves what is good or bad for them?

I do. AoL spins everything with a thick coat of sugar frosting, I brush some of that away to show the rot underneath.

I think you feel so insecure that you have to convince yourself your brain is broader than anothers

How do you think I'm doing so far?

Do you have a better cause?

I have a cause, which is to defend the truth of Vedanta from usurpers like Sri Sri. "Better" remains a product of perspective, something AoL members sorely, but fortunately for Sri Sri, lack.

 
At 6/10/2008 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I respect your response!

_()_

 
At 6/10/2008 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the compliment yomamma!
I love arguing with jody and getting him irritated ;)

And to jody-how come it is okay that you try to discredit "sri Sri" based on what his "fan club" says while editing out and hiding all that dicredits you through the internet comments by your "fan club"?

You see? Discrediting requires a premise and your premise could be, just could be a bit off. I am not saying Art of Living is the world's most perfect organisation-far from it-it is more of a disorganisation
given that many volunteers think they are the boss and would listen to nobody , sometimes not even Sri Sri and given the volume of such people it is not a wonder that you get enough material to earn you 200$ through your blog-critique. All I am claiming is the vagaries of organisation no more represent the individual behind it than ascribing all the evils of Christianity to Christ or
ascribing the lazy lack of self defense by indian kings post-buddha
and its subsequent conquest by foreigners to Buddha himself. Again, before you twist what i am saying-all i am saying is that Sri Sri is not a CEO of the art of living, he is an inspiration. Heck, there is no one central organisation called Art of living even-each country has its own separate autonomous status-as i found out today in an attempt to get some evidence about its financial dealings. Technically,
there are separate non-profit organisations in 140 countries run by local volunteers inspired by the AOL programs. And you cannot blame the doings of volunteers on the founder/inspirer. I found upon enquiry that there was the organiser for Singapore who eloped with $10000 from the courses- now would you blame that on Sri Sri? He is a simple trusting man, who sometimes gets pushed around by his followers-he used to teach the programs free uptill ~ 1990 until some of the teachers in india whose names i will not reveal for privacy made a huge hue and cry and started charging money for the courses. He himself did not agree for a long time, and keeps dreaming that someday we shall be able to pull off all the organisational expenditure somehow so that the courses can be made free! Cut him some slack man! He is trying to do good work and bring the knowledge of Vedanta in as secular a way possible to as many people as possible, with some success and some failures! Neither his successes nor his failures belong more to him than the million volunteers who are inspired by his programs. Thats all I am saying!
~Chris

 
At 6/10/2008 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Shakti:

" Obama, he seems to be the politician backed by the fewest actual cults and LGATs. Clinton, the GOP's support through the Moonies, even Ron Paul's support for Scientology are disturbing."

Not true, unfortunately. Obama went to Fairfield, Iowa to kiss TM ass.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119932860523364137.html?mod=hpp_us_pageone

The campaign of Democratic Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware has let it be known here that his former chief of staff is an adherent of Transcendental Meditation. During an outdoor rally here last summer, Sen. Barack Obama turned his podium east out of respect for the Transcendental Meditation view that east is the natural direction of energy flow.

 
At 6/10/2008 3:51 PM, Blogger jody said...

He is a simple trusting man

Your bias is noted.

He himself did not agree [to take money for courses] for a long time

Not according to OTOH. That sounds as much a myth as the idea that Sri Sri magically cures cancer.

He is trying to do good work and bring the knowledge of Vedanta in as secular a way possible

As a means to further his own name and fame.

Thats all I am saying!

I get the feeling I'm looking through a freshly Windexed window right now.

 
At 6/10/2008 4:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

jody, it took you a long time to note my bias..how about noting your own now?
~Chris
PS what is windex?

 
At 6/10/2008 4:14 PM, Blogger jody said...

how about noting your own now?

Remember? I'm just a jerk who thinks he knows. The fact you are paying so much attention to such a Negative Nelly such as myself says much more about your own internal state than my bias.

All AoL defenders should know, the bigger the stink you make about me, the more powerful my views become. You would all be better serving your cause to completely ignore me. For every ten-thousand people that Sri Sri dupes, I may get to one or two. The odds are way in AoL's favor, unless you keep promoting me by opposing my views. You are doing your own cause much more damage than any repair to the insignificant scratches I might make.

 
At 6/10/2008 4:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"jody can't ya give him another chance?

Not until he holds a conference for all AoL teachers and instructs them to thoroughly repudiate any claims or ideas about his divinity."

you are funny dude! and on top of it you claim to have read vedanta-let me ask you jody
are you divine?
coz you surely act like you know it all! Or else repudiate all claims about your omniscience or divinity!
Say that you are not divine and a sinner and accept jesus the christ as your savior...sorry ...i forgot you were a whindu (white hindu) and hence the whine whine...

oh i get it now that is what you want perhaps-Sri Sri call all his teachers and tell them he is not a part of divine and they arent also and no body is a part of divine except those who follow the teachings of "jodanta" the new and improved version of vedanta which says we are all piece of the same shit and nothing more divine about me than you
just kidding man hope you dont mind

 
At 6/10/2008 4:23 PM, Blogger jody said...

hope you dont mind

Your outright lying is noted.

 
At 6/10/2008 4:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dude-who says i dont love you-i love your witty attempts to criticize and atleast a show of honesty and policing to death. And remember? i am no more divine than you as per jodanta -jody's vedanta? i am as much a jerk as you perhaps even bigger and not any ardent AOL follower-if you argue for AOL I will start arguing otherwise.
Am just here for the shits and giggles man its down time, school is out, got no job, and its fun to irritate you-atleast I hope you are irritated and trying to get me off of your blog! Okay if it is really irritating you then i will stop, but dude, i really like you, honest! As i said if you be fair, i do not mind doing some guru bashing myself! Its a fine way to get out all the anger and frustration without having a punching bag isnt it jody?
yours truly
~Chris

 
At 6/10/2008 4:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As a means to further his own name and fame."

How is it you know this man's heart?

It is preposterous that you should say Sri Sri should acknowledge he is not God, and to be a proponent of vedanta ( whose premise is, we are THAT) as well, a little mixed up here aren't you?

Protector of vedanta? That is a little bit funny isn't it?

 
At 6/10/2008 5:21 PM, Blogger Bruce said...

How is it you know this man's heart?

According to Christian scripture (Matthew, iirc), Jesus had some good advice for detecting the false ones: "By their fruits shall ye know them."

 
At 6/10/2008 5:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bruce, fine and dandy, but he said many things, like Judge not, lest ye be judged, too.

But that's the deal with Christians and the Bible, they only use the scripture that suits their purpose at the time.
Do the women at your church cover their heads?
If the answer is no, I suggest you take your Scriptures as you see fit.
(in other words, this one is excused because, and this one is not excused because)
Christ said we are one...Vedanta same thing..

In the spirit of that truth, accept all that is, and yourself.

 
At 6/10/2008 6:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Vedanta as the end of knowledge refers to a state of self-realisation, attainment, or cosmic consciousness. Historically and currently Vedanta is understood as a state of transcendence and not as a concept that can be grasped by the intellect alone."

How does one defend a thing such as this?

Where does one get it to defend it, or what does one do to another to protect it or others from it?
Silly..silly ..silly

Isn'it like protecting the people from the air?

S for short

 
At 6/10/2008 8:05 PM, Blogger jody said...

How does one defend a thing such as this?

By pointing out all the horrible misinterpretations that form around the idea that self-realization turns one into a God.

 
At 6/10/2008 8:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Self Realization doesn't 'turn' one into God, one is already THAT. The realization needed is acceptance, mere acceptance of ones true Self.
Isn'it so?

We can't know this as long as we are striving to become what we already are.

No one needs protection, just acceptance as THAT divine one, as I am.

If I am wrong, please help me to see the error.

When one has accepted themselves as this perfect divinity, one sees it everywhere and in everyone.

This being the case, how does it benefit anyone to believe what someone says that condemns another, knowing full well, they are not seeing the truth of themselves?

Who are we to turn to, to find our truth, towards one who can't see theirs., or one who can see their own?

Sri Sri appears to be fruitful, but who is to judge him, I would still ask?



Bruce, I may have jumped to a conclusion with you, if so I am terribly sorry for perhaps misunderstanding your statement. I admit I read into it, thinking it was a judgment, whereas I look now and think it may simply be a simple quotation of scripture. _()_ bowing

 
At 6/10/2008 9:03 PM, Blogger jody said...

Self Realization doesn't 'turn' one into God, one is already THAT. The realization needed is acceptance, mere acceptance of ones true Self.
Isn'it so?


What's needed is the sudden dawn of jnana. Accepting that one is the Atman, while entirely true, doesn't automatically generate a state of self-realization.

We can't know this as long as we are striving to become what we already are.

You are singing to the choir. Bringing it back to Sri Sri, the example he makes as a character has folks striving to become as they see him. They have led themselves to believe that realization will render them a Sri Sri. This is just as bad as striving to be what we already are. In other words, anything you believe about realization confounds realization as a state of experiential revelation. Sri Sri contributes to this confounding, as do all the other alleged god men and women plying their trade.

When one has accepted themselves as this perfect divinity, one sees it everywhere and in everyone.

That is another occluding idea, that somehow perception is changed by realization. It's not. It's one thing to infer that we all are the same Self, it's another to imagine you can actually see that. What you are seeing is an idea about that. The Atman has no perception other than that of its own existence.

knowing full well, they are not seeing the truth of themselves?

I don't know that "full well" at all.

Who are we to turn to, to find our truth, towards one who can't see theirs., or one who can see their own?

I'm not convinced Sri Sri sees anything other than ways to pump up his fame.

Sri Sri appears to be fruitful

You know what they say about appearances.

who is to judge him, I would still ask?

The jerk who writes this blog. Buyer beware, your mileage may vary, etc., etc.

 
At 6/10/2008 9:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" Sri Sri contributes to this confounding"

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say, "as I see Sri Sri, he contributes? I mean this is your analysis, right?

Because I don't get this confounding at all that you speak of, so to say SriSri contributes, is only an objective statement of your own seeing, right, Jody?

And as far as seeing everyone as perfect, I experienced this as my own awareness for many many years. Granted it has washed away, and I don't know why it is so, but it is so, that I look at things less perfectly. Yet, I remember the perfection everything is.

It is a small perception which sees the worst in others.

Jody-"I'm not convinced Sri Sri sees anything other than ways to pump up his fame.

Ok, so from your pov, this is what you see then. Does that make it so? Probably not. lol

Sri Sri appears to be fruitful

I would say that helping people to feel more powerful, and effective and astute about life is fruitful. My perception...Does that make it true, more likely, because it is a positive assumption.

Jody
"You know what they say about appearances. "

Yep I do...
what set you off about SriSri anyway?
S for short

 
At 6/10/2008 9:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Jody...why cant you stick to Vedanta when talking about Vedanta?

"Bringing it back to Sri Sri, the example he makes as a character has folks striving to become as they see him. They have led themselves to believe that realization will render them a Sri Sri."

And you talk as if he does not refute that belief? I was at a public talk where someone asked him "Are you God?" he said "ofcourse and you are too-how can you doubt that which is omnipresent is not in you?"
And in hindi he has said over and over again, "jo tu hai so main hoon aur jo mein hoon so tu hai"
What i am the same you are and what you are the same i am-there is no difference...and if you listen to any number of knowledge videos by him you will see that he really emphasizes the underlying oneness

And ofcourse there are numerous such incidents. Remember that even in India there was other versions besides advaita-vishishtadvaita, dvaita and pauranik and bhakti and sufi faiths that emerged around 1400s or so.
Someone once asked him about the vyavahaarika aspect of advaita..
and he said "the door and the table are made of the same wood, but you cannot use one in place of other. So while there is a oneness at the level of the consciousness, at the level of the form there indeed is difference."

if you really do not acknowledge that difference at the level of name and the form you would not be trying so hard to discredit his name. In any case, the point being that in the programs of Art of Living there is enough opportunity and practical processes created for people to realise the underlying unity of consciousness- you can call it jnana or you can call it love-doesnt really matter what you call it...and dear jody, just know one thing, not everyone needs to learn or teach in the way that you believe is right. Sri Sri has managed to make people realise their inner freedom and oneness
to a great degree-what you would perhaps call duping-would a two and a half million people participate in the way they did in the silver jubilee celebration without some of them having had a glimpse of that realisation and that inner joy?

Only he is not dry like the traditional Vedantis but also
adds the rasa or devotional aspect that was amply present in Shankara.

In Adi Shankara's own life you will find contradiction-the man who said "Aham Brahmasmi" went on and established the twelve shiva temples and worshipped the mother divine-and 5 deity worship how do you explain that?
And Adi Shankara roamed the whole country on foot and revived the knowledge establishing 4 centers.
Do you think those centers have successfully carried out the mission? Some of them have been mired in controversy for years-does that discredit Adi Shankara?
Even the heads of the centers are even called Shankaracharyas and dress like him 1000s of years later, then what is the wrong if closest devotees of Sri Sri want to "become" Sri Sri or like him?


And that is a tiny fraction anyway, the majority just wants to come together in knowledge and service.

How many people before Art of living knew about the philosophy behind patanjali's yoga sutras or narada bhaktisutras or ashtavakra gita? The people who come to Art of living are people who are mostly practical, worldly, intellectual people, who end up learning something about the secular nature and depth of the philosophy of India and the upanishads, among other things like elements of Buddhist and Sikh and maybe a couple of Christ's thoughts. Also the emphasis is on underlining the deeper unity of principle rather than the superficial differences of opinions...which can always be argued against endlessly. Catch the ocean not the waves dear! The waves can never be caught anyway!

!!!!!__()()__!!!!!

 
At 6/10/2008 10:03 PM, Blogger jody said...

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say, "as I see Sri Sri, he contributes? I mean this is your analysis, right?

Right. This blog is the product of my analysis. Therefore, you are getting that analysis as I render it, without the extraneous pronouncements that it's only my opinion.

Because I don't get this confounding at all that you speak of

That's why I'm writing this blog!

I experienced this as my own awareness for many many years. Granted it has washed away

Thus, it was only a projection rather than a perception of nondual truth, which is utterly non-perceivable other than by itself. In other words, what you saw was a projection of what you believed, rather than a rendering of what is real, in my opinion.

It is a small perception which sees the worst in others.

It's a blind one that only sees the PR sheen.

so from your pov, this is what you see then. Does that make it so? Probably not.

It does according to one who's been in the inner circle and got out.

I would say that helping people to feel more powerful, and effective and astute about life is fruitful.

But haranguing them for money and using their insecurities to get it is not.

what set you off about SriSri anyway?

He failed to censure Modi, claiming he didn't comment on individuals, then he turned around a few weeks later and commented on the passing of the Pope. Then former inner circle members came forward and expressed their experience, which made perfect sense in the light of this very public hypocrisy, leading me to the conclusion that he was much more self-serving than humanity-serving.

 
At 6/10/2008 10:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe he viewed the Pope as the leader of a church of people who were very devoted to what that individual represents?

anything else?
S

 
At 6/10/2008 10:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am so glad we are talking some nice philosophy here instead of the usual bitching, jody!

Jody said " In other words, what you saw was a projection of what you believed, rather than a rendering of what is real, in my opinion."

Now how about you apply what you preached to him to your own perception and see that what you are seeing about Sri Sri could be, perhaps,just could be, maybe, in your own words, "a projection of what you believe, rather than a rendering of what is real"

in my opinion?

 
At 6/10/2008 11:13 PM, Blogger jody said...

see that what you are seeing about Sri Sri could be... a projection of what you believe

Of course it's what I believe. What isn't what we believe?

My opinion about Sri Sri is based on his failure to censor Modi by claiming to not see individuals, when he turned around a few weeks later to see the death of the pope. The "I don't comment on individuals because individuals are just part of one wholeness," statement was just a dodge, one he abandoned when the opportunity to get some traction on the pope's passing became available.

Next, there are the statements of a former inner circle devotee, along with assorted statements by other ex-devotees. Then there is the constant stream of press releases touting his greatness. Finally, there is my contention that Sri Sri takes advantage of the institutional superstitions of Hindu thought, playing the god man card with one hand while showing the humble servant of the people card in the other.

 
At 6/11/2008 7:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Chris:

you said "In my experience the chaos in the Art of Living organisation is in part due to the independence of thought that Sri Sri tries his best to encourage among students, "

I must respond with

LOL ROF

Independence of thought?????? Surely you jest, Chris. There is no independent thought allowed. Once, when a teacher refused to pranam to SSRS in a small group of teachers, he became red-faced and made starting berating that person. Later, the "inner circle" group that was present, avoided that person like plague, and gave a new name -- "Judas".

This one was good too:

overheard in a bathroom, spouted by 'devout' AOL teachers: "'xyz' is not a good person. We know this because otherwise they could not have heard such awful things about Guruji. Guruji says that only people with dirty ears could hear such terrible things about him. So we should avoid xyz..."

Again, LOL! What a pack of weirdos!

Fools, the lot of them, including you and Sri Sri. Keep drinking the koolaid, as Jody likes to say.

Isn't it just possible, Chris, that you are the one who doesn't know SSRS? Or if you do, and have for some time, that you fall into the category of the idiots who believe that if you know anything wrong about the Guru, you have dirty ears and a dirty mind? Isn't that just a bit possible?

I know, I must be a paid muslim terrorist, or uninformed, or never knew SSRS, blah blah blah. How wrong and mislead and brainwashed you are, Chris.


Wake up.

 
At 6/11/2008 10:48 AM, Blogger yomamma said...

It's one thing to infer that we all are the same Self, it's another to imagine you can actually see that. What you are seeing is an idea about that. The Atman has no perception other than that of its own existence.

yes obviously we have ideas all the time , but if atman has perception of it's existence then we must be able to have that as well. i guess it's what people do with that , that we discuss here.

 
At 6/11/2008 11:28 AM, Blogger jody said...

if atman has perception of it's existence then we must be able to have that as well.

Definitely. That's what it's all about. Right now, in every sentient being on the planet, exists the awareness of the Atman. It's the recognizing of it that becomes the problem. I believe that the ideas we carry about what knowing the Atman is like are the major roadblocks on the path, much more than desire or attachment, which are entirely natural in our biological contexts.

 
At 6/11/2008 3:22 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

we project our beliefs or someone else's onto this experience , but by this time it is gone,gone beyond.
to me devotion means being as conscious as possible, with what ever you are doing. but i guess there are some things i would rather be doing!

 
At 6/15/2008 6:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Realization made me understand that we're all the same. Returning to where I started made me understand that we're all different in the way we experience samsara. I thought this was about Obama. I have zero knowledge about Vedantas. I started with zen and discovered that it's all the same. I think it's possible to see the next election as a step towards a rising in consciousness. If we don't shit in our nest, this step is inevitable. Whether with Obama or further on down the line. Eventually the zietgiest will align itself with a leader. I question terms like "lightbringer" but can't help but can't help but see any move away from the status quo as positive. Maybe not "divine", but a step in the right direction. Peace

 

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