Guruphiliac: Popping Pop Vedanta

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Popping Pop Vedanta

File under: The Siddhi of PR

We've got to give it up for Gp compatriot, H.H. Sri Sri SRI Kevinanandaji, for going OFF at the self-glorification business in Tiruvannamalai, India, over the last few months. Today he takes his needle and pokes the Pop Vedanta bubble, AKA Neo-Advaita. And while we may sometimes veer very close to some of the same outlined sins, we enjoyed the Kevinanandajister ripping away like a mad sadhu on a Datura bender:
This is a shallow, consumeristic interpretation scraped from the retina of Ramana's teaching, which sells you abstract notions of enlightenment as the real deal: like buying on credit and never having to pay. It is the 'description of enlightenment' minus the genuine article, an enticing 'theoretical product' where body is divorced from mind. All you get is "talk" and "pseudo-awakenings" become the new benchmark. Saying it, replaces being it. Soft words and the 'language of love' masquerade as the real thing. Understanding realisation is suddenly the accomplishment. Salvation served up on a slab: consume and you're enlightened!

The upshot is that anything goes if you can argue it. In the absence of visceral experience, the slightest tremor becomes an 'awakening event'. And with the arbitary use of any 'free-floating concept', even Ramana can be castigated as a fake. Like a 1000-headed hydra, one Guru pops up only to be shouted down by another who shouts even louder (As Mr Heinz so sagely put it, "57 varieties of Mind Fuck soup!") This is why this 'Paradigm of Paradise' is so jumbled and confused. It's a hybrid monster: 'Presence', 'Being In The Moment', 'Neti Neti' and 'Mental deconstruction' to the nth degree, all in the name of 'Satsang!'
The Chi-Ting Master has spoken. While we see some value in a few of the ideas he's railing against, we are going to let this tiger's tail alone.



At 2/14/2009 9:11 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

My friend Jody said, "And while we may sometimes veer very close to some of the same outlined sins, we enjoyed the Kevinanandajister ripping away like a mad sadhu..."

...Jody havin said that, this here is that witch is one good reason why yours truly admires and adulates said Jody!

At 2/14/2009 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I've finally read the words of someone who is more pissed off at the phenomena of neo-advaita than I am. (I read the page of his blog which you linked to.)

I cannot comment on what he says about Tony Parsons, Jed McKenna, and Karl Renz, because I don't know enough about them.

However, although Kevin may be correct in many of his observations of the problems inherent in neo-advaita, he doesn't really seem to understand much about the truth which Ramana was pointing out, or about the teachings of Advaita/Vedanta.

Quote from his blog:

"Neo-Advaita is not Advaita Vedanta and it is not the teachings of Ramana Maharshi either. Ramana merely used the language of Vedanta to explain his experience of Truth and said 'Be As You Are'. Vedanta stops at mentally affirming the existence of the Self whereas Ramana counselled to go beyond the mind for Self-realisation."

First of all, the teachings of Advaita/Vedanta, if properly taught, do not stop at mentally affirming the existence of the Self. They are the means for the direct recognition of the Self as the ground of being for everything which appears.

So, IMO, as many do, (including neo-advaitins) Kevin has dismissed those teachings as leading to only a conceptual understanding, but not to a direct recognition of the truth.

Secondly, one does not 'go beyond the mind for Self-realization.' This idea is a blind alley. Who is going where? In order for the recognition of the self to take place one needs a mind, which mind itself recognizes that the self is 'prior' to the mind.

That may sound contradictory, but if one is properly instructed, it isn't. The self is prior to the mind, but it also shines in and through and is the base-line of all experience, and it is the mind which recognizes this fact.

The self within the realm of experience is recognized as the base line, that which illuminates and is pervasive to all experience. The self is another word for absolute being, and that being is the being of all that is.
The direct recognition of this fact is called 'self-knowledge.'

I think Kevin has some good and very clear insights into the problems of neo-advaita, and my wish for him (if he wishes it) would be that he find a true teacher who can help him get clear about how the teachings of Advaita/Vedanta actually work, and also exactly what Ramana's (often obscure) words actually mean.

It seems to me that Kevin (most likely without knowing it) has been more influenced by the teachings of neo-advaita than he realizes, and he is taking those wrong ideas and views and applying them to the teachings of Advaita/Vedanta and Ramana's words, which is understandable since he it sounds as if he hasn't been exposed to any other type of teaching.

If he has recognized the problems inherent in the teachings of neo-advaita, that IMO is a good first step. Now, it seems to me, that he needs some guidance to help him shed the wrong ideas which he has picked up through exposure to neo-advaita concerning the teachings of Advaita/Vedanta and the meaning of Ramana’s words, and then hopefully that same guidance will point him in the right direction towards the gain of clear seeing of the purport of those teachings.

At 2/15/2009 10:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's a good lad, that Kevinanda.

At 2/16/2009 2:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all buddy kevin should learn to spell his holy name properly before pointing his dirty fingers at others.

It goes something like this...
Kevin + Ananda = Kevinananda. Dont ask how many A's are there, but thats how it works, if this fella really wanted to figure advaita or neo advaita or whatever he thinks is his lot..

At 2/17/2009 9:59 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Dear anonymush,
Kevinanda is just fine! ananda is the female form of the word. nanda is the male and this here Kevinanda is a good man!

At 2/17/2009 8:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am surprised this excellent article doesn't have more comments. But it just goes to show the low level of most people who are into neo-A and into spirituality in general. Is commenting on his name the best you can do (don't you think he might have chosen it that way, idiot?) And who is that SAP who lisps on about finding a "true teacher?" For fuck sake. Here is someone who speaks out in a cogent and highly intelligent way. It's not the right or wrong of it. It's recognising the need to challenge fossilised viewpoints which are the work of the ego. Put some life in your veins! Sit up straight and start thinking! So far you've been stuffed by a Donkey!

At 2/17/2009 11:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Went on Cheating - someone tried to sabotage it maybe because of the Vedanta stuff. Kevji's got it and them trying to vandalise him confirms it

At 2/18/2009 5:24 AM, Blogger Peggy Burgess said...

I think this stuff exists because there is a demand for it, that's what capitalism is good at addressing. I don't see that it's any worse than most of the freakazoid gurus of the past, who's rules and regs were equally or more non-sensical.
I think Kevin waxes nostalgic for a time he never knew, because it's always easier to romanticize what we are imagining.
Also are these guys paranoid marxists or greedy capitalists? which is it? how bout Hitler , you forgot Hitler, you can't have this kind of diatribe without the prerequisite reference to him.

At 2/18/2009 8:06 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

"For fuck sake. Here is someone who speaks out in a cogent and highly intelligent way."

Im in total agreement with you on this Kevinanada! But how come you didn't use your own name?!

At 2/18/2009 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kevinanda is just fine! ananda is the female form of the word. nanda is the male and this here Kevinanda is a good man!

- that gender variation nanda and ananda just got me enlightened in a
sudden like the over night lake effect in chicago. But Chucky, I would rather grope and tell if its as male or female than chop titles.

Anycase, nanda means playful and ananda means blissful. Thats for your unkind information. Buddy kevin may agree on this one hopefully.


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