ADVAITA-L Digest - 8 Sep 2002 to 9 Sep 2002 (#2002-228)

yogafarm yogafarm at WEBTV.NET
Tue Sep 10 07:05:04 CDT 2002

Namasté, Jagannathji, Jaldharji and group -- since I joined this
group, not in search of a new pathway to explore, but as a means for
keeping my mind focused on the yoga-Vedanta I have learned and
experienced, I am neither hurt nor offended by your comments.  On the
contrary, I welcome them, as they cause me to consider my pathway more
deeply, each day.  Thank you!

In response to your combined comments:

1.) Sathya Sai Baba is my guru and preceptor, and has been so for some
30 years.  I have had other teachers, too, both by book and direct
participation throughout that time.  Most of them claim their lineage
back to Shankaracharyaji.  I presume you and your families also have
your own gurus -- anyway, that is my connection with Sai Baba (who fully
supports Shankaracharaya's teachings, by the way).

2.) I have been taught that all religions and spiritual sciences (such
as yoga-Vedanta) lead to the same place, by whatever Name It may be

3.) Regarding your stated "confusion," Jagannathji: Confusion is the
state of a mind in change, and should be welcomed with open arms!

4.) Regarding Buddhism's "Great Void" compared to samadhi, satori, Mu,
etc., I suggest you begin any studies of that pathway with "The Tibetan
Book of the Dead," then read a number of the great Buddhist sutras,
beginning with the "Heart" sutra -- these will reveal much about the
similarities, etc. (see item 2, above).

5.) We did not "make Neti Yoga up"; it is an adaptation of jnana yoga
... but primarily for Westerners.  And yes, in my experience it is QUITE
necessary to adapt these teachings, as most (illusory) Westerners -- and
even many (illusory) Bharatians -- are quite unfamiliar with Sanskrit,
Tamil or Urdu.

But this is not unusual: Indeed, if you have 1000 spiritual people, you
have 1000 different religions, no?  For example, on my bookshelf are
some two dozen versions of "The Bhagavad-Gita" -- one of which I,
myself, have had the pleasure to author a commentary upon -- yet each of
these books carries a unique and often radically different
interpretation by the respective translator or commentator.

6.) "Neti" (of Neti Yoga) refers to one's inabilty to define what being
Brahman actually is -- "not this, not this" ... "neti, neti."  This is
the classical interpretation I have been taught from a number of sources
and if that differs from your conjecture, I'd certainly like to know
what it is.

7.) Regarding "that" samadhi: Some people believe there are various
stages of samadhi; others -- including myself -- believe that there is
only one samadhi.  It is the No-Mind state; it is Brahman; it is turiya,
Atman, Pure Consciousness, satori, etc.  Any state where an "observer"
remains is, by definition, dualistic -- the observer observing bliss,
"oneness," etc., are (to my group of people) merely advanced states of
dhyana / meditation.

But perhaps we are both saying the same thing though in different words;
for as knowledgeable as you are, I cannot imagine this most basic tenet
of advaita is confusing to you.

8.) Regarding "one without a second": Tat twam asi, as you surely know,
is one of the mahavakyas, all of which assert the same pronouncement --
Aham Brahman ... Aham Jyotir ...

If you need a review of these mahavakyas, I can probably quote half a
dozen, or so; but with your obvious knowledge, I'm certain you are
already familiar with them.

9.) And you are fortunate to be so certain of your convictions and
knowledge.  For myself, having been deeply immersed in this pathway for
some three decades, now, I am finding I feel satisfied by simply being
able to ask the right questions.  May you always be so fortunate!

10.) Regarding amritha / soma / the Nectar of Immortality: It was
brought to your attention, not for its mystical or mythical value (for
as advaitans, we are all CONVINCED of our immortality, already -- with
or without amritha, no?), but because of its miraculous nature.  Whether
or not it is simply "sugar water," the way it keeps on manifesting --
non-stop!! -- is the wonder!

And, yes; it IS fact (well, as "factual" as anything in maya can be).  I
have directly experienced this manifestation three times at the
orphanage, myself, as have thousands of other pilgrims to that site.
Making it all the more phenomenal is that there is no human hand --
other than the holder's own -- involved in the process' yet the syrup
(whatEVER it may be) keeps on flowing, regardless of how long one holds
either amulet in one's palm.

11.) You seem to have mixed feelings about Sathya Sai Baba (like many
other people).  My knowledge of him is not just by reading; I have had
three, indepth personal interviews with him; wear a ring he manifsted
for me within inches of my face; have consumed vibhuti (sacred ash) he
manifested for me four times from his open, downturned palm, etc.

You have dismissed miracles such as these with a few words.  You are
fortunate, indeed, to have been so exposed to such happenings,
apparently, as to have become jaded by such phenomena.  For me, they are
still a source of wonderment and awe, I must confess ... and more
importantly, a source of contemplation as to their meaning in the Larger

12.) And finally, you have a beautiful daughter -- I saw her photos on
your website.  Enjoy the parenting experience (I raised my two children
alone, from infancy to their mid-teens ... and what an experience THAT

As always, thanks; be well and namasté ... Michael Blate

Michael Blate
Executive Director

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