[Advaita-l] New topic for Discussion - Religion vs Spirituality

Ryan Armstrong ryanarm at gmail.com
Wed Mar 23 03:51:56 CDT 2016


The second question is more easily answered - Yes!
For the simple reason that the guru has shed all ignorance and speaks as
the Lord.
He (She) is a direct contact with the Supreme.

For the first question, I can certainly say that the Vedanta is the purest
expression of Truth available to us.
I have come across other teachings which advance the advaita concepts -
Plato for instance - but these traditions do not have the unbroken line of
Masters which Advaita Vedanta has.
Plato used a technique called "dialectic" which is a form of question and
The simple rules are that absolute honesty is required and that one should
never be attached to a position but rather be grateful when an erroneous
idea is pointed out.
Plato's teacher, Socrates was famous for his humility in this respect.
The technique allows the mind to fall still and the Spirit to shine forth
and I have had the experience of Unity when practicing it.

Another tradition is that of Lao Tzu. The Dao De Ching is again an
expression of Truth - I quote the beginning form memory (so please excuse
any errors):
"The Dao which can be spoken is not the True Dao; The name which can be
named is not the Eternal Name."

As I said in the previous post, Christ taught advaita and this is most
evident in the "Gospel according to Thomas" which is one of the famous
"Dead Sea Scrolls" and not included in the Bible. (Originally there were
over 20 Gospels, but only 4 were chosen when the "official" New Testament
was compiled.  This, in my opinion, is an example of politics interfering
with religion)

Having said all that, it may be possible to achieve Realization without the
After all, the one Self only exists and we all have Him as our essence
regardless of tradition.
But the statement of Truth in the Upanishads coupled with the vehicle of
Sanskrit makes the Vedanta (in my opinion) supreme amongst all Scripture.

Yours in Truth

On 23 March 2016 at 10:22, kuntimaddi sadananda via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Ryan - PraNAms
> Thanks for sharing your wisdom. You have made very good points. You
> mentioned that advaita was the original teaching all the religions that
> have old testament as starting point.
> Now just a question, since you are member of this list, do you think 1.
> Vedanta is required for a seeker for self-realization 2. Does one need a
> guru or teacher.
> Hari Om!
> Sada
> --------------------------------------------
> On Wed, 3/23/16, Ryan Armstrong <ryanarm at gmail.com> wrote:
>  Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] New topic for Discussion - Religion vs
> Spirituality
>  To: "kuntimaddi sadananda" <kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com>, "A discussion
> group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
>  Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2016, 2:35 AM
>  namaste Sadaji
>  I think that there is a large difference
>  between the two.
>  In brief:
>  Religion is about ritual and the
>  organization and regulation of social affairs.
>  Spirituality is turning the attention to Truth
>  and allowing the paramaatman to manifest without
>  ego-interference.
>  Having grown up in the Catholic
>  tradition, I found that it offers paths to spirituality.
>  But these are often hidden in the practices.
>  One of the problems with the
>  Christian tradition is that even through Christ taught
>  advaita, when the religion was organized (centuries after
>  his death), it became politicized.
>  Christianity and Islam are both
>  grounded in the Judaism - they share the Scripture called
>  the "Old Testament."
>  But interpretation and practice have
>  led to divergent paths.
>  In Genesis, the first book of the
>  Old Testament, there is the scene of Adam and Eve in the
>  Garden of Eden.
>  They are told not
>  to eat of the fruit of the tree of "knowledge of good
>  and evil".
>  In Religion, the
>  interpretation is geared towards what is good and what is
>  evil.
>  In Spirit, this is a
>  statement of the movement from unity (advaita) to plurality
>  - dualism.
>  Good and Evil is the
>  first duality.  Before that, Adam and Eve knew only of the
>  One.
>  By eating the fruit they
>  gained the "knowledge" of duality and hence were
>  "driven out of paradise".
>  I believe that religion has a place
>  - it allows for an order in society which would be chaotic
>  otherwise.
>  It also contains the
>  seeds which can lead to Spirituality.
>  Spirituality on the other hand is a
>  more "personal" endeavour.
>  In
>  my opinion, it is the direct experience of the One - and the
>  constant striving to remove the impediments in the being
>  which cling to the idea of being separate and individual.
>  Yours in
>  Truth
>  Ryan
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Ryan Armstrong
+27 82 852 7787
ryanarm at gmail.com

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