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  LETTERS

 

JANUARY 2000
Letters to the Editor

 

Famous Gurus: Masters Are Transmitters, Not Saints
January 25, 2:22 PM

Mr. Gerchmez makes the point [letter, January 22] that, like it or not, people look to gurus as examples for behavior. I absolutely agree that people do just that. I would add my view, though, that this is precisely why people do not realize the unique value of the guru. They look for words and behavior while the guru offers transmission. Inevitably, such people walk away from gurus embittered or disappointed because the guru doesn't live up to their expectations. This is the basis of so many anti-cult and ex-this-or-that-guru movements we see proliferating on the internet today.

Gurus do and say inexplicable things. But it is the rare disciple that can remain focused on what the guru is, rather than what the guru says or does. Those who walk away shaking their heads may feel justifiably angry or indignant, but that doesn't add up to realization.

Alan Scherr

 

Famous Gurus: Masters Should Be Saints
January 22, 1:10 PM

Regarding your link to the article Experiences with famous Gurus and a previous letter commenting on it, I thought I'd send this one as a sort of counterpoint, a balance.

In my opinion, what we really need are gurus who are also willing to be saints. Like it or not, people look up to the guru as an example of how to behave. This may be "right" or it may be "wrong," but it seems to me that's often the way it is. Sri Ramana Maharshi and Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa are the two gurus I can think of who were the closest to saints in their behavior. You might also include Swami Vivekananda in this list. Admittedly, gurus have their human foibles, but that doesn't excuse the possession of fifty silk-lined Rolls Royces, sexual abuse of female disciples, and other excessive and/or illegal behaviors. I have to ask myself, for example: Why didn't Osho sell some of those Rolls Royces and donate the money to feed the starving of India? He himself said that when the belly is empty, all a person can think of is food, and self-realization becomes almost impossible. When a guru talks out of both sides of his or her mouth, I have to wonder what's going on. Without judging, I have to wonder if gurus who engage in extremes of excess consider themselves "above" the "average person," and if there might not be some ego-tripping involved.

Love to All,
Tim Gerchmez
The Core

For more information about gurus mentioned in this letter: Ramana Maharshi; Ramakrishna; Vivekananda; Osho. --Editor.

 

Ritual Cat: The Master Kept Reincarnating as Cats
January 20, 1:12 AM

Laura, darling, may I share some thoughts re: Ritual Cat.

1. The master showed a lack of understanding. He and his disciples should have been able to meditate in spite of the noise from the cat. The cat is just another obstacle on the path; turn the noise into music. Actually, the cat was a Himalayan and was chanting om mani padme hum.

2. The master showed a lack of compassion for all sentient beings. The master's comfort was more important than the cat's. Notice how the master dies before the cat. He probably reincarnated as the second, and the third, and the fourth cat.

3. Maybe the cat was hungry. Be sure to feed the cat, go to the bathroom, and turn on the answering machine before meditating.

4. This is really a story about cruelty to animals and after the PETA people get ahold of this, they will hack into your website and plaster it with photos of how to transform happy little minks into a fur coat.

Peacefully yours,
Paula S.

 

Famous Gurus: Masters Are Not Saints
January 18, 3:30 PM

The article Experiences with Famous Gurus should be renamed, "A Part Can Never Really Understand the Whole."

This kind of attempt to debunk gurus or get the "real" story out just proves that some people judge the enlightening beings of the world by their outer expressions. As if behavior patterns or personality traits suddenly merge into Light the day one awakens, and from that day onward, a saint stands where once stood an ordinary person, warts and all.

Hello? It doesn't work that way, and if you're looking for sainthood, you are setting yourself up for a very disappointing life. The fact is (and it is actually quite heartening), a master is not a saint. Saints do good works. Masters transmit. Two very different things, with vastly different ramifications for the interested parties.

Real masters, like Muktananda, Osho, Papaji, Nisargadatta, and all the rest, are vastly powerful transmitters of spiritual energies. Standing anywhere near them would practically knock you over, or at least leave you feeling opiated beyond all concern. This happens constantly in the source field of an authentic master whether they are laughing, yelling, cursing, throwing stones, or sleeping. That energy will, depending upon how you make use of it, eventually transform you into a transmitter yourself. This has happened eternally. It is called the master-disciple relationship. It may not be the only way, but it sure works.

Saints, on the other hand, can speak only truth, do only good, etc., and nothing around them really changes at all. But people respect and honor them because it inspires them to believe that good behavior will save the world. It will not. Nothing will... but so what?

Gurus, on the other hand, are maligned. This is because people cannot accept that anyone who behaves in a "human" way, for example, sexually, could ever be worthy of respect or honor.

I guess the point is, what we reject in others is what we have not accepted or embraced in ourselves, and that goes double for gurus. If you cannot accept another human being acting in human ways as a master, you are not ready for mastery yourself.

Alan Scherr

 

Kundalini: See a Neurologist
January 11, 2:21 PM

As a result of my earlier letter published on your website, I received a long letter from [name withheld] stating that there is no such thing as Kundalini, and that the symptoms are from epilepsy. This person says I have a neurological disorder and that I should see a doctor immediately for certain tests. Have you heard from this person and do you know anything about what he or she is purporting? I would appreciate any information you have on this. Obviously if this person is right, this is very important to know for anyone experiencing what they think is Kundalini.

Name Withheld

We agree that people with Kundalini activity should consider seeing a neurologist to rule out epilepsy or other diseases. We are about to publish an article by somebody with severe epilepsy whose condition became worse because for years he kept provoking seizures with meditation instead of getting treated for his disease.

 

Enlightenment: Doublethink
January 1, 5:59 PM

You should avoid placing articles [Enlightenment: You're Already There!] on your page from people who follow the principles of doublethink.

War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Power
Being Enlightened is not being Enlightened

Ryan Alberg

Orwell's a fine writer, but we're in the mood for Milton today. "The mind is its own place, and in it self Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n." --Editor

 

For other letters, please see here.

 
 

New and Recent
October 2000


Showing Respect for Ramana by Elena Gutierrez. October 10.

The Gospel of Thomas translated by Stephan Patterson and Marvin Meyer. September 14

Sanskrit Language Texts compiled by Nadine Berardi. September 14.

Autobiography of an Indian Monk reviewed by Laura Olshansky. September 10.

Zen and the Brain reviewed by Gary Schouborg. September 7.

Prayer to My Guru, Sri Sri Sri Sivabalayogi Maharaj by Charlie Hopkins. September 6.

The Laser Swami by Thomas Ashley-Farrand. July 1.

How Will I Know If I'm Really Meditating? by John S. Anderson. June 30.

What Ramana's I-I Feels Like by Anonymous. June 12.

Self-Enquiry by Ramana Maharshi. June 9

Isa Upanishad translated by F. Max Müller. June 4.

Sexuality and Spiritual Awakening by Bonnie Greenwell, Ph.D. June 1.

Kena Upanishad translated by F. Max Müller. May 31.

Prasna Upanishad translated by F. Max Müller. May 30.

Sat-Cakra-Nirupana by Purnananda Swami. May 26.

Autobiography of a Monk by Shri Acharya Abhidhyanananda Avadhuta. May 25.

The Dance by Rev. Maureen Heffernan. May 23.

To Be and Not to Be: The Koan of the Ego by El Collie. May 23.

Aitareya Upanishad translated by F. Max Müller. May 21.

What We Learn in the Dark by Gary Schouborg. May 21.

Ellam Ondre by Vijai R. Subramaniyam. May 20.

The Way to Practice Vipassana Meditation by Sayadaw U Pandita Bhivamsa. May 20.

Finding a Teacher by Puran Bair. May 19.

Yoga Sutras by Patanjali. May 19.

Katha Upanishad translated by F. Max Müller. May 18.

I Need To Feel You Every Moment In My Heart by Charlie Hopkins. May 18.

Crest Jewel of Wisdom by Sankara. May 16.

Turning Blue: Natural Pranayama by Freddie Yam. May 15.

2000 Realization.org.