Bindi

Mooji Interview: Advaita and Neo-Advaita

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(in somewhat of a side context)

 

"The true meaning of the precepts is not just that one should refrain from drinking alcohol,
but also from getting drunk on nirvana."
Bassui

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Neo-advaita and intellectual spirituality is very addictive for the mind.

 

It is yet another area which the mind can excel in, be good at by mastering all the right words and sentences to say.

 

In the end neo-advaitans and intellectuals fall flat on their faces when Truth comes in and knocks them on their heads  :mellow:

Edited by johndoe2012
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Neo-Advaita or radical Advaita seems to have begun with the death of Papaji, who was a devotee of Ramana Maharshi.

Ramana promoted a path which was his interpretation of Advaita Vedanta, in which he recognised a lot of work had to be done to become Self-realised, though he was perhaps less scholarly initially than his predescessors because he had come to his own Self-realisation following no established path. In a very real sense he merely chose to couch his realisations in the language of Advaita Vedanta.  

‚ÄúThere is a state beyond our efforts or effortlessness. Until it is realised effort is necessary. (‚Ķ) Effort is necessary up to the state of realisation. Even then the Self should spontaneously become evident. Otherwise happiness will not be complete. Up to that state of spontaneity there must be effort in some form or another.‚ÄĚ-Ramana Maharshi

When Ramana Maharshi died, he named no successors, no awakened or enlightened disciples, and no teachers. Nonetheless a number of his disciples did start teaching, and one of them was Papaji.

This is where things seem to have started unravelling. Neo-Advaita has been traced to what Papaji said to his disciples. Papaji pointed only to ultimate truth of the Advaita Vedanta tradition, that one's own Self is already enlightened and free. "For Papaji, the goal was the realisation of the self; the illusory realm of relative reality was ultimately irrelevant.‚ÄĚ He also "told, inferred, or allowed hundreds of individuals to believe they were fully enlightened simply because they'd had one, or many, powerful experiences of awakening," and it was these students who then initiated the neo-Advaita, or satsang movement. Papaji doesn‚Äôt speak well of these teachers though, he claims he sent them out to bring people to him, not to teach the people¬†themselves.

The hallmarks of Neo Advaita are to drop the mind story and call off the search, because we are the Self already. This is the ultimate truth, and with some mental gymnastics the Advaitan understanding of non-duality is realised and espoused but critics of Neo-Advaita assert that this realisation is without any of the depth of true Self realisation, which in Advaitan terms requires the obliteration of our tendencies and desires first, which in turn requires personal effort. To do this, I would suggest that an active and discerning mind is required, armed with correct knowledge, as Advaitan Self-enquiry is based on an active discrimination process.

 

Western spirituality seems particularly drawn to simplified forms of Eastern spirituality, where one Awakening experience is enough to declare oneself Realised or Awakened and ready to teach, with none of the checks or balances that the older established Eastern traditions have put in place.

Edited by Bindi
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A real advaitan would enquire into who is it who wants to be a teacher :-)

 

Paul Hedderman also says to call off the search however there is a transmission of light in his talks.

 

Neo advaita is an imitation of real satsangs.

 

I think energy work or transmission of consciousness is more honest because it up roots our unconcious parts. My main gripe with intellectual teachings is that they tend to not truly transform you.

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individual effort is in turning the power that is stuck or identified in mind - in upon itself, which is also assisted by qualified help and Grace. For then the veil over Self is at least cracked or in some cases shattered open.  

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Just like how the stick used to stir a burning pyre will eventually get burnt, mind itself will eventually get destroyed by constant inquiry culminating in self realization. - Ramana Maharshi

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I would say mind does not get destroyed per-se, although in the end attachment, binding or identification with it does - thus mind is used rightfully as a great and powerful TOOL!

Edited by 3bob
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A real advaitan would enquire into who is it who wants to be a teacher :-)

 

Paul Hedderman also says to call off the search however there is a transmission of light in his talks.

 

Neo advaita is an imitation of real satsangs.

 

I think energy work or transmission of consciousness is more honest because it up roots our unconcious parts. My main gripe with intellectual teachings is that they tend to not truly transform you.

Do you mean a deliberate transmission of light from Paul Hedderman? Or is it just something you perceive.

 

Why do you think a transmission of light or of consciousness from another person is grounds for calling off the search?

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I would say mind does not get destroyed per-se, although in the end attachment, binding or identification with it does - thus mind is used rightfully as a great and powerful TOOL!

 

That depends on the definition of "mind"... :)

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Neo-Advaita or radical Advaita seems to have begun with the death of Papaji, who was a devotee of Ramana Maharshi.

Ramana promoted a path which was his interpretation of Advaita Vedanta, in which he recognised a lot of work had to be done to become Self-realised, though he was perhaps less scholarly initially than his predescessors because he had come to his own Self-realisation following no established path. In a very real sense he merely chose to couch his realisations in the language of Advaita Vedanta.  

‚ÄúThere is a state beyond our efforts or effortlessness. Until it is realised effort is necessary. (‚Ķ) Effort is necessary up to the state of realisation. Even then the Self should spontaneously become evident. Otherwise happiness will not be complete. Up to that state of spontaneity there must be effort in some form or another.‚ÄĚ-Ramana Maharshi

When Ramana Maharshi died, he named no successors, no awakened or enlightened disciples, and no teachers. Nonetheless a number of his disciples did start teaching, and one of them was Papaji.

This is where things seem to have started unravelling. Neo-Advaita has been traced to what Papaji said to his disciples. Papaji pointed only to ultimate truth of the Advaita Vedanta tradition, that one's own Self is already enlightened and free. "For Papaji, the goal was the realisation of the self; the illusory realm of relative reality was ultimately irrelevant.‚ÄĚ He also "told, inferred, or allowed hundreds of individuals to believe they were fully enlightened simply because they'd had one, or many, powerful experiences of awakening," and it was these students who then initiated the neo-Advaita, or satsang movement. Papaji doesn‚Äôt speak well of these teachers though, he claims he sent them out to bring people to him, not to teach the people¬†themselves.

The hallmarks of Neo Advaita are to drop the mind story and call off the search, because we are the Self already. This is the ultimate truth, and with some mental gymnastics the Advaitan understanding of non-duality is realised and espoused but critics of Neo-Advaita assert that this realisation is without any of the depth of true Self realisation, which in Advaitan terms requires the obliteration of our tendencies and desires first, which in turn requires personal effort. To do this, I would suggest that an active and discerning mind is required, armed with correct knowledge, as Advaitan Self-enquiry is based on an active discrimination process.

 

Western spirituality seems particularly drawn to simplified forms of Eastern spirituality, where one Awakening experience is enough to declare oneself Realised or Awakened and ready to teach, with none of the checks or balances that the older established Eastern traditions have put in place.

 

I had thought of posting a reply earlier, with intention of augmenting what you wrote. So here goes - all imho....

 

Classical Advaita Vedanta involves reading the bhashyas, the karikas, the upanishads as  the "jnana" part of the process. There is the "thinking" part of it..vichara (not necessarily atma vichara yet)...

 

All the pronouncements of why just dropping the mind is sufficient to become "enlightened" (by Neo-Advaitins) is akin to closing one's eyes and shooting in the dark, with the hope that the right target will be hit (bad analogy, i know). 

 

But that said, there are those who get "awakened" without prior experience/knowledge. That has to do with their previous lives and what karma phala they have acquired (prarabdha). 

 

Ramana Maharshi was a rare exception to whom the transformation happened suddenly and then he read all the material to correlate what'd happened to him with a narrative. And even someone like him or Nisargadatta Maharaj were able to perhaps enlighten a fraction of those who came to them over the years.

 
So seekers should take Sri Krishna's advice to heart - "Karmanye vadhikaraste, ma phaleshu kadachana" --
 
 

Karmanye vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana,

Ma Karmaphalaheturbhurma Te Sangostvakarmani

 

This means - 

You have the right to your work but never to its fruits.

Let not the fruits of action be your motive, nor let your attachment be to inaction. 

 

http://www.swamivivekanandaquotes.org/2014/05/bhagavad-gita-chapter-2-verse-47.html

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Do you mean a deliberate transmission of light from Paul Hedderman? Or is it just something you perceive.

 

Why do you think a transmission of light or of consciousness from another person is grounds for calling off the search?

Deliberate I don't think is the right word... More like being in the presence of a master.

 

Regarding calling off the search then the search is called off when mind gets quiet. One tool could be self enquiry or light transmission or whatever works in the end.

 

Will sit with your question for a while. Good stuff, thanks.

Edited by johndoe2012
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transmission can put a helpful crack in the coconut, but after that the onus is on us - always.

 

(that reminds me of that silly song about putting "lime in the coconut" ;-) )

Edited by 3bob
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I had thought of posting a reply earlier, with intention of augmenting what you wrote. So here goes - all imho....

 

Classical Advaita Vedanta involves reading the bhashyas, the karikas, the upanishads as  the "jnana" part of the process. There is the "thinking" part of it..vichara (not necessarily atma vichara yet)...

 

All the pronouncements of why just dropping the mind is sufficient to become "enlightened" (by Neo-Advaitins) is akin to closing one's eyes and shooting in the dark, with the hope that the right target will be hit (bad analogy, i know).

 

I think just dropping the mind is impossible because the mind is so extremely intertwined with the ego. I can't see how it is possible to drop mind+ego without a whole lot of detangling first. Very likely just focusing on dropping the mind will leave the ego intact and running the show.

 

 

But that said, there are those who get "awakened" without prior experience/knowledge. That has to do with their previous lives and what karma phala they have acquired (prarabdha).

Ramana experienced extreme fear thinking he was about to die at 16, but was able to overcome this fear by using his own logic to distinguish between an abiding Self and his body that he believed was dying. He describes being shocked by the fear of death initially, and his solution seems to have broken the mind/ego/body delusion for a moment. But this event was I believe just the beginning of his search, it inspired a passion in him to know Self  from then on, as he claims that after his death experience he still "knew nothing of freedom from births or bondage." In effect I believe he became an avid seeker.

 

Ramana Maharshi was a rare exception to whom the transformation happened suddenly and then he read all the material to correlate what'd happened to him with a narrative. And even someone like him or Nisargadatta Maharaj were able to perhaps enlighten a fraction of those who came to them over the years.

 

So seekers should take Sri Krishna's advice to heart - "Karmanye vadhikaraste, ma phaleshu kadachana" --

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I think just dropping the mind is impossible because the mind is so extremely intertwined with the ego. I can't see how it is possible to drop mind+ego without a whole lot of detangling first. Very likely just focusing on dropping the mind will leave the ego intact and running the show.

 

 

Ramana experienced extreme fear thinking he was about to die at 16, but was able to overcome this fear by using his own logic to distinguish between an abiding Self and his body that he believed was dying. He describes being shocked by the fear of death initially, and his solution seems to have broken the mind/ego/body delusion for a moment. But this event was I believe just the beginning of his search, it inspired a passion in him to know Self  from then on, as he claims that after his death experience he still "knew nothing of freedom from births or bondage." In effect I believe he became an avid seeker.

 

 

There you go with your ego disentangling again.

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What's good for the goose might not be good for the gander...or so the saying goes.

 

Some need to disentangle the ego, others need to work on something else. What I've come to learn is this -

 

In this path, to even understand what nonduality means (really understand) is a difficult thing for most of us. And as our spiritual maturity grows our understanding also grows, and can even change, sometimes even reverse!

 

So until the proverbial fruit fully ripens and falls off the branch, it is a constant process of ripening. That is what our life is...a continuous ripening process.

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There is an irony in Mooji saying that he doesn't know anything about neo-advaita, and then discussing neo-advaita and the differences between it and advaita vedanta for the next hour.

 

And it is also quite ironical that Mooji is himself listed as a neo-advaitan in many places including wikipedia.

 

I do suspect that neo-advaita might be a dirty word, perhaps radical non-dualism as a descriptor might take over.  

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I like this Mooji he reminds me of Pat Morita from Karate Kid and Jessie L Martin playing the Flash's dad on the CW T. V. Show There is something sweet and wise about him ,so sorry to have missed meeting him, thank you Bindi

Edited by Pilgrim
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Neo-Advaita or radical Advaita seems to have begun with the death of Papaji, who was a devotee of Ramana Maharshi.

Ramana promoted a path which was his interpretation of Advaita Vedanta, in which he recognised a lot of work had to be done to become Self-realised, though he was perhaps less scholarly initially than his predescessors because he had come to his own Self-realisation following no established path. In a very real sense he merely chose to couch his realisations in the language of Advaita Vedanta.  

‚ÄúThere is a state beyond our efforts or effortlessness. Until it is realised effort is necessary. (‚Ķ) Effort is necessary up to the state of realisation. Even then the Self should spontaneously become evident. Otherwise happiness will not be complete. Up to that state of spontaneity there must be effort in some form or another.‚ÄĚ-Ramana Maharshi

When Ramana Maharshi died, he named no successors, no awakened or enlightened disciples, and no teachers. Nonetheless a number of his disciples did start teaching, and one of them was Papaji.

This is where things seem to have started unravelling. Neo-Advaita has been traced to what Papaji said to his disciples. Papaji pointed only to ultimate truth of the Advaita Vedanta tradition, that one's own Self is already enlightened and free. "For Papaji, the goal was the realisation of the self; the illusory realm of relative reality was ultimately irrelevant.‚ÄĚ He also "told, inferred, or allowed hundreds of individuals to believe they were fully enlightened simply because they'd had one, or many, powerful experiences of awakening," and it was these students who then initiated the neo-Advaita, or satsang movement. Papaji doesn‚Äôt speak well of these teachers though, he claims he sent them out to bring people to him, not to teach the people¬†themselves.

The hallmarks of Neo Advaita are to drop the mind story and call off the search, because we are the Self already. This is the ultimate truth, and with some mental gymnastics the Advaitan understanding of non-duality is realised and espoused but critics of Neo-Advaita assert that this realisation is without any of the depth of true Self realisation, which in Advaitan terms requires the obliteration of our tendencies and desires first, which in turn requires personal effort. To do this, I would suggest that an active and discerning mind is required, armed with correct knowledge, as Advaitan Self-enquiry is based on an active discrimination process.

 

Western spirituality seems particularly drawn to simplified forms of Eastern spirituality, where one Awakening experience is enough to declare oneself Realised or Awakened and ready to teach, with none of the checks or balances that the older established Eastern traditions have put in place.

 

 

Very interesting your explanation. I am into advaita /neo-advaita since years and attended current teachers.

You are right as we can say that the main difference between the two is the theme of the effort. In the advaita (both Ramana and Nisargadatta) talks about a necessary effort in meditation and self-enquiry (asking "who am i" so to realize that whatever you think you are is just an illusion and empty in itself).

Neo-advaita i would say started with Ramesh Balsekar (at the same time there was also U. G. Krishnamurti; maybe also Papaji i don't know much about him, but i know that many people from Osho went to him) that he said as you pointed out that enlightment is just the UNDERSTANDING that you are the Self or the nothing/everything, the absolute. So no process but just understanding.

I would put Mooji in the traditional advaita as he was advicing self-enquiry (i don't know if the recent years his message is changed) and enstablished also a guru-disciple relationship.

Almost 99% of the non-dual speakers today are neo-advaita as they admit that the enlightenment happened without a process (even if 99% of them were spiritual seekers). Also they attack each other quite often saying that it's not real enlightment but detachment.

Edited by Dioni
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