FROM A SITE VISITOR: "I've always thought that Maharaj taught the Jnana Yoga, not the Natural Yoga."
F.: Again, that would apply to "Earlier Maharaj" who focused - as he was directed by his teacher - on "the path of knowledge" and on "devotion." Even the most successful musicians who have developed their own recognizable and unique style can tell you that other artists influenced them early on.
Contrast Maharaj's early talks and his later talks and you will see early on the greatest influence coming from his guru. Both his guru and "Early Maharaj" - following his guru's lead - seem to have been influenced by Shankara (who gave primary importance to Jnana Yoga's focus on knowledge of the Absolute) and possibly by Ramanuja (who taught that knowledge was a condition of devotion).
Thus, Maharaj was labeled early on as a "jnani" and (as shown in earlier posts here) was unquestioningly devoted to his guru and his guru's directions, even after it became clear to him that some of those directions called for useless activities and spiritual doingness.
Yet within three years of meeting his guru, Maharaj was evidently feeling the pull of Nisarga Yoga while being tied to his guru's Jnana Yoga. How so? He was originally named "Maruti," but after Realizing around the age of 37, he took the name "Nisargadatta," meaning, "the one who dwells in the natural state beyond manifestation."
So, during his early years of teaching, Maharaj was referred to as "a jnani," not as "a Nisargan." The longer he taught, the clearer it became that he had no concern for self or Self; that identity-less-ness superseded any concern with seeking an identity;
that the focus was on abidance in the natural fashion only; that the nothingness was the end game; and that the Nisarga Yoga was his primary focus. Did he touch on any of that throughout the earlier stages of his teaching career? With some that were ready, yes (so again, level-appropriateness obviously influenced the message).
Therefore, it can be legitimately asked, "So was there a shift or not?" Some will argue that there was never a shift in Maharaj's message but that the shift seemed to be this: early on, he geared his message to all of those that were present, trying to offer something to all who came.
Later, it seems, he shifted to offering a message for those who had reached the final steps. He seemed to tire of dealing with the earlier "religious" and "knowledge-oriented" and "devotion-based" and "spiritual" messages and went straight to the end message. Did he pepper the earlier talks with flashes of that end message? Most certainly.
Another asked about the possibility of a similar shift here:
FROM ANOTHER SITE VISITOR: "People evolve; you said it yourself. Twain, etc. I don't think you would ever go back from Nothing to Spirituality. When you began the blog, you were already Realized. You had passed through all the steps. I can only recall maybe a change of you emphasizing that even before the Absolute unawareness that there was Nothing. But, as to "all the others," how do you know when a person has finished evolving and won't change their position? I believe where I read that even C.S. Lewis had some changes about Christianity after his wife died."
1. The point is not that "people evolve." That was not said. Yes, the consciousness can see more purely as more and more blockages are removed, but the pointer is more that the focus can evolve or shift, not that there are any persons who evolve.
Maybe it would have been more accurate to say that Maharaj's focus - rather than the message - evolved, yet the shift from Jnana Yoga to Nisarga Yoga became clearer and clearer as Maharaj developed a style that differed from that of his teacher. The point was that his earlier messages were being filtered through the non-nisargan directions of his guru; his later messages did not show as much evidence of that knowledge-and-devotion-filter but revealed a more "independent" Maharaj.
Again, just as with the most successful musicians who were influenced early on by other musicians before they developed their own recognizable and unique style, such was the case with Maharaj. Musicians often begin by singing the songs of others; later, some sing their own. So it was with Maharaj.
2. Early on, on this site, the focus was the same as "Early Maharaj": address all in a manner that is dependent upon where on the "path" their words reveal them to be.
3. However, your observation is accurate that here, at a certain point, there came a time when pointers began to be offered with a "disclaimer" that certain postings are for those seekers that are at the advanced steps on the "path." Less and less attention was paid to other parts of the teachings.
Maybe that is what happened with Maharaj as well? Maybe. Maybe not. As with teachers and non-teachers alike, when the face of mahasamadhi is stared into, a sense of "let's cut right to the chase with all that remains" seems to prevail.
4. As to whether one has "finished evolving or not," ask the question not of Me or of any other teachers but ask the question of yourself. Find what You understand, not what the teacher pointing to truth understands. This business of others having evolved or not is none of Your business; only the business of Your having evolved or not is Yours.
AND THIS: "When will you stop evolving? How will You know it and how will I know it? I will let you answer before I say anything more. Maybe it's not a great analogy, but to understand what I am getting at, I don't want to avoid eating fish on Friday all my life and then find out when I am dying that it's wasn't a bad thing after all. How do I know you won't cycle back and go back down the 7 steps?"
F.: Again, forget the experience of others - find the truth You know, within. Meanwhile, consider: if there were toxic poisons in the stomach that have been regurgitated, is there even a remote possibility that those poisons can or will be placed back inside the stomach? Rather unimaginable, is it not?
Or suppose you have been taught that "Columbus was a great hero who deserves to be honored annually by all Amercans on the national holiday that the government created to celebrate his accomplishments." Suppose you then learned that he actually enslaved the natives in the islands he invaded, that he sent many of them back to Europe as gifts, that he ordered the slaughter of 15,000,000 people who were living on the islands originally, and that he wiped off the face of the planet an entire tribe of people.
At that point, you would likely determine that you had been fooled by your teachers in school and by your culture in general. At what future point could you possibly "cycle back" and believe once more - after having seen the truth - that, "You know, that Columbus guy really was a great hero and deserves unlimited respect"?
Also, to clarify the pointer that "Nisargadatta," means "the one who dwells in the natural state beyond manifestation." Note that, while the reference is to "the state beyond manifestation," (A) the remainder of the manifestation continues post-Realization and note that (B) when Reality is overlaid upon the relative, then the relative existence happens in a natural fashion as well.
I AM THAT: natural. I AM (post-manifestation): natural.
A natural fashion as opposed to what? As opposed to living unnaturally and / or supernaturally (that is, religiously or spiritually or trapped in magical thinking or behaving in a destructive fashion, relatively speaking).
If the Nisarga teachings are understood fully, then your existence can happen in the style noted by Maharaj; specifically, it can unfold naturally in a mode that is (as Maharaj said ) “something like a deer taking rest in the shadow of a tree.”
A final point: has there ever been here any suggestion that seekers who come this way should attain certain knowledge? No, thorns used to remove thorns notwithstanding, the invitation has always been to de-accumulate (knowledge included); to un-learn; to forget what you think you know in order to understand that which is not presently understood.
And from the beginning, has there ever been any call for devotion to this speck of conscious-energy? No. Nor has there ever been a call for devotion to the teachings; to the contrary, the invitation has always been to allow the teachings to shift the consciousness to a state where there is no attachment or devotion to anyone or to anything.
If the composite unity is understood, could there be even a remote possibility that you would be invited to be devoted to elements? To air? To a quantity of energy? Could there be even a remote possibility that you would be invited to become a knowledgeable expert of the elements? Of the air? Of the energy? No to all.
Please enter the silence of contemplation.
The Final Understanding
The Ultimate Sickness, The Ultimate Medicine
I AM THAT (vs. "This Is Who I Think I Am")
Freedom From Shifting Between States of Happiness and Unhappiness
Why You Must Be Empty If You Would Be Full
The Myth Of Death
What BLISS Is and What BLISS Is Not
When Reality Is Overlaid Upon the Relative
There Is Nothing That Is Personal (Including You and Including God)
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Whether taking the course with Louise or Floyd, the price of the course includes all 11 of the Advaita eBooks, questions sent after completion of the assigned readings, replies to your answers, and follow-up as required.
With either teacher, you will be guided through all seven of the steps, in order, that lead from identification with the false "I" to the Absolute (and beyond). For more specific information and details about the course, you may click on the link to the right.
Purchase at Discount the Advaita Internet Course with Louise
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DVD or Downloadable computer file versions of the Four-Day Advaita Retreat
SIX WAYS THAT SEEKERS HAVE REALIZED:
1. BY WATCHING the 4-Disk Video (DVD) Set, or the same retreat available as a downloadable file. Either will provide an entire seven-hour retreat / series of satsang sessions showing three seekers being guided through all seven steps by Floyd and can provide viewers with an “experiential,” step-by-step series of satsang meetings that will move the viewers from identification with the I to abidance as the Absolute and then to abidance as That Which Is beyond
Some seekers are already using the computer file version and the DVD sets for meetings in groups in homes, playing the retreat, pausing for discussion, etc.
To find out more or to purchase the DVD set or the downloadable computer file version of the retreat, click:
DVD or Downloadable computer file versions of the Four-Day Advaita Retreat
Option “A” is for the downloadable file version, Option “B” is used to order the DVD set for delivery inside the U.S., Option “C” for international orders.
For the download, Paypal will send me a notice that payment has been received and then I will send by e-mail the downloading instruction, password, etc.
[It is recommended that you watch the video with pen and paper in hand. Write whatever you need clarified. You'll see that there are constant reviews and you might find an answer later in the seven-hour presentation. Then, after you watch it all, there will be a common ground for discussion. Purchase of the DVD’s or the file will include the right to clarifications and answers to your specific questions via e-mail.]
2. BY READING these books in this exact order:
IT'S ALL BULLSHIT (And Why Knowing It Sets You Free)
SPIRITUAL SOBRIETY (Recovering What Religions Lost)
[Those two prepare the seeker to question it all]
THE MEDITATION GUIDES
[Provide a broad overview of the understanding]
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I DIE?
[Begins to free the seeker of body identification and the desire for body continuity]
THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS "PEACE OF MIND" (There Is Only Peace if You're Out of Your Mind)
[Shows the seeker how to be free of the subconscious motivators of the false content of the “mind”]
[Shows the seeker how to be free of the subconscious motivators of personas]
THE ESSENCE OF THE TEACHINGS
[Provides the final preparation for the seeker to be directed along the “path”]
FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE (A Seven-Step Journey to Reality)
[Directs the seeker along the “path”]
CONSCIOUSNESS/AWARENESS: The Nature of Reality Beyond Self-Realization (Peace Every Day When Abiding as The Absolute)
[Allows the seeker to understand the functioning of the totality, the manifestation, and what is involved with the un-manifestation]
FROM THE ABSOLUTE TO THE NOTHINGNESS
[Provides the seeker the wisdom to understand the Noneness as well as the Oneness]
Purchase an e-Book now and begin reading it in minutes (except with e-checks that can take 7-10 days). Trusting our clients as we do, all e-Books are provided to you in printable form.
SAVE IF YOU BUY ALL ELEVEN AT ONCE:
(You may order the books one at a time or you may use the following link to acquire the entire 11-e-Book set on sale for $99 if ordered at one time with the “Buy Now” button below. For this option, there will be no download links provided; once the near-instant notice of payment is received from PayPal, your e-Books will be sent to you as e-mail attachments. All are printable for your convenience.
NOTE: When you order this package, you receive three additional ebooks free: CASTING LIGHT ON THE DARK SIDE OF RELATIONSHIPS, FINDING REAL LOVE IN AN UNREAL WORLD and THE TWICE-STOLEN NECKLACE MURDERS (offering the Advaita teachings in a fictional novel format)
3. BY ENROLLING in the Online Advaita Classes
Received 19 August 2010 from one that just completed the entire course:
I would like to extend deepest appreciation towards you for these teachings that you have offered. It has been most valuable towards what may not have been revealed throughout this manifestation labeled "anthony." Understanding Truth and finding words for gratitude are one as is all. Thank you again for pointing "me" to THAT and the understanding that came as well. Hopeful for future "contact"! Sincerely, Anthony M. W.
For information, visit Information on the Advaita Classes on the Internet
To enroll visit Enroll in the Advaita Internet Course
4. BY ATTENDING an Advaitin retreat for satsang with floyd and being guided through all seven steps. For details of the retreats offered, please visit the retreat information site.
5. BY ARRANGING satsang by telephone in the U.S. or by Skype internationally.
Presently, Skype sessions are being conducted with parties in Australia; The Netherlands; New Jersey, U.S.A.; London, England; Italy; and India.
Use the Contact link for details or for information on making arrangements for a session
6. BY ARRANGING for floyd to travel to your location and meet with you or your group. Use the contact link above to discuss details.
The Twice-Stolen Necklace Murders offers the non-duality message by way of a mystery-adventure novel, discussing the movement from pain to healing to awakening to peace.
From Dr. R.F. Maley, Ph.D, Professor Emeritus and former Head of the Department of Psychology, University of Houston: "Floyd Henderson's book, The Twice-Stolen Necklace Murders, is a fun read and an interesting mystery, but perhaps more importantly it serves as a vehicle for blending Eastern Philosophy and Native American Spirituality to make an intellectually challenging novel. The book's insights into both relationships and authoritarian conditioning of people in our society make it a must read, tracing the roots of narcissistic, sociopathic and psychopathic behaviors to the very core of the culture. This truly witty and politically-incorrect study of the aggressive nature of 'the American character' offers not only a diagnosis but also a treatment plan, making the book an excellent supplemental reading in courses such as psychology, anthropology, philosophy, sociology and counseling."
The Sequel to The Twice-Stolen Necklace Murders:
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF WARS
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YOUTUBE ADVAITA VEDANTA YOGA VIDEOS
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Please enter the silence of contemplation.