A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE REGARDING MAHARAJ'S ABANDONMENT OF THE USE OF RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY AS A PART OF THE ULTIMATE MEDICINE
From the Book A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE via the Non-Duality Teachings and the Nisarga Yoga:
Other perspectives which differ from those held by the masses (and those held by many who report that they have realized by one method or another) can manifest if realization is combined with the yoga that invites living naturally as opposed to living the way that the masses live, namely, unnaturally and / or supernaturally.
What does trying to live supernaturally entail? It entails magical thinking and living "spiritually" and "mythically" and "superstitiously"; it entails seeing supposed "miracles" around every corner rather than understanding true cause(s); and efforts to live supernaturally result in an existence that is characterized by assigning dreamed up, supernatural causes to totally natural happenings; accepting hearsay as truth; valuing blind faith over science; accepting imaginings as reality; and rejecting actuality and evidence.
With the understanding of the Nisarga (Natural) Yoga which came post-Realization, the perspective here now aligns with pointers offered at the end of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj's teaching career rather than with his earlier sharings (such as those in the talks that were transcribed and that form the content of the book I AM THAT).
In the book "Sri Nisargatta Maharaj and His Evolution," it is explained that . . .
"Maharaj never adhered to one type of yoga consistently until he finally settled into what might be called an 'all-nisarga approach' at the end of his teaching career."
[Yes, in his I AM THAT talks, he offered flashes of what was to come later, but he was still "holding back." Initially, his "audience" was local, religious, and interested in bhajans and ritual and traditional worship. Later, as more Westerners began to visit the loft, he was able to begin the shift to offering a less traditional message that would eventually blossom in the end into a message that would earn him the label of "total maverick."
The initial focus of the discussions he offered were aimed at a primarily Hindu, Bombay (Mumbai) local audience, primarily interested only in worship and bhakti yoga; later, his focus shifted to talks that were aimed more and more toward the encouragement of abiding naturally instead of trying to abide supernaturally / "spiritually."]
During his years of teaching, he shifted "from guru-bhakti yoga to bhakti yoga to a combination of bhakti and jnana yoga to jnana almost exclusively for awhile and then finally, at the end, to nisarga yoga.
Here, the "Full Understanding" and total freedom and peace came with realization as well as an understanding of Nisarga Yoga.
With that came other perspectives that many consider to be different from the traditional views they hold, including the following:
Here, there is very little attention paid to the content of I AM THAT (except when shared with those who are new to the "path"). Why? Because, here, the Full Understanding did not come via guru-bhakti yoga or bhakti yoga or jnana yoga. For those who claim those worked for them, so it is.
Downplaying the overall message of that book aligns with Maharaj's own final appraisal of its content:
"That book [I AM THAT] and whatever was expounded at that time was only relevant for that period"
"I am speaking differently today"
"I am emphasizing different aspects" now.
During the final years of his teaching "career," no one who understands the import of his last talks would classify them as being "spiritual" at all; in fact, they were clearly not spiritual. So the fact that I AM THAT is described on the back cover as a "modern spiritual classic" provides a gauge for understanding how far away Maharaj eventually moved from his earlier "spiritual" message.
After "The Vision" came here [see "Freebies" above for a free copy] then Maharaj's talks were finally understood more accurately, but with one yoga after another being used in I AM THAT - and with the natural yoga only being advocated solely in the end - it became clear why the content of that book can only move most seekers to the third of the seven steps that are required for the full shift from identification with "the false I" to the Absolute.
Only the later version of his talks can point the way to the final four steps and to the actual end of the "path." His awareness of that fact inspired Maharaj to recommend that seekers pay little attention to the content of that book and to focus on the natural yoga message that he offered at the end.
So . . . , I AM THAT - for the most part - will reinforce the beliefs of those attached to Eastern religion and / or to the spiritual aspects of the non-duality teachings; will reinforce the concepts of those who believe in some version of an "other-worldly power" with an occasional reference to "God" therein; and will do almost nothing to shift seekers beyond the third of seven steps on the "path."
If one is to complete the entire "journey," then all of that "third step religious and / or spiritual activity and focus" must happen, but it must eventually be transitioned as religious and spiritual identities / ego-states are cast aside in order to complete the remaining steps on the "path," and if one is to abide naturally - rather than unnaturally and / or supernaturally and / or "spiritually," then a familiarity with Maharaj's later talks must be the focus, including his pointers that
"Whatever spiritual things you aspire to know are all happening in this objective world, in the illusion. All this is happening in the objective world. All is dishonesty. There is no truth in this fraud."
"Only that person will visit this place whose virtue and sin have come to an end."
"There is no question of elevating to a higher level. Here it is only a question of understanding."
"Both the mantra and the faith in the mantra will get dissolved."
"There is no progress."
"First of all you identify something as being good or bad for yourself. Then, in an effort to acquire good or to get rid of the bad, you have invented a God. Then you worship such a God and . . . you pray to that God for something good to happen to you."
“Whatever you have tried to understand during your spiritual search will prove false.”
“From birth, what has made the body grow? It is no 'power' [or 'Power'] in the world. It is the power of beingness, the atom, the consciousness, call it what you will.”
“When the birth is disproved, the great noble meaning of spirituality and the meaning of this world—everything—is disproved.”
“If they come face-to-face with that root, they will be stunned into silence.”
“I have no faith in anything which has ever been told, not even what has been told by the Vedas. Only my own experience.”
"I advise you to give up spirituality and follow your vocation."
"Wisdom is knowing I am nothing."
"The sum total of my spirituality now is nothing, even the word 'nothing' is not there, so there is no spirituality left."
"In the true state, nothing is. All this spiritual talk is spiritual jargon. Such concepts are for the ignorant people."
"Ultimately, what are these spiritual talks? They are meant for so long as ignorance prevails."
Here, there is no "one" to be religious or non-religious, no "one" to be spiritual or non-spiritual, and no "one" to assume to be anything else that could follow the term, "I am."
That is a far different perspective.
To be continued.
Please enter into the silence of contemplation.
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