SAT CHIT ANAND : the Joy of Conscious Reading at SwAr Ashram Library : password protected pages for the innerCircle
this week’s selection: GURU : lifting the Grave of your own personal Apocalypse
Zoom is not working – internet issues are unresolved. we will meet HERE on fb 12 July, 2020 6:30pm IST.
5 July 2020: GURU PURNIMA ITINERARY – sorry you missed the live – it is still posted HERE>
12 July 2020: TO ATTEND THE ZOOM SATSANG: we have a new way to offer dakshina – simply deposit 500 rupees ($6.70 usd) in SwAr Ashram’s NIWS NGO Online Payment Portal – it will accept RUPEES ONLY. (when you type in the amount, it will automatically convert on your bank’s end to your local currency which you should see reflected in dollars, euros, etc on your statement.
As always, payments for our teachings go towards charitable initiatives in our small rural community. You can see a slide show of our charity program specific to Guru Purnima day over the year’s which we traditionally hold in honor of Swami-ji’s wishes. BELOW AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE. This year being full-on lockdown, it was just me & the Pandit for puja. Two days later the Commissioner allowed a smaller program with protocols required for health safety. We were not permitted to serve public food for 150 people as normally do. It was just the 5 board members. Face masks, hand sanitaizer and temperature-taking was required. Visitors were limited to 5 per batch. Photos of 2020 can be seen HERE at our NGO’s facebook page.
(e-Prasadam links at the end of the e-Satsang and on e-satsang page)
SAT CHIT ANAND : THE JOY OF CONSCIOUS READING : BELOW IS OFFERED AS THE THURSDAY TOPIC TO SUNDAY’S ZOOM E-SATSANG;
THIS WEEK’S BOOK: No Easy Immortality by J H Reyner 1979. This is a rare book and exception to what will be our norm. The projected curriculum is to study Sanskrit to English Vedantic Esoteric texts from our Library which can be accessed free online or purchased optionally at any source as you wish. This kick-off Title is chosen because Swami-ji said it is THE book that started it all for him, within a couple of years of reading it, he was renouncing his family life and taking on Sannyas at the banks of Narmada. i have only very very recently finally read this book! Even though i am already here 12 years as a Sannyas an the Mother of Swami-ji’s Ashram, maybe the legacy of it scared me off – and my path of following Swami-ji as his chela and successor is scary enough! Now, don’t worry! no one expects YOU to renounce your life! But since this is Guru Purnima week, and a launch of the online innerCircle, i feel moved to go with this book, to get to know him, and also for us to get to know each other. We shall really just touch upon the book, and dive deep into the meaning of GURU.
J H Reyner was a reknowned author of numerous books within the circles of Gurdjieff and his foremost student who branched out in a league of his own, Ouspenski. These were radical underground influencers of the Consciousness Movement in their times during the early mid-19th century.
The book begins with a wake up call to responsibility – our sense of self-entitlement being questioned. To put that into context with the movement today, Black Lives Matter, at least in the English colonized areas of the world, BIPOC are waking up on the opposite side of that coin – that they have already paid this price of humbling their self-entitlement, it starts with a brokenness to the (where the Light starts to break through, to find its purpose). The practical practice of this is what we call the ‘walking the walk’ of this inner work. Those on the opposite side of the coin who have also done enough of ‘the work’ to be aware – woke – have responsibility to lift them up. Reyner is preaching here to his readership of educated white folks.
According to the 2017 US Census, less than 30% of the US population today. is white male. The authors of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, a certain concept that all (hu)mans are created with inherent right to basic dignity, safety, life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness, et al, didnt even apply to 51% of the population (women) nor Indigenous First Peoples, and/ or African “Americans”, Latino, Asian or any color in the LGBTQ spectrum, but i digress….
Reyner is not talking about Civil Rights. The Universal Laws aka Sanatana Dharma, apply to all living beings. Even non-human sentient beings. Even non-sentient beings! Lets stick to Humanoids for the moment. Every one of us carried some debt from the previous life, or else we wouldn’t need return to this Earth-University. An incredibly few beings take on the life-form after fully being Liberated. Those who do that certainly do not have a humble-pie problem.
One of the most sticky beliefs we all feel is the desire to be accepted and forgiven in spite of our imperfections. In a perfect world, this would be the case. Being the time of Kali-yug, injustice and chaos reign. The wounded are the first to wound others. It takes an internal paradigm shift, to break the cycle of abuse. To recognize the brokenness as ‘your lucky break’. Now your Light can find its Purpose. The old paradigm is that holy cloth that covers your eyes. The shroud does not shift (or lift) without effort. The mind sends a signal to the hand – hey there’s been wool pulled over my third eye – and the hand makes responds blindly reaching up to swat it away….
In practical terms, those who were born into a certain privilege can not afford to just ‘sit there’ in order to break through the curtain of self-righteousness. We have debt to pay. The remedy so often given by Guru-s encountering Westerners is to “feed people, serve people, love everyone”. Highly, highly effective. When taken as a Sadhana (spiritual practice), this Teaching alone IS a Path, IS a Light. Meeting those less fortunate, or those who are suffering, meeting eye to eye and really getting to know their plights, work with them on what they dream, contains the wisdom of dozens of Sages.
Guru is one who speaks Truth to our veiled Self, to set us Free. Through this e-Satsang we will shimmy down the rabbit hole of why the purpose of meeting of a true Guru is not to become a follower, but to become FREE.
Awaken consciousness. WOKE. Now, our eyes are open. The veil of smoke-screen has been lifted from our eyes. Where have we heard this before? The word apocalypse comes from Greek, apokalypsis, meaning an uncovering, a lifting of the veil, or the disclosure of something secret, forbidden knowledge, veiled before an appointed time.
In Judeo-Christian terms, in the book of Isaiah, the prophet pens A Song of Praise for God’s Favor “On this mountain the Lord will prepare a banquet for all peoples, … He will swallow up the shroud that enfolds all the Earth, the sheet that covers all nations … The Lord G-D will wipe away the tears from every face.” to a Christian, this is the precursor to the Jubilee sermon, told in the Gospel of St. Luke “The spirit of the Lord is upon me to preach the Good News to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to free the captives, and recover sight to the blind, to return civil liberties to them that are abused, to announce the Year of our Lord’s Favor (Jubilee Gospel of Jesus)”.
Some of you might remember i was once tagged the Jubilee Artist. Jubilee is a word for social justice, and also for emancipation from mental slavery. This is where the Guru comes in handy. For some of us, a Guru in our early life said this:
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but our Self can free our mind. Have no fear for atomic energy, none of them can stop the time.”Bob marley – ‘Redemption song’
From as early as the Book of Leviticus to the end times of St. John of the Apocalypse, Jubilaic words have been proclaimed and repeated. The Gospel is this Good News. So if that is your point of reference, hold on to your Easter bonnets, because while Jesus is the Guru to the majority of those West of India, the Vedic traditions, who have been turning out milleniums of Gurus, claim that Jesus is one of them. Jesus was a great Vedantic Guru, trained in India during his ‘lost years’. As well as he mastered the secrets of ancient Egypt and his own Judaic roots. There is evidence that he returned to India after resurrection and lived out a long life in Kashmir. Jesus was a Great Yogi, a GURU. but I’m not going to talk about just one Guru, what we are about to explore is the one-ness of ALL Guru-s.
So today let’s explore the Eastern Guru traditions (parampara) from that Western vantage point and perhaps how that fits into your vantage point as a sadhaka of Yoga. Bear with me, this gets very ‘Hindu’ as we walk through this.
Translated “veil” from Aramaic to Greek to English, the Hebraic word referred to is “GRAVE”… when the grave is lifted. This, my dears, is the beginning of the deep tunnel of the meaning of GURU: the one who lifts the veil, the mirage of material manifestation that covers our eyes. And the irony behind this as we read further.
btw what do we call a female Guru? She is a Gurvi. We can also have one who is a support or appendage to the main or senior Guru, perhaps carrying on the teachings after Mahasamadhi – and that is an Upa-Guru, such would be my category – as if you could put me in box and label me.
In Sanskrit, the root GU is the root of darkness and RU is the root of light, but as a word – “guru”- we have the meaning “grave”. Guru is the one who might lift us out of our own earthly/graven lives to a higher more meaningful “woke” paradigm. The whole Earth is being referred to as a Grave here. In this light, the Earth is both our Mother’s womb and our tomb. Guru certainly gestates us as seedlings and in our darkest times we seek refuge at Guru’s feet. We are made of its dust and back to dust shall we return at the end of this phase. This is true of all material manifestation. The great Kashmir Shaivism Tantrik Vedantic Spandakarikas teaches us in its opening line this:
“The Venerated Shankari (Shakti), Source of Energy opens Her Eyes and the Universe is reabsorbed in Pure Consciousness. She closes them and the Universe is manifested within Her.”
SPANDAKARIKAS Ch 1 : V 1SPANDAKARIKAS Ch 1 : V 1
It is THIS darkness to light, veil-lifting experience that is delivered by the one you will call Guru. Guru Energy is so powerful, it matters little if it is in a physical form. we can connect through hearing their recorded voice, seeing their photo, reading their written words, being in their former environment. If there is a message there for you, and if you are ready to receive it, the Guru will make it known.
This reminds me of passages in Soundarya Lahari that describe the dust off the Feet of Lalita also known as the Great Goddess Tripurasundari or Bhavani, the Divine Energy Shakti Herself. “Your Grace reaches Humanity through the fine dust of Your Feet! …. For the unlearned and foolish people it has the sweet and astonishing effect of the flower from whose bunch drips honey incessantly! For the poor and the downtrodden, the dust of Your Lotus Feet is like association with the precious Chintamani that satisfies all desires! O Mother! For those who are tossed in the ocean of Samsara, the Dust of Your Feet is like the sharp horn of the wild Boar!”
Many Divine Energies are described as having such dust given as a gift to humankind from their feet. It’s a bit Jubalaic. The many verses go on and on giving attributes that lift up the downtrodden.
In Sanskrit, there is also the comparative Satguru v Guru. Sat meaning literally True/Truth but also a word that describes what is essentially God. so whereas a Guru is a highly enlightened one of the Living, a Satguru is a Living God who experiences the Whole Truth of existence even as he walks Earth. After the death (Mahasamadhi, Great Liberation) of a Guru, we often begin to refer to them as a Satguru as well.
and now the irony… There is also the truly Hindu way of interpreting this word GURU. Hindus as a rule do not bury the dead in a grave. We believe that burning the body releases the soul and, by destroying it, the departed soul releases any attachment it may have for its body. However, there is an exception to this rule. The bodies of renunciates: Sannyasin, Saints & Guru-s – really Satguru-s – are buried. Hindu-s belive in the transmigration of the soul, reincarnation. Cremation is integral to supporting the release of the soul so that it may continue its journey to the next life.
The Bhagavad Gita says: “Just as old clothes are cast off and new one worn, the soul leaves the body after death and enters a new one.”
Sannyasin are renunciates. Taking on the Sannyas life means that the soul has already been renounced from all attachments, including the body, making cremation redundant. Instead, they are buried in padmanasana, the lotus position. A Sannyas can be a Guru or a Sant (Saint). The latter being one who is not teaching but is an Ascended Living Master in constant service to others by prayer or outward actions. The Holy Saints and Ascended Masters have attained Moksha or soul Liberation already. Either by birth, living a pious and austere life, great deeds of karmic sacrifice throughout their life, rigorous spiritual training, or through good karmas done in previous lives. Ascended Master’s need not return for another birth, they are free from karma. They live on disembodied and totally FREE. But some do choose to return so that they can serve humankind.
The fact that a Guru is so unusually distinguished by being buried in a grave rather than cremated like the rest of Hinduism, is a stark distinction and the reason that this title or role was originally pronounced on the Guru. The meaning of “darkness to light” is a great deal more popular since Guru has been taught to the west. It has even become popular among the Hindu-s of India as it is a more pleasant definition all around to talk about. But if you ask an old school Hindu Sanskrit scholar, you will learn about the Grave.
To be honest, in actual practice, the burial of Gurus is rare these days. There are few Saints of the caliber of Sri Ramana Maharshi, who was buried as described above. The fact is that with many Gurus today, their saintliness is questionable. Hence, with even the great Masters whom i have studied with, i have been present for their cremations. Not because of any sin, but simply because they were men who had families and so there is naturally attachment there.
Except for Swami Anantram, who was a true Sannyas in the sense that when he left his family, he never looked back. His children were all grown, married and doing well on their own. He asked if his wife wanted to join him on this journey into renunciation. She turned him down. So he left all worldly possessions to her and he departed as a sadhu to the banks of Narmada where he lived his final 29 years of this life. He would not talk about his family other than this above story.
In my life i have lived at the home of, served and sat at the feet of, 2 Gurus in India successively. Before that, i lived at the New York Ashram of Shri Brahmananda, a Guru who had already taken Maha-samadhi before i lived and worked there. It was there i got swallowed up by the Fire of Agnihotra and began renouncing my life.
One thing these Guru-s have in common, besides that their lives intersected one another and how my life intersected theirs, they all were Advaitic to the bone and did not recognize any separateness of Guru-s. Guru is one concept, all are teaching from the same Source. the great Womb of Mother Matrix Shakti. Source of All Energy – She opens Her Eyes and the Universe is reabsorbed in Pure Consciousness. WOKE.
I was drawn to India since i was 13 years old. It began when a devotee of Swami Sivananda who was teaching Hatha Yoga & Meditation at my school. She led us in Yoga Nidra which is where i got woke me in a profound way. That led me to a simple book Be Here Now. This awakened in me that I had karmic work to do in India. 410 books and 33 years later, i got an invitation to come and serve the Living Master of Sacred Fire. I have never looked back. Consequently, I was bequeathed the care of Swami-ji’s Library & Ashram which had become my home. And to which I am terribly attached due to the managing of its NGO and all the children and families I love & serve here. Apparently I have alot of work to do here. It’s my dharma. Remember, the path to enlightenment is not to be sit and meditate all day, its to be FREE. In recent years I have traded a great deal of my sadhana for seva. Serving others is said to be the fasted way to Moksha (soul liberation), so in this sense I feel Swami-ji assigned me this role as an integral part of my ascending spiritual path.
Guru may take many steps and take many forms to meet you on the path. Each Upa Guru has a bite of the puzzle. While a Guru of parampara tradition is important if you wish to have knowledge imparted mentally, in reality, everyone you meet may be your next Guru. Without a doubt, for many of us, our children are our Guru. There are certainly ways of attaining Transcendental states of Pure Conscious awareness, Enlightenment, Self-realization, Awakening and all the various terms being bandied about by the trademarked, with or without ever meeting a Hindu or Advaitic Guru. But it is alot easier with one because they have hella good experience, a Guru doesnt just shed Light, the Guru IS THE LIGHT. The Guru IS THE PATH. And in the case of physical methods like Kundalini, safer with a Guru. Being Woke sometimes begins from gathering knowledge about it. But really, Woke permeates from every cell and particularly radiates from the hrdaya (spiritual heart-mind). there are 3 hearts and 3 minds – story for another day.
As living souls (jivatman) we are said to be born into the grave. All flesh must die, the whole of material existence is cloaked in a shroud of temporal beauty which is decaying since the moment it is created from the Womb of the Earth. In this Light we might say that the Guru is both a Womb and a Tomb.
JAI GURU DEV. Victory to the Guru. God brings victory through the Guru.
concluding with a Meditation on Hridaya.
it is best done silently, practice it on theyoutube link in the title, so you may practice it silently next time.
Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo
Ong Namo : I Bow to the creative power – divine energy – force, that created this entire universe, this cosmos. Guru Dev Namo : I bow to the great divine teacher that is within me.
- Ashirvad – Niradhara Amma
Below are e-Prasad, (FREE gifts) included in this e-Satsang package. THE FOLLOWING ARE PRIVATE YOUTUBE LINKS TO OUR SWAR ASHRAM PUJA-S FOR GURU PURNIMA.
• GURU STOTRAM • GURU ASAN PUJA • HRIDAYA MEDITATION ON THE HEART OF THE GURU •
• PUJA CHARAN LINK 1 • PUJA CHARAN LINK 2 • PUJA CHARAN LINK 3 •
This is your exclusive invitation as a part of our Ashram Community to be among the first to launch our zoom e-satsang page. warning: it may have bugs the first week or 2. if that happens we will revert within 5 minutes to the semi-private FB page.
now that yogis are not able to travel here and we are not able to host tourism for the last months and the foreseeable few months, the online teachings on this website is how we intend to fund our charitable commitments to the youth in this community. most of what gets done here is by my free labor, but some things cost money. textbooks, the bio-friendly feminine pads that we make, the programs like Guru Purnima and all the Holy days and of course the monthly overhead expenses, upkeep and maintenance of a 290 year old decaying corner of our riverfront fort.
BELOW: a few pix from Guru Purnima at SwAr Ashram over the years when there is NOT a pandemic. Guru Purnima 2020 can be seen on FB HERE>
नर्मदे हर NARMADE HAR! ༺🔥༻
Love and abundance of gratitude by the Grace of Maa Narmada & Devi Ahilyabai
You may enjoy SAT CHIT ANAND our e-Library book blog pages designated for snipets & bits of Love from the marvelous collection of Swami Anantram’s Books in SwAr Library in connection with LIVE e-Satsang Chats with Amma, sharing and Q&A will be included. We welcome you into our Community and invite you to interact through the available media as we grow in this virtual space. See what we have available right now – FREE e-PRASADAM
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