26th of May, 2008 - 9:27
Brief reflections on the nature of bheda-abheda --- dvaita and advaita --- with their roles and consequences in Gaudiya Vaishnavism and overall spiritual practice.
Generic Enlightenment
22nd of May, 2008 - 11:00
Cross-posting from Gaudiya Repercussions: Objectives and methods in brief.
Anatman - Exploring the non-self
21st of May, 2008 - 6:33
The doctrine of anatman (Pali: anatta), a central concept in Buddhist philosophy, is sometimes juxtaposed with the Hindu belief in atman. The fundamentals on both sides of the debate deserve a good, careful look.
Journal Goes Retro
14th of May, 2008 - 9:52
With my laptop tucked away in my backpack somewhere in the dusty corners of a certain temple in Sarnath, and with increasing reluctance to spend time in internet cafes and amidst technology and civilization in general, the journal mutates temporarily into a retro-format.
Base Shivapuri - Scriptures secured
14th of May, 2008 - 9:23
There was to be no lengthy solitary retreat, thanks to forest officials and a number of other causes. That notwithstanding, I am still at Bagdwar, the source of the sacred Bagmati river near the peak of Shivapuri.

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Generic Enlightenment
Posted: 22nd of May, 2008 - 11:00
Cross-posting from Gaudiya Repercussions.

A friend asks:
"So can I ask what you are hoping to attain now? Gaudiya Vaishnavism gives a rather specific idea of 'enlightenment' and all that it entails, so are you now aspiring for a generic sort of enlightenment?"

I'd talk about desired perfections rather than enlightenments, since the Gaudiya Vaishnava final objective is not the attainment of untainted, illumined awareness. They are quite clear in their perfectional objective being one where the conscious faculty and range of awareness are covered and limited by certain divine illusions.

I don't know what generic enlightenment might mean to you. My ultimate aim certainly is not in a world of personal deities, I have grown to seek the transpersonal ideals lurking behind symbolic worlds. I suppose there is a large enough body of shared material among the diverse traditions (Advaita, Buddhism, Sufi, Tao etc.) holding non-personal concepts of ultimate reality to justify the generic enlightenment concept.

I listed my working objectives here a while back.

1. There is a need to wholly weed out greed, anger and delusion from the mind, and cultivate their opposites, namely generosity, kindness and wisdom.
2. There is a need to develop infinite compassion, loving kindness, sympathetic joy and equanimity.
3. There is a need to transcend the conceptualizing mind and obtain unslanted clarity or plain awareness.
4. There is a need to learn to still the mind and bring it to perfect, single-pointed meditational focus.
5. There is a need to, equipped with plain awareness and high focus, explore the nature of the conditional factors to eradicate ignorance.

I suppose the above are methods universal enough to yield "generic enlightenment". In any case, if we are to assume there is an ultimate, non-dual experiential reality that different traditions observe from different angles, the external clutter of each respective tradition — if its way is to reach enlightenment that is — is bound to be shaken off with the escalating attainment of higher reality-experiences, leaving us with a uniform experience.
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