Four virtues and four methods
28th of January, 2008 - 18:58
The Buddha had some wise insights into the means for getting to know another thoroughly. While the text that inspired this blog entry is more of a chapter in general wisdom of life, the principles certainly apply in examining a prospective guru --- which has been the subject of many a discussion.
As for the misleading note
27th of January, 2008 - 9:34
My earlier note on misleading in the "Knocking on the Cocoon" entry led some to wonder what exactly I meant with that. Let's let that be clarified.
On the Siksa-guru Principle
26th of January, 2008 - 17:22
Some readers have wondered as to why one might accept a siksa-guru while the diksa-guru is still present. There are also a number of other considerations that are in place on the under-explored theme of the siksa-guru.
The Aparadha Issue
24th of January, 2008 - 15:37
With themes such as have been brought up in the last two blogs, the age-old issue of aparadha again raises its hoods. Let me clarify my position on this. First, I would like to acknowledge that I have read all the scriptural references on Vaisnava-aparadha as well as most, and have given due thought to them. When I write as I write, I write with knowledge of the said principles, making the choices that I believe are proper, truthful and righteous. I realize that not everyone may agree with my judgment calls.
TBI - Part 2 - Looking at the foundations
24th of January, 2008 - 11:40
I had initially thought of being much more reserved in over the depth in which I'd be writing of all this. However, as I realize there is nothing for me to lose in being more open, let's hear the full story. It'll certainly help people get an idea of where I'm at, and also learn of the route I've had to take. Writing is also a good form of processing the experience to ensure the removal of repressions from the subconscious. These entries seem to be becoming a bit elongated; I write as it comes. Read if you will, don't if you won't. Let's travel back in time to last spring...
The Babaji Incident - Part 1 - What blew it all
21st of January, 2008 - 14:42
Some were wondering about the details of my abruptly concluded stay with the babaji during Niyama-seva and a bit beyond. I was more than brief in my note after moving back to my own precious peace, after all. As I noted, the experience left me with many lessons in life. I have edited the earlier blog entry to remove references that would identify him by name to give me space to write more freely of the experiences, of which many may find something to learn. This is the first write-up in what I surmise will be an interesting series.
Application for 180 days of jail
18th of January, 2008 - 16:56
This is a translation of my letter of refusal from military and civil service sent to the Finnish civil service authority, should it be of interest.
Knocking on the Cocoon
17th of January, 2008 - 5:56
"Little late. You already misled many..." --- said the anonymous commentator on an earlier blog entry.
Asperin Philosophies
17th of January, 2008 - 5:31
Some of you have been missing philosophical writings. Here goes: Unity and difference of Atman and Brahman, doctrinal trouble with different strata of philosophy fused into a single doctrine, and God's creation of the chicken and the egg.
The Bodhisattva's Cocoon
16th of January, 2008 - 5:16
Some may have wanted to take a peek into my psyche for insight into the fundamental reasons of my present direction into solitude, the underlying impetus of my turn from the dim limelights of outreach. What has made the once almost all-permeating wish to help others subside? Is the bodhisattva now staring at the navel of his own fat belly?
About Sahajiyas, Ogres and Other Ominousities
2nd of January, 2008 - 15:46
This blog is here to clarify my views on sahajiyas, orthodoxies, ogres, blue flamingos and any number of other such subjects and entities people might be wondering about.
Difference between ISKCON and Gaudiya
2nd of January, 2008 - 11:03
Excerpt from correspondence.
Websites future - Input sought
1st of January, 2008 - 5:33
As a careful reader will have noticed, by sometime in the summer I will be dropping out of the GV internet scene altogether (occasional e-mails aside.) It is unlikely that I am to return, this transition off the world of internet has been a long time coming and is now nearing its definite final phase. Your input is sought.

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The Bodhisattva's Cocoon
Posted: 16th of January, 2008 - 5:16
Some may have wanted to take a peek into my psyche for insight into the fundamental reasons of my present direction into solitude, the underlying impetus of my turn from the dim limelights of outreach. What has made the once almost all-permeating wish to help others subside? Is the bodhisattva now staring at the navel of his own fat belly?

It's not that I have any less a wish to help others in their quest than I had before. To the contrary, with the deepening of an understanding of the human condition, the wish has grown by the day. The poignant question I've had to face is, "Am I any good for the task?" Many have lauded my efforts, many have professed the help received. Yet, what I speak is tinged with theory, and what I speak is fallible, prone to errors uncounted. Let me quote an often heard parable (narrated by Swami Sivananda) with apt emphasis on the core problem.

"Fifty blind men were sitting in a Dharmashala. They were born blind. They all wanted to go to a distant place of pilgrimage. Four other blind men came along and joined this group. They said they were also going to the same place. "Friends," said the leader of the fifty, "we are blind and cannot find our way to the sacred shrine. Will you be able lead us? Do your eyes see?" "Yes, my dear friends," replied the four, "we have heard a lot about the sacred city and the way to reach it. We have a clear mental picture of the route. Though we do not see it with our eyes, we are confident that we shall not only reach our destination, but lead you all there with us. Follow us." They tied one another with a long rope. The best one among the four led the way. He had a mental idea of the way, no doubt; it was not of much avail. He was misled. Soon he fell into a deep ravine. Bound to him, the other blind men, not knowing where he was leading them, also fell into the ditch, one by one. All of them perished.

Similar is the case with the masses today. They hear of the Land of perennial Bliss, the Land where Holiness and Divinity abound. But they know not the way. They are waiting to be led there. In the meantime a few other blind men arrive there. They have heard a lot about the Kingdom of God. They have great intellectual understanding. They think they know the way, and not only that, they can lead others also. They are the scientists and scientific philosophers. They promise to lead the masses to the Kingdom or Immortal Bliss. The credulous public follows them. These leaders have a great intellect, but no self-control and experience. They go where their cravings and Vasanas and desires lead them. They fall into a terrible ditch of sensuousness, of materialism, and perish. All their followers also perish.

Hearken ye, all men; follow not the blind misleaders. Follow the sages who have the eye of intuition and attain the Abode of Supreme Bliss."

The fact of the matter is, and it should not come as a surprise to any thinking and observant individual, that I do not have the eyes to see. I have certainly had my share of glimpses of insight into the "sacred city" of the parable — who among earnest practitioners wouldn't have — but it is far from being the sufficient and comprehensive, persistent and mature insight a responsibility in guiding others would call for.

Is that a problem? Would my faith not suffice? Do I have no faith in the path? "Faith is the beginning", they say. Faith is the beginning, yes, and faith is also a process. The path from faith to certainty is a long and arduous journey. Faith is subject to human misestimations, certainty arising from direct perception into paratattva is a divine immutability. "I said it on faith" is the equivalent of saying "I hope it'll be right!". Who, a wise man, would make an earnest commitment on the basis of such half-certainties?

I needn't get into describing the vast web of responsibility giving practical guidance to others weaves. Some assume that responsibility is only taken when initiation is given. No — responsibility is taken with each advice given to a faithful person, and each ill advice will return as a snake to bite you in the heel. Getting 50% right isn't a great consolation, no matter how great the merit of the 50% may be. The other 50% will feel disappointed, let down, mistreated or offended. Even if in their magnanimity they don't, the karma of giving undue advice is upon me.

With the lack of comprehensive insight and experience, the absence of power is evident. It is not the mere content, it is the experiential impact of the message that counts. One is not to inform, one is to transform. Words of value possess an inherent transforming quality, born as they are of reality instead of theory, while words of theory leave men but luke-warm and half-baked, not good for one nor the other. "But isn't something better than nothing?" Yes it is, but it isn't good enough.

With this, some who've met me may have observed, I have consciously abstained from giving definitive personal answers to many questions that would call for realization to justify the definitive tone. I have, rather, modeled my answers as "some say" or "it is written". Sentences beginning with "some say" or "it is written" do not carry the weight that sentences implying or expressly stating "it is, and I am the evidence" do; and again, masquerading book-knowledge as the latter, the mature spring of perceived wisdom oozing from within, is the worst kind of pretense. In the classical Buddhist Patimokkha, the monastic code of 227 rules, dishonesty over one's own internal state was one of the only four unforgivable offences that led to expulsion for life from the monastery.

I have no monastery to disown me, no judge as the vox populi and their broad court of law to effect me. However, I am bound by a sense of internal integrity. It is finally dawning upon me, delusions shred, that I cannot afford to play the game the world would like me to play, that others would like me to play, a game I myself at times fondly played, no matter how much external call there would be for the same.

Please do not mind, then, my resignation from the duties of the world. I am not in a position to convey the substance I perceive ought to be conveyed. The future years will be committed to an internal process. Wrapping myself in a cocoon, burning myself to ashes I shall. Perhaps one day a butterfly will glide across the deep blue sky, perhaps a phoenix will rise and spread its benevolent shine.
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