If you’re not sincere yourself, you will be attracted to that kind of a teacher that’s as sincere as you are…

An excerpt from T25: Three Essential Questions Revisited
by Robert Adams Satsangs: The Collected Works
“Before you got to sleep. Before you got to sleep, before you fall asleep, you ask yourself the third question, which is: “Where did God come from?”
Ask yourself three times. “Where did God come from? Where did this God come from? That I have believed in all of my life?” And you start to think about your childhood.
“When I was young I was brought up in a religion, whether it’s Catholic, or Protestant or Jewish, or Islam, or Hindu.
I was told to believe in God, but what do I know about God? Have I had an experience of God? Therefore God must be a belief, a concept, a preconceived idea. Where did this God come from?”
Now if you’ve been highly religious in one of the major religions, this is going to be so hard for you to do for you’ll think it’s blasphemous, I therefore ask you to investigate.
To intelligently look within yourself. Asking yourself, “Where did this God that I’ve believed in all my life, come from? And if you investigate deep enough, you will soon see, “I believe in God. I?” When I say, “I,” I’ve been referring to my body. So that means all of these years, my body has believed in God. And I has been the silent witness observing all of this. I has no belief.
I is neutral. It’s my body and my mind, that believe in some anthropomorphicb type of deity. Now I realize I is not the body, I is not the mind and I is not God.
Like the universe, like my body, it’s all a concept, a belief. God must be attached to I, just like everything else. And when I am able to transcend I, I will transcend the mistaken belief of God and become free.
So, Again you go back to “I – I, I – I.” You fall asleep doing this and you will wake up doing this. If you practice this my friends you will be free before you know it. You’ll be totally free and liberated.
I get many phone calls. One of the things I’m frequently asked is how do you tell a real teacher from a phony teacher? I don’t know why people are interested in things like that.
The answer is always the same. If you go within yourself honestly, sincerely and you
become devoted to your Self, you begin to love yourself, not the ego self, but yourself Self, and you really want to awaken, you will be attracted to the right teacher, or the right book, or the right tree, or the right rock.
But if you have many faults and you’re not sincere yourself, you will be attracted to that kind of a teacher that’s as sincere as you are and you’ll both look at each other.
So I hung up the phone Thursday night. Horat gave me…is Horat here?
No. He gave me a book to read. It’s by a woman named Lucy Marr. I knew her at Ramana Ashram.
She’s lived there for many years and I turned to a page and there it was the answer I was talking about. She really explains it in a wonderful way. Therefore if Mary would like to read this, I would be most appreciative.

Mary: This is titled, Gurus, Siddhas and Sinyasis.
-It is the mind that creates questions and goes in search of answers. It takes some time until it realizes this fact and gives up, but meanwhile it interferes continuously in the natural expansion of the seekers spiritual dimension.

Until then, question after question emerges and Ramana Maharshi stood patiently day by day against the flood. A collection of his replies to stray questions is given in the last chapter, however the three themes mentioned in the heading above may ask for a  treatment in some detail.

There is a wide spread hunting for the guru and a lot of so called gurus make quite a good business out of the distorted ideas about the guru and his function, that are prevalent everywhere.

Who then is a guru?
The satvas say that one must serve a guru for twelve years for getting to self-realization.
What does a guru do? Does he hand it over to the disciple? Is it not the Self always realized? What does the common belief mean then?
The man is always the Self and yet he does not know it. He confounds it with the non-self that is the body etc. Such confusion is due to ignorance. If ignorance be wiped out, the confusion will cease to exist and the true knowledge will be unfolded. By remaining in contact with realized Sages, the man will gradually lose the ignorance, until its removal is complete.
The eternal Self is thus revealed. The disciple surrenders himself to the Master. That means there is no vestige of individuality retained by the disciple. If the surrender is complete all sense of individuality is lost and there is thus no cause for misery. The eternal being is only happiness, that is revealed.
Without understanding it aright, people think that the guru teaches the disciple something like tat-tvam-asi and that the disciple realizes, “I am Brahman.” In their ignorance they conceive of Brahman as something more huge and powerful than anything else.
With a limited I the man is so stuck up and wild. What will be the case if the same I grows up enormous. He will be enormously ignorant and foolish. This false I must perish. Its annihilation is the fruit of guru Ishvara, the service to the guru. Realization is eternal and it is not newly brought about by the guru. He helps in the removal of ignorance, that is all.
The real guru is one who has realized the Self.
But how can we recognize him? He does not talk about himself. He behaves exactly as everybody else, and if he does not there is reason to be cautious.
There is only one quality by which he is reading in his silence, as well as in his talk. If you’re ready for him, he will meet you without any searching for him on your part, and only then can you be assured that he is the guru for you.
Meanwhile you are not without guidance from without. The inner guidance sends signals, as it were, ceaselessly. A certain sentence in a book, a smile on an infant, the beauty of a flower or a sunset. All of them can become the means for a sudden understanding, one of the minor enlightenments which adorn the path of the sincere seeker after truth.
All of them could become his or her guru.
The famous ancient saint said of himself that he had twenty-four gurus including inanimate objects. Even the first quest after the meaning of life is already prompted by the inner, the real guru.
There is a beautiful experience of Moses preserved in the tradition of Islam. When he complained, “Oh Lord, where shall I seek to find thee?” He heard the answer, “Thou wouldest not seek me if thou wouldest not already have found me.”
Who is it, that is in search for the guru? The longing is certainly prompted by the Self as is indicated, also the answer to Moses’ prayer. But it is the personal I that goes out hunting for an outer guru.
You will get exactly the kind of guru that corresponds to the stage of your development.
That usually means a rather low type because a guru of a higher standard is of no use to a disciple of limited understanding. The receiver has to be tuned to the wavelength of the transmitter for receiving and diversity. Thus even if there is a meeting with a realized soul, the guru need not refuse the disciple, because the disciple will not even perceive the presence of greatness, since his inner senses are still clouded.
He will be like a man who went in search for chinasamani, a celestial gem that fulfills every desire. Who found it, and threw it away when he saw a colorful pebble.
Of the worst kind among the many gurus nowadays are those who are deliberately exploiting those hunting for a guru. Their method of catching the trustful ignorant is often a mystifying show of ceremony, incantations, dark hints and even threats of black magic powers with reference to traditions.
Sri Ramana Maharshi said about these: The books say that there are so many kinds of initiations. They also say that the guru makes some rite for him with fire, water, Japa, mantra, nesessa and call such fantastic performances, diksha, initiations. As if the disciple becomes ripe only after such practices have gone through by the guru.
The most potent form of work is silence, however vast and ecstatic the sastras may be, they fail in their effect. The guru is quiet, and peace prevails in all. This silence is more vast and more emphatic than all the sastras put together. But when the faith guru is clever enough, he may even feign this attitude also.
Another type of self styled guru may not only deceive the would be disciple but also himself.
He might have some intellectual knowledge of the truth and will be able to teach the same as far as this limited knowledge goes. The sincere seeker after truth will one fade or another by the silent grace of his inner guidance. Recognize the limitation of the would be guru and leave him perhaps for another one. Or perhaps he has ripened enough in the meantime so that he will now recognize the voice of the inner guru, of the Self and accept it, unreservedly. Or he might follow the way of Dhata Raya and learn to see the guru in all as everything which amounts to practically the same thing.
Now there’s a strange fact that Ramana Maharshi himself refused to be the guru of his
devotees, or to be exact, he never initiated any of them in the traditional way. Some of them are known to have left him, though they loved and worshipped him because they thought themselves unable to proceed spiritually without an outer guru. How is this strange attitude of his to be understood?
Is it strange to shun the responsibility which the guru is expected to take over in respect to his devotee?
According to tradition, a guru who accepts a disciple also takes over his karma, bad as it maybe.
No, Sri Ramana Maharshi was only being consistent. He lived what he taught, “The realization of the one without a second.”
When there is only one Brahman where is the place for guru and disciple?
A guru presupposes a disciple, a disciple a guru, they are invariably two. Can there be two Selves? The one guiding the other? A true guidance is possible only when the Self of the guru and that of the disciple is one and the same Self.
The real function of the guru, the higher and more efficient than his teaching, is his power of contact. Removing the ignorance of the disciple by direct transmission. This of course is possible only when the guru has himself realized the truth.
This power is so real that Ramana Maharshi always gave the greatest importance to satsang.
The contact of highly advanced souls.
Because their purity, wisdom and compassion are contagious, like health and peace.
This is the actual danger of surrender to a wrong guru. That his cunning, vanity and
selfishness are just as contagious. Even the experience of everyday life, shows the danger of people coming to him. Though he usually is taken as an evil example only. But even in that case the bad influence goes deeper. It is immediately contagious, like a disease, may the inner guru protect.
This mysterious land lost in the sea, granting the gift of the supreme truth to those who
find the path into its hidden depths also still keeps many of the secrets of magic techniques and powers called siddhas.
The number of seekers after these secrets will probably out number those who search after truth. So it is widely known that Ramana Maharshi did not appreciate such tendencies, usually connected with yoga sadhana. Now and again he was asked about submission of siddhas within the frame of the search of the Self.
“One!” he declared, “The Self is the most intimate and eternal being, whereas the siddhas are born.” The one requires effort to acquire, the other does not.
The powers of thought by the mind which must be kept alert, whereas the Self is realized when the mind is destroyed. The power is manifest only when there is the ego.
The Self is beyond the ego and is realized after the ego is eliminated.
Where is the use of occult powers for the self-realized being?
Self-realization may be accompanied by occult powers or it may not be. If a person has sought such a power before realization, he may get them after realization.
There are others who have not sort such powers and have attempted only self-realization. They do not manifest.
Among the visitors at this stage was Mr Evan Wendt, the well known Tibetologist. He too
asked for an explanation on the value of occult powers.
Ramana Maharshi replied, “The occult powers are only in the mind. They are not natural in the Self. That which is not natural but acquired cannot be permanent, is not worth striving for. They denote extended powers.
A man is possessed of limited powers and is miserable. He wants to expand his powers so that he may be happy. But consider if it will be so, that with limited perception one is miserable, with extended perception the misery must increase proportionately. Occult powers will not bring happiness to anyone, but will make him all the more miserable.”
Moreover what are these powers for? The would be occultist desires to display the siddhas, so that others may appreciate them.
He seeks the appreciation and if it is not forthcoming he will not be happy. He may even find another possessor of higher powers.
That will cause jealousy, infuriating his unhappiness.
So which is the real power? Is it to increase prosperity? Or bring about peace?
That which results in peace is the highest perfection of siddhi’s.
The root idea in Sri Ramana’s attitude, to the phenomena of ESP or extra sensory perception or siddhas, nowadays as scientifically labelled, is easily discovered. ESP experience belongs to the personal I. The teachings of the Sage of Arunachala revolves around hunting the I until it submits.
To seek and attain siddhas is to strengthen it. That settles the matter once and for all.
Sinyasis was in ancient India, the fourth and last of the Ashrama, the stations of life.
The first of them was represented by the boy, who was sent to live as the gomasharya, with the guru to serve him and be trained in the scriptures.
The second stage was his life as a householder after incurring marriage in which he carried out his duties to those around him and made his contribution to the collective. When his sons were settled and his daughters married he was free to retire. However he was not the idea of retirement to a comfortable life, of enjoying the well earned fruits of a life of work and trial.
The third stage of the Ashrama was a quiet life of renunciation in the woods, in meditation and prayer, in longing for enlightenment.
These first three periods conform to custom and convention but the last one, sinyasi, the total renunciation of what is expected to assert itself at its own time and under its own conditions.
This fact was behind Ramana Maharshi’s somewhat enigmatic reply to a questioner, to
whether the questioner should embrace sinyasa. If you should, you would not have asked.
The traditional idea about sinyasa is explained in a rather certain yudusta in the bhagavatam book. It is that satvanyasis whole endeavor to be directed toward the discovery of the true Self at the point of contact between deep sleep and the waking state.
He should look upon both bondage and freedom, birth and death as unreal. He should not read profane books or live by any profession, nor indulge in politics, nor take sides in a partisan sphere, nor accept disciples nor do much reading, which would divert his mind from his spiritual practice, nor make speeches, nor undertake any responsible work.
After attaining enlightenment he may continue to behave as before or alter his ways that would suit his demeanor.
To give no sign by which others to recognize his attainment. He retains his usual mode of life or pursuit.
Sri Ramana Maharshi never encouraged people who thought of assuming the formal sinyasi.
Though he hereby seemingly contradicted himself.
When pointed out that he himself had cut all connection with his family life and home, he simply replied that it was a matter of karma. Discussing the subject, he saw the motivation in most cases, it is escapism through disappointment with a weary and unsuccessful life. Almost as often it is a matter of self importance. Being in modest or even poor circumstances, you are nobody.
As a Sinyasi you are somebody, at least in the eyes of some people. There might be a third motive for a minority, impatience. They are not satisfied with the slow rate of their spiritual progress.
All three kinds of motivation and all others as well respond to the prompting of the ego I.
Therefore Ramana Maharshi gave a typical reply, “Why do you think you are a  householder?
If you go out as a sinyasi, these similar thoughts if you are a sinyasi will haunt you?
Whether you continue in a household or renounce, or go to the forest, your mind haunts you.
The ego is the source that bothers you. If you renounce the world, it will only substitute the thoughts you renounced as a householder and the environment that is enforced are those of the householder.
But the mental obstacles are always there. They increase in new surroundings. There is no help in the change of environments.
The obstacle in the mind is in the mind. It must be gotten over, whether at home or in the forest. If you can do it in the forest why not in the home? Therefore why change the environment? Your efforts is to be made in the now, in whatever environment you may be. Environment never abandons you according to your desire. Look at me, I left home. Look at yourselves. You have come here leaving the home environment. What do you find here? Is this different from what you left?”
As an answer to another question he replied, “Sinyasa is to renounce ones individuality.
This is not the same as ?? and ochre robes. A man maybe a householder, yet if he does not think he is a householder, he is a sinyasi.
On the contrary a man may wear ochre robes and wander about. Yet if he thinks he is a sinyasi, he’s not that. To think of sinyasa, he thinks it’s his own ???
Sinyasa is meant for one who is fit. It consists of renunciation, not of material objects but of attachment to them. Sinyasa can be practiced by anyone. Even at home. Only one must be supervised closely.”
It is the silent wisdom of this mysterious land, lost in the sea of the twentieth century.
Just as it was millenniums ago when it was expressed in Manu’s law of sinyasi.
He should not wish to die nor hope to live, but await the time appointed, as the servant awaits his wages.
Will not show anger to one who is angry.
He must bless the man who curses him.
He must not utter falsehood.
Rejoicing in the things of this earth, calm, caring for nothing, abstaining from sensual pleasures.
Himself the only helper, he may live on in the world in the hope of eternal bliss.
Thus sinyasa is neither showy, nor brilliant, nor a very attractive path, but just the one on which truth is likely to meet the wanderer, provided that he is a true sinyasi.”
Robert Adams: ” …But true surrender means that you have to really surrender everything. You have no thoughts of your own. You have no mind of your own. You have no ideas of your own. “Thy will be done, not mine.” It’s hard to do for most people. But if you give up all of your thoughts it is the same as self-inquiry. Therefore total surrender means, giving up your personal sense of I.
Robert Adams Satsangs: The Collected Works

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  • August 2018
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