wild Q & A
okay, yes, I admit it, I do hang out on digital spiritual discussion groups -- sharpens my satsang wits and teaches me a lot about how to frame different spiritual issues and challenging matters. keeps my finger on the pulse of how erstwhile 'spiritual' people, who aren't necessarily sold on the yogic truths of ancient India, view these kinds of paths.
here's an excerpt from an exchange -- the questions belong to a sweet, slightly aggressive guy I met in some group online (in an undisclosed location). *grinning*
hope it's enjoyable....!
So I ask why is India so backward?
I think the saints would ask the same question – from a different angle – about the West. like Mother Theresa said, “in the West you have financial wealth but spiritual poverty.”
India — from that view – is the reverse. sprititually, it's unbelievably wealthy – they've kept the secrets in a beautiful, deep way that a younger, less spiritually mature West would have trashed long ago. now they're releasing many of those secrets and the yogis who carry them, to reinstitute the divine principles, abilities, and love – the real love – back in the world again. it's our birthright, you might say. I would definitely say this.
but I understand that you're referring to the rampant poverty and over-population, environmental gutting and so on that faces modern India.
I can say that I've heard Paramahansa Yogananda, one of the greatest yogis of modern times, mention that India made the mistake, several hundreds of years ago, of ONLY focusing on the spiritual and completely neglecting the material as a result.
nothing lofty at all, he was quite clear that this was, collectively, an error on the part of the people and spiritual culture of India. his comment was that India has had to undergo some extreme poverty to balance the karma of that mistake – but that India would again rise to being one of the wealthiest (materially) countries in the world.
it seems improbable to us today, but it was only 500 years ago that South India was THE wealthiest empire on the entire planet.
so, make of that what you will. I tend to look at long cycles and try to figure out what the karmas involved are, for communities, states, nations….. but that's just my personal quirky habit. other people zero in on the immediate and draw their own conclusions.
Why is there a formal stratification of the population into classes that include a class that is untouchable?
the caste system is 'supposed' to be illegal in modern India but is still perpetuated. personally, I think it's part of that unfortunate karma facing India – and of course it has, ultimately, to fade out altogether.
but gosh, how superior are we, now that we've abolished slavery in our nation – a mere 150 years back……….!? (and have instituted perfectly fair economic and racial treatment of every individual in our enlightened American society? oy vey!)
Why when these Yogi's, these saints, have been in and have originated from India for thousands and thousands of years does a country like the United States which was started from scratch just several hundred years ago with no Yogi's totally dominate India in every meaningful expression of physical world power?
also, time cycles.
also – balance in the creation. (India has the spiritual wealth, America has created material wealth. now it's time to intermingle, each getting the best the other has to offer.)
although I'm confused – what makes you think that America has never had yogis?
Is it perhaps that the Yogi's say well it is maya anyway it is all illusion so why bother?
I think some of them do have this attitude, and I'm not sold that it's a helpful attitude. perhaps that's why I don't advocate the Vedantist point of view (ie, it's all maya, so what difference does the suffering make).
anyone with half a brain can see that spiritual depth has to include healing the suffering in the world, on ALL levels, not only lofty spiritual aims, otherwise what's the point? love is love; it HAS to act to relieve suffering, whether that's giving a spiritual healing to someone's soul or feeding a homeless person on the street.
Or is it that perhaps they have invented some other limiting decision thought form that justifies their inaction to alter the above fact situation or are they in fact powerless to alter the above situation?
or maybe they're so generous that they're trying to let humanity wake the f*&k up and figure it out for themselves – what good is the lesson if someone wiser than you steps in and fixes it all, magically and instantly??????????????????
from the yogic perspective, all the suffering is happening as a kind of soul lesson to each individual soul. from the yogic perspective, the divine is always fair, and each of us is living in and subject to the laws of the divine's court whether we know it or not.
for instance, how many rapists, dictators, thugs, murderers, etc., have there been in human history (even just the famous ones, we can name, let alone the nameless hordes like Gengis Khan's or Caesar's troops)? TONS.
you think they don't reincarnate and pay back the heinous karmic debt they've accrued in a lifetime spent torturing other people and causing suffering, agony, death, starvation, heartbreak and so on? what fate would be good enough for Hitler to come back and experience?
the yogic saints, the real ones, not the charlatans, look at a person or group of people (like a nation) and IMMEDIATELY see their entire soul graph – whatever incarnations that person had, lifetime to lifetime, form to form.
to them, the suffering today makes sense on the level that all the suffering people are, in fact, unwittingly paying their karmic bills.
what is beautiful about the saints is that even though they see the mountains of debt a person owes, they will do their maximum, even take that debt on, themselves, personally, as an act of love to help people get through their karmas faster and not have to suffer so much.
unlike normal people, the saints see both sides of the reality – and are able to alter the course of events in lives all over the world through their selfless sacrifice, their willingness to eat the pain of the world to help the world out of its insanity.
It seems like the Yogi's have already responded to the question “what if we are dead” with more or less indifference to the situation and that they are content to do their magic and miracles on a personal entertainment type basis and have otherwise refused to play.
I think, judging from this statement, that you've never come into contact with a real yogi of this caliber.
'indifferent' is the last word in the dictionary I would use to describe a yogi. next to 'content.'
the saints I have met in my life, and I've been blessed to know 4 unbelievable supernatural souls well enough to say this, are anything but indifferent – they are COMPLETELY passionate about this world and the souls who inhabit it to the point that they have sacrificed any semblance of a 'normal' life to work 24-7 (and I'm not exaggerating) to help people on a massive scale.
my own teacher in India – I have never seen a time, ever, when he is not completely on duty, working to the maximum of his capacity to help people wake up rapidly. not only on the spiritual level, but he does unbelievable service to the poor, the starving, the homeless, the infirm in our local area in India – he takes care of people the corrupt Indian government wouldn't even look twice at, or wouldn't miss if they died of starvation.
I have seen saints behave in a Christ-like manner – only living, breathing, exuding, sharing love, no matter what crap or garbage people throw at them (and people ALWAYS throw their own crap at the saints, it's natural) – even to the point of sacrificing their lives to do nothing but help humanity.
as they say in India, unless you're a saint it's hard to understand the saints.
this isn't a coy statement, it's just that it's nearly inconceivable for most people (especially, I'm sorry to say, Western industrialized nation denizens) to fathom the depth of commitment and selflessness the saints have. we literally can't understand someone who only lives to help others – we're always looking for the catch, the lie, the trick, the 'aha! see! they couldn't REALLY live up to that!' gossip.
in terms of magic and miracles on an 'entertainment basis' – it's really important, I think, to understand WHY the saints demonstrate miracles. you think it's a kind of fun? an entertainment? a self-indulgent something or other?
why did Jesus Christ show so many miracles during his time in the Middle East? was he a grand-stander?
the miracle energy – the manipulation of the five elements of creation (earth, fire, sky, water, air) – is what the soul came from. the human soul recognizes itself when it's shown a real miracle. it's a short-cut to stimulate the soul's awareness of its own divine light, and to create the purification in a person necessary for them to take serious steps to do the hard work of spiritual sadhana to wash out their karmas. and be, once again, a clear mirror of the divine's light, not a partially visible mirror covered with layers of dust.
there's a depth to the miracles that is itself a kind of miracle. and there's a super-important reason the saints need to show them, especially in this time, especially to people alive today.
Jesus was definitely NOT frivolous – and his miracles, his energy, his divine blessing, his enlightenment, in all of us, is coming again after 2000 years. you could say, more accurately, that the miracles are a kind of open invitation to rejoin the Christ energy.
What does Sai Baba say?
I don't know what Sai Baba says, he's isn't my guru.
Shirdi Sai Baba (who died in 1918) is, however, my guru, and he was quite eloquent on these subjects. and he showed TONS of miracles during his lifetime, always to help heal the people around him or those generations that came after (similar to Jesus).
I am sure it will sound magnificient and genuinely wise and higher beingly and I bet it will also be inert in some way i.e. nothing will be changed by the speaking of it. What is that?
if nothing changes by speaking of the miracles and the human condition, of helping end the suffering and the religious fighting, the broken hearts and the poverty of the human spirit around the world, then someone's not doing a proper job of explaining the links between all of these things, yet.
I hope, of course I hope, that something changes in peoples' understanding and awareness when I talk about these challenging subjects with an open heart and some of the knowledge I feel I gained during my years in India – and I've staked my life on the understanding that, at least in time, EVERYTHING will change as a result of this knowledge! – but if it doesn't happen now, then I must not be saying it well.
there is a saying in Sanskrit – 'satya jaya te!' – the truth always wins in the end! – and I'm betting that it's true. but it may be a long haul until The End....!