Monday, January 21, 2008

More on spiritual dilution.

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

Heavy rainfall has its merits - it being dark and miserable outside, there is simply no work happening or even about to happen. So, instead of wasting my time surfing idly I might as well waste some of your time by posting a few words.

From the previous post (....state of common man) and the comments for that post, the separate tangent of spiritual dilution seems to be a good one to explore. Like Kanna (see comment to previous post) suggests, it is true that the preoccupation with mantra, tantra and kundalini etc of humanity will take that much wind out of the sails of all the other not so good things that people might be into. Granted. But in the long run does it actually do that?Or does it short circuit the already fragile wiring of the human psyche that he/she becomes incapable of anything other than self absorption (at best) and paranoia (at worst)? If for example, the masses are interested in pursuit of the transcendental insights contained in the Brahmasutra bashyas or in the contemplation of their own self as or in the universe, it is nothing to fret about. But it is the interest of the masses in the more heavy duty 'dynamite' procedures that calls for concern. If you take for example the following factors - a very weak will, very little or no discipline, an attitude of instant gratification (no matter what gratification is sought), a very business like attitude of least investment to high returns in even spiritual aspects, little or no concern for anything more than one's own needs, no adhyayana or study, the assumption that freedom/free will is the lack of rules and or moral fibre, the misunderstanding that the veda mahavakyas like aham brahmasmi, ayam atmA brahma etc are applicable to everyone in the physical world without context, etc etc (the list could take up the next half an hour of your time) - and apply them to the mix, you end up with a whitewashed wall!

Like the days where the texts were interpreted to stop the loss of believers to the Buddhist fold, today the texts are being reinterpreted to suit the 'global' Hindu (Iam not complaining - I have always held that the Hindu thought by its virtue of being eternal and true, must essentially be global). For 'global', read materialist, new age, mish mashed, un bothered to question and essentially insecure and confused. The original texts are interpreted now with a monetary/ saleability quotient, not to mention the political correctness factor! Major requirements like faith, devotion, an open mind, respect, etc are all done away with - as there wont be too many queuing up to spend their dollars and euro if they had to pray and chant for the next twenty years before anything stirred. Tradition, context etc are forgotten thanks to the need to be 'up to the hour' and not be hung up about things. This overall trend has a two fold effect. In the short term it has everyone buzzed about anything Indian/eastern and anything mystic. Even Hollywood movies have opening shots of group chanting and saffron clad gurus. You can have a discussion about the openness of your third eye, judge people by the seeing if their ascendant was in Aries or Libra, etc over a cup of coffee. This is great in the sense that it opens us to all manner of possibilities. But is very dangerous without the context as in the long term it will only add to the confusion and haze - giving rise to the next cycle of dominance by the 'spiritual' giants (middlemen to God) who can tell you and me anything they like and we will be none the wiser.

The mass marketing of yoga and other purely spiritual paths (at a time when mankind is quite vulnerable due to generations of not keeping up with one's own soul and having no faith), will only result in false expectations and over bearing inadequacies. With the loss of context there is also the loss of perception. The loss of perception is nothing but delusion. Delusion leads to even more delusion (like money attracts even more money) and eventually it is capable of leading one into many births and deaths in realms so dark that the word dark has to be rewritten.

Like the fire, which when fed is never satisfied but only gets an appetite even more ferocious - vasanas (latencies) of mankind do not necessarily need to be lived out (in a collective sense) to rid them of their power. Rather, the contrary becomes true - feeding them gives them an even stronger power and appetite. Those tendencies and latencies need to be burnt by the fire of sadhana (or wisdom of the wise), so they don't have the chance to sprout later. Which is precisely why the spiritual paths and methods of upasana were held so sacred - they were designed to be the 'fire' that parched/burnt the grain called vasana to ensure that there will be no sprout at a later stage. Fiddling around with them to suit our own selfish needs and fitting them to our own flagging selves, is like throwing away the bullets in the gun and just holding on to the empty weapon. Of no use, except of course to scare the onlooker into thinking that we are wielding a weapon capable of inflicting harm! Which I suppose is at the very root of this mass marketing - the sellers sell only what there is a demand in the market for. And the demand in the market is for something that looks 'like' the real thing and not for the 'real' thing at all!!

Who wants the hard work and the constant training and self control required for gaining some internal clarity, when it is so much easier to fly to India (or anywhere else, all the gurus have branch offices too!) for a weekend and buy a white (or saffron) kurta and a set of beads and do a crash course in tantra, vedanta or anything else? The advantages are many, its instant and you get a new 'Indian' name to boot!! Win win situation there, specially with the current exchange rate!