L Cohen & R Balsekar (Advaita)

Ask and answer questions about Leonard Cohen, his work, this forum and the websites!
songster
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 9:48 pm

Postby songster » Fri Dec 05, 2003 4:36 pm

Dear Biraj,


I have been thinking about your criticisms of my post. I do believe it is possible to comprehend the Advaita philosophy without being "highly evolved" spiritually. I really don't think I have a simplified view of it either. That said--I am going back to re-read Balseker's books because I do not want to have mistakingly implied a position that he does not hold. I believe Hinduism should be held to the same high critical standards that the monotheistic religions are held to. But this is seldom the case.
Lostlyric
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2003 12:56 am
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Postby Lostlyric » Sat Dec 06, 2003 5:34 am

Dear Songster:

Good to hear from you. What I had said in response to your initial post was not meant to personally attack or flame you in ANY way. And if my words have offended you in any way, for that I apologize. However, I stand by what I wrote in terms of the content reflected in my original post.

One point of clarification I would like to make about your stating that "it is possible to comprehend Advaita philosophy without being "highly evolved" spiritually". In this regard what I said is, "to westerners the appeal of Advaita is that it is seen as an intellectual method of inquiry to *realize* God or the absolute. However, I think it requires a person to be a highly evolved individual spiritually, otherwise it is a baffling pathway to those who think it is merely an intellectual pathway to the absolute".

I agree with *your* statement that I quoted above. In fact if one needed to be highly evolved to *comprehend* Advaita philosophy then I would not be able to speak to it in the manner I have in my previous or this post. Thus it is very much possible to *comprehend* Advaita philosophy. However, my post stated "an intellectual method of inquiry to REALIZE God or the absolute".
Songster, I am not sure if you caught the point of my using the word *realize*, but it was not a word lightly used. The word *comprehend* cannot by ANY MEASURE WHATSOEVER speak to the concept of REALIZATION or SELF-REALIZATION. And I do not use this concept in Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs" context. Instead my reference is to spiritual self-realization i.e. when one has found the answer to THAT which answers EVERYTHING absolutely.

The second point I wish to make is that the gentleman you refer to i.e. Mr. Balsekar, I have NEVER read any of his books or ideas. I speak to you about Advaita based on my intuitive knowledge of it derived from reading and experiencing minuscule aspects of the ideas contained in Vedanta (the knowledge of the Vedas on which Advaita is based, as is Hinduism.) Incidentally Hinduism is often seen as a religion but it is actually a way of life rather than a religion.

You may wonder what is this strange animal that I refer to by the name of "intuitive knowledge". By using this term I am trying to identify a phenomenon which generally eludes an intellectual understanding of ideas of faith. Because I do not wish to speak of the issues of the intellect or even for that matter issues of institutionalized religion. This is because Advaita has little or nothing to do with religion because Advaita is a pathway to the absolute which is also referred to as Sat-chit-ananda (hyphens are mine) which stands for Truth-Beauty-Joy. Essentially, in plain English what I am talking about is spirituality, rather than any formal religious notion. The point of my saying all this is that for the sake of this or any other discussion my suggestion to you is don't waste your time reading Balsekar, unless you choose to do so for your own reasons, because what I am talking about is not even remotely intellectual. It is spiritual. And spirituality is not an intellectual notion, but rather when the heart AND the intellect are working in conjunction with each other.

In Vedanta (and Hinduism) it is recommended that just as the teacher (Guru) tests the commitment of the disciple; so also the disciple must test the Guru to ensure that he is indeed the teacher that he appears or claims to be. For this reason Advaita or Vedanta have held up through more than 5000 years not only of a high critical standard, but also invaders, occupiers, wars, pestilence, waves of different religious trends etc. For this reason I do not believe that Hinduism has not been held up to the high standard of criticism that other religions of any kind have been held up to. The knowledge of the Vedanta is as valid today as it was 5000 years ago. Incidentally, Advaita is only ONE method that is recommended in the Vedanta. There are others too.

So whether we speak of Leonard, or other spiritual seekers of truth...they are all looking for a pathway to the absolute or the truth. Intellectual ideas per se, quite simply, do not (and cannot) suffice. The intellect can merely hold the flashlight...it is with the heart one actually sees. For these reasons my friend please do not take offense at anything I said. In my response I said what I did because I thought your post was somewhat rash.

This is my sense of things Songster. I had no wish, and have no wish to offend you or compete about such issues. Nor do I wish to pass judgement on you, in fact I sincerely wish you well.

Take care, and peace to all,

Best,

Biraj
"So if you're sitting all alone and hear a-knocking at your door and the air is full of promises, well buddy, you've been warned!!!"

Nick Cave on love
User avatar
Makera
Posts: 744
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2003 11:42 am
Location: The Other Side
Contact:

Postby Makera » Sat Dec 06, 2003 6:02 am

Lostlyric/Biraj~
Excellent explication, once again. Have you read any of the thread under Taigaku's post on spirituality: 'Not Waiting for the Miracle' on the Member's Poetry Forum? You may find it very interesting. (Ken Wilber's article, in particular.)

~Makera
Lostlyric
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2003 12:56 am
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Postby Lostlyric » Sat Dec 06, 2003 6:15 am

Hello Makera:

Thank you for your kind words about the post...I will certainly check out the thread on the poetry forum you refer to.

Best,

Biraj
"So if you're sitting all alone and hear a-knocking at your door and the air is full of promises, well buddy, you've been warned!!!"

Nick Cave on love

Return to “Comments & Questions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest