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Avatars and Pedophilia
Markus: Hello, Ram. Last night your explanation of how the vasanas create action was very helpful. My perception is that people in general are not thoughtful enough to recognize how they create their own suffering by choice, nor do they see that the choices become habits/vasanas that create perceptions that develop into lifestyles that become filled with a sense of struggle. I was reminded how fortunate I have been to keep my lifestyle plate fairly simple so there is time/energy and mind to decipher consequences rather than allowing myself the luxury of spontaneously dealing with consequences later. Very infrequently has the SELF opted for that path.
On another note… in reading Ramana’s teaching in your book… I was reminded about his near-death experience. I had read it in years past when I was reading a lot about his life and teachings. I was also reminded of how my near-death experience in 1962 set me free regarding any question of life after death. Being raised in Christianity, I believed in heaven and hell. I wanted to get to heaven and feared hell. So my spiritual practice was fear-motivated. Reincarnation set me free of the idea that you have only one opportunity to get it right. The near-death experience of bodilessness and being in the brightest possible white light with an unlimited awareness but otherwise being intact… seeing… hearing… thinking… awareness… put to rest any possible fear of the hereafter too.
The next issue was simply how to get to awareness. As you know, that has not been so spontaneous. However, my journey as been filled with much grace. The awareness of the need for a teacher, the motivation to take the action… in my case many austere trips to India, conscious focus… and the financial resources to travel the path. Gratitude abounds!!!!
It has been quite an alone path… not to be confused with lonely. There has been an awareness and comfort of God all along… just not many people with which to share at a deep level of recognition… the power or the understanding of truth. As Sai Baba says, “I am God and you are God… the difference is I know it and you do not.” There are very few people I could share a knowing like that and still continue the conversation. At the end of your story you made references to false teachers/gurus/avatars who may also be pedophiles. I am very aware of the negative allegations around the PERCEPTION that Sai Baba is a pedophile. Because of my personal connection with Baba, I have an understanding of who He is based on personal experience. Sometime when we have an opportunity for a chat I would be interested in your perception and ideas around that or if you have formed any one way or the other. So, Ram, I too am delighted to have a friend I feel I can sit down and have a chat with about the joy of this perceptual trip into form. It is simple but also amazing. As you can see… the word “perception” has jumped out from your talks and it is very clear and useful in describing reality. Thank you!!!
~ Much love, Markus
Ram: Hi, Markus. Yes, I immediately recognized the single-pointedness of your intention for truth. It is one of the four main qualifications for moksa. You had previous lives in India and practiced yoga, and that punya resulted in a meritorious birth in this life – good parentage. The path is always alone because there is only one being. Swamiji used to say that the spiritual path was “alone, all alone to the alone.” You are right. It has nothing to do with “lonely.” I don’t know if it would be wise for us to discuss the Sai Baba/pedophile issue. I value your friendship and respect your spirituality as it is, apart from the help you got from others. So this is a dangerous issue to discuss with a Sai Baba devotee. Devotees are almost never objective about the object of their devotion. You cannot count on their personal experience. In Vedanta we call this personal conviction the pratibhasika level of reality. It is certainly true for you. It is your personal conviction. But it is equally the personal conviction of others that Sai Baba is other than what he appears to be. Who are we to believe? Is your experience true to the object or is it true to you? There is no objective truth for jivas. There is no objective truth in samsara. It is all relative to the point of view of the one who experiences it. Jivas all only see the world the way they see it – according to their tendencies. When your non-dual vision is perfect, nothing stands out, nothing stands above or beyond anything else. The apparent Sai Baba, his apparent devotees and his putatively apparent victims have only a conditional, dependent existence. They are not real. They appear and then they disappear into the awareness from which they are born. The truth is that you do not know and I do not know, because we were not there in his life on a daily basis to see who he is behind the God-man image, if anyone. And there is no objective way to determine his spiritual status – or anyone else’s, for that matter – because there is only one self and all the individuals are apparent entities, including Ram and Markus. I do know for certain, however, that nobody with a body in this life is vasana-free. Every apparent being that has a body has desires and/or fears in one way or another. Some are pure and some are not, depending on your definition of purity. And I do not in any way believe in the deification of human beings. In fact, as powerful in a worldly sense as Sai Baba is, he is not Isvara. When he is gone the world will continue with all its good and all its evil. He is just the self masquerading as another jiva, playing the role he is intended to play, dancing like a puppet on Isvara’s string, to me. If he was Isvara he would never change, never die.
I personally – not that I see myself as person – do not put much importance on spiritual stuff, gurus, avatars, etc. I think that when evaluating people in maya, the only valid standard is dharma. To what degree does the person follow dharma? Sai Baba has certainly generated much good karma by his actions. Whether he generated any bad, we do not know. Some say he did. Did he use the vast good karma to neutralize the bad karma and avoid the consequences of his actions? Quite a few people perceive that he did. Are they honest people? How can we tell? I have a very objective mind. I keep things simple. I know what happens in my life and that is enough for me. If Jesus or Buddha came to visit and started acting big, I would cut them down to size. If a criminal came to my house asking for food, I would give him a seat and feed him. Whether Sai Baba helped you or whether you helped you or Isvara helped you, what does it matter? You know who you are. This is all that matters.
~ Love, Ram