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The Devotee of the Devotee
Brian: Dear James, I want to thank you for your growing involvement with my old community brothers and sisters. They are good people, each and every one of them. One of Andrew’s closest students, who stayed with him for 27 years, is right now reading The Essence of Enlightenment for the third time and he can’t believe the clarity that is entering him, rendering much of the work he has done with Andrew as misguided. He is blown out. Courageous man! Maybe maybe he will contact you at some point. He has not seen any video of you as of yet, he has only read the book.
Besides this, your responses to people are reaching a wider audience of ex-Andrew students and helping many people gain clarity. I have printed some of your letters to me also at different websites, as they are so beautiful. Your influence comes at just the right moment, as many people have done years of work to overcome some of the worst shock of their involvement with Andrew and are now available for the objectivity, compassion, common sense and beauty of your words. I hope you know what it means to many of these people to receive an encouraging and helpful warm-hearted response from you – it is shocking to them in the most positive sense and deeply healing.
So thank you! And a hundred times, thank you. Personally, I can’t count my many blessings since meeting you and being able to practice/apply these precious teachings of Vedanta, a finished work and a work in progress at the same time.
I hope this reaches you in good health and showers of blessings from Isvara for you and Sundari.
James: Hi, Brian. Yes, everything here is just fine. If it gets any better I am not sure how I will be able to stand it. ☺ I’m glad the Vedanta is having such a positive effect on you and on some of Andrew’s students. The problem stems from the fact that they offered their worship to Andrew, not to Isvara. When you offer worship to a proper mahatma, the worship does not stay with the mahatma, it goes on to Isvara. The kind of devotion that Andrew encouraged was infantile and harmful because the worship stayed with Andrew, and his ego grew so huge that he thought he was special and immune to adharma. To put it another way, his sense of grandiosity justified violation of dharma, i.e. injured people. The Andrew phenomenon was an iteration of the crazy wisdom “teaching” that Western people are so susceptible to. A truly enlightened person has nothing to gain by violating dharma – because he or she is the self, i.e whole and complete by nature. Nothing is required to complete one’s self.
The effect of such teaching is that the devotee has to eventually heal his or her wounds. There is no growth. At best he or she gets back to normal. If you offer your worship to Isvara you will grow and you will attract a proper mahatma when you are mature. Isvara never hurts anyone; Isvara is the devotee of the devotee.
Western “spiritual” seekers tend to have an issue with Isvara, often because they have witnessed the harm that the religious mentality tends to cause, so they throw the baby out with the bath. The desire to worship God is built into the human mind, but when your god becomes personal – a human being – you are asking for trouble.
In our tradition we know that all worship is worship of Isvara, so the teachers don’t hang onto it – to do so would be larceny – and we also know that people who want to worship people are undeveloped spiritually. They have not resolved their childhood and become mature, so we don’t want them hanging around trying to get us to love them. A small person wants to be loved by other people; Andrew is a case in point. I believe he still wants his “position” back. This is because he has never resolved the small person himself. So when others worship him, he feels validated, not realizing that it is not real worship, only psychological need. Children worship their parents because they want things from them – lollipops, for instance. Andrew distributed spiritual lollipops – shaktipat experiences – and they became hooked on the experiences and on him. This kind of teacher never tells you that you are the lollipop because it would ruin his pleasure, his power. People would understand and move on and the teacher would feel diminished. So if you are thinking of leaving he will say that you are ruining your chance for enlightenment, etc. Vedanta says you are sweetness itself and it shows you how to experience it.
Anyway, I think you might enjoy the following email from another Andrew person that just came in.
~ Much love, James