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What Does Taking a Stand in Awareness Mean?
Terry: Hi, James, thanks for talking with me yesterday. I think it helped when we talked about me being my own guru. I do feel like that is happening and it takes the pressure off you. :-)
I was reading Swami Dayananda’s The Teaching of the Bhagavad Gita this morning. In the foreword it says this: “The teaching of the Bhagavad Gita opens with this assurance: there is no cause for grief. The Gita addresses itself to the human problem of conflict and grief.” I am interpreting this to mean human grief, I assume there is no grief in Myself.
James: Yes, the self is griefless. Grief belongs to mithya, a human jiva that is not clear that it is the self.
Terry: The foreword goes on to say: “Unless one discovers oneself to be an adequate self, life continues to be a problem. Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita reveals that every human being, in fact every being, is a complete, adequate self. The sense of inadequacy arises from the ignorance of the real nature of the self. A situation gets to be a problem and creates conflict and a feeling of helplessness. The knowledge of the self – and that knowledge alone – will eliminate the sense of inadequacy. When one discovers oneself to be a full and complete being, all the conflicts and grief vanish.”
This is why I was saying yesterday that self-realization translates to the person so that the person will have no grief. Does this make sense?
James: Yes, since there is no grief in you, the self, Terry’s grief vanishes or is known to be mithya.
I was thinking about Terry’s stock reply to the “why” of maya, i.e. satya and mithya: “I don’t know.” It is the right response for any jiva because the jiva can’t know, unless it takes a stand in awareness, because maya is inscrutable, as scripture makes completely clear. Nobody knows why, including the great jnanis. This is why I have repeatedly encouraged you to take a stand in awareness.
What does that mean? It simply means that Terry assumes that he is whole and complete and griefless as the scripture says, and then look at the grief from that point of view. Vedanta does not make any sense to a jiva in duality. It is completely counter-intuitive. Terry may think he is Terry and not the self, but the teaching and the teacher know different. The teaching says that you are the self and it tells you that you are whole and complete, which means that nothing is missing as far as you are concerned – including enlightenment – and that nothing you want – including enlightenment – is going to add anything to you. So you have to let go of the idea that you haven’t “got it” and believe wholeheartedly that you have. Krishna says, “There is no peace for doubters.” Swami Dayananda says that faith in your wholeness and completeness is the most important qualification for the jiva. You have the burning desire, the dispassion, etc. down, but for some reason you resist saying, “I am whole and complete. I need nothing.” If you continue to doubt it, it means that Terry, not the teacher or the teaching, is the authority. So at some point you will have to cede authority to the scripture and accept this statement as a fact. You have to assume that you were wrong about who you are all along. If you do, then a huge relief follows because all of Terry’s seeking disappears. We are not seekers. We are inquirers. This means that we have no doubt about what the scripture says about who we are but that we remain alert for any ideas to the contrary – or their proxies, fear and desire – and dismiss them in light of this simple fact until the knowledge produces the experience of total satisfaction for the jiva.
As I said, Vedanta, does not want an inquirer to become dependent on the teacher. But it should be parsed like all categorical statements. It means that you become your own guru when the guru signs off on your understanding of the teaching, not before. Allowing the ego to interpret the teachings is putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop. The most difficult stage for many people is to turn over the reins to the teacher and the teaching. You are as good as the teacher, as the self and as an ordinary person, but when you have a guru, you are not the boss. I know you don’t want to resist. The resistance belongs to maya, beginninless ignorance, not to Terry or to the self. This “leap of faith” is the only thing that will overcome it.