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Questions, but No Questions
Julia: Dear James and Sundari, for more than two years I have been listening to your videos, The Bhagavad Gita, The Essence of Vedanta, Panchadasi, Vivekachudamani, Mandukya Upanishad karika, all of them twice at the least. The last teaching, on the Mandukya, is so great. I love it. I listen almost every day for at least one hour. Neo-Advaita Vedanta teachers are not very interesting anymore. I listened to a few of them. Vedanta is the most revealing teaching, and I am so glad that I’ve heard from it.
A good friend told me about this great Vedanta scripture. And there is also no doubt about the teaching whatsoever, only when I am a bit tamasic and listen not clearly I listen again as if I know what is “written” already. But yes, Vedanta is about me, so that makes it clear again and again. Inquiry Into Existence became my daily practice, like cooking. Karma yoga and jnana yoga, which go together, cause direct knowledge. So – shravana, manana, they also go together, and nididhyasana. The world is there because I see it. And the teaching of the three energies is also beautiful! It makes everything so very clear. I will see you in Amsterdam for the first time and am looking forward to be live at the seminar. And questions – I don’t know – for now I don’t have any. The teaching is clear, and when not, I listen again and again.
Oh yes, one thing, you talk in Mandukya Trout Lake that the Self does not exist in the body or outside the body. That is clear to me. I, consciousness, am the knower of the body. The Self does not do anything unless Maya, ignorance, is there, right?
Julia: But what about Isvara 1 and 2? Isvara 1 is consciousness. Isvara 2 is consciousness plus Maya. So Isvara 2 is pervading the world, like space; you make that clear so nicely with your chair example, ha ha. Is that correct?
James: Yes. From the perspective of Isvara 1, there is nothing to pervade, because it is just non-dual being. There is nothing for it to pervade. When Maya creates matter, the Self pervades it.
Julia: You talk about the Self. Is that the same as consciousness?
Julia: Inquiry into the sensation of fear is very important. Have I ever seen fear? No.
Have I felt the sensation of fear? Yes. That’s the hardest part, although I am not the feeling sensation.
James: Yes, Maya is hard to understand. The jiva feels the sensation of fear but you, the Self – existence/consciousness/bliss – don’t feel it. The Self just knows it.
Julia: The fan is off, but the blades are still moving.
James: Maya makes non-duality into a “both/and,” not an either/or. The body-mind moves according to the momentum of its past actions, but you don’t move at all! It is a great wonder.
Julia: Thank you for taking time to read this letter, James.
James: You are most welcome, Julia. See you soon!
~ Much love
Skype Satsang with James or Sundari
Vedanta doesn’t work properly without the help of a qualified teacher. While qualified inquirers will definitely benefit from the books, videos, website and seminars, occasionally questions arise that can only be resolved by personal contact with the teacher. Now that we are settled in Spain, ShiningWorld is pleased to offer donation-based Skype satsangs with James/Ramji and Sundari.
“You don’t have problems; you are the problem.” – Swami Chinmayananda
If you are new to Vedanta, you need to know that Vedanta only works for mature people who know that fixing the ego’s problems is not a solution. Only when an individual entertains the right self-concept are psychological problems resolved. We are happy to briefly hear your story to get an idea of your qualifications but only offer suggestions in keeping with the teaching itself.
Keeping in mind that we are situated in Spain (European Standard Time), we are available between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm and from 8:00 to 10:00 pm most days. To schedule, contact Sundari at firstname.lastname@example.org or James/Ramji at email@example.com. Once we agree on a date, make a donation at the website.