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The Use of Language
Sundari: Hello, Lola. I must say it is quite delightful to receive your emails! ☺
You make me laugh, and you are just such a lovely person! I hope one day we get to meet. I have replied in point form below.
Lola: Thank you, Sundari! The use of language, eh? It is self-enquiry, not study, and that is what I am doing earnestly. And I have all the time in the world to do it, and am blessed with the perfect environment to do it in, as you said.
Sundari: Yes, language is so important, no getting away from it. Unfortunately, the way language has developed and is used is so open to interpretation, misinterpretation and the contamination of one’s own conditioning. It is the source of all misunderstandings. Vedanta is called a sabda pramana, which is the valid testimony of competent witnesses, which is why it is so specific about how words are used.
Lola: I know all the teachers are “singing from same hymn book” but maybe one teacher would be better? Deep down, I would like to speak to James but I am scared he will shout at me. I know after watching him a lot on videos that he is a pussy cat, really!!!! Pesky vasanas do like to stick their nose in. Jiva Lola is quite well-qualified and yet a vasana where she easily feels stupid lurks. I know it is not me and that knowledge neutralises them. But like in your email about “study,” a vasana popped up but I neutralised it – if that is right expression? All part of the journey of self-enquiry, eh?
Sundari: Maybe one teacher would be better, it is up to you. We are not offended that you are sampling all of us. ☺
Yes, we do indeed sing from the same hymn book, but where you got that James would shout at you (or anyone!) is a bit of a mystery. He is the kindest, most patient and loving soul whose only real concern is helping those who Isvara sends to him. Honestly, Lola, I know you know it is just a self-esteem issue on the part of the jiva and has no bearing on any truth, not about Lola or James. Please do write to James; he would love to help you. You might have to be patient though because he is very busy.
Lola: As you say quite rightly, I am not studying Vedanta but I am on a path of self-enquiry. It is path I started a few years before I came across How to Achieve Enlightenment. I’ve read that book six times, and watched many videos and read satsangs. I love Isaiah’s long one about his journey. I am re-reading it and it makes more sense to me now.
Sundari: Ah, dear Isaiah, he is such a great soul. We love him to bits. His inquiry is worthy of a book, we are so glad he put it together. He will soon be back in the saddle replying to emails.
Lola: And now specifically, I am diligently watching Berlin 2014 on YouTube, part by part which is very enlightening!!! I can see the structure which James has set up. Brilliant!! I am also helping Peggy transcribe some of Bhagavad Gita in the Spain audios. All this has helped me on my journey of self-enquiry. I do get it, but sometimes I don’t seem to know how to put it across in an email.
Sundari: What a sweetheart, thanks for your help! Yes, the Berlin talks are a great place to start off. James has done what no one has done before him in Vedanta, putting the teachings in such an accessible methodology. He is truly a great soul, a mahatma who leaves a trail of happiness wherever he goes. We are truly blessed to know him. I wish I could show you the countless emails we get from all over the world, from people we will never meet whose lives have been permanently changed by his teaching.
Lola: I love the gunas and your book is clearly going to be of help to me. In the meantime, I know – honest – that it is all Isvara. I just need to remember this 24/7. It is like you said about the price of freedom being eternal vigilance. The jiva I thought I was and all that she is attached to, is not real. Period! It is all Isvara. Period!
Sundari: Yes, Isvara is the key teaching! Please read attached articles.
Lola: I was re-reading Christian’s reply yesterday about where I feel like two sometimes because me, the self, is in the foreground of the person’s experience. I thought that was because I am still identified with the jiva. Hence your reply and you said very helpfully to ask “Which jiva is talking here?” I love the teachings and when I am “in” awareness it is perfect and bliss beyond bliss. It is pure love, and because of that all becomes one in this “is-ness.”
Sundari: Remind yourself that you are never “out” of awareness, because that is impossible as there is no “inside” or “outside” awareness. There is only “within the scope of” awareness. Awareness pervades every atom of existence so there is nowhere that you are not. I know what you mean when you are “aware of being awareness,” but remember always to ask yourself, “Who is talking here?” And take a stand in awareness as awareness, practice the opposite thought. Make that your spiritual practice; be diligent! Whenever you find a thought to the contrary, jump on it and re-affirm: “I AM whole and complete, non-dual, actionless, unlimited, unchanging awareness, now and always.” If you have to, fake it till you make it.
Make this your mantra on your walks, taking in Isvara and rejoicing in the beauty that makes beauty beautiful: YOU!
Lola: You said it there below in your email about where you say we love reading about ourselves, awareness. That is how I feel on my walks when I look at nature, when I see an owl, all the birds, a wee shrew, the hills the trees, everything, all one big delicious awareness. It fills my heart.
Sundari: Yes, and it is so because you make it possible. Never forget that. Everything you do and see is a worship of you, the self. If you don’t have one, start a practice of devotion. It sounds like your walks are just that; but it cannot be over-stated how important devotional practice is because anything you do in the spirit of devotion and gratitude is paying attention to you. Devotion to Isvara is also a great way to handle the ego.
As Krishna said to Arjuna: “In whichever way you worship me, I will come to you and make myself known.”
Lola: Everything I do, I offer to Isvara. I have lots and lot of self-enquiry to enjoy. And I receive all that I need on that journey from your lovely Vedanta team.
Sundari: That’s the spirit! And we are all here to serve you.
Lola: Although one day I would like to perhaps do Dayananda’s Gita home study course. But that’s not yet, for sure! I have not heard of the other person you mentioned.
Sundari: We can highly recommend Dayananda’s home study course, it is brilliant. He is a living saint and has done so much for Vedanta. James met him when he was with Chinmaya; they were there at the same time. He has the greatest respect for him. Paramarthananda is one of Dayananda’s top teachers. They all teach the same thing, Vedanta, just in different ways. Personally, I find James is better than all of them because he understands the Indian mentality and translates it perfectly for the Western mind. This has been his brief and he has succeeded beyond measure to bring Vedanta to the West.
Lola: I am done big-time with the people who really do not know what they are talking about!!!!! And there are plenty of them!!!! All part of Isvara’s play though!!!
Sundari: Amen and amen! Isvara sure seems to love them though, because there are so many of them. One has to wonder.
Lola: Well, I think that is all I would like to say but you can guarantee I will remember something after I sent it!!! It is funny you should mention ice cream because when my husband Fraser sees me at the computer (which is a lot) reading or watching James, and he knows it is called Vedanta, well, he has no interest in it at all but when he hears the word “Vedanta” he calls it “Vedante,” and says it sounds like an ice cream and starts to sing, “Vedante, Vedante!” It is quite funny!!!
Sundari: That is funny because after you wrote yesterday Isvara put this image of an ice cream in my mind! ☺
Lola: Another teacher is Isaiah. Do say “hi” to him for me! I have him in my thoughts for some reason. ☺
Sundari: I will pass on your message and if at any time you really want to write to him as well, I am sure he would be happy to oblige when he is able to.
Lola: Love and sunshine. xxxxx
Sundari: And to you, beautiful soul. Much love.