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No Longer a Seeker or a Finder
Shanti: Dear Ram, I just have to write this morning to tell you that I love you! There is such gratitude for the circumstances that somehow brought me to auspiciously find you. I also wanted to say how wonderful it is to be free! And to live in a non-hostile world. What a difference. Such peace and comfort and fearlessness. My actions aren’t anything like they used to be either.
Ram: It could not have happened to a more deserving person, Shanti. You have been forthright in your living and in your seeking. You even negotiated your way through your “awakening” and the spiritual world with class, and the self – the circumstances – responded appropriately by sending you to Vedanta. Living free in the non-hostile, peaceful world of actionless awareness isn’t too bad, is it! As Krishna says in the Gita, “Surrender all your dharmas to me. I will liberate you. Fear not.”
Shanti: I’ve been watching a Ramji video each morning to start the day. It’s a wonderful way to start the day and get reminded of reality before engaging with the crazy people. The videos are unbelievable, Ram. You are such a skillful teacher. I honestly think you and your recordings are the single most valuable resource available to Western seekers today (but don’t let it go to your head). ☺
Ram: Too late, Shanti. It has already gone to it. ☺ Seriously though, there is no head for it to go to. Sorry if I sound a bit like the Neos! But you must be right if the response to the website, books and videos is any indication. It stands to reason. I took a completely professional approach to my seeking, to scripture and subsequently to teaching. I did nothing else for the last forty years. It isn’t magic nor am I anything special. If you apply yourself consistently to the same pursuit for a long time you become accomplished. That is the beauty of the creation. It is an intelligently-designed, lawful world and committed purposeful action is rewarded with success.
Shanti: I haven’t forgotten about that article, and it is still coming together, but the real reason I want to post something at my website at all is to direct people to you.
Ram: Take your time, Shanti. I need more attention like I need a hole in the head and I am not a do-gooder out to save the world, so it can wait. But it is a good idea. There are so many good people like yourself who are floundering about, who have been inspired by the modern spiritual world and who have been let down by it who would be benefited by such an article. A critique coming from someone who has been though it is more powerful than one by someone who hasn’t, like me. When I criticize it may look like arrogance, even with the impeccable logic. I was lucky insofar that my seeking ended long before the modern spiritual world evolved into what it is today. People who don’t know the tradition think our criticisms smack of elitism.
Shanti: I’m about halfway through the Bhagavad Gita video series, and many unresolved questions are being cleared up. Sometimes I get an insight during a talk, and then have to go back and listen to it all over again because each insight brings an understanding of the next level down. Sometimes it’s like listening to two different talks! I’m also concurrently reading the little Swami Dayananda book The Teaching of the Bhagavad Gita, which is a nice adjunct. The big picture just becomes brighter and lovelier, attracting my devotion more and more.
Ram: Scripture is such a blessing, such an amazing thing. There is no purifier like it. You will be a great teacher one day if you stick with it, which you will. When you are ready for some more reading, I recommend Swami Dayananda’s commentaries on Vivekachoodamani. It is excellent.
Shanti: I had a dream last night about a man with two heads, one on top of the other, and both were very unattractive. He came and asked me if I wanted to dance, and I said yes. He was shorter than I was even with the two stacked-up heads, and just really an ugly guy. While we were dancing he said to me (it was more telepathic, so these words are my translation after the fact), “Even though I look hideous, you must always remember when you look at me that I am nothing but awareness, which is you.” And then the Greek chorus chimed in and said, “And you can verify this with the highest authority within and you will understand that there is only the shining One.” Great, huh? Do I get a gold star for having a Very Advanced Dream?
Ram: Great dream, Shanti. Yes, ugly-headed duality is also beautiful. It is nothing but the self. There is no maya in fact. I will provisionally award you a gold star and let you sit at the head of the class, but how do I know that you are not just polishing the teacher’s apple by cooking up this dream? ☺
Shanti: Ram, I wish you all happiness and I hope to see you again soon. Meanwhile, the teaching work you have devoted your life to has really done its job here, and I recognize that my love for you is also my love for my own self and for the Eternal Source of all love and beauty and joy and peace.
Ram: I accept your love with great humility, Shanti. You are a great soul. There is only one love.
Shanti: My love and thanks to you and your guru before you and his guru before him… etc.
Ram: Yes, ultimately it is the self in the form of the tradition, to which you now belong, that gets all the kudos.