Advaita and Enlightenment

CAP 13, modified 8 Years ago at 8/4/14 1:03 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 8/4/14 1:03 PM

Advaita and Enlightenment

Posts: 8 Join Date: 6/7/14 Recent Posts
I was just reading a bit of Ramesh Balsekars work and he said:

"What is the significance of the statement 'No one can get enlightenment'? This is the very root of the teaching. It means that it's stupid for any so-called master to ask anyone to do anything to achieve or get enlightenment. The core of this simple statement means, according to my concept, that enlightenment is the annihilation of the "one" who "wants" enlightenment. If there is enlightenment - which can only happen because it is the will of God - then it means the "one" who had earlier wanted enlightenment has been annihilated. So no "one" can achieve enlightenment and therefore no "one" can enjoy enlightenment.""The joke is even the surrendering is not in your control. Why? Because so long as there is an individual who says "I surrender" there is a surrenderer, an individual ego... What I'm saying is that even the surrendering is not in hands."

Ive read comments like this from neo advaita teachers and wondered what you guys think about it in light of Insight and the maps?
Richard Zen, modified 8 Years ago at 8/4/14 1:35 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 8/4/14 1:34 PM

RE: Advaita and Enlightenment

Posts: 1656 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts
Advaita and Buddhism both have an understanding that the "meditator" doesn't exist because it's another self-concept but the target is letting go.  By letting go and leaving everything else normal the consciousness can be analyzed with more clarity.  Whether people want to argue about a Big Self versus Nirvana and what's permanent or not it still comes down to: "Are you a better person? How do you behave in private versus public?"

Both Buddhism and Advaita can be attached to because that's what we do with concepts.  You can't attach to anything including the practice itself or else you're stuck with identifying with views etc.  That's why I like Nagarjuna in his understanding of the emptiness concept also being empty of inherent existence.  Inherent existence = Concepts or Objects appearing to exist without cause and effect.  All experiences are inbetween two extremes of complete permanence versus nihilsm.  Everything has a cause and effect and concepts or sense objects are forms of reductionism to simplify the complex universe into data we can use to survive as a species.

Our current understanding in science is that there "is" a Higgs Boson that creates mass in particles but could this particle also be made up of smaller units?  Trying to find a permanent "is" or believing in "is not" to extremes is the problem.  The middle path is that things manifest but are changeable.  Whether you're Neo-Advaita or Buddhist if you let go of attaching to "is" or "is not" you should be less stressed and less surprised by changes you witness in life.

I find in the end that it's all about habits and how you deal with them.  Many people have great mediation experiences but unless their behaviours change there is no freedom.  This is something that has to show real progress to prove that freedom has been achieved.
Jason Snyder, modified 8 Years ago at 8/4/14 3:46 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 8/4/14 3:33 PM

RE: Advaita and Enlightenment

Posts: 186 Join Date: 10/25/13 Recent Posts
I think this concept is usefull after a long time of "someone" doing the "practicing". At a certain point (high equanimity for example) it makes sense to surrender any concept of effort or even surrender. But before that, it is kind of ridiculous and disempowering, not to mention pernicious, IMO. I mean, enlightenment *does* require transformations in brain processing, something that takes time (99% of the time). New neural pathways have to be carved, etc. Also even teachings by people like Tony Parsons still requires people to buy the book, attend the workshop, watch the video, i.e., it requires "somebody" doing. 

You might want to look into Kenneth Folks 3 Speed Transmission framework, which seeks to integrate 1st gear which is the developmental model with 3rd gear which is "you are already here, nothing to do" stuff. It helped me sort out my thinking on the matter. Both perspectives are valuable in their proper context.