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 Satsang Cafe - General Discussions on AYP
 ‘Enlightenment’ and fallen gurus.
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Zaelithe

United Kingdom
5 Posts

Posted - Jan 10 2021 :  10:36:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
A philosophical question brought to prominence by a friend’s recent experience prompted me to post today. Looking back over the last few decades we can see story after story wherein various gurus have risen (often with vast reach and publicity) and then fallen spectacularly in the usual morass of sex, power and money. The trauma caused to followers can, it appears, be akin to bereavement in the scope of loss endured (my devastated friend).
Some of ‘the fallen’ were clearly charlatans with a thin veneer of spirituality but others appear to have taught, spoken and acted with wisdom and clarity over long periods before coming apart in some ego-based way. What I would love to hear your opinions on is whether these ‘gurus’ were ever truly enlightened and thus, by definition, beyond duality and separation having experienced unity. Is it possible to somehow fall back into ego and separation from unity - or did they never get beyond operating from ego (albeit very cleverly) in the first place? I would appreciate the thoughts and maybe experience of others on this.
My respect and gratitude for Yogani’s teachings are only deepened by his ‘the guru is in you’ approach and decision to remain effectively anonymous and stay out of the fame game altogether!

Saktidas

USA
21 Posts

Posted - Jan 10 2021 :  1:03:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Greetings, Zaelithe,

Welcome to Satsang. I pray you receive insight into your inquiries.


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BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1634 Posts

Posted - Jan 10 2021 :  4:32:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Zaelithe
What I would love to hear your opinions on is whether these ‘gurus’ were ever truly enlightened and thus, by definition, beyond duality and separation having experienced unity. Is it possible to somehow fall back into ego and separation from unity - or did they never get beyond operating from ego (albeit very cleverly) in the first place?


Without attempting to hint at a verdict as to whether one guru or another was 'truly' enlightened, I would point to something that has been said before on these forums: Enlightenment is a journey, not a destination. I don't think anyone can get enlightened now and forever. Tests keep coming. Situations are so varied, sometimes very tangled. Sometimes the right thing to do is difficult to figure out. Believing yourself enlightened is a trap in itself - thinking that you can't get it wrong because you have evolved to a place of flawless judgement - that's when it becomes easy to get things wrong.

And the PR game is a quagmire. How do you stay true to your Self while also keeping up appearances? The latter may seem necessary to avoid letting down the school you created, people who depend on you, your followers... Even if you manage not to let your ego puffed up by large numbers of people who want to make a big deal of you, there are still challenges.
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Zaelithe

United Kingdom
5 Posts

Posted - Jan 10 2021 :  6:48:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you for your reply BlueRaincoat:

”Enlightenment is a journey, not a destination. I don't think anyone can get enlightened now and forever. Tests keep coming. Situations are so varied, sometimes very tangled. Sometimes the right thing to do is difficult to figure out. Believing yourself enlightened is a trap in itself - thinking that you can't get it wrong because you have evolved to a place of flawless judgement - that's when it becomes easy to get things wrong”.

That’s a useful point - the language around enlightenment can make it sound like a destination. Your reminder that it’s a journey in which tests and situations keep coming, means that it’s perhaps possible to take a wrong turning in responding to those situations - especially if trying to keep up an outward appearance for others.
I see what you mean by the trap of believing yourself enlightened - that could mean believing that your judgments and actions were also enlightened and therefore ‘right’ - a dangerous thought indeed. Perhaps these fallen gurus serve as a valuable reminder of the pitfalls and traps of spiritual egotism and that while ‘the guru is in us’ we may also need humility and grounding to avoid falling into them.#128591;
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Saktidas

USA
21 Posts

Posted - Jan 10 2021 :  7:32:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Chogyam Trungpa for example. Has anyone see the documentary “Crazy Wisdom” ? https://youtu.be/M76ChDJamDw
From some perspectives, he is spoken of as being indulgent and motivated by impure passions. From another perspective, Trungpa’s roots were filled with intense, widespread suffering and violence. He was compelled to bring the message he had been given to the world. The escape from Tibet was epic in such a real, human way. Trungpa wore impurities like ornaments. That way we can all be aware and digest them. Then they begin to appear, uniquely divine.

Edited by - Saktidas on Jan 11 2021 03:08:11 AM
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maheswari

Lebanon
2439 Posts

Posted - Jan 11 2021 :  03:10:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello everyone
it is very important that one does not give up his/her common sense.It is never about blind following up of anyone not even a teacher
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Christi

United Kingdom
3822 Posts

Posted - Jan 11 2021 :  06:20:10 AM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Moderator note: The topic on energetic overload and self-pacing has been split off to here


quote:
Originally posted by Zaelithe

A philosophical question brought to prominence by a friend’s recent experience prompted me to post today. Looking back over the last few decades we can see story after story wherein various gurus have risen (often with vast reach and publicity) and then fallen spectacularly in the usual morass of sex, power and money. The trauma caused to followers can, it appears, be akin to bereavement in the scope of loss endured (my devastated friend).
Some of ‘the fallen’ were clearly charlatans with a thin veneer of spirituality but others appear to have taught, spoken and acted with wisdom and clarity over long periods before coming apart in some ego-based way. What I would love to hear your opinions on is whether these ‘gurus’ were ever truly enlightened and thus, by definition, beyond duality and separation having experienced unity. Is it possible to somehow fall back into ego and separation from unity - or did they never get beyond operating from ego (albeit very cleverly) in the first place? I would appreciate the thoughts and maybe experience of others on this.
My respect and gratitude for Yogani’s teachings are only deepened by his ‘the guru is in you’ approach and decision to remain effectively anonymous and stay out of the fame game altogether!



Hi Zaelithe and all,

I don't know if you are aware of it, but Yogani has written quite a lot over the years on the dangers of the guru system. Especially the dangers of students becoming dependent on the guru and on the guru becoming dependent on their students.

See here for example:

Lesson 389 - Why Won't You be My Guru?

"The concept of personal guru is not attractive here, because it is so much about personality cult. By now we are well familiar with the pitfalls of that. It is not what a guru is in the ultimate sense. But in the world, that is what gurudom is - personality cult. It has become so much about codependent relationships, where the disciple needs the external guru, and the guru needs the external disciple. Invariably this leads to a sense of entitlement on both sides and a resulting instability and loss of credibility. Then sacred knowledge suffers a setback." [Yogani]

And here:

Addition 19.1 - What to Do When a Famous Guru Comes to Town

"As for judging him as a person, or any unhealthy co-dependency with his followers, well, that's the whole thing about gurus. Gurus are constantly judged on a scale of perfection, and often greatly elevated beyond their humanity by their followers -- people need that (see Lesson 260). This dynamic can lead to all sorts of problems. But that's how the system works, and always has. So the suggestion is to take the wheat and leave the chaff, and don't be too hard on the fellow. It's a tough profession. :-)" [Yogani]


I would agree with BlueRC above in that enlightenment is a progression which is never ending. There is not a point on the path where someone is not capable of falling backwards, at least whilst they are in a physical body. The idea of the "saint" who is beyond making any mistakes, or beyond having a "bad day" is just that, an idea in the mind.

See lesson 260 for more on this:

Lesson 260 - The Difference Between Enlightenment and Perfection

"Is there a relationship between enlightenment and rightness of vision? Absolutely. But the act of perfect expression of the divine is a process that can involve missteps along the way. If we are following the light, we may not walk in a straight line. Even if the light is bright, we can trip and fall, sometimes because of the light itself. (Ramakrishna was famous for falling down and hurting himself while in his ecstatic reveries. Other gurus have made much bigger mistakes, in some cases limiting spiritual opportunities for millions.) Acolytes will defend the imperfections of the guru as being part of the perfect plan, while those prone to judgment will run the other way. Neither is right. In this earth life, everything is a mixture of light and shadow. Recognizing this fact is the key to learning and sustaining effective yoga practices over the long term." [Yogani]


Christi

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Saktidas

USA
21 Posts

Posted - Jan 11 2021 :  09:07:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
If one approaches each person as an equal in a basic sense and doesn’t jump quickly into a role... and if you approach everyone as they are your guru for now, in the sense that whatever is said is exactly what needs to be heard as it is being expressed by consciousness. I want to see the unique expressions from my brothers and sisters. It’s all been said before. We see what happens when somebody elevates themselves artificially. We can see what happens with all of the echo chambers when good people say and do nothing.

Edited by - Saktidas on Jan 11 2021 09:51:06 AM
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Saktidas

USA
21 Posts

Posted - Jan 11 2021 :  12:53:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
To tell you the truth, the most effective “gurus” are anyone who is willing to keep it real as a human and accept being roasted in public.
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kumar ul islam

United Kingdom
763 Posts

Posted - Jan 12 2021 :  3:34:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
A sufi teacher was asked when he knew his students were enlightened by the teachings he replied they don't turn up anymore to my to my class, a simple truth when learnt has been learnt do we stop learning making mistakes the answers no being human is a prerequisite for failure forgiveness entitles us to change ourselves as well as seeing the change in others, humankind falls and climbs guru, presidents and even the procceses inside ourselves change, I have found everyone is my guru and I learn something every day.
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Running Water

Belgium
17 Posts

Posted - Jan 12 2021 :  4:18:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
To Zealithe :

This is an interesting book concerning your question.
It.s a free download

https://holybooks.com/stripping-gur...offrey-falk/
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Saktidas

USA
21 Posts

Posted - Jan 12 2021 :  6:06:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
It is time for all of us to speak honestly and with love to each other. Family first. We will recognize and speak the truth. Many blessings to all and their loved ones.

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Zaelithe

United Kingdom
5 Posts

Posted - Jan 12 2021 :  8:52:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks to everyone for the wise and thought provoking replies. I feel clearer and more at peace with the subject - and hopefully better able to support my friend .
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TaiPi

USA
13 Posts

Posted - Jan 13 2021 :  07:29:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Running Water

To Zealithe :

This is an interesting book concerning your question.
It.s a free download

https://holybooks.com/stripping-gur...offrey-falk/



I find this book interesting. Would love to make time to read this one. Thanks.
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