Shining World

Precious Gold

In tribute to my teacher, Ramji

Dear Ramji,

Thank you for bringing Vedanta to the English-speaking world. I have studied with several other teachers throughout my life, but none of them can hold a candle to you.  I hit the jackpot when God (Ishwara) brought me to you.

Some might criticize you for occasionally swearing or telling off-color jokes or criticizing other gurus but all of these are very valuable to me. Why? Because swearing affirms the inherent frustrations common to us poor little individual worms.  Off-color jokes bring humor to life and often humble the arrogant, holier-than-thou types. 

Maybe the most important of all, criticizing other gurus for real shortcomings puts into practice the very important skill of discrimination by articulating the differences between authentic teachings and erroneous ones. Without such clear distinctions, how can we navigate the often treacherous and deceptive waters of the spiritual world?

I think genuine spirituality should be able to deal with both the ugly and the beautiful in life. Real spirituality is strong and compassionate, and not afraid of evil or ugliness. Sometimes the best way to learn from error and ignorance is to call out frauds, to name them, and spell out their misconceptions and faults. You do this when appropriate, Ramji, and I’m glad you do. I believe self-actualization is not for wimps, for those shrinking-violet types who never want any remotely negative things around them. You have helped me see both my weaknesses and my strengths, my sins and my virtues, and I’m better because of it.

Thank you for all of it. 


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