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 Post subject: Legitimacy of the Method of Sri Ramana Maharshi
PostPosted: January 16th, 2017, 10:26 pm 
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Joined: August 29th, 2008, 9:51 pm
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Location: Riverside, CA
Dear Friends,

Greetings of Peace. In his book Spiritual Perspectives and Human Facts Schuon speaks of Ramana Maharshi in rather glowing terms stating that,

Quote:
In Shri Ramana Maharshi one meets again ancient and eternal India. The Vedantic truth – the truth of the Upanishads – is brought back to its simplest expression ... Shri Ramana was as it were the incarnation ... of what is primordial and incorruptible in India ...

The great question "Who am I?" appears, with him, as a concrete expression of a reality that is lived, if one may so put it, and this authenticity gives to each word of the sage a flavor of inimitable freshness – the flavor of Truth when it is embodied in the most immediate way. The whole Vedanta is contained in the Maharshi's question "Who am I"? The answer is: the Inexpressible.


However, in his correspondence, Schuon stated that because the Maharshi experienced spontaneous self-realization, the method associated with him was not legitimate or efficacious.

Quote:
I ought to make a comment on what some refer to as the “method of the Maharshi”; now such a method does not exist, for the simple reason that the Maharshi himself never followed any method. He owes his realization to a sudden enlightenment, and not to spiritual exercises; and since he never followed a method, he cannot teach one; his teaching through the question “who am I” is much more the expression of his inner reality, or a principial and symbolic expression of all spiritual ways, than a method that can be imitated in the absence of any other support. In no wise does this mean that the Maharshi has no radiation or that he does not transmit graces, but only that, having never had to follow a way himself, he could not have the mission of forming disciples, and that is in fact the reason for which he refuses to accept any; to affirm that the mauna-diksha constitutes in itself an integral way, instead of simply representing the essential aspect of every way, amounts to saying that the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles constitutes a spiritual method ...

But returning to the Maharshi: to follow his way is to imitate what he did, or rather that which made of him what he is, that is to say to have one’s great-grandparents cursed or blessed by a sannyasin, then to be surprised, during adolescence, and unexpectedly overcome by a spiritual force, then to remain in samadhi for weeks and months on end, and finally to enjoy a spiritual realization obtained as a gift, without any inward work; to wish to emulate this “way” would be as absurd as to wish to be crucified by Pontius Pilate and to resuscitate on the third day.

(Letter to Martin Lings 5/5/45)


I would like to solicit opinions concerning or experiences with the method of Sri Ramana Maharshi and it efficacy. I would appreciate any feedback you may have to offer.

In Peace,
Desmond


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Be outwardly on land and inwardly at sea.
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 Post subject: Re: Legitimacy of the Method of Sri Ramana Maharshi
PostPosted: May 31st, 2017, 3:35 pm 
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Joined: May 17th, 2013, 9:11 pm
Posts: 20
Greetings,
i just saw this topic and thought I'd quickly (and ineloquently) add my two cents. I'm honestly puzzled by Schuon's insistence that Sri Ramana Maharshi did not teach a method (i.e. because he did not use one as a means of enlightenment.) If this were the case, I don't know how else to understand the countless pages devoted to giving advice on spiritual methods throughout the Maharshi's discourses. If one can only teach a means of spiritual ascent if one has oneself taken such a means, this would render all such guidance by the Maharshi useless. Furthermore, note that the Maharshi did not tell people, "Look I can't help you become enlightened--go get initiated via a regular chain, get a guru, etc. I can only provied "general graces" through my presence, but don't look to me for advice." On the contrary, he said again and again that the means to become enlightened was unremitting focus on the question "Who am I?"--and this without ever stipulating, as far as I can tell, that one become initiated in any way or proclaim any formal attachment to any particular tradition. And he undeniably taught Self-Inquiry as a method, and not as the general core of all realization (my paraphrase of Schuon).

The only way I can explain Schuon's position here is to suggest that this may have simply been one of his "blind spots." Indeed, often in my perusal of eastern writings by traditional sages, I find that the qualifications and requirements which they stipulate for advancement are often much less stringent, or "relatively absolute," than either's Guenon's or Schuon's. Despite their brilliance, they seem at times--particularly Guenon but also the Schuon--prone to discount things which do not fit within their perspective or area of knowledge. This is natural, of course, but evident nonetheless, at least to me.


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