God Alone Is Real, Al Drucker – Early Devotees

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Here’s an interesting article from Al Drucker recently published on his website. (link provided.) I will provide more information on this post at a later date when I have the time. I am still away in India, this being my last week. I found here at the ashram as always, a sublime peace that  permeated everything, and everywhere. The vibes in the Mandir, hall and surrounding area remain as blissful as ever.


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The Highest Teachings of the Non-dual Vedanta

God alone is real. Besides the One God (who is also known as Brahman or Atma) nothing else exists. A world without God is utter illusion. Such a world can never exist. From the standpoint of Reality, a God-less world is nothing. No matter how real it may appear, it is totally illusory, a momentary perturbation in Eternity, signifying nothing.

On the other hand, when you see the world and yourself as firmly implanted in God Awareness, vitalized and governed by God Presence, your perception radically changes. As you become filled with God you become subsumed in God, and you, as you previously knew yourself within, disappear. Though you may continue for a time as a body, your separate identity as an individual in the world dissolves, and you shine forth as the unchanging God Awareness, the one universal person masquerading as the many.

As long as you live your whole life in the deluded state of separation, unaware of your non-dual Reality, you will see a world of variety, a world of many separate objects, countless beings and things outside of you. In your curiosity you ask the question, “Who created all this multiplicity, who caused this world of variety to spring forth?” You will hear stories of creation which attempt to answer that, and they may satisfy you for a moment. But they cannot give an enduring, believable, uncontroversial answer to your question. Why? Because your question makes no sense! Your question, “Who created all this variety?” is meaningless – precisely because there never was, is, or will be, any multiplicity in Truth. No being, force, circumstance or accident, produced a world of multiplicity. How could it have arisen? Where would it have come from?

The most likely candidate to spin out such a separative world is the egoic, dream-making wizardry of the human mind! But, despite its creation stories, multiplicity can never occur. The One remains as One. It’s just that you mistook It and spun it into the many.

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God, the Supreme Reality, did not change into a relative world, just as at dusk, a rope lying on the path did not suddenly change into a snake. In the twilight, you imagine the rope to be a frightful snake, and convince yourself the snake is really there, threatening you. But the rope is still a rope, and remains a rope. It’s just that you mistook it to be a snake.

In a similar way, God is God forever, but your ignorance of this fact made you see God as a world of many. In your deluded perception, you look on the One God, but unable to identify It, you concoct an illusory world in which you unknowingly label God by all the myriad worldly names and forms that you give meaning to. You believe all these to be real, but they are unreal, for no separate objects can exist in Reality. Only God exists.

You think you see an objective world outside of you, but there is nothing outside of you. What you see is always only what you yourself made up and projected to appear to be outside. Wherever you look, you always see only yourself. You see either your True Self, which is one with God, or your false self, which appears in the form of the objects and beings of the illusory world of separation. This latter path, driven by false perceptions, will keep you bound.

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Don’t subject yourself to that suffering! Correct your vision! Remove your delusion! Focus and dwell on God, who alone is real!

The world stands on one leg, Maya, namely, illusion. Kick down that leg and the whole world falls. Maya is not real. It is nothing. It disappears when you give it no further support and stop feeding it with your energy and belief.

You now experience the absence of this multiplicity, the disappearance of this world based on illusion, every day in deep sleep. But when you return to waking consciousness you do not hold on to that experience. That is a great tragedy! When you are deep asleep, what happens to your world? Where does all that multiplicity disappear to? What is the source of joy that sound sleep brings? Deep sleep keeps a tiny trace of the ego as a seed, a memento of the false world. When you awaken, you grab hold of that seed, and the next instant you again find yourself to be the same deluded individual you were before you fell asleep, again pestered by creatures of your own fantasies, imaginary boogeyman that you yourself made up!

Sathya Sai baba as I remember him
Sathya Sai Baba as I remember him

Sai Baba said, “I often tell you not to identify me with just this particular physical build-up; but you do not understand. You call me by only one name and believe I have only one form. But, there is no name I do not bear and there is no form that is not mine. And what is true for me is equally true for you.

You are God, you are the Atma, you are the One Self. You are not this temporary body or the separate personality it has identified with in the world. You are not an individual in a world of illusion. Correct your perception. It is said, ‘Dust if you think, dust you are; God if you think, God you are.’ Be the God you truly are! Nothing is ever outside of you. You, your Self, are God! Realize It and be happy!

– Based on a talk given by Sai Baba 11/24/62, and expanded on by Al Drucker, 4/1/15

Light On Arnaud Desjardins – Children Of Light

One day someone asked me, “How can I progress in spite of everyday difficulties?” I gave the somewhat hard answer, “How can you get to the second floor in spite of the stairs?” So the real question on the path is: “How can I progress on the Way thanks to every day difficulties.”

– Arnaud Desjardins

My thanks to  Michel Tardieu for this wonderful website and introducing me to  French Advaita Vedanta Master Arnaud Desjardins. My impression of him is that he was the “real deal” (he passed away just last year) and that one on the advaitan path could learn so much from such a wise and good-hearted teacher.

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http://www.arnauddesjardinsdvds.com/index.php?page=04&lg=e  –  This website contains excerpts from dvd clips of talks given by Arnaud Desjardin. 
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About Arnaud Desjardin’s Guru
Swami Prajnanpad was a traditional Hindu monk who lived on a tiny ashram outside of Calcutta. He was virtually unknown outside of his small circle of students. Prior to this while teaching science at the University level, Swamiji discovered and studied the work of Sigmund Freud. He later incorporated critical elements of early psychoanalysis into the traditional spiritual path of non-dualism that he offered. Arnaud absorbed Swami Prajnanpad’s precise and potent Advaita Vedanta teachings over a period of nine years and was then sent to teach in his own right. For the following thirty years Arnaud guided his body of students, which grew to be about 2000 in number, and inspired other teachers and students from many different paths. Arnaud left his body in August of 2011, though his widespread influence continues to inspire practitioners all over the world. His wisdom and instruction are sought through his French books and films as well as these teachings in English. His senior students sustain his ashrams in France and Canada and continue making Arnaud and Swami Prajnanpad’s teachings available.
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Arnaud Desjardin Speaking to Enlightenment Magazine
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Though Sri Mataji Anandamayi Ma was not, strictly speaking, my guru, she certainly played a major role, to say the least, in my life and my sadhana [spiritual practice]. In fact, she still does today. Her memory is alive deep within my heart and there are several pictures of her on the walls of the ashram where I now teach.From my first physical encounter with her, in 1959, to the day in 1965 when she gave me her blessing to go to Sri Swami Prajnanpad (1891-1974), a relatively unknown master who was to become my guru—though I’d rather say of whom I gradually became the disciple—I considered Mataji as my guru. During those years, I repeatedly stayed with her for extended periods of time. Even after meeting Swami Prajnanpad, I always felt her active influence and kept visiting her, up to my last trip to India a few years before she left her body.To state things simply, I could say that, though in the course of my search and travels I have had the privilege to closely approach quite a few extraordinary beings—Tibetans, Sufis, Hindu gurus and Zen masters, many of whom left a deep imprint in my heart—to me Anandamayi Ma was and remains the embodiment of transcendence, the living proof of the actual existence of a transcendental reality. “Extraordinary,” “superhuman,” “divine”. . . I still feel today that no adjective is big enough to describe her presence, particularly when I met her, in the full blossoming of her radiance. I could barely believe that such a being could walk the earth in a human form, and I have no difficulty understanding how a whole theology was developed around her. I never, never met a sage whose divine appearance I admired so much. In truth, I admired her beyond all words.Thousands of pilgrims were of course similarly touched by her extraordinary presence, but I’d rather insist here on another aspect of Mataji: the relentless way in which she sometimes crucified the ego of those who wanted more than her occasional blessing. In fact, in her ashram, there was a very clear distinction between two kinds of visitors: those who came for her darshan [personal audience] and who received a warm welcome, and those who insisted on being considered her disciples, who were challenged and put on edge, to the limit of what they were able to bear—but never beyond. No guru wants to bring someone to absolute despair or to leaving the path because of unbearable trials. During the years when Denise Desjardins and myself were spending several months within the ashram as candidates to discipleship rather than as mere visitors, we went through a lot of that “special treatment.”Of course I realize, as I am about to recall a few examples of that treatment, that these stories may look very innocent, not so terrible to casual readers. The truth is, it is always easy to hear descriptions of someone else’s sadhana and to imagine: “Oh, had I been in this situation, I would not have been affected in such a way. I would have immediately taken it as a lesson, a challenge to my ego, etc. . . .” When you actually are tested, when your mind and ego are being provoked through situations which sometimes are in themselves very simple disappointments and difficulties, you are not hearing a story anymore. You’re in the fire, plunged into what constitutes the essence of all sadhanas: a persistent, sometimes harsh challenging of your ego and mind through situations which call into question your present identifications and attachments.
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In those years, I was a professional filmmaker, working for French television. One of the things Mataji used to crucify my ego and teach me was the film I was shooting in her ashram. She sometimes granted me exceptional opportunities and then caused me to waste my last rolls, which I had very much been counting on. This was hard to accept. Following the advice of one of her ashramites, I had preciously saved three rolls of film until the very end of my stay. This had caused me to renounce shooting scenes which could have been important. Then, during those last days, every time I started filming, Anandamayi Ma, in front of everybody, either turned her head or winced. This was all the more cruel to me since I believed the person who had asked me to save those rolls had been inspired by Ma. Eventually, Ma only allowed me to shoot one roll. As this was after sunset, I was convinced there would be no visible image on the film. Incredible as it may seem, there was something: three of what may well be the most beautiful shots of the whole film, where Ma can be seen at night surrounded by a few disciples. These miraculous forty seconds were worth the sacrifice of those three rolls. Once she asked me to project the images which to me were most precious with some worn-out Indian equipment, when I knew for sure that it would irremediably damage the film.

I also remember a particular incident. I had always dreamed of meeting what I then called true yogis—not yoga teachers, but yogis having attained mastery over certain energies or developed certain powers. To me, those yogis embodied the whole legend of India. They lived in the high valley of the Ganges where I had not yet been able to go, since the Indian government had not granted me the special permit then necessary to travel to that region. One of those famous yogis was about to come down to the plains to visit Anandamayi Ma. On this very day, Ma asked me if I could travel with my Land Rover to a distance of some 150 kilometers where I was to pick up some luggage and bring it back. The roads were not tarred, it was raining, there was mud all over, so that when I left the ashram, the yogi had not arrived, and when I came back, he had already left. To me, at the time, this was a terrible disappointment indeed, a broken dream.

Every time my ego desperately wanted to be acknowledged by Ma, circumstances were such that I could not see her privately for weeks. But once, when, after having gone through what one usually calls intense pain, I at last changed my inner attitude, she herself took me for a ride in the car. I was alone with her, the driver, and a great pundit whom I very much admired. She had me sit next to her and did not allow anyone else to go with us.

We often had the impression that others were also brought to teach us and that the whole world was consciously or unconsciously serving Mother’s purpose. She was an incredible source of energy, the center of a huge activity.

It is difficult to imagine what surrender to Anandamayi Ma, as some of her closest disciples were living it, could mean. I remember one monk whose ideal of life was to meditate. He had been meditating in an isolated ashram in the Himalayas and was very happy, until Ma appointed him as the swami in charge of the Delhi ashram. Every day, he had to deal with curious visitors, Europeans, people from the embassies and consulates. He was forced to be no longer a meditator but an administrator, immersed head to toe in active life—the exact opposite of what he had been aspiring to. He was working twenty hours a day and I even once saw him slowly fall down. He had simply fallen asleep while walking. Just contemplating Anandamayi’s radiant smile, one could not imagine the pressure she put on some—in the name of ultimate freedom.

To conclude, I’d like to say that, remembering Ma as well as my guru, Swami Prajnanpad, I feel especially grateful for the occasions when they caused me pain, when they brought suffering to my ego. They, of course, never did me any harm. On the contrary, everything they did, whether they smiled or were angry at me, served my ultimate good. But they certainly made me feel severely hurt at times.

And the truth is, one cannot make any progress in one’s sadhana if one’s ego and mind are not sometimes painfully shaken.

Arnaud Desjardins is the author of many books, including two which have been translated into English: Toward the Fullness of Life (Threshold Books) and The Jump Into Life: Moving Beyond Fear (Hohm Press). He resides and teaches at his ashram, Hauteville, in the south of France. (died in 2011)

-Source Enlightenment Magazine
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An adult is one who has lost the grace, the freshness, the innocence of the child, who is no longer capable of feeling pure joy, who makes everything complicated, who spreads suffering everywhere, who is afraid of being happy, and who, because it is easier to bear, has gone back to sleep. The wise man is a happy child. ~ Arnaud Desjardins