Friday, November 9, 2018
Papaji speaks the truth, but the message is often garbled.
Today I was listening to a Papaji talk on YouTube ("Papaji - Wake up from the dream").
There are a few good points in this talk, but also some points that need clearing up due to distortion.
People tend to love Papaji's simple message of - do nothing, no teaching, no method or process, you are already free, it only takes one second in your entire life to realize.
It's no coincidence he had a massive amount of students and 'teachers' stemming from his lineage.
Agreed, there's something freeing about knowing that one is already free, and that it doesn't take much to realize this. "A second of silence" is almost like his motto.
In this talk, Papaji starts of, strangely, by talking about places of pilgrimage, the power there, and how he went around showing people these "special places". This seems a little strange, in light of the fact that his own teacher pointed out that one place was as good as another for reaching Self-Realization, and that one need not venture here or there.. but instead inquire within.
Papaji talks about the world being one's own projection which only 'we' can remove. But if he wants to play the do-nothing game, how can he talk about self-directed action in removing oneself from one's own projection? Either the projection happens spontaneously without a doer or owner involved, or else we have to buy into the doer having the power to remove it. We're back in practice-mode, but trying to 'do nothing'.
Papaji then talks about the next best thing to being convinced of his 'freedom message', and that's to meditate around the clock on 'I am already free', and also (?) to remain in the thought-free state for even a second.
OK great.. not much to do there.. but isn't that a process? Something to do?
So some seeker is convinced they're already free. And then they run around proclaiming that they're free, and we're all free, we just have to realize it (or believe it). They try teaching others. Is there any difference with this and Born-Again Christianity?
Or a seeker sits for a time, and settles into a no-thought, no-mind state. They abide there. They did the "1 second" thing. So now they know they are just consciousness or freedom or silence. But then the vasanas return and they get lost in thought, feelings, context. They lose their belief in freedom, and need another instant Papaji fix, or satsang or sitting. They attend talks for years, but still remain seeking. Is this freedom?
Yes, there's nothing to do and no practice to become what we already are in truth.
No, there's no quick fix in making that realization one's direct and permanent experience, or rather, predominant experience.
Unlike Papaji says, the Buddha likely never said that "Buddha Nature is in all of you, don't be shy, spend one second on it." Rather, he likely said all things are not-self, and to "strive diligently" for one's own salvation. He didn't say that it takes "just one moment". He also stressed that ethics in one's life are important too while traversing the path.
Neo-Advaita can be helpful in terms of offering direct pointers for the advanced along the path. However, it's a double edge sword, offering lots of yummy fuel for the ego to become spiritualized and falsely self-realized. The ego loves to appropriate any little insight or discovery along the way, and then attempts to re-capture such experiences.
There is indeed much value in the Papaji (TM) practice of "Just one second of no-thinking". Sailor Bob Adamson uses a similar method when he talks about "Pause a thought". One of my own teachers also used this often.
Its value lies in it being a practice that is repeated with minimal effort during one's day, anywhere and anyhow. Just one second of non-thinking or silence allows for a break in the mind-identified state that we find ourselves in habitually each day. One second of no-thought does feel liberating. A new habit is then formed in doing this again and again, because it is peaceful, pleasant, liberating. At some point, one may realize that actually one's true nature IS the peace, silence and liberation that is revealed in the 1 second of no-thought. The practice has then done its job, and the knowledge of one's very nature can take over from that point, guiding the apparent individual back to its source. Lost in thought again? Easy, start from one second.
One of the better Papaji videos related to this point above can be found here and is worth watching:
(PAPAJI - Save ONE second for Not thinking Zone)