View Full Version : Living, Worshipping & Meditating

01 June 2012, 09:05 PM
First of all , let me thank this forum members – though I don’t post often , I read almost everything posted here and I treasure the knowledge, viewpoints and learning I derive here . I thank the moderators and those who incur any kind of expense (time or money) in maintaining this forum.
Now to the topic in my mind:

In psychology, we learn about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, viz physical, security, belonging, esteem & actualization. All five of them are dependent on each other and if remove any layer, the one at the very top collapses. i.e. , if an actualized person’s safety is threatened he stops being actualized and tries to fight for survival even if he has to shed his esteem for himself and others.

Do we have any such hierarchy when it comes to our journey to moksha? Off late, there have been discussions in this form regarding advaita vis-à-vis dvaita, and there are some posts that compare and contrast the nature of deities we worship.

My take on this is that we definitely have a hierarchy, which is living our lives well (karma & dharma) , worshipping of deities (past role models whom we want to emulate – we praise , plead , ask favors ) and meditating on Brahman present within ourselves. If I look at this way, meditation becomes the highest vocation and dvaita becomes a stepping stone into advaita. Even when you become an advaitin, there is no getting away from worshipping. If you remove one, the others will collapse.

We have examples of this behaviors from advaitins – Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi was a devotee of Arunachaleswara.

Sages of the past have given us guidance about various stepping stools to reach the final stage of moksha, and all of our arguments are based on which step we are looking at, and how we interpret the sayings from where we are at in our lives. I believe that this includes the discussion w.r.t jeevatma and paramatma.

Few of you might be irritated that I am attempting to place advaita above dvaita , but in my mind I don’t see that these two are conflicting paths. Eventually they merge. My every day meditation starts by seeking blessings from Lord Shiva (very dvaithic), my parents and Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi (my imagined guru) . I also visit temples regularly – irrespective of the presiding deity in the temple.

Though this reads more like a statement, there is a question. What do you think? Am I way off?

I will read your response and learn. Thank you all.

02 June 2012, 07:31 AM
I'm Advaita (is it better to say Advaitin? You'd think I should know), so maybe I'm biased, but I don't think you are wrong.

I think that even Bhaktis worship forms to realize the formless, so that they eventually can see that God does not have form, but is within us and everywhere.

I'd be interested too to hear what other people say about this.


02 June 2012, 07:55 AM
Though this reads more like a statement, there is a question. What do you think? Am I way off?

Hello Seeker:

I agree with you. The perception of the divine is bound to be subjective - a poor man in India, an ailing patient in Russia or a native American all have their own perceptions of the Divine.


Each of us is in a different reincarnation cycle. Our past Karma provides us with somewhat coloured glass with which we view the world. We have to work within these frameworks.

Spiritual progress is unique and completely subjective.

That being said - our ancient Acharyas ended up doing Tarka [debates] and tried to go one up over the other. They were working within the boundaries of their Karma!

Ultimately, one has to check out for oneself which path works best.