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Thread: Should I totally avoid shaking hands?

  1. #11
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    Re: Should I totally avoid shaking hands?

    Namaste Orlando ... Have you been able to go here yet? http://www.ashramgita.com/?lang=en

  2. #12

    Re: Should I totally avoid shaking hands?

    Namaste Orlando,

    Actually this is my problem: I don't have the possibility to meet an enlightened self-realized guru(spiritual master)
    This is a common thought and often misleading, Sanatana Dharma is not Christianity were we look for an outside saviour, I wouldn't even accept that the external Guru takes on the shishyas bad Karma, this again is Christian concept and teaching, and if that concept is studied its just a man made idea fabricated by Monarchs to rule and control the general mass of people and give power to the priesthood. The outside Guru links one to parampara and gives some shakipat, to promote internal understanding, and then the real link is made which is subtle.

    Even if this process is skipped over due to not having the circumstances to to meet a qualified Guru, its not the end, Bhagavad Gita is the Guru, your devotion is guru, your sincerity is guru. Many that follow Adi Shankara consider him as their main guru and he established his brand of teachings approximately 1200 years ago.

    Even then I would say that all of this can be by passed by practicing the essentials of dharma that they left behind to follow, then things naturally link up. Guru is already inside you just waiting to be discovered. Outside Guru can only take you so far as Krsna taught Arjuna and his relationship with Drona. Look for the subtle and everything else will look after you.

    I could make some suggestions in Italy that follow a strict Guru Lineage, but I would worry that it may confuse you because by dress and denomination in modern terms it would be considered as Tibetan Buddhism, if you can get passed the externals you will see that Dharma is one, guru is one. I stayed there for 5 months shortly after doing padaytra in tuscany, the people there are really sweet and its in a beautiful location and have great lineages.

    Try not to get stuck in the externals, try and be free, thats where all the gurus will meet you.

    Pranams
    Last edited by markandeya 108 dasa; 08 August 2018 at 10:17 AM.

  3. #13
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    Re: Should I totally avoid shaking hands?

    You have a great master in Italy, Orlando, his name is Raphael. He lives in a hermitage near Rome.
    www.vidya-ashramvidyaorder.org
    He teaches traditional Advaita. No Neoadvaita, no so called Yoga, no rites, nothing else but jnana.

    Pranam
    Dance with Shiva - live with Shiva - merge with Shiva

  4. #14
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    Re: Should I totally avoid shaking hands?

    Namaste markandeya 108 dasa

    I fully agree with what you write.

    The Upanishads show the ideal of the guru, Milarepa is a fine story and the story of Ayodadhaumya and his three disciples, Aruni, Upamanyu and Veda, shows the wise guru, guiding each disciple according to his needs.

    The guru concept is upheld in India until today. And with the Yoga wave it came to Europe. The guru is the authority, one must not contradict him, one must not question what he speaks or teaches and so on. That’s why I never found a guru, I am too much an individuum.

    Thus as soon as you enter a ‘spiritual group’ you are bound to the group’s guru. For example the Sai Baba groups pray to Sai Baba for guidance, they worship his image, his padukas … eat his prasad. ISKCON glorifies Prabhupada. Without guru you are lost is propagated unanimously. And there are lots of people who believe this.

    Same in business life, one works independently, the other needs one who tells him what to do next.

    May be in India a true wise guru can be found even today, he will definitely not come to Europe! The ones I met – here as well as there - are businessmen in robes, perverting holy Indian lore and culture and sell it according to Westerners expectations and needs. No trace of enlightenment.

    Pranam
    Dance with Shiva - live with Shiva - merge with Shiva

  5. #15

    Re: Should I totally avoid shaking hands?

    Namaste Indialover,

    Its quite a delicate subject because I also accept that there are living masters, or people who are qualified representatives of the dharma and act to uphold the tradition and we can learn from them. And what you say is true, I just take it as being part of the world. I have met some outstanding figures and they all seem to share the same common tendency of not being sectarian, nor promoting over reliance. I wuld also find it hard to deny whatever good I have learned from other people, living or past in the linear timeline, in fact there seems to be a deeper devotion developing.

    Within the Gaudia tradition, lets not just limit it to parts of ISKCON, and there are still good representatives there but in general the preaching and holding on to people with fear issues and over sectarianism is certainly there in the majority, and it really causes a problem even for the ones that preach that exclusively way, this is about all the details I want to share on the matter. My initiating Guru whom I bear the screen name was always working towards synthesis, and is world renown he is extremely unique within ISKCON, this is why I always feel close to him. I have a picture of him on my alter, but it doesnt end with him only, there is no personality cult among any us that were close to him but there is no lack of devotion towards him. I am started some research today, which I will post shortly as part of a new research project.

    I tend to go into these things in a transpersonal way, to talk about something as a topic, rather than identify people, i think its enough, as sometimes people who have devotion and feelings to them can be hurt and then defend. In Gaudia tradition there is always the mention of just one moments association with a pure devotee is enough, I agree with this, and can tell a few stories about quite a few short but very powerful incidents that I have witnessed that has confirmed this for me, some have a lingering attitude which sometimes breeds an unhealthy attitude.

    Guru is one, each event that naturally occurs is a guru, sensations in the body are gurus, people who are adverse to us are gurus, people who are friendly are gurus, sounds are gurus, the weather is guru, internal thoughts are guru, the bus driver who looks stressed but smiles when you board the bus he is also guru, there is no limiting sphere of guru, only the concepts and limitations confide guru into limited space or location, guru then becomes a dimension of an all pervading consciousness. There is also a human culture to give certain types of respect to genuine representatives of the dharma, this is a good thing and upholds tradition, sadly as you have highlighted its exploited and becomes a business and leads to no good, in one sense they are also gurus if we have right attitude and can use them as examples of what is not the right way.

    If we read and listen to the wise ones, and then try to put these into practice then gradually our experience and wisdom grows by reflection, then our own path transcends just individual effort and we are carried to better higher understanding, so there is nothing higher than guru's prasade.

    Thanks for the link on ashramvidyaorder, I have looked at some things briefly and some good stuff.

    Pranam

  6. #16
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    Re: Should I totally avoid shaking hands?

    I also accept that there are living masters, or people who are qualified representatives of the dharma and act to uphold the tradition and we can learn from them.

    I do not contradict, Markandeya 108 dasa, but Orlando talks about a self-realized guru (spiritual master).

    That's what I question. Who defines self-realized and who recognizes in a human that he is self-realized?

    There we have the highly praised spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle. Is he more realized than you and me? He has the ability to talk smart, to write books in easy language and to inspire the crowd. Yes it’s great what he has to say, but, in my eyes, he talks about psychology, not about spirituality. People hang on his lips because they seek help for repairing their life.

    We are adopting terms nobody defined yet, they are brought to European/Christian culture but the capacity to absorb them is missing.

    Here the serious gurus should start, prepare the ground for an understanding of the foreign thoughts. We cannot grasp with our intellect what Indians drink with the mother’s milk. But they teach how to awaken Kundalini. For what the Sadhu struggles, the European does in a weekend seminar.

    Who defines the term spiritual?

    In the 1960s young people took their VW bus and travelled to India. They came back as ‘Shiva and Parvati’ with drugs, rudraksha and matted hair. Drugs, rudraksha, matted hair, singing, dancing was called spiritual. The Hare Krishna movement called spiritual to chant 16 rounds Mahamantra per day in addition. Both groups took life easy.

    Decades later self-proclaimed Yogis entered the stage and with them the spiritual terror began.

    To refrain from meat, coffee, black tea, alcohol, sex and too much sleep was spiritual. To wake up at Brahma Muhurta was spiritual. To be conscious was spiritual. Not to talk to much was spiritual. To be a sattvic person was spiritual. To practice physical exercises, what they called Yoga, was spiritual, even if it was only done to heal the pelvic floor.

    The society became divided into spiritual people, the good ones, and non-spiritual people, the bad ones. The spiritual people look down on the non-spiritual and the non-spiritual laugh at the spiritual.

    Nowadays I cannot do anything without being reminded of my duty to be spiritual. Every word is put on the scale. Everyone has another idea of what spiritual is. Obviousely someone told Orlando, that shaking hands, esp. when men give women a hand, is not spiritual.

    I will end with Osho: Enjoy life and thank God for it. He does not expect more.

    Pranam
    Dance with Shiva - live with Shiva - merge with Shiva

  7. #17

    Re: Should I totally avoid shaking hands?

    hare krsna indialover

    My wife and many people that I have met have read or listened to eckhart tolle and found a lot if inspiration, I have listened to some of talks and its ok, although personally he doesn't say anything different from what others are saying that are my main sources of study and practice, if i see him or somehow come across what he is saying I wont put my fingers in my ears, he says some good things, just take whats needed and leave the rest, is there any problem in people being inspired, perhaps sometimes there is money involved but who knows how he spends that money and how it is invested, that's out of my hands. The problem comes as I see it is over attachment. Sometimes people are just jealous when they get rich and famous. Its just part of life, isnt it better to take the essence and keep moving not getting stuck but just keep collecting and building on the essence.

    How do you know that everyone that visits temples or stays in ashrams are not God conscious, thats not my experience but maybe yours, although its not realistic to think in total black and white. I am not arguing just sharing my experience. Some infrastructure is needed, like if you want to find a policeman its easy to identify, going beyond all extremes seems better, more wisdom comes from that. Its easy to get lost in our own personal interpretations and emotions and use that as a single doctrine as the standard, its just the same side of the thing that we may not like. And if people have problems in their life whats wrong with them going to a spiritual place for refuge and guidance, to find peace and inspiration.

    Then there are personal issues and taking people one by one, some need more institutional base for support and structure. Tomorrow I am going to a Buddhist place for the new moon sitting and dharma talk, its nice to be with a group of like minded people. Again its the over attachment that seems to cause problems or group superiority, but everyone has faults, its not human to think that there are no faults in the world. They are just there, they exist so its good to make good use of them.

    Yesterday I spent the morning with a senior Bikkhu from Burma, such a saint and so humble, before that there was a Indian Man standing at the gate. He was from Hyderabad, I was outside sitting in the garden and told him its ok to come in, he said its ok and stayed at the gate, we chatted for a while and I guessed he was Mulsim, but he didnt have any issues with Buddhist or Hindus, he said its tiring, why cant we just all allow each other to follow our own faith and accept the beauty of God in all the ways that he manifests, I was in full agreement with him, we shook hands and he left happy and I was too. If that Vihara was not there I may not meet the Bikkhus or know where to find them, they are amazing people, the main Bikkhu was telling me about how Manipur was an ancient Buddhist place and I followed a lead and just made friends with a researcher in Manipur on the history and the same practice is still going on the tribal regions and each home in Manipur has some form of Buddha who is considered non different from Shiva. I was going to post something but there is some intellectual dispute by certain Hindu scholars so I decided against it, but I made a new friend. Were are currently exchanging emails, so connections are good, I would never have known about him if not for there being a vihara. It acts as a community base for the local Burmese people, they can stay in touch and are proud of their culture, the vihara helps with projects back home and lets face Myanmar has been battered and hammered for a very long time.

    Did everyone from the west who went to India go by bus and do drugs and come back as Shivaite dope smoking Hippies, that again seems another extreme, and even if some did they eventually grow up or change their patterns and remember the good and mature over time, are those same people still doing the exact same things today, I doubt that very much, a lotus is born from mud. Why do people judge in such black and white terms, this causes the main issues in life. Are there people who are shiva bhaktas and yogis who smoke dope, some dont, some do.

    Alot of people have become happy by giving up drugs, because of a spiritual process and community, I have seen the process of Krishna consciousness get people off drugs and drink problems, thats what its therefor is it not, to serve and raise society. Many seeds have been planted. Same with Buddhist places, when I used to collect money for free prasadam projects Muslims even though they knew I was representing Hare Krsna were always generous. While some others would chase me away and insult me. Thats just life.

    There will always be critics, your to open, your to closed, your born in wrong part of the world and not in exclusive lines, it goes ways in east and west, its just part of human culture.

    I have seen what has happened with Orlanda time and time again, lets hope he finds his balance and inspiration, if i ever met him I would welcome him and talk with him like a brother, thats what we should do. Even when I write I know there are smug people who made me feel unwelcome since my first line, but what to do, we share we inspire and the show goes on.

    problems are with attachments and different forms of extremism

    I just hope Orlanda has learned something

    Hare Krsna

  8. #18
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    Re: Should I totally avoid shaking hands?

    Namaste,

    Quote Originally Posted by Indialover View Post
    Who defines the term spiritual?
    Therein lies the problem. Everyone who reads few books, can babble a bit coherently and conforms to some daily rituals labels himself a 'spiritual being.'
    Like you, I too have seen the historical evolution of routines practiced in the past few decades and wondered about the societal spiritual labeling.


    Quote Originally Posted by Indialover View Post
    I will end with Osho: ............... He does not expect more.
    Does the Divine have expectations for everyone defined? Does He really sit around monitoring our activities and be happy when we meet 'His' expectations? . And do we do everything to meet His expectations and not for our spiritual growth?

    Pranam.

  9. #19
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    Re: Should I totally avoid shaking hands?

    Sure, you are right Believer, the Divine does not expect anything … but even Osho needs words to describe the indescribable. What he wants to say is, do not bother about do’s and don’ts. Be like a fish, flow with the water but do not bother about the water.

    May be you know Sisyphos, a character from Greek mythology. He was cursed to roll a big stone up a hill daily and as soon he was up, the stone rolled down.

    Out of this story the French writer and philosopher, Albert Camus, wrote an essay, called Sisyphos, about the senselessness of life.

    Long after I read it I came across an Indian Sisyphos, his name is Naranath Bhranthan. He also rolls up a stone a hill every day, but not because of a curse, just for fun.

    http://innertraditions.blogspot.com/2013/05/naranath-bhranthan-sisyphus-minus-his.html

    Pranam
    Dance with Shiva - live with Shiva - merge with Shiva

  10. #20
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    Re: Should I totally avoid shaking hands?

    Namaste Markandeya 108 dasa

    I do not at all deny the inspiring talks of Eckhart Tolle and other ‘spiritual teachers’ on the globe.

    But who if them is an ‘enlightened self-realized guru (spiritual master)’? This is what Orlando is looking for.

    I have a problem with terms we adopt unthoughtful from old sacred cultures and misuse them. Yes, I am black and white.

    Who defines enlightened?
    Who defines self-realized?
    Who defines spiritual?
    Who defines guru/master?

    Pranam
    Dance with Shiva - live with Shiva - merge with Shiva

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