COULD A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE DESTROY YOU? (part 1)
From time to time I receive letters with similar questions.
Although these questions have been answered before in books, seminars, magazines, I feel responsible to a certain degree, when people, having read my books, become followers of some confession.
For someone it may be good and a person may progress, but for someone else it may result in regress.
It is important to remember that:
— The source of all Guru is Adi-Guru, God, who is teaching us every second through other living beings, different circumstances and events in our lives.
— Until the goodness (Sattva) is not dominated in us, wherever we are we will be a source of problems and will not be able to move forward, especially it applies to people who have become followers of a religious organization.
— The main indicators of true spirituality are selflessness, detachment, fearlessness, awareness, and aspiration for the Divine Love, but not for external rites or religious clothing or positions in any organization. This may be important, but, in any case, is secondary.
I hope my correspondence with a spiritual seeker will be interesting and useful for you.
SERGEY: Good evening, could you help me with just a couple of words. Is it necessary to chant 16 rounds, and does one’s spiritual growth depend on that?
RAMI: CHANTING THE HOLY NAMES (JAPA) IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT AND MAIN METHODS OF FINDING THE LOVE OF GOD.
LOVE IS NOT ACHIEVED WITH NUMBERS, AS I SEE IT. ONLY 16 ROUNDS, AND WHO DOES LESS CAN NOT REACH THE DIVINE LOVE?…
SOMEONE CAN CHANT ALL 16 ROUNDS BUT JUST ACCUMULATE INSULTS.
SERGEY: Thanks to Rami I have changed and transformed my life completely.
RAMI: THANK YOU.
SERGEY: It is not a secret, but at that point I had a deficit in communication with people, other values brought other interests. I found the club “Goodness” in my city, but people there were doing things for the record. After that I got into ISKCON. Of course, the people there are very kind and pious. I was very keen to achieve results and now I actively follow 4 principles, chant the 16 rounds. As the Vedas state, the main purpose of life is to find the love of God. This is possible by following the requirements of Shastras, exclusively by parampara, by taking Guru.
RAMI: WHERE WAS IT SAID — “EXCLUSIVELY”?
SERGEY: If one does not chant the 16 rounds, it is not possible to progress spiritually.
RAMI: I WOULDN’T SAY THAT. THERE ARE A LOT OF SAINTS AND THE ENLIGHTENED AS AN EXAMPLE OF THE OTHER WAY TO SPIRITUAL PROGRESS.
SERGEY: And so on and so forth. I listened Maharajas and Rami, but Rami’s lectures are much more effective to help me grow, I see sense in them and get the result. Rami studies the eastern psychology, the Vedas. If he studies the Vedas, and it is written there about the importance of compliance with Shastras, 16 rounds and other things, then why does he not pay attention to that? And is it really that important?
RAMI: THE VEDAS SPEAK OF THE IMPORTANCE OF JAPA. BUT NUMBER 16 IS COMMON AMONG PREACHERS OF ISKCON. IN SOME PARAMPARAS IT MAY BE 4, IN OTHERS IT IS NOT NECESSARY AT ALL.
SERGEY: ..or is just a certain formality. I began to see a very different things in ISKCON, not what they used to say. I see a discrepancy between words and actions, but I am confused, on the one hand it is very important and necessary.
RAMI: YOU CAN FIND DIRT IN ANY RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION. AND IT IS SEEN PARTICULARLY CLEAR AGAINST THE BACKGROUND OF HIGH IDEALS. IF YOU COME INTO SOME KIND OF A SYSTEM, SIMPLY ATTEND SPIRITUAL PROGRAMS AND MEETINGS WITH HIGHLY SPIRITUAL PERSONALITIES.
SERGEY: On the other hand, I do not feel the real progress as a follower of ISKCON, even if my desire was always sincere. What should I do? Continue to practice in ISKCON? There is a controversy in my mind, many people do not recognize Rami, but I have myself experienced his power and the result. Help me, please, this confusion and doubt are not the best things. If you cannot explain it, could you please send it to him, let him answer — not only me but my whole family is in ISKCON. Thank you.
RAMI: WHY DO YOU CONNECT ISKCON WITH ME? I WAS NOT SENDING YOU THERE. MANY YEARS AGO ISKCON HELPED ME IN MY SPIRITUAL PROGRESS, BUT NOW IT WOULD QUITE LIMIT ME, AS I SEE IT.
Does that answer your questions?
With Love, Rami
THE ANSWER ABOUT SPIRITUALITY AND SPIRITUAL PRACTICE OF VAISHNAVI (part 2)
SERGEY: Yes. That answers my questions. I am very sorry, Rami, at that time in November I behaved not quite right, I had pretense towards you .
RAMI: YOUR PRETENSE ESCALATED TO A FREE OF CHARGE CONSULTATION, SO, AS I SEE IT, THE CONSUMERISM HAS INCREASED.
SERGEY: You told me to work on the subject of getting too deep into spirituality, to think why it can be dangerous. Of course, at first I was unreceptive to it, but then I began to read your articles on the subject, analyze and ponder on it, and really, why the love for God should be limited?
RAMI: DON’T FALL INTO THE OTHER EXTREME – TO DENY THE SADHANA (SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE). IT IS VERY IMPORTANT. IT IS LIKELY THAT THE MIND WOULD BE UNSATISFIED AND WOULD HAPPILY ACCEPT THE IDEA THAT LOVE DOESN’T NEED ANY LIMITS. BUT IF YOU WANT TO SUCCEED ON THE PHYSICAL LEVEL, TO BE HEALTHY, THEN YOU NEED TO FOLLOW CERTAIN RULES AND REGULATIONS.
THAT IS SO AT ALL LEVELS, INCLUDING THE SPIRITUAL. TO REACH THE LEVEL OF THE DIVINE LOVE, THE ENLIGHTEMENT, THE STATE OF PRESENCE, YOU NEED TO MAKE A LOT OF EFFORT AND, IDEALLY, BE LED BY A GURU:
- YOU SHOULD GAIN SOLIDITY IN KINDNESS;
- FOLLOW CERTAIN MORAL AND ETHICAL STANDARDS,
- MAINTAIN PURITY ON ALL LEVELS;
- SERVE A LOT AND SERVE SELFLESSLY;
- CHANT THE HOLY NAMES OF GOD AND SO ON;
EVEN WHEN YOU GET TO THE LEVEL OF ENLIGHTMENT, UNTIL YOUR BODY IS IN THIS WORLD, MOST PROBABLY, YOU WILL NEED TO FOLLOW CERTAIN RULES AND REGULATIONS.
SERGEY: After 2 months I have finally decided to stop the practice in ISKCON, because my sense of love was not increasing, but what increased instead was my aggression to the 16 rounds, and to the other standards. I seriously began getting exhausted and losing energy in such practices, and for several weeks I prayed to God to show me the right way.
RAMI: BE AWARE THAT YOUR PENDULUM DOESN’T SWING TOO MUCH THE OTHER WAY – TO THE HATE OF THE MOST POWERFUL SPITIRUAL PRACTICE.
AS I SEE IT, YOU HAVE A COMMON PROBLEM OF ISKCON MEMEBERS, — THE ABSENCE OF KARMA-YOGA, SELFLESS SERVICE TO ALL LIVING BEINGS: NOT JUST LECTURING AND MORALIZING OF THE FALLEN ONES, BUT THINGS LIKE TIDYING AN APARTMENT OF A SICK OLD WOMAN, GIVING PHYSICAL ASSISTANCE TO THE SICK AND THE POOR, ETC.
IN ISKCON ONLY THE SERVICE TO VAISHNAVI IS HONOURED, BUT I HAVE THE IMPRESSION THAT THIS SOMETIMES LEADS TO A TEMPORARY SUBSERVIENCE TO THE GURU AND THE AUTHORITIES, BUT THERE IS NO SERVICE TO THOSE EQUAL AND YOUNGER.
THERE ARE SO MANY POOR AND SICK VAISHNAVI, DO ALL OF THEM GET LOVE AND CARE? ISN’T GOD INSIDE ALL LIVING BEINGS? MAYBE THIS PERSON IS VAISHNAVI BY HIS NATURE, BUT NOT BY HIS FORM. IT MAY BE BETTER (IN MY OPINION) TO SERVE ALL LIVING BEINGS IN A HUMBLE STATE OF MIND, RECOGNISING A PART OF GOD IN THEM AND CHANTING THE HOLY NAMES.
SERGEY: He led me back to you, to your lectures, and just recently I was having doubts about the 16 rounds, but God sent me to one of your books «The dual wisdom, in search of the meaning of life«, and there, through the wise statements of Mikhalich, I began to receive answers about the organization and true spirituality. Thank you.
RAMI: I HOPE THIS BOOK WILL NOT GIVE YOU AN EXCUSE TO STOP WORKING ON YOURSELF. IN MY OPINION, YOU’VE STRONGLY INCREASED THE CONSUMERISM. YOU IMMERSED YOURSELF INTO THE SPIRITUALITY TO RESOLVE YOUR PROBLEMS AND EVEN THE DIVINE LOVE IS NEEDED TO CONSUMERISTS SOLELY TO GET RID OF ILLNESSES AND BE MORE SUCCESSFUL IN THIS WORLD.
ALMOST ALL THE ENLIGHTENED SAY, THAT EVERYONE NEEDS A CERTAIN SPIRITUAL SCHOOL IN THE END — THE GURU, TO WHOM YOU ARE COMMITTED AND WHOSE INSTRUCTIONS YOU FOLLOW. BUT VERY FEW ARE READY FOR THIS AT THE MOMENT.
THAT’S WHY JUST TRY TO BE SELFLESS, CONSCIOUS, GRATEFUL AND HUMBLE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, AND THE REST WILL FOLLOW.
With Love, Rami
SERGEY: Thank you for your patience and instructions. I promise to become more harmonious, and will try to be as selfless, conscious, grateful and humble as possible.