Dedicated to Sri Sarada Devi

A Place where devotees gather to share inspiration.

"Holy Mother" painted by Swami Tadatmananda

Used courtesy of the Vedanta Society of Southern California

Dedicated to Sri Sarada Devi
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Spiritual Struggle as Productive of Authenticity

Come on You all, I really do realize that Nationality is not involved in spirituality. But I do wonder about issues of initiation, etc. And receiving one's personal mantra, and finding a guru, or having the guru find you. I suppose all that is in the hands of the Supreme. What do you all think? It seems that India has all the resources, the spiritual heritage and places of pilgrimage.
I remember when I was a very young girl, in a car with my family on a trip (to DC I believe) and we passed a car with an Indian couple and the Indian woman on the passenger side locked eyes with me and would not let go. I remember to this day wondering, "Why me?" Why not my mother or father or sisters and brothers? I have never forgotten it. It made a very strong impression. (This was before I knew of India, or anything about spirituality, I was in survivial mode at the time). I wonder now, if that were some sort of initiation.

Location: North Carolina

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Spiritual Struggle as Productive of Authenticity

Yes Rosemary, I understand your concern regarding initiation and finding the Guru or Guru finding you … but all these are issues controlled by the Supreme. Simple. It all occurs when the time is right. The issues regarding nationality do not occur.True there are more resources in India but does not mean you cannot have the resources here in the US. I would strongly encourage you to start correspondence with someone at the Vedanta Centers here in the US and see where the Mother will lead you. When one of the monastics of Sarada Math comes from India, attend the retreat. These experiences in my opinion, will give you an insight into the spiritual life.

There are certain moments in life that are too personal to explain but leave a profound impact on our lives. I try not to find meaning in everything but learn to go with the flow. As Sri Ramakrishna mentions in the Gospel, “You are here to eat the mangoes, why count the trees?”

Did you ever read the book, “Meditation and Spiritual Life” by Swami Yatiswarananda? I would start with that book and I think you would find a lot of your answers there. Another two books which are my constant companions are the Gospels ... of Sri Ramakrishna and the Holy Mother.

Spiritual Struggle as Productive of Authenticity

Dear Rosemary,
The issue of nationality is not very relevant . What matters is your faith . There are countless Indian women who don't turn to Sri Sarada, while you have such a strong faith.

As an Indian living in United States, I see that spirituality is very much lasking in American life. But I have also seen a genuine curiosity in Americans regarding eastern philosophy and religion. I sometimes feel jealous at their earnestness !

For a person like you, these things no longer are an issue. You are in mother's protective shield and what more , you are aware of it !

With Love

Re: Spiritual Struggle as Productive of Authenticity

Thank you guys. You have addressed the issue beautifully.

I was surprised to read recently of the death of Adam Osborne (son of Arthur Osborne) who was raised in the Ashram at Arunachala, under the gaze of Ramana Maharshi. He evidently invented the first portable computer in the 1980's. He lived for many years in the US, made millions suddenly and lost it just as suddenly. He divorced twice. Many Americans found him brash and egocentric. He returned to the "lap of Mother India" for the last 10 years of his life and died of an organic brain disorder in 2003.

Why does this fascinate me so? Because it absolutely amazes me, that someone could be nurtured in a holy atmosphere and still lead such a miserable and tortured life. Mother's niece comes to mind also.
Perhaps this goes to show, that you cannot blame your geographic location or lack of holy nurturance for your spiritual progress or lack, thereof.

Location: North Carolina

Re: Re: Re: Re: Spiritual Struggle as Productive of Authenticity

Recently read(last chapter remaining)the autobiography of Swami Vidyatmananda(John Yale). One can access it by typing his name in the Google search engine and accessing the relevant website on the first page. It is really inspiring and beautiful. So is the Swami's article on Life as prasada where oneself is the prasada. Some of the Swami's suggestion would I feel do the order good if implemented, esp. his suggestions of founding ashramas and freeing more Indian monastics for preaching in the West and training western monastics to ultimately manage such ashramas. Also the Swami's book if published in book form would really do good to many, which I feel was his wish and intention in writing his autobiography-- The Making of a Devotee.

Location: Guwahati, Assam, India

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Spiritual Struggle as Productive of Authenticity

Thank you Ankur for pointing this out to me. I will read Swami's autobiography with great interest. I had the privilege to meet him in London but I did not know that his autobiography existed.

Location: U.K.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Spiritual Struggle as Productive of Authenticity

Finished reading the Swami's autobiography today. Along with the other adjectives used before I would add the word touching. A month or more ago, visiting the Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama here at Guwahati, I felt as I was leaving the temple a voice within me say, 'Pori Pori Uthi Thak' meaning in Assamese that Keep rising each time you fall. Something like never giving up the struggle. My master said there is no joy like sorrow! We wouldm't like to call on God without it. And he said, there is joy in that pori pori uthi thakat, in keeping up the struggle. He had said another thing, one has to keep up the polishing, one's practice till the end. Achieving grace is one thing and retaining it is another. How I keep falling and how He lifts me up again and again. He said Mother slays Mahisasura after giving him much sorrow, punishing him severely. How fortunate is Mahishasura. I was averse to the idea. Rebelled against it. But getting to accept it. No other alternative and I would now prefer no other alternative. Now I understand that is what he meant by the path of the cross being my path on Baburam Maharaj's birthday, Swami Premananda's birthday 10 years ago. You may have started the reading of the autobiography. What a privilege to be a devotee.

Location: Guwahati, Assam, India

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Spiritual Struggle as Productive of Authenticity

Thank you for these posts. They are so meaningful.
Please continue to post as you gain understanding. It is very helpful.

Thank you,

Location: North Carolina

Re: Spiritual Struggle as Productive of Authenticity

Sorry, Vriju, I got off the topic of your original post, which was a very good one. I was so impressed by the language of the Swami. It was a familiar speak.

Location: North Carolina

Re: Re: Spiritual Struggle as Productive of Authenticity

Yet the question/topic you raised, Rosemary, is one which comes to many people. And, frankly, I have met people who are convinced that one must be born in or travel to India in order for spiritual progress to take place. Such folks seem (to me) to be always wondering, because they haven't grasped the role and importance of spiritual practice.

Or spiritual readiness. In India there has always been the understanding that when the student is fit the teacher will come. Thus a spiritual aspirant, instead of running about looking for a teacher or "ideal location, settles into the task of making himself or herself ready.

We are indeed very fortunate to be living now, when the highest spiritual ideas are readily available to all, whether we are "fit" or not. Even in India this was not the case. Swami Vivekananda, with the blessing of Sri Ramakrishna and Mother, saw the importance of spreading the highest teachings "broadcast" throughout India and the world. He felt having access to these teachings would help humankind rise to higher levels, even if only a very few realized God in this lifetime. Hearing of our potential, he reasoned, would inspire more to eventually take up the task of realizing it.

It always comes back to us, our interest, our readiness, our willingness to make a committed effort. It is very difficult. But even as we stumble along or play happily on a side path, we have the blessing of knowing the Goal, and knowing that Mother is with us, helping us the entire journey.

Location: san Diego, California, USA