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Sayings of Dr. Frederick Lenz on Jnana Yoga....

Discussion in 'Hinduism - Philosophy and Theology DIR' started by ajay0, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    Jnana Yoga is the Yoga of the intellect, where intellectual inquiry is used to understand the nature of reality as it is, or to attain Self-knowledge or nondual perception. Ramana Maharshi, H.W.Poonja, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Dr. Jean Klein, Robert Adams were famous Jnana Yogis.


    A link on insightful sayings on Jnana Yoga by Dr. Frederick Lenz is put here for better basic comprehension of Jnana Yoga or the path of intellectual inquiry...

    Quotations on Jnana Yoga, Viveka, Discrimination, Knowledge, Samadhi, and the Bhagavad Gita

     
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  2. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    That intellect in jnana yoga comes from a different place than the common usage of the term 'intellect'. The common use is from books, a re-sorting, an amalgamation of other's thoughts.

    This intellect arises from within, from the intuition, and meditative practices, and comes out to the intellectual level so that it can be shared for the benefit of others.

    Sage Ramana was no reader of books. But he meditated a lot.

    Course I'm probably wrong.
     
  3. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Sākṣī
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    In my experience, jnana comes from a combination of both. Books and other media help one to better understand one's experiences facilitating the realization of Self.

    But again, that's been my experience.
     
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  4. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Some books can perhaps illustrate a few things, but you need to confirm it yourself eventually. Dr. Lenz and Sri Ramana are night and day. One wrote books, died of alleged suicide, left a fortune, and was surrounded by controversy. The other wrote no books (Ramana's teachings were recorded by devotees) lived in a hut, died a sannyasin, and had no controversy.

    I think they are examples of the two 'methods'.

    In Saiva Siddhantha there is no such thing as jnana yoga, just the state of jnana.
     
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  5. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    Ramana Maharshi as a youth was influenced by the famous Kannada epic poem Prabhulingaleele by 15th-century Virashaiva poet Chamarasa and Sekkizhar's Periyapuranam, a book that describes the lives of the 63 Nayanmars, which "made a great impression" on him.
     
  6. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    Yogis are capable of leaving their bodies at will through mahasamadhi. Examples being Vivekananda and Shivayogini Matha.

    Also Dr.Lenz was a college professor in philosophy and english literature, software engineer and businessman , music producer, bestselling author and was a certified PADI Divemaster and technical scuba diver, a world-class snowboarder and a black belt in martial arts.

    Along with meditation, he taught software engineering to his students, so as to ensure their financial independence.

    He rightly gave importance to both meditation and career-building for a holistically well-developed life, and not one at the expense of the other. This is the same as the concept of Rajarshi in Hindu philosophy who is considered superior to the mere monk.

    Lenz, a self-made millionaire, was also known for his generious philanthropic contributions to various institutions, secular, religious and those devoted to nature conservation.

    I would say he lived quite intensely in the one life he lived, which others mainly dream and fantasize of.
     
    #6 ajay0, Sep 25, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
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  7. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    He also spent time in the sanctum at Arunaleswarar. Reading a couple of books in your youth, and getting inspired, is far different than being an intellectual scholar.
     
  8. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Sākṣī
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    I know very little about Dr. Lenz nor have I read his material. My point was that learning from others' experiences can be helpful in jnana yoga. It's helped me to understand experiences that I've had.

    I'm not saying one can achieve moksha from reading (or writing), or even listening to sages alone. And for me it was experiences that led me to read to in order to better understand that which I had experienced.

    Wouldn't this be akin to saying, "There is no such thing as the path to union with knowledge, just the state of knowledge"?
     
  9. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Not at all, as in Saiva Siddhanta the path is really well defined, via charya (called karma yoga in the 4 yoga system view), kriya (called bhakti yoga in the 4 yoga system view) yoga (sometimes called raja yoga). and finally jnana, which is the state of mind after yoga, when union is realised.

    So in layman's terms: 1) first get your act together ... via good conduct, following the yamas and niyamas. learn to be a good person
    2) Get to know God externally, become a bhaktar, before seeing God everywhere and inside you , you have to see Him somewhere ... bhakti will drive you inward
    3) Internalise all that energy from bhakti, learn how to meditate, do japa, delve within, searching for the ultimate experience/non-experience
    4) After that (nirvikalpa samadhi) the yogi is just in jnana, the state where he's looking out, an effort has to be made to come out into external consciousness

    The problem I have with neo-Vedanta is that is jumps to stage 4, and only at an intellectual level. It ignores the other 3 stages, and just makes the wondrous claim that 'I'm God' without any of the pre-requisite rooting and stability. Hence we have trouble because there is no reason to behave, no solid foundation to avoid depression. It's a phony intellectual shortcut and can lead to things like suicide. (Lenz) Sometimes Sri Ramana is called the father of neo-Advaita (a false claim) .People would go to him, and hear him say that he and God were the same. He was speaking from the level of the Absolute, from the state of jnana, and not from the intellect at all. But the people who 'took' that knowledge just did it from the intellect, with no deeper realisations. Thus the entire area of neo-Advaita came about. In the meantime, silly irrational stuff like, "It's all God so I can commit adultery, murder, sleep in, be a lazy fool, and more comes about, because nothing matters, cause it's all God." Then the hard cold law of karma hits them.

    The very first step is to work on self-control, and not to go about proclaiming you're God.

    Sorry for the rant. Of course this is just one view, and you're free to differ.
     
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  10. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    You stated that Ramana "was no reader of books" and that is why I stated the same.

    Lenz was not just an academic scholar, he practiced and taught meditation to thousands.
     
  11. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    But Lenz have also taught with respect to Bhakti and Karma Yoga as well...

    Lenz on Bhakti Yoga...

    Lenz on Karma Yoga...

    I have stated this earlier that Lenz left his body voluntarily through mahasamadhi in the same manner as Vivekananda, Shivayogini Matha, Yogananda and many other yogis.

    This was misinterpreted as drowning and suicide by untrained observers and laymen.

    He had lived a strenuous life taking on a large number of projects in different fields, and was in poor health as he approached his fiftieth birthday, and had casually mentioned his possible nonavailability and expiration later on to his disciples in meditation camps. With deteriorating health, he probably decided to leave his body through mahasamadhi.

    Swami Rama Tirtha had similarly left his body through mahasamadhi in the river Ganges.
     
    #11 ajay0, Sep 27, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
  12. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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  13. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    It's sad to see Lenz's name dragged into superficial controversial issues set up by sensationalist yellow page media with a lot of artificial flavor added, out to make a fast buck and catering to a superficial audience seeking content for mental masturbation so as to escape the despair and emptiness of their own lives. This is also a masala article 21 years old, when the facts of the situation were unclear and vague for a reasoned judgement.

    Lenz lived a successful life and set free teaching resources which can be made use of by the public, especially those who cannot afford elitist 5000 dollar one day workshops for self-development and so on.

    He is a self-made millionaire through software engineering who funded his own charity programmes and philanthropic initiatives without having to beg for aid, taught both meditation and software engineering to his disciples, and enabled both spiritual and material development in his disciples. I consider this a great and rare achievement in itself for a teacher, and worthy of emulation.

    Lenz has also funded numerous useful institutions during his life and after his mahasamadhi through his will, which have set eastern philosophy on a firmer ground in the west.
     
    #13 ajay0, Sep 29, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
  14. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    I am not into neo-vedanta , but I do not agree that bhakti and japa or karma yoga should be performed before jnana yoga always.

    Annamalai Swami, an enlightened disciple of Ramana Maharshi and a master in his own right also states thus....

    Talks with Annamalai Swami


    Q: Many people find self-enquiry very difficult. Even most of Bhagavan’s devotees seem to follow a bhakti path. If one cannot do enquiry successfully, should one first purify the mind with japa?

    Annamalai Swami: No. If you have some interest in the path of self-enquiry, you should follow it even if you feel that you are not very good at it. If you want to do self-enquiry effectively and properly you should stick to that method alone. Other methods may be good in their own right, but they are not good as preparations for self-enquiry. If you are serious about becoming a good violin player, you take lessons from a good teacher and practise as much as you can. If you encounter some difficulties, you don’t switch to the nadaswaram [a type of clarinet) for a few months. You stay with your chosen instrument and you keep practising until you get it right. The best preparation for self-enquiry is self-enquiry.
     
  15. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I see the 4 stages I outlined earlier as having a lot of overlap.
     
  16. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Sākṣī
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    Are you of the opinion that all for stages have to be completed in one lifetime?

    Is it not possible that on occasion, an assumption is made that a jnani "jumps to stage 4" out of ignorance of what stages have been completed in previous incarnations in samsara?

    How does one know if another has been a bhakti, karma yogi, or a raja yogi, or a combination thereof in previous lifetimes?

    Is it not possible that the fact that one is simply jumping to jnana yoga may be an appearance? ;)
     
  17. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    No, it's over several lifetimes. Yes, somebody can step over, as you say, because of previous lifetimes. There are many stories of saints and sages being self-realised at a young age. Tirumular used a siddhi to enter another body, so that also can happen. But the difference is recognisable by behaviour. With Tirumular, the story goes that the cowherd came back one afternoon totally changed. Something big happened. People making claims will use these stories as 'evidence' that they too did that, and yet their behaviour will totally demonstrate otherwise. A sage is the embodiment of dharma, not the opposite.

    So any given lifetime, it's important to recognise where you are on this path, with intellectual honesty, not with ego. For myself, I feel I'm 90% in charya, 9% in kriya, 0.99% in yoga, and 0.01% in jnana, because of the very occasional flash of insight. Maybe next lifetime I'll be only 89% in charya.

    Folks, due to anava, want to feel they're great, and there are 'stages' prior to charya. Committing adultery, sleeping with your devotees, bragging, and all that, is even before the first 2 steps in Patanjali's Yoga sutras.
     
  18. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    But you can see that Annamalai Swami, himself an enlightened master, disregarded any study and practice of the other yogas, when there is interest in jnana yoga.

    Ramana Maharshi had a brief spell of bhakti, before going totally in jnana at the age of 16.
     
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