Thoughts on economics and liberty

The witty and plain speaking Indian monk: Swami Suddhananda

Following on from my previous blog post, here is the extract from Swami Suddhananda's book,  Self-Knowledge: A Path to the Pathless (Indian edition priced at less than $2, well worth purchasing). If you want to join the Facebook group I created for Suddhananda, here is the link. (I had also posted some thoughts on Suddhananda here).

Disciplining the mind

‘Manonigrahah’ or disciplining the mind means to be constantly aware of your thoughts and never to come under the spell of it. You should never destroy the capacity of your mind to think. Your mind has a tremendous capacity to do wonders with your thoughts. So, do not be afraid of thoughts. Without thoughts and without using the ability to think, there would have been no progress in the world. Today if we are enjoying certain comforts like air-conditioner, microphones, amplifiers, limousines etc, it is because people have used their thoughts and their thinking capacity. These wonders of science have not been discovered by a man sitting in the darkness of a cave. It is the achievement of men who have put to use their thought power.
 
In the same way, the Vedas, Upanisads and all the great literature of ancient times were not produced by `thought-less’ men. Those are the records of thinking, enlightened, brilliant minds. Even if you consider them to be the revelations of God, again, they are the thoughts of God. So never entertain the idea that you should enjoy a mind that is bereft of thoughts. It is not thinking that creates a problem for you; it is wrong thinking that creates the problems. Just think over whether it is your thoughts or your reaction to thoughts that creates the problem.
 
Take any object: does it create any problem for you? In the object itself, there is no pain or pleasure. So, there cannot be any pain or pleasure in the thought of the object because the thought is only a picture of the object within you. Suppose you take a photograph of a person who is beautiful, the photograph will appear true to its image. The photograph will be exactly like the object. So if in the object there is no pain or pleasure, the thought which is the photograph of the object, too will not have any pain or pleasure, likes or dislikes in it.
 
The memories which are nothing but thoughts are like photographs filed in your personal album. You can recall what had happened ten years ago. The moment someone mentions “Mahabalipuram”, a picture appears in your mind – pleasant memories of the time you visited that place. So the thoughts, memories being just photographs of objects, situations, experiences, cannot cause problems. ‘You’ create the problems. ‘You’ feel that you should not think of this or that and you arrogate that responsibility of ‘thinking’ to yourself. So you feel miserable because all the time you are thinking of things that you do not want to think about.
 
This is how people destroy themselves in the name of religion. They undertake fasting or torturing themselves in different ways by denial, austerities and negation to achieve control of the mind. So the religion appears to be an embodiment of negativity. Religion has come to mean austerity, total renunciation and denial which the average man is not able to identify with. The one who is more austere is considered more religious. One man says, “I have written Ram Nam one hundred thousand times”. When did he do this, you ask. He says he wrote it everyday in the office! He is supposed to be doing the work for his employers while at the office and that is what he is paid for. He takes the money from his employer but wastes his time writing Ram Nam. Instead of feeling bad that he is not doing justice to his employer, he considers himself very religious and holy! The person wants to establish that he is holier than others.
 
If you interpret control of mind as stopping the mind from thinking, that thought, that interpretation needs to be controlled! If you say, “My mind never thinks”, there is nothing glorious about it. Without thinking all the progress that we see in the world today would not have been possible. People have a wrong notion that if they are quiet they are happy. They do not understand that being quiet is in fact, inactivity, a sign of laziness, slothfulness. People equate mental inactivity and the incapacity to think with the quiet, serene silence of the Absolute Ambition to earn money, to reach high positions, to succeed in life, are all condemned as ‘materialism’. So people shun the very effort to achieve them. Yet deep down in their hearts they have great value for money, power, position and they look up to people who have achieved all these in their lives. In the name of religion, they think they are practising simplicity and consider themselves as religious. They actually destroy themselves, deceive themselves first before they deceive others.
 
Suppose you ask somebody to paint the picture of a wise man, will anyone paint the picture of a man dressed in the best suit, smartly dressed and seated in a chauffer driven car? No. A wise man is supposed to be like a skeleton, with matted hair, seated crossed legs, with eyes closed, wearing dirty clothes or rags. This is the picture that one would paint of a wise man. You forget that Krishna and Rama were princes and had the touch of class. They had the best life styles. Or, think of Yagnavalkya or Vasishta, who had Kamadenu, the cow from whom he got everything he wanted in life. It is a pity that the whole tradition now seems to be emphasising denial, renunciation and austerity. The religion stresses so much on austerity, negation, denial, etc that everybody is afraid to come to religion. All this has come about because of the wrong interpretation that control of the mind means absence of thoughts.
 
It is like having a car which can reach a speed of 150 miles per hour. When you are learning to drive, you will be afraid even when the speedometer touches 50 miles per hour. Do you destroy the engine just because you are afraid to go at higher speeds? No.You learn to exploit the full capacity of the engine. You start with slow speed and gradually reach the maximum speed and yet the car is completely under your control. Then you can be called an ace driver. An ace driver is not one who is seated in a parked car. Only when the car is moving at top speed and yet moves as you want it to move, you can claim you have full control over it. In the same way, if your mind is empty and there are no thoughts, there is nothing to control and that is not ‘manonigrahah’- control of the mind. When the mind is full of thoughts and you are not dragged by them, then you can be said to have ‘mano nigrahah’ – control of the mind or the discipline of mind.
 
Control of the mind means to have thoughts but to remain unaffected by them. In spite of thoughts you remain unaffected and that is `mind control.’ Suppose I ask you if you have ever committed any theft, you will naturally answer in the negative. Then I ask you, “How did you manage that?”. You say, “I never got a chance”. That means, you could commit the crime if you get a chance. This is how some ‘sadhus’ who are supposed to have renounced everything become businessmen `sadhus’ or commercial `sadhus’ when they get the first chance to make money. If you sell coconut you are a businessman; how is it that when you sell God, you are considered religious? If you sell medicine to keep the body healthy, are you considered religious? But if you sell yoga, you are considered a ‘spiritual’. These are the misconceptions people have and there are cheats who use it to their advantage. You must be honest with yourself. You cannot afford to be deceptive. When you deceive, you are the first person to be affected. As you are learning about all these things you must understand your personal behaviour and social behaviour and apply whatever you are learning, in your personal life. Otherwise you will have all the information but you will remain stupid. A book has all the ideas but the book is not enlightened.
 
He, indeed, is an honest man, who having all the opportunities and chances, does not commit any crime. In the field of religion also, you find there is corruption, dishonesty, jealousy, greed etc because, a corrupt man, a dishonest man, a jealous man or a greedy man has just changed his clothes. Previously he was playing havoc in plain clothes and now he is doing the same thing in ochre clothes.
 
I will narrate an incident that happened recently in Rishikesh when I stayed there for some time A ‘sadhu’ was staying in one of the ‘Ashrams’ there and had locked himself up in his room. When an ordinary person locks himself up in a room, we think that he must be sleeping or upto some mischief. When a `sadhu’ locks the door, we take it for granted that he must be in meditation. So, for two days nobody disturbed him. On the third day, however,everyone was worried since there was no noise from the room and he had not come out even for food. They knocked on the door and there was no response. They broke open the door and they were shocked by what they saw inside. The man who opened the door nearly fainted. The stench from the room was unbearable. The `sadhu’ was dead drunk and unconscious. The room was filled with empty bottles, cigarette butts, filth and dirt. The whole place was stinking horribly and it was abominable and disgusting. Nobody could even enter the room. This `sadhu’ was an engineer before and he had given up the job and had taken the ochre clothes.
 
A friend, who was with me when we witnessed the scene, asked me, “How can a `sadhu’ drink?” I replied, “A `sadhu’ does not drink. A drunkard has taken the clothes of a sadhu”. `sadhu’, a 'sanyasi' is an eternal renunciate who understands the Reality, recognises himself and he will never do that. But we always put the cart before the horse. We think that by changing our dress we shall be wise; by changing our lifestyle, by eating vegetarian food, we shall be wise. The cow eats grass everyday Is the cow enlightened? By putting on a particular type of dress or `chandan’ on the forehead or wearing a ‘mala’ one does not become wise. One who is wise may take a particular type of dress to announce to the world that he is interested in understanding the Absolute and that he is not in competition with the others for material acquisitions. But since we associate the external appearance with religion, we are taken for a ride. Anybody who wears a surgeon’s gown is not a surgeon; anybody who wears a black gown is not a lawyer; anyone who wears the khakhi uniform is not a policeman. But we associate the dress with that particular profession and we are deceived by cheats who exploit our mental block. A thief comes in the dress of a policeman and loots you. A man has no thoughts of medicine in his head but puts on the gown to announce to the world that he is a doctor.
 
Manonigrahah means understanding your own thoughts, observing your mind. I am deliberately using the word `observing’ and not ‘controlling’. The word `controlling’ has a negative connotation. When you say `controlling a child’ or ‘controlling a person’, one feels that somebody is bossing over them. Please understand that the body and mind are beautiful instruments and if they do not function properly, it is not their fault. If you see a car swerving from left to right and from right to left, you do not say that the car is drunk. You know that the driver is drunk. You have to fix the driver and not the car.
 
Mind is also a vehicle. Suppose it is angry, hateful, jealous, we say the mind is creating havoc in your life. But that is not true. ‘You’ are creating the havoc. ‘You’ have done it; your society has done it; your teachers are responsible for it; your parents, friends are responsible for it; your tradition, your customs have done it, by providing you with wrong conditioning. Your mind has been fed with wrong conditioning that material possessions will bring you happiness. All the time the voices that you are listening to inside, are not yours. They are somebody else’s. So you cannot blame the body or the mind. They are just instruments, vehicles. When you observe the mind, you shall see that no thought by itself is a curse. Thoughts are mere suggestions. They are not commandments. But, for the average man who has not learnt to observe the mind and exercise control over the mind, every thought is a commandment. If a thought rises in the mind he has to express it immediately. There are many thoughts inside and he listens to all of them. His thoughts are the outsiders inside!
 
You must see that thoughts are mere projections and it is up to you to act on them or ignore them. They have by themselves no likes or dislikes. When you know this, you are no more afraid of your thoughts. You perceive a beautiful mind inside. There are lovely thoughts. You do not label them as good or bad. With that type of a mind, you are very comfortable with your thoughts.
 
Manonigrahah, therefore, does not mean not thinking but it means to think without coming under the spell of thoughts. Any thought pushing you into activity without your knowledge or control is a commandment. With one thought you are in the kitchen; with the next thought you are outside the house; with yet another thought, you are fighting with somebody. Thus the thoughts push you from one activity to another. You must watch this drama taking place inside you. If you try to sit down quietly for half an hour, one thought will come up and say, “Come on, get up. You are simply wasting your time”. Even before you know it, you open your eyes and walk away! If the mind is restless, the body cannot keep quiet.
 
Manonigraha means that you stand by your decisions. When you decide to sit down for half an hour, other thoughts urge you to do something else. But when You just observe those thoughts and still do not obey those thoughts and act at the level of the body, you get a glimpse into your sovereignty, your mastery over your mind. 

Some of Suddhananda's comments that I had noted from his lectures in Melbourne:

a) Without understanding ourselves first, let's avoid wasting time asking about God's existence (or denying it). If God exists he/she/it can't be made to vanish simply by not believing in him/her/it. If he/she/it doesn't exist no amount of believing can make him/her/it come to life.

b) All religions and godmen have led us badly astray. We need to stop assuming things and start by scientifically understanding our own body, our mind, and our selves. We will soon find we are all the SAME within. So why these artificial and stupid distinctions between religions and 'groups' of people? Why limit ourselves by narrow definitions and boundaries when we are not made to be limited in any way? We are capable of thinking of infinity. Let's think broadly and not narrowly.

c) To be able to do any good for anyone else we have to be fully at ease with ourselves. We have to love ourselves. We have to be happy and content; at peace. Taking care of our body and mind is therefore the most important task we have before us. This is not selfishness. Only after we have taken care of ourselves can we or should we think of trying to help others. We can't give money to others if we don't have money to give.

d) Our mind is an instrument, somewhat like a screensaver that continuously generates images and thoughts. We should observe and understand our mind, and aim to become its MASTER, not be its slave, like the vast majority of humans in this world are.

e) Don't carry books on your head. They are merely pieces of paper. The paper and binding of the book is immaterial. Absorb them – get them into your head. Act on the books. Don't worship a map that leads to gold. Go get the gold. And don't worship anything. Learn to be just a normal human being with an open and clear mind.

f) Also, he notes that exclusivity destroys. For example, if there is God (and he 'knows' there is – according to Upanishadic philosophy – an argument which is rationally persuasive and emprically 'testable' in a way, but which I still baulk at validating until I fully explore it further) – then it makes no sense whatsoever to say that God is constrained in any way by one's beliefs or definitions. Such claims merely create fanaticism. It is a terrible shame that exclusive religions exist on this earth, disrupting the life and natural happiness of mankind.

Also:

"The mind has no male mind or female mind; no male anger or female anger; no male emotion or female emotion: the body is different but the mind is the same".

"The child is born with a sentence of 'hanging' – capital punishment: of death. A leaking boat, our body, guaranteed to die. Self knowledge gives us the power to swim away from the leaking boat".

"The knife doesn't get up to kill somebody." So, hence, understand your own mind; understand who you are; close your eyes and watch the landscape within you …

"If anything pulls you, you are less than that" (e.g. a bottle of liquor, a cigarette, a man, a woman, anything).

"If you want to understand yourself, you have to dissect your mind".

"Education gives you false confidence. If when asked 'Who are you?' you reply, 'I am PhD' you get a minus 2 because you neither know what a PhD is nor you know who you are".

"Like or not, false confidence is one stage of life. At this stage when some religion comes and gives you an 'identity' are they giving you the truth or another false identity?". [Elsewhere he talks about how stupid it is for some religious people to be considered holy because they eat (or don't eat) particular foods. How is food related to holiness?] 

"You have to feed everyone around you as a professional. Therefore you get stressed. Note that only professionals get stressed – hence 'stress management' books. And when professionals get stressed, religions come to you like a vulture, to feed on you!"

"When perception is questioned, science begins. When the perceiver is questioned, thinking begins."

"Falsehood needs groups, the truth stands alone".Thus, those who believe in falsehoods resist truth by not asking questions and thus behaving like cults. For example the Vatican pardoned Galileo (in March 2008) after denying his findings for over 350 years. But the issue here is this, though: Who should pardon whom?! Vatican should pardon Galileo, or vice versa?!" 

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Sanjeev Sabhlok

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21 thoughts on “The witty and plain speaking Indian monk: Swami Suddhananda
  1. ramesh

    Dear Sabhlok,
     
    There is a lot which can be written on above things. But, the one thing which comes to my mind and irritates me whenever I see a monk, a sadhu, a philosopher, a scientist or a so called Jnani is that:
     
    They are all waste unless they help in to bring about the POLITICAL CHANGE to establish the best system which can be thought ever practically. Have they ever offered to help or pioneer this cause? If not all their thoughts are contrary to Vedanta; or any philosophical teaching in the world. Let somebody convey it to them.
     
    As an FTI supporter it would be my first strategy to take these people into confidence.

     
  2. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Good point, Ramesh. I think Suddhananda comes into the category of a good teacher. He is not a doer. That is a higher calling for which he is perhaps not yet fit. http://sabhlokcity.com/2010/08/preachers-teachers-doers-a-theory-of-leadership/

    Ramdev tried to be a doer, but was simply not fit for that role, since he had not understood what kind of political change is needed – and indeed he fled from the political scene after having committed to launch a party.

    Suddhananda has not studied either economics or politics (he has a masters degree in English, and has studied Sanskrit), so he is good (in many ways better than Vivekananda) at communicating the message of the Vedanata in simple language but he has to study more if he wants to lead India. Being a specialist in the Vedanta doesn't automatically make him a specialist in policy.

    I suspect, though, that he will not aspire for that role, being content to teach – he is now nearly 60 I think, so hard for him to learn a totally new discipline.

    I agree that there is a serious failing of Hindu teaching – that it doesn't teach citizenship, but you can't expect sophisticated economic and political philosophy from something (Vedanta) that was invented 2500 years ago. 

    On the other hand, given your own expertise, you can try to bridge the gap. Instead of blaming others for not coming to your standards, why don't you show the world how it is done?

     
  3. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Let me add: don't be a preacher and preach to either me or Suddhananda. That is the lowest form of leadership and I expect more from those who aspire to join FTI and lead India.

    Lowest: preacher.

    Then: teacher

    Finally: doer. 

    Become a doer, and don't expect others to do your work for you. They owe you nothing – unless you have paid them according to a contract you had signed with them.

     
  4. ramesh

    Dear Sabhlok,
     
    Well, may I know what exactly this ‘doer’ means? Is it a magic? Is it a thing to be done by a single person?
     
    1. For me a ‘deed’ or ‘work’ or ‘project’ (like political change, cultural change etc) begins with an ‘idea’ or ‘concept’ based on some solid principle.
    2. Then it needs to be shared by equal minded sufficient persons.
    3. Then practical strategy is to be planned.
    4. Then with all the wisdom it needs to be executed.
    5. Then it is seen that it lasts forever or otherwise.

     
    Under the present reference we are in step 1 and 2.
     
    I think ‘preaching’ and ‘teaching’ occurs only in step 1. For this there is almost world of library which can be preached and taught. This step mainly happens in educational institutions and religions functions.
     
    I assume under current reference we are about to enter the second step. Say for example we agreed on ‘Freedom and Liberty’ or ‘Vedanta’. Then it needs to be shared by sufficient number of people (1500 for FTI).  Are you doing justice by accusing this ‘Sharing’ as ‘teaching’ and ‘preaching’?
     
    Once it happens then we move to 3rd step which involves ‘doer’ and there is only single form of leadership “Doer”. Such a leader cannot be established on the solid foundation of some teaching and preaching which is shared by sufficient numbers (say 1500 FTI). Such a leadership is yet to see a long way.
     
    I myself visited many ‘Vedantic’ pundits and discussed with them that essence of same lies in ‘Political Establishment’ but they are behaving as if it is none of their business while preaching the Vedanta at the same time contradicting the Vedanta itself. My comments may be part of this effort and I wish it to be shared by majority or else make me share of theirs e.g. FTI etc. Is this effort of sharing a ‘Teaching’ and ‘Preaching’? Is not it a part of ‘Doer’? or  Can I act alone and prove myself ‘doer’ by magic?
     
    Are not you/FTI preaching and teaching until and unless these 1500 leaders are gathered and decide to bring political change? I never think so. But are not you thinking exactly so as per your comments?
     
     
    If Abrahm Lincom was a doer, was he so overnight? Were not his principles were shared by few sufficient numbers? Was that sharing a “preaching” or “teaching”?
     
    When sharing is done a lot of questions are asked/answered and every effort is made to convince. I fail to see something else other than this in my comments. If so I will ever be grateful to bring it to my notice.  Is this comment itself a ‘Preaching’? If so give me an instance of a ‘doer’ and I will definitely follow.
     
     Waiting for an instance of your sort of ‘doer’.

     
  5. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Ramesh

    The big difference between the doer and others is that he is not a spectator who provides commentary on the world. He is a citizen.

    There are lakhs of examples of doers. All MPs and all MLAs are doers. All members of political parties are doers. All people – whatever their view – who seek to LEAD and DIRECTLY influence society, are doers.

    The unique characteristic of these doers is that they don’t preach to others. Yes, in my case I do have to wake up people so I do a bit of preaching and teaching, but in the end I’m a doer – until the day I give up (as I had in 2005 – but resumed in Dec. 2007). If and when I give up I’ll become a mere blogger, a mere writer, a mere spectator. Then I’ll be basically saying – like the 10000s of “intellectuals” in India – that India is NOT my responsibility. I’ll start giving advice to politicians but refuse to join politics. And so on. That’s typical of “intellectuals” who don’t understand the meaning of citizenship.

    In brief, the citizen is the doer. The rest are mere sheep.

    S

     
  6. ramesh

    Dear Sabhlok,
     
    It is obvious that all examples of 'doer' you quoted 'PHYSICALLY WORK IN THE FIELD'. If the same are made to comment on blogs like yours how would you differentiate these 'doers' from 'me' (who is preacher) BASED ENTIRELY ON THE CONTENTS OF THE COMMENTS.
     
    To what the links posted e.g. Shantanus blog etc point towards? doer or preacher? Why do you feel that I am not quoting and sharing my experiences in field in the comments?
     
    I wish to be 'doer'. Do you expect me stop commenting and work in the field alone to be called as 'Doer'? If not what should be the content and intent of my comments? Which responsibilities I lack as a citizen?
     
    Will you help me know it better and become a citizen or doer?

     
  7. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Ramesh

    I’m not pointing out any shortcomings in your stance, but just saying that it is inappropriate to lecture others (e.g. swamis and gurus, etc.) who are going what they can. If you know better than then just do it.

    That is precisely what I decided to do in February 1998. Upon not finding ANY individual in India who was working towards systematic and ethical reforms of governance, I decided I would do it. That’s why this blog, that’s why IPI, FTI, my book/s, etc. The goal is VERY CLEAR – direct reform of governance of India. I’m not preaching nor teaching anyone. Just doing it.

    Similarly should you believe you have a better model to offer to any swami etc., then just do it. Don’t preach to them to do it.

    S

     
  8. ramesh

    Dear Sabhlok,
     
    Perhaps I may not afford the work which you did in February 1998 right now. But before I act like you I think it right to arrive at sufficient level of concurrence with the majority in thought, interpretation, meaning and essence. I never preach any Swami, Guru to ACT AND CAUSE to establish a political system on their own. Instead I seek a concurrence, a sharing, uniformity of the meaning and essence of VEDANTA in principle and theory that it means only and only Establishment of such a Political system (Here I mean only ACTION-unlike your wrong approach to me). It can happen only by way of discussion, comments on blogs like this one etc. After a sufficient level of concurrence is established with the sufficient number of actors (Doers) then the action will begin like the one you did in 1998 or 2007 or till such a time when I will be in a position to afford it to be done by me alone whichever is earlier.
     
    I only mean that all teachings of all religions groups (who held a majority of population) are contrary to their essence like Vedanta, Bible or Islam until and unless they establish a Political system which causes to sustain these groups. Here I particularly target Vedantic group which I am sure for scientific reasons that it means only ‘ESTABLISHMENT of POLITICAL SYSTEM’ solely based on scientific approach like ‘freedom and liberty’.
     
    You may note that by ‘Freedom and liberty’ everybody doesn’t mean the same things unlike the scientific laws. It has different meanings according to the perceptions of the people. So is the case with Vedanta. Only in maths and Science everybody has same meaning. Therefore everybody who comes in contact with FTI doesn’t mean the same thing exactly as you mean and expect. Therefore the effect of FTI gets nullified significantly-proof is its slow speed. I wish it not.
     
    I herewith only seek and debate this concurrence of essence with the Gurus, Swamis and you of the Vedanta, the supreme form of ‘liberty and freedom’ perfectly scientific. You refuse even to share. Once it happens action will come without even asking for it.
     
    Please note that religious groups can influence the far majority of people than a group of haphazard intelligentsia like FTI. Concurring with them (It amounts to turning them from the blind faith/belief based religions outlook into the scientific outlook) may bring renaissance. I, by any stretch of imagination do not mean mixing religion with the politics but destroying the very religions which are unscientific. I do not preach them nor do ask them to act for us. It is a critical reasoning, debating not preaching or asking them do us a favour or no question of ours taking ‘Thekka’ for them.
     
    It was exactly this context in which I referred to Swami Shuddhananda and likes. I only wished these swamis to adopt this outlook by way of just critical reasoning and debating. No question of their own actions but in turn they could influence the thousands others just for the sake of Liberty and Freeedom far better than you and me can. You badly missed my essence.
     
    All the above is not preaching but a preparatory ground work where the essential concurrence is sought before the actual action begins. I only hope critical reasoning should never be mixed with preaching, teaching or even leading.

     
  9. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Ramesh

    I’m loath to have religious preachers dabble with politics, although that has already happened both with Congress I (and its pandering to Muslims) and BJP (pandering to Hindus). The problem with your approach (which I now understand better – so thanks for it) is that it will be interpreted by many people as a revival of Hinduism in politics. People don’t understand the Vedanta. Less than 1/2 per cent of the Hindus are non-dualists. And there are at least three major versions of the Vedanta, anyway.

    What you are imagining is that YOUR version of the Vedanta will overtake the entire mainstream Hinduism (you think that other forms are “unscientific”). That won’t happen. Even if it does, the Vedanta has NO underlying political thought, just a high level religious conception of life. So you’ll be left struggling for a political system which works. You’ll effectively have to re-invent classical liberalism.

    In brief, I think FTI is fine – it simply needs a few leaders and we are done. The idea that you’ll create a renaissance in Hinduism first is far-fetched. If great Vedantists like Vivekananda could not do it after 100 years, then the idea that India will follow his footsteps today because of your work is far-fetched. And you don’t even have a single book yet to show how your conception of politics works. You keep blaming others for not understanding you. Well, then make things clearer. Write a few simple books.

    I’m working within the world-best policy framework. It is the scientific, proven theory of human society. It is simple to understand and has no relationship with one’s conception of God. One can be Hindu Muslim Christian atheist and it still works.

    I prefer things that are universal. Classical liberalism is universal.

    In other words, while you are most welcome to reform Hinduism, the urgent task is to lead India to greater liberty. NOW!

    S

     
  10. ramesh

    Dear Sabhlok,
     
    Oh! You really missed the subtle understanding closely. Effort is made here to make it clear with the maximum risk of my being grossly misunderstood.
     
    Re: Even if it does, the Vedanta has NO underlying political thought, just a high level religious conception of life.
     
    And
     
    Re: If great Vedantists like Vivekananda could not do it after 100 years, then the idea that India will follow his footsteps today because of your work is far-fetched.
     
    It is exactly in the above context that my idea (Purely pragmatic science- It is just a language which terms it as Vedanta-It has nothing to do with the religion- Please be noted) is far more paramount in the success of efforts like FTI etc. My idea is not for the sake of renaissance of Hinduism but is just a PRAGMATIC APPROACH to the SUCCESS of FTI etc and renaissance may be just one of the side effects of this approach. Even it has very little to do with FTIs policies like freedom and liberty because without these this approach itself cannot be driven. It means with the two wheels of freedom and liberty Vedanta drives the FTI like to SUCCESS. So please be clear that I am concerned with the success than anything else.
    To be plain and WITH THE MAXIMUM RISK OF MINE BEING GROSSLY MISUNDERSTOOD BY YOU AND THE LIKES I STATE THAT, there are conditions like highest standards of personal integrity, honesty, integrity, not dabbling with black money and so on and so on or equivalently ‘MEANS JUSTIFY THE ENDS’ approach on FTI. And with this all the morality in the universe including that of Hinduism with dvaita (and not Advaita) agrees and must and should agree as well for the good of the people. However there is one exception to this and that is ‘ADVAITA’. You may know and understand it only when you finish 7th chapter of Vichar Sagar dealing with the behaviour of ‘Mukta or Jnani’ (not spiritual nor having yogic powers nor like Satyasai baba nor like those) person and until that you are sure to misunderstand the ones like me. There is no one else as free and liberal as such a person. He is not conditioned by the above sort of moral approach. What he behaves become the moral, outwardly he deceives but that will become a legend. Examples are that of Shri Rama and Krishna. I am not misusing these legends but that is fact and only such person alone can do that and not others, please note. This is so because these free and liberal persons are governed and qualified by the HIGHEST STANDARDS OF RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY by being one with the TRUTH ITSELF.
    [However this was sought with the fear of social adultery (and you will also take it so and prove yourself to be Dvaita as long as you oppose the above approach) by the common wisdom (Dvaita) in India and SUCH ADVAITA was almost banned by the other version of Vedanta by name Dvaita whereby only the morals just as FTI upholds are taken as sacred unlike the AVAITA.]
     
    Therefore my essence is that “intentions justify the ends” would be more proper along with “means justify the ends” approach only for the sake of PRACTICAL SUCCESS of the FTI etc and not as means of the style of living of the common man.
     
    Advaitic person may live purely Adharmic and non religious (but it is highly qualified) Please please note!(7th chapter of vichar sagar)
     
    It is for the realisation of the above FACT that I press you and the select few to study the highest science “Vedanta”. Forget fully that it is just a high level religious conception of life. It is PURE POLITICS if taken in the right sense which gives us the means and weapons which are far more stronger than any weapon science can develop!
     
    Note that I do not expect and cannot be everybody such an Advaitee. However I expect few Rama; Krishna. Oh!Please note that these names do not suggest their policies, religion, dharma and all that Hindus believe them to be but see alone their STYLE OF SUCCESS over the false (in our circumstances –the present socialism) for having known the truth ‘advaita’. These characters are not for religious preachings alone but for the imitation on the ground with action with the kind of knowledge they had ‘Advaita’. Only Advaita (not religion but pure science) CAN MAKE RAMA AND KRISHNA.
     
    Vivekanand and others understood only the ‘religious conception’ of life but failed to grasp it in its entirety. Because if Vedanta proposes a high level of conception of life (but not necessarily religious as you quoted) it also proposes how it is established politically as illustrated below. Vivekananda and others failed just to see it in Vedanta. That is why they preached only and did not act like entering the politics for establishing the same.
     
    You will reply that my fear is misplaced since that question (of success of FTI) would come for consideration only after 1500 leaders are assembled and agreed in every respect of policies. But you fail to realise that such a thing is almost far- fetched given the nature of discussions on innumerable blogs on internet. Only time can convince it to you and by that time it would be too late for you in the sense that you may not see its success. You may not wish to see it either, thing is ENTIRELY different.
     
    Policy is inbuilt in FTI. That is not a major point. Major point is its SUCCESS.
     
    I only wish that ‘means justify ends’ should be general policy of the FTI. And ‘intentions justify the ends’ should also be the policy to be exercised by the select few who qualify the standards as outlined above just as there were extremists, militants like Netaji, Bhagatsing along with the Satyagrahis like Gandhiji in national movement. You will contend that present political situation cannot be compared with the conditions at the time of indias freedom struggle. It is also far fetched. Instead todays circumstances are far more complex and seeking the unity like FTI is far more difficult. I may say you may realise the same from time to time just as during the last 12 years.
     
    I have dared to note all the above things with the risk of getting criminalised myself by you and the likes who are not aware of the Advaita and it was for this sake alone that I has been advising you and the likes to be aware of the ‘truth’, the greatest polity, the greatest in every sense ‘advaita’ and so far avoided to put it in explicit terms as above. Vedanta says ‘only Ram can understand Ram and Krishna can understand Krishna’. Had you studied Vedanta and understood it, perhaps, you would have been closer to me. But now you see nothing except the damn religion in the Vedanta I take this risk of incriminating me by way of misunderstanding the above by others as gross misuse of Puranic characters.
     
    Even if you disagree with me I hope FTI will let me be its part for the good of people since I do not see any other option and that I will be within the terms and conditions of the same.
     
    “Essence: Leave aside the innumerable versions of the ‘Advaita’ and study yourself the science that gives us the mightiest ‘means’ of success for GOOD CAUSES ALONE LIKE FTI.”
     
    Only the fools imagine of ‘success’ after death.—Vedanta (Advaita version.)
     
    It would be wonder—if I succeed to drive you home the right thing. I can only make effort just like you! Request- read at least twice for better linking of the concepts.

     
  11. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Thanks, Ramesh

    I’m quite familiar with the stories of Rama and Krishna, and the concept you are proposing. If there is war and if there is tyranny, then I’d agree that the ends may justify the means – although that hypothesis needs significant qualification for which I don’t have the time at the moment.

    On the other hand, in a pluralistic liberal democratic society like India, which is reasonably well designed for the peaceful expression of various viewpoints, the ends and means must be entirely aligned and consistent. I understand the imperatives of democratic politics, and there will need to be some give and take to arrive at a coherent position and leadership team. However, I’m focused on building a major national political party that represents the political space known as liberty. That task must start well. It must be done systematically. It can’t be rushed, else all sorts of unwanted people will enter.

    Once the systems are established, then the specific political strategy or tactics can be negotiated.

    My starting position is that I want to test and know personally the kinds of people who enter FTI, so that I can assure the people of India of the high quality of people we will offer them. Netaji built an army to oppose the British. I’m building a leadership team that will radiate out across India to bring liberty to India. If leaders who understand liberty don’t exist in every nook and cranny in India, this task won’t succeed. And if the wrong type of people enter FTI then too the same result will be forthcoming.

    So while I welcome your interesting thoughts (and no, I’ve not yet had time to get back to Vichar Sagar), it would be useful if you could directly lead in the direction you are asking me to, for I don’t understand the underlying mechanics of what you have in mind. As FTI member you will have sufficient opportunities to lead – a high quality team. Much will depend on your clarity of vision and strategy.

    S

     
  12. ramesh

    Dear Sabhlok,
     
    Re: So while I welcome your interesting thoughts (and no, I’ve not yet had time to get back to Vichar Sagar), it would be useful if you could directly lead in the direction you are asking me to, for I don’t understand the underlying mechanics of what you have in mind. As FTI member you will have sufficient opportunities to lead.
     
    ….and with this I park my strategy and idea aside since as per your conception, as FTI member we will be having sufficient opportunities to lead and I believe the same till such a time when it gets established that available opportunities will not suffice the success then we will have to take recourse to my ideas only after understanding fully the underlying mechanics. Till such a time I assure my ideas (repercussion of Advaita) will be dormant and if the things happen really as you see it, my idea may see a dead end and I would really and sincerely be happy to see happen the same!
    [[For kind information: But you may note that your fear like wrong/unwanted people entering the FTI etc is due to the fact that you fail to see the underlying mechanics and that this fear is not genuine one.]]
     
     
    With this the debate with you on action part of the FTI is over with me jumping your side sincerely and wholeheartedly.
     
    Thanks.

     
  13. ramesh

     Dear Sabhlok,
     
    Now on the theory part i.e. DoF, as a critic I would like to comment as follows. You may move this comment at the appropriate page you may think.
     
    Just as DoF discusses the ‘Freedom and Liberty’, there has been discussion on exactly the same issue thousands of years ago in ‘Vedanta’ wherein at the end when a person realises the ‘Truth’ or ‘Brahman’ as per Vedanta he becomes ‘मुक्त’ or ‘liberated’. Note that here such a person is entitled to ‘individual freedom and liberty’. He is governed by the ‘accountability and responsibility’ accorded to him by being JUST ‘Jnani’. For such a person absolutely no conditions are attached. He can live any way he thinks fit since he is always aware of what it means and contributes to beyond doubt! So when one doubts such a person he has to doubt himself first. Here Vedanta need not be confused with being just highest conception of living etc because here such a ‘liberated’ person need not be pious or religious or need not observe morals and may well indulge in prohibited activities and yet he will be the most venerable. Also note it is not my personal interpretation or version but may be found in any Advaita book.
     
    If DoF is going to miss a touch on discussion of such a kind of ‘liberty and freedom’ and such an ‘accountability and responsibility’ of Advaita which itself has been propounded by few of the greatest thinkers and held in high esteem and which is being discussed the world over with great fervent in scientific and philosophical circles (positively or negatively –thing is different), DoF would just be belittling itself, I think so sincerely.
     
    If in revised version of DoF if there is such a discussion this comment stands withdrawn.
     
    Here whether DoF discusses for or against the Vedanta (Advaita) is not important but whether it discusses it at all or not with critical thinking is the only thing that is important and I wish to draw your attention to this aspect alone.

     
    Here it may well be noted that here I do not talk about the ‘Vedanta’ or ‘Advaita’ which has religious or similar implications but I do talk only about a kind of ‘freedom and liberty’ with ‘accountability and responsibility’ it uphods and accordingly I expect the weightage to this comment. I wish you may at least dismiss this kind of Vedantic claims as irrelevant in the DoF.
     

     
  14. Peter

    Namaste Sanjeev,

    I wanted to contact you for a long time,Please remove Swami Suddhananda’s write up, He is not the person you all think he is .He does not live the life he preach.
    I can explain if you give me your contact number i will talk to you in person.

     
  15. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Peter,

    I’m aware that he has left the Ashram and perhaps did not practice what he preached. I’ve not cared to investigate, and have left the FB group that I had created. However, regardless of Swami Suddhananda’s actual conduct (about which I have little interest), his teachings make sense, and are derived from a tradition that is thousands of years old. I was never a ‘devotee’ of Suddhananda but welcomed some of his ideas, just like I welcome other good ideas. To the extent his ideas were right this blog post remains valid.

    s

     
  16. patrick

    Namaskar,
    Sanjeev i respect your good will to share thoughts of Swami Suddhananda.Please be informed he is not the person which the world know as, he is a sex maniac of the highest order, he manipulate young womans to have sex with him, this all true,he had escaped many times , even the recent sex scandal. He accepted all alegation , but what are they , the world won’t know, The world will hate if they see what was there,lucky the sane minded did not show……Please remove his write up, he is not worth, he is being backed up by blind faith, enough of all this for the OCRE tradition.
    Thanks.

     
  17. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Peter, I’m aware of some strong allegations against him, and that he has literally fled his Ashram is prima facie proof of these allegations.

    I did not ever make myself beholden to the Swami nor did I ever have blind faith. It is inappropriate for me to remove my writings, anyway. That’s what I thought then. I still fully agree with many Advaitic teaching. Please note this blog post (or any other writings of mine on this Swami) represents my faith in critical thinking, questioning, and common sense. Think for yourself, decide for yourself. That’s (his) message which was basically my message anyway. I’ve been saying (and practising) such things for longer than I can remember.

    I was never nor will ever be anyone’s follower. Yes, I did invite him to my house for lunch in Melbourne after his talks, but never bowed before him, nor treated him as anything but another ordinary human. He is accountable for his own actions. I don’t change my beliefs (about the truth) nor diminish my praise for his explanatory powers just because he turns out to be unable to meet his own standards. He doesn’t concern me. His message, which is mine, as well, concerns me.

    s

     
  18. patrick

    Namaste Sanjeev,
    So nice of you sir,i respect your views, i was also the same seeker like you spread swamiji’s teachings and more but the truth is many young girls who cannot be named had suffered and still suffering, even i cannot be named fear of being even killed, i ‘am serious sir .
    that is why seeing this side i get very annoyed, people read this will always think great about this man unless they are the parents of the young girls who went to study athma vidya , yet ended up serving his sexual desire.You cannot feel what we feel because you are not directly affected.
    well this is the irony, very sad,respected sir, very sad.He have to see this himself.Hope one fine day i will meet you in person.
    Regards

     
  19. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Patrick, now you are making very strong allegations of crimes. This is not the best place to make such allegations. I would strongly suggest you support those who have been affected to lodge their complaints to the Police. I’m not aware of CRIMINAL behaviour by Swami Suddhananda so far, but should such matters be proven, then trust me – I will be out there publicising these matters widely. There is no need to meet me. I’m happy to see the verdict of the court.

    I’m hesitant to spread unproven slander, so let’s leave this here. I’ve allowed your views expression, and look forward to proof.

    s

     
  20. Sanjay

    I have myself read Swami Suddhananda’s books and have enjoyed reading them especially the book Self – Knowledge – A Path to the Pathless that has been described here .
    I am really shocked by Swami Suddhananda’s behavior . I leave it to almighty to decide how best he has to punish Swami Suddhananda for his dubious behavior . .

     

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