The Enlightenment Business: Wisdom For Sale

Originally posted on Luthar.com:

By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

Dr. Luthar listening to a presentation

Religion and spirituality today are a big business. Generally the spiritual teachers, preachers, and the so called enlightened masters of the day are really motivational speakers and self styled self-help expert who are engaged in entrepreneurial ventures aimed at financial and commercial success.  Every year people spend billions of dollars buying the books, CDs, and self-help programs offered by such teachers.

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In Memoriam: Dr. Suryanarayana Raju

Dr. Suryanarayan Raju

Our friend and Bhagavan Ramana devotee Dr. Suryanarayana Raju left the body a few days ago. I never met Dr. Raju face to face, although we had talked about such a meeting happening at Arunachala in India. Our friendship was based on our common spiritual interests and the teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi.

I had interacted and corresponded with Dr. Raju over a number of years. I also edited and published several of Dr. Raju’s articles on luthar.com. I found Dr. Raju to be extremely bright, highly cultured, courteous, and respectful of everyone.  Dr. Raju exuded warmth, love, and was always generous and kind in his words towards me personally. He was most considerate and I felt much love, respect, and affection for Dr. Raju as well.

Dr. Raju had such an excellent command of Bhagavan Ramana’s teachings that editing his articles was a labor of love. Whenever I finished editing any one of his articles and published it, Dr. Raju would invariably write me and be very complementary saying that I had truly added value to his article. He was a most thoughtful and caring person even in small things.

It was on January 3, 2012 in the evening when Dr. Raju communicated to me in confidence that he was in very grave health facing serious medical conditions. After further exchanges, it became clear that his condition was likely terminal. One time Dr. Raju wrote to me that love from his friends like myself kept him going. After that, Dr. Raju did not discuss his health much. At the beginning of this year (2014), Dr. Raju wrote me and wished me a happy new year. I told Dr. Raju that he was in my thoughts.

Dr. Raju was a prolific writer and is well known to the devotees of Bhagavan Ramana. He was the author of the book ‘The Art of Self Enquiry’ and had written a commentary on Bhagavan Ramana’s Upadesa Saram (Essence of Instruction). Dr. Raju was very active on Yahoo Groups and also later became active on Facebook in explaining Bhagavan Ramana’s teachings. Any Bhagavan devotee would be impressed with the depth and subtlety of Dr. Raju’s insights on the Eastern traditions.

Dr. Raju served as a moderator on the Ramana Maharshi Page on Facebook and offered many beautiful verses from Bhagavan’s teachings along with eloquent explanations. His primary focus in recent years was to translate works of Bhagavan Ramana in Telugu as there are so many Telugu speakers in India. He also translated and commented on many of Bhagavan Ramana’s original works in English. At the time of his passing, Dr. Raju was still a moderator of the RM page but had become less active due to his health.

I am grateful for Dr. Raju’s friendship. I was glad to have the opportunity to complete editing many of Dr. Raju’s articles and publish them on luthar.com. Although English was not Dr. Raju’s native language, his command of the subject was so masterful that he was able to use English effectively to express himself well to those who understood the teachings of Sri Ramana.

Dr. Raju was a man of substance. Such spiritual friends as Dr. Raju are truly to be treasured. I will miss my friend and always think of him with much love and many smiles.

My condolences to Dr. Raju’s family and friends
Namaste and Love to all
Harsh K. Luthar

Self-Inquiry or Atma Vichara: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

Originally posted on Luthar.com:

Self-Inquiry, also known as Atma Vichara in Sanskrit, is based on a philosophy that has its origins in the ancient teachings of Advaita Vedanta. Advaita is based on the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and is found in a number of other scriptures that are considered sacred by the Hindus. Advaita means nonduality, the ultimate Oneness that pervades or underlies everything.

Essentially Advaita implies that even though there is a diversity of phenomena, it has its origins in God and that ultimately everything not only exists in God but also resolves itself into God. According to Advaitic sages, the nature of God is Sat-Chit-Ananda. Sat means Existence. It is the nature of God to Exist. Chit means Knowledge. It is the nature of God to Know. Ananda means spontaneous Joy. The nature of God is Bliss or Joy.

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What Is Witness Consciousness? By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

Originally posted on Luthar.com:

Anandmayi Ma with Swami Yoganand

Witness consciousness as a concept and a spiritual practice has become better known now in the West. In the psychology of Advaita and Yoga of thousands of years ago, it has always been a fundamental tool for self development and self understanding on the path to Self-Realization.

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Wisdom Eye: The True Guru: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

Originally posted on Luthar.com:

“Who is a master? He is the Self after all.” Ramana Maharshi

The company of peaceful Sages (Satsangha) and living in Ahimsa (harmlessness) is considered the primary influence that leads to Self-Realization. The forced attempts to discard various habits and conditioning and practicing different techniques to calm the mind have built in limitations. However, such methods can be pursued with benefit if one is already inclined towards these practices.

When strong inner motivation is present, one is automatically propelled towards Self-Awareness and Meditation. The fog of confusion then quickly evaporates and leads to Self-Seeing, Self-Being, Self-Realization, and Silence of the Heart.

Meditation and mind calming methods, can be effective at many different levels if practiced in the context of a clear understanding. Such practices, however, cannot by themselves end the fundamental agitation of the mind which continues at more and more subtle levels and causes suffering.

The nature of the…

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Many Things Are Going On: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

Originally posted on Luthar.com:

The usual things are going on in many places.

War, hate, and killing of enemies

in order to love, protect, and nurture ones own.

Inflicting punishment on others

yet remaining free of consequences

is not possible for us

as human beings or nations;

for the revenge that brings joy

also brings grief.

This is the nature of our suffering,

that we believe our sorrows are more precious

than the tears of our enemies.

The story of life is written on the faces

of both the watching and the watched.

Paralysis provides the context

for the breaking news stories on the dinner table.

It does not help that our fingers

cannot touch across the television screens

and the eyes cannot meet to offer consolation.

Guilt serves as a buffer for one

for the other, hope underlies fear.

Closure is never at hand in this sphere of duality.

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Ahimsa – The Antidote to Fear: Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

Originally posted on Luthar.com:

Bhagavan Sri Ramana used to say, “Ahimsa Param Dharma”. It means that Ahimsa (Nonviolence) is the Supreme Dharma (Duty or Principle). Sri Ramana pointed out to the devotees and yogis that in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Ahimsa is named as the highest virtue above all other virtues. If we are able to understand what Ahimsa means at the deepest level, that clarity itself guides us in discovering the nature of the Self as our own Being.

Ahimsa means to be gentle with others and oneself and all of nature. Ahimsa means to be natural and aware without rushing and pushing and trying to get somewhere quickly. This applies to both the material and the spiritual world.  The mental tendency to grab and consume experiences of various types remains, even as people get on the spiritual path. There is nothing wrong with that. However, we should be aware of the tendencies that…

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