Law of Attraction Part 17: Gurus of the 20th Century

groovy guru

“The syllable gu means shadows
The syllable ru, he who disperses them,
Because of the power to disperse darkness
the guru is thus named.”
Advayataraka Upanishad

The reason the Guru is so important in Hinduism is because it is believed that only a Guru, who is considered to be an “enlightened being,” can initiate and guide others along the spiritual path. To sit “darshan” with a guru is a special dispensation that allows a person seeking spiritual development to sit in the energy field of a guru, thereby promoting spiritual growth and enlightenment within the seeker.

The figure of the Guru has been known in India since the days of the Upanishads, the mystical Vedic texts written in Sanskrit from 900-100 BCE. These “dispensers of darkness” are “spiritual masters” noted for their piety and command of spiritual wisdom. The most famous of these, Sankara, Ramakrishna, Anandamoyi Ma and others were known primarily in India. But with the turn of the 20th Century, Hinduism brought forth many popular gurus that are now followed all over the world. Desteni TV will take a closer look at the Modern Indian Guru and how their messages relate to the Law of Attraction today.

 

Ratnakaram (Sathya Sai Baba)

sai baba

We begin with one of the most popular of the 20th Century Gurus, Sathya Sai Baba, a former child wonder and miracle-worker. His message is one of “unconditional love,” equality between religions and love and service to all creatures. Sai Baba follows the typical Hindu notions that the world is “Maya” and only God is real, while borrowing Ramakrishna’s idea that all religions and prophets are manifestations and paths to the One God. Sai Baba is believed to be an Avatar by his followers. He claims to be the reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba, a famous Muslim Fakir who enjoyed notoriety as a mystical wonder in his own right.

The most controversial aspects that draws criticism to Sai Baba is his reputation for producing objects like jewelry or coins “out of thin air.” While some criticize Sai Baba’s ”works” as nothing more than the theatrics of magical trickery, Sai Baba is important to notice because of his connection to the Law of Attraction’s point of manifesting tangible things using your mental powers. Sai Baba represents the idea that one can manifest things on the physical level using will, desire, and focused energy. And that is what the Law of Attraction is all about.

 

Chandra Mohan (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) (Osho)

osho-men-lives-in-sleep-copy

The most controversial of the Indian gurus in the 20th century was a prolific speaker and writer and former University professor, claiming to have attained “enlightenment ” at the age of 21. Eventually establishing a large ashram and meditation camps throughout India, Chandra Mohan became known in 1970 as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and towards the end of his life, as Osho. While Osho’s eclectic philosophical approach makes it hard to categorize his religious philosophy, in regards to the Law of Attraction, he did push the notion that through yoga and meditation, the cultivation of etheric and magnetic energy will make one “more sexually attractive.” It was perspectives such as these which gave Osho the notoriety of being the “Sex Guru.” But there is no need to go there. Osho was just another spiritual teacher who believed in the divinity and creative power of energy.

 

Deepak Chopra

deepak-chopra-39

“You aren’t a physical body controlled by genes. You are a soul that expresses itself by creating a body, every minute of every day. The soul is connected to an unlimited intelligence and energy of the universe.. By shifting your self image to a soul image, you can reconnect with the universe and its unlimited potential.” – Deepak Chopra.

Deepak Chopra is a successful New Age author and lecturer and a highly-visible proponent of the Law of Attraction. As a successful doctor before becoming involved with the Transcendental Meditation of Maharashi Maresh Yogi, Chopra claims that stepping into a higher plane is quite possible for everyone, but one must rid the body of negative thoughts.

Chopra has written many books on reverse aging, positive thinking, and the fulfillment of desire within familiar Hindu notions of meditation, yoga and the superiority of the soul and consciousness. For Chopra, the mind is “a symbol in flesh and blood of everything you think and feel.” As one can see, Chopra’s perspective simply recycles the conception of soul as the Atman; as the human’s primary link to universal intelligence, which is a vital ingredient within the Law of Attraction.

Baskaran Pillai (Dattareya Siva Baba) 

Baskaran Pillai (Dattareya Siva Baba)We have previously stated Sigmund Freud’s opinion that the function of religion is the fulfillment of desire. A saying within the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad agrees: “You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.” Thus we exist as the embodiment of desire that must be filled, which strongly implies the Law of Attraction. Dattatreya Siva Baba, a Tamil Siddha Master residing in America, is one of the latest gurus to take on the Law of Attraction, where his technique is to reawaken your “inner power” with “Karma – busting” and “wealth manifestation” mantras. His main teachings are that the purpose of life is to realize God through meditation, yoga and service to others. Siva Baba appears to be influential with the modern New Age gurus as well.

 

wayne

The popular New Age author and psychologist Wayne Dyer, dedicated his book, Manifest Your Destiny, to Baba Siva. Within his book, Dyer writes:

“What you desire is of central importance, though you may never before have thought of desire and higher spiritual awareness as compatible concepts. It is impossible to imagine a world without desire. To create is to desire. Even the wish to be desireless is a desire. The process of creating anything begins first with a desire. Your desires, cultivated as seeds of potential on the path of spiritual awareness, can blossom in the form of the freedom to have these desires in peace and harmony with your world.”

Here Dyer gives the classic Law of Attraction doctrine that fulfilling one’s desire is as much of a spiritual path as that taken by any world-denying ascetic. Of course, desire as enlightened self-interest is one of the main ingredients within the Law of Attraction, since desire provides the energetic fuel to manifest what one wants.

Eckhhart_Tolle_front

Ulrich Leonard Tolle (Eckhart Tolle) experienced an epiphany which eventually led to Tolle writing books and holding seminars discussing enlightenment and other subjects, namely the transformation of human consciousness, which may be the highest form of human potential possible, according to these gurus.

Tolle, like everyone else involved in the consciousness-raising movent, often engages in opinion-making that he presents as fact. For example, the well-known experience of Tolle’s “epiphany” – an event which changed a once-suicidal depressive into a spiritual leader and best-selling author, has colored and informed his every perception and opinion.. So when Tolle gives an opinion delivered as “fact,” it sounds like this:

“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness.”

The “evolution of consciousness” is a narrative that just about explains anything. Unfortunately, nobody can prove such an evolution is happening. The trite simplicity of Tolle’s quote above, however, causes one to wonder why people choose to believe such things, as the quote  suffers badly when lightly taken apart. So when we go through our day, are we responsible for our experiences, or is “life”? And what does that imply? Is human will the directive principle, or is it “life?”

Thus the Gurus of the 20th century, representing that ancient Hindu tradition of the transmission of spiritual knowledge centuries before the time of Jesus, have been instrumental in promoting the idea of the divinity of human beings and their relation to divine cosmic principles, and we can now see that the New Age’s Law of Attraction is a result of Hindu and Western metaphysical and occult speculations, built up and amalgamated into a systematic belief structure concerning the nature of consciousness within the universe. But as we shall see, the Gurus and their message of spiritual and material abundance within the Law of Attraction, seems to have no answer to the question of why the desire of hundreds of millions of neglected and impoverished Indians for a dignified life, remain unfulfilled.

 

Next: The Laws of Manu in the 21st Century.

 

Sources:
Advayataraka Upanishad 14-18.5.” http://www.indopedia.org/Upanishad.html

Guru.” ReligionFacts, 8 February 2007, Accessed 25 March 2010

Meditation: The Art of Ecstasy by Osho. St. Martin’s Griffin

Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul by Deepak Chopra, Crown Publishing Group, 200

Manifest Your Destiny –The Nine Spiritual Principles For Getting Everything You Want By Wayne W. Dyer, HarperCollins, 2006

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2 thoughts on “Law of Attraction Part 17: Gurus of the 20th Century

  1. Dunno what Chopra teaches, but Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s teaching was simply that, through the practice of what he called “Transcendental Meditation,” the nervous system would start to spontaneously become more rested so that the damage from stressful experiences in life would be repaired, and that repeated practice of TM, alternated with activity, would start to allow a person to spontaneously behave better simply because 1) they were less stressed and 2) were less likely to accrue new damage from life-experiences because of the long-term physiological changes that TM practice was bringing about.

    As this process physiological change continued, people would start to notice that a quiet, pure “sense of self” would start to emerge in their awareness, and eventually become a permanent background. Along with this physiological process, the person would start to perceive their “self” in a different way.

    Once this pure sense-of-self was stable enough to persist at all times, in all circumstances, whether the person was awake, dreaming or asleep, the person was said to have entered teh first of several stable physiological states of consciousness collectively called “enlightenment.”

    Physiological and psychological research on very long-term TM practitioners who report being in this state continuously for at least one year has been published.

    This review article discusses the theory that predicts the state as well as the research that has been published:

    Transcendental Experiences during meditation practice
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nyas.12316/full

    Chopra’s biggest shortcoming, among many, is to fail to realize that different forms of meditation lead to entirely different styles of brain functioning. While TM, a form of mind-wandering, leads to a stronger sense of self, mindfulness, an attention-training practice, actually reduces mind-wandering and leads to a weaker sense of self. In some schools of Buddhism, enlightenment is defined as the extinction of sense-of-self.

    TM theory asserts that as one’s nervous system changes along the physiological continuum associated with growth in enlightenment, the reductions in stress lead to spontaneous improvements of moral and ethical behavior. Some sects of Buddhism insist that without first cultivating morality, real enlightenment simply cannot take place.

    Chopra sits squarely in the middle, spouting whatever rhetoric he believes his audience wants to hear.

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