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Re: why does a guru need a shishye

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  • vnr1995
    Phenomenon is a relational property. So, if you think I deny a phenomenon, I would be talking about phenomena without understanding what phenomenon is. But
    Message 1 of 20 , Apr 1, 2006
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      Phenomenon is a relational property. So, if you think I deny a
      phenomenon, I would be talking about phenomena without understanding
      what phenomenon is. But that is not the case. Next time, dont accuse
      me of denying phenomena (or experience), I am not denying anybody's
      experience (phenomena). Nobody's experiece is ontologically superior:
      but our problems start with experience. Before seeking an explanation,
      describe properly the phenomenon.

      Next, I am not interested in interpretation. Show the relationship
      between various concepts, and defend that such relationship is better,
      whether it be between karma, anuraaga, and intiation, etc.





      --- In TheHeathenInHisBlindness@yahoogroups.com, "indigenous1985"
      <indigenous1985@...> wrote:
      >
      > --- In TheHeathenInHisBlindness@yahoogroups.com, "vnr1995"
      > <vnr1995@> wrote:
      > > In order to understand God's Will, our efforts are worthless, except
      > > for God's intention. And this is called Grace.>>>>>>>>
      >
      > There is a concept called anugraha and that is what I was referring
      > to. The sages talk about various ways a person can become
      > enlightened. One of them is anugraha. And it comes for free by the
      > way. No effort required.
      >
      > Can I please request you not to fling words from Christian theology
      > into the dialog and then pounce on me for using the same word as
      > you. I used the word grace in good faith after you used it first.
      > Please show the same good faith in interpreting it to mean something
      > relating to Indian culture because that is what it was meant to
      > indicate. Just for convenience, nothing more. You're not the only
      > person on this board who understands not to use theological concepts.
      > It's devious of you to use such words in the first place and then
      > lecture others for repeating them. And I have never used that word
      > before as you accuse me of doing (and repeatedly, it seems).
      >
      > <<<<<This is not an interpretation problem. Concepts are
      > interrelated; or there is a conceptual cluster. Show the
      > interrelations between such concepts of which 'grace' is one. Is this
      > also a corny question? >>>>>
      >
      > Guess what? It's related to karma. Just because certain words are
      > overused does not mean they don't carry any meaning. It's also
      > related to the guru. And initiation. It also ties in to the
      > phenomenon of the kundalini and the chakras. Please do not simply
      > turn around and declare that this is all rubbish.
      >
      > <<<<< Lets call it brute fact for yourself and those who support
      > it.>>>>
      >
      > There's no need for this condescension because it is not a brute
      > fact. There are people who understand it rather well. Just because
      > they speak a different language from the one you're trying to speak,
      > does not take away from the fact that these matters are understood by
      > many. And I'm not talking about the moron swamis.
      >
      > >>>>>> If you are asking for a mathematical equation for 1000-petal
      > lotus, I don't have any, nor am I interested in producing some
      > equation. Even if it is an unsolvable problem, it doesn't mean that
      > it is esoteric. After all, there are millions of unsolved
      > problems.>>>>>>>>
      >
      > No, I wasn't asking for an equation. I was trying to say that math
      > is equally esoteric and if the thousand petalled lotus had to be
      > expressed mathematically only the initiated would understand it.
      > Further, I was trying to say that these concepts are explained in
      > their own style. If a thing is difficult to understand it can be
      > called esoteric. That's perfectly legitimate use of language.
      >
      > I'm seriously interested in understanding certain phenomenon. If you
      > have no explanation for it, that's understandable. Do not simply say
      > it does not exist. I don't need to take your word for it and I'm not
      > in the least bit interested in trying to convince you of these
      > things. If anyone has an explanation for them, that's what I was
      > after.
      >
      > Regards,
      > Divya
      >
    • indigenous1985
      VNR – I just went through this entire dialog. Please check my first post. I asked a simple question. In response to which, firstly, you ignored the
      Message 2 of 20 , Apr 1, 2006
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        VNR – I just went through this entire dialog. Please check my first
        post. I asked a simple question. In response to which, firstly, you
        ignored the question but proceeded on a tangent about missionaries,
        Brahmins and esoterica, telling us that this is all crap. Secondly,
        you accuse me of falling for nonsense traditions without knowing what
        they are. Thirdly, you begin to talk about knowledge whereas my post
        clearly centered on a feeling I experienced. Fourthly, you do not in
        the least bit try to understand what a person is saying but drag in
        innumerable unrelated things like pavitra and apavitra so that if
        there was even the faintest hope of rescuing a question from seeming
        ridiculous, it is by now completely lost. Fifthly, and unforgivably,
        you bring in theology by using words such as grace. Sixthly, you
        juxtapose grace and karma together so that you can trash the two
        together. This is dishonest. Seventhly you begin to next shower your
        contempt upon initiation. Eighthly, you falsely accuse me of always
        talking about grace along with a long lecture implying only fools use
        such words. Ninthly, you acknowledge that there are unexplained
        phenomenon and that's quite alright but the Indian unexplained
        phenomenon must remain an object of ridicule unless it is expressed
        in precisely the language and format that you deem fit. Tenthly, and
        at the end of it all you claim you are not denying phenomenon and
        should not be accused of such. I wonder what the appropriate word
        for this would be in that case.

        Regards,
        Divya
      • macgupta123
        In the Buddhist tradition, I don t think most of the Boddhisattvas taught anyone. It is a rare one who takes compassion on the world and deigns to teach. I
        Message 3 of 20 , Apr 1, 2006
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          In the Buddhist tradition, I don't think most of the Boddhisattvas taught anyone. It is a
          rare one who takes compassion on the world and deigns to teach.

          I think I recall similar ideas in Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa's talks.

          Aslo in one modern commentary on the Gita, the commentator says:

          "There are jivanmuktas who don't want to reveal themselves. They roam about like
          insane people, fools or children. Why would they do that? They just want to choose
          the right students who really want to do something genuine. If they come across a
          sincere and serious student, then just one or two words is enough. Even then they
          won't keep the disciple nearby. They chase him away. "That's enough. Go work with
          what I've taught you." Even today there are such teachers. You can't simply go and
          live with them. If a hundred people seek him out, he may talk only to one person.
          Sometimes they even take stones and pelt the people who come....It's hard to decide
          who is a real saint or a realized person, who is a jivanmukta and who is not. Some
          may reveal themselves by their actions. Some do not care to. Some may purposely
          hide it. If a student has a real keen interested, the teacher might say, "You seem to
          be okay; come on. Do this and go away." If they let a few people stay with them, then
          it becomes an organization. Many purposely avoid organizations."

          So, I think according to the tradition itself, the teacher wanting a shishya is cloaked in
          mystery; we do not know why they choose to teach.
        • vnr1995
          Lets distinguish two sets of questions. I will focus on one question which you have answered and in which I am interested. One is focussed on the course of the
          Message 4 of 20 , Apr 1, 2006
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            Lets distinguish two sets of questions. I will focus on one question
            which you have answered and in which I am interested.

            One is focussed on the course of the dialogue, as you elegantly showed
            in step by step fashion. In fact you have found a pattern (or a
            structure) of my responses; let me compress it: 'skirting' the
            queston, sidetracking, trashing, then a feeling of 'winning'. And you
            have also answered another question as well: why this pattern? Whether
            you post your answer or not, but you have stumbled on something: "I
            wonder what the appropriate word for this would be in that case." In
            the worst case, the answer could be: pathetic, pompous, or dishonest.


            Does an alternative pattern exist? If so, what could it be?

            Whenever one asks a question, when people pose other questions
            subsequently, which is called 'skirting', they are not side-tracking:
            instead, they are clarificatory questions. Think of this thread: why
            does a guru need pupils? To understand this question, we need to know
            what a guru is (not a theory of guru!), what enlightenment is. [for
            example, Balu shouldn't have written 500+ page book, after all he is
            answering four problems; he can compress the whole story into 50
            pages: list the questions; say that the hypothesis that religion is
            EIA; in order to show that the hypothesis is not ad hoc, just show how
            this hypothesis accounts for phenomenological properties, and others.
            But he did not do that. Why? In order to understand the questions,
            much wider ground needs be covered, thats why all other chapters].

            What is so spiritual about accessing the truth of accessing
            experience? For this question, I have some notion of spirituality,
            what truth is, what experience is. An intelligent, but lay, person
            question may pose further questions: is solving an integral equation
            spiritual? Is playing basket ball spiritual? For these questions, I
            can give answers in outline. I can't go around saying that one is
            skirting my question.

            I am not enlightened, because as you said efforts are worthless
            without 'anuraaga'. Honestly, even tho I am proficient using words
            like prEmAnurAga, I am ignorant of what anuraaga is. I don't have even
            a clue about what adhyaatmic is: is solving multi-body problem
            adhyaatmic? Probably, you may recommend me reading the learned tracts:
            but they are useless (atleast for me), as prior discussions on this
            board indirectly hinted at.

            No one is going to give explanation for the experience of X, or for
            Y-ish experience, any more than one can give explanation for religious
            experience or for colonial experience. In this case, sacredness. The
            introduction of pavithra, knowledge, whether offering poojas is
            sacred, etc, are meant for clarificatory, for I don't have any clue to
            your conventional notion of sacredness.

            Others may know which sketched pattern is better: whether 10-step or
            just 4-step one? I don't need to answer it myself.

            This is also a lesson for me not to engage in sterile disputes,
            sterile because my experience doesn't mirror the structure of Indian
            culture and of Indian traditions the way most insiders' experience do.

            There is a chance of abusing unexplainable facts: phenomena depends
            non-trivially on the structure of the world. In other words, phenomena
            is explainable (but most of us human beings don't find it either
            interesting or necessary to explain every phenomena--an epestimic
            assumption); but what is not, is the structure of the world. At
            different level, the reality has different structure. Thus, one can
            explain the structure at higher level by appealing to the structure at
            lower-levels and to environment, etc.


            Thanks.

            --- In TheHeathenInHisBlindness@yahoogroups.com, "indigenous1985"
            <indigenous1985@...> wrote:
            >
            > VNR – I just went through this entire dialog. Please check my first
            > post. I asked a simple question. In response to which, firstly, you
            > ignored the question but proceeded on a tangent about missionaries,
            > Brahmins and esoterica, telling us that this is all crap. Secondly,
            > you accuse me of falling for nonsense traditions without knowing what
            > they are. Thirdly, you begin to talk about knowledge whereas my post
            > clearly centered on a feeling I experienced. Fourthly, you do not in
            > the least bit try to understand what a person is saying but drag in
            > innumerable unrelated things like pavitra and apavitra so that if
            > there was even the faintest hope of rescuing a question from seeming
            > ridiculous, it is by now completely lost. Fifthly, and unforgivably,
            > you bring in theology by using words such as grace. Sixthly, you
            > juxtapose grace and karma together so that you can trash the two
            > together. This is dishonest. Seventhly you begin to next shower your
            > contempt upon initiation. Eighthly, you falsely accuse me of always
            > talking about grace along with a long lecture implying only fools use
            > such words. Ninthly, you acknowledge that there are unexplained
            > phenomenon and that's quite alright but the Indian unexplained
            > phenomenon must remain an object of ridicule unless it is expressed
            > in precisely the language and format that you deem fit. Tenthly, and
            > at the end of it all you claim you are not denying phenomenon and
            > should not be accused of such. I wonder what the appropriate word
            > for this would be in that case.
            >
            > Regards,
            > Divya
            >
          • macgupta123
            There are two ways to proceed when one is ignorant. One is sterile, and the other is productive. The first is to put a constantly expanding spotlight on what
            Message 5 of 20 , Apr 2, 2006
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              There are two ways to proceed when one is ignorant. One is sterile, and the other is
              productive.

              The first is to put a constantly expanding spotlight on what one doesn't know. One is
              on quicksand, and there is no safe ground anywhere nearby. Thus, when "why does
              guru need shishya?" one can digress into the various categories of explanation, does
              proving that the person who asked the question doesn't know the meaning of "why"?,
              and similarly "guru", "need", "shishya" and so on. All we end up doing is celebrating
              our ignorance.

              The second is to put a stake in the ground - let us assume that we can know
              something, and put it to the test. Surely the contradictions will come to light under
              vigorous scrutiny. Then we can refine the question, and start again. Eventually (and
              we have to have this faith) we will come up with some knowledge.
            • Marijn Clarie
              Some people would say, in looking at my career, that it betrays a confused musical standpoint; optimistically it is termed unpredictable, more derisively it is
              Message 6 of 20 , Apr 3, 2006
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                Some people would say, in looking at my career, that it betrays a confused
                musical standpoint; optimistically it is termed unpredictable, more
                derisively it is said to be self-cancelling, in that within the wide
                aesthetic range in the work, one part contradicts and undermines another,
                resulting in something akin to the mixing of all the different paints on the
                palette. This is an important point to realise: I take no refuge behind
                standpoints. This has manifested itself as part of my fundamental creative
                aspiration – to see across as opposed to seeing from.



                At first, there needs to be the presence both of a view rooted in inherited
                opinion, effectively treated as transparent and assumed to be inherently
                correct, and a will to play with that view, to endlessly distort it and to
                ultimately be prepared to destroy it. A kind of simultaneous faith and
                critical ingenuity are required as, without the latter one is bound to a
                reverential repetition of received wisdom, and without the former ones
                sparks quickly die away once the entrenched standpoint is supposedly
                vanquished. To make a lethal attack on, say a musical standpoint, that
                standpoint must first be loved, understood and accommodated before it can be
                assailed, and this problem is exemplified with much youth culture that seeks
                to destroy its perceived antithetical enemy simply by contradicting it. It
                is not enough to behead your enemy, they must first be invited in and made
                to feel welcome in order to be comprehensively destroyed i.e. they must be
                in some way incorporated. This process should seem familiar as it is the
                time honoured way of dissipating polarised energy away from musical
                movements: by making them popular.



                What I am doing is turning this system on its head: instead of incorporating
                isolated views into mainstream equivalents, for the sake of destroying
                culture in the name of the corporation, I incorporate isolated views into my
                standpoint, indeed to the point of seemingly cancelling out a coherent view,
                for the sake of destroying culture in the name of the individual. In this
                sense I advocate completely respect-less exploitation of all forms
                available, as this is the only road that could possibly render an individual
                immune to being dissolved into mainstream castration, insofar as music
                industry as it stands feeds most happily on artists with discrete
                viewpoints: identity-cults can only be effectively generated from one
                dimensional personalities. Personal identity must be entirely subjugated
                and rendered formless in order to have any sort of freedom in our era.



                A common error is mistaking contradiction or negation of a consensus view
                for freedom: this leads to phenomena symbiotic with mainstream culture and
                equally poisonous i.e. movements who identify themselves exclusively with a
                cynical commentary on the mainstream. This is a dustbin for so called
                artists: diametrically opposed to the mainstream, they are still very much
                obliged to march to its tune, or of course its inversion. Being conscious
                of the fallacy in their claim of independence, the views always deliberately
                remain self-contained, and just as a surfeit of cultural control gives rise
                to overweight smug cretins, an almost total absence of it gives rise to the
                revolting snide dinginess of the eternally subjugated.



                The lesson is that no punks have yet been punk enough – rejecting and
                negating the mainstream just as quickly becomes subsumed in its own
                poisonous clichés (thus often becoming eligible for mass production). It is
                essential for any creator to want to negate and to reject, but this has to
                be coupled with a consummate understanding of the phenomena one seeks to
                reject. Otherwise, not understanding the language of negation, the object
                of the negating will misunderstands what is being shouted at, and carries on
                regardless. I have to see inside every musician’s head because, in order to
                prevent myself from being fully incorporated into any musical ghetto, I have
                to incorporate every musical ghetto into myself. I aspire to make music
                useless as a commodity i.e. a prop for the identities and the personalities
                of the mindless; and if this is all that music constitutes in our era, then
                to maximise every conceivable parameter until it completely destroys itself.





                _____

                Van: TheHeathenInHisBlindness@yahoogroups.com
                [mailto:TheHeathenInHisBlindness@yahoogroups.com] Namens macgupta123
                Verzonden: zondag 2 april 2006 20:30
                Aan: TheHeathenInHisBlindness@yahoogroups.com
                Onderwerp: [TheHeathenInHisBlindness] Re: why does a guru need a shishye



                There are two ways to proceed when one is ignorant. One is sterile, and the
                other is
                productive.

                The first is to put a constantly expanding spotlight on what one doesn't
                know. One is
                on quicksand, and there is no safe ground anywhere nearby. Thus, when "why
                does
                guru need shishya?" one can digress into the various categories of
                explanation, does
                proving that the person who asked the question doesn't know the meaning of
                "why"?,
                and similarly "guru", "need", "shishya" and so on. All we end up doing is
                celebrating
                our ignorance.

                The second is to put a stake in the ground - let us assume that we can know
                something, and put it to the test. Surely the contradictions will come to
                light under
                vigorous scrutiny. Then we can refine the question, and start again.
                Eventually (and
                we have to have this faith) we will come up with some knowledge.










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              • dunkinjalki
                here is something interesting: it is said that when buddhists [shishyas, or a culture?] started to think about what properties an individual must have in order
                Message 7 of 20 , Apr 3, 2006
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                  here is something interesting:

                  it is said that when buddhists [shishyas, or a culture?] started to
                  think about what properties an individual must have in order to be a
                  buddha they came out with a list of nine epithets, of which two were,
                  in a way, some kind of demand to be a guru -- a buddha has to be:
                  epithet 6) an unsurpassed guide for those who need restraint; 7) a
                  teacher of gods and men.

                  1. i am wondering can we see the demand to be a guru as a kind of
                  epistemological/ethical constraint placed on an individual who wants
                  to get enlightened...

                  2. and does it follow from this that, a guru/an enlightened one need
                  shishyas because it is an ethical demand placed on guru-hood???

                  3. and more importantly, can we stop at the level of saying that a
                  guru needing shishya is a cultural requirement, or should we go
                  further and explain why is such a demand made...

                  4. is the later question questioning a cultural practice, in that
                  sense it is a wrong question. it is like asking why do people do
                  surya namaskara?

                  5. is the question, 'why does an enlightened one need shishyas?'
                  same as asking 'why do indians do tulasi puja?'
                • delruethomas
                  Hey Dunkin, Might you elaborate on your first two questions? I m not sure whether I understand the demand to be a guru as a kind of epistemological/ethical
                  Message 8 of 20 , Apr 4, 2006
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                    Hey Dunkin,

                    Might you elaborate on your first two questions? I'm not sure
                    whether I understand the demand to be a guru as a kind of
                    epistemological/ethical constraint. Do you mean to say that in
                    Buddhist traditions one constrains the seeker of enlightenment in
                    such a way as to become a Guru as well (i.e., he cannot be
                    enlightened and not be a Guru)? If not this, then what? What is an
                    ethical demand, if not a norm (as opposed to what other kinds of
                    demands?) ? I'd especially like to understand your first question,
                    as for now I do not see how attaining enlightenment necessarily
                    involves becoming a Guru.

                    Note that people speak in a somewhat confusing way of buddhist
                    traditions, if the confusion is not all mine: where one talks
                    interchangeably of being enlightened and being a Buddha. It is true
                    that the Buddha is seen as the pinnacle of enlightenment in these
                    traditions, and that you therefore can talk interchangeably in such
                    a fashion. But, as for example, in the Theravada strand, you find
                    people who aren't denied being enlightened either, even though they
                    are not seen as Buddha's: you find Arahants, Sravakas, I think, and
                    something dubbed Paccekabuddha's. The latter kind, for instance, is
                    someone who attained enlightenment `by himself', meaning that he
                    didn't attain it through the teachings of someone else, and then,
                    who is (cognitively) unable (or `unwilling', depending on competing
                    descriptions/translations) to teach enlightenment to others, as
                    opposed to a Buddha, who can teach.
                    Does the Buddhist tradition therefore constrain its practicioners to
                    become Buddhas, in the sense of not only inducing them to obtain
                    nirvana, but also to become guru's? I don't think so. You find many
                    stories of people getting enlightened just hearing the teaching of
                    the Buddha, without any condemnation of these if it was only in
                    their `self-interest' to attain nirvana and in not becoming people
                    who help others attain enlightenment. You do find a kind
                    of `weighing' where a Buddha is much more valued than a
                    Paccekabuddha for example, or some person who became enlightened due
                    to the teachings of Buddha but who doesn't become a Guru; but to
                    attain any kind of these `states' other than a Buddha, isn't seen as
                    a less valid path for enlightenment in these traditions, as I
                    understand it. (that's why I think enlightenment itself cannot
                    account for our answer to why a Buddha needs Shishya's, but only at
                    the most a specific `kind' of enlightenment).

                    I also wonder at the rest of your questions. If I say flatly that
                    guru shishya parampara is not a cultural practice as surya namaskara
                    is, i.e. not a ritual; that one can question, criticize a cultural
                    practice, even though the practice is not based on any beliefs (i.e.
                    it doesn't make sense to ask for the reason behind it), as to even
                    abolish it; that a guru needs shishya's not out of any *cultural*
                    requirement, how would you proceed to argue against these? In other
                    words, can you say something more about your points so I might
                    understand?

                    Kind regards, yours,

                    Thomas


                    --- In TheHeathenInHisBlindness@yahoogroups.com, "dunkinjalki"
                    <dunkinjalki@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > here is something interesting:
                    >
                    > it is said that when buddhists [shishyas, or a culture?] started
                    to
                    > think about what properties an individual must have in order to be
                    a
                    > buddha they came out with a list of nine epithets, of which two
                    were,
                    > in a way, some kind of demand to be a guru -- a buddha has to be:
                    > epithet 6) an unsurpassed guide for those who need restraint; 7) a
                    > teacher of gods and men.
                    >
                    > 1. i am wondering can we see the demand to be a guru as a kind of
                    > epistemological/ethical constraint placed on an individual who
                    wants
                    > to get enlightened...
                    >
                    > 2. and does it follow from this that, a guru/an enlightened one
                    need
                    > shishyas because it is an ethical demand placed on guru-hood???
                    >
                    > 3. and more importantly, can we stop at the level of saying that
                    a
                    > guru needing shishya is a cultural requirement, or should we go
                    > further and explain why is such a demand made...
                    >
                    > 4. is the later question questioning a cultural practice, in that
                    > sense it is a wrong question. it is like asking why do people do
                    > surya namaskara?
                    >
                    > 5. is the question, 'why does an enlightened one need shishyas?'
                    > same as asking 'why do indians do tulasi puja?'
                    >
                  • dunkinjalki
                    Dear Thomas, let me begin by confessing that my reading in Buddhism is negligibly limited. I came across that particular instance while reading something else.
                    Message 9 of 20 , Apr 5, 2006
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                      Dear Thomas,

                      let me begin by confessing that my reading in Buddhism is negligibly
                      limited. I came across that particular instance while reading
                      something else. And, further, I was not saying something about
                      Buddhist tradition or defending any of its tenets.

                      But, yes I wanted to consider the possibility `that (Buddhist)
                      traditions constrains the seeker of enlightenment in such a way as to
                      become a Guru as well'. But I am not sure if you can infer from this
                      statement that one "cannot be enlightened and not be a Guru". I don't
                      think I will agree with you on the following as well: "What is an
                      ethical demand, if not a norm (as opposed to what other kinds of
                      demands?)" Are you saying that `demand-ness' is a characteristic
                      property of norms/normative ethics, only? [see #1341]. Can't we
                      distinguish between moral norms and ethical norms?

                      In the next part of your mail you ask several questions, but I have
                      no resources to answer all of them.

                      "But, as for example, in the Theravada strand, you find people who
                      aren't denied being enlightened either, even though they are not seen
                      as Buddha's…" If I understand from this that there is only one
                      Buddha, in the sense that all those who are enlightened are not
                      Buddha's then, there is no reason why I shouldn't agree with you.

                      You further say: "The latter kind, for instance, is someone who
                      attained enlightenment `by himself', meaning that he didn't attain it
                      through the teachings of someone else, and then, who is (cognitively)
                      unable (or `unwilling', depending on competing
                      descriptions/translations) to teach enlightenment to others, as
                      opposed to a Buddha, who can teach. Does the Buddhist tradition
                      therefore constrain its practitioners to become Buddhas, in the sense
                      of not only inducing them to obtain nirvana, but also to become
                      guru's? I don't think so. You find many stories of people getting
                      enlightened just hearing the teaching of the Buddha, without any
                      condemnation of these if it was only in their `self-interest' to
                      attain nirvana and in not becoming people who help others attain
                      enlightenment. You do find a kind of `weighing' where a Buddha is
                      much more valued than a Paccekabuddha for example, or some person who
                      became enlightened due to the teachings of Buddha but who doesn't
                      become a Guru; but to attain any kind of these `states' other than a
                      Buddha, isn't seen as a less valid path for enlightenment in these
                      traditions, as I understand it. (that's why I think enlightenment
                      itself cannot account for our answer to why a Buddha needs Shishya's,
                      but only at the most a specific `kind' of enlightenment)."

                      Thomas, don't you think you have answered your own questions here. I
                      didn't mean that people cannot attain jnana without becoming a guru,
                      did I? Simply because, in such a case, enlightenment would become a
                      prerogative of a chosen few. Every grihasta can attain
                      jnana/enlightenment and go back and leave his `ordinary' familial
                      life, as Balu said in one of his mails. Despite this the proposition
                      that `an enlightened person seeks shishyas' is true in some
                      significant sense. And this is the puzzle that we have to make sense
                      of.

                      Well, as for the rest of my questions, they were not points…(I made
                      my two or three points in my mail #2357, and I still hold to it). But
                      amidst all these debates I was thinking about the possibility of our
                      question being wrong, since it has generated several answers that
                      contradict each other but can be deemed correct at the present status
                      of our knowledge. I have no great deal to add to this growing
                      suspicion at the moment, but I'm not clear why do you say that "guru
                      shishya parampara is not a cultural practice as surya namaskara" is.
                      I am sorry, for asking you questions in turn rather than answering
                      your questions. But, as I said, I have nothing much to say. But would
                      like to know from you why do you say "that a guru needs shishya's not
                      out of any *cultural* Requirement". But I can reiterate my point that
                      it is difficult to accept that the necessity of acquiring jnana is
                      merely for the sake of it. I say this because, attaining jnana most
                      of the time is prescribed to people in some deep trouble in their
                      life. And it solves the problem by removing the link (perceived so
                      far) between the event and the experience of sadness. Well, I know
                      I've ventured here into an area I am not capable of handling
                      comfortably at the moment, but only to make the following point: The
                      culture which prescribes jnana/ananda as some kind of solution for
                      our everyday miseries, thereby also prescribes some ways of living in
                      the same world, and not renounce it. And, I want to see the fact (?)
                      that a guru seeks shishya as one such way of living.

                      May I dare say that a Buddha who is enlightened and *renounces* the
                      world (in the literal sense of the term) is no Buddha after all. Is
                      it not true that the tree that falls in the woods makes no sound.

                      Thomas, I know I haven't addressed many of your questions…. don't
                      know what to say. Nevertheless, hope we will get back to them soon.

                      warmly
                      Dunkin jalki
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