Seeking Converts: Apply Within

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As I’ve mentioned a number of times, I practice a form of Raja Yoga that has been systematized for the modern grhasta into what is now called Sahaj Marg. My first six months with it kind of led me to put it aside, actually, and view it as a valid-but-not-for-me path. About a year after that (I think), there was a change of heart and after assessing a few things in my life, the Marg felt like a better fit than it previously had. Since that time, I’ve practiced as faithfully and diligently as I have been able while living the householder life (S.M. is actually quite suitable for those living as householders) and I attend satsangh as often as I am able. From time to time, in waves it seems, I’ll write here about concepts or beliefs pertaining to this path. On that note, and leading into the rest of this post, I want to make very clear that Sthapati is not a “Sahaj Marg blog” and never will be. It’s a Joshua/Dhrishti blog and will be.

Still, web searches on the matter will turn up this blog and a number of other online resources for Sahaj Marg, both official and unofficial, legit and bogus. I wonder if it’s because of this that an issue of Sahaj Sandesh was written as it was. The Sahaj Sandesh is an email newletter of sorts that kind of is usually pretty specific – it might mention points of interest regarding upcoming events, or provide a status update on the health of our guru. Those kinds of things. Recently, the Sahaj Sandesh came as a warning, and considering the amount of writing I’ve done about Sahaj Marg here on Sthapati it hits rather close to home. Immediately below, I’ll post the October 5th Sahaj Sandesh and maybe you’ll understand why.
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“Dear sisters and brothers,

“We see ever-increasing instances of people spreading ‘news’ from Manapakkam through social media like Facebook and messaging platforms like SMS, Whatsapp, etc, which is factually incorrect and even misleading. While the intentions of the concerned abhyasis may not be bad or harmful, this leads to widespread dissemination of wrong and at times undesirable information. Please note that any ‘news’ or information for abhyasis will only be done through the official Mission channels like Sahaj Sandesh, or through functionaries of the Mission.

“Abhyasis are also reminded that whenever they use these platforms for sharing unsolicited audio, video or photographic material, they are violating the Mission’s copyright laws and are advised to refrain from doing so. Please be assured that for the willing heart, there is sufficient material to read, hear, view and digest already available in the Mission without having to resort to such content for spiritual motivation.

“With sincere prayers,
Kamlesh D. Patel”

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This kind of rubs me in two ways. The first, and probably the most obvious, is that it looks a lot like abhyasis like myself are advised against doing what I have done (and am doing right now). “Don’t share our information” is what this issue of the Sahaj Sandesh boils down to. I’ve never shared anything that is “factually incorrect” and have cited the source for every Sahaj Marg quote or video or anything that I’ve shared here. So, in my case if something I shared was “factually incorrect,” then it was incorrect when I received it from the works of the Sahaj Marg Masters. And since I’ve not really done any slandering, per se, of this material, I would also find it difficult to believe that anything shared here on Sthapati would be “undesirable” as indicated in the Sandesh. Maybe I’m too focused on myself and Sthapati in this context with the egoic part of my mind wrongly thinking this is somehow referring to me (like I’m THAT important), and maybe there are other things, of which I’m not currently aware, that this Sandesh is actually referring to. At this point, with my very limited knowledge, I’m going to remind myself that nothing I’ve shared here, to the very best of my ability, has been “factually incorrect” or paints the Marg in any “undesirable” light. So for Sthapati, things will likely remain business as usual.

The second way this rubs me is more positive. All copyright threats aside, I find it really reassuring that there was emphatic mention that those who seek will find. You don’t have to go shoving anything in anyone’s face because if they want it and if it’s meant for them to see, then it will find its way to their face anyway. Personally, I don’t feel like Sthapati has shoved anything in anyone’s face in any remotely unsolicited manner. As with anyone who finds official and legit Sahaj Marg websites, Sthapati and its “Sahaj Marg” posts will only turn up if someone 1) goes looking for them or 2) is a subscriber to Sthapati which carries the implication that the subscriber already has interest in whatever content might appear on the blog.

Still, one of the most appealing aspects of my experience with Hinduism is that it doesn’t seek converts. Certain Hindu paths are definitely more prone to “advertising” than are others, but I think I would say that even most of those paths still allow space for potential converts or devotees to say no and leave. With that in mind, this Sandesh reminds me of a response I once received from a past temple president here locally when the Indian mother of my “bahin” in Atlanta called to my temple here in Indiana and asked about a conversion puja (or something, idk exactly how she worded it). The response she received from the then president was along the lines of “absolutely not.” He stated that the temple had no interest in doing anything that even remotely looked like it was seeking converts. Of course, her own local temple was more than happy to perform an equivalent puja for me, if only I made the trip.

So there you have it. Honestly, I’m not sure what this means for future posts on Sthapati. I will continue to share insight gained as I walk my path, and with credit being given where it is due, I’m likely to cite any current or past Sahaj Marg Masters – that’s the point of Sthapati, which is spelled out on the “Samyag Akhyate” page. Although, out of respect for Brother (and next guru) Kamlesh’s request, perhaps I’ll be less direct with this kind of material? I don’t know. Thoughts and suggestions are welcome!

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha
Aum Shanti

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4 responses to “Seeking Converts: Apply Within

  1. Bhagwat says Hinduism not ‘ancestral property’ of Indians – See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/bhagwat-says-hinduism-not-ancestral-property-of-indians/#sthash.zyTm97Dj.dpuf

    Hinduism is the belief system of all of humanity. Detractors are worried of their advantage slipping away. I would ignore them. After all hinduism affirms ‘Brahman is a part of all sentient beings’. There is no way anybody being sent away to eternal hell, hindu or not. Claiming ownership is just immature. You dont need anybodys acceptance or endorsement mate.
    Also.There is a fear of retribution in some mandir circles in USA, a friend of mine from Nebraska lamented. The church is very powerful and hindus are mere meek minorities here and in rest of the world. Conversions will potentially invite the wrath of locals. Makes sense? Cheers.

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  2. http://www.indiamike.com/india/spirituality-and-religion-in-india-f54/does-god-exist-t228106/

    Please watch when you can the second video clip in post 6, the second clip clearly explains the background of murthi puja or deity worship, which is what many knowledgeable hindus affirm as well. You and I are all ‘converted’ only when we ‘understand’ the core philosophical construct of the belief system. No one neds an authenticity stmp from anyone. The speaker is as hindu as anyone else is, he even recieves some sacred ashes rom a pujari from a shiva mandir.

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  3. I dont think you have anything to worry about. You are not proselytizing anyroad, and if you were misinterpreting the literature of the Marg you’d be the first to know. They’d have let you know certainly, through commentery. And anyroad what makes anyone think they have a monopoly on the truth?, which I think Surya rightly suggested, above. Keep doing what you’re doing, Vinay-bhai.

    Liked by 1 person

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