Advaita – Traditional to Neo

Here is an excellent video from Swami Tadatmananda. It presents a lucid overview of Advaita and then examines briefly how the neo-Vedanta of Vivekenanda and the neo-Advaita stemming from Ramana Maharshi and Sri Poonja have discarded key prakriyA-s and thereby short-changed modern seekers. The video is just under 1 1/4 hours but is well-worth watching – easy on the eye and ear, enjoyable and informative.

Closer Than Close

” a documentary that investigates the spiritual search; the search for the essential questions of human life: is there an eternal part of ourselves? what has lasting meaning? where do we find certainty? Rather than philosophical discussion, it explores the possibility of living a life devoted to a search for answers, and the radical possibility that answers exist, closer than we can imagine, within our selves.”

Watch this promotional video advertizing the DVD from Poetry in Motion Films.

Advaita – neo, traditional… and music!

Here at Advaita Vision, we are aiming to bring you the very best of both traditional teaching and modern Western approaches. We acknowledge that the traditional route has a proven track record of over a thousand years, with many of the stories and metaphors working just as well now as they did then (think of ropes and snakes, wave and water). And yet it is also true that many modern seekers are not yet willing to make the effort to look into the scriptures or find a teacher capable of unfolding them. Satsang and neo teachers speak to them directly of the truth, rather than leading them by the hand along the well-worn paths which, though they will reach the destination, appear to take a lot longer!

The method of teaching is like the pole used to vault over the high bar. Whether we use an old wooden pole or a carbon fibre one, we have to discard it before we can cross over.

So the aims are the same and there is an opportunity for some integration! Traditionalists need to speak more directly to the modern seeker, perhaps distilling the wisdom of the scriptures and representing it in a more modern format, shorn of references to concepts which are alien to today’s society. And the neos need to acknowledge that the old approach cannot be all wrong – else how can it have survived for so long, and how can it have led so many to enlightenment?

A useful metaphor for this can be found in the Indian fusion group ‘Advaita’ – eclectic in music in the same way as this site is eclectic in teaching. They are aiming to marry Hindustani classical music from India’s traditional roots with modern Western rock – and they seem to be doing it very well indeed!