Sketches of Enlightened Spiritual Teachers of Modern Times
Researched and compiled by:Dr. Norman WilliamsCol. K. K. NairAndBarry Oborne
Production and Copyright text © 2004: Norman Williams, 209 Markham St. Armidale, NSW 2350, Australia.Copyright artwork © 2004 Alive Creative Design, 175A Brown St. Armidale, NSW 2350, Australia, and Barry Oborne,E.mail: awilliams@northnet.com.auThe profits of this book, after tax, are donated to various charities in Third World Countries.
Authors’ Note 3Foreword by the Honourable O. Rajagopal 4Introduction - Perceptions of the World 5PART - I GREAT MYSTICAL SAINTS. SATGURUS, AVATARSAND ENLIGHTENED SPIRITUAL TEACHERS of the 20
 CENTURY 10Ch. 1 - Sri Ramakrishna and Disciples 10Ch. 2 - Rama Tirtha 19Ch. 3 - Bhagawan Nityananda 23Ch. 4 - Sri Ramana Maharshi 28Ch. 5 - Jiddu Krishnamurti 38Ch. 6 - Paramhansa Yogananda 46Ch. 7 - Sri Anandamayi Ma 51Ch. 8 - Neem Karoli Baba 59Ch. 9 - Swami Sivananda 63Ch. 10 - Swami Chinmayananda and other Swamis 66Ch. 11 - Bahi Sahib - the Sufi way 68Ch. 12 - Papaji 75Ch. 13 - The Dalai Lama 80Ch. 14 - The Venerable Ajahn Chah 86Ch. 15 - Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj 92Ch. 16 - Robert Adams 98Ch. 17 - Satya Sai Baba 104Ch. 18 - Mother Teresa 111Ch. 19 - Amma 115PART - II ENLIGHTENMENT TEACHERS OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM 128Ch. 20 Ramesh Balsekar 129Ch. 21 Vijai Shankar 131Ch. 22 Byron Katie 135Ch. 23 Eckhart Tolle 138Ch. 24 Satyam Nadeen 144APPENDIX I-A COURSE IN MIRACLES-A Synopsis 149APPENDIX II- SCIENCE AND RELIGION 153POSTSCRIPT - A SUMMARY 161BIBLIOGRAPHY 170COVER: A depiction of the Mahayantra, the Sricakra, a figure of special power symbolic of the DivineMother who is the Source of all Consciousness and of all phenomena.
Many recent religious commentators draw attention to the shocking events that are takingplace in the world today. Religions back factions in war, pedophilic priests abound and women areabused in the name of religion. The environment is in dire straits, corporations plunder peoples’savings, and even with the wonders of modern technical farming, around one billion people go tosleep hungry every night. Moreover, although a thin veneer of sensitivity has appeared, the results of altercations are no less unpleasant than the brutality of the dark ages. It seems that science,technology and democracy, that were to deliver a world free of hardship, disease and unpleasantthings like bugs, is letting us down. So what hope is there for what can be thought of as ‘liberation’for mankind? It does not seem that civics or religion can provide the solution to mankind’s problems.The religions, for the most part, seem to be much too far removed from their ‘Source’, and in civics(and the religions) there is too much thinking, planning, scheming, judging and self-interest foranything they contrive to be effective in providing whatever-it-is that mankind needs to be happy andlive in harmony.From whatever angle it is viewed, the problem seems to lie with mankind’s level of consciousness and in the egoic thought system that he has developed. And in every case it seemsthat, in the presence of the seers, the founders of religions (and also many who didn’t foundreligions), a different state of consciousness was engendered; albeit, in most cases, for only verylimited periods of time. It was with this in mind that we undertook to look at the lives, actions andteachings of individuals of modern times, who seemed to us to have what the seers of ancient timeshad. The result is the present book, and we would like to point out that it is not filled with thecomments and interpretations of he authors. Rather, it is comprised almost entirely of the sayings of the individuals themselves, and the observations, comments and conclusions of people, still living inmany cases, who knew them; or others, were there has been a clear and contiguous lineage. In mostcases the places where they lived and taught have been visited, and in the case of the still-livingones, they have, where possible, been visited or even spoken to.The reactions to the book, and we have seen many now, have varied. Most people, at least,have found it interesting. A very few have found it offensive; it did not conform to the mentalimages they had of one or several of individuals sketched. But with yet others, particularly thosewhom we feel may have been searching, an extraordinary resonance seem to have come from thewords in a manner that can best be described as the generation of a feeling of love. The words of themasters seemed to have had, for them the power to neutralize, for a moment, the overbearing natureof the egoic mind and to reveal something quite pristine. It could be said that everyone, at somepoint in their lives, comes face to face with the demon of the egoic mind, and that there areenlightened individuals who have realized this Truth so that their words can help dispel the demon.These are some of the things that they have said:
“The dying, the cripple, the mental, the unloved - they are Jesus in disguise. Speak kindly to them. Let there be kindnessin your voice... Don’t only give your care; give your heart as well... The poor give us much more than we give them. Onlyin heaven will we know just how much we owe them for helping us to love God better - because of them.” From: MotherTeresa, Chapter 18.“In our lives we have two possibilities: indulging in the world or going beyond the world... Worldly wisdom, howeverappealing it seems is only so in a worldly sense. The Buddha taught the practice of letting go. Don’t carry anythingaround... Peace comes from doing this with your whole body and mind... Not clinging any more, or if there’s still clinging,it becomes less and less. From: Ajahn Chah, Ch. 14.“Mind is thought existing as subjects and objects. In life the first wave of consciousness is ‘I’, then ‘I am’, then ‘I am this,I am that’, and ‘This belongs to me.’ Here the mind begins. Now keep quiet, and do not allow any desire to arise from theSource. Just for an instant of time don’t give rise to any desire. You will find that you have no-mind and you will see thatyou are somewhere indescribable, in tremendous happiness. And then you will see who you really are.” From: Papaji, Ch.12.
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