The Dangers of Pseudo-advaita
by Aziz
on the proliferation of "unqualified" Satsang Service Providers
(Similar material from Aziz, annotated and linked, can be found at
The Wanderling's site, but without the additional material at the bottom)

We would like to express our concern regarding the recent phenomenon of 
culture" which in our opinion has impoverished seriously the Original Spirit of 
These days many individuals, who have very little or no knowledge at all about 
the Process 
of Awakening, feel qualified to give satsang and lead other souls on the Path. 
Enlightenment has become very cheap these days. Nobody actually really knows 
what is 
the meaning of this term as it virtually means everything and nothing. 
Nowadays, it is 
sufficient to say "I am awakened" in order to give satsang.

Because of the unverifiable nature of Enlightenment, this term has been much 
manipulated. Satsang has been Americanised. In an average satsang-gathering 
is laughing, showing signs of euphoric and unauthentic joy, while the teacher 
tries to look 
like he or she is in bliss. Just like a TV show. Very few actually meditate. 
Why meditate if 
we are already all awakened?

But is this really Advaita? Is Advaita a poor repetition of a several slogans 
like "There is 
nobody there," "You are That," "You are already awakened" or "There is no 
Path," etc? Has 
this anything to do with teaching of great masters like N. Maharaj or R. 
Maharshi? Ramana 
sat in caves for 20 years before he could be really complete. In his presence 
disciples had 
to meditate for months and years before they could receive from him the glimpse 
of the 

It is true that New Millennium is a time of global awakening. But this 
awakening is mostly 
partial and relative to the level of most people's unconsciousness. It was 
Jesus who said 
that there would be a time when many false teachers will teach in the name of 
Light. It 
seems to be happening now. Many of these teachers are not necessarily "bad 
people" but 
simply unqualified and lost, in truth. They have believed too quickly in the 
thought "I am 
now ready to teach!"

It seems that the pauperisation of satsang culture began after the death of 
Poonjaji. Many 
of his followers started to claim that Poonjaji approved their "awakening." It 
seems that 
they just took him too literally. It is an Advaita custom to say "you are 
already awakened." 
This is however more a teaching device than a reflection of reality. And even 
if some of his 
disciples had a glimpse of awakening, Poonjaji knew very well that in most 
cases it was 
neither permanent nor the final state.

An example was Andrew Cohen who was sent to give satsang in the west. He was 
meant to 
represent Poonjaji and attract more westerners to Lucknow. But he and others 
that Poonjaji actually confirmed his Enlightenment. For that reason, Cohen 
became very 
hurt when Poonjaji started to criticize him when he began to act as a master. 
From this 
wound came later the magazine "What is Enlightenment?" which more represents 
own insecurity and an unsuccessful attempt to heal himself than a genuine 
search for 
clarity. By the endless investigation into states of all possible masters, and 
not being able 
to come to any true conclusion, he has been just confusing his students. The 
only thing 
which at the end remains clear from his seemingly "sincere" efforts to find 
clarity is that 
nobody has the least idea "What Enlightenment Is!"

It is not our intention to suggest that nobody reaches Enlightenment. We just 
wish to make 
it clear that Complete Enlightenment and Understanding of its nature is still 
an extremely 
rare phenomenon on the planet earth, which is a plane of low evolution. And 
important, we wish to emphasize that a partial or premature experience of 
does not qualify one at all to take a role of a Self-realised being.

Enlightenment is not so cheap. Many seekers seem to be unaware of a very simple 
that there are actually many levels of Self-realisation. There is an enormous 
between initial awakening and the actual State of Enlightenment. But who cares? 
seekers would not bother to study these matters, for in their case there is 
really "nobody 
there" - just a collective seeker's mind. And most teachers would refuse to 
enquire into 
the true nature of Enlightenment because they already have a hidden doubt and 
deep fear 
concerning the validity of their own attainment.

We would like to suggest not to rush too fast with announcing oneself 
"awakened," and to 
rush even less with the idea of giving satsang. In Zen tradition one had to 
wait 10 to 20 
years after Enlightenment before one could guide others. These days we hear 
individuals who give satsang the next day after their uncertain awakening!

We would like to clarify, for the sake of general knowledge, that there are 
actually several 
levels of expansion beyond the mind. There are three basic types of Inner 
1) Awakening to Pure Awareness (the State of Presence behind the mind).
2) Awakening to the Absolute State (unity with the unmanifested). 
3) Awakening of the Heart (expansion into the Divine).

In each of these levels there are three stages: Shift into a state, 
Stabilisation and 
Integration. For instance, many satsang-teachers do not experience the same 
outside of teaching. This is because they are not established permanently in 
the state they 
have attained. For that reason, they can have a deep state during satasng, but 
when they 
leave the satsang-room, they return back to ordinary consciousness. In such a 
case only 
conscious cultivation of the particular state can allow one to establish it 
However, if one does not believe in actual process of awakening, how can one 
cultivate anything? One does not even know that one is in a State. Here we see 
importance of correct understanding. If one just follows in a dogmatic and 
way the Advaita idea that "I am already That," how can one cultivate anything?

We recommend to all students and teachers of Advaita to be more critical. 
Follow Advaita 
if you wish but know that Reality is simply much more rich than any linear 
Advaita included. The Practical Advaita and the Theoretical Advaita are very 
different. In 
the Theoretical Advaita, the Self is the only reality, there is no Path and we 
are all already 
awakened. But Practical Advaita knows that there is a long way to go before the 
truth of 
these statements can become our living truth.

We would like also to create a few practical anti-pseudo-advaita statements: 
"You are not 
awakened unless you awaken!" "You are not That, unless you reach unity with 
Universal I 
AM!" "There is no Path but only for those who Completed it!" "There is nobody 
here, but 
only when somebody has dissolved!" Until that time you are simply a suffering 
who only tries to believe in being no one or entertains oneself by giving 

We have request to all those who experience any type of awakening: PLEASE, 
TRUE MOTIVES BEHIND THE DESIRE TO TEACH. Perhaps giving Satsang is not really 

Blessings to Seekers of Truth and Clarity who have the courage to renounce the 

Further to this, also from Aziz . . .

Student: Are all enlightened beings in the same state?

Aziz: In most cases, those who announce their Enlightenment represent only a 
certain type 
of Self-realisation. Most often they represent the realisation of pure 
awareness. And even 
among them not all are stabilised in this experience. Not to be established in 
the State of 
Presence means that one is still losing it from time to time. In Zen, they say 
that after 
Enlightenment, twenty years practice is required! It is because, in their 
Enlightenment initially means to see one's true nature; and then one has to 
practice hard 
not to lose it. There is a level called 'beyond practice' where the state is 
spontaneously and 
permanently present, but it is not easy to reach. The problem with the popular 
concerning 'sudden Enlightenment' is that its interpretation is rather naïve. 
This idea can 
be very misleading because many seekers assume Enlightenment is a sudden, 
and permanent shift of perception. They think that after Enlightenment 
suddenly changes and one is free from problems; that one is continuously happy 
and lives 
in bliss. But this is not true. Even those who are considered the greatest 
masters had to 
take many steps in their evolution towards completion. In most cases, a master 
complete Enlightenment in old age.

Student: So how come certain teachers who claim to be enlightened don't know 
that they 
deceive themselves?

Aziz: First of all, they don't necessarily deceive themselves. They've possibly 
experienced a 
shift into pure awareness, and it is an enlightened state. The only question is 
whether it is 
the Final Enlightenment and whether they possess the complete knowledge about 
awakening process.

You see, it is a very subtle area. It does not work in such a way that you 
enlightened and then you know everything. You may know nothing. When you become 
suddenly enlightened, it is similar to being transported, in one instant, in 
your sleep, to 
the top of Mount Everest. And you say: 'Oh, I'm so high but how did I get here? 
What am I 
doing here, actually?' You don't understand your situation yet, for your 
intelligence has not 
caught up with the experience. You must see that if there is no intelligence, 
experience is meaningless. It is like an enlightened cow  the cow may become a 
but her mind is not capable either of understanding or appreciating the gift of 

We are in the process of a multidimensional evolution. Even if one has 
experienced a 
certain shift of consciousness, it takes years for such a person to understand 
his or her 
state and much longer to be able to teach. It is not enough to be enlightened 
in order to 
teach. A spiritual master has to understand the process of awakening. It is a 
very complex 

It is not just to be there, hiding oneself behind the Guru-image and projecting 
onto seekers. Teaching is a responsibility and most teachers, because of their 
egos, want 
to become masters as quick as possible. They have some spiritual shift and 
they start to give Satsang! It is ridiculous what is happening on the spiritual 

It is not to judge. It is not to walk around saying: 'this man is enlightened' 
and 'this one is 
not enlightened.' Just know that the term Enlightenment designates many stages 
possibilities of awakening, and not everyone who awakens is completely 
enlightened. Use 
your sensitivity and discriminative wisdom in order to feel what level of 
Enlightenment the 
teacher represents and if you wish to choose him or her for a spiritual guide. 

It is irrelevant for you whether a particular master is enlightened or not. It 
is their problem. 
It is not your life, it is theirs. The question is: how can such a teacher help 
you? What is 
important is whether he can give you a teaching that leads you straight to the 
Self. There 
are many pseudo-gurus who do not have any real understanding of the awakening 
process; they tell their followers, 'just stick around and everything will 
happen.' A real 
master never over-emphasises his own presence but is humble and hidden behind 
light of Truth.

Do you understand? That is the point. If a spiritual teacher can help you, see 
this as an 
opportunity to grow, until the point where perhaps you may go beyond. I have 
met many masters which from my present perspective were not in a complete 
state. But 
still I have learnt from them and I am grateful because they shared their truth 
as much as 
they could. 

Next, it is not necessary to be completely enlightened. Complete Enlightenment 
is the 
destiny of very few Souls. What an average person, an average seeker, needs to 
awaken to 
is a certain relatively permanent experience of the I Am, and the ability to 
come back to 
this experience at any time  to have this inner home. Such a person does not 
need to reach 
the Absolute State. Enlightenment is not the only purpose of life. You want to 
live life, you 
want to be happy, you wish to reach a certain essential amount of emotional 
you want to adventure in life, to express your creativity. If the purpose of 
life was only 
Enlightenment, this universe would not be created.

Yes…there are many elements. You are multidimensional and you need to have in 
perspective the vision of your blueprint, your destiny and your completion. You 
heading towards the point in your experience of the inner and the outer where 
you simply 
feel complete and done with this dimension.

Somebody can be enlightened and be an asshole, while someone else may be only 
connected to I Am but be a wonderful person. Enlightenment doesn't necessarily 
make you 
a better person. It gives you a foundation of inner peace, a continuity of 
awareness, and a 
depth of Being. But if the Heart is not awakened, the ego may still be 
arrogant. Apart from 
awakening, the Soul needs to still evolve emotionally, mentally and in many 

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