Mistakes against the Shankaracharya Tradition

Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.
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Re: Mistakes against the Shankaracharya Tradition

Postby Ahamty2 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:39 am

For those who may be curious about my now username: “Ahamty2”
It is a type of anagram. Those familiar with some Sanskrit will know that ‘aham’ means “I am”. When you utter “Aham” you come into existence and you are a believer so when one says “I am an atheist” you are saying I am actually a believer, ie an atheist, because you exist. Vedanta tells us that in fact we are all really one and the same, ie we are “Sat-Chit-Ananda” (Pure Being, Existence-Consciousness-Bliss), but we have forgotten this important aspect of ourselves.
“-ty2” is a play on the nursery rhyme “Humpty Dumpty” which was told to many English children. So, like Humpty Dumpty, I too (2), had a great fall and all of the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty back together again.
Some of us are on too high a wall thinking we can see further than anyone else, our ego is such that we become cocky, because we can see further, we think we know more than anyone else around us. Like Adam (Aham) of the Old Testament tempted by Eve (Ego), he ate the forbidden fruit (Sat-Chit-Ananda) forgot where he was sitting and fell, just like Humpty Dumpty.
Why this post? Like my forum colleague, ‘Free’, it is time for me to hang up my shackles from here; I have said all that I need to say to the point of being ‘ad nauseam’. All of my posts will remain here and are unedited except for the odd spelling and grammar errors. I write from feeling rather than to be politically correct, but I try not to be vulgar. My loyal partner, sincere and true friend for nearly 50 years , a stoic true Brit believes, if you can get lost in the maze by yourself, you should be able to find your way out, by yourself. Nothing like her short tempered husband from across the Channel.
Since this forum is about the SES, who claims William Shakespeare as one of their own, I suppose I should end with a rather tiresome quote from dear William’s: “As You Like It”
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages………………….,
Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything. [Act II; Scene VII]

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Re: Mistakes against the Shankaracharya Tradition

Postby Tootsie » Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:03 am

We come into this world drooling and we go out drooling, and in between sometimes we have a little fun! Good luck to you Ahamty2.

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Re: Mistakes against the Shankaracharya Tradition

Postby ManOnTheStreet » Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:12 am

Thanks for all your contributions Ahamty2 - all the very best,


Gerasene Demon
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Re: Mistakes against the Shankaracharya Tradition

Postby Gerasene Demon » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:45 am

Last edited by Gerasene Demon on Thu May 30, 2013 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mistakes against the Shankaracharya Tradition

Postby Ella.M.C. » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:25 am

Hello Ahamty2,
and a fond farewell to you also ..

I have found your posts thought provoking and inspiring and am sorry to see you
depart, but we should all do what we feel we must.

Thank you also for explaining your username .. so clever and suitable!
Wishing you all the best, in the rest of the time here on this world stage,
playing your next part in this drama of life.

And on behalf of (I am sure) all here ..any comeback appearances to this stage
will be very welcome!


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Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:42 pm

Re: Mistakes against the Shankaracharya Tradition

Postby bluegreen » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:13 pm

Goodbye Ahamty2
I have very much appreciated your posts too.
Don't know why you have to leave us completely but I'm sure you have your reasons.
Thanks for your intelligent and insightful contributions
St James Girls School 1977-1981

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Re: Mistakes against the Shankaracharya Tradition

Postby woodgreen » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:13 pm

I've refrained from posting on this thread ( it sent my mentals a bit funny) and I apologise if this brings the subject back down to earth. I respect the efforts of Dr. Alan and others to discuss Advaita Vedanta ( I've concluded that I am really not up to it, especially after the SES mash-up that has put me off most spiritual systems) but for anyone who is still unsure about the payment for the mantra, earlier threads have established that the payment for the initiation, where people recieve the mantra, goes to the SES and the School of Meditation (who conduct the ceremony). HH and his people have received money from the SES via a Trust. Technically HH does not receive money for the mantra but has received money from the School.

I'll say no more, as I've done with guru-bashing, other than to say sorry to see Ahamty2 go, and thanks for your contributions which I always found insightful and supportive.

Ex-SES Member. (Member for 3 years in late nineties).

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Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:07 pm

Re: Mistakes against the Shankaracharya Tradition

Postby woodgreen » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:23 pm

Despite me saying I'll say no more ( famous last words on this Forum!) something's been troubling me about the mantra, which is as we know an issue for SFSK ex-members as well. I am mainly addressing some questions to Dr.Alan , if he would not mind, but anyone else who has any information or views are most welcome to respond.

Ealier on this thread you referred to the mantra being "given" to the SES/SOM/SS by HH and reassured readers that it remains valid for meditation according to the tradition of advaita vedanta. Ella MC mentioned that the Mavros gave the SFSK students the Guru Puja worship ceremony used by the Maharishi. SFSK were given a dfferent mantra than SES etc. However in the SES we too were given the Guru Puja worhip (Guru Dev?) but with the Ram mantra.
This has raised my questions Dr.Alan:
1. Can you confirm that it was the Ram mantra that was given to the 3 schools?
2.Do you know how it was given by HH Shantanand Saraswati? i.e. did HH simply "sound" it to McLaren and Roles?
3. Was there any kind of ceremony conducted as well i.e. the Guru Puja or anything else?

Given the mistakes of the SES across a range of issues, I find it difficult to accept that the mantra could be valid at all, least of all in the Advaita Vedanta tradition. If HH gave it to McLaren and Roles in good faith then it could be said it was valid for them at the time, but surely in the light of all you have explained, would it not be regarded as having been corrupted? Because certainly in Mclaren's case he mis-used it for reasons that have become clear.

I personally do not think that the SES should be giving mantras or pujas at all anymore - and I'm wondering if along with all the other cherry-picking and plagiarising they do ,they actually do give out a Maharishi-style meditation for "westerners" .
There was I believe some tension between McLaren the Maha - McLaren did not want to join him and went to see Shantanand instead. Maybe he pinched the puja from him!!

Many thanks if you can address these points.

Ex-SES Member. (Member for 3 years in late nineties).

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Location: UK

Re: Mistakes against the Shankaracharya Tradition

Postby Dr.Alan » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:02 am

Woodgreen & any others to whom it may apply,

The ancient tradition began with father to son passing down of sacred scriptures and how to interpret them and put them to practice. This includes the phenomenon of re-birth of the soul - albeit here in the west we have no knowledge of this phenomenon, hence some find it hard to believe in.

So the father could be re-born into the family of his son. i.e. it is a householder tradition. The tradition of preserving the scriptures became therefore a family thing. All over the world it is recognised that the family environment can be a good one for the continuation of traditions - this applies to business and trades etc. and has been also applied to spiritual subjects with considerable success. The Mevlevi family (whirling dervishes of Turkey) kept the Sufi tradition of Rumi ( also called Mevlana - hence - Mevlevi) alive for more than 750 years - mainly within the family. Many of the dervishes were clearly re-born into their family keeping a valuable tradition strong over many generations.

However, conditions in human society change due to conflicts, wars etc. and the choice to be reborn in a specific place or family gets thwarted through one reason or another. Then the person who is spiritually advanced needs to leave the place or family where he/she is born (i.e. not conducive enough) and may take up the life of a renunciate or recluse - so as to perfect or complete the spiritual journey. This often requires such things as celibacy and cutting oneself off from human society. Hence monastic orders evolved as well as the householder tradition.

How is all this relevant to mantras? Well the ancient tradition stems from times prior to the current age called the Kali Yuga (kali = dark yuga = age). It is strongly connected with an incarnation of Vishnu who is the presiding deity of our times. This incarnation had the name of Rama. He was a householder. His wife's name was Sita. But He was a divine being who came to assist mankind in his endeavours to spiritually evolve. In later times He came again with the name of Krishna. However, by that time the name of Rama had been used as a mantra to connect with Him and His teachings etc. The name was shortened to a single syllable as they are more effective that way.

The monks however did not find this mantra conducive as it is connected with family and marriage etc. which they shun. So the mantra OM (A + U + M) was used as this sound is connected with the three-fold aspect of creation embedded within nature.

So the mantra given to SES has been traditionally used in India for 1000s of years and is specifically for householders. If a householder uses OM they can damage their marriage / family / wife /children etc. quite seriously. There have been many cases of this happening.

The Shankaracharyas, who are all monks, are well aware of the tradition and they knew which mantra to give to SES etc. all the schools connected with SES use the same one. In India it is only passed to another person through a ceremony as this gives it a sense of it being important. But it is not essential if the person who receives it gives that importance to it in any case. For example - if you get a university qualification - you can go to the ceremony to be presented with it etc. or you can get it in the post. Either way you have the qualification. It is what you do with it that counts. To those who give no importance to a mantra it will not give much back - all spiritual subjects are related to what your mind makes of it. Many dissenters on this forum make nothing out of spiritual things - that is only to do with the approach of their mind (which is hard to control). The mind has no power to make a thing change in its reality - but the value of it will change for the person whose mind changes etc.

The ancient mantra is beyond being affected by anything that people can do to it. i.e. it cannot be corrupted. It is the thinking processes of people that get corrupted. The scriptures and the mantras will still be here for use by whoever finds value in them thousands of years later. Corruption as such is what human beings do with these things - the intrinsic value in them cannot be corrupted.

So if you have confidence in the mantra given - and practice the use of it with belief and faith it will be of value - otherwise not.
SES - London 1964-1974 left due to SES interference with private life.

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Re: Mistakes against the Shankaracharya Tradition

Postby woodgreen » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:49 am

Thank you, Dr. Alan, for your considered response.

My conclusion is that mantras should come with a spiritual health warning, particularly If they carry so much weight in the advaita vedanta tradition.

You might have seen from my earlier posts that I was brought up in the Catholic tradition - the SES paid no regard to that when it foisted the mantra on me behind closed doors, so no wonder it it did little for me. I think it must have clashed with the tradition that I had within me somewhere. And it made a mess of both.

kind regards

Ex-SES Member. (Member for 3 years in late nineties).

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Re: Mistakes against the Shankaracharya Tradition

Postby Ella.M.C. » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:57 am

Thank you Dr. Alan,

I was one who was waiting for your reply to woodgreen.
Your explanation of the ancient tradition and how this came about was
very interesting.
It also makes me wonder why in SFSK we were given a different mantra,
most likely taken from a book of mantras, when all the other SES type clone
schools kept a recognised mantra.

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Re: Mistakes against the Shankaracharya Tradition

Postby woodgreen » Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:23 am

Hi Dr. Alan.

Me again. I've just read on the McLaren Foundation website that Dr. Roles and McLaren were initiated by the Maharishi ( so presumably, not HH, who they didn't meet until a few years later). This muddies the water even more.!

Anyway, I don't suppose it changes the view from India that the mantra represents a recognised deity for "householders" etc. if that is what people want, but it does suggest that the whole business of initiation in the SES has not been clear to many people for a long time.
Imaginary, I think was the word used to describe the Maharishi's TM system by one HH. Looks like McLaren and company were TMers after all!!
Ex-SES Member. (Member for 3 years in late nineties).

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