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3-27-11 - Gennadi asked me a question at the Narayana Gurukula above Ooty that I wrote about 3-16-11 - At the Narayana Gurukula. He's the Russian who lives in Vancouver and has been hanging out with the folks in this gurukula in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. He and I were sitting in the kitchen and dining area having lunch before I left and he asked me if I'd found any other place like this and I asked like what? And he referred to the goodness and generosity of the people he'd met, how freely they gave, and how little they asked for. He said that at the gurukula in Varkala (famous for its beach) in Kerala, that there's a sign that says, "We do not accept donations," or something like that. He said that he was allowed to donate something before he left, but he was so moved by the attitude expressed by that sign. I didn't have an answer for him and asked him to write me something about it to put here on cuke and here it is.
In that question, Have you seen many places like this gurukula? the idea, which I started to explain then something intervened, was the following.
Narayana Guru's Advaita Vedanta makes a clear distinction between the non-dual Reality (which is Atman and Brahman), and the manifested world.
Each self is atman, so the Advaitin who has realized, as a result of study and practice, that he is Atman, is by definition non-dual.
On the other hand, the manifested world is inherently transactional, and people who identify themselves with that world, are also transactional, and for them every 'give'must have its 'take'. They cannot give without taking, nor even take without giving something in return.
Of course, anything in the transactional world lives by its laws, including gurukulas. But some people can be unattached, and give or take not as transactions, but as needed in the natural course of things.
So, the question is, Have you seen many places like this gurukula, where the key people, the head and the core of the community, have NO DESIRE to acquire something, anything at all, from outsiders? At least most of the time. That is a sign of non-duality, and an indication that that those people live as they teach.
Of course, the question is unscientific, there is no way to measure the degree of realized non-duality, and I shouldn't have started asking that question in the 1st place, but it was too late, and it had to be finished :)
Still, it's not just idle talk for me, and with your experience, the answer is interesting whatever you say.
Thank you for your patience,
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