Saturday 28 May 2011

Advaita Ashram in California.

sFRANKLIN MERREL-WOLFF (1887-1985) was an American mystical philosopher.


















After formal education in philosophy and mathematics,at Stanford and Harvard, Wolff devoted himself to the goal of transcending the normal limits of human consciousness. After exploring various mystical teachings and paths, he dedicated himself to the path of Jnana yoga and the writings of Shanakara, Founder of the Advaita Vedanta School of Hindu philosophy. In 1936, Wolff experienced a profound sense of liberation and awakening, which provided the basis for his transcendental philosophy. He authored many books namely, The Philosophy Of Consciousness Without An Object, Pathways through To Space and Transformations In Consciousness The Metaphysica And Epistemology.

Excerpts from his work:-

"The Ways of Union

There are different ways of Yoga, primarily three: the Yoga of Devotion, the Yoga of Action, or of the Will, and the Yoga of Knowledge. There are technical forms of Yoga, such as Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, Mantra Yoga, Laya Yoga, Kundalini Yoga and so on. These are not really so much different forms as technical additives. The three forms are Devotion, corresponding to feeling; Karma, corresponding to the activistic element in consciousness (the technical term for it is conation); and Jnana Yoga, which is oriented to the cognitive faculties, the cognitive side. We'll not go into the relative valuation of these different forms of Yoga. Each will find his own way, ultimately. Aurobindo recommends a synthetic Yoga which involves going through all three forms, successively, or simultaneously. It's not necessary, but he may have a good idea there.

The valuation of them, as to which leads the furthest and so forth, is different with different writers. There's a tendency in human nature to regard the form which I take as therefore being the highest. Any "I am." I'm speaking to the I in you. In other words, there is a bit of egoism in that. Shankara places Jnana Yoga as the highest. Aurobindo rates Bhakti Yoga as the highest. It affords two different ways of interpreting the Bhagavad Gita, which deals with these three different forms of Yoga, the trimarga. Shankara would say the first, which is treated in the second chapter of the Gita, the Yoga of Knowledge, is the highest. But if you're unable to meet that altitude, then there is provided for you at a somewhat simpler and easier level, the Yoga of Action. And if that too is a little too much for you, there is the final form of the Yoga of Devotion, an orientation to the Person of the Divine, if you please, rather than to the Power or the Wisdom of the Divine, to use the religious form of language.

But what we'll sketch tonight will belong to Jnana Yoga, the Yoga of Knowledge, the Yoga I know. I sympathize with all who choose the other paths. There is no rejection whatever. But this I know.

Now I'll outline a philosophic position, to orient an attitude favorable to Jnana Yoga. It's for you to place, for the time being, in your emptied minds, not something you are forced to agree with. I ask you to take a journey with me and see how you like the scenery. If it is not to your taste, then you may turn otherwhere; it is perfectly all right. Just a journey, to see the scenery, if you can."

www.merrel-wolff.org

Above are photos of Ajna Ashram (the above links to site regarding the ashram). The ashram is not inhabited by anybody due to weather conditions. The photo of the homa gundam and stone-platform for meditation in one of the rooms in the ashram. Below is a youtube clipping of this advaitic ashram in California.