And Mother Claps Her Hands…

When the teachings of Vedanta are encountered by a soul that is ripe and ready to hear these Eternal Truths, an irresistible attraction ensues which draws the devotee ever deeper into this sublime philosophy.  By way of illustration, Sri Ramakrishna once narrated an amusing and interesting story:

“One day a farmer was working in his garden.  When he stopped to take a pill the doctor had given him for his shoulder pain, he accidently dropped one from the container.  The peacock noticed this and ate the pill, which had some opium in it. This happened around 4 o’clock in the afternoon. The next day, at the same time, the farmer was surprised to see the peacock at that same spot in the garden.  You see, it had felt the intoxication of the drug and had returned just in time to have another dose.”

Those of us who have been captivated by Vedanta understand the story well. It is a particular joy to witness this phenomenon occur anew as we see a sincere soul encounter these teachings and return again and again in order to assimilate these sublime truths.

tadrupaSuch has been the case with Joshua McDaniel, who was recently initiated in Portland and received the name Tadrupa. Tadrupa grew up in Washington and Arizona. After graduating from Arizona State with a degree in mathematics, he moved to Oregon with his new wife, Jamie, in order to teach at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg. A chance encounter at this college with enthusiastic SRV initiate Michael “Jivan” Fernandez introduced him to SRV and its teachings. The two quickly became friends, meeting twice a month and discussing various aspects of philosophy and spirituality. The wheels of self-inquiry were thus set in motion, and the logical next step was for him to meet Jivan’s guru, Babaji.

Tadrupa first attended a class with Babaji in February of 2013 in Portland. He listened closely, and began to learn and recognize that there is another option to the fearful and brooding mind. His world view was quickly getting modified. Considerations about politics and the need to fix the world began to fade, and matters that he once thought important were getting obliterated as the teachings took hold.

Tadrupa began a frequent e-mail correspondence with Babaji that explored deeply the question of how to live a spiritual life while dealing with day-to-day householder considerations. By “watering the flowers rather than the weeds,” he saw the possibility that a human soul can attain to a high state while embodied. He recognized the presence of Witness Consciousness as “proof that the Self exists.”  Recognition that he is not his thoughts was a significant catalyst for building faith.

After attending his first SRV retreat in Foresthill, and continuing with more classes, the consideration of initiation came naturally.  Since initiation he has noticed increased dispassion for the world, which has been attended by a deeper commitment to meditation and study. Sadhana now proceeds effortlessly and naturally. He has a new standard and ideal to live up to in every area of life. Spiritual life is paramount and everything else is secondary. As the issues of life arise, he always asks himself the important question, “Is this pursuing the Infinite, or is it a worldly enjoyment?” The question itself is revolutionary, and evidence of a transformed sense of being.

Those of us who have had the privilege of Tadrupa’s company have been inspired by his warmth, sincerity, and openness. We welcome him and look forward to sharing the teachings with him for many years to come.