The Fourth Way Teaching in India
G. I. Gurdjieff was a Greek-Armenian mystic who brought a teaching called ‘The Fourth Way’. In contrast to the three traditional ways, those that work only with the body, or the heart, or the mind, the Fourth Way works with all three human centers in parallel for a more balanced development of spiritual potential. This is reflected in the name of the center that Mr. Gurdjieff established in Paris: ‘The Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man’.
G. I. Gurdjieff
A fundamental teaching of The Fourth Way is that human beings, even in the waking state, are asleep. The human organism has a potential, the spiritual in particular, that is undeveloped and unexplored. A seeker, by his own efforts, can awaken to the reality of the meaning of his life. The title of Mr. Gurdjieff’s last book in his series of three books is ‘Life is Real Only Then, When “I Am”’.
At the time of Mr. Gurdjieff’s passing, his Work was flourishing in both Europe and America, later to spread across other geographies. P. D. Ouspensky, one of his chief pupils and the author of ‘In Search of the Miraculous’ – an excellent introduction to the Work – had preceded him by a few years.
Madame de Salzmann was the designated spiritual heir to Mr. Gurdjieff. There were also other prominent teachers who had contributed to the early propagation of the Work: Lord Pentland, Madame Ouspensky, J. G. Bennett, and A. R. Orage.
Madame de Salzmann
The Fourth Way consists of specific ways to assist the self-development of a seeker. These are the Work ideas, and related exercises, that bring a seeker to a correct understanding of who he is, in contrast to how he imagines himself to be. There are also Movements, undertaken as a group, which bring forth the intelligence of the body-mind. And finally, the Gurdjieff Music, a large collection of pieces of largely Asiatic origin that evoke a depth of feeling.
Ravi Ravindra is a leading teacher of The Fourth Way and has been instrumental in founding and guiding the Gurdjieff Foundation of India since 2003. After his formative years in India, he pursued higher studies in Physics in Canada. His spiritual search led him to hold post-doctoral fellowships in the History and Philosophy of Science at Princeton University, and in Religion at Columbia University. His introduction to the Work was through his teachers, Mrs. and Dr. Welch, who were direct students of Mr. Gurdjieff. He worked for many years with Madame de Salzmann, who was leading the Work after Mr. Gurdjieff. His vivid experiences of his Work with Madame Jeanne de Salzmann are detailed in the book ‘Heart without Measure’.
Ravi brings a unique Indian sensibility to the Work. Having studied deeply both the Hindu and the Christian traditions, he brings a broad and sensitive appreciation of spiritual seeking in all its forms. His books on the Gita and the Yoga Sutras are a testament to his immersion in the Indian tradition.
The ‘Gurdjieff Foundation of India’ consists of senior seekers who are responsible for maintaining the right conditions for the Work in India under the direct guidance of Ravi. If you have previously known about the Work, or resonate with what the Work offers, please contact the foundation at https://www.gurdjieff.in/
Upcoming events: https://gurdjieff.in/eventsup/