Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Power to Enlighten

Apologies for my lengthy absence. Other activities have been demanding my attention over the last week or so.

Today’s topic is, ‘Why is it that some jnanis have the power to enlighten devotees, while others don’t? And how do those who have that power go about transmitting it to those who deserve it?’

It is a subject that has intermittently intrigued me over the years but I have not come to any definite conclusion since the people whose authority I respect – Ramana Maharshi and those direct disciples I have associated with and written about – have either not commented on these specific points, or they have come to differing conclusions.

I will start by giving two extracts from a dialogue that Annamalai Swami had with one of his visitors:

Question: Are there differences in the degree of realisation of the Self? For example, Ramana was widely acclaimed as a Sadguru. Is your understanding the same as Ramana’s?

Annamalai Swami: You see a big lamp before you. Your own lamp is unlit. So you bring your lamp to the lamp which is already burning. And when you go away from that lamp, you have your own lamp, your own light. Wherever you go, from that point on, the light is with you. The state of jnana is the same for all. Anyone who realises the Self is in the same state of peace, which is beyond the mind.

Though the experience of the Self is the same in all cases, it is true that some jnanis end up helping a lot of people, whereas others, who are equally enlightened, may help fewer people. Some jnanis do not teach at all. They live ordinary lives and are rarely, if ever, recognised for what they really are.

Water can be in a well or it can be in a lake. It is the same water, but one source can quench more thirsts than the other. A small lamp can light up a room, whereas a big one can light up a whole street. Bhagavan was one of those big, blazing lights that could light up a huge area. He guided and brought light to many people.

Question: Swamiji is saying that some jnanis are big lamps and that others are small. Do the small lamps become bigger, or do they always remain the same?

Annamalai Swami: Whichever light you go to, the light is always the same. This business of the lamps is just an example. What I am trying to say is, only a few people have the capacity to guide a large number of people towards the truth. Realising the truth is one thing, but guiding others towards it is something else. All jnanis are not equally capable when it comes to guiding others. (Annamalai Swami Final Talks, pp. 44-5, 2006 ed.)

Question: I read somewhere that Bhagavan said that jnanis have the power to link the individual mind to the supreme Self.

Annamalai Swami: Yes. A big ship can carry many people to the other side of the ocean, and a small ship can carry only a few people.

Question: And some jnanis don’t carry anyone at all.

Annamalai Swami: These jnanis who don’t have disciples don’t appear to be helping anyone, but their power, the power of their realisation, is having a beneficial effect on all beings. It is true, though, that some jnanis pass away without teaching anyone directly. Lakshmi the cow and Bhagavan’s mother are examples of this. (Annamalai Swami Final Talks, p. 48)


* * *

When I wrote my post ‘Who were you Ramana?’ some of the responses I received tried to make the case that some jnanis were superior to others simply because they attracted more disciples, lived saintly lives, enlightened some of their devotees, and so on. I took the position that Annamalai Swami confirms here: that all jnanis were equal in their jnana. However, it is true, as Annamalai Swami notes in these replies, that some have the power to enlighten, whereas others do not. This is not related to their state of abiding as the Self, since jnana is the same for all. Some other factor is involved.

In 1993 Papaji made the following remarks about J. Krishnamurti. The first paragraph is Papaji’s words. The subsequent two are my comments on them, taken from Nothing Ever Happened, volume two, p. 230:

I listened to Krishnamurti while I was in Switzerland. I liked him very much because I could find no fault in him. I am a hard person to satisfy but I will say that he was, no doubt, an enlightened man. But something was missing. The power to transmit that enlightenment to others was not there.

Papaji’s assessment, though it seems to be harsh, was shared by Krishnamurti himself. In a book commemorating his birth centenary Evelyne Blau, a long time associate of his, wrote: ‘For fifty years he had taught, spoken and travelled all over the world. Why was not a single person transformed? He [Krishnamurti] was certainly concerned with this problem.’

As Krishnamurti lay dying in California, a tape recorder was running to record his final words. Shortly before he died he said, ‘Where did I go wrong? No one got it?’

Apologies to those of you who are Krishnamurti fans, but I think his own words on this topic are hard to refute.

So far as I am aware Bhagavan never gave any explanation as to why some jnanis have the power to enlighten while others don’t. I called up Venkatasubramanian, my Tamil collaborator, while I was writing this piece to see if he could remember any such quotes, but he drew a blank as well. If there are any such references, I would love to see them posted in the ‘responses’ section.

With no guidelines from Bhagavan on this subject, I will review the ideas of what three of his devotees (Annamalai Swami, Lakshmana Swamy and Papaji) had to say. The first theory comes from Annamalai Swami:

Question: Does Swami understand Jesus Christ to be a jnani like so many other jnanis, or was he something more than that?

Annamalai Swami: If the ego is destroyed, only non-dual consciousness remains. There is no higher or lower in that state.

You cannot say that one jnani is in a different state from another. You cannot say that Jesus Christ is better than Bhagavan, or vice versa. There is no higher state than that of the jnani, and there is no jnani who is superior to any other jnani.

Although the inner state of all jnanis is the same, their outer activities differ because each of them has a different destiny to fulfill. Some will be teachers and some will not.

If there is water in a glass it will quench the thirst of one man; if there is water in a big pot, it may quench the thirst of thirty of forty people; if there is water in a well, it can quench the thirst of all the people in a village or a town. Some spiritual aspirants have done tapas only for their own realisation. After realisation they may be able to help a few people. But some jnanis have done prolonged tapas not only for their own realisation, but also to help liberate others. The jnanis who have done this kind of tapas become world famous masters and have many followers. (Living by the Words of Bhagavan, p. 310)


* * *

Since jnanis never do anything for a reason or for any particular goal, and since they see no one as different from themselves, or unenlightened, I am assuming that Annamalai Swami is referring to tapas done prior to the moment of realisation. His idea seems to be that tapas done with a strong desire that its fruits should benefit others results in a jnani who has the power and capacity to help and enlighten others. I am also assuming that this tapas can be spread over more than one lifetime. If one wants to include Bhagavan in a theory of this sort, then one would have to say that his tapas was done in some other incarnation.

More than twenty years ago I was sitting with Lakshmana Swamy on the lower slopes of Arunachala. We were speaking about the same topic. This is a summary of what I remember him saying that day:

‘If one sits quietly after realisation, a great power is accumulated. The longer one sits quietly, the stronger the power. This is the power that the Gurus use to enlighten others. You cannot make a choice to sit quietly or not sit quietly. That is just part of your destiny. If it is your destiny to sit quietly for years after your realisation, then that power will be available to help others later on.’

This is a somewhat different proposition from Annamalai Swami’s. There is no desire to help others; no tapas is done for the benefit of others. If there is a destined long period of quiet, Self-absorption, a reservoir of power will accumulate which can benefit devotees later on.

Bhagavan spent most of his first decade at Arunachala intensely absorbed in an inner Self-abidance that made it difficult or even impossible for him to extrovert his attention and lead a normal life in the world. Was this the source, or one of the sources, of his great power? I have no idea, but I do know from Bhagavan’s own comments that the power of the Self in him was so strong, it made his body shake and tremble. We are all familiar with Bhagavan’s comments that having the power of the Self in the body is like having an elephant entering a weak hut:

Annamalai Swami: Sometimes Self-realisation makes the body very weak. Bhagavan’s body used to shake a lot. When he was asked about this, he would sometimes say, ‘If an elephant enters a weak hut, what will happen to the body?’ The elephant was Self-realisation and the weak hut was his body. (Living by the Words of Bhagavan, p. 269)

Most of us have seen the film of Bhagavan with his head shaking as if he had a mild case of Parkinson’s disease. It wasn’t any kind of disease; it was simply the Self agitating the body. The slight oscillations of the head were there for most of the time, but whenever Bhagavan went into an inner Self-abidance in which he would be unaware of his body or the world, all the shaking would stop. The same thing would happen when he was transmitting power to a particular devotee, or just radiating it in general to people in his vicinity. T. M. P. Mahadevan has recorded the following observation:

Even when I first saw the Master [in 1928], his head had begun to nod. The shaking head seemed to me to be saying ‘neti’, ‘neti’ (not this, not this). And, all of a sudden the nodding would stop, the vision of the Master would become fixed, and the spirit of silence would envelop everyone present. (Philosophy of Existence, section three, Ramana experience)

Kunju Swami has also noted (sorry, can’t remember the exact reference) that Bhagavan’s use of a walking stick was not just for helping out his rheumatic knees: he apparently couldn’t balance very well when he was standing still. The walking stick gave him a tripod-like stability when he had to stop to speak to someone. This was probably another manifestation of the ‘elephant in the weak hut’.

If Bhagavan could mitigate the shaking of his body and lessen the effects of the ‘elephant’ by looking at devotees and transmitting power and grace to them why didn’t he do it more often and give his body a rest? Lakshmana Swamy gives his answer to this rather selfish question in the following interesting remarks:

Lakshmana Swamy: Although the power and grace of the Self are infinite, the Guru must use his body to transmit this power. The body could not stand the strain of giving so much grace to many people in such a short time. The body would weaken and die within a very short period. Instead of weakening his body by wasting his power on all the immature devotees who come to see him, the Guru saves his power and his health by only transmitting large amounts of grace to the good devotees who deserve it. [But] if the devotee’s mind is ready, the grace will automatically start to flow.

Ramana Maharshi used to give darshan to hundreds of people every day, but most of these people only received a brief glance or a smile. He was not transmitting power to most of these people.

When he was once asked if he would tour India and give darshan to all the thousands of devotees who could not come to Tiruvannamalai, he replied, ‘I cannot give darshan to everyone’. I don’t know what he meant by this. He may have been saying that it was physically impossible for him to meet all the thousands of people who wanted to see him, but he may also have been implying that it would have been too much of a strain on his body to give so much power and grace in such a short time. (No Mind – I am the Self, pp. 74-5)


* * *

So, there is a ‘damned if you do and damned if you don’t’ element to this: if the ‘power to enlighten’ builds up in the body, it becomes the elephant charging around in the weak hut, causing health problems; if it is transmitted outwards in large amounts, it also causes problems within the body. In the Gurus I have met and talked to, there always seems to be more power available than outlets through which it can be usefully and safely directed, and that means it stays in the body. Lakshmana Swamy told me once that having all this power made the body quite weak since it wasn’t designed to process these energies all the time. Just as thin wires cannot take a heavy electric current, it would seem that the nervous system of the body is ill-equipped to deal with major and continuous flows of sakti.

There is a third option that I briefly alluded to when I mentioned that Bhagavan would cease shaking his head when he went into samadhi. This seemed to ‘ground’ the energy in some way and, as Krishnamurti Iyer reported, instead of having a deleterious effect on his body, it was actually good for Bhagavan’s health:

N. R. Krishnamurti Iyer: It is clear that Bhagavan, out of his infinite mercy and grace, cures even the fatal diseases of his devotees. Does not Bhagavan’s body suffer on that account?

Bhagavan: (speaking in English) Yes and no.

N. R. Krishnamurti Iyer: Please, Bhagavan, explain in more detail.

Bhagavan: The mukta purusha [liberated being] does not need his body once he has realised the Self. However, so long as he stays alive, he has the power to drain off devotees’ illnesses into his own body. That is why his body suffers for the time being. That is what is meant by the answer ‘yes’.

If he retires into the solitude of a quiet corner and remains in kevala nirvikalpa samadhi, completely oblivious of the body-world complex, the disease received in the body gets dissipated. When he returns to his body consciousness the body is cured and restored to its original health. The duration of that samadhi should be in adequate proportion to the seriousness of the disease concerned.

Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada, who attained Self-realisation at a very young age with a very healthy and strong body, was engaged in ceaseless activity in the state of sahaja samadhi. Out of his infinite mercy he gave relief to hosts of suffering people who came to him with all sorts of serious diseases. He was continuously active, day and night, and never cared to recoup his health by retiring into the solitude of kevala nirvikalpa samadhi. As a result he gave up his body while he was in his early thirties. (The Power of the Presence, part one, pp. 172-3)


* * *

In The Power of the Presence I added the following three paragraphs of my own as a footnote to this story:

In the period that Bhagavan lived in Skandashram he went into a deep samadhi almost every day, usually during the daily evening chanting of Aksharamanamalai. He would be so deeply immersed in this state, the devotees would find it difficult to rouse him for the evening meal. In Enadu Ninaivugal Kunju Swami has related how devotees would shake him and blow a conch in his ear to bring him back to normal. When Bhagavan moved down the hill to Sri Ramanasramam, the frequency of these samadhis decreased, and devotees who were in regular contact with him at the end of the 1920s have reported that such instances were down to about two a week. In the 1930s they occurred more rarely. In the last fifteen years of his life such samadhis are not reported, though there are frequent mentions of Bhagavan going into a state of deep absorption in the Self. At these times he would sit with open unblinking eyes, utterly immobile.

Up till the mid-1930s Bhagavan appeared to be in vigorous, robust health. In film footage taken in 1935, the earliest available, he looks his age (mid-fifties) and appears to be in a good physical state. In films taken at the end of his life his body looks crippled and feeble, and he appears to be a man who is well into his eighties, rather than a man approaching seventy.

In the light of what Bhagavan told Krishnamurti Iyer in this conversation, it is tempting to relate Bhagavan’s good physical condition prior to 1935 to the samadhis that he regularly went into. However, it should also be remembered that visitors and devotees came to him in far fewer numbers during this period. It is possible that his accelerated aging between 1935 and 1950 was due to the far greater numbers of people he had to deal with every day.

One should also remember that this third course (going into samadhi) is not an ‘option’ for a jnani who wants to process energies of this kind. The jnani’s body has a prarabdha that may or may not include going into samadhi; it is not something the jnani himself can choose to do or avoid doing.

I should now like to introduce Papaji to this survey of opinions on ‘the power to enlighten’. At the beginning of this post I gave two quotations from Annamalai Swami and Lakshmana Swami that listed their differing views on how jnanis accumulated the power to become Gurus. Papaji did not subscribe to either of these viewpoints. He maintained that jnanis do not become Gurus with the power to enlighten by doing tapas that includes a desire to help others (Annamalai Swami) or by sitting quietly after realisation and accumulating a store of power that can be used to help devotees (Lakshmana Swamy). Papaji instead maintained that if the Self wants a jnani to become a Guru, it gives him the necessary power and authority to do the job. That power does not have to be earned by prior tapas. I had a dialogue with Papaji on this subject in the early 1990s. I knew that Papaji felt that Gurus are given power and authority by the Self, so I played ‘devil’s advocate’ by suggesting to him more than once that Gurus had to learn how to enlighten people by trial and error. I took this position because I wanted to introduce several incidents from Bhagavan’s own life into the conversation since it might be possible to interpret them in such a light. The following very interesting dialogue ensued:

David: Based on what I have read about Sri Ramana Maharshi, and based on what little I know about your own teaching career, it seems to me that one learns to be a Guru by trial and error. That is to say, enlightenment may be there, the power to wake others up may be there, but the effective use of this power requires some practice and experience. Do you agree?

Papaji: No, I don’t. A Guru does not need to practise. Gurus are born with the ability to teach. Take … Krishna, for example. He was sent to school at the age of six to be taught by his Guru, but his Guru soon discovered that Krishna already knew all the things that he wanted to teach him. In this case the creator of the universe arranged for all the necessary knowledge to be implanted into Krishna’s brain. It is said that the goddesses of knowledge, prosperity and physical energy gave him everything he needed. He didn’t need to learn how to be a teacher, or practise his teachings skills. All the necessary knowledge and skill were there within in him, right from the beginning.

If you are destined to be a Guru, the Self automatically bestows on you all the necessary knowledge and power. It doesn’t send you to school to learn these things; it gives them to you directly…. So I don’t agree that one has to learn or practise anything in order to be a Guru.

Practice is for other professions. If you want to be a political leader, for example, you attach yourself to some political leader and learn all the tricks of the trade from him. But this kind of apprenticeship is not necessary for Gurus.

David: I thought that you would say something like this. Since you feel that Gurus don’t need to practise their art, I want to tell you a few incidents from Sri Ramana Maharshi’s life that seem to indicate the contrary. Perhaps you could comment on them. Shortly after his enlightenment, when he was still sixteen years old, Sri Ramana was sitting quietly at home with his eyes closed. A school friend asked him what he was doing, and he replied, ‘Meditating’.

The friend asked, ‘Can you show me how to do it?’ and Sri Ramana replied, ‘Yes. Sit down, close your eyes and I will show you.’ When the boy had closed his eyes, Sri Ramana put the blunt end of a pencil on his friend’s forehead, between the eyes, and pressed lightly for a few seconds. The boy was suddenly engulfed by a wave of fear and panic.


He jumped up and shouted, ‘You’re trying to kill me! I felt that I was dying! Don’t ever do that to me again!’

Sri Ramana had tried to give him an experience of the Self, but because of the boy’s immaturity, he only induced fear and panic instead. At sixteen years of age Sri Ramana clearly had an instinctive knowledge of how to wake people up, but lacking experience in its use, he didn’t know how much power he could safely transmit. This is one possible interpretation. What’s yours?

Papaji: You say that this is a case of immaturity. I agree, but the immaturity was in the boy who wanted the experience, not in the Maharshi. The Maharshi had the power to enlighten others at this young age, thus proving that the power is innate and not learned, but he couldn’t use it effectively because this boy had too many doubts and fears in his mind. The Maharshi never had any doubts or fears when the Self gave him that direct experience when he was the same age as this boy. The Self revealed itself to him, and he had absolute trust in that revelation. He didn’t doubt it, fear it, or try to escape from it. He surrendered to it and fully accepted it. That showed his spiritual maturity. His school friend, though, showed his unreadiness and his immaturity by panicking and running away from the same experience.

Though the Maharshi showed that he had the power to enlighten even at the age of sixteen, he had not yet assumed the role of Sadguru. That came later when he moved to Arunachala. Arunachala, his own Sadguru, then empowered him and gave him the grace to be a Sadguru in his own right.

David: The next incident I want to tell you is a very well-known one. It took place nineteen years later, in 1915. Sri Ramana’s attendant, Palaniswami, was dying and Bhagavan was trying to give him enlightenment before he died, or at the moment of his death. He put one hand on his head and the other on Palaniswami’s Heart-centre and kept them there until he thought that the individual self had been extinguished. Then, thinking that Palaniswami had realised the Self, he took away his hands. A few seconds later the ‘I’-thought reappeared, left the body through the eyes and, according to Sri Ramana, took rebirth in one of the deva realms.

In this case too there seems to have been a misjudgment of the amount of power that was transmitted. However, Bhagavan learned from the experience. When he tried the same technique on his mother while she was dying six years later, he kept his hands in place for a much longer period.

Afterwards he remarked, ‘I thought that she was liberated but, remembering what had happened in Palaniswami’s case, I kept my hands there for a few minutes longer’.

Doesn’t this story, and Bhagavan’s own comments on it, indicate that Bhagavan learned how to use this technique effectively by trial and error? Didn’t his inexperience with Palaniswami cause him to make a mistake with Palaniswami, and didn’t his failure in this particular case give him the experience to enlighten his mother a few years later?

Papaji: I don’t think that there was a misjudgment or a mistake in this case either. It was not the fault of the Maharshi that Palaniswami failed to realise the Self in his dying moments. I would say instead that the jivatma [individual self] of Palaniswami would not admit any interference from the Maharshi because it was not yet ready for enlightenment. For freedom one needs the grace of the Paramatman [Supreme Self]. And if the jivatman is not worthy, the Paramatman will not bestow that grace. Palaniswami had, by faithfully serving a Sadguru, earned enough merit to go to some heavenly world, but he had not earned the ultimate liberating grace of the Paramatman. That is why the Maharshi could not succeed with him.

On a superficial level it might look as if a mistake was made, but the Paramatman never makes mistakes. If the worthiness is there, freedom automatically comes. If it is not there, no amount of interference by the Guru can bring it about….

The Maharshi was one of those rare beings who, by grace, could transmit complete liberation to others. His mother and the cow Lakshmi received this ultimate gift of grace, as did others both known and unknown. (Nothing Ever Happened, volume three, pp. 351-356)

* * *

The next aspect of this intriguing subject that I want to discuss is: ‘How does the Guru choose whom to direct his power at, and does not the act of choosing suitable targets imply some kind of sankalpa in the Guru?’ First, I will give three explanations from Lakshmana Swamy:

Lakshmana Swamy: Why did Ramakrishna love Vivekananda more than any of his other devotees? If the jnani sees only the Self everywhere, how can he appear to treat one devotee differently from another? The same thing happened at Ramanasramam when Ramana Maharshi was alive. In the late 1940s many people noticed that Sri Ramana appeared to give G. V. Subbaramayya more love and grace than anyone else. How can this be so?

It is true that the jnani sees the Self in all devotees, but when he looks into a devotee’s eyes he also sees the devotee’s mind. If the jnani sees that there is great devotion or a pure mind free from thoughts, then the love and grace will start to flow towards that particular devotee. Not all devotees have reached the same stage of development, and so the love and grace are not equally distributed. Because of this the jnani may ignore some people and shower his grace on others. The same grace is available for all, but it cannot be given until the devotee starts to surrender his mind to the Self.

Very advanced devotees who have reached the effortless thought-free state do not even have to go to the jnani. The jnani will come and sit at their feet and give them enough grace to realise the Self. Such is the power of self-surrender. (No Mind – I am the Self, pp. 77-8)

Lakshmana Swamy: The Self or the Guru is an infinite ocean of grace. Ramana Maharshi has said that if you approach this ocean with a cup, you can only take away a cupful; if you come with a bucket, you can only take away a bucketful. The amount of grace which one receives is proportional to the degree to which one surrenders. If you surrender completely, then you will receive enough grace to realise the Self.

When the Guru looks into a devotee’s eyes, he is looking into the devotee’s mind to see how far it is humbling and surrendering itself to the Self. If the Guru sees that the devotee’s mind is quiet and humble, then the grace will automatically flow. (No Mind – I am the Self, p. 74)

Question: Does the grace of the Guru flow automatically or does the Guru exercise some control over who receives it and who does not?

Lakshmana Swamy: Grace is always flowing from the form of the Guru. If your mind is quiet you will automatically receive it. But if a Guru sees that a particular devotee is full of devotion or free from thoughts, he may respond to the devotee’s state of mind by increasing the flow of grace towards him. So you can say that grace is always flowing, but that sometimes the flow is increased because the Guru is deliberately projecting it. (No Mind – I am the Self, p. 61)


* * *

These explanations, and other similar ones, indicate that the ‘picking and choosing’ are not arbitrary, nor do they indicate that the Guru has a personal preference for one devotee over another. The flows of grace – seemingly directed in one direction but not another – are actually natural and automatic responses to the states of mind of the people who have entered the Guru’s presence, either mentally or physically. Annamalai Swami, speaking about his own experiences of being in Bhagavan’s presence, came to similar conclusions:

Annamalai Swami: If you enter a dark place with a lamp, light falls on everyone who is near you. You don’t have to tell people, ‘I have a light,’ because they will all be aware of its presence. In the presence of a jnani like Bhagavan the spiritual darkness of devotees is put to flight by the radiant light of jnana. In Bhagavan’s case this light cleaned and calmed the minds of those who were near him. When mature devotees basked in this light, they sometimes had an experience of the Self. The radiation of this spiritual power was Bhagavan’s mauna diksha [initiation through silence]. He radiated this power quite effortlessly. It was not done by an act of volition; it was a natural consequence of his realisation. Bhagavan didn’t need to speak about the Self. He was the Self, and he radiated its power all the time. Those who were receptive to this power needed no verbal explanations from Bhagavan. The spoken teachings were only for those who were not able to tune into his silent radiation. (Living by the Words of Bhagavan, p. 335)

* * *

I spoke to Papaji about these occasions when the Guru seems deliberately to choose to give a devotee a transmission of grace. Though he often appeared to do this himself, he dismissed the suggestion that there was any partiality or personal preference involved:

David: I want to ask you a few questions about sankalpa [will, intention, volition]. Ramana Maharshi often said that the Guru, like the sun, has no sankalpa. That he shines equally on all. That those who are ready for realisation get it, and those who are not do not. According to this explanation, the Guru does not pick and choose the recipients of his grace, he simply radiates it indiscriminately, and those who are mature enough benefit from it. This is a very simple and satisfying explanation, but it only seems to be half the truth … When [T. K. Sundaresa Iyer] wrote … ‘Grace is flowing over the sentient and the insentient,’ Bhagavan made him change it to ‘Grace is directed…’. You have also said that on many occasions in the past you deliberately tried to give certain people a direct experience of the Self. If the Guru really has no sankalpa, what is the explanation for the occasions when the Guru appears to pick ands choose the recipients of his grace?

Papaji: The Guru never picks out one person to be the recipient of his grace, nor does he reject anyone. When one is ready, one is automatically attracted to the light of the indwelling Atman. The light does not choose: when one is attracted to it, one automatically moves towards it. It is like the moth and the flame. The moth is attracted to the flame by its nature, not by any sankalpa that it has. There is no sankalpa in either the moth or the flame. It is the nature of the flame to burn, and it is nature of the moth to fly towards the light. Each is behaving according to its inherent nature. The candle stays still and burns brightly. It does not call the moth, but the moth flies towards it. The moth offers its form to the light, burns, and becomes the candle itself. (Nothing Ever Happened, volume three, p. 330)

* * *

When I did the editing and page-making for Nothing Ever Happened, I included a facsimile of an entry that Papaji made in his journal in 1983. It seems to summarise his position on this topic very elegantly.

In fact I do nothing to anyone.
Every soul receives what it deserves.
Since I am the source of consciousness,
I allow its desires to be fulfilled.
(Nothing Ever Happened, volume three, p. 336)

It is the experience of just about everyone who has sat with a great Guru that experiences happen, and that they seem very clearly to be instigated and executed by the Guru himself. How then can the Guru say, as Papaji says here: ‘In fact I do nothing to anyone. Every soul receives what it deserves?’

The solution to this apparent paradox – that the Guru says he does nothing yet clearly is giving experiences to the people around him – lies in what Bhagavan called the ‘sannidhi’ or ‘presence’. The Guru himself does nothing, but by abiding steadfastly in the Self, an energy or a presence is created that takes care of the needs and desires of the devotees who approach him. This was well explained by Bhagavan in a reply he gave to Narayana Iyer:

One day when I was sitting by the side of Sri Bhagavan, I felt so miserable that I put the following question to him: ‘Is the sankalpa [wish] of the jnani not capable of warding off the destinies of the devotees?’

Bhagavan smiled and said: ‘Does the jnani have a sankalpa at all? The jivanmukta can have no sankalpas whatsoever. It is just impossible.’

I continued: ‘Then, what is the fate of all of us who pray to you to have grace on us and save us? Will we not be benefited or saved by sitting in front of you or coming to you? What use is there then for family men like me to gain by coming here to you?’

Bhagavan turned graciously to me and said: ‘Just as a trouble (or arrow) that comes to destroy the head goes away carrying with it only the turban, so a person’s bad karma will be considerably reduced while he is in the presence of a jnani. A jnani has no sankalpa but his sannidhi [presence] is the most powerful force. He need not have sankalpa but his presiding presence, the most powerful force, can do wonders, save souls, give peace of mind, even liberation to ripe souls. Your prayers are not answered by him but absorbed by his presence. His presence saves you, wards off the karma and gives you the boons as the case may be, involuntarily. The jnani does save the devotees, but not by sankalpa, which is non-existent in him, only through his presiding presence, sannidhi.’ (The Mountain Path, 1968 p. 236)

This reply has not, so far as I aware, been repeated anywhere else in the Ramana literature. It is undoubtedly a key passage on the nature of the Guru and the way that he functions and helps devotees. I once read out this statement by Bhagavan to Papaji and then asked him about the process by which desires are fulfilled in the Guru’s presence:

David: What about the statement that it is the sannidhi, the presence, that grants liberation, and not the Guru himself? When the Guru appears to wake someone up through a word or a look of grace, who or what is doing the work?

Papaji: … Whenever you go near a saint, whatever desire you have in your mind will be fulfilled. If your desire is for liberation, and if you have that desire in the sannidhi, the presence of the Guru, it has to be fulfilled. But it will only work if you are in the presence of a man who is himself completely desireless. There is nothing that cannot be fulfilled if you are in the presence of a man who himself has no desire.

When I was at Ramanasramam in the 1940s I used to spend hours looking at the Maharshi’s eyes. They would be open and staring, but not focused on anything. Though his eyes were open, they were not seeing anything. Those eyes were completely free of thoughts and desires. The mind is revealed very clearly in the eyes, but in those eyes there was nothing at all to see. In all the hours that I concentrated on those eyes I didn’t once even see a flicker of a thought or a desire. I have not seen utterly desireless eyes like his on any other face. I have seen many great saints during my life, but no one has impressed me as much as the Maharshi did.

If you want freedom, find a man like this who has absolutely no desire, someone who sits unmoving like a mountain. Sit in his presence and see what happens.

You want to know who or what is doing the work when someone gets enlightened in the Guru’s presence. Nobody is doing the work. Enlightenment happens in these circumstances merely because the Guru is abiding in a state of absolute desirelessness. (Nothing Ever Happened, volume three, pp. 337-8)

* * *

Papaji had his own rather amusing variation on this ‘sannidhi takes care of everything’ story. This is how he once explained it to me:
I have a very efficient secretary. I call her ‘Miss Peace’. When people come to satsang, she inspects their minds as they sit there. She finds out what they want or need, and arranges for them to get it. Though she can help anyone with their desires, she is actually looking for pure minds to give herself to. If she finds worthy people, those people experience peace and even become peace itself. She doesn’t bother to tell me what she is doing. She doesn’t need to. She just gets on with her work.
Like a lot of employees, she tries to impress her boss by working hard when I am around. But when I am not there, she tends to slack off a bit. That’s why I have to turn up and sit in Satsang Bhavan [the place where Papaji gave satsang every morning] because if I didn’t come, she wouldn’t do so much. My physical presence is needed there to make her work properly. It doesn’t really matter what I do while I am there because she is actually doing all the work. I can answer questions, give people advice, tell them to do enquiry, or ask them to sing a song. It’s not important what I do. The important thing is that while I sit there, seemingly occupying myself with devotees’ affairs, Miss Peace is actually taking care of all their needs and desires.
This seeming activity that appeared on the substratum of actionless immobility was summed up in an elegantly phrased entry in Papaji’s 15th February 1983 journal: ‘He whose work has ceased with the dawn of knowledge does not find an opportunity to do or say anything, even though in ordinary people’s eyes he is doing work.’

I have not so far quoted much material from Bhagavan himself since he didn’t have a lot to say about the way that the Guru used power to help devotees and bring out their liberation. However, there is one key story in which Bhagavan does explain how the Guru uses his power, and what the limits of that power are. It is T. K. Sundaresa Iyer’s captivating narrative, entitled ‘A Walk to the Lake’, which appears in his memoir At the Feet of Bhagavan. Here is the story in full:

The Samudram Lake at the foot of Arunachala Hill near Sri Ramanasramam is very extensive; neither summer rains nor winter monsoons in Tiruvannamalai fill this lake save once in a way, when it overflows.

Thus it overflowed once long years ago. The sight of it was very grand, and the outflow was as wide as a river. The tank really seemed that day like the ocean of its name (Samudram). Bhagavan told us that it held this name because a certain local ruler had this tank constructed as a miniature sea to give his queen an idea of what a sea would look like; for she had never seen the sea and wished to do so.

People thronged to look at the overflowing lake, and then came to Bhagavan to talk about it. One morning the devotees in the hall expressed to Bhagavan a desire to visit the lake, and he was kind enough, human enough, to accept the suggestion; so we all went for a stroll to see it. The tank bund is about a mile long; we walked about a mile from the ashram to the tank, and then the whole length of the bund. The presence of Bhagavan with us, and his words, were more interesting to us than the brimming tank and the grand view of the wide waters at the foot of holy Arunachala.

Bhagavan talked of many things on that walk with us, but at this distance of time I remember only two topics that interested me.

At one place he pointed out a palmyra tree which had decayed in the embrace of a parasitic banyan tree. Some bird had dropped a banyan seed into the palmyra, and as it began to grow the palmyra became cloven and stunted in its own growth. Drawing our attention to this phenomenon, Bhagavan remarked that this is just what the look of grace from a jnani does. One look into a soul, and the whole tree of past tendencies and prejudices (vasanas), gathered up through long cycles of past births, is burned up and decays away. Then the reality of the Self is experienced. Thus he explained to us the effect of contact with the great and he said the supreme jnana obtained with the touch of the saint can never be won through the study of any number of scriptures, or by any store of good deeds, or by any other spiritual practices and efforts. Later, on return to the ashram, I put this in verse form as below:

A bird drops seed upon a tree and causes its decay. So Guru’s grace rays knowledge into the seeking mind. Replacing ego-shadows with resplendent jnana’s light.

The point of this verse, brought out fully in the Tamil, is that made by Bhagavan himself. The seed of the huge banyan tree, which grows to shelter hundreds, is one of the tiniest and represents unselfish benevolence. The seed of the palmyra which is so large, grows into a tree which can hardly shelter a single man from the sun, and so well represents the selfish ego. Yet this tiny seed can be dropped by a bird in its droppings, and while it grows it can demolish the palmyra tree itself. So the tiny seed of grace can destroy the great tree of egoism.

Then when we actually came to the overflowing outlet at the end of the lake, we all marvelled at its width. We stayed there for some time, and then returned.

On the return walk we happened to pass the sluice at the centre of the bund. Pointing to this, Bhagavan remarked: ‘Look at this small outlet, as compared with the big one at the end! But for this small hole, through which the stream of water trickles, the vast contents of the lake would not be helpful to vegetation. If the bund breaks it will be a regular deluge, and the entire crop will be destroyed. Only if the water be served under proper regulation through this sluice are the plants helped to grow. So too is it with the divine consciousness. Unless the bliss of this consciousness is gifted through the grace of the Guru in controlled outlets, the soul cannot be helped to the destruction of its tendencies of the past; for in this way the Self, abiding as such in its oneness with the divine, is established in the Guru’s state of being. Holding on to its being-consciousness, the work of destroying the past (vasanas) proceeds as and when thoughts arise to push the mind into action. This work becomes possible only in the proximity of the Guru. Hence the Guru is himself like the sluice and irrigates souls with grace from his ocean of kindness, needed so that the Self may abide and the old tendencies be withered away. But if the bund is broken, the full force of the whole lake rushes through and sweeps everything before it. This resembles a practitioner (sadhaka) receiving the full force of divine consciousness without the intervening and mitigating grace of Guru’s sluice; he dies without the benefit of having the tendencies destroyed.’

This idea too I later put down in the form of a Tamil verse to this effect:

Water flowing through a channel carries off great heaps of sand;

So mountain masses of the ego are washed away by grace.


* * *

Before I continue with a few comments on Bhagavan’s remarks, I will add a few pictures and photos to illustrate T. K. Sundaresa Iyer’s narrative. I live quite close to the end of the Samudram dam that Bhagavan walked along in 1931. This is a photo of the overflowing lake that one of my sisters took when she visited me in 2005. In the last eleven years (the time I have been in this neighbourhood) the lake has overflowed three times. Most years the winter rains fill the lake to about half or three-quarters of its capacity.



The trees in the background on the top of the dam are the palmyra trees that Bhagavan spoke about. They are native palm trees that thrive anywhere. Their trunks are used as roof beams. In Living by the Words of Bhagavan Annamalai Swami narrated an incident in which Bhagavan told him to use palmyra beams for his roof, adding that the roof in his own childhood house had been supported by them. The leaves of the palmyra are woven into a kind of thatch and used for roofing; there is also a juice that is secreted by the trunks that is used to make alcoholic drinks. Fermented for a day it turns into ‘toddy’, a beer-like beverage, and distilled it becomes ‘arrack’. The fruits (nongu) are also eaten. There a few stories in the ashram literature of people offering them to Bhagavan.

The next photo is of the banyan tree that Bhagavan pointed out. The Samudram Lake bed, seen to the left of the tree, is currently dry. In most years it starts to fill at the beginning of the winter monsoon season. By March or April it is usually dry again.




The following photo is of the same banyan tree, taken from the bottom of the bole, looking up. You can just make out the trunk of the original palmyra tree (the straight, long, cylindrical object) shooting vertically out of the centre. Its crown is obscured by the higher leaves of the banyan tree. The banyan tree would have been a lot smaller in 1931 when Bhagavan saw it and commented on it. When I first saw this tree about thirty years ago and realised that it must be the tree that Bhagavan commented on, the crown of the palmyra tree was still sticking out of the top of the banyan tree.



Samudram is, as I remarked earlier, currently empty. This is a photo of Arunachala and the dry lake bed I took about three days ago from a rock just next to the sluice gate. We are in the middle of a serious drought at the moment, so much so that water is only coming down the government taps for about an hour a day. The hydo-electric turbines in many of South India's dams have been turned off to save water, so we are not getting much electricity either.



Now I will go back to the ‘power of the Guru’ discussion.

Bhagavan’s statement that the power of the Guru would kill devotees, without enlightening them, if it was unleashed at full strength was echoed in a reply that Lakshmana Swamy once gave:

Many devotees ask, ‘Why can’t you give us all the infinite grace of the Self and give us all Self-realisation? This is not possible because the minds of such people are not pure or humble enough. If a Guru gives a large amount of grace to such people, the shock will kill them. Imagine a car going at top speed. If the car suddenly hits an obstacle and stops, the occupants will all be killed. The mind is like a car; to stop it suddenly is dangerous. Meditation applies the brakes to the mind. Unless he has purified and slowed his mind by meditation, the devotee cannot safely receive the full force of the Guru’s grace. (No Mind – I am the Self, pp. 74-5)

I mentioned the comments Bhagavan made on his walk to Samudram Lake to Papaji. An interesting dialogue ensued:

David: In 1931 Bhagavan was taken to see a local dam that was overflowing at one end… On his way back to the ashram Bhagavan pointed out the sluice gates and commented, ‘The grace of the Guru is like this large lake. If the water is given out in measured quantities, it can irrigate many fields and be of benefit to anyone.’

Then, pointing to the floodwaters, he added, ‘But if it goes out uncontrolled, it only causes destruction. The full force of the Guru’s grace would kill someone who was not ready for it. The body would die, but not the vasanas. The person would have to be born again. So, the Guru regulates the grace and only gives out what can be assimilated and used.’

Papaji: Yes, I agree with all this. The Guru can transmit an enormous amount of power and grace to a devotee, enough to kill the body, but not the latent tendencies in the mind. When the body dies, those pending latent tendencies will manifest in a new form…. There are limits to what a Guru can accomplish. These limits are not in the Self, for the Self is limitless. The power of the Self cannot work on an unreceptive mind. If the soil is not fertile, no amount of rain falling on the ground can make it grow. The rain cannot make crops grow in a barren land.

David: You yourself have experimented with this power and have found its limits. In one of the first conversations I had with you, you remarked, ‘I used to force people to have experiences of the Self, but I don’t do it any more’.

I said, ‘Why not? If you can see that someone is on the brink of getting it, don’t you want to give them a push?’

You replied, ‘I used to think like that, but not any more. I found that although I could give people these experiences, I couldn’t make them stick. When I stopped pushing, the mind just came back again. So now I don’t do it any more. I have come to realise that if the mind is not free from all vasanas, it will always reassert itself later.’

Papaji: Yes, this is true. I used to force some people to have experiences, but I don’t do it any more. I can give this experience to anyone for a short time, but it is not within my power to make the experience stay. One who has been granted this experience by the Guru has to guard it himself till the end of his life.

If one who is not free from vasanas is pushed into having a direct experience, that experience will not stay. The mind of such a person will eventually come back with all its former force.

David: Both you and Ramana Maharshi experimented with various types of transmission. The conversation I just mentioned, in which you said that you used to force people to have experiences, is an example of your own experimentation. My question is, why does the Self need to experiment with different techniques to wake people up? If the individual self vanishes completely after enlightenment, why doesn’t the Self take over and function perfectly, without apparent mistakes and failed experiments.

Papaji: The Self does not have any techniques to wake people up. There are no experiments taking place. From the standpoint of the Self there is no one who has awakened, and no one who is still asleep. I have already said, ‘The Self never makes mistakes because there is nothing with which it can make a mistake’. The Katha Upanishad says:
The Self reveals itself to itself. You cannot attain it by learning, nor by hearing about it from anyone; nor by yoga, not by concentration, not by charity, not by progeny. I reveal myself to him whom I choose.

If there are worthiness and holiness, the Self will reveal itself. If there are not, it will not. Experiments and mistakes belong to the mind, not the Self. (Nothing Ever Happened, volume three, pp. 358-60)

* * *

And that, I think, is the point at which I will stop my ruminations. When I started this blog I said that ‘I propose to use this blog primarily to air my occasional musings on any matters relating to the life and teachings of Ramana Maharshi’. Today was a classic ‘musing’ day in so far as I aired a lot of ideas and opinions, some of which contradicted each other, without coming to any definite conclusions. I welcome any feedback on any of the issues I have raised.


406 comments:

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Ravi said...

Broken Yogi,
"when in reality they are choices in attitude,"-How True Sir!

I cannot help recalling Sri Ramakrishna's story about two friends-One of them goes to attend Religious Discourse whereas the other one excuses himself and goes to a brothel.The Person who went to the discourse finds it boring and dwells on the'Good time' his friend must be having!The Friend at the Brothel broods about his poor choice and wonders how his Friend must be benefitting attending that discourse.
When the time came for them to bid goodbye to this world-The Guy who visited the Brothel was taken to Heaven and His Friend who attended the Discourse landed in Hell!(Ofcourse,this is an exaggeration but the point is clear!)
Thanks very much!Attitudes really matter and this is what one needs to be careful about!
Thanks very much.
Namaskars!

nonduel said...

Dear Ravi,

There is more questions behind my two last posts, which I would like to hear from you and others.

Quote:
"""His prarabdha Karma, which has already been chalked out for him by Iswara for this life will carry on till his death. Since the “cards” are dealt to him he cannot really choose to do a particular virtuous act as he wishes, so as to please God. Though of course, he will act “as if” he is making a choice to do that virtuous act or any other act. What he can do is show the proper “virtuous” attitude towards any act or “card” that is dealt to him."""

For example, if Prarabdha is all laid out and the "slides" are in place, then one can only change his attitude.

But if this is the case, how can one accumulate any prarabdha? Since all is already pre-determined and one has only to let it happens as already written. How can one have any free-will? If you don't have free will because of your prarabdha, how can you accumulate any? Can an actor on a screen accumulate any prarabdha?

Why would even the "attitude" be free-willed?

It is like the egg and the chicken.

It would leave "us" with only BEING, nothing else.

Ravi said...

Dear Nonduel,
I truly appreciate your Earnestness in knowing about these things.As For myself,I just focus on what I should be doing now.My master is emphatic that at each and every moment-one can choose to live by choice or submit to Chance.One may Take the way of Preyas-The Way of comfort or choose the way of Sreyas-The way of Righteousness.By choosing the way of Sreyas,One can annul all the Prarabda IMPRINTS.This is just like loosening all the knots ,at the same time taking care not to tie oneself with fresh ones.This is as per the Katha Upanishad.

If you want to the info on the Slide Projector type of anology-Paramahansa Yogananda Has covered in great Detail in his Autobiography of a Yogi.One whole chapter id dedicated to this topic.

Please download it from this site:
www.consciouslivingfoundation.org/ebooks/new2/Yogananda-AutobiographyOfAYogi-ayogi.pdf

Wishing you the Very Best!

Salutations!

Anonymous said...

.

Imitation Of Christ - Thomas A Kempis on Consciouslivingfoundation is truly one of the greatest books I ever read. Thomas was a german monk in 15th century. This book really is one of the best wisdom books of mankind. Its command of language is beautiful. I have two editions of this marvelous book.

Ravi said...

Nonduel,
I am reminded of Rajnish's(osho)story:Long ago in Arabia,there was a wise man -He had a horse-It was Getting old and was already limping on one Leg.One set of People who visited this wise man used to advise him-"Your Horse is old and is lame!Why don't you sell it off for whatever it is worth.It is not serving any purpose to keep this uselss Horse".Another set of people advised the man to keep his horse and not sell it!-Look,This horse has served you all its life.Now it is your turn to take care of it in its old age and infirmity.Keep the Horse and take care of it as you are doing presently".
Meantime one day,The Horse wandered afar and did not return home.The First lot of Persons who wanted that the Horse be sold off ,heard the news of the truant Horse -They came to render their condolences-'Look we told you!You should have sold the Horse for whatever it was worth!Now you have lost it!Bad Luck.".The Wise man Replied-"I had this lame horse.It has disappeared.That is all."
After a couple of Days,The wiseman went to his stable and was surprised to see that the Lame horse had returned with 2 other horses.The News spread-Now it was the turn of the other set of persons-They came to congratulate him-"Look!We told you that this is a Faithful horse!Just think what a mistake it would have been to even think of selling it!Now see,you have gained two more Horses!".The Wise man observed-"My lame horse has returned with two other horses.That is all".
A few days later,The man's son went riding that lame horse.The Horse tilted Awkwardly and the rider fell down and Fractured his leg-Now it was the turn of the Opposition-They came to the wiseman with genuine concern-"Look,We have all along been advising you to sell of this horse!You would not listen.Atleast now you should sell this horse".The Wiseman just said-"My son went riding this Lame Horse.It tipped and he fell down and Fractured his Leg.THAT IS ALL".
The very next day,the country where the wise man lived was invaded by a neighbouring Enemy King.All the able bodied men were ordered to join the Army ranks.The Wiseman's son was spared on account of his Fractured Leg!-Now it was the turn of the Other set of Loyalists!They came in a hurry to congratulate the Wise man-"Look!We told you not to sell that Horse!How Right we are!But for the Horse,your son would have been forced to seve in the army and Who Knows what might happen!Just don't sell This Horse".The Wise man replied-"The Enemy king invaded our country.My son was not fit to join the army".
So,Osho goes onto say-A Human is not in a position to see what is advantageous or otherwise-The Wise man perceives happenings as THEY ARE-In a choiceless manner.This is the Freewill that one can exercise-not to take sides and become attached-but to take things in one's stride and keeping oneself calm.

Salutations!

Ravi said...

Ramos,
Yes,The Imitation of Christ is indeed a glorious Book!It was one of the Books that Vivekananda as a wandering monk in India,after the passing away of Sri Ramakrishna,carried with him.
I have read it-It is all about Humility, Faith ,Fortitude,and Keeping the Right attitude of Trust in the Divine.Truly one of the all time Great Classics in Spiritual literature.Very Practical Guide.

Namaskar!

arvind said...

Broken Yogi, thank you for your succinct remark on this topic.

Non Duel and everyone,

Thank you for your remarks. Though your query was not really addressed to me, I just thought to add a comment here, continuing from my earlier post. Please forgive me for taking that liberty. You have asked:

“But if this is the case, how can one accumulate any prarabdha? Since all is already pre-determined and one has only to let it happens as already written. How can one have any free-will? If you don't have free will because of your prarabdha, how can you accumulate any? Can an actor on a screen accumulate any prarabdha?”

David has mentioned in his original post [“God the Scriptwriter”] the three-fold division of Karma. It is perhaps important to keep that in mind. He explains it as under:

[starts]
There is a traditional three-fold division of karma, of which prarabdha karma, mentioned in the original question, is one. Sanchita karma is the store of karma that has been brought forward from past lives. Prarabdha karma is the destiny that one has to undergo in this life, and agami karma is the new karma that is created in this life that is carried forward into future lives. One’s prarabdha karma is thus one’s destiny in this life, the God-ordained sequence of events that one has to experience. [ends]

So the Karma being accumulated now is the “Agami” Karma. This Karma will basically add to the “Sanchita” Karma for the next and future lives. This Karma is NOT accumulated based on “acts” of the person concern. After all, these acts are already pre-determined by the “Prarabda” Karma of the individual. The Agami Karma is accumulated by the mental “attitude” of the person. If the person is carrying out his acts with the attitude of a “doer”, the Karma will keep on accumulating. If he does his acts without the sense of being a “doer”, but in the sense of just being an instrument of God, then the Karma does not “stick” to him.

Whether the “attitude” itself is pre-determined or not is a hotly contested point in the “free will” v/s “pre-destination” debate. You would remember that there was plenty of discussion here itself on the blog after David’s post. Though I have my own ideas about the same, I will not subject you all to those !

Best wishes

David Godman said...

Clemens Vargas Ramos


When B. V. Narasimha Swami was collecting information for his biography of Bhagavan, he also made extensive notes on Seshadri Swami. These were later taken by a devotee of Seshadri Swami and published as a Tamil book in the late 1930s. An English translation of this book was published by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan about ten years ago, but I can't remember the exact title. I assume it is still in print. I personally feel that this is a more reliable source of information than many modern books that have appeared about Seshadri Swami. Narasimha Swami was a diligent and thorough researcher and he spoke to many people around 1930 (Seshadri Swami died in 1929)about his life and the experiences that people had had with him.

There is a booklet containing F. H. Humphrey's account of his visit to Bhagavan that is published by Sri Ramanasramam. Apart from this booklet, and the longer original article from which it was extracted, nothing is known about him.

arvind said...

Hi folks,

I would like to draw attention to the old “I [the Self] choose whom I choose” discussion we had up this thread. In my post I had mentioned how great it would be to find out whether Sri Bhagavan’s ever commented on this.

I was quite stunned when I chanced ( ! ) upon this very thing in the Mountain Path 1967, Pg 99, in “Bhagavan Sri Ramana on Destiny”. I had been just flipping thro’ that issue searching for something else.

Question: The Upanisads say, I am told, that he alone knows the Atman whom the Atman chooses. Why should the Atman choose at all ? If it chooses, why some particular person ?

Answer: When the sun rises, some buds blossom, not all. Do you blame the sun for that ? At the same time, the bud cannot blossom of itself; it requires the sunlight to enable it to do so.


It made my day.

best wishes

Ravi said...

Arvind,
Thanks very much!Yes,there are different views on these matters.What My master(not citing as an authority)states is like this-Even Rebirth is defined by him very differently!A Man's Rebirth is his progeny!It is not that Ram will be reborn as Shyam!At any given point of time-seven generations of Karma are present with oneself!At the time of Death,the children,Grandchildren, and the Life partner with whom the LIFELINKS of the deceased were established,have to absorb the Karma,to a great degree.IT IS IMPORTANT TO SEE THAT NO CONCEPTION takes place in the Family at this point of time as it might result in the Karma to be transferred prematurely to the infant!Whatever is passed on this way is worked out by the members of the family.The rest of the Karmic imprints not absorbed by the family stay with the disembodied soul and are worked out in the astral planes.THIS IS THE REASON BEHIND THE VARIOUS RITUALS at the time of death.

Master has given talk on 'What happens after Death?'-a Few times.I have not been interested in this sort of topic,so did not even attend once!
I know that this is totally on a new footing.Master cites Adi Sankara as having mentioned a similiar thing somewhere.He also says that in Yaksha Prasna-Yudhishtra answers that a man's Rebirth is his Progeny.

I am just citing this to say that there are different points of view.

namaskar!

S. said...

salutations to all
non duel, ravi, arvind:
oh my! there comes the ‘haunting’…i mean the issues surrounding freewill and fate, karma and iswara etc. bhagavan confused a whole lot by making such statements 'the ordainer controls...........'

in my opinion, regardless of whatever may be true, and irrespective of whatever bhagavan may have said, all this talk about freewill and fate is of the least importance to those who have nothing but the earnestness to realize who and what they are, i.e, self-realization…in the teachings of all great masters, it doesn’t take much of an effort to separate the most essential section of their instructions from the many peripheral things on which they may have expressed stray comments, which in turn could well be a function of the questioner as well as the times…as thakur says ‘anything touched by the tongue is defiled’…does this apply to jivanmuktas?…wouldn’t mind saying ‘quite plausible’ :-)

no wonder, far & wide disparities exist in the words of great men who have shown as the way. they all may be the same only in the substance of their realization but not necessarily in their words…a little study is sufficient to see the unbridgeable differences between advaita and dvaita, both of which are superbly logical systems of thought in their own right…saints do differ in their expressions and it’s foolhardy to claim that ‘somehow’ they mean or imply the same, when they clearly don’t.

the reason i say this is twofold: on the one hand, it is vitally important to not get lost in the ‘peripheral’ statements made by bhagavan, or other mahatmas, as a response to the particular needs of a particular questioner posed at a particular time…such statements are better left alone because any amount of analysis may just be a waste of time & energy…such statements also are limited to the time and zone at which they are spoken, and do not represent anything in finality... on the other, while realization by itself must be the same in all those who have realized, it’s absolutely unnecessary that the way they express their teachings should have the same harmony... sankara and buddha are classic examples; so are sankara and kapila in the vedanta and sankhya systems of sanatana dharma; and sankara and madhva within vedanta itself...

despite the presence of a variety of differences, yet for one who is keen about realization and realization alone, does it really matter?...definitely not... the crux of my argument is that while reading bhagavan’s works, one should be alert only to the central teaching, viz vichara because it is only self-enquiry that bhagavan emphasized on every occasion…does this mean that we should ignore whatever bhagavan may have said about destiny and choice? – ‘yes’ and wouldn’t mind adding that the rest are irrelevant to one’s progress.

coming back to the issue of freewill and fate, there are legitimate resources that extol self-effort clearly and unambiguously over prarabdha... does not yoga vaasishtha, while commending and recommending self-effort, almost condemns those who take refuge in prarabdha for their progress?…further, unless one has attained a certain level of purity, is it not much better, even desirable, to talk of self-effort than capitulation to fate?… freewill and fate are also extremely contentious issues: if prarabdha is nothing more than an effect of our own past actions, then everything being pre-ordained turns out to be self-referential…

in my opinion, perhaps every opportunity or situation that one encounters is prarabdha & every choice that one makes, not just identification with the body, as a response to that situation is entirely freewill, which of course may sow the seeds for further consequences; above all, if all is prarabdha, where & when did it all begin?… it is then too vague to then invoke the pretext of god’s will because god has no rhyme or reason to will and then distribute the effects because if that were to be true, then god is nothing more than a cheap dictator! so on and so forth.. the debate, perhaps, is nothing more than speculation at its best and idiocy at its worst.

for those whose vichara or surrender is of a very high order, it is probably sensible to talk of the will of the self and thus statements such as ‘the ordainer controls…’ convey something… for the rest, at least like me, it is much better to believe in sincere self-effort than wait for some ordainer to pre-ordain what i should or shouldn’t do… vivekananda wasn’t wrong when he said that ‘man is the maker of his own destiny’, and hence even though prarabdha could be over-bearing many a time, it is well within the ability and capacity of man to redeem himself by self-effort alone without any beliefs in the ordainer or iswara (buddha is a great example)...

in other words, for the majority among those of us who are disturbed about the deeper meaning of life, to persistently and perseveringly make ‘efforts’ to do self-enquiry is manifold times better than subscribing to the vagaries of prarabdha... is he not a man among men, who dares to say, ‘i suffer because of my actions; i will also be the cause of my liberation’ (from a strictly workable point of view without any references to the i-thought or the i-i :-)). after all, what’s the point of seeking shelter in prarabdha and deluding oneself with a glorified notion of self-surrender as an excuse for one’s refusal to extricate from a self-imposed inertia?
i do understand that for the realized there are no conflicts since freewill and fate are mere concepts then… but for those who are still struggling to find out ‘who am i’ (am refraining from saying ‘illusion’ because at my level its dishonesty to call the world an illusion), the more workable as well as sincere proposition is to adhere to self-enquiry by means of unceasing self-effort no matter how many times one may fail…

‘god’ is unnecessary and redundant for atma-vidya… after all, man made god in his own image :-) …then don’t we require ‘his’ grace? …efforts beget grace; if the efforts have the triple qualities of purity, patience, perseverance, then ‘grace’ will come knocking at your door and beg such a one to receive it… let us be a ‘dhira’ and say ‘i shall realize or die in the attempt’ :-)

S. said...

salutations to all:
by the way, didn't hear from anyone on my earlier query

is there any among you who is located at hyderabad or chennai or bangalore?

i infer that jupes, clemens, nonduel, brother yogi (not broken) etc are writing from abroad... ravi, arvind, murali etc.: what about you folks?

sorry if i haven't specifically mentioned anyone by name...it will be a blessing to meet any of you and take the dust of your feet :-)

Ravi said...

S,
" all this talk about freewill and fate is of the least importance to those who have nothing but the earnestness to realize who and what they are, i.e, self-realization…in the teachings of all great masters, it doesn’t take much of an effort to separate the most essential section of their instructions from the many peripheral things on which they may have expressed stray comments, which in turn could well be a function of the questioner as well as the times…as thakur says ‘anything touched by the tongue is defiled’…does this apply to jivanmuktas?…wouldn’t mind saying ‘quite plausible’"

Quite agree with you:for Sadhana This is not required!Yet,some persons may want to have clarifications in this area.

I have often thought about this basic Human trait-Explanations are required FOR PAIN.Man asks Why This pain?Why Me?etc.Let him win a Lottery-No Prarabda,no explanation required-Just 'Luck' will do!
Ultimately all Explanations are for EASY ACCEPTANCE only of events difficult to digest.

Yes,in one sense Man has created God!

Namaskar!

Ravi said...

s,
Sorry about not responding to you earlier.I will send you a mail regarding this.Yes,Definitely looking forward to seeing you in Chennai!

Namaskar!

Anonymous said...

... When B. V. Narasimha Swami was collecting information for his biography of Bhagavan, he also made extensive notes on Seshadri Swami. These were later taken by a devotee of Seshadri Swami and published as a Tamil book in the late 1930s. ...

Thank you. Then I understand you right that i should look for further information in "Self-Realization Life & Teachings Sri Ramana Maharshi"? Till now I don't know this book. If not please let me know.

Jupes said...

Greetings everyone!
Now that the number of comments on this thread has passed the magic 200-mark I am able to access it again. Whew! A big thankyou to David for emailing me the comments I was not able to download myself. Very interesting reading, you all.

Interesting that things have made their way back to the prarabdha discussion. I must say that I am in agreement with your basic viewpoint, S., that effort in the direction of Self-enquiry will take one lightyears further than spending one's time debating fate vs. free will. However, I do find this statement a bit harsh: "after all, what’s the point of seeking shelter in prarabdha and deluding oneself with a glorified notion of self-surrender as an excuse for one’s refusal to extricate from a self-imposed inertia?"

I'm probably a bit defensive because in some respects I see myself in what you're saying. Since everyone moves at their own pace and in their own particular way when it comes to opening up spiritually, and since some of us are more prone to the smokescreen of so-called 'negative' emotions that Ravi talked about (in the Bhakti approach), it only makes sense that one might take shelter in prarabdha, at least for a time, as one gathers one's resources and strengthens one's bootstraps. Clearly, you are a very advanced soul, S., and perhaps you are far beyond this sort of 'monkey business' (sorry, that's the phrase that came to mind!). I have the greatest respect for you, and for your opinions and intellect, and don't mean to sound in any way jesting or impertinent. Simply stating my views.

For myself. I do sometimes 'lean on' prarabdha as a way of explaining things. It helps put the world and my life in perspective and it helps make sense of things that otherwise seem senseless.

Thanks to everyone for the energetic and thoughtful discussions. The entertainment value is very high, but 'doing' vichara is much harder while engaged in blogging.

Best wishes to all!

David Godman said...

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

... When B. V. Narasimha Swami was collecting information for his biography of Bhagavan, he also made extensive notes on Seshadri Swami. These were later taken by a devotee of Seshadri Swami and published as a Tamil book in the late 1930s. ...


The book you are looking for is entitled 'Seshadri Swami of Tiruvannamalai' by S. A. Subramanian. It was published by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in 1998. There is a section about Seshadri Swami in 'Self Realisation' by Narasimha Swami, but it is only a few pages long

Ravi said...

Ramos,
"Then I understand you right that i should look for further information in "Self-Realization Life & Teachings Sri Ramana Maharshi"? "
I think this is available as a pdf download in ramanasharamam website.Please do check out.This is one of the Books that I have read after reading Paul Brunton's A search in Secret India and I found it very helpful-a very rounded presentation of the major events in Bhagavan's life upto the point it was published.

Namaskar!

Anonymous said...

... The book you are looking for is entitled 'Seshadri Swami of Tiruvannamalai' by S. A. Subramanian. It was published by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in 1998. ..

Ah, thank you. Perhaps I can get it.

Anonymous said...

... I think this is available as a pdf download in ramanasharamam website. ...

Unfortunately not. There are now some books not longer available for download.

arvind said...

S.

Thank you for your kind enquiries. I live in Delhi. My email is available under the Blogger “Profile”.

“blessings …. dust off your feet ….” only from the advanced devotees and sadhakas, S. I definitely, definitely do not fall into that category. :- )

Best wishes

Ravi said...

Friends,
In the last few posts,we have been exploring Karma,Grace,Self Effort-Just happen to read the folowing in the Signatue Note in one of the Emails addressed to me which contained a saying of Vivekananda!
"I, for one, thoroughly believe that no power in the universe can withhold from anyone anything they really deserve.
-Swami Vivekananda".
There is no better message more inspiring than this!

Namaskars!

Ravi said...

Ramos/Friends,
Yes,The BV narasimhaswami bok is no longer available!
You may have checked out these books in the Download section in this website:
http://www.arunachala-ramana.org/downloads/downloads.htm.

Also of interest to all of Bhagavan's devotees is the website of Harsha satsangh.It is iteresting and inspiring to find how persons are discovering Bhagavan and guided by him!Please check out this site:
http://www.harshasatsangh.com/

Namaskars!

Ravi said...

Friends,
Just want to share what my Master always emphasises regarding the inexhorable law of Karma-how one should take care about his Thoughts,words and deeds!-What goes out will come right back in!-He lays stress in not hurting anyone in thought,word or deed-It is not enough to have genuine intentions!It is equally important that this finds the RIGHT EXPRESSION!
It is Interesting to Examine the interactions Right from the Time a little before Ramos came up with the 'SELF CHOOSES'point.Tracing the Interactions'Arvind-S', 'Ramos-Broken Yogi','Broken Yogi-Ravi','Ravi-Arvind','Ravi-S',Ramos dropping a comment on 'Learned Ignorance' ,'S-Jupes'-Just go though these interactions!See whether we are playing PASSING THE BALL!I just wanted to see what my master means when he Says-"The GOOD and THE BAD come THROUGH other persons and not FROM other Persons".Also He Says-"Our Thoughts are not 'ours"-There is acommon thought stream and we only Identify ourselves with this stream and then we call it 'ours'!
Friends,Please get me right!The above points are purely OBSERVATIONAL and not judgemental.I have nothing but Love and respect towards all of you!We are all devotees of Bhagavan!
One additional point which my Master emphasises is that most of our problems are created due to our Lack of Awareness;He understands that only in perfect awareness one is freed from the Law of Karma,even then the Body-mind complex is still subject!For us,on the path ,He advises not to wait till Self Enquiry Roots out these tendencies,instead He advocates to be careful in how we live as we are presently constituted.

Master faced the following query from a person-“Sir,In our Office,I have to take people to task for their not accomplishing some assigned work.It is not possible not to hurt them!”.Master Replied-“Yes,One needs to be Firm ,but not Harsh in dealing with such subordinates.Yes,it may not be possible to avoid the EXPRESSION part of it and sometimes even tough Decisions like EXPULION may have to be taken.If One is strictly guided by principles and not prejudices,One will have the Strength to withstand any REACTION from the affected person”.

Salutations to you!

P.S:There was an inordinate time and delay ,and with difficulty I have to post this one!Hope this is ok!

Anonymous said...

... Just go though these interactions!See whether we are playing PASSING THE BALL!I just wanted to see what my master means when he Says-"The GOOD and THE BAD come THROUGH other persons and not FROM other Persons". ...

That's true. Often (always?) I don't know exactly what is going on when I open my mouth. WHY exactly I like to say something. There's only an urge to act. But experience told me that it is better to say something I need to say as to avoid it. Of course I have to made up my mind before I try to say something. There's a conflict: Saying something could mean to go into a difficult situation better being avoided - but saying nothing leaves me with dissatisfaction.

Therefore I once told myself: If in such a situation you had no choice to act otherwise, under the impression that you are doing the right thing, then this action is justified. Not in an absolute sense but in a relative sense (= you always need to prove it further after the action is finished).

Related to "learned ignorance" and german philosopher Nicolaus from Cues: I don't read all comments because sometimes I only like to make a statement and then to forget the whole thing. "Self is choosing" was one of the questions I "put my entire heart into". That happens not that often. Be that as it may: I wanted to say with Cues that he understood (like vedanta) that nothing of the self could be known - a "science of the self" is impossible. Only a "science of ignorance" is the possible way for the mind. To bear that into our mind means that we can explore the ego but not the self. All self enquiry is enquiry on the ego = hindrances for self revealing itself.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
"That's true. Often (always?) I don't know exactly what is going on when I open my mouth. WHY exactly I like to say something. There's only an urge to act. But experience told me that it is better to say something I need to say as to avoid it. Of course I have to made up my mind before I try to say something. There's a conflict: Saying something could mean to go into a difficult situation better being avoided - but saying nothing leaves me with dissatisfaction."

Yes,Very True.Initially,I could not get your point at all!All the same,I strongly felt THAT I AM NOT CATCHING what you so dearly wanted to convey!I got it subsequently-THANKS to your persistent stubborness-It is a good quality when used properly like you did here!
Thanks very much Ramos-I have benefitted enormously by your posers!

Salutations to you!

S. said...

salutations to all:
oh jupes, how sweetly you write :-)
appreciate your views fully...not that i feel any less helpless in quite a few situations...on reading your reference about 'monkey business', laughed out loud... in my case, even to call my mind as something playing monkey business seems to me as a gross overstatement; can't help noticing all the beautiful qualities of a monkey :-)...am much worse; infact, even for illustrative purposes, can't compare my mind to anything, because everything appears better! guess i belong to a category that is one of a kind...hahahaha

nonduel said...

I didn't know my last subject had been so discussed here. Here is what I think about prarabdha.

Parabdha is there as long as one believes HE IS THE DOER.

Ravi said...

Nonduel,
"Parabdha is there as long as one believes HE IS THE DOER."
Quite Correct Friend!

Salutations!

அவனடிமை said...

//“What is the "effect", if any, on one who has the relative knowledge, but hasn't Self-Realised. On Prarabdha, Iswara, on rebirth …. ”//

Apropos your and other comments on this topic my understanding goes as follows:

Praarabhdaa (which is a collection of un-exhausted fruits (palans) from past actions meant to be exhausted in this life) does NOT impede or influence sat-saadhanaa (sat-saadhanaa = practice of inward attention to oneself).

On the other hand, whether one does sat-saadhanaa or not is influenced by sat-tendencies (sat-vaasanai) which also flows from birth to birth.

Like explained in Upadesa Undiyaar, any effort or action (auspicious or inausipicious) results in
a) palan / பலன் or viLaivu விளைவு(or result) and
b) seed tendencies (or vaasanai / வாசனை / வித்து / vitthu).

The latter (the seed tendencies) are residual as they remain after enjoyment of palan (the result) with attachment and are the prime force in driving man into further actions which results in more and more palan and tendencies leading to scores and scores of births to exhaust all those palans.

Sat-saadhanai (unlike shubha and ashubha saadhanais) leads only to sat-tendency (சத் வாசனை அல்லது இருப்பு வாசனை / sat vaasanai or iruppu vaasanai) and there is NO plan (or result) which will have to enjoyed and exhausted.

Please remember that by definition, sat-saadhanai means only "turning inwards" or 'not rising to fight the praarabhdhaa, but letting go of worldly pursuits'.

Sat-saadhanai does not include conventional ausipicious and benevolent actions like poojas, religious or ritualistic practices OR secular social change service oriented actions.

However, these are useful in taming and preparing the mind/ego so that it (at least theoretically) understands the higher truth and essential goal of life PROVIDED those actions are performed with a nish-kaamya (desire-less) attitude which also comes from such an understanding.

If a person somehow gets to know of a Sadguru like Sri. Ramana Bhagavan and ALSO gets interested in His/Her teaching essentially to "turn inwards", it is only because of their sat-vaasanai which accrued by some sat-saadhanaa performed earlier.

Sat-vaasanai is the vehicle that Grace operates through.

love to all...

Ravi said...

AVANADIMY,
"If a person somehow gets to know of a Sadguru like Sri. Ramana Bhagavan and ALSO gets interested in His/Her teaching essentially to "turn inwards", it is only because of their sat-vaasanai which accrued by some sat-saadhanaa performed earlier.

Sat-vaasanai is the vehicle that Grace operates through."

Thanks for your beautiful post.

Namaskar!

அவனடிமை said...

In this connection, following text of Sri. Ramana Baghavan's first recorded teaching (via his mother) clearly emphasizes the futility of applying the free-will we 'seem' to possess in fighting the praarabhdhaa and instead strongly suggests applying that free-will (read: discriminative faculty endowed in a human mind) to direct one's self-effort in giving up every worldly 'doing' and practice to "just be":

'அவரவர் பிராரப்தப் பிரகாரம் அதற்கானவன் ஆங்காங்கு இருந்து ஆட்டுவிப்பன்
என்றும் நடவாதது என் முயற்சிக்கினும் நடவாது
நடப்பது என் தடை செய்யினும் நில்லாது
இதுவே திண்ணம்
ஆகலின் மௌனமாய் இருக்கை நன்று .'

'avaravar pirārabdha'p pirakāram adarkānavan ānggangu irundhu
āttuvippan
en(d)Rum nadavādhathu en muyaRcchikkinum nadavādhu
nadappadhu en thadai seyyinum nillādhu
idhuvee thiNNam
āgalin maunamāy irukkai nan(d)Ru.'

The Ordainer controls the fate of souls in accordance with their past deeds – their prarabdhakarma. Whatever is destined not to happen will not happen – try how hard you may. Whatever is destined to happen will happen, do what you may to stop it. This is certain. The best course, therefore, is (for one) to be silent.

Ravi said...

AvanadiMY,
Please excuse my Transliteration of your name.
"The best course, therefore, is (for one) to be silent."
This is something that we have discussed earlier-All these have their validity-It depends on the Maturity level of the Sadhaka-Whether he can be in SILENCE-If not better to recognise the general principles of Karma and Play by the rules of the Game.MOTIVATED activity(Rajas) is better than UNITERESTED activity(Tamas).DISINTERESTED ACTIVITY(Satva)is better than MOTIVATED activity.SILENCE can include the disinterested activity as well or exclude it altogether.
So,it depends where one is presently,actually.For the person steeped in Tamas,Motivated activity is what is required and this activity has to be governed by the Rules of Karma.
It is not easy to spot the difference between the extremes!The Guru alone can spot this.

Namaskars!

Ravi said...

avanadiMY,
"Motivated activity is what is required and this activity has to be governed by the Rules of Karma."

Kindly read the above as Karma in accordance with Dharma.

Namaskars!

nonduel said...

Dear அவனடிமை

Quote:
""The Ordainer controls the fate of souls in accordance with their past deeds – their prarabdhakarma. Whatever is destined not to happen will not happen – try how hard you may. Whatever is destined to happen will happen, do what you may to stop it. This is certain. The best course, therefore, is (for one) to be silent."" (end of quote)

This was the point of my post: ""try how hard you may. Whatever is destined to happen...""

Prarabdha is predetermine and one cannot change, no matter how hard he tries. Consequently, under theses circomstances how can one accumulate any karma since he is unable to change anything?

Second point is how can it be accumulated from past births since they all come under prarabdha. Iswara is the doer and the Jiva hasn't anything he can "do" to change anything.

Quote:
""If a person somehow gets to know of a Sadguru like Sri. Ramana Bhagavan and ALSO gets interested in His/Her teaching essentially to "turn inwards", it is only because of their sat-vaasanai which accrued by some sat-saadhanaa performed earlier."" (end of quote)

If the above is true, then how can one's sadhana done earlier be accumulated to meet the sadguru? Because being under the law of prarabdha one doesn't have the free will to change prarabdha.

Can an actor in a movie running on a screen change the scenario?

This is why, I agree with you that one can only keep silence and BE. Surrender!

Prarabdha applies to the one who believes he is a body, the one who believes he is a "doer".

This why I think prarabdha exist as long as one believes he is the body and he is the doer.

One stops being the doer by vichara, by turning within, in silence and surrenders.

Broken Yogi said...

"The Ordainer controls the fate of souls in accordance with their past deeds – their prarabdhakarma. Whatever is destined not to happen will not happen – try how hard you may. Whatever is destined to happen will happen, do what you may to stop it. This is certain. The best course, therefore, is (for one) to be silent."

I've always thought there's something of a paradoxical contradiction implied here that I don't know if anyone has explained yet.

I don't argue with the beauty of Ramana's statement here, but I don't quite see how it actually implies that one should not exert effort to achieve a result. If it is true that whatever is destined to happen will happen, then one's efforts to make something happen are else destined to happen. Thus, rather than resigning oneself to allowing things to happen passively, by not making any efforts, one will inevitably be destined to apply oneself through effort to accomplish those things which one is destined to accomplish. So while one may be silent in an inner sense in relation to all outer happenings, one's own effort is itself an outer happening which one must allow to progress without interference.

Also, one of course has no way of knowing in advance what is destined to happen, and what is not destined to happen. In fact, it may well be that it is destined that one put tremendous effort into achieving a goal which is not itself destined to happen. We see this all the time. One of course should remain "silent" in relation even to this, but it does not mean that one should not put one's efforts into such things, since such efforts were themselves clearly destined to be made.

In other words, does this teaching really change anything in the realm of action? I think not. It only applies to an inner attitude one takes even in the midst of one's outer efforts.

Jupes said...

Friends,
In trying to understand prarabdha, I have found this passage from Living By the Words of Bhagavan helpful. You may recognize this from when I posted it in the 'God the Scriptwriter' comments a while back.

Annamalai Swami: Before we came into this life all the incidents of our life were predestined: where we have to live, what acts we have to perform, etc. If we desire anything other than our prarabdha, that which was already destined for us, we cannot attain it.

Questioner: So there is no point in planning future projects. It is better to live with what comes, day by day.

AS: According to one's prarabdha, the efforts which are necessary and which have to happen will arise in one's mind.

Q: So we only think that we have choices. The sense of choice is not real.

AS: Correct! All the difficulties that we experience in life have been given to us by Bhagavan in order to turn our minds towards the Self.

_________

Since one doesn't know what's in one's future, then there's no way to know if one's efforts will lead to a particular result or not. So, why not just act according to what one is inspired to do and not worry about it? Whatever difficulties are encountered, they are there for the purpose mentioned by AS: to turn the mind inward towards the Self. What could be more perfect?

As far as remaining silent... Ravi addressed this in his post a few days ago saying, basically, that being silent comes with maturity, and whether one can maintain silence depends on where one is at presently. I agree with this. One learns silence just as one learns anything else, and when one 'fails' to be silent when silence is appropriate, the results may be haunting enough to bring one to silence next time around. In the meantime, as a result of one's actions one may be turned 'inward towards the Self.'

Jupes said...

My apologies... I just realized that I added the word 'inward' when referring to 'turning toward the Self.' Annamalai Swami did not say it that way and my intention was to keep it in line with his wording.

nonduel said...

Dear Jupes,

By the way, do you know that "Jupes" is the french word for skirt?

Thank you for that passage from Annamalai Swami.

Quote:
"""Questioner: So there is no point in planning future projects. It is better to live with what comes, day by day.

AS: According to one's prarabdha, the efforts which are necessary and which have to happen will arise in one's mind.

Q: So we only think that we have choices. The sense of choice is not real.

AS: Correct! All the difficulties that we experience in life have been given to us by Bhagavan in order to turn our minds towards the Self."""
(end of quote)

That was precisely what my old post was about. If there is nothing one can do, even the "effort" is already predetermined...then how can prarabdha be accumulate in this present life? The same applies to the previous births which were under prarabdha.

Then, from where did the praabdha come from?

I agree with your conclusion and that was my main point in starting this discussion.

Jupes, nonduel, Ravi don't exist. Thus what is there to do?

It makes me remember the story of the person holding his suitcase on his head while in a train instead of putting it on the floor and resting.

Let's just relax and watch the scenery go by, Being still, in the self.

All the learning, struggling, trying, doing is absurb. because there is no one there! It's all a fiction happening on the screen to the actors.

The question of prarabdha exist when we identify with the actor the doer. Like crying watching a sad movie.

The case is closed, the victim doesn't exist.

So let's surrender together as ONE

Anonymous said...

So many wise people on this site.
Many of you say with apparent authority 'The Self does this but it doesn't do that but if you give it a bit of devotion or whatever it might make you enlightened or something .You all seen to know a lot about someone called 'God' as well...oh yes and planes and levels and things.
Broken Yogi (does that guy ever shut up) got it right when he said
there are two languages being spoken...the one of the Heart..the one of the mind.
I tried to read as many comments as I could but I am just not that much of a machocist but from the 1/4 to a 1/2 of those I read apart from David and maybe? one or two others it seems to be al the language of the mind.

AS this is a Ramana website his teaching might help you all. It is very simple.

Self, Truth, Being, Guru whatever cannot be understood by the mind.
Be still or surrender...they are the same.

All that stuff you all talk about as if you know things...gurus, siddhas, enlightenment and how, who and why it appears to happen to...it is pointless.
The mind... or as you think you are ''you'' is a real dumbass when it comes to the Spirtual. To invent relgion or rather thousands of them shows you just how dumb it is or rather 'you' should I say.

Still, it passes time, it is a bit of fun and as long you know you are talking crap...why not.

If I have offended anybody..I am glad to have been of service.
As you all know, who you really are or the Self, Heart, Spirit, You..whatever, doesn't do offended so if Truth is what you want.. and you are that offended crap 'me' in your head or rather that is who you think you are....Why be it?

Not much..just a small 'pointer' I think is the in word. But hey..it's a start for any of you who are spiritually serious.

Well I have talked my bit of crap and by all means feel free to call it that.. if you do not understand it or know how to talk the language of the Heart.

Ravi said...

Anonymous(Guru!)
"If I have offended anybody..I am glad to have been of service."

This is the Guru's job!Thanks for your intervention.
Yes,talking about 'silence'-this is not something like 'pani leni vadu'-this means that 'servitude' is over-not activity!My master explains this like this-What Mark Twain said-'Work is that which one is OBLIGED to do'-Remember Tom Sawyer whitewashing the Fence!The rest is play.

Now,one has to understand whether he is 'working' or 'playing'.

Thanks Anonymous and please do come in every now and then,and may be with a more identifiable name.

Namaskar!

Jupes said...

Non-duel,
Yes, I do vaguely remember, from highschool French class, that jupes means skirt, but until you mentioned it I had forgotten. For me it is a nickname, used by only one person until I joined this blog.

Glad the quote from A.S. resonated with you. I wish it was so easy to relax and watch the scenery go by, as you suggested. The learning, struggling, trying and doing may seem absurd, but for myself the struggle seems to be part and parcel of being alive. As A.S. said at the end of that quote: All the difficulties that we experience in life have been given to us by Bhagavan in order to turn our minds towards the Self. If they are 'given to us by Bhagavan' I guess that means they are 'gifts' and, in a sense, sacred and should be regarded as such and used as intended: to turn the mind towards the Self. MORE POWER TO YOU if you can relax and let the scenery go by!!!

Best wishes!

Ravi said...

Jupes/Nonduel/Friends,
Thanks jupes for your truly helpful comments,full of compassion-All these different ways of asking the questions-As I look at Nonduel raising this 'question'-This is like THINKING ALOUD-to see if there is an echo elsewhere!Nonduel,you have true aspiration,The GURU is with you and guiding you.salutations to you!
I just wanted to share what I have always held dear-the innocent poems of Harindranath Chattopadhyaya-These were appreciated very much by Sri Bhagavan and Sri Aurobindo-WE CAN IDENTIFY OURSELVES WITH THE 'POTS'.

This is an exceprt from 'Day By Day with Bhagavan'-by Devaraja Mudaliar(What a devotee mudaliar was!He considered Bhagavan as his Mother-Father -AMMAIAPPAN!He ,as the child of bhagavan could take liberties with Bhagavan whereas others remained overawed.)

"5-6-45 Afternoon
Myself, Harindranath Chattopadhyaya, G.V. Subbaramayya
and T. P. Ramachandra Aiyar were sitting in the front row just
Opposite Bhagavan in the hall and G.V.S. said to H.C. “I recently
Came across a typed copy of some of your verses made at
Aurobindo Ashram, with Sri Aurobindo’s notes on the margin
highly commending some verses.” Thereupon H.C. told
Bhagavan, “I stayed at Aurobindo’s Ashram for two years and I
then made about 4000 sonnets and a poem of 50,000 lines plus
other poetry.” Apparently the fact that H.C. had been at
Aurobindo’s Ashram before for two years was news to Bhagavan,
though it was not to some of us. This is the third visit of H.C. to
Bhagavan. H.C. then gave us a recitation of two of his earliest
poems and one out of those made at Pondicherry. They are given
below. Bhagavan enjoyed the recitation.

THE EARTHEN GOBLET
(A conversation between the poet and the goblet)
“O silent goblet! Red from head to heel,
How did you feel?
When you were being twirled
Upon the Potter’s wheel
Before the Potter gave you to the world?”
I felt a conscious impulse in my clay
To break away
From the great Potter’s hand
That burned so warm.
I felt a vast
Feeling of sorrow to be cast
Into my present form.
Before that fatal hour
That saw me captive on the Potter’s wheel
And cast into this crimson goblet-sleep,
I used to feel
The fragrant friendship of a little flower
Whose root was in my bosom buried deep.
The Potter has drawn out the living breath of me,
And given me a form which is the death of me;
My past unshapely natural state was best,
With just one flower flaming through my breast.


PITCHERS OF CLAY
Outside the Potter’s shop upon the way
In patient rows we stand, pitchers of clay —
Under a copper-clouded sky of gold
Expecting every moment to be sold.
Although we have no language, yet we feel
A bitterness towards the Potter’s wheel
Which moulded us, what though without a flaw,
To shape, which is against our being’s law.
Pitchers are beautiful and yet, indeed,
Even from beauty we would all be freed
And, slipping into Earth, secure escape
From the enchanted tyranny of shape.
Some of us pitchers, tired of being, drop
And break to pieces in the Potter’s shop.
Pathetic things! What does the Potter care
For the pale weariness of Earthenware?


SHAPER SHAPED
In days gone by I used to be
A potter who would feel
His fingers mould the yielding clay
To patterns on his wheel;
But now, through wisdom lately won,
That pride has died away,
I have ceased to be the potter
And have learned to be the clay.
In other days I used to be
A poet through whose pen
Innumerable songs would come
To win the hearts of men;
But now, through new-got knowledge
Which I hadn’t had so long,
I have ceased to be the poet
And have learned to be the song.
I was a fashioner of swords,
In days that now are gone,
Which on a hundred battle-fields
Glittered and gleamed and shone;

But now that I am brimming with
The silence of the Lord
I have ceased to be a sword-maker
And learned to be the sword.
In by-gone days I used to be
A dreamer who would hurl
On every side an insolence
Of emerald and pearl.
But now that I am kneeling
At the feet of the Supreme
I have ceased to be the dreamer
And have learned to be the dream."

This is the essence-to learn to be the song,to learn to be the Dream!

Namaskars!

S. said...

salutations to all:

ravi

those poems on the 'potter and clay' from 'day by day' were sweet and profound...since harindranath was prolific in poetry, do you know of any book that has kind-of a collection of his poems? thanks

jupes

your comments are always beautiful...since your computer has a little problem, hope you were able to read a comment that i had posted sometime earlier in the 'power to enlighten' thread(as a brief reply to your comment)

anonymous

thank you for your views...but if you wanted to be so frank, what made you hide under the cloak of 'anonymous'? why to shoot from the dark?...am sure you know that it is possible for one to be critical without being abusive, to be evaluative yet not vilify...

this is only a request because the comments in this blog have been in the spirit of warm sharing & sincere seeking, and it may be difficult to sustain a dialogue with the language you employ (dumbass/crap/shutup etc.).
'broken yogi' is an advanced seeker and thus may not even mind your disparaging remark, but i do mind :( the enlightened have no need to talk on such terms and the unenlightened have no license for such indulgence...

to paraphrase vivekananda 'if you imagine yourself to be pure and consider the world to be impure, then have you ever thought as to what are you really doing in such a world?'!

Ravi said...

S.
This was my only exposure to Harindranath-It has the touch of Kabirdas-may be influenced by that great saint.Like Kabir says -'The Earth told the potter-'What you are pounding me into clay,A day will come when I will be pounding you to Dust!'
Harindranath had his foray into films as well-The song from the Hindi movie 'Julie'-My heart is beating-Is by this poet.
I just did a quick google search and this is what i find-"A Bird Sang On A Bough" (©1987 to the author and published by B.R. Publishing Corporation.You may check it out.

Namaskars!

nonduel said...

Dear Jupes,

I almost wrote Dear Skirt LOL...I feel playfull this morning. But I'll be serious.

I sincerely hope that you didn't take my use of the word "absurb" as a qualification for yourself or others here. It was towards the struggling etc.

And no, I do not watch the scenery go by either. I still read because it motivates me and helps me with vichara, I still have questions sprouting up and bugging "me". I still have doubts on whether I am "doing" vichara correctly...

But this post on prarabdha, I feel is helpful in "letting-go". If I am convinced that I can put my suitcase down and let the train carry it, isn't it easier to relax?

There's nothing "we" can "do".

Doesn't this also point to surrender? It inspires Bhakti and devotion, for this Grace flowing, and engulfing "us".

Hey! We are on the train taking us home!

Broken Yogi said...

Anon,

Thanks for the complements! In my broken world, whenever people say something positive about anything I've said, I feel as if I must have said something terribly stupid, but when people are offended and pissed off and tell me to shut up, I finally feel as if I must have touched a nerve, and said something true somewhere along the way. So I'm very happy to hear your raunchy and lively criticisms. As for shutting up, I'm sure it will happen someday, after I've completely broken down. Until then, you may just have to put up with my cranky babblings - as I will with yours. Touche!

Anonymous said...

.

Sage TGN: I read a little bit from him and immediately I had the impression of a meeting with an old spiritual friend. He reminds me of Nisargadatta. It is so pleasant seeing a man in modern times being able to live the knowledge and the dharma layed down in this marvellous treatment Yoga Vasistha, that is both simple and breathtaking. Like you, Ravi, I am not interested in the Teaching. My approach to teachers is to "sniff the atmosphere" around them - this fragrance of wisdom and equanimity of the mind. I say to myself: I'm enjoying chocolates - for the rest of my life I will enjoy the chocolates of wisdom wherever I find them. Whenever I find this chocolates I taste to take a little bit of its flavour with me. The teaching is the entrance into the house, but being inside the house there is no need to look for doors furthermore. One enjoys the house - thats all.

Rational And Scientific

Sage TGN’s Practical Philosophy is totally rational and wholly scientific and that is why it draws persons of all religions, castes, creeds and age-groups. And what is Science? Science is Science because an experiment conducted in one place can be replicated in your own laboratory to yield the same result. Philosophy becomes Science when the tenets of the former are tried out in the laboratory of your own life and you derive Peace and Happiness as a result. That way Sage TGN’s Practical Philosophy is Pure and Applied Science in every sense of the term. There are no regimentations or rituals in the Spiritual Training Programmes conducted by him; and what is more, he accords the fullest liberty to seekers to accept or reject his philosophy and in any case, not to accept it unless it appeals to their reason.
Hear Sage TGN in conclusion: “Man who is born free, ever remains free and the shackles he finds on himself are the product of his own Ignorance, the only antidote to which is Wisdom (Jnaanam) sans phrase”.


Yoga Vasistha says exactly the same. Few are able to grasp this - this philosophy or true science of consciousness of "to fly and to rest at Your heart - with no ground under your feet but with heaven above".

Thank you for your information, Ravi. This master is all one needs.

.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
Thanks very much.In such a short time ,you have truly got to the essence of Master's Teachings.I like what you say about chocolates.Yoga Vasishta is Master's Favourite-along with Tripura Rahasya.
May Master's Blessings be with you!

Namaskars!

Jupes said...

Dear Friends,
What wonderful comments to wake up to this morning! Great way to start the day.

Non-duel,
You're so sweet. Feel free to call me 'Skirt' anytime. By the way, what is LOL?

Not to worry about the way you used 'absurd'. I think I took it the way you meant it and did not look upon it as a qualification of anyone. We're all in the same boat here (on the same train?) and the absurdity of the struggle does stand out at times. Putting one's suitcase down would certainly help, if one is able to do that. Sometimes I think mine is glued to my back! Finding how to release into surrender and devotion and not get too absorbed in the outer world (the mind) is key. Ravi has addressed much of this through his comments on the Bhakti way. (I have taken that entire conversation and copied it into a Word doc so that I can refer to it when needed.)

Thanks for your great questioning, Non-duel, and for your warm spirit and playfulness!

Ravi,
Thanks for those beautiful poems from Harindranath. Was not familiar with him. I especially love the last one and may copy it and save it. By the way, I started reading from the Kathamrita the other day, after you sent the link. Am enjoying it very much. It seems to be quite a long book (can't tell from the way it's presented on the site), so I may be reading for a while! Also, am still reading from Letters and continue to find it inspiring.
Best wishes to you!

S.,
Thanks for the compliment, and for reminding me of your comment from last week. Yes, I do remember it and am wondering now why I never responded. That's when we were discussing 'monkey business'. :~) I appreciated everything you said and was laughing outloud myself.

I was glad to see your eloquent and very apt remarks addressed to the latest Anonymous. One feels a need to respond, but it's hard to know what to say. My mother always told me, "if you can't say anything nice then don't say anything at all." Unfortunately I don't always heed her teaching, but in this case I did. Thankfully, you and Ravi and Broken Yogi put things on a good track.

It does seem that we've created a safe little nest on this blog and I know that I felt a little threatened by what this person was saying, his (her?) tone and entire attitude. Clearly, what we have here is strong enough to withstand and absorb such remarks and I am exceedingly grateful for that.

Thanks to everyone!!

Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

S
I just like hiding in the dark, I used to do it when I was a young kid at bedtie, hiding from the monster and I just got to lke it.

As for you being offended and saying I was abusive because I use words like dumbass/crap/shutup etc,
I think you should toughen up a bit..make list of all the swear words you know and read it to yourself a couple of times a day or something.
The Heart or your true Self, who you really are.. cannot be offended or feel abused.
It is the dumbass mind that feels
offended or abused...and if that is what you want to be thats fine by me.

Broken Yogi...you have let me down and you being an 'advanced seeker' and all.
It was from your 'writings' that I
realised there were two languages being spoken here.
As you said..the language of the Heart and the language of the mind.
I just presumed that, for you to say something like that, you were a bit wiser than the norm or say S for example and that you could speak and read the language of the Heart.

If you could read the language of the Heart as you called it...you woud have read, understood and known that my comments about you in my nice email were the exact oppersite of the mind rubbish that you wrote... eg below:

nks for the complements! In my broken world, whenever people say something positive about anything I've said, I feel as if I must have said something terribly stupid, but when people are offended and pissed off and tell me to shut up, I finally feel as if I must have touched a nerve, and said something true somewhere along the way''

The only thing you got right was that you did say 'something true somwhere along the way'....the Heart/mind language thing.... Still I suppose one can't expect to much from a broken yogi.

Anyway, back to S

I am sorry that you 'mind' my email writing style S, well I am trying to be.. but I have a solution for you.
...If you got rid of your mind, then you wouldn't 'mind' how I wrote, would you S?

nonduel said...

David,

I think you already do what I want to ask you, but just in case. I sure hope that if I write spiritual insanities that you will be so kind as to correct me.

Jupes,

LOL= "Laughing Out Loud"

Quote:
""Putting one's suitcase down would certainly help, if one is able to do that. Sometimes I think mine is glued to my back! Finding how to release into surrender and devotion and not get too absorbed in the outer world (the mind) is key.""
(end of quote)

Please do not take what I am about to say like I was acting like a realised person, and that I go around telling others what they should do. You said correctly, we are all on the same train...

In fact, there's only One isn't there?

If you read the above quote, you will find that you consider the ego as the ultimate guru, because you accept everything it's telling you. Thus you are putting more strength in the belief that you are the body, and that the ego is the authority.

Thus you are increasing it's power.

Surrender is recognizing what "we" ARE and if we accept that truth, what can we possibly "do"? So all "we" can do is letting go. Putting the suitcase down!

There is only SELF, one without another thus Bhakti is loving the Self. It isn't egostic, there's no one else out there!

I am saying this with Love, not as a critic, or negatively. It's also good for myself, believe me.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry if I scared you a bit Jupes and cased you to write the below:

''It does seem that we've created a safe little nest on this blog and I know that I felt a little threatened by what this person was saying, his tone and entire attitude''

The ego or mind, or if you like the thinker or falseness in us does like to feel safe and secure but because it secretly knows it is not truly real but is just a phantom, a kind of pretend real.. it spends a large part of its 'existence' anxious and threatned.

You like your litle nest don't you Jupes?

Ravi
Every time you write '' my master say'' I get this urge in me to find you and strangle you ..and it is getting stronger..but don't worry, I haven't bought the plane tickets yet.
Anyway only nescient and Spriually not the brightest of beings...WHO THINK THEY ARE, have masters.
Why display your ignorance to all and sundry.
Beats me.

Ravi, I am just kidding you.... but there is a little Truth in there somewhere

Anonymous said...

Nondual

Until you surrender your mind or you...into yourself or Heart/Spirit
everything you write will be a 'spiritual insanity'... but you(mind) will probably think it is very clever.
Choose your name yourself did you?

Jupes said...

Anonymous,
Yep, I sure do like the 'little nest.' If you have read some of my earlier comments then you would know why. Until I'm ready to FLY I will enjoy the security of the nest, when at all possible.

About what you said to S. about getting rid of the mind and then not 'minding' what you wrote, I would suggest that it is A MIND that you bring to this blog, in a spirit of judging and criticizing others. I feel little of HEART in what you say. I have to wonder what the monster did to that small child as you hid in the dark at bedtime. Are you alright?

Thanks for your comments! Best wishes!

Non-duel,
Thanks for your very forthright comments! I'm sure you are right in what you say: That I give the ego and the body a great deal of authority. You know, I see this whole thing as a process. I am where I am, and it's always baby steps for me. I know that you're not being critical and I appreciate your saying that.

There's one thing I'll tell you about myself... I am an artist and have been making art for much of my life. When I sit down to paint, that process is an act of surrender. That's one time that I DO put the suitcase down. The paintings would not get done otherwise. And yes, I can tell the difference between what happens there and what happens in other parts of my life, and I imagine some of that spills over. So, I do have a sort of 'baseline' to go on. It's always good to have someone point these things out. Whether it really makes any difference in the longrun, I have no idea. And of course, there's always prarabdha... :~)

The very BEST to you!

Ravi said...

Anonymous(Guru),
Thanks for coming in and offering your comments in unadulterated fashion.It is something rare in this world.The Fact that you have visited this BLOG-means you are interested in Bhagavan;Also your comments have excluded David from its purview.Also your comments are on the 'Dumbass'Mind,and not at anyone in particular(provided one is not playing 'proxy').you are genuinely interested in pointing out what you feel are shortcomings,delusions that one may be subject to but not aware or ignoring.

Yes,your observation about my repeated reference to 'My Master' is quite correct.Please do not take this as not citing any authority-This expression,I have used to eliminate giving an impression that i 'know'!I agree that it may be an unwanted distraction-Like talking about one's hometown,one's village-ONESELF.
For sometime ,you may have to put up with this 'idiosynchrasy',until I find a better way out of this.(Please do not buy a Plane ticket!surely not worth the money!Yes,if you can make it to Bhagavan's abode,then yes.Just kidding!...I like what you have said.I have also felt the same about quoting 'poor Master'!)

I am interested in knowing about you.Please share whatever you think will be helpful.

Namaskar!

Ravi said...

Jupes,
Interesting to know that you are a painter as well!What you have written about Painting-how it has to happen-is so true!This is a great gift;you are truly blessed.This is much more than any 'verbal' prayer.
Yes,Kathaamrita came out as a series of 5 Volumes in 'Bengali'-Sri Ramakrishna used to speak a Charming village patois-This was captured with STENOGRAPHIC precision by 'M'.The beauty of this work is that you can start reading from anywhere-Infact it is not a 'work' at all.There is no LOGICAL sequence.It is an aid to attend the Master's Satsangh-It takes you on a Magic carpet to HIS PRESENCE-It is one book that one can never finish.It will help to read the introduction that covers the Master's wonderful life-one of the most daring,explorative and colourful in the realm of the spirit-especially what it has to say to the common man-'It does not matter who you are,it does not matter what you know or know not,it does not matter whether it is right or wrong;as long as your aspiration is sincere and intense,the Divine(God) will guide you and take you to the destination'.
The LANGUAGE is devoid of any sort of sophistication and this helps to get rid of much of mental 'junk'.Today ,see how one is shy of using the word 'God'-One prefers to use words like 'SELF','DIVINE',etc.Reading the kathamrita will help one to throw these mental accretions as well.
INSHA ALLAH !All the very best to you.

Namaskar!

Anonymous said...

Jupes..hang on a sec I'll get to you in a minute.

First of all I would like to say that David has done an excellant
job in creating and maintaining this site about Ramana and his Teaching.
One can feel the true intelligence
that created this site through and with David.
It is the best I have come across
and for those who are SERIOUS... understanding, help and guidance can be found and I am sure many TRUE and SERIOUS 'seekers' have benifited from coming here.

Right I am back with you Jupes.
The only problem, well it is not really a problem as such..more part of the sites charm and ambiance ....is that although this is a Ramana site a number of people rarely mention and seem to know litle about him.

I think there are quite a few people here like you Jupes who have a very limited understanding of His Teaching.
To these this place is more like a kind of social club where people can be phony 'nice', pretend spiritual and praise the nonsense they write to each other They are all part of the pot and it is good fun to read the posts.
These kinds of people and you Jupes
will be offended by me because I tell you the Truth and there is nothing pretend Spiritual people in there little nests, or mind hates to hear worse.


I only skipped through it but there was someone wafting on about
chocoate and things.. as if it was not the nonsnse he was talking...but some kind of wis
dom he was imparting.
Jesus.. I suppose he is going to be offended now.

I think someone posted him back and praised his choclately wisdom.
It wasn,t you was it Jupes?

There wasn't a real monster Jupes
you silly person.

Ravi said...

Anonymous(guru),
"I think someone posted him back and praised his choclately wisdom."

That is me!Not poor Jupes.This chocolate is 'Manana'-code language that you may not be familiar with.'Manana' is Sanskrit for 'Reflecting' on the Teachings.It helps to reflect on going over the same Teachings in different forms(ways of expression)by different Teachers(no Master this time!).
Since you understand the Heart languauge,I am sure you will appreciate that all APPRECIATIONS are from the Heart and is meant to fan the little ember behind the mass of ash-sure a lot of fly ash will be wafted around-Please take care that this does not land in your eyes.
I appreciate your concern in keeping up the RAMANA spirit-spirit of unadulterated enquiry.I feel that it may not require much of interaction or exchange-it will mean to JUST BE.
The GURU in me suggests to the MIND in you to read the LIFE of Sri Ramana Maharshi.If you have already read it ,please do read it again over and over again.

Salutations!

Broken Yogi said...

Anon,

Sorry for not quite grasping your intentions. As for my being an "advanced seeker", you have to understand that the people here are exceptionally kind and generous and say all kinds of sweet things simply because they are filled with so much love, it just spills out onto the rest of us sometimes. The truth, however, is that I am not advanced in any respects, I am not wise either, and if you have gotten that impression, I'm sorry. If you liked my phrase about the lamguage of the heart and the language of the mind, that is good, but understand that I am no expert in either. Any wisdom you find in my words is in you, not in me, so give me no credit for it, and take it all for yourself.

Broken Yogi said...

David, if you are still following this thread, I have a question for you that I have been thinking about for a while now during this thread.

My question has to do with Lakshamana Swami and Papaji's sadhana in relation to the Guru before they met Ramana. We have been talking about the importance of the human Guru, and you have said how none of these people ever talked about how the Self enlightened, them, they always talk about their Guru. But with both Lakshmana and Papaji, almost none of their sadhana occurred in relation to the Gurus who enlightened them, that came suddenly at the very end. So I was wondering if either of them said much about their relationship to the Guru before their culminating meeting with Papaji.

I know from reading the biographies of these two that you wrote that both spent a great deal of time in meditation or worship. I wonder if they felt themselves to be guided by a Guru Power of some kind, or did they simply feel that the Self was guiding them directly, or what? I know Papaji had visions of Krishna much of the time, but did he relate to Krishna as his Guru, and receive instruction from Krishna? Likewise, with Lakshmana, did he feel himself to be related in some way to a Guru Power, and did he feel this Power drawing him to Ramana at the end?

I don't know if you can really answer this question, but I find it an important issue, in that it would seem to be that prior to their meeting with Ramana both these great soul were highly accomplished spiritual adepts, and I wonder how they got this way without a human Guru. What kind of guidance did they receive, and how? If you have any insight into this I would appreciate it.

Broken Yogi said...

I'm sorry, I mistakenly referred in my last post to "their culminating meeting with Papaji". I of course meant to say, "their culminating meeting with Ramana".

Jupes said...

Broken Yogi,
Refreshing to hear your question for David!

Ravi,
Thanks for the further info on the Kathamrita. It helps to know that one can dive in anywhere. I started at the beginning and am making my way through the long introduction. May be I will jump ahead to M's accounts.
Thanks also for your supportive comments regarding my 'art making as prayer'. One thing I didn't mention when I was writing about my sufi experience is that two days before I was initiated (and, of course, not knowing I would even become an initiate), I was working in my studio, painting, and prayed to be on fire with desire for God. You know the rest of the story. That's precisely what came to pass and it essentially started while I was painting. I agree that it is a blessing to have this gift. I don't know what my life would be without it.

Anonymous,
You are right!! You are absolutely right that I have a limited understanding of Bhagavan's teachings. Why else do you think I am here? And yes, there may be others who are also limited in understanding, but that's the beauty of this blog. Some are more at the teaching end and others at the learning end, but of course that goes both ways to some extent. But yes, I am definitely at the learning end, and that is quite alright with me. That does not mean that I am not serious and that I am here only for some 'social aspect', as you suggest. That's where you are wrong. I have plenty of social opportunities in my life if I want them, but no other opportunities for this kind of communication about something that is of utmost importance to me. Of course, there certainly is a small social aspect here, but that has come after a little familiarity has grown amongst us. Maybe it will happen for you if you hang around long enough!

Best wishes to all!

Anonymous said...

Ravi
Chocolate is chocolate and nothing else. All it is able to do be is chocolate.
It just doesn't have the skills to be anything else.

If you think otherwise it is just a fancy in your mind or the chocloate has been laced with something.
So you have a Guru in then? where did you get him. Did you buy him from a shop?,only I think you were
cheated.There are a lot of fake Gurus around at the moment.

Ramana is quite capable of lettng me know anything I need to know without me havng to read some bloody book over and over.

Why dont you take your own advice.

Ravi said...

Jupes,
Painting,music ,dance is a spontaneous way to open oneself to inspiration.
I enjoy listening to Ivan Moravec's Chopin-Nocturnes.It is interesting to listen to what he has to say in this interview:
http://www.ivanmoravec.net/journal/letterman.html
Like he says-that while giving a concert ,he becomes a listener and the THING HAPPENS!All these great artists are Yogis.
Coming back to Kathamrita-sri Ramakrishna was a wonderful singer of Kirtans(compositions of great saints) and will dance and be lost in Samadhi!There is a wonderful photograph of his in Samadhi,with one hand raised and with a bewitching smile playing on his face.A single look at this photograph will teach what thousands of books cannot express about BLISS-Ananda.Sri Ramakrishna had this gift of painting during his childhood days.Even today ,In Dakshineswar Kali temple there is a Statue of RadhaKrishna that the Master had restored from a broken state.
Wishing you the Very Best.

Namaskar!

Ravi said...

Anonymous,
"So you have a Guru in then? where did you get him. Did you buy him from a shop?,only I think you were
cheated.There are a lot of fake Gurus around at the moment."
Thanks Friend-What you say is true.One has to be careful ,not to be mislead by Illusions or Delusions in one's mind and also from the Fake ones that are around.

Yet,I think you may agree that if one is sincere ,one may still learn something.

Wishing you all The Best!

nonduel said...

Dear Anonymous,

I read very seriously your posts. In your personal writting style, which is peculiar to say the least, you point to the heart of the teaching quite well.

Quote:
""Until you surrender your mind or you...into yourself or Heart/Spirit
everything you write will be a 'spiritual insanity'... but you(mind) will probably think it is very clever.""
(end of quote)

You are absolutely right!

Yes I did choose my name. But you didn't read it correctly.

Ravi said...

Friends,
Just copying an excerpt from Sri TK Sundaresa Iyer's -At the Feet of Bhagavan.This goes to show to what extent the Lives of the 63 Saints in Periya puranam has sunk deep nto Sri Bhagavan-Also the wonderful couplet from Akshara MaNa Maalai says it all!

"Once someone placed the Periapuranam in Tamil
prose in Bhagavan’s hands, and He began reading out of
it. Now Bhagavan was a past master in story-telling, and
he used to tell stories in hundreds. His solo-acting was
ever the admiration of His devotees; His modulation of
voice for different characters, suiting gestures and postures
for each incident, was wonderfully effective. His devotees
never missed a chance of being in the Hall on such
occasions, so as to enjoy and benefit by the recitals.
Bhagavan began to read out the life of Kannappar,
the great devotee saint. He went on reading incidents in
his early life, and how he went to the forest and found
Kudumi Devar, the Sivalinga, his Lord, up the Kalahasti
Hill in the Chitoor district (of Andhra state). Then he
told how Kannappar worshipped the Sivalinga with water
At the Feet of Bhagavan 29
carried in his own mouth, flowers taken from his own
hair, and the well-cooked and tasted beef prepared for his
own meal — knowing no better and having no better to
offer his beloved Lord. The way in which the ordained
priest, Siva Gochariar, resented the intruding defiler of
the sacred Sivalinga was so characteristically brought out
by Bhagavan, with His own explanations of the rites and
the meanings of the mantras used in the worship, that it
enriched the recital greatly to the benefit and admiration
of the devotees.
Then came the scene of scenes, when the Lord in
that Sivalinga tested Kannappar and incidentally revealed
to Siva Gochariar the intensity of the forest hunter’s
worship from a place of hiding. He saw the unexpected
trickling of blood from one of the eyes on that Sivalinga;
he saw Kannappar running to and fro for herbs, and
treating the Lord’s eye with them. Then he saw how,
finding them all useless, Kannappar plucked out one of
his own eyes and applied it to that in the Sivalinga; then,
seeing the treatment was effective, he ran into ecstasies of
joyful dance.
When Bhagavan came to the story of how Kannappar
was plucking out his second eye to heal the second of the
Lord, and of how the Sivalinga extended a hand to stop
him, saying “Stop, Kannappar!” Bhagavan’s voice choked,
His body perspired profusely, His hairs stood on end,
tears gushed out from His eyes; He could hardly utter a
word, and there was silence, pin-drop silence in the Hall.
All were dumbfounded that this great Jnani could be so
30 At the Feet of Bhagavan
overpowered by emotion and ecstasy at the great huntersaint’s
devotion. After a while Sri Bhagavan quietly closed
the book, dried the tears in His eyes with the ends of His
towel, and laid aside the book, saying, “No, I can’t go on
any further.”
Then we could realise the import of His words in
Aksharamanamalai: “Having become silent, if one remains
like a stone, can that be called real silence?” His blossomed
Heart had in it the perfect warmth of devotion, no less
than the supreme light of Knowledge."

Salutations!

Ravi said...

Friends,
Another wonderful story about Sri Bhagavan-from sri TKS's At the Feet of Bhagavan:
IT was the early hours of the morning in the Hall of Sri
Bhagavan. He had had His bath, and now went to the
farther end of the Hall to take His towel that hung from
a horizontally suspended bamboo, at one end of which
a sparrow had built her nest and laid therein three or
four eggs.
In the process of taking His towel Sri Bhagavan’s
hand came against the nest, which shook violently, so
that one of the eggs dropped down. In this way the egg
was cracked; Sri Bhagavan was taken aback, aghast. He
cried out to Madhavan, the personal attendant. “Look,
look what I have done today!” So saying, He took the
cracked egg in His hand looked at it with His tender
eyes, and exclaimed: “Oh, the poor mother will be so
sorrow-stricken, perhaps angry with me also, at my causing
the destruction of her expected little one! Can the cracked
eggshell be pieced together again? Let us try!”
So saying, He took a piece of cloth, wetted it, wrapped
it around the broken egg, and put it back in the mother’s
nest. Every three hours He would take out the cracked
egg, remove the cloth, place the egg on His roseate palm,
and gaze at it with His tender eyes for minutes together.
What was He really doing at this time? How can we
say? Was He sending with those wonderful looks of gentle
Grace life-giving beams into the cracked egg, putting ever
newer warmth and life into it? That is a mystery none can
solve. Yet He kept on saying: “Let the crack be healed!
Cannot this be hatched even now? Let the little one come
from this broken egg!”
This anxious concern and tenderness of Sri Maharshi
continued from day to day for about a week. So the
fortunate egg lay in the nest with its wet bandage cloth,
only to be fondled by Sri Maharshi with divine touch
and benign look. On the seventh day, He takes out the
egg, and with the astonishment of a schoolboy
announces: “Look what a wonder! The crack has closed,
and so the mother will be happy and will hatch her egg
after all! My God has freed me from the sin of causing
the loss of a life. Let us wait patiently for the blessed
young one to come out!”
A few more days pass, and at length one fine morning
Bhagavan finds the egg has been hatched1 and the little
bird has come out. With gleeful smiling face radiant with
the usual light, He takes the child in His hand, caresses it
with lips, stroking it with His soft hand, and passes it on
for all the bystanders to admire. He receives it back at last
into His own hands, and is so happy that one little germ
of life has been able to evolve in spite of the unhappy
accident to it in the embryo.
1 The wonder here is that the bird understood enough to sit on the
egg, even after it had been handled by man. Who really knows how far
the understanding of a ‘beast’ can carry her towards the truth?

Ah, what concern for the meanest of creation! Is it
not the heart of the real Buddha which shed first tears of
anxiety at the crack in the eggshell and then tears of joy
at the birth of the new-born babe? Could the milk of
kindness ever be seen or conceived of sweeter than this?

Salutations!

David Godman said...

Broken Yogi and everyone else

I read all the comments here, but I mostly only respond to those that ask me questions. I like your question and I will reply to it either today or tomorrow. I have just spent a few hours writing a new post, and now I am going out to Ramasramam for the evening chanting. More later....

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous, "Chocolate" is a synonym for the sweetness of Wisdom. It expresses the fact that wisdom is a taste of the inner being, not a lecture. It is useless to claim that Ramana lets somebody know anything this person needs to know, because He is dead and don't talk to us any longer. There are a lot of people claiming to be disciples of Ramana und hanging pictures of Him on the walls. This is nice but useless. No one can claim to be a disciple of Ramana simply because perhaps He would object to have this people as His disciples. The dead man can't defend oneself. Many people are far better off with reading "bloody books" and striving to understand them than clinging to ideas of "Ramana" or somebody else.

nonduel said...

Dear David,

Do you know if there exist an english translation of the "Atma Vidya Vilasam"?

Jupes said...

Ravi,
I think it was Mozart who said, 'Please God, don't let me get in Your way!' I can very much relate to that plea. I went through a long period a couple of years ago in which everything I painted turned to gray. My process is very spontaneous and I tend to let things flow as they will. (I paint with my hands, wearing light latex gloves, and do not use brushes.) As I got deeper into those many months of gray, it occurred to me that what was happening was a new teaching in surrender. I was being 'asked' to take it to a new level. Since nothing seemed to be happening the way it 'usually' does, or how I thought it perhaps 'should', there was no choice but to surrender and let God do Its work, even if the outcome did not make immediate sense to the 'little me'. I'm over that now, but every day in the studio is still a time to let go and BE.

Thank you for those beautiful passages from At the Feet of Bhagavan. They are both so very moving. One feels close to Bhagavan in His time of deep emotion and sorrow.

Don't know if I can 'listen' on that link you sent related to Chopin's Nocturnes, but I will try to check it out. Thank you, my Friend!

best wishes.

Ravi said...

Jupes,
Thanks for sharing your experiences,profound and humbling.This is what the mystics used to call the 'Dark night of the soul'
" I was being 'asked' to take it to a new level. Since nothing seemed to be happening the way it 'usually' does, or how I thought it perhaps 'should', there was no choice but to surrender and let God do Its work, even if the outcome did not make immediate sense to the 'little me'. "
This is unlike what is experienced in a small way by one and all-Due to the play of the GUNAS(phases of the Mind).
I remember an incident when even the Great poet Kavya Kanta Ganapathi Muni hit this DEADEND and how Sri Bhagavan had to bail him out -this was when he was composing his,Magnum opus-uma Sahasram.
SELF ENQUIRY is easier than surrender!There is something to hold onto!I amy be causing a few raised eyebrows. Yes,this is true;When the inspiration dries up and one hits deadend-may be time for self enquiry or whatever.

Jupes,you are fortunately a 'beginner'-some of us have to approach this UKG state.may be some association(Satsangha)with other children like you may help!(Just a small diversion here-I often encounter this discussion with some of the people who are doing Phd-This is the term they use in the local circles here to refer to Jnana Yoga.They treat 'Bhakti yoga' as some PROCESS for purification of the 'MIND' which eventually will lead to GNANA!I have this kiddish pleasure in telling them that they may have to 'unlearn more'!;as if the load that they are carrying is not enough!I tell them -here in the realm of spirit you are better qualified only if you get onto UKG!).
Salutations to you!

Ravi said...

Jupes,
Forgot to mention that ivan moravec's chopin-Nocturnes is not available on that site.What it does host is that interview.When I had the dial up PSTN connectivity earlier,I could still download it.So wish you good luck.
Coming to Kathamrita,you may encounter a little bit of Hindu Mythology and certain references to Hindu Gods and godesses-It will help to keep what Aldous Huxley put it so correctly in his foreword-I am truly amazed at his fine grasp of the essence-Here it is:
"Making good use of his natural gifts and
of the circumstances in which he found himself, "M" produced a book unique, so far as my
knowledge goes, in the literature of hagiography. No other saint has had so able and
indefatigable a Boswell. Never have the small events of a contemplative's daily life been
described with such a wealth of intimate detail. Never have the casual and unstudied
utterances of a great religious teacher been set down with so minute a fidelity. To Western
readers, it is true, this fidelity and this wealth of detail are sometimes a trifle disconcerting;
for the social, religious and intellectual frames of reference within which Sri Ramakrishna
did his thinking and expressed his feelings were entirely Indian. But after the first few
surprises and bewilderments, we begin to find something peculiarly stimulating and
instructive about the very strangeness and, to our eyes, the eccentricity of the man revealed
to us in "M's" narrative. What a scholastic philosopher would call the "accidents" of
Ramakrishna's life were intensely Hindu and therefore, so far as we in the West are
concerned, unfamiliar and hard to understand; its "essence", however, was intensely
mystical and therefore universal. To read through these conversations in which mystical
doctrine alternates with an unfamiliar kind of humour, and where discussions of the oddest
aspects of Hindu mythology give place to the most profound and subtle utterances about the
nature of Ultimate Reality, is in itself a liberal, education in humility, tolerance and
suspense of judgment. We must be grateful to the translator for his excellent version of a
book so curious and delightful as a biographical document, so precious, at the same time,
for what it teaches us of the life of the spirit."
Just take your time until it gets hold of you!Not the other way round-one or two pages per day will do,to start with.

Namaskars!

Jupes said...

Ravi,
Thanks for your kind remarks. I would agree that Self-enquiry is 'easier' than surrender, although 'easy' is not a word that comes to mind when considering either of them! In spite of all the things I said about surrendering in my studio, in general there is something more unwieldy and harder to grasp about 'surrender.' I agree that with Self-enquiry there is a sense of having something to 'hold onto': it is the feeling of 'I'-ness'.

By the way, pardon my ignorance, but what is UKG? I know this is one of those stupid questions that I'll kick myself later for asking, but I really don't know what it means!

Best regards!

ps... haven't read your latest comment. it arrived while I was posting this one. good night!

Ravi said...

Jupes,
What you say about 'easy' is true-these are the paradoxes,to borrow from our friend Broken(integrated)yogi.
UKG-is upper kinder garden;the next level is Lower kinder Garden(LKG)and then pre nursery!
A person asked Bhagavan 'what is the Way?';Sri Bhagavan told him-"Go back the way you came!".
So,we need to go back the way we came!Phd,masters,Bachelors,higher sceondary,middle levl,Primary school...5,4,3,2,1, then UKG...LKG...Prenursery!

"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”- JESUS (Matthew 18:1-4)

There was no better Gnani than lord Jesus,the Christ and this is what he said so CLEARLY.

Salutations!

Anonymous said...

Hello Clemens
Are you really so clueless?


Clemens...the chocolate ..it is not
really working is it?... Do you think there is wisdom in you, that you are wise?
Maybe you should change and try something else...strawberrys or gobstoppers or something.

Ramana is as alive, aware, loving, beautiful, communicative and available as Ramana has always been. I am sorry to tell you this Cemens but it is you who are dead.
Can I come to the funeral?

Ramana does and has always communicated by the depeest and most true way possble.
Heart to Heart.

You could take a small copy of the photogaph of Ramanas dead body that David has provided at the top of this website.
Do what you like with it...shit on it, piss on it, spit on it or rip it up...there is no harm..it is only a photograph.

Equally there is no harm if you put it on a wall somewhere and even maybe rarely even look at it. Ramana, or Presence or the Higher Power Loves and works in ways we cannot comprehend.

Maybe you should be one of those people who should read 'bloody books' about Ramana and His Teaching Clemens ..and strive to understand them.

As you have reached this point in your exstence Clemens and appear to be as clueless as the day you were born, I don't see any point in doing so and there is no real need... but also there is no harm
in doing so if you wish.

It is the mind of you that reads books and tries to understand.

It is at the Heart of you, the core of your Being where you truly understand.
It is here that Ramana is and has always been.
All you need to do Clemens is to Trust Ramana absolutely whatever happens in you or to you.
Trust is the same as surrender.

Ravi said...

Anonymous,
"Ramana is as alive, aware, loving, beautiful, communicative and available as Ramana has always been."
Friend,please share some of this in a manner understandable to me.

Wishing you the very best!

Salutations!

David Godman said...

Anonymous

Please do not make insulting or abusive remarks about the contributors to this blog. Or sneer at what you perceive to be their shortcomings or immaturity. If you want to question their positions, please try to do it in a more civil way.

Anonymous said...

Ravi
I hope for your sake we are never in the same room because I fear I might find you iritating and have to punch a few times.
I have already mentioned the 'my Master says' affectation.

Forgive if I am wrong Ravi and it is the common thing, the norm where you live to say salutations to the driver as you get on the bus.... or your wife, girlfriend or boyfriend will get the hump and not talk to you if you do not say salutations to them when you meet them.

Maybe if you go to have a pee in the toilet of a resturant or somewhere and you do not say saalutations to the man also having a pee standing next to you.. he would be right to feel upset, hurt and angry...

I don't know. It is a just such a lucky thing for you that you are never within armslength when I read your posts.

Ravi said...

Anonymous,
" It is a just such a lucky thing for you that you are never within armslength when I read your posts."

Friend,Request you to read your posts.You need help and you are not aware of this.
It does not matter to me in the least about what you may write in response to this.
Wishing you the very Best!

nonduel said...

Two friends were walking towards a newspapers stand. They were two happy chaps exchanging on trivials things and laughing. When they arrived at the stand, one ask for a magazine, while the other just waited on the side. The owner was grumbling all the time, showing his bad humour. He was really rude.
Even throwing the change on the counter.

While they were leaving, the friend who had waited aside asked "Why did you let that guy be so rude with you?".

He replied, "Why should I let that poor chaps have the power to change my happy mood?"

It's a sunny morning. This morning I abide in the self and just watch the scenery go by...

Love!

David Godman said...

I have put the blog comments in 'moderation' mode. I hope this will be a temporary measure. I found some of Anonymous' recent remarks unacceptable and offensive, but I don't seem to have the option of banning individual anonymous contributors. Anonymous has already written to say that he will not be contributing any more comments. If he sticks to his promise, or if he expresses himself in a more acceptable way, I will remove the moderation. Meanwhile, comments will only appear on the blog after I have approved them individually. I will check a few times every day. I know this will slow down the exchange of ideas, but as I said, I hope it will be temporary measure.

I have put the blog on Indian time. Don't expect to have your comments approved very quickly if they are written at 2 a.m. Indian time.

Anonymous said...

.

I have put the blog comments in 'moderation' mode. I hope this will be a temporary measure. I found some of Anonymous' recent remarks unacceptable and offensive, but I don't seem to have the option of banning individual anonymous contributors.

Your contributors apparently mostly have blogger/Google IDs, David. You may allow comments only from blogger/Google accounts for a while. Or from OpenID - users with google accounts automatically have OpenIDs, as far as I know.

Another possibility is to close further comments related to a specific post.

.

David Godman said...

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...


Your contributors apparently mostly have blogger/Google IDs, David. You may allow comments only from blogger/Google accounts for a while. Or from OpenID - users with google accounts automatically have OpenIDs, as far as I know.


Yes, I did consider that option, but it only takes five minutes to establish a Google ID. So far as I am aware, there doesn't seem to be an option to allow some people's comments to pass unmoderated. If that option was available, I would leave the regular contributors to the response's column to get on with their unmoderated discussions.

As I said before, I hope that this will be a temporary measure.

Ravi said...

David,
Request you to not burden yourself clearing the posts at odd hours.We can surely wait for the posts to be cleared at your convenience.
I understand how hard pressed for time you must be with your various activities.
Please explore if it is possible for you to delete Offensive posts after they are posted.
The Regular posters need not respond to such posts and will wait for you to clear the same at your convenience.
This will free you from this additional burden.This will hopefully act as a deterrent for such stray misguided persons.

Thanks very much for all the painstaking!

namaskar!

Jupes said...

David,
Thank you for attending to this situation with our Friend Anonymous. Personally, I don't mind if the flow of comments slows a little, since I have a hard time keeping up anyway.

Anonymous,
(in case you're reading)... In spite of your often coarse, crude and abusive way of communicating, I have learned from you, in a variety of ways, and am grateful for that. Since you apparently feel Ramana's aliveness--His Presence in your life--and if you indeed communicate with Him Heart to Heart, then maybe you will also learn His loving and compassionate ways. Best wishes to you.

Ravi,
Thanks for clarifying on the UKG. Of course I was LOL the whole time I was reading. (Thank you, Non-duel!) I long since got over having three university degrees and am probably somewhere around middle school by now, slowly making my way towards egg stage. Maybe we'll all meet up in nursery school along the way!

I'm sorry you were the target of some of Anonymous' worst attacks. May we all abide in the Peace and Joy of Ramana's Love!

arvind said...

Dear Non Duel,

“Do you know if there exist an english translation of the "Atma Vidya Vilasam"?”

Yes there is. The original text of Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra and an English translation was published by the Kanchi Matha under the instructions of the Pramacharya.

The book is:

Siva Mansik Puja, Kirtani & Atma Vidya Vilasah of Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra (in Sanskrit with English translations); published by Sri Kamakoti Koshsthanen Prakashitam, 1951.

It is a rare book and is not easily found. Sri Ramanashramam Library has a copy and I managed to photocopy the same many years ago. If you are there anytime you can look it up. Or if there is any specific verse you want the meaning of, I can type that out for you here. But I cannot do the whole text – it is quite long.

Best wishes

Ravi said...

Arvind/nonduel,friends,
Sadasiva Brahmam -What a Great soul!His Kirtans rendered by Sri Balamurali Krishna,the living legendary carnatic musician,are a melodious blend of Bhakti and Gnana.The Story of Sadasiva Brahmendra is inspirational.Sadasiva Brahmam was a tremendous scholar when in his teens,and used to put to sword all the Learned Pundit's arguements;Their pride dented,they went and complained to the then pontiff of the Kanchi Sankaracharya Peetam-Sri Paramasivendra saraswati about the impudence of this lad!Paramasivendra told Sadasiva (I remember his name as Siva rama Krishna)"When will you learn to be Silent".The Lad just stopped talking and was steeped in silence.As Sadasiva Brahmam,he moved about Naked ,unconscious of his Body,a True Paramahamsa.When people carried the news to Paramasivendra,he just quipped-"When shall I learn to be silent like him!".
The Autobiography of a Yogi covers a little bit of this sage's life.
The Sage's Samadhi is in Nerur,a small village in the Karur District of Tamil Nadu.It is a quiet place with a Vilwa Tree under which is a siva linga marking the Samadhi of this Great sage.
To recall some of his compositions-Pipare Ramarasam(Drink the nectar of Rama),Sarvam Brahma Mayam (Verily everything is Brahmam),Khelathi Mama Hridaye(He Plays in my Heart),etc.
Thanks very much.Remembrance of these Great souls is a Blessing.

Namaskar!

nonduel said...

Dear Arvind,

Thank you for the information about the Atma Vidya Vilasam.

If ever someone stumble on this translation, on the web or in book form, I would appreciate having the information.

I've search the web extensively without finding the english translation.

Ravi said...

Nonduel,
Please find the translation of atma vidya vilasam at this site-You may also like to check HASTAMALAKA STOTRA.
http://www.celextel.org/othervedantabooks/atmavidyavilasa.html

Namaskar!

nonduel said...

Dear Ravi,

Thank you!

arvind said...

Ravi and everyone,

Thanks for your posts.

Yes, I have been to Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra’s “Jiva Samadhi” in Nerur, many years ago. It was such an extraordinary experience, one that one has had only in a very few places, that one thought to write a bit about it, and especially if it should encourage anyone else to visit there.

The trip there itself had been full of ‘vighnas’ [obstacles]. It was an incredibly hot day, one was not well, the hired car a mess, the driver an even bigger pain, the road was in shambles, and the place was quite impossible to locate. Nobody knew where it was, and nobody was willing to talk in anything but Tamil. Finally it was found literally in an agricultural belt in the middle of nowhere. This is where Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra came wandering about and went into Samadhi in an underground pit. He told his few followers to close the pit after him and that a few days later a Bilva tree would start to grow above, which was to be carefully tended and looked after. On the sixth ( ? ) day a person would come with a Linga which was to be installed on top. And so it was. Later on a small Siva temple was also constructed adjacent to the Samadhi, and all of this was enclosed within a low compound wall.

The place itself was poorly kept, and sadly the Bilva tree itself, though pretty large and tall, was in a bad shape. There were 2 groups of Swamis there fighting over control of the shrine. Each group had a small Math and each claimed to be spiritual descendants of Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra. They both wanted, what else, money. But they left me alone once they realized that one had no money as such.

But leaving all that aside, it was the spiritual atmosphere of the place that set it aside. Once the swamis had gone and left one alone, the holy atmosphere hit like a blast. As it is the shrine is in the open under the gentle shadow of the Bilva tree. And everything around seems to move in slow motion, even the birds, the wind rustling in the tree, the few goats wandering about. As I sat there with the friendly goats (who thought my clothes were good as grass) for company even an absolute dunderhead like me felt that one was ACTUALLY in the physical presence of a very very Holy Being; there is no other way to describe it. There is no difference between Sri Bhagavan & Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra, of that there was not the slightest doubt. Even now, so many years later, when one thinks about the experience and as one writes, one feels the thrill of it and one feels blessed.

Scott Fraundorf said...

I've been reading Nothing Ever Happened. Papaji's story is very engrossing, almost hard to believe it's not fiction. I can conceptually grasp Enlightenment and it makes sense logically. But I think truley understanding enlightenment I could only do if I was in that non-state. I have moments where it seems that the subject/object relationship is dissolving, and the perceptions around me become formless, but even in those states which are temporary, there is this observer, another subject. It was noteable that in Papaji's account there's no big division. Pre-enlightenment, and Post-Enlightenment. everything is detailed in the same matter of fact way. There's no way I, an ajnani could at this point suss out from his writing that he's abiding entirely in the self and is untouched by the 'experiences' that were occuring for him. I can see the necessity of a guru in that, while practicing Enquiry, I don't truley know where to look, I can't see all the subtle actions of my own ego or what underlies it because I haven't had 'direct experience'. In the presence of Nomi in Santa Cruz, who I couldnt' claim is a jnani, my ego intitially reacted with disgust, and viewed him as a fraud. But in his presence I understood a much deeper egoless experience then I had before. Reading Papaji's account of meeting hte Maharshi and how he distrusted him, I saw smoething analagous in that. From the moment someone told me abotu that, I saw a similarity. Someone else reacted the same way to Papaji. I could understand how the ego of the jiva (is that correct?) would react very negatively toward an egoless being that represents it's own potential distruction. It seems at this point, I can only do the obvious. Practice Enquiry from waking to sleep as best as I understand, and if the opportunity arises to be in the presence of someone whose ego has died for good, letting them do the work.

David Godman said...

Scott

I've been reading Nothing Ever Happened. Papaji's story is very engrossing, almost hard to believe it's not fiction. I can conceptually grasp Enlightenment and it makes sense logically. But I think truly understanding enlightenment I could only do if I was in that non-state. I have moments where it seems that the subject/object relationship is dissolving, and the perceptions around me become formless, but even in those states which are temporary, there is this observer, another subject. It was notable that in Papaji's account there's no big division. Pre-enlightenment, and Post-Enlightenment. everything is detailed in the same matter of fact way. There's no way I, an ajnani could at this point suss out from his writing that he's abiding entirely in the Self and is untouched by the 'experiences' that were occurring for him.

* * *

This is an account by Raman, from Nothing Ever Happened:

The offices we [he and Papaji] needed to visit were located in different parts of the city [Delhi]. There didn't seem to be direct buses between any of them. Each time we went to a new place, we had to change buses at least once. Inside the offices there would be the usual chaotic scene. Everyone would be trying to push his or her way to the front of a queue. Fights and quarrels would break out every few minutes, and the officials were the sort one would expect to find in such places: lazy, indifferent to visitor's needs, and generally corrupt.

Master could fight and quarrel as well as anyone else in the queue. No one ever succeeded in depriving us of our rightful place in the endless lines that we waited in. Once, when there was a lull in the fighting, I entered a state of utter peace. A new understanding dawned on me.

I turned to Master and said, 'You are in this state all the time, aren't you? Even when you are fighting and quarrelling, you are still in this state.'

He smiled and said, 'Of course, it's the only state there is.' (Nothing Ever Happened, volume 2, p. 334)

* * *

Bhagavan used to say that the jnani rejoices with the happy people and grieves with the bereaved, being unaffected by either state. When the need arises, he can also shout and jostle in queues, if that's what it needs to get some business done. They are not too precious to get their hands dirty when the occasion demands it.

I remember accompanying Lakshmana Swami from Gudur to Tiruvannamalai in the 1980s. The trip required a change of train at Tirupati, but when we arrived, all the trains to Tiruvannamalai had been cancelled because of an accident on the line. All the passengers were trying to cram onto the few available buses that were heading in that direction. We tried to make a space for Lakshmana Swamy to board a bus since he was a bit frail and we knew he didn't like being touched, but it was hopeless. There were about six of us and about a hundred other people fighting to get on the bus. In the end, he put his head down and elbowed his way on just like everyone else.

This is the sahaja state. You don't sit contemplating the Self within all day. You engage with the world and do whatever has to be done, without ever being moved from your unshakeable knowledge that all is the Self. Other people on the street don't give you a second glance because in public you behave and speak in much the same way that they do.

Jupes said...

Arvind,
Just today I found your sweet account of visiting the Samadhi of Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra many years ago. As is seemingly typical for me, I was not even aware of this great Holy Man until finding him discussed here on this blog. Thank you for laying your experience out so beautifully. It is interesting how one has to sometimes experience such unpleasantness in order to finally arrive at the pearl of a profound spiritual moment. Thankfully you were blessed in this instance and have come to share the 'thrill' of your experience with us.

Scott,
It's always good to find your candid and utterly sincere (but unfortunately RARE!) comments on the blog. The following sentence really struck a chord with me: I could understand how the ego of a jiva (is that correct?) would react very negatively toward an egoless being that represents it's own potential distruction. I have felt this myself, but in the case of spiritual teachers whom I did not entirely trust and whom I assumed were not egoless. David's story about accompanying Lakshmana Swami on a bus trip, and seeing Lakshmana's response amidst the thick crowd of people trying to get on the bus, makes me wonder how one truly discerns the spiritual state of another human being, if one can appear so seemingly 'normal' in ordinary daily life. Obviously this is a subtle thing that can be approached through silence, but even if one has a profound insight or experience in the presence of a teacher, this is no 'guarantee' that the teacher is fully realized (as in Broken Yogi's case). This is something I'd like to hear more about, if David (or anyone) has more to say on it.

Anonymous said...

Jupes
Guru is only love and compassion.
If now and then ' the Guru' kicks you up the bum
(sorry I mean bottom, if David allows this comment and any sensitive people should read this)

it will be realised as a much needed and deserved but also loving and compassionate kick to those
able to be so aware and Heartdrawn.

Those still entangled and immersed in there minds will just feel very offended.

I must have read that in a book somewhere but I think it must be true. Ramana has certainly kicked me a few times.

Jupes said...

Anonymous,
Thanks very much for your reminder of the nature of the pesky, poisonous mind and how it obstructs one's 'view' of the loving and compassionate Guru. Since prarabdha is behind the events and circumstances of one's life it seems that those kicks in the pants are going to happen regardless of what one does, unless one can be constantly in a state of atma vichara, something currently impossible for me.

I am still interested in knowing more about how to ascertain the true spiritual states of others, both in a general 'person-on-the-street' sense and also for those who are in positions to guide others spiritually, whether they make certain claims about their state or not. Obviously it is not something for the mind to discern but something that becomes evident without the mind. I'm just trying to grasp what that is. Perhaps it is simply about trusting and surrendering and allowing whatever is to be. My 'virus' mind seems to want more of an answer.

Anonymous said...

...My 'virus' mind seems to want more of an answer...

Yes, Jupes, this is the mysterious paradox:

The mind can't do anything to become "enligthened" because this requires the absence of mind and the complete awareness of this absence. Because "enlightenment" is an idea and ideas are always misguiding (in an absolute sense).

But nevertheless the mind has to try hard to become still.

-------------------

Papa Ramdas said: Let your ego slave until it knows definitely: I'm nothing - He is all.

-------------------

A stone is thrown into the air. Being in the air it thinks: Where I am? What is this all about here?

Normally the stone falling back to the ground falls asleep. Then the same play starts again.

When this stone falling back to the ground develops a total awareness of what is going on it feels a fire coming nearer and nearer as the ground is coming nearer and nearer.

.

arvind said...

Jupes,

Thanks for your kind comments.

“I am still interested in knowing more about how to ascertain the true spiritual states of others, both in a general 'person-on-the-street' sense and also for those who are in positions to guide others spiritually, whether they make certain claims about their state or not.”

Sri Bhagavan was asked similar questions as devotees were curious to know about the level of attainment of other teachers and Gurus and how to judge for themselves. To such queries Sri Bhagavan always gave replies as under:

[From “Spiritual Instruction”, Chapter I,1]

Q: What are the marks of a real teacher (Sadguru) ?

Sri Bhagavan: Steady abidance in the Self, looking at all with an equal eye, unshakeable courage at all times, in all places and circumstances etc.

[From “Letters from Sri Ramanasramam”, “(99) Guru Swarupam”]

Q: How is one to decide upon a proper Guru ? What is the swarupa [form] of a Guru ?

Sri Bhagavan: He is the proper Guru to whom your mind is attuned. If you ask, how to decide who is the Guru and what is his swarupa, he should be endowed with tranquillity, patience, forgiveness and other virtues capable of attracting others, even by a mere look, like the magnetic stone, and with a feeling of equality towards all — he that has these virtues is the true Guru.

----------------

Sri Bhagavan also said that only a Jnani can recognize another Jnani, an ordinary person cannot. Also, a Guru can lead a disciple only upto the state that the Guru himself has reached, not beyond it. So He always said that instead of hunting about for a suitable physical Guru, the serious seeker would be better advised to spend his time seeking the Self Itself, as the Guru is the Self, and then, if required, an external Guru will appear on his own as appropriate.

Nevertheless, in case one was actually “vetting” a physical Guru, I believe, Sri Bhagavan’s teachings were that what was really important in a Guru was whether in his presence the disciple felt his mind calming down, whether he felt at peace and content (not necessarily “exhilarated”), and that he longed to remain in his presence always. That he can give you temporary “experiences” of any sort is itself of no account, and is to be dismissed as inconsequential if the “calming” and “peaceful contentment” part, and the aspects as given in the quotes above, are missing.

best wishes

Anonymous said...

Hi Jupes

Ramana and the teaching is Guru.
Ramana and the teaching is Truth.
You Know this with a Knowledge deeper than your mind.
This is True Knowledge..the Knowledge of your Heart.

But... to various extents we are all entangled or entrapped.. and again to various extents we all idntify with, believe or think that we are the mind.

The mind is that head part of you
that has, or is often full of.. doubts. It is easily offended and is always searching and grasping
for answers and satification.

Over time, prehaps, some might see through ..and begin to identify less with their minds ..and to just Be
..and to Trust, Accept and Surrender to the Truth that is the Guru...that is Ramana and the Teaching...that is the Heart...that is their true Self.

Who knows?

Jupes said...

Arvind,
Thank you so much for your thorough and helpful response to my question on how to know the level of attainment of a spiritual teacher. Everything you said makes sense and offers a way to approach that question when needed. I particularly liked Bhagavan's statement: "He is the proper Guru to whom your mind is attuned." In saying that he seems to be saying that one's Guru does not have to be a Self-realized person, as long as certain other standards are met and as long as one feels drawn to and connected with the Guru.

I laughed outloud when I read your use of the word 'vetting'. I'm sure you're aware of the election process that's going on here in the U.S. and of all the vetting of candidates that's taking place. So funny to read that word in this (Guru) context!

Clemens and Anonymous,
Thanks to both of you for your comments on the 'puzzle' of the mind and of having to constantly contend with it and all its limitations and shennanigans. The only answer to the paradox you mentioned, Clemens, is to be firm and diligent in one's commitment to self-enquiry and other practices, and not worry about the absence or presence of the mind. There seems to be a huge trust factor here as well, in being able to let go of the mind and fall into the vast, all-embracing net of the Self. This is especially hard when, for most of us, we have grown up being told to use our minds and that that's how we will 'succeed' in life. Letting go of that deeply imbedded falsehood is at least half the challenge.

arvind said...

Anonymous and everyone,

A lot of people here on the blog, like you, seem to hold that what they basically have to do as sadhana is – do nothing. That all that they have to do is to be still, and abide in the Heart. Do not use the mind but rest in the Heart. There is nothing to be done, no seeker at all and nothing to be sought. Just be. This is of course, also the primary teaching of Sri Bhagavan. Sri Bhagavan has Himself said:

[“Collected Works”, Pg 142; from Atma Vidya, verse 4]

“Abide in stillness, without any stir
Of tongue, mind, body. And behold
The effulgence of the Self within;
The experience of Eternity; absence
Of all fear; the ocean vast of Bliss.”

[from “Reminiscences”, Pg 153, by G. V. Subbaramayya]

Sri Bhagavan said: “People seem to think that by practicing some elaborate sadhana the Self would one day descend upon them as something very big and with tremendous glory and they would then have what is called Sakshatkaram [direct experience]. The Self is Sakshat [direct] all right, but there is no karam or kritam about it. The word ‘karam’ implies one’s doing something. But the Self is realized not by doing something, but by refraining from doing anything by remaining still and being simply what one really is.”

But what one wanted to bring out was that Sri Bhagavan did not stop just here. He clearly mentioned that the above teaching is intended for the most mature of devotees, those who are veritable ‘heaps of gunpowder’. Is one such a sadhaka ? If a person is, then the instant and the first time he tries to abide in the Self, in the Heart, then in that instant itself he will become Self-realized. There is no time involved here. This is not a method of sadhana, that one keeps on trying “to be” repeatedly till one succeeds. It will happen in a flash. If it doesn’t happen the first time, then one should know that for now this teaching is not for oneself. So is one Self-realized now ? If not, then one needs to put one’s head down and get down to some serious hard work. It will not do - to do nothing and keep on repeating verbally that one is trying to be in the Heart. This then is just a shirking of the effort needed, an excuse to carry-on with the day-to-day enjoyment of the wonders of the world.

And so Sri Bhagavan has said, that for all the “other” sadhakas, serious and hard sadhana is necessary. That there is no escape but to use the head, the mind. The mind has to be used to get rid of the mind. “Use the thief to catch the thief”. Sri Bhagavan’s further advice then goes something as under:


[“Day by Day”, Pg 89, on 11.1.1946 afternoon]

Bhagavan: “Effortless and choiceless awareness is our real nature. If we can attain it or be in that state, it is all right. But one cannot reach it without effort, the effort of deliberate meditation. All the age-long vasanas carry the mind outward and turn it to external objects. All such thoughts have to be given up and the mind turned inward. For that, effort is necessary for most people. Of course, everybody, every book says, ‘Summa iru’, i.e. ‘Be quiet or still’. But it is not easy. That is why all this effort is necessary. Even if we find one who has at once achieved the mauna or supreme state indicated by ‘Summa iru’ you may take it that the effort necessary has already been finished in a previous life.”

[“Talks”, Pg 285; from Talk No. 322 (7.1.1937)]

Question: What should one do in order to remain free from thoughts as advised by you? Is it only the enquiry ‘Who am I?’
M: Only to remain still. Do it and see.
D: It is impossible.
M: Exactly. For the same reason the enquiry ‘Who am I?’ is advised.

[“Talks”, Pg 83; from Talk No. 80 (3.10.1935)]

D: What if one meditates incessantly without Karma?
B: Try and see. The vasanas will not let you do it. Dhyana comes only step by step with the gradual weakening of the vasanas by the Grace of the Master.

[“Souvenir Ramana Smriti”, from ‘Sri Bhagavan’s Grace’; Gouriammal told Sri Bhagavan that she was His disciple only and He should tell her what to do]

“Do what you want to do”, He replied, “but keep doing it; don’t remain doing nothing. Repeat the Name, or think deeply, or seek the source of your ‘I’-consciousness, do atma-vichara, but keep working on yourself, this is very important.”

[It is also my belief, that the foregoing is equally applicable to those who are bhakti oriented also. Sadhana then does not mean just reading the lives of sages and basking in the thrill of the sages’ great experiences; and saying that one has felt it in the Heart; or repeatedly saying verbally that one has surrendered to the Lord. Sadhana-wise, that is the equivalent of doing “nothing” as above. Sri Bhagavan said “surrender”. And again the touchstone is - that if one were a mature enough bhakta to be able to actually “surrender” completely as Sri Bhagavan envisaged, one would be Self-realized (or God-realized) just this minute. Since one is not, then it implies that a lot of formal sadhana is required to build up the requisite maturity and ripeness first. If one is not cut-out for Self-enquiry, then sadhana maybe would be undergoing the shastraic procedures of doing puja, Nama-japa, reciting strotras, manana, shravan et al; in short the carrying out of all the procedures that the great sages have directed, either explicitly or by the example of their own lives.]

Jupes said...

Arvind,
Thanks for your clarification on using the mind and making effort in approaching sadhana, and for these wonderful quotes from Bhagavan. As usual, you seem to have your 'finger on the pulse' and you have a great ability to put it all down with clarity and thoroughness. Much appreciated.

Best wishes.

அவனடிமை said...

Kaivalya Navaneetham a Tamil poem by Sri. ThaaNdavaraaya SwaamigaL, a work often quoted by Sri. Bhagavaan, specifically talks about the need for self-effort and saadhanaa and how the Truth is understood only based on the strength of saadhanaa:

சாதன மின்றி யொன்றைச்
சாதிப்பா ருலகி லில்லை
ஆதலா லிந்த நான்கும் அடைந்தவர்க் கறிவுண் டாகும்
நூதன விவேகி உள்ளம் நுழையாது நுழையு மாகில்
பூதசன் மங்கள் கோடி
புனிதனாம் புருட னாமே .

saadhanam in(d)Ri on(d)Rai saadhippaar ulagil illai
aadhalaal indha naangum adaindhavarkku aRivu.uN daagum
nuudhana viveeki uLLam nuzhaiyaadhu nuzhaiyum aagil
bhootha.san mangaL koodi punidhanaam purudan aamee.

Meaning:
'சாதனமில்லாமல் ஒரு காரியத்தைச் சாதிப்பவர்கள் பூமியின்கண் இல்லை , ஆகையால் இச்சாதன சதுட்டயங்களைப் பெற்றவர்களுக்கு ஞானோதயமாம்; புதிய விவேகியின் மனதில் புகாது; புகுமானால் இறந்த காலத்துள்ள அனந்த சனனங்களில் சித்த சுத்தி உள்ளவனாகிய பூமானாம் . '

'saadhanamillaamal oru kaariyatthai'ch saadhippavargaL bhuumiyin.kaN illai . aagaiyaal icchaadhana chadhuttayangaLai'p pe(t)RRavargaLukku njyaanodhayamaam ; pudhiya viveekiyin manadhil pugaadhu ; pugumaanaal iRandha kaalatthuLLa anantha sananangaLil sittha sutthi uLLavanaagiya bhuumaanaam'.

There is no one on this earth who can achieve anything without saadhanaa (or practice). Therefore, those who practice these “four-fold” saadhanaa attain liberation. This won't enter (or be understood by) the mind of a novice. If it does (enter), then his inner cleansing must have happened over many past incarnations.

Thus, the effect of sat-saadhanai / 'சத் சாதனை ' is 'cleansing' ('punidhamaakkudhalee sat saadhanaiyin viLaivu ' / 'புனிதமாக்குதலே சத் சாதனையின் விளைவு ').

nonduel said...

The question whether Sadhana is easy or difficult is a subtle one.

Every time that we say it is difficult, this comes from the ego. Only the ego is the doer, and thus can find it difficult, frustrating, and something to acquire, to attain.

When we give truth to this, we are in fact strengtening the ego, who will consequently have to work harder, be more devoted to sadhana. Try more!

My understanding is that these are just thoughts that we have to destroy through vichara. Not pay attention, credence to them.

The Ribhu Gita points that the Bhavana that I AM SELF is the fastest way to Self-realisation. The important point here is Bhavana=CONVICTION.

If you are deeply convinced, then there is nothing to do but to dwelve in the Self. Being, in that situation, is just BEING what you ALREADY ARE.

Thus there is no "effort". Is it hard to be what one is? Is it difficult for a women to be a women and similarly for a man?

If one isn't convinced, then of course, one will have to "reach", "attain" that state. Which means that one doubts that he IS SELF.

But this doesn't make Self-Enquiry "easy" and one just takes a back seat and relax.

To keep with a one pointedness, consistenly, the attention on the self isn't easy.

Thus one has to be diligently keeping the attention on the self, unwavering returning it as soon as one notice the mind is roaming outwardly.

The "state of mind" has to be that one already IS.

Being frustrated, discouraged, can only come from the ego.

This is the dichotomy of Self-Realisation...I AM SELF, One without another, but there is a "doing" to remove the ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Scott fraundorf:
This is just idle speculation, and intellectual curiosity, based on my current level of experience. but i wonder if part of the reason for the experiences in the presence of jnanis, is that the 'me' that I think I am on all these levels conscious, subconscious, verbal, as well as nonverbal normally is sustained by its relationships with supposed 'others'. All the yous, hims, hers, theys, and its, that I imagine and tell stories about. 'me' exists in comparison with these since they give it form, defining itself in opposition. It gives the feeling I'm an individual living in a populated world of individuals. And It's not just on the conscious, and verbal levels. In the presence of a jnani, or someone who is very advanced, since the 'me' entity (ego) is not present on any level, my 'me' entity tries to have it's normal relationship with the jnani, on all levels subconscious as well as conscious, verbal as well as nonverbal, comparing myself with him/her, hoping to be compared with back because thats what reassures me I exist in normal relationships and reassures me that there are really other people I'm interacting with, fortunately the jnani has no 'me' to return the relationship which makes the 'me' realize atleast temporarily that it doesn't exist, as well as all the others that give an illusion of a populated universe. I think what made me think this, was recalling that in the presence of Nome in Santa Cruz, I immediately judged him very harshly as being a fraud. I felt very angry, whereas normally in the presence of someone whose faking something, I might just laugh about it. And about a half hour later grudgingly looking out the window bored at his satsang, I had an experience where I felt all alone, and like there is just me, and everything else is imaginary, including my judgements. Although, unlike me, Papaji was a jnani and one since age six. There was a similar interaction between him and Maharshi, where he could not stand Maharshi's 'laziness' and 'bad example'. But when Maharshi said something to him, he had that profound experience of the heart opening.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:
I was just reading the previous post by nonduel. First off, speaking from the position of an ajnani, so I don't really know better.

That seems really correct to me that it is the ego that is making it difficult by claiming it is difficult. Infact that seems to be the only thing difficult about Enquiry is the way the false I keeps making it so complicated.

I've felt things get untied enough that I'm starting to see it differently.

The comment that one will have to "reach", "attain" that state if one isn't convinced. That now strikes me as untrue. Infact exactly the opposite, cease "reaching", cease "attaining"
Who is to reach? That the striving is actually the obstacle to becoming convinced. Now maybe I had to tire myself out by this striving before I could just chill. But that seems to be what I was doing, since Violent, Effortful, Repressive Sadhana still requires being the "doer". Who is that one who feels that need? And what were they wanting so badly, or what were they so desperately trying to prevent. Alot of my effortful sadhana was actually I believe focusing on the wrong target, repressing painful feelings, desires, the feelings of fear. But if those are of the body, what concern are they of mine? The attention I put on an imagination of something I need, smoething I want to prevent, something I'm afraid of. Turning away from that, is easily and with little effort in my control. Repressing feelings, thoughts, is always effortful, and as far as I can gather not very fruitful, other then realizing that it doesn't work.

The line of Maharshi, "effort" is the bondage

I originally thought one-pointedness involved intense concentration, and maybe it does, but I'm noticing that perhaps one-pointedness is less effortful, concentration, flexing those mental muscles, and more that when they become totally relaxed and sensitive my mind is one-pointed from not concentrating hard on what it thinks it needs to concentrate on. For me often those were intense desires and intense fears.

But maybe I'm wrong, and intense effortful sadhana is necessary to reach a more effortless investigation. It's just that now that i'm touching on a more effortless version, it seems easier.

The difficulty is that if I turn away from an object of fear, it feels like it could get me, I could die. If I turn away from desire, how will I ever get what I need to experience? But if I turn away from those, it seems that realizing the Self will just fall into place on it's own, since those were the obstacles.

That is what "The Self isn't something to reach" it is not something to be aquired means to me now. Is that every effort, every concentrated attention I'm putting on soemthing I feel I have to concentrate on, even sadhana, is the very obstacle that prevents effortless merging into the Self.

nonduel said...

Dear Anonymous,

I watched a video of Papaji today in which he was answering someones who was asking for freedom. Papaji talked about postponing, saying that the mind loves to postpone, while freedom is in the now.

The difficulties, if I may express it as such, is in the belief that we have to do something, and that something (realisation) is very difficult and happens to only a very few.

It is ironic! All sages say that we ARE what we are searching. Thus we cannot find it and see it... because we ARE IT. To find it and see it implies that it is outside, an object, while the objects are in us. The seer, the seen and the seing are one.

No matter how often we read from the Sages, and/or the scriptures, over and over again the same Truth, we are still struggling to find what we ARE. An eye cannot see itself!

In you post, you used the word "if" a few times. The "IF" is the obstacle.

As for the "effort", you probably know this site: http://www.happinessofbeing.com/

I would suggest that you read particularly chapter 9 Self-Investigation and Self-Surrender and chapter 10 The Practice of the Art of Being. from the free e-book
""Happiness and the Art of Being""

The effort that the ajnani does is only to be self-attentive. As soon as you find you are following thoughts, you bring your attention on yourself. Not with a strong concentration, just smoothly. And rest in the conviction that You ARE SELF.

The other thing which we often do, is to blame ourself for our lack of one-pointedness, and our slack of attention. Blame is also of the mind!

How often we have been told "BE STILL" ?

I liked your post!

nonduel said...

Just after writing my previous post, I took "Nothing Ever Happened", David's book 1 on Papaji, which I am reading presently.

I was on page 139:

QUOTE:

"""If you want to be free, why think about whether it is destined or not? Just make a decision, "I want to be free today. I want to be free right now. I refuse to put it off." That experience will come when you refuse to accept any excuse or reason for delaying it.""

""It is your great luck to be here to Lucknow. That experience is available now, and it is available here in Lucknow itself. How can you say that "now" is not here? Now is always here. Not in the next moment, not in the last moment, not tomorrow, not yesterday. In between the next moment and the last moment is something that not everybody can see. Why? Because you have to be it, not see it. That's how you find the gap and stay there. That being is available at all times to everyone, but you have to be serious if you want to be one with it. You have to make a decision that you are not going to postpone. You are in very good circumstances now. Don't miss out on this chance you have been given. Out of six billion people in the world, only a hundred or so are here. Such great luck you have! I am not going to discourage you. It will come to you because it is already here. You don't need to try. It is the trying that gives you trouble. Don't try and don't even think. Thinking also needs some use of your head. Don't think and don't make effort. And then you will see what results""

End of quote.

Anonymous said...

Scott fraundorf:
Nonduel, I at first didnt' find Papaji's thoughts like that helpful, because there was too much of an outward going tendency.
I still have to effortfully, and as gracefully as possible bring things back, merging with the I, or asking Who is this I?

But Papaji makes more and more sense to me, seeing that it isn't a practice in the normal sense, but it may be more practice in the sense of practicing a skill (like shooting 303 rifles aka papaji), and that is being "I" with nothing attached. I now see the importance of just "Being", putting all my attention on that, but of course when my mind runs rampant after external objects I have to make a deterimination to bring it back, and then when I can, ceasing even that effort, until as much as possible, I just am, not this or that, and not doing anything, not even the subtlest internal efforts. Easier said than done. A year ago I wasn't even at a place to cease subtle efforts. But now I notice subtle efforts. Sometimes I've just stopped, and maybe had an awareness of Self, that is everything is nonduel (your name), and there is only that Supreme Reality. But not often. Four years ago, I was having duality disentegrate on me, but it was unwanted experience, and I fought it off again and again. Now that I'm happy to Realize that Nonduality, it's elusive. But I do believe that this Earnest Enquiry will pay off in the end, and will have little pay offs now and again. I have trouble believing Earnest Enquiry will not lead to Self-Realization atleast within a lifetime. Because I'm willing to say, my previous attempts were pointless, and the only progress I got out of it, was learning not to do that anymore. There is also the tendency, because my mind loves to play with concepts, is so addicted to intellectualism, whereas there is always the option to just stop and be, to not think, but know, jnana

i liked your post also..

nonduel said...

Dear Anonymous,

"""I at first didn't find Papaji's thoughts like that helpful, because there was too much of an outward going tendency."""

I have to admit that the teaching that resonate the most with nonduel, is Sri Ramana's.

Sometime reading other Sages, like Sri Papapji and Sri Nisargadatta, with their direct up to the point approach, is helpfull in shaking the doubts. I could add Sri Atmananda Krishna Menon, Sri Ranjit Maharij and Sri Siddharameshwar.

Nonduel and Anonymous always complicate everything with their thinking, which is the source of all the difficulties.

We are always trying to find "ways", practices so that we can BE. One of these is using the will, concentrating, putting effort in being Self-Attentive (vichara). Isn't it ridiculous of ourselves? Do you have to put effort to be Anonymous ?

Isn't it amazing how we need to complicate thing? This is all the work of the mind.

The only effort is to return our attention toward our I AMNESS. But we will blame our wandering mind, our lack of success with onepointedness, and put more effort... All of this is keeping us outward.

I notice in reading your post that there's some of this. Same thing for nonduel. That's the ego talking!

The ego is putting the effort, the struggling, the will, the concentration, criticising the failure, the lack of result...etc.

But the ego will never Realise!

In David's book "The Power of the Presence" #2, page 11, 12 & 13 Kunju Swami asks Sri Ramana why he cannot abide in the same state when he is away from him.

Sri Ramana tells him to read in the "Kaivalya Navaneeta" the verses 83 to 93 (quote): """If everyday you do these, you will surely gain liberation."""

Read them, pounder on them slowly.

Take in consideration that this is nonduel's limited understanding.
"First Realise and then talk"

Anonymous said...

Absolute agreement with nondual on everything... No qualifications. But since I enjoy reading my own writing, and enjoy language...

Me too, Ramana resonates more then any other jnani's words. I even at first had trouble believing any of the others were in the same state. I started to read Nisargadatta, and I was like "what a poser". And although I thought Papaji was wise, I thought he was too brazen to claim enlightenment.

When I heard more about these people, and read more of these people, I came to realize that they were, to my mind, just as sincere as Ramana. Being in the big bad jaded world, everyone manipulating eachother subconsciously, I was jaded too. Even when I picked up writings of Maharshi's I at first expected him to say, "submit to me!, I am great!"

I had read Karma Cola, so the idea of a guru that wasn't just another charismatic authoritarian figure abusing power. THe idea of someone being enlightened, never crossed my mind. Even seeing the blur around Nome, I went away feeling like he was a con artist. I still don't know, but such speculation, how does it help me? Does it even matter for my practice? No, because if someone is an abuser, no matter how great I think there state is, or what they say, I will stay away, "The evil with their wicked ways say do not come near me, the good are always good, so then all are like gurus to us" --wise Sri Ramana

With Papaji I really came to appreciate his sincerity, and the beauty of his life from reading Nothing Ever Happened. He writes with the innocense of a child, nothing that is not innocent, but at the same time perfectly wise. David Godman explained it well, that when he said "just stop, Don't do anything, even practice", that was when in his presence, these jnanis are just getting us out of the way so that we realize that grace that is within. Even Nome's words, I felt just shut me up, they weren't another ideology for my mind to grab onto, another excuse to think "This is True".

Though Papaji's words make more sense to me, as I do things, but they really are the same thing as Ramana. Maharshi wasn't to my mind giving out a meditation practice, sadhana to spend a life time progressing in. It was an immediate investigation into the I, that is inventing all of this even time. The goal is to Realize the truth of it, here and now. I correct myself anytime I think about, it's a year later, and I'm seeing progress. Because that is in time, and time as my ego experiences it, is as much an illusion as my ego.

So attempting Enquiry is a practice for me, but it's also an immediate attempt to realize the truth. Not a "I must have Self-Realization Now" But deeply looking into "who am I? Where did I come from? How real is this I?" with no expectation of a reward.

And I do it, why? Because when I feel real, when I feel the world is real, and my imagination goes haywire, I suffer, and I suffer bad. So then in suffering I attempt Enquiry, to eliminate suffering by asking "who suffers?" and finding that I, where is it?

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I don't understand why Realization is hard on the body. I also don't find it important to my practice to understand, so I'm not expecting a definitive answer.

If realization is the natural state, why would it hurt the body? Although I do remember Lakshmana Swami mentioning that it is hard on the nervous system to make that shift.

Although my experience when I was 22 was more of an aborted Realization. It wasn't as far as I could gather hard on the body at all, but there was a tremendous shift in the nervous system, and for a while after I had all sorts of visual effects, such as what seemed like sparks, that were jolting. It was like an overhaul, but it didn't effect autonomic, just cognition. The blissful experience I had recently, felt like tremendous force surging.

And it almost felt out of control, but in no obvious way was it harmful. If in Self-Realization that force is unhindered, it might be greater, but as far as I could tell it was probably healing. So I was just curious about that.

I initially thought Ramana just died at a ripe old age, and got cancer. It feels like the ego is tremendously hard on the body in terms of stress in my case, anxiet, tension.

When I was a child my ego was not very developed, and I was happy and healthy, and with Inquiry, I have glimpses of my early childhood state, free, which confirms for me that Realization is the natural state. whereas The ego is not a natural state, but a parasite.

Lakshmana Swami's words though have a definite power and authority that is irresistable.

Don Miguel Ruiz is another person whose words that I've read resonate from seemingly similar insights to Maharshi. Infact before I was exposed to Maharshi, the Four Agreements was the closest thing, and resonates with Enquiry, not quite as direct, but atleast an investigation into the ego's existence.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Yes, some of those claims about Nome were appalling, and I'm not the type to usually disbelieve someone who claims they were raped, or abused, or bad things happened? (Not that those were the things that were claimed). It's hard to tell what's true on the internet. I'm not disbelieving those claims, but they are fascinatingly disporportionate to every interaction I've had with Nome (And my e-mail has a female name). For myself I would want to first verify that they aren't all one person, that that one person doesn't have a really ill agenda, but if they really are sincere devotees that have come away hurt for genuine reasons, he has been abusive and manipulative, my tendency would be to believe them. But the person who defended Nome, his experience fit more with mine. I haven't seen anything to indicate at this point that he is sexually predatory, so I reserve judgement. It would be interesting to me, if it is not true, and there is some other reason. If it is true, I'm not bothered because my primary focus is utilizing every tool, mind, body, others who have useful Knowledge or Awareness to gain Self-Realization. I' m not interested in putting someone or something before that.

Anonymous said...

scott Fraundorf:

Also maybe I'm more atheist, but Ramana Maharshi's teachings, are great, but they are at this point words, and therefore still can be intellectual. Tapping into the Self, underlying the ego, is different. The Self is the only candle. That's why I think there is difference between living and dead teachers. Is that a teacher that has died is now to some degree a concept. I can contemplate Ramana Maharshi, but it's just something I imagine. The Self, has no form, it's not external or internal. Inquiry too is not an intellectual practice. So asking Who am I? can only go so far. Because it's still words. So turning toward Ramana, no I don't. I turn inward as much as possible, and try to relinquish the ego. Ramana's words are useful, because at one point, there was a form that transcended the ego and was able to tell people about it. So I don't hold Ramana the concept in esteem. I hold the Self in whatever way it manifests in esteem, and attempt to surrender. I don't want to waste time imagining Ramana, when there's only the Self. So Ramana's not my guru in the sense that I haven't met his gaze and had my mind turned inward and vanish, like so many others have claimed. The real Ramana is all that is, the Self, and it was never confined to that particular body.

Anonymous said...

scott Fraundorf:

Also maybe I'm more atheist, but Ramana Maharshi's teachings, are great, but they are at this point words, and therefore still can be intellectual. Tapping into the Self, underlying the ego, is different. The Self is the only candle. That's why I think there is difference between living and dead teachers. Is that a teacher that has died is now to some degree a concept. I can contemplate Ramana Maharshi, but it's just something I imagine. The Self, has no form, it's not external or internal. Inquiry too is not an intellectual practice. So asking Who am I? can only go so far. Because it's still words. So turning toward Ramana, no I don't. I turn inward as much as possible, and try to relinquish the ego. Ramana's words are useful, because at one point, there was a form that transcended the ego and was able to tell people about it. So I don't hold Ramana the concept in esteem. I hold the Self in whatever way it manifests in esteem, and attempt to surrender. I don't want to waste time imagining Ramana, when there's only the Self. So Ramana's not my guru in the sense that I haven't met his gaze and had my mind turned inward and vanish, like so many others have claimed. The real Ramana is all that is, the Self, and it was never confined to that particular body.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I thought I'd respond here to Ravi, and Bookworm, that way I'm not being as obnoxious as B.Y. claimed I had been. I think if for really long comments that are maybe somewhat irrelevent to the present topic, I limit it to past threads, I'm safe from being annoying, and or ruining people's dialoging fun.

To Bookworm's somewhat funny but maybe sincerely meant comment about wouldn't I think David Godman was a prat if he had responded that way. (I do appreciate the sarcasm, keep it up) I can't honestly say. Definitely before I encountered Ramana I was a more jaded person, and there certainly are plenty of reasons to be jaded. I would say, it all depends on context. For isntance some of Nome's presentation, was a little too, the "spiritual image" for my tastes, and he does have a formal scriptural style of responding that would in other contexts perhaps strike me a bit pretentious. But the fact that his responses are dead on to every question I've asked, about how to not approach the dilemna with the mind, the past, or previous insecurities, and have not been a canned, pretend guru style response except for the formal style, which I believe you were referring. Honestly, I wouldn't doubt he's a little Asperger's Autism, with such formal sounding, android responses. But I feel like in a way I'm getting the curriculum from him that I need, as Ravi, wisely pointed out, taht is what matters. Consistantly he has directed me to instead of fighting the mind, see that happiness is inside and then I wouldn't have to worry abotu the mind, kind of trumping the need for a long drawn out Inquiry. If he were an abuser, he's the first abuser, manipulator, or bully I've ever encountered that straight away, and consistantly has advised me to seek inward for happiness. Supernaturally, I don't think I was aware of such intense inward happiness, bliss, and grace, or knew how to return the mind to silence before I actually up and e-mailed him, because I had hit a roadblock both in my life and Inquiry, that I wasn't sure how to surrender. As a little advertisement, maybe because it's been so extremely helpful for me, regardless of what is thought about Society of Abidnace in Truth, or Nome, he suggested over time diving into some of the books on the website, for instance the Tamil Ribbu Gita. This could be a bit of an exaggeration but it appears I've fallen into effortless samadhi a few times just from reading it slowly and meditatively. Even if I am exaggerating it certainly has been extremely helpful for spiritual practice. Nome's book Four Requisites for REalization and Inquiry highlighted some interesting points from both Sankara and Maharshi, I think the Requisites were actually Sankara's "Discrimination, Detachment, the Six Essentials (Peace of Mind, Renunciation (of the senses) I can't remember the others), and the Desire for Liberation". Like the Ribhu Gita, the Four Requisites seem to be wonderful aids to Inquiry. For instance, what is the source of happiness? What is Eternal? Seem like great questions to ask? When I have a problem, is it eternal? Is the Earth, or universe eternal?

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Annamalai Swami's claims about the Power to Enlighten, really fit with my experiences with Nome. I feel like my own lamp comes away lit from his responses, I feel prompted up into a very secure state (as opposed to a dependent state since my own lamp is lit). I was reading the gossip abotu him on Guru ratings (yeah, that), it's way too gossipy. Also nothing criminal, or physically abusive, was attributed, stuff that people as adults, if they are not benefiting could easily walk away from. It's very hard to evaluate someone's state from their behavior as been said from most of the books edited by David Godman. Obviously I can't imagine desireless Jnanis physically assaulting, raping (Ever!) innocent people. That makes no sense, they have no needs, which really is what most depraved or abusive behavior is built on. As far as having affairs, having unmarried sexual affairs, that's none of my business, and also has nothing to do with someone's state, and someone's sexual choices, or experiences are irrelevent to someone's saintliness. Although consensuality I would like to imagine would go hand in hand with enlightenment, and I'm pretty sure it does. I personally would judge a person's saintliness, Enlightenment by how exactly what A.S. said, how much they light my own lamp, how much I can independently stay in a state disidenfied from the mind, body, and senses, time. If there doing that, helping establishing me as a Jivanmukta, who would never rule, or be ruled, that is the most healthy relationship of any sort I could ever be involved in. If overall any relationship makes me feel unpeaceful, anxious, I would re-evaluate being involved in it. As Maharshi said, "If you can't see someone as the Self, avoid them" Everything Ravi said to everyone seemed very sound to me. Back to Molecular Bio. Studying.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

And if nothing else, I've flubbed up so many ways in life, mainly because of my ego tendencies that I've learned not to judge others so much, even Hitler, because if I'm still taking myself as an individual selfishly that has needs, who sees a World, and oppresses upon that world my concepts of it, am I, any better then Hitler? Until I've freed myself from the ego? Resounding no!

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Ravi, I have to say that Ramakrishna from reading the wikipedia article is just about as interesting as Maharshi. His style of teaching, and that people would approach him with the intent of debunking or arguing with him, only to end up as followers. That seems to be common with the Realized. Also his marriage to Sarada Devi, and how charming he was to her.

Ravi said...

Scott,
Yes,Sri Ramakrishna is indeed unique.In an age steeped in Rational scepticism,intellectual elitism,his life was a classic example of what sheer aspiration can achieve.In a sense he brought spirituality to a SENSORY level-God can be touched,seen,smelt,heard,tasted!God is accessible in HUMAN TERMS!He is our Father,Mother,Friend,Lover,Master and dearer to one than oneself.


Ofcourse,the advaitic Realisation of the SELF is also covered,but as he said-I PLAY ALL THE SEVEN NOTES.

The Wikipaedia article is a little academic,I recommend your reading one of Vivekananda's finest talks that he gave in New York-My Master.It is available here:
http://www.hinduism.fsnet.co.uk/namoma/life_thakur/life_thakur_my_master.htm

coming to his charming relationship with Sri Sarada Devi(our Holy Mother)-you have truly hit the Bull's Eye.In the whole hagiography,there is simply no parallel to this Holy Couple.Just to think of them is purifying.

Thanks very much.Best Regards.

Anonymous said...

.

...http://www.hinduism.fsnet.co.uk/namoma/life_thakur/life_thakur_my_master.htm ...

Thank you, Ravi. I already have this in German (Mein Meister Ramakrishna), but it is good to have it in English too (... to argue with disbelievers)

.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

The only thing, Ravi, is that I do have trouble with long political diatribes, and political idealism, because I have trouble taking those ideas to be real. So far what I've read of Vivikenanda he does have alot of Occidental versus Oriental. Now there are probably great pearls of wisdom, and maybe he was trying to appeal to an American crowd sure of it's betterness then India, that he did well with. But those concepts he was attributing to East and West I don't agree with. In my own experience, I don't see those clear divisions. The spiritual, nondual East, the domineering egotistical West. I think both strains run throughout all humans. Everyone has egos, and there are some everywhere (maybe rarely) that have transcended the ego, and world. Although I will agree, Advaita Vedanta, with it's Maharshi's and Shankara's is deeply inspiring to me. But Rumi was pretty cool too, and he was Muslim. Within Christianity I'm sure there have been some nondual sages as well, some of which have been co-opted into the church. Now when I'm going to give up these useless opinions, of thinking something is true, not sure. Because none of this is, this history, these thoughts, it's all just more words, and trains of logic. When people appeal to a "world" I glaze over a little, because what world. Even if the world is real, there are millions of people, and an infinite number of events in any given moment, the cup falling, the light switch turning on, different words. So any set of ideas, any story, how can it be even remotely true? Even my own life, I can tell a story about it, but I think Papaji is right, Nothing ever happened.

Bookworm said...

Ravi
You say with regard to Ramakhrishna:

He is our Father,Mother,Friend,Lover,Master and dearer to one than oneself.

.............................

He might be to you Ravi but He is not to me.

Of course when searching for Truth many moons ago, I read the books etc.. but came to realise His Truth/flame did not burn as bright as Ramana.

Why talk about Him here...Why not go to a Ramakhrishna site?

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I guess it is really important to realize teh Self in this lifetime, otherwise I could come back as a plant, so says Yama in Katha Upanishad. The more "I" inquire, the more the need to Realize the Self increases, which then deepens the Inquiry, and also the things previously considered real seem more and more meaningless, especially when you listen to Quartet For the end of time played on Youtube, while reading the Katha Upanishad. Sorry Ravi, for being critical at all of Vivikenanda's speech. Speaking fro my maturity

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
"Ravi
You say with regard to Ramakhrishna:

He is our Father,Mother,Friend,Lover,Master and dearer to one than oneself."

I have not said it with regard to Sri Ramakrishna;I said this with regard to God or Self and about the sort of human approach.

scott,
I appreciate what you are saying about vivekananda-there is a cultural context that was relevant to those times.Just how crucial it was,we may not apreciate today.Yet,if we set aside our personal likes/dislikes and read this with an open mind,it will add to our understanding and appreciation of many of the cultural ,social ,collective aspects of Spirituality.

Best Regards.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I guess, I don't feel qualified to say who burns brighter Ramana or Ramakrishna, because I don't know anything hardly about Ramakrishna. it did seem, that he was as much realized in the Self, as any other realized in the Self 'person'. And like ramana said you cannot judge a jnani, sage by their actions. Also it does occur to me that different sages appeal to different groups, different maturity levels sometimes. Don Miguel Ruiz, seems realized, yet he appeals to the mainstream New Age crowd in the U.S. I'm a little more cautious about making such quick, absolute judgements about things I know little about. Ramana, appealed to me more, because Inquiry seemed the right thing to do, I was a bit exhausted with concepts, and action plans, and so that there is only the Self (Brahman), and not me, and others, that seemed like a sensible ideal to strive for. I guess to cease to exist, as an individual. All the external actions plans, whether selfish or selfless had kind of worn themselves out for me. "I" was tired of doing things, and wanted a little bit of rest from carrying the burdens on "my" shoulders.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

By the way, Bookworm, what do you think about Shankara, it seems to me anyway that you are a bit distrustful of anything, tradionitional or New Age if it's not Ramana.(which is fine, I'm not being critical), I initially was distrustful, but then have come to realize that Shankara, and some of Ramana's devotees, and it appears Nome, that there are others that accentuate for me the teachings, and help me understand it. With shankara, the four requisites, discrimination, detachment, the six essentials, and the desire for liberation, are helpful, because it does appear, although Ravi might disagree, that in pursuit of Self-Knowledge, starting out with the conviction that I the individual don't exist, that the world eminates from the I thought are helfpul because then Who am I? makes sense, as opposed to being an individual, in a world, practicing Inquiry to become more wise.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

It also appears that for Inquiry to proceed beyond a certain point, not only dualistic ideas have to be given up, but also bad tendencies, such as lust, anger, self-potection, fear. The attempt at Inquiry brings on those choices, do I go deeper with the inquiry or do I succumb to this vasana. I was reading mathru sri sarada's website, and Lakshmana Swami saying taht the senses have to be conquered, victory over the senses leads ot gnana fire. So although, maybe external responsibilities don't have to be given up in renunciation, clearly the vasanas have to be renounced. I think that is maybe also why, a "living" sadguru is necessary is that the conviction to overcome some of the habitual tendencies, the lust, teh anger, the self-protection, require the help of someone has aleady overcome all of them. You look at Lakshmana Swami, and Mathru Sri Sarada, and you see that it is worth it. Bookworm, check out mathrusrisarada.org. I found some of that helpful as well. They are Ramana.

Bookworm said...

Scott

You ask:

'By the way, Bookworm, what do you think about Shankara, it seems to me anyway that you are a bit distrustful of anything, tradional or New Age if it's not Ramana'

..........................

Scott it is not a case of being 'distrustful of anything, tradional or New Age if it's not Ramana'

It is difficult to say the following without it appearing to be a statement born of ego.

It is not meant to be ...it is just true of me.

I have always had, from an experience in early childhood, an awareness of Ramana.
For a while this awareness was put on the 'back burner' as I explored, read, became involved.. to some extent.. with various new age guru types.
I saw or had 'darshan' of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada... Muktananda a few times...and as I have mentioned earlier became for a while entangled in the teaching of Ad Da.
I have also communicated with and seen a well known 'neo advaita Teacher' for what it was worth.

This is apart from exporing and reading just about everythig to do with religion, yoga, the occult, drugs, Spirituality...traditional and new age.
As for experiences, again for what they are worth...you name it...obe's more than I can remember, all the yogic experiences, raised kundalini etc
and a host more.

In the end I came to realise that there is no Higher Truth than Ramana and that everythng Ramana taught about enquiry, the falseness of ego and the Heart on the Right has been found to be True.

As for Shankara...this is one area I did not explore or read.
I doubt I ever wlll as it is proved to me beyond doubt that Ramana and the Teaching is all that is needed.
Having said that Ramana often quoted Sankara..so Shankara must be of value and good.

Bookworm said...

Scott
V2

You ask:

'By the way, Bookworm, what do you think about Shankara, it seems to me anyway that you are a bit distrustful of anything, tradionitional or New Age if it's not Ramana'

.......................

It is not a case of being distrustful Scott...more a case of experience and knowledge.

Ramana quoted Shankara..therefore must have value.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Cool!

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
"It is not a case of being distrustful Scott...more a case of experience and knowledge."

Please review this misunderstanding.You are stuck in your world of illusion.

Bookworm said...

Scott:

You say:
'Bookworm, check out mathrusrisarada.org. I found some of that helpful as well'

.....................

Yes Scott...I read Davids book on Herself and Lakshmana Swarmi approx 1988, fairly soon after it was first published.
It is called 'NO MIND, I AM THE SELF'.
I don't normally re-read books apart from the numurous times I re-read a few trusty books on Ramana and Ramanas Teaching.
I might plough this book again though..or bits of it.
I remember thinking at the time it was a very 'strange book' and that I wasn't quite sure what to make of it.

Bookworm said...

Scott
V2

You say:
'Bookworm, check out mathrusrisarada.org. I found some of that helpful as well'

......................

Have you read Davids book '@NO MIND, I AM THE SELF' the lives and teachings of Sri Lakshmana amd Mathru Sri Sarada.
I have just been re-reading parts of it.
Very good.

Bookworm said...

Ravi

You say:

Bookworm wrote:
"It is not a case of being distrustful Scott...more a case of experience and knowledge."

Ravi wrote in reply:
Please review this misunderstanding.You are stuck in your world of illusion.

............................

As long as it is not
your world of illusion Ravi...
that's fine by me.

Bookworm said...

Ravi

One more thing Ravi.
You say with regard to Ramakhrisha:

'Of course,the advaitic Realisation of the SELF is also covered,but as he said-I PLAY ALL THE SEVEN NOTES'

.........................

Didn't anybody ever tell Him?...
there are eight notes to the scale.

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
I have nothing more to add to what I have already pointed out.It is entirely upto you as to what you want to be or not be.
I will respond to you in future only if I find you are earnest and serious.
Wish you the very Best.

Bookworm said...

Ravi

Thank you Ravi...I wish you the very best as well.
If you dish it out you have got to learn to take it.

Clemens
I know that you are in a sense only defending your friend Ravi and that english is not you first language... so being the noble, wise, kind, etc.etc.... Spirit that I am..I shall let that pass.

Bookworm said...

Ravi

By the way Ravi the below was not just me only meaning the musical scale or being glib...but if one can talk of scales without appearing too silly:

Yogis have a 7 note scale.
Jnanis have an 8 note scale.

..............................
One more thing Ravi.
You say with regard to Ramakhrisha:

'Of course,the advaitic Realisation of the SELF is also covered,but as he said-I PLAY ALL THE SEVEN NOTES'

.........................

Didn't anybody ever tell Him?...
there are eight notes to the scale.」-

Anonymous said...

scott Fraundorf:

Bookworm, not in disagreement at all, but i thought i'd share my experiences in relation to the same. everything you said, sounds good to me. And I agree about what you said about Ramana, i do agree that pretty much everything you need to know is said by ramana, nothing else is needed.

And I'm kind of coming at it from a different angle. I started off, just doing meditation, getting acupuncture, stuff so I could function better, not reject that the world is real. However, none of it was solving the fundamental problem. I went to Society Of Abidance in Truth, was taken there, and then when I read some of Maharshi sitting in a bookstore, I was blown away by how brilliant the Enquiry, "for whom is this?" "Who am I?", immediately teh solution toa ll my problems. This is the most sensible thing I have ever heard of, and it doesn't ahve anything superfluous to itself. Since the person who introduced me to Maharshi, had went to see Papaji, I checked out Papaji on youtube, and thought he was wise, but I didn't really believe he was in the same state as Ramana, until interviews with David Godman convinced me otherwise. then nisargadatta, I immediately thought, what a poser, this is just a cliche imitation of Ramana. That was my initial reaction. But when I read about the experiences from a david godman interview and then others, I read a little deeper into Nisargadatta and found it to be the same pure nonduality, but using a little bit different language. Since my mind wants to think it "knows", I've found it helpful to have contradictory things said that free me of it. Song Of Ribhu does that, where it will say things from one point of view and then the others to make the mind relinquish. It's kind of a life or death situation, I know that everything harmful is the ego, and mind, so I want to be rid of the mind, the ego. So since it's life or death, i use whatever tool I can, broken beer bottle, gun, knife, to defend myself. Through Nome, has quoted extensively Shankara, I realize that Shankara's point of view pure nonduality is essentially the same as Maharshi's, which I also doubted. I kind of expected it to be steeped in things too traditional, too dogmantic, since it was so long ago. But shankara was as pure in his nonduality as Maharshi evidently, and had kind of evidently built a theoretical framework for what is needed for self-Realization, the pre-requisites so to speak. for me, I find these helpful, because I was asking Who am I? dilligently for a year, but encountering some of the same roadblocks. Well, what exactly do I have to renounce. Shankara's main things that have stuck, is to continually distinguish the real from the unreal, the eternal from the uneternal, that the desire for liberation must be strong, and taht renunciation has nothing to do with something in life, but is a complete renunciation of the senses. For me, this made Maharshi's teachings aleady clear, clearer. Ramana really does not deviate at all from Shankara, from Song of Ribhu, except that you don't need to waste your time saying "I am Brahman" which was a misinterpretation of some of thsoe prior teachigns, which were to continually reflect upon the fact that there is only Brahman, there is only teh self, and that I am. That is the one thing I get from Shankara, and Nome also calls attention to it to. The practice can't be dualistic. That there is not an individual seperate from God, has to be continually contemplated. (speaking for myself, not telling you what to do, sicne your reasoning sounds so sound to me anyway.)

yeah, No Mind I am the Self, I really find them, Lakshmana and Saradamma fascinating. That fascination probably has something to do with the Self calling me inward. But from the standpoint of an individual, in a world, there lives are so mysterious and defy all logic, which seems to be true for all of the Self-Realized I've been so far exposed. By the way, I'm sure you have, but I am That! Do you have anything to say one way or another about That!

Anonymous said...

scott Fraundorf;

This isn't in my imagination but if you think it is, taht's fine. Even when I go on Mathrusrisarada.org, I feel grace. I had this moment with the picture of Saradamma, probably a clearer experience of grace then I had, that had that same "external" feel of contact with a Jnani. Of course, I've learned that that external sensation of grace, is not really external, it's 'external' to the mind, to the ego, to the identity, but it's really as internal, as external, it's really based on as much my own readiness, and prior practicing, as it is on contact with a jnani. Paradoxically those things are so indistinguishable, completely indistinguishible, it's both. For instacne in the Who Am I? ramana maharshi documentary on Youtube, same thing. The Cessation that occured under that glance of the Maharshi, is Cessation in the face of the SElf. but you realize the Awe Inspiring-ness of ego death, in that some of these very devoted devotees, very diligent, had certainly benifited immensely from teh association, from their own practicing for decades, but had not Realized. My favorite story from the documentary was that a woman (telling teh story in her sixties, probably in the 1960s), how she ran away from home to see Maharhsi, and after sitting in his presence for hours, and afraid about having run away he turned to her and said, "You know, I ran away from home once, and I was really afraid my family would come and get me and take me home. If it was so difficult for me, how much more difficult must it be for a woman?" she said all fear (of her families reaction) completely was cleansed from her. It did occur to me that a couple of those devotees, who seemed so absorbed that they had trouble getting the words out, and woudl fall into a state of silence, really were Jnanis but would not admit it or talk about it, and pretended not to be, maybe because they are not looking for devotees.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

The maharshi's presence probably created more jnanis, then is known about, because jnanis are not really looking for recognition, and his presence WAS INDEED THAT PROFOUND.

Anonymous said...

Profound enought to completely silence the desire for recognition

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
You need to understand basics of music(Indian classical)-to understand the significance of "all the seven notes" that sri Ramakrishna had referred to!
Here we go!

Shruti & Saptaka

The Indian musical scale is said to have evolved from 3 notes to a scale of 7 primary notes, on the basis of 22 intervals. A scale is divided into 22 shrutis or intervals, and these are the basis of the musical notes. The 7 notes of the scale are known to musicians as Sa, Ri, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha and Ni. These 7 notes of the scale do not have equal intervals between them. A Saptak is a group of 7 notes, divided by the shrutis or intervals as follows –

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

The first and fifth notes (Sa and Pa) do not alter their positions on this interval. The other 5 notes can change their positions in the interval, leading to different ragas.

Raga - The Soul of Classical Music

A raga is identified by specific tonal material consisting of a particular combination of musical phrases that gives it its distinctive melodic character which is very pleasing to the ear. The number of tones it possesses is fixed; these pitches can often be presented in the form of ascending and descending scales. Many ragas are associated with certain standard musical phrases. It is this trait that most closely ties the raga concept to the ancient Samaveda. Many of these standard phrases are so well known that the informed listener is able to tell immediately which raga is being performed. Regardless of whether the raga performance is vocal or instrumental, a drone (a sustained tone of fixed pitch) is invariably heard in the background. The drone instrument is usually the tambura, which has a long neck and four strings tuned to the basic tones of the raga. Each raga creates an atmosphere which is associated with feelings and sentiments. Any random combination of notes cannot be called a Raga.

Raga is the basis of classical music. A raga is based on the principle of a combination of notes selected out the 22 note intervals of the octave. A performer with sufficient training and knowledge alone can create the desired emotions, through the combination of shrutis and notes.

Ragas are placed in three categories
Odava or pentatonic, a composition of five notes
Shadava or hexatonic, a composition of six notes
Sampoorna or heptatonic, a composition of seven notes

SAMPOORNA means WHOLE,COMPLETE.

Let us now go to what Sri Ramakrishna says-(The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,chapter 20)
"Rules for concentration
MANILAL (to the Master): "Well, what is the rule for concentration? Where should one concentrate?"

MASTER: "The heart is a splendid place. One can meditate there or in the Sahasrara. These are rules for meditation given in the scriptures. But you may meditate wherever you like. Every place is filled with Brahman-Consciousness. Is there any place where It does not exist? Narayana, in Vali's presence, covered with two steps the heavens, the earth, and the interspaces. Is there then any place left uncovered by God? A dirty place is as holy as the bank of the Ganges. It is said that the whole creation is the Virat, the Universal Form of God.

Two forms of meditation
"There are two kinds of meditation, one on the formless God and the other on God with form. But meditation on the formless God is extremely difficult. In that meditation you must wipe out all that you see or hear. You contemplate only the nature of your Inner Self. Meditating on His Inner Self, Siva dances about. He exclaims, 'What am I! What am I!' This is called the Siva yoga'. While practising this form of meditation, one directs one's look to the forehead. It is meditation on the nature of one's Inner Self after negating the world, following the Vedantic method of 'Neti, neti'.

"There is another form of meditation, known as the 'Vishnu yoga', The eyes are fixed on the tip of the nose. Half the look is directed inward and the other half outward. This is how one meditates on God with form. Sometimes Siva meditates on God with form, and dances. At that time he exclaims, 'Rama! Rama!' and dances about."

Meaning of Om
Sri Ramakrishna then explained the sacred Word "Om" and the true Knowledge of Brahman and the state of mind after the attainment of Brahmajnana.

MASTER: "The sound Om is Brahman. The rishis and sages practised austerity to realize that Sound-Brahman. After attaining perfection one hears the sound of this eternal Word rising spontaneously from the navel.

"'What will you gain', some sages ask, 'by merely hearing this sound?' You hear the roar of the ocean from a distance. By following the roar you can reach the ocean. As long as there is the roar, there must also be the ocean. By following the trail of Om you attain Brahman, of which the Word is the symbol. That Brahman has been described by the Vedas as the ultimate goal. But such vision is not possible as long as you are conscious of your ego. A man realizes Brahman only when he feels neither 'I' nor 'you', neither 'one' nor 'many'.

"Think of the sun and of ten jars filled with water. The sun is reflected in each jar. At first you see one real sun and ten reflected ones. If you break nine of the jars, there will remain only the real sun and one reflection. Each jar represents a jiva. Following the reflection one can find the real sun. Through the individual soul one can reach the Supreme Soul. Through spiritual discipline the individual soul can get the vision of the Supreme Soul. What remains when the last jar is broken cannot be described.

Ignorance, knowledge, and Supreme Wisdom
"The jiva at first remains in a state of ignorance. He is not conscious of God, but of the multiplicity. He sees many things around him. On attaining Knowledge he becomes conscious that God dwells in all beings. Suppose a man has a thorn in the sole of his foot. He gets another thorn and takes out the first one. In other words, he removes the thorn of ajnana, ignorance, by means of the thorn of jnana, knowledge. But on attaining vijnana, he discards both thorns, knowledge and ignorance. Then he talks intimately with God day and night. It is no mere vision of God.

"He who has merely heard of milk is 'ignorant'. He who has seen milk has 'knowledge'. But he who has drunk milk and been strengthened by it has attained vijnana."

Thus the Master described his own state of mind to the devotees. He was indeed a vijnani."

The key thing here is that the empirical Reality is not dismissed,but accepted as a manifestation of the Supreme Reality.(Again do not latch on to 'words' like 'dismissed' or 'accepted'!)

Humility is essential to grow into spiritual knowledge.It is best to suspend one's judgement before rushing to premature conclusions.

Bookworm said...

Ravi
You say:
'Of course,the advaitic Realisation of the SELF is also covered,but as he said-I PLAY ALL THE SEVEN NOTES'
...............................
Thanks for the lesson on Indian music Ravi which was of some interest to me as I play the guitar in my own strange way..now and again

Ramakhrishna was just boasting then?... and may even have been a quite good musician... prehaps?.
Why you repeated his boast in capital letters ..as if it had some important meaning other than musical, I know not.
But it is true I kind of half- presumed he was maybe refering to the 7 chakras of the body and which fitted my impression from reading a fair bit, about him many years and which was was that he was more yogi than jnani.

But what does it really matter?
What truly matters is 'who am I?' and 'who are you?'
THat is the only thing Spiritually that should really matter to us

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
"What truly matters is 'who am I?'"
Agreed.

" and 'who are you?' "
This is the problematic part!

No Self:I am the mind!

If you jettison the " and 'who are you?' " in your dealing with others(in this forum or elsewhere) and focus on the first part,you will learn to relate what others express and understand better.

This is a little bit of 'Karma Yoga' on my part.I need to do it.The Result may or may not be there.

May Sri Bhagavan's Grace be with us.

Ravi said...

Scott,
You had asked about how persons who came to Sri Ramakrishna were transformed.Here is an excerpt:
"Kalipada was one of those wayward souls who were saved by the Master. Like Girish, he was an out-and-out bohemian, a debauchee, and a drunkard. Swami Adbhutananda related in his reminiscences how Sri Ramakrishna transformed Kalipada’s life:

"Girish Babu arrived one night with Kalipada Ghosh. Kalipad was a terrible drunkard. He refused to give money to his family, spending it for wine instead. But his wife was very pure. I heard that many years earlier she had come to the Master (Sri Ramakrishna), seeking some kind of medicine that would change her husband’s tendencies. The Master sent her to Holy Mother (Sharada, Sri Ramakrishna’s wife). Holy Mother sent her back to the Master. He again sent her to Holy Mother, and this exchange went on three times. At last, Holy Mother wrote the Master’s name on a bel leaf that had been offered to the Lord and gave it to Kalipada’s wife, telling her to chant the Lord’s name.

Kalipada’s wife chanted the Lord’s name for twelve years. When the Master first met Kalipada, he remarked, ‘This man has come here after tormenting his wife for twelve years.’ Kalipada was startled but said nothing.

Then the Master asked him: ‘What do you want?’

Kalipada asked shamelessly: ‘Can you give me a little wine?’

The Master smiled and said: ‘Yes, I can. But the wine I have is so intoxicating that you will not be able to bear it.’

Kalipada took him literally and said: ‘Is it real British wine? Please give me a little to soak my throat.’

‘No, it is not British wine,’ said the Master, still smiling. ‘It is completely homemade. This wine cannot be given to just anyone, for not everyone can stand it. If a person tastes this wine even once, British wine will seem insipid to him ever after. Are you ready to drink my wine instead of the other?’

For a moment Kalipada was thoughtful, and then I heard him say: ‘Please give me that wine which will make me intoxicated my entire life.’

The Master touched him, and Kalipada started to weep. We tried to calm him, but he went on weeping in spite of our attempts."

you may read the complete article here:
http://www.hinduism.co.za/drunkard.htm

Bookworm(?Guess who!) was wondering whether Sri Ramakrishna was more a Yogi than a Gnani-Truth to tell,he was neither. Great Masters like Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Bhagavan cannot be CATALOGUED and CATEGORISED.
Best Wishes!

Bookworm said...

Scott

I haven't forgotten you Scott.
I just haven't yet got around to sending you my thoughts 'one way or the other' on your meanderings'
I might still do so...but don't wait up nights. Please.

Ravi said...

Bookworm/Friends,
A few questions get repeated every now and then.Just copying from my earlier post in this same thread!
"Friends,
Just want to share my views on this often encountered Arguement-
"the world does not exist in deep sleep".
I mean this to imply that just like we remain undisturbed during sleep by the intrusion of the 'world process',we may truly remain so during the waking hours as well -If only we know our true nature as the' gold in gold jewellery'.The form of the jewelery may change from say,a necklace to a Bangle.Some may prefer not to keep the gold in the form of a jewellery,but as gold biscuits.Others may prefer to display the Gold ornaments and exchange notes on the designs,etc.This is the difference between Jnani and a Vijnani that sri Ramakrishna talks about-Both are wearing gold only-The Vijnani wears Gold in the form of Necklaces,Bangles,and what have you!This is what he means by 'I like Playing all the seven Notes'.
Now getting back to the Arguement itself-Whether the world truly does not exist-The answer is No!As long as a jiva is alive(Gnani as well as Agnanis)it is under the sway of 'world process' or shakti(Mother)as sri Ramakrishna had called Brahman.
We may again say-That for the Gnani it is ever the same-There is no world!Sri Bhagavan used to say-Whether this doubt(regarding the world) is for the Gnani or Agnani!if it the Gnani,he will know for sure!If it is for the Agnani,let him find the Truth of his self!
In both cases it becomes irrelevant to discuss whether the world is real or not!Surely there is no better arguement possible!

As far as we are concerned -World is very much Real and it is a beneficial Sadhana to consider each and every living Being as the Self.Is there a better Example than Sri Bhagavan who treated even a 'stone' as a living thing-how sri bhagavn felt deeply when the devotees removed the stone slab from Viroopaksha cave!(This is something that I have not read but only heard.I will like to hear more about this )How he loved the animals and treated everyone as the self.
I do not regard Bhagavan for his Gnana at all!There were many others who who have covered this aspect.There are so many others(Robert Adams being one example)who have said it equally well or even more tuned to our language.Where I find Sri Bhagavn INIMITABLE AND UNIQUE(sorry about this arvind!cannot avoid using the upper case)is this samadarshana-how nobody was his equal and he considered everybody his equal!There is a very moving Reminiscence of Bhagavan by Swami Ranganathananda which ends with this point of view-A verse by Adi Shankara glorifying the state of Sthithapragnya-'No army with him,yet infinitely strong!No one his Equal yet He sees everyone his Equal'.This is my Bhagavan.

Salutations to you!

August 16, 2008 7:07 AM "

Best Regards.

Anonymous said...

.
...This is my Bhagavan...

Your comments are affectionate, Ravi. I totally agree with that.

.

Bookworm said...

Ravi

You say:

'necklace to a Bangle.Some may prefer not to keep the gold in the form of a jewellery,but as gold biscuits.Others may prefer to display the Gold ornaments and exchange notes on the designs,etc.This is the difference between Jnani and a Vijnani that sri Ramakrishna talks about-Both are wearing gold only-The Vijnani wears Gold in the form of Necklaces,Bangles,and what have you!This is what he means by 'I like Playing all the seven Notes'

...........................

I am no more the wiser Ravi but if it makes sense to you that is fine,
as I am sure your path or You... is as valid and true.... as I hope I and mine is.

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
"I am no more the wiser Ravi but if it makes sense to you that is fine,
as I am sure your path or You... is as valid and true.... as I hope I and mine is."

Wishing you the very Best.

Best Regards.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
"Your comments are affectionate, Ravi. I totally agree with that."

Thanks very much and salutations.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf;

From reading some of the dialogue but not all, or enough of Bookworm, and Ravi's dialogue. I just was thinking about how in my own life, I think these things maybe could be so simple realization, but in practice, they haven't been. The less my mind is outward going, the better I relate with others. But in no way do I think it is easy... On my train trip (3 days) to visit family, I had moments where I felt very successful on my Inquiry, felt like I was almost a jnani, and for one point, 30 seconds I felt like I was in a full awareness of the Self, because I felt like I was in the deep sleep darkness, and when I opened my eyes, the world didn't feel real, and I felt completely at peace, surrendered. But then today, I have had anxiety, worry, and over-thinking. So it wasn't realization, I didn't think it was, but I did feel it was so profound and seperate from teh world and peaceful that it must be samadhi. I don't know whether it is. I inquired intensely, and surrendered intensely, read Song of Ribhu and talks w/ maharshi throughout the trip, and enjoyed a few good conversations. Because in a sense this is so hard, and the attachment to the body is so formidable, I can't judge people for having interactions that are less then fun with others, such as mine with Broken Yogi. What maharshi says makes sense that "were you aware of this in deep sleep?" he was pretty unswerving in directing people toward nonduality as both ends and means. I don't think it's impossible for anybody, but it takes such an intense resolve to first overcome all the vasanas (desolations), and then not even do anything but let the attachments fall away, then that I guess would be samadhi, which if the experiences I've had that were that were, had a sensation of free fall without anything attached. Each time vasanas manifest immediately then and there redirecting back inward. And even in that effortless "thoughtless" realm, maybe a guru appearing in physical form is still necessary for most to go the final step. I really like Ravi appreciate very strongly Ramana's equanimity, it's a mix of that, and that as difficult as it is, inquiry makes so much sense.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

My understanding from the scant reading I've done is that Ramakrishna was a jnani, but one that had some dualistic teachings. There is that photo of him in Samadhi. But Maharshi did admit of duality with some people. Rumi was pretty nondualistic in ways, but still talked about the Beloved, the Creator, and surrendering. Sri Bhagavan talked about surrendering and admiting your own ability and letting the God, Iswara srike down your ego. Ghandi took political action, and didn't maharshi say that he was also a jnani. So the fact that Ramakrishna was very devotional in no way I think makes him less enlightened then any other sage. But still was there something special about Maharshi? Papaji said that he had met many saints and sages, and otehr Jnanis, but he had met no one so perfect as Maharshi whose eyes were compltely empty of any desire.doesn't even when you hear that, don't you desire desirlessness. I so desire desirelessness, to be established in a nonattached bliss unrelated to circumstance. I don't know why I sometimes get strong feelings that certain beings are infact completely liberated, for instance Barak Obama. And even though Lakshmana Swami said that an ajnani can't tell a jnani, with Nome, I hardly doubt that someone with that mind stilling power, and detachment is, I feel that if he wasn't, there would have been some sign of it, besides hearsay that I wasn't present for. "and even if my guru frequents the toddy shop"....That's so apropo, because the mind stilling power, the equanimity and detachment are the signs for me. Obama, seems completely courageous, and equaniminous, and when he speaks, I don't feel like there is any emotional reaction, besides everything being a delight. And even right winger pundit Bill O'reilly who should be vociferously opposed said he looked obama in the eyes and he was no coward. In the eyes... hmmm!

satheesh kumar said...

Dear David
Just thought will share what i feel about this great article you've written...

I think all the three views of Sri Annamalai swamy, Lakshmana swamy * Papaji are correct.

Those gurus who do more service at a worldly level (i mean not at the level of where Bhagavan is operating) / mitigate physical suffering , they might have done a lot of sadhanas which would benefit a large no. of people in the world. Such a kind of tapas might have happened prior to their realization.

Those like our Bhagavan who remain absorbed for a long time before coming back to normal live normally, use that spiritual power which has been gained as told by Lakshmana swami. Jnani's like Bhagavan are examle of this.

And, as for Papaji's view, the Supreme essentially acts thro both these class of gurus, in taking care of these Jnanis / gurus on their mission...

So that way all the views have their place.

In fact i remember Bhagavan once said that saints like Viswamitra / vasishta did penance for some specific dharmic purposes as well, and that could have happened prior to their final realization.

Losing M. Mind said...

It is interesting reading this, especially the dialogue with Lakshmana Swami because when he talked about grace and how the Jnani looks into the mind of a devotee and can see how far it has surrendered to the Self. In a blatant and obvious way, the spiritual teacher I correspond with, I usually take the tact of writing whenever there is an obsession or issue that is distracting me too much and i'm losing sight, or even desire for Realization and spiritual practice.(I describe it in great detail, unself-consciously as I've been encouraged) Because the writing itself seems to be an act of surrendering it to the Jnani, God, the Self, Grace, Brahman. And I've noticed a clear correlation. I've even while doing the best to carry out the teachings, supplemented with other things like Byron Katie's four questions and turn-around. I've had clear moments where by my own efforts at questioning the mind I started to come in contact with a deep peaceful stillness. And when I check my e-mail, I have one from SAT (Society of Abidance in Truth), but literally from SAT. Infact to get responses from this teacher, it almost seems like I can get the same or more attention by going inward and experiencing that peace as I can from pro-actively communicating with him. There are some other interesting things relating to this thread. For instance, this teacher and I'm not bragging or advertising, but more because I find it a stimulating subject, has the power to Enlighten. I don't mean that he can make me Enlightened from my present state of maturity without my own effort, as with Maharshi's childhood friend, if fear's turn me away from that experience, but that when I was in his presence I had one of the most intensely non-dual experiences unexpectedly in the midst of judging him for what I believed about his intentions. He seemed almost hallucenatorily crooked. Now that seem intensity is seen as the opposite characteristics because I'm more naturally open to the flow of grace. The hallucenatory negativity was my intense reaction to grace trying to fend it off as it was taking away my psychological crutches. Maharshi's Power to Enlighten sounds like it's even on a much greater level then that, or maybe I shouldn't say much. My experience was more like being around Maharshi then Krishnamurti. But that teacher does seem to spend a great deal of time in silence, infact if no one asked a question, he seems perfectly content to sit their in this perfect poise.

Upekkha said...

Here is an excerpt from a 9th century christian ascetic, which fits very well into this topic:

Theodoros the great Ascetic (first half 9th century a.d.) –
A Century of Spiritual Texts


68. No one among us can prevail on his own unaided strengthover the devices and wies of die evil one; he can prevail only through the invincible power of Christ. Vainly, therefore, do conceited people wander about claiming that they have abolished sin through their ascetic accomplishments. and tlteir free will. Sin is abolished only through the grace of God, for it was made dead through the mystery of the Cross. This is why that luminary of the Church, St John Chrysostom, says: 'A man's readiness and commitment are not enough if he does not enjoy help from above as well ; equally help from above is no benefit to us unless there is also commitrnent and readiness an our part. These two facts arc proved by Judas and Peter. For although Judas enjoyed much help, it was of no benefit to him, since he had no desire for it and contributed nothing from himseif. But Peter, although willing and ready, feil because he enjoyed no help from above. So holiness is woven of these two strands. Thus I entreat you neither to entrust everything to God and then fall asleep, nor to think, when you are striving diligently, that you will achieve everything by your own efforts.

Ravi said...

Scott,
You had asked about how persons who came to Sri Ramakrishna were transformed.Here is an excerpt:
"Kalipada was one of those wayward souls who were saved by the Master. Like Girish, he was an out-and-out bohemian, a debauchee, and a drunkard. Swami Adbhutananda related in his reminiscences how Sri Ramakrishna transformed Kalipada’s life:

"Girish Babu arrived one night with Kalipada Ghosh. Kalipad was a terrible drunkard. He refused to give money to his family, spending it for wine instead. But his wife was very pure. I heard that many years earlier she had come to the Master (Sri Ramakrishna), seeking some kind of medicine that would change her husband’s tendencies. The Master sent her to Holy Mother (Sharada, Sri Ramakrishna’s wife). Holy Mother sent her back to the Master. He again sent her to Holy Mother, and this exchange went on three times. At last, Holy Mother wrote the Master’s name on a bel leaf that had been offered to the Lord and gave it to Kalipada’s wife, telling her to chant the Lord’s name.

Kalipada’s wife chanted the Lord’s name for twelve years. When the Master first met Kalipada, he remarked, ‘This man has come here after tormenting his wife for twelve years.’ Kalipada was startled but said nothing.

Then the Master asked him: ‘What do you want?’

Kalipada asked shamelessly: ‘Can you give me a little wine?’

The Master smiled and said: ‘Yes, I can. But the wine I have is so intoxicating that you will not be able to bear it.’

Kalipada took him literally and said: ‘Is it real British wine? Please give me a little to soak my throat.’

‘No, it is not British wine,’ said the Master, still smiling. ‘It is completely homemade. This wine cannot be given to just anyone, for not everyone can stand it. If a person tastes this wine even once, British wine will seem insipid to him ever after. Are you ready to drink my wine instead of the other?’

For a moment Kalipada was thoughtful, and then I heard him say: ‘Please give me that wine which will make me intoxicated my entire life.’

The Master touched him, and Kalipada started to weep. We tried to calm him, but he went on weeping in spite of our attempts."

you may read the complete article here:
http://www.hinduism.co.za/drunkard.htm

Bookworm(?Guess who!) was wondering whether Sri Ramakrishna was more a Yogi than a Gnani-Truth to tell,he was neither. Great Masters like Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Bhagavan cannot be CATALOGUED and CATEGORISED.
Best Wishes!

Bookworm said...

Ravi

By the way Ravi the below was not just me only meaning the musical scale or being glib...but if one can talk of scales without appearing too silly:

Yogis have a 7 note scale.
Jnanis have an 8 note scale.

..............................
One more thing Ravi.
You say with regard to Ramakhrisha:

'Of course,the advaitic Realisation of the SELF is also covered,but as he said-I PLAY ALL THE SEVEN NOTES'

.........................

Didn't anybody ever tell Him?...
there are eight notes to the scale.」-

Bookworm said...

Ravi

One more thing Ravi.
You say with regard to Ramakhrisha:

'Of course,the advaitic Realisation of the SELF is also covered,but as he said-I PLAY ALL THE SEVEN NOTES'

.........................

Didn't anybody ever tell Him?...
there are eight notes to the scale.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Cool!

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I guess it is really important to realize teh Self in this lifetime, otherwise I could come back as a plant, so says Yama in Katha Upanishad. The more "I" inquire, the more the need to Realize the Self increases, which then deepens the Inquiry, and also the things previously considered real seem more and more meaningless, especially when you listen to Quartet For the end of time played on Youtube, while reading the Katha Upanishad. Sorry Ravi, for being critical at all of Vivikenanda's speech. Speaking fro my maturity

Ravi said...

Scott,
Yes,Sri Ramakrishna is indeed unique.In an age steeped in Rational scepticism,intellectual elitism,his life was a classic example of what sheer aspiration can achieve.In a sense he brought spirituality to a SENSORY level-God can be touched,seen,smelt,heard,tasted!God is accessible in HUMAN TERMS!He is our Father,Mother,Friend,Lover,Master and dearer to one than oneself.


Ofcourse,the advaitic Realisation of the SELF is also covered,but as he said-I PLAY ALL THE SEVEN NOTES.

The Wikipaedia article is a little academic,I recommend your reading one of Vivekananda's finest talks that he gave in New York-My Master.It is available here:
http://www.hinduism.fsnet.co.uk/namoma/life_thakur/life_thakur_my_master.htm

coming to his charming relationship with Sri Sarada Devi(our Holy Mother)-you have truly hit the Bull's Eye.In the whole hagiography,there is simply no parallel to this Holy Couple.Just to think of them is purifying.

Thanks very much.Best Regards.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Annamalai Swami's claims about the Power to Enlighten, really fit with my experiences with Nome. I feel like my own lamp comes away lit from his responses, I feel prompted up into a very secure state (as opposed to a dependent state since my own lamp is lit). I was reading the gossip abotu him on Guru ratings (yeah, that), it's way too gossipy. Also nothing criminal, or physically abusive, was attributed, stuff that people as adults, if they are not benefiting could easily walk away from. It's very hard to evaluate someone's state from their behavior as been said from most of the books edited by David Godman. Obviously I can't imagine desireless Jnanis physically assaulting, raping (Ever!) innocent people. That makes no sense, they have no needs, which really is what most depraved or abusive behavior is built on. As far as having affairs, having unmarried sexual affairs, that's none of my business, and also has nothing to do with someone's state, and someone's sexual choices, or experiences are irrelevent to someone's saintliness. Although consensuality I would like to imagine would go hand in hand with enlightenment, and I'm pretty sure it does. I personally would judge a person's saintliness, Enlightenment by how exactly what A.S. said, how much they light my own lamp, how much I can independently stay in a state disidenfied from the mind, body, and senses, time. If there doing that, helping establishing me as a Jivanmukta, who would never rule, or be ruled, that is the most healthy relationship of any sort I could ever be involved in. If overall any relationship makes me feel unpeaceful, anxious, I would re-evaluate being involved in it. As Maharshi said, "If you can't see someone as the Self, avoid them" Everything Ravi said to everyone seemed very sound to me. Back to Molecular Bio. Studying.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:
I was just reading the previous post by nonduel. First off, speaking from the position of an ajnani, so I don't really know better.

That seems really correct to me that it is the ego that is making it difficult by claiming it is difficult. Infact that seems to be the only thing difficult about Enquiry is the way the false I keeps making it so complicated.

I've felt things get untied enough that I'm starting to see it differently.

The comment that one will have to "reach", "attain" that state if one isn't convinced. That now strikes me as untrue. Infact exactly the opposite, cease "reaching", cease "attaining"
Who is to reach? That the striving is actually the obstacle to becoming convinced. Now maybe I had to tire myself out by this striving before I could just chill. But that seems to be what I was doing, since Violent, Effortful, Repressive Sadhana still requires being the "doer". Who is that one who feels that need? And what were they wanting so badly, or what were they so desperately trying to prevent. Alot of my effortful sadhana was actually I believe focusing on the wrong target, repressing painful feelings, desires, the feelings of fear. But if those are of the body, what concern are they of mine? The attention I put on an imagination of something I need, smoething I want to prevent, something I'm afraid of. Turning away from that, is easily and with little effort in my control. Repressing feelings, thoughts, is always effortful, and as far as I can gather not very fruitful, other then realizing that it doesn't work.

The line of Maharshi, "effort" is the bondage

I originally thought one-pointedness involved intense concentration, and maybe it does, but I'm noticing that perhaps one-pointedness is less effortful, concentration, flexing those mental muscles, and more that when they become totally relaxed and sensitive my mind is one-pointed from not concentrating hard on what it thinks it needs to concentrate on. For me often those were intense desires and intense fears.

But maybe I'm wrong, and intense effortful sadhana is necessary to reach a more effortless investigation. It's just that now that i'm touching on a more effortless version, it seems easier.

The difficulty is that if I turn away from an object of fear, it feels like it could get me, I could die. If I turn away from desire, how will I ever get what I need to experience? But if I turn away from those, it seems that realizing the Self will just fall into place on it's own, since those were the obstacles.

That is what "The Self isn't something to reach" it is not something to be aquired means to me now. Is that every effort, every concentrated attention I'm putting on soemthing I feel I have to concentrate on, even sadhana, is the very obstacle that prevents effortless merging into the Self.

அவனடிமை said...

Kaivalya Navaneetham a Tamil poem by Sri. ThaaNdavaraaya SwaamigaL, a work often quoted by Sri. Bhagavaan, specifically talks about the need for self-effort and saadhanaa and how the Truth is understood only based on the strength of saadhanaa:

சாதன மின்றி யொன்றைச்
சாதிப்பா ருலகி லில்லை
ஆதலா லிந்த நான்கும் அடைந்தவர்க் கறிவுண் டாகும்
நூதன விவேகி உள்ளம் நுழையாது நுழையு மாகில்
பூதசன் மங்கள் கோடி
புனிதனாம் புருட னாமே .

saadhanam in(d)Ri on(d)Rai saadhippaar ulagil illai
aadhalaal indha naangum adaindhavarkku aRivu.uN daagum
nuudhana viveeki uLLam nuzhaiyaadhu nuzhaiyum aagil
bhootha.san mangaL koodi punidhanaam purudan aamee.

Meaning:
'சாதனமில்லாமல் ஒரு காரியத்தைச் சாதிப்பவர்கள் பூமியின்கண் இல்லை , ஆகையால் இச்சாதன சதுட்டயங்களைப் பெற்றவர்களுக்கு ஞானோதயமாம்; புதிய விவேகியின் மனதில் புகாது; புகுமானால் இறந்த காலத்துள்ள அனந்த சனனங்களில் சித்த சுத்தி உள்ளவனாகிய பூமானாம் . '

'saadhanamillaamal oru kaariyatthai'ch saadhippavargaL bhuumiyin.kaN illai . aagaiyaal icchaadhana chadhuttayangaLai'p pe(t)RRavargaLukku njyaanodhayamaam ; pudhiya viveekiyin manadhil pugaadhu ; pugumaanaal iRandha kaalatthuLLa anantha sananangaLil sittha sutthi uLLavanaagiya bhuumaanaam'.

There is no one on this earth who can achieve anything without saadhanaa (or practice). Therefore, those who practice these “four-fold” saadhanaa attain liberation. This won't enter (or be understood by) the mind of a novice. If it does (enter), then his inner cleansing must have happened over many past incarnations.

Thus, the effect of sat-saadhanai / 'சத் சாதனை ' is 'cleansing' ('punidhamaakkudhalee sat saadhanaiyin viLaivu ' / 'புனிதமாக்குதலே சத் சாதனையின் விளைவு ').

arvind said...

Jupes,

Thanks for your kind comments.

“I am still interested in knowing more about how to ascertain the true spiritual states of others, both in a general 'person-on-the-street' sense and also for those who are in positions to guide others spiritually, whether they make certain claims about their state or not.”

Sri Bhagavan was asked similar questions as devotees were curious to know about the level of attainment of other teachers and Gurus and how to judge for themselves. To such queries Sri Bhagavan always gave replies as under:

[From “Spiritual Instruction”, Chapter I,1]

Q: What are the marks of a real teacher (Sadguru) ?

Sri Bhagavan: Steady abidance in the Self, looking at all with an equal eye, unshakeable courage at all times, in all places and circumstances etc.

[From “Letters from Sri Ramanasramam”, “(99) Guru Swarupam”]

Q: How is one to decide upon a proper Guru ? What is the swarupa [form] of a Guru ?

Sri Bhagavan: He is the proper Guru to whom your mind is attuned. If you ask, how to decide who is the Guru and what is his swarupa, he should be endowed with tranquillity, patience, forgiveness and other virtues capable of attracting others, even by a mere look, like the magnetic stone, and with a feeling of equality towards all — he that has these virtues is the true Guru.

----------------

Sri Bhagavan also said that only a Jnani can recognize another Jnani, an ordinary person cannot. Also, a Guru can lead a disciple only upto the state that the Guru himself has reached, not beyond it. So He always said that instead of hunting about for a suitable physical Guru, the serious seeker would be better advised to spend his time seeking the Self Itself, as the Guru is the Self, and then, if required, an external Guru will appear on his own as appropriate.

Nevertheless, in case one was actually “vetting” a physical Guru, I believe, Sri Bhagavan’s teachings were that what was really important in a Guru was whether in his presence the disciple felt his mind calming down, whether he felt at peace and content (not necessarily “exhilarated”), and that he longed to remain in his presence always. That he can give you temporary “experiences” of any sort is itself of no account, and is to be dismissed as inconsequential if the “calming” and “peaceful contentment” part, and the aspects as given in the quotes above, are missing.

best wishes

Jupes said...

Arvind,
Just today I found your sweet account of visiting the Samadhi of Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra many years ago. As is seemingly typical for me, I was not even aware of this great Holy Man until finding him discussed here on this blog. Thank you for laying your experience out so beautifully. It is interesting how one has to sometimes experience such unpleasantness in order to finally arrive at the pearl of a profound spiritual moment. Thankfully you were blessed in this instance and have come to share the 'thrill' of your experience with us.

Scott,
It's always good to find your candid and utterly sincere (but unfortunately RARE!) comments on the blog. The following sentence really struck a chord with me: I could understand how the ego of a jiva (is that correct?) would react very negatively toward an egoless being that represents it's own potential distruction. I have felt this myself, but in the case of spiritual teachers whom I did not entirely trust and whom I assumed were not egoless. David's story about accompanying Lakshmana Swami on a bus trip, and seeing Lakshmana's response amidst the thick crowd of people trying to get on the bus, makes me wonder how one truly discerns the spiritual state of another human being, if one can appear so seemingly 'normal' in ordinary daily life. Obviously this is a subtle thing that can be approached through silence, but even if one has a profound insight or experience in the presence of a teacher, this is no 'guarantee' that the teacher is fully realized (as in Broken Yogi's case). This is something I'd like to hear more about, if David (or anyone) has more to say on it.

arvind said...

Ravi and everyone,

Thanks for your posts.

Yes, I have been to Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra’s “Jiva Samadhi” in Nerur, many years ago. It was such an extraordinary experience, one that one has had only in a very few places, that one thought to write a bit about it, and especially if it should encourage anyone else to visit there.

The trip there itself had been full of ‘vighnas’ [obstacles]. It was an incredibly hot day, one was not well, the hired car a mess, the driver an even bigger pain, the road was in shambles, and the place was quite impossible to locate. Nobody knew where it was, and nobody was willing to talk in anything but Tamil. Finally it was found literally in an agricultural belt in the middle of nowhere. This is where Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra came wandering about and went into Samadhi in an underground pit. He told his few followers to close the pit after him and that a few days later a Bilva tree would start to grow above, which was to be carefully tended and looked after. On the sixth ( ? ) day a person would come with a Linga which was to be installed on top. And so it was. Later on a small Siva temple was also constructed adjacent to the Samadhi, and all of this was enclosed within a low compound wall.

The place itself was poorly kept, and sadly the Bilva tree itself, though pretty large and tall, was in a bad shape. There were 2 groups of Swamis there fighting over control of the shrine. Each group had a small Math and each claimed to be spiritual descendants of Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra. They both wanted, what else, money. But they left me alone once they realized that one had no money as such.

But leaving all that aside, it was the spiritual atmosphere of the place that set it aside. Once the swamis had gone and left one alone, the holy atmosphere hit like a blast. As it is the shrine is in the open under the gentle shadow of the Bilva tree. And everything around seems to move in slow motion, even the birds, the wind rustling in the tree, the few goats wandering about. As I sat there with the friendly goats (who thought my clothes were good as grass) for company even an absolute dunderhead like me felt that one was ACTUALLY in the physical presence of a very very Holy Being; there is no other way to describe it. There is no difference between Sri Bhagavan & Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra, of that there was not the slightest doubt. Even now, so many years later, when one thinks about the experience and as one writes, one feels the thrill of it and one feels blessed.

Ravi said...

Nonduel,
Please find the translation of atma vidya vilasam at this site-You may also like to check HASTAMALAKA STOTRA.
http://www.celextel.org/othervedantabooks/atmavidyavilasa.html

Namaskar!

arvind said...

Dear Non Duel,

“Do you know if there exist an english translation of the "Atma Vidya Vilasam"?”

Yes there is. The original text of Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra and an English translation was published by the Kanchi Matha under the instructions of the Pramacharya.

The book is:

Siva Mansik Puja, Kirtani & Atma Vidya Vilasah of Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra (in Sanskrit with English translations); published by Sri Kamakoti Koshsthanen Prakashitam, 1951.

It is a rare book and is not easily found. Sri Ramanashramam Library has a copy and I managed to photocopy the same many years ago. If you are there anytime you can look it up. Or if there is any specific verse you want the meaning of, I can type that out for you here. But I cannot do the whole text – it is quite long.

Best wishes

Jupes said...

Ravi,
Thanks for your kind remarks. I would agree that Self-enquiry is 'easier' than surrender, although 'easy' is not a word that comes to mind when considering either of them! In spite of all the things I said about surrendering in my studio, in general there is something more unwieldy and harder to grasp about 'surrender.' I agree that with Self-enquiry there is a sense of having something to 'hold onto': it is the feeling of 'I'-ness'.

By the way, pardon my ignorance, but what is UKG? I know this is one of those stupid questions that I'll kick myself later for asking, but I really don't know what it means!

Best regards!

ps... haven't read your latest comment. it arrived while I was posting this one. good night!

Ravi said...

Jupes,
Forgot to mention that ivan moravec's chopin-Nocturnes is not available on that site.What it does host is that interview.When I had the dial up PSTN connectivity earlier,I could still download it.So wish you good luck.
Coming to Kathamrita,you may encounter a little bit of Hindu Mythology and certain references to Hindu Gods and godesses-It will help to keep what Aldous Huxley put it so correctly in his foreword-I am truly amazed at his fine grasp of the essence-Here it is:
"Making good use of his natural gifts and
of the circumstances in which he found himself, "M" produced a book unique, so far as my
knowledge goes, in the literature of hagiography. No other saint has had so able and
indefatigable a Boswell. Never have the small events of a contemplative's daily life been
described with such a wealth of intimate detail. Never have the casual and unstudied
utterances of a great religious teacher been set down with so minute a fidelity. To Western
readers, it is true, this fidelity and this wealth of detail are sometimes a trifle disconcerting;
for the social, religious and intellectual frames of reference within which Sri Ramakrishna
did his thinking and expressed his feelings were entirely Indian. But after the first few
surprises and bewilderments, we begin to find something peculiarly stimulating and
instructive about the very strangeness and, to our eyes, the eccentricity of the man revealed
to us in "M's" narrative. What a scholastic philosopher would call the "accidents" of
Ramakrishna's life were intensely Hindu and therefore, so far as we in the West are
concerned, unfamiliar and hard to understand; its "essence", however, was intensely
mystical and therefore universal. To read through these conversations in which mystical
doctrine alternates with an unfamiliar kind of humour, and where discussions of the oddest
aspects of Hindu mythology give place to the most profound and subtle utterances about the
nature of Ultimate Reality, is in itself a liberal, education in humility, tolerance and
suspense of judgment. We must be grateful to the translator for his excellent version of a
book so curious and delightful as a biographical document, so precious, at the same time,
for what it teaches us of the life of the spirit."
Just take your time until it gets hold of you!Not the other way round-one or two pages per day will do,to start with.

Namaskars!

Ravi said...

Anonymous,
"So you have a Guru in then? where did you get him. Did you buy him from a shop?,only I think you were
cheated.There are a lot of fake Gurus around at the moment."
Thanks Friend-What you say is true.One has to be careful ,not to be mislead by Illusions or Delusions in one's mind and also from the Fake ones that are around.

Yet,I think you may agree that if one is sincere ,one may still learn something.

Wishing you all The Best!

nonduel said...

David,

I think you already do what I want to ask you, but just in case. I sure hope that if I write spiritual insanities that you will be so kind as to correct me.

Jupes,

LOL= "Laughing Out Loud"

Quote:
""Putting one's suitcase down would certainly help, if one is able to do that. Sometimes I think mine is glued to my back! Finding how to release into surrender and devotion and not get too absorbed in the outer world (the mind) is key.""
(end of quote)

Please do not take what I am about to say like I was acting like a realised person, and that I go around telling others what they should do. You said correctly, we are all on the same train...

In fact, there's only One isn't there?

If you read the above quote, you will find that you consider the ego as the ultimate guru, because you accept everything it's telling you. Thus you are putting more strength in the belief that you are the body, and that the ego is the authority.

Thus you are increasing it's power.

Surrender is recognizing what "we" ARE and if we accept that truth, what can we possibly "do"? So all "we" can do is letting go. Putting the suitcase down!

There is only SELF, one without another thus Bhakti is loving the Self. It isn't egostic, there's no one else out there!

I am saying this with Love, not as a critic, or negatively. It's also good for myself, believe me.

Jupes said...

Non-duel,
Yes, I do vaguely remember, from highschool French class, that jupes means skirt, but until you mentioned it I had forgotten. For me it is a nickname, used by only one person until I joined this blog.

Glad the quote from A.S. resonated with you. I wish it was so easy to relax and watch the scenery go by, as you suggested. The learning, struggling, trying and doing may seem absurd, but for myself the struggle seems to be part and parcel of being alive. As A.S. said at the end of that quote: All the difficulties that we experience in life have been given to us by Bhagavan in order to turn our minds towards the Self. If they are 'given to us by Bhagavan' I guess that means they are 'gifts' and, in a sense, sacred and should be regarded as such and used as intended: to turn the mind towards the Self. MORE POWER TO YOU if you can relax and let the scenery go by!!!

Best wishes!

Anonymous said...

So many wise people on this site.
Many of you say with apparent authority 'The Self does this but it doesn't do that but if you give it a bit of devotion or whatever it might make you enlightened or something .You all seen to know a lot about someone called 'God' as well...oh yes and planes and levels and things.
Broken Yogi (does that guy ever shut up) got it right when he said
there are two languages being spoken...the one of the Heart..the one of the mind.
I tried to read as many comments as I could but I am just not that much of a machocist but from the 1/4 to a 1/2 of those I read apart from David and maybe? one or two others it seems to be al the language of the mind.

AS this is a Ramana website his teaching might help you all. It is very simple.

Self, Truth, Being, Guru whatever cannot be understood by the mind.
Be still or surrender...they are the same.

All that stuff you all talk about as if you know things...gurus, siddhas, enlightenment and how, who and why it appears to happen to...it is pointless.
The mind... or as you think you are ''you'' is a real dumbass when it comes to the Spirtual. To invent relgion or rather thousands of them shows you just how dumb it is or rather 'you' should I say.

Still, it passes time, it is a bit of fun and as long you know you are talking crap...why not.

If I have offended anybody..I am glad to have been of service.
As you all know, who you really are or the Self, Heart, Spirit, You..whatever, doesn't do offended so if Truth is what you want.. and you are that offended crap 'me' in your head or rather that is who you think you are....Why be it?

Not much..just a small 'pointer' I think is the in word. But hey..it's a start for any of you who are spiritually serious.

Well I have talked my bit of crap and by all means feel free to call it that.. if you do not understand it or know how to talk the language of the Heart.

Ravi said...

AVANADIMY,
"If a person somehow gets to know of a Sadguru like Sri. Ramana Bhagavan and ALSO gets interested in His/Her teaching essentially to "turn inwards", it is only because of their sat-vaasanai which accrued by some sat-saadhanaa performed earlier.

Sat-vaasanai is the vehicle that Grace operates through."

Thanks for your beautiful post.

Namaskar!

nonduel said...

I didn't know my last subject had been so discussed here. Here is what I think about prarabdha.

Parabdha is there as long as one believes HE IS THE DOER.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

... I think this is available as a pdf download in ramanasharamam website. ...

Unfortunately not. There are now some books not longer available for download.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
"Then I understand you right that i should look for further information in "Self-Realization Life & Teachings Sri Ramana Maharshi"? "
I think this is available as a pdf download in ramanasharamam website.Please do check out.This is one of the Books that I have read after reading Paul Brunton's A search in Secret India and I found it very helpful-a very rounded presentation of the major events in Bhagavan's life upto the point it was published.

Namaskar!

S. said...

salutations to all:
by the way, didn't hear from anyone on my earlier query

is there any among you who is located at hyderabad or chennai or bangalore?

i infer that jupes, clemens, nonduel, brother yogi (not broken) etc are writing from abroad... ravi, arvind, murali etc.: what about you folks?

sorry if i haven't specifically mentioned anyone by name...it will be a blessing to meet any of you and take the dust of your feet :-)

Ravi said...

Arvind,
Thanks very much!Yes,there are different views on these matters.What My master(not citing as an authority)states is like this-Even Rebirth is defined by him very differently!A Man's Rebirth is his progeny!It is not that Ram will be reborn as Shyam!At any given point of time-seven generations of Karma are present with oneself!At the time of Death,the children,Grandchildren, and the Life partner with whom the LIFELINKS of the deceased were established,have to absorb the Karma,to a great degree.IT IS IMPORTANT TO SEE THAT NO CONCEPTION takes place in the Family at this point of time as it might result in the Karma to be transferred prematurely to the infant!Whatever is passed on this way is worked out by the members of the family.The rest of the Karmic imprints not absorbed by the family stay with the disembodied soul and are worked out in the astral planes.THIS IS THE REASON BEHIND THE VARIOUS RITUALS at the time of death.

Master has given talk on 'What happens after Death?'-a Few times.I have not been interested in this sort of topic,so did not even attend once!
I know that this is totally on a new footing.Master cites Adi Sankara as having mentioned a similiar thing somewhere.He also says that in Yaksha Prasna-Yudhishtra answers that a man's Rebirth is his Progeny.

I am just citing this to say that there are different points of view.

namaskar!

arvind said...

Hi folks,

I would like to draw attention to the old “I [the Self] choose whom I choose” discussion we had up this thread. In my post I had mentioned how great it would be to find out whether Sri Bhagavan’s ever commented on this.

I was quite stunned when I chanced ( ! ) upon this very thing in the Mountain Path 1967, Pg 99, in “Bhagavan Sri Ramana on Destiny”. I had been just flipping thro’ that issue searching for something else.

Question: The Upanisads say, I am told, that he alone knows the Atman whom the Atman chooses. Why should the Atman choose at all ? If it chooses, why some particular person ?

Answer: When the sun rises, some buds blossom, not all. Do you blame the sun for that ? At the same time, the bud cannot blossom of itself; it requires the sunlight to enable it to do so.


It made my day.

best wishes

Ravi said...

Dear Nonduel,
I truly appreciate your Earnestness in knowing about these things.As For myself,I just focus on what I should be doing now.My master is emphatic that at each and every moment-one can choose to live by choice or submit to Chance.One may Take the way of Preyas-The Way of comfort or choose the way of Sreyas-The way of Righteousness.By choosing the way of Sreyas,One can annul all the Prarabda IMPRINTS.This is just like loosening all the knots ,at the same time taking care not to tie oneself with fresh ones.This is as per the Katha Upanishad.

If you want to the info on the Slide Projector type of anology-Paramahansa Yogananda Has covered in great Detail in his Autobiography of a Yogi.One whole chapter id dedicated to this topic.

Please download it from this site:
www.consciouslivingfoundation.org/ebooks/new2/Yogananda-AutobiographyOfAYogi-ayogi.pdf

Wishing you the Very Best!

Salutations!

nonduel said...

Dear Avind,

Quote:

"""Iswara the personal God, the supreme creator of the universe really does exist. But this is only true from the relative standpoint of those who have not realised the truth, those people who believe in the reality of individual souls."""

What is the "effect", if any, on one who has the relative knowledge, but hasn't Self-Realised.

On Prarabdha, Iswara, on rebirth...

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

Besides:

** Ignorance **

Perhaps it is interesting for some here to know that in Germany we had a philosopher (Nicholas of Kues (1401 – August 11, 1464) writing a treatment called "Of Learned Ignorance" (De docta ignorantia).

His famous statement (I try to translate it): "The Greatest is where there exist nothing being greater beyond it."

Nicolaus of Cues

arvind said...

S.

Thanks for your comments. I enjoyed reading all your remarks. I agree with you about what you have mentioned about the “handful known to have transmuted this complex theory” and about Prof. Sarma. I was out of line there in my comment and apologize for the same. I actually picked up on Dr. Sarma from Swami Tapasyananda’s [of Sri RK math, Chennai] criticism of his take on certain aspects of Sri Madhva’s teachings.

I think what you have mentioned with respect to Sri Bhagavan towards the end is enough to take you very very far. For I believe that Vichara alone is enough. Slowly but surely it adds on all that will be required for a person – be it devotion, or dharma, or good habits or whatever.

Best wishes

S. said...

salutations to all:
thanks to all for their wonderful comments... arvind, laughed when you spoke about 'my' reservations against one of the advaitic view... not at all...as i said earlier, these are the dvaitin's objections, not mine (what do i know? am incompetent to find flaws either in dvaita or advaita)...as systems of thought, they have their strengths & weaknesses, pros & cons, so to say

[regarding your comment on that there are only a handful who have known to transmute this complex theory into simple devotion, would simply say that there 'could' be many of whom we may not be aware; likewise on your comment on bnk sharma, my answer is again 'we can't say'...even otherwise, he has never claimed to be a guru or anything like that...in my opinion, he is a great scholar and whose works demonstrate scientific rigor and intellectual honesty... as a professor, he deserves our highest respect & humble salutations...thats all]

though jayatirtha offers his own reasonable clarifications on the abhinavAnyathA-khyAti being quite different from both the nyAyA doctrine of anyathA-khyAti and the buddhistic concept of asat-khyAti, yet wouldn't want to stretch it further because let this blog be free of philosophical quibbles & metaphysical jargon...
the only reason i mentioned this as an example was not to claim the superiority of one over the other; rather to humbly suggest that those of you who feel inclined (intellectually) to the advaitic view may do justice if you could pause and reflect on the dvaitin's objections as well, which by themselves quite often possess an undeniable logical validity...

notwithstanding my own leanings towards kevalAdvaita (in a way, it's idealism that attracts me to husserl's phenomenology or darwin's evolution or hofstadter's strange loop) :-)
so, is the world real or unreal? does the self alone exist? are brahman and jiva one and the same or eternally different? is there any theory that explains better than the other? etc etc etc...
my answer to all such questions: i don't know

what i do know is this: here is a man who from his own experience lived and taught freedom...here is a man whom we call bhagavan who said, just like the great buddha (in my words), 'i have known the truth of existence; and if you wish to learn, i can tell you a method to realize the same for yourself; try it out and know for yourself whether it works or not'
this appeals to me (there are many things that bhagavan says which i neither accept nor reject, for 'i don't know')...hence, let me try it out (vichara) and discover the truth for myself :-)
(whenever i laugh, i insert a smiley...guess, infected by M.'s kathamrita)

Ravi said...

Friends,
This another wonderful papa Ramdas story!How papa had a simple way of clearing the doubts(very much like Bhagavan):
"Many people met with Papa Ramadas. Once a man asked him, “You are still chanting the Mantra, ‘Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram’. Have you seen Bhagavaan? If you have, then where is the need for continuing to do the japa?” Papa Ramadas gave a wonderful answer, which I like very much. It was a place where a river was mingling with the sea. Papa Ramadas asked him, “Has this river mingled with the sea?”
The man said, “Yes!”
Papa Ramadas, “Well! Is the river still flowing?”
The man, “Yes. It is still flowing.”
Papa Ramada, “You say that the river is flowing but also say that it has mingled with the sea. How is it possible?”
What a wonderful reply to the question put forth? Papa Ramadas explained his state with an apt illustration. "

Salutations!

Ravi said...

Nonduel,
Kindly read what sri bhagavan had to say that i have mentioned in that post-"Whether this doubt(regarding the world) is for the Gnani or Agnani!if it the Gnani,he will know for sure!If it is for the Agnani,let him find the Truth of his self!"
No amount of reasoning or citing of authority will really help.
Actually for me(Ego or otherwise)the world exists now!This is the point that I have made in that post.As long as 'I' exist,the world exists.If the 'I' ceases then any way debate is not required!This is Bhagavan's wise counsel.Just see how many iterations we are going through ,going exactly through the same gate in and out!

Salutations!

S. said...

maRai~ndhida mUdiya mAya iruLai
aRam pAvam ennum aru~nggayitRAl katti
puRam thOl pOrththu e~nggum puzhu azhukku mUdi,
malam sOrum onbadhu vAyil kudilai
mala~nggap pulan ai~ndhum va~njjanaiyaic ceyya,
vila~nggu manaththAl, vimalA unakku
kala~ndha anbAgik kasi~ndhu uL urugum
~nalam thAn ilAdha siRiyERku ~nalgi
~nilam thanmEl va~ndhu aruLi ~nILkazhalgaL kAtti,
~nAyiR kadaiyAyk kida~ndha adiyERkuth
thAyiR ciRa~ndha thayA Ana thaththuvanE

--------------------------------------
i am hidden by the darkness of mAya (ignorance) caused by my strong karma. i am bound tightly by the rope of good and evil. i am enveloped on the outside by skin that covers all the filth and worms inside my body. i am stuck in this hut of nine entrances that keeps leaking waste. these five senses are conspiring against me. i am a dog-like lowly person with an animal-like mind that had no deep love for you. o the one without blemish! yet, you came on this earth and blessed me by revealing your holy feet. o the embodiment of all knowledge, you showed a greater love than a mother would on this lowly person who is inferior even to a dog...
(Tiruvaasagam; Sivapuranam Lines 51-60)
those of you who are inclined to surrender would love these lines... despite my agnosticism (which is not the same as atheism), am mesmerised by these lines :-)

S. said...

salutations to all:
it was wonderful to go through the several beautiful opinions that have been finding expression in the blog...a very nice platform for people to share in the spirit
of a conversation...
a request: some of you write as if you are preparing a textbook! if possible, please write in simple sentences...that could make our talk 'simple & direct'

a few times, i did feel like writing something or the other but then remembered the powerful 'first realize, then talk'... please treat my occasional writings as my limitations...

ravi, thank you for the tons of
information that you so generously
offer...but as far as your latest
discussion wth arvind goes, guess you should give 'it' to arvind... it may not be fair to treat the kathamrita to be more authoritative than the lilaprasanga...
i remember vivekananda mentioning that on many an occasion, after making sure that there are no householders in the vicinity,
thakur used to assemble the few bright young teenagers and speak in glowing terms of the subtleties of renunciation in the light of advaita vedanta...
it is quite possible that saradananda attended many such sessions to which M. was not privy to...if you subscribe to 'authority', then it would be appropriate to consider
saradananda's work to have nearly the same legitimacy as that of M.'s...after all, we are talking about two exemplary direct disciples of thakur...
of course, both of you are welcome to my 'camp'...i don't care much about any authority :-)

arvind and (b) yogi: read your delightful summaries/views on advaita as a school of thought... both of you seem to have a strong leaning towards proving or disproving using the tools of 'logic'...assuming that you were talking about the 'system' and
not the 'state' & are also quite open to suggestions, would request you to spare some time going through the compelling objections raised by some of the brilliant
thinkers of the madhva school... this could plausibly offer an element of robustness to some of your very interesting dreamy speculations (not that am a dvaitin) :-)
even a little careful study would reveal that some of the critical tenets of the advaita school, logically speaking, rest on fragile foundations...just some unsolicited food for thought :-)

am swayed by neither, though am inclined to the advaitic view...my reasoning is a little different: (very briefly) as a school of thought, advaita perhaps comes closest to the purposelessness of creation...life on earth may be no more than a freak accident of evolution...to trace any of these
things to 'god' is perhaps just a
concoction of the security-seeking mind, whose very attribute is to offer one reason or the other for everything (sort of the mind abhorring a vacuum)...

aren't these just another kind of 'speculations'? of course yes, but with a difference...these are at least based on a sincere scientific quest unlike the
delusions of organized religion...
if you value honesty as a necessary pre-requisite, in my opinion, to say 'i don't know' is lot more honest than the probable 'fiction' of god's will :-)

Broken Yogi said...

S,

That business about the Self "choosing" who will realize the Self always seemed mysterious to me also after I first read about it in Papaji's talks. Something about it seemed right, though, even if I can't say quite what it is. After I read Papaji talking about this, my reaction was to pray to the Self, "Well, then choose me!" Which was kind of a funny prayer, but it also felt right. In answer, I could feel the Self saying right back to me, "If that's what you want, then choose Me!" So it's kind of a mirrored thing, the point being that on both sides there must be a choice. The Self must choose us, and we must choose the Self. Perhaps these are really the same thing, just looked upon from two different angles. So if we want the Self to choose us, we must choose the Self. By choosing the Self, the Self is choosing us. The important point being that we must actively choose the Self, rather than just passively wait for the Self to choose us.

This is very much like the issue of how one acquires the desire for liberation itself. We have to choose to desire liberation, not merely have it handed to us. And yet, the first sign of Grace is that we have the desire for liberation at all! Either way you look at it, Grace comes first.

Broken Yogi said...

Ravi,

"I do not believe that the Gnani will lose all distictions;I understand that he will not see any difference.No one ceases to be a HUMAN with its associated body mind complex,and if the gnani as long as the gnani has to EAT and TAKE CARE of this complex ,he HAS THE DISTINCTION.I understand that only in NIRVIKALPA SAMADHI all these things are obliterated."

This is an interesting argument that I've gone back and forth with myself. My sense of it is that the jnani loses all distinctions between Self and other, between Self and body, Self and mind, Self and devotee, etc. Thus, there is no distinction in reality between anyone and anything. This is not the same as the distinctions between "things". So there is still the capacity to distinguish between one's foot and one's hand, or between one's body and someone else's body, because these are just conventions. Yet neither is distinct from the Self, and are seen in the Self as one Being with many forms and "faces".

This is the difference between samadhis of absorbtion and "sahaj" samadhi. In samadhis of absorption, nothing is experienced but the Self. Yet when objects arise once more, they are seen as distinct from the Self. In Sahaj, there are no objects seen at all. Instead, there is only the Self, and what formerly were experienced as objects are now experienced as the Self. This does not mean that the functional forms disappear into a soup, and one cannot walk down the street or chew gum. It simply means that one does not see any distinction between the street and the Self, or gum and the Self, and in that sense, there is no true distinction between the street and the gum. The distinctions are purely functional and obviously meaningless in reality, and have no power to impinge upon self-realization, regardless of how functionally active the jnani may appear to be.

Ravi said...

Friends,
Sri Aurobindo on the Guru:
"The Teacher of the integral Yoga will follow as far as he may the method of the Teacher within us. He will lead the disciple through the nature of the disciple. Teaching, example, influence, -- these are the three instruments of the Guru. But the wise Teacher will not seek to impose himself or his opinions on the passive acceptance of the receptive mind; he will throw in only what is productive and sure as a seed which will grow under the divine fostering within. He will seek to awaken much more than to instruct; he will aim at the growth of the faculties and the experiences by a natural process and free expansion. He will give a method as an aid, as a utilisable device, not as an imperative formula or a fixed routine. And he will be on his guard against any turning of the means into a limitation, against the mechanising of process. His whole business is to awaken the divine light and set working the divine force of which he himself is only a means and an aid, a body or a channel.
The example is more powerful than the instruction; but it is not the example of the outward acts nor that of the personal character, which is of most importance. These have their place and their utility; but what will most stimulate aspiration in others is the central fact of the divine realisation within him governing his whole life and inner state and all his activities. This is the universal and essential element; the rest belongs to individual person and circumstance. It is this dynamic realisation that the Sadhaka must feel and reproduce in himself according to his own nature; he need not strive after an imitation from outside which may well be sterilising rather than productive of right and natural fruits.
Influence is more important than example. Influence is not the outward authority of the Teacher over his disciple, but the power of his contact, of his presence, of the nearness of his soul to the soul of another, infusing into it, even though in silence, that which he himself is and possesses. This is the supreme sign of the Master. For the greatest Master is much less a Teacher than a Presence pouring the divine consciousness and its constituting light and power and purity and bliss into all who are receptive around him.
And it shall also be a sign of the teacher of the integral Yoga that he does not arrogate to himself Guruhood in a humanly vain and self-exalting spirit. His work, if he has one, is a trust from above, he himself a channel, a vessel or a representative. He is a man helping his brothers, a child leading children, a Light kindling other lights, an awakened Soul awakening souls, at highest a Power or Presence of the Divine calling to him other powers of the Divine."-Synthesis of Yoga-Sri Aurobindo

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