Thursday, October 2, 2008

Desire for the Self

There was an extensive discussion between Arvind and Broken Yogi in the response column of the post on ‘Relations with the Guru’. Arvind defended the position that desiring the Self was wrong, while Broken Yogi took the opposing view. The pros and cons of this debate prompted the following query from an anonymous contributor:

There was a pretty serious debate on desire between Broken Yogi and Arvind and others. Now I am left unsure as to who was actually describing Sri Ramana’s position correctly. What is the correct teaching? Am I to desire the Self consciously as much as possible till I achieve the Self, or am I to desire it only unconsciously and keep no desire-thoughts in my mind? Does the Self have desires or does God have desires? …

I think in such situations you have to clarify what was the teaching as per Sri Ramana. I don’t want Papaji’s position or Lakshmana Swamy’s position nor the position of some of the other Masters - but Sri Ramana’s actual teaching.
The question ‘Does the Self have desires, or does God have desires?’ is probably the easiest component of the query to give an answer to. According to Bhagavan, the answer would be ‘no’:

Bhagavan: Without desire, resolve or effort, the sun rises; and in its mere presence the sunstone emits fire, the lotus blooms, water evaporates, people perform their various functions and then rest. Just as in the presence of the magnet the needle moves, it is by virtue of the mere presence of God that the souls governed by the three functions or the fivefold divine activity perform their actions and then rest, in accordance with their respective karmas. God has no resolve; no karma attaches itself to him. That is like worldly actions not affecting the sun, or like the merits and demerits of the other four elements not affecting all-pervading space. (The Collected Works of Sri Ramana Maharshi, pp. 42-3.)

Bhagavan included a summary of these ideas in one of his replies in Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no. 28:

Question: Why then is samsara - creation and manifestation as finitised - so full of sorrow and evil?

Bhagavan:
God’s will!

Question:
Why does God will it so?

Bhagavan:
It is inscrutable. No motive can be attributed to that Power - no desire, no end to achieve can be asserted of that one Infinite, All-wise and All-powerful Being. God is untouched by activities, which take place in His presence; compare the sun and the world activities. There is no meaning in attributing responsibility and motive to the One before it becomes many.

That is to say, God has no sankalpa, no resolve, will, desire or intention. It (God or the Self) simply is.

One of the briefest sections in Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi (talk no. 537) comprises the following quotation by Bhagavan: ‘Desire constitutes maya, and desirelessness is God.’

A moment’s reflection will see why this is so. Desire can only exist if there is something separate from the subject who desires. When that separation is not there, desire no longer exists:

Bhagavan: There is room for kama (desire) so long as there is an object apart from the subject (i.e., duality). There can be no desire if there is no object. The state of no-desire is moksha. (Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no. 502)

The other question that was asked – is it good or bad to desire the Self? – is a more complex one. I think that one reason this debate went on for so long in the responses’ section is that it is possible to find statements from Bhagavan that can support either side of the argument.

Here are some unqualified assertions from Bhagavan, recorded in Padamalai, pages 71-2, which stress the importance of wanting and desiring the Self:

79

Through a longing for the swarupa that waxes more and more as abundant bliss, infatuation for the false world will slip away.

80

The glory of Self-realisation is not experienced except in the hearts of those who are very zealous about sinking into the Self.

81

Those who greatly desire the Self, the state of mere being that transcends all concepts, will not desire anything else.

82

Devotion to the Self, the best of desires, yields the true jnana sight in which all names and forms are names and forms of the Self.

83

If you wholeheartedly desire and realise the truth, that truth itself will liberate you.

Verse twenty-seven of Guru Vachaka Kovai contains similar sentiments:

Do not be confounded by this worthless samsara that appears as a dream in the deluding [sleep of] ignorance. In a mind that has an intense desire for reality – consciousness, the supreme – it is impossible for the binding mental delusion that arises in the dense darkness of ignorance to remain.

In contrast to these verses, and seemingly contradicting them, we have the following unequivocal statement, recorded on page 191 of Padamalai:

16

Even the desire for liberation is the work of delusion. Therefore, remain still [summa iru].

Similar sentiments can be found in a reply Bhagavan gave in Day by Day with Bhagavan, 24th December, 1945:

Bhagavan: Liberation is our very nature. We are that. The very fact that we wish for liberation shows that freedom from all bondage is our real nature. That has not got to be freshly acquired. All that is necessary is to get rid of the false notion that we are bound. When we achieve that, there will be no desire or thought of any sort. So long as one desires liberation, so long, you may take it, one is in bondage.

Here is another reply on this topic, this time to a devotee who wanted to follow the path of surrender:

Question: Does not total or complete surrender require that one should not have left in him the desire even for liberation or God?

Bhagavan: Complete surrender does require that you have no desire of your own, that God’s desire alone is your desire and that you have no desire of your own. (Day by Day with Bhagavan, 1st March, 1946)

Since the questioner has asked for ‘Sri Ramana’s actual teaching’ on this topic, I will add one more citation, Guru Vachaka Kovai, verse 378:

Only in those who have completely severed the bond of desire and attachment will the illusory appearance that associates with them through ego-defilement perish. The aim, then, is to cut off, without so much as a second thought, even the desire for the indescribable supreme bliss of peace that is full of jnana.

How may these seemingly contradictory statements to be resolved? I would say (and I will back this up with some quotes from Bhagavan) that desiring the Self intensely is, somewhat paradoxically, a way of reaching the state where all desires, including the desire for the Self, vanish. Bhagavan might say, as he did in one of the Padamalai verses I cited, remain still, without having a desire for liberation, but who can carry out this particular instruction? If I say, ‘Give an apple to your mother,’ that is a simple physical action that can easily be accomplished. If, on the other hand, I say ‘Give up all desires, including the desire for liberation, and remain still,’ who has the capacity to do this? Those who cannot will request a route to the state of desirelessness, and in such circumstances Bhagavan would say that one should take attention off desires for the objects of the non-Self and instead direct it towards the Self. At this preliminary stage of practice the Self is an object to be focused on, and a strong desire to reach it will enhance one’s ability to focus on the goal. If one wants and desires it to the exclusion of all else, then one is not diverted by mental and physical distractions.

Here is a well-known dialogue from Day by Day with Bhagavan (11th January 1946) that illustrates some of these points:

A young man from Colombo asked Bhagavan, ‘J. Krishnamurti teaches the method of effortless and choiceless awareness as distinct from that of deliberate concentration. Would Sri Bhagavan be pleased to explain how best to practise meditation and what form the object of meditation should take?

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, “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 “Be still”, you may take it that the effort necessary has already been finished in a previous life. So …, effortless and choiceless awareness is reached only after deliberate meditation. That meditation can take any form which appeals to you best. See what helps you to keep away all other thoughts and adopt that method for your meditation”.

In this connection Bhagavan quoted verses 5 and 52 from ‘Udal Poyyuravu’ and 36 from ‘Payappuli’ of Saint Thayumanavar:

'Remain still, mind, in the face of everything!’
This truth that was taught to you, where did you let it go?
Like wrestlers, bent upon their bout, you raised your arguments.
Where is your judgement?
Where, your wisdom? Begone! (‘Udal Poyyuravu’, verse 5)

Bliss will arise if you remain still.
Why, little sir, this involvement still with yoga, whose nature is delusion? Will [this bliss] arise through your own objective knowledge?
You need not reply, you who are addicted to ‘doing’!
You little baby, you! (‘Udal Poyyuravu’, verse 52.)

Though I have listened unceasingly to the scriptures
that one and all declare,
‘To be still is bliss, is very bliss,’
I lack, alas, true understanding,
and I failed even to heed
the teachings of my Lord, Mauna Guru.
Through this stupidity I wandered in maya’s cruel forest.
Woe is me, for this is my fated destiny. (‘Payappuli’, verse 36.)

Though all the scriptures have said it, though we hear about it every day from the great ones, and even though our Guru says it, we are never quiet, but stray into the world of maya and sense objects. That is why conscious deliberate effort is required to attain that mauna state or the state of being quiet.

In the original Day by Day citation Bhagavan merely summarised the ideas in these three verses. I have added the complete text, which I took from a translation that Venkatasubramanian, Robert Butler and myself did a few years ago.

While we still have minds, we have choices, motives and desires. Bhagavan advises us in these circumstances to choose the Self over the non-Self, and with a strong dose of vairagya (discrimination between what is real and important and unreal and unimportant) keep one’s attention on the Self by desiring awareness of the ‘I’ to the exclusion of all other desires.

Here is another well-known passage from Bhagavan, taken from Sadhu Om’s translation of Bhagavan’s essay version of Who am I?:

The mind will subside only by means of the enquiry ‘Who am I?’ The thought ‘Who am I?’, destroying all other thoughts, will itself be finally destroyed like the stick used for stirring the funeral pyre.

The question ‘Who am I?’ indicates a desire to find the true nature of the
‘I. If that thought ‘Who am I?’ is held strongly and continuously, it burns up all other thoughts and eventually consumes itself, the original desire to know the Self, leaving a desire-free ‘I’. However, for this to happen the desire for the Self must exceed the distracting power of one’s vasanas:

Bhagavan: If the will and desire to remember Self are strong enough, they will eventually overcome vasanas. There must be a great battle going on inwardly all the time until the Self is realised. (Conscious Immortality, 1st ed., p. 57)

The process by which a strong desire for the Self burns up the mind and all its desires was stated even more explicitly by Bhagavan in the flowing reply, taken from Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no. 152:

Bhagavan: Long for it [God or the Self] intensely so that the mind melts in devotion. After the camphor burns away no residue is left. The mind is the camphor; when it has resolved itself into the Self without leaving even the slightest trace behind, it is realisation of the Self.

All these ideas are neatly tied together in Guru Vachaka Kovai, verse 149:

The non-dual experience will only be attained by those who have completely given up desires. For those with desires, it is far, far away. Hence it is proper for those with desires to direct their desires towards God, who is desireless, so that through desire for God the desires that arise through the delusion that objects exist and are different from oneself will become extinct.

The last line of this verse may also be translated as ‘so that through desire for God their deluding desires become extinct’. This second version is the one that appeared in Padamalai, on page 242.

So, ‘Anonymous’, I have stuck to your brief and only included citations from Bhagavan. I hope they will dispel a little of your confusion. To conclude, here are two more verses from Guru Vachaka Kovai. Though they do mention that giving up desires is essential for Self-realisation, they don’t really contribute much more to this discussion on desiring or not desiring the Self. However, since they do offer good practical advice on self-enquiry, that is a good enough reason for me to include them here:

850

By becoming the source of all desires, the ego is the doorway to the sorrow of samsara. The extremely heroic and discriminating person first attains through dispassion the total renunciation of desires that arise in the form of ‘I want’. Subsequently, through the Selfward enquiry ‘Who am I?’, he renounces that ego, leaving no trace of it, and attains the bliss of peace, free from anxieties. This is the supreme benefit of dharma.

851

Instead of marring the fullness of being that is God, who exists and shines without a second, by rising arrogantly as ‘I’ in opposition to him, a person should enter and subside in the Heart, his source. This truly is the virtuous discipline that should be unfailingly observed by a person who wants to reach God’s sanctum sanctorum, his consciousness-presence [jnana-sannidhi].
* * *

Apologies to everyone for not posting much recently. I am working on a couple of very long topics and they will both take time to complete.

172 comments:

meestergus said...

First, I should admit that I have not read the exchange between Broken Yogi and Arvind. It could be that I will just repeat what one or the other said. Don't know. I think though that it boils down to this. What happens to desire when it is scrutinized? Who's desire is it? In my estimation desire of any kind becomes fodder for Self Enquiry, a kind of excellent starting point: Find out who has desire.

Also, something that came up as I read. I notice there seems to be, possibly, too much reliance on the absolute word. I doubt that this was ever intended. Aspirants were and are, as far as I can tell, always pointed back to their own investigation and ultimately to silence - the space of no words, in other words. This - getting caught up by word - probably explains why apparent contradiction appears to occur.

In my own case, I read the words of Sri Ramana just about every evening but only as a guide in my own investigation. Once the words become concretized, it seems to me, they lose their value.

Anyway, thank you so much David for posting, and everyone else for sharing. I always look forward to new entries and comments in this blog (even though obviously i don't always read the comments ;^)

Cheers!
gus

umesh said...

Isn't desiring the self exactly the same as not desiring the self ? Both are mental activities/efforts which need a mind that is turned outward. For a mind that is turned inward there is only the bliss of being. (effortless). Initially there maybe effort needed to "be myself" (sadhana). I am a rookie but that is my humble understanding. Pls correct me if I have not understood Bhagavan's teaching.
Umesh

summa said...

Thank you so much, David for this blog, all your work and sharing with us.

I feel that the reason that statements can be confusing is that the mind (past conditioning) is interpreting them.

How do we get behind and beneath the conditioning?

The mind creates space and time, a "me" over here and everything else "over there", and the "I am the body" idea.

Our language itself contributes to this conditioning, separating unity into parts and pieces.

If the mind is silent and humble and one sincerely asks the heart to see for one, hear for one, read and interpret for Truth, then the essence behind the words is understood.

The mind deals in "or". The heart knows "and".

Most spiritual/religious practice involves the addition of more concepts and ideas. Ramana's path involves a stripping away of everything in the realms of thought and language and feeling by actual direct experience - Where and how does the sense of "I" arise?.

All arises from within. One must track exactly, experientially, how that happens. Am I in the body or does the body idea arise in me? Are the boundaries real or just in the mind?

One may change one's language, internally, to match one's experience. "I went to the store, then came home." becomes "The body seemed to be moved through the mind, to the store and back."

One must stop reading about chocolate and discussing intellectual ideas about it, and actually dive into the chocolate (heart) and taste it first hand.....

The honest, sincere and unrelenting search for the Self illicits a response from within, which in turn acknowledges one's effort and contributes to further effort. Only a silent, humble mind will be gobbled up and dissolved by the Self.

Badrinath.V.S said...

David,

I AM CONFUSED. Is there a god different from the self ? The frequent interchange of self and god in the verses cited confuses me is god a different entity. I always thought one merges in the self and the self is ...., nothing but the self exists.

Also how can one be desire less, I try hard to remain aloof and sometimes wonder if being aloof is the same as being lazy. Everyday in our life we get into crossroads where we have to choose , make a choice , desire for a road, how can this be avoided unless one is already merged in the self. arent even desires like wanting to visit the asram - desire.

How can one be desire free without becoming thought free.


--Badri--

Anonymous said...

David,

The passage and the verses from Day by Day quoted by you, “Effortless and choiceless awareness etc”, are applicable to EFFORT and not desire. The Maharshi is saying that effort is required. He has not mentioned desire anywhere. Even the context of the talk in Day by Day is whether effort is required or not. Effort in sadhana is a function of faith in the Guru.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.
...The mind creates space and time, a "me" over here and everything else "over there", and the "I am the body" idea.

Our language itself contributes to this conditioning, separating unity into parts and pieces.

If the mind is silent and humble and one sincerely asks the heart to see for one, hear for one, read and interpret for Truth, then the essence behind the words is understood.

The mind deals in "or". The heart knows "and".

Most spiritual/religious practice involves the addition of more concepts and ideas. Ramana's path involves a stripping away of everything in the realms of thought and language and feeling by actual direct experience - Where and how does the sense of "I" arise?.

All arises from within. One must track exactly, experientially, how that happens. Am I in the body or does the body idea arise in me? Are the boundaries real or just in the mind?

One may change one's language, internally, to match one's experience. "I went to the store, then came home." becomes "The body seemed to be moved through the mind, to the store and back."

One must stop reading about chocolate and discussing intellectual ideas about it, and actually dive into the chocolate (heart) and taste it first hand.....

The honest, sincere and unrelenting search for the Self illicits a response from within, which in turn acknowledges one's effort and contributes to further effort. Only a silent, humble mind will be gobbled up and dissolved by the Self. ...


Fine! There is nothing to add. Let us do the AND - not the OR.
.

Anonymous said...

Dear David,

When Ramana says that no motive, no desire, no end to achieve can be attributed to God, does the word "God" refer to nirguna brahman or to Ishvara ? The self, or nirguna brahman, certainly is without any desire, but can we say the same thing about Ishvara ?

Thanks.

Subramanian. R said...

Dear David, Once, Visvanatha
Swami's brother, who was a
Gandhian and freedom fighter
came to Asram. He, inspite of
being a Brahmin, deliberately
sat in Non-Brahmin's row, to prove
his point. Bhagavan said, "Even
not to desire to sit in Brahmin's
row is a desire. I think this
makes it clear that both desiring
and non desiring are desires.
Self is beyond the two. Be still
sums up the position succinctly.
Let us not make the blog a
boxing ring for logicians. It
is easy to understand Advaita
through Sankara's Atma Bodham.
To read and understand Panchadasi and Naishkarmya
Siddhi of Suresvara is to complicate the whole thing.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

My understanding, but I'll have to actually read through this whole post. From what I read, I guess Broken Yogi won! Just kidding.

In response to the first post. My understanding is that feelings of desire, longing, fear, sadness, my attempts at Inquiry take no issue with these. These are of the body, something that I need not interfere with.

But thoughts of desire, for anything. Inquiry is calling attention that the thinker, is "not me". If I'm thinking "I have a desire for the Self" or am holding some object in mind that I think is the Self. Well, it's not the Self, because Self is not subject or object. If I sound like an expert, I'm pretending. I'm as novice as anyone. And in no way qualified to tell anyone what's what.

But at the same time, my desire to be free of delusion, the feeling of need to be free of delusion, that it is harmful. The more I'm silent, the more feelings of desire this conjures up to stay silent, where all is peace and bliss. I see more and more that hapiness is being free of the need to acquire something, and I want more and more to be reminded of that, whenever I forget.

To me, that is what desire of the Self is. It's not desire in the sense of I want something. Maybe, intellectualizing it a bit, it's that the mind not only gets more comfortable subsiding in that silent, blissful place, but actually starts craving abiding in a place where it doesn't have to go out and do Herculean effort for things that ultimately are not satisfying. When more and more it becomes obvious that the "objects" that are projected to be external, are either not satisfying on getting them, or satisfying enough, or dissapointment on not getting the object of desire, also leads to a distrust for external desires, the more the mind wants to just stay silent, and not go out. Pretty soon, in my case, I'm starting to actually feel a happiness, or bliss that makes me want to grin alot, and laugh at everything, and the more I feel that happiness, well then there really truly is no reason to think up things I need "externally". I know a jnani would just pop all these intellectual bubbles I just created. I'm going to attempt to stay silent now.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Now that I've read a little further, I bite my own tongue. Seems in the boxing of the logicians Arvind takes the K.O., seems I threw my chips in with the wrong horse. (just kidding)

I need to sit down and read the whole thing, but I really did like the comments as well. That was my feeling, meestergus, should rely on my own investigation, as opposed to looking for words to back up a position.

But I'm O.K. with a boxing ring for logicians, it's just that when it comes to being still, and silent, it hasn't really helped me in that regard. But it was fun for my illusory personality to sit back and watch and pretend that I was more "enlightened" for not caring about such semantics. But now I have to ask who is it, who is enjoying using words for such irony? Time for physics labs, who hates labs?

Broken Yogi said...

Thank you for clarifying Sri Ramana's teachings on desire for the Self. I have nothing much to add as far as the dharmic arguments go, but I did want to say that my interest in this subject isn't academic, it is very practical and personal, and I have been trying to speak from that point of view, right or wrong.

This dialog has helped me to feel this desire for the Self more deeply and directly than I have before. Just putting attention on the issue seems to have that effect. I am not a desire-free person, far from it. So sometimes I ask myself, seeing my life of desires and distractions, what is it I really desire? Rather than asking the question abstractly, I just try to feel into the depth of my desires, feeling to the source, to my heart, asking what is my heart's true desire, and it awakens this desire for the Self.

The thing is, feeling this desire for the Self doesn't lead my mind anywhere as ordinary desires do. It doesn't point in some direction. Nor does it relieve me of the feeling of desire itself. It's just that the feeling of desire becomes motionless, static, and yet it grows stronger and more intense, more full of love, more alive, more shining. It feels very much as self-enquiry feels when I am most concentrated in the "I"-thought. In fact, it feels exactly the same, I guess because when I ask what "I" desire, I end up tracing my desires back to the "I"-thought itself in the quest to find out. So I'm not sure if there is really any difference between the desire for the Self and self-enquiry. Is there? In practice, I mean?

Ramana seems to be saying that the desire for the Self fuels the practice of self-enquiry, but in some sense it feels like it's the same as self-enquiry. Though I guess it could take the form of devotion as well, but as you pointed out in "Be As You Are" Sri Ramana feels that genuine devotion is really the same as self-enquiry in essentual practice, if not stylistically. I can't help but wonder if this heart-concentration in the desire for the Self is perhaps more of a form of devotional surrender than self-enquiry, then. I even wonder at times if I am actually more suited to the path of devotional surrender than self-enquiry, and this is an indication of it. When I practice self-enquiry, for example, the major effect is a feeling of devotional love and this desire for the Self, such that I often let go of self-enquiry and concentrate in this love and desire for the Self. Is this advisable, or should I remain active in self-enquiry even then?

Thanks so much for all your help, and please don't feel any rush in answering. I am not sure it really matters much at my immature stage of practice, so I don't bother getting confused about this, but it would still be good to get some clarification whenever you have the time (and I know you don't have very much, especially with so many questions here to answer).

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

A good quote that I think sums up the debate is "There will be no end to disputations", that is one of the Maharshi quotes I put on my shelf in marker.

That aside, I actually enjoy these debates (so don't stop, if you feel the urge to argue), and I was glad to see that a whole thread was created to deal with the issue of desire, full of pristine quotes. Both sides made nice points, although I felt more pulled to agreement with Broken Yogi. But that Maharshi quote is nice, in that it says, in my own words, no intellectual argument is going to result in some deeper understanding of the truth, but just go on ad infinitum.

Kind of makes me think of the scientific explanation of the world, or the religious explanation of the world.
"How did stars and galaxies come to be?"

"Because of the Big Bang?" "What caused the Big Bang?" or conversely, "Who created God? and Who created the One who Created God?" Ad Infinitum.

The other day, it occured to me the significance of "Silence is Eloquence eternal". One one hand, any confusion I suffer, mental silence is the best answer to resolve the doubts, answer the questions. So silence is the answer. Also Silence is eternal, in that before I woke up this morning, or before I was born, or before the Big Bang, any way you look at it, there was the bliss of silence. Diversity of forms, atoms, protein molecules, DNA, RNA, Carbon, Mercury, my mom, my friends, all came into being in the computer screen pixles of my imagination. But the bliss of silence is unperterbed. Now, one of these days, I'll realize that, and never forget. I'm not going to arrogantly speculate on what lifetime, or what ten minute period. And I can't hide an egotistical desire to be like that person who was excited they had a hundred lifetimes left, so that all the leaves fell off the tree, and they realized the Self immediately.

None of that matters, I seek understanding of the words of ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Papaji, Annamalai Swami, Lakshmana Swami, you name it, because I'm looking for refuge, and existing as an individual is not safe. Because the body is so incredibly fragile, the notion of the individual even more so. Not to mention that notion of who the individual is, is capable of so much harm and selfishness, is fending off real love while seeking for approval, is a Great Sinner, spoiling salvation. So I welcome it's dissolution.

Anonymous said...

Scott fraundorf:

reading the thread... It occurs to me that one reason for the contradictory statemtents (from Maharshi), is that they aren't really contradictory.

But not only that, even if they are, I intuit that Maharshi wasn't just giving out intellectual statemtents or teachings. What he said, was very much what that person sitting in front of him asking the question needed to hear, or even just people that were present that through his grace he was aware of.

Something that would cause the listener's mind to latch onto the words, and call attention to the illusoriness of everything they think they were, while at the same time suddenly becoming aware of the grace that they possessed all along.

So often the words, may have had more to do with the listener then any general teaching statement. At the same time, I find Maharshi's words to be excellent teaching statements, if I allow them to do their work without worrying about contradictions. That's the job of the logican boxers, I'll leave it to them.

Maybe one questioner came who was obsessed with the glories of enlightenment, the concept of Enlightenment, and was trying desperately, desiring for all the wrong reasons to see the Self as an object.. The words of Bhagavan telling him that desire for the Self, ultimately is delusional too, may have been just the right thing for him/her.

On the other hand someone who was filled with worldy desires, and passions, and suffering because of them, coming to Bhagavan, maybe he told them that replacing those desires with desire for a desireless state, maybe thats what he/she needed to hear.

So I reckon, the standpoint of the person who posed the question may have had alot to do with it. At the same time, there is a magical, grace that flows through all who are only aware of the Self, and everything as the Self, that even eighty years later, some statement that i read, if it causes some huge revelation, well from the get go, that statement may have been also aimed at me, or whoever is reading it in Talks, Be As You Are.

Anonymous said...

Dear David,

I was the anonymous who asked for the clarification on desire. Thank you for the post but my confusion still remains. The discussion was much more subtle than what you have explained. I have reread all the arguments again in the other ‘Relations with the Guru’ thread.

If I understood the ‘logicians’ correctly, Arvind did not say that desire for liberation is wrong. He said it should be an intense ‘unconscious’ desire for the Self, that is like breathing or eating food and one that does not cause ‘vrittis’ to rise up in the mind. He said that the intense ‘conscious’ desire for the Self should be at the preliminary stages, and then become an intense ‘unconscious’ desire. He gave the example of desire for sleep.

Broken Yogi said that there should be intense ‘conscious’ desire for the Self, because desire for the Self rises from the Self and is a pure sacred current that exists because it is a desire of the Self for itself. If you remove the mind, which blocks this desire, then the desire is revealed in all glory and the Self is realized. He said that as the seeker advances on his quest, this desire has to be made more and more intense. As an example is his recent post saying how when doing Self-enquiry, the intense ‘conscious’ desire for the Self comes up and takes over and then he concentrates on this desire instead of enquiry.

Both Arvind and Broken Yogi please correct me if I have got it wrong.

I find both arguments appeal to me and sound right. Request you to clarify further in light of Sri Ramana’s teaching. You also have still to explain whther we should actively seek temporary experiences of the type Broken Yogi and others have experienced. Only Westerner devotees seem to have such experiences. Is that so? Thank you

UV

Subramanian. R said...

Dear David, I agree with what
anonymous told in his comment.
Bhagavan is Truth, but He precribed contextual truths to
different devotees. He told one
to do Rama japa. He told Annamalai Swami to chant
Siva, Siva. Perhaps, the seeker
should read all the contextual truths of Bhagavan and take one
that is most suited to him. As an
Advaitic Brahmin, Siva,Siva
would suit me best. A Vaishnavite
may prefer Rama, Rama. Let
each one pursue the one that is
the best for him and find the
Absolute Truth in the end.

David Godman said...

Thanks for all your comments. I have been incapacitated with the flu for the last two and a half days. I will respond when I feel a bit healthier.

Haramurthy said...

Given the notion of a "desire for the Self" is not one that is valid on the level of ultimate reality (which is characterised by an absence of all desires), and given the word "Self" is a term conventionally employed to indicate something distinct from whatsoever could be objectified, hence be an object of desire, the whole phrase "desire for the Self" has obviously a metaphorical sense pointing to a psychological and attentional conduct deemed necessary on a more ordinary level of intentional engagement.

Ordinarily, we are psychologically and socially embedded in numerous horizons (with one-sided and mutual forms of expectancy): family with associated connections to relatives, closer friends and circles of somewhat more distant social surroundings, educational and professional milieus, security and status providing networks -- thus inhabiting diverse spheres for innumerable modes and shades of recognition hunting.
All those embeddings -- in other words: ordinary life -- tend quite much to occupy our time, the continuous stream of our attention, and, at best, serve to nourish "narrative selves", that is, constructed and maintained self-images more or less succesfully adopted to the roles socially assumed and played in a diversity of contexts.
Growing up from a state of childhood to one embodying the responsible role of a parent, teacher, social participant etc. means developing a considerable skill of maintaining the veracity of a relatively stable self-image with a good degree of reliability in the eyes of others, upon whose recognition/reconfirmation one depends in turn.
It is from the point of such a person (that is, any ordinary and even more so "extraordinary" person), someone whose attention is constantly erring around in networks of fleeting references -- engrossed in Self-forgetfulness -- that a compassionate attempt to trick him/her out of that forgetfulness with the appealing phrase "have some more desire for the self" may be made.
Desiring all the time and taking "self" to mean their ordinary (narrative) ego-self, this phrase appeals, but astonishes, hence may introduce a suspense: "what, am I not desiring myself enough?" --- The response given then, which necessarily must be a highly individual one, may be decisive for influencing, or not, the Self-destructive conduct of the one addressed.

Basically, however, advising "desire for the Self" is the precription of a sugar-coated bitter pill. Essentially the phrase simply refers to the act of renunciation. One is advised to renunciate whatever irritates one's attention to the extent that it errs into any referential horizon with the prospect of achieving recognition, fulfillment and what else.
The age-old implication is: if you cannot renunciate all your psychological and social embeddedness, in the first place, it is just ridiculous to entertain the notion of Atmabodha.
Of course, once total renunciation of even the most subtle forms of attachment has uncovered a "Self" that cannot even particularly meaningfully be referred to by the word "Self" -- then contextualised forms of reappearance may happen, whereby the apparant forms are those that others perceive in correlation to the maturity of their "desires of the Self".
Om namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya !

Broken Yogi said...

Anon,

Yes, I think you've gotten the arguments between Arvind and myself pretty much right. The only clarification I'd make is that I'm not suggesting that the desire for the Self replace self-enquiry, but that it drives it to fruition.

The issue I brought in my post in this thread is a different one, which relates to Ramana's acknowledgment that self-enquiry is not the only path to realization, but that there is a distinct path of devotional self-surrender which also achieves the same result. Ramana has pointed out that in essence, both paths are the same, in that they drive to the Self, but they differ in their practical expression. Saradamma, for example, never practiced self-enquiry, but only self-surrender, and yet realized the Self by the age of 20.

The issue I tried to bring up is how one can differentiate between these two expression of the desire for the Self, and if the practice of devotional surrender resolves, in essence, to simply remaining concentrated in the "desire" dimension, without any particular conceptual notion of what the object of this desire is. Using Saradamma again as an example, she states that she had no particular desire for self-realization, and Lakshmana's descriptions of self-realization actually left her cold, in that she wasn't attracted to a state in which her mind was not turned towards her Guru. But what she did have was a profound devotional desire for her Guru, such that he filled all her thoughts and awareness, and by concentrating herself in this desire she was able to realize the Self naturally, even without having "the Self" as a goal. Which is kind of the point I am struggling to approach: that desire itself, freed from conceptual goals, has the power to bring about realization. It's not just that grace is also necessary, but that desire for the Self or Guru (which are interchangeable in my view) is itself the manifestation of that Grace.

You are also right that I made the claim that the desire for the Self does not originate in the mind, but in the Self. But let me clarify this. I do not mean that there is some "desire" floating around in the Self which moves up into the mind. I'm saying that the Grace of the Self sparks this impulse, which is reflected in the mind as desire, but which is merely the endless love the Self has for Itself. In other words, the ego is not the source of this desire for the Self. The ego would never in zillion years of random desiring ever come up with this goal or this desire. It comes about by the Grace of the Self. As is the ego's way, the ego likes to claim credit for this desire, and likes to steer it back to the ego, in order to strengthen the power of the ego through self-aggrandizement, but this desire does not originate with the ego at all. It is the desire to penetrate and dissolve the illusion of the ego. What ego would desire that? One of its tricks, however, is to smear everything with its own slime, and thus it likes to say that the desire for the Self is just like every other desire, so we should ignore it and let it die out. This leaves the ego safe and unscathed, and thus free to pursue the kinds of ordinary desires that do keep the ego safe and sound. This is the kind of dangerous misconception I was warning against.

Broken Yogi said...

Anon,

In relation to your question as to whether we should seek experiences of the Self, I think you have to realize what such seeking involves.

The general notion in the traditions, and I think Ramana spoke this way also, is that you have to make significant gestures of renunciation or sacrifice to gain genuine experience of the Self. In other words, it doesn't just come because you might casually want it, you have to want it enough that you will put aside the normal course of your life. If you're not willing to do that, there's little likelihood that the Self will show Itself to you.

I know in my own case that it took some serious gestures on my part. I left home and any future I might have had to wander the world seeking God. After a year of moving from place to place, working when I could, and a week before the experience I mentioned, I had decided to simply become a sadhu, owning nothing and begging my food, and that had led me rather miraculously to the Guru with whom I had that experience. So I'm not sure if you're aware of what it might take to gain such an experience, and if you really want it that badly.

Now, I can't say what it would take in your case. My example is based in my own karmas, and it isn't going to be the same for everyone. Lots of people perhaps have experiences of the Self with much less intention or sacrifice. For me, I felt I had to make some dramatic gestures and commitment, and risk everything. I can think of many similar examples, however. Even David left his home in England and went to India, giving up his whole life as well. It's generally considered the tradition in India that if you want to directly experience the Self, you have to be so willing.

Now, Ramana is not himself terribly much in favor of literal renunciation. He is in favor instead of ego renunciation, and discouraged excessively renunciate lifestyles. Even so, ego renunciation is every bit as serious a matter as literal renunciation, and so even if it isn't required that a person give up their career and relations, etc., it is required that one gives up the ego associated with all of that, and simply live those things as a matter of duty, rather than ego fulfillment.

The basic idea is that the Self is a living Being, who responds to our real gestures and needs. If you want an experience of the Self, you have to make a real guesture of some kind to the Self, to demonstrate your seriousness and commitment. What that would be in your case depends on what your ego is most attached to, and you would probably know that better than anyone. If you want the experience of the Self more than that, you will somehow know what to do, and the Self will respond.

Ravi said...

Broken Yogi,
Friend,Enjoyed and moved by your recent posts to anon.Is Devotion to self different than Self Enquiry?I feel that devotion to self implies Total undivided attention to Self -This is the essence of all paths.Your posts has covered it all.
Self surrender and Self Enqiry has got to be the same;The starting point may differ in that the Devotee Travels the route of Emotions,Feelings to Awareness.The 'Thinker' travels back through the route of Thought back into Awareness.
How we get trapped in WORDS-each one uses the words in his/her own way and employs this understanding to interpret what others have to say.This is one basic reason that there is a disconnect.

Friend,Wishing you all the very Best.
Namaskar!

Nandu Narasimhan said...

Dear Badri,

Beautiful post, which reflects my state of mind too.

However, as far as any apparent difference between the Self and God, Bhagavan is crystal clear. He says so in 'Maharshi's Gospel':

D: Who then is God?

M: The Self is God. `I AM' is God. If God be apart from
the Self, He must be a Selfless God, which is absurd. All that is required to realise the Self is to be still. What can be easier than that? Hence atma vidya is the easiest to attain.

I was equally confused about the choices that we are forced to make in life. So much so that my so-called sadhana had become an exercise in self-judgement and criticism. I was evaluating every little thought of mine and being harsh on myself, till I came upon a portion of verse in the 'Bhagavad Gita' that said that as long as the desires are 'dharmic' or don't cause harm to others, they are okay. Or something to that effect.

I try to practise that, in whatever little way I can.

Nandu

Udai said...

Dear Friends,
:)

Desire for Self, is a desire for "Completeness". Infact, all desires are directly or indirectly this. As it is said in Brihadaranyaka upanishad: "Even a wife loves her husband and a husband loves her wife is all an expression of Desire for Self".

So Self desire is actually a desire for completeness.
When one knows one is Complete the desire goes away, along with all other desires.

So essentially one has to be educated that one is complete. This education starts with hearing that one is complete: Sravanam, Then understanding how one is complete, Mananam and then meditating on oneself as complete Nidhidhyasam.

When one has not heard, or one heard but has not understood --- There is longing For Sense of Completeness.

Once understood... one has to meditate that one is Complete. Here, one cannot have "Desire for Self", coz already one has understood one is the Self! So if ever the desire arises... he roots it out by directing one's attention towards the Self.

So desire for self is good to lead one to Nidhidhyasam ... but once one understood... one has to root out this desire also.
It is what was told to Papaji: That Desire for Self is a vehicle that brings one to Sri Ramana ... and then one can drop that desire... as its purpose is served.

Ravi said...

Friends,
I wish to share this moving incident narrated by prof K Swaminathan:
"Once during a visit to the Ashram in the 1940s
I was sitting outside the Old Hall with many
devotees, facing Sri Bhagavan who was reclining
on a couch. A group of learned pundits were discussing
certain passages from the Upanishads with
great enthusiasm and profundity. All, including
Bhagavan, appeared to be attentively listening to
this interesting discussion when, all of a sudden,
Bhagavan rose from his couch, walked thirty meters
to the north, and stood before a villager who was
standing there looking lowly with palms joined.
Immediately the discussion stopped and all eyes
were turned to Bhagavan and the villager standing at
a distance. They appeared to be conversing, but at such
a distance no one could tell about what. Soon Bhagavan
returned to his couch and the discussion resumed.
I was curious about this villager and why Bhagavan
had gone out of his way to meet him. So, while
the discussion continued I slipped away and caught
up with him before he left the Ashram. I asked the
villager what he and Bhagavan had talked about. He
said that Bhagavan had asked him why he was
standing there so far away. “I told Bhagavan, ‘I am
only an ignorant, poor villager. How am I to approach
you who are God incarnate?’”
“What did the Maharshi say then?” I asked.
“He asked me my name, what village I was from,
what work I did and how many children I had, etc.”
“Did you ask Him anything?”
“I asked Him how I could be saved and how I
could earn His blessings.”
“What did He tell you?”
“He asked me if there was a temple in my
village. I told him there was. He wanted to know the
name of the deity of that temple. I told Him the
name. He then said that I should go on repeating the
name of that deity and I would receive all the
blessings needed.”
I came back to Bhagavan’s presence and sat
among the devotees listening to the learned discussion,
in which I had now lost all interest, realizing
that the simple humility and devotion of this peasant
had evoked a far greater response from our
Master than any amount of learning. I then decided
that, though a scholar by profession, I should always
remain a humble, ignorant peasant at heart,
and pray, like that villager, for Bhagavan’s grace
and blessings.
—Professor K. Swaminathan"

celio leite said...

When the love for the Self is intense, authentic and wholehearted and expressed by Vichara and Surrender...
Who cares about get results, goals?
For me there are two meanings for "desire" in Ramana's teachings.
I think that Ramana teached intense DESIRE for the Self, when the Way is the Goal.Vichara and Surrender sincere is the Goal by itself.No duality.
And when Ramana condemn the desire...
Is only the desire for the Self, like a "way" or "technique" to achieve something other than Self.
Seek another goals, not the Self or "Inner Feeling of I" included "spiritual goals" like liberation or enlightenement is not the Real Desire for the Being and Vairagya. There is duality.
Its my humble point of view.

Anonymous said...

@David,
Take care..get well soon..

@Scott,
These observations just resonated with me:
"When more and more it becomes obvious that the "objects" that are projected to be external, are either not satisfying on getting them, or satisfying enough, or disappointment on not getting the object of desire, also leads to a distrust for external desires, the more the mind wants to just stay silent, and not go out."
"I seek understanding of the words of ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Papaji, Annamalai Swami, Lakshmana Swami, you name it, because I'm looking for refuge, and existing as an individual is not safe. Because the body is so incredibly fragile, the notion of the individual even more so. Not to mention that notion of who the individual is, is capable of so much harm and selfishness, is fending off real love while seeking for approval, is a Great Sinner, spoiling salvation. So I welcome it's dissolution."
Thanks for your comments.

Haramurthy said...

Just to provide a short response to several of Broken Yogi’s assertions (a few posts above). He writes:

“Now, Ramana is not himself terribly much in favor of literal renunciation. He is in favor instead of ego renunciation, and discouraged excessively renunciate lifestyles. …”

In this case (and in various degrees the same naturally happens to all of us all the time), Broken Yogi’s vision of Ramana Maharshi’s attitude regarding “renunciation” appears to be somewhat saturated with wishes of what Bhagavan’s attitude should have been so as to better suit B. Y.’s own preferred notion of “renunciation”. Apparently B. Y. has a certain predilection for what he calls “ego renunciation”, whereby “ego” seems to have been used more in the sense of (moral) “egoism”, the renunciation of which is supposed (probably having some verses from the Bhagavadgita in mind) ideally to allow a person to perform so-called “disinterested actions”, while pursuing career and family life. Without wishing to investigate the reality of an ego’s embeddedness in spheres of private and professional life (suggestions have made in Haramurthy’s post above), the rationale behind such an idea certainly has a practical momentum (not to speak of its psychologically consoling feature) --: given one has, for whatsoever reasons, accumulated bonds of relationships and circumstances, thus generated conditions of psychological and social commitment, one cannot just drop all of that without creating harm to others (as very likely also to oneself); then it is surely most suitable to adopt a course of gradual detachment, in (& on) this way gaining valuable first-hand insights about the actual problems of disinterested action (provided one can afford a minimum sense of honesty with oneself) within demanding social contexts. And indeed in the spare time one may suitably acquaint oneself with the practice of self-enquiry, do a little bit of Yoga and Pranayama, gather experiences with japa and mantra internalization, and, last not least, cultivate worshipping the projection of one’s Ishtadevata. After all, there is no need for hurry – there is another life …. and another kalpa.
True, there cannot be doubt about the fact that Ramana Maharshi had no tendencies of manifesting as some sort of missionary trying to impose changes of life-style or anything else upon others. Anyway, 99,999…. percent of the kind and pious people (not to speak of others) visiting him were quite unable to sustain requirements conducible to Atmabodha – thus advising total renunciation, in the proper sense, would have been utterly futile. However, Maharshi’s display of skilfully adjusting his advices to the individual maturity and psycho-social circumstances of his visitors cannot legitimately be taken as reflecting his own standards.
His own standard, as profoundly reflected in his life (from his early enquiry beyond death [= psychological renunciation] and subsequent leaving family [= social renunciation] to his fusion with the pure “mass of Jnana”), was one of total renunciation.
And for most of the time, there was some or other group of renunciates around him (temporally even including a woman with memories of having suckled him). That is, there were always people joining him on their own account (after recognizing the significance of renunciation); yet, as the case of Annamalai Swami paradigmatically demonstrates, if required, Sri Ramana did not hesitate actually to prescribe total renunciation; being really close to Ramana fairly much entailed just that.
Self-enquiry may be taken to mean psychological disentanglement. Given the notion of “ego” corresponds to the “I” in the “Who am I”-enquiry, this “ego” does not refer to (moral) “egoism”, but to various layers (see Nan Yar text) of nested and increasingly subtle functional patterns ordinarily energized through unconscious identification. And if “ego” is taken to be a convenient label actually referring to complex layers of identification patterns, then processes associated with the Nan Yar practice may perhaps be spoken of a “ego renunciation” (that is, provided not merely the label but the identifications are what is renunciated).

B. Y. has also some creative associations concerning the notion of “Self” – saying:

“The basic idea is that the Self is a living Being, who responds to our real gestures and needs. If you want an experience of the Self, you have to make a real gesture of some kind to the Self, […up to…] and the Self will respond.”

With all respects, at best this imagination of a self corresponds to the Jungian notion of self, being one associated with what the psychologist C. G. Jung called “archetypes”. And a triggered articulation of archetypal patterns contributing to a more integral understanding of a given situation may indeed be felt as a response of one’s deeper “self” to problems of orientation in one’s life as lived.
However, without wishing to denigrate the possibility of a sort of “Carlifornian New Age Neo-Advaita fusion of thought” or, more generally, to infringe upon anybody’s freedom of creative thinking, B. Y.’s “basic idea” of the Self seems to be rather far removed from corresponding to anything the classical Advaita notion of Atman entails.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.
Ravi:

...I should always
remain a humble, ignorant peasant at heart...


Great! I love this stories more than a thousand words.
.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Haramurthy, from reading Maharshi, I didn't get the impression that he ever had any ideal "lifestyle" he was imposing on other people. In Talks, there were quite a few dialogues, where he infact advised against people living a renunciate lifestyle such as his, saying it was "not their destiny"

And even among those who "supposedly" became enlightened or sages that associated with Maharshi, among them, not all lived renunciate lifestyles. The most prominent that comes to mind is Papaji. Lakshmana Swami even joked about how all someone has to do "in this country" to attract a large following is wear a loincloth and starve oneself.

Point being, it doesn't seem to me that Maharshi was just advising against a renunciate lifestyle bceause people weren't ready for it. It just goes back to a jnanis actions being different, because it's of the body which they no longer identify with. In one of the books, can't remember which, bhoga kharma from enjoyment was contrasted with kharma of bondage. Someone who is Self-Realized has none of the latter, but the former, kharma for enjoyment differs between jnanis. It was a comment Maharshi made, but I can't remember which book I read it it.

For me, being not a partisan of the "California New Age" phenomena. But at the same time, not exactly traditional anything including advaita. I'm not into attempting Self-Inquiry, to look good in the eyes of classical advaita, or co-opt Indian cultural relics. Nor, on the opposing pole you draw, am I looking to do any evil thing I want, and just saying, "well, it wasn't me", being utterly unaccountable. Although the illusory person I project still has "desires", sometimes harmful ones, again, why I'm looking to abide in the source. From all the places I've looked, that seems to be the deepest Accountabilty I can abide in, and most free of harmful tendencies.

Many of the things you write, in your comment, strike me as living in a whole world of concepts, but I could have misunderstood you. I'm just to the best of my ability following Ramana's advise to the degree I understand him, and I'm letting more and more my actions, and their results take care of themselves, giving up the burden of taking on the decisions myself, and being the doer. Because usually in that, there is harmfulness, what religions may mean sometimes by "sin".

As to California New Age, pretending for a moment that there is an individual that I identify with, and a world of individuals, and in that world, there is a state called California, and there is a group of people called, "new age". From what I can tell, these people are in my imagination, a hallucenation, imbued with the concepts I attach to them.

But pretending that they are real, my prejudices against the California New Age as I conjured it. Mainly, that it doesn't look deep enough, and is content with very shallow levels of investigation. The moral relativism I believe you were referring to is a consequence of that. Anyone seriously attempting Self-Inquiry, yourself, myself, Broken Yogi, Ravi, whoever, is probably drawn to look deeper, although it varies from individual.

Whether or not Jung was a jnani, what I've read of him, and my own experiences, I do believe that Jung was touching on some of the same issues, and the deeper "self" he referred to was along the same lines as the Self Maharshi referred to. Reading a little bit of Sartre (on the internet), I found the same thing, he even had his own process he went through that resonated with what I know of Inquiry, but then he abandoned it for a more ideological Marxist slant. And then U.G. Krishnamurti, had a definitely existentialist slant about the same things. I'm just not willing to cut off any source of inspiration that aids me, it's why I also have started to tenuously dive back into Catholicism. While Inquiry is central, until I've fully realized nondual Being-Consciousness-Bliss, as if there is a time I will be realized, I'm milking whatever source for what they are worth in inspiration. --New Age devotee (just kidding)

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Haramurthy, Continuing in that vain, in Nothing Ever Happened, Papaji's autobiography. There were several people he came accross, who he said were also "jnanis"

Among them, there lifestyles were entirely unique, including his own. His own, while free of vasanas, desires, fears, he lived among people. And while superficially his lifsetyle is in stark contrast to Ramana Maharshi, much in his biography resonated with aspects of Ramana's life.

Among all the people who were Realized before or after coming into contact with Ramana, including Papaji, they all attracted devotees, without seeking it out, or claiming to be "enlightened". It was just something that kind of happened. People wanted their aid/grace, were drawn to their presence.

My point is, between the muslim pir, the man in the woods, who urinated on pregnant women's hands and told them whether thye were going to have a boy or a girl, Maharshi, and Papaji, there lives were completely in contrast with eachother, despite being "jnanis"

So everything Maharshi has said, and all the anecdotes surrounding him, point me to believe that renunciation is internal, and not external, and there is no ifs, ands or buts about it, it's unquestionable dogma. That internal renunciation, may lead the body to leave a life similar to Maharshi's among many possibilities. Am I starry eyed, New Age groupie for such sentiments? I think not.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Haramurthy,
reading more, I have to say you do make some interesting arguments. But in response to..

you:Apparently B. Y. has a certain predilection for what he calls “ego renunciation”, whereby “ego” seems to have been used more in the sense of (moral) “egoism”, the renunciation of which is supposed (probably having some verses from the Bhagavadgita in mind) ideally to allow a person to perform so-called “disinterested actions”, while pursuing career and family life.

Me: I thought Maharshi did advocate affection externally, dispassion internally. Could you develop this further, I am interested.

you:Without wishing to investigate the reality of an ego’s embeddedness in spheres of private and professional life (suggestions have made in Haramurthy’s post above), the rationale behind such an idea certainly has a practical momentum (not to speak of its psychologically consoling feature) --: given one has, for whatsoever reasons, accumulated bonds of relationships and circumstances, thus generated conditions of psychological and social commitment, one cannot just drop all of that without creating harm to others (as very likely also to oneself);

Me: This is interesting to me, and worthwhile to comment on. It really makes sense to me, cold turkey turning away from all attachments, to friends, loved ones, social imbeddedness. Does this require giving up family life, worldly life, school? I would suspect not physically, but assuredly mentally, infact I would think it might be easier to give up those attachments while they are acute, present. Out away from the things I'm attached to I can so easily imagine them without being threatened with their unreality. It seems you are referring to a tendency I have at times, to think I can get away with "some attachment", but apparently the less I'm attached, the more functional I am in these contexts.

You:then it is surely most suitable to adopt a course of gradual detachment, in (& on) this way gaining valuable first-hand insights about the actual problems of disinterested action (provided one can afford a minimum sense of honesty with oneself) within demanding social contexts. And indeed in the spare time one may suitably acquaint oneself with the practice of self-enquiry,

me: This strikes me dead wrong, but maybe it is me that is wrong. It is an interesting argument though. Because why have even any developing idea of disinterested action while in the midst of these attachments, worldly life, why not cease to see them at all, and let those actions happen of their own accord? I'm truly asking. Because I have tried being a way from things thinking I would get something from that, become less attached, I can't imagine that being out in the middle of nowhere would help my Inquiry in anyway.

You: do a little bit of Yoga and Pranayama, gather experiences with japa and mantra internalization, and, last not least, cultivate worshipping the projection of one’s Ishtadevata. After all, there is no need for hurry – there is another life …. and another kalpa.

Me: But basically here, your sarcasm appears to be aimed at people whose interest in these things is totally superficial in the first place, it has less to do with, the question of whether or not a person can live a life in the world, and practice Inquiry. For myself, I certainly have to ask those questions. But certainly there have been jnanis who have had families, lived life in the world, right? I at first had a reactionary response to what you wrote, a deeper look has shown that you raise good questions.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I take it back, Haramurthy, with deep understanding, has illuminated for me some of my own errors in understanding. It took me a second to adjust to such well organized, discussion of the topic above. For me Haramurthy's statements brilliantly cement the purpose of this thread, and some deep insight into the purpose of Inquiry as well.

Ravi said...

Haramurthy,
Friend,what you have posted is indeed perfectly valid;however,I should say that what Broken Yogi has expressed is valid too.
What BY has said as 'Gestures'(words are always poor substitutes)simply means a Honest and true giving up of all that one treasures as 'I' and 'mine'-not a moral sense of 'I'.Many a time a person may think he has nailed his 'I' and KNOWS that the 'I' has no reality,etc-Onlt the SELF ALONE IS-yet,these may only be imagination-This is where the person puts up his learnings to the 'acid test'-by LIVING WHAT HE FEELS-This is the 'outer renunciation' and BY has done this and having known what it is, has come to the Right conclusion that Sri Bhagavan did not deem it necessary.Truly so.

coming to whether the SELF responds-Leaving all theory behind,it has been the experience of every sincere Sadhaka that it does.Otherwise there is simply no possibility for any progress-An Ignorant will stay ignorant in a state of Status Quo .(Yes,theoretically we know that the Self is beyond ignorance and Knowledge).
The Stirrings of the Self(perhaps if we use the word 'guru' it may be more understandable and acceptable)will be felt when there is room for it to reveal itself and this happens when the 'I' and 'mine' is surrendered to whatever degree.The Self is no 'Dictator' that it demands TOTAL Surrender.It is able to penetrate the Thick multilayered smoke screen of the Ego and still make its presence Felt.One who is aware of the shadow,should also be aware of the source of Light that causes the Shadow!
Nor the SELF is some Static State that has nothing at all to do with all the vain gropings of the 'I'(Mind+World).
Sorry to have barged in,but BY has said something of great value to all sincere seekers and thanks to you Friend to have added what it is not 'meant to be'.
The 'Infinite Desire' or Love that BY is talking of is indeed true-Ultimately what matters is the strong conviction that one has ,more than what Other Great Masters have said or not said.Most probably they have said this-yet we may not have grasped it in this light.

FRIENDS,Also I do not find either 'BY' or 'Arvind' as mere 'Logicians' arguing out 'theoretically'.Both are sincere Sadhakas,who have shared their understanding and have stood behind what they have experienced in Practice.
All that matters to us is not what is 'RIGHT' but what is 'Digestible' as we are presently constituted.Should I aspire for what is the 'ULTIMATE' or for what is 'dear'?(assuming that I do aspire for 'something'-For those advanced who aspire for NOTHING,do I have to take that into account and stop my aspiration!).
Wish you all THE VERY BEST.

Broken Yogi said...

Haramurthy,

I'm not sure what you base your disagreement with me on, other than that I live in California. Here's Ramana on the issue of renunciation:

Question: What is renunciation?

Maharshi: Giving up of the ego.

Question: It is not giving up possessions?

Maharshi: The possesser too.

Question: The world will change if the people will give up their possessions for the benefit of others.

Maharshi: First give yourself up and then think of the rest.


I'm not sure what the confusion is in your mind about what Ramana recommended to people. Yes, clearly in a very few cases he allowed for a renunciate life, such as with Anamalai. And clearly the people living and serving in the Ashram were living a more renunciate life than most people. But these are the exceptions. Whenever he was asked about the matter of renunciation, whether in general or due to some individual wanting to become a renunciate, Ramana very clearly recommended against it in almost all cases, recommending instead a householder life. Now, he was certainly not recommending the typically self-indulgent householder life common in the west, but neither did he recommend the general practices of renunciation popular in the Hindu tradition. For example, look at this response to a questioner:

Question: In the early stages, would it not be a help to a man to seek solitude and give up his outer duties in life?

Maharshi: Renunciation is always in the mind, not in going to forests or solitary places or giving up one's duties. The main thing is to see that the mind does not turn outward but inward. It does not really rest with a man whether he goes to this place or that or whether he gives up his duties or not. All these events happen according to destiny. All the activities that the body is to go through are determined when it first comes into existence. It does not rest with you to accept or reject them. The only freedom you have is to turn your mind inward and renounce activities there.

Question: But is it not possible for something to be a help, especially to a beginner, like a fence around a young tree? For instance, don't our books say that it is helpful to go on pilgrimages to sacred shrines or to get sat-sanga?

Maharshi: Who said they are not helpful? Only such things do not rest with you, whereas turning your mind inward does. Many people desire the pilgrimage or sat-sanga that you mention, but do they get it?

Question: Why is it that turning inward alone is left to us and not any outer things?

Maharshi: If you want to go to fundamentals, you must enquire who you are and find out who it is who has freedom or destiny. Who are you and why did you get this body that has these limitations?

Question: Is solitude necessary for vichara?

Maharshi: There is solitude everywhere. The individual is solitary always. His business is to find it out within, not to seek it outside himself.

Solitude is in the mind of man. One might be in the thick of that world and maintain serenity of mind. Such a one is in solitude. Another may stay in a forest, but still be unable to control his mind. Such a man cannot be said to be in solitude. Solitude is a function of the mind. A man attached to desires cannot get solitude wherever he may be, whereas a detached man is always in solitude.

Question: So then, one might be engaged in work and be free from desire and keep up solitude. Is it so?

Maharshi: Yes. Work performed with attachment is a shackle, whereas work performed with detachment does not affect the doer. One who works like this is, even while working, in solitude.

Questioner: How can cessation of activity (nivritti) and peace of mind be attained in the midst of household duties which are of the nature of constant activity?

Maharshi: As the activities of the wise man exist only in the eyes of others and not in his own, although he may be accomplishing immense tasks, he really does nothing. Therefore his activities do not stand in the way of inaction and peace of mind. For he knows the truth that all activities take place in his mere presence, and that he does nothing. Hence, he will remain as the silent witness of all activities taking place.


So I'm not exactly clear where you think Sri Ramana stood on renunciation. I think it's very clear that Ramana viewed renunciation as a matter of internal renunciation of the ego, of mind, of the tendency to move outwards towards objects, rather than as some formal matter of outer renunciation. Clearly he saw that as a matter of one's individual prarabdha. Those who had the karma for outer renunciation, such as Annamalai, were accepted by Ramana and told to practice self-enquiry in that vein, although even there Ramana clearly added all kinds of activities and tasks to his life that made it even more burdensome than many householder lives. Likewise, with other advanced devotees like Papaji, he told them to continue working and looking after their families, even sending Papaji away from the Ashram to look after his family during the disruptions of the Independence period. Ramana accepted the karmas of all his devotees, and rather than instructing them to try to go against those karmas, he simply asked them to renounce the egoic idea that they were the actor performing these actions, but rather to find out who they were in the midst of whatever life they have been given.

In my case, I was not born in India, and I do not live there. I have a family and business and all the various duties that correspond to that life. That is my prarabda karma, and I accept it. Your notion that I am trying to adjust Ramana's notion of renunciation to fit my lifestyle makes no sense, in that Ramana's notion of renunciation has nothing to do with lifestyle in the first place. If you can show otherwise, I welcome you to do so, but I think the quotes I have pulled from Ramana's teachings pretty well demonstrates otherwise.

Now, clearly some people have the karma to become renunciates, but I am not one of those people. I desired it when I was young, but as Ramana has said, if something is not ordained to be so, no matter how much you wish for something or try to make it happen, it simply will not happen. And it has not happened with me. Does that make me inferior to those who have such karmas? I don't see how, but perhaps you could explain it to me. In my view, I am just as free to practice the kind of renunciation Ramana recommended as anyone else, regardless of their outer circumstance, place of residence, or lifestyle.

Regarding the issue of the Self you raised, I am not referring to a Jungian notion of the Self. I am making the simple distinction between the “I”, and the “I-I” that Ramana refers to. In other words, in Ramana's teaching he makes it clear that the “I”, the jiva, is an illusion, a false self, whereas the true Self is the Source of the “I”, which he calls the “I-I”. Now, while we are under the spell of dualism, identifying with this false “I”, the Self appears to us as “God”, a seemingly greater Being. We pray to God for help, and God responds. This God is in reality merely the Self, our true Nature and Being, but while we identify with the ego, the Self will appear and function to us as if he is a “higher power” as Ramana often referred to it. So it is often appropriate to see the Self in this fashion, as an literal Being who responds with love and grace to our prayers for help. That is how the Guru himself appears, in the form of Ramana himself, to guide us and to help us. Ramana has said that the Guru is merely the Self taking an outer form while we are under the spell of dualism, and so it is with God also. So the notion that if one wants an experience of the Self, one must make an offering of one's egoic attachments to God is not at all some New-Age California Neo-Advaita notion, it is sanatana dharma pure and simple, and completely in line with both traditional advaita and the teachings of Sri Ramana. If you disagree, I'd be more than happy to see evidence to the contrary.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
Very true indeed.Prof Swaminathan was indeed a noble soul.I had the good fortune to attend a Ramana Jayanthi celebration at Ramana Kendra ,New Delhi presided over by the Professor sometime in late 1980s.The chief guest was former President of India ,R Venkatraman who simply said that he was a student of Professor and remains his student.Only a truly humble person like the professor can instil the same quality in others.
What the Professor expressed,he truly lived.
Humility cannot be developed but it can be imbibed.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.
...Ravi: Only a truly humble person like the professor can instil the same quality in others.
What the Professor expressed,he truly lived. Humility cannot be developed but it can be imbibed. ...


That's really true. Devotion is all what is needed. "How long does one have to reason about the text of the scriptures? As long as one does not have the direct realization of God. How long does the bee hum? As long as it does not sit on a flower. When it sits on a flower to drink honey, it doesn’t make any sound. The truth is that one may talk with others even after God-realization. But this conversation only revolves around the divine Bliss of God – it is like a drunkard crying, ‘Victory to Kali.’ Besides, even a bee hums indistinctly after sipping honey from a flower.” (Kathamrita)

Momentarily I'm reading sufi texts. Besides - reading them is like reading the vedanta. They are both singing out of the same experience and philosophy. In one of this texts (Abd al-Qadir as-Sufi, The Path of Love) the author says (I try to translate it):

"Knowledge ist hot - not cold and dry. Therefore the laughing of the buddhist masters is dry/cold because they do not have the wisdom of the tears. The prophet said: 'God, give me the gift of a crying eye.' And his warning was: 'If you would know what I know you wouldn't laugh but cry'. Crying is a sign of freedom."
.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Interesting how, Anonymous asked great questions, suspiciously great questions, so great a whole thread was created to answer it, and then Haramurthy, seemed to supply interesting answers.

So interesting, that I wasn't the only one to react, and get defensive. But upon closer inspection, Haramurthy's analysis of the ego, and subtle identifications is so interesting, and subtle.

As to his criticisms of Broken Yogi, they were not as far as I can gather personal criticisms, but pointing, atleast me, in the direction of freeing myself from all "social embededness", which is a requirement for serious and deep Inquiry.

For me, at this point, that doesn't include dropping out of school, but it does include, not noticing school, not being invested in school.

And this is because anytime my subtle, and complex, and interwoven identifications, what Haramurthy called the ego, shoot out, and get invested in a Self-Conjured World, only bad can come of it, a requirement for Atma Bodha, to free myself of this.

It was interesting to me, that Anonymous with his suspiciously great questions, evoked confident responses, from people's "thought", which was presented as "helpful advise", for an Anonymous who was confused and struggling to understand.

I wondered if Anonymous was someone who understood only too well, and saw the importance of asking good questions. I joked to myself, if any post was a jnani's post, it was Anonymous' because he asked good questions that were redirecting people's attention.

After much floundering, and disagreement, Haramurthy's responses to Anonymous' questions, intriguingly in some cases right after Anonymous posts, were issued almost as teaching statements. The commentary was subtle, but after I left, I couldn't stop thinking about it, mulling it over. Haramurthy had definitely confronted me with something deep.

I do notice a tendency some people have, and I mean this in the nicest possible way, to jump to wanting to give answers and advise, when they don't really have the "knowledge" to do so. In some cases what's presented as helplessness (i.e. anonymous' posts), isn't really helplessness.

On the other hand, noticing, and this is advise for myself as well, the tendency to react from the standpoint of Self-conjured ignorance in defense, when the words are aimed deep, below my facade castle, of subtle ego identifications, which is of course scarey.

Although Haramurthy's e-mail was aimed at B.Y., I felt deeply affronted initially by the sarcasm and pointed criticisms, I realized upon closer inspection that they were spot on, and well-aimed. Very well-aimed. Some of his/her/no one other posts on the narrative structure of classical Indian spiritual texts, also very, very good. Worth taking a look at.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Again, on haramurthy's posts. Note, that Haramurthy cited his previous post, well worth taking a look at also, if you haven't already.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Broken yogi, I'd like to draw your attention to the fact that in Haramuthy's post he demonstrates clearly familiarity with the sources you are mentioning. He is acknowledging, and then brilliantly to my mind making a case that Maharshi's guidance toward serious devotees reflected his own standard. Psychological renunciation, most definitely, but also social renunciation as well.

I brought up in my first response the dialogue with Maharshi where he tells a housewife that it is not her destiny to renounce her life, you brought up analogous points.

Haramuthy in his post had already answered this, saying, Maharshi was skillfully adjusting his guidance to the maturity, and psychosocial commitments of people who came to him, and as Haramurthy mentioned it would have been futile to advise social renunciation to many of the people who came to see him. So Haramurthy is describing a different motive. Rather then reflecting maharshi's own standard, it was an awareness of futility. I thought that was a very interesting point. And it didn't strike me idle speculation, it had a deep effect upon me.

In the first post, that i'd like to draw people's attention to, if they hadn't already been directed to it. (oddly right below Anonymous' question) Haramurthy again brilliantly deconstructs the "social/psychological imbededness", in spheres of private and public life, with a startlingly complex analysis, he even invokes the word milleu.(just kidding)

It was something taht related very, very deeply to my experiences with Asperger's, and not being so completely imbedded in that.

It also makes sense to me that Safe spirituality, i.e. the California new-Age Neo-Advaita Fusion is an outcome of not challenging that social imbeddedness but finding ways to bend spirituality into alignment with it, bend the concept of "the Self" into alignment with this safe Spirituality.

The only point of confusion for me in response to haramurthy, is the case of Papaji. Papaji, a jnani, meaning to my mind, the ego, the intermediary was not present, there was no one making decisions, the individual was no more, still lived and functioned in what one might describe as a very "worldly" way. So it does seem enlightened beings move in different ways. Nome, I heard likes to surf. Oh yeah, that is irrelevent to my Inquiry, isn't it?

Ravi said...

Haramurthy,
Friend,what you said about Renunciation is indeed true-how many of Sri Bhagavan's close disciples were Ascetics.Yet,this is what Sri Bhagavan had advised(From Sri Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self Knowledge-By Arthur Osborne)This is a longish post:

"It was almost as though Sri Bhagavan had reverted to family
life, the family having extended to embrace all his devotees; and
indeed, he did sometimes refer to them as the family. It was the
apparent incongruity of this that at first deterred both his mother
and his brother from coming to live with him. Seshadri Swami
once referred to it in his droll manner. A visitor who had stopped
to see him wanted to continue up the hill to see Ramanaswami
and: “Yes,” he said, “go and see. There is a householder up there.
You will be given sugar cakes (laddus) there.”
The point of Seshadri Swami’s joke is that it has been usual
to consider the state of a householder lower than that of a sadhu,
since a sadhu can devote himself entirely to the quest, whereas a
householder has worldly preoccupations to attend to. The very
act of renouncing home and property is looked upon as a great
step forward. Therefore many a devotee asked Sri Bhagavan
whether he should make the renunciation. Sri Bhagavan always
discouraged it. In the case given below he explained that
renunciation is not a withdrawal but a widening of love.
Devotee: I am inclined to give up my job and remain always
with Sri Bhagavan.
Bhagavan: Bhagavan is always with you, in you. The Self in you
is Bhagavan. It is that you should realize.
D: But I feel the urge to give up all attachments and renounce
the world as a sannyasin.
B: Renunciation does not mean outward divestment of clothes
and so on or abandonment of home. True renunciation is
the renunciation of desires, passions and attachments.
D: But single-minded devotion to God may not be possible
unless one leaves the world.
B: No; one who truly renounces actually merges in the world and
expands his love to embrace the whole world. It would be
more correct to describe the attitude of the devotee as universal
love than as abandoning home to don the ochre robe.
D: At home the bonds of affection are too strong.
B: He who renounces when he is not yet ripe for it only creates
new bonds.
D: Is not renunciation the supreme means of breaking attachments?
B: It may be so for one whose mind is already free from
entanglements. But you have not grasped the deeper
import of renunciation: great souls who have abandoned
the life of the world have done so not out of aversion to
family life but because of their large-hearted and allembracing
love for all mankind and all creatures.
D: The family ties will have to go some time so why shouldn’t I
take the initiative and break them now so that my love
can be equal to all?
B: When you really feel that equal love for all, when your heart has
so expanded as to embrace the whole of creation, you will
certainly not feel like giving up this or that; you will simply
drop off from secular life as a ripe fruit does from the branch
of a tree. You will feel that the whole world is your home.
It is no wonder that such questions came frequently and
that many were surprised at the answers they got, because Sri
Bhagavan’s attitude was contrary to the traditionally accepted
point of view. Although the spiritual truths handed down through
the ages never vary, the Masters do adapt the modes of training
leading to realization of Truth to suit the changed conditions of
the age. In the modern world there are many for whom
renunciation or even full observance of orthodoxy is impossible.
There are devotees who are businessmen, office workers, doctors,
lawyers, engineers, bound in one way or another to the life and
manners of a modern city, and yet are seeking Liberation.
The explanation that Sri Bhagavan most frequently gave
was that true renunciation is in the mind and is neither achieved
by physical renunciation nor impeded by the lack of it.
“Why do you think that you are a householder? Similar
thoughts that you are a sannyasin will haunt you even if you go
out as one. Whether you continue in the household or renounce
it and go to the jungle, it is your mind that haunts you. The ego
is the source of thought. It creates the body and the world and it makes you think you are a householder. If you renounce you
will only substitute the thought of renunciation for that of
household and the environment of the jungle for that of the
home. But the mental obstacles are always there for you. They
even increase greatly in the new surroundings. It is no help to
change the environment. The one obstacle is the mind and it
must be overcome whether in the home or the jungle. If you can
do it in the jungle why not in the home? Therefore why change
the environment? Your efforts can be made even now, whatever
be the environment.”
I think that there is no last word ,so to say,in these matters and the above is more of a general prescription than the rule.Exceptions will always be there.
Best Regards.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Why Broken Yogi and I were wrong? And Why Haramurthy was right?

Our whole argument hinged on 1) the devotees which were not at a place to accept total renunciation were told it wasn't there destiny.

2) Maharshi told Papaji to save his family in the Punjab and live with them, being a breadwinner to the end of his days.

1st one I already took apart for myself in support of Haramurthy's argument.

Papaji was absolutely 100% commited to total renunciation, was seeking god, willing to give up his family, wouldn't even stay with them (or take care of them) on his spiritual adventures, a source of contention with dad. He had renounced totally, socially, and psychologically.

When staying with Ramana he had no interest in going back to his family, or any of his connections, intended to live his days as a renunciate at RamanaAshram. Maharshi, because his family was in danger and needed support told him to go back, after, key word after Papaji had completely surrendered and given up his attachments in his 30s, or when he was 6? Good question.

Point being absolute, and total commitment to [=psychological reunciation] and [=social reununciation] was necessary for total merging with "mass of jnana". Point being Haramurthy was right, me and Broken Yogi wrong.

I can understand why Broken Yogi might be also defensive considering a biting sarcasm was aimed at his statements, butnot him. Haramurthy's essays were admirably dispassionate. I didn't sense any animosity on his end. But I think they both contain important lessons for both me and Broken Yogi.

Clearly desire for the Self is unreal also, Haramurthy also adequately supported this contention. Desire for the Self, requires [subject/object] = non-Self. If there is a desir-er, there cannot be desireless Realization. However Haramurthy pointed out that such a "bitter pill" might be used for those who are totally sucked in so to speak with their fleeting ego-notion based associations/attachments. "What I'm not desiring myself enough?" Haramurthy has a way with humor.

Clearly, the resounding message is total renunciation is necessary for Self-Realization. Because without that commitment, the attachments hold more sway then the Inquiry. The intention has to be Self-Realization first, functioning if it still occurs, but functioning in the world is clearly a Vasana, as is Desire for the Self, both must be destroyed..

Papaji was told to go back to his family, because they needed him. So Ramana was telling him to look out for his family, who required his assistance as opposed to trying to make a gradual practice of "disinterested action" allowing him to keep attached externally. As Ramana had said, his practice was already finished. And Ramana had no interest in worldly pleasures, success for himself or his devotees.

Yes, Papaji was an Enlightened exemplar of functioning in the world, and why not? There is nothing about Self-Realization that diminishes the ability to function, or lessens skills. But every aspect of his functioning was selfless, he ran a mining operation to take care of his family. Since he was a rare Self-Realized Being he attracted devotees naturally, supernaturally. But the key word, is this functioning was not for him, it was not so he could enjoy worldly pleasures from an Enlightened, point of view, a mistaken assumption I and many others have been prey to.

For myself, I'm going to school, I'm not going to drop out, yes I enjoy it, but it's also an important worldly task at this stage. But I absolutely must, in the practice of Enquiry, completely 100% renounce the World, renounce school, renounce my family, renounce my friends, renounce all attachments. If after I have renounced all attachments and dived deeply within, so deeply that the illusory personality is burned like Camphor. Then my body will do what it does, but that is none of my business. If it continues in the same vain, going to school, or if does something else, so be it.

I don't know how ripe I am, but I can atleast make the attempt to have the courage to turn inward thoroughly and as completely as possible. Realizing my attachment to functioning, is an attachment, is bondage.

Why wouldn't I? Everything is contained in myself. What I don't want everything? I would settle for less.

My going to school has an element of a selfish-egotistical motive, as distinct from Papaji's motives for running a mining company. Notice he made no decision to do it. So yes, a serious attempt at Inquiry, might mess up one's life, because much of it might be hinged on ego-notion/selfish based commitments. But I should add, look at what humans are doing to eachother for their ego-notion/selfish based commitments. Every sincere virtue is obviously contained in living free of the ego-notion.

And in disagreement to a previous poster who said that Service done for others can lead to humility to loss of ego, using an equation. I disagree. There are lots of services that seem helpful, but done from the ego-perspective, are very problematic and harmful to themselves and teh ones they want to help. (ex. can be extremely condescending, and are built on being better then the people they are helping, feeling sorry for, using those people for aquiring their own virtue points in selfish spiritual pursuits) On the other hand if I only see nothing, and am the Self, the Self takes care of the SElf, and that is all there is.
But I won't see anything, no birds chirping.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Ravi, you always choose beautiful anecdotes.

However, I think Haramurthy's contention still stands. His advise to householders was adjusted to their maturity, and ultimately, if you look at all the ones who ultimately were Self-Realized, they were all without exception renunciates, which is exactly what he said.

As a spiritual 3rd grader myself, yes I advanced from kindergarten (maybe, no idea, kidding, probably preschool), renunciation is an act of widening of love as you said. But for me, I see the need for total social, as well as psychological renunciation. What that will look like, don't ask me, as I'm going to allow, God, the Self, attempts at Inquiry to determine what that will look like, and break the habit of being the doer/decider.

My little ventures into non-ego territory have shown me that there are supernatural forces, Isvara, what have you, Bhagavan, that govern the events that seem to take place. There is something that will take care of me in Surrender. "God never forsakes one who surrenders says Bhagavan" He would know!!!!!!

And there are many mistakes I make, many sins I commit, many horrible things I imagine could get me. They are all cleansed from me, and their outcomes, by this simple yet difficult surrendering.

What Haramurthy was asking for, I believe was a leap of faith. Renunciation, is a leap of faith. Self-REalization is when I land safely. But I have to make the leap, I have to renounce every single concept I have attached myself to, every single subtle agreement, perception that pulls my attention, every single definition I have for myself, the ones I like, the ones I don't like. Every single concept about the world. Every friend, every family member, I have to reject them, because anyway, I'm oppressing them with my concept of them, my expectations of them, what's good about that anyway.

I noticed Haramurthy used concepts such as California, and New Age, and I made fun, oh the mistake I made. When I looked closely, I saw that he was using those concepts for a purpose as opposed to "thinking" them, I was impressed. Maybe this intellectual hogwash that I just spouted, in arrogant, egotistical intoxication will be popped by a jnani one of these days, I invite it.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
"Momentarily I'm reading sufi texts. Besides - reading them is like reading the vedanta. They are both singing out of the same experience and philosophy."
Yes,Sufism is as profound as Vedanta;a perfect Blend of Gnana and Bhakti.

Ravi said...

scott,
"But I won't see anything, no birds chirping."
Friend,are you sure about this?
What i have mentioned earlier in one of my posts regarding Glimpse of the Self-is when one finds the quietude on awkening in the morning to the chirping of the Birds-When one is quiet and just listening,the listener is not present.This is vastly different than one seeking 'birds chirping'.Today you have gadgets that simulate this to make you 'feel good'.

Best Regards.

Broken Yogi said...

Scott,

Not that this is about who is right and who is wrong, but for my part I find Ramana's words on the subject more convincing than Haramurthy's. I thought the quotes I brought up were rather devastating to Haramurthy's arguments. I think he is of course free to argue as he wishes, but I don't think he can make a case that Ramana agrees with him about renunciation. Likewise, I think the quotes David cites in this post clearly state Ramana's views on the importance of desire for the Self. Haramurthy is agains free to disagree with Ramana, but I'm not sure why anyone would find him more convincing on the subject.

As for Papaji, I think you are mistaken there. Papaji was working at a very demanding job in the city, either Bangalore or Chennai, when he met Ramana, sending almost all his money to his immediate family for their support. He continued in this job for the next five years, only visiting Ramanashram on weekends. So he had not abandoned his family during this time. He was still living as a householder, away from the ashram, and fulling supporting his family. When Ramana sent him away, it was to take care of his entire extended family, parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, over 30 people, who were trapped in the newly forming Pakistan and whose lives were threatened by the anti-Hindu massacres taking place there. Ramana sent Papaji there on a rescue mission, telling him not to fear. Papaji travelled by train to Pakistan, witnessing terrible massacres on both sides along the way, hoping he would not be recognizes as a Hindu, and somehow, miraculously managing to transport his entire extended family back to India, then settling them in, working day and night to support them, and gradually over the years helping them to get jobs, start businesses, and get on their own two feet. Finally, after several years, he thought he was free to be a renunciate and returned to Ramanashram with that intention. Instead of becoming a renunciate, however, he met a guy who offered him a job managing several mining operations in central India. He felt that Ramana was directing him to take this job so he did so, realizing it was simply not his prarabda to be a formal renunciate. So for the next fifteen years he worked managing a highly difficult mining business in the jungles of India, again sending most of his money back to his family. Finally he retired with a pension that enabled him to live freely for the rest of his life. The story is all in David's biography of Papaji.

Now, it's certainly true that Papaji was a 100% renunciate utterly dedicated to God-Realization, but that's exactly the point. Such renunciation is in the mind, not in one's outward actions, except to the degree that he sacrificed the fruit of his actions for the sake of others, at least to some serious degree. To outward appearances Papaji was just another busy householder struggling to earn a living and support his family. The central point is that renunciation is of the mind and ego, and we should not be concerned about the rest of it. Instead, we need to simply accept our born destiny and station in life, live our responsibilities and duties, and not identify with that. Haramurthy seems to think there is some kind of progressive path that leads to greater and greater outer renunciation as a sign of one's maturation, and that householders are thus at an inferior stage than sadhus. This is of course one of the many traditional ideas that Ramana rejected. Now, maybe Ramana was wrong and the traditional view is right, but I think what Ramana teaches makes more sense. If that is rationalizing my own life choices, so be it. I will have to endure the judgments of my betters, I suppose.

Broken Yogi said...

Ravi,

That was a very beautiful story about Ramana you posted. Thanks so much for the very loving and understanding attitude your bring to these discussions.

Ravi said...

Friends,
Some of the discussions of late have reflected on the subject of 'Renunciation' and the 'traditional' view of it in Sanathana Dharma.
It is interesting to note what the Dalai Lama had to say about the Kanchi Paramacharya as the 'Only Monk of the 20th Century!'.This goes to show how rare it is to find a 'Traditional Renunciate'.
In case some of you is interested in getting acquainted with the Many sided Bunyanesque aspects of Sanatana Dharma that truly embraces the whole of Life-Science,astronomy,sociology,commerce and more-besides the Eternal Truth and various Darshanas or Systems of Philosophy-I will recommend visiting this site:
www.kamakoti.org.
The Sage of Kanchi,is a veritable encyclopaedia of Knowledge and his speeches on various aspects figure under 'Vedic Dharma'.
Today all ashrams in india have their organisational hierarchies and the monks have assigned duties like any other office work.They have to interact with the society,earn revenue for their organisations through publications,or through Donations.

Any number of vagabonds donning the ochre robe can be found in all religious places,these are no better than beggars,only they play on the Gullible pious people to part with their money.
The common man in India no longer looks at the 'monastics' with unqualified reverence as before.
This is one reason why most of the present day masters advise strongly to earn one's living through honest hardwork,and pursue spiritual living as an integral part of living in the world.
As they say,charity begins at home-how can a person who cannot live harmoniously with his kith and kin,his neighbours, hope to embrace the world and God.

Wishing you all the very Best.

Haramurthi said...

Sorry, Yogi Bear, for having written sequences of letters and words, then appearing on the screen in front of your eyes with the effect that some of these, while others were bypassed, were given a significance by your mind that apparently were felt as a sort of “wake-up!”-call by a few noisy vasanas disturbingly entering this serene space of solitude (as referred to by you quoting Maharshi with appreciation). Perhaps, by now, your own solitude has been allowed to smile again. There may be less disagreement than originally assumed. And – as in the case of Scott and Ravi, who found it positively stimulating – rereading my comment may already have provided you with greater clarity on the issue of where Sri Ramana stood on renunciation – given that the comment clearly differentiated between Maharshi’s “own standards” and his marvelous capacity to adopt his advices to the levels and circumstances of those addressing him with their issues.
Finding “oneself” (or at least some narrative facets of one’s dynamically embedded self-image, perhaps developmentally envisioned as temporal extension) better reflected in some, rather than in other, articulations from among those Ramana made on particular occasion is almost unavoidable when feeling graced by the touch of his words.
Why should anybody object to it, if that happens to you as well?
If anything, one should only be wary of generalising occasional statements into dogmatic tenets.

As to the issue of “your karma” -- : the notion of karma is likewise one of those confusingly used with many different connotations. Yet, basically karma refers to one’s “intentional action”, hence takes very much place within the narrative structures one is living in (verbal and physical actions being secondary to, and products of, intentional designs) and in correlation to which also the so-called “ego” as a complex functioning of multidimensional attachment is to be conceived. Clinging – thus karma – is related to this narrative sphere (providing meaning, value and significance), not to any events as such.
To illustrate: suppose the present financial crisis affects yours business life as if Shiva (= popularly conceived as a kind of destroyer) himself had intervened, would you then feel blessed to have been reduced to the same state of poverty as your beloved Ramana, or would you narratively interpret the event otherwise?
Or, suppose your wife would complain about your parabda karma on the bed sheet and abandon you – would you rejoice about being finally done with that part of parabda, or would you let other narrative dramas fatefully determine your lot?
You speak of karma (“That’s my parabda karma, and I accept it”) as if it were a fate by which one is victimized – without seemingly being aware of the fact that any second of one’s life as one’s narrative experience (and what else can you experience as life) is intimately related to one’s intentional interpretation. In other words, the very notion of karma implies your absolute responsibility for yourself. Just habitually to adopt certain metaphors as guidelines for life may often doubtlesly be suitable for its relatively smooth continuity – but isn’t self-enquiry exactly about critically deconstructing that apparent smoothness?
Anyway, the question regarding your inferiority (“does that make me inferior”) is a very private one, not to be answered in public, and in fact the only answer that can be valid for you should arise as your own response to self-observations of either getting tricked into patterns of identification with narrative structures, or not.
Of course, you are perfectly right about feeling free to practise this self-awareness, be it choiceless or less so, wherever you are.

Again without objecting to your personal choice of a god to believe in, it may be remarked here that for Indians it is most natural to think that concept in the plural (just look at the dialogue between Ramana and the peasant quoted above by Ravi). And – as if anticipating very recent feministic developments in the West by many centuries – the Indian divine naturally included (though sometimes with recognisable features of competition) the feminine most prominently.
Thus to express that level of pluralistic divinity in a most concise manner of comprehensiveness, one might coin the term “God(desse)s”. The notion of ishtadevata would be incomprehensible would it not imply “God(desse)s” as a minimal notion.
Naturally, there exist many different systems of classical Indian interpretations related to single and several gods and goddesses.
But presently the differentiation between saguna (“with qualities”) and nirguna (“without qualities”) levels/notions may be most useful to clarify a significant distinction. The Jungian archetypal Self and the God(desse)s pertain to the saguna level accounting for what may be felt as responses to personal requests from the divine. The Advaita notion of Atman, thus the ajata dimension of Being, corresponds to the nirguna level.
To illustrate the implications of this difference with an example in the context of Ramana Maharshi: looking at the famous story of what happened when Poonjaji (Papaji) first met Ramana Maharshi, one may easily understand the significance of saguna and nirguna levels, as well as the importance of keeping them apart and rather shifting from the one to the other, than confusing them.
With these provisions, one may agree with another (presently decontextualised) fragment of a sentence of yours: ”if one wants an experience of the Self, one must make an offering of one's egoic attachments to God” -- although (understanding “offering” in the sense of “renunciation”) some might prefer a more precise manner of phrasing this valuable insight: “if one wants an experience of the Self, one must make an offering of one's egoic attachments to one’s projections of a God”. Attachment to ego and attachment to a god (whatever the imagination one clings to) go hand in hand. One good look at one’s narrative structives – and the attractive reality of both is as if flushed down the WC.

By the way (lest another misunderstanding may have occurred), to me California certainly seems to be one of the better places on this planet to stay and cultivate spiritual practices, it is endowed with a rather tolerant and pluralistic atmosphere, embodies progressive dynamics of transformation, yet makes it probably impossible not being constantly reminded of living in a world of Maya.

Bookworm said...

Anonymous

Haramurthy is no more 'advanced' or 'right' than than yourself or Broken yogi are.
If you desire ..then you desire.
If you don't...then you don't.

We all have our different fate.
What will be will be.

Surrender or enquire..whatever.

Trust.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Haramurthy's post is so worth taking an in depth look at. And I believe these words are words of the Absolute, just reading them, a cool bliss descends, over me, silencing every agenda that comprises the snake of my ego. And in that, i attempt to surredner to the beautiful grace that envelopes me.

H: Given the notion of a "desire for the Self" is not one that is valid on the level of ultimate reality (which is characterised by an absence of all desires), and given the word "Self" is a term conventionally employed to indicate something distinct from whatsoever could be objectified, hence be an object of desire, the whole phrase "desire for the Self" has obviously a metaphorical sense pointing to a psychological and attentional conduct deemed necessary on a more ordinary level of intentional engagement.

Me: As far as I'm concerned this has ended the "desire for the Self" debate conclusively 99,999 percent.

Also I've noticed a tendency for those who are self-realized to allow the previous sentence to emerge into a flowering of new thoughts. Like so, the pattern of poetic descriptions is more a flowering then a plan. I've noticed that when Papaji speaks on Youtube also.

H:Ordinarily, we are psychologically and socially embedded in numerous horizons (with one-sided and mutual forms of expectancy): family with associated connections to relatives, closer friends and circles of somewhat more distant social surroundings, educational and professional milieus, security and status providing networks -- thus inhabiting diverse spheres for innumerable modes and shades of recognition hunting.
All those embeddings -- in other words: ordinary life -- tend quite much to occupy our time, the continuous stream of our attention, and, at best, serve to nourish "narrative selves", that is, constructed and maintained self-images more or less succesfully adopted to the roles socially assumed and played in a diversity of contexts.
Growing up from a state of childhood to one embodying the responsible role of a parent, teacher, social participant etc. means developing a considerable skill of maintaining the veracity of a relatively stable self-image with a good degree of reliability in the eyes of others, upon whose recognition/reconfirmation one depends in turn.
It is from the point of such a person (that is, any ordinary and even more so "extraordinary" person), someone whose attention is constantly erring around in networks of fleeting references -- engrossed in Self-forgetfulness -- that a compassionate attempt to trick him/her out of that forgetfulness with the appealing phrase "have some more desire for the self" may be made.
Desiring all the time and taking "self" to mean their ordinary (narrative) ego-self, this phrase appeals, but astonishes, hence may introduce a suspense: "what, am I not desiring myself enough?" --- The response given then, which necessarily must be a highly individual one, may be decisive for influencing, or not, the Self-destructive conduct of the one addressed.

Basically, however, advising "desire for the Self" is the precription of a sugar-coated bitter pill. Essentially the phrase simply refers to the act of renunciation. One is advised to renunciate whatever irritates one's attention to the extent that it errs into any referential horizon with the prospect of achieving recognition, fulfillment and what else.
The age-old implication is: if you cannot renunciate all your psychological and social embeddedness, in the first place, it is just ridiculous to entertain the notion of Atmabodha.
Of course, once total renunciation of even the most subtle forms of attachment has uncovered a "Self" that cannot even particularly meaningfully be referred to by the word "Self" -- then contextualised forms of reappearance may happen, whereby the apparant forms are those that others perceive in correlation to the maturity of their "desires of the Self".
Om namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya !

Me: Far be it from me to consider, these words strike me as words of the Self, words that silence me from the inside out. Words that grab hold of my ego and make me ponder them until it realizes it's own illusoriness. In short, I advise the other participants in the commenting section of this blog to give it a thorough look through. As it certainly has answered my questions, doubts on the validity of this topic. The more I read this, the more my doubts end whether there was an individual who posted this. I'd be interested if, David Godman, who has much more experience in these matters, concurs with my assessment.

Anonymous said...

This isn't strictly on topic but this question has been bothering me for a while.

Does realizing the self automatically lead to perfect moral decision making? I ask this because Osho was clearly no saint and yet it is reported by many he had the presence of the self (how else did he work up such a following?)?

The same is said about UG Krishnamurti and his attitude was entirely the opposite of Bhagavan.

It is possible to for a person to realize the self but the provisional ego remain conceited? Perhaps it was the humbleness of Ramana's personality coupled with the presence of the self that made him so great?

The answer to this question determines the desirability of the Self in my opinion. Maybe the focus should on morality first before desiring the self.

--Mike

Ravi said...

Scott,
Friend,Sri Bhagavan is guiding you.The Guru knows best how to finetune every instrument.
As Sri Ramakrishna used to say-Everyone thinks that his watch shows the correct time!(Also to be taken into consideration is that TIME in GMT or whatever is only a manmade convention!).Many of these issues that we are discussing are simply addressed in the Kathamrita.I do realise that many may not be familiar(apart from a few like Ramos,Arvind,our Friend S!-He is only reading the comments!S ,it will be helpful to see your CLEAR comments once in a while!)and this being a Blog devoted to Sri Bhagavan,it will be more appropriate to stick to his teachings.
Fundamentally all Masters have said the same thing but the Human mind with its great diversity,necessitates different STATEMENTS and APPROACHES.Many of the disagreements happen on account of this particular characteristic of the Human mind to see only one aspect that is appealing to it.
Just wanted to recall that Story of NARAYANA and THE ELEPHANT-There is much that can be learnt from this story-one of it being that sometimes NARAYANA may speak through a Dullard!
Wishing you the very Best.
Best Regards.

Broken Yogi said...

Haramurthy,

Well, that was an amusing amalgam of post-modernism and advaita. I am certainly not worthy to receive these letters and words on my screen! I am sure even Ramana will bow down to them. I am reminded of the venerable Andrew Cohen, whom Papaji showered with praise, telling him his realization was greater even than Ramana's. A strange dude indeed, believing in strange narratives.

Well, we all believe in something. Who am I to tell you what to believe in? I'm not sure you are appreciating Ramana's point, however, which is that we should not be fooled by our karmas – meaning, of course, actions. You cannot help posturing at post-modernism, and I cannot help laughing at the posturing. Scott cannot help being blown away. David can't help being sick. None of these things define us, however. All our narratives are false, in other words. This applies to the most and least mature among us. The point is precisely in not believing in them.

You ask what I would do if this current financial crisis wiped me out. Well, something very much like that happened very suddenly to me a few years ago, the worst series of events I've ever been through in my life, and frankly, the words of Ramana kept ringing through my mind, in particular something I'd read of his where he said, I'm paraphrasing, that “the biggest mistake people make in life is to thank God only when good things happen, but never when bad things happend”. So instead of cursing my fate or praying for things to be different, I just began consciously thanking God for what had happened, and what was continuing to happen. I don't know that it changed the outcome of things, though it ended up not nearly as bad as it could have been, but it certainly changed my disposition. One of my lawyers, a man quite famous in the United States for handling the most difficult kinds of cases, said to me at one point that I was taking these disasters better than anyone he'd ever met in his many decades of legal work. So it was perhaps good advice to follow Ramana's instructions. The point being that this event, whether it could have been avoided or not, could have ruined me personally, but it did not, quite the contrary, it made me much stronger and more full of faith in God than ever. So I think I would know how to handle anything like it if it were to happen again. And it certainly could. I could be ruined at any minute, as could we all. I live in the shadow of death. Do you?

Unlike you, I do not regard Ramana's advice about renunciation as applying merely to beginners. It is often over-exagerated that Ramana had one teaching for beginners and another for the mature. This is really not the case. Yes, he gave some individuals one instruction based on their personal needs, and others quite opposite instructions, but that is generally on the level of practical matters, not genuinely spiritual matters. Most famously, when asked for a practice he always suggest self-enquiry, regardless of the maturity of the questioner. Most of his spiritual instructions were to be applied universally, regardless of the individual's maturity. Their maturity would only define how well they might be able to practice the instruction. For example, the instruction Ramana gave to Papaji was exactly the same instruction he gave to everyone else. The only difference was that Papaji was able to fulfill it fairly quickly. He would tell the most causal beginner to practice self-enquiry, even though he knew they would not be able to fulfill it even in this lifetime.

So this instruction about renunciation is, I feel, a universal one, applicable to everyone. You may disagree, as you are free to, but so what? If it is true instruction, it is true for everyone, regardless of whether they agree with it. Our minds will always find some way to object, regardless of our “maturity”. Even Papaji's first reaction to Ramana's instruction was to object to it. He felt he was too mature for what Ramana was saying. Sooner or later, I think we all find out that this is not the case. And that is what I think is generally going here with those who object to Ramana's instruction on desire for the Self. The ego objects to it, thinking it is above such obvious dualisms. Eventually, however, we begin to see what Ramana is driving at, even if it may take many hard knocks for the point to sink in. Then it humbly begs for this desire for the Self, and has no qualms about praying to God.

Interesting that you mention the feminine and polygamous nature of the Divine. As it happens, on my little meditation altar I have a photo of Ramana with two statues of Kali on either side of him. I find the two Goddesses remind me of the inclusive nature of the Self. There is of course a long tradition within Advaita of worshipping the Goddess, and seeing the Goddess not as a distraction from the non-dual, but the means by which the non-dual is realized. But that is another story.

So, anyway, in the spirit of Ramana, I thank you very much for your responses, they are very helpful in scraping away my own ego. Please, keep up the good work.

Broken Yogi said...

Scott,

I find it amusing that you say the desire for the Self must go, and yet you seem to be filled to overflowing with the desire for the Self. How will you get rid of this desire, and even if you tried, wouldn't that be just another desire?

Bookworm said...

Although a member of Mensa (a bit of ego but who doesn't have?)I am still never sure if anonymous is one person or two or more and find it offputting.
David can't you just post comments
from people with names? It is not that hard to set up a google account and name.

David Godman said...

Bookworm

I agree that it would be easier to follow the points and arguments of the people who post as 'anonymous' if they could give themselves an individual handle of some sort. As Bookworm said, it's not that hard. I don't want to ban people who post as 'anonymous', though. However, they would do us all a favour if they differentiated themselves in some way.

I have just finished writing about 10,000 words of responses to the various points raised by this thread. I will publish them as a new post either later tonight or tomorrow night. I will be out all day tomorrow and won't have a chance to do any work at home until late evening.

Anonymous said...

Everyone, please, I am not Haramurthy posting queries and points on the sly in this thread as Scott may have thought. I am here, as I was in my post above, as “UV”.

Broken Yogi,

You have stated something which I agree with:

***I do not regard Ramana's advice about renunciation as applying merely to beginners. It is often over-exagerated that Ramana had one teaching for beginners and another for the mature. This is really not the case. Yes, he gave some individuals one instruction based on their personal needs, and others quite opposite instructions, but that is generally on the level of practical matters, not genuinely spiritual matters. Most famously, when asked for a practice he always suggest self-enquiry, regardless of the maturity of the questioner. Most of his spiritual instructions were to be applied universally, regardless of the individual's maturity. Their maturity would only define how well they might be able to practice the instruction.***

But then in the context of desire you go on to say:

***He felt he was too mature for what Ramana was saying. Sooner or later, I think we all find out that this is not the case. And that is what I think is generally going here with those who object to Ramana's instruction on desire for the Self. The ego objects to it, thinking it is above such obvious dualisms.***

You are obviously supporting your position again – that is necessary to have a ‘conscious’ desire for the Self right till the very end for achieving Self-realization.

This creates confusion in me. My query is – in which context did Sri Ramana then give the instruction, ‘have no desire for the Self’? It is already shown that this teaching was given as often, if not more often, as was the teaching, ‘have a desire for the Self’. Why did Sri Ramana at all give such a useless instruction to anyone? If the desire for the Self is such a crucial and imperative need for Self-realization, and all that is required in a devotee, why give an opposite instruction which is likely to lead the devotee astray? What were the ‘personal needs’ of those devotees which required such an instruction from Sri Ramana? It cannot be that the instruction, ‘do not have a desire for the Self’ was given to beginners. Then obviously, they would not start sadhana at all, would they? Certainly, it is a given, that desire for the Self is required in the beginner. So then - whom was the almost dangerous instruction, ‘have no desires for the Self’ directed at? Is it that Sri Ramana hated certain devotees so much that it was thought they must be fed the incorrect instruction so as to keep them bound in this world? :-) Why would a great Jnani like Sri Ramana tell any devotee, ‘have no desire for the Self’, when this instruction as per your logic, would certainly deny that person any chance of Self-realisation?

Grateful if you would explain this further. Thank you

UV

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Broken Yogi, you are right. I am overflowing with something, is it desire for the Self? And it is an irony. To be quite honest, I'm not sure where I stand on this debate, but I also don't think it's a terribly important question (to me). It's obvious, that Surrendering, and finding that my sense of being an individual is illusory is the foremost goal. No, I don't think it's desire in the sense of there is a desier-er and a desired. (normally desire as I've heard it implies that) And if it is a feeling of desire, that the SElf evokes, why label it, if I'm already free of such duality? Such words. I only feel it when the sense of there being a subject and object is tenuous, I don't feel this sense of grace, what you call desire, when I'm immersed (fully) in the sense o f being an individual, a subject. As to whether this is post-modern Andrew Cohen, or classical advaita, I could care less since my goal is not to be "spiritual". I am trying to free myself of the narratives I trap myself in, that oppress me. I also don't think I'm qualified to evaluate Andrew Cohen's maturity, even though he reminds me of a car salesman that looks like Heraldo, (thats how he effects my easily prejudiced ego) it has nothing to do with me, and everything I think about him is just thought, imagination. Andrew Cohen as I know him is not a real entity but a figment I invented. Do we really want to abide in what we imagine, how we constrict, control, and oppress others, with what we think of them? Go for it.

How's that for postmodern, I did attend liberal arts college once? Should I quote Deleuze and Guattari, Derrida, Foucault? Use the word "liminal".

And Papaji, I wasn't sure about initially, but it was my mind and ego evaluating him, gossiping about him. Reading what David Godman had to say about Papaji, I changed my mind, key word mind. Something I'm trying to be done with, it's clearly delusional, when I'm an individual. The ego is powerless to know anything. Everything I think is wrong, because it is thought. And as to desire, desire in the sense of subject/object hasn't done me a whole lot of good. But this desire for the Self, but it's not really desire for the SElf, as desire to be free of my desires, my fears, my sense of being an individual in a world of individuals. I have no interest in co-opting, or culturally appropriating, no doubt my colonizing ancestors have done enough of that, the cultural relics of people in other parts of the world. So I try to steer clear of using alot of sanskrit in what I say. I'm not trying to be "advaita" or be "sadhu". I'm using the tools I got from Maharshi to free myself from what I wasn't free of, because it made alot of common sense. If people want to win intellectual arguments with eachother, so be it. I surrender, you win. I'll be the first to call myself "stupid, selfish, arrogant, wimpy, crazy, delusional" to disarm such accusations. Broken Yogi, as you said, your arguments were devestating, so were Haramurthy's but they were exactly that. Are they helping you? "there will be no end to disputations"--Bhagavan.

Ravi said...

Friends,
" There is of course a long tradition within Advaita of worshipping the Goddess, and seeing the Goddess not as a distraction from the non-dual, but the means by which the non-dual is realized. But that is another story."
Sri Bhagavan was deeply involved in the construction of the Matru Bhuteswara Temple,particularly the SRI CHAKRA.
Sri Ramakrishna Literally LIVED the above Truth that our Friend has described above.
Sri Sankaracharya's Soundarya Lahari-"Ocean of Beauty'" is a superb invocation of Mother Godess without whom there can be no Enlightenment,no life.
The Divine Mother is the SELF in its Dynamic aspect-She is the SELF that Responds to all our prayers.She is both Saguna and Nirguna Brahman.
Sri Ramakrishna used to ask this simple question-'Man ,you think that with your puny effort and intelligence, you may attain Self Realization;How is it that you do not realise this simple fact that My mother who is Brahmamayi can give you the same if only you pray to her.Nothing is attained without her Grace!".

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

On careful reading, Broken Yogi, I have to disagree, Haramurthy's analysis in his new posts still greatly impress me, you were easily the devestated. Haramurthy, it is so subtle and intricate, and beautiful, yes, I am a bit blown away.

There is a cleverness, and an ability to switch up your point of view. You in the first posts were pretty clearly arguing that Desire for the SElf was illusory, and in these posts arguing precicely the opposite. I love it when people can switch up like that, and masterfully. Most people are not able to see that far outside of their own particular habitual set of thoughts. Taking them to be somehow stamped with "reality"

And you do it in such a way that, it's kind of like when I learned a martial art called Eskabo daan, I was so blown away when confronted with the advanced students that their moves were so fast, and slight of hand, that before I knew it I was dead.

Your arguments have that same deadliness. Broken Yogi was no match. Nothing personal. I noticed in Eskabo Daan, beginner students (Broken Yogi) always had a cocky attitude, "Oh I can do what they do". Because they couldn't see the subtle moves, there just like "their putting words on a screen, I'm putting words on a screen". There are some subtle moves going on in your arguments that I find fascinating. I know I can't do it, but I want to be able to do it. I want to be as deadly as advanced Eskabo Daan students. I'm not hooked in a reverential way, but in a "how did you do that?" kind of way. That was cool! I should have the most cantankerous, abusive arguers, take a gander with you. No match.

Clearly in some manner of speaking you are advanced, I'm not fooled, no way.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I'm sorry delusional me, got confused, and thought Broken yogi was Haramurthy. I guess B.Y. is the advanced one. Haramurthy a mere beginner, novice. I, well I don't know what i am, I'm going to stay with that. It seems like the safest place. And I've got school work to do, How can I maintain the serenity of being nondual in a physics lab, Who hates physics labs?

Broken Yogi said...

Anon,

First, my understanding of Ramana's teaching is that he overwhelmingly recommended that we should have desire for the Self, not that he evenly "split" his advice between desire and no-desire. As far as I know, Ramana always affirmed the need for effort, and thus the need for desire, which is what produces effort. The dharma of no-desire, like the dharma of no-effort, is for those who have attained moksha, which is release from all desire and all thought. As Ramana stated, self-enquiry does not continue once liberation is attained, since there is no mind left with which to enquire. Likewise, when there is no mind left with which to desire, desire also ends. But before that point, both are still necessary, because they represent a force which destroys the mind. Ordinary desires and thoughts perpetuate the mind, but using the mind to cultivate self-enquiry and desire for the Self deconstructs and destroys the mind. Becoming mature in this process does not leave it behind, it makes it all the more intense. Hence the admonition to be so filled with desire for the Self that it is more important to us than our next breath. Once liberation from mind is achieved, the force behind this desire is liberated as well, and flowers as the life of realization, free of mind-based desire and thought. At least that is my understanding.

As just one example, even Papaji, who taught self-enquiry in the spirit of "no-effort, no practice" always admonished his devotees to cultivate desire for the Self. Likewise with Nisargadatta. The only people I know of who recommend against desire for the Self are new age pseudo-advaitists who claim realization when they are not even at the beginner's stages yet.

Broken Yogi said...

Scott,

Count me cocky, but I simply don't feel "devastated" by Haramurthy's analysis. Perhaps I am just ignorant of my betters, but I simply don't find his views in the least bit impressive. I do find Ramana's views impressive, and I don't see how Haramurty's views can be reconciled with Ramana's.

I don't think you've quite grasped what I have argued. I have simply said, as Ramana has clearly taught over and over, that while the mind is active and engaged in dualism, we must use dualism to transcend mind. This is why Ramana taught the dualistic practice of self-enquiry. Self-enquiry uses the mind to destroy the mind, and without that practice, the mind will never be destroyed. By Haramurthy's logic, we should not practice self-enquiry, since it uses the dualistic mind and is thus dependent on an "illusion". But that logic leads only to the endless clever perpetuation of the mind, in concepts about liberation and non-dualism, rather than their dissolution.

Likewise, Ramana advocated desire for the Self, because the mind is filled with desires, and the only way to destroy desires is to use desire itself, in the form of the desire for the Self (or God, however one wants to put it). So desire for the Self is like self-enquiry, in that it uses the deluding nature of the mind against itself, and burns the mind up in the process until there is no desire or thought left. As Ramana says, in liberation there is no desire or thought, but prior to that we must have intense desire for the Self and constant enquiry into the Self.

As for my being a beginner, yes, I am that - but at least I am a beginner. Not everyone has even become a beginner. In other words, when I talk about desire for the Self, I actually feel it as a real power within me, operating from the heart, and that at least gives me clarity about these matters that is not intellectual in nature. To endlessly conceptualize these matters is simply not interesting to me. The desire for the Self is a real power coming from the Self which I feel drawing me to the Self. That experience is far more convincing to me than any of Haramurthy's "subtle" arguments. It is the same Power which Ramana says we should resort to. The reason I am not very impressed with Haramurthy's arguments is that I do not feel that he is speaking from this power in the heart, he is just playing with intellectual concepts. You are still wondering about these things, trying to locate this power, and ambiguous about it. I would encourage you to drop the intellectual approach and simply examine your own mind, your own desires, your own heart, and forget about who is right or wrong. You are young, I understand, and this can take a long time to settle into. But all the conflicts you speak about in your mind and life are symptomatic of someone who is struggling to find this power. Once you find it, there will not be so much conflict. You will know that you do not have to change your circumstance or drop out of school to pursue it, you will be able to function as everyone else does, because this power is not apart from your own self. Your desire for the Self, in other words, need not go anywhere else. You can sit in it and simply be that desire, without it being an "alternative" that makes you think you have to renounce the world and pursue it separate from the world. Instead, you can simply stand in place, and let this power grow. At least that is my experience of it. Yours may differ, as may Haramurthy's. So be it.

Anonymous said...

Scott fraundorf:

Broken Yogi, now seriously, not joking, as I was joking earlier. I guess I do desire the self, but it is very much part of the delusion, because I'm desiring for a "state" that isn't here and now. So I have to side with the nay sayers on this one, even though I originally sided with you. But really, I don't think I've changed my perspective, because I'm not convinced of the importance of this question. Maybe it's really important and I'm missing it. But most of my "desires" are for things that hurt myself, if not others. I guess the "Desire for Enlightenment", is a redirection from those other desires. And so in that sense it's keeping me occupied from my usual habits. But it still is delusional, way too much effort, when really I just want to stop creating this ridiculousness in the first place. I'm not really inclined to look for scriptural support or even Maharshi's words one way or the other. (sounds like they could be taken either way) Maybe either side of this question is helpful to different people, for me, it hasn't been one of the big questions, stumbling blocks. Will I function in the world? Well, thats a big one, because I don't naturally function in the world very well, even socially, even on blog comments, I don't really understand other people's behavior very much, despite as an individual being a science genius (what can I say? I'm not going to play it down). Even though it isn't one of my big things, I love the dialogue, I love the intellectualization, I love the postmodern, new age, arguments, I love making fun of people's seriousness. Is any of this relevent to my Inquiry?, probably not. It's funny, I was very enamored with haramurthy's argumenets the first time around, and they did confront me with something deep. I personally don't think they could be written off so easily. I was really enamored with the idea, when I read broken Yogi's recent response and mistook it for Haramurthy's that he had totally switched point of views, it would have enlarged my mythological narrative of Haramurthy, the imposter jnani, posing also as UV. Not only that making me take one set of dogmatic ideas seriously on one hand, and then slamming them to dust on the other, freeing me. Alas, it was a fun delusion, and i don't regret it. And keep your eyes open, i believe that kind of thing could happen, especially with the kind of dialogues we're having.

We are sometimes it seems getting too enmeshed in ideologies. Nonetheless as I said, it's clear that the road these people who became self-realized was not the safe road, and they did renounce everything, it's obvious probably to Broken Yogi that has to happen. We can distinguish, psychological and socially, but if the whole gestalt of our world is created by the "narrative" we are enmeshed in, then a line can't be drawn. And Maharshi, was not able to keep up the facade of functioning in the world, even after he tried, after his Realization. And Papaji, well, he had to take care of his family, and only did so when Maharshi basically ordered him to, right? His Realization was not how I might want things to be. I want Realization to be, I'm enlightened, people feel my aura, my grace, yet I function in the world (better), have a good job, lover(s)---drawn to my sexy grace, and live a nice New Age Hippy Fusion Lifestyle. I truly want that, I truly would choose the easy life. Jnani, PhD. Dr. Jnani. Not in the cards. And for none of these jnanis was that the case. I'm pretty convinced from reading Nothing Ever Happened, I can't decipher whether Haramurthy, or even broken Yogi agrees, that Papaji was a jnani, absolutely self-realized. I saw nothing but Sincerity, and a Matter of Fact account of the most extraordinary events. I was so impressed. In a way Broken Yogi, I believe was trying to associate my fun delusion with Papaji claiming Andrew Cohen was Enlightened, thats even more flattering. Because although not enlightened, I would be the first to attest my own ignorance, there was definitely something very positive that caused me to see something I was supposed to see in those words, there was a message from the Universe to me, of that I have no doubt. Trying to break me away from my "minimum honesty with myself" hinderance to SELF-Inquiry. And it was accompanying a grace that is so tangible. As long as I surrender and try to stay thoughtless, that's the important part. I don't care if I'm delusional, nor if other people think the same thing. Enlightenment in a sense is blissful madness, right? So mad I'm sane.

And Ravi thanx. Very nice note. I do feel like I'm being finetuned, adn I'm very grateful for this.

Anonymous said...

Quote:
Haramurthy Said:

""""""Sorry, Yogi Bear, for having written sequences of letters and words, then appearing on the screen in front of your eyes with the effect that some of these, while others were bypassed, were given a significance by your mind that apparently were felt as a sort of “wake-up!”-call by a few noisy vasanas disturbingly entering this serene space of solitude (as referred to by you quoting Maharshi with appreciation).""""""

Scott Fraundorf:

To Haramurthy,
So, are your messages directed just at me, or to everyone else. B.Y., and I mean this nicely, because i like him and am not being critical seems to mistake a Master for an intellectual poser, which I did at first also, but no non-Master has ever elicited that reaction from me, from my vasanas, and then had them clear. Because you described to the letter my reaction, which is why I was so blown away. I wrote Nome, who you clearly are, or someone else of that stature, my doubts are no more. Who else can read my mind? David Godman knows too, I'm not delusional. And if he didn't actually invite you to take part in this forum, David Godman knows the ins and outs of that kind of presence. So you have a purpose, probably for me. For all I know B.Y's supposed to think you are an intellectual poser, so go on B.Y. I don't know how ripe I am, but I called on the help of someone who was a superior, Nome, which was pretty much calling on Maharshi, and suddenly Grace came showering down from above and hasn't stopped, and oh, then you are here in the room, chat room, virtual Arunachala Ashram. Since I'm coming from the perspective of Ignorance, and have no idea, you who are outside of flatland looking in. I feel completely out of my league, I don't know what to do, besides keeping silent, I'm scared because of the strength of my own illusions, they are destroying me, and I haven't overcome them, cleared them on my own. I know when I'm in the presence of an emmisary of God, and I know your sarcasm was a hook, and not meant to be harmful to B.Y. but to get everybody's attention, not that you, have an agenda, emmisary from Bhagavan. Since I'm ignorant, every step I take is probably wrong, it's probably blasphemy to out you. But at the same time, everyone could probably benifit with your words, carefully disguised to seem overly intellectual. I trust that you know your purpose, and that they say that to be in the presence of a presence such as you can only be beneficial. Cleanse me of my ignorance, my delusion, my arrogance, my selfishness, my evil. I know that my offer of surrender might be immediately recognized as having fraudulentness to it. But I know when I'm in the presence of the road to salavation, and I will do my best, to do whatever you ask, unless proven otherwise. The feeling of bliss, of submission I feel, I know is correct. You appealed to my intellect, my ego, with the siddhi you just demonstrated of reading my mind. I'll surrender now, I'll keep quiet as best I can, and i'll be saved, cleansed to the degree I'm ready for. If It's o.K to tell everybody. Haramurthy's presence is the presence of greatness. All these people you keep quoting, long dead. Maharshi's in the room. People, Maharshi is in the room Maybe B.Y.'s Self was making fun of the pretentions of his mind, but I know my pretentions are worse anyhow, I'm just better at disguising it. David Godman, who knows Haramurthy's stature (I guess), may have invited him here, if I'm in dangerous error, blasphemy by outing an Enlightened Being in the room, then take this David Godman as an anonymous letter to you, and don't publish it. I deeply respect you David Godman, and thank you for your help, your writings are brilliant, and have introduced me to wisdom to the billionth power. Thank you. David, you don't have to answer this, but to yourself, am I one of those, in that class of people you write about? I hope so, because then I know I'm saved, and I would be happy if it's as many leaves as lifetimes left, because then I know I'm saved, that I'm not evil, and that I have a chance. It doesn't have to be this lifetime. But it certainly seems like maybe it will be, if I'm not in dangerous error for saying so. thank you for your help. If I become a jnani, arrogantly puting this forward, I secretly wish that those human beings I had so much great respect and love for, become my devotees, not so I'm better then them, but so I get to bask in their presence. That's all I want. I, as big of fuck up, as the world has ever seen. I freely admit this. If I'm just mentally ill, and destined to live out my days, as a mad-person, and my letter is embarressingly insane, sad, then so be it.

But intellectual psosers, don't read minds, that should be a T-shirt. And they don't clear vasanas. I've been around more intellectual posers then i can count, and they just make my self-esteem lower, I don't come away feeling peaceful, blissful despite the words. As soon as I reacted to what I perceived as arrogance, there was a great sensation hours later of my Great Error, because when I went back to read, B.Y. Haramurthy is using Post-Modern Language, but don't be fooled. It wasn't his words that blew me away, it was the supernatural feelings that it illicited, that that day, a teenager that looked like a young Maharshi or Lakshmana Swami, not exactly but likeness sat next to me and kept looking at me. The way he looked at me, it seemed benign. When I was 22 I had an experience that when i read Maharshi's experience sounded very similar. Because they were similar. and I had about a week of Freedom. I immediately recognized this, and knew the right road.

Ravi said...

Scott,
"I noticed in Eskabo Daan, beginner students (Broken Yogi) always had a cocky attitude,"
"I want to be as deadly as advanced Eskabo Daan students. I'm not hooked in a reverential way, but in a "how did you do that?" kind of way. That was cool!"

What is this 'I'?Is it the 'SELF'?

Friend,one has to be careful not to judge others.Quite likely one is mistaken.

Best Regards.

Ravi said...

Friends,
Just want to share this beautiful poem that I learnt in primary school.

Abou ben Adam



Abou ben Adam (may his tribe increase!)

awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,

And saw, within the moonlight of his room,

Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,

an angel, writing in a book of of gold.

Exceeding peace had made Ben Adam bold,

And to the Prescence in the room he said:

"What writest thou?" The vision raised its head,

And, with a look made of all sweet accord,

Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."

"And is mine one?"said Abou, "Nay, not so,"

Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,

But cheerily still, and said, "I pray thee, then,

Write me as one who loves his fellow men."

The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night

It came again, with a great awakening light,

And showed the names whom love of God had blest,

And lo! Ben adam's name led all the rest.

- Leigh Hunt

Salutations!

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

"""""Even Papaji's first reaction to Ramana's instruction was to object to it. He felt he was too mature for what Ramana was saying."""""

Let that sink in, Broken Yogi, that was you, pointing you in the right direction. I had the same experience at Society For Abidance in Truth with Nome, oddly, I have it with Haramurthy's comments. Initially I objected to it, until my ignorance was sufficiently cleared to see where it was coming from. As Nome, said, although I agree with Ravi (beautifully innocent Ravi), trust Maharshi over anybody else, "Anger (kroda) is rooted in Desire which is rooted in avidya (ignorance)" You and Me, we're Papaji reacting negatively to Maharshi, because we can't see through the facade. Papaji just saw Maharshi as lazy, that's all he saw, until he had the Experience, and saw what was True! The facade in this case, is our own egos, and an illusion seen by our minds of Post-Modern, liberal arts college words. If you would like, like I always did, to know what would Maharshi say to me, how would he laugh at my ego, the ridiculous things i hold up as my self, the strained look holding up the tower, read Haramurthy's posts, and don't object to them, because i know you feel in your heart the way I did, but let them penetrate and cleanse you. Bookworm, that was what i thought. trust how you feel, not how your mind's react. Does it make you feel an itching guilt? Like I'm reacting with my ego, my ego is threatened, let it be threatened, let it be threatened so deeply that it never comes back. Make friends with the Self, it is our friends, not our "evil" minds, wanting to survive the onslaught. Maybe I'm mad, I'm the only one who sees it this way, but I look at everyone's reactions and it was the same as my initial one, what is different from me?

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Ravi, I may very well be completely insane, completely mistaken, and you are right I shouldn't have judged. "Judge and you shall be judged" And nothing is worse in Broken Yogi, then with me.

But I would rather be insane, completely wrong, and have my ego perish, or attempt that and maybe fail, then live out my days with an "evil" ego doing harm to myself and others. I'm sick to death of having an ego, of living in a world of egos, of doing myself and others harm. If I'm wrong about Haramurthy, I don't think I'm wrong about some of the other statements, and I'm perfectly glad i made them, because there could be nothing better then to humiliate myself and free myself of ego quicker.

Anonymous said...

Scott fraundorf:

B.Y, you do have it wrong, I would never make the choice to drop out of society. I have extreme difficulty functioning, and always have. My problem is that when I let go, I can't function because it took so much great effort to function. You have functioned well, talk about lawyers, your business, family. I have no qualms, with no problem with your success. but because of it, you are probably to some degree more invested in the world, more unwilling to go deep inside, and I don't look down on you for it. Lately I have been feeling that power, and maybe you have, and maybe you are following your parabdha, destiny. I wasn't the one who criticized you, my agreement with Haramurthy had nothing to do with that. It's different. I don't function well, the best explanation is autism, which I'm diagnosed with. I haven't been embraced in the world, besides my parents i have no family, a couple of good friends, most of whom I don't see very often. I haven't easily made friends, I almost fell into the Self when I was 22, not because I wanted spiritual experiences, was traveling around the world, but because I really truly had no where else to go, and was investigating inwardly how to make myself sane, as I am now, it's the only place I see as refuge. So the things you say, the advise you give me, is totally irrelevent to my experiences. And I don't mean that critically, that is not a personal affront. But I've been trying to figure out how to get rid of my ego for a very, very long time, because I wanted love, and i saw that is where love is. It seems to me, correct me if I'm wrong, that you have had alot more success in your relationships with other people, and I think it makes a difference. So many people I see around me, granted, that I is an ego in a world of individuals, seem invested in their concepts of self, concepts of others, gossip, because it works, and they get by. manipulation, ego, winning arguments is one of the tools that helps them survive in a meanspirited world. That hasn't been the case, and although I'm admittedly just as flawed, in error as every one of you, arrogant admittedly, no better some of those tools have failed miserably. My earnestness was something to rely on, because people like sincerity, so I rested in honesty, and sincerity as best I could. And it didn't get the girl, partly because I still had an ego. even here I am not saying this because I'm better, but I certainly would not choose to drop out of society, but my Inquiry has more and more seemed like an Ultimatum, because being peaceful, abiding as peaceful, I can't function without "a minimum sense of honesty with myself". My reason I think Haramurthy, may be one of those, we talk about, is because he spoke to my vasanas, and somewhat cleared them. I still had my doubts. But when I looked at today's e-mail from Haramurthy, it seemed like a very clear signal, that he described my reaction to his writing spot on, exactly the purpose I thought his words had. It seemed i was right. Now Ravi, you were absolutely right, I had no place to judge. Broken Yogi, I meant no harm.

Bookworm said...

Anonymous

'looking in. I feel completely out of my league, I don't know what to do, besides keeping silent'

Stillness or silence is good.
Maybe you should try it.

Broken Yogi said...

Scott,

I think I'll let Haramurthy speak for himself. We are all jnanis posing as mere intellects.

What I would emphasize about the wisdom of Ramana's attitude about realization, is that it is not a matter of action, which of course is what karma means, but of renouncing mind and ego. This cannot be emphasized enough. To Ramana, there is no action which amounts to renunciation, regardless of the traditional attitude. Thus, looking at one's actions, or one's options for action, is futile and does nothing to resolve the matter or further one's renunciation. I of course feel that total renunciation is necessary, and that this renunciation is evident in all of the most serious practitioners and realizers. But it is not evident in their actions. Rather, it is evident in their minds. It is certainly true enough that the body follows the lead of the mind, but this does not mean that the actions of the body are where renunciation is to be found. To renounce mind and ego means to renounce action. It means to no longer see oneself as the sum of one's actions. It recognizes that all actions is only the mind.

It's like Hui Neng's comment about the flag. Maybe you know this story. Hui Neng overheard two monks arguing about a flag waving in the wind. One monk argued that it was the flag that was waving, the other than it was the wind that was waving. Hui Neng interruped and said, "It is your mind that waves". This approach clears up everything. One's actions are merely mind in movement - thought and desire, in other words. Renunciation of the body and world means nothing, because they are only the mind moving. So we have to take a step back and renounce the mind, renounce the ego, and not be concerned with our life in the world. We need to simply let our lives be at ease, not a battleground for either egoic attainment or renunciation of the ego. As long as we see the world and our actions in it as real and something to "renounce", we are only perpetuating the problem.

Regarding Papaji, of course I feel he was a genuine jnani, fully realized. But he did not sanction the traditional notion of renunciation either. In fact, he often said that one of the reasons he didn't live as a renunciate outwardly was because he had numerous past lives in which he lived as a sadhu, and to make up for that he lived this life as a householder. He pointed out that he had wasted his time in those past lives, confusing outer renunciation with the real thing. His renunciation had nothing to do with his karmas, his actions, which corresponded to those of a householder and businessman. Renouncing one's karmas doesn't mean changing one's actions and putting on a robe, it means renouncing the very idea that this is what matters. Once that is done, who knows what God has in store for us. We may become monks, we may become millionaires, it makes no difference. There is a power which then animates the body and lives us, and that produces our actions. It no longer has anything to do with our will or desires. It is, as Ramana says, God's will and God's desires then.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Let's get this clear, Broken Yogi, you are reacting defensively to me, and I did not mean to offend you. It was stupid of me to make that comment, it was in jest. (although I'm not sure I'm wrong, I don't know whether I am, and I certainly don't think you are more of a beginner than me, and I wasn't trying to say that)

I've thought I was insane for my whole life, so I'm not scared to be wrong. But something was going on, and I just spoke my mind about it, wrongly, or rightly. Let David Godman and the Universe sort it out.

Again, I don't know my ripeness, but it appears that I have alot of sincerity. And so thats good. Haramurthy may very well laugh at me, and tell how wrong I am and what a ridiculous statement that was, although it seems kind of flattering. I'm not worried. I'll just keep doing my Inquiry. (attempting)

Sometimes a few people, have sometimes I felt been a little too condescending to me, and I know no harm was meant, but I think it was mistaken my liking to put my weakness out there, to wanting advise, or wanting someone to help me. I mean, I want help, but the right kind of help. And again, I think there are many people who have Big Spiritual Egos, and have alot of lower case "knowledge". I have alot of lower case "knowledge to", I make the attempt to not mistake it for Knowledge. Also, my life has been interesting and hard enough that some of the having something to prove has been scraped away. Thus my forthrightness about recent experiences, which could be mad as Madhatter.

Nonetheless, it was odd, that Haramurthy's first paragraph, was not only what happened to me, when I tried to defend Broken Yogi the other day because I was outraged at snyde comments, it described to the letter the process. It was obviously deeply intuitive. I felt checkmated, not hiding anything from this person?????. The kind of checkmated I would feel around a guru, not an ordinary human being.
If it turns out I was wrong about Haramurthy, was I wrong about the deep lesson in that, no. Could we all stand to be humbled a little yes! Oddly, when I first read Broken Yogi's writing I thought it was Haramurthy, and I thought he/she was making fun of me for such an absurd notion. When I saw the real comment, I saw no such acknowledgement. Haramurthy's writing to me any ways if you can see past the intellectual qualities, which I had trouble with too, seems to be filled with deep power and significance. As to the criticisms of B.Y, the recent post seems to go past that, it doesn't seem like a personal attack regardless, even if B.Y. dislikes the content, thinks I'm mad which I may very well be, there is nothing to come away angry at eachother about, I think. I'm holding no grudge, and I didn't mean to slight anyone. even the sarcastic comment I made, wasn't made in bad humor. I was just like "you've got to be kidding", this person would make intellectual mince meat of anyone who came accross them. At the same time if my mad intuition turns out to have any grain of truth to it, well then this isn't a being abiding in the intellect, so the intellectualness is illusory. I also noticed UV took credit for anonymous quotes, but was there another anonymous, I still haven't sorted things out, I saw a Mike too. Even if thats not true, what does it matter. It could be if my intuition was correct that the whole purpose of this was to teach me the value of standing up, and putting out there my own Mad Intuition in the world of critical, skeptical egos, teaching me to have a little self-esteem instead of just lurking quietly in the corner. And not to mention there is a quiet, peaceful grace that is lingering, and i feel my mind very, very subdued. I'm not Enlightened yet (don't know when), but it tells me there is something not wrong in what I'm saying, that rightly or wrongly as far as the facts are concerned, this has a deep purpose, which is entirely good, entirely cleansing, entirely healing. Maybe it's good cop, bad cop. Haramurth is the bad cop, critical so I could be the good cop and come off looking a little good. I have no idea, what mad purpose this serves, but this peaceful, blissful grace in a person whose suffered greatly emotionally, is very refreshing, and says that this is good. And I hope everyone comes out better for it.

I was very skeptical of Nome when I went to Society for Abidance in truth, I still don't know what to think, but when I wrote him, his responses had this Huge effect on me, not a normal effect of normal words, there was grace in the words that silenced my normal thought processes. I felt frighteningly the same feeling in Haramurthy's writing, which the ego does want to reject and object to and escape from, it is the Tiger's jaws coming to get me, and different gurus, jnanis obviously are going to have different outward behaviors. If Haramurthy is that, then the words i feel like are aimed at a purpose, they aren't words to be taken in themselves. Broken Yogi would know if he's felt the same thing I'm talking about. So far it seems not. Maybe it wasn't aimed at him. Also maybe I'm wrong, I truly am fine with that, but I'm glad I spoke up.

Haramurthy said...

There was a bit of surprise when reading another of Broken Yogi's responses to a comment of Haranurthy (after having once again explicitly referred to a necessary differentiation regarding Sri Ramana Maharshi's attitudes on renunciation). Trying to understand this suffering personality structure (in California one would probably identify it in terms of Tolle's notion of "pain body"), which has to compulsively twist and misuse another's (actually supportive) arguments for articulating either scorn or self-aggrandisation, the hypothesis turned up that B. Y.'s mode of responding may possibly be an integral and strategical part of his spiritual practice.
Taking what he calls "Ramana's instruction on desire for the Self" as the teaching that is fundamentally valid for him, and apparently providing insights from his workshop, he describes his experiences with this teaching as follows:

"The ego objects to it, thinking it is above such obvious dualisms. Eventually, however, we begin to see what Ramana is driving at, even if it may take many hard knocks for the point to sink in. Then it humbly begs for this desire for the Self, and has no qualms about praying to God."

Such a notion of the path evidently implies a certain readiness, or even longing, for receiving "hard knocks" (Scott will probably feel reminded of the mediaeval Christian practices of self-whipping at this point) as a presupposition for begging for the desire for the Self and for more fervently praying to one's god. Given what is experienced as "hard knocks" much depends on what one narratively interprets as such, it is relatively easy to fulfill one's needs in this respect. One defines one's views in a fanatically narrow way and interprets any alternative as a "hard knock" -- in the knowledge of previous experience, as B. Y. says, that "it made me much stronger and more full of faith in God".
Thus psycho-logically it is rather probable that, feeling his ego much objecting to "this desire for the Self", P. Y. desparately needed a "hard knock" and interpretively fulfilled his need with my comment. to stimulate his spiritual practice.
Admittedly, it looked a bit funny to be instrumentalised in this way on such a peculiar path.

Now, regarding the contents of B. Y.'s response, it would be boring for all other other readers of David's Blog to clarify what they already have understood from my previous comments.
Only one point -- but this is more a less interesting technical one concerned with historical contextualisation -- may perhaps be fruitfully considered: that is, (disregarding his emotional asides) B. Y.'s characterisation of my formulation as an "amusing amalgamation of post-modernism and advaita".

In contrast to Ramana Maharshi, Ramakrishna, and e.g. the Kashmirian Shaiva Swami Lakshman Joo as also the Advaita Vedanta exponent Sri Satchidanandendrasaraswati, who very much represented and elaborated traditional approaches, there were others, already in the first part of the 20th century, whose approach to basically Indian paradigms of thought assimilated their having been exposed to Western influences; just -- without forgetting people like Vivekananda, Ramatirtha and Gandhi -- to refer to well-known names such as J. Krishnamurti, S. Radhakrishnan, Aurobindo and K. C. Bhattacharyya. All important spiritual thinkers with strong repercussions in India and beyond. Others subsequently moved within both fields, Indian and Western philosophy (not necessarily disconnected from spirituality), such as the great Heidegger interpreter J. L. Mehta and the phenomenologist J. N. Mohanty. But also Bina Gupta (a woman&philosopher, who wrote a book like: The Disinterested Witness: A Fragment of Advaita Vedanta Phenomenology, 1998), Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (whose introduction to, and English translation of, Derrida's post-structuralistic work Of Grammatology signifiantly contributed to the reception of deconstructivism in the Anglo-American world) and Madan Sarup (who authored one of the most popular introductions to "Post-Structuralism and Postmodernism") may be mentioned here for the sake of illustrating the continuity and diversity of influential Indian thinkers through modern into postmodern times.
Although postmodernism itself (drawing on structuralism, marxism, psychoanalysis, hermeneutics, etc.) remains spiritually flat, it came up with important contributions (not least those related to "language and understanding/consciousness") -- new (sometimes shockingly so) to the West, but not necessarily to someone thoroughly acquainted with classical Indian thought.

Already long before Shankara somewhat eclectically developed his philosophy and composed some texts becoming the basis of what came to be known as Advaita Vedanta, the notions of conceptual/narrative construction (cf. those related to the Skt. root klp-: vikalpa, savikalpa, kalpana, kalpita, etc.) and, correlatively, its deconstruction were decisive elements for thematising spiritual bondage and freedom.
To translate classical Indian concepts into adequate contemporary English is not an "amusing amalgamation", but a matter of philosophical responsibility very much in line with the best of the past and present Indian intellectual tradition.
After all, spirituality (unless institutionalised), and especially self-enquiry, has little to do with nostalgia and imitation, but is intimately related to contemporarily embodying, also intellectually, vital forms of understanding and realisation.

Haramurthy said...

To Scott, and to whom else it may concern:

Poonjaji has sometimes laughingly compared somebody's wish "I want to realise my Self" to a fish swimming in water troubled by feeling thirsty. The moment the fish opens its mouth water simply enters.
Analogically, you (that is, anybody) run into absurd mental complications, once you enter the mind, take what you may consider as your rightful seat there, and then start longing for your Self.

The talk of "an ego objecting to desire for the Self" is just one of these complications, a symptom of deep ignorance masquerading as insight.
"Ego", "mind", "desire", "Self" are conventional labels, no real entities.
Self-enquiry is a name for a method serving to discover this.

And, unlike various kinds of psychology, self-enquiry is not about tracing the origin and development of specific psychological structures by following them back into the past.
Self-enquiry is rather about being a fish presently opening the mouth without mentally getting into troubles of feeling thirsty.
Thus self-enquiry is acutely related to the present immediacy.
It is hereby where the notion of "narrative structure" may advantageously enter the scene.
Whatever be the history of your personal dramas, if you presently see that its present life (hence that of a so-called "resisting ego") takes place in the form of internal dialogues, narratives, the structure and nature of which you can clearly perceive (but ever only in the the present), then ... you as awareness have the choice: being fascinated by and identifying with these, or being amused about what they turn you into, the moment "you" would.

This is a moment of radical immediacy, not one of time.
It is with reference to Being in this timeles space that Poonjaji said: don't turn it into a graveyard -- don't touch the mind!

The moment getting a bit too fascinated with anything that happens
in this theatre of meaning-bestowal takes over,
time starts,
your past (= graveyard) enters,
and vasanas will enthusiastically take care of "you",
of your loss of being vitally in touch with your
prime nature of pre-reflective awareness;
vasanas will millionfoldly make up for it, ornamenting it with densely dramatical scripts and precious status-symbol compensations. --- Ha, ha, enjoy!

Still, whenever, dear fish, you presently open your mouth -- being this astonishing choiceless immediacy of non-engagement in personally invigorated narrative structures -- then again you have awoken from the dream, have left the graveyard ...... and swim in the vital waters of nameless light.

Ravi said...

Scott,
Friend,no devotee of Sri Bhagavan is an ordinary person.If a person had heard or read about Sri Bhagavan,he has done lot of meritorious deeds to have arrived where he/she has.This is what my master emphasises.
You have genuine love for Sri Bhagavan.A Lion's cub has got to be a lion.
May Sri Bhagavan's grace be with us.
Best Regards.

Broken Yogi said...

Scott,

I feel no offense at anything you've said. I enjoy "disputations" even if they don't ultimately lead anywhere. They at least get me to focus attention on these teachings, which in itself is what brings me the inner peace you speak of. I don't think it helps to try to divine where our peace and blessings come from. In my view, it comes not from someone else's writings, but from the mere act of putting attention on matters of the Self. But you can sort that out for yourself. If you think one or another poster here is a secret jnani, or highly mature, or more intelligent than others, that is fine. I just don't see how it actually changes anything for you. You are still you, and you have to find out the truth for yourself, of yourself. And that of course is up to you. For me, I'm not much concerned about other people's state of mind. Clearly I have different responses to some people than you, and that's just the way it is. But I don't think any of our personal responses to one another really amount to anything of serious value. It only matters how we respond to ourselves. If we keep our personal attention there, it matters not what transpires in our dialog, and we can thus be free to speak our minds. I hold nothing against you for speaking your mind. It can be a good way to empty the mind, and see how meaningless the contents of our minds are. Don't you think?

Ravi said...

Scott,
"...was I wrong about the deep lesson in that, no. Could we all stand to be humbled a little yes! ..."
Friend ,how true this is.This is what Sri Ramakrishna told the Devotees of the Brahmo Samaj who did not accept the Legends of Radha and Sri Krishna-'Even if you do not accept the Existence of Radha and Sri Krishna,it is enough to appreciate the Deep love and Yearning that they had for each other'.I had mentioned this in one of my earlier posts to our Friend ,Haramurthy-in the Mastan Swami thread.
Wish you all the very Best.
Best Regards.

Ravi said...

Friends,
Discussions and debates are part of interactions.I wish to share this wonderful Email I had received from one of my friends:

"Dear Prakash,
This is it!This is the single most Important quality that distinguishes the Great ones from the common man.
Sri Ramana Maharshi was approached by a man to proof read his "biography"of Sri Ramana.This was promptly done and when one of Ramana's close associates went through the "Biography",he discovered to his chagrin that the "author"had invented all sorts of derogatory stories about Sri Ramana.He asked Ramana as to why he had kept quiet and not responded to this False depiction.Sri Ramana simply maintained-"I have been asked to proof read this manuscript.I have done the needful".He further added "When People have eulogised me,you do not object.How is it you are objecing now.This is as valid as the other!It also will serve a useful purpose.Only people who are discerning and have Faith will come here,after reading this Book.The "Just Inquisitive"ones will be filtered!".
Best Regards...Ravi

On Tue, 02 Oct 2007 J Prakash wrote :

How to Handle Criticism - by Jeff Keller:
There's no denying it: criticism can (and often does) hurt. But no
matter what you do in life, you expose yourself to the possibility of being judged unfavorably. Even if you try to remain in the background,avoiding all confrontation, you still must make decisions -- minor ones,maybe, like when to eat and what you wear. And, rest assured, not
everyone will agree with your choices.
So, since you are going to receive criticism no matter what, let's take a closer look at how you can best handle (and even benefit from) it!
The next time you are criticized, consider the following points:
1. Criticism is often nothing more than a reflection of
personal preference. Again, regardless of what you do, somebody won'tlike it. For instance, to get feedback from the audience at my seminars,
I often hand out speaker evaluation forms. Without fail, two or three
people write that they wish there had been more time for audience
participation during my presentation; at the very same program, two or
three others write that they wish there had been less time spent on
group involvement. Accept that people have diverse backgrounds,
preferences and interests. You won't please everyone, so don't even try.
2. Don't take it personally. Sure, this is easier said than
done. However, the critic generally isn't trying to prove that you have
no value as a person. Rather, they're revealing their dislike of your idea or your performance. Let them have their opinions. In the end, you decide whether or not to let another person's remarks bother you.
3. Strive to learn from their words. Find some truth in their
statements -- even if only a shred. There is usually some accuracy in critical comments. The critic may not be tactful, and the remarks may be greatly exaggerated, but there is often helpful information which you
can glean. It's your job to seek out this kernel of truth and benefit from it! For example, let's say your spouse accuses you of "never" being on time. While this statement is not entirely accurate, you should still consider in what ways, if any, you might improve your punctuality.
4. Don't critique the critic. It's an equally bad idea to adopt
a "consider the source" attitude. Even if someone is generally
untrustworthy or, for whatever reason, you don't get along with him or her, it doesn't mean that their comments will always be completely without merit.
5. Don't be defensive. Resist the temptation to argue with the
critic. While it's only natural to try to prove that you are "right" and that the other person is "wrong," this generally gets you nowhere. (Of course, there will be some instances where it's important to establish that you won't tolerate abusive remarks and that you deserve to be treated with respect. Use your best judgment.)
6. Accept that many people focus only on negatives. The critic
rarely gives a full, accurate assessment. He or she tends to report only the negatives, even if there are plenty of positives to mention as well.Recognize that some people simply think it's unnecessary to tell you
what you've done right. Instead, they focus only on "helping" you --
which, to them, means "correcting" you.
7. Realize that vicious, harsh comments come from those people
who are unhappy with themselves. Here again, there might be a shred of truth or something you can learn from the criticism. But I've found that mean, angry, insulting remarks spring from unhappy, insecure people.They have to vent their anger and frustration on someone and you've been
chosen as today's target! Don't let these people bring you down.
(NOTE: If you repeatedly receive harsh words from others, it's not a
coincidence. You are attracting criticism based on your beliefs and your level of self esteem. Take responsibility and look inward at what you can change to achieve more harmonious relationships with those around
you.)
Remember: not everyone will like you, your goals or your actions. But don't let the fear of criticism stop you from doing what you want.
Accept criticism as part of life, and learn from it where possible. And,most importantly, stay true to your own values and convictions. If
others don't approve, so what!".

Best Regards.

Broken Yogi said...

Haramurthy,

Dude, as we Califorinicators are wont to say, lighten up. What is the point of either post-modernism or advaita if we end up taking ourselves and our ideas so seriously that we lose the Spirit of the whole affair? Hard criticism is tough to handle, I know, but it can be helpful too. If you have no desire for the Self, that's cool, dude. No need to make more of it than that.

Ravi said...

Broken Yogi,
"But I don't think any of our personal responses to one another really amount to anything of serious value. It only matters how we respond to ourselves."

Friend,this is true in the sense that ATMAN ALONE ABIDES.
In another sense as J Krishnamurti so beautifully puts-"Relationship is a mirror in which one understands oneself".This is the true value of the WORLD.He also says-YOU ARE THE WORLD-something that Michael touched upon in this BLOG,elsewhere,sometime back.Pursuing an 'I' independant of the World is as illusory as any other practice or in other words, as real as any other practice.JK is a wonderful teacher(not withstanding what papaji had said)who laid bare the network of thoughts like no other.
I warmly recommend JK's Commentaries on Living-Truly they are that!I am sure friend,that you would have read it.Anyway,there may be others who are interested.

I remember that you have attended JK's talks in Switzerland. I never got to see this wonderful person in Flesh and Blood,something that I consider a Great opportunity missed!
Best Regards.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.
What is talking other then the mind talking to itself? "There are no others." "The more quiet a person is so much the better." (Ramana)

Why the mind don't wants to stop talking? It is the *pain* issue - it is unbearable for the mind not to talk. The mind is looking for friends. Friends of its self-doubts.

Thomas a Kempis, IMITATION OF CHRIST:

Shun the gossip of men as much as possible, for discussion of worldly affairs, even though sincere, is a great distraction inasmuch as we are quickly ensnared and captivated by vanity.

Many a time I wish that I had held my peace and had not associated with men. Why, indeed, do we converse and gossip among ourselves when we so seldom part without a troubled conscience? We do so because we seek comfort from one another's conversation and wish to ease the mind wearied by diverse thoughts. Hence, we talk and think quite fondly of things we like very much or of things we dislike intensely. But, sad to say, we often talk vainly and to no purpose; for this external pleasure effectively bars inward and divine consolation.

We should enjoy much peace if we did not concern ourselves with what others say and do, for these are no concern of ours. How can a man who meddles in affairs not his own, who seeks strange distractions, and who is little or seldom inwardly recollected, live long in peace?


The mind talks as long as it has to do so, that's the universal law. "Everyone is simply doing what he has to do, because otherwise he would do something different."
.

Broken Yogi said...

Ravi,

Yes, our relationships are merely a mirror to ourselves. Very true. When I was writing that post, I was thinking of J.K., it's very perceptive that you noticed.

It was very good to see J.K. in Switzerland back in '74. I was just a raw kid of 16 on my own, lucky to shake his hand, bump into Papaji, and have dinner with U.G. J.K. was actually my first introduction to spirituality a few years earlier, and by then I'd already read everything he'd published, including commentaries, which was my favortie. Oddly enough, it was during that summer that my appreciation of J.K. began to decline. I looked around at all his older followers, and they didn't seem like they'd learned much of anything. It was disappointing, and even the talks were somewhat disappointing. I was interested in something more direct. I also didn't really buy into his whole anti-Guru stance, and by then was much more interested in Ramana. A funny moment almost occurred in the tent there, at the little bookstore they had in the back. I saw this very impressive bald Indian dude in robes scanning the books, and I went up right next to him, and almost pointed out the Ramana Maharshi "Talks" book to him, thinking he needed a book recommendation. Something made me hesitate. Years later, I realized this was Papaji. It would have been quite funny to recommend that book to him. But he didn't seem like he wanted to be disturbed, so I didn't. Who knows, my life could have been quite different if I'd struck up that conversation.

Bookworm said...

Haramurthy

'in this theatre of meaning-bestowal takes over,
vasanas will millionfoldly make up for it, ornamenting it with densely dramatical scripts and precious status-symbol compensations. --- Ha, ha, enjoy!'

Very cocky. I see you enjoy what is
obviously just your
merely intellectual understanding.
That's funny. Ha, ha.

Ravi..you often say 'my master'
Who is 'your' master?

Ravi said...

Haramurthy,
"Poonjaji has sometimes laughingly compared somebody's wish "I want to realise my Self" to a fish swimming in water troubled by feeling thirsty. The moment the fish opens its mouth water simply enters."
Friend,What Poonjaji has quoted is from Kabirdas couplet(doha,as it is called):
"Fish is in water and it says it is thirsty;Hearing it I cannot but laugh!"
The Key thing is to 'feel thirsty'.The rest will happen.

Sri Ramakrishna brings this out so simply-A child tells its mother before going to sleep "Mom,wake me up when I need to urinate";The Mother tells the child-"Dear one,You will wake up when you feel the urge"
Best Regards.

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
"Ravi..you often say 'my master'
Who is 'your' master?"
Friend,'who'wants to know about 'my' Master?

Ravi said...

Broken(Integrated) Yogi,
Friend,interesting to read about your experience with JK ,Poonjaji,etc.
coming to Jk's anti-Guru stance,this is something that needs further probing.I think he was against people using the 'guru' as a convenient peg to hang their responsibility.
The Following story reveals the true picture-There is a yoga centre in Chennai,founded by one of the Great Yoga Masters-Sri Krishnamacharya,Guru of the other Famous Yoga Master BKS Iyengar.
JK wanted to learn Yoga postures from this famous Guru,Sri Krishnamacharya and sent word through one of his friends in Chennai.Krishnamacharya sent his son Sri Desikachar to JK .Desikachar found that JK was already practising Yoga asanas and reported to his father about this.Sri Krishnamacharya sent word through his son that JK must forget whatever he had learnt and be prepared to begin anew;only then he could accept to teach JK.
JK readily agreed.
Desikachar went over to where JK was staying and JK would come out to recive him.JK would wait for Desikachar to sit and only then take his seat,much to the chagrin of Desikachar whose protest was in vain.In 3 days,JK was doing perfectly what Desikachar had taught him,there simply was no trace of whatever JK was practicing before.This is JK's Guru Bhakti!
There were many other beautiful reminiscences of JK by Desikachar that I read in the Magazine that this Yoga mandiram brought out.
Truly a wonderful human being!

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Thank you for the kind responses. My ego is admittedly a somewhat schizophrenic one, I don't know why. But I speculate, invent, narrative that probably is not true, that has fueled my interest in being free of an ego, when my ego clearly does not serve me, nor my assumptions, nor where I attribute grace coming from. I definitely after everything I write, see the errors, the egotisticalness, what have you. On the conversation with Broken Yogi, I'm glad it wasn't taken personally, because I actually enjoy ribbing, or being ribbed on stuff, because it indicates for me anyway not taking things seriously.
On the other posts, I did actually agree with David Godman that the notion of Maharshi having one message for mature devotees, and something for everyone else, seems flawed, elitist. And I'm glad that his interpretation of Maharshi returned me to sense on that. At the same time, it's been a big ? how much I can function, when ironically the reason I took up Inquiry was to function better, to become a better human being all around, less caught up in my concepts. Definitely with Autism (Asperger's), or whatever, or just whatever chemistry, neuro-arrangement I was born with, it is difficult for me to function socially, and it is difficult for me to function institutionally. Maybe Inquiry, diving deep within, will help me to have a better balance with my own abilities. And that may mean receding from previous Herculean efforts.

I've never had any interest in an ascetic lifestyle. Even when I for a moment took seriously Haramurthy's notion, I still felt like I trust Inquiry first, the Self first to determine whether I can function and be happy at the same time. (And of jnanis, Maharshi first, because of the pristine benevolence of his selfless behavior, he wasn't trying to make others feel stupid, something we could all learn from) The idea of taking off into the woods with "noisy vasanas" did not really appeal to me at all, been there done that. And my concept of woods is just a concept, or any other idyllic notion. I also found David Godman's critique of my use of "There will be no end to disputations" spot on, in that I'm all for these discussions, and clarifications. Maybe with as little mean-ness, and superiority, and taking our own understandings seriously but this is helping me work out the kinks in my own udnerstanding. It's good too, because especially with the schizophrenic tendencies of my ego, (I posit that more functional, healthy, but still problematic egos exist out there) it's nice to have diverse feedback on Inquiry, since Inquiry can bring out deep Vasanas that shoot out in all sorts of directions and manifest all sorts of hallucenations and visions. (like recently) It's nice to have a diversity of inputs to keep my feet on the ground, while I'm questioning the notion of even having feet.

I can see that being in the presence of a jnani is helpful. (from David Godman's books) But as an ajnani, it is clearly impossible, and probably ill advised to try to determine whether someone is or not, because it can only be through the lense of my own mistaken assumptions. And.... Maharshi said you can tell a good spiritual teacher by, "the sense of peace you feel around them, and the sense of respect you feel for them". The second part I feel is really important, and any signs that the person may be a manipulator or an abuser, should be watched out for. Because siddhis, the ability to create an atmosphere of peace, visions. From all the guru abuse in India, that I've heard about, I guess there are probably even peopel who got some awareness and some powers but fell off the Enlightenment track. Especially when they build huge armed compounds and charge $1000 to learn their mantra. (I don't doubt those people have Awareness, and Powers, and can wrap people around their fingers, but Enlightened, free of desire?) And so I'll trust Inquiry and Maharshi over anyone else. Because I know for sure, absolutely, that in that I'm not entering into an abusive relationship, and taht no hallucenations can harm me.

Haramurthy said...

Ravi,

it is quite correct that Papaji often referred to and quoted Kabir, whom he loved abundantly. Just hearing the words "pani bicha mina piyasi ..." brought tears to his eyes (as David can easily confirm).
However, you are slightly off on what you called the "key thing" that is emphasised in this vani -- it is exactly not the necessity of feeling thirsty.
Kabir wrote here from the nirguna point of view -- actually making fun of both the saguna point of view and of someone justifying his delusional desires for god and self by insisting on being a seeker.
Just read the next verses, Ravi, then hopefully you'll get the point.

True, Kabir as well as many other saints of the nirguna Sant tradition could be highly ironic and bitingly sarcastic in their pronouncements -- as could Poonjaji (contagiously) -- but to cheaply vilify this feature as "cockiness" is above all to deprive oneself of valuable insights into suggestive nuances of spiritual expressions.

Haramurthy said...

Broken Yogi,

good that you seem to have stopped getting hooked up on takings things too personally in a somewhat self-defeating manner; don't worry about expressing criticism (didn't actually experience anything as being properly criticism, least of all at a personal level; may be something was missed; and didn't understand, how the word "devastating", which doesn't belong to my vocabulary, entered the room; perhaps there are different cultural subtexts at work).
You ask:

"What is the point of either post-modernism or advaita if we end up taking ourselves and our ideas so seriously that we lose the spirit of the whole affair?"

This mode of formulating your question already implies the answer to it.
But there may be other modes of seeing and experiencing one's engagement with spirit crystallised into language. In fact, intelligently performing a human life has much to do with appreciating and differentiating what has been literally and suggestively expressed in terms of linguistic symbols by other consciousnesses in different cultures at different times.
Depending on one's capacity, one may almost directly access what somebody, say a poet or philosopher, had expressed many centuries ago. Yet, of course, somebody endowed with learning and correlated capacities of reading (say, old Sanskrit texts) may get unhealthily identified and take the whole too seriously. On the other hand, someone lacking such capacities may deeply resent it and compensate his sense of inferiority with derisive articulations.

Ramana Maharshi became fluent in several languages and acquainted himself with the knowledge of many works, some of these difficult to understand even by specialised scholars. Both passively and actively he was an accomplished connoisseur (in Indian terms: a sahridaya) of various types of spiritual literature, not least of that written in old Tamil.
It is very much thanks to the literary accomplishments of David that we are presently becoming more and more aware of this fact. And David justly emphasises that we cannot properly understand Ramana without Muruganar. In connection with Muruganar he displayed expressive sides of himself that had disappeared from view until very recently. There was no-one else able so perfectly to reflect Ramana on so many different levels, while intimately collaborating with him, as did Muruganar. If anybody is entitled to be called a spiritual brother of Ramana, it is Muruganar; and happily he was a highly prolific poet (it sometimes being even difficult to tell, which formulation is Ramana's and which Muruganar's).
What we gather is this: good there is a raw diamond, the state of one's indestructible prime nature, but there is also the possibility of refinement, of allowing the diamond to assume many facets of shining beauty and intelligence.
What to do .... , if an awakened being cannot help overflowing with intricate (in form and meaning) poetic expressions ... and when the sahridaya-ship of another awakened one cannot help being moved to tears many centuries later.

Ravi said...

Haramurthy,
Friend,what you have posted regarding Kabir is indeed True.
The point I was trying to bring out is that we may 'think' that we are thirsty,but this is not the same as 'being thirsty'.The previous one is only a 'thought' while the later one is something Deep.The Doha has several dimensions to it-Does Kabir really believe that the 'Fish' is Thirsty?
Or is Kabir laughing at the 'paradox' of the Tantallus cup?,etc.

"Just hearing the words "pani bicha mina piyasi ..." brought tears to his eyes (as David can easily confirm).Friend,this is 'compassion'!
Certainly Kabir's Laughter is not one of Derision nor your post is cocky.These are simply 'perceptions'and not Factual.
Best Regards.

Ravi said...

Haramurthy,
Friend,consider this Doha from Kabir-"dukh me sumiran sab kare,sukh me kare na koi jo sukh me sumiran kare,toh dukh kaye ka hoye"
Loosely Translated -In pain EVERYONE prays(Remembrance),In Happiness NONE does;The One who Prays when Happy,how can he be in Pain?
Kabir is certainly not against 'Sumiran' or Divine Remembrance.I also like his 'Potter' and 'Clay' exchanges that had influenced Harindranath Chattopadhya-I had posted this earlier.
Best Regards

Broken Yogi said...

Haramurthy,

"good that you seem to have stopped getting hooked up on takings things too personally in a somewhat self-defeating manner;"

Thank you so much! Next, you will I'm sure praise me for not beating my wife anymore!

Honestly, dude, you are good for many laughs. I think we all need to recognize just how transparent we all are here, and see how no amount of erudition covers over the ego in anyone. You see my ego, I see yours, and there you have it. The Spirit of advaita is to recognize that these egos of ours are illusons we keep putting up to distract everyone, ourselves included, from the truth. I think it best to keep it that simple.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.
...Poonjaji has sometimes laughingly compared somebody's wish "I want to realise my Self" to a fish swimming in water troubled by feeling thirsty....

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

ZAZEN WASAN (Hakuin Ekaku Zenji, 1685-1768):

Living beings originally are Buddha.

It is the same with water and ice.

There is no ice separate from water;

Outside of living beings, no Buddha.

They seek it far away. Alas how pitiful!

It is like the examples of someone sitting in the middle of water

But crying out in thirst; and,

While still being the son of a millionaire's family,

As a strange good-for-nothing he loses his way in the countryside living in poverty.
.

Broken Yogi said...

Regarding the thirsty fish, it is undoubtedly true that a fish which does not open its mouth to drink eventually loses the power to do so. Its muscles become weak, cramped, and its lips seal shut. It has to learn how to unseal its lips and open its mouth to drink. It only does so because it becomes thirsty. If it never develops a thirst for water, it will remain complacent within the ocean, never tasting the infinite waters that it swims through.

Ravi said...

Ramos
Thanks for that wonderful excerpt from The Imitation of Christ-Wisdom pure and simple!
Namaskar!

Ruaire said...

Haramurthy
Youn are not a 'Guru' and I for one do not need your 'biting sarcasm'. In my humble opinion 'cockiness' sums you up quite well.

Ravi stop playing pretend Guru and just answer the question please.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.
Ravi: ...

Yes, for me The Imitation of Christ is one of the marveloust treatments of true wisdom. Did I mention that the gravestone of Thomas a Kempis says:

"I have no rest, but in a nook, with the Book."
.

Ravi said...

Ruaire,
"Ravi stop playing pretend Guru and just answer the question please."
Friend,what do you want to know?Please visit the 'Vichara' Thread in this Blog and you will find what you are seeking.It will tell you the Name of my Guru and more about him.Let me add that knowing about someone is different than knowing someone.So,give allowance for this difference.
Best Regards.

Bookworm said...

Ravi

I am not your 'friend'

You keep saying 'my master'
Who is 'your' master?

It is a simple enough question.
Are you so ashamed of 'your master' that you cannot tell me?

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Now that I see the error of my ways, I can see that my initial intuition about Haramurthy's comments was correct, and that on this, the subject of renunciation, Broken Yogi was absolutely right about that elitist, cultlike point of view. And I'll trust that intuition over any "experience" I may have from any peace of writing in the future.

Haramurthy's writing wrongly or rightly, does have an arrogant streak that seems dangerous to me, manipulative, somewhat frightening. And I take back any good vibes that could come from such writing.

Maharshi as I said, never tried to make people feel stupid, I'll go with that, and in the future, not trust the words of someone who takes an abusive tone, that doesn't prop up the people they are talking to, because that garbage, verbiage is not a good road, but a dangerous one. Nonetheless I don't judge Haramurthy, but I'm just going to distance myself from that tone, those words, and take the lesson that trying to put others down, and make others feel dumb, and attack people's self-esteem is never a spiritual thing, or a good thing in any philosophy point of view that has a shred of decency to it, it's also a good sign that I'm NOT in the presence or talking to a jnani, because whatever may be said about Maharshi and he certainly as B.Y said did say that "householders are even more likely to become jnanis than sadhus" End of argument. If I ever jokingly make a critique count on that I'm that I'm trying to be in good humor, and not put down, because even my own illumination is not helped by people who abuse me. Never has. Just creates an insecure Ego, hinged on need for outside approval, been there done that

Reading power of presence for the first time, I'm even more in love with Maharshi then I ever have been before. So human, so powerful, so in touch, something I strive for is to be free of the illusions that seperate me from his state. The illusions that make me not feel the happiness within that is unaffected, untouched by the evil of this world, the cruelty, the megalomania, which I'm just as much prey to. I just joked to a friend I and every other human being is both Ghandi and Hitler at the same time. Ghandi when we're tapped into that source of happiness inside (so much so that a police baton is not a bother), Hitler when we are caught up in our illusions, and believe our line of logic is fact, and want to kill millions of people to validate our words, concepts.

Haramurthy, truly nothing personal. I'm so ignorant, I go between thinking someone is Enlightened, and then mean-spirited. That is why I shouldn't get caught up in my "meta-narratives" of others as you probaly full well know. But dive within, to where there are no others. No place to judge or be judged. I for one cannot judge.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I'm unable to access others, and even what I just said was just as insane of ramble as my other crazy talk.

I cannot see the state of another, and I shouldn't try through the lense of my thoughts and egos. If there is anything offputting about the foremost writing is that it seems completely caught up in an intellectual state devoid of empathy, but I don't know where it is coming from, nor care, because it is completely irrelevent to my Inquiry, to my connection with Maharshi which I know and trust, and trust nothing else in a world of deceit and illusion, tricksterism, and delusion. Is Andrew Cohen enlightened? None of my business. Is Haramurthy's writing mean-spirited and lacking empathy or the words of a crafty jnani? None of my business. Not my place to decide. But express my current insights as they arise.
And summa iru be still, read Power of Presence, learn to see happiness as not coming from human relationships, as rewarding as they may be for some, but staying tapped into the source of happiness, which can burn away all my karmas, will prevent a victim role in relationships with those who might take advantage of, and prop up their own ego-power. That's my current interest, and as I go deeper into my visceral, nondual understanding of Maharshi's words, presence, sharing those thoughts as they arise, in any venue that I can, that is receptive to them. ---A schizophrenic jiva

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I don't know about you all, but I'm going to stop playing saint as one of the people said.

"""True, Kabir as well as many other saints of the nirguna Sant tradition could be highly ironic and bitingly sarcastic in their pronouncements -- as could Poonjaji (contagiously) -- but to cheaply vilify this feature as "cockiness" is above all to deprive oneself of valuable insights into suggestive nuances of spiritual expressions.""""

That is a pretty good point, so never mind, I'm not going to villify anyone as cocky. truth is we all have alot to learn. If those statements are biting, sarcastic, and mean, I trust that everyone here can handle it, and if like me they can't, well then it's a good learning experience in not caring about other people's "states of mind", and worrying about my own Self-Awareness-ness. No longer will i try to judge whether someone is a "secret jnani", although it's so tempting for one as ignorant as me, to do that, with my overactive, though intricate imagination. Maharshi I noticed, didn't play up this "jnani/ajnani" difference as much as his devotees, did he? And wasn't trying to make it a far off goal. If It is one in a billion, a far off lottery that Realize the Self, how does knowing that help me to earnestly investigate what is true? Putting myself down as an ignorant jiva. (which admittedly I am) I'm not going to play these games which have nothing to do with bringing things back when my mind shoots out with it's arrogant projections, and abiding as I with nothing attached, no needs, no fears, happiness within. there I go playing saint again. My habitual addiction to sounding good, feigning a humility I hardly posess.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
""I have no rest, but in a nook, with the Book."
Wonderful!This evokes Feelings of Humility,Industry,Steadfastness!Very much akin to the Spirit of the Great 63 Saivaite Saints(Nayanmars,whose story Sri Bhagavan used to narrate with Great feeling)and the Alwars,Vaishnavite Saints who yearned to chant the Divine Name at the time of Departure from the Terra Firma and for Ever and Ever!No 'Rest in Peace' type of a cliche!

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
"I am not your 'friend'"
Friend,You may consider so.I have already responded completely.You need to pay attention,to 'Listen'.Next,you need to take the minimum effort suggested.If you are really interested,you would have already found the answer to your query.
Please do visit the 'Vichara'Thread in this Blog-I think it is in the Month of July or so and look for my Posting to Arvind.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.
...Are you so ashamed of... ...

Don't answer such questions, Ravi. Let that questions be a lection for yourself not to participate in gossip and not to be the cause of gossip.
.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
I think our Friend Bookworm(Ruaire) meant to say -Are you shy of your Master?
This sort of mistake does happen.

Ruaire,
Hope you found the information you were looking for.
Best Regards.

Bookworm said...

Ravi
Again... I am not your 'friend'

I am a busy man. I do not have time for all that.
I'll just take it you are so ashamed of 'your master' taht you are embarrassed tell me his name.

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
That is Okay.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Ravi, you asked me about the bird's chirping comment? Sorry for being unnecessarily sarcastic. Truth is, I don't know at all. That's just something that Lakshmana Swami said, that nothing is seen as a jnani.

From my own limited experiences I believe him on that. What not seeing means, I can't quite understand. But no seer, and no seen, makes alot of sense to me.

MahaDevi said...

ravi,
remember, times of colonialism r things of the past:
u r not supposed to receive orders & in servility to respond to such
viciousness-excrementing worms.
dont deceive yourself about differences:
u tender soft feelings, go ecstatic in sublime visions of krsna in goloka
-- others worship the cow only as a t-bone steak on their plate & call it pragmatism. u know only how to speak soft words
-- indignated, they only know how to push their fist into yr teeth

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I could be wrong, and in light of some of David Godman's posts it occurs to me how much I am turned off by pure intellectual understandings of advaita, because they can seem a little heartless. Some of the neo-advaita fits that description, it's without accountability or caring, and more about the accomplishments, of individuals. (i'm not judging but clarifying for myself) but Maharshi, wasn't an individual right? When I was in the anarchist subculture, which was supposedly about making the world a better place, there were intellectual anarchists that were extremely frightening in their ability to use the language in cool, creative ways, but were also at the same time arrogant, and mean. I was sometimes inspired by the thoughts, but the lack of genuine caring that seemed to be somehow supressed by an empathic-less intellect, still genius. For me my attempts at Inquiry cause deeper Vasanas to come to the surface, but almost all of them involve a striving for grace, and goodness as opposed to superiority, I'm looking for connection. When I look at Maharshi and his selfless behavior I see that taken to perfection. Granted this is my own interpretation foisted on to what I've read. I'm inspired, in that it clears away my previous respect for intellectually successful anarchists, with their mastery over post-modern rhetoric. It is noteable that I had all these previous guilts hidden under the table brought to the surface. (ex: when I was a kid, I caught bees, but I got curious and killed them too, I murdered bees, maybe I started having social problems as a karmic response, who knows?) I suddenly became extremely guilty and ran to confession months later (after starting Inquiry). Inquiry brought up this deeper Vasana, which was remorse for previous actions that were from a disconnected intellect. I can relate all too clearly to Great Sinners who broke down weeping in the presence of Maharshi.

At the same time the intellect plays a role as Maharshi has pointed out, it seems to me, the mind gains deeper understandings of the words, concepts at deeper and deeper levels of Who am I? and becomes more willing to relinquish it's former oppressive role at policing and trying to control reality, trying to gain Pleasent Experiences through methodical planning, and avoid unpleasent experiences. And it's willing-ness to surrender increases, which seems like an incredibly holy act, because I'm giving up the selfish attachment to the body's welfare whose pleasure I associate as "my pleasure" and want more of it, which is tricky. Fo me, and I imagine alot of people, the most Vasana-laden pleasure because of it's intensity, although I imagine doesn't have to be vasana-laden because it is of the body is lust, which even encompasses a desire for romantic companionship. Now some Great people I have known have seemed to have many playful polyamorous relationships, without the attachment, the need, the predatory-ness, the selfishness that others have, and then it's more like accepting a good meal, but not manipulating yourself to getting a good meal, or controllig partners through jealousy, or wanting at all.

Nonetheless, this Grace which is cleansing me gradually, or quickly, it's swiftness is invisible to my intellect, but surly it is working, is cleansing me of selfishness, and more and more I do not see the clear divisions between self and other. "grace transcends notions of inner and outer, oneself and another" When I read those words through my e-mail, again I felt tangible, intoxicating grace causing my mind to be more willing to surrender, like a cow in a machine that applies pressure before slaughter, causing it to relax and become subservient to it's own death. Those words had that effect on my own ego. Do I need to attribute it? But many of the words many of the sages in David Godmans' books described a grace, and for some reason I feel it. I didn't ask for it, I don't even think any set of concepts can be attached to it, infact I just want to abide as the I, the sense of Being, pure being, sat, and let the train carry all loads. Give up all responsibility for things of the body, let Providence decide what happens to the body, the good and the bad experiences. It's on Providence

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I could be wrong, and in light of some of David Godman's posts it occurs to me how much I am turned off by pure intellectual understandings of advaita, because they can seem a little heartless. Some of the neo-advaita fits that description, it's without accountability or caring, and more about the accomplishments, of individuals. (i'm not judging but clarifying for myself) but Maharshi, wasn't an individual right? When I was in the anarchist subculture, which was supposedly about making the world a better place, there were intellectual anarchists that were extremely frightening in their ability to use the language in cool, creative ways, but were also at the same time arrogant, and mean. I was sometimes inspired by the thoughts, but the lack of genuine caring that seemed to be somehow supressed by an empathic-less intellect, still genius. For me my attempts at Inquiry cause deeper Vasanas to come to the surface, but almost all of them involve a striving for grace, and goodness as opposed to superiority, I'm looking for connection. When I look at Maharshi and his selfless behavior I see that taken to perfection. Granted this is my own interpretation foisted on to what I've read. I'm inspired, in that it clears away my previous respect for intellectually successful anarchists, with their mastery over post-modern rhetoric. It is noteable that I had all these previous guilts hidden under the table brought to the surface. (ex: when I was a kid, I caught bees, but I got curious and killed them too, I murdered bees, maybe I started having social problems as a karmic response, who knows?) I suddenly became extremely guilty and ran to confession months later (after starting Inquiry). Inquiry brought up this deeper Vasana, which was remorse for previous actions that were from a disconnected intellect. I can relate all too clearly to Great Sinners who broke down weeping in the presence of Maharshi.

At the same time the intellect plays a role as Maharshi has pointed out, it seems to me, the mind gains deeper understandings of the words, concepts at deeper and deeper levels of Who am I? and becomes more willing to relinquish it's former oppressive role at policing and trying to control reality, trying to gain Pleasent Experiences through methodical planning, and avoid unpleasent experiences. And it's willing-ness to surrender increases, which seems like an incredibly holy act, because I'm giving up the selfish attachment to the body's welfare whose pleasure I associate as "my pleasure" and want more of it, which is tricky. Fo me, and I imagine alot of people, the most Vasana-laden pleasure because of it's intensity, although I imagine doesn't have to be vasana-laden because it is of the body is lust, which even encompasses a desire for romantic companionship. Now some Great people I have known have seemed to have many playful polyamorous relationships, without the attachment, the need, the predatory-ness, the selfishness that others have, and then it's more like accepting a good meal, but not manipulating yourself to getting a good meal, or controllig partners through jealousy, or wanting at all.

Nonetheless, this Grace which is cleansing me gradually, or quickly, it's swiftness is invisible to my intellect, but surly it is working, is cleansing me of selfishness, and more and more I do not see the clear divisions between self and other. "grace transcends notions of inner and outer, oneself and another" When I read those words through my e-mail, again I felt tangible, intoxicating grace causing my mind to be more willing to surrender, like a cow in a machine that applies pressure before slaughter, causing it to relax and become subservient to it's own death. Those words had that effect on my own ego. Do I need to attribute it? But many of the words many of the sages in David Godmans' books described a grace, and for some reason I feel it. I didn't ask for it, I don't even think any set of concepts can be attached to it, infact I just want to abide as the I, the sense of Being, pure being, sat, and let the train carry all loads. Give up all responsibility for things of the body, let Providence decide what happens to the body, the good and the bad experiences. It's on Providence

Haramurthy said...

Broken Yogi,

great, your perception of me ("you are good for many laughs") took such a turn -- we both seem to appreciate the importance of humor, especially while observing one's monkey-mind, on the spiritual path.
However, your expectation:

"Next, you will I'm sure praise me for not beating my wife anymore!"

is not well-placed. Given above you have already confessed to living in a society ("we Californicators") where a wife tends to be kept merely to uphold a petty bourgeois facade, behind which to merrily indulge in f-practices, there may be little reason for praise.

Jokes aside, you indicate indeed a crucial difference between our perceptions when you write:

"You see my ego, I see yours, and there you have it."

The notion of "ego" simply makes no sense for me, except (as already stated) as a conventional label employed in conversational situations with the purpose of, say, comforting somebody else lacking more subtle capacities of differentiation. Clearly (to speak of my perception), even on a psychological level of reality, with your highly complex background, you cannot be reductionistically reduced to any entity called "ego".
Often "ego" is identified with something designated as "mind", that is, with something consisting in complicated networks/grids of perceptual structures providing orientation and emotional patterns energising them with strength.
Taking this into account, please join me, in a friendly space, for a few moments: rather than using "ego" as a word perhaps suggesting some kind of a more or less evil entity to get rid of, we could, if we like those three letters, still employ them, but in the form of E.G.O.
E.G.O. -- now taken as an abbreviation referring to everybody's experiential sphere of an "Emotionalised Grid of Orientation" -- could then more adequately connote this psychological medium generally mediating meaning in conscious beings. And this E.G.O. is not at all lost in awakened beings, whose E.G.O. may have developed highly sensitive capacities of sahridaya (as noted above in my previous comment).

The problem with the E.G.O. of an unawakened consciousness is that, due to various forms of conditioning, social circumstances, cultural upbringing, education and so on, it has been turned into a sphere of constant internal dialogues, of constant inner conflicts and rehearsals, of hankering for love and recognition from others, yet being constantly suspicious of attacks, hence promoting strategies of defense and counterattacks within a world-view largely justifying these (this being, after all, the world collectively mediated by the media.

Speaking earlier of an ego objecting to (desire for) Self, you essentially referred to deeply interiorised defensive structures developed in a competitive society, structures which turn, in a spiritual context, against oneself.
An important aspect of social renunciation is exactly this: to leave highly competitive structures of society in order not constantly getting one's psychological defensive patterns reanimated.

Certainly my perception of your E.G.O. is not that it is just one connected to these circumstances, but that you also embody a highly sensitive and appreciative Emotionalised Grid of Orientation in spiritual spheres (similar to the one functioning also in awakened beings).
And, to further elaborate my perception (without in the least wishing to sound patronising), the more you will take off that coat of competition through abandoning the fear of practical social renunciation, the more you will agree that, freed from the need of defense, the available psychological surplus energy will no more object to flowing into non-resisting aspects of your E.G.O., enhancing the brilliance of your natural state.

Kindly allow yourself to be slightly more reasonable, B. Y., on the other issue:
the image of a "thirsty fish" is illustrating an absurdity --- think of someone in your neighborhood who would spend endless time on speculating about how to continue breathing. Don't pretend that you would seriously join such a guy and supply him with better theories.
No fish has to learn opening its mouth, and one slap on your baby bum was enough to let you naturally breathe until the last.
However, just longing for the spiritual slap putting you into your natural state of prime awareness is not enough --: without having renunciated competitive patterns of your E.G.O., it is difficult to be ready for it, simply because habitual patterns of interpretation prevent a recognition of it as such.

Ravi said...

Mahadevi,
Friend,Just revisit this set of posts(the ones you refer to) after a month.They mean nothing!See whether you are able to sustain your emotions over this long a period.If the answer is 'Yes' it is time for serious introspection.If the answer is 'No'then why take that long to jettison it.How about not 'Taking'it in the First place.

No need to lose one's peace of mind.BE AS YOU ARE.
Wish you all the very Best.

Ravi said...

Scott,
"Ravi, you asked me about the bird's chirping comment? Sorry for being unnecessarily sarcastic. Truth is, I don't know at all. That's just something that Lakshmana Swami said, that nothing is seen as a jnani."

Friend,I have not taken you amiss.Just want to clarify that the Jnani also sees what we see,hears what we hear,etc.It is just that this is done without 'interpretation','judgement''comparison',etc which an active mind functioning in an egocentric framework does.
I think we may try to understand this in this fashion-Is the 'I' CONTNUOUS or is it CONTINUAL?In other words,is The stream of Thoughts continuous or continual?It is 'continual' in the sense that there is gap between two successive 'thoughts'-When the mind is active,this gap is not noticed; as the mind quietens down the gap is noticed as oasis of peace.This is a 'Glimpse of the Self'.
The act of Seeing and listening is not a hindrance for experiencing the Self.The 'differentiation'as the 'subject' and 'Object' that is brought about by a preoccupied ,conditioned Mind is what blocks the awareness of the Self.
Self Realisation does not mean that everything will 'Disappear'and nothing will be seen or heard.
Like Sri Ramakrishna narrates this in his inimitable fashion:
Two Children were at play.Suddenly,the Elder one wears a mask of a lion and frightens the younger one.The Younger one is frightened to see a Lion,when the Elder lifts the mask to reveal himelf as the Elder Brother.The Younger one is pleasantly surprised and now it wants the Elder one to wear the Mask and continue the Game!The Younger one still 'sees' the 'Lion' (mask) but now the 'Fear' is Gone!

Best Regards.

Broken Yogi said...

Haramurthy,

As for the funny stuff, part of what makes me laugh is how little you seem to get of my jokes. Having to explain them sort of ruins the point. So, mentioning that I called myself a "californicator" in jest at your oversimplified stereotyping of me seems like a waste of time, in that the joke seems to have gone right past you. I would have thought that someone who prides himself on being an in-the-know postmodernist hipster would at least catch that drift.

But then, you seem to take your stereotypes pretty seriously, as in your tired assumption that I "confessed to living in a society ("we Californicators") where a wife tends to be kept merely to uphold a petty bourgeois facade, behind which to merrily indulge in f-practices, there may be little reason for praise." Now, putting aside that insult you seem to be tossing in my wife's direction, what society are you talking about? Something you saw on television? I know literally nothing of the world you seem to have imagined my living in. I know no one like that, my wife especially, but perhaps you do? Or, do you just know nothing about me at all?

Look, I don't know you, or where you come from, or how you developed the ideas that you have latched onto. I just gather that you have very little real experience in life, but have read books instead, thinking them a meaningful substitute. I would suggest getting a life of some kind, even a renunciate life, and sticking to what you actually know. You need not affect all the mannerisms of the world-weary sophisticate in order to become knowledgable of the world. A better method is to be attentive to the world you do live in, and study that world without making assumptions about the world you do not know much of. As Thoreau said, "I have travelled extensively in Concord". Take that route, and you will find some kind of real knowledge awaiting you, regardless of how much of the wider world you find yourself not knowing. It is the intimate world that matters most, after all.

As for the ego, I use the word merely to refer to that set of vasanas and experiences that we each identify with and present to the world as "me". You present yourself to this forum in a certain fashion, I do so in mine. This is our ego. No need for much further analysis. There's an emotional aspect to this to be sure.

As to the fish analogy, we seem not to be in basic agreement about the meanings here. I approach the analogy by seeing the water as "infinite consciousness", which the fish swims through unconsciously, unaware that he is living in infinite consciousness, but oblivious to it all. In that sense, his mouth is "closed", it does not partake of the infinite consciousness, but instead sees himself as cut off from infinity, even though it is literally what surrounds him and even pervades and sustains him. That is why I refered to a fish that is unable to open his mouth and drink. This is like the ajnani who, though living in the infinite consciousness, is neither aware of it nor able to partake of it. People could, indeed, look around, see the infinite consciousness, and "breath" it, be it, fill themselves to bursting with it. Instead, they simply suffer the separative life, as if they are cut off from infinite consciousness, as if they are just a little fish, literally. My point is that the fish must first desire to open its mouth and drink this water, and then he must actually exercise his muscles to enable himself to do this. It's not enough to just declare that he's swimming through infinite consciousness, he has to actually retrain his mouth muscles to open up and drink it.

This is why your analogy to a man who speculates on how to continue breathing doesn't work. If breathing=enlightenment, then the man is already enlightened, but is worried about losing it. That's not the situation most people find themselves in. They are unaware of being enlightened, and they are not worried about losing it. They are quite certain that they are not enlightened, but are afraid of losing things that they have every reason to fear losing - even, ultimately, their breath, in that we are all aware that we will someday die and stop breathing. People are already worried about how to keep breathing, in that they do all kinds of things to survive, and no one considers them crazy for doing so. Rather, that's what is generally considered sane. But the reason for this is that we are generally unaware of the infinite life that we are living within, that we can even breath if we are sensitive enough to it, and that will continue long after the breath has stopped. The reason people are unaware of this infinite, eternal life is that they have shut down, they have tied their minds in knots (granthi), which have to be opened. Part of the yoga of self-enquiry is the opening of these knots, which is similar to a fish opening his mouth and drinking/breathing the infinite water he is already swimming through, but is unaware of. If we remain closed, that is the life of ego, which is to say that "identification" with vasanas and experience, the body in other words, is an act of "closing" consciousness. To reverse this process, to open the mind to what is beyond the mind, is to transcend ego, by no longer identifying with it, but identifying instead with the infinite ocean of consciousness, our real Self.

Anyway, this personal stuff is getting boring, so let's just let it go. The dharma is much more interesting than either of us.

Bookworm said...

Haramurthy

When it come to being defensive...you win...boy do you win.

Do you not know how to talk simply so that others can understand what you are trying to say?

I mean... an "Emotionalised Grid of Orientation"

What on earth is one of those?
I hope I haven't got one.
It's not catching is it?

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Because of the post-modern turn of some people in this group with their big lingo::: (I'll try to avoid such elitist language)
Oh do I miss good old Deleuze and Guattari with a touch of Derrida. Actually Foucault, I still like Foucault, and may have some interesting things to bear on these present discussions. many different understandings touch on Inquiry, and the Self. Foucault (a Postmodern author) for instance, may have clarified the kinds of social conditioning that go on inside a modern society throughout it's many institutions, school, workplace, prison, which truly are obstacles to Knowing our real nature. And touched on looking inward to subvert those influences in books such as Care of the Self. David Godman said that he looks for similarities with Inquiry, but so far hasn't found any? Maybe there is less pure Inquiry in other meditation systems, but many people touch on the Truth, don't they? from all backgrounds, especially petite bourgeois Californicating with their facade housewives, are they cardboard? That'd be cool!

I am in a neuroscience class, and I don't believe I've learned yet a whole lot of how the brain works, although it seems like perhaps it is like most scientific understandings based on surprisingly simple principles. Everything including Inquiry, that I've set out to learn, is based on surprisingly simple principles.

In Cells, the code on DNA (which resides packed in chromosomes in the nucleus) specifies how to make RNA molecules, and protein molecules which make most of the chemical reactions happen, and build most of the necessary components of the cell (scaffoldings), or scaffoldings outside of the cell such as what makes wood hard, or your skin tough The same principles whether yeast, Oak tree or human. Fat molecules make up the thin (1 hundred millionth of a centimeter) boundary around the cell, all cells. So things are surprisingly simple. Can a Cell realize the Self? Perhaps Maharshi would say, "Who is the one who is imagining cells?" Only my mind is imagining and then seeing Non-Self.

My biggest problem with Haramurthy's comments is the gross (literally), and negative stereotypes, which I have trouble believing he takes seriously. That aside.... As I said earlier who is imagining California, and then now petite bourgeouis with facade wives. I'm not going to pretend I can understand millions of people, instead I'm going to investigate how real I am! Whenever I've set out to pigeon hole a group of people, well I'm making that group of people what they are since I'm imagining them, and it does give room for the complexity that can arise. In my own sterotypical mind, it does seem that among people who are in the middle of the bell curve as far as functioning egos, there is less individuality in the kinds of self-assumptions people are living with. But how important this for me, and my own attempts at liberation? I'm going to be quiet now. mouna.

MahaDevi said...

ravi
u say
"just revisit this set of posts (the ones you refer to) after a month. They mean nothing."
dnt need a month,its good to hear yr fine
just sometimes,u know,reading yr beautiful thoughts
& then this amerit-can show of 1 with mouth 10x bigger than brain
there woz a tear,ok, i'm no stone,but ofcoz i understand
thks lve

Haramurthy said...

Bookworm said:
"I mean... an "Emotionalised Grid of Orientation"
What on earth is one of those?
I hope I haven't got one."

Don't worry, dear bookworm, you haven't got any.
It arises first on higher stages of evolution.

Haramurthy said...

Broken Yogi,

no matter, how much one is trying to be reconciliatory in tone, you only look for things to be used as "reasons" for becoming more aggressive.
Had been too early too optimistic.
Bring no specialist in local slangs, why not just politely indicate it to me, if an expression was misunderstood?

"As for the ego, I use the word merely to [......] No need for much further analysis."

Right, just what you already have decided counts --- no need for further enquiry.
Even a little playful experiment of thinking (for example, engaging the notion of E.G.O. as elucidated above) is getting too distressing for you.

As to the "fish analogy", which was not mine, but Kabir's, well employed by Poonjaji, and well understood likewise by Ravi and Clemens Vargas Ramos (who supplied an excellent quotation from Hakuin, another awakened being, elaborating exactly the same point), all your wild speculations are just beside the point.
But, no more of all that: "this personal stuff is getting boring, so let's just let it go" -- agreed.

Ravi said...

Haramurthy/Broken Yogi,
Friends,Where are we right now?Is it Desire for the SELF or Desirelessness that will take us towards Self Realisation?We seem to have TOTALLY RENOUNCED EVERYTHING.Moksha does not seem to be anywhere in sight.
May be as Sri Bhagavan advised,we need to go back the way we came and head in that direction.

Broken Yogi said...

Haramurthy,

"no matter, how much one is trying to be reconciliatory in tone, you only look for things to be used as "reasons" for becoming more aggressive."

It's getting rather obvious that you have very little self-knowledge about your own "emotional grid of orientation", and thus your notion of being "reconciliatory" constantly comes off as hostile and belittling towards others. How do you account for that? Is it the fault of "others", or is it something you keep doing? It's not as if I'm the only one who notices this.

I'd recommend consideration of Ramana's admonition to his devotees to "mind the business for which you have come". We did not come here for petty squabbles of a personal nature. We came here, I assume, to consider the dharma of advaita. Why not just return to that? Will our egos allow such a motive to override our personal pettiness?

In that vein, I'm not sure what your criticism of my analysis of the fish analogy addresses, other than point out that Kabir and Papaji have used the analogy. But what is your understanding of it, and what do you actually object to in my analysis? THe point being that it's not enough merely to point out that we are like fish swimming in water, complaining of thirst, in that we are also, for some unconscious reason, unable to actually drink this water without considerable self-understanding and opening of the "knots" we have tied in our own consciousness. So yes, the situation is absurd, but there are real consequences to our absurdities that must be overcome. Kabir and Papaji would both acknowledge that, I think.

Bookworm said...

Haramurthy

"I mean... an "Emotionalised Grid of Orientation"
What on earth is one of those?
I hope I haven't got one."

Don't worry, dear bookworm, you haven't got any.
It arises first on higher stages of evolution.」-

Thank God for that Haramurthy.
I have enough problems arising from my lowly stage of evolution
without having to deal with an
"Emotionalised Grid of Orientation"
as well.

Bookworm said...

Ravi

'Friends,Where are we right now? Is it Desire for the SELF or Desirelessness that will take us towards Self Realisation?'

Maharshi: Realisation is already there. The state free from thoughts is the only real state. There is no such action as Self Realisation. Is there anyone who is not realising the Self? Does anyone deny his own existence? Speaking of realisation, it implies two selves - the one to realise, the other to be realised. What is not already realised, is sought to be realised. Once we admit our existence, how is it that we do not know our Self?
D.: Because of the thoughts - the mind.

Haramurthy said...

Ravi asked:

"Where are we right now? Is it Desire for the SELF or Desirelessness that will take us towards Self Realisation?"

Neither --- only Viveka.

David Godman said...

Haramurthy said...

Ravi asked:

"Where are we right now? Is it Desire for the SELF or Desirelessness that will take us towards Self Realisation?"

Neither --- only Viveka.

***

Only the Self-abidance wherein one shines free of affliction will cut asunder all the bonds engendered by the non-Self. Discrimination [viveka], which differentiates between the unreal and the real that is one’s own nature, is [only] an aid to immaculate desirelessness. Guru Vachaka Kovai, verse 769)

Question: Has the discrimination between reality and unreality [sat asat vicharana] the efficacy in itself to lead us to the realisation of the one imperishable?

Bhagavan: As propounded by all and realised by all true seekers, fixity in the supreme spirit [Brahmanishta] alone can make us know and realise it. It being of us and in us, any amount of discrimination [vivechana] can lead us only one step forward, by making us renouncers, by goading us to discard the seeming [abhasa] as transitory and to hold fast to the eternal truth and presence alone.(Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no. 29)


Question: Is mukti to be had by mere discrimination between the real and the unreal or are there other means for the ending of bondage?

Bhagavan: Abidance in the Self alone releases one from all bonds. Discrimination between the real and the unreal leads to non-attachment.(Sri Ramana Gita, 1.4 and 1.10)

Ravi said...

Bookworm/Haramurthy,
Thanks very much.

Ravi said...

MahaDevi,
"there woz a tear,ok, i'm no stone,but ofcoz i understand"
Friend,this is only human and happens to all of us.Actually I did revisit some of my earlier posts(long before I posted the one addressed to you) and Failed to connect,except may be a few!What I wrote was on that basis.
Thanks very much for your Love and understanding.
Wish you the very Best.

Ravi said...

David,
Thanks very much.
Namaskar.

Haramurthy said...

David, quoting above Bhagavan’s words, makes us aware of the importance of distinguishing between sad-asad-viveka, as the presupposition that takes us closer “towards Self Realisation” (this being what Ravi asked about), and final “Abidance in the Self” (brahma- or atmanishtha).

Sad-asad-viveka thus corresponds to drg-drshya-viveka, the discrimination between pure awareness and mind, also referred to as the discrimination between Self and non-self. This presupposition of viveka for coming closer at all to Abidance in the Self –- where finally no doubt any longer necessitates the counteragent viveka --- has been addressed in Bhagavan’s Nan Yar as well as for example, to provide a reference to an excellent classical source, in the prose part of Shankaracharya’s Upadeshasahasri (here in the form of a staged Satsang-dialogue between guru and shishya).

Broken Yogi said...

From previous interactions with David, I think he's made it quite clear that Ramana's teaching differs substantially from traditional advaita in regards to the role of discrimination. In summary, Ramana's view seems to be that discrimination is simply not the way to realize or abide in reality. The actual practice of self-enquiry is not an exercise of the discriminative mind, even of the discrimination between mind and pure awareness. In other words, the act of self-enquiry does not try to see any difference between these two, instead it constantly redirects attention to its source, which is quite different from creating a discriminitve distinction between awareness and mind. Ramana says, basically, that using the discriminitive mind in that fashion actually reifies the sense of "difference", and makes lberation from the mind that much more difficult, since it is this sense of separation and difference that is the very root of the problem. Self-enquiry, rather than continuing that approach of differentiating oneself from the mind and its objects, pays them no attention, and simply points back to the source of one's own awareness. This bypasses the discriminitive mind, rather than feeding it, and thus it leads to the destruction of the mind, rather than merely to its purification.

It's an interesting topic, and I would hope that at some point David is able to address it with his considerable knowledge of Ramana's teachings.

Bookworm said...

Haramurthy

Why do you defend and place so much importance and emphasis on
method, practice and Special Agent
Viveka.

'Haramurthy Wrote:
David, quoting above Bhagavan’s words, makes us aware of the importance of distinguishing between sad-asad-viveka, as the presupposition that takes us closer “towards Self Realisation” (this being what Ravi asked about), and final “Abidance in the Self” (brahma- or atmanishtha).Sad-asad-viveka thus corresponds to drg-drshya-viveka, the discrimination between pure awareness and mind, also referred to as the discrimination between Self and non-self. This presupposition of viveka for coming closer at all to Abidance in the Self –- where finally no doubt any longer necessitates the counteragent viveka.'



Haramurthy...it is all 'mind/intellect stuff' and Special Agent Viveka is disposable.
Being (it's a Heart thing) is what is important.

I mean... can you come closer to Self?
How far away from ...Self or the Being you are ...are you Haramurthy.

It is the mind/intellect that discriminates and you know what Ramana used to say about the mind.

Just Be (it's a Heart thing)

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

In answer to an earlier question by Broken Yogi, on how will I get rid of my overflowing desire? By realizing the Self.

Through intense, intense meditation, struggles I've in the last couple days had moments where my mind has completely subsided and I've abided in a thoughtless effortless state. i did not have that prior.

My mediation is intense, because the inability to fulfill my Vasana-Desires through outward action, I have absolutely no choice, but to go inward, dive in, grab the pearl, adn realize the Self, and that is exactly what I'm going to do, adn it will happen soon (soon is relative).Granted these are just words.

Because I've fallen into a full nondual awareness as much as I ever have in the last couple days, it is perhaps possible, that I should somehow find some Sincere Teacher to help me stabilize this growing tendency, but perhaps not, since I intend to carry out Inquiry til the bitter end. But this is a new stage. I had no genuine experiences of "falling" in effortlessly to Samadhi for any length of time prior to yesterday evening. So far it's in short bursts, and as in the case of earlier today, deeper and very powerful vasanas were unleashed I suppose they were stored in the Heart, and then I worked through those, and felt extremely clear, but I'm still, very much, not realized. But come on, I don't care what anybody says, I'm gonna. Because I have to, because I have no choice, because my Vasanas hit such an utter dead end as far as their fulfillment in the World, and I can only guess that some force, call him/her God, set it up just right, with just the right ammount of Asperger's Autism to give me no choice. Before Haramurthy chimes in, with the brilliant, but unnecessary correction that this is my own narrative. Correct. But I'm not worried about my chances in regards to Meditation Practice, Not At All! However, I do want to Stress that it is possible to Realize the Self through Inquiry, carried out to the bitter end, it will awaken the necessary grace. I will realize the Self, or Surrender til their is no longer any trace of I. I will now forget these words, they will have the effect they are supposed to, or not that they are not. I don't mean any of this arrogantly, and I'm not worried about turning out to be wrong. That has nothing to do with my motivation, which is to be free. Next, I probably will write posts with a whole new slew of Vasanas, that motivated me to write, but I clearly, clearly get what is involved now.

Ravi said...

Broken(Integrated)Yogi,
Friend,Viveka and Vairagya are just two sides of the same coin-Discrimination is simply the perception of what is 'Fleeting and hence not of permanent value'-hence disposable.Vairagya is non attachment to the disposable.When the mind is emptied of the Disposables,what is indisposable remains.This is the Self.In other words Mind-Disposables =Self.The Pure Mind is the Self.
Self Enquiry is possible only after the mind has disposed of the Vasanas(Disposables)to a considerable degree.
Viveka does not at all mean differentiating between the SELF and the nonself."Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? "-Jesus,The Christ.(My Master is very fond of this!).

Viveka and Vairagya has to be part of any path,including what Sri Bhagavan Taught.They simply help the Sadhaka to perceive things as they are and not to assign them an inordinate and disproportionate VALUE;as this is what diverts the attention from true Being,SELF.
It is simply the process of shifting the attention from the Gross to subtle,finally abiding in the Self.
Self Abidance means that the Attention is merged in the Self whereas previously it remained distracted.Nothing new was attained,nothing ever was lost before this.

Best Regards.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

There is a sense of progress in Inquiry, or should I say surrender, for me it is both. I'm surrendering any sense of wanting something to be a certain way. But the most profound sense of surrender that triggered the earlier falling in today was that even if I look weird in class with my eyes closed, I'm surrendering, totally, this class is a dream. Surrndering until there is no doubt it is a dream. Doing my best, but a dream. After I wrote what I wrote, I went to this cafe that I frequent. I went because the barrista was a woman that I so have the hots for. We've had a couple of moments lately of shy eye contact, realize I've never been successful in this biz, way too shy, in my head. There were a few moments where I acted in a magical way that was courageous, but guided like a magnet, not purposefully doing anything. I wrote on my shirt, "Asperger's Autism is a trip", just so that when I approached her to buy something it was obvious. Because she clearly gets shy when ever I pass her (even though she is not shy). What do you know, i ran into someone I know a decade ago (yeah, fancy that!!!! My previous surrendering had nothing to do with that!!!!), and we sit down together, and he tells me that she's "facinated" by me. I guess he noticed. There was grace, and natural eye contact with the barrista (something as an individual I'm bad at, but guided by higher forces, it's easier, with no agenda) The thing is I know that whenever I do something, be the doer, nothing can happen. So it's on providence, on the Universe. Do I want to passionately kiss her, yes! But this is an example, everything, everything about this situation, the Universe is saying, "I'll reward you, but only if you go within, only if you get Enlightened, then you can have the Ice cream shake, the Externa Love, teh dreamy eye contact, the sensuous kissing". So as you can see, I'm no different then anybody else, but the way the situation is arranged, gives me only one choice. Connection, love, is only inside, I see it so clearly. If I want something, if I think about wanting something, if I go with the Vasana, no chance. So because of this, I am going to get Enlightened, and I will in this lifetime, because it's my only Hope. I'm on Fire, I'm running for the nearest pond, and I'm going to put out this fire. I'm sorry, if you're not on the Getting enlightened boxcar, I'm leaving you in the dust, because I'm going to ASAP and tahts just the facts. Call me Cocky! But I am a Jnani sometime in this Lifetime, because I've been left with nowhere else to turn, probably fatefully, but not a naturally spiritual person, although I think church's are gorgeus. And if being Realized, will make one famous, or not, I don't care, I have no choice, I want love. Love is within. I'm not deluded it's without, even the without kind, I can only get it if I know about the within kind. I'm just spared the bad relationship conflict, and physical affection that goes with it. But good! Everything will be deeper because of it. I can just imagine, if I was left with somewhere else to turn, some hope of External Fulfillment, Glorious Relationships, how my allegiance would be divided. But thats just silly. Only with notions such as The Previously mentioned Renunciation, does that make sense. In light of Renounce the Renouncer, the best chance of living a fulfilling life, is to not even be existent to live a fulfilling life, there everything will happen magically because it will be dictated by Fate, The Self. Synchronicity, glorified by the New Age, Celistine Prophecy. well, that Synchronicity is simply more proof that anyone's best possible hope is to Renounce the Renouncer. However if I was seeing rewards for my external efforts, I may put up for a miserably shallow existence with a few pleasures. As it is, that eye contact with that person at that cafe, even if I had to be an individual to really recognize it, was far more romantic, then any ammount of ordinary passionate relationships, with their kissings, sometimes sex. If i were to say that I wouldn't realize the Self in this lifetime, or that I had a doubt that I would, it would be untrue. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will realize the Self in this lifetime. And I don't fear saying it. Because for me the sense of Illusion, Maya, is so clearly harmful, that energy exchanged between me and that person I was crushed out on. I don't buy that Sexuality, and Romance are unspiritual. There was Grace in that Exchange. Like the Jnani and the Dancer. But when that Energy is killed by my own thinking ego. It's the only reason many people remain as individuals is just for that PassionRomance, although it seems they can stifle the energy that I experienced, and live with some meagre husk of love between people, a frail acting out, like a shadow of the real thing. Paling in comparison to the Love between Ramana and Muraganar writing verses together. Whenever I've had romantic energy it feels like that, but my thinking, my considerations, what should I do, stifle that natural flow of Silent Communication, Mauna communication. I'm unstifling that flow, Call me a Jnani when I do it, I don't care, thats not what I'm in for, but I will unstifle it. First i'm doing my homework though.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Ravi, friend, you are right. Even though you are right, and what I just wrote is full of assigning too much VALUE, recognized. This is just more Vasana, but still the overaching meaning of what I said, I cannot take back. This has been an ongoing thread throughout my Innquiry, nothing new, and I have no doubts about it. Not that you were critical, but I just noticed that what you said, was what I just did. The key is, it doesn't matter what I say, what I think in a moment my Vasanas take precedence. I'm reeling it back in. I'm doing what it takes, I'm going to Surrender completely, even if I still have a few more partial practice sessions. I'm in it for the Gold Medal. And even there I get the joke. I'm just using verbal communication, in the ridiculous awkward way it functions, it can't touch on Jnana, it can't touch on Mauna, so it doesn't really matter. This is just like going down on the slide on the playground, being infatuated with words. The previous assertion had nothing to do with Evidence, but simply what I said, I don't have a choice. And Inquiry, Surrender isn't that hard, technically. If the things I could do otherwise are few and dwindling, then anyone would realize the Truth under such harsh conditions. I will realize the Truth, as I said soon. I won't take it back. U can't make me. (kidding). The simple truth is, I'm going to choose to be happy, I'm going to choose to go to the root of connection. When it's total, people can try to do something silly like build an ashram over it. Ha! Maharshi said it best, why rely on anyone else, "the best devotee is a sage!" I'm just following his advise, because it makes sense and it's the most practical. Maybe I should add, not an Intellectual Sage, but a Visceral Sage, Knowing as Opposed to Acquiring more Thoughts.

Ravi said...

Scott,
"The simple truth is, I'm going to choose to be happy"
Wish you all Happiness and Peace.
Best Regards.

Broken Yogi said...

Ravi,

I agree with you that viveka and vairagya are important. The question is, how are they to be cultivated? Ramana's view, as I understand it, is that cultivating them directly is actually counter-productive, in that by doing so one actually weakens the mind and inadvertently fixates it upon the unreal. One of the most intriguing statements Ramana has made is that, in order for self-enquiry to succeed, the mind must become very, very strong and pure. Asked how we make the mind strong and pure, he said "by not using it". He said that using the mind made the mind weak, whereas by not using it, the mind becomes strong.

This is one of the reasons he was against trying to develop discrimination and renunciation. Exercising the mind in this way actually weakens it. Instead, he recommends self-enquiry, the pure act of turning attention back on its source. This activity does not require any exercise of the discriminitve mind, it merely uses attention itself. One does not try to differentiate between self and other, or self and world, or self and objects. One does not try to renounce one's fixation upon objects, others, or world, as in vairagya. Instead, by simply turning attention upon its source, both viveka and vairagya are developed naturally, by not trying to develop them at all. The mere act of self-enquiry itself naturally leads to both viveka and vairagya, without any effort being expended in that direction.

This is why Nisargadatta referred to his teaching as "nisarg yoga", meaning "natural yoga". He too felt that the best way to approach all this was to give attention to the "I am" and let everything else come naturally. It's not that this eliminates viveka and vairagya from one's life. Quite the contrary, it results in them becoming stronger and purer. One naturally begins to see that the world is not real, that only the Self is real. One naturally begins to renounce the life of the mind, of objects, etc. But one does not forcibly separate oneself from the world or objects. The renunciation is of the mind itself, and while that can be expressed outwardly, it is done so in a natural fashion, rather than by fighting one's vasanas.

In order to practice discrimination and renunciation, one has to give attention to the very thing one is discriminating oneself from or renouncing. But if one simply turns attention to the Self and meditates on the feeling of self, discrimination and renunciation arise naturally as one becomes more and more absorbed in the Self. The mind becomes strong and pure simply by not doing anything at all, because that is its natural state.

Bookworm said...

Ravi

"Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? "-Jesus,The Christ.(My Master is very fond of this!).

Ravi
Shouldn't that be?

"Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? "-Jesus.Christ.(My Master who is such an embarrassment to me I cannot name...is very fond of this!).

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Can social cluelessness take one all the way to Self-Realization? Apparently, I believe so. I must have made some error, because that person (the barrista) I mentioned in the last thing I wrote, said hi to me, but int the most superior, mean-spirited way today. So I have no idea. Despite my friend from a decade ago saying she was looking at me in a "fascinated" kind of way.

When my romantic ambitions hit a brick wall before they even have a chance to begin, I mean, listen to me, I'm incredibly nice, and earnest, non-invasive. Or it's the personality I've learned, is an incredibly nice, caring one, humbled beyond belief, beyond most people I know, because the world's been rough to it. So because of that, when I feel that arrow to the heart of some kind of rejection or other, I just let it go, turn within. What is going to happen is going to happen, what is not is not, like Maharshi, a life long celibate himself said, although whether by choice, has always struck me somewhat ambiguous. (sorry if that is offensive to anyone to speculate on the matter of such a saint)

I'm 29, I dress pretty fashionably (An Asperger's specialist advised me to dress teh fashion of the subcultures I frequent), and I believe fit the standard for look for Portland Hipsters and am physically attractive, but my social inabilities are Huge! I've gotten lots of flirty eye contact, but some awareness of the way people communicate non-verbally is necessary for those kind of relationships and experiences, or if some of the people here are more traditional or from traditional cultures, marriage. I've kissed twice, that is the limits of my love life. I would think that even in traditional cultures, love is pretty much the same, there may be different rules of conduct, but the rules of courtship trascend culture to a large extent, are unwritten, and biological.

Because of that, and those are my only pending desires (but Big!!!), i have nothing to hold onto. How can I be Unrealized? I try to be Unrealized, I do anti-Inquiry and I am going to suffer so bad. (Trust me, I get immediate emotional admonishment the moment I even touch Anti-Inquiry) That doesn't appear to be the case for most people, although I'm admittedly generalizing. Because of this, what is hard for most people realizing Nonduel consciousness is probably easy for me (relatively) and I will win the Gold Medal, permanent Jnana, and what is easy for others, (relatively) non-verbal social communication is near impossible for me. That is an irony! So that is why, I can't set a date, but I'm pretty sure in this lifetime I will realize the Self, or what others label with those terms. (hopefully I'll be a little happier about it then U.G.) Obviously the one talking is somewhat Ego! This isn't coming from Mauna what I'm writing. So the one who talks about Realization will probably go before REalization transpires. But that will go, whether I want it to or not, because the illusory world is going to do it in. It did Maharshi's in, it's going to do mine in. I don't want to be Enlightened really. I want passionate love affairs, but that desire has to have some hope of fulfillment some reason for existing, some pay off for me to continue abiding in it. And fear of death, the only other big Obstacle to Realization. Well, the I-thought only wants to live for passionate love affairs. Although a Western Counselor would probably tell me this is normal, I don't know whether it is or not. I don't know if it comes accross, but my Inquiry has been so deep lately, that I'm relatively dispassionate, and even see some humor in this situation, a little bit of worry still, "did I do something wrong?" I certainly didn't do something creepy. But maybe she liked me and wanted me to say something to her. Truth is, I get it, this is a stranger I'm talking about, I could really care less what she thinks of me, but the part of me that wants to function in the world, wants to love others in an intimate way, cringes at it's failure in every such situation. I know this is personal, but this is the low down truth, of why I believe I will become Enlightened in this lifetime, and why I'm so dilligent and intense about my Inquiry and have been from the moment I started. And I don't think that's ordinary to be put in that position. But I think about all the victims of horrendous abuse, horrendous situations, why aren't there more Jnanis among their number? Or aren't there? Why aren't there more women that were sexually abused, that because of the humility, trauma it instilled in them, learned to not identify with the body or the bad circumstances, and the situations it is in. Prison inmates. Holocaust survivers. Logically, I would expect more jnanis coming from difficult situations, because they are forced to disidentify. Kind of like how a Nightmare wakes someone up. I feel that is what is happening to me now. "My life" is a nightmare, so I'm in that stage where I realize I'm dreaming, but still can't seem to make myself wake up, and am struggling with my bed sheets to open my eyes. But has anyone once there dream has gotten so terrifying, failed to wake up. I will wake up. Probably, in the next year, I would not be surprised. But for totally different reasons then Lakshmana Swami, or Annamalai Swami, Maharshi. They were like light sleepers. There dreams weren't bad, they were just easily woken up, maybe the cat stepped on their leg, and they woke up to purring, happy. And most people are deep sleepers, but leave in neutral to pleasent dreams, with the occasional bad turn, or more then bad turn. But it's not bad all around, one to abort. Isn't that an interesting analogy, and if it doesn't hold true, I wonder why. Ravi said that emotional instability becomes emotional stability before Realization. While that makes sense, the strongest people I've known, teh most emotioanlly stable often are those with the most terrible lives. Of course because they are stable, they aren't terrible now. But some of the most stable rocks of people I've known have had horrible abuse violence in their past. Like me, I'm not completely emotionally stable, but I in some ways am alot less flabergasted by troubles, and find it easier to turn away because I've dealt with it, I have an easier time disidentifying from a terrible situation, because I'm used to it. And if nothing else, its' like the batting cages, I get lots of balls thrown my way. I eventually get good at hitting. And same with my Inquiry, I eventually got better and figure out how to make it work, to start to see things from the nonduel point of view, to clear the obstacles to seeing that life is abotu as significant as a dream. I'm writing this partly because I like to write, partly because I find it intellectually fascinating, and partly because parts of this others might find inspiring, and it's sure a more human down to earth approach to these spiritual matters. And David Godman, if he finds any of this intersting, then it was more then worth it to me.

Maharshi certainly struck me as having a dash of autism, he even has classic symptoms such as being uncomfortable with touch.

Ravi said...

Broken Yogi,
"In order to practice discrimination and renunciation, one has to give attention to the very thing one is discriminating oneself from or renouncing. "

This is actually a simple process,and is not something attempted deliberately as an exercise or Practice.This is as simple as seeing things as they are, in the course of our daily dealings-be it relationships,be it any acquisition of anything, or parting with anything.No SPECIAL ATTENTION is ever needed,just simple observation and understanding.There is no analysis or comparison.
"Not using the Mind"-simply means not employing Thought that analyses,compares,infers,concludes.To observe something is different than to think about it.Just seeing the thing as it is,and understand it as it is.Not getting Preoccupied with it.
Just reminded of the this story-How to catch a Stork?When the sun is hot,quietly approach the Stork,just place a lump of butter on its head.The Heat of the sun will melt the butter and this would then enter the eye of the stork and temporarily blind it.Now move quickly and grab hold of the stork!Now if one can place a lump of butter on the stork's head,one may as well catch it in the first place.Likewise,if one can do Self Enquiry properly,it simply means that one's mind is already tamed to a great degree.It simply means that Viveka and Vairagya are already there.They operate in Tandem.
Pure Mind is the Self.

Best Regards.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Broken Yogi, that makes sense. The more I use the mind, the more it becomes weak, and divided. When I don't use it, when it does get used it is incredibly strong, the actions are incredibly powerful, and courageous.

I've felt that a little lately, that actions that are extremely courageous for my normal level of comfort, I consider doing, more then I have. Because the mind is stronger, by not being used.

For me, the temptation is to go with the emotion-filled vasanas, but a gentle turning away back to the one who is having them, and there is a powerful energy that is gathered it seems, the energy that is the only energy that could possibly "solve" the problems anyhow, rather then concentrating onthem and worrying about them. But the difficulty is believing that.

And also I kind of let, insofar as it is possible the feelings sink in, because they are part of that connection with the current, or closer to it.

Only in the last few, have I actually felt a willingness to do the "courageous" Thing that didn't take quite the effort, just being drawn to the courageous action wihtout concern for the consequences to me. Some of the vasanas have weakened enough. While it was probably silly my speculating on when I will become realized, as if it is something to become. These are the reasons I'm doing Inquiry, trying to be still (summa iru), because it actually causes my body, my actions to be the appropriate actions instead of the cowardly, neurotic ones. Maybe that is what Ravi meant by emotional stability.

For instance the barrista, in the past, I would have been scared off, but I consider actually asking her what was going on, or just doing something different, less cowardly and neurotic. But ultimately, the thing that takes the least amount of consideration and thought which just weaken the mind, make it more dualistic.

As the vasanas weaken, I get drawn to the most appropriate courageous actions, while there still may be thought involved, and these may or may not be proper actions of the Self, of someone uninfected with the "I am the body" idea. They are closer. Ultimately, and a hard part is giving up the desires, with their intense cravings for.

I talked to someone, a friend who is a Heroin addict recently, and we talked that over, ultimately they are advanced enough, probably more advanced then me, that I didn't need to condescend about disidentifying with the person with the habit. That is something that they already do to some degree, but in some ways I thought Heroin which is to my mind a pretty severe habit, is a good analogy for giving up desire and fear. Ironically, the more I give up desire, the more likely that my ex-desires will get fulfilled. Isn't that ironic? Maybe they were pending. (kidding)

There is also the issue of memory. Memory of all the cowardly, neurotic actions that led to a less dynamic, interesting, life. Regret because I wasn't in tune. Well any sage, Maharshi would say to forget the past right. So I don't have to worry about all those women I liked but was too shy around.(sorry, this is my parabdha I guess)

I just have to dive as deep within, but as I said, it appears that is the solution to all problems, because it is the source of the most appropriate solutions since the problem arose from the Self in the first place, where else but there would you find the most appropriate solution. Lest I get into the "living being" hypothesis of Broken Yogi's. (kidding) I guess I'm saying, that it seems the body will get carried through it's destiny most elegantly, if the I-thought, the illusory personality is relinquished. And any feeling of renouncing in doing so is misplaced. I now see that Haramurthy was wrong, it is not a prescription of a sugar coated bitter pill.

Abiding within as the Self, is the least ascetic, lest Self-denying place one could abide. Not having any burdens, is greater then any pleasure, and the body will act most appropriately and courageously in the human world, without a doer keeping it in shackles.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf;

I wonder about the fact that for me, my struggles with Inquiry are imbued with my own somewhat heroic at times struggles with difficult personal circumstances.

Is that the same for others? I'm all for people's intellectual discussions, and clarifications, but it sometimes reminds me of questions put to Maharshi in talks. What is the difference between this and that kind of samadhi? questions without peronal investment. This is not a criticism, but just an intersting phenomena I notice.

I can't talk about Maharshi, Inquiry, or anything relating to it, without putting a personal anecdote into the story because otherwise it would make no sense without that context. Infact I only looked in the "spiritual" direction to cope with overwhelming odds against me in all theatres of life, and Inquiry found me, I didn't find it, because i wasn't looking for practices. In a way, I can joke, it's like Maharshi saved the day in the knick of time.

The only reason I bring this up, is sometimes the intensity of what I'm bringing to the table seems to be alienated from the more "intellectual" discussions that others are having. I would like to find a way to be more involved in those intellectual discussions without giving up the intensity, the personal anecdotes involved in my experiences.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Sorry, I'm just bubbling over on this topic, desire, and it's relationship to realization.

It's unusual that external desire drives me inward. Not Desire for the Self, but desire for external love, relationships with others, drives me into the Self. Like now, although writing, my mind is pretty still, easily stilled.

I can almost easily "not think". But why am I doing it? To be spiritual, to somehow commune?

In a sense yes. But I want to be able to be amorous with people who are romantically attracted to me. I want to be able to love others, and how can i do it, if I'm not coming from a still place? I realize of course atleast intellectually that this means I'm going to have to give up the concept of lower case self and others.

Again, this is why, how can I not realize the Self, if I even shorchange a Full Awareness of Non-Duality, if my mind survives, I'm not going to be able to love others, or be loved by others. But of course in that place there are no others to love.

That is why my motivation, seems odd, unheard of. Yet the sincerity, the earnestness with which I'm attempting to shut down the mind's survival, or realize it's non existence is big. And it's because the driving force, is a huge incentive. Regardless of the ebb and flow of vasanas, thats why I'm pretty confident my mind cannot survive this present existence. I want it to, I want my external desires to be fulfilled.

I speculate that there could be some force, some being, or just the flow of the natural universe that set up the fate I'm currently existing in this body, to give me no other choice. Don't worry, even if I were to realize, I truly am not looking for some Self-Aggrandizing vision of talking about my "glorious purpose and visions" and charging $30 for Satsangs at my Penthouse. I don't really want to be Realized, But I just don't see any choice but to shut my mind down, come what may. And thats why I believe I'll be successful even if grace is necessary, because the motivation is so huge. I see love as being only in Realization. I'm driven toward Realization like toward passionate love, because I equate the two. If I didn't feel that strongly about it, I wouldn't be so dilligent about pulling back from Vasanas. And while the mind can't destroy the mind, as I've experienced many times, it's hold is fragile, and denied it's objects, it will fall in. I don't really want to be Gnani, but I do want to be entirely in touch, so that I know my actions are entirely appropriate to every situation, because I've watched myself botch so many up, it's like I'm giving it all up, all up to God, to Providence, to Bhagavan, because I don't want it any longer. The burdens attached were way too huge living in this body, too huge for me to take on, so I'm giving up all burdens.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

It's kind of like the bull fighters, with the red cape to use a bad example. It's like this mirage that romantic love, desire fulfilled lives in giving up desires, is driving me on like a mad-person toward Self-REalization.

Sankarraman said...

In the Benedictory verse of "Ulladu Narpathu," Bhaghavan says: "Other than Being how or where is Knowledge of Being. Since Being exists in itself, admitting of nothing alien to it, who is or how is one to know it. To be is to be aware of it." In this crisp statement Bhghavan has brought into clear relief the entire burden of Vichara Marga, which consists in only abiding in oneself, the pure I am, instead of meditating on something alien, and waiting for something to happen. This crisp statement also satisfies the advaita ontology of atman and brahman being one and the same. Whereas the traditional vedanta is somewhat objective, prescribing some meditations, Bhghavan's approach is intensly subjective. His emphasis is more on the I than That, lest there should be some duality, and the idea that the end of the quest is coming upon something alien to oneself. That is why Bhghavan did not advocate meditation practices on Mahavakyas. In the traditional parlance also there is a distinction between knowlege and meditation. Whereas the former is an object of valid cognition, meditation is something like superimposing some characteristics on something and meditating on it. Tradition says that meditation can be done, not done or improperly done, whereas knowledge has no such choice. Here even though the eternal nature of oneself is explained very clearly, the method of practice is not very clearly delineated. On the other hand Bhghavan has given us a clear-cut method. Lectures of persons like Dayananda would help one to acquire an ability to indulge in sophistry as their philosophy is based very much on diallectics, which is not the case with the utterances of Bhaghavan. A man who expects much knowledge from Bhghavan will be dissatisfied, as he is interested only in filling his brains with new ideas with a view to outwitting others in arguement. In a place U.G.Krishnamurti very clearly says that all so called sadhaks have only the aim to advance their theories, calling those of others as inferior.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

To share it with you, friends, from our contemporary vedanta master Raphael:

ASPARSAYOGA

A. Is yoga, then, not used for Advaita Vedanta?

Raphael: The yoga that rests upon psycho-physical aspects, Advaita goes beyond it; there is no yoga higher than comprehension.

He whose mind and heart are fused and pointed at comprehending goes directly to the center of Being. Yet Advaita does have, if I may use the expression, its own yoga which is called Asparsayoga.

Asparsa means without contact, without relations, without support. It is a yoga which is experienced by means of that threefold knowledge we have been talking about. Thus, it is a very specific yoga.

Brahman or the Absolute has no supports, because the Absolute rests upon itself alone; being One-without-a-second it cannot have any relation with anything. Therefore, Asparsayoga is the appropriate yoga for Brahman nirguna; it is the yoga of Non-duality; it is the yoga of the true sanyasin.

A. Who invented this yoga?

R. It was not invented, it is described in the Upanisads but the person who made it known was Gaudapada.

Gaudapada, under the influence of the Narayana Principle itself, revealed this yoga to men eagerly looking for Knowledge-realization. He immortalized it in the karika-verses which he added to the Mandukya Upanisad and which, in turn, were commented by the great Teacher Sankara. Thus, this Upanisad is extremely important for the non-dualistic Vedanta, because the two greatest exponents of Non-dualism converge here to codify and co-ordinate what we might call Advaita-asparsa, just as Patañjali co-ordinated the classical Rajayoga. Today this yoga is still taught by those disciples scattered around the world and who are linked to the chain or the asram of Gaudapada and Sankara, but they are just a few.

.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf;

I wonder about the fact that for me, my struggles with Inquiry are imbued with my own somewhat heroic at times struggles with difficult personal circumstances.

Is that the same for others? I'm all for people's intellectual discussions, and clarifications, but it sometimes reminds me of questions put to Maharshi in talks. What is the difference between this and that kind of samadhi? questions without peronal investment. This is not a criticism, but just an intersting phenomena I notice.

I can't talk about Maharshi, Inquiry, or anything relating to it, without putting a personal anecdote into the story because otherwise it would make no sense without that context. Infact I only looked in the "spiritual" direction to cope with overwhelming odds against me in all theatres of life, and Inquiry found me, I didn't find it, because i wasn't looking for practices. In a way, I can joke, it's like Maharshi saved the day in the knick of time.

The only reason I bring this up, is sometimes the intensity of what I'm bringing to the table seems to be alienated from the more "intellectual" discussions that others are having. I would like to find a way to be more involved in those intellectual discussions without giving up the intensity, the personal anecdotes involved in my experiences.

Bookworm said...

Ravi

"Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? "-Jesus,The Christ.(My Master is very fond of this!).

Ravi
Shouldn't that be?

"Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? "-Jesus.Christ.(My Master who is such an embarrassment to me I cannot name...is very fond of this!).

Bookworm said...

Haramurthy

Why do you defend and place so much importance and emphasis on
method, practice and Special Agent
Viveka.

'Haramurthy Wrote:
David, quoting above Bhagavan’s words, makes us aware of the importance of distinguishing between sad-asad-viveka, as the presupposition that takes us closer “towards Self Realisation” (this being what Ravi asked about), and final “Abidance in the Self” (brahma- or atmanishtha).Sad-asad-viveka thus corresponds to drg-drshya-viveka, the discrimination between pure awareness and mind, also referred to as the discrimination between Self and non-self. This presupposition of viveka for coming closer at all to Abidance in the Self –- where finally no doubt any longer necessitates the counteragent viveka.'



Haramurthy...it is all 'mind/intellect stuff' and Special Agent Viveka is disposable.
Being (it's a Heart thing) is what is important.

I mean... can you come closer to Self?
How far away from ...Self or the Being you are ...are you Haramurthy.

It is the mind/intellect that discriminates and you know what Ramana used to say about the mind.

Just Be (it's a Heart thing)

Bookworm said...

Ravi

'Friends,Where are we right now? Is it Desire for the SELF or Desirelessness that will take us towards Self Realisation?'

Maharshi: Realisation is already there. The state free from thoughts is the only real state. There is no such action as Self Realisation. Is there anyone who is not realising the Self? Does anyone deny his own existence? Speaking of realisation, it implies two selves - the one to realise, the other to be realised. What is not already realised, is sought to be realised. Once we admit our existence, how is it that we do not know our Self?
D.: Because of the thoughts - the mind.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
""I have no rest, but in a nook, with the Book."
Wonderful!This evokes Feelings of Humility,Industry,Steadfastness!Very much akin to the Spirit of the Great 63 Saivaite Saints(Nayanmars,whose story Sri Bhagavan used to narrate with Great feeling)and the Alwars,Vaishnavite Saints who yearned to chant the Divine Name at the time of Departure from the Terra Firma and for Ever and Ever!No 'Rest in Peace' type of a cliche!

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I don't know about you all, but I'm going to stop playing saint as one of the people said.

"""True, Kabir as well as many other saints of the nirguna Sant tradition could be highly ironic and bitingly sarcastic in their pronouncements -- as could Poonjaji (contagiously) -- but to cheaply vilify this feature as "cockiness" is above all to deprive oneself of valuable insights into suggestive nuances of spiritual expressions.""""

That is a pretty good point, so never mind, I'm not going to villify anyone as cocky. truth is we all have alot to learn. If those statements are biting, sarcastic, and mean, I trust that everyone here can handle it, and if like me they can't, well then it's a good learning experience in not caring about other people's "states of mind", and worrying about my own Self-Awareness-ness. No longer will i try to judge whether someone is a "secret jnani", although it's so tempting for one as ignorant as me, to do that, with my overactive, though intricate imagination. Maharshi I noticed, didn't play up this "jnani/ajnani" difference as much as his devotees, did he? And wasn't trying to make it a far off goal. If It is one in a billion, a far off lottery that Realize the Self, how does knowing that help me to earnestly investigate what is true? Putting myself down as an ignorant jiva. (which admittedly I am) I'm not going to play these games which have nothing to do with bringing things back when my mind shoots out with it's arrogant projections, and abiding as I with nothing attached, no needs, no fears, happiness within. there I go playing saint again. My habitual addiction to sounding good, feigning a humility I hardly posess.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Now that I see the error of my ways, I can see that my initial intuition about Haramurthy's comments was correct, and that on this, the subject of renunciation, Broken Yogi was absolutely right about that elitist, cultlike point of view. And I'll trust that intuition over any "experience" I may have from any peace of writing in the future.

Haramurthy's writing wrongly or rightly, does have an arrogant streak that seems dangerous to me, manipulative, somewhat frightening. And I take back any good vibes that could come from such writing.

Maharshi as I said, never tried to make people feel stupid, I'll go with that, and in the future, not trust the words of someone who takes an abusive tone, that doesn't prop up the people they are talking to, because that garbage, verbiage is not a good road, but a dangerous one. Nonetheless I don't judge Haramurthy, but I'm just going to distance myself from that tone, those words, and take the lesson that trying to put others down, and make others feel dumb, and attack people's self-esteem is never a spiritual thing, or a good thing in any philosophy point of view that has a shred of decency to it, it's also a good sign that I'm NOT in the presence or talking to a jnani, because whatever may be said about Maharshi and he certainly as B.Y said did say that "householders are even more likely to become jnanis than sadhus" End of argument. If I ever jokingly make a critique count on that I'm that I'm trying to be in good humor, and not put down, because even my own illumination is not helped by people who abuse me. Never has. Just creates an insecure Ego, hinged on need for outside approval, been there done that

Reading power of presence for the first time, I'm even more in love with Maharshi then I ever have been before. So human, so powerful, so in touch, something I strive for is to be free of the illusions that seperate me from his state. The illusions that make me not feel the happiness within that is unaffected, untouched by the evil of this world, the cruelty, the megalomania, which I'm just as much prey to. I just joked to a friend I and every other human being is both Ghandi and Hitler at the same time. Ghandi when we're tapped into that source of happiness inside (so much so that a police baton is not a bother), Hitler when we are caught up in our illusions, and believe our line of logic is fact, and want to kill millions of people to validate our words, concepts.

Haramurthy, truly nothing personal. I'm so ignorant, I go between thinking someone is Enlightened, and then mean-spirited. That is why I shouldn't get caught up in my "meta-narratives" of others as you probaly full well know. But dive within, to where there are no others. No place to judge or be judged. I for one cannot judge.

Ravi said...

Ruaire,
"Ravi stop playing pretend Guru and just answer the question please."
Friend,what do you want to know?Please visit the 'Vichara' Thread in this Blog and you will find what you are seeking.It will tell you the Name of my Guru and more about him.Let me add that knowing about someone is different than knowing someone.So,give allowance for this difference.
Best Regards.

Haramurthy said...

Broken Yogi,

good that you seem to have stopped getting hooked up on takings things too personally in a somewhat self-defeating manner; don't worry about expressing criticism (didn't actually experience anything as being properly criticism, least of all at a personal level; may be something was missed; and didn't understand, how the word "devastating", which doesn't belong to my vocabulary, entered the room; perhaps there are different cultural subtexts at work).
You ask:

"What is the point of either post-modernism or advaita if we end up taking ourselves and our ideas so seriously that we lose the spirit of the whole affair?"

This mode of formulating your question already implies the answer to it.
But there may be other modes of seeing and experiencing one's engagement with spirit crystallised into language. In fact, intelligently performing a human life has much to do with appreciating and differentiating what has been literally and suggestively expressed in terms of linguistic symbols by other consciousnesses in different cultures at different times.
Depending on one's capacity, one may almost directly access what somebody, say a poet or philosopher, had expressed many centuries ago. Yet, of course, somebody endowed with learning and correlated capacities of reading (say, old Sanskrit texts) may get unhealthily identified and take the whole too seriously. On the other hand, someone lacking such capacities may deeply resent it and compensate his sense of inferiority with derisive articulations.

Ramana Maharshi became fluent in several languages and acquainted himself with the knowledge of many works, some of these difficult to understand even by specialised scholars. Both passively and actively he was an accomplished connoisseur (in Indian terms: a sahridaya) of various types of spiritual literature, not least of that written in old Tamil.
It is very much thanks to the literary accomplishments of David that we are presently becoming more and more aware of this fact. And David justly emphasises that we cannot properly understand Ramana without Muruganar. In connection with Muruganar he displayed expressive sides of himself that had disappeared from view until very recently. There was no-one else able so perfectly to reflect Ramana on so many different levels, while intimately collaborating with him, as did Muruganar. If anybody is entitled to be called a spiritual brother of Ramana, it is Muruganar; and happily he was a highly prolific poet (it sometimes being even difficult to tell, which formulation is Ramana's and which Muruganar's).
What we gather is this: good there is a raw diamond, the state of one's indestructible prime nature, but there is also the possibility of refinement, of allowing the diamond to assume many facets of shining beauty and intelligence.
What to do .... , if an awakened being cannot help overflowing with intricate (in form and meaning) poetic expressions ... and when the sahridaya-ship of another awakened one cannot help being moved to tears many centuries later.

Broken Yogi said...

Scott,

I feel no offense at anything you've said. I enjoy "disputations" even if they don't ultimately lead anywhere. They at least get me to focus attention on these teachings, which in itself is what brings me the inner peace you speak of. I don't think it helps to try to divine where our peace and blessings come from. In my view, it comes not from someone else's writings, but from the mere act of putting attention on matters of the Self. But you can sort that out for yourself. If you think one or another poster here is a secret jnani, or highly mature, or more intelligent than others, that is fine. I just don't see how it actually changes anything for you. You are still you, and you have to find out the truth for yourself, of yourself. And that of course is up to you. For me, I'm not much concerned about other people's state of mind. Clearly I have different responses to some people than you, and that's just the way it is. But I don't think any of our personal responses to one another really amount to anything of serious value. It only matters how we respond to ourselves. If we keep our personal attention there, it matters not what transpires in our dialog, and we can thus be free to speak our minds. I hold nothing against you for speaking your mind. It can be a good way to empty the mind, and see how meaningless the contents of our minds are. Don't you think?

Broken Yogi said...

Scott,

I think I'll let Haramurthy speak for himself. We are all jnanis posing as mere intellects.

What I would emphasize about the wisdom of Ramana's attitude about realization, is that it is not a matter of action, which of course is what karma means, but of renouncing mind and ego. This cannot be emphasized enough. To Ramana, there is no action which amounts to renunciation, regardless of the traditional attitude. Thus, looking at one's actions, or one's options for action, is futile and does nothing to resolve the matter or further one's renunciation. I of course feel that total renunciation is necessary, and that this renunciation is evident in all of the most serious practitioners and realizers. But it is not evident in their actions. Rather, it is evident in their minds. It is certainly true enough that the body follows the lead of the mind, but this does not mean that the actions of the body are where renunciation is to be found. To renounce mind and ego means to renounce action. It means to no longer see oneself as the sum of one's actions. It recognizes that all actions is only the mind.

It's like Hui Neng's comment about the flag. Maybe you know this story. Hui Neng overheard two monks arguing about a flag waving in the wind. One monk argued that it was the flag that was waving, the other than it was the wind that was waving. Hui Neng interruped and said, "It is your mind that waves". This approach clears up everything. One's actions are merely mind in movement - thought and desire, in other words. Renunciation of the body and world means nothing, because they are only the mind moving. So we have to take a step back and renounce the mind, renounce the ego, and not be concerned with our life in the world. We need to simply let our lives be at ease, not a battleground for either egoic attainment or renunciation of the ego. As long as we see the world and our actions in it as real and something to "renounce", we are only perpetuating the problem.

Regarding Papaji, of course I feel he was a genuine jnani, fully realized. But he did not sanction the traditional notion of renunciation either. In fact, he often said that one of the reasons he didn't live as a renunciate outwardly was because he had numerous past lives in which he lived as a sadhu, and to make up for that he lived this life as a householder. He pointed out that he had wasted his time in those past lives, confusing outer renunciation with the real thing. His renunciation had nothing to do with his karmas, his actions, which corresponded to those of a householder and businessman. Renouncing one's karmas doesn't mean changing one's actions and putting on a robe, it means renouncing the very idea that this is what matters. Once that is done, who knows what God has in store for us. We may become monks, we may become millionaires, it makes no difference. There is a power which then animates the body and lives us, and that produces our actions. It no longer has anything to do with our will or desires. It is, as Ramana says, God's will and God's desires then.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

"""""Even Papaji's first reaction to Ramana's instruction was to object to it. He felt he was too mature for what Ramana was saying."""""

Let that sink in, Broken Yogi, that was you, pointing you in the right direction. I had the same experience at Society For Abidance in Truth with Nome, oddly, I have it with Haramurthy's comments. Initially I objected to it, until my ignorance was sufficiently cleared to see where it was coming from. As Nome, said, although I agree with Ravi (beautifully innocent Ravi), trust Maharshi over anybody else, "Anger (kroda) is rooted in Desire which is rooted in avidya (ignorance)" You and Me, we're Papaji reacting negatively to Maharshi, because we can't see through the facade. Papaji just saw Maharshi as lazy, that's all he saw, until he had the Experience, and saw what was True! The facade in this case, is our own egos, and an illusion seen by our minds of Post-Modern, liberal arts college words. If you would like, like I always did, to know what would Maharshi say to me, how would he laugh at my ego, the ridiculous things i hold up as my self, the strained look holding up the tower, read Haramurthy's posts, and don't object to them, because i know you feel in your heart the way I did, but let them penetrate and cleanse you. Bookworm, that was what i thought. trust how you feel, not how your mind's react. Does it make you feel an itching guilt? Like I'm reacting with my ego, my ego is threatened, let it be threatened, let it be threatened so deeply that it never comes back. Make friends with the Self, it is our friends, not our "evil" minds, wanting to survive the onslaught. Maybe I'm mad, I'm the only one who sees it this way, but I look at everyone's reactions and it was the same as my initial one, what is different from me?

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I'm sorry delusional me, got confused, and thought Broken yogi was Haramurthy. I guess B.Y. is the advanced one. Haramurthy a mere beginner, novice. I, well I don't know what i am, I'm going to stay with that. It seems like the safest place. And I've got school work to do, How can I maintain the serenity of being nondual in a physics lab, Who hates physics labs?

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Broken Yogi, you are right. I am overflowing with something, is it desire for the Self? And it is an irony. To be quite honest, I'm not sure where I stand on this debate, but I also don't think it's a terribly important question (to me). It's obvious, that Surrendering, and finding that my sense of being an individual is illusory is the foremost goal. No, I don't think it's desire in the sense of there is a desier-er and a desired. (normally desire as I've heard it implies that) And if it is a feeling of desire, that the SElf evokes, why label it, if I'm already free of such duality? Such words. I only feel it when the sense of there being a subject and object is tenuous, I don't feel this sense of grace, what you call desire, when I'm immersed (fully) in the sense o f being an individual, a subject. As to whether this is post-modern Andrew Cohen, or classical advaita, I could care less since my goal is not to be "spiritual". I am trying to free myself of the narratives I trap myself in, that oppress me. I also don't think I'm qualified to evaluate Andrew Cohen's maturity, even though he reminds me of a car salesman that looks like Heraldo, (thats how he effects my easily prejudiced ego) it has nothing to do with me, and everything I think about him is just thought, imagination. Andrew Cohen as I know him is not a real entity but a figment I invented. Do we really want to abide in what we imagine, how we constrict, control, and oppress others, with what we think of them? Go for it.

How's that for postmodern, I did attend liberal arts college once? Should I quote Deleuze and Guattari, Derrida, Foucault? Use the word "liminal".

And Papaji, I wasn't sure about initially, but it was my mind and ego evaluating him, gossiping about him. Reading what David Godman had to say about Papaji, I changed my mind, key word mind. Something I'm trying to be done with, it's clearly delusional, when I'm an individual. The ego is powerless to know anything. Everything I think is wrong, because it is thought. And as to desire, desire in the sense of subject/object hasn't done me a whole lot of good. But this desire for the Self, but it's not really desire for the SElf, as desire to be free of my desires, my fears, my sense of being an individual in a world of individuals. I have no interest in co-opting, or culturally appropriating, no doubt my colonizing ancestors have done enough of that, the cultural relics of people in other parts of the world. So I try to steer clear of using alot of sanskrit in what I say. I'm not trying to be "advaita" or be "sadhu". I'm using the tools I got from Maharshi to free myself from what I wasn't free of, because it made alot of common sense. If people want to win intellectual arguments with eachother, so be it. I surrender, you win. I'll be the first to call myself "stupid, selfish, arrogant, wimpy, crazy, delusional" to disarm such accusations. Broken Yogi, as you said, your arguments were devestating, so were Haramurthy's but they were exactly that. Are they helping you? "there will be no end to disputations"--Bhagavan.

Anonymous said...

Everyone, please, I am not Haramurthy posting queries and points on the sly in this thread as Scott may have thought. I am here, as I was in my post above, as “UV”.

Broken Yogi,

You have stated something which I agree with:

***I do not regard Ramana's advice about renunciation as applying merely to beginners. It is often over-exagerated that Ramana had one teaching for beginners and another for the mature. This is really not the case. Yes, he gave some individuals one instruction based on their personal needs, and others quite opposite instructions, but that is generally on the level of practical matters, not genuinely spiritual matters. Most famously, when asked for a practice he always suggest self-enquiry, regardless of the maturity of the questioner. Most of his spiritual instructions were to be applied universally, regardless of the individual's maturity. Their maturity would only define how well they might be able to practice the instruction.***

But then in the context of desire you go on to say:

***He felt he was too mature for what Ramana was saying. Sooner or later, I think we all find out that this is not the case. And that is what I think is generally going here with those who object to Ramana's instruction on desire for the Self. The ego objects to it, thinking it is above such obvious dualisms.***

You are obviously supporting your position again – that is necessary to have a ‘conscious’ desire for the Self right till the very end for achieving Self-realization.

This creates confusion in me. My query is – in which context did Sri Ramana then give the instruction, ‘have no desire for the Self’? It is already shown that this teaching was given as often, if not more often, as was the teaching, ‘have a desire for the Self’. Why did Sri Ramana at all give such a useless instruction to anyone? If the desire for the Self is such a crucial and imperative need for Self-realization, and all that is required in a devotee, why give an opposite instruction which is likely to lead the devotee astray? What were the ‘personal needs’ of those devotees which required such an instruction from Sri Ramana? It cannot be that the instruction, ‘do not have a desire for the Self’ was given to beginners. Then obviously, they would not start sadhana at all, would they? Certainly, it is a given, that desire for the Self is required in the beginner. So then - whom was the almost dangerous instruction, ‘have no desires for the Self’ directed at? Is it that Sri Ramana hated certain devotees so much that it was thought they must be fed the incorrect instruction so as to keep them bound in this world? :-) Why would a great Jnani like Sri Ramana tell any devotee, ‘have no desire for the Self’, when this instruction as per your logic, would certainly deny that person any chance of Self-realisation?

Grateful if you would explain this further. Thank you

UV

Anonymous said...

This isn't strictly on topic but this question has been bothering me for a while.

Does realizing the self automatically lead to perfect moral decision making? I ask this because Osho was clearly no saint and yet it is reported by many he had the presence of the self (how else did he work up such a following?)?

The same is said about UG Krishnamurti and his attitude was entirely the opposite of Bhagavan.

It is possible to for a person to realize the self but the provisional ego remain conceited? Perhaps it was the humbleness of Ramana's personality coupled with the presence of the self that made him so great?

The answer to this question determines the desirability of the Self in my opinion. Maybe the focus should on morality first before desiring the self.

--Mike

Bookworm said...

Anonymous

Haramurthy is no more 'advanced' or 'right' than than yourself or Broken yogi are.
If you desire ..then you desire.
If you don't...then you don't.

We all have our different fate.
What will be will be.

Surrender or enquire..whatever.

Trust.

Broken Yogi said...

Scott,

Not that this is about who is right and who is wrong, but for my part I find Ramana's words on the subject more convincing than Haramurthy's. I thought the quotes I brought up were rather devastating to Haramurthy's arguments. I think he is of course free to argue as he wishes, but I don't think he can make a case that Ramana agrees with him about renunciation. Likewise, I think the quotes David cites in this post clearly state Ramana's views on the importance of desire for the Self. Haramurthy is agains free to disagree with Ramana, but I'm not sure why anyone would find him more convincing on the subject.

As for Papaji, I think you are mistaken there. Papaji was working at a very demanding job in the city, either Bangalore or Chennai, when he met Ramana, sending almost all his money to his immediate family for their support. He continued in this job for the next five years, only visiting Ramanashram on weekends. So he had not abandoned his family during this time. He was still living as a householder, away from the ashram, and fulling supporting his family. When Ramana sent him away, it was to take care of his entire extended family, parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, over 30 people, who were trapped in the newly forming Pakistan and whose lives were threatened by the anti-Hindu massacres taking place there. Ramana sent Papaji there on a rescue mission, telling him not to fear. Papaji travelled by train to Pakistan, witnessing terrible massacres on both sides along the way, hoping he would not be recognizes as a Hindu, and somehow, miraculously managing to transport his entire extended family back to India, then settling them in, working day and night to support them, and gradually over the years helping them to get jobs, start businesses, and get on their own two feet. Finally, after several years, he thought he was free to be a renunciate and returned to Ramanashram with that intention. Instead of becoming a renunciate, however, he met a guy who offered him a job managing several mining operations in central India. He felt that Ramana was directing him to take this job so he did so, realizing it was simply not his prarabda to be a formal renunciate. So for the next fifteen years he worked managing a highly difficult mining business in the jungles of India, again sending most of his money back to his family. Finally he retired with a pension that enabled him to live freely for the rest of his life. The story is all in David's biography of Papaji.

Now, it's certainly true that Papaji was a 100% renunciate utterly dedicated to God-Realization, but that's exactly the point. Such renunciation is in the mind, not in one's outward actions, except to the degree that he sacrificed the fruit of his actions for the sake of others, at least to some serious degree. To outward appearances Papaji was just another busy householder struggling to earn a living and support his family. The central point is that renunciation is of the mind and ego, and we should not be concerned about the rest of it. Instead, we need to simply accept our born destiny and station in life, live our responsibilities and duties, and not identify with that. Haramurthy seems to think there is some kind of progressive path that leads to greater and greater outer renunciation as a sign of one's maturation, and that householders are thus at an inferior stage than sadhus. This is of course one of the many traditional ideas that Ramana rejected. Now, maybe Ramana was wrong and the traditional view is right, but I think what Ramana teaches makes more sense. If that is rationalizing my own life choices, so be it. I will have to endure the judgments of my betters, I suppose.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.
...Ravi: Only a truly humble person like the professor can instil the same quality in others.
What the Professor expressed,he truly lived. Humility cannot be developed but it can be imbibed. ...


That's really true. Devotion is all what is needed. "How long does one have to reason about the text of the scriptures? As long as one does not have the direct realization of God. How long does the bee hum? As long as it does not sit on a flower. When it sits on a flower to drink honey, it doesn’t make any sound. The truth is that one may talk with others even after God-realization. But this conversation only revolves around the divine Bliss of God – it is like a drunkard crying, ‘Victory to Kali.’ Besides, even a bee hums indistinctly after sipping honey from a flower.” (Kathamrita)

Momentarily I'm reading sufi texts. Besides - reading them is like reading the vedanta. They are both singing out of the same experience and philosophy. In one of this texts (Abd al-Qadir as-Sufi, The Path of Love) the author says (I try to translate it):

"Knowledge ist hot - not cold and dry. Therefore the laughing of the buddhist masters is dry/cold because they do not have the wisdom of the tears. The prophet said: 'God, give me the gift of a crying eye.' And his warning was: 'If you would know what I know you wouldn't laugh but cry'. Crying is a sign of freedom."
.

celio leite said...

When the love for the Self is intense, authentic and wholehearted and expressed by Vichara and Surrender...
Who cares about get results, goals?
For me there are two meanings for "desire" in Ramana's teachings.
I think that Ramana teached intense DESIRE for the Self, when the Way is the Goal.Vichara and Surrender sincere is the Goal by itself.No duality.
And when Ramana condemn the desire...
Is only the desire for the Self, like a "way" or "technique" to achieve something other than Self.
Seek another goals, not the Self or "Inner Feeling of I" included "spiritual goals" like liberation or enlightenement is not the Real Desire for the Being and Vairagya. There is duality.
Its my humble point of view.

Udai said...

Dear Friends,
:)

Desire for Self, is a desire for "Completeness". Infact, all desires are directly or indirectly this. As it is said in Brihadaranyaka upanishad: "Even a wife loves her husband and a husband loves her wife is all an expression of Desire for Self".

So Self desire is actually a desire for completeness.
When one knows one is Complete the desire goes away, along with all other desires.

So essentially one has to be educated that one is complete. This education starts with hearing that one is complete: Sravanam, Then understanding how one is complete, Mananam and then meditating on oneself as complete Nidhidhyasam.

When one has not heard, or one heard but has not understood --- There is longing For Sense of Completeness.

Once understood... one has to meditate that one is Complete. Here, one cannot have "Desire for Self", coz already one has understood one is the Self! So if ever the desire arises... he roots it out by directing one's attention towards the Self.

So desire for self is good to lead one to Nidhidhyasam ... but once one understood... one has to root out this desire also.
It is what was told to Papaji: That Desire for Self is a vehicle that brings one to Sri Ramana ... and then one can drop that desire... as its purpose is served.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

A good quote that I think sums up the debate is "There will be no end to disputations", that is one of the Maharshi quotes I put on my shelf in marker.

That aside, I actually enjoy these debates (so don't stop, if you feel the urge to argue), and I was glad to see that a whole thread was created to deal with the issue of desire, full of pristine quotes. Both sides made nice points, although I felt more pulled to agreement with Broken Yogi. But that Maharshi quote is nice, in that it says, in my own words, no intellectual argument is going to result in some deeper understanding of the truth, but just go on ad infinitum.

Kind of makes me think of the scientific explanation of the world, or the religious explanation of the world.
"How did stars and galaxies come to be?"

"Because of the Big Bang?" "What caused the Big Bang?" or conversely, "Who created God? and Who created the One who Created God?" Ad Infinitum.

The other day, it occured to me the significance of "Silence is Eloquence eternal". One one hand, any confusion I suffer, mental silence is the best answer to resolve the doubts, answer the questions. So silence is the answer. Also Silence is eternal, in that before I woke up this morning, or before I was born, or before the Big Bang, any way you look at it, there was the bliss of silence. Diversity of forms, atoms, protein molecules, DNA, RNA, Carbon, Mercury, my mom, my friends, all came into being in the computer screen pixles of my imagination. But the bliss of silence is unperterbed. Now, one of these days, I'll realize that, and never forget. I'm not going to arrogantly speculate on what lifetime, or what ten minute period. And I can't hide an egotistical desire to be like that person who was excited they had a hundred lifetimes left, so that all the leaves fell off the tree, and they realized the Self immediately.

None of that matters, I seek understanding of the words of ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Papaji, Annamalai Swami, Lakshmana Swami, you name it, because I'm looking for refuge, and existing as an individual is not safe. Because the body is so incredibly fragile, the notion of the individual even more so. Not to mention that notion of who the individual is, is capable of so much harm and selfishness, is fending off real love while seeking for approval, is a Great Sinner, spoiling salvation. So I welcome it's dissolution.

summa said...

Thank you so much, David for this blog, all your work and sharing with us.

I feel that the reason that statements can be confusing is that the mind (past conditioning) is interpreting them.

How do we get behind and beneath the conditioning?

The mind creates space and time, a "me" over here and everything else "over there", and the "I am the body" idea.

Our language itself contributes to this conditioning, separating unity into parts and pieces.

If the mind is silent and humble and one sincerely asks the heart to see for one, hear for one, read and interpret for Truth, then the essence behind the words is understood.

The mind deals in "or". The heart knows "and".

Most spiritual/religious practice involves the addition of more concepts and ideas. Ramana's path involves a stripping away of everything in the realms of thought and language and feeling by actual direct experience - Where and how does the sense of "I" arise?.

All arises from within. One must track exactly, experientially, how that happens. Am I in the body or does the body idea arise in me? Are the boundaries real or just in the mind?

One may change one's language, internally, to match one's experience. "I went to the store, then came home." becomes "The body seemed to be moved through the mind, to the store and back."

One must stop reading about chocolate and discussing intellectual ideas about it, and actually dive into the chocolate (heart) and taste it first hand.....

The honest, sincere and unrelenting search for the Self illicits a response from within, which in turn acknowledges one's effort and contributes to further effort. Only a silent, humble mind will be gobbled up and dissolved by the Self.

Zee said...

Chapter 12 of Bhikkhu Ñanamoli's classic compilation, The Life of the Buddha according to the Pali Canon.
*******************************
The Paradox of Truth Teaching
*******************************
FIRST VOICE:
The Blessed One was once living at Savatthi in Jeta's Grove. A deity called Rohitassa came to him late in the night, paid homage to him and asked: "Lord, the world's end where one neither is born nor ages nor dies nor passes away nor reappears: is it possible to know or see or reach that by travelling there?"
"Friend, that there is a world's end where one neither is born nor ages nor dies nor passes away nor reappears, which is to be known or seen or reached by travelling there -- that I do not say. Yet I do not say that there is ending of suffering without reaching the world's end. Rather it is in this fathom-long carcass with its perceptions and its mind that I describe the world, the origin of the world, the cessation of the world, and the way leading to the cessation of the world.

"It is utterly impossible
To reach by walking the world's end;
But none escape from suffering
Unless the world's end has been reached.

It is a Sage, a knower of the world,
Who gets to the world's end, and it is he
By whom the holy life has been lived out;
In knowing the world's end he is at peace
And hopes for neither this world nor the next."

SN 2:36; AN 4:46

-Z