Monday, November 24, 2008

Apologies for my absence

Apologies for not contributing anything new for almost a month, and for not even attending to the questions that have been asked during that period. My brain has been somewhat disengaged from all literary work for the last few weeks. I have been enjoying the winter here in Tiruvannamalai, meeting old friends, looking after my garden, and so on. Sometimes I feel like writing, and sometimes I don't. In the last few weeks nothing has inspired me to sit down and make new posts. I have several that are half finished, but I don't know when they will be completed since my sister has just arrived to stay for a few weeks. I am enjoying catching up with stories of family and mutual friends. I will probably start posting again sometime next month.

Meanwhile, here is a link that someone sent me this morning: http://images.google.com/images?&hl=en&safe=off&q=ramana+maharshi+source:life&&sa=N&start=0&ndsp=18

In 1949 a Life photographer and a journalist came to Ramanasramam from the US to write an illustrated magazine story about Ramana Maharshi
. A few of the photos were published that year, along with the article, but most were not. The organisation that owns the photos has now posted all of them online. There are probably a few here that many devotees have not seen before.

84 comments:

Anonymous said...

scott Fraundorf:

Those photos were amazing. Maharshi was as interested in the vast spectacle around him, as he probably was with the pebbles that surroudned him when he first arrived.

Anonymous said...

I am a Japanese man. I read your book "BE AS YOU ARE". So I am especially interested in self-enquiry. I have practiced it during a week(two hour a day).
Now,I have some questions about how to practice self-enquiry.
I am very glad if you answer my questions.

When I tried to hold on to I-thought,not only thoughts in the form of language but also emotions,physical pains occurred.
Then I continued to hold on to I-thought.Other thougts in the form language are relatively easy to disappear,when I again tried to hold on to I-thought.
But,emotions and physical pains continued ,even if I again tried to hold on to I-thought.
SO,in my practice I have often noticed I-thought and at the same time emotions and physical pains.
When I noticed I totally lost the feeling of I-thought,I ask me "To whom thoughts or emotions or pains etc ocuurred".
But,when I felt I was holding on to the feeling of I-thought,I was letting emotions and pains be there.
I don't know it is a right way of practcing self-enquiry. Please give me some advices.

I am not good at English. If there are something rude in my sentences,I apology to you.

Bookworm said...

Anonymous Japanese man.

I am not sure how or if David will reply to your comment/request but here are my two pennys worth.

With self enquiry you must and can only persevere.
You may well at various times feel deep emotion and pain...maybe even such pain that you will wonder how you will live through the rest of the day, let alone the rest of your life.

On day you can suffer deep
pain and awaken the next day in wonderment to find it completely gone. This can happen many times.


As for self enquiry:
The eventual aim is to practice and become or Be self enquiry every waking moment.


I do not know if I read the below on one of Davids blogs or sites, or elsewhere.
It is two of Ramanas 40 verses:

'The only enquiry leading to Self-realisation is seeking the Source of the 'I' with in-turned mind and without uttering the word 'I'.

If one enquires 'Who am I?' whithin the mind,
the individual 'I' falls down abashed as soon as one reaches the Heart and immediately Reality manifests itself spontaneously as 'I-I'.
Although it reveals itself as 'I', it is not the ego but the Perfect Being, the Absolute Self.

Anonymous said...

Dear Japanese Guy,
These are common obstacles in Self-Enquiry. Ignore all of them.
When i had such troubles i will take a Needle and thread and would try to insert the thread in the needle. For moments i will have utter concentration. This helps me taste one pointedness and concentration.
Then with the same Vigor i practice Self-enquiry. Whenever my mind answers me, i think about the Focus i had with this experiment this reminds me that my mind is more noisy and motivates me to focus better.

Self-enquiry means Fight. The idea is to disassociate ourselves from our Mind's replies/feelings/emotions.
If you have strong emotions use a word that identifies it as a play of Mind. You can even smile and say "Mere Thoughts".
I am sure David will explain you better.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy the winter, spending time with friends and family, David. Thanks for passing on the photos link.

Ravi said...

David,
" my sister has just arrived to stay for a few weeks. I am enjoying catching up with stories of family and mutual friends. "

Wishing you and sister all the very best and happy time sharing cherished moments.

Namaskar.

Nandu Narasimhan said...

David,

Many many thanks for the link to these pictures.

These pictures give a sense of how charged the atmosphere must have been in those days.

I just love Muruganar's blissful expression in two of the pictures.

Nandu

Bookworm said...

Japanese man.
.

Most of us when we first start enquiry do so by asking the question 'who an I?' in our heads with our minds.

If you do the same...do not look for or expect an answer.
Just simply ask the question whenever you remember to do so.

Unless it is your fate, you do not need to sit for hours, concentrating, asking the question or practicing enquiry etc, etc.

You just have to try to be more aware of yourself during your normal day and in your everyday life.
Ask the question when you remember
to do so... but as I said earlier...do not expect an answer and do not look for an answer.

Sometimes maybe...the deepest pain
possible a person can feel may for a while be felt in and aroud the chest area.

This is not a physical pain but is from the core of your Being..from your Heart..the Spiritual Heart that IS Who You Truly Are.
It can be so intense that it hurts as much or deeper and feels as physical as any bodily pain.

It is caused through and by the cleansing of the Heart.
If it happens..you just have to trust Ramana and suffer it.
It passes...eventually.

When you remember to do so or are able to do so...TRY...to hold onto the 'I thought'

The 'I thought' is the 'you' that asks the question..'who am I?'

It is the you who you, who you think 'you' are.
It is the 'you' who suffers.
It is the 'you' who cannot stop thinking.
It is the 'you' who is lost and entangled in the mind and world.

'you' must have complete trust in Ramana who taught this way or path.

Simply ask the question 'who am I?'
when 'you' remember or when 'you' feel anxiety or an an urge to ask.
But do not look for or expect an answer.

Of course.. like every person who has sincerely practiced enquiry, there may well be times when you will...pray your guts out...cry your Heart out...beg and beg and beg ......for an answer, for and end to your suffering... for Peace, for Knowledge, for Happiness.

You might even prehaps, call Ramana every swear word and disgusting thing you can think of...and more..maybe.
You might angrily and dismissively turn your back on enquiry for always and forever...for a while.

But it all passes..or rather you become a little wiser......eventually.

The 'I thought' is 'you' who asks the question 'who am I?'
When able to..try not to become lost and entangled in thinking.


Just simply asking the question 'who am I' when you remember to do so... and trying when able... to hold onto the 'I thought'..weakens the illusion and power of the mind which covers or hides the Heart and Truth of the Beautiul Being that you in Reality Are.

As you become stronger in enquiry and sink or awaken deeper into the Heart or Truth of yourself...
you will understand that True Self-enquiry... is not thinking the question 'who am I?' with your mind.


You will instead find that True Self-enquiry is FEELING the question 'Who Am I' with all of your Being. All of your Heart.
All That You Are.


This is what Ramana meant with verse 29 of His forty verses:


'The only enquiry leading to Self-realisation is seeking the Source of the 'I' with in-turned mind and without uttering the word 'I'.


You who You Tuly Are at the core of your Being...at the centre of Your Heart... is the answer to the question.

I hope this is of some help to you Japanese man.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I really like the way Bookworm (I almost said Broken Yogi, freudian slip I guess) put that. I like the first part, because it's nice to know that's a normal part of the program, pre-realization of I am That! Not that there is a pre-! 40 verses on reality are beautiful. Muruganar verses also I think are really beautiful and helpful. And concur on the emotional pain. key is sticking with it as much as possible, keeping silent, regardless what weird, wonderous, or terrible things seem to occur...

umesh said...

Nice article on Bhagawan
Seek and you shall get
By Mirle Karthik

Standing before the samadhi of Bhagwan Ramana Maharshi, vignettes from the life of this apostle of divinity flit before the minds eye in a silent procession. His childhood, his "death experience" which proved to be a turning point in his life, his arrival in Thiruvannamalai, his meditation on the sacred Arunachala hill, the gathering of a small band of believers around him, the arrival of larger groups of devotees as his fame spread, the genesis and growth of the ashram, all these among others pass by as in a silent film.

As one sees the throngs of the devout including westerners sitting silently in meditation or circumambulating the shrine in intense concentration, one cannot but help ask what is it that draws people to this sacred place?
A life that rejected the mundane, a life that was lived as a practical demonstration of the Advaitic philosophy despite no formal schooling in the system, a life that was destined to light up the lives of countless beings, that was Ramana. As bees gather around a flower, people flocked to him for the inexplicable peace and joy they experienced in his presence. Most of the times, the communion was silent with many finding answers to their questions without a word being said.

Reclining on his favourite couch with his characteristic faraway look, the saint in his realized state, revelling in much higher planes of consciousness passed on the vibrations to the world around and to the fortunate few who happened to be in the ambit of this magnetic field, who in turn found themselves resonating to these vibrations. This "Brahmajnani" one who had realized the supreme truth while still embodied, effortlessly emanated the divinity that no conventional spiritual treatise could provide.

But the same experience even now ? It could well be argued that it all depends on the mental preparedness and receptiveness of the person. Maybe even prior knowledge may play a role. Be that as it may, Ramana continues to be as potent a force as when alive. In an ambience charged with the spiritual supremacy, one sees the pettiness of human nature contrasted against the loftiness of this "gentle giant".

An ego meltdown occurs, emotions give way to an involuntary acceptance of the power of true knowledge and a blanket of tranquillity smothers. For a few fleeting seconds, the mind is lifted from the morass of existence. The crass pales into insignificance before the sublime. The after effect is equally ennobling, characterized by an urge to rise above the limitations of human frailty. To the true seeker, Ramana continues to provide succour and sustenance.

Bookworm said...

Scott

You say:
'I really like the way Bookworm (I almost said Broken Yogi'

You bad man.
You drove poor, poor Yogiman away.
You wicked person.

When you die you will go to Hell
and you will burn and scream and watch your nose melt and your fingers fall off and you will groan for eternity.

Just joking Scott..
(unfortunately)

I am sure the Yogiman will come back..(unfortunately)

You know..like a bad penny or spots on your chin when you are 16

Just joking Yogiman.
(unfortunately)

Anonymous said...

Nandu N.,

I couldn't identify Muruganar in the photos. Please, can you say which are the photos and who is Muruganar in each one?

Thank you so much!

David Godman said...

Anonymous

'I couldn't identify Muruganar in the photos. Please, can you say which are the photos and who is Muruganar in each one?'

I am numbering left to right. When a new row starts, I will continue with the same numbering system. For example, if your screen is displaying rows of six, the number fifteen will be the third photo from the left on the third row. I have pasted the information under the photo for further identification.

Numbers two and eight: Muruganar is the devotee with his back to the pillar, closest to Bhagavan. The devotee next to him looks like Viswanatha Swami

Sri Ramana Maharshi.
1280 x 1010 - 201k

Sri Ramana Maharshi
1280 x 1013 - 184k

Numbers ten and sixteen. Muruganar is in the foreground.

Sri Ramana Maharshi
1280 x 851 - 138k

Sri Ramana Maharshi
1280 x 853 - 139k

Murali said...

These photos somehow have some life in them. I am ending up seeing them many times everyday. Perhaps, they are the most professionally taken at that time with the technology available then.

Regards Murali

Bookworm said...

I posed a question on here hours and hours ago..but it is not yet posted.
It was so long ago that I can't remember the tone and form of the question.

Anyway I have just put the answer on my blog thing. You can get there by going to Bookworm and clicking it.

If anybody can think of a better and more True answer than mine please post it.
Please do not refuse because...you do not wish to.. embarrass and deeply hurt me and also utterlly humilate meme and show to all
that I am just a fool.

Don't worry ......I am a man....I can take it... and I would really like to know if there is a better answer.
Don't fret..I won't be plotting a nasty revenge that is almost evil against you. Relax

I am hardly going io use this blog thing but it could now and then be useful and so is probably best activated rather than
de-activated

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

It was an accident, George (of Mice and Men), didn't know what I was doing.

I'm trying to look at all the events, such as the Yogster leaving as part of play of the senses, all manner of strange things happening while I attempt to abide as the source. Besides, he's a tuff macho guy, he can take it. When he's not hiking in the mountains, or hunting deer (kidding), or meditating in his sweat lodge. (just kidding)

Bookworm, where did that Dante's Inferno come from? Your eloquent descriptions of the fire of hell.

Your longer description of Inquiry fit with my experiences.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

What, the question about the aliens?

meestergus said...

Hi David,

Using your numbering system, in photograph no. 14, do we know who any of these women are? Am very much wondering about the woman, front and center, who is looking directly in the camera. All of these photos are captivating but for whatever reason, I can't stop looking at this particular picture.

Thanks so much for posting!

cheers!
gus

David Godman said...

Sorry, but I don't recognise anyone here. I will check with the ashram archives. There is an ongoing attempt there to identify devotees in old group photos. I will see if they have any information on this one.

meestergus said...

Thank you, David.

gus

Bookworm said...

David...do you not print some of my comments and I am sure the comments of others because your Heart tells you not to or because your head tells you not to?

shiba said...

I am a Japanese man.

Thank you for answering my questions.

I am ignoring all(pain,emotion etc) during self-enquiry.

Anonymous said self-enquiry was
fight.I also thought that it must
be a fight,because holding on to
I-thought was very difficclt and
needed great patience and efforts.

But now I think that self-enquiry
is more genntle practice than I
thought that was.

Sri ramana maharshi compared self-enquiry to taming a cow(bull?).
The Cow is free to go out from his stall and return there invited by grass without any strain.And,again he go out till he think he don't want to go to fields.

So,self-enqiry maybe more easy and gentle practice than I thought.

I apologize for not returning replies for my questions for long time.I was thinking I would return them after receiving a answer of Mr.David Godman.

Bookworm said...

Shiba

You say:
'I am ignoring all(pain,emotion etc) during self-enquiry.'


AS much as you are able you must trust Ramana when you feel these things.
As I said earliar they do pass and are just a cleansing which although hard to appreciate at the time you must go through and is only for your good.

David I suppose that really I should thank you for not posting some of my recent comments as upon thinking of them now, I can feel my toes curling upwards.

Bookworm said...

Broken yogi

I see that you were deeply involved with Adi Da for a while. That explains the Broken bit of your name.
I became involved too
but not to the extent that you did
and in my ignorance and stupidity allowed Adi Da to take precedence over Ramana for a while.

That was a scary, mixed up, hurtful and disappointing ride... that ended up in a cul de sac.

But...I did learn the most important lesson of my life from the experience...never again to forget, or need, or allow another precedence...over the certain Truth that is Ramana.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

What about sages that do not deviate at all from Ramana, such as Muruganar, Lakshmana Swami, Papaji, Annamalai Swami, Saradamma?

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

That's interesting, I looked up pictures of Adi Da and I immediately got a bad feeling, similar to with Osho. Too much pomp and circumstance, and dying in Figi with millions. Weird. But I can't really make a judgement besides on both of your bad experiences. It's perhaps good I skipped the being starry eyed about spirituality phase, preferring punk rock and anarchy instead.

I've been corresponding, not in that I'm that special, but as in he seems to be a genuine spiritual teacher, Nome in Santa Cruz. I suspect he's fully realized, but it's not something I want to debate over, although feel free. But the reason I trust him at this point, is and I can't explain it too well verbally, his e-mail responses which have been frequent have been dispassionate, impersonal, more then any person I've ever met, and directing me to seek happiness within. There has been no feeling of him trying to take power over me, or toot his own horn. When I asked him if he was a jnani, he said that "the consideration of whether Nome is a jnani is irrelevent to your Inquiry, Sri Ramana said the Realized can take care of themselves, and so you should take care of yourself". So evidently, he doesn't want me speculating on his state. Following that advise, but it is interesting that the President of Sri RamanaAsram asked him to write some verses for the commemoration of Ramana's arrival at Arunachala, and the President of the Ramana Maharshi center of learning in Tirumunavalai said only someone aware of Ramana's flowing grace could write commentaries on writings of Maharshi, Nome clearly has that awareness of the Maharshi's flowing grace, he said. When I was brought to society of Abdiance in truth (SAT), I experienced complete absorption in the Self which is why I sought out Inquiry, and from getting responses from him. Not only that, there is no big shot vibe, he has responded to all my serious questions, ignoring some of the idle intellectual curiosity questions, or responding but only to turn my attention from the intellect. And I was already at a place, where I wasn't going to be easily had, or was looking for a guru. This kind of guru-ship that I've perhaps found, is not me worshipping or looking up to him as an authority figure, but that his responses have helped me realize my own Self far deeper then I had previously, and taking me out of the mind-world. I just wanted to put that out there. From my experiences, and I'm no expert, it seems to me is that the best way to find a good living teacher, is to do Self-Inquiry and not to look for one, or not to buy into one, but if around someone you experience the Self, stay in contact and experience the Self more and more, until you get firmly established there. But if that's not happening, then there's no point in teachers that have intellectual knowledge, want to make money, or have power over others. Intellectual I would never have been able to suss out that Nome was a genuine teacher, and initially I felt negative about him. I only write him, because I experience the Self clearly on a regular basis by doing so.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I should also add that while I love David Godman's translations of alot of different writing, when I read Nome's translations of Who am I? and other Maharshi writings, as well as the Tamil and Sanksrit Ribhu Gita, my mind is immediately obliterated by grace. My little stupid theory on it, is that it's because since Nome's ego has completely subsided for good in the Self, his translations capture Maharshi's graceful words into English in a way that only a fellow Self-Realized could.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Not to mention Shankara, he also I've become more interested as well. So I'm not willing to completely limit things to Ramana. But like Bookworm, in Ramana I've seen the clearest route to Absolute Truth. Pure truth.

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
"I did learn the most important lesson of my life from the experience...never again to forget, or need, or allow another precedence...over the certain Truth that is Ramana."
This is invaluable-to have this sort of faith and conviction.
This will lead to seeing RAMANA in all,including adi da or X or Y or Z.
The most important lesson to be learnt is to recognise that we ALONE are responsible for whatever happens to us,not the 'Other' person.
Best Regards.

Bookworm said...

Scott

The below is just my personal opinion:

There are two types of Teacher, Guru or whatever.

There are a rare few who can 'talk the talk'.. and who also can ...'walk the walk'.

There are an ever increasing multitude of those who can only
'talk the talk'
The horde of neo-avaita 'teachers, gurus or whatever'
AS I said Scott, it is only my opinion but I think that they are not worth wasting time on.
I place Nome amongst these people.

Also there is much dirt and criticism of Nome to be found if one looks and there is also a large number of hurt, angry and disgruntled 'devotees whatever'who
have posted their stories...which are not pleasant reading ...at various places on the web.

Besides you have ..in Ramanas words and Teaching.. a Blazing Sun...
Why, if you are looking for Truth..do you turn and look at a candle?
Very strange.


Ravi,
You say:
'This is invaluable-to have this sort of faith and conviction.
This will lead to seeing RAMANA in all,including adi da or X or Y or Z'

Ravi does this mean that I will also be able to see Ramana in 'L's'?
I have a lot of trouble seeing Ramana in 'L's'

Bookworm said...

Scott

With regard to Nome
you say:

When I asked him if he was a jnani, he said that'

"the consideration of whether Nome is a jnani is irrelevent to your Inquiry''

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

Just imagine that you have just asked David the same question Scott...and he replys to you:

"the consideration of whether David is a jnani is irrelevent to your Inquiry''

Wouldn't you think he was a bit of a prat..and.. have an urge to slap his face?
Or is it just me?

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Bookworm for the most part I agree with you on both places you commented. It's very strange to me too. I agree about looking toward the candle. I guess, for instance with Nome, and I find this a very interesting phenomenon, after I had gone to Society Of abidance in truth, which my initial reaction was that this was a bunch of pseudo-pretend enlightenment stuff. And I got bored, and irritated. I'm seen so many fakers in every walk of life. I also didn't like the posh atmosphere, expensive Dakshnamurti statues, etc., I also want to add, I'm not trying to convert you, or make you think a different way, this is just interesting to me. Ramana is all you need, agreed, wholeheartedly, not an ounce of disagreement, so stick with that. And also it appears to me the same, lots of fake teachers out there, pseudo-neo-advaita, westernized, really cultural thiefs basically, maybe. I really have no idea. I'm not qualified to evaluate other people's spiritual advancement. But it seems that way, Youtube Ramana, and there's all sorts of ridiculous white guys in all manner of strange outfits. And I'm like "you gotta be kidding me" you could even be right about Nome, I have no idea. And even for myself, if I had to join a cult, or worship someone besides Ramana, or any of that was asked of me, that would be the end. But the experience where my mind was shut up after Nome looked at me, in a way that I haven't ever experienced around any other person. As to the disgruntled stories, I don't know what to make of that. But the reason I have some skepticism in that (and I believe that wholeheartedly when I first read it), is that there hasn't been an ounce to my awareness of anything unwholesome, authoritarian, asking anything of me, and those stories were claiming he was a manipulative abuser. Claims like that deserve to be looked into, and taken seriously, agreed. When Ramana said about a true guru would never tell you to do anything because they would be a killer not a sage. Nome seems to live up to that. I was worried, that there would be some discard of ethics and morality like there is in a lot of new age pseudo-neo-advaita, tehre seems to be none of that. Also I've fallen alot more on the abused then abuser side in my life, so I have huge red flags to that, I did when I immediately went to SAT, and when I read those things on the internet. But one thing I've noticed as a general rule about manipulative abusers which I have alot of experience with, once they "have you", they treat you like they treat everyone else they "assume power over", and being an abuser to my knowledge, requires an ego, same with being the victim pattern. Nome's responses have been very true to Maharshi, almost word for word, but to personal obstacles I've encountered. And also after his responses, I've seen clearly how to get past those obstacles. Those obstacles that for instance have led to me being in friendships where I was being abused, manipulated. That could never happen again. So Bookworm, i really don't have a conclusive opinion, those things said could be true, or not true. As I was saying, I've utilized Nome as a tool, because everything he's said has been strictly the same things Ramana says, but directed at the personal issues I've brought up. He hasn't deviated from the dialogues I've read of Ramana at all, or pure nonduality. Some of the insights he's had in the books I've read that are strictly Nome's insights do strike m that he understands how to go from being Unenlightened, to being Enlightened. But I rely, not even on Ramana first, but on the Inquiry, who is this I? All these people really are unreal, even you, even the world, even Ramana is just a figment, he said so himself, so none of it is real. So I would not want to convert you, to thinking different on that. But I want to call attention that you aren't saying something I don't know already, and that maybe, perhaps, I could be wrong, there is an interesting phenomenon in Nome, and Society Of Abidance in Truth, and just maybe, he's a genuine, even realized spiritual teacher, but I could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I don't know if this would be deviating too much, but something somehow relating to this issue of fake teachers that claim Ramana as their "guru", if there was some way to dive into that, since the questions about Nome, or Adi Da, and others, might relate to an interesting topic for a post. I don't know how that might be done, but relate it strictly to Ramana's teaching. I guess why I trust Nome is that Ramana said the sense of peace you feel, and the sense of respect are the signs of a genuine spiritual teacher. Around every manipulative abuser I've been around, at some point, I switch from being at peace around them, to feeling anxious, and like their trying to push me to places I don't want to go. That's a good rule of thumb, I think. No such feeling as of yet around Nome.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

And also Bookworm, it does seem that being around a living Realized person, someone who "knows the ropes" so to speak, and yes they probably are extremely rare, less then 1 in a million, perhaps less (according to David Godman). But it seems that it is extremely helpful, and probably necessary for most people, who are interested in Self-Realization (according to David Godman).

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

David Godman, I would be interested in your sincere opinion on Nome, because he seems to be known around your parts, does he strike you genuine, Realized, anything, appalling, a faker???? He is in a different class then some of the others, in that he doesn't deviate at all from Nonduality, which isn't true for alot of neo-advaita. And he seems to be interested in the classics Ribhu Gita, Shankara, Dakshnamurti, none of the pseudo-new age I've encountered so far evidence that pattern.

Ravi said...

Scott,
"I would be interested in your sincere opinion on Nome"
Friend,if you feel benefitted and your devotion and faith is genuine,this is all that matters.You need not go by the opinions or gossips of others.If SELF is the only Reality then Nome or Sri Ramana or any other Teacher is and can only be THAT.
As Sri Ramakrishna used to say-"'Therefore I say, 'Even though my guru frequents a grog-shop, still to me he is the embodiment of Eternal Bliss.' All want to be the guru, but very few indeed want to be a disciple."
The Right thing to ask is this-Am I a True Disciple,not whether X,Y or Z is a GENUINE GURU.

There is no GURU who has not had some detractors,and this is true of Great Masters like Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Bhagavan.

Remember that even a Vagabond can be a Guru if WE CHOOSE TO BE A DISCIPLE.As Emerson in his wonderful essay on SELF RELIANCE said-"Although foolishly uttered,they can be wisely heard"

Friend,if you find Nome's Translations and other words helpful,this is all that matters.It is the GURU who is reaching out to you.If this Faith grows,you will simply set aside all contrarian views like a Lotus Leaf remaining untouched by the water drops sprayed on it.

Wishing you the very Best.

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
"Ravi does this mean that I will also be able to see Ramana in 'L's'?
I have a lot of trouble seeing Ramana in 'L's'"
I do not understand what you mean by 'L's'.
As one's devotion to the Guru becomes steady one sees the Guru in and through everyone.
Like when "M"(Mahendranath Gupta )visited Kamarpukur ,the birth place of the Great Master Sri Ramakrishna,he found everything filled with consciousness,the sand ,the huts,the trees-He saluted a cat as he saw the same consciousness throbbing through all things-animate as well as inanimate!Everything was throbbing with the Guru consciousness.The Guru is the Self.
Best Regards.

meestergus said...

Hi Scott,

Feel free to contact me outside this thread if you would like my impressions on Nome (the link on my page should work). I've been to see him several times.

Seek your own happiness, Scott and it will work out fine. (my way of concurring with Ravi's fine post).

gus

arunachala101 said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Ravi,
What you've said makes alot of sense, it doesn't matter me evaluating other people's state, if I derive benefit from a certain teacher is what matters. As you said, everyone wants to be a guru, few want to be a disciple. It only matters whether I'm a true disciple. If I'm a true disciple, that is dilligently practicing the sadhana, the Inquiry, then I don't have to worry about others, what their state is. And if certain teachers are helpful in the practice, and turning my mind inward, that's what is important. Good point. Arunachala101 maybe is a little pretentious, but when I started this, it was the first thing I thought of.

Anonymous said...

can anyone help me in finding the accurate quote by Ramana Maharshi on seeking.....

Something like..." when the thought arises that money isn't enough, sex isn't enough, fame isn't enough, your head goes into the mouth of the tiger, the jaws clamp shut and there's no escape."
that drift, but need the accurate quote/translation.

Many thanks

Anonymous said...

David,
Are you in touch with Papaji's devotees - those who are profiled in 'Nothing Ever Happened'. Do they continue to feel Papaji's grace? Do they have more interesting stories (those left out from the book or those you heard about later) to add? Do any of them teach regularly or are willing to share their experiences?

Anonymous said...

Shiba the Japanese man:

"So,self-enqiry maybe more easy and gentle practice than I thought."

Self-enquiry is not a "fight". The practice is allowing the mind to rest. Do you know the feeling of refreshment upon waking up in the morning? The mind feels fresh and centered. Staying centered is enquiry.

Self-enquiry takes only persistence, not effort. If the practice seems to take effort it is because you are trying to disrupt the usual flow of thoughts and feeling you have. Don't do this. Do what feels natural. The practice should help to relieve stress, not add to it.

Only extraneous thoughts should be eliminated by directing your attention to the "I" or "center".

Bookworm said...

Anonymous

Is this anonymous you Scott..it doesn't say?

I agree with your comment to Shiba.. apart from the below:

'Self-enquiry takes only persistence, not effort'

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

Ramana was insistent that there must be effort..at least initially.

What is persistense if it is not effort?

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Nope, I'm being nice and avoiding dominating new threads as much as possible, to allow for dialoguing fun, unless of course it's a direct response, on topic. my meandering, irrelevent stuff that no one reads, the mad man on the corner, I keep that elsewhere As much as possible.

Anonymous said...

scott Fraundorf:

Yeah, what's the difference. It does take effort, but it's an effort to cease effort, it shouldn't stay with effort. If it is effortful, who is making the effort? And then where is the source of happiness? What is eternal? For me, it's my problems, and worries that keep me bound, so whose problems are those? That's less of effort in the sense of strain, and more effort in the sense of practicing seeing only the awareness that is aware. It started with strain, but for there to be strain, there must be one straining, who is that? That's why Tamil Song of Ribhu helps me because it approaches all those dualistic notions, of one or the other, and relinquishes them. For instance even effort, versus non-effort is dualistic. Persevering versus laziness is dualistic. Inquiring versus living in Samsara is dualistic. Guru, devotee is dualistic. Enlightened, versus non-enlightened is dualistic. Pleasure and pain, desire, and renunciation. The sadhana so often involves those dualisms that must be give up at the outset. If they are given up at the outset, Inquiry is much less of a struggle, because it's not steeped in the notions of having to be one or the other, I should be doing this instead of that. That is bad advise, whereas this is good advise. He's a fraud, whereas they are the real deal. She talks the talk, he walks the walk. Jnani, ajnani. Dvaita, advaita And then in the Song of Ribhu every verse ends with stuff like, "there is and only ever has been the Supreme Brahman alone", or "Ever abide in bliss without a trace of a concept, in that itself, as that itself", "One who realizes this is a Jivanmukta" Then when I've read a chapter or two slowly, and let it sink in, it non-acting externally like a non-guru guru, when I'm out doing the activities that I'm "supposed" to do to survive, it's much easier to stay clean of any duality, any wayward thought. So that is something that I haven't seen so much focused on here, is that the dualities that have to be given up, in a sense have to be given up at the outset. Inquiry, the struggle, is because I one hand believe that the world is real, my problems are real, the one who has the problems are real, and then I'm asking who is this, while I believe that. The believing that has to be given up simultaneously. I have a feeling that that is what differs those who have realized effortlessly, from those who never realized or practiced for a long time. Lakshmana Swami had a strong conviction already in the non-existance of the ego, the world, when he went to see Ramana, and he knew what was left of that notion should be gotten rid of. Ramana just looked at him, and he inquired Who am I? and realized that he never was bound, there never was someone who was bound.

I went through the being excited about the biographies of these people, and I haven't given that up, why would I? But the truth is that I want to be the Truth, I'm in this for Realizing I'm not or never was bound, because I want to be free of dualities like suffering verses non-suffering. Being around non-people, maybe or maybe not Nome is one of them, helps, and is also threatening to my personhood notion that never even existed but pretends to exist, that's why I was so angry at SAT, when I'm never angry. Sorry, I once again, started on topic but got off topic, I'll try to be better about that.

Ravi said...

Scott/Friends,
"The sadhana so often involves those dualisms that must be give up at the outset."

Friend,somehow I have found this approach totally inadequate.It is not even sufficient to ovecome hungerpangs for one day!The BODY asserts itself to such a degree that it is just not possible to dismiss the Body and the world as unreal ACTUALLY.Intellectually it is very nice to understand these ideas and may be,we derive some temporary sense of peace(arising out of setting aside IMAGINED BAGGAGE OF CARES AND WORRIES).

In the following passage from the Gospel,Sri Ramakrishna says:

Necessity of spiritual discipline
"Therefore at the beginning the aspirant should go into solitude now and then. Spiritual
discipline is necessary. You want to eat rice; suppose you sit down somewhere and say,
'Wood contains fire and fire cooks rice.' Can saying it cook the rice? You must get two
pieces of wood and by rubbing them together bring out the fire.
"By eating siddhi one becomes intoxicated and feels happy. But suppose you haven't eaten
the stuff or done anything else with it; you simply sit down somewhere and mutter, 'Siddhi!
siddhi!' Will that intoxicate you or make you happy?
"You may learn a great deal from books; but it is all futile if you have no love for God and
no desire to realize Him."

Duality is very much part and parcel of our instincts,habits,thinking,living at a Conscious and subconscious level that no amount of intellectual conviction can displace the roots!Better to accept the duality and proceed from there.


Best Regards.

Bookworm said...

Scott

You say:

'Yeah, what's the difference. It does take effort, but it's an effort to cease effort, it shouldn't stay with effort. If it is effortful, who is making the effort? And then where is the source of happiness? What is eternal? For me, it's my problems, and worries that keep me bound, so whose problems are those? That's less of effort in the sense of strain, and more effort in the sense of practicing seeing only the awareness that is aware. It started with strain, but for there to be strain, there must be one straining, who is that?'

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

It is not a case 'of practicing seeing only the awareness that is aware'

That Awarenes is You and 'eternal'.

The obstacle is the
'false sense of yourself, 'i' or bodymind/ego'
that tries to 'see' Awareness.

Awaress or Being is the natural state.
You exist. You do not need to 'see'
yourself to know this.
You cannot help but BE or exist.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

...Friend,somehow I have found this approach totally inadequate...

Hi Ravi!

Ramana supports your view. From "Living by the words of Bhagavan". Unfortunately I can't translate it into English. Maybe David could find this passage:

«Advaita [Nicht-Zweiheit] soll nicht bei alltäglichen Betätigungen praktiziert werden. Es reicht aus, wenn das Gemüt von Unterscheidungen frei ist. Wenn man Karrenladungen von unterscheidenden Gedanken in sich trägt, sollte man nicht so tun, als sei außen alles eins.

Im Westen werden über die Standesgrenzen hinweg Ehen geschlossen, und man ißt mit jedem zusammen, ohne Unterschiede zu machen. Was nützt es aber, sich darauf zu beschränken? Es hat nur zu Kriegen und Schlachtfeldern geführt. Wen hat dies alles glücklich gemacht?

Die Welt ist ein gigantisches Theater. Jedermann muß darin die ihm zugewiesene Rolle spielen. Vielfalt liegt im Wesen des Universums, doch sollte man innerlich kein Gefühl der Unterscheidung hegen.»

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Ravi, I can't disagree with you from the point of being more advanced then you, or knowing better then you. But my experiences so far suggest that that is the practice is getting free I suppose from the conviction that there is duality. That's why I was mentioning the Song of Ribhu (Ribhu Gita) is that it helps establish me in a conviction where the mind is not so active in creating the false sense of duality. I would also disagree, not as in I'm right, your wrong, because I don't know, that duality is the natural state. In my own experience it is thinking about myself, gossiping about both myself and others, situations that creates the sense of duality. So my understanding is that nonduality and no mind are the same things. Now as long as I'm thinking that I'm an individual, there is not much point in pretending to others that I don't, or telling them not to, or saying "you are". when I still take myself to be a something.

Anonymous said...

"arising out of setting aside IMAGINED BAGGAGE OF CARES AND WORRIES)", my understanding is that this is the practice continually not taking the baggage and cares and worries to be real. Though I'm not realized, I have not vanished as an individual, I can't really seriously take part in these discussions with words that mean a whole lot, but are just intellectual debate.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

"Better to accept the duality and proceed from there."

I was being a little obnoxious in that last comment, playing expert and all. I wasn't thinking an intellectual conviction or reading books, but a visceral conviction. What appeals to me in Song of Ribhu (ribhu gita) is not that it is an intellectual treatise to think about, but that it causes thinking to merge, the conviction is not intellectual. Supposedly, at Ramana Ashram it was recited regularly outloud because Bhagavan viewed it as essentially the same as his state, in Power of Presence he said Chapter 26, the reciting of, was samadhi itself. I would have to concur. The power that I've noticed in it, is that it describes a state free of all dualistic opposites, not an intellectual way, but in a meditative way. I find this extremely helpful to Inquiry because the purpose of Inquiry is to go directly from the ignorant state of bondage, believing that I (the individual, the devotee) exist to merging in Union with God, Ramana, that itself, free of an ego, free of a mind. While Inquiry may take a long time, the attention is constantly being put on that the I individual is a figment, and unreal. It's not, in my experience, an intellectual process, a meditation that uses the intellect, that is when the temples get sore, and I have to ask whose is that effort? In way, how can I worship god, if I exist to worship him. Isn't it arrogant of me to take the illusory individual to be real, and in relation to God?

David Godman said...

Clemens Vargos Ramos

These are Bhagavan's words in English:

‘Advaita [non-duality] should not be practised in ordinary activities. It is sufficient if there is no differentiation in the mind. If one keeps cart-loads of discriminating thoughts within, one should not pretend that all is one on the outside.

‘Westerners practise mixed marriages and eat equally with everyone. What is the use of doing only this? Only wars and battlefields have resulted. Out of all these activities, who has obtained any happiness?

‘This world is a huge theatre. Each person has to act whatever role is assigned to him. It is the nature of the universe to be differentiated but within each person there should be no sense of differentiation.’

Ravi said...

Scott,
" but a visceral conviction. What appeals to me in Song of Ribhu (ribhu gita) is not that it is an intellectual treatise to think about, but that it causes thinking to merge, the conviction is not intellectual. Supposedly, at Ramana Ashram it was recited regularly outloud because Bhagavan viewed it as essentially the same as his state, in Power of Presence he said Chapter 26, the reciting of, was samadhi itself. I would have to concur. The power that I've noticed in it, is that it describes a state free of all dualistic opposites, not an intellectual way, but in a meditative way. I find this extremely helpful to Inquiry because the purpose of Inquiry is to go directly from the ignorant state of bondage, believing that I (the individual, the devotee) exist to merging in Union with God, Ramana, that itself, free of an ego, free of a mind. While Inquiry may take a long time, the attention is constantly being put on that the I individual is a figment, and unreal. It's not, in my experience, an intellectual process, a meditation that uses the intellect, that is when the temples get sore, and I have to ask whose is that effort? In way, how can I worship god, if I exist to worship him. Isn't it arrogant of me to take the illusory individual to be real, and in relation to God?"

Friend I totally concur with you.Reading and dwelling in a meditative way on Books like Ribhu Gita or other works of Sri Bhagavan is definitely helpful in giving 'the visceral conviction'.However even this 'visceral conviction'is not the True thing!

You have brought in several key seed points-very useful for practical Sadhana.If time and INCLINATION permits,I will share more later.
Best Regards.

Ravi said...

Ramos/David,
Thanks very much for that passage from 'Living by the words of Bhagavan'.
Best Regards.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I agree with you, about even that visceral connection, because it's visceral, I can't speak from experience because I'm not in the "sahaja" state, not that it is something to be in. But yeah, at most, and probably exaggerating, I have had short bouts where the mind subsided.

Note: I wonder how much analyzing my own state enough to disclaimer that I'm not enlightened is benificial, it probably isn't no more, then declaring myself "enlightened". If I realized the Self, I wouldn't need to waste my time telling people "I'm a SAINT!" And it's probably not good for pursuing Self-Inquiry to say that I'm unenlightened either. Irrelevent conceptualization.

This is partly in response to Bookworm on Nome, I was just reading a thing on neo-advaita, now in truth, using the intellect I don't think it's probably possible to discern who is or who isn't Self-Realized, and even the desire to do that, is the tabloid ego, and even if someone is a pseudo-teacher, does that mean I should spend my time, not Inquiring into my own ego, and commenting on "theirs".

That aside, there was a pamphlet on the web decrying neo-advaita. One thing I notice, that I imagine someone realized would not do. And I found someone on Youtube who did this, is glibly respond to anything anybody says, "Whose asking the question?" And then smile at them intently. The thing, that so clearly to my understanding at this point would distinguish this, from say a realized sadguru, is that it is a cliche imitation of maybe something they read in Talks. (and not a genuine response to the inner needs of the seeker probably because the "person" isn't qualified) Sri Ramana, may ask something like that, but he also gave thoughtful well considered answers, and often (always probably) he was responding to the inner state of the seeker. On the other hand, us seekers after Self-Knowledge can probably not be too careful to out of hand say someone isn't REalized because they have the trappings of a neo-advaita teacher either (or anything else our mind's have been trained intellectually to look down upon), because our prior intellectual knowledge, the cues that arouse our ego, would they ever be able to suss out a beacon of the Self? For myself, I'm careful not to out of hand judge things based on what "I" thinks it knows, because probably "I" would not recognize, and may even have strong viscerally negative reactions at first to one who could do it "I" in.

I noticed that in many cases people responded negatively and judgementally to Saints. Papaji when he met Maharshi, said he was a fraud, and lazy, and setting a bad example, and only despised him.

Some of the people who met Ramakrishna went there to win arguments with him, becoming followers.

Oh and Ravi friend please enlighten me about that, and the Bhagavad Gita quotes you promised earlier.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.
...These are Bhagavan's words in English:..

Thank you, David!

.

Anonymous said...

Scott fraundorf:

I believe Muruganar is in the photos... From watching the Who Am I? documentary, Muruganar I believe is the one with the really long beard, and long hair. One of the pictures has him in the foreground.

Anonymous said...

As you well know a picture is worth a 1000 words. Any reason you do not share your picture with the public?
Thanks

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Go to Youtube for the Who am I? Documentary, or the pictures on this post, for the pic of Muruganar, is that what you were referring?

David Godman said...

Anonymous said...

As you well know a picture is worth a 1000 words. Any reason you do not share your picture with the public?
Thanks

If that query is addressed to me, you can find several photos of me scattered throughout my site (www.davidgodman.org)

Bookworm said...

David

You say:

'If that query is addressed to me, you can find several photos of me scattered throughout my site (www.davidgodman.org)'

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

Yuk.



Just joking.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Personally, I'd find it creepy for anyone to be asking for anyone, even David godman to have to show their picture to the 'public', because that is not what this is about. But I wasn't sure what anonymous' query was about.

silence_speaks said...

Dear Anonymous Japanese man,
:)

In Self inquiry what is needed is to "see" who is having this particular feeling.

"I feel pain".

Who is saying this within, look within. straight. Not intellectualize. Just ask the body: Are you feeling this? The body does not complain of pain. it is jada padartha , dead entity.
So , next ... it is the "I" of mind... but who has this thought ... from where is this arising ? Look, dont intelectualize ... just look ...
it leads to Consciousness.

Remain as Consciousness.

Love!
Silence

Raghavan said...

David,

Thank you very much indeed for providing the links of photos of Bhagawan, some published originally in LIFE magazine.

I have seen some of these photos earlier... but still, I was moved to tears when saw them again. Do not know why.

Raghavan said...

David,

Thank you very much indeed for providing the links of photos of Bhagawan, some published originally in LIFE magazine.

I have seen some of these photos earlier... but still, I was moved to tears when saw them again. Do not know why.

Bookworm said...

David

You say:

'If that query is addressed to me, you can find several photos of me scattered throughout my site (www.davidgodman.org)'

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

Yuk.



Just joking.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Go to Youtube for the Who am I? Documentary, or the pictures on this post, for the pic of Muruganar, is that what you were referring?

Anonymous said...

"arising out of setting aside IMAGINED BAGGAGE OF CARES AND WORRIES)", my understanding is that this is the practice continually not taking the baggage and cares and worries to be real. Though I'm not realized, I have not vanished as an individual, I can't really seriously take part in these discussions with words that mean a whole lot, but are just intellectual debate.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Ravi, I can't disagree with you from the point of being more advanced then you, or knowing better then you. But my experiences so far suggest that that is the practice is getting free I suppose from the conviction that there is duality. That's why I was mentioning the Song of Ribhu (Ribhu Gita) is that it helps establish me in a conviction where the mind is not so active in creating the false sense of duality. I would also disagree, not as in I'm right, your wrong, because I don't know, that duality is the natural state. In my own experience it is thinking about myself, gossiping about both myself and others, situations that creates the sense of duality. So my understanding is that nonduality and no mind are the same things. Now as long as I'm thinking that I'm an individual, there is not much point in pretending to others that I don't, or telling them not to, or saying "you are". when I still take myself to be a something.

Anonymous said...

scott Fraundorf:

Yeah, what's the difference. It does take effort, but it's an effort to cease effort, it shouldn't stay with effort. If it is effortful, who is making the effort? And then where is the source of happiness? What is eternal? For me, it's my problems, and worries that keep me bound, so whose problems are those? That's less of effort in the sense of strain, and more effort in the sense of practicing seeing only the awareness that is aware. It started with strain, but for there to be strain, there must be one straining, who is that? That's why Tamil Song of Ribhu helps me because it approaches all those dualistic notions, of one or the other, and relinquishes them. For instance even effort, versus non-effort is dualistic. Persevering versus laziness is dualistic. Inquiring versus living in Samsara is dualistic. Guru, devotee is dualistic. Enlightened, versus non-enlightened is dualistic. Pleasure and pain, desire, and renunciation. The sadhana so often involves those dualisms that must be give up at the outset. If they are given up at the outset, Inquiry is much less of a struggle, because it's not steeped in the notions of having to be one or the other, I should be doing this instead of that. That is bad advise, whereas this is good advise. He's a fraud, whereas they are the real deal. She talks the talk, he walks the walk. Jnani, ajnani. Dvaita, advaita And then in the Song of Ribhu every verse ends with stuff like, "there is and only ever has been the Supreme Brahman alone", or "Ever abide in bliss without a trace of a concept, in that itself, as that itself", "One who realizes this is a Jivanmukta" Then when I've read a chapter or two slowly, and let it sink in, it non-acting externally like a non-guru guru, when I'm out doing the activities that I'm "supposed" to do to survive, it's much easier to stay clean of any duality, any wayward thought. So that is something that I haven't seen so much focused on here, is that the dualities that have to be given up, in a sense have to be given up at the outset. Inquiry, the struggle, is because I one hand believe that the world is real, my problems are real, the one who has the problems are real, and then I'm asking who is this, while I believe that. The believing that has to be given up simultaneously. I have a feeling that that is what differs those who have realized effortlessly, from those who never realized or practiced for a long time. Lakshmana Swami had a strong conviction already in the non-existance of the ego, the world, when he went to see Ramana, and he knew what was left of that notion should be gotten rid of. Ramana just looked at him, and he inquired Who am I? and realized that he never was bound, there never was someone who was bound.

I went through the being excited about the biographies of these people, and I haven't given that up, why would I? But the truth is that I want to be the Truth, I'm in this for Realizing I'm not or never was bound, because I want to be free of dualities like suffering verses non-suffering. Being around non-people, maybe or maybe not Nome is one of them, helps, and is also threatening to my personhood notion that never even existed but pretends to exist, that's why I was so angry at SAT, when I'm never angry. Sorry, I once again, started on topic but got off topic, I'll try to be better about that.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Nope, I'm being nice and avoiding dominating new threads as much as possible, to allow for dialoguing fun, unless of course it's a direct response, on topic. my meandering, irrelevent stuff that no one reads, the mad man on the corner, I keep that elsewhere As much as possible.

Anonymous said...

Shiba the Japanese man:

"So,self-enqiry maybe more easy and gentle practice than I thought."

Self-enquiry is not a "fight". The practice is allowing the mind to rest. Do you know the feeling of refreshment upon waking up in the morning? The mind feels fresh and centered. Staying centered is enquiry.

Self-enquiry takes only persistence, not effort. If the practice seems to take effort it is because you are trying to disrupt the usual flow of thoughts and feeling you have. Don't do this. Do what feels natural. The practice should help to relieve stress, not add to it.

Only extraneous thoughts should be eliminated by directing your attention to the "I" or "center".

Anonymous said...

David,
Are you in touch with Papaji's devotees - those who are profiled in 'Nothing Ever Happened'. Do they continue to feel Papaji's grace? Do they have more interesting stories (those left out from the book or those you heard about later) to add? Do any of them teach regularly or are willing to share their experiences?

arunachala101 said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Ravi,
What you've said makes alot of sense, it doesn't matter me evaluating other people's state, if I derive benefit from a certain teacher is what matters. As you said, everyone wants to be a guru, few want to be a disciple. It only matters whether I'm a true disciple. If I'm a true disciple, that is dilligently practicing the sadhana, the Inquiry, then I don't have to worry about others, what their state is. And if certain teachers are helpful in the practice, and turning my mind inward, that's what is important. Good point. Arunachala101 maybe is a little pretentious, but when I started this, it was the first thing I thought of.

meestergus said...

Hi Scott,

Feel free to contact me outside this thread if you would like my impressions on Nome (the link on my page should work). I've been to see him several times.

Seek your own happiness, Scott and it will work out fine. (my way of concurring with Ravi's fine post).

gus

Ravi said...

Scott,
"I would be interested in your sincere opinion on Nome"
Friend,if you feel benefitted and your devotion and faith is genuine,this is all that matters.You need not go by the opinions or gossips of others.If SELF is the only Reality then Nome or Sri Ramana or any other Teacher is and can only be THAT.
As Sri Ramakrishna used to say-"'Therefore I say, 'Even though my guru frequents a grog-shop, still to me he is the embodiment of Eternal Bliss.' All want to be the guru, but very few indeed want to be a disciple."
The Right thing to ask is this-Am I a True Disciple,not whether X,Y or Z is a GENUINE GURU.

There is no GURU who has not had some detractors,and this is true of Great Masters like Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Bhagavan.

Remember that even a Vagabond can be a Guru if WE CHOOSE TO BE A DISCIPLE.As Emerson in his wonderful essay on SELF RELIANCE said-"Although foolishly uttered,they can be wisely heard"

Friend,if you find Nome's Translations and other words helpful,this is all that matters.It is the GURU who is reaching out to you.If this Faith grows,you will simply set aside all contrarian views like a Lotus Leaf remaining untouched by the water drops sprayed on it.

Wishing you the very Best.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

And also Bookworm, it does seem that being around a living Realized person, someone who "knows the ropes" so to speak, and yes they probably are extremely rare, less then 1 in a million, perhaps less (according to David Godman). But it seems that it is extremely helpful, and probably necessary for most people, who are interested in Self-Realization (according to David Godman).

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I don't know if this would be deviating too much, but something somehow relating to this issue of fake teachers that claim Ramana as their "guru", if there was some way to dive into that, since the questions about Nome, or Adi Da, and others, might relate to an interesting topic for a post. I don't know how that might be done, but relate it strictly to Ramana's teaching. I guess why I trust Nome is that Ramana said the sense of peace you feel, and the sense of respect are the signs of a genuine spiritual teacher. Around every manipulative abuser I've been around, at some point, I switch from being at peace around them, to feeling anxious, and like their trying to push me to places I don't want to go. That's a good rule of thumb, I think. No such feeling as of yet around Nome.

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
"I did learn the most important lesson of my life from the experience...never again to forget, or need, or allow another precedence...over the certain Truth that is Ramana."
This is invaluable-to have this sort of faith and conviction.
This will lead to seeing RAMANA in all,including adi da or X or Y or Z.
The most important lesson to be learnt is to recognise that we ALONE are responsible for whatever happens to us,not the 'Other' person.
Best Regards.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I should also add that while I love David Godman's translations of alot of different writing, when I read Nome's translations of Who am I? and other Maharshi writings, as well as the Tamil and Sanksrit Ribhu Gita, my mind is immediately obliterated by grace. My little stupid theory on it, is that it's because since Nome's ego has completely subsided for good in the Self, his translations capture Maharshi's graceful words into English in a way that only a fellow Self-Realized could.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

That's interesting, I looked up pictures of Adi Da and I immediately got a bad feeling, similar to with Osho. Too much pomp and circumstance, and dying in Figi with millions. Weird. But I can't really make a judgement besides on both of your bad experiences. It's perhaps good I skipped the being starry eyed about spirituality phase, preferring punk rock and anarchy instead.

I've been corresponding, not in that I'm that special, but as in he seems to be a genuine spiritual teacher, Nome in Santa Cruz. I suspect he's fully realized, but it's not something I want to debate over, although feel free. But the reason I trust him at this point, is and I can't explain it too well verbally, his e-mail responses which have been frequent have been dispassionate, impersonal, more then any person I've ever met, and directing me to seek happiness within. There has been no feeling of him trying to take power over me, or toot his own horn. When I asked him if he was a jnani, he said that "the consideration of whether Nome is a jnani is irrelevent to your Inquiry, Sri Ramana said the Realized can take care of themselves, and so you should take care of yourself". So evidently, he doesn't want me speculating on his state. Following that advise, but it is interesting that the President of Sri RamanaAsram asked him to write some verses for the commemoration of Ramana's arrival at Arunachala, and the President of the Ramana Maharshi center of learning in Tirumunavalai said only someone aware of Ramana's flowing grace could write commentaries on writings of Maharshi, Nome clearly has that awareness of the Maharshi's flowing grace, he said. When I was brought to society of Abdiance in truth (SAT), I experienced complete absorption in the Self which is why I sought out Inquiry, and from getting responses from him. Not only that, there is no big shot vibe, he has responded to all my serious questions, ignoring some of the idle intellectual curiosity questions, or responding but only to turn my attention from the intellect. And I was already at a place, where I wasn't going to be easily had, or was looking for a guru. This kind of guru-ship that I've perhaps found, is not me worshipping or looking up to him as an authority figure, but that his responses have helped me realize my own Self far deeper then I had previously, and taking me out of the mind-world. I just wanted to put that out there. From my experiences, and I'm no expert, it seems to me is that the best way to find a good living teacher, is to do Self-Inquiry and not to look for one, or not to buy into one, but if around someone you experience the Self, stay in contact and experience the Self more and more, until you get firmly established there. But if that's not happening, then there's no point in teachers that have intellectual knowledge, want to make money, or have power over others. Intellectual I would never have been able to suss out that Nome was a genuine teacher, and initially I felt negative about him. I only write him, because I experience the Self clearly on a regular basis by doing so.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

What about sages that do not deviate at all from Ramana, such as Muruganar, Lakshmana Swami, Papaji, Annamalai Swami, Saradamma?

Bookworm said...

David...do you not print some of my comments and I am sure the comments of others because your Heart tells you not to or because your head tells you not to?

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

What, the question about the aliens?