Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sri Guru Ramana Prasadam

At various times over the last few months I have featured extracts from Robert Butler's translation of Sri Guru Ramana Prasadam. The book is now available through Lulu either as a download or as a paperback. The place to go to is: http://www.lulu.com/content/1077675. The material I have given at the end of post comes from this link.

For devotees in India there will be a publication that will be priced in rupees. I went to my press in Pondicherry a couple of days ago, brought back the first copy of the Indian edition and gave it to Robert, who is here for a three-week stay with his wife. The Indian edition will be on sale in a few weeks' time in the Sri Ramanasramam bookstore and will sell for Rs 150 per copy. I will also be selling copies on my site.

Sri Guru Ramana Prasadam

by Robert Butler

Sri Guru Ramana Prasadam by Robert Butler (Book) in Religion & Spirituality
Publisher: Robert Butler
Copyright: © 2008 Robert Butler Standard Copyright License
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Edition: First Edition
Download: 1 documents , 753 KB

Printed: 185 pages, 15.24 cm x 22.86 cm, perfect binding, black and white interior ink

Description:

Sri Guru Ramana Prasadam is a devotional work composed by Mukavai Kanna Muruganar, a devotee of Ramana Maharshi, an enlightened Master who lived in South India at the foot of the holy mountain Arunachala until his maha nirvana in 1950. It is more than just a devotional work, since it embodies the teachings imparted by Ramana to Muruganar, through the medium of silence, and through the practice of self-enquiry, in which the aspirant dwells upon the 'I' sense in order to investigate the nature of his own consciousness.


100 comments:

Subramanian. R said...

Dear David,

When I had been to Asram in Sep.
2008, I purchased 3 books in Tamil of Muruganar, titled Guru
Ramana Prasadam, Sri Ramana Anubhuti and Sri Ramana Anubhuti Venba. The persons at
the bookstores said that one of these has already been translated, in part, by Robert Butler. I request you to tell me,
what this new book is?

shiba said...

 Thank you for advising on my comment.

Continue attending to I-thought and ralax at same time is very difficult for me.

I have been practicing self-enquiry for about twenty days till today.

One of my probrems that I am encountering during practice is aches around temple.Before I began to practice it,I didn't have such aches.

And I also wonder if I should ask myself "to whom ~~~ arise" etc verbally.

Without asking myself them verbally, I-thouhgt seem to become vague to feel.

But asking myself them repeatedly in the form of language is a little annoying.

David Godman said...

Subramanian

Anubhuti Venba is a collection of prose explanations by Muruganar himself of various verses that he wrote. Ninety-five of them are from Guru Vachaka Kovai. The remainder appear in Sri Ramana Jnana Bodham.

Muruganar originally wrote two volumes of devotional poetry that were entitled Sri Ramana Anubhuti parts one and two. These were recently amalgamated into one volume in Tamil and given the new title Sri Guru Ramana Prasadam. It is likely that this is one of the books you purchased.

Sometime in the 1990s Robert did a partial translation of part one of Sri Anubhuti Venba that was published by the Ramana Maharshi Centre for Learning in Bangalore. He was not happy with this translation because, in addition to being incomplete, he realised that he had made many errors. His new book is a completely new translation of Sri Guru Ramana Prasadam, that is to say, it includes all the material from Sri Ramana Anubhuti parts one and two.

Anonymous said...

Dear Shiba,

Yes,as you know and expressind in your post, who is aware of aches around the temples? The usual habit is to focus on the sensations, thoughts etc., but is it possible to look at the awareness of the senations? Focus on the awareness of the sensations. Sensations are arising and passing in This awareness, consciousness, that you are.

shiba said...

Thank you for your comment.

Certainly,my attention is forced to focus on headache.I should continue focusing on I-thought.

In "BE AS YOU ARE" p119, "If concentration is made with the brain,sensation of heat and even headache ensue.Concentration has to be made in the Heart,which is cool and refreshing.Relax and your meditation will be easy.~~"

I can't understand what "in the Heart" mean.

But in p178 "The mind which was hitherto operating through the nerves to sense external objects, maintaining a link between itself and the organs of perception, is now required to withdraw from the link and this action of withdrawal naturally causes a strain, a sprain or a snap attendant with pain.~~" is written.

So,I will put up with pain and continue to practice self-enquiry.

In addition to regular periods of practice I'm trying to think "I,I" mentally in daily life. It is a little easy to practice for me.

Broken Yogi said...

shiba said:

"In "BE AS YOU ARE" p119, "If concentration is made with the brain,sensation of heat and even headache ensue.Concentration has to be made in the Heart,which is cool and refreshing.Relax and your meditation will be easy.~~"

I can't understand what "in the Heart" mean.


I think the non-scholarly answer to your question is "in feeling". When people engage self-enquiry, they first tend to use their thinking mind, the conceptual mind, that is abstracted from experience, and not really able to experience anything directly. What Ramana suggested was that this approach to self-enquiry doesn't work.

Instead of merely thinking "I", and trying to trace its origins in the mind, it is best to merely feel the basic feeling of self, or "I-feeling", and trace its origins through the central faculty of feeling, rather than the secondary faculty of mind. This helps ground self-enquiry in a depth that the thinking mind simply cannot achieve.

When Ramana refers to "heart", I think in most cases you can take it that he merely means "core of experience", and the core of our experience is in feeling, not in the thinking mind. Unless, of course, one learns to feel with the mind as well, but even then, feeling is the deeper faculty. It's not an appeal to mere emotion, but the feeling quality of every moment of presuming oneself to be "I".

So I think what is meant is to simply feel this sense of "I", of self, that we have all the time, and examine this feeling in depth. Look for the source of this feeling, by feeling even deeper, past the "I", to the feeling of "being" itself.

Sometimes Ramana told people to repeat "I,I,I", like a mantra, but I think he meant that as an exercise of feeling, as in "feel the 'I', feel the 'I', feel the 'I'." It's not just some sort of mental mantra to repeat to gain intellectual knowledge or clarity.

Now, David can correct me if I'm wrong, but he was the one who helped point me to this understanding of self-enquiry in the first place, or at least confirmed this to be the case, so I think he would probably agree. In any case, just try it this way, and see if it makes a difference.

Ravi said...

Broken Yogi,
What you have pointed out is the essence.The 'I' has to be gotten hold of at its profoundest depths.Gross thought is utterly superficial and self enquiry at that level is only a futile exercise-as good or as bad as any other exercise in concentration.

For a person struggling with thoughts at a gross level,a simpler exercise will be to just watch the breath going in and out-this would lead to a deeper awareness of oneself.Self Enquiry will then be understood as Self Awareness without any need for the 'enquiring' action of thought.
This emergence (or is it to be called immergence)into this 'cave of Space'free from the invasion of habitual thoughts is the 'Heart'.

Thanks for sharing your understanding in a practical and down to earth fashion.
Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf;

I've found all manner of things helpful in Self-Inquiry. Lately, it's just mainly trying to stay non-thinking, and when I'm thinking, shifting to non-thinking. If thinking "who am I?" I have to resort to thinking who am I? I generally avoid it. But then when I've gotten to a largely thought free clear space, relatively, not necessarily samadhi, I then ask who is this I, who is aware, who is this I, even doing the effort? But I think it's best to shift up approaches to whatever gets the closest to nonduality. So taking other approaches that redirect from the outward thinking mind. I think as I've repeatedly said, reading slowly and meditatively Song or Ribhu or Who am I? or 40 verses, or Muruganar, really slowly so it's not intellectual, but mesmerizing. It also gets closer to the spirit of those writings which was not intellectual but mesmerizing words eminating from the Self, and also this acts as somewhat an outside force, whereas the Inquiry previously mentioned seems to involve a clear notion of being the Inquirer. So this gets me to a more effortless, quiet space. At times just surrendering, even saying the Our Father, or Hail Mary, or anything devotional, Muruganar verses serve the same purpose, if something scarey is potentially feared to happen, still trusting in the silent space. Make the decision to turn back from lust, anger, fear, to the quiet space. I think all of these have the potential to suddenly you just find it all falls away. As far as finding spiritual teachers, a sadguru, letting the Inquirer determine auspicious associations, and the sense of peace. These are all my down to Earth "strategies" at present.

Bookworm said...

Broken Yogi

Hi Broken Yogi..I thought you were off sulking somewhere.
It is good to see you back...even sounding a bit wise.
Well to a fool like me you do...ish.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

...Bookworm: Ramana quoted Shankara..therefore must have value...

Bookworm quoted Ramana. Therefore Bookworm must be right.

.

David Godman said...

Bhagavan not only had a high regard for the teachings of ad-Sankara, he even went so far as to identify himself with him. This is the introduction that Bhagavan himself wrote to his own translation of Sankara's 'Hymn to Dakshinamurti':

Brahma (the four faced god) brought by his power of thought four sons, named Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatsujata and Sanatkumara. He asked them to attend to the work of creating the world, preserving it, etc., but they were not interested in it, being completely detached. They wandered about in search of peace and tranquillity. As they were extremely dispassionate and fit (to receive spiritual instruction), Siva, the great God of compassion, manifested himself before them in human form as Dakshinamurti (God facing south) under a banyan tree. He sat silently absorbed in himself, his right hand showing the gesture known as chinmudra. The four seekers were drawn to him even as iron is drawn to a magnet. They sat before him and, like him, were absorbed in the Self. Even advanced spiritual aspirants cannot easily understand this state of silence. The world, the seer and the awareness which enables it to be cognized stand as obstacles in their way. But since it is the single power (sakti) which manifests itself as these three and again withdraws them into itself, everything is that power which is the Self. Shankaracharya has expounded this truth in the following hymn.

After he had written this introduction he composed an invocatory verse that says:

'That Shankara who appeared as Dakshinamurti to grant peace to the great ascetics (Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatkumara and Sanatsujata), who revealed his real state of silence, and who has expressed the nature of the Self in this hymn, abides in me.'

At the beginning of his translation of 'Atma Bodha' Bhagavan composed another Tamil verse which said:

'Can Shankara, the enlightener of the Self, be different from one's own Self? Who but he, does this day, abiding as the inmost Self in me, speak this in the Tamil language?'

Since Bhagavan's attitude to Ad-Sankara has been discussed here, it is worth noting that translations of seven of Sankara's works (Dakshinamurti Stotra, Gurustuti, Hastamalaka Stotra, Atma Bodha, Vivekachudamani, Drik Drisya Viveka and Vichara Mani Malai)appear in Bhagavan's Collected Works. Together they comprise about ninety pages, almost a third of the Collection Works volume.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

...who has expressed the nature of the Self in this hymn, abides in me. ...Who but he, does this day, abiding as the inmost Self in me, speak this in the Tamil language?...

Oh yes,I know this important statements very well. Some people tried to look for theoretical differences between Ramana und Sankara, but there are no differences.

I remember a discussion somewhwere, where it was said that Ramanas position to classical advaita is different in that that classical advaita declares deep sleep to be avidya, whereas Ramana denied it to be avidya. Because in reality there exist only vidya and nothing else. Deep sleep is avidya to the ajnani.

nidhi said...

Dear David,

I have a question. In sanskrit chitta and atman are two different words. But when translated into english they are usually translated as consciousness and self. But sometimes the word consciousness is also used as self (atman). I am very much puzzled by these three words when I relate them to my experience. Chitta I feel is consciousness. But what is atman then. If I take it to be the entity percieving citta then that perceiving entity is also turns out to be chitta. What is self then. And what is true meaning of self realization

I hope and wish that I my question is understood and I get the answer.

regards
happy

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Beautiful!!! Those were the kinds of things I initially skipped over in Talks, but now recognize there value.

Sankar Ganesh said...

Dear David,

Kindly forgive me for asking you the following, different from the subject under discussion.

Have you met Yogi Ramsuratkumar? If so, could you please tell us about the talks/experience you had with him?

Yogi Ramsuratkumar considers Sri Ramana as one of his three spiritual fathers others being Sri Aurobindo and Papa Ramdas.

Yogi Ramsuratkumar used to tell his devotees that when he touched the prasadam touched by Sri Ramana, a thrill of energy passed through his body. This happened some years before Yogi Ramsuratkumar attained Jnana.

Thanks. Sankar Ganesh.

Ravi said...

Friends,
I wish to share this wonderful excerpt from Sadhu Arunachala (Chadwick)featured in the Golden jubilee souvenir.
"An Australian journalist came to the Ashram, quite why
he came is a mystery, I doubt if he would be able to tell
himself. Anyhow he did come and in the course of his visit
came to see me in my room. It was obvious from the first
moment that I was a tremendous problem to him. Why an
European should shut himself away in a place like this was
beyond his comprehension. He asked many questions but
none of my replies satisfied him, how could they? Especially
as he had not the first idea of what the Ashram was or what
people were doing here. I didn’t even write, then what on
earth did I do! At length he could contain himself no longer
and bluntly asked me what I was doing here. Now here was
a problem to answer. If I had tried to tell him the truth he
would never have understood, that I realized, so making the
best of it I just said that here I found peace of mind. I knew
314
it was an inadequate answer but hoped it would stave off
further enquiries.
He looked at me seriously for a few minutes and then said
pityingly: “Oh I see, I have never been troubled in that way
myself.”
All I had succeeded in doing was in confirming him in the
conviction that I was insane. And was there not, after all, some
ground for his belief? Here have I been spending (“wasting”, he
would say) half a life time searching for something I already
possess. I know that I possess it too, which makes matters appear
worse.
But let us return to the question and admit straight- away
that even now I am unable to reply satisfactorily. I can only say
why I came and that is because I wanted to. And why do I stay?
Because I want to. Doubtless there are many learned writers to
this volume who will be able to give philosophical and cast-iron
replies to this question, I leave the reader to them. I am not
particularly interested. To my metal Bhagavan was a magnet
and as yet his magnetism has lost none of its force. I am helpless."

I have also found myself in a similiar predicament,trying to answer such questions.

Salutations.

Bookworm said...

Ravi

You say:

I have also found myself in a similiar predicament,trying to answer such questions.

........................
Haven't we all Ravi.
The Grace that draws one - and the Trust one has in Ramana is unexplainable..even in a sense to ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Sometimes, when I feel the strongest connection to grace, is when I realize I'm not able to solve my problems, or become enlightened, and naturally give in. How to do that, when any action or inaction is just the mind doing something? Inquiry I guess is the best answer, using the mind to find the source of being.

Bookworm said...

Scott
You wrote:

'Sometimes, when I feel the strongest connection to grace, is when I realize I'm not able to solve my problems, or become enlightened, and naturally give in. How to do that, when any action or inaction is just the mind doing something? Inquiry I guess is the best answer, using the mind to find the source of being'

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

The mind finds nothing Scott.

The MIND is only a jumped up tool in You, merely a part or level of You..just an ability.

It is a state of thought in conciousness that became too strong in you... so that You falsly thought and think it is You.

But it is not You and You are not it.
It is maya..an illusion...an entanglement and entrapment that although it appears and feels to be You...
Enquiry shows that it is false and not who you Truly Are.

Ego/mind is just a phantom that rises in You and appears to be You.

You are That from which and where it rises.
............................


You say: 'the best answer, using the mind to find the source of being'
.....
It is more true to say:
The more Your mind dies or surrenders into That from
which it rises:

the more You find... You... Are the source of Being and are only Being.

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
"Haven't we all Ravi.
The Grace that draws one - and the Trust one has in Ramana is unexplainable..even in a sense to ourselves."
Quite true....'even in a sense to ourselves'!

Scott,
"Sometimes, when I feel the strongest connection to grace, is when I realize I'm not able to solve my problems, or become enlightened, and naturally give in."
This is quite valid.Contrary to this,Grace visits(?) us when we least expect it(words!)and is not at all related to our state of mind.(whether we are in difficulty or otherwise).It may come looking for us when we are at play !

Best Regards.

Anonymous said...

Meditation in the heart is possible, I think, only after one has become aware of the essential Self, " I Am," that one is, and not at the stage of confounding oneself to be a body one is identified with. After the spiritual certitude of this is got, if thoughts crop up, one can ask the question, " who am I," which is after all a directing of the thought process to the self, which is not a dualistic action of one thought acting on another thought. All meditation done with the brain involves a duality of thought process, the brain itself being a product of duality, the consequence of the first thought, the thought of, " body I am."

Anonymous said...

The word chitta refers to thought process. It is better translated as consciousness. All movements involving the material process are termed as only consciousness by NISARGADATTA. On the other hand, to refer to the atman, the pure consciousness, the term Awareness is better used. NISARGADATTA uses only this term to refer to the pure atman, not the individualized atman, the food body. Maurice Freydman also uses only these terms in the work, " I AM THAT." Thus one can distinguish between the two.

Bookworm said...

Anonymous
Who cares what NIS/ETC did or didn't do. I certainly don't.

In my opinion(my humble one Ravi)...I don't think His 'realisation'
was anywhere near as ripe or deep as Ramanas. He didn't know a thing about the Heart on the right for example.

What's an atman then?... and.. you say there are two of them.
Is it a bit like the 'soul' that I was indoctrinated /told that I have, whilst growing up in a Roman Catholic family.
I have had a good look around for it in me but I am dammed if I can find the thing.

Bookworm said...

Anonymous

One more thing Anonymous
You say:
'The word chitta refers to thought process. It is better translated as consciousness'

.........................
Thinking and the thought process is
in Truth..unconciousness.

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
"Who cares what NIS/ETC did or didn't do. I certainly don't.

In my opinion(my humble one Ravi)...I don't think His 'realisation'
was anywhere near as ripe or deep as Ramanas. He didn't know a thing about the Heart on the right for example."
We may start with this form of Devotion to Sri Bhagavan.sooner or later this needs to be outgrown.Love is where comparison is not-it does not admit IDEAS like 'less','more'etc.

Nisargadutta Maharaj is truly a Realised Master,and this Realisation does not admit any comparison-Truth is not even NOT ONE!It is not nondual or Dual.These are all ideas.It is beyond these and includes all these.

Just like Sri Bhagavan is dear to us,Sri Nisargadutta also is,as also all Masters.

Reading from the Books about a Master or his teaching is not the same thing as BEING WITH ONE.

coming to the two types of Atman that anonymous has referred to-terminology is different;that is all.EGO is the Atman associated with the Body mind complex-What Sri Bhagavan called as DEHATMA BUDDHI,the pure Atman is the 'I,I' as referred to by Sri Bhagavan.

Thought process is not unconsciousness-if that were so,we will not be conscious of our thoughts(like in deep sleep).we are very much conscious of our thoughts and the thought process-only that this consciousness is limited by the 'object'.This 'limited consciousness' is a reflection of the unlimited consciousness(awareness)of the self.

REFLECTION implies that SOURCE is there.

Best Regards.

Bookworm said...

Ravi

Sorry Ravi but I think you are wrong on all counts and of course the ego/thinking mind is unconciousness..if you cannot see that..what hope is there for you?

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
"what hope is there for you?"

This is not to pick on your words-but just think it over-What is the value of hope?A devotee lives in certitude and has no need for 'Hope'.Hope is only a projection of a thwarted mind not satisfied with the present.

Best Regards.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I initially was skeptical of Nisargadatta when I first read some of the dialogues with him, mainly because I was new to it, and i made a quick judgement, but I did kind of start seeing it differently when I read a little more, a little deeper. Mainly reading the interview with D.G. and his experiences, sounded like the Power of Presence was there. And then when I would read excerpts of I am That, it made much clearer what Realization is/means. As far as I can tell, people are either Realized, not Realized, there are not alot of gradations in between. In my own experience, when my mind becomes active again, it's just as obnoxious, no matter how peaceful I got in between. So it doesn't seem like the ego becomes a better ego. I thought Anonymous made good points, also what Ravi said to me makes sense. Bookworm too, made sense.

Bookworm said...

Ravi

I am glad you feel you live in certitude and feel satisfied wih the present Ravi.

Bookworm said...

Ravi

By the way Ravi
You say:
'We may start with this form of Devotion to Sri Bhagavan.sooner or later this needs to be outgrown'

........
Nothing to do with Devotion Ravi....It is my True opinion that Nis/etcs realisation was not as ripe or as deep as Ramanas.

As for your statement above, there is only one word for it Ravi and that is...rubbish.

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
"It is my True opinion that Nis/etcs realisation was not as ripe or as deep as Ramanas."

What is 'True Opinion'?It will help to take a little timeoff and think for oneself.If we invest a fraction of time in examining our beliefs and opinions-all products of a stagnant mind,then setting aside all these,there is a possibility of opening to Grace;in experiencing this Grace there is certitude.
As Sri Ramakrishna says -There is a possibility of a fall if the child holds on to the mother,but no such possibility when the mother holds the child.
Wishing you the very Best.

Ravi said...

Bookworm/Friends,
Here is an excerpt from 'At the Feet of Bhagavan' by sri T K sundaresa Iyer(A real gem of a book that David brought out from the archives!)
"IT was about 1927 when Sri Bhagavan’s Nool Thirattu1
in Tamil was under preparation to be published. There
was talk among the Ashram pundits that the book must
have a preface although the devotees of Maharshi
considered that nobody was qualified to write a preface
to His works. The pundits proposed the writing of a
preface, but none of them came forward to write it, each
excusing himself that he was not qualified for the task. It
was a drama of several hours as one proposed another for
the purpose, and each declined the honour. Bhagavan
was watching all this quietly.
At about 10-30 in the night, as I was passing beside
the Hall, Sri Bhagavan looked at me and said, “Why not
you write the preface yourself?”
I was taken aback at His proposal, but meekly said,
“I would venture to write it only if I had Bhagavan’s blessing
in the task.” Bhagavan said, “Do write it, and it will
come all right.”
So I began writing at the dead of night, and to my
great surprise within three quarters of an hour I made a
draft as if impelled, driven by some Supreme Force. Ialtered not even a comma of it, and at 2 O’clock in the
early morning I placed it at the feet of Bhagavan. He was
happy to see how the contents were arranged and to note
the simplicity of the expressions used. He passed it as all
right and asked me to take it away.
But as I had taken the written sheets of paper only a
few steps away, Sri Maharshi beckoned me to show them
to Him once again. I had concluded the Preface in the
following way: “It is hoped that this work in the form of
Bhagavan’s Grace will give to all who aspire to eternal
Truth, the Liberation in the form of gaining supreme
Bliss shaped as the taking away of all sorrow.” Maharshi
said, “Why have you said ‘It is hoped’? Why not say ‘It is
certain’?” So saying, He corrected with His own hands
my ‘nambukiren’ into ‘tinnam’.
Thus Sri Maharshi set His seal of approval to the
book, giving to His devotees that great charter of
Liberation, in the form of His Teaching (upadesa) which
leaves no trace of doubt about it in the mind."

Best Regards.

Subramanian. R said...

Dear everyone, "chitta" means
mind stuff, and this is the word
that is found in all Sri Ramakrishna
Math English Translations. This is
a compound, which comprises,
mind, ego and tendencies. Such
words are plenty in Tamil and Sanskrit and it is difficult to translate them in English. For eg.
Ramana used Naan and Thaan in
Who am I? Naan is the individual soul, ego, mind and tendencies all
put together and Thaan is the Self.
English translators put them as
I and I-I, i and I and confused the
English readers for a long period of time.

Bookworm said...

Ravi
You say:

'What is 'True Opinion'?It will help to take a little timeoff and think for oneself.If we invest a fraction of time in examining our beliefs and opinions-all products of a stagnant mind,then setting aside all these,there is a possibility of opening to Grace;in experiencing this Grace there is certitude'

........
All right Ravi if it makes you feel better:
I have certitude... I am certain that Nis/etcs realisation was not as ripe or as deep as Ramanas.

David Godman said...

Subramanian

In some philosophical classifications chitta (chittam in Tamil, chitta in Sanskrit) is one of the antakaranas, or inner faculties. When it appears in this kind of context, it tends to be restricted to that portion of the mind which stores memories. However, in more general usage it is used to denote all the functions of the mind. Here is a quotation from Bhagavan in which he explains the traditional antakarana classification, and then goes on to say that that all these terms are essentially synonyms for the same phenomena:

Bhagavan: The inner organs [antakaranas] are classified as five: (1) Knowledge - jnana; (2) Mind - manas; (3) Intellect - buddhi; (4) Memory - chitta; and (5) The ego - ahankara; some say only the latter four; others say only two, namely (1) Manas, mind and (2) Ahankara, the ego; still others say the antakarana is only one whose different functions make it appear differently and hence its different names. Heart is thus the source of the antakaranas.

There is the body which is insentient; there is the Self which is eternal and self-luminous; in between the two there has arisen a phenomenon, namely the ego, which goes under these different names, mind [manas], intellect [buddhi], memory [chitta], the ego [ahankara], power [sakti], life current [prana], etc. Seek your source; the search takes you to the Heart automatically. The antakaranas are only ideas [kalpana] to explain the subtle body [sukshma sarira]. (Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no. 392)

* * *

When he was not explaining its traditional and restricted philosophical usage, Bhagavan tended to use the term chittam as a synonym for ‘mind’. Its relationship to ‘chit’, pure consciousness, is brought out by Bhagavan in the following two verses from Guru Vachaka Kovai:

70

Though the world seduces us, appearing to be real in the reflected consciousness [chidabhasa] that is the mind [chittam], its appearance and movement in the reality, pure consciousness [chaitanya], is only an illusion.

244

The syllable ‘tam’ in the word chittam represents the defilement by sense objects that is maya, a superimposition that appears to exist like the red colour that appears in a transparent crystal when it is adjacent to a red hibiscus flower. Chittam, when freed from the defilement ‘tam’, becomes chit, the unique and transcendental being-consciousness.

* * *

I agree that ‘I-I’ is the wrong English term to use for the Tamil word ‘tan’, which, depending on the context, can either mean the individual or the impersonal self. When Bhagavan wanted to convey the concept of ‘I-I’, he used ‘nan-nan’. ‘Nan’ is the singular first person pronoun ‘I’. See, for example, Ulladu Narpadu verse 30:

When the mind turns inward seeking ‘Who am I?’ and merges in the Heart, then the ‘I’ hangs down his head in shame and the One ‘I’ appears as itself. Though it appears as ‘I-I’ [nan-nan], it is not the ego. It is reality, perfection, the substance of the Self.

Ravi said...

Bookworm/Scott,
1."In my opinion(my humble one Ravi)...I don't think His 'realisation'
was anywhere near as ripe or deep as Ramanas. "

2."Nothing to do with Devotion Ravi....It is my True opinion that Nis/etcs realisation was not as ripe or as deep as Ramanas."

3."All right Ravi if it makes you feel better:
I have certitude... I am certain that Nis/etcs realisation was not as ripe or as deep as Ramanas."

" In my own experience, when my mind becomes active again, it's just as obnoxious, no matter how peaceful I got in between. So it doesn't seem like the ego becomes a better ego."-scott

Friend,you need to examine this sort of 'metamorphosis'-whether this is certitude or Self Assertion.certitude is required for oneself ,not to satisfy 'others'.

'I' or 'mind' or 'ego'-very interesting to talk about the annihilation,unreality,etc-as long as it is out there in public-how the 'I' asserts itself the moment we switch over to the ACTUAL from the ideal!

You are certainly free to carry whatever opinion of Sri Nisargadatta or any other teacher.Do recognise that 'others' may have a different view point,perhaps more valid and beneficial ,not only for the those who express them but also for 'oneself' if one chooses to be open and willing to learn.

Wishing you the very Best.

Ravi said...

Friends,
Here is an excerpt from 'Letters from Sri Ramanasramam':
"This afternoon a Tamil youth approached Bhagavan,
and asked, “Swamiji! Yesterday morning you told the
Gujarati lady that renunciation means internal
renunciation. How are we to attain it? What is internal
renunciation?”
Bhagavan: Internal renunciation means that all vasanas
should be subdued. If you ask me, ‘How to attain that?’ my
reply is, ‘it is attainable by sadhana.’
Question: Sadhana requires a Guru, doesn’t it?
Bhagavan: Yes! A Guru is required.
Question: How is one to decide upon a proper Guru?
What is the swarupa of a Guru?
Bhagavan: He is the proper Guru to whom your mind is
attuned. If you ask, how to decide who is the Guru and whatis his swarupa, he should be endowed with tranquillity, patience,
forgiveness and other virtues capable of attracting others, even
by a mere look, like the magnetic stone, and with a feeling of
equality towards all — he that has these virtues is the true
Guru. If one wants to know the true Guru swarupa, one must
know his own swarupa first. How can one know the true Guru
swarupa, if one does not know one’s own swarupa first? If you
want to perceive the true Guru swarupa, you must first learn
to look upon the whole universe as Guru rupam. One must
have the Gurubhavam towards all living beings. It is the same
with God. You must look upon all objects as God’s rupa. How
can he who does not know his own Self perceive Ishwara rupa
or Guru rupa? How can he determine them? Therefore, first
of all know your own real swarupam.
Question: Isn’t a Guru necessary to know even that?
Bhagavan: That is true. The world contains many great
men. Look upon him as your Guru with whom your mind
gets attuned. The one in whom you have faith is your Guru.
The youth was not satisfied. He started with a list of
great men now living, and said, “He has that defect; he has
this defect. How can they be looked upon as Gurus?”
Bhagavan tolerates any amount of decrying of himself,
but cannot tolerate even a little fault-finding of others. He
said with some impatience, “Oho! you have been asked to
know your own self, but instead you have started finding
fault with others. It is enough if you correct your own faults.
Those people can take care of their faults. It looks as if they
cannot attain salvation unless they obtain your certificate first.
That is a great pity! They are all waiting for your certificate.
You are a great man. Have they any salvation unless you
approve of them? Here you blame them, elsewhere you will
blame us. You know everything, whereas we know nothing,
and we have to be submissive towards you. Yes! we shall do so. You go and please proclaim, ‘I went to Ramanasramam;
I asked the Maharshi some questions; he was unable to reply
properly, so he does not know anything’."

Letters from Sri Ramanasramam truly captures Sri Bhagavan in an intimate and accessible manner,it transports one into the sannidhi of Sri Bhagavan.

Best Regards.

Subramanian. R said...

Dear David, Thank you for your
wonderful clarifications on Naan
and Thaan. I also felt that I-I
was a incorrect translation that
was adopted by many English
translators.

Bookworm said...

Ravi

You say:

'You are certainly free to carry whatever opinion of Sri Nisargadatta or any other teacher.Do recognise that 'others' may have a different view point,perhaps more valid and beneficial ,not only for the those who express them but also for 'oneself' if one chooses to be open and willing to learn'

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

Thank you for your comment Ravi.
I cannot change change what I know is right...
and from what I have read of Ramakrishna, Nis/etc and their 'realisation' and Teachings... this is:

The 'realisation' of Ramana outshone them both and was the deepest, most pure and supremely True 'realisation'.

David Godman said...

Bookworm

Bhagavan once remarked to Narayana Iyer, ‘There is no jnani, jnana alone is’. (The Mountain Path, 1966, pp. 101-2)

Verses 120 and 121 of Guru Vachaka Kovai elaborate on this statement:

In the hearts of those who earnestly enquire, jnana alone permanently exists as the supreme reality. After the ‘I am the body’ ego has vanished, are they in truth bodily forms, such that we might say of them: ‘That one is a peerless jnani,’ ‘This one is a peerless jnani’?

You who, with a great eagerness and an expectation of seeing miracles, wander around looking at this mahatma and that mahatma! If you enquire into the real nature of your own maha-atma [great Self], reach the Heart and realise it [the great Self], then every mahatma will be found to be only that one Self.

* * *

Lakshman Sharma made the same point in verses 592-4 of Sri Ramanaparavidyopanishad:

The popular notion that there are many sages is also not true. All differences belong to the world. In the worldless state they do not exist.

He who says, ‘I have today seen this sage; I shall see others also,’ does not know the true nature of sages, which is reality-consciousness-bliss. This is what Bhagavan has told us on this point.

For him who knows not the sage who is within himself, there appear to be many sages. For him who knows that one, who is his own Self, this plurality [of sages] is non-existent.

* * *

Sadhu Om took these statements by Bhagavan and expanded them into an eleven-verse poem entitled ‘Yar Jnani?’ (Who is a Jnani?’) They appear in appendix two (pp. 198-200) of The Path of Sri Ramana, Part One:

Is the mind which decides ‘He is a jnani, he is not a jnani’ knowledge or ignorance? The jnani is only one. Therefore, even the jnani seen by the ignorant mind, which sees jnanis as more than one, is a product of that ignorant mind.

You yourself are a mere thought; therefore, he who is considered by you to be a mahatma is nothing but one of your thoughts! How, then, can such an illusory thought be an Atma-jnani, the supreme? This should be understood.

To say, ‘He is great, he is a jnani, I know’ is wrong. Even to say ‘All are jnanis’ is wrong, because seeing as if many people exist is a sign of ignorance. There is only one who exists, and that is you. Thus you should know!

There is no ignorant one in the view of the jnani. The ajnani names merely the body of the jnani as a jnani. By seeing the jnani in this way, the ajnani becomes one who has seen even the jnani as an ajnani!

No matter how many mahatmas you visit and no matter even if they exhibit the eightfold occult powers, know that the true mahatma is only he who turns your attention Selfwards, advising, ‘Mind not these juggleries, turn within’.

Let this atma [the man] who goes to the Himalayas and the forests therein in search for mahatmas first become a sukhatma [a blissful one] by entering within himself, enquiring ‘Whence am I?’ Then all the mahatmas who appear before him will be found to be his own Atma. Thus said Ramana!

To know jnanis before knowing one’s Self is in no way possible. Therefore, hold steadfastly to the only worthy effort, that of destroying the feeling ‘I am an individual soul’.

Therefore, if the thought again arises in you to know whether someone is a jnani or an ajnani, immediately reject it and be keen in fixing your attention, through the enquiry ‘Who am I?’, on the source from which that thought had risen.

Give up trying to know whether so-and-so is a jnani or an ajnani and enquire, ‘Who is he who knows that there is so-and-so?’ The reply will be ‘I’. If you further enquire, ‘Who is this I? ’, then only will the true jnani appear.

Let anyone be a jnani, what is it for us? Until and unless we know our Self, it will be of no avail to us. On scrutiny it will be found that jnana itself is the jnani. He is not a human form. He is verily the supreme space [of consciousness], and we are That.

Therefore, by means of enquiry, destroy the mind which tries to know ‘This one or that one is a jnani’. It is therefore proper to know through silence that the jnana which never rises as ‘I am this or that’ itself is the jnani.

Bookworm said...

David

Excellant comment David and I agree with all you say.

Even Ramakhrishna, Nis/etc, the woman who lives next door or the tramp down the road who drinks himself silly and who is forever spitting on the pavement is jnani.

My experience is that Ramana and the Teaching is the highest or deepest expression of Truth.

Maybe it is because of my lowly state of Spirituality...maybe I am just playing... whatever it is and bearing in mind your comment... when people like Ravi or Anonymous big-up Ramakrishna or Nis/etc here..I will probably still have a go at them.........that's if you let me of course.

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
"I cannot change change what I know is right..."
you can.Just exchange this 'I' for the real I-I.Yes,this is all that we need to do;this impostor 'I' which is absolutely cocksure that it 'knows' is keeping one in ignorance and darkness;This darkness it attributes to the 'world' 'outside' and perpetuates its existence.

As Sri Ramakrishna says-"The Glow worm may think it is shedding light on the world;Little does it know that it only reveals the darkness that it lives in".

Every moment of our existence we have this option-continue to live in darkness or to step into the ever present light.To Step into the Realm of certitude,Humility is the first step and perhaps the last one too.

Wishing you the very Best.

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
"that's if you let me of course."

What do you think?Before posting anything,just think of Sri Bhagavan,whether he would ever approve of whatever that you want to 'Take on others'.Why do you lookup to David to censor(or not to!)your comments?Why should David censor it if he finds them 'wholesome'?

Understand that the various manifestations of the one reality(Sri Ramakrishna,Sri Bhagavan,Sri sai baba,Sri Nisargadatta,etc)are inspirational and cater to our different needs of our diverse nature.They are like different flowers,each with their particular colour and fragrance-all different aspects of the ONE Reality.

No 'Big up'-that is your cocoon of 'imagination'.Just give it up and you will find all is well with the 'world'.

I recall my childhood days when Grandpa used to bring home biscuits after receiving his pension-These biscuits had different shapes,and were called 'Bommai biscuits' in Tamil,Bommai means Doll-and were shaped in the form of owl,sheep,fish,etc.We used to compete for a particular shaped one-also we fought for our 'favourites'-how 'one' was superior to the 'other'.Little did we realise that the same material has been used,only that a different die was used to shape them differently!
So,that is it.

wishing you merry Christmas and all happiness and Joy.

Ravi said...

Friends,
I wish to share this wonderful perspective on Sri Bhagavan by Sadhu Arunachala(What a great devotee!How he shared the room with Sri Annamalai Swami!A charming pair- Arunachala and annamalai!):
"It was the custom of people, when they were proposing to go somewhere, first to obtain Bhagavan’s permission, but the way this was done was usually a farce.
They would come into the Hall, prostrate and say, “I am
going to Madras,” or wherever it was they intended to
go. Bhagavan would just say, “Yes” or sometimes just keep
quiet. Then the devotee would cheerfully leave, saying he
had taken Bhagavan’s permission. If you made a positive
statement to Bhagavan he would accept it as such. If you
said, “I am going to eat some meat,” Bhagavan would just
nod, he accepted your statement, had heard what you
said and understood. But it did not in any way mean that
he approved. But if, instead, you positively asked
permission, that was a different thing; he might give
permission or keep quiet. If he kept quiet, surely it could
not be interpreted as permission.
One evening I asked permission to go to Pondicherry.
Bhagavan asked, “Why?”. I replied that I was having
trouble with one of my teeth and wanted to consult the
dentist. As he kept quiet I did nothing. A few days later
he said to me, “I thought you were going to Pondicherry
and you’re still here.” “But you never gave me leave,”
I replied. Bhagavan kept quiet. It turned out that my
trouble righted itself, something had jammed against the
gum, this came loose and there was no longer any need
for a dentist. A few months later I again had trouble, this
time with another tooth. On asking permission and telling
Bhagavan the reason why I wanted to go, he immediately
said, “Yes, go!” This time the journey did prove necessary.
Again people used to say, probably to excuse themselves for the way they took leave, that Bhagavan would never actually tell you to go or not to go. I once
proved this to be quite wrong. If you definitely waited for
a reply and refused to be satisfied otherwise, Bhagavan
would tell you what to do.
My servant’s father was ill in Malabar and the man
wanted to go and see him. As it would have been awkward
for me to remain in the Ashram without him I told him
I too would go and visit a sick friend at the same time if
he could get me Bhagavan’s permission. We had a gate at
the back of my hut which led into Palakottu, the garden
at the side of the Ashram, this gate was usually kept locked.
Occasionally we succeeded in getting Bhagavan to come
back that way and visit my room when he returned from
his midday stroll in that direction. My man went that
way to meet Bhagavan and explained everything to him
and asked leave for us both to go. This Bhagavan granted.
But the man said that was not enough, for unless he came
and told me himself I would never go. So he managed to
entice Bhagavan through the gate to my room. Bhagavan
told me, “Raman wants to go and see his father.” “Yes,”
I replied, but made no comment. Just as he was leaving he
turned to me and said, “Yes, go to Varkala, it will be
cooler there.”

Sri Bhagavan is inimitable;how he never intruded into anyone's way of life-guiding them unobtrusively.
Chadwick's reminicences are truly refreshing , what tremendous integrity and dedication!
I will share what sri Dilip Kumar Roy of Sri Aurobindo Ashram had to share about this great devotee of Sri Bhagavan ,a little later.

Salutations.

David Godman said...

Chadwick’s hypothetical reference to devotees who might have asked Bhagavan for permission to eat meat may have been inspired by an incident that he was involved in soon after his arrival at Ramanasramam, during the period when he was still sharing a room with Annamalai Swami. This is Annamalai Swami’s description of the event, taken from ’Living by the Words of Bhagavan,’ 1st edition, p. 180:

After Chadwick had been in the ashram for a few months a devotee called Seshayer complained to Bhagavan that Chadwick was receiving parcels of meat through the post. It was an absurd charge to make but since the ashram management did not permit any meat to be consumed on the premises, Bhagavan sent for me and asked if it were true. Because I shared a room with Chadwick, and because I watched him eat every day, I was able to assure Bhagavan that the charge was completely unfounded.

Bhagavan closed the matter by quoting a verse from Appar: ‘If a person is so bad that he eats cow flesh, still if he becomes a devotee of Lord Siva, who has the Ganges in his hair, even though he is committing such a bad act, he is my God and I must prostrate to him.’

* * *

Chadwick himself briefly mentioned this incident in 'A Sadhu’s Reminiscences,' 1984 ed., p. 67-8.

The full verse from Appar (Tevaram 6.309.10) says:

Though they offer me
the treasures of sanga and paduma,
though they give me
heaven itself to rule,
and the wide earth along with it,
the wealth of those
who are bound to die
will be as nothing to me
if those who give it are not absorbed in one-pointed devotion to our great Lord.
Yet, as for those who are devotees of Him who conceals the River Ganga
in His long, flowing hair,
be they lepers with stunted and rotting limbs,
those outcaste ‘pulaiyan’ who flay and eat cows,
know this:
these I will worship as my gods!

* * *

Sanga and paduma are two of the treasures that are held by Kubera, the god of wealth.

Ravi said...

Scott,
"My experience is that Ramana and the Teaching is the highest or deepest expression of Truth."

Friend,this is invaluable and if only we stay true to this and nurture this, all the rest will follow.
May Sri Bhagavan's Grace be ever with us.
Best Regards.

Ravi said...

David,
"Bhagavan closed the matter by quoting a verse from Appar: ‘If a person is so bad that he eats cow flesh, still if he becomes a devotee of Lord Siva, who has the Ganges in his hair, even though he is committing such a bad act, he is my God and I must prostrate to him.’"
Looks like besides clearing the facts regarding the incident,Sri Bhagavan squashed the ground for such rumours-the predeliction of the petty mind that overlooks the essential for the conventional.

The HYPOTHETICAL factor is something that cannot be ignored-as Sri Bhagavan would never endorse anything other than Vegetarian food.

Namaskar.

Nandu Narasimhan said...

Many thanks, David.

I purchased the online version a couple of days back. In this book, more than in 'Padamalai', one gets the feeling that Muruganar had realized, at the time of writing. Don't know why. Just a feeling.

Also, is Robert Butler a Tamil scholar?

Nandu

David Godman said...

Yes, Robert is a good Tamil scholar. He started learning around 1980 when we were working together in the Ramanasramam library. In addition to the work he has done on Muruganar (Guru Vachaka Kovai, Padamalai, Ramana Puranam), he also has a keen interest in Sangam poetry and hopes to bring out his first book of translations sometime next year.

Anonymous said...

Book worm! Your one pointedness is immense. You are perfectly right in your perspective.But do not try to generalize it to others, have it personal.

There are infinite possibilities. May be when the idea has to change it will change. As like every thought patterns, concepts change to become more subtle or refined.

Nandu Narasimhan said...

ATTN. SHIBA:

Please go through David's post on Robert Adams. He, in my humble opinion, has the simplest technique to start off on Self Enquiry. It works for me. Though strangely enough, it pulled me further into Bhagavan's first instruction to Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni (not for a moment am I daring to put myself anywhere near Nayana!). I realised that it is because I recite a lot of shlokas in the morning. A combination of both seems to work for me at least.

Dear Bookworm,

Have been reading the debate between you and Ravi.

My personal opinion is that Nisargadatta Maharaj was realised, and on that plane, there is no lesser or greater degree.

I have read only one book of Maharaj, and have seen a few videos on youtube. For me at least, His talks, even with the translator working overtime, had a stilling effect on the mind. Though nowhere as dramatic as Papaji's first video had on my head, the feeling was definitely there.

Want to try and meet Ramesh Balsekar, if I can, on my next trip to Mumbai. He is a direct devotee of the Maharaj.

Nandu

Ravi said...

Nandu,
"Dear Bookworm,
Have been reading the debate between you and Ravi."?
----------------------------------

What was the "debate" and between 'who and who'?!

Bookworm,Scott,Japanese man,Ravi all appear different and to think differently and perhaps this is the genesis of the 'Debate'!

If only we see and be the ONE behind the masks ,where is the need for 'debate'!

---------------------------------
"Want to try and meet Ramesh Balsekar, if I can, on my next trip to Mumbai. He is a direct devotee of the Maharaj."

Wishing you the very Best.

Namaskar.

Nandu Narasimhan said...

Dear Ravi,

I totally agree with your point that there is no 'debate'in reality. Indeed, if we all could see everything as ONE, there would have been no replies to each post here.

Thanks for your wishes. While Iam in no position to comment on Ramesh Balsekar, he does come across as someone who has had some sort of a direct experience.

From that perspective, it will be wonderful if one can meet him. Then again, it is Bhagavan's Will.

Nandu

Ravi said...

Friends,
I wish to share this very interesting reminiscence of Maurice Frydman on how he came to Sri Bhagavan(from 'The Silent Power' publication of Sri Ramanasramam).What a humble beginning and how it turned out just as Sri Bhagavan used to say-'No prey ever escapes when the Tiger eyes it!".

Maurice Frydman

"JUST SIX MONTHS after I came to India, I was left alone
and had no friends. The person whom I loved died and I had
nothing to attract me in life.
Quite accidentally, just for fun, I dropped in at
Tiruvannamalai. I went direct to the swami but I was ordered
out by his disciples as I had not taken off my shoes.
After bathing and other preparations, I went again to the
hall and remained there with the Maharshi for two hours.
Then I understood that I had met someone, the likes of
whom I had never met before.
I did not then know what was meant by words like
Maharshi and Bhagavan. I had no preconceived ideas and yet I
felt that there was something extraordinary in that man.
I was told about his teachings but they were far too high
for me. I did not understand what they meant but I felt a strong
and lasting affection for him. I was alone in India and I attached
myself to him just as a homeless dog would to his master.
Afterwards, whenever I felt worried, I used to go to
Arunachala, and sit in his presence. In the early days I would be
asking questions, but later when I began to visit him more and
more, the discussion with him grew less and less.
Then I began to visit him almost every month. I knew no
sadhana or dhyana. I would simply sit in his presence. To my
questions, Sri Maharshi would say: “Find out who you are.” I
could not make out anything but all the same I felt happy.
Slowly some change came in me. Just as the egg grows and
hatches only with the aid of the warmth of the mother I was
also getting into shape slowly and steadily in his presence.
My mind became more quiet than before. Previously it
was unhappy and never satisfied. Now a kind of security and
peace began to be felt spontaneously.
I felt that Sri Maharshi was coming nearer and nearer as
time passed. Afterwards I used to think of him whenever I felt
unhappy. He used to appear before me and ask if I have not
committed any sin. If I had erred or sinned, he used to hide
himself for a time but later on appear and reply.
His affection was always there and as fire melts ice so his
affection made my worries melt."

Hard to believe that this person became later what he turned out to be-editing the talks of Sri Nisaragadatta Maharaj!

Salutations.

Ravi said...

Nandu,
"I totally agree with your point that there is no 'debate'in reality. Indeed, if we all could see everything as ONE, there would have been no replies to each post here."
Friend,sorry for being cryptic in my earlier reply;the ONE refers to a person,not to the state of Jnana!I felt that some pranks were going on here in this wonderful blog for sometime and this is not at all in the best interest of the genuine devotees who have found this Blog highly beneficial.


coming to Ramesh Balsekar,i do not know much about him.Yes,it is helpful to have darshan of great souls.

Namaskar.

Nandu Narasimhan said...

Ravi,

Please, there is no need to aplogise. We are just sharing our views.

And many thanks for the moving account of Maurice Frydman. How I long for such humility!

Reminds me of a Bhagavan comment - your glory lies when you cease to exist.

Ramanapadam Paramampadam.

Nandu

Ravi said...

Nandu,
It was interesting to learn from your Blog how you discovered Sri Bhagavan!I found the following article quite similiar and it may interest you!(From 'Surpassing Love and Grace')

" A Polish devotee
I MET him in a bookshop, opening a book at random –
Sri Ramana Maharshi! For the first time in my life the
buying of a book seemed a painfully protracted business. I
could scarcely believe that one could buy this book like any
other, that it was really for sale. To leave the bookshop quickly
with this book in my hand – my own – not to be taken
away, was unbelievable!
On my way home I opened the book several times to be
sure that I was not dreaming, that the picture of him was as
beautiful as when I saw it first. I looked at it sidelong, almost
furtively, afraid to frighten away the beauty, to lose it irretrievably.
Who was he?
Others have felt the same: I was not suffering from any
hallucination. In her book, The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi,
the Polish devotee Uma Devi writes: “Strange things happen to
quite different people coming from different social circles. They
need not have mystic leanings or be peculiarly sensitive. A look
at Maharshi’s picture, however accidental and casual, creates in
them an upheaval and a permanent inner change, shallow or
deep according to the individual. Hence the innumerable
requests for a copy of the picture which finds its way into many
homes, offices and workshops. Wherever it goes it exerts its
fascination, rationally inexplicable, nevertheless real".

I look at the picture . . . he is so near and so beautiful.
What is this light that shines through so many layers? How can
one disbelieve the many stories about the Maharshi, the
testimony of people who have seen him with their own eyes,
who lived with him for days and months and years? People of
various religions and races – Hindus, Muslims, Christians, some
of them simple folk and some highly educated? Who can express
in words the infinite silence, depth and power of his presence?"

Namaskar.

Bookworm said...

Nandu Narasimhan

You say:

'My personal opinion is that Nisargadatta Maharaj was realised, and on that plane, there is no lesser or greater degree.

I have read only one book of Maharaj, and have seen a few videos on youtube. For me at least, His talks, even with the translator working overtime, had a stilling effect on the mind. Though nowhere as dramatic as Papaji's first video had on my head, the feeling was definitely there.

Want to try and meet Ramesh Balsekar, if I can, on my next trip to Mumbai. He is a direct devotee of the Maharaj'

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

As you say...it is your personal opinion...for both of them.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.
Dear friends, some "quotes of the day" (not so far away from the topics discussed here) from Immanuel Kant, the great german sage:

* Enlightenment is man’s leaving his self-caused immaturity. Immaturity is the incapacity to use one's intelligence without the guidance of another.

(compare with Vasisthas Yoga, foreword: "The remark of even a child is to be accepted, if it is in accordance with reason; but the remark of even Brahma Himself, the creator of the world, is to be rejected like a piece of straw if it does not accord with reason")

* Only the descent into the hell of self-knowledge can pave the way to godliness.

* Two things fill the mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe, the more often and the more intensely the mind of thought is drawn to them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.
.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
"Only the descent into the hell of self-knowledge can pave the way to godliness."
Looks like 'self knowledge' is used in a different sense by Kant-going by the words 'descent' and 'hell';this seems to mean 'coming face to face with the limitations of one's psyche'.Here Again one may 'know' but may 'ignore'it.This is 'Ignorance'.Ignorance is what prevents one from being aware of the Self.Humility it is when one does not 'Ignore'.

will you please explain what is meant here?I wish to hear from you.
Best Regards.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
" Immaturity is the incapacity to use one's intelligence without the guidance of another. "

What is the term to be used for 'the incapacity to use one's intelligence even with the guidance of another'?!

Thanks very much and Best Regards.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
"Two things fill the mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe, the more often and the more intensely the mind of thought is drawn to them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me."

As we grow in sensitivity,even seemingly 'ordinary' happenings fill our being with 'wonder and awe'-Like a cow feeding its calf,a cat huddling with a dog(I saw this!),a mother teaching her son,a housewife serving supper to her husband -many more such things.

Vivekananda said "As I grow older I find that I look more and more for greatness in little things. I want to know what a great man eats and wears, and how he
speaks to his servants. I want to find a Sir Philip Sidney greatness. Few men would
remember to think of others in the moment of death."

This leads us to my earlier post on the Photograph of Sri Bhagavan;Sri Ramakrishna used to visit the homes of devotees who have pictures of Gods,Godesses,or other devotees,etc just to see the 'picture';similiarly the chanting of the names of the different aspects of God has this ELECTRIFYING effect on the listeners.Likewise,the Fragrance of Flowers or Good incense can connect one to apparently inaccessible depths of his self.

The same 'senses' or 'sense objects' which are generally dismissed as 'Robbers' can be deployed to serve as 'magic carpets' to the divine presence.

Salutations.

Bookworm said...

Ravi

You say:

'Likewise,the Fragrance of Flowers or Good incense can connect one to apparently inaccessible depths of his self'
........................

Come on Ravi....What land do you live in? In my opinion that is silly talk.

Ravi said...

Friends,
I wish to share this excerpt from Paul Brunon's 'The Maharshi and his message'.Paul Brunton's writing has always fascinated me -a wonderful blend of exploration and observation,ever fresh.

"The Maharshi speaks again, his words breaking into my thoughts:
“Unless and until a man embarks upon this quest of the true
Self, doubt and uncertainty will follow his footsteps throughout
life. The greatest kings and statesmen try to rule others, when in their heart of hearts they know that they cannot rule themselves.
Yet the greatest power is at the command of the man who has
penetrated to his inmost depth. There are men of giant intellects
who spend their lives gathering knowledge about many things.
Ask these men if they have solved the mystery of man, if they
have conquered themselves, and they will hang their heads in
shame. What is the use of knowing about everything else when
you do not yet know who you are? Men avoid this enquiry into
the true Self, but what else is there so worthy to be undertaken?”
“That is such a difficult, superhuman task,” I comment.
The Sage gives an almost imperceptible shrug of his shoulders.
“The question of its possibility is a matter of one’s own
experience. The difficulty is less real than you think.”
“For us, who are active, practical Westerners, such
introspections . . . . . ?” I begin doubtfully and leave my sentence trailing in midair.

The Maharshi bends down to light a fresh joss stick, which
will replace one whose red spark is dying out.
“The realization of truth is the same for both Indians and
Europeans. Admittedly the way to it may be harder for those
who are engrossed in worldly life, but even then one can and
must conquer. The current induced during meditation can be
kept up by habit, by practising to do so. Then one can perform
his work and activities in that very current itself; there will be no break. Thus, too there will be no difference between meditation
and external activities. If you meditate on this question, ‘Who
am I?’, if you begin to perceive that neither the body nor the
brain nor the desires are really you, then the very attitude ofenquiry will eventually draw the answer to you out of the depths
of your own being; it will come to you of its own accord as a
deep realization.”
Again I ponder his words.
“Know the real Self,” he continues, “and then the truth will
shine forth within your heart like sunshine. The mind will
become untroubled and real happiness will flood it; for happiness
and the true self are identical. You will have no more doubts
once you attain this Self-awareness.”
He turns his head and fixes his gaze at the far end of the hall.
I know then that he has reached his conversational limit. Thus
ends our last talk and I congratulate myself that I have drawn him out of the shell of taciturnity before my departure.

I leave him and wander away to a quiet spot in the jungle,
where I spend most of the day among my notes and books.
When dusk falls I return to the hall, for within an hour or two a
pony-carriage or a bullock-cart will arrive to bear me away from
the hermitage.

Burning incense makes the air odorous. The Maharshi has
been half reclining under the waving punkah as I enter but he
soon sits up and assumes his favourite attitude. He sits with legs crossed, the right foot placed on the left thigh and the left foot merely folded beneath the right thigh. I remember being shown a similar position by Brama, the yogi who lives near Madras,
who called it “The Comfortable Posture.” It is really a half-
Buddha posture and quite easy to do. The Maharshi, as is his
wont, holds his chin with his right hand and rests the elbow on
a knee; next he gazes attentively at me but remains quite silent.
On the floor beside him I notice his gourd-shell, water jug andhis bamboo staff. They are his sole earthly possessions, apart
from the strip of loin-cloth. What a mute commentary on our
Western spirit of acquisitiveness!
His eyes, always shining, steadily become more glazed and fixed;
his body sets into a rigid pose; his head trembles slightly and then
comes to rest. A few more minutes and I can plainly see that he has
re-entered the trance like condition in which he was when I first met him. How strange that our parting shall repeat our meeting!
Someone brings his face close to mine and whispers in my ear,
“The Maharshi has gone into holy trance. It is useless now to talk.”
A hush falls upon the little company. The minutes slowly
pass but the silence only deepens. I am not religious but I can
no more resist the feeling of increasing awe which begins to grip
my mind than a bee can resist a flower in all its luscious bloom.
The hall is becoming pervaded with a subtle, intangible and
indefinable power which affects me deeply. I feel, without doubt
and without hesitation, that the centre of this mysterious power
is no other than the Maharshi himself."

Salutations.

Bookworm said...

Ravi

A long while ago I read most of what Brunton wrote but I cannot say I share your same fasination with him.

I suppose next you will be saying that Ramana was only 'realised' because of the incense He burnt.



Just joking.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

...Ravi/Brunton: Ask these men if they have solved the mystery of man, if they
have conquered themselves, and they will hang their heads in
shame. What is the use of knowing about everything else when
you do not yet know who you are? ...


Really true. Compare with Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book II, 11:

XI. Consider with thyself how man, and by what part of his, is joined unto God, and how that part of man is affected, when it is said to be diffused. There is nothing more wretched than that soul, which in a kind of circuit compasseth all things, searching (as he saith) even the very depths of the earth; and by all signs and conjectures prying into the very thoughts of other men's souls; and yet of this, is not sensible, that it is sufficient for a man to apply himself wholly, and to confine all his thoughts and cares to the tendance of that spirit which is within him, and truly and really to serve him.

His service doth consist in this, that a man keep himself pure from all violent passion and evil affection, from all rashness and vanity, and from all manner of discontent, either in regard of the gods or men. For indeed whatsoever proceeds from the gods, deserves respect for their worth and excellency; and whatsoever proceeds from men, as they are our kinsmen, should by us be entertained, with love, always; sometimes, as proceeding from their ignorance, of that which is truly good and bad, (a blindness no less, than that by which we are not able to discern between white and black) with a kind of pity and compassion also.

.

Anonymous said...

David,

I am sorry if this comment is out of context but being a new member into the Ramana philosophy I was wondering what Bhagvan's views were on 'lust and gold' craving that all humans essentially have. Was there any particular incident to highlight his teaching for the fallen?
Many times we see that in various philosophies by various masters we are asked to steer clear of the opposite sex and also a craving for wealth.
It will be a great help in understanding Bhagvan's philosophy to know his views on this subject.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
Thanks very much.Marcus Aurelius was a Genuine Raja Rishi-"Emperor who was a sage'.What he is speaking of is exactly the same as what is called 'Pravritti'(Externalised mind) versus 'Nivritti' path(Inwardly turned Mind).

"that a man keep himself pure from all violent passion and evil affection, from all rashness and vanity, and from all manner of discontent, either in regard of the gods or men. For indeed whatsoever proceeds from the gods, deserves respect for their worth and excellency; and whatsoever proceeds from men, as they are our kinsmen, should by us be entertained, with love, always"

This is not at all a moral sermon but is a result of enlightened consciousness.
As Emerson said-It is as easy for a Strong man to be strong as for a weak man to be weak!

Salutations.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.
...Ravi: What he is speaking of is exactly the same as what is called 'Pravritti'(Externalised mind) versus 'Nivritti' path(Inwardly turned Mind)....

Besides: There is an interesting part in Nisargattas Talks, Ravi, concerning this pravritti and nivritti; maybe of interest for you too. The question raised there is important:

Questioner: Some Mahatmas (enlightened beings) maintain that the world is neither an accident nor a play of God, but the result and expression of a mighty plan of work aiming at awakening and developing consciousness throughout the universe. From lifelessness to life, from unconsciousness to consciousness, from dullness to bright intelligence, from misapprehension to clarity -- that is the direction in which the world moves ceaselessly and relentlessly. Of course, there are moments of rest and apparent darkness, when the universe seems to be dormant, but the rest comes to an end and the work on consciousness is resumed. From our point of view the world is a dale of tears, a place to escape from, as soon as possible and by every possible means. To enlightened beings the world is good and it serves a good purpose. They do not deny that the world is a mental structure and that ultimately all is one, but they see and say that the structure has meaning and serves a supremely desirable purpose. What we call the will of God is not a capricious whim of a playful deity, but the expression of an absolute necessity to grow in love and wisdom and power, to actualise the infinite potentials of life and consciousness.

Just as a gardener grows flowers from a tiny seed to glorious perfection, so does God in His own garden grow, among other beings, men to supermen, who know and love and work along with Him.

When God takes rest (pralaya), those whose growth was not completed, become unconscious for a time, while the perfect ones, who have gone beyond all forms and contents of consciousness, remain aware of the universal silence. When the time comes for the emergence of a new universe, the sleepers wake up and their work starts. The more advanced wake up first and prepare the ground for the less advanced -- who thus find forms and patterns of behaviour suitable for their further growth.

Thus runs the story. The difference with your teaching is this: you insist that the world is no good and should be shunned. They say that distaste for the world is a passing stage, necessary, yet temporary, and is soon replaced by an all-pervading love, and a steady will to work with God.


Maharaj: All you say is right for the outgoing (pravritti) path. For the path of return (nivritti) naughting oneself is necessary. My stand I take where nothing (paramakash) is; words do not reach there, nor thoughts. To the mind it is all darkness and silence. Then consciousness begins to stir and wakes up the mind (chidakash), which projects the world (mahadakash), built of memory and imagination. Once the world comes into being, all you say may be so. It is in the nature of the mind to imagine goals, to strive towards them, to seek out means and ways, to display vision, energy and courage. These are divine attributes and I do not deny them. But I take my stand where no difference exists, where things are not, nor the minds that create them. There I am at home. Whatever happens, does not affect me -- things act on things, that is all. Free from memory and expectation, I am fresh, innocent and wholehearted. Mind is the great worker (mahakarta) and it needs rest. Needing nothing, I am unafraid. Whom to be afraid of? There is no separation, we are not separate selves. There is only one Self, the Supreme Reality, in which the personal and the impersonal are one.

.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
Thanks very much for that excerpt from Sri Nisaragadatta Maharaj.One of the Great Masters who pursued the path of 'Divine Manifestation' was Sri Aurobindo-In his writings,he pretty much includes what Maharaj had said-One of the Key thing that Sri Aurobindo states is that it is not something pursued as a 'Personal' goal,not something that the 'ego' chooses to pursue.

This is something that I do not exercise myself much about-As Sri Aurobindo and all Great Masters have said that Self Surrender is the immediate necessity.As Sri Bhagavan said-First abide in your self and then you may see if anything more is necessary.

It may be of some interest that Sri Aurobindo's approach was pretty much like that of Swami Ramanagiri!A mix of Prananyama and shutting out thoughts.Sri Aurobindo was advised by a yogi called Lele to do this and in 3 days of intense sadhana ,he entered the thought free Nirvanic State.Interestingly Lele could not guide him any further!He had the integrity to communicate his inability to Sri Aurobindo;he advised Sri Aurobindo to surrender himself completely to the inner guru.
Sri Aurobindo pursued his yoga,and was for a brief period guided by Swami Vivekananda(after Vivekananda had passed away!)for about 15 days,while he was in Alipore Jail (arrested under the suspicion of having taken part in an assasination bid on a British Officer).
There are many many things that our limited Human Intellect cannot even imagine!
Salutations.

Ravi said...

Friends,
Today is Sri Bhagavan's Jayanti (Birthday)according to the Indian calendar.
May Sri Bhagavan's Grace guide us wherever we are,whatever we do-I cannot but remember all the fine devotees who happen to share their Love,Thoughts in this Blog-Like Jupes,Broken Yogi,Michael Baxter,S,Arvind,Haramurthy,and many others-I have mentioned some of the names who have not been seen in this wonderful Blog(Namaskar to David,who like Sri Bhagavan is so wonderfully Present yet not present!).
Salutations to all the devotees.

vishy said...

Pranam to all devotees,

Bhagwan said the real birth means knowledge of the Self and we don't know how many took birth in His Holy presence and no body knows How many will be receiving His Grace to remind their birth ?

Who Knows their real birth
Who Knows this myth ( Self)
Who Knows that this is an illusion ( body and mind)
who were already taken birth in His kingdom of LOVE .

Let them also be a part of Bhagwan's birthday celeberations.

Sankarraman said...

"To prematurely assume that the world is uneal,that the waking state is the same as the Dream state etc is a sure recipe for disaster-It leads to dereliction of duty ,however COMFORTABLE it may be.This is sheer escapism-and in this sense visiting a wine shop will serve the purpose as much as a visit to an Ashram.This is quite close to what JK also said!
The Problem with this approach is that one will eventually be brought to Facing what one has tried to flee from.
I am aware that my point no.5 is a little hard hitting depending on where we are.

"I agree with much of this, but I don't know how else we half-baked people are to live. It does not matter what path we say we follow, this is the case with most of us."

With reference to the above comment, we have to understand the pronouncements of the master at the appropriate level, and not in a simplistic empirical sense. The problem with most of us is that we have never considered the point often raised by J.K-in fact his central theme- that thought can never solve any problem at the psychological level, and that there is no becoming at that level. Even without giving any intellectual attention to the higher thoughts, we are worried that we may neglect our duty and all that. We will never do all those things. Even if we did that would be possible even without listening to the MAHAVAKYAS of great teachers. We have to understand that we are driven by the unconscious atavistic stream of life, having no choice at the external life; but there is great possibility two know our true nature, which is because of the fact that we have considered that as a special talent. The mind has cunning strategies to escape from truth by citing cases of people who have fallen from the path by abandoning their duties. That is also an experience. We should not condemn any experience by our interpretative language but remain with the, " WHAT IS," as J.K puts it or as Ramana poses the question, " WHO AM I." Ramana never minced matters when he said that waking and dream were one and the same on considerations that somebody would desert their duties taking self-enquiry as an escapade. He spoke only the unadulterated truth.

Bookworm said...

Sankarran you say:
Declaring somebody as enlightened is tantamount to awarding them some certificates in a worldly sense. True jnanis like Ramana, Nisargadatta, J.K and U.G spoke only in impersonal language.
.........

You have declared that Ramana, Nisargadatta, J.K and U.G are true jnanis and awarded (tantamount to) them certificates.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf;

Yeah, I'm finding that the true Jnani is the Self, the inner guru, but that sometimes something external manifests as that guru, and maybe that could be called the Jnani, and in their presence the duality between subject and object can dissolve, not only that, the individual can dissappear. Evidently since there is only the Self, there can't be anyone to become Enlightened, they can only cease to exist, and let Brahman/Atman use their body to destroy the duality for others. I have little doubt that that happened around those particular bodies.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

In response to Sankarraman on neglect of duty:

My currently living spiritual teacher (who I communicate with because for me he fits Maharshi and Papaji's criteria for a sincere teacher) has been trying to drive home the point that I am not the performer of action, and that there is no conflict between Ramana's teachings and functioning (infact stopping action would be the wrong direction), and that grasping at inaction in fear, will not produce liberation, since action is not bondage.

I still have difficulty imgaining a state so liberated from the "I" that I'm egoless, and functioning. Although obviously the Self is the source of all action.

But I took that advise to mean that I should do action and try to see that action is not bondage, action is not suffering, so when I was cleaning my bathroom the other day, I attempted to inquire deeply, what is the motivation for thought, and where is that? that has been the approach I've been taking to Inquiry lately.

I get profoundly blissful, but then I lose it. I still have yet to feel blissful in the midst of homework, and do homework attentively, and with vigor. I have managed to ocassionally laxadasically do work I need to get done, and be fairly relaxed, but I don't think that is what Ramana means by not being the performer of action.

Anyway I get the feeling, that this idea that Inquiry makes functioning difficult, is probably a sign that what we are doing is not Inquiry, since even the attempt at Inquiry shouldn't make it hard to do our homework. The method I was given seems to be less cumbersome, because the mind is led voluntarily back to it's source. If anything, Inquiry should make us able to handle alot more work, since it's our egos that want to be slothful, being identified with wanting slothful circumstances, and getting to rest all day. I'm yet to do Inquiry proper, remotely correctly for any duration.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

When I read or watch any of the aforementioned teachers, Nisargadatta, J.K, or U.G., or Papaji, I don't really feel like I'm dealing with anyone different then ramana, and that they are all the Self, and consequently all are Ramana.

Bookworm said...

Scott

You say:
'dissappear. Evidently since there is only the Self, there can't be anyone to become Enlightened, they can only cease to exist, and'
..............

Close Scott...it is only the FALSE sense of youself as thought and mind that ceases to exist or rather disolves into the Heart which is the Self or 'I am' ness which you are, have always been and will ever Be

David Godman said...

I collected the first copies of the Indian edition from the press yesterday. Publication was delayed here because of a long strike. Devotees in India who would like to read this book can now order it from the Ramanasramam Dook Depot.

Apologies again for my long absence here. I have had a long stream of guests this winter, and right now I am incapacitated with a heavy cold.

I like the suggestion for an open thread on Aksharamanamalai. I will start it next week with a post that will include my own comments on one of the verses.

Sankarraman said...

I remember it having been mentioned somewhere that Ramana explained the teachings of J.Krishnamurthy to a Japanese devotee who couldn't make out anything from a book containing the teachings of J.K, and that Chadwick felt very bad that Bhaghavn should have shown so much patience with that man. Is this a fact as this seems to be very interesting?

Losing M. Mind said...

This is a little off topic and maybe irrelevent, however Ravi mentioned that Marcus Aurelius was a genuine Raja Rishi. (Emperor who is a sage) Ravi, do you think Barack Obama might be as well? I suspect he is.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

When I read or watch any of the aforementioned teachers, Nisargadatta, J.K, or U.G., or Papaji, I don't really feel like I'm dealing with anyone different then ramana, and that they are all the Self, and consequently all are Ramana.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.
...Ravi: What he is speaking of is exactly the same as what is called 'Pravritti'(Externalised mind) versus 'Nivritti' path(Inwardly turned Mind)....

Besides: There is an interesting part in Nisargattas Talks, Ravi, concerning this pravritti and nivritti; maybe of interest for you too. The question raised there is important:

Questioner: Some Mahatmas (enlightened beings) maintain that the world is neither an accident nor a play of God, but the result and expression of a mighty plan of work aiming at awakening and developing consciousness throughout the universe. From lifelessness to life, from unconsciousness to consciousness, from dullness to bright intelligence, from misapprehension to clarity -- that is the direction in which the world moves ceaselessly and relentlessly. Of course, there are moments of rest and apparent darkness, when the universe seems to be dormant, but the rest comes to an end and the work on consciousness is resumed. From our point of view the world is a dale of tears, a place to escape from, as soon as possible and by every possible means. To enlightened beings the world is good and it serves a good purpose. They do not deny that the world is a mental structure and that ultimately all is one, but they see and say that the structure has meaning and serves a supremely desirable purpose. What we call the will of God is not a capricious whim of a playful deity, but the expression of an absolute necessity to grow in love and wisdom and power, to actualise the infinite potentials of life and consciousness.

Just as a gardener grows flowers from a tiny seed to glorious perfection, so does God in His own garden grow, among other beings, men to supermen, who know and love and work along with Him.

When God takes rest (pralaya), those whose growth was not completed, become unconscious for a time, while the perfect ones, who have gone beyond all forms and contents of consciousness, remain aware of the universal silence. When the time comes for the emergence of a new universe, the sleepers wake up and their work starts. The more advanced wake up first and prepare the ground for the less advanced -- who thus find forms and patterns of behaviour suitable for their further growth.

Thus runs the story. The difference with your teaching is this: you insist that the world is no good and should be shunned. They say that distaste for the world is a passing stage, necessary, yet temporary, and is soon replaced by an all-pervading love, and a steady will to work with God.


Maharaj: All you say is right for the outgoing (pravritti) path. For the path of return (nivritti) naughting oneself is necessary. My stand I take where nothing (paramakash) is; words do not reach there, nor thoughts. To the mind it is all darkness and silence. Then consciousness begins to stir and wakes up the mind (chidakash), which projects the world (mahadakash), built of memory and imagination. Once the world comes into being, all you say may be so. It is in the nature of the mind to imagine goals, to strive towards them, to seek out means and ways, to display vision, energy and courage. These are divine attributes and I do not deny them. But I take my stand where no difference exists, where things are not, nor the minds that create them. There I am at home. Whatever happens, does not affect me -- things act on things, that is all. Free from memory and expectation, I am fresh, innocent and wholehearted. Mind is the great worker (mahakarta) and it needs rest. Needing nothing, I am unafraid. Whom to be afraid of? There is no separation, we are not separate selves. There is only one Self, the Supreme Reality, in which the personal and the impersonal are one.

.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
" Immaturity is the incapacity to use one's intelligence without the guidance of another. "

What is the term to be used for 'the incapacity to use one's intelligence even with the guidance of another'?!

Thanks very much and Best Regards.

Bookworm said...

Nandu Narasimhan

You say:

'My personal opinion is that Nisargadatta Maharaj was realised, and on that plane, there is no lesser or greater degree.

I have read only one book of Maharaj, and have seen a few videos on youtube. For me at least, His talks, even with the translator working overtime, had a stilling effect on the mind. Though nowhere as dramatic as Papaji's first video had on my head, the feeling was definitely there.

Want to try and meet Ramesh Balsekar, if I can, on my next trip to Mumbai. He is a direct devotee of the Maharaj'

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

As you say...it is your personal opinion...for both of them.

Ravi said...

Bookworm/Friends,
Here is an excerpt from 'At the Feet of Bhagavan' by sri T K sundaresa Iyer(A real gem of a book that David brought out from the archives!)
"IT was about 1927 when Sri Bhagavan’s Nool Thirattu1
in Tamil was under preparation to be published. There
was talk among the Ashram pundits that the book must
have a preface although the devotees of Maharshi
considered that nobody was qualified to write a preface
to His works. The pundits proposed the writing of a
preface, but none of them came forward to write it, each
excusing himself that he was not qualified for the task. It
was a drama of several hours as one proposed another for
the purpose, and each declined the honour. Bhagavan
was watching all this quietly.
At about 10-30 in the night, as I was passing beside
the Hall, Sri Bhagavan looked at me and said, “Why not
you write the preface yourself?”
I was taken aback at His proposal, but meekly said,
“I would venture to write it only if I had Bhagavan’s blessing
in the task.” Bhagavan said, “Do write it, and it will
come all right.”
So I began writing at the dead of night, and to my
great surprise within three quarters of an hour I made a
draft as if impelled, driven by some Supreme Force. Ialtered not even a comma of it, and at 2 O’clock in the
early morning I placed it at the feet of Bhagavan. He was
happy to see how the contents were arranged and to note
the simplicity of the expressions used. He passed it as all
right and asked me to take it away.
But as I had taken the written sheets of paper only a
few steps away, Sri Maharshi beckoned me to show them
to Him once again. I had concluded the Preface in the
following way: “It is hoped that this work in the form of
Bhagavan’s Grace will give to all who aspire to eternal
Truth, the Liberation in the form of gaining supreme
Bliss shaped as the taking away of all sorrow.” Maharshi
said, “Why have you said ‘It is hoped’? Why not say ‘It is
certain’?” So saying, He corrected with His own hands
my ‘nambukiren’ into ‘tinnam’.
Thus Sri Maharshi set His seal of approval to the
book, giving to His devotees that great charter of
Liberation, in the form of His Teaching (upadesa) which
leaves no trace of doubt about it in the mind."

Best Regards.

Bookworm said...

Ravi

By the way Ravi
You say:
'We may start with this form of Devotion to Sri Bhagavan.sooner or later this needs to be outgrown'

........
Nothing to do with Devotion Ravi....It is my True opinion that Nis/etcs realisation was not as ripe or as deep as Ramanas.

As for your statement above, there is only one word for it Ravi and that is...rubbish.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I initially was skeptical of Nisargadatta when I first read some of the dialogues with him, mainly because I was new to it, and i made a quick judgement, but I did kind of start seeing it differently when I read a little more, a little deeper. Mainly reading the interview with D.G. and his experiences, sounded like the Power of Presence was there. And then when I would read excerpts of I am That, it made much clearer what Realization is/means. As far as I can tell, people are either Realized, not Realized, there are not alot of gradations in between. In my own experience, when my mind becomes active again, it's just as obnoxious, no matter how peaceful I got in between. So it doesn't seem like the ego becomes a better ego. I thought Anonymous made good points, also what Ravi said to me makes sense. Bookworm too, made sense.

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
"Who cares what NIS/ETC did or didn't do. I certainly don't.

In my opinion(my humble one Ravi)...I don't think His 'realisation'
was anywhere near as ripe or deep as Ramanas. He didn't know a thing about the Heart on the right for example."
We may start with this form of Devotion to Sri Bhagavan.sooner or later this needs to be outgrown.Love is where comparison is not-it does not admit IDEAS like 'less','more'etc.

Nisargadutta Maharaj is truly a Realised Master,and this Realisation does not admit any comparison-Truth is not even NOT ONE!It is not nondual or Dual.These are all ideas.It is beyond these and includes all these.

Just like Sri Bhagavan is dear to us,Sri Nisargadutta also is,as also all Masters.

Reading from the Books about a Master or his teaching is not the same thing as BEING WITH ONE.

coming to the two types of Atman that anonymous has referred to-terminology is different;that is all.EGO is the Atman associated with the Body mind complex-What Sri Bhagavan called as DEHATMA BUDDHI,the pure Atman is the 'I,I' as referred to by Sri Bhagavan.

Thought process is not unconsciousness-if that were so,we will not be conscious of our thoughts(like in deep sleep).we are very much conscious of our thoughts and the thought process-only that this consciousness is limited by the 'object'.This 'limited consciousness' is a reflection of the unlimited consciousness(awareness)of the self.

REFLECTION implies that SOURCE is there.

Best Regards.

Bookworm said...

Anonymous

One more thing Anonymous
You say:
'The word chitta refers to thought process. It is better translated as consciousness'

.........................
Thinking and the thought process is
in Truth..unconciousness.

Anonymous said...

The word chitta refers to thought process. It is better translated as consciousness. All movements involving the material process are termed as only consciousness by NISARGADATTA. On the other hand, to refer to the atman, the pure consciousness, the term Awareness is better used. NISARGADATTA uses only this term to refer to the pure atman, not the individualized atman, the food body. Maurice Freydman also uses only these terms in the work, " I AM THAT." Thus one can distinguish between the two.

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
"Haven't we all Ravi.
The Grace that draws one - and the Trust one has in Ramana is unexplainable..even in a sense to ourselves."
Quite true....'even in a sense to ourselves'!

Scott,
"Sometimes, when I feel the strongest connection to grace, is when I realize I'm not able to solve my problems, or become enlightened, and naturally give in."
This is quite valid.Contrary to this,Grace visits(?) us when we least expect it(words!)and is not at all related to our state of mind.(whether we are in difficulty or otherwise).It may come looking for us when we are at play !

Best Regards.

Bookworm said...

Scott
You wrote:

'Sometimes, when I feel the strongest connection to grace, is when I realize I'm not able to solve my problems, or become enlightened, and naturally give in. How to do that, when any action or inaction is just the mind doing something? Inquiry I guess is the best answer, using the mind to find the source of being'

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

The mind finds nothing Scott.

The MIND is only a jumped up tool in You, merely a part or level of You..just an ability.

It is a state of thought in conciousness that became too strong in you... so that You falsly thought and think it is You.

But it is not You and You are not it.
It is maya..an illusion...an entanglement and entrapment that although it appears and feels to be You...
Enquiry shows that it is false and not who you Truly Are.

Ego/mind is just a phantom that rises in You and appears to be You.

You are That from which and where it rises.
............................


You say: 'the best answer, using the mind to find the source of being'
.....
It is more true to say:
The more Your mind dies or surrenders into That from
which it rises:

the more You find... You... Are the source of Being and are only Being.

Bookworm said...

Ravi

You say:

I have also found myself in a similiar predicament,trying to answer such questions.

........................
Haven't we all Ravi.
The Grace that draws one - and the Trust one has in Ramana is unexplainable..even in a sense to ourselves.

Ravi said...

Friends,
I wish to share this wonderful excerpt from Sadhu Arunachala (Chadwick)featured in the Golden jubilee souvenir.
"An Australian journalist came to the Ashram, quite why
he came is a mystery, I doubt if he would be able to tell
himself. Anyhow he did come and in the course of his visit
came to see me in my room. It was obvious from the first
moment that I was a tremendous problem to him. Why an
European should shut himself away in a place like this was
beyond his comprehension. He asked many questions but
none of my replies satisfied him, how could they? Especially
as he had not the first idea of what the Ashram was or what
people were doing here. I didn’t even write, then what on
earth did I do! At length he could contain himself no longer
and bluntly asked me what I was doing here. Now here was
a problem to answer. If I had tried to tell him the truth he
would never have understood, that I realized, so making the
best of it I just said that here I found peace of mind. I knew
314
it was an inadequate answer but hoped it would stave off
further enquiries.
He looked at me seriously for a few minutes and then said
pityingly: “Oh I see, I have never been troubled in that way
myself.”
All I had succeeded in doing was in confirming him in the
conviction that I was insane. And was there not, after all, some
ground for his belief? Here have I been spending (“wasting”, he
would say) half a life time searching for something I already
possess. I know that I possess it too, which makes matters appear
worse.
But let us return to the question and admit straight- away
that even now I am unable to reply satisfactorily. I can only say
why I came and that is because I wanted to. And why do I stay?
Because I want to. Doubtless there are many learned writers to
this volume who will be able to give philosophical and cast-iron
replies to this question, I leave the reader to them. I am not
particularly interested. To my metal Bhagavan was a magnet
and as yet his magnetism has lost none of its force. I am helpless."

I have also found myself in a similiar predicament,trying to answer such questions.

Salutations.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

...who has expressed the nature of the Self in this hymn, abides in me. ...Who but he, does this day, abiding as the inmost Self in me, speak this in the Tamil language?...

Oh yes,I know this important statements very well. Some people tried to look for theoretical differences between Ramana und Sankara, but there are no differences.

I remember a discussion somewhwere, where it was said that Ramanas position to classical advaita is different in that that classical advaita declares deep sleep to be avidya, whereas Ramana denied it to be avidya. Because in reality there exist only vidya and nothing else. Deep sleep is avidya to the ajnani.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

...Bookworm: Ramana quoted Shankara..therefore must have value...

Bookworm quoted Ramana. Therefore Bookworm must be right.

.

Broken Yogi said...

shiba said:

"In "BE AS YOU ARE" p119, "If concentration is made with the brain,sensation of heat and even headache ensue.Concentration has to be made in the Heart,which is cool and refreshing.Relax and your meditation will be easy.~~"

I can't understand what "in the Heart" mean.


I think the non-scholarly answer to your question is "in feeling". When people engage self-enquiry, they first tend to use their thinking mind, the conceptual mind, that is abstracted from experience, and not really able to experience anything directly. What Ramana suggested was that this approach to self-enquiry doesn't work.

Instead of merely thinking "I", and trying to trace its origins in the mind, it is best to merely feel the basic feeling of self, or "I-feeling", and trace its origins through the central faculty of feeling, rather than the secondary faculty of mind. This helps ground self-enquiry in a depth that the thinking mind simply cannot achieve.

When Ramana refers to "heart", I think in most cases you can take it that he merely means "core of experience", and the core of our experience is in feeling, not in the thinking mind. Unless, of course, one learns to feel with the mind as well, but even then, feeling is the deeper faculty. It's not an appeal to mere emotion, but the feeling quality of every moment of presuming oneself to be "I".

So I think what is meant is to simply feel this sense of "I", of self, that we have all the time, and examine this feeling in depth. Look for the source of this feeling, by feeling even deeper, past the "I", to the feeling of "being" itself.

Sometimes Ramana told people to repeat "I,I,I", like a mantra, but I think he meant that as an exercise of feeling, as in "feel the 'I', feel the 'I', feel the 'I'." It's not just some sort of mental mantra to repeat to gain intellectual knowledge or clarity.

Now, David can correct me if I'm wrong, but he was the one who helped point me to this understanding of self-enquiry in the first place, or at least confirmed this to be the case, so I think he would probably agree. In any case, just try it this way, and see if it makes a difference.

shiba said...

Thank you for your comment.

Certainly,my attention is forced to focus on headache.I should continue focusing on I-thought.

In "BE AS YOU ARE" p119, "If concentration is made with the brain,sensation of heat and even headache ensue.Concentration has to be made in the Heart,which is cool and refreshing.Relax and your meditation will be easy.~~"

I can't understand what "in the Heart" mean.

But in p178 "The mind which was hitherto operating through the nerves to sense external objects, maintaining a link between itself and the organs of perception, is now required to withdraw from the link and this action of withdrawal naturally causes a strain, a sprain or a snap attendant with pain.~~" is written.

So,I will put up with pain and continue to practice self-enquiry.

In addition to regular periods of practice I'm trying to think "I,I" mentally in daily life. It is a little easy to practice for me.

shiba said...

 Thank you for advising on my comment.

Continue attending to I-thought and ralax at same time is very difficult for me.

I have been practicing self-enquiry for about twenty days till today.

One of my probrems that I am encountering during practice is aches around temple.Before I began to practice it,I didn't have such aches.

And I also wonder if I should ask myself "to whom ~~~ arise" etc verbally.

Without asking myself them verbally, I-thouhgt seem to become vague to feel.

But asking myself them repeatedly in the form of language is a little annoying.