Sunday, January 24, 2010

Reincarnating jnanis?

I have been stirred out of my long blogging silence by a couple of exchanges that took place in the most recent ‘Open Thread’. It began with Losing M. Mind asking:

I’ve wondered if jnanis ever reincarnate, but then it occurred to me, that all jnanis are the same jnani because they are all the Self, so in a sense they are all incarnations of the same sage. Every jnani is Maharshi.
I responded with the following brief comment:

‘There are no jnanis. Jnana alone is.’ A remark of Bhagavan recorded by Narayana Iyer. Jnanis do not reincarnate.
Had I elaborated a bit more I might have also commented that, in my opinion, jnanis are not ‘all incarnations of the same sage’. Jnanis are not ‘incarnations’ at all; they are beings who know by direct experience that incarnations never really happened. Incarnations are a delusion that is sustained by the ‘I’-thought’s habit of associating and identifying with a form. This is what some Guru Vachaka Kovai verses have to say on this subject:

226

Birth and death attach themselves to you solely through the delusion of regarding the alien body as your true being. Therefore, the moment this powerful delusion is destroyed, immortality, your own true nature, is attained.

615

Although, in truth, nothing exists apart from the Self, through inner delusion we imagine that the body alone is the Self. It is this connection [the body with the Self] that is responsible for the way in which we slip from the immortality that is the blissful non-dual state of reality, thus becoming involved in birth and death.

Bhagavan 9

Forgetting the Self, one takes oneself to be the body and then passes through countless births, finally realising the Self and becoming the Self. Know that this is akin to waking up from a dream of wandering all over the world.

94

The Self abides motionless because of its all-pervasive fullness. Because the apparent connection between the Self and the mind-limitation seems to exist on account of ignorance – which is the jiva-perspective, the reflected consciousness that rises as ‘I’ – the Self too appears to have experienced movement through the motion of the mind. But the movement of samsara that comprises birth and death, bondage and liberation, and so on, is only for the jiva and never for the Self, the transcendental reality.
That is to say, if there is a jiva or an ‘I’-thought, illusory births and deaths will come and go, but when the ‘I’-thought is definitively eradicated one will understand that, from the standpoint of the Self, birth and death are not real, and that in fact, they never really happened. As Bhagavan himself commented, summarising the famous ajata (no creation) lines of Gaudapada: Nothing exists except the one reality. There is no birth or death, no projection [of the world] or drawing in [of it], no sadhaka, no mumukshu [seeker of liberation], no mukta [liberated one], no bondage, no liberation. The one unity alone exists ever. (Day by Day with Bhagavan, 15th March, 1946, afternoon)

In a subsequent comment on the ‘Open Thread’ Ravi took exception to my line ‘Jnanis do not reincarnate’ by declaring, ‘“Last birth” for the jnani is an oxymoron’.

He then backed up this assertion by quoting the well-known lines from the Gita which deal with Krishna’s avatars (chapter 4, verses 5-10):

Krishna said: ‘Both you and I have taken many births. I remember them all, O Arjuna, but you do not remember. Though I am eternal, imperishable, and the Lord of all beings; yet I manifest by controlling my own material nature, using My Yoga-Maya. Whenever there is a decline of dharma and the rise of adharma, O Arjuna, then I manifest Myself. I incarnate from time to time for protecting the good, for transforming the wicked, and for establishing dharma, the world order. The one who truly understands My transcendental birth and activities is not born again after leaving this body and attains My abode, O Arjuna. Freed from attachment, fear, and anger; fully absorbed in Me, taking refuge in Me, and purified by the fire of Self-knowledge, many have attained Me.
I suspect that I am going to tread on the toes of some Krishna bhaktas here, but I will do it while hiding behind two other key verses from Guru Vachaka Kovai:

100

Though Guru Ramana, who appeared as God incarnate, expounded numerous doctrines, as befitted the different states and beliefs of the various devotees who sought refuge at his feet, you should know that what we have heard him affirm to intimate devotees in private, as an act of grace, as his own true experience, is only the doctrine of ajata [non-creation].

101

The truth of this pre-eminent state [ajata] was taught to Arjuna by Lord Krishna in the beginning [in chapter two of the Bhagavad Gita]. Krishna spoke of other doctrines in the following chapters because of Arjuna’s bewilderment [that arose from] his inability to assimilate it.
This was Bhagavan’s usual response when he was asked about the avatars of Krishna. He would say that the truth of ‘no birth’ was expounded earlier in the Gita, but since Arjuna could not assimilate it, he later gave out the famous lines which Ravi quoted.

Here is Bhagavan again, telling another devotee the same thing:

Bhagavan: The truth was revealed even at the start [of the Gita]. For the very first sloka of Sri Krishna’s upadesa starts: ‘No birth and no death, no change, etc.’

Question: Sri Krishna also says, ‘We have had many rebirths. I am aware of them; but you are not.’

Bhagavan: That was only because the question arose how Sri Krishna could claim to have taught the eternal truth to Aditya. The truth was stated even at the start. Arjuna did not understand it. (Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no. 611)
Though there are many occasions in the Ramana literature where it is said that liberation ends the illusory cycle of births and deaths, the clearest answer I have found which supports my contention that Bhagavan taught that it is impossible for a jnani to reincarnate comes from the following exchange in Guru Ramana, pages 101-2:

The Vision (of Anandashram, Kanhangad) for June contains an article by Sri Bhagavan. It is a Preface to his translation into Tamil of Vivekachudamani of Sri Shankaracharya which has been translated by Mr S. Krishna into English for the Vision. Mr Cohen reads it to himself in the Hall. Struck by the following statement, he reads it aloud to Sri Bhagavan: ‘The liberated man is free indeed to act as he pleases, and when he leaves the mortal coil, he attains absolution, but returns not to this birth which is actually death.

Cohen: This statement gives the impression that although the jnani takes no birth again on this plane, he may continue to work on subtler planes, if he so chooses. Is there any desire left in him to choose?

Bhagavan: No, that was not my intention.

Cohen: Further, an Indian philosopher, in one of his books, interpreting Shankara, says that there is no such thing as videhamukti, for after his death, the mukta takes a body of light in which he remains till the whole humanity becomes liberated.

Bhagavan: That cannot be Shankara’s views (he opens Vivekachudamani and points to verse 566 which reads that after the dissolution of the physical sheath the liberated man becomes like ‘water poured into water and oil into oil’). It is a state wherein there is neither bondage nor liberation. Taking another body means throwing a veil, however subtle, upon reality, which is bondage. Liberation is absolute and irrevocable.
I questioned Papaji on this topic while I was collecting material for Nothing Ever Happened. This is the dialogue we had:

David: It is my understanding that Self-realisation puts an end to the possibility of any future birth. This is the teachings of all the major Hindu scriptures, and it is a teaching which has been confirmed by a long succession of enlightened Masters, including your own. Ramana Maharshi repeatedly said that once a river has discharged itself into the sea, it never takes the form of a river again. Similarly, he said that a mind which has completely dissolved in the Self can never reappear and attach itself to a form again. I presume that this is your view also. Although this is the traditional teaching, many famous teachers of modern times have been saying otherwise. Sathya Sai Baba, for example, says that he has one more life to go, and that in his next life, which will be his last, he will be called 'Prem Baba'.

Papaji: I know that there are other teachers whose views are quite different from my own, and from the teachers of the Upanishads. But the traditional teachings are very clear and they have been verified and expounded by generations of great Masters: if there is an unfulfilled desire, there will be a rebirth in which that desire can be fulfilled. And if there is rebirth, there is no enlightenment. Therefore, any teacher who says that he is going to be reborn has unfulfilled desires and is not enlightened. There are no exceptions to this rule.

‘Prem’ means ‘love’. If Sathya Sai Baba has an unfulfilled desire to give or receive love, he will come back in a form in which that experience can be enjoyed. That is how rebirths take place.

Then, one by one, I offered him the following claims:

1. Swami Muktananda said that after his death he would go to Siddha Loka to be with Nityananda Swami.

2. Ma Amritananda Mayi says that she was fully enlightened in her last life, but took a conscious decision to reincarnate again for the benefit of her devotees.

3. The Mother of Aurobindo Ashram said that she would reappear on the streets of Pondicherry as a seventeen-year-old girl.

4. Swami Yukteswar, the Guru of Swami Yogananda, reappeared after his death, saying that he had moved to one of the astral worlds and was functioning as a teacher there.

In each case Papaji’s answer was the same: if, after you die, you take form in this or any other world, you are not enlightened. Enlightenment and a desire to reappear in any form cannot co-exist together.

David: So you would say that it is not possible to be born in an enlightened state? Ananda Mayi Ma, for example, claimed that she was born in an enlightened state, and that she never did any sadhana in this life.

Papaji: If you take form, you have desires to fulfill, and while they remain unfulfilled, you are not enlightened. An enlightened man will never have any kind of desire to continue in another form after his death. When you have had all possible incarnations from the worm in the shit of a pig up to a human being, you will have had all the experiences possible. You won’t want any more.

David: There is one further possibility that is not covered by any of the above examples. I have heard it said that if a devotee has an intense love for his Guru, and if he has a great desire to be with his Guru again, then that love and that desire will compel the Guru to take birth again, so that the devotee can be with him. Is this possible? Can the power of a devotee’s love compel even an enlightened Guru to take birth again?

Papaji: I don’t agree with this. It is not possible at all.

The real Guru is the one who shows the light to his devotees. The other so-called gurus are either magic-mongers or spiritual businessmen. The big ashrams that these people build around themselves are just manifestations of the uncontrolled desires that are swirling around inside them. How can such people benefit others?

The power of a devotee’s love compels a Guru to give grace here and now, in this life. If the love is really there, there will be no need to postpone it till a later life. It will happen instantly. (Nothing Ever Happened, pp. 414-7)
Another Guru I have sat with, Lakshmana Swamy, was just as categorical about the impossibility of jnanis taking birth again. I can’t remember who asked the questions in this dialogue, but they were not from me:

Question: If the jnani has so much power why can’t he take a new body when he dies in order to help successive generations of devotees? Why must the birth in which he realises the Self be his last birth?

Swamy: It is the mind which takes birth in a new body. The jnani has no mind, so there is no question of rebirth for him.

Question: Some Gurus say that after they die they will take a subtle body in one of the astral worlds.

Swamy: To take a body, even a subtle body in the higher regions, an ‘I’ is necessary. When the ‘I’ is still present, rebirth is inevitable. When the ‘I’ has died, rebirth is impossible.

Question: But why can’t a jnani choose to be reborn? He makes choices while he is alive, so there must be some mental faculty in him which he can use to bring about a rebirth.

Swamy: The jnani has no mind at all. All his actions are performed through the power of the Self. Other people see him acting and apparently taking decisions, and they assume that he must have a mind because they cannot imagine how this can be done without a mind.

Question: But the mere fact that he is alive means that the jnani has decided to live after Self-realisation. Can’t the jnani use the faculty he uses to stay alive to continue his life after death?

Swamy: The jnani has no mind and no body. He is the formless Self. He only appears to be alive in the sight of those who identify him with a body. There is no question of birth or death for the jnani because he has already transcended them both…

When an advanced devotee dies, his ‘I’-thought may take birth in a subtle body which associates itself with his samadhi shrine. Such a subtle body may have some power which it can use to help devotees who worship at the shrine to fulfil their desires. A jnani cannot assume a subtle body like this after his death because his ‘I’-thought is no longer existing...

Question: You say that when a jnani dies he does not exist in any perceivable form. Some people still see visions of Ramana Maharshi. Does this not prove that his presence still remains even though he is no longer in the body?

Swamy: These visions are only in the mind. Since Ramana Maharshi is not the mind, how can these visions be him? The mind brings them into existence, and apart from the mind they do not exist.

Question: Some people have dreams and visions of Ramana Maharshi without ever having heard of him before. If Ramana Maharshi is not now existing in any way, how can this happen?

Swamy: This is still only a product of the imagination. Whatever you perceive cannot be Ramana Maharshi because Ramana Maharshi is now the formless Self, and the Self cannot be perceived. One’s vasanas [mental habits, inclinations or tendencies] may cause an image of Ramana Maharshi to appear, even if one has never heard of him before, but he is neither the image nor the cause of the image. (No Mind – I am the Self, pp. 76-7)
There are not, so far as I can recollect, any published comments by Mathru Sri Sarada on this subject, but I do remember listening to the following comments sometime in the 1980s:

Saradamma: Some people think that jnanis are omniscient, that they have access to all the information in the world. The jnani doesn’t have all this information, or need it. If someone came up to me and said that Hyderabad is the capital of India, I might believe him if I didn’t already know that it is Delhi. There is nothing in jnana that reveals whether things that people say about the world are correct or not. But if someone tells me something about the Self, then this is something I really know about. If someone says, for example, that he has met a jnani who says he is going to reincarnate, I immediately know that this person is not a jnani. There is something about jnana that contains within itself the absolute certainty that rebirth in any form is not possible. Jnana is the ending of all births. If that knowledge, that jnana, is there, there is also the knowledge that another birth is impossible.
So, Ravi, I am going to have to disagree with you on this one. None of the teachers I have been fortunate to be with has ever claimed that rebirth for jnanis is possible; and all have quite vehemently upheld the opposite view. I know that there are those who believe in avatars – fully enlightened beings who manifest again and again whenever they are needed – but I am not one of them.

In conclusion, and not entirely off-topic, here are some gorgeous verses by Muruganar (from Sri Guru Ramana Prasadam, translated by Robert Butler) on how Bhagavan ended all his births:

53

Sundering the [fusion of] consciousness and the insentient that is the perplexed wandering mind, the acute grace-bestowing gaze of the great jewel, guru Ramana, was consummated in me as the expanse of grace, rare mauna, such that the sorrow of birth that stems from Self-forgetfulness was entirely abolished.

83

Through the grace of my Lord the highest reality unfolded within my devotee’s heart as his holy feet [the Self] flourished in the place of my head [the ego]. And through that grace the irreversible nature of my allegiance to him became manifest as liberation from birth and as inexhaustible bliss.

5

Through the joyous power of the true love that took as its goal the feet of my guru, a life lived in the vast space of the Self that shines fearlessly within the heart burgeoned forth within me, as the unfailing awareness that is mauna grew stronger and stronger. Birth’s suffering was abolished and my eye became fearless as I obtained the vision of grace.

429

The great excellence of his holy feet, which illuminate the hearts of those who have attained equanimity, is that they have brought me to the verdant mountain shore of liberation, and through their grace I have escaped the waves of the ocean of rebirth.

34

The sorrow of birth proliferates due to vasanas, based as they are upon the delusion of ‘I’ and ‘mine’, the very nature of the ego, all its sorrows and apparent limitations. But when I attained the blessed state of grace wherein I was embraced by the supreme bliss of realisation of the Self, that majestic firmament manifested within my heart putting an end to that sorrow.

94

Through the Sadguru who embodies the all-encompassing greatness of dwelling as That, a river of celestial nectar and honey merged with my heart, conferring its riches upon me, and I attained the experience of jnana wherein I dwelt as That. And through that experience the sorrow of vile birth vanished like a dream in sleep.

95

The pure eternal expanse of grace beyond the taint of mind flared up within my heart, so that it became my real nature through and through. The reward I gained was the victorious experience of the Self as Brahman, and in that victory the bitter suffering of birth and death was vanquished.

427

No sooner had I sought asylum in the protecting embrace of the Self, whose glorious form shines with the noble radiance of the Supreme, than the sorrowful delusion of birth and death receded from me, for I had tasted the nectar of the experience of Sivam.

522

In the state of realisation that shines as pure consciousness, where there is neither birth nor death, separation nor union, thinking nor forgetting, joy nor sorrow, all other associations became meaningless and disappeared.

245 comments:

1 – 200 of 245   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

I guess the question of reincarnation comes only if the world is assumed to be a constant i.e., it is based on the assumption that the world was there before our birth and will continue to exist after we die; this happens when we forget that the world and its contents are the product of the mind than the other way round.

Anonymous said...

No, nothing to do with the world being constant. I understand it as loss of ego equates to loss of me. Means no individuality left, no residue. There's no one left to reincarnate.

Subramanian. R said...

Nammazhwar, one of the 12 Sri
Vaishnava Saints is said to have
born enlightened, under a tamarind
tree.

Anonymous said...

HI - A Jnani's statement is always true. Bhagawan's observation about Lord Krishna's advice to Arjuna on Gita settles the question about rebirth and the Jnani. No such thing exist and birth and re-birth are a product of I's imagination.

Thanks to David for culling the gems from Jnanis ( or should I say the Self - as Jnana alone exist ).

On Namo Baghawathe Sri Ramanaya.

Best Regards,
Krishna

Murali said...

Dear David,

While the logic behind the impossiblity of reincarnation of Jnani's is irrefutable, the following two confuse me

1. Many Jnani's seem to have told that they are going to come again. For example, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa is on record saying that he has to return after 200 years. Also, Shirdi Sai Baba is also on record saying that he will appear again two more times.

2. If the Jnani leaves no trace after the body falls off, how does the power of Jnani manifests in that particular form after the death? For example, we all revere Ramana Maharshi's samadhi and also treat Him as if he were alive. What is the meaning of this? Is there any difference between revering the form of the dead Jnani or any other form? Ofcourse, it is true that the power of the Self is responsible for everything which happens but there seems to be some difference between sitting before the Samadhi of Bhagavan versus sitting at some other normal place.

REgards Murali

Ravi said...

David/Murali/Friends,
Thanks very much David.I totally appreciate and concur with all that you have to say.Yet,I would also say that the opposite of it is equally valid!This is the Beauty of the Infinite-that it lends itself to all this and more.

I will perhaps express more in detail,a little later.I will just take this example of what papaji had to say-
"Papaji: If you take form, you have desires to fulfill, and while they remain unfulfilled, you are not enlightened. An enlightened man will never have any kind of desire to continue in another form after his death. When you have had all possible incarnations from the worm in the shit of a pig up to a human being, you will have had all the experiences possible. You won’t want any more."
The assumption is that DESIRE is a sine quo non for any action,manifestation,etc.The very presence of a Jnani,when he is present among us,is proof enough that this is not so!
In the Gita,Sri Krishna says-"There is nothing in this universe, O Arjuna, that I am compelled to do, nor anything for Me to attain; yet I am persistently active. "

This is not to say that papaji was wrong;but to say that all statements are partial Truths only.Hanging onto such partial statements as the whole Truth is what is expressed in the parable of Sri Ramakrishna-The Blind men and the Elephant.
-----------------------------------
Murali asked a very simple question-this is a variation of the same theme.If the Jnani has no further birth-Just what does this mean?Why should one assume that taking on any form or role(not based on Desire but as per The Divine Will)is a limitation for the Jnani?Why should one assume that ending of the Outward manifestation be an inevitable outcome of Jnana?

The other position is 'Brahman alone Exists'-The Ajati vada is one variant of the Supreme Truth and not the whole of it.

This is what is expressed in the Salt Doll parable of Sri Ramakrishna-who is the one who can measure the Immeasurable.
All Statements necessarily are Partial Truths only.
-----------------------------------
More later.

Namaskar.

Ravi said...

David/Friends,
I wish to share this insightful commentary of Sri Aurobindo,at the beginning of his comments on Chapter 7 :
THE FIRST six chapters of the Gita have been treated as a single block of teachings, its primary basis of practice and knowledge; the remaining twelve may be similarly treated as two closely connected blocks which develop the rest of the doctrine from this primary basis. The seventh to the twelfth chapters lay down a large metaphysical statement of the nature of the Divine Being and on that foundation closely relate and synthezise knowledge and devotion, just as the first part of the Gita related and synthezised works and knowledge. The vision of the World-Purusha intervenes in the eleventh chapter, gives a dynamic turn to this stage of the synthesis and relates it vividly to works and life. Thus again all is brought powerfully back to the original question of Arjuna round which the whole exposition revolves and completes its cycle. Afterwards the Gita proceeds by the differentiation of the Purusha and Prakriti to work out its ideas of the action of the gunas, of the ascension beyond the gunas and of the culmination of desireless works with knowledge where that coalesces with Bhakti,—knowledge, works and love made one,—and it rises thence to its great finale, the supreme secret of self-surrender to the Master of Existence. In this second part of the Gita we come to a more concise and easy manner of statement than we have yet had. In the first six chapters the definitions have not yet been made which give the key to the underlying truth; difficulties are being met and solved; the progress is a little laboured and moves through several involutions and returns; much is implied the bearing of which is not yet clear. Here we seem to get on to clearer ground and to lay hold of a more compact and pointed expression. But because of this very conciseness we have to be careful always of our steps in order to avoid error and a missing of the real sense. For we are here no longer steadily on the safe ground of psychological and spiritual experience, but have to deal with intellectual statements of spiritual and often of supracosmic truth. Metaphysical statement has always this peril and uncertainty about it that it is an attempt to define to our minds what is really infinite, an attempt which has to be made, but can never be quite satisfactory, quite final or ultimate. "

continued....

Losing M. Mind said...

Yes!!!! A new post, and even better based on the odd discussions in the comment thread. Ahhh, like the old days.

Ravi said...

David/Friends,
....Essays on The Gita,Continued...

"The highest spiritual truth can be lived, can be seen, but can only be partially stated. The deeper method and language of the Upanishads with its free resort to image and symbol, its intuitive form of speech in which the hard limiting definiteness of intellectual utterance is broken down and the implications of words are allowed to roll out into an illimitable wave of suggestion, is in these realms the only right method and language. But the Gita cannot resort to this form, because it is designed to satisfy an intellectual difficulty, answers a state of mind in which the reason, the arbiter to which we refer the conflicts of our impulses and sentiments, is at war with itself and impotent to arrive at a conclusion. The reason has to be led to a truth beyond itself, but by its own means and in its own manner. Offered a spiritually psychological solution, of the data of which it has no experience, it can only be assured of its validity if it is satisfied by an intellectual statement of the truths of being upon which the solution rests. So far the justifying truths that have been offered to it are those with which it is already familiar, and they are only sufficient as a starting-point. There is first the distinction between the Self and the individual being in Nature. The distinction has been used to point out that this individual being in Nature is necessarily subject, so long as he lives shut up within the action of the ego, to the workings of the three gunas which make up by their unstable movements the whole scope and method of the reason, the mind and the life and senses in the body. And within this circle there is no solution. Therefore the solution has to be found by an ascent out of the circle, above this nature of the gunas, to the one immutable Self and silent Spirit, because then one gets beyond that action of the ego and desire which is the whole root of the difficulty. But since this by itself seems to lead straight towards inaction, as beyond Nature there is no instrumentality of action and no cause or determinant of action,—for the immutable self is inactive, impartial and equal to all things, all workings and all happenings,—the Yoga idea is brought in of the Ishwara, the Divine as master of works and sacrifice, and it is hinted but not yet expressly stated that this Divine exceeds even the immutable self and that in him lies the key to cosmic existence.

....continued....

Ravi said...

David/Friends,
...Sri aurobindo on The Gita Continued....
"Therefore by rising to him through the Self it is possible to have spiritual freedom from our works and yet to continue in the works of Nature. But it has not yet been stated who is this Supreme, incarnate here in the divine teacher and charioteer of works, or what are his relations to the Self and to the individual being in Nature. Nor is it clear how the Will to works coming from him can be other than the will in the nature of the three gunas. And if it is only that, then the soul obeying it can hardly fail to be in subjection to the gunas in its action, if not in its spirit, and if so, at once the freedom promised becomes either illusory or incomplete. Will seems to be an aspect of the executive part of being, to the power and active force of nature, Shakti, Prakriti. Is there then a higher Nature than that of the three gunas? Is there a power of pragmatic creation, will, action other than that of ego, desire, mind, sense, reason and the vital impulse? Therefore, in this uncertainty, what has now to be done is to give more completely the knowledge on which divine works are to be founded. And this can only be the complete,by the integral knowledge of the Divine who is the source of works and in whose being the worker becomes by knowledge free; for he knows the free Spirit from whom all works proceed and participates in his freedom. Moreover this knowledge must bring a light that justifies the assertion with which the first part of the Gita closes. It must ground the supremacy of bhakti over all other motives and powers of spiritual consciousness and action; it must be a knowledge of the supreme Lord of all creatures to whom alone the soul can offer itself in the perfect self-surrender which is the highest height of all love and devotion. This is what the Teacher proposes to give in the opening verses of the seventh chapter which initiate the development that occupies all the rest of the book. “Hear,” he says, “how by practising Yoga with a mind attached to me and with me as ¯a´sraya (the whole basis, lodgement, point of resort of the conscious being and action) thou shalt know me without any remainder of doubt, integrally, samagram˙ ma¯m. I will speak to thee without omission or remainder, a´ses.atah. ,” (for otherwise a ground of doubt may remain), “the essential knowledge, attended with all the comprehensive knowledge, by knowing which there shall be no other thing here left to be known.” The implication of the phrase is that the Divine Being is all, v¯asudevah. sarvam, and therefore if he is known integrally in all his powers and principles, then all is known, not only the pure Self, but the world and action and Nature. There is then nothing else here left to be known, because all is that Divine Existence. It is only because our view here is not thus integral, because it rests on the dividing mind and reason and the separative idea of the ego, that our mental perception of things is an ignorance.We have to get away from this mental and egoistic view to the true unifying knowledge, and that has two aspects, the essential, jn˜ a¯na, and the comprehensive, vijn˜ a¯na, the direct spiritual awareness of the supreme Being and the right intimate knowledge of the principles of his existence, Prakriti, Purusha and the rest, by which all that is can be known in its divine origin and in the supreme truth of its nature."
Interestingly,Sri Ramakrishna also mentions 'vijnana' as a more intimate and comprehensive knowledge of God.
-----------------------------------
I have shared this,only to say that there are other equally valid perspectives.
As the Upanishads say-Ekam Sataha Vipraha,bahudha Vadanti-Truth is one,but sages Express it in many ways.

Namaskar.

Losing M. Mind said...

But you know, I didn't take Ravi's quote to be in conflict with the other things. Because my understanding from reading the Bhagavad Gita, is that Krishna is the formless Self, he is not an incarnating person.

And in light of that, I think that quote makes sense. Because it does seem to me, maybe I'm not correct, and maybe it isn't important in terms of Self-Realization, but the quote about when the adharma rises, and the dharma is in decline, there is some way in which the activity of the world can only get so out of touch with the Self (and the Self manifests as what is true, good and beautiful, in other words dharmic), so a jnani may manifest as an important person, that kind of gives focus to those who are good. And maybe those who are advanced directs them to Self-REalization.

I was speculating as an example, that maybe no one agrees with me, in the United States two presidents I was speculating were jnanis. As in they were just the formless Self, but apparently a great political leader. Those two U.S presidents were Aberham Lincoln, and the current president Barack OBama.

Now neither really talked specifically about Maharshi's teachings, or the Upanishads in detail, or the I-thought. But I was thinking that is perhaps becuase of the role they are serving in the manifest world. And jnanis, such as Jesus and Buddha (perhaps Moses) also as basics advise dharmic actions. i.e. The Ten Commandments, in yoga, the yamas. So historically jnanis have also been great moral teachers for those perhaps who aren't ready for total ego subsidence. Because to be in touch with the Self it is important to go in the direction of being or doing good. Because those traits are reflections of the Self of pure goodness.

That jnanis (that I was talking about who manifest as great leaders) would be someone whose 'I' died in this life, so is only the formless Self (not a person), but it's (the jnani's) apparent activity in the world might be as an important person to bring things back in the world into greater harmony. It may be as a political leader, it may be only as a great spiritual teacher who has a great effect worldwide. So I thought that quote really made sense to me from the bhagavad Gita, and I didn't see it in conflict with what David Godman was saying, or quoting of these great spiritual teacher jnanis whose I's had dissapeared for good and are only the formless Self.

Because the way I took it was Krishna is not a person, Krishna is the Self, because in the Bhagavad Gita it said I vaguely remember Krishna distinguishing to Arjuna of knowing me through my manifest form, and knowing me through my unmanifest form. So I thought what he was saying is, Krishna is a way of saying the Self manifesting as great teachers in the world, which in light of this would not be the highest teaching where there is none liberated, and none in bondage, the highest absolute truth as mentioned in the Upanishads.

Losing M. Mind said...

two more things on what I said, on the U.S. Presidents I mentioned. The period leading up to the civil war, was maybe a time of severe rise of adharma, and not a sattvic time. Southern slaveholders were getting increasingly aggressive, the previous U.S. president were really accomodating to slavery, and did not see anything wrong with it. All these people were very invested in their imaginary egos, and all the mental ideas that come from it, and were able to rationalize these actions. their evil actions came from their minds being out of touch with the SElf. But since the Self is the substratum, it manifested as a man who Realized the SElf, and was catapulted into the Presidency. Aberham Lincoln.

In the last 8 years of the bUsh administration, it was an administration that's values, and rationale was highly adharmic, way more then previous administrations. Unapologetically totalitarian-leaning, internationally aggressive. And even rationalized it with religious ideas, Christianity. But the human world can only get so out of touch with the substratum it is based on, so the same thing happened, the SElf manifested as a man who Realized the SElf in this lifetime, i.e is only the substratum, and in the world, this man was catapulted (apparently, not in Reality) into the Presidency.

Losing M. Mind said...

Yeah, I have to say, that does seem suspect that a dead jnani no longer exists in any form, or that ht power of the SElf is no longer associated with their memory and recordings and writings, that it's only if the words have good advice. THat does not strike me true. Sometimes, I wonder, when jnanis make statements. Do thsoe statements always apply? Or do jnanis give different advice to different aspriants? So if a jnani says something like, there is no power associated with what is left over after a jnani dies. Could htat be maybe for some other purpose then as a statement of fact? Papaji did specifically say that any jnani that says they will reincarnate is not jnani, so did Mathru Sri Sarada. But some of those sages mentioned, I have trouble believing that they are not jnanis, such as Ananda Mai (I forget how to write her name), and Yogananda. Robert Adams referred talked about spending time with Yogananda with teh implication that he was a jnani. I notice Papaji did not say those people were not jnanis, but he said that anyone who reincarnates is not a jnani? Definitely this essay, leaves me with some questions.

Losing M. Mind said...

I was wondering is it O.K to refer to Mathru Sri Sarada as Saradamma since that was I believe her pre-Realization name.

Losing M. Mind said...

Just putting in my two cents: David Godman's judgement is great, so whatever he writes posts about, it's the right post, including this brilliant one. But on top of this wonderful post, which I'm not done soaking up, something I want to learn more about is Maurice Frydman. He sounds as brilliant and interesting as all of the one's that David Godman has already edited books about. And I know nothing about him really, besides the little I've read, a few statements here and there. It would be really fascinating to me if there was a post about him on this blog, on top of whatever other project he is doing on that subject.

Anonymous said...

This a very interesting discussion.
I'm sure nevertheless that power is retained in Ramanas samadhi. As he said "I am here where am I to go?"
Furthermore he held on to the Sri Chakra that was placed on his mother's samadhi and interned there. It is said to be a storehouse of spiritual power.
Also the date of the Sri Vidya Havan has been restored to its rightful date.
Why was it ever changed?

Anonymous said...

Wow this article is pure mind blowing to me because EVERY point raised is what has been going in my mind for the past few months:
1)First on a lighter note:One day just a month or so ago I was thinking what is the use of thinking/praying to Ramana for help; may be I should pray to Shirdi Sai or someone like that or some one physically living if I need any help at all becuase if Ramana has given up even that minute ego to stay afloat or to reincarnate then there is no Ramana anymore after his physical death in any astral plane.So guys that are ‘near’ or ‘half’ realized saints better for help??Hmm dunno dunno!!

2) When my mind was hovering around why Lakshmana and Sarada would not like to meet/help any one while Ramana would make every effort to meet and help anyone even hours before his physical death:Hmm may be Lakshmana and Sarada are fully Realized and Ramana is not because he still sees problems in people and so he feels the necessity to respond??The fact that Ramanagiri(the gora Dutch swami) claimed to receive live instructions from Ramana after Ramana’s physical death supports the theory that Ramana may have chosen to keep that minute ego to continue further missions???RamaKrishna Paramahamsa many times said he still has that minimum ego left inorder to stay alive/afloat. Dunno Dunno.But the story is not complete as Lakshmana Sarada say they are happy to help only ‘advanced’ aspirants seeking help on climax? Come on this is absurd: if it is all like a movie as they say; whether it is a scene of a dying man shouting for food or a lady mourning about her make up we do not differentiate because we know both are just scenes in a movie on the tele.Do Dwaitas(Madhavacharya) win here as he says something like(NOT exact quotes) Reality is Real and should be taken at face value and that the Movie/Illusion concept is non sense.Hmm Dunno Dunno. Please enlighten us.

3)While Lakshmana was FULLY realized he was still waiting to meet Sarada apparently to help her Realize? If it was all a ‘Movie’ and Sarada another fictional character in that movie why did he still have the motive/desire to wait for Sarada to come and help her Realize. If he takes shelter in the following argument “Other people see a Jnaani acting and apparently taking decisions, and they assume that he must have a mind because they cannot imagine how this can be done without a mind.
I want to ask Lakshmana Taata why do you differentiate between the advanced and lesser advanced seekers or to put in another way why do we see you helping only the advanced seekers or even in one more way why can’t we see you help everyone like Ramana?Hmm dunno dunno. Please enlighten us.

4)When I was reading on Sri Sarada's website about their New Year messages I was thinking Gosh these people are reeally bad communicators and there is a world of difference between their's(even Papaji for that matter) and that of UG or Ramana.Then I remembered a question put to UG:
[http://www.ugkrishnamurti.org/ug/main/ugbio/ugbio9.htm]
Q: Are even those who `realized' different from one another?
U.G.: Yes, because their background is different. The background is the only thing that can express itself. What else is there? My expression of it is the background: how I struggled, the path I followed, how I rejected the path of others--up to that point I can say what I did or did not do.... Such an individual is different, not only from you, but from all the others who are supposed to be in this state, because of his background.
Follow the Rabbit...

Anonymous said...

Follow the Rabbit...
6) Why is that God-men are **always** slippery on THE and ETERNAL questions of mankind:
a)Reincarnation b) Freewill and c) the why of creation d) can you give me Liberation or atleast why can’t a GURU kill all the bad vasanas and increase good vasanas??
‘Nothing Ever Happened’ seems water tight and not the entire story simply because if ‘Nothing Ever Happened’ or if it is all an illusion/movie or if it is all waking from a dream then WHY do they come back into the dream and continue to carry on their physical lives and seemingly deal with the REALITY like helping aspirants, preaching etc.To me if ‘Nothing Ever Happened’ you would physically drop dead or never come back from that ‘Death Experience’ or to put it in another way you would n’t go back to sleep to enable you to get back into the same dream to help or even finish a bad guy in that dream; would you??Here the Dvaitas or believers in supersoul/paramatma/Holy Father seems to win as they say there is the Father/Paramaatma on whom the Jivatma depends and if you ascend to the higher lokaas(Vaikuntha) you will know the rest of the story?? They see Advaitavaadis as Anarchists who spurn people to jump off the cliff(kill their ego) instead of aspiring for Whykuntha. Dunno… so guys do we let it go UP instead through the Koorma nadi. I hear Nisargadatta saying ‘just blob it in’ .God bloody knows and for now he wills to have Charavaaka Kurma’in my kitchen and I jet off downstairs concluding only he the bloody knows why the hell does he WILL so He can Be.
**Please Enligthen us and Muchos Gracias**

Nandu Narasimhan said...

I have little or zero knowledge about this topic, but based on Bhagavan's statement that there is no jnani and that only jnana is there, would it be safe to assume that there is no jnani to reincarnate Himself, and it is only jnana that chooses to manifest itself?

@LMM, yes, this thread is like the 'old days'. Pure Wisdom flowing right through.

Nandu Narasimhan

Anonymous said...

Ok, follow the rabbit.
You've made some valid points and also pointed fingers at some teachers.
Still, no one. I say no one can compare to Ramana Maharshi. He had time for the learned pundits, for the poor and illiterate. For bedraggled animals. He was available to people seeking day and night. Even when he was dyeing
he insisted on giving people that last, long, penetrating look.
If it wasn't for the rather severe Sarvadikari he would have had almost no rest.
Who can understand the majesty and mystery of Ramana Maharshi?

Ravi said...

Nandu/Friends,
Nandu,beautiful observation!I wish to share this wonderful excerpt from chapter 3,of The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna-where Sri Ramakrishna meets the Great Philanthrophist,Iswar chandra Vidya Sagar:

"The world of duality & Transcendental nature of Brahman:
Sri Ramakrishna's conversation now turned to the Knowledge of Brahman.
MASTER: "Brahman is beyond vidya and avidya, knowledge and ignorance. It is beyond
maya, the illusion of duality.
"The world consists of the illusory duality of knowledge and ignorance. It contains
knowledge and devotion, and also attachment to 'Woman and gold'; righteousness and
unrighteousness; good and evil. But Brahman is unattached to these. Good and evil apply to
the jiva, the individual soul, as do righteousness and unrighteousness; but Brahman is not at
all affected by them.
"One man may read the Bhagavata by the light of a lamp, and another may commit a
forgery by that very light; but the lamp is unaffected. The sun sheds its light on the wicked
as well as on the virtuous.
"You may ask, 'How, then, can one explain misery and sin and unhappiness?' The answer is
that these apply only to the jiva. Brahman is unaffected by them. There is poison in a snake;
but though others may die if bitten by it, the snake itself is not affected by the poison.

Brahman cannot be expressed in words:
"What Brahman is cannot he described. All things in the world - the Vedas, the Puranas, the
Tantras, the six systems of philosophy - have been defiled, like food that has been touched
by the tongue, for they have been read or uttered by the tongue. Only one thing has not
been defiled in this way, and that is Brahman. No one has ever been able to say what
Brahman is."

VIDYASAGAR (to his friends): "Oh! That is a remarkable statement. I have learnt
something new today."
MASTER: "A man had two sons. The father sent them to a preceptor to learn the
Knowledge of Brahman. After a few years they returned from their preceptor's house and
bowed low before their father. Wanting to measure the depth of their knowledge of
Brahman, he first questioned the older of the two boys. 'My child,' he said, 'You have
studied all the scriptures. Now tell me, what is the nature of Brahman?' The boy began to
explain Brahman by reciting various texts from the Vedas. The father did not say anything.
Then he asked the younger son the same question. But the boy remained silent and stood
with eyes cast down. No word escaped his lips. The father was pleased and said to him: 'My
child, you have understood a little of Brahman. What It is cannot be expressed in words.'

....continued.....

Ravi said...

Nandu/Friends,
....Sri Ramakrishna,continued....

Parable of ant and sugar hill
"Men often think they have understood Brahman fully. Once an ant went to a hill of sugar.
One grain filled its stomach. Taking another grain in its mouth it started homeward. On its
way it thought, 'Next time I shall carry home the whole hill.' That is the way shallow minds
think. They don't know that Brahman is beyond one's words and thought. However great a
man may be, how much can he know of Brahman? Sukadeva and sages like him may have
been big ants; but even they could carry at the utmost eight or ten grains of sugar!
"As for what has been said in the Vedas and the Puranas, do you know what it is like?
Suppose a man has seen the ocean, and somebody asks him, 'Well, what is the ocean like?'
The first man opens his mouth as wide as he can and says: 'What a sight! What tremendous
waves and sounds!' The description of Brahman in the sacred books is like that. It is said in
the Vedas that Brahman is of the nature of Bliss - It is Satchidananda.
"Suka and other sages stood on the shore of this Ocean of Brahman and saw and touched
the water. According to one school of thought they never plunged into it. Those who do,
cannot come back to the world again.
Parable of salt doll
"In samadhi one attains the Knowledge of Brahman - one realizes Brahman. In that state
reasoning stops altogether, and man becomes mute. He has no power to describe the nature
of Brahman.
"Once a salt doll went to measure the depth of the ocean. (All laugh.) It wanted to tell
others how deep the water was. But this it could never do, for no sooner did it get into the
water than it melted. Now who was there to report the ocean's depth?"

.....continued.....

Ravi said...

Nandu/Friends,
.....Sri Ramakrishna continued...
"A DEVOTEE: "Suppose a man has obtained the Knowledge of Brahman in samadhi.
Doesn't he speak any more?"
MASTER: "Sankaracharya retained the 'ego of Knowledge' in order to teach others. After
the vision of Brahman a man becomes silent. He reasons about It as long as he has not
realized It. If you heat butter in a pan on the stove, it makes a sizzling sound as long as the
water it contains has not dried up. But when no trace of water is left the clarified butter
makes no sound. If you put an uncooked cake of flour in that butter it sizzles again. But
after the cake is cooked all sound stops. Just so, a man established in samadhi comes down
to the relative plane of consciousness in order to teach others, and then he talks about God.
"The bee buzzes as long as it is not sitting on a flower. It becomes silent when it begins to
sip the honey. But sometimes, intoxicated with the honey, it buzzes again.
"An empty pitcher makes a gurgling sound when it is dipped in water. When it fills up it
becomes silent. (All laugh.) But if the water is poured from it into another pitcher, then you
will hear the sound again. (Laughter. Rishis of ancient India
"The rishis of old attained the Knowledge of Brahman. One cannot have this so long as
there is the slightest trace of worldliness. How hard the rishis laboured! Early in the
morning they would go away from the hermitage, and would spend the whole day in
solitude, meditating on Brahman. At night they would return to the hermitage and eat a
little fruit or roots. They kept their minds aloof from the objects of sight, hearing, touch,
and other things of a worldly nature. Only thus did they realize Brahman as their own inner
consciousness.
"But in the Kaliyuga, man, being totally dependent on food for life, cannot altogether shake
off the idea that he is the body. In this state of mind it is not proper for him to say, 'I am
He.' When a man does all sorts of worldly things, he should not say, 'I am Brahman.' Those
who cannot give up attachment to worldly things, and who find no means to shake off the
feeling of 'I', should rather cherish the idea 'I am God's servant; I am His devotee.' One can
also realize God by following the path of devotion.

...........continued......

Sankar Ganesh Chandrakumar said...

THAT, by whatever name we call it -- SELF or Arunachala or Energy or Sakthi or Jnana or Brahman or Creative Force etc., -- is Infinite and everything in this Universe and anything beyond is THAT Only.

All Statements about THAT uttered by Jnanis (who are/were operated by THAT without the intervening illusory ego) express just one very tiny aspect of THAT which is Infinite and Inconceivable by any mind.

Anything and Everything is possible for THAT which we cannot even think of in our wildest imagination.

It is definitely not possible for a tiny, finite created manifestation (Jnanis or Scientists or anyone) to give a complete picture (including the workings) of THAT Infinite, Immeasurable Creative Force.

But it is a fact, THAT is always pushing us to realize our oneness with IT of Which we are never separate.

Thanks. Sankar Ganesh.

kandhan said...

@Anonymous (Rabbit), Very Very interesting questions u raised.

Secondly,
"When an advanced devotee dies, his ‘I’-thought may take birth in a subtle body which associates itself with his samadhi shrine. Such a subtle body may have some power which it can use to help devotees who worship at the shrine to fulfil their desires. A jnani cannot assume a subtle body like this after his death because his ‘I’-thought is no longer existing... "

If such is the case, then why was Maharishi and his mother given a samadhi. Tirumoolar elaborates on the method of construction of samadhis only in the context of the unfinished yogic practices of yoga. If so, can any benefit be derived from samadhis of Gnanis. Someone please answer this as I am torn between surrender to samadhis of Guru and self-enquiry.

David Godman said...

Kandhan

I don't have a copy of Tirumoolar in my house so I can't check this myself. Can you cite the reference where it says that this particular form of samadhi is for yogis who have not completed their sadhana?

Bhagavan's mother's samadhi and Mastan's samadhi were both, at Bhagavan's request, constructed according to the design laid out by Tirumoolar. I am not sure what happened in the case of Lakshmi, but I am sure that something similar was done. When Seshadri Swami passed away, Bhagavan lent his copy to the people who were burying him so that he could be buried properly.

The key elements are a cubic pit, lined with stone, inside which are three stone walls arranged in a triangle. The body is placed inside the triangular structure, and the gaps are filled in with camphor and vibhuti.

This particular set of instructions was also followed when Bhagavan passed away. If you want to visualise him as he exists under the ground, he is sitting cross-legged in padmasana, a few feet below ground level, facing towards Arunachala. I mention this because for years I somehow imagined him facing the entrance of the samadhi hall. Nowadays, if I want to talk to him face to face, I go round to the side nearest the old hall and communicate from that direction.

And finally, just a gentle reminder: this thread is for commenting on this particular post and any discussions that have arisen out of it. If you have anything else to say, please add it to the 'Open Thread' that is below this post.

Murali said...

Kandhan,

"...Someone please answer this as I am torn between surrender to samadhis of Guru and self-enquiry."

I too am with you on the same page and this doubt haunts me even today.

But, practically, I found that it somehow works. If I go and pray earnestly at the samadhi of a Jnani, something happens. There is this "Automatic Divine Action" explanation but I am at a loss to understand how it can happen when the Jnani is not alive.

However, the explanation I myself am content in giving myself is a saying from Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. He says that while God exists everywhere, He is particularly manifest in Holy places. He says that while water exits everywhere, it is easy to get it in a Well and holy places are like Wells. A place where a Jnani lives/lived is definetely a Holy place and hence the Well-theory should work.

Now, beyond all logical explanations, I find that if I sit on the ground of the Old Hall in Ashram OR on the ground having the couch of Sri Ramakrishna in small hall where he lived, my mind definetely feels holy and purified. There is something definetely going on in the atmosphere there.

Regards Murali

David Godman said...

Kandhan again

Sorry, but I forgot to address your main query:

If so, can any benefit be derived from samadhis of Gnanis. Someone please answer this as I am torn between surrender to samadhis of Guru and self-enquiry.

It is my belief and experience that there is a power in the samadhi of Bhagavan that is spiritually beneficial for those who feel it and choose to focus on it. I could extend that statement to the whole of Ramanasramam, and not just restrict it to the immediate vicinity of the samadhi. There is a power there that I am sure has come from Bhagavan's long association with the place. That particular location is soaked and imbued with his presence. Even Lakshmana Swamy, who occasionally says that samadhi shrines do not contain the power of the living Guru, once said that there is a strong residual power in Ramanasramam that comes from Bhagavan having been there for so long. He said that he noticed it every time he came to visit.

Oddly enough, different people feel it in different places and at different times. Some people find the old hall more powerful than the samadhi hall, and some people feel the power more strongly at a particular time of day.

I once asked Papaji if spending all my time editing Bhagavan's words and stories was a distraction from what I should be really doing.

He replied, 'Any association with Bhagavan is a blessing. You have been drawn to think about his words all the time. That is a good satsang because those words have power, and while you are thinking about them, you are in contact with Bhagavan.'

Something similar could be said to anyone who feels drawn to the samadhi as a focus for his or her devotion to Bhagavan: if it keeps your attention on Bhagavan, it is both satsang and a blessing.

David Godman said...

Anonymous said:

Still, no one. I say no one can compare to Ramana Maharshi. He had time for the learned pundits, for the poor and illiterate. For bedraggled animals. He was available to people seeking day and night. Even when he was dyeing
he insisted on giving people that last, long, penetrating look.
If it wasn't for the rather severe Sarvadikari he would have had almost no rest.
Who can understand the majesty and mystery of Ramana Maharshi?

I can understand and relate to this. Many years ago a friend of mine asked Papaji why he frequently made negative comments about other teachers (not, of course, about Bhagavan).

He replied, 'I have sat with the Maharshi and for me he is the gold standard of Gurus. I have never met anyone who is his equal. If I ever do, I will prostrate at his feet in the same way that I prostrated to the Maharshi. I see other teachers making claims about themselves, and because I can see that they are not in the same category as the Maharshi, I occasionally make disparaging remarks about them. If they were the equal of the Maharshi, I would never say such things.'

David Godman said...

Nandu Narasimhan said...

I have little or zero knowledge about this topic, but based on Bhagavan's statement that there is no jnani and that only jnana is there, would it be safe to assume that there is no jnani to reincarnate Himself, and it is only jnana that chooses to manifest itself?

Incarnation or reincarnation implies an identification with and a restriction to a particular form. The 'carn' in 'incarnate' comes from a word that means 'flesh'. To incarnate means to be inside a fleshy form, and to be restricted by it; to reincarnate means to do it again.

The jnani does nor identify with a form, and cannot ever do so again. He knows that the whole of manifestation is an uncaused and indivisible appearance within the Self. At the moment of physical death, he remains as he is: the formless Self; there is nothing that carries forward and attaches itself to a new form. The mechanism that used to do this (the 'I'-thought that had to identify with a form to continue its existence) no longer exists. In its absence nothing remains to grab hold of a name and form again.

David Godman said...

Anonymous (follow the rabbit)

You said:

WHY do they come back into the dream and continue to carry on their physical lives and seemingly deal with the REALITY like helping aspirants, preaching etc.To me if ‘Nothing Ever Happened’ you would physically drop dead or never come back from that ‘Death Experience’ or to put it in another way you wouldn’t go back to sleep to enable you to get back into the same dream to help or even finish a bad guy in that dream; would you?

The Guru you see is a form that appears in your own dream. Bhagavan has compared the Guru-disciple awakening process to that of an elephant which sees a lion in its dream. The shock of seeing the lion wakes it up because it is the one thing that it fears. After the awakening there is the knowledge and the understanding that the form seen in the dream was not real, even though it did have the useful effect of causing you to wake up.

He is one question and answer on this topic from Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, 18th May 1947:

Question: … it is said that Guru kataksham [the glance of the Guru] is like [an elephant] seeing a lion in its dream.

Bhagavan: That is true. If an elephant sees a lion in its dream, it wakes up startled and will not sleep again that day for fear that the lion might appear again in a dream. In the same way in a man’s life, which is also akin to a dream, it is not Guru kataksham alone, but also sravana, manana, nididhyasana etc. that are akin to the sight of a lion in a dream. As they go on getting these dreams they wake up, and again go to bed and by efflux of time they may some day get a lion’s dream called Guru kataksham in an intense manner. They get startled and obtain jnana. Then there will be no more dreams and they will not only be wakeful at all times but will not give room for any dreams of life but will remain alert until that true and real knowledge is obtained. These lion’s dreams are unavoidable and must be experienced.

David Godman said...

Murali

I have been scrolling through the comments from the bottom up. I hope my reply to Kandhan about the samadhi shrine answered your second point. I don't want to comment on the first one.

David Godman said...

Losing M Mind said...

I want to learn more about Maurice Frydman. He sounds as brilliant and interesting as all of the one's that David Godman has already edited books about.

I have been doing research on him intermittently for the last few months. I have found people who knew him and who are willing to speak to me about his life and achievements. I have also discovered many interesting and little known facts about him. If I manage to assemble enough material, I will probably make him the subject of a new book.

The project started as a potential blog post last year. I gave up on it as a blog post when I had assembled about fifty pages of notes. It is now turning into something much longer. I have no idea how long it will take, or how big the final presentation will be, but I will probably include advance excerpts here if I find anything that is particularly interesting.

David Godman said...

Anonymous said...

This a very interesting discussion.
I'm sure nevertheless that power is retained in Ramanas samadhi. As he said "I am here where am I to go?"

What Bhagavan actually said, shortly before he passed away, was, 'They say that I am going away. Where can I go? I am here.'

He did not specifically say that he would be in his samadhi.

Many people have interpreted this to mean that he remains in a subtle form in the ashram, more so than elsewhere. I choose to regard the statement in more advaitic way: 'I am the formless Self. I do not come or go. How can the disappearance of this body make any difference to this fact?'

You also said: 'Furthermore he held on to the Sri Chakra that was placed on his mother's samadhi and interned there. It is said to be a storehouse of spiritual power.'

I agree with you here. Jnanis can empower objects by touching them or even simply by looking at them. Such objects, containing as they do the power of the Guru, can be very beneficial objects of worship. The Sri Chakra is most definitely one such object.

Sadhu Om once wrote what I hope was a tongue-in-cheek article about worshipping things that Bhagavan had touched. He said that his bathroom door ought to be venerated because he pushed it with his hand several times a day throughout his life as he was going in and out, whereas the Sri Chakra was only touched once. I would respond by saying that there are different categories of touching. A conscious act of empowerment will put more power in an object than years of casual handling. The Sri Chakra was most definitely an object that was consciously imbued with Bhagavan's power.

Ravi said...

David/Friends,
I enjoyed reading about what Sadhu Om had said about the Door that was handled by Sri Bhagavan!I concur with that.Anything touched by the Jnani does have its significance-and surely the 'wood' is Brahman as well!(Just in case our puny intellect would like to be reassured).

Here is an interesting discussion between Narendra and Girish from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
"Narendra and Girish argue about God
Many of his devotees were in the room: Narendra, Girish, Ram, Haripada, Chuni, Balaram,
and M. Narendra did not believe that God could incarnate Himself in a human body. But
Girish differed with him; he had the burning faith that from time to time the Almighty
Lord, through His inscrutable Power, assumes a human body and descends to earth to serve
a divine purpose.
The Master said to Girish, "I should like to hear you and Narendra argue in English."
The discussion began; but they talked in Bengali. Narendra said: "God is Infinity. How is it
possible for us to comprehend Him? He dwells in every human being. It is not the case that
He manifests Himself through one person only."
SRI RAMAKRISHNA (tenderly): "I quite agree with Narendra. God is everywhere. But
then you must remember that there are different manifestations of His Power in different
beings. At some places there is a manifestation of His avidyasakti, at others a manifestation
of His vidyasakti. Through different instruments God's Power is manifest in different
degrees, greater and smaller. Therefore all men are not equal."
RAM: "What is the use of these futile arguments?"
MASTER (sharply): "No! No! There is a meaning in all this."
GIRISH (to Narendra): "How do you know that God does not assume a human body?"
NARENDRA: "God is beyond words or thought."
MASTER: "No, that is not true. He can be known by the pure buddhi, which is the same as
the Pure Self. The seers of old directly perceived the Pure Self through their pure buddhi."
GIRISH (to Narendra): "Unless God Himself teaches men through, His human Incarnation,
who else will teach them spiritual mysteries? God takes a human body to teach men divine
knowledge and divine love. Otherwise, who will teach?"
NARENDRA: "Why, God dwells in our own heart; He will certainly teach us from within
the heart."
MASTER (tenderly): "Yes, yes. He will teach us as our Inner Guide."
Gradually Narendra and Girish became involved in a heated discussion. If God is Infinity,
how can He have parts? What did Hamilton say? What were the views of Herbert Spencer,
of Tyndall, of Huxley? And so forth and so on.
MASTER (to M.): "I don't enjoy these discussions. Why should I argue at all? I clearly see
that God is everything; He Himself has become all. I see that whatever is, is God. He is
everything; again, He is beyond everything. I come to a state in which my mind and
intellect merge in the Indivisible. At the sight of Narendra my mind loses itself in the
consciousness of the Absolute. (To Girish) What do you say to that?"
GIRISH (with a smile): "Why ask me? As if I understood everything except that one
point!" (All laugh.)
MASTER: "Again, I cannot utter a word unless I come down at least two steps from the
plane of samadhi. Sankara's Non-dualistic explanation of Vedanta is true, and so is the
Qualified Non-dualistic interpretation of Ramanuja."

.....continued....

Here is a

Ravi said...

Friends,
....Qualified Monism from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna....
"Qualified Monism
NARENDRA: "What is Qualified Non-dualism?"
MASTER: "It is the theory of Ramanuja.. According to this theory, Brahman, or the
Absolute, is qualified by the universe and its living beings: These three-Brahman, the
world, and living beings-together constitute One. Take the instance of a bel-fruit. A man
wanted to know the weight of the fruit. He separated the shell, the flesh, and the seeds. But
can a man get the weight by weighing only the flesh? He must weigh flesh, shell, and seeds
together. At first it appears that the real thing in the fruit is the flesh, and not its seeds or
shell. Then by reasoning you find that the shell, seeds, and flesh all belong to the fruit; the
shell and seeds belong to the same thing that the flesh belongs to. Likewise, in spiritual
discrimination one must first reason, following the method of 'Not this, not this': God is not
the universe; God is not the living beings; Brahman alone is real, and all else is unreal.
Then one realizes, as with the bel-fruit, that the Reality from which we derive the notion of
Brahman is the very Reality that evolves the idea of living beings and the universe. The
Nitya and the Lila are the two aspects of one and the same Reality; therefore, according to
Ramanuja, Brahman is qualified by the universe and the living beings. This is the theory of
Qualified Non-dualism.
Futility of mere reasoning
(To M.) "I do see God directly. What shall I reason about? I clearly see that He Himself has
become everything; that He Himself has become the universe and all living beings.
"But without awakening one's own inner consciousness one cannot realize the Allpervading
Consciousness. How long does a man reason? So long as he has not realized
God. But mere words will not do. As for myself, I clearly see that He Himself has become
everything. The inner consciousness must be awakened through the grace of God. Through
this awakening a man goes into samadhi. He often forgets that he has a body. He gets rid of
his attachment to 'woman and gold' and does not enjoy any talk unless it is about God.
Worldly talk gives him pain. Through the awakening of the inner consciousness one
realizes the All-pervading Consciousness."
The discussion came to a close. Sri Ramakrishna said to M.: "I have observed that a man
acquires one kind of knowledge about God through reasoning and another kind through
meditation; but he acquires a third kind of Knowledge about God when God reveals
Himself to him, His devotee. If God Himself reveals to His devotee the nature of Divine
Incarnation-how He plays in human form-, then the devotee doesn't have to, reason about
the problem or need an explanation. Do you know what it is like? Suppose a man is in a
dark room. He goes on rubbing a match against a match-box and all of a sudden light
comes. Likewise, if God gives us this flash of divine light, all our doubts are destroyed.
Can one ever know God by mere reasoning?"
-----------------------------------
Much of What Sri Ramakrishna says throws a Great deal of insight into many of the utterances in The Bhagavad Gita.

.....continued.....

Ravi said...

David/Friends,
Towards the end of chapter 39,Sri Ramakrishna talks about the Iswara Kotis-incarnations.The Master expresses it in a typical SYMBOLIC fashion:
""The Incarnations of God belong to the class of the Isvarakotis. They roam about in the
open spaces. They are never imprisoned in the world, never entangled by it. Their ego is
not the 'thick ego' of worldly people. The ego, the 'I-consciousness', of worldly people is
like four walls and a roof: the man inside them cannot see anything outside. The ego of the
Incarnations and other Isvarakotis is a 'thin ego': through it they have an uninterrupted
vision of God. Take the case of a man who stands by a wall on both sides of which there
are meadows stretching to infinity. If there is a hole in the wall, through it he can see
everything on the other side. If the hole is a big one, he can even pass through it. The ego of
the Incarnations and other Isvarakotis is like the wall with a hole. Though they remain on
this side of the wall, still they can see the endless meadow on the other side. That is to say,
though they have a human body, they are always united with God. Again, if they will, they
can pass through the big hole to the other side and remain in samadhi. And if the hole is big
enough, they can go through it and come back again. That is to say, though established in
samadhi, they can again descend to the worldly plane."
The devotees listened breathlessly to these words about the mystery of Divine Incarnation.
-----------------------------------
This is a clear vindication of what Sri Krishna states in the Gita.

Anonymous said...

Follow the Rabbit...
I said:

WHY do they come back into the dream and continue to carry on their physical lives and seemingly deal with the REALITY like helping aspirants, preaching etc.To me if ‘Nothing Ever Happened’ you would physically drop dead or never come back from that ‘Death Experience’ or to put it in another way you wouldn’t go back to sleep to enable you to get back into the same dream to help or even finish a bad guy in that dream; would you?

David G wrote:
As they go on getting these dreams they wake up, and again go to bed and by efflux of time they may some day get a lion’s dream called Guru kataksham in an intense manner. They get startled and obtain jnana. Then there will be no more dreams

First, Thanks very much David for your reply.You are a great hope for us in some respects but in UG words ur a villain as you are pouring more oil into the fire as UG says the search/quest must come to an end as that is the misery.He adds, but again if one stops searching/enquiring then that will be replaced by 'how not to search'.Although I find him saying the same as Ramana his style is to pull of the rug under your feet where as Ramana's style is to work with your weakness.
Now coming to the topic when I mean 'they come back to the dream' I mean the FULLY realized like Lakshmana, Sarada, UG or Papaji come back to the dream and continue to deal with the 'Reality'.UG says he does not know why, after the 'Death Experience', life started to come back in his physical body. When asked repeatedly as to why he preached(apparently preached) he said it is not him that is preaching but the questioner that is drawing the answer from him.This probably concurs to Sarada saying she has no personal will to Love but if a devotee takes the first step and loves her she will return many fold.On the face of it, it all perfectly fits in.
But if we study their lives more deeply especially with their closest devotees contradiction arises again:
1)Robert Adam meets Ramana for the first time; Ramana have already Realized long ago by then; he says to Robert that he was expecting him and what took him so long to come(for exact words refer to Robert Adams website).Here Ramana seems to be expecting Robert. Does this mean Ramana has come back in to the dream to instruct Robert??
2)UG:http://travelswithug.blogspot.com/2006/03/hong-kong-february-5-installed-in-new.html
*******************************
On the way to Daswani's apartment in the car, we were talking about the Nadi readings in India, and U.G. told me to tell about my prediction, that I would meet the same guru in this life who I had abandoned and been cursed by in my last.

"What took you so long?" U.G. asked me.
*******************************
From the above cut and paste it is clear that UG had a mission to come back into the dream; atleast that's how it is apparent to us.

So my conclusion is that the Maya/Movie/Illusion theory supported by Ramana et al is not the entire story and EVERBODY who commits Ego-suicide is NOT a jnani but some may.So it is only right to use the word 'Na Aasi' or in tamil 'Na Asatti'(one who does not desire) and NOT Jnaani.

All glories.Please Enlighten us.
Follow the Rabbit...

Losing M. Mind said...

"2) When my mind was hovering around why Lakshmana and Sarada would not like to meet/help any one while Ramana would make every effort to meet and help anyone even hours before his physical death:Hmm may be Lakshmana and Sarada are fully Realized and Ramana is not because he still sees problems in people and so he feels the necessity to respond??The fact that Ramanagiri(the gora Dutch swami) claimed to receive live instructions from Ramana after Ramana’s physical death supports the theory that Ramana may have chosen to keep that minute ego to continue further missions???RamaKrishna Paramahamsa many times said he still has that minimum ego left inorder to stay alive/afloat. Dunno Dunno.But the story is not complete as Lakshmana Sarada say they are happy to help only ‘advanced’ aspirants seeking help on climax? Come on this is absurd: if it is all like a movie as they say; whether it is a scene of a dying man shouting for food or a lady mourning about her make up we do not differentiate because we know both are just scenes in a movie on the tele.Do Dwaitas(Madhavacharya) win here as he says something like(NOT exact quotes) Reality is Real and should be taken at face value and that the Movie/Illusion concept is non sense.Hmm Dunno Dunno. Please enlighten us.

First off, I really like your questions. And in responding, I'm not saying I have the answers, but I'm responding for myself and beacuse I thought your questions were intriguing. I really do believe that Lakshmana and Sarada are in the same state as Ramana. I've also thought about that Lakshmana and Sarada will only see advanced devotees. As I've observed there website, mathrusrisarada.org, even heard of a case of someone writing them, and having vivid visions in their dreams about the time they would have received the letter. My feeling is that like all true jnanis, they are benefiting the world. The difference between Ramana and Lakshmana/Sarada is apparent. Lakshmana and Sarada did respond to that person via the dream and visions, and helped him in the best way that he was ready for. (when I say them, the responder was their own Self) If it had of been Ramana even if Ramana physically/verbally responded to him, the effect would have been the same, because that is what he was ready for. Because really, no matter "who" the jnani is, it is an interaction with one's own true Self. On mathrusrisarada.org, which includes New Years teaching statements and other teaching statements by both of them, I think in a way, or the way I've taken it, as that is in a sense basic instruction to become advanced.

If you do that, you may become advanced enough that they would see you as a devotee, provided as they already said you don't have another guru. So my feeling, is that it isn't elitism, as the reason they don't see people, but that interacting with a jnani is interacting with one's own true Self, and in a sense the relationship with my Self, is the relation with the jnani.

Infact, I have suspected that is why I live in Portland and feel so attached to live here, while the guru, who is the Self that I correspond with lives in Santa Cruz. I can't move to Santa Cruz and be with him physically until those attachments that are keeping me here have been questioned. In essence, one could maybe forsake their life in one place, to move to a place where a jnani lived and be around them, but if they have intense attachments, those attachments will come up really intensely and make it as huge of choice as being in contact with one's own Self. Obstacles will come up physically to make it difficult. The ego veils the relationship with one's own Self, but it also veils or prevents a relationship with the Self as a jnani.

But once a jnani is met, there responses are essentially communique's from one's own Self. and if practiced, taken seriously, had faith in, acted upon, one's own Self will be Realized.

Losing M. Mind said...

Well, one thing that strikes me as possibly incorrect also is that the jnani doesn't go back to sleep to help people in the dream. They've woken up completely and have no belief of being an individual in a dream. Now, what that waking up looks like experientially, I'm still working on it. Because I don't think it can be understood intellectually. i.e. the Universe is Brahman. It is purly the Self that one is interacting with, in interacting with a Jnani. I can honestly say, I've had this experience now, and have a little more of an experiential understanding of it.

Losing M. Mind said...

"I have been doing research on him intermittently for the last few months. I have found people who knew him and who are willing to speak to me about his life and achievements. I have also discovered many interesting and little known facts about him. If I manage to assemble enough material, I will probably make him the subject of a new book.

The project started as a potential blog post last year. I gave up on it as a blog post when I had assembled about fifty pages of notes. It is now turning into something much longer. I have no idea how long it will take, or how big the final presentation will be, but I will probably include advance excerpts here if I find anything that is particularly interesting."

I'm dying to know more, I can't stand the suspense. Feel free to share juicy tid bits here. (laugh)

Ravi said...

Anonymous/Friends,
In a lighter vein-looks like the Guru is awakening the disciple in his Dream,while the disciple is eliciting the Teaching in the Guru's Dream.On waking up,both of them disappear without a trace,leading to the one without the Second-that never dreamt!

Looks like the Divine is the Greatest Joker out there who has invented this Dream Machine.

-----------------------------------
Joke apart,it is a joy to see that notwithstanding the will o' the wisp of the Intellect,devotion to The Guru is alive and Kicking-as is evident here from the posts of one and all.We love Bhagavan because he is the Self of our self.Devotees prefer to call on 'Bhagavan' instead of an abstract Brahman,or Truth or whatever.
As all The Great Masters have unanimously said-That in whatsoever fashion one may seek or aspire(and this may include the ending of it as well)the Divine Master accepts and reciprocates.
-----------------------------------The Will O' The wisp of the Intellect is permitted its liberty to continue!

Losing M. Mind said...

"WHY do they come back into the dream and continue to carry on their physical lives and seemingly deal with the REALITY like helping aspirants, preaching etc.To me if ‘Nothing Ever Happened’ you would physically drop dead or never come back from that ‘Death Experience’ or to put it in another way you wouldn’t go back to sleep to enable you to get back into the same dream to help or even finish a bad guy in that dream; would you?"

My whole understanding is that the jnani didn't leave anywhere, he realized that the individual-self and all of it's problems, feeling of doership is unreal. That this individual-self was never really real, it's just that the jnani realizes the Truth of the situation. So, the manifest life continues after Realization, because it was as Ramana said the Supreme that is doing everything anyway like a magnet near a compass needle causing everything to happen.

I can get that the jnani is not reborn, because he's realized birth and death to be an illusion, imaginary. So that from the jnani's experience they don't reincarnate (or they realized incarnation never to happen, or incarnation dissolves like an unreal dream), but could, is there any possibility that the 'apparent' jnani (that others see) could reincarnate? I'm guessing the tone of this article, these sages say no, Papaji explicitly answered this question "No" (incarnation requires unfulfilled desires he said, although if that's true, does continued incarnation in the eyes of others require desires, evidently not. So could that "incarnation" in the eyes of others reincarnate)? Maybe not, because the unfulfilled desires created that last incarnation, body. Ajnanis can't create an incarnation for the Realized as Papaji stated clearly.

But one thing I learned, is previously I viewed jnanis as an objective phenomenon, and this question includes that presumption, it seems. But there is only teh Self, and it is always shining within, and my whole worldly experience is created by it, or is a reflection of it.

The jnani is that Self, is myself, and from my interactions with one, that became really obvious. He's not my individual Self, but he is the Self that shines as my experience of existing. In a sense it seems in these teachings that the 1st person perspective is real, that is why they call it the Self. But what appears within the experience of that 1st person, which is the thinker/thoughts that is what is unreal, that is what the question Who am I? is getting at, I can't be the thinker, I can't be the individual, because the individual is objective, an object. who did that individual/object arise to? And the answer is to me! Well if I'm not him, then Who am I? Does that sound correct? Thus, the focus on I. The focus on I, or I am that is advocated, is to see that the feeling of individuality, or seperateness is unreal. But the sense that I exist, the fact that I exist, that is real, that is eternal, that is pure Bliss. It's the objective "other", the ego, and the experiences that veils the natural, undivided Bliss.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

... WHY do they come back into the dream ...

They don't come back into the dream because all this is a dream - the awakened, the jnani, the unawakend and anyone and anything else you can see and think of.

You believe that there is something like "reality" and "unreality", and now you try to differentiate between reality and unreality, but it isn't so. All this are simply ideas.

When you awake you awake to this fact - that all is like a dream including your "awakening".

You awake as a dreamer in a dream dreaming to be awakened.

Reality is what remains after the understanding of this.

Reality is the only existing thing - all else are ideas of the projecting mind.

The jnanis use words to explain things being by nature undescribable - and they know that. They know that the ajnanis cannot understand this. They utter their words like the wind which goes here and there (but it doesn't mean nonsense for them). They know that there is no owner of their bodies, speeches and deeds. They have thrown away the myth of being a person having personal experiences because they now know the true difference between an individual experience and a personal experience.

For the jnani all is an endless streams of pictures and experiences having no owner. Listen to them - they talk endless about that.

.

grimes said...

My understanding of the siddhanta (final, highest position) of Advaita Vedanta is presented as ajativada, the doctrine that nothing has ever been born, will die, has happened). However, even this perspective is but an approximation to the truth, a teaching with which Ramana is in complete agreement. Gaudapada said, “Ajati is meaningful only so long as jati (birth) carries meaning. The absolute truth is that no word can designate or describe the Self.” If that is accepted, then where is the question of a jnani or even an ajani being reborn? No one and nothing has ever been born.
It is only when one acknowledges and believes that something has been born, will the question arise about rebirth.

Losing M. Mind said...

I thought this might relate to this topic thread. It has each verse numbered. For some reason, I prefer it without numbers, so am going to write it without them. Going back I realize some pages were missing from Google Books

Tamil Song of Ribhu Chapter Nine
As translated by Ramamoorthy and Nome

Definition of the videhamukta
(One liberated Out of the Body)

Hear Nidagha! The rare exposition
Of the characteristis of a videhamukta (one who is liberated out of the body).
He is a videhamukta (one who has disembodied Liberation)
Who, devoid of all recollections,
Abiding in "That" itself,
Peaceful, exalted, a mass of sublime Bliss,
Not attached to any forms, and in great silence,
Is of the nature of Brahman alone, of the nature of Awareness.

He is a Videhamukta
Who is the undivided Self of all,
Of the nature of undivided, supreme peace,
Unattached, of the nature that has nothing, not even "liberation,"
Of the nature that has no form,
Who is the nature of Truth-Awareness-Bliss,
Blemishless, with nothing apart from him, and transcending the fourth state---
Remaining thus is the videhamukta.
Without the illusions of name and form,
The blemishless mass of Supreme Bliss, the pure Self,
The Supreme Brahman, and abiding alone and as That itself---
Such is the videhamukta.

Transcending the entire mobile and immobile world,
Of the nature of Truth alone,
With no good or evil, no faulty bondage or liberation,
The one perfectly full, undivided Self, the peerless Supreme of the Supreme,
The SElf of all, devoid of all,
Having become the Supreme Brahman, the pauseless, exalted, pervasive expanse of Consciousness---
He who remains thus, without reversion,
Is the videhamukta.

Without truth or non-truth,
Without sentience or insentience, likewise without knowledge or ignorance,
Without meditation or non-meditation,
Without states of thoughts or thoughtlessness, likewise
Without aims or absence of aims,
And with himself established
As the eternal Supreme Brahman,
Is the videhamukta.

Nidagha! Without the thoughts of various worlds,
Without any thoughts of the peerless Supreme Brahman,
Remaining as the all blissful Supreme itself,
And of the nature of boundless Being is the videhamukta.
Existing as the complete, perfectly full Bliss,
The incomparable, wonderful Bliss,
The Supreme Brahman of the nature of Consciousness-Bliss, full of Consciousness,
Is the videhamukta.

Without a variety of thoughts,
Without any variation of qualities,
Becoming the self-illumined Supreme itself,
Free from ignorance is the videhamukta.
Without any wandering activities of the mind in the least,
And likewise, without any need for any deed,
Himself having become the changeless Supreme Brahman
Is the videhamukta.

Remaining indivisible, without a trace of the triad of bodies,
Without any remembrances of the body,
Without any modifications such as birth and others,
Being the atomic as well as the infinite,
Without a trace of the appearances of duality that develope sorrow,
Becoming himself divisionless
And remaining the indivisible Supreme Brahman
Is the videhamukta.

sfauthor said...

Nice posting. Do you know about this edition of the Gita?

http://www.YogaVidya.com/gita.html

Losing M. Mind said...

Remaining changless as the Supreme Siva,
Higher than the highest, the Supreme Self, the Supreme Bliss,
the supremely pure nature,
The Truth that cannot be perceived by anyone,
The infinite without interior or exterior,
The essence of the crest of the Veda-s,
The pure Consciousness, the indescribable,
Having himself become the blemishless Supreme Brahman, Is the videhamukta.

Indeed, the videhamukta remains established
As the One Self, which cannot be described as this or that,
The eternal Absolute Reality,
The great Consciousness beyond the reach of the mind,
The Bliss beyond the range of speech and mind,
Untainted by unsteady duality,
The nature of unvarying nonduality,
And the Supreme that is one aspect always.

The videhamukta who has become the indivisible Supreme
Is one who remains in the essence of the nectarean Brahman
Who partakes of the essence of the nectarean Brahman,
Who revels in the essence of the nectarean Brahman,
Who enjoys the essence of the nectarean Brahman,
Who is immersed in the essence of the nectarean Brahman,
Who abides in the essence of the nectarean Brahman,
And who is himself the essence of the nectarean Brahman.

The videhamukta who has become the indivisible Supreme Is one who remains in the great Bliss of Brahman,
Who experiences the great Bliss of Brahman
Who is happy in the great Bliss of Brahman
Who rejoices in the great Bliss of Brahman,
Who is absorbed in the great Bliss of Brahman,
Who is attuned to the great Bliss of Brahman,
And who is himself the great Bliss of Brahman.

The videhamukta is the indivisble Supreme Self
Who is of the nature of the great Bliss of Brahman,
Who is the family of the great Bliss of Brahman,
Who has the Siva worship that is the great Bliss of Brahman
Who has succeeded in attaining the great Bliss of Brahman
Who enjoys the nectar of the great Bliss of Brahman,
Who is intoxicated with the great Bliss of Brahman,
And how is himself the great Bliss of Brahman.

The videhamukta is one who has no interactions
With the cycle of births and deaths that projects the picture of the world, the individuals (jiva-s), and the Supreme,
WHo is the complete, perfectly full All,
Who is the boundless Being,
Who is of the nature of Knowledge,
Who is the mass of Bliss, who is the One,
Who is himself the Supreme Brahman of the nature of the peerless expanse of Space,
And who is ever perfectly full without any delusions.

Losing M. Mind said...

Nidagha! I have told you
The characteristics of the videhamukta
In the manner expounded to me
By the gracious Supreme Siva.
Whoever listens attentively
And understands unmistakably
This essence of the crest of the Veda-s, subtle and rare,
Shall himself become the formless Supreme Brahman.

Those who have not surrendered their minds
To Siva---who is all Consciousness---
And do not realize, "We are ourselves Siva,"
Can never attain the state of the videhamukta,
Which is to be changless as the Supreme Brahman,
The Reality, itself.
This is the truth, Nidagha!
Thus, the sage Ribhu expounded the characteristics of the state of the videhamukta.

It is the perfectly full form of our Lord in a state of joyous dance that gives the exposition of the videhamukta
As the eternal Self, existing as not different from Existence-Consciousness-Bliss,
Devoid of attachment to appearances such as the world, individuals (jiva-s), and the Supreme,
And who is beyond the comprehension of words and mind.

Anonymous said...

Follow the rabbit. Is that a hat trick, a party trick or perhaps somerthing out of Alice in Wonderland?
I find Ramana Maharshi and UG have very little in common. It's like looking at night and day or the desert and the ocean.
UG Krishnamurti seemed to spend all his time debunking others, criticising others. Basically he never had a good word to say about any teacher. He was blessed with the gift of the gab and that kept him going.

Anonymous said...

To answer - follow the rabbit, queries. I guess Bhagawan would comment ( not that i consider myself an authority to say this or can match Bhagawan for diction or for anything else for that matter) - Findout who is asking the question and after wards see if it arises.

All questions arise due to the association of 'I' to the body. If not why would anyone question about dream, Robert Adams, UG etc..or reply to - follow the rabbit comments.

Om Namo Bhagawathe Sri Ramanaya.

Regards,
Krishna.

Anonymous said...

You must remember that Ramana had no "ism" to push. As a teenager he realised that he was the deathless spirit. Only many years later did he find his experience "dovetailed"
with Shankaras teachings.
It was not what he read but a direct, life changeing experience.
Any description does not do it justice. Ramana can only hint or point at or towards the truth.
Then it all depends on the chellas ripeness.

Nandu Narasimhan said...

Friends,

What a satsang!
I do not know about Tirumoolar, but I can say this with certainty - Ramana = Arunachala / God / First Principle.

No doubt al all. No doubt at all. No doubt at all.

Ramana is a palpable power that I feel, sometimes independent of whether I want to feel Him or not.


No doubts about that, in my Heart.

David, thanks for the clarification on Bhagavan facing Arunachala.

I always stop there to pray - probably because I have the Old hall close behind me.

Nandu

Ravi said...

Friends,
Just to set the ball rolling,a few questions!
1.Why Should Adi Shankara establish Mutts for Veda Samrakshana?(Preservation of Vedas)

2.Why should Sri Bhagavan set up a Meru Chakra(Meru Chakra is a Three dimensional version of the Sri Chakra)?Why should he clear the Legal Grounds towards the running of Sri Ramanasramam?

3.who recognizes that a Dream (World appearance)is a Dream?What is 'Dream'?What caused the 'dream'?Does this only change it from a Subject-Object relationship to a Subject-Appearance Relationship?

4.Who says that 'Nothing Ever Happened'?What is this 'Nothing'?What is 'Happening'?What is the 'Ever'?Is this said after watching the 'happenings' like the way we say,'There is No News' after reading the Newspaper or watching a TV News coverage that does not grab our attention?May be that things are happening and I am not interested?IS IT ONLY A PERSONAL statement and valid only for that impersonal person(or Being if using the word 'person' is taboo!)?

5.What is 'Ajata' or Unborn or Uncaused?Does it only mean that all cause Effect Relationship are man made,looking for some sort of order and predictability in observed phenomena? Or does it mean that there is no 'Phenomena' at all?

6.Ultimately does it all boil down to just 'Accepting' things as they are?All Enquiry ending in Surrender!

7.Does this mean The Unknowable can only be experienced and not known?

8.Does this mean that ANY THEORY that seves to bring this about is as valid as any other Theory?

9.Does this mean that there is no such thing as the 'highest'
Standpoint?

10.Does this mean that it is meaningless to compare the Merits and demerits of one 'standpoint' with another 'Standpoint'?
-----------------------------------
.....may be continued(Do not know as of now!)

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

No one says that reality is WITHOUT SENSE. Reality is without a personal owner, that's all.

If a personal owner in this reality appears, then this owner is simply the coming and going of a temporarily existing form of reality.

Reality is doing all this - the mutts of Sankara, the Meru Chakra, the legal grounds and anything else. Please remove in all your questions simply the "i" - nothing else is needed.

What you see as "Sankara" and "Bhagavan" - can you please explain to me what the meaning of this words is for you? Bhagavan - was He in your eyes a "person"? Why then he claims to be the self? You may say that someone is the self AND temporarily a person too - but that exactly is the point, this "temporarily".

Even if you stress your personal will to achieve something (like sadhana for example) then it is nothing else then the "I"-thought claiming to be the owner of your actions.

7.Does this mean The Unknowable can only be experienced and not known?

No. It can be known and experienced but not conceptualized.

5.What is 'Ajata' or Unborn or Uncaused?Does it only mean that all cause Effect Relationship are man made,looking for some sort of order and predictability in observed phenomena? Or does it mean that there is no 'Phenomena' at all?

It means that nothing else exists then undescribable reality being without causes and effects. All things happen because they happen. Birth and death are inventions of the mind. Reality alone exists.

8.Does this mean that ANY THEORY that seves to bring this about is as valid as any other Theory?

No. It means that ANY theory is nothing else then the "finger pointing to the moon", whereas some fingers point to the moon and some not. But in the end no jnani will ask further questions about "valid" and "not valid" when he tries to talk about reality.

9.Does this mean that there is no such thing as the 'highest' Standpoint?

As long as you think about reality you need higher and lower standpoints. But true life is without high and low. High and low are inventions of the mind - they don't exist in reality. A gras blade is not lower than a rose, and a jnani is not higher than the ordinary man.

10.Does this mean that it is meaningless to compare the Merits and demerits of one 'standpoint' with another 'Standpoint'?

Please look above. As long as you divide the world into "bad" and "good" you will feel the need to improve yourself and the world. After the removing of the "I"-thought you can see that reality alone is doing all things and is automatically correcting and improving itself.

(Reality is one, undivided and without defects. There is no need to correct or improve something. But what happens next is that man comes and "makes" this reality separated, divided and defectful. Afterwards he wails about this.)

What the people often call "Bhagavan", "Sankara", "me and my understanding", "jnanis" and "ajnanis" and anything else is nothing else then a bundle of more or less useless ideas, that's all. The mind of the jnani knows that - he doesn't need this ideas although he is able to make sense of them.

Reality is intelligence in itself - it needs no personal owner. All reality simply is intelligence in action. When the human mind sees nonsense, differences or "higher" and "lower" in this reality, then this is owing to this mind. I know that this is difficult to grasp, but unfortunately I cannot explain it better.

The problem of many people seeking truth is that they often hear and read all this things, but they never have made sense of them. So in the passing of years all this words don't serve them any longer as pointers to truth.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

"World is a dream":

It doesn't mean that this world is senseless or useless or that we have no responsibility in it. It means that the world including yourself has a temporarily existence like a dream. Afterwards (like after the dream) no one bothers further about it. But you have a limited power to extend this dream into reality by thinking continously of the experiences within your dream. The nature of this divine dream is that it feels totally real and true, and that is the difference to a movie. A further difference is that it is not you writing the script.

Realizing the dream means to realize that whatever you do in this world is in the end nothing else then a part of your memory. As long as you continously think about this memories this world will continue to exist. Stopping to think of it means that reality remains - but what is this reality? Perhaps your planet you live on? Certainly not because it vanishes too, former or later - not only mentally but physically too.

What does this mean? In our reality we believe that all our actions make the sense we believe them to do. But reality is different. Reality knows that in the end nothing of our so called reality remains. To say it more clearly: Reality not even knows us. Therefore the great Nisargadatta said: "God not even knows you!"

Someone who knows this behaves in this "world like a dream" like someone knowing himself as a dream object. He is doing all this bad and good things but without the feeling to be this acting person, and this is in accordance with the facts. It is simply the realizing of reality.

For this knower of reality the apparently solid structure of materials, words, emotions and thoughts vanishes and becomes transparent like water. He takes the world and himself less serious, that is all.

.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
I will keep my reply brief.
1.who is Sankara or Ramana?
I have already answered this in one of the posts earlier here-Self of self.This permits the devotee(I do not subscribe to Dropping the 'i' or villifying the 'i'.)to enter into any sort of relationship with this 'Self'-as Father,Mother,Guru,Guide,Friend-as the source of all Love and Supreme Good.
Necessarily this includes both the Personal and Impersonal aspects of The SELF or God;I do not consider that any such artifical distinction is necessary.

2.If this Love is felt,one does not dismiss the 'Form' or 'Personna' of the Guru-the Fact that his Bodily form ceases to exist just does not alter anything a weebit.In this Love one is put in touch with the Truest part of oneself-without the need to conceptualise it as 'Reality','Truth' -all just empty words and nothing more.

3.Any Method or approach that helps one to get into a harmonious relationship with oneself and the World-to get to this source of Love and Knowledge is valid.

4.This enables the devotee to participate in a meaningful relationships with his Family,neighbours,comrades,colleagues,environment;all things-animate and inanimate, without trappings.

5.The above criteria is the only yardstick that one may use to judge one's progress.Any lacuna in this is a sure sign that one is pursuing some self centred delusive activity.In this sense,the World is a mirror of oneself.
-----------------------------------
I note the emphasis that has been put on the word-'Temporarily'.This is on account of the importance that you are attaching to the 'Death' of the Physical vehicle of Sri Bhagavan.This in no way stands in the way of invoking the PRESENCE by recalling/invoking his form and name.

Namaskar.

Subramanian. R said...

On the morning of 9th March 1946,
Dr. Masalavala, inter-alia, asked the following:

Q: Bhagavan says 'The influence of
the Jnani stels into the devotee
in silence.' Bhagavan also says:
'Contact with great men, exalted souls, is one efficacious means of realizing one's true being.'

B: Yes. What is the contradiction?

Q: No.

B: Contact with them is good. They will work through silence. By speaking, their power is reduced.
Silence is most powerful. Speech
is always less powerful than silence. So mental contact is the best.

Q: Does this hold good even after the dissolution of the physical body of the Jnani or is it true only so long as he is in flesh and blood?

B: Guru is not the physical form. So the contact will remain even after physical form of the Guru vanishes.

Q: Similarly, does the contact of a devotee with his Guru continues after the passing of the Guru or does it stop?....

B: As already explained, Guru not being physical form, his contact will continue after his form vanishes. If one Jnani exists in the world, his influence will be felt by or benefit all people in the world and not simply his immeidate disciples, bhaktas, those who are indifferent to him and those who are even hostile and it is said in the following verse that all these classes will be benefited by the existence of a Jnani. (Then, Vedanta Chudamani
verse is quoted.) Meaning: Four
classes of people are benefited by Jivanmuktas, by his faith in the Jivanmuktas, the disciples attain mukti, the bhakta who worships his Guru attains merit, the indifferent who have seen the sacred life of the Jivanmukta acquire desire for righteousness and even the sinners (ie. the hostile in the first verse) get rid of their sins by the mere fact of their having had darshan of such saints.

(From Day by Day)

Ravi said...

Ramos,
I find that i did not respond to this response of yours.
"Reality is doing all this - the mutts of Sankara, the Meru Chakra, the legal grounds and anything else. Please remove in all your questions simply the "i" - nothing else is needed."

It is not clear whether I have given the 'premise' behind these questions.The Point is not whether it is Sankara or the 'Reality' that is behind this activity.

The Key point is FOR WHOM all this Required?If Reality alone exists,none of this is called for-unless the 'Reality' had a Fancy to build a few ashrams and mutts!

The Point is that even the Jnanis(or TRUTH or REALITY if you prefer to call it so) who denied the very Presence of the 'World',or atleast viewed it as Transitory,Temporal Reflection of Truth,did their utmost to ensure that the KNOWLEDGE and TEACHINGS are preserved for 'Others'.

THEY DID NOT NEGLECT EMPIRICAL REALITY.THEY DID NOT DISMISS IT.This is one theme that 'i' have tried to express in various ways.

Great Sages have taught to 'Reject' the 'World' to seek Truth;they have again taught to 'Accept' the 'World' to seek Truth!

This 'Rejection' as well as 'Acceptance' have gone hand in hand!

Namaskar.

Harijan said...

David
Thank you for your blog which has been of very considerable help to me. I have been an almost daily reader for 18 months.

In Ramana Leela; page 272, there is the following passage;

" During the course of the conversation Bhagavan pointed out that the devotee was mistaking him to be only the body and also revealed that he lived “simultaneously in twenty lokas in twenty bodies. The bodies keep coming and going. Who is to keep track of which body is coming or which is going? The important thing is to abide in the Self and not to observe the changes in the bodies.”

In your post of 5 May 2008 on the authenticity of Bhagavan's writings and dialogues you rate Ramana Leela quite highly for accuracy. You wrote;

“The material in Self Realization was extensively used by the early Tamil and Telugu biographers: Suddhananda Bharati used it to write Sri Ramana Vijayam in Tamil, while Krishna Bhikshu brought out Ramana Leela in Telugu. Initially, Ramana Leela was just a translation of Self Realization, but in the years that followed it was updated several times. Sri Ramana Vijayam remained the same. By the 1940s some devotees were noticing that stories were being told differently in these three books, and one of them asked Bhagavan why this was so. Bhagavan replied that the authors of Self-Realization and Sri Ramana Vijayam had left shortly after completing their works, whereas Krishna Bhikshu had stayed and updated his book from time to time. I would take this to imply that Bhagavan thought that Ramana Leela was more accurate than the others because the author had taken the trouble to check the revisions with Bhagavan himself.”

If the above quote from Ramana Leela is an accurate record of what Bhagavan said are we not mistaken in thinking of Bhagavan Sri Ramana as a single incarnation from 1879 to 1950? If there were multiple simultaneous incarnations of Bhagavan somewhere even during that known lifetime does it not call the question the notion of any single rebirth in the discussion this week on "Reincarnating jnanis?" and also in the post in July 2008 "Ramana who were you”?

Ravi said...

Ramos/Friends,
"What you see as "Sankara" and "Bhagavan" - can you please explain to me what the meaning of this words is for you? Bhagavan - was He in your eyes a "person"? Why then he claims to be the self? "

Let me try to express in a different way using the Analogy of a 'door'.The manifestation of a Jnani is like the 'opening' of a door.This sort of throws open a possibility as well as an invitation to peep Right through it and enter.Now even if the 'Door'(Body)falls Off,the Opening is still there-As long as we take care to pay attention to the opening-To gain this attention the 'memory' of the 'Door' is an invaluable aid.
Now the 'Opening'(Jnani) is the same as the space(Self) that it leads to.
This is a silly and prosaic way of figuring this out.
-----------------------------------
After I finished writing the above,I remembered that Jesus,The Christ has said something like this!I Did A Google Search and here it is-
"I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture."-St.John,10.9

I also Recall Sri Ramakrishna using the anology of the Hole in the Wall which I had posted earlier.

Perhaps the subconscious memory of these Readings had lead to my scrappy Anology.

Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Ramos/Friends,
Here is the excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna that Talks about the 'hole'!

"Martha and Mary
M: "How amazing! A similar thing happened with two women at the time of Jesus.
They too were sisters, and devoted to Christ. Martha and Mary."
MASTER (eagerly); "Tell me the story."
M: "Jesus Christ, like you, went to their house with His devotees. At the sight of
Him one of the sisters was filled with ecstatic happiness. It reminds me of a song
about Gauranga
My two eyes sank in the sea of Gora's heavenly beauty
And did not come back to me again;
Down went my mind, as well, forgetting how to swim.
"The other sister, all by herself, was arranging the food to entertain Jesus. She
complained to the Master, saying: 'Lord, please judge for Yourself—how wrong my
sister is! She is sitting in Your room and I am doing all these things by myself.'
Jesus said: 'Your sister indeed' is blessed. She has developed the only thing
needful in human life: love of God."
MASTER: "Well, after seeing all this, What do you feel?"
Master about himself
M: "I feel that Christ, Chaitanyadeva, and yourself—all three are one and the
same. It is the same Person that has become all these three."
1300
MASTER: "Yes, yes! One! One! It is indeed one. Don't you see that it is He alone
who dwells here in this way."
As he said this, Sri Ramakrishna pointed with his finger to his own body.
M: "You explained clearly, the other day, how God incarnates Himself on earth."
MASTER: "Tell me what I said."
M: "You told us to imagine a field extending to the horizon and beyond.
It extends without any obstruction; but we cannot see it on account of a wall in
front of us. In that wall there is a round hole. Through the hole we see a part of
that infinite field."
MASTER: "Tell me what that hole is."
M: "You. are that hole. Through you can be seen everything—that Infinite
Meadow without any end."
Sri Ramakrishna was very much pleased. Patting M.'s back, he said: "I see you
have understood that. That's fine!"
-----------------------------------
I have quoted the above to just link it to 'What Sri Sankara' or 'Sri Bhagavan' 'Jesus' or 'Sri Ramakrishna' mean to Devotees.

Namaskar.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

Basically it is impossible for the ajnani to make sense of the words of the jnani. Therefore the nondualistic Zen patriarch Huang Po said: "When listening to the words of the dharma try to understand this as the wind caressing your ears."

.

Losing M. Mind said...

"He is doing all this bad and good things but without the feeling to be this acting person, and this is in accordance with the facts. It is simply the realizing of reality."

In response to Clemens, disagree here. I don't believe this to be true. Jnanis do not do bad things. What I mean by that is jnanis are not involved in causing harm to others, because all harmful behavior is out of selfishness, and all selfishness is out of ego and the desires and fears and arrogance that cause one to act selfishly. So a jnani would not act in a selfish or harmful manner. I'm sure, and it's been talked about plenty, that they may violate societal taboos. But if a jnani is violating societal taboos, perhaps those taboos need to be re-evaluated. But it's antithetical that a jnani would lie, murder, rape, be insincere, be an abuser. It's not possible. The Self is Satyam-Sivam-Sundaram. The True, Good and Beautiful. The adharma, and adharmic actions require ego. I'm absolutely sure of it.

Losing M. Mind said...

"Someone who knows this behaves in this "world like a dream" like someone knowing himself as a dream object."

I would disagree with this also. Because it presumes that there is someone to act as if in a dream. But the jnani has woken up from the dream, so it would be like someone awake acting in someone else's dream. I believe the dream analogy that Maharshi uses, is that the dream is like the waking-state, both involve a person living a life in an objective sense. He always uses deep sleep to more closely approximate the experience of a jnani because of the lack of a world, and the pure blissful experience. What you said, still seems to presume the existence of a dream-individual acting in a dream, but not taking it seriously. My understanding is that the individual is completely dissolved, there is no individual at all in the Self, for the jnani. There is only pure Being-Consciousness-Bliss. There is no dream or dreamer. My understanding is that is what the ego is, in the waking state, a dreamer having a dream. And it is like a dream, it can be a nightmare or a good dream. A jnani who is none other then my own true Self, has ceased to dream, never dreamed.

Anonymous said...

Clemens I liked that beautiful quote.
On a slightly different note, people used to discuss with Ramana the several aspects of spiritual life and also the attainment of psychic and magical powers (siddhi)
Bhagavan used to say we are all siddhas, because it is only after very great efforts and penances that we achieved this bodily existence.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
"Zen patriarch Huang Po said: "When listening to the words of the dharma try to understand this as the wind caressing your ears."
Wonderful saying.Thanks very much.This is the Sravana that sages Recommend-just to listen to the Suggestive power intrinsic in the words of The Sages;and not start speculating,deriving,deducting -giving way to Logical thinking .

None of the Sages started with any theory Like Srishti Drishti Vada,Drishti Srishti Vada or Ajata vada;They Just Experienced and expressed it in words. They came out with Plausible explanations only later.

Sri Bhagavan also asked us to observe what one assumes to be sure of-The 'I'.He never advocated any theory.By way of answering the 'doubts'(Thoughts)of various seekers,he answered appropriately.

We may say that The Drishti Srishti Vada Corresponds to the Waking state,The Drishti Srishti Vada Corresponds to the Dream State and the Ajata Vada corresponds to the Sleep State.
None of these positions are sufficient to Represent the Truth that underlies all these states-The Absolute can only be experienced,and is beyond the Concept of Nonduality even, as we may speak of 'Nondual' only in Relation to 'Dual'.

We may appreciate these ideas and indeed it is quite interesting to discuss.None of it is necessary for Sadhana.

If we Read the Upanishads,The Master never gives any Elaborate Theory or explanations.Just a few simple guidelines are given and the disciple is asked to Reflect and intuit.
Later on there were elaborate commentaries from the Champions of Different Schools of Philosophy,Each Trying to establish its Position as The 'Last' Word!
Even the Champions of these schools also emphasised that for Sadhana-none of this is necessary.
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Murali said...

David,

" If you want to visualise him as he exists under the ground, he is sitting cross-legged in padmasana, a few feet below ground level, facing towards Arunachala."

This was news to me.

So, this means that the sitting statue of Bhagavan in the New Hall is in the opposite direction of how He is seated underground. What is the reason for this? It would have been easily made in such a way that the entire Hall orientation is shifted to the opposite direction - right? Is this because it is good that all devotees should sit facing the Hill? Sorry for this question but I was curious.

Now when I go to Ashram, I will make it a point to sit at the back of the statue.

Regards Murali

grimes said...

If one accepts Ramana's statement that there are no jnanis, only jnana, why do people keep speaking of Ramakrishna, Shankara, Aurobindo, Anandamayi, Papaji etc. etc. There are no jnanis so any discussion of them and their power or lack thereof, reincarnation, the world, etc necessarily involves a misunderstanding of what that means.

Subramanian. R said...

Arthur Osborne has said:

BE STILL. IT IS THE WIND THAT SINGS.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

... Reality knows that in the end nothing of our so called reality remains. To say it more clearly: Reality not even knows us. ...

Religious and philosophical systems often state that the perceptible world is kind of a divine work to save mankind. In this sense all what we are doing here (and what we do not) serves to the purpose of karma, i.e., to improve the world or to make it (more) worse. Man needs concepts like that because otherwise the danger of depression and anxiety could occur.

(As we all know especially the buddhists have this idea of the "precious human birth" - to motivate man to improve themself or to strive to spiritual truth. I admit that I never liked this standpoint because it degrades other beings. In my eyes man is nothing else then a rather noisy and mad fly on this earth.)

But were is the proof (i.e., that the perceptible world serves to this purpose)? One may say that concepts like that are concepts of ajnanis being unable to grasp a higher truth.

"Higher standpoints" like the Yoga Vasistha don't agree with concepts like that. The sages of Yoga Vasistha know that human activities serve good or bad purposes as long the mind clings to concepts like "good" and "bad", and that reality is something completely different.

It is human to make differences but reality calls us not to *believe* in them. (Bhagavan said: "Make differences in your actions but not in your mind"; "advaita can't be lived in daily life").

Obviously the human mind is unable to understand deeply that nothing remains of his activities (thoughts). Even when this universe will last 15 billion years more - some day former or later it will be gone. (Scientists know that, and they have a terrible fear of that.)

The human mind may think: "What in the hell have I do to with 15 billion years?" But that is not the point. At the day you die you understand that the 60 or 70 years between your birth and death have been nothing else then a single day. This is also true for the universe.

Now you strive to understand and to make spiritual progress, but in the end you will see "that nothing ever happened". "Nothing ever happened" doesn't mean that nothing happened - it means, that the final purpose of reality is not to preserve the fruits of the innumerable activities of beings or physical processes. It appears as such - but it is Maya parading before your eyes.

You indians say that all is sat chit ananda - being, consciousness and bliss. That exactly is what was, is and remains for ever. Whether in this a universe appears or not is unimportant.

After realising the nature of reality you understand this clearly. Although you have fighted to gain your goals you understand that all fights have at the same time sense and no sense - for the mind - but that reality transcends it all.

"In this universe the 'I' rises, plays and then vanishes in sat chit ananda."
Yoga Vasistha

.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

The nature of reality is very well illustrated by the story of the crow and the cocoanut and is often mentioned in the Yoga Vasistha. It demonstrates that "things happen because they happen", "there is no personal owner of anything" and there are not even "bad or good intentions". For the manas-mind this is unacceptable but the buddhi-mind is able to grasp it.

The Maxim of the Crow and the Cocoanut

This story has been well-known in India for thousands of years. It is the story of a crow landing on a branch of a palm-fruit (cocoanut) tree. At just the instant the crow lands, in a very unexpected and accidental occurrence, a ripe fruit falls from above the branch and lands upon the head of the crow, killing it.

In India, the mention of the crow and the cocoanut denotes any very unexpected, coincidental occurrence, whether it be positive or negative; welcome or unwelcome.

For Western readers who do not know this story as part of their cultural heritage, the many references to the crow and the cocoanut in the Yoga Vasistha can be misleading. The story is usually told with extreme brevity, as simply as 'the crow lands, the cocoanut falls'. Most Western readers envision the crow landing on a branch with a cocoanut on it, which is dislodged by the crow. This feels very much like cause and effect, which is the opposite of the meaning of the story.

.

Nandu Narasimhan said...

Murali,

Bhagavan's Samadhi faces East. Bhagavan sits underground, facing Arunachala, which is to his North.

Nandu Narasimhan said...

Re. David quoting Sadhu Om - Sadhu Om once wrote what I hope was a tongue-in-cheek article about worshipping things that Bhagavan had touched. He said that his bathroom door ought to be venerated because he pushed it with his hand several times a day throughout his life as he was going in and out, whereas the Sri Chakra was only touched once.

I must confess that on one of my early trips to the ashram, I went up to the steps right next to the samadhis of Lakshmi, Jack and Valli, and picked up some sand from there, because I remembered a video of bhagavan coming down that way.

I first saw the bathroom last June, when one of the senior inmates of the ashram suddenly decided to show it to my daughter.

I went in and saw things mechanically. I somehow think it would have been different had I remembered that the bathroom was the place where Bhagavan gave mukti (is that the right expression?) to Annamalai Swami.

In October, I had the opportunity for the first time in 14 years to visit Annamalai Swami's ashram. Somehow, something or the other had come between me and visiting His ashram.

The 'electricity' there is just beautiful, and so reminiscent of Bhagavan.

Five minutes there was enough. It was beautiful.

Nandu Narasimhan

Anonymous said...

The blessed Crow that died in Ramanas hand. Did that just happen? Or was the Crow a Siddha, a divine bird that sought out Ramana? The Maharshi did not seem to think it was an ordinary bird and subsequently a small Samadhi was built for it.

kandhan said...

@David: Verses 1902 to 1922 of Tirumoolar are concerned with necessity of constructing samadhi and the procedures. The chapter starts with emphasizing continuity of yoga through lives.

@Murali: Will I be intruding if I ask you about your experiences with meditation on samadhis. I am interested in knowing who are you meditating upon and the consequent results.

Ramana Maharishi showed keen interest in building samadhis of his mother and Mastaan. He has categorically declared that his mother has obtained release. So, what we can deduce is that the mortal remains of realized ones have/are conduits of spiritual power.

@David's gentle reminder: No more digression from topic by me.

David Godman said...

Kandhan

Apologies for implying that you alone should stay on topic. The reminder that this thread should be used to comment on this post alone was intended for all the readers, but I didn't word it as well as I could have done.

I have been out all day. I will respond tomorrow to some of the many comments and questions posted.

Murali said...

Kandhan,

"@Murali: Will I be intruding if I ask you about your experiences with meditation on samadhis. I am interested in knowing who are you meditating upon and the consequent results."

I am a Rama Bhakta and I take Bhagavan as a manifestation of Rama.

I do not have any mystical experiences or quietening of the mind or any such dramatic things.

I started visiting Ashram more frequently since last 4 years. I can tell that over this time, my surrender to Rama/Bhagavan has tripled or quarapled. I am more and more able to take whatever comes my way in life as Prasad and my judgement of what happens is coming down dramatically.

I attribute this directly to the beneficial vibrations I am receiving by sitting before the Samadhi of Bhagavan. I cannot explain this increase of surrender to anything else which happened or sadhana which I did.

Offlate, I am observing that when I think of Bhagavan or if I listen to "Ramana Sadguru Rayane", a kind of melting happens and eyes become moist. This is new to me. Even this, I cannot explain to anything else but for perhaps sitting before the samadhi of Bhagavan.

Regards Murali

Losing M. Mind said...

O.K, it's settled on Jnanis, but what about a-jnanis? Do they reincarnate? How to know?

Anonymous said...

On one occassion the Maharshi is said to have remarked "Where is she gone? She is here." This was taken to mean that she the mother, as a freed spiritual being , lived with him, in his atmosphere.
Perhaps afterwards one can discuss shakti, consort and female energy.
Ultimately it's a wonderful mystery.

Ravi said...

David/Friends,
I wish to play a little bit of Devil's advocate to thicken the plot!
My question is this-If The SELF as papaji could marry for the second time at the age of 60 and beget a child,what should set a limit to IT that it cannot take another Birth and father, mother or stay single in that next birth?How does the 'Enlightenment' Get compromised by this?
This ofcourse assumes that Rebirth is the 'Accepted Norm and Rule' for the Jnanis and Ajnanis.If it not,Voila-Advantage for the Ajnanis as well.They simply have to put up with all this too short an existence!Just like Ramos says 'It is all just ONE day'-Just enjoy,endure or stay depressed or whatever-Once the candle is extinguished it is All Satchidananda!If Satchidananda is not,then the Buddhist's 'Nothing'-Which is again Freedom from 'Existence that is Suffering'.In any case The Problem Dissolves.
All the above is not for Persons who Believe in 'Eternal Damnation' after Death of the Body!So,they better take care which camp to join!
With all these conflicting viewpoints,wonder whether Satchidananda decided to Stay Single and not stay divorced from its marriage with the World!
-----------------------------------
I have said these in a lighter vein and I think it may have some interesting thoughts to ponder as well.

Namaskar.

Nandu Narasimhan said...

David,

You had mentioned that Maurice Frydman was the consultant on an old Hindi film.

Would you know the name? I am a bit of a follower of those old Hindi films from the '50s and '60s.

Would be nice if a copy can be obtained.

Nandu Narasimhan

Anonymous said...

Re: Sri Bhagavan’s Samadhi Shrine

Further to David’s post, to be more precise, one believes that Sri Bhagavan’s body is sitting in the padmasana, or more probably, the “easy” half-padmasana posture, facing the main entrance to the Hall. His face only was turned by Sri T. N. Venkataraman just before the end of the ceremony so as to face Sri Arunachala.

As per Tirumoolar’s instructions for construction of the Samadhi pit, the triangular cavity inside of each side of 3 feet, itself inside the square pit of each side of 5 feet, ensures that the body can only be lowered in the sitting posture when the folded legs are facing the base side of the triangle. And one believes that the pit in the Hall was constructed so that the base side of the triangular cavity faced the then proposed and logical entrance of the intended, future, Samadhi shrine hall.

We must remember that He Himself kept on hammering away throughout His life that He is not the body but the Self. So it would be even more ironic if now, for His mortal remains, we attribute a “front” or a “side”, and look to thus physically sit or talk to Him “facing” Him.

He is, of course, always facing us, wherever we may be inside the Samadhi Hall.

regards

David Godman said...

Which way is Bhagavan facing? Bhagavan himself has answered this one:

'Why do you pointlessly find fault with me, saying that I no longer look at you? If you would only fix your gaze on me, you would know that, established in the Heart, my gaze is ever on you. Looking at you from within the Self, I never leave you. How can this fact be known to your externalised vision?'

Padamalai, p. 29. vv. 35-7

Nandu Narasimhan said...

Thanks David, for that beautiful verse from 'Padamalai'.

The reason I like to think that Bhagavan is facing Arunachala is because of a piece from a Nochur Venkataraman discourse in Ramana Kendra, Delhi, circa 1999/2000 -

One evening, as Bhagavan sat looking at Arunachala, a devotee asked him what he was looking at.
Bhagavan's reply was in Tamil.I remember it clearly - "Naan ennaiye paarthindirukken, Oi."

The translation - I am looking at myself.

'Oi' is a form of endearment that was common in Tamil in those years.

Nandu Narasimhan

David Godman said...

This is a continuation of the idea from my previous post. It's the expanded prose rendering of verse 966 of Guru Vachaka Kovai, followed by Muruganar's explanatory note on it:

966 The reality, the perfect One, exists in the state of supreme truth [paramartha] as ‘I alone exist as the indivisible illumination in every discrete being’. It possesses the nature of the Heart that exists and shines as Atma-swarupa, the soul of the soul. It is verily the form of divine grace [tiruvarul] that dances on high, subduing everything else. Therefore, the fault of slighting it by not even thinking about it [lies] only with the beings who ought to think of that reality all the time and to such an extent that their minds soften and melt at such supreme love from reality. How can the blame for God not bestowing his sweet grace on them be attributed to God, the reality that exists?

Note: Feeling that the jivas should not suffer in the least in knowing and reaching Him, God, without remaining different from them, exists and shines as the Atma-swarupa, the reality of every being. This indeed is the greatness of the supreme compassion that God has towards jivas. It has therefore been said: ‘It [reality] … is verily the form of divine grace that dances on high, subduing everything else.’
God is perpetually bestowing His grace on all beings in the form of the illumination that is shining unceasingly as I-I in the Heart. It has therefore been said, ‘How can the fault of not bestowing His sweet grace be attributed to God?’
Unless they [jivas] turn within, in His direction, and put attention on Him, the truth that God is continuously bestowing His grace on them all the time will not be known by them. Therefore, for the beings – who, through the individual self, do not enquire into Him who is the very form of grace – to say that He is not bestowing His grace on them, even slightly, is a grave mistake. This is why it has been said: ‘the fault of slighting it by not even thinking about it [lies] only with the beings who ought to think of that reality all the time to such an extent that their minds soften and melt with supreme love from reality.’

The one reality, Atma-swarupa, exists and shines in the Heart, one without a second. Appearing as if it is many, it shines as ‘I-I’ in every individual being, who seem to be many because of upadhi [limiting ideas and associations]. Therefore, the plural term ullam [meaning] ‘we exist’ is appropriate. Because the Heart is the place for the existing and shining of the Atma-swarupa, in Tamil the Heart is known as ullam. The word ullam here gives both meanings simultaneously.

Murali said...

"We must remember that He Himself kept on hammering away throughout His life that He is not the body but the Self. So it would be even more ironic if now, for His mortal remains, we attribute a “front” or a “side”, and look to thus physically sit or talk to Him “facing” Him."

Its all a question of what act or event can generate the necessary faith and receptivity to the conditioned mind.

For me, the act of sitting before Bhagavan, facing Him, is a tremendous aid in chaining my mind.

Anyway, everything is the Self and no act or belief is away from the Self.

Regards Murali

Anonymous said...

Are psychic powers sine quo non for all realised masters? It is another matter whether they are used or not!!

Also in the case of Shirdi Sai Baba and Raghavendra Swami of Mantralaya - they had specifically promised to be active even after their Mahasamadhi - and they exhibited a whole lot of siddhis and continue to come to the rescue of their devotees. How do you explain this? Obviously they were great realised masters.

Ravi said...

Anonymous,
Shirdi Sai Baba,Sri Raghavendra Swami, no doubt, are indeed Great Masters-As Sri Ramakrishna used to Say that Rain water Falling on the Roof issuing out through different Spouts-gives the appearance of Different 'Source' of Water.The Power(shakti) that manifests as these Masters is just one.These Masters appeal to devotees with different nature and Tastes.Different Flavours of the One Same Reality.
What is more,all of us are also manifestations of this same Shakti-As Papa Ramdas says-Man is God Playing the Fool.
Papa Ramdas said that he is not a Advaitist.He considered himself as Visishtadvaitist.Similiarly,Sri Raghavendraswami is a Dvaitist-All these are just emphasising different aspects of the One Same Truth.It is erroneous to consider one standpoint as superior or the 'Final'one.Imagine an Advaitist saying that his position is Higher than the other two!
Sri Bhagavan never admitted any difference between himself and any other 'Ajnani'.

As Sri Ramakrishna used to say that scriptures are a mixture of sugar and sand. The same is applicable to the sayings of all 'Masters'.There is nothing like the 'Whole' Truth in all these sayings.
I will just give an Example-papaji provides a lot of such 'Examples'!Papaji's criticism of other 'Masters'.Papaji met Sri Bhagavan in the Early Forties.His first reaction on seeing Bhagavan was worse than laymen-He considered Bhagavan as a sort of 'Charlatan'.Later this 'Charlatan' became the 'Golden Standard' with which he would measure 'Other Teachers'!
Adding to this ,Papaji claims that he was a 'Teacher' since the age of Eight!What is the nature of this 'Teaching' and who were taught?His daughter is on record saying that Papaji always attracted crowds about him as if that vindicates the 'Age Eight' story.

I have taken a critical look at this sort of what I would call 'inconsistencies' to highlight this basic Fact-Devotees of Papaji would Claim all his actions,ideas as flowing from SELF-No Ego is there,etc.Just why should other Gurus not draw bigger crowds,why that should be considered as 'Ego ridden' desire is something that is inexplicable.May be if Papaji had spent more time with the other Gurus and tried to understand them,his views may be different.

It has intrigued me that of all devotees of Sri Bhagavan,none has played GURU like Papaji.

Once in a while it is useful to thrash all this out and Truth always Stands upto any sort of critical examination.As Sri Ramakrishna used to tell his disciples-Test me like moneylenders would test the coins returned!

Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

Bhagavan's grace:
Devotee:In the books it is stated that Bhagavan is an ocean of mercy. Is it a fact?
Bhagavan: Ocean? An ocean (sagara)
has a limit, a boundary, (or coastline) but the krupa of Bhagavan has no such limit. It is limitless. It knows no bounds.
Krupa, call divine. vol 1, p 165
K.R.K Murthy

Sankar Ganesh Chandrakumar said...

Bhagavan Ramana has said every individual has 2 choices: either Loka-vichara (outward turned mind) or Atma-vichara (inward turned mind).

For an outward turned mind, Peace is no where in sight.

Even so many doubts with regard to spirituality is also only for an outward turned mind.

Bhagavan has said that a simple mind will not ask so many questions, it will be satisfied with the prescription of even a simple japa. All troubles are only for the learned outgoing mind tormented by so many thoughts of doubts.

But for an inward turned mind, though attaining Absolute Peace may seem difficult but it is relatively much peaceful/ calmer and tougher than an outward turned mind.

Such an inward turned mind is better equipped to deal with the troubles caused by this transient world.

Thanks. Sankar Ganesh.

David Godman said...

Ravi said...

You seem to have a marked animus towards Papaji. While you are welcome to you own opinion of him, there are certain facts about his life that are quite well established. He was giving public lectures in the town square of Lyalpur when he was eight years old. At that point in his life he was pretending to be a Buddhist monk by walking round in an orange-dyed sari that he took from his mother. Both of his sisters corroborated this when I spoke to them in the 1990s. That is the source of his statement that he had been a teacher since he was eight years old. This particular incident does not depend on the recollections of his daughter, which only go back to about 1940.

You wrote:

'May be if Papaji had spent more time with the other Gurus and tried to understand them, his views may be different.'

Papaji made a point of visiting most of the famous Gurus of his era. He spent time with Nisargadatta Maharaj, Ananda Mayi Ma, Swami Nityananda, J. Krishnamurti, U. G. Krishnamurti, Swami Sivananda, Swami Ramdas and Mother Krishnabai, Mahatma Gandhi, the Mother of Aurobindo Ashram, Swami Gnanananda of Tapovanam, and others who are less well known.

People who visited him in the 1970s and 80s have told me that he would often take them to whichever well-known teacher was in their area. In Hardwar it would be Ananda Mayi Ma, for example, whereas in Mumbai he would take visitors to see Nisargadatta Maharaj. On these occasions he would just sit quietly, without asking any questions. As a result of these visits he had more than enough time to ascertain what the views and teachings of these Gurus were.

Papaji's initially negative view of Bhagavan came, somewhat understandably, from his belief that it was Bhagavan himself who had appeared outside his door in the Punjab and then directed him to go to Ramana Maharshi in Tirvannamalai. Once that misunderstanding had been sorted out, he had nothing but the highest respect for him.

David Godman said...

Anonymous said...

'Are psychic powers sine qua non for all realised masters? It is another matter whether they are used or not!!'

Guru Vachaka Kovai, verse 153 states:

What is the reason that the two – supreme Atma-jnana and the eight great siddhis, beginning with anima – do not unfailingly co-exist in the way that people desire? The reason is that the nature of prarabdha is twofold for people of the world. Hence attaining jnana and possessing the wealth of siddhis are different from each other.

Muruganar elaborates on this point in his own comments to the verse.

Muruganar: As the cause of one is not the cause of the other, the two attainments [jnana and siddhis] are independent of each other. Know that there is no basis for believing, as some do, that all jnanis should be siddhas and all siddhas should be jnanis, or as some others believe, that they should not be so.

Bhagavan has made the following additional comments on this topic:

Self-realisation may be accompanied by occult powers or it may not be. If the person has sought such powers before realisation, he may get the powers after realisation. There are others who had not sought such powers and had attempted only Self-realisation. They do not manifest such powers. (Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no. 597)

David Godman said...

Nandu Narasimhan said...

I was told the name of the film about the prisoners who were helped by Maurice Frydman, but didn't write it down or remember it. I am meeting the man who told me this story in a couple of weeks. I will make a note of the title and also hunt for a copy.

Nandu Narasimhan said...

Ravi,

Till about 18 months ago, my views on Papaji were pretty close to what you have articulated.
It changed over a few videos on youtube that I decided to watch, purely on a whim. I think I posted what happened somewhere on this blog.

Having read 'Nothing Ever Happened' and 'Interviews', I am pretty much convinced that he is a Guru.

Yes, there are many statements of his which seem to be rather flamboyant. That is his personality. He was aggressive and argumentative. But like bhagavan, he gave of himself to anyone who asked him for guidance.

There are several moments in both books where Grace flows.

I for one have begun to understand Bhagavan a lot more only via Papaji.

Nandu Narasimhan

David Godman said...

Anonymous said...

'The blessed Crow that died in Ramana's hand. Did that just happen? Or was the Crow a Siddha, a divine bird that sought out Ramana? The Maharshi did not seem to think it was an ordinary bird and subsequently a small Samadhi was built for it.'

I asked Annamalai Swami if Bhagavan had commented on the spiritual status of the animals who are buried in a line next to Lakshmi. He said he had never heard Bhagavan make any comments about whether they were liberated or not. He then said that if Bhagavan had seen that they had been liberated at death he would have said so, in the same way that he made public comments on both his mother and Lakshmi. He was therefore of the opinion that they were not liberated.

David Godman said...

grimes said...

If one accepts Ramana's statement that there are no jnanis, only jnana, why do people keep speaking of Ramakrishna, Shankara, Aurobindo, Anandamayi, Papaji etc. etc. There are no jnanis so any discussion of them and their power or lack thereof, reincarnation, the world, etc necessarily involves a misunderstanding of what that means.

Verses 120 and 121 of Guru Vachaka Kovai state:

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 Sarma has addressed the same point in the following three 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.

David Godman said...

Harijan said...

Thank you for your blog which has been of very considerable help to me. I have been an almost daily reader for 18 months.

In Ramana Leela; page 272, there is the following passage;

During the course of the conversation Bhagavan pointed out that the devotee was mistaking him to be only the body and also revealed that he lived “simultaneously in twenty lokas in twenty bodies. The bodies keep coming and going. Who is to keep track of which body is coming or which is going? The important thing is to abide in the Self and not to observe the changes in the bodies.”

This is undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary things that Bhagavan ever said. Since he never elaborated on it or mentioned it again, it is difficult to speculate on what he said, and the implications of it.

Does it, for example, mean that when the form of Bhagavan in this loka passes away, there are still other forms in other lokas carrying on his work? Or do they all pass away together? Or was he simply identifying with the Self that was manifesting as 'jnanis' in different realms? I have no idea, and in the absence of additional explanatory comments from Bhagavan, I am not prepared to speculate.

Ganapati Muni's followers used to complain about Bhagavan using his 'Brahmastram': his secret and all-powerful weapon of asking them to ask 'Who is asking the question?' whenever they tried to question him. The Brahmastram in debates about reincarnating jnanis is probably 'In whose world are these incarnations taking place?'

Bhagavan taught that the world is a creation of the one who sees it (drishti-shrishti). When the seer of that world vanishes through enquiry or surrender, the created world vanishes along with it. There is not a world, independent of the seer, into which jnanis can periodically manifest.

The alternative view of creation (srishti-drishti) maintains that the world exists independently of the seer, that it exists prior to our birth in it, and that it will continue to exist after we die. Avatars can come and go in a srishti-drishti creation, but in a drishti-shristi world, everything is merely a manifestation of the vasanas of the who who sees it. If there are twenty different Bhagavans in twenty different lokas, they, and the worlds they inhabit, all cease to be when the 'I'-thought that knows or sees them is destroyed.

Drishti-shrishti implies that the world is a projection of the mind that sees it in the same way that a dream is projected from the thoughts of the dreamer. When the dreamer wakes up, all the characters in his dream vanish, including the 'enlightened' ones.

Someone once asked Bhagavan about the Buddhist idea of the Bodhisattva, a being who postpones his enlightenment until all other beings, down to the last blade of grass, attain enlightenment.

Bhagavan laughed and said, 'That's like saying "I am not going to wake up in the morning until everyone else in my dream has woken up first".'

David Godman said...

Ravi wrote:

None of the Sages started with any theory Like Srishti Drishti Vada,Drishti Srishti Vada or Ajata vada;They Just Experienced and expressed it in words. They came out with Plausible explanations only later.

Sri Bhagavan also asked us to observe what one assumes to be sure of-The 'I'.He never advocated any theory.By way of answering the 'doubts'(Thoughts)of various seekers,he answered appropriately.

We may say that The Drishti Srishti Vada Corresponds to the Waking state,The Drishti Srishti Vada Corresponds to the Dream State and the Ajata Vada corresponds to the Sleep State.
None of these positions are sufficient to Represent the Truth that underlies all these states-The Absolute can only be experienced,and is beyond the Concept of Nonduality even, as we may speak of 'Nondual' only in Relation to 'Dual'.

This is what Bhagavan himself had to say about these three positions:

The ajata doctrine says, ‘Nothing exists except the one reality. There is no birth or death, no projection or drawing in, no sadhaka, no mumukshu, no mukta, no bondage, no liberation. The one unity alone exists ever.’ To such as find it difficult to grasp this truth and who ask. ‘How can we ignore this solid world we see all around us?’ the dream experience is pointed out and they are told, ‘All that you see depends on the seer. Apart from the seer, there is no seen.’ This is called the drishti-srishti vada or the argument that one first creates out of his mind and then sees what his mind itself has created. To such as cannot grasp even this and who further argue, ‘The dream experience is so short, while the world always exists. The dream experience was limited to me. But the world is felt and seen not only by me, but by so many, and we cannot call such a world non-existent’, the argument called srishti-drishti vada is addressed and they are told, ‘God first created such and such a thing, out of such and such an element and then something else, and so forth.’ That alone will satisfy this class. Their mind is otherwise not satisfied and they ask themselves, ‘How can all geography, all maps, all sciences, stars, planets and the rules governing or relating to them and all knowledge be totally untrue?’ To such it is best to say, ‘Yes. God created all this and so you see it.’ Dr. M. said, “But all these cannot be true; only one doctrine can be true.” Bhagavan said, “All these are only to suit the capacity of the learner. The absolute can only be one.” (Day by Day with Bhagavan, p. 149)

While Bhagavan himself mentioned in a preamble to this comment that he taught all the different positions (rather than advocating only one) there is a clear hierarchy here from what Bhagavan deemed to be paramartha (ultimate or final truth) down to an explanation that was given to people who had trouble accepting his more absolute teachings on creation.

I will repeat the verse that I included in the original post Guru Vachaka Kovai, verse 100:

Though Guru Ramana, who appeared as God incarnate, expounded numerous doctrines, as befitted the different states and beliefs of the various devotees who sought refuge at his feet, you should know that what we have heard him affirm to intimate devotees in private, as an act of grace, as his own true experience, is only the doctrine of ajata [non-creation].

This was clearly his experience. Other explanations were for devotees who could not accept this view.

David Godman said...

Ravi (continued)

There wasn't enough space to include this in the previous reply, so I will add it here.

This is an exchange between Bhagavan and a vedantic pandit from Maharashtra. The concluding statement is important. By saying that 'One who is established in the Self sees this [the truth of ajata] by his knowledge of reality,' Bhagavan is affirming that ajata is the one true experience of the jnani. If he teaches alternative theories of creation, they are not validated by his own direct experience. They are simply given to suit the maturity of the person he is talking to.

Question: In the Vedanta of Sri Sankaracharya, the principle of the creation of the world has been accepted for the sake of beginners, but for the advanced, the principle of non-creation is put forward. What is your view in this matter?

Bhagavan:
Na nirodho na chotpattir
Nabaddho na cha sadhakaha
Na mumukshur na vai mukta
Ityesha paramarthata

This verse appears in the second chapter [v. 32, vaithathya prakarana] of Gaudapada’s Karika [a commentary on the Mandukyopanishad]. It means really that there is no creation and no dissolution. There is no bondage, no one doing spiritual practices, no one seeking spiritual liberation, and no one who is liberated. One who is established in the Self sees this by his knowledge of reality. (The Power of the Presence, part one, p. 240)

Ravi said...

David,
David,I have nothing against Papaji.I have only taken a critical view of what he has said.Please excuse if that has sounded offensive;it is not intended.

Namaskar.

David Godman said...

Losing M. Mind said...

O.K, it's settled on Jnanis, but what about a-jnanis? Do they reincarnate? How to know?

If you imagine that you are a person in a body, you have an 'I am the doer' idea as well as an 'I am the body' concept. The activities you do in the body you identify with will create karma which your 'I'-thought will have to experience either in this or future lives.

Bhagavan taught that at the moment of death the pending vasanas (the unfulfilled latent desires) withdraw into the Heart where they lie dormant before remanifesting in a new form that creates a new world that it can enjoy, experience and suffer in. This cycle continues indefinitely until the 'I-thought is destroyed definitively in the Heart. When this happens there are no more births and no more worlds created out of latent vasanas.

From the standpoint of the Self this is all imaginary and unreal, but if you identify with the body and the actions it undergoes, the reincarnation illusion will continue and you, believing it to be true, will bring suffering on yourself.

David Godman said...

Anonymous said...

Follow the Rabbit...
I said:

WHY do they come back into the dream and continue to carry on their physical lives and seemingly deal with the REALITY like helping aspirants, preaching etc.To me if ‘Nothing Ever Happened’ you would physically drop dead or never come back from that ‘Death Experience’ or to put it in another way you wouldn’t go back to sleep to enable you to get back into the same dream to help or even finish a bad guy in that dream; would you?

This is what Bhagavan had to say about people who thought that jnanis should 'drop dead' at the moment of liberation:

There are various controversies or schools of thought as to whether a Jnani can continue to live in his physical body after realization. Some hold that one who dies cannot be a Jnani, because his body must vanish into air, or some such thing. They put forward all sorts of funny notions. If a man must at once leave his body when he realises the Self, I wonder how any knowledge of the Self or the state of realisation can come down to other men. And that would mean that all those who have given us the fruits of their Self realisation in books cannot be considered Jnanis because they went on living after realisation.
(Day by Day with Bhagavan, 5th May 1946)

The Bhagavan you see is part of your own dream. Bhagavan did not decide to appear there after his realisation. It's all your own creation.

Devotee: Now there is the Sino-Japanese war. If it is only in imagination, can or will Sri Bhagavan imagine the contrary and put an end to the war?

Maharshi: The Bhagavan of the questioner is as much a thought as the Sino-Japanese war.
(Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no. 451)

Anonymous said...

Also

Devotee: The realised being also knows that there are wars being waged
in the world, just like the other man.
Maharshi: Yes.
Devotee: How then can he be happy?
Maharshi: Is the cinema screen affected by a scene of fire burning or sea
rising? So it is with the Self.
The idea that I am the body or the mind is so deep that one cannot get
over it even if convinced otherwise. One experiences a dream and knows
it to be unreal on waking. Waking experience is unreal in other states.
So each state contradicts the others. They are therefore mere changes
taking place in the seer, or phenomena appearing in the Self, which is
unbroken and remains unaffected by them. Just as the waking, dream
and sleep states are phenomena, so also birth, growth and death are
phenomena in the Self. which continues to be unbroken and unaffected.
Birth and death are only ideas. They pertain to the body or the mind. The
Self exists before the birth of this body and will remain after the death of
this body. So it is with the series of bodies taken up in succession. The
Self is immortal. The phenomena are changeful and appear mortal. The
fear of death is of the body. It is not true of the Self. Such fear is due to
ignorance. Realisation means True Knowledge of the Perfection and
Immortality of the Self. Mortality is only an idea and cause of misery.
You get rid of it by realising the Immortal nature of the Self.

(Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no. 487)

Anonymous said...

"The Bhagavan you see is part of your own dream. Bhagavan did not decide to appear there after his realisation. It's all your own creation."
How could that be? I want Self-realization now. Can I create a jnani in my dream world who will wake me up from the dream forever and hence give me moksha? I am sure this is not within my power right now and will never be.
Most of these academic discussions are of no use because the only thing that matters is that I'm still suffering. No matter how many hours (I still have to operate in time) I beg Ramana with inefficient (I'm nowhere close to succeeding) spiritual efforts, there is no response. It doesn't matter if he (Bhagavan) is looking at me all the time from the mythical (yes, it's only mythical to me at this point) Heart, because I'm confused, suffering and know of no sure way to beget his grace.

Piece of Junk

Anonymous said...

Dear David, This is true. He did not make any statement when the crow and other animals died. Of course excluding Lakshmi the cow. Nevertheless he made some statements when the Mongoose was sighted going up with the crowd to the caves, the implication being that this was a special animal.
When he sent Kunju Swami to build a Samadhi for Mastan, very little was said but it was obvious that Ramana considered Mastan was enlightened.

David Godman said...

Apropos reincarnating jnanis, I found this quote yesterday while I was leafing through Guru Ramana, looking for something else:

But the Jnani, the Self-Realised man, whose mind has already ceased to act, remains unaffected by death: it has dropped never to rise again to cause births and deaths. The chain of illusions has snapped forever for him. (diary, 4th January, 1937)

The following conversation from Talks (talk 573) also sheds light on Bhagavan's views on both the reincarnation of both jnanis and ajnanis:

Mr. Ranganatha Ayyar, a devotee of fourteen years’ standing, is on a visit here. He asked:

How long is the interval between one’s death and reincarnation?

M.: It may be long or short. But a Jnani does not have any such changes; he merges into the universal Being, so says the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. Some say that those who after death pass into the path of light are not reborn, whereas those who after death take the path of darkness are reborn after they have enjoyed the fruits of karma in their subtle bodies.

If one’s merits and demerits are equal, they are directly reborn here. Merits outweighing demerits, the subtle bodies go to heavens and are then reborn here; demerits outweighing merits, they go to hells and are afterwards reborn here.

A yogabrashta is said to fare in the same manner. All these are described in the sastras. But in fact, there is neither birth nor death. One remains only as what one really is. This is the only Truth.

Ravi said...

David/Friends,
Here is an excerpt from Sri Aurobindo;I do know that Sri Bhagavan did not agree with this.Yet,it does point out out that there are other points of view also founded not on first hand ,direct experience of Other Masters.
Here Sri Aurobindo Questions the use of the term 'Highest'.

"The Absolute is an absolute
Truth free from Maya, otherwise liberation would not be
possible. Has then the supreme and absolute Truth no other
active Power than a power of falsehood and with it, no doubt,
for the two go together, a power of dissolving or disowning the
falsehood,– which is yet there for ever? I suggested that this
sounded a little queer. But queer or not, if it is so, it is so –
for, as you point out, the Ineffable cannot be subjected to the laws
of logic. But who is to decide whether it is so? You will say,
those who get there. But get where? To the Perfect and the Highest,
poornam param. Is the Mayavadin’s featureless Brahman
that Perfect, that Complete – is it the very Highest? Is there not
or can there not be a higher than that highest, parÀtparam? That
is not a question of logic, it is a question of spiritual fact, of a
supreme and complete experience. The solution of the matter
must rest not upon logic, but upon a growing, ever heightening,
widening spiritual experience – an experience which must
of course include or have passed through that of Nirvana and
Maya, otherwise it would not be complete and would have no
decisive value."
.....Continued....

Ravi said...

David/Friends,
...Sri Aurobindo...Continued
"Now to reach Nirvana was the first radical result of my own
yoga. It threw me suddenly into a condition above and without
thought, unstained by any mental or vital movement; there was
no ego, no real world – only when one looked through the
immobile senses, something perceived or bore upon its sheer
silence a world of empty forms, materialised shadows without
true substance. There was no One or many even, only just absolutely
That, featureless, relationless, sheer, indescribable,
unthinkable, absolute, yet supremely real and solely real. This was
no mental realisation nor something glimpsed somewhere above,
– no abstraction, – it was positive, the only positive reality, –
although not a spatial physical world, pervading, occupying or
rather flooding and drowning this semblance of a physical world,
leaving no room or space for any reality but itself, allowing nothing
else to seem at all actual, positive or substantial. I cannot
say there was anything exhilarating or rapturous in the expe5
0 Letters on Yoga
rience, as it then came to me, – (the ineffable Ananda I had years
afterwards), – but what it brought was an inexpressible Peace,
a stupendous silence, an infinity of release and freedom. I lived
in that Nirvana day and night before it began to admit other
things into itself or modify itself at all, and the inner heart of
experience, a constant memory of it and its power to return remained
until in the end it began to disappear into a greater Superconsciousness
from above. But meanwhile realisation added
itself to realisation and fused itself with this original experience.
At an early stage the aspect of an illusionary world gave
place to one in which illusion1 is only a small surface phenomenon
with an immense Divine Reality behind it and a supreme
Divine Reality above it and an intense Divine Reality in the
heart of everything that had seemed at first only a cinematic
shape or shadow. And this was no reimprisonment in the senses,
no diminution or fall from supreme experience, it came
rather as a constant heightening and widening of the Truth; it
was the spirit that saw objects, not the senses, and the Peace,
the Silence, the freedom in Infinity remained always, with the
world or all worlds only as a continuous incident in the timeless
eternity of the Divine."
....Continued....

Ravi said...

David/Friends,
....Sri Aurobindo Continued...
"But I do not insist on everybody passing through my experience
or following the Truth that is its consequence. I have no
objection to anybody accepting Mayavada as his soul’s truth or
his mind’s truth or their way out of the cosmic difficulty. I object
to it only if somebody tries to push it down my throat or the
world’s throat as the sole possible, satisfying and all-comprehensive
explanation of things. For it is not that at all. There are
many other possible explanations; it is not at all satisfactory, for
in the end it explains nothing; and it is – and must be unless it
departs from its own logic – all-exclusive, not in the least allcomprehensive.
But that does not matter. A theory may be wrong
or at least one-sided and imperfect and yet extremely practical
and useful. This has been amply shown by the history of Science.
In fact, a theory whether philosophical or scientific, is nothing else
than a support for the mind, a practical device to help it to deal
with its object, a staff to uphold it and make it walk more confidently
and get along on its difficult journey. The very exclusiveness
and one-sidedness of the Mayavada make it a strong staff
or a forceful stimulus for a spiritual endeavour which means to
be one-sided, radical and exclusive. It supports the effort of the
Mind to get away from itself and from Life by a short cut into
superconscience. Or rather it is the Purusha in Mind that wants
to get away from the limitations of Mind and Life into the superconscient
Infinite. Theoretically, the way for that is for the mind
to deny all its perceptions and all the preoccupations of the vital
and see and treat them as illusions. Practically, when the mind
draws back from itself, it enters easily into a relationless peace
in which nothing matters, – for in its absoluteness there are no
mental or vital values, – and from which the mind can rapidly
move towards that great short cut to the superconscient, mindless
trance, suØupti. In proportion to the thoroughness of that movement
all the perceptions it had once accepted become unreal to it
– illusion, Maya. It is on its road towards immergence."
....continued....

Ravi said...

David/Friends,
....Sri Aurobindo Continued...
"I don’t think I have written, but I said once that souls which
have passed into Nirvana may (not “must”) return to complete
the larger upward curve. I have written somewhere, I think, that
for this yoga (it might also be added, in the natural complete
order of the manifestation) the experience of Nirvana can only
be a stage or passage to the complete realisation. I have said
also that there are many doors by which one can pass into the
realisation of the Absolute (Parabrahman), and Nirvana is one
of them, but by no means the only one. You may remember Ramakrishna’s
saying that the Jivakoti can ascend the stairs, but
not return, while the Ishwarakoti can ascend and descend at
will. If that is so, the Jivakoti might be those who describe only
the curve from Matter through Mind into the silent Brahman
and the Ishwarakoti those who get to the integral Reality and can
therefore combine the Ascent with the Descent and contain
the «two ends» of existence in their single being."
-----------------------------------
Sri Ramakrishna has indeed acknowledged 'Avatarhood' and has said what Sri Aurobindo is reiterating here.
Those of us who may not accept this,may atleast get an idea that The Gita has some expressed something worth noting.I understand That Sri Sankara has simply commented on this sloka(The One I have quoted) without adding or subtracting or 'Interpreting' or qualifying in any manner.
.......continued.....

Anonymous said...

There is so much talk about Jnanis from the 'unenlightened.' It's like putting the cart before the horse. We cannot understand this exalted 'state'. We can just stand with our noses pressed up against the window pane... discussing. ,thinking and wondering about it.
Ramana maharshi said " Only one consciousness, equally distributed everywhere. You through delusion give it unequal distribution. No distribution, no everywhere."

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

This word "illusion" is often misunderstood. Bhagavan once said that it is impossible for the worldly man to realize the transitoriness of life. He couldn't accept it - not even when his own death comes. The worldly man lives as he would live forever, and so does his (small) world. The love of man to this small world is apparently engraved on the mind.

It is nothing wrong with this love to children, family, to daily life and even with your last will to give the things after your death an orderly way. But the joy and wisdom of life is much greater when we realize and live the transitoriness of all - then we appreciate much more the true worth of life and death.

If all this would really be true what the sages and religions say about human life then this daily life would be an extremely sad thing because of all this constant and unsuccessful striving and fighting. And this is what daily life is for many people - spiritual people too.

Truth must be much more easier.

"The simplest explanation or strategy tends to be the best one." (Occams razor)

This principle recommends selection of the hypothesis that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities while still sufficiently answering the question.

That hypothesis could be that this world we are fighting with is like a dream and for nothing good then to realize it as one of the fleeting pictures of God and to behave in accordance with that.

.

Ravi said...

Friends,
...Sri Aurobindo Continued....
"The illusionist metaphors all fail when you drive them home
– they are themselves an illusion. Identification with the body
is an error, not an illusion. We are not the body, but the body
is still something of ourselves. With realisation the erroneous
identification ceases – in certain experiences the existence
of the body is not felt at all. In the full realisation the
body is within us, not we in it, it is an instrumental formation
in our wider being, – our consciousness exceeds but
also pervades it, – it can be dissolved without our ceasing
to be the self. That is about all."

He continues on the 'I':
"The essential “I” sense disappears when there is the stable realisation
of the one universal Self in all and that remains at all
moments in all conditions under any circumstances. Usually this
comes first in the Purusha consciousness and the extension to
the Prakriti movements is not immediate. But even if there are
“I” movements in the Prakriti reactions, the Purusha within
observes them as the continued running of an old mechanism and
does not feel them as his own. Most Vedantists stop there, because
they do think that those reactions will fall away from one
at death and all will disappear into the One. But for a change
of the nature it is necessary that the experience and seeing of the
Purusha should spread to all the parts, mind, vital, physical,
subconscient. Then the ego movements of Prakriti can also disappear
gradually from one field after another till none is left.
For this a perfect samatÀ even in the cells of the body and in
every vibration of the being is necessary – sama hi brahma. One
is then quite free from it in works also. The individual remains
but that is not the small separative ego, but a form and power
of the Universal which feels itself one with all beings, an
acting centre and instrument of the Universal Transcendent, full
of the Ananda of the presence and the action but not thinking or
moving independently or acting for its own sake. That cannot
be called egoism. The Divine can be called an ego only if he
is a separate Person limited as in the Christian idea of God by
his separateness (though even there esoteric Christianity abolishes
the limitation). An I which is not separate in that way is
no I at all."

In the Gita Sri Krishna uses 'I' and 'Me' in several places,in a very EMPHATIC manner.This is also interesting and worth exploring.
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

Just a couple of points:

Firstly, in one’s humble opinion, Primary Scripture like the Sri Bhagavad Gita is not sectarian and dear to Sri Krishna bhaktas only but to every spiritual aspirant. In the Mahabharata itself, the text changes at this point to stop referring to Sri Krishna by His names like “son-of-Vasudeva” etc. to “Sri Bhagavan”. The text hereafter continues as, “Sri Bhagavan said ….”. Sri Krishna as the Self Itself is speaking.

Much like the recorded words of our Sri Bhagavan of Arunachala (mentioned thus so as to differentiate for the purpose of this explanation only), the Gita has verses for the Ajata position and then again, for the position of the embodied soul in the empirical world.

For instance, the Ajata position in the Gita is given as:

“SRIBHAGAVANUVACA (Sri Bhagavan said): It is not born, and It does not die; nor is it ever that this One having been nonexistent becomes existent again. This One is birthless, eternal, undecaying, ancient; It is not killed when the body is killed.” [2.20]

And then the viewpoint from the embodied jiva is expressed:

“SRIBHAGAVANUVACA (Sri Bhagavan said): Both you and I have taken many births. I remember them all, O Arjuna, but you do not remember. Though I am eternal, imperishable, and the Lord of all beings; yet I manifest by controlling my own material nature, using my Yoga-Maya. ……”. [4.5 etc…]

David’s post above quotes statements our Sri Bhagavan made from the view point of Ajata only. In fact, our Sri Bhagavan, forget about reincarnation for Jnanis, said this for reincarnation in general:

“Reincarnation exists only so long as there is ignorance. There is really no reincarnation at all, either now or before. Nor will there be any hereafter. This is the truth.”

Thus can we conclude that our Sri Bhagavan said that there is no reincarnation at all, for anyone, period ? Yes and no !

We must remember that when it comes to expressing the higher truths, Ajata and the empirical world do NOT overlap. And thus what is “true” (without getting into finer details of what is “real” or “unreal” etc) in the embodied world does not hold in the realm of Ajata and vice versa. As so, as far as the world of the embodied jiva is concerned, there is certainly reincarnation for the jiva; an enlightened teacher, or multiple enlightened teachers may or may not exist, may or may not reincarnate. Who can try to put limits on what the Supreme Divinity (the Jnani Himself) may or may not do in the embodied world ? Omnipotence itself implies that anything is possible for the Supreme Power. If It wants It can reincarnate Itself, reincarnate enlightened teachers, reincarnate insects, trees and even rocks. Even if we grant for the Jnani, that he has merged like a river into the sea etc, the Divinity may create an entirely new entity with identical characteristics to appear again, so much so that the jiva may not tell the difference. Certainly, the jiva may NOT put restrictions on what He can or cannot do.

And then, again, in the realm of Ajata, there is no reincarnation for the Jnani, nor even for the jiva. There is not even a Jnani or a jiva for that matter, nor even an entity as the Supreme Divinity even, forget about embodiment either primary or reincarnated.

[cont at 2 below]

Anonymous said...

[part 2]

And thus a statement such as, “there is no reincarnation (for a Jnani or otherwise)” has to be ALWAYS seen in the context behind it. Is it true in the context of the jiva in empirical world ? NO. Is it true in the realm of Ajata ? YES.

[Of course the next level of argument can be taken that - the jiva is not real, the world is not real and thus there is no reincarnation. But then we are back in the realm of Ajata.]

[And, we cannot take the argument that - the Jnani straddles both the realms of Ajata and the empirical world. He may be straddling hundreds of worlds from His point of view. Point is, you, the jiva, live only in the world that you experience. You cannot touch the realm of Ajata, and so you cannot fathom what really the Jnani is. It is like trying to teach a chimp about p-branes and the 11-dimensional universe.]

regards

Ravi said...

Anonymous/Friends,
"Who can try to put limits on what the Supreme Divinity (the Jnani Himself) may or may not do in the embodied world ?"

One day, when Rani Rasmani was listening to Sri Ramakrishna's singing in the temple, the young priest abruptly turned and slapped her. Apparently listening to his song, she had actually been thinking of a law-suit. She accepted the punishment as though the Divine Mother Herself had imposed it; but Mathur was distressed. He begged Sri Ramakrishna to keep his feelings under control and to heed the conventions of society. God Himself, he argued, follows laws. God never permitted, for instance, flowers of two colours to grow on the same stalk. The following day Sri Ramakrishna presented Mathur Babu with two hibiscus flowers growing on the same stalk, one red and one white.
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Nandu/Friends,
"I for one have begun to understand Bhagavan a lot more only via Papaji."

Sri Bhagavan is 'Ahimamsu' or the Glorious Sun.
I am reminded of the following 2 verses from Totakashtakam:
JAGATIMAVITUM KALITAKRITAYO
VICHARANTI MAHAMANA SASCHALATAH
AHIMAM STURIVATRA VIBHASI GURO
BHAVA SANKARA DESIKA ME SARANAM ||6||

OH TEACHER! FOR SAVING THE WORLD, THE GREAT ASSUME VARIOUS FORMS AND WANDER IN DISGUISE. OF THEM, THOU SHINEST LIKE THE SUN. BE THOU MY REFUGE O MASTER, SANKARA

GURUPUNGAVA PUNGAVA KETANA TE
SAMATAM AYATAM NAHI KO’PI SUDHIH
SARANAGATAVATSALA TATTVINIDHE
BHAVA SANKARA DESIKA ME SARANAM ||7||

O THE BEST OF THE TEACHERS! THE SUPREME LORD HAVING THE BULL AS BANNER! NONE OF THE WISE IS EQUAL TO THEE! THOU WHO ART COMPASSIONATE TO THOSE WHO HAVE TAKEN REFUGE! THE TREASURE TROVE OF TRUTH! BE THOU MY REFUGE O MASTER, SANKARA "
This is true of Sri Bhagavan.

Yes,Papaji has said that Sri Bhagavan is the Golden Reference.
Sri Aurobindo has said about Sri Bhagavan -'He is the Flaming Tapas of India','Spiritual Hercules',etc.

I would prefer to go along with cow Lakshmi rather than with these ideas.

Anyone or Anything that helps to understand and appreciate Sri Bhagavan is Good.

Wish you all the Very Best.

Namaskar.




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

Ravi said...

Anonymous/Friends,
"And thus a statement such as, “there is no reincarnation (for a Jnani or otherwise)” has to be ALWAYS seen in the context behind it. Is it true in the context of the jiva in empirical world ? NO. Is it true in the realm of Ajata ? YES."

This is the crux of the Matter.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.
... We are not the body, but the body is still something of ourselves. ...

Bhagavan puts it the other way round: "We are not only the body." We all mean the same - we see, understand and express it different.

------

MAYA

A living and conscious being is the greatest miracle in the universe:

* It is the One Spirit living through this being.

* Nevertheless It appears as an individual.

This illusion/appearance not even vanish at death of the body.

Every attempt to limit this spirit to the outside or the inside is fruitless.

.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

WEI WU WEI - OPEN SECRET:

That is the meaning of the 'mysterious' contradictions enunciated by the Sages: 'Form is nothing but void, void is nothing but form', 'Samsara is Nirvana, Nirvana is Samsara', 'Phenomena and Noumenon are one', etc., etc.

That is why Huang-po can say:

'People neglect the reality of the "illusory" world.' —Wan Ling Record, p. 106

'On no account make a distinction between the Absolute and the sentient world.' —p. 130

'Whatever Mind is, so also are phenomena—both are equally real and partake equally of the Dharma-Nature. He who receives an intuition of this truth has become a Buddha and attained to the Dharma.' —p. 111

'All the visible universe is the Buddha.' —p. 107


But quoting Hui-neng he can also say, and often in the same context:

'There's never been a single thing, Then where's defiling dust to cling?'

'Full understanding of this must come before they can enter the way.' —p. m

'Finally remember that from first to last not even the smallest grain of anything perceptible (graspable, attain able, tangible) has ever existed or ever will exist.' —p. 127


And lastly:

'On seeing one thing, you see ALL.' (That is, all perceiving is Buddha-mind, the living-dream is itself Buddha-mind.) —p. 108

'Hold fast to one principle and all the others are identical.' —p. 108


What, then, is this one principle?

'Once more, ALL phenomena are basically without existence, though you cannot now say that they are non existent.... Moreover, Mind is not Mind.... Form, too, is not really form. So if I now state that there are no phenomena and no Original Mind, you will begin to under stand something of the intuitive Dharma silently conveyed to Mind with Mind. Since phenomena and no-phenomena are one, there is neither phenomena nor no-phenomena, and the only possible transmission is to Mind with Mind.' —p. 106

'Moreover, in thus contemplating the totality, of phenomena, you are contemplating the totality of Mind. All these phenomena are intrinsically void and yet this Mind with which they are identical is no mere nothingness.' —p. 108


This, chapter 37 of the Wan Ling Record, is probably the clearest and most valuable statement of the ultimate truth that we possess.

.

Ravi said...

Ramos/Friends,
Yes, Truth is one,Sages express in Different ways.Here is an Excerpt from Volume No.8 ,Complete Works of Vivekananda,Where The Master talks about Divine Incarnation:
"The Divine Incarnation Or Avatara

Jesus Christ was God -- the Personal God become man. He has manifested Himself many times in different forms and these alone are what you can worship. God in His absolute nature is not to be worshipped. Worshipping such God would be nonsense. We have to worship Jesus Christ, the human manifestation, as God. You cannot worship anything higher than the manifestation of God. The sooner you give up the worship of God separate from Christ, the better for you. Think of the Jehovah you manufacture and of the beautiful Christ. Any time you attempt to make a God beyond Christ, you murder the whole thing. God alone can worship God. It is not given to man, and any attempt to worship Him beyond His ordinary manifestations will be dangerous to mankind. Keep close to Christ if you want salvation; He is higher than any God you can imagine. If you think that Christ was a man, do not worship Him; but as soon as you can realise that He is God, worship Him. Those who say He was a man and then worship Him commit blasphemy; there is no half - way house for you; you must take the whole strength of it. "He that hath seen the Son hath seen the Father", and without seeing the Son, you cannot see the Father. It would be only tall talk and frothy philosophy and dreams and speculations. But if you want to have a hold on spiritual life, cling close to God as manifest in Christ.

Philosophically speaking, there was no such human being living as Christ or Buddha; we saw God through them. In the Koran, Mohammed again and again repeats that Christ was never crucified, it was a semblance; no one could crucify Christ.

The lowest state of philosophical religion is dualism;
the highest form is the Triune state. Nature and the human soul are interpenetrated by God, and this we see as the Trinity of God, nature, and soul. At the same time you catch a glimpse that all these three are products of the One. Just as this body is the covering of the soul, so this is, as it were, the body of God. As I am the soul of nature, so is God the soul of my soul. You are the centre through which you see all nature in which you are. This nature, soul, and God make one individual being, the universe. Therefore they are a unity; yet at the same time they are separate. Then there is another sort of Trinity which is much like the Christian Trinity. God is absolute. We cannot see God in His absolute nature, we can only speak of that as "not this, not this". Yet we can get certain qualities as the nearest approach to God. First is existence, second is knowledge, third is bliss -- very much corresponding to your Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Father is the existence out of which everything comes; Son is that knowledge. It is in Christ that God will be manifest. God was everywhere, in all beings, before Christ; but in Christ we became conscious of Him. This is God. The third is bliss, the Holy Spirit. As soon as you get this knowledge, you get bliss. As soon as you begin to have Christ within you, you have bliss; and that unifies the three."
-----------------------------------
The Following points are to be noted:
1.The Absolute cannot be Worshipped.
2.If you think Christ was a man,do not worship him(This is why we say that Guru is God)
3."He that hath seen the Son hath seen the Father", and without seeing the Son, you cannot see the Father. It would be only tall talk and frothy philosophy and dreams and speculations.

All that we discussed are there in the above talk of the Master.

Namaskar.

Sri said...

Anonymous said:
And then, again, in the realm of Ajata, there is no reincarnation for the Jnani, nor even for the jiva. There is not even a Jnani or a jiva for that matter, .....

"Buddhas and mortals exist only for mortals. For Buddhas, neither buddhas nor mortals exist." -- Bodhidharma

herenow said...

Wow ...Thank you David for once again hitting this once quiet hornet's nest with the baseball bat of reason.

Shall we revisit the "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"

That was a good one...or perhaps I'm just feeling nostalgic.

They say...someone once said :

Keep Quiet.
Make No Effort.

Thanks for impeccable efforts, recordings, reportage, thoughts and discussions...as well as the very humble yet noble presence you bring to us.

This is also a very fine teaching.

love Keith/Swaraja

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

This book is a perl of Nondualism:

Download: Open Secret Wei Wu Wei pdf

.

Ravi said...

Friends,
It is helpful to recapitulate the viewpoints expressed here in David's comments.Essentially it boils down to the need of the 'External' Guru and 'Inner Guru'-The Divine is Both.

1.The Inner Guru-We have Muruganar's saying-
"Feeling that the jivas should not suffer in the least in knowing and reaching Him, God, without remaining different from them, exists and shines as the Atma-swarupa, the reality of every being. This indeed is the greatness of the supreme compassion that God has towards jivas. It has therefore been said: ‘It [reality] … is verily the form of divine grace that dances on high, subduing everything else.’
God is perpetually bestowing His grace on all beings in the form of the illumination that is shining unceasingly as I-I in the Heart."

2.We have Sri Bhagavan's saying-
"This is what Bhagavan had to say about people who thought that jnanis should 'drop dead' at the moment of liberation:

There are various controversies or schools of thought as to whether a Jnani can continue to live in his physical body after realization. Some hold that one who dies cannot be a Jnani, because his body must vanish into air, or some such thing. They put forward all sorts of funny notions. If a man must at once leave his body when he realises the Self, I wonder how any knowledge of the Self or the state of realisation can come down to other men."
It is only reasonable to consider that if the Body can continue after Realization for the benefit of other men,as Sri Bhagavan mentions above,there is nothing impossible about the assuming of future bodies for the same purpose.(To serve the purpose of External Guru).
-----------------------------------
Namaskar

Anonymous said...

Follow the Rabbit...
First Thanks to every one for your various great thoughts so far.Ravi, Thanks for the most appropriate clippings and your thoughts.

In light of all the discussion so far what do you make of the following from 'TALKS WITH SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI'(Page:237, Talk:270). http://sriramanamaharshi.org/Allpub_demo.html
###################################
D.: Why did the Self manifest as this miserable world?
M.: In order that you might seek it. Your eyes cannot see themselves. Place a mirror before them and they see themselves. Similarly with the creation.“See yourself first and then see the whole world as the Self.”
###################################

And also is it enough if Lord Brahma(The Creator of the entire Universe in Hindu Mythology) does 'Who am I' so that we are all emancipated in one go?

Ravi can you please post Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa's perspective on 'Why of Creation?'I did go through a lot of pages(not all) in M's Biography and found only one occassion where the question was dodged.

My whole discussion on Sri Sarada and Sri Lakshmana was only to break 'Ajaata' so that I could come to this question of 'why of creation?'

All Glories. Please enlighten us.

Follow the Rabbit...

Anonymous said...

Follow the Rabbit...
Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi(Page 243)
Further, creation is to be considered in its two aspects, Isvara srishti (God’s creation)
and jiva srishti (individual’s creation). Of these two, the universe is the former, and its relation to the individual is the latter. It is the latter which gives rise to pain and pleasure, irrespective of the former. A story was mentioned from Panchadasi. There were two young men in a village in South India. They went on a pilgrimage to North India. One of them died. The survivor, who was earning something, decided to return only after some months. In the meantime he came across a wandering pilgrim whom he asked to
convey the information regarding himself and his dead companion to the village in South India. The wandering pilgrim did so, but by mistake changed the names. The result was that the dead man’s parents rejoiced in his safety and the living one’s parents were in
grief. Thus, you see, pain or pleasure has no reference to facts but to mental conceptions. Jiva Srishti is responsible for it. Kill the jiva and there is no pain or pleasure but the mental bliss persists forever. Killing the jiva is to abide in the Self.


From the above Talk is it right to conclude that ‘Ajaata’ is only relevant from the ‘jiva-srishti’ perspective and that The Reality(universe etc) is Real and will continue for other jivas. In other words even if one player decides not to play anymore (let’s say because he is tired of winning (happiness) and losing (sorrow) and he decides not to play any game at any level(all lokaas) anymore and jumps off the cliff) it does not mean that ‘The Playground’ and the ‘The other players’ do not exist anymore. Yes they do not exist anymore for that particular player/jiva. One may argue here that because the player has jumped off the cliff how does the question/perspective of the specific jiva other players and Playground arise and so this parable (upamaanam) is not right. This can be explained. When a saadhaka (aspirant) sinks his Mind into his Heart/Self temporarily his entire world(Play, Playground, People etc) disappers as a dream. But when the ‘I Thought’ or Mind comes back he sees the SAME world (same Play, Playground, People) which means while he was gone temporarily the show was going on. He might even see the scores change before and after
So is it right to say that Jnaanis do not recommend ‘Ego Suicide’ as ‘THE GOAL/THE SOLUTION FOR ALL’ but only advocate this as an option for those who are tired of playing any more. Is it right to say that when holy men(For eg: Budhdha) say that this world is full of sorrow it is not for every one but those who had enough and that if you bide your time/sorrow you will get an opportunity(may be even in another life) to win(enjoy/happiness) again. Only a FOOL expects Happiness all the time. There can never be Happiness without sorrow. Can a Jnaani produce a coin with only one side??

THIS MUST BE EXPLAINED before the ‘Ego Suicide’ camp signs up lot of people in sorrow/dispassion. But practically speaking any body who is in temporary dispassion and signs up to the ‘Ego-suicide’ camp will not be successful anyway because when Death(mind starts to sink in to the Heart) stares at him he will run out like a chicken and never come back  May be that is why our age old Sages never imparted this knowledge to the unripe. But with the advent of Books and Internet this knowledge has escaped into the common world and the unsuspecting customers get half way into it and end up as ‘Predicament Zombies’ and I am one of them.

All Glories. Please Enlighten us.
Follow the Rabbit...

Ravi said...

Anonymous,
Here is an excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna-so typical with its humour mixed with Supreme Wisdom.The Great Master's sayings are always so simple that one may tend to pass them by as 'Pious Platitudes'.He never bothered to construct a philosophical basis or Logical constructs.There are quite a few instances where the Master has touched upon the Nature of The Manifestation.

"The Master glanced around the Brahmo temple and said with a smile, "This is nice too-a
mixture of crystals and syrup. There are crystals, and there is syrup too.
"I have scored too many points and am therefore out of the game. (All laugh.) Do you know
the game called 'nax'? It is a game of cards, and anyone scoring above seventeen is out of
the game. Those who score fewer points-say five, seven, or ten-are clever. I have scored too
many and am out of the game.
"Once Keshab Sen gave a lecture at his house. I was present. Many people were there. The
ladies were seated behind the screen. Keshab, in the course of his talk, said, 'O God, please
bless us that we may dive and disappear altogether in the river of bhakti.' I said to Keshab
with a smile: 'If you disappear altogether in the river of bhakti, then what will be the fate of
those behind the screen? By all means dive into the river, but you had better come back to
dry land now and then: Don't disappear in the river altogether.' At these words Keshab and the others burst out laughing.
"Never mind. One can realize God in the world, too, if only one is sincere. 'I' and 'mine'-
that is ignorance. But, 'O God! Thou and Thine'-that is knowledge.

Advice to householders
"Live in the world like a maidservant in a rich man's house. She performs all the household
duties, brings up her master's child, and speaks of him as 'my Hari'. But in her heart she
knows quite well that neither the house nor the child belongs to her. She performs all her
duties, but just the same her mind dwells on her native place. Likewise, do your worldly
duties but fix your mind on God. And know that house, family, and son do not belong to
you; they are God's. You are only His servant."
-----------------------------------The above excerpt is to say that although 'out of the Game',The Master is still a witness to it!

More Later.

Subramanian. R said...

Dear David,

I was going through A.Osborne's
Be Still, It is the Wind that Sings. Here, there are two essays
on reincarnations and Masters (Jnanis/Gurus). He says: "When Hindus declare that a certain Master is not a Saint but an Avatar, what they imply doctrinally is that he is not a man struggling upwards on the path of return who has at last, in this lifetime, made the final breakthrough to Deliverence but a
Being who has voluntarily descended into human form to help others on this upward path. Therefore, he should have no sadhana, no struggle towards Enlightenment, in this life time, but should simply awaken in his childhood or at adoloscence into the Enlightenment which he deliberately discarded for his venture into the stormy seas of samsara to rescue those struggling therein." ..... "This is what is indicated in Tibetian concept of a Bodhisattva, ...who may return again and again in human form to continue the same work."

I believe if we take into the faith that Bhagavan Ramana as incarnation of Skanda, after Kumarila Bhatta and
Tiru Jnana Sambandha, the discussion of 'reincarnating Jnanis' would come into a full circle. Osborne also says that the Hebrew doctrine of return recorded in the Gospel of St. Matthew as being confirmed by Christ is in this respect similar to the Hindu.

Sankar Ganesh Chandrakumar said...

@Follow the Rabbit

Unless one one-pointedly desires Peace nothing but Absolute Peace, fed up with the cycle of Pain and Pleasure caused by the Ego due to its desire for happiness from worldly objects, will never truly desire the destruction of Ego.

The majority of people go for yoga, meditation etc., in this age of information, primarily driven by the desires of good health, temporary bliss/peace, temporary escape from worldly problems, to show off their knowledge/achievement etc -- all these actually strengthen the Ego virus.

That is why Bhagavat Gita says that very few genuinely attempt for the destruction of Ego without giving up and a rare one succeeds. The few people who were enlightened by the Presence of Bhagavan Ramana are examples of such rare ones.

Also Sri Ramakrishna says that if one even has a trace of worldly desire one will never succeed. His life is an example for the one-pointedness towards the destruction of Ego and get established in Absolute Peace.

Also for the one who one-pointedly desires the destruction of Ego for gaining Absolute Peace, reality or unreality of this world does not matter. These are doubts for majority others with the Ego virus desiring in such intellectual discussions to perpetuate itself.

Thanks. Sankar Ganesh.

Anonymous said...

This is further to one’s comment of a “couple of points” above. Therein, the viewpoint from the embodied jiva, his world, and the omnipotence of the Supreme Power, within, was mentioned.

But, the reality IS Ajata. The rest is illusion, superimposition, the nacre in the silver, call it what you may.

Continuing, in my humble opinion ...

Sri Bhagavan usually tried to speak from the viewpoint of Ajata only. Even when the devotees brought up queries relating to other viewpoints, Sri Bhagavan would lead them back, gently, into Ajata and vichara. But, to make the explanation intelligible to the devotee, His replies would be often tailored to that particular devotee’s spiritual maturity and predisposition. And it is thus imperative to, ALWAYS, understand the context too, of Sri Bhagavan’s words.

The quoted passage from Talk No. 276 is the explanation intended for the lady who had queries about the “condition of an individual after his death”. She was probably disturbed with ideas of the possible (or perhaps actual) loss of a loved one, probably her son, and grief thereof. The explanation given is NOT to be taken as an authoritative doctrinal statement of any sort with respect to Ajata or Advaita in general. It cannot be used to offer an explanation of the nature of the world in absolute terms. Another quote may easily be found that gives the doctrinal position from the Avaccheda sub-school for instance. We ourselves create confusion by picking up quotes from Sri Bhagavan’s works, or the scriptures, in isolation, and thus ignoring the larger context.
:-)

[The explanation given to the lady in this Talk uses terminology from the Pancadasi which, as is well known, expounds the doctrine of the Vivarana sub-school of Advaita with its Pratibimba-vada. Herein, Iswara is treated as the “prototype” for the jiva. Sri Bhagavan never endorsed any particular sub-school. In fact, His explanations drew from any of the 3 main sub-schools of Advaita as was appropriate for the devotee and occasion. Or, to be more accurate, Sri Bhagavan gave His own explanations, and others find that they sometimes match a particular sub-school and sometimes the other].

And in the quoted Talk itself we find that Sri Bhagavan gently tries, repeatedly, to draw the lady back to the ‘I’-thought and vichara.

The higher truths of Advaita cannot be understood intellectually. They can only be understood when there is a “mental psychosis” (the philosophical term, not the one related to madness) in the sadhaka. The shastraic-texts of Advaita-Vedanta hammer-in this point. It is a sort of “Metaphysical Intuition”, which arises ONLY because of GRACE which itself is available after intense sadhana, in this life or in previous ones. The intense sadhana may be intense devotion, an intense study of the shastras with an “internalization” of the teachings (which implies intense devotion and intense vichara), and of course, intense vichara itself.

This is, of course, what the scriptures otherwise call “ripeness” in the sadhaka.

[cont at 2 below]

Anonymous said...

[Part 2]

Rabbit, if you are indeed as you say a “predicament zombie” (lovely term that!), it not because “this knowledge has escaped into the common world and the unsuspecting customers get half way into it”. But because you have not done enough of any of the 3 modes of intense sadhana as mentioned above. Even if someone had the ability to explain the stuff you want, clearly and simply, until the Metaphysical Intuition begins to arise it would not be intelligible in the slightest. It would just bounce off. And please note that this is not in the slightest any reflection of how intelligent you really are. You could be, for all that it is worth, the brainiest person on earth. :-)

Still, speaking purely on the intellectual level, just in case that you are not aware of the same, would like to add that the questions raised by you regarding the nature of the world especially with respect to the “dream-analogy”, and the apparent inconsistencies thereof, have been certainly asked before. In fact, yours are still the kindergarten-level queries. Much more complex and sophisticated queries have been raised regarding the dream-analogy and the nature of illusion, and answered. The whole issue is discussed threadbare. You just need to find the relevant texts. However, I promise you, the logic behind the fine shades of the “vadas” that sit at the base of the dream-analogy will take years of hard study to fathom. Since it is one’s firm conviction that if someone really wants to know something desperately enough, that person will doubtless find a way to discover and study the relevant material; and one does not want to put everyone on to such texts as can doubtless cause more confusion than clarity when casually read, one will not mention any names. But, what can be done, if you want, is that you can write the names of the texts you have studied already and one can tell you whether you need to look further. The starting point is the Bhasya of Sri Sankara.
[There is no spoon-feeding here !] :-)

Finally, thought to quote what Sri T. M. P. Mahadevan, who probably knew more about Advaita, intellectually, than all of us put together, said about queries concerning the how and why of creation and the world (loosely paraphrasing Sri Vidyaranya, the author of Pancadasi):

“There is no use asking questions about Maya. The more we question, the deeper will the mystery become. Maya is that which makes apparently possible what is inherently impossible (VI.235). Wonder is Maya’s garment; inscrutable is its nature (VI.139). By raising objections to, or asking questions about, Maya, we do not solve the mystery. What is necessary is that we should endeavour to transcend Maya (VI.138). And, in this endeavour, the world of plurality in which we as empirical individuals live can be a help instead of serving as an obstacle (IV.42).”

[From the Introduction to the “Pancadasi of Sri Vidyaranya Swami”, trans by Sw. Swahananda, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai]

With humble prostrations at the lotus feet of Sri Bhagavan

Ravi said...

Anonymous/Friends,
Follow the Rabit wanted to know what Sri Ramakrishna had to say on the 'Why' of Creation.I will post this a little later.
We will take up the subject of 'Ego Suicide' as our Friend has called this.The Basic question to be asked is this-Whatever be the 'Rationale'behind this and however desirable this be-Is it within the Realm of Self Effort?Is it a matter of Volition to keep the 'I' or Drop it?
This is What Sri Ramakrishna has to say,in this interesting conversation with 'M':
Hazra left the room, leaving the Master alone with M.
MASTER: "Does what I say in the state of ecstasy attract people?
M: Oh, yes. Very much.
MASTER: What do people think of me? Do they think anything in particular
about me when they see me in that condition?
M: We feel in you a wonderful synthesis of knowledge, love, and renunciation,
and on the surface a natural spontaneity. Many divine experiences have passed, like
huge steamboats, through the deep of your inner consciousness; still you maintain
outwardly this utter simplicity. Many cannot understand it, but a few are attracted
by this state alone.
MASTER: There is a sect of Vaishriavas known as the Ghoshpara, who describe
God as the 'Sahaja', the 'Simple One'. They say further that a man cannot
recognize this 'Simple One' unless he too is simple. (To M.) Have I any ego?
M: Yes, sir. A little. You have kept it to preserve your body, and to enjoy divine
love in the company of the devotees and impart spiritual knowledge to them.
Further, you have kept this trace of ego by praying to the Divine Mother for it.
MASTER: No. I have not kept it. It is God Himself who has left it in me. Can you
tell me how I appear in the state of samadhi?
M: As you said a little while ago, you see the form of God when your mind rises
to the 'sixth plane'. When you speak after that, your mind comes down to the 'fifth
plane'.

MASTER: It is God who does all these things. I do not know anything.
M: That is why you attract people so much.
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Anonymous/Friends,
Here is an Excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna where he talks about 'Aum' ,the Word that is one with God and is God:

"Synthesis of Sankara and Ramanuja
The Nitya and the Lila belong to the same Reality. Therefore I accept
everything, the Relative as well as the Absolute. I don't explain away the world as
maya. Were I to do that I should get short weight.
MAHIMACHARAN: It is a good synthesis: from the Absolute to the Relative, and
from the Relative to the Absolute.
MASTER: 'The jnanis regard everything as illusory, like a dream; but the bhaktas
accept all the states. The milk flows only in dribblets from the jnani. (All laugh.)
There are some cows that pick and choose their fodder; hence their milk flows only in dribblets. But cows that don't discriminate so much, and eat whatever they get,
give milk in torrents. A superior devotee of God accepts both the Absolute and the
Relative; therefore he is able to enjoy the Divine even when his mind comes down from the Absolute. Such a devotee is like the cows that give milk in torrents." (All
laugh.)
MAHIMA: But the milk of a cow that eats without discrimination smells a little.
(Laughter.) .
MASTER (with a smile): That's true, no doubt: Therefore that milk should be boiled. One should boil such milk over the fire a little while;there will be no smell whatever if you boil the milk over the fire of Knowledge. (All
laugh.)
Explanation of "Aum"
(To Mahima) "You explain 'Aum' with reference to 'a', 'u', and 'm' only."
MAHIMA: "'A', 'u', and 'm' mean creation, preservation, and destruction."
MASTER: "But I give the illustration of the sound of a gong: 'tom',4 t-o-m. It is the
merging of the Lila in the Nitya: the gross, the subtle, and the causal merge in the
Great Cause; waking, dream, and deep sleep merge in Turiya. The striking of the
gong is like the falling of a heavy weight into a big ocean. Waves begin to rise: the
Relative rises from the Absolute; the causal, subtle, and gross bodies appear out of
the Great Cause; from Turiya emerge the states of deep sleep, dream, and waking.
These waves arising from the Great Ocean merge again in the Great Ocean. From the Absolute to the Relative, and from the Relative to the Absolute. Therefore I
give the illustration of the gong's sound, 'tom'. I have clearly perceived all these
things. It has been revealed to me that there exists an Ocean of Consciousness without limit. From It come all things of the relative plane, and in It they merge
again. Millions of Brahmandas rise in that Chidakasa and merge in It again. All this has been revealed to me; I don't know, much about what your books say."
-----------------------------------
Namaskar

Broken Yogi said...

I like this simple formulation, "There is no jnani, there is only jnana". It explains perfectly why there is no reincarnation for jnanis - because in reality there are no jnanis.

We are attached to the idea that we reincarnate, because it seems to affirm the notion we have that we really are "something", that our ego is a real person. We think that jnana is just an attribute of some people, and something that other people don't have an can acquire. But Ramana seems to be saying that this is the very illusion that jnana dissolves. That jnana is the knowledge that there is no ego, no person, no separate self that reincarnates from life to life. So how can a jnani reincarnate when jnana means knowledge that there is no one who has jnana, no jnani in other words? What would reincarnate? What is reincarnating right now as "us"? And how could that illusion of "us" survive the revelation of jnana?

It seems that the objections to this notion are just a way of describing our own clinging to the idea that we really are persons, that we really are individuals who are incarnate right now, and that this is our reality. We really don't want to let go of that. We even interpret spirituality and non-dualism on that basis of that. Ramana's intention seems to be to get us to question this assumption and see through it. Trying to understand the jnani from the perspective of ajnana is like trying to understand light in a pitch-dark room.

Ravi said...

Friends,
An Excerpt From The Gospel Of Sri Ramakrishna,where The Master talks about incarnation:
"Monday, December 24, 1883
At eight o'clock in the morning Sri Ramakrishna and M. were talking together in
the pine grove at the northern end of the temple garden. This was the eleventh day
of M.'s stay with the Master.

Formless Brahman-
It was winter. The sun had just risen. The river was flowing north with the tide.
Not far off could be seen the bel-tree where the Master had practised great
spiritual austerities. Sri Ramakrishna faced the east as he talked to his disciple and
told him about the Knowledge of Brahman.
MASTER: The formless God is real, and equally real is God with form. Nangta used
to instruct me about the nature of Satchidananda Brahman. He would say that it is
like an infinite ocean—water everywhere, to the right, left, above, and below. Water
enveloped in water. It is the Water of the Great Cause, motionless. Waves spring up
when it becomes active. Its activities are creation, preservation, and destruction.
Again, he used to say that Brahman is where reason comes to a stop. There is
the instance of camphor. Nothing remains after it is burnt—not even a trace of ash.
Brahman is beyond mind and speech. A salt doll entered the ocean to measure its
depth; but it did not return to tell others how deep the ocean was. It melted in the
ocean itself.
The rishis once said to Rama: 'O Rama sages like Bharadvaja may very well call
you an Incamation of God, but we cannot do that. We adore the
Word-Brahman.We do not want the human form of God.' Rama smiled and went
away, pleased with their adoration.

Different manifestations of the Absolute-
But the Nitya and the Lila are the two aspects of the same Reality. As I have
said before, it is like the roof and the steps leading to it. The Absolute plays in
many ways: as Isvara, as the gods, as man, and as the universe. The Incarnation is
the play of the Absolute as man. Do you know how the Absolute plays as man? It is
like the rushing down of water from a big roof through a pipe; the power of
Satchidananda—nay, Satchidananda Itself—descends through the conduit of a
human form as water descends through the pipe. Only twelve sages, Bharadvaja and
the others, recognized Rama as an Incarnation of God. Not everyone can recognize
an Incarnation.
It is God alone who incarnates Himself as man to teach people the ways of love
and knowledge. Well, what do you think of me?"
-----------------------------------
Namaskar

Ravi said...

Anonymous/Friends,
'Why' of Creation-An Excerpt from The Gospel Of Sri Ramakrishna-

HARI: "Why is there so much suffering in the world?"
MASTER: "This world is the lila of God. It is like a game. In this game there are joy
and sorrow, virtue and vice, knowledge and ignorance, good and evil. The game
cannot continue if sin and suffering are altogether eliminated from the creation.
"In the game of hide-and-seek one must touch the 'granny' in order to be free.
But the 'granny' is never pleased if she is touched at the very outset. It is God's
wish that the play should continue for some time. Then—
"Out of a hundred thousand kites, at best but one or two break free;
And Thou dost laugh and clap Thy hands, O Mother, watching them!"(Song Of Ramprasad)
In other words, after the practice of hard spiritual discipline, one or two have the vision of God, through His grace, and are liberated. Then the Divine Mother claps Her hands in joy and exclaims, 'Bravo! There they go!'
HARI: But this play of God is our death.
MASTER (smiling): "Please tell me who you are. God alone has become all this—maya,the universe, living beings, and the twenty-four cosmic principles. 'As the snake I
bite, and as the charmer I cure.' It is God Himself who has become both vidya and avidya. He remains deluded by the maya of avidya, ignorance. Again, with the help of
the guru, He is cured by the maya of vidya, Knowledge.

The jnani sees that God alone exists and is the Doer, that He creates, preserves, and destroys. The vijnani sees that it
is God who has become all this.
-----------------------------------
We ask 'Why' when 1.We are unable to accept-We ask,Why This?Why Me?
2.We may also ask 'Why' out of sheer wonder-If there is an answer to this 'Why',the answer is bound to be less Profound.It is a Profound Question,when it does not have an answer.
To give an answer that 'Mind' creates the world is correct,but if we ask 'What is Mind?',the answer may be that it is the 'Power of Brahman'.This is not as Profound as what is Stated above.
-----------------------------------Namaskar.

Losing M. Mind said...

We're all at perhaps different maturity levels. i am not without a trace of worldly desire, but yet i still attempt these practices because it's important. It's not so simple as that. It's beneficial for everybody.

Anonymous said...

Follow the Rabbit...
Sanker Ganesh:
I have no problem with my inquisitiveness.I am that I am i.e if I try not to be inquisitive then that will be a big problem for me.To seek is my nature. Everything will come to it's natural end when it should.If I try to love unconditionally(whatever that means), be more humble or this or that then I will end up as Fake.May be that is why UG condemned all Guru advise(generally speaking) and only pointed out the predicament.If God is infinite and he has given me only five weak senses to seek HIM that is his Predicament, not mine nor yours.

Ramanigiri Swami put it the best:
Jnana and bhakti are not separate from each other. One cannot know Him without loving Him, and one cannot love Him without knowing Him.
-Ramanagiri Swami

Every iota of God's creation is this same Predicament.I doubt if even He knows why and hence.

Follow the Rabbit...

David Godman said...

R. Subramanian quoted the following passage from Osborne:

"When Hindus declare that a certain Master is not a Saint but an Avatar, what they imply doctrinally is that he is not a man struggling upwards on the path of return who has at last, in this lifetime, made the final breakthrough to Deliverence but a
Being who has voluntarily descended into human form to help others on this upward path. Therefore, he should have no sadhana, no struggle towards Enlightenment, in this life time, but should simply awaken in his childhood or at adoloscence into the Enlightenment which he deliberately discarded for his venture into the stormy seas of samsara to rescue those struggling therein." ..... "This is what is indicated in Tibetian concept of a Bodhisattva, ...who may return again and again in human form to continue the same work."

Bhagavan was once asked about the Boddhisattva idea in Tibetan Buddhism. After it had been explained to him, he said, 'That's like saying "I am not going to wake up in the morning until everyone in my dream has woken up first".'

As for the list of incarnations that Ganapati Muni gave for Bhagavan's earlier births, I discussed these in a blog last year, and I seemed to remember we had a brief discussion about them them. Bhagavan never endorsed this list, but he did once say that it couldn't be possible because the chronology was wrong.

David Godman said...

Follow the Rabbit was enquiring about the 'why' of creation.

If Bhagavan was asked this question ('Why did God create the world?') he would sometime reply 'In order that you should seek Him?' In these replies creation becomes the mechanism through which one is enabled to realise one's identity with God.

The question of why the Self should allow ignorance and manifestation to arise at all (rather than just minding its own business and remaining as it is) is an interesting one, one that is rarely addressed by teachers.

Bhagavan generally addressed these questions by saying that creation and its attendant ills had arisen in and through the mind as a result of ignorance, lack of attention to the Self, and lack of enquiry into the nature and source of the manifestation. When these defects are remedied, creation itself vanishes, making the 'why' question redundant.

Here are some of his statements on this topic, taken from Guru Vachaka Kovai:

21 To the ignorant, who believe it to be real and revel in it, the world that appears before them is God’s creation, but to the steadfast jnanis, who have known the bondage-free Self by direct experience, it is merely a deluding and binding concept that is wholly mental.

38 Just as yellow turmeric powder loses its colour and becomes white under sunlight, this wholly mental world perishes before the sunlight of the knowledge of reality. Therefore, it is not a creation of God, the sun of true jnana. Like the many-hued eye of the peacock feather, this bright world is only a vast picture, a reflection seen in the darkened mirror of the impure mind.

40 This world, a vast and harmful illusion that hoodwinks and ravages the intellect of all, has arisen through nothing other than the mistake of pramada [Self-forgetfulness], which is abandoning one’s true nature instead of remaining merged with it.

44 The world does not exist in the state of ultimate truth [paramartha]. Its appearance, its [apparently] existing nature in maya, is like the imagined appearance of a snake in a rope, a thief in a wooden post, and water in a mirage. Their essential nature is delusion.

60 [First] completely drive away the confusion caused by the world by making the world subside into nothingness. There, the seer sees that world-free void as an object. Destroy that void as well in the ocean of consciousness that is the seer’s true nature.

86 Do not question, ‘How indeed has this confusion arisen – that the Self does not know the truth that it has manifested itself as the world?’ If you enquire, ‘For whom is this confusion?’ you will find that the confusion never existed.

David Godman said...

Ravi

In my original post I said that I was going to disagree with you on the subject of reincarnating jnanis because I could not find any support for that idea in anything Bhagavan had said. You have produced a lot of arguments and texts that have come from other teachers, but nothing from Bhagavan himself.

We are going to have to continue to disagree on this because it seems that we accept different sources of authority.

Ravi said...

David/Friends,
I have responded to Follow The Rabbit,in posting some of the comments.
coming to your comments:
"You have produced a lot of arguments and texts that have come from other teachers, but nothing from Bhagavan himself."

I agree with you that Sri Bhagavan's Teachings do not reflect this aspect.Do we therefore conclude that this is the end of the Matter?

Every Teacher has had a 'Portfolio'(So to Say!).The Divine manifests as these Teachers and no one can be said to express the 'Whole of It'.

If we understand that there is only 'Jnana' and no 'Jnanis',we need not find it incongruent to look at what other Teachers have said.
As Sri Ramakrishna says-'Even Sukadeva is at the most a Bigger ant who can carry at the most 2 or 3 grains of Sugar'.
The Basic Premise is the Same-Brahman is the Only Reality.The Variation is only in the Description of what the 'Brahman' is and its activities.
This position is acknowledged in the Upanishads-'Ekam Sat;Bahuda vadanti'.

Namaskar.

Losing M. Mind said...

Oh thank you, david godman, for delaying or even not posting things I say, because sometimes, not having vanquished ignorance utterly, I still am prone to ignorant states and reactionary responses. I'm glad when I slip up, when something doesn't end up right away. You also seem to be real sharp about when something I or someone else says is really in touch with a deeper clarity, I find those comments posted faster. I really appreciate that. It keeps me on track, and on the inquiry, and not caught up in delusions. Thank you. And also people seeing the better angels of my nature.

Losing M. Mind said...

"We are attached to the idea that we reincarnate, because it seems to affirm the notion we have that we really are "something", that our ego is a real person. We think that jnana is just an attribute of some people, and something that other people don't have an can acquire. But Ramana seems to be saying that this is the very illusion that jnana dissolves. That jnana is the knowledge that there is no ego, no person, no separate self that reincarnates from life to life. So how can a jnani reincarnate when jnana means knowledge that there is no one who has jnana, no jnani in other words? What would reincarnate? What is reincarnating right now as "us"? And how could that illusion of "us" survive the revelation of jnana?"

I get that this is the ultimate truth, and important to keep in mind. However I have noticed another side to this, I believe in the teachings of Maharshi. While ultimately there is only Jnana, not everyone expresses it equally. So in that sense there are jnanis. 'Jnani' seems to me, based on experiences, and what I've read of these teachings to be a valid concept insofar as a jnani is someone to associate with who can make sadhana so much easier. Because everything they say and do resonates with Jnana. In the maybe false, apparent world of multiple individuals. Most of those individuals do not necessarily resonate very clearly with jnana, and are not necessarily I find all that helpful in the striving for, practicing, spiritual practice, grace for Realization. So that is why it seems like a jnani is spoken of as being That itself. even though I am ultimately as much Brahman as the Jnani. When I encounter a jnani in my life, that jnani being the Self, and not seperate from me, can make it clearer that there isn't any duality. That's my experience.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

Isn't the idea to create differences between different sources of authority risky, above all if realized souls like Ramana and Ramakrishna are involved?

"He used to say that Brahman is where reason comes to a stop." (Ramakrishna)

That is the truth the realized soul has to say to everybody. This is more than enough to explain God, the world and the spiritual practise.

Truth is beyond even of the words of the great souls - don't we forget that. It is perhaps more fruitful to be aware of the dangers of maya then to take such discussions too serious.

Ramana or Ramakrishna - would they have gone to court to fight for their words?

It is a natural behaviour for devotees to fight for their masters, but perhaps it would be important to remember of the Avadhuta (of Avadhuta Gita) who had dozens of human and not-human teachers.

.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
"Ramana or Ramakrishna - would they have gone to court to fight for their words?
It is a natural behaviour for devotees to fight for their masters"

Fight!!!Both Thakur(Sri Ramakrishna)and Sri Bhagavan(Sri Ramana)are Dear to us as also Papa Ramdas,Sri Aurobindo,Shirdi Sai Baba,The Sage of Kanchi,Sri Sankara,Sri Ramanuja,Sri Krishna,....List is endless.
Discussions do not imply 'Fight'-Disagreement does not mean 'quarrel'.
Love admits dissent and freedom to differ.
The Nature of the Topic is not of interest to just one individual-it is of interest to all seekers.What message is more inspirational than this-that The Divine responds and comes to the rescue of seekers;and that it does this by coming down to the Human Level.'Ava' refers to this 'Descent'-The Divine Descends from its unreachable Heights.

The Bhagavad Gita is one of the 'Prasthana Thrayas'-one of the three Prime canons-and is accepted as such by Great Masters.
I have mentioned this when we were discussing 'Swami Dayananda'-I think while addressing Broken Yogi-as to why 'individual Experience',however high is taken as a Reference only in as much as it conforms to the Teachings in these scriptures.This is to eliminate any onesidedness.The 'Collective' aspect is an important element in The Vedas-The Gayathri Mantra which is the Heart of the Vedas expresses itself in Plural-"Diyo Yonah Prachodayat" meaning 'May it Illumine OUR Intellect".

This is the essence behind this discussion.


Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

@David,
'Bhagavan generally addressed these questions by saying that creation and its attendant ills had arisen in and through the mind as a result of ignorance, lack of attention to the Self, and lack of enquiry into the nature and source of the manifestation. When these defects are remedied, creation itself vanishes, making the 'why' question redundant.'
That's alright, but why isn't the process of Self-realization straight-forward? Why doesn't manifestation just go away if I fervently desired it so? Why invent a process called Self-enquiry, which virtually no one in the world knows about and ask one to practice it? How come, if this process is so easy, does hardly anyone get enlightened? All said and done, this manifestation, including one's ego, remains a horrendous disease that won't go away and has no simple remedy like popping the red pill (have you seen the Matrix?). I just don't buy the explanation that the only reason this intractable world exists is to discover my Self. If that were so, it would be far easier to discover it.

Anonymous said...

Satsang, I've noticed, goes hand in hand with weekend
intensives and personal meetings, so encounters with Arjuna,
Gangaji and the gang are not merely as superficial and
formal as Satsang. Satsang is nothing more than an
introduction, a sales pitch, I've learned, though apparently
transformations may occur at Satsang.

Some teachers, such as Rob Rabbin, skip the Satsang and
proceed directly to weekend intensives and personal
meetings.

I tend to think that these Satsang teachers don't only want
to give a nondual terminology or to apply a brightly colored
kids Band-Aid over dark wounds. I do feel their can somehow
lead to breakthrough, a shattering, and a whole new round of
drinks to be ordered. However, yes, Satsang can look flaky. Jerry
Doris day can be a guru "que sera, sera".....

Ravi said...

Friends,
Here is an Excerpt from Sri Aurobindo's Synthesis of Yoga-From the chapter'Four Aids'.

"The Hindu discipline of spirituality provides for this need of the soul by the conceptions of the Ishta Devata, the Avatar and the Gum. By the Ishta Devata, the chosen deity, is meant, -- not some inferior Power, but a name and form of the transcendent and universal Godhead. Almost all religions either have as their base or make use of some such name and form of the Divine. Its necessity for the human soul is evident. God is the All and more than the All. But that which is more than the All, how shall man conceive? And even the All is at first too hard for him; for he himself in his active consciousness is a limited and selective formation and can open himself only to that which is in harmony with his limited nature. There are things in the All which are too hard for his comprehension or seem too terrible to his sensitive emotions and cowering sensations. Or, simply, he cannot conceive as the Divine, cannot approach or cannot recognise something that is too much out of the circle of his ignorant or partial conceptions. It is necessary for him to conceive God in his own image or at some form that is beyond himself but consonant with his highest tendencies and seizable by his feelings or his intelligence. Otherwise it would be difficult for him to come into contact and communion with the Divine.
Even then his nature calls for a human intermediary so that he may feel the Divine in something entirely close to his own humanity and sensible in a human influence and example. This call is satisfied by the Divine manifest in a human appearance, the Incarnation, the Avatar-Krishna, Christ, Buddha. Or if this is too hard for him to conceive, the Divine represents himself through a less marvellous intermediary, -- Prophet or Teacher. For many who cannot conceive or are unwilling to accept the Divine Man, are ready to open themselves to the supreme man, terming him not incarnation but world-teacher or divine representative.
This also is not enough; a living influence, a living example, a present instruction is needed. For it is only the few who can make the past Teacher and his teaching, the past Incarnation and his example and influence a living force in their lives. For this need also the Hindu discipline provides in the relation of the Guru and the disciple. The Guru may sometimes be the Incarnation or World-Teacher; but it is sufficient that he should represent to the disciple the divine wisdom, convey to him something of the divine ideal or make him feel the realised relation of the human soul with the Eternal."
...continued....

Ravi said...

Friends,
...Sri Aurobindo Continued...
"The Sadhaka of the integral Yoga will make use of all these aids according to his nature; but it is necessary that he should shun their limitations and cast from himself that exclusive tendency of egoistic mind which cries, "My God, my Incarnation, my Prophet, my Guru," and opposes it to all other realisation in a sectarian or a fanatical spirit. All sectarianism, all fanaticism must be shunned; for it is inconsistent with the integrity of the divine realisation.
On the contrary, the Sadhaka of the integral Yoga will not be satisfied until he has included all other names and forms of Deity in his own conception, seen his own Ishta Devata in all others, unified all Avatars in the unity of Him who descends in the Avatar, welded the truth in all teachings into the harmony of the Eternal Wisdom.
Nor should he forget the aim of these external aids which is to awaken his soul to the Divine within him. Nothing has been finally accomplished if that has not been accomplished. It is not sufficient to worship Krishna, Christ or Buddha without, if there is not the revealing and the formation of the Buddha, the Christ or Krishna in ourselves. And all other aids equally have no other purpose; each is a bridge between man's unconverted state and the revelation of the Divine within him. "
-----------------------------------Namaskar

Losing M. Mind said...

"Satsang, I've noticed, goes hand in hand with weekend
intensives and personal meetings, so encounters with Arjuna,
Gangaji and the gang are not merely as superficial and
formal as Satsang. Satsang is nothing more than an
introduction, a sales pitch, I've learned, though apparently
transformations may occur at Satsang.

Some teachers, such as Rob Rabbin, skip the Satsang and
proceed directly to weekend intensives and personal
meetings.

I tend to think that these Satsang teachers don't only want
to give a nondual terminology or to apply a brightly colored
kids Band-Aid over dark wounds. I do feel their can somehow
lead to breakthrough, a shattering, and a whole new round of
drinks to be ordered. However, yes, Satsang can look flaky. Jerry
Doris day can be a guru "que sera, sera"

Why do you care?

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.
... This is to eliminate any onesidedness.The 'Collective' aspect is an important element in The Vedas-The Gayathri Mantra which is the Heart of the Vedas expresses itself in Plural-"Diyo Yonah Prachodayat" meaning 'May it Illumine OUR Intellect".

This is the essence behind this discussion. ...


Then I have to admit that I misunderstood the discussion.

.

Anonymous said...

Follow the Rabbit...
Kaavyakanttha Ganapathi Muni's letter to Bhagawaan.
http://kavyakantha.arunachala.org/Letters_from_Muni.htm
###################################
3 June 1931
Anandasrama
Sirsi

Lord, Friend of the Lowly and Meek,
Sundara has conveyed us in his letter the explanation vouchsafed by Bhagavan. All the doubts of all of us here are now dispelled. The word of Bhagavan that the experience of the absence of any sense of finiteness (limitation) is the same in the Lord of the Universe and the liberated has completely set at rest some other doubts of ours also. We have understood by this statement of Bhagavan that there is the Supreme Lord, the Ruler of the Universe, that the liberated do also exist as distinct entities and that their experience of the absence of finiteness alone is the same.

Pranavananda has written me a letter asking for chapter names in Sanskrit and Telugu of Sri Ramana Gita which is to be reprinted. I have replied saying that I shall write and send him not only the names of chapters but a comprehensive introduction also. All well here.

I am,
The Bee, Happy at your Holy Feet,
Ganapati
###################################

1)What does Ganapati Muni mean by 'exist' here?Does he mean they exist after physical death?
2)Does Ganapati mean Lord of the Universe is seperate from the Jnaani/Self??
3)Also confirms to UG's statement about the difference in Jnaanis (the difference being their background)which I posted earlier in this topic.

David Godman said...

Anonymous/follow the rabbit

I have prepared a long answer to questions you asked that arose from your reading of Ganapati Mauni's letter to Bhagavan. I have just sent it to a friend who does proof-reading for me. When she returns it (maybe in a day or so) I will post it as my next blog contribution.

Subramanian. R said...

Dear David,

I went through the letter of 3rd
June 1931, mentioned by Anonymous.
I went through the letter as appearing in the recent book Maha
Tapasvi (Epistles is not with me).
The letter says, .... Hence the argument that Sad Darsanam is giving scope to drishti-srishti
argument is annulled...(???) Please elaborate your views on this also, in your next blog post.

David Godman said...

R. Subramanian

The letter says, .... Hence the argument that Sad Darsanam is giving scope to drishti-srishti
argument is annulled...(???) Please elaborate your views on this also, in your next blog post.

It's the subject of my next posting. It should be posted in a day or so.

Sankarraman said...

'I have little or zero knowledge about this topic, but based on Bhagavan's statement that there is no jnani and that only jnana is there, would it be safe to assume that there is no jnani to reincarnate Himself, and it is only jnana that chooses to manifest itself?' Apropos the above view it might be urged with equal validity that there are no ajnanis also, and ultimately everything boils down to the statement made in Mandukya Upanishad that there is no bondage, no liberation, none bound nor liberated. There is no point in analyising all these transcendental truths with intellectual speculation substantiated by great men by their passing statements differently made to suit the maturity of the seekers. All one has to find out is that whether it is possible to end thought. If one understands that these lower speculations lose their validity. That is why the Buddha did not answer intellectual questions not related to the crucial fact of sorrow and the ending of it.

Sankarraman said...

Regarding rebirth it is interesting to note that Nisargadatta denies rebirth totally, be that of jnani or ajnani. He says that consciousness the essence of food body for want of support at the time of illness dies, the prana becoming one with the cosmic prana and the knowledge of beingness merging in Total Awareness which is no aware of itself. Balsekar takes cue from the Buddhistic philosophy of anatma according to which the reborn individual is not the same individual who died, but constitutes only another impression of the skhandhas. According to J.Krishnamurti, the stream of consciousness is common to all humanity and the unrealized individual separates himself from the stream in the form of a separate observer whereas the observer himself is another thought, and that there are not several observers psychologically. Hence the reborn entity, according to him is the manifestation of another individual. Such being the case enlightenment is not something happening to a separate psycho-somatic instrument. Sankhya philosophy also denies individual continuti to the realized purusa.

Sankar Ganesh Chandrakumar said...

A famous Siddhi in India is "Parakaya Pravesam" (i.e.) an Individual possessing this Siddhi can give up one's body and take up another body (mostly lifeless one selected).

This Siddhi points that Reincarnation is a fact.

Also, Adi Sankaracharya and Goraknath or Maschendranath have employed this Siddhi in their life time in their realized state. Does this indicate that Reincarnation of Jnanis cannot be ruled out?

Thanks. Sankar Ganesh.

Sankar Ganesh Chandrakumar said...

-- In sleep all bodies, animal or plant or insect or human, are just bodies.

-- Pure "I-thought" or Ego is same.

-- Prana or life-force is same

-- SELF is One.

Thus, it is vasanas and their strength alone differ from individual to individual and decide their behavior or personality and this vasanas alone actually reincarnate.

Thanks. Sankar Ganesh.

Broken Yogi said...

Sankarraman,

Regarding your comments on reincarnation, I think Nisargadatta's theory is correct, but more complicated than he allows.

Human reincarnation is different from ordinary life forms in this world because it involves the conjunction of a sentient material life form - the body - and a sentient subtle mind-form - the spirit-person.

The sentient body is, as Nisargadatta says, merely alive this one and only one time. It's consciousness arises from primordial awareness, and dissolves at death back into primordial awareness, as he described. But the spirit-mind that connects to the body from the womb onwards, has a symbiotic relationship to the body. In a sense, there are two of us here, the consciousness of the body itself, and the consciousenss of the mind, and they try to work together while alive, but they part at the death of the physical body.

The spirit-self does indeed "reincarnate", in the sense that its lifespan is much longer than the physical body's life, and so it can connect to a number of human lives in succession. But it is not immortal, and it too one day will die and dissolve back into primordial awareness. So in that sense Nisargadatta is right about there being no immortal individual soul that reincarnates. What we have is two mortal collections of skandhas that coincide with one another karmically in a temporary symbiotic relationship. Both dissolve back into the same primordial consciousness from which they arose, but on different time scales. So reincarnation does occur for the subtle mind, but not for the sentient body.

I know that some, including Ramana, refer to the physical body as "insentient", but I don't believe this is literally so. The physical organism is a conscious being like any other living thing, and it is an intelligent form of life. It has this additional capacity of being able to form an intimte bond with a subtle being, and that is what we call "reincarnation". But even on it's own, it is an intelligent species. It is just made more intelligent and spiritually sensitive and aware by being conjunct with a subtle spirit-being.

At least that is how I have come to understand reincarnation.

What Ramana describes as Jivanmukta is when this subtle being cuts through all the illusions of its own appearance, not just the material body, but all bodies in all dimensions, including the subtle and causal dimensions. In that case, even the consciousness associated with the physical bodily self is liberated from identification with that body, and knows itself as One with all consciousness in all dimensions. There is no subtle being who is "liberated" in that case, and no bodily self who is left behind. All the windows of the body-mind at every level open to the infinite reality of the One Self. This is why it is said that reincarnation is brought to an end. If there is no more separate subtle mind and spirit, what is left to re-connect to another physical body?

Losing M. Mind said...

I already mentioned it, I'll find the place where Robert Adams talks about it, where he did encounter a jnani that used exactly taht siddhi.

Robert Adams:
When I was in Benares, in India, I went to see a Jnani no one ever heard of, named Swami Brahmanananda, which means 'The Staff of God.' He had three disciples that had been with him for about 50 years. He was about 90 years old. I was invited to sit by him. I think I was the first Westerner to get permission to stay with him. So I sat with him for a few days, listening to him say nothing. He was mostly silent.

On the third day that I was there he announced to his disciples that his body was in pain, that it was arthritic, but that he still had work to finish on this plane. He said he was going to leave his body the next day at 3:00 P.M., and take on the body of a younger person. He said that someone would slip on the street--it was raining--and would crack his head. "I will take up that body." I listened as I usually do, and we couldn't wait for tomorrow to come. (Laughter) Nobody cared that he was going to die, we wanted to see if he could do what he said. (Laughter)

At 3:00, he was sitting in the lotus posture, he stiffened, and he did die! I felt for a pulse and there was none. I pinched him. Nothing happened. His body was an empty shell. We fooled around with his body for about a half hour to see if we could bring him back to life. Nothing.

We heard a commotion outside. Sure enough, a young man had slipped on the street and hit his head. A crowd had gathered and a doctor was there. He was pronounced dead. All of a sudden, the young man got up and ran into the forest. No one ever heard of him again. Explain that one.

This is a rare, but very possible phenomena. When you realize your omnipresence, when you begin to know who you are, that you are not the body-mind phenomena, that you are undivided consciousness, the absolute, then you know you can be everywhere at the same instant. You are everything. Perhaps that is why the woman on the toilet was able to see me. Yet, I was not aware of it. I don't have to be aware of it, because I would need to be two people, one who was aware, and one who appeared somewhere else. But there is only one.

The first thing you should realize is that there will never been a time when you disappear, or die, because there never was a time when you were born. You have always existed as consciousness, and you will always exist as consciousness.

Even if your are sceptical, and say, "I am not consciousness, rather, I am conscious that I am a body. I can feel my body and I am conscious of your body. I can see your body and feel your body." I could say to you, "Are you the same person as you were when you were concieved?" When you were conceived you were no larger than a pinhead. Yet it was you. When you were older, you were no longer the size of a pinhead, you turned into a child. When you were a teenager, you turned into someone else. Now that you are an adult, you are, once again, someone else.

You are not who you think you are. If you look at tissue samples from your body, you would see space and trillions of atoms. The space is consciousness. The atoms are superimposed on consciousness and they appear to create what you are now. So, you are not the body. You are a bunch of atoms in a state of flux. You are constantly vibrating. You are not what you appear to be.

Losing M. Mind said...

http://itisnotreal.com/subpage19.html

this link has the audio or Robert Adams giving this talk, it automatically starts.

Anonymous said...

David, Reading Sri Bhagavans letters to Ganapati Muni by (Michael Spenser) I came across something interesting in the above article in the Mountain Path.
Bhagavan says ' The mind alone is the kundalini. It is described otherwise as a serpent only for those having a gross outlook. The six yogic centres and so on are all only mental imaginations and are meant only for beginners in Yoga'. The same comments apply equally well to the description as the Heart as a downward facing Lilly-bud.
Bhagavan says in Sri Ramana Gita (V.2) 'That from which all the thoughts of embodied beings issue forth is called the Heart. All descriptions of it are only mental conceptions"

Ravi said...

David/Friends,
An Excerpt from 'A Sadhu's Reminiscences'(Major Chadwick):
"I first came to Sri Ramana Ashram on November 1st
1935. I had heard of Bhagavan through Brunton’s book,
A Search in Secret India, and immediately decided that
here was my Guru. Directly I could settle up my affairs I
left my house and possessions in Majorca and went home
to England for a short stay with my sisters before finally
leaving for India.
Off and on for a number of years I had been
practising some form of meditation on my return from
work in the evening, (I was at that time employed in
Chile), and, after I finally retired, in my own home.
This meditation of mine actually turned out to be very
much the same that I learnt later when I came to
Tiruvannamalai. I had argued that since God had created
the world, (there must be some beginning somewhere,
and this necessitated a Creator), it was only out of
Himself that He could have done so, for if there was
some other apart from Himself then He could not be
God, undisputed and omnipotent.
8 A Sadhu’s Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi
So I decided that the seeker himself was God or, as
Bhagavan puts it, the Self. My method of meditation then,
was to make the mind cease from thinking as an individual
and just rest in its God-head: “Do not think. Be!” I
recognised, of course, the danger of a blank and was under
no delusion that such a blank could be a goal or an end in
itself. This form of meditation I carried on, off and on,
from 1924 until I came to Tiruvannamalai eleven years
later. But in between times were periods when I did not
meditate at all. I had a conviction that I could not lead a
worldly life and at the same time strive after spiritual
attainment; the two things for me dwelt in separate
compartments. I had not then realized the truth of Advaita
that there could be no splitting in this way, that the worldly
life was just as unreal as the unworldly life, or, if you
prefer, that both were as real as each other. They were
Prarabdha, which had in any case to be worked out; that
actually there was no such thing as good and evil, only
attachment; that actions were actions and it was
identifying oneself with such that mattered and not the
actions in themselves. I still believed in the importance of
morals, as such, as absolute standards, and, so my
meditation could be nothing but a spasmodic affair."
.....Continued....

Ravi said...

David/Friends,
...Reminiscences Continued...
"No doubt in some ways, at least as a beginning, this
was good, for in the earlier stages there must be a rule or
some sort of code to keep oneself concentrated on the
work, though this rule will automatically drop away in
time. However, as time went on, I became convinced
that my attitude had been wrong, that, whatever one’s
A Sadhu’s Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi 9
life, a short period of meditation should be practised each
day, preferably in the early morning.
That the method that I devised of stilling the mind
and concentrating on my own essential core, which I had
decided was God, differed little from the method of seeking
out the Self by constant enquiry and search for the Witness
as taught by Bhagavan, there can be no doubt. I was
lucky that the Truth came to me so easily. Of course it
bore out Bhagavan’s saying that, “Chadwick was with us
before, he was one of us. He had some desire to be born
in the West, and that he has now fulfilled.” So it seems
that the memory of the teaching given in a previous birth
was bearing fruit in this."

Sri Bhagavan is accepting 'previous Birth'.
The Question is :
Did Sri Bhagavan had any desire to be Reborn(in just the same way that Chadwick is supposed to have-to be born in the West,etc)?
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

David/Friends,
Excerpt from 'A Sadhu's Reminiscences':
"The classic examples of these four Yogas in modern
times are: Jnanam, Sri Ramana Maharshi; Bhakti,
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa; Yoga, Sri Aurobindo of
Pondicherry; and Karma, Sri Shankaracharya of Kanchi
Peetam, the only one of the above still in the body.
Bhagavan would go for a stroll on the Hill several
times during the twenty-four hours and would sometimes
tell us that he had seen inside the Hill a great city with large
buildings and streets. It was all very mysterious. There he
had seen a big company of Sadhus chanting the Vedas,
most of the regular devotees were among the company, he
said, and he saw me there. “But that’s only a vision,” some
one remarked. “All this is only a vision too,” he would
reply, meaning our world. “That is just as real as this.”
We know that a Jnani is beyond time, that past and
future are all contained in his present, so it used to intrigue
me exactly what that vision of Sadhus really was. Was it
something that had happened in the past? I did not feel
so, though Bhagavan had said that I had been here before,
or was it something to happen in a future incarnation?
Who could tell? Bhagavan would give no help. He had
many similar stories but never any explanation. “I don’t
know what it means,” he would say.
As I have stated above, for an Advaitin there is no
such thing as re-incarnation. Egos being completely
impermanent, what is there to re-incarnate? Bhagavan would
always deny that anybody is born now, so how could such
A Sadhu’s Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi 55
be re-born? “Search and find out if you are born now,” he
would instruct us. However, for such as believed in the
actuality of the ego he did concede re-incarnation.
One night in the Hall there was some talk about reincarnation.
Just as Bhagavan was getting up from his
couch to go for his evening meal, I, as a joke, said, “But
Alan Chadwick has not been born before.” “What, what
did he say?” asked Bhagavan sharply. “He said that he had
never been born before,” someone wrongly interpreted.
Of course I had not said that at all. I had meant that
whatever form the ego took formerly it had never had the
name and form Alan Chadwick, but had been some
entirely different person. But Bhagavan replying to the
wrong interpretation quickly replied, “Oh, yes he had
been, for what has brought us all together here again?”
He never asked us what had brought us to him, but
what had brought us again to Arunachala. He had so
completely identified himself with the Mountain. This
answer, though caused by a mistake, was very gratifying
to me, as Bhagavan admitted the old connection between
us. So must I always be with him until Self-realization,
after which there will be no more he and I. I used to say
that I must attain Self-realization in this life or Bhagavan
would have to be born again so that I might be with him.
So for his own good he must see that I gain my end in this
life. Bhagavan would just smile. Though this was only
said as a joke, there was a fundamental truth behind it."

Ravi said...

Friends,
An Excerpt from 'The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna',where the Great Master talks about the guru-disciple relationship that outlasts lifetimes(Like What Sri Bhagavan said about Chadwick):
"M. had been visiting Sri Ramakrishna for the past two years. Since he had been
educated along English lines, he had acquired a fondness for Western philosophy
and science, and had liked to hear Keshab and other scholars lecture. Sri
Ramakrishna would address him now and then as the "English-man". Since coming to
Sri Ramakrishna, M. had lost all relish for lectures and for books written by English
scholars. The only thing that appealed to him now was to see the Master day and
night, and hear the words that fell from his blessed lips. M. constantly dwelt on
certain of Sri Ramakrishna's sayings. The Master had said, "One can certainly see
God through the practice of spiritual discipline", and again, "The vision of God is the
only goal of human life."
MASTER (to M.): "If you practise only a little, someone will come forward to tell
you the right path. Observe the ekadasi.
Master's intimate relationship with disciples
"You are my very own, my relative; otherwise, why should you come here so
frequently? While listening to the kirtan, I had a vision of Rakhal in the midst of
Sri Krishna's companions in Vrindavan. Narendra belongs to a very high level.
Hirananda2 too; how childlike his nature is! What sweet disposition he has! I want to
see him too.
"Once I saw the companions of Chaitanya, not in a trance but with these very
eyes. Formerly I was in such an exalted state of mind that I could see all these
things with my naked eyes; but now I see them in samadhi. I saw the companions of
Chaitanya with these naked eyes. I think I saw you there, and Balaram too, You
must have noticed that when I see certain people I jump up with a start. Do you
know why? A man feels that way when he sees his own people after a long time."
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Sankar Ganesh Chandrakumar said...

Also Tirumular, Arunagirinathar, Hastamalaka (Adi Sankara's direct disciple) and some others have used this "Parakaya Pravesam" siddhi in their realized state.

What I feel is that when "Videha Mukti" happens (complete dissolution into SELF) during the death of a Jnani's body, there is no possibility of coming back from the SELF for a Jnani.

But before the death of a Jnani's body, by Divine Will, the Jnani may take up a subtle body (sukshma sarira and appear in visions/dreams to the devotees or disciples) or take another birth in a womb (sukadeva was a born jnani) or enter another lifeless body (e.g. Tirumular).

Ultimately, all bodies subtle or physical have to be given up at some point in time as SELF alone is Eternal.

Thanks. Sankar Ganesh.

Sankar Ganesh Chandrakumar said...

For Souris, Bhagavan Ramana seem to have guided her in visions through subtle body (along with Iswara) after giving up his physical body just as Sri Ramakrishna guided Swami Vivekananda after giving up his physical body.

Thanks. Sankar Ganesh.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.
... Bhagavan says 'The mind alone is the kundalini.' ...

"Its (Yoga Vasistha) main teaching is that everything is Consciousness, including the material world, and that the world is as you see it. This is absolutely true. The world is nothing else but the play of Consciousness."

It is Bhagavans teaching and the teaching of the ancient lore. "Everything is Consciousness" includes literally all. It is impossible to understand this as long as we not put aside all differences between ourselves, Bhagavan(s), the world, you and me, the self. Who is "Bhagavan"? Even He is nothing else then the idea of the mind.

(Mind may think: "He wants to say that Bhagavan never existed." The answer is: "Shiva, the independent and pure Self that always vibrates in the mind, is the Parashakti that rises as joy in various sense experiences. Then the experience of this outer world appears as its Self.")

.

Anonymous said...

The world is not real.

A Jnani has his last incarnation. This is only a dream, because the world itself is a dream.
Ramana Maharshi took his last incarnation. Again this is only a dream. Because the world itself is a dream.

Jnanis might take another incarnation, might not. Either way, it is only a dream. Then there is no importance whether jnanis do incarnate or not.

Stories of avatars are only mystic topics.

-Akira

Anonymous said...

Is it possible for jnanis to pursue sexuality after enlightenment as it is considered to be incompatible with realization by most of the religions.

herenow said...

hI ANOMOUS -

i THINK THIS IS A very important QUESTION.

It deserves it's own thread.

Would you or David like to start one. I will if no one else wants to.

I would leave Jnani out so as not to become bogged down in defifinitions of whet it is , and who is / was and who isn't/wasn't.

There is a LONG...LONG....LONG... list of gurus - teachers, philosophers etc who appear to try to have hidden or played down ANY SUGGESTION that they were having sex with their FOLLOWERS.

Including the whiter than white -

J. Krishnamurti... who was sleeping with his best friends wife for many years.

I have been pursuing this over the last few days on my facebook page

if interested in my thought and the various responses of others go here

http://www.facebook.com/keith.nightingale?ref=profile

Perhaps i will start a thread and include those comments for those who don't want to join facebook.

Losing M. Mind said...

I think the answer to that anonymous is that jnanis are not individuals and not the doer of actions, so anything apparently done is not done by a person, because that has been totally relinquished. so whether a jnani has sex or not is prarabdha?? I believe. Papaji had sex, Maharshi referred to that saint that touched the foot of the dancer and said if I am only aware of the Self may that stone break in two. even if a jnani has sex, there is not a him/her that is having sex. Bodies have sex, not the Self.

David Godman said...

herenow

I am not interested in having this blog used as a forum to discuss the sex lives of spiritual teachers. People who are interested in following this up can go to the link that you yourself gave.

Meanwhile, here is a response on this topic from Bhagavan himself, taken from Talks with Sri Ramana Mahrshi, talk no. 449:

III. KADUVELI SIDHAR was famed as a very austere hermit. He lived on the dry leaves fallen from trees. The king of the country heard of him, saw him and offered a reward for the one who would prove this man’s worth. A rich dasi agreed to do it. She began to live near the recluse and pretended to attend on him. She gently left pieces of pappadam along with the dry leaves picked by him. When he had eaten them she began to leave other kinds of tasty food along with the dry leaves. Eventually he took good tasty dishes supplied by her. They became intimate and a child was born to them. She reported the matter to the king.

The king wanted to know if she could prove their mutual relationship to the general public. She agreed and suggested a plan of action. Accordingly the king announced a public dancing performance by that dasi and invited the people to it. They gathered there and she also appeared, but not before she had given a dose of physic to the child and left it in charge of the saint at home.

The dance was at its height here; the child was crying at home for the mother. The father took the babe in his arms and went to the dancing performance. She was dancing hilariously. He could not approach her with the child. She noticed the man and the babe. She contrived to kick her legs in the dance so as to unloose one of her anklets just as she approached the place where the saint was. She gently lifted her foot and he tied the anklet. The public shouted and laughed. But he remained unaffected. Yet to prove his worth, he sang a Tamil song meaning
“For victory, let go my anger! I release my mind when it rushes away. If it is true that I sleep day and night quite aware of my Self, may this stone burst into twain and become the wide expanse!”

Immediately the stone (idol) burst with a loud noise The people were astounded.

Sri Bhagavan continued:
Thus he proved himself an unswerving Jnani. One should not be deceived by the external appearance of Jnani.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.
... Immediately the stone (idol) burst with a loud noise. The people were astounded. ...

I know this story very well. May one day all of the nonsense coming out of the avidya of the ego burst like this stone!

.

Sankar Ganesh Chandrakumar said...

There was a documentary on this KADUVELI SIDDHAR some time back on a Tamil TV Channel. I don't remember the Village name now. The idol in the Sanctum (a lingam) of this Village's Temple still bears a wide crack (two broken halves) at its top. Even now, the people of this and surrounding Villages continue to show respect and worship this Siddhar.

Bhagavan Ramana has said that if people with Egos try to imitate a Jnani in their actions they will surely get into trouble and suffer.

He also has said that as long as one is not freed from the thought "I am the doer" (i.e. Ego), it is always good to perform one's actions that is considered right/acceptable by one's society and religion.

Thanks. Sankar Ganesh.

herenow said...

Hi David... I am still learning blog etiquette...among other things.
I certainly have no intention to use your blog space to air topics that you choose not to have here.

I also have no real desire to parade or hide the sex lives of gurus etc .

I merely point out that it is a topic of concern to many people, both on a spiritual path and those more secular people commenting on spiritual issues in general.
( and basically implying or stating that the entire spiritual endeavour is bogus because one or another teacher has questionable sexual behaviours.)

Anonymous said...

Follow the Rabbit...
David wrote:
Sri Bhagavan continued:
Thus he proved himself an unswerving Jnani. One should not be deceived by the external appearance of Jnani.


But David, there is also this important and practical question that every aspirant and devotee faces:How to find a real and genuine guru; especially so when there are so many fake gurus in modern society.
As Lakshmana Swamy says only a Jnaani can see another Jnaani, the rest, who are Ahnakara Swarupas, it seems, can only rely on 'external appearances of a Jnaani' or is it just trial and error and learn as you go along??

I have also read Bhagawan saying 'something like' he is one in whose presence you find peace and also talks about a sadhaka who ends up finding that his guru is not genuine, to be fate.

But a vast majority are just devotees as opposed to sadhakas or sishyas. Let us suppose that we know a world famous swami who is found a bit wanting on passions but nevertheless is an advaned sadhaka himself. Let us say inspite of his shortcomings he claims he is GOD. I have no problem with shortcomings as I believe one is never That untill he is That and what we can learn from him is all that I care. But my problem is when such a guru claims he is GOD.Let us suppose there is a genuine devotee of such a Guru.
Questions from the above imaginary situation:
1)Do we tell that devotee about the reported shortcomings
2)Do we let him continue contending that devotion is more important than Guru(Bhagawaan mentioned this in one discussion)
3)But if we accept point 2 then even the statue of a donkey can be a guru.
4)Or is it just trial and error and learn as you go
5)or do we let the devotee find on his own and contend as none of our business.
6)There are real obvious cases who have been former convicts and now reapperaring with a new name and doing quite well and I see people hankering in thousands.This class I feel deserve being cheated.

Please give us your suggestions and knowledge on this.

All Glories.

Losing M. Mind said...

I love that story. Partly because it does demonstrate the glory of a jnani. What a perfect response that he gave? Both Bhagavan and that saint. I remember reading that the first time, and having had enough weird experiences in my life, that doesn't just strike me fiction to make a point (i.e. the stone idol breaking)

Losing M. Mind said...

That kind of stuff does happen around jnanis.

Losing M. Mind said...

In a way Maharshi seems to be saying through that story that you cannot discern a jnani by their external life. That makes total sense to me.

Broken Yogi said...

This talk of sex reminds me of a story told about Gandhi's meeting with Meher Baba. Gandhi was very effusive in his praise of Meher Baba, but at a certain point he mentioned his misgivings about Meher Baba's Guru, Upasani Baba. Gandhi said he had gone to pay his respects to Upasani Baba once, but Upasani Baba had just dropped his loin cloth to the floor, pointed to his penis, and said to Gandhi, "Why are you so concerned about his little thing? It's nothing, nothing at all?"

Gandhi expressed his dismay about this lewd act of Upasani Baba, and praised Meher Baba for his purity, to which Meher Baba replied, "I may be pure, but Upasani Baba is the Lord of the Universe."

Ramana may have been celibate himself, but I never noticed any side of prudishness on his part regarding sex. He had commented when asked that jnanis could certainly have sex if that was part of their prarabda, and that nothing about jnana precluded it. The ancient rishis were mostly married householders, and the celibate traditions is only a small part of the Advaitic community.

Losing M. Mind said...

Anonymous says: "But David, there is also this important and practical question that every aspirant and devotee faces:How to find a real and genuine guru; especially so when there are so many fake gurus in modern society.
As Lakshmana Swamy says only a Jnaani can see another Jnaani, the rest, who are Ahnakara Swarupas, it seems, can only rely on 'external appearances of a Jnaani' or is it just trial and error and learn as you go along??"

David Godman I believe already answered your question, infact I thought maybe you asked it. Coming into the presence of a guru is earned. It's not external clues that take you into the presence of a jnani, it is internal work, Self-inquiry, sadhana. You can't at all, as I understand it, tell a jnani by external clues. Maharshi also answered your question. And it is the peace you feel and respect you have...If there is that, does anything else matter? Would worshipping an unenlightened donkey as guru help me in this regard? To be at peace.

Anonymous says: "But a vast majority are just devotees as opposed to sadhakas or sishyas. Let us suppose that we know a world famous swami who is found a bit wanting on passions but nevertheless is an advaned sadhaka himself. Let us say inspite of his shortcomings he claims he is GOD. I have no problem with shortcomings as I believe one is never That untill he is That and what we can learn from him is all that I care. But my problem is when such a guru claims he is GOD.Let us suppose there is a genuine devotee of such a Guru."

If someone, an 'advanced' sadhaka thinks they are enlightened claiming to be god, when they have not Realized their own Self, are they advanced???

And if a devotee is genuine, is there a problem??? Do they need help???

Also, if you are not Realized in your own true Self, and you can't as you said tell a jnani, then how can you be sure that the so-called genuine devotee is not the devotee of Brahman in human-guise? What is your measure of that "guru"? If anything, I would take that devotees genuine-ness as a measure, maybe they can tell.

"5)or do we let the devotee find on his own and contend as none of our business.""""

I'm pretty sure a central tenet of Maharshi's teachings, of advaita vedanta, is that individuals are unreal, so where are these other dream-characters that need our help?

Losing M. Mind said...

"6)There are real obvious cases who have been former convicts and now reapperaring with a new name and doing quite well and I see people hankering in thousands.This class I feel deserve being cheated."

I might see David Godman's last comment in this thread. I believe Maharshi clarifies the answer to this question. Not hard to find, it's the last thing he says. (laugh). Are those real obvious cases? Because of their status as former convicts? Ever heard of Paul?? Letters in the New Testement. (laugh)

David Godman said...

Follow the Rabbit...

In the late 1980s Annamalai Swami had a devotee who had come to him after a spell with a man who had taught him raja yoga. Convinced that his former teacher was on the wrong path, and that listening to Annamalai Swami’s advaitic teachings would be good for him, he invited him to Tiruvannamalai to meet Annamalai Swami. The teacher came, thinking that he had merely been invited to meet and sit with him.

However, once they were all gathered together, the devotee said to Annamalai Swami, ‘Tell this man what Bhagavan has to say about the limitations of raja yoga’.

Annamalai Swami got very angry with him and told him that he should not be so disrespectful to his former teacher.

It is not our job to tell other people on the path what we think of their teachers. Our job is to ‘Attend to what we came here for’; to follow our own chosen teachings and teacher with faith that we are on the right path. Bhagavan himself did not tolerate devotees criticising each other in his presence, and he himself never told devotees that they were on the wrong path, or following the wrong teacher.

Some people came to see him who followed teachers who taught a philosophy that Bhagavan would never agree to. Sri Aurobindo is a good example. However, if Bhagavan was challenged about Sri Aurobindo’s views, instead of rebutting them to people who might have faith in them, he would usually say, ‘Sri Aurobindo teaches surrender, and so do I. Do the surrender properly and then ask your questions afterwards.’

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.
... Attend to what we came here for ...

A russian monk, Father Sofronij, said: "Now (with growing spiritual awareness) there is no longer any reason to wail about the wickedness of the world because everyone has more than enough to do to overcome himself."

.

Losing M. Mind said...

David Godman, I have a question, no expectation of a response. What is your sadhana now? Do you still need to practice? (laugh). Or are you the Self alone?

Nandu Narasimhan said...

@ LMM,

Lol. Am quoting Bhagavan's traditional counter-question -
"Who is asking this question? And to whom?

Sankarraman said...

'I guess the question of reincarnation comes only if the world is assumed to be a constant i.e., it is based on the assumption that the world was there before our birth and will continue to exist after we die; this happens when we forget that the world and its contents are the product of the mind than the other way round.' The above statement of anonymous is absolutely correct. But the problem is that the jiva will create any amount of objective, illusory worlds to seek continuty, not necessarily the present illusory world

Anonymous said...

David and friends I hope you have not come across this story before. I have to continue the story about Manav Dayal. I went to His ashram in Hoshiarpur.
And at that time I met so many beautiful beings! ... it could no longer just be a lucky projection of my own beauty: Shabdanand, Lahori Pandi ji, Sita and a lot of others just passing by.
A devotee from Hyderabad, Suresh Babu, arrived. He was my age, late 30ies and a successful man having his own company. He is also a passionate wild life protector and photographer. He told me many wonderful things. The story I want to narrate now begins where the burp ends.
Suresh told me: "I was - as you are now - staying together with Manav Dayal in his private room. One night he came out of the bath room, coughing and with almost no clothes on. My first thought was: My dear GOD... is this my Guru? Is my Guru that ugly? I cannot even look at this sight. Why is he old? Why can I not have a young beautiful Master? Full of doubt I went into sleep. In the middle of the night I was awaken by something pulling my arm. I looked up and saw a Divine Being of light so radiant that I could not contain the beauty. It was such an intense beauty that it felt like pain.
I cried in terror: Go away!! I cannot look at you. The Being smiled teasingly and asked: Do you find me beautiful now? Am I beautiful enough for you? Yes, Yes I cried!

You are too beautiful!

Next morning Manav Dayals first question to me was: Do you find me beautiful?
Guru Ji!... I replied: You are too beautiful! And I fell at his feet in gratitude...

Losing M. Mind said...

Undoubtedly this is a pretty messed up world in terms of how people treat eachohter, the selfishness, teh genocide, the corruption, the power trips, the abusiveness (physically and sexually), child abuse. It's a messed up world in terms of it's people.

So, is the reason for this as Papaji was saying in this thread, to get birth you have to have a desire. So to be born, you have to be kind of selfish, a messed up person. So the world is full of messed up people because of the fact that to reincarnate again, you have to have some issues (laugh). And yeah, there are a small minority of what might be called mature people, but they are wavering, and less egotistical, and more aware of the bliss of the Self. And then some extremely mature individuals, and then one's even more mature then that who get Realization in that life. (and maybe that varies with how within someone is turned) When I look at this world, and the people in it, most people are not that good, I mean as far as their behavior. If I look up clips on youtube, most of the comments are abusive toward other people. People with lots of vasanas, so they took birth again, and accumulate all sorts of karma. Complain about taxes, hate people in other parts of the world, kill their spouse, steal and rape, call mean derogatory names, threaten with violence, kill whole populations.

I would say, that anything worthwhile in this world, worth remembering, courageous good, beautifully artistic, heroic. It was probably created or heroic by someone who is more mature, if not a jnani. And then as said in this thread, they don't come back. Even beautiful nature, is lots of killing. Killing and eating eachother. So it almost seems like this world is not a place to indulge in, because indulgence is kill or be killed in a world full of violent desiring individuals. If someone is spiritual or religious, they are already valueing something more than objective experience, something within that they perceive as good and wholesome and want more of.

Losing M. Mind said...

correction: I don't think the mature are wavering. But they are probably more directly peering into the truth, and the more mature the more directly peering into the truth, and that truth is the I from which it all arose.

Ravi said...

Friends,
Today is the jayanthi of Lord Sri Krishna;it is also the day when Sri bhagavan reached Arunachaleswara.Here is a wonderful excerpt from 'The letters from Sri Ramanasramam' on the nature of Avatara-what is Prarabda for an avatara Purusha!

(11) A GARLAND OF UPADESAS
Once a devotee asked, “What is the import of the upadesa
(communication of an initiatory mantra or formula) of Lord
Krishna contained in the following verse of the Gita?”
paritranaya sadhunam vinasayacha dushkrutam
dharmasamstapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge
Bhagavan: (with a smile on his face) “What is the
difficulty about it? It means for the protection of the virtuous,
for the destruction of evildoers and for establishing dharma,
I am born from age to age. This is easily understandable.”
Devotee: “That is not my point, Bhagavan. Lord
Krishna says, ‘I will be born; I will protect’. Does it mean
that He will be born again and again?”
Bhagavan: “Oho, is that your doubt? When Mahatmas
talk of ‘I’ they do not speak of the body. That ‘I’ means I along
with ahamkarana which becomes ahankara (ahamkarana means
mind, buddhi, chitta and ahankara). That which is freed from
the ahamkarana is Atma. When that I becomes bahirmukha, i.e.,
outer-directed it becomes worldly and when it is inner-directed
antarmukha, it becomes aham-sphurana, all-pervading.”
Devotee: “If that is so, sastras say that without prarabdha
no one is born into this world. Where is the question of
prarabdha for Paramatma?”
Bhagavan: “There is no need to doubt the sastras.
Paramatma is nishkriya (without action). How can he have
prarabdha, you say. The reply to your doubt is in that verse
itself. The verse says, ‘When the evil-doers hurt the virtuous,
the latter pray to God by doing puja, japa, tapas, yagna and
other good deeds to relieve them of the tortures inflicted on
them by the evildoers. The bad deeds of the evildoers and the
good deeds of the virtuous result in prarabdha and God comes
down to the earth assuming a form — an avatar — that is known
as pareccha prarabdha.”

Namaskar.

Losing M. Mind said...

correction: I don't think the mature are wavering. But they are probably more directly peering into the truth, and the more mature the more directly peering into the truth, and that truth is the I from which it all arose.

Sankarraman said...

'I guess the question of reincarnation comes only if the world is assumed to be a constant i.e., it is based on the assumption that the world was there before our birth and will continue to exist after we die; this happens when we forget that the world and its contents are the product of the mind than the other way round.' The above statement of anonymous is absolutely correct. But the problem is that the jiva will create any amount of objective, illusory worlds to seek continuty, not necessarily the present illusory world

Nandu Narasimhan said...

@ LMM,

Lol. Am quoting Bhagavan's traditional counter-question -
"Who is asking this question? And to whom?

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