Sunday, July 11, 2010

Open Thread

Two times in the last twelve months the 'Open Thread' feature of this blog has started to malfunction when the comments approached a thousand. This time I am pre-empting a possible failure by starting a new one. Please use this new one in future, rather than the one that began in March.

590 comments:

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Ravi said...

Ramesh N/Ramana Nutcase,
Ramesh ,you are blessed.All the very Best and May Sri Bhagavan's Grace be with us.

Ramana Nutcase,
It is indeed a blessing to be a nutcase of Sri Bhagavan.
Here is another excerpt from the very opening page of The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

Sri Ramakrishna said: "When, hearing the name of Hari or Rama once, you shed
tears and your hair stands on end, then you may know for certain that you do not
have to perform such devotions as the sandhya any more. Then only will you have a
right to renounce rituals; or rather, rituals will drop away of themselves. Then it will
be enough if you repeat only the name of Rama or Hari, or even simply Om."
Continuing, he said, "The sandhya merges in the Gayatri, and the Gayatri merges in
Om."
M. looked around him with wonder and said to himself: "What a beautiful place!
What a charming man! How beautiful his words are! I have no wish to move from this spot." After a few minutes he thought, "Let me see the place first; then I'll
come back here and sit down."
-----------------------------------
This is the curtain raiser,so to say!This is how one gets hooked!

1.Now what do I mean by 'Freeplay'?Not to stifle this beginning-Not to bring the 'mind' into play with its borrowed ideas and knowledge and try to evaluate 'What happened'?
I do not want to feed you with more 'ideas'-Just go along with what you have found helpful.

2.Why is it recommended not to talk to others about these experiences?You may find that this would halt further progress!No mystery mongering here-The Reason may be that there is a subtle play of ego,a sense of achievement that will immediately cut one off from the source.
The Other reason being that the other persons may offer their suggestions as to what you are to do next or divert you from the path-Imagine encountering someone Like UG who tells you that watching a sad movie would also produce similiar tears!(Just an example-Sorry UG devotees).Worse still one may encounter some vedantic Enthusiast who may suggest that all these are only 'preparation' for the REAL experience.He may perhaps offer some Books by some learned Swamiji-One may read these and 'try' some more ambitious Goals!
The Result of all this is that one misses the precious seed that one has!Sri Ramakrishna gives the example of a Pearl Oyster that takes one drop of Rain from the Sky and sets about to fashion a pearl.This is what Eka Nishta is all about.It is not concentrating on one Object-It is to unify our consciousness.
If we get sidetracked ,it may perhaps take lifetime to get back on track.

-----------------------------------
Please go along with what you have found resonates within you and go all the way with that.Devotion is rare gift and the person who has got hooked is Blessed.It is a sweet path ,the very Beginning is the end as well.The Devotee has no Goal!
Wish you the Very Best.
Namaskar.

Ramesh Nagarajan said...

you have mentioned "The devotees who express tears may very well be in different levels in terms of spiritual maturity. Nevertheless, at any level, the devotee is in the right step towards the spiritual goal."

********************

Dear Anonymous,

Although love towards God cannot be categorized in terms of percentage basis, there is gradation at the subtle level. The levels are provided for reference to bring awareness of the current state. Generally speaking, the devotees goes through a series of stages to reach the highest level. However, the experience of the truth can happen at any time from any level, as soon as the individuality is lost. As Bhagavan says, Self is here and now.

A devotee’s love can be categorized into three types: Conditional, Unconditional and Supreme Love.

1. Conditional love: Conditional love can be of two types:
a. Love that is expressed towards God, to want or avoid something, out of fear of God, etc., (Kamya Bhakthi) The love exists on a temporary basis and disappears if the wants get fulfilled etc., Possibly the devotee gets disappointed with God, if his wishes weren’t granted. Spiritual seekers do not fit in this as they do not want any material needs.
Example: In Bhagavatham, we could find Dhuruva’s story. Dhruva took penance because of his step mother’s harsh words. Later after having the experience the God, Dhruva regretted: 'What by their trance the four Kumâras, those infallible celibates, never could achieve in one birth, I've understood within six months, but achieving the shelter of His lotus feet I fell down because I had my mind on other things than Him.” Later he was able to attain the goal.

b. The seeker understands requesting materials gains from God do not matter anymore. However, still has “I am the doer” sense. Vairagya is incomplete.
Example: Even after seeing Vishva Roopa Tharisanam, Arjuna planned to commit suicide, as he couldn’t bear the death of his son “Abhimanyu”.

2. Unconditional Love: The devotee gradually surrenders himself to God. No matter what happens to his life, he wasn’t shaken by the faith towards God. He leaves everything to God’s wish.
Example: Gopis love towards Krishna (Rasa Lila)

3. Supreme Love: Both conditional and unconditional love arises out of practice, while supreme love comes out of experience. The devotee finds that there exists only one reality and that is God (Self, Atma, etc.,) The individuality is lost, only the love exists. We can see this in Bhagavan’s “Arunachala Akshara Mana Malai” - verse 28 – "Sappadunnai charndhuna vayan santamayppovan arunachala” I came to feed on Thee, but Thou hast fed on me; now there is peace, Oh Arunachala!

It was told, during Bhagavan days (physically present), few people show up in Ramanashramam, as Bhagavan doesn’t offer boon or promise to grant their wishes related to material world. Obviously, the true devotees of Bhagavan know why they are there and are in the higher states of Bhakthi.

Anonymous said...

hello Ravi,

thank you for the wonderful clarification and taking the time and effort to do so.

sincerely "tearful" - R p :-)

Ravi said...

Friends,
Here is an excerpt from the Biogrpahy of BV Narasimha Swamy:
"Somehow, Justice Sri. K. Sundaram Chetty published it. In 1931, Ramanashram itself brought out this publication with a foreword by Justice Sri.K. Sundaram Chetty. Till date fifteen editions of this book have been brought out and has been translated into several languages.

Life with Ramana Maharishi did contribute to the spiritual enlightenment of Narasimha Swamiji. It was all intellectual practice and if devotion was needed, songs were addressed to Ramana Maharishi. Narasimha Swamiji was thirsting to drs%k from the pool of juicy devotion to grow his heart alongside his head and he found that he had lost the fervor of ‘Bhakti’ in which he had made good progress before leaving Salem.

So sometime in August 1929, Narasimha Swamiji sought from Ramana Maharishi as to when he would be bestowed with peace of mind. Ramana Maharishi intently looked at Narasimha Swamiji and told him – “ I am not your Guru. Your Guru is waiting for you in the North. You will attain Realization from him.”

With the permission and blessings of Ramana Maharishi, Narasimha Swamiji left Ramanashram in August 1929 for Western India."
----------------------------------
It is highly unlikely that Sri Bhagavan would have told BVN that he is not his guru.
Yet it does seem credible that BVN's natural inclinations were different.
Those interested may read the story here:
http://www.shirdisaibabakripa.org/2009/07/bv-narsimha-swami-ji-chapter-7.html
-----------------------------------
BVN's Samadhi at Mylapore,Chennai is a spiritually charged site.

Apart from BVN,Arthur Osborne was also Fascinated by Sri Shirdi Baba.He wrote the Book 'The Incredible SaiBaba'.
For all devotees,Shirdi Baba is Father and God who bestows Freedom from Fear.Truly one of The Great Masters to have Graced this terra firma.
Namaskar.

Losing M. Mind said...

Is Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya, a Ramana Maharshi based mantra. I've started saying it like a mantra repeatedly to myself, to focus on it. Because I feel I need a mantra, to keep my mind one-pointed. And it was working.

Ravi said...

Scott,
Yes,you can do japa of that Mantra.One thing that needs to be taken care of is not to 'use' it mechanically.It should be from the Heart,the seat of feeling.It should bring you close to Bhagavan the moment you say it.
Wish you the Very Best.
Namaskar.

kandhan said...

Dear Ravi,
Could you provide the whereabouts/directions of Narasimhaswami samadhi in Mylapore?
Is there a biography book on him?

Thanks

kandhan said...

I think Yogi Ramsuratkumar was also guided to a Guru in Kerala by Ramana Maharishi.

Ravi said...

Kandhan,
BVN Swamiji's samadhi is on the Rear end of Sai Baba Temple(Sai Samaj)in Mylapore.If you know Sri Ramakrishna Mutt on RK Mutt Road in Mylapore,as you walk towards Luz from the Mutt,you reach the cross road,turn left to Reach Shirdi Sai baba temple.
I am always fond of seeing the painted scenes on the walls in the temple,from Baba's Life-How he comes to shirdi as a Young Fakir,how he is devotedly served by Baija Bai,a Woman devotee who used to seek him on the outskirts and provide him with Food,How Sai baba made a mango tree as his dwelling,baba's lighting up a lamp with water as Fuel on a Deepavali evening to gladden the heart of a poor child,Baba washing the feet of a leper,Baba Dancing to the Kirtan,Baba cooking food for devotees,etc-all wonderful scenes.

BVN's Samadhi is a seperate annexe at the back of the Sai Baba temple.
BVN's autobiography is featured on the website;I have provided the link in my post yesterday.Please scroll down and you will find the link to all the other chapters from that Book.
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Losing M. Mind said...

I think the mantra's have the power in them, and don't need my help. I don't want to use my own egoic attempts to do something extra. Infact that seems the effectiveness of mantra's is the reminder. The association is natural. If a jnani gives you a mantra, or a mantra is about a beloved jnani, you don't need to think of the jnani, the power is naturally there, it seems. That's the thing with practice. One big obstacle I've encountered is that it is still my own 'efforts'. My own efforts. When I was listening to CD's of Nome, that was part of the power, was that it's not me doing it. It's acting on me. I might follow the directions, the words of the sage, when I hear them, and all that works together. The mantra seems to do the same thing, that the mind is filling itself with this mantra, that has this power to act and subdue the ego, or free of it of attachments. And it's the saying it, but then the hearing of oneself saying it, the awareness that I'm saying it, so I don't need to think of anything conceptual or extraneous to it. That is also a problem with taking advice, especially spiritual advice, from an ajnani. They can't take away your burdens. They always give you something extra to do. 'do this also', 'this is the right way to do it'. Jnanis relieve you of your burdens, your doership. It would be better I think, for me, to just inquire, then do some complicated process. But that is why mantras work, they are simple, you just repeat "om namo bhagavate sri ramanya' to oneself. I don't have to do something that requires thought. It replaces thought. Only jnani's I think are qualified to give advice. (on anything) Everyone else knows something, but what they know isn't true, but they are very sure of it. Only jnanis know the purpose of mantras, only jnanis know the purpose of inquiry.

Losing M. Mind said...

I'm going back to Society of Abidance in Truth in August, I am excited.

Ravi said...

Scott,
Please go along with the mantra as you feel helpful.
Wish you the very Best.
Namaskar.

kandhan said...

Dear Ravi ji,
Thanks for the directions

Ravi said...

Friends,
In his talk on 10th evening at Narada Gana Sabha,Chennai,Sri Nochur Venkatraman refereed to a Devotee visiting Sri Ramakrishna after a hard day's work.This is the Excerpt from The Gospel Of Sri Ramakrishna that he talked about:
Saturday, December 6, 1884
ADHAR, A GREAT DEVOTEE of Sri Ramakrishna, lived in Sobha bazar in the northern section of Calcutta. Almost every day, after finishing his hard work at the office and returning home in the late afternoon, he paid Sri Ramakrishna a visit. From his home in Calcutta he would go to Dakshineswar in a hired carriage. His sole delight was to visit the Master. But he would hear very little of what Sri Ramakrishna said; for, after saluting the Master and visiting the temples, he would lie down, at the Master's request, on a mat spread on the floor and would soon fall asleep. At nine or ten O'clock he would be awakened to return home. However, he considered himself blessed to be able to visit the God-man of Dakshineswar. At Adhar's request Sri Ramakrishna often visited his home. His visits were occasions for religious festivals. Devotees in large numbers would assemble, and Adhar would feed them sumptuously. One day, while Sri Ramakrishna was visiting his home, Adhar said to him: "Sir, you haven't come to our house for a long time. The rooms seemed gloomy; they had a musty smell. But today the whole house is cheerful; the sweetness of your presence fills the atmosphere. Today I called on God earnestly. I even shed tears while praying. "Is that so?" the Master said tenderly, casting a kindly glance on his disciple."
Sri Nochur venkataraman added that Adhar only slept in Sri Ramakrishna's presence-and that was enough!
----------------------------------
Namaskar

Ravi said...

Friends.
An excerpt from the writings of Yogi Sri Krishna prem:
"The finest timber comes from the slowest growing trees. He who expects to blossom into a yogi in a few months or even in a few years of practice is found to be disappointed and had better leave the whole subject alone. He, however, who has the sincerity and courage to face whatever is in him, and the persistence to go on with his struggle in the face of obstacles within and without, and the humility to recognize that all that he has done is to take the first few steps on a tremendous journey, is certain to achieve something which he would not give away in exchange even for the whole world, for, as Sri Krishna teaches in the Gita, even the seeker after yoga goes far beyond the hopes and fears of ordinary religion and even a little of this dharma delivers from great fear.”

Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
How to receive God's grace
JAYGOPAL: "How does one receive the grace of God?"
MASTER: "Constantly you have to chant the name and glories of God and give up
worldly thoughts as much as you can. With the greatest effort you may try to bring
water into your field for your crops, but it may all leak out through holes in the
ridges. Then all your efforts to bring the water by digging a canal will be futile.
"You will feel restless for God when your heart becomes pure and your mind free
from attachment to the things of the world. Then alone will your prayer reach God.
A telegraph wire cannot carry messages if it has a break or some other defect.
"I used to cry for God all alone, with a longing heart. I used to weep, 'O God,
where art Thou?' Weeping thus, I would lose all consciousness of the world. My
mind would merge in the Mahavayu.
Renunciation of worldly attachment
"How can one attain yoga? By completely renouncing attachment to worldly
things. The mind must be pure and without blemish, like the telegraph wire that has
no defect.
Unselfish love of God
"One must not cherish any desire whatever. The devotion of a man who has any
desire is selfish. But desireless devotion is love for its own sake. You may love me or
not, but I love you: this is love for its own sake.
"The thing is that one must love God. Through intense love one attains the vision
of Him. The attraction of the husband for the chaste wife, the attraction of the
child for its mother, the attraction of worldly possessions for the worldly man—
when a man can blend these three into one, and direct it all to God, then he gets the
vision of God."

Jaygopal was a man of the world. Was this why the Master gave instruction
suited to him?
At eight o'clock that evening the Master was sitting in his room with Rakhal and
M. It was the twenty-first day of M.'s stay with Sri Ramakrishna.

-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

hj/Friends,
Yes,what you have expressed is quite true.Sri Aurobindo expresses this so beautifully-in the chapter 'The Four Aids' in his synthesis of Yoga:

Yoga-siddhi, the perfection that comes from the practice of Yoga, can be best attained by the combined working of four great instruments. There is, first, the knowledge of the truths, principles, powers and processes that govern the realisation -- sastra. Next comes a patient and persistent action on the lines laid down by the knowledge, the force of our personal effort -- utsaha. There intervenes, third, uplifting our knowledge and effort into the domain of spiritual experience, the direct suggestion, example and influence of the Teacher -- guru. Last comes the instrumentality of Time -- kala; for in all things there is a cycle of their action and a period of the divine movement......

Nothing can be taught to the mind which is not already concealed as potential knowledge in the unfolding soul of the creature. So also all perfection of which the outer man is capable, is only a realising of the eternal perfection of the Spirit within him. We know the Divine and become the Divine, because we are That already in our secret nature. All teaching is a revealing, all becoming is an unfolding. Self-attainment is the secret; self-knowledge and an increasing consciousness are the means and the process........

Time is a field of circumstances and forces meeting and working out a resultant progression whose course it measures. To the ego it is a tyrant or a resistance, to the Divine an instrument. Therefore, while our effort is personal. Time appears as a resistance, for it presents to us all the obstruction of the forces that conflict with our own. When the divine working and the personal are combined in our consciousness, it appears as a medium and condition. When the two become one, it appears as a servant and instrument.
The ideal attitude of the Sadhaka towards Time is to have an endless patience as if he had all eternity for his fulfillment and yet to develop the energy that shall realise now and with an ever-increasing mastery and pressure of rapidity till it reaches the miraculous instantaneousness of the supreme divine Transformation,
-----------------------------------
The keynote of a Yogi is balance and sense of proportion-putting everything with just the right emphasis.In this one single chapter,Sri Aurobindo covers the whole gamut of spiritual Living and all the key aspects in a wonderful way.There is the depth and sweep,the attention to details and the integration that is not the summing up of these details.
-----------------------------------Namaskar.

Ravi said...

hj/Friends,
What you have expressed is indeed true.The story of chalam is like schubert's unfinished symphony.
Who can understand the ways of God?
Sri Ramakrishna says in the Gospel:
"Infinite are the glories of God! How little can you fathom them! Can you ever
find out the meaning of God's ways?
Bhishma was none other than one of the eight Vasus, but even he shed tears on his bed of arrows. He said: 'How astonishing! God Himself is the companion of the
Pandava brothers, and still there is no end to their troubles and sorrows!' Who can
ever understand the ways of God?

"A man thinks, 'I have practised a little prayer and austerity; so I have gained a victory over others.' But victory and defeat lie with God. I have seen a prostitute dying in the Ganges and retaining consciousness1 to the end."
-----------------------------------
The following excerpt from the Gospel on Bhishma:
God's ways are inscrutable---
"The ways of God are inscrutable indeed. Bhishma lay on his bed of arrows.
The Pandava brothers visited him in Krishna's company. Presently Bhishma burst into tears. The Pandavas said toKrishna: 'Krishna, how amazing this is!Our grandsire Bhishma is one of the eight Vasus. Another man as wise as he is not to be found. Yet even he is bewildered by maya and weeps
at death.' 'But', said Krishna, 'Bhishma isn't weeping on that account. You may ask
him about it.' When asked, Bhishma said: 'O Krishna, I am unable to understand anything of the ways of God; God Himself is the constant companion of the Pandavas, and still they have no end of trouble. That is why I weep. When I reflect
on this, I realize that one cannot understand anything of God's ways.'
-----------------------------------
This is what comes to my mind when I read that excerpt from Chalam.
What are the qualifications,how adequate are they?

In his parapara kaNNi,Thayumanavar says:
Like climbing the mountain to look at the sky
Such is the imagined search of mine to find you!

The sky is very well visible from where we are!Yet one feels that the sky is accessible only when we climb a mountain!such is the nature of all efforts to realize God.
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
Nochur Sri Venkataraman has just began his talks on Akshara maNa maalai at Asthika Samaajam,Alwarpet,Chennai.Today is the third and final day(18:30 hrs -20:30 hrs).This is based on Kanakammal's commentary(what she learnt from Sri Muruganar).Nochur recalled how Kanakammal was present in this place,last year, to listen to his exposition of uLLadhu naRpadhu,also recalled how she passed away on Sri Bhagavan's Jayanthi day(1st january 2010).
In the last two days,he traced the events from the birth of Sri Ramakrishna,onto the revival of vedanta by Swami Vivekananda,onto his return to India in 1896-The same year Sri Bhagavan is attracted to Tiruvannamalai on 1 September 1896.From here,he traced Sri Bhagavan's wonderful absorption in Arunachala,how he lived in various places in and around the temple,onto his moving to Pachiamman Temple,and then onto Virupaksha cave.How the devotees started gathering around him and how Akshara MaNa maalai came to be composed-How Sri Bhagavan did not explain the import of this Hymn saying that it was not 'thought out'.
The talks will be brought out in CD form and those interested may like to have and listen.

Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna where the master talks about the love of Gopis:
Story of Uddhava
Sri Ramakrishna asked the kathak to recite the episode of Uddhava, the friend
and devotee of Krishna.
At the request of Krishna, Uddhava had gone to Vrindavan to console the
cowherds and the gopis, who were sore at heart because of their separation from
their beloved Krishna.
The kathak said:
When Uddhava arrived at Vrindavan, the gopis and cowherd boys ran to
him eagerly and asked him: "How is our Krishna? Has He forgotten us
altogether? Doesn't He even speak our names?" So saying, some of
them wept. Others accompanied him to various places in Vrindavan still
filled with Krishna's sweet memory. They said: "Here it was that
Krishna lifted up Mount Govardhan, and here He killed the demons sent
by the evil-minded Kamsa. In this meadow He tended His cows; here on
the bank of the Jamuna He sported with the gopis. Here
He played with the cowherd boys, and here in these groves He met the gopis
secretly." Uddhava said to them: "Why are you so grief-stricken at Krishna's
absence? He resides in all beings as their indwelling Spirit. He is God Himself, and
nothing can exist without God." "But", said the gopis, "we do not understand all that.
We can neither read nor write. We know only our Krishna of Vrindavan, who played
with us here in so many ways." Uddhava said: "Krishna is God Himself. By meditating
on Him, man escapes from birth and death in the world and attains liberation." The
gopis said: "We do not understand big words like 'liberation'. We want to see the
Krishna of our hearts."

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

Anonymous said...

Three teachers, Ramana Maharishi, Nisargadatta Maharaji and the Buddha, each of the highest order.

Ramana Maharishi says neti neti cannot work as a practice for self-realisation. Nisargadatta Maharaji and the Buddha both say the practice is a valid means of attaining self-realisation.

Is one right and the other wrong? Are all 3 correct?

I am fond of self-enquiry and neti-neti, as well as holding each of these 3 teachers in high esteem. How do I reconcile these contradictory teachings?

* * *

Ramana Maharishi says there is an ‘I’ that remains when negating all via neti neti. But there is an ‘I’ in the question “who am I?”

This dilemma seems to be countered by his statement, “By the inquiry ‘Who am I?’. The thought ‘who am I?’ will destroy all other thoughts, and like the stick used for stirring the burning pyre, it will itself in the end get destroyed.”

Why doesn’t the ‘I’ in neti neti similarly get destroyed? Logic suggests it would.

Your helping me solve this will be appreciated.

Ravi said...

Friends,
......Sri Ramakrishna on the ecstatic love of Gopis...continued...
The Master listened to the story from the Bhagavata with great attention and
said at last, "Yes, the gopis were right."
Then he sang:
"Though I am never loath to grant salvation,
I hesitate indeed, to grant pure love.
Whoever wins pure love surpasses all;
He is adored by men;
He triumphs over the three worlds.
Listen, Chandravali! I shall tell you of love:
Mukti a man may gain, but rare is bhakti.
Solely for pure love's sake did I become
King Vali's door-keeper
Down in his realm in the nether world.
Alone in Vrindavan can pure love be found;
Its secret none but the gopas and gopis know.
For pure love's sake I dwelt in Nanda's house;
Taking him as My father,
I carried his burdens on My head."

The Master said to the kathak: "The gopis had ecstatic love, unswerving and
single-minded devotion to one ideal. Do you know the meaning of devotion that is not
loyal to one ideal? It is devotion tinged with intellectual knowledge. It makes one
feel: 'Krishna has become all these. He alone is the Supreme Brahman. He is Rama,
Siva, and Sakti.' But this element of knowledge is not present in ecstatic love of
God. Once Hanuman came to Dwaraka and wanted to see Sita and Rama. Krishna said
to Rukmini, His queen, 'You had better assume the form of Sita; otherwise there
will be no escape from the hands of Hanuman.'
-----------------------------------
The devotion of Gopis to Sri Krishna cannot be understood by our reasoning mind.It is like Sri Bhagavan's relationship with Arunachala.

Namaskar.

Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

Ramana Maharishi’s practice uses intellectual questions, “who am I?” etc to bring attention back to the ‘I’, back to settling in silence.

Neti-neti in contrast keeps attention in the intellect, churning over and over in the realm of thought.

Perhaps if neti-neti negations were used in the same way Ramana intended self-enquiry to be used, then he wouldn’t be against such negation.

Eg. a thought arises, “this is not mine”, attention returns to the ‘I’.

I understand if you reason, “just do as Ramana advised, when a thought arises, ask, ‘whose thought is this?’”

Yes I do follow this format. It loses its freshness after some time. Hence, I wondered, if I could switch between the ‘whose thought is this?’ and ‘this is not mine’ to keep from entering that dull mechanical repetition.

Losing M. Mind said...

I think maybe the problem, is looking at these as distinct methods, and then seeing them as contradicting each other, rather then that they are all really different descriptions of the same thing. That's why, I'm hesitant to put 'my' perspective forward, because it is just 'my' perspective. If I was realized, then it would be known that the Self is doing everything, it wouldn't be 'me' teaching, it wouldn't be 'me' correcting others. In other words, my opinion about Self-inquiry is just an opinion, not the experience. People are saying Ramana taught the 'method' Who am I? as opposed to 'not this, not this'. I don't really see that. I don't think any of these things done correctly are on the level of the mind. "I am Brahman" is not just the words "I am Brahman", but the experiential knowledge of "I am Brahman". 'not this, not this', I think is just eliminating what is false. But Who am I? is eliminating what is false also. Not this, not this, then probaly ultimately refers to the very notion of I. Who am I? I am not the individual. It's kind of like saying different jnanis taught different things. But they are all teaching Self-Realization, so they are all teaching the same thing. So how could there be the Buddha's teachings, Nisargadatta's teachings, and Ramana Maharshi's teachings. They were the same Self.

Ramesh Nagarajan said...

Hello Anonymous,

Spiritual masters had advised different paths but ultimately the goal is the same. Generally speaking, the spiritual masters primarily preach what had worked for them towards the liberation. If we take, Ramakrishna Paramahamsar, he had advised devotion or unconditional surrender to God. There is no right or wrong in the spiritual practice. Each and every path is unique in itself and it surely takes towards the goal.
Ultimately, it all comes to losing the false "I". That is why Bhagavan Ramana instructed, whatever method you practice, finally you need to come to "I". All thoughts originate from "I". Therefore, it is better to ask "Who am I", which is the direct method of all. For example, when we surrender to God, the question may arise, who is that surrendering? Is it body, mind, etc. But, when the devotion reaches to the unconditional surrender, where the devotee forgets himself in that process (dropping false I) the real "I" shines forth. The devotee will continue to practice devotion even after the realization, but it will be para-bakthi - supreme love towards God.

Having said that, each and every individual is different in terms of identifications, accumulations and associations with the false "I". Basically, there are different types of layers of dirt, covering the real "I", based on predominant vasanas. There cannot be one common medicine for all. In Bhagavatham we could see, Krishna advice varies to different individuals. For example, for Arjuna it is karma yoga, for Uddhavar it is Jnaana Yoga, for Gopis it is bhakthi yoga.

All we can do is surrender to Bhagavan (if Ramanar happens to be our Guru), and pray intensely to show the way, besides practicing Self-Enquiry. He is ever present and will guide us to the right path in different ways: satsang, reading scriptures, bhajans, japa, awareness, etc. In my personal experience, HIS guidance has helped me to find the path using awareness. The quote from Gita, "Watch yourself as a witness" struck me well and led to Self-Enquiry. For some others it may be pure devotion and love towards God. Bhagavan will show the way.

Ramesh Nagarajan said...

Dear Kandhan,

Yes, Bhagavan's words sink in. When we read scriptures by Bhagavan, some messages we can understand, some cannot be comprehended, simply because they cannot be understood intellectually. Spiritual topics are mystical where the media is heart to heart and not from one intellect to another. The messages should come from the heart of the person who delivers them and so does the receiver - he has to receive them in the heart. Even if it is not understood at that moment, down the line they will do wonders.

There were many incidents where Bhagavan had heart to heart discussions with the Cow "Lakshmi".

Anonymous said...

Thankyou for responding Losing M. Mind and Ramesh,

From your comments I see that I must find my own way.

Each of the 3 teachers mentioned has given wonderful things. And I take from each what is best for me right now. Sincerity and earnestness will do the rest.

Losing M. Mind said...

I think sincerity and determination and earnestness will take one the whole way. I can't be impatient, but I keep trying. I was thinking about this life. And speculating about it. I've mentioned this before, but I wonder, if Asperger's, or mild variants of autism, has anything to do with, achieving any degree of ripeness in a previous life, but then, getting carried away back into samsara in the following life, but the brain doesn't work for that, so they inexplainably don't function very well socially. I say this, because I've had some really intense, spiritual experiences in this life, and naturally led to Maharshi, which suggests, maybe, I had done something in previous lives. There was some grace, some determination from that grace. That's what has led me to inquiry. And I remember being really devout as a child, but I was wooed into samsara, by parents and society. Look at all these great things you could have. I was like, oh, I want, and then fell flat on my face. Almost like a bear trap. And there have been experiences more recently that suggest that samsara does metaphorically do that, so to speak, woo one out of spiritual determination. Oh look at this great treat. Don't you want that? Oh, no, intense suffering. doh! Papaji who was maybe considerably more ripe then I am in his final life. But even for him, he talked about how his mom 'brainwashed' him to worship Krishna, instead of being the formless Self. That seems to be kind of a higher level version of that. I also, think that breakdown I had when I was 22, and a very intense experience of the Self, even though I was very, very not ready for it, and it was absolutely terrifying for me. (atleast it's aftermath leaving me in completely schizophrenic dysfunctional shambles) It was also irrevocable. I'm not sure, it may have set me down a one-way trip to Self-Realization. How many days or lifetimes it takes, not being at issue? But it feels like I'm on a one-way street, since that breakdown. I couldn't really get out of this black hole toward the Self, back into a even moderately normal sasmara life.

Losing M. Mind said...

I think sincerity and determination and earnestness will take one the whole way. I can't be impatient, but I keep trying. I was thinking about this life. And speculating about it. I've mentioned this before, but I wonder, if Asperger's, or mild variants of autism, has anything to do with, achieving any degree of ripeness in a previous life, but then, getting carried away back into samsara in the following life, but the brain doesn't work for that, so they inexplainably don't function very well socially.

Losing M. Mind said...

I say this, because I've had some really intense, spiritual experiences in this life, and naturally led to Maharshi, which suggests, maybe, I had done something in previous lives. There was some grace, some determination from that grace. That's what has led me to inquiry. And I remember being really devout as a child, but I was wooed into samsara, by parents and society. Look at all these great things you could have. I was like, oh, I want, and then fell flat on my face. Almost like a bear trap. And there have been experiences more recently that suggest that samsara does metaphorically do that, so to speak, woo one out of spiritual determination. Oh look at this great treat. Don't you want that? Oh, no, intense suffering. doh! Papaji who was maybe considerably more ripe then I am in his final life. But even for him, he talked about how his mom 'brainwashed' him to worship Krishna, instead of being the formless Self. That seems to be kind of a higher level version of that. I also, think that breakdown I had when I was 22, and a very intense experience of the Self, even though I was very, very not ready for it, and it was absolutely terrifying for me. (atleast it's aftermath leaving me in completely schizophrenic dysfunctional shambles) It was also irrevocable. I'm not sure, it may have set me down a one-way trip to Self-Realization. How many days or lifetimes it takes, not being at issue? But it feels like I'm on a one-way street, since that breakdown. I couldn't really get out of this black hole toward the Self, back into a even moderately normal sasmara life.

Losing M. Mind said...

I bet if that's true for me, it's true for atleast several others here, or all of us. David Godman for sure. I mean, he couldn't even get out of the black hole to get a job somewhere besides near Arunachala. And my life, there are some comparable experiences. Again, I'm not saying that my ripeness is near David Godman's. You don't get to spend time around enlightened rishis by chance. And David Godman, had them asking him to write their autobiographies, or consenting. If I asked an enlightened being, can I write your autobiography, they'd use it as a stepping stone to make some advice about how realizing it is the important part. I even speculate, that it's not a coincidence that I live in Portland, but the guru I correspond with lives in Santa Cruz, because there isn't chance with these things. If I was ready, I'd be in the presence of a sage like that all the time. There is no choice in matters of the Self like that. But sometimes I wonder, if I could break away, and go to Santa Cruz, and just be like I'm living there, I might benefit greatly by doing that. I don't exactly know how it works.

Losing M. Mind said...

I think it amounts to, the earnestness. I may react to something, I may have a big vasana appear. I may get all worked up in a negative way. But I remember what I remember of the teachings, the different sources I've got it from, and I do that, and as quickly as possible, I return to being happy, naturally thoughtless, by questioning what is to be questioned, and just being. And I do that everytime, I lose peace. And sometimes, I become very, very happy. I just keep returning to it. And since what Ramana Maharshi taught is true, just the earnest attempt, works. The Self, responds, Bliss fills me from within. That focus has to eventually prevail, so I'm eternally happy, I win the goal.

Anonymous said...

How do you all cope with music? A lot of music is mood altering.
Rock, rythm&blues and music from let's say North Africa which is earthy and the beat rajasic.
One can listen to classical music but not all the time and anyway it can also be grand,royal and too rich.
I won't even mention Bollywood music which seems to have overtaken India, more the pity!
Does all this drop away as one becomes tranquil and quiet or does it reappear as an echo when hearing the music and beat like something long forgotten. Of course smell and fragrance does the same thing, bringing a strong or subtle mood with it.
Ramana Maharshi says we should concentrate on the drone behind the music and not the melody itself. Maybe only listening to bhajans, is the answer.
HJ

Losing M. Mind said...

I like the punk band Citizen Fish! There is definitely I feel some jnana in their music. don't look for the lyrics to be about what Maharshi teaches. But I do see some elements. Recently I started listening to them, and experience grace. And great lyrics.

Ramesh Nagarajan said...

Dear LMM,

I could correlate with your breakdown with mine after the experience. For a month after realizing the truth, I felt a void in me. I wasn't sure of the next steps. I wasn’t able to move socially, nor do any activities with involvement, as I had a strong conviction that all are unreal, because of the experience. At the same time, I could feel the disturbance within me. In other words, I didn’t want to do any activity, but something in me is compelling to do activity, which I am supposed to do. This brought up several important questions within myself, if Buddha, Bhagavan, Arunagirinadhar etc., could snap the knot with the first experience, did they have any disturbance within themselves, after the first experience. What is the process of Self-Realization? Is it something that happens once for all? Or is it a gradual process which leads to liberation? These questions put me in a limbo, where I started doubting my experience itself. I was pretty sure that the experience is not a hallucination. I didn't sit on that day with deliberate determination that I have to find the real "I" today. Moreover, the details of the experience had matched with description mentioned in the scriptures. More importantly, I felt the transformation in physical, mental and intellectual realms. Many of the unnecessary beliefs and customs automatically dropped. At the same time, I wasn't able to gain the second experience. I tried several times with frustration. Tons of contradictory thoughts came to my head, not able to find the answers to these questions, including going and settling in Ramanashramam. Sometimes, I could experience the peace and other times questioning the process of Self-Realization. Bottom line, I got struck. As you had mentioned, I couldn’t get out of the Black Hole.

Then I prayed intensely to Bhagavan. I want to point out that here Bhagavan refers to Self. I said to myself, I didn't want to know the process; I don't want to doubt the experience and other related questions. I had surrendered and I left everything to HIM. That is when miracles had started to happen. The answers to the questions came out by several means and ways. Friends have casually recommended books & lectures, without me or them knowing that the answers to my questions are in those materials. It was interesting that I casually read a spiritual book, where I could find answers. I also found answers by witnessing the events that were happening around me, from nature, etc., which I couldn't fathom. I got specific and clear cut answers to the questions. I was amazed. May be I should say the answers are readily available and present, we didn’t know their presence. Then I came to know the knot breaks down only for the few during the very first time itself, for others it is a process towards liberation. As the miracles became countless, I came to know that I am not the doer, it is all just happening, everything is happening as it should be. That put me into the peaceful state. Even though I had another experience later, I stopped seeking for that, as I had understood, the focus should be abiding in the state. I started writing blogs – http://abideinthetruth.blogspot.com. At work, my emails are usually short. But in the case of spirituality subjects, the words gushed out and continued to pour as if someone is providing all the information from above. I am able to feel the presence of that inner stillness, the single source of peace, joy, beauty and love, which are the important aspects in life.

CONTINUED IN THE NEXT POST ….

Ramesh Nagarajan said...

CONTINUED FROM THE PREVIOUS POST….

Sometimes the presence of that inner stillness is prominent, while other times it is on the back seat. Sometimes I lose touch with that stillness totally because of the disturbance arise due to body consciousness, acceptance of duality, sprouting vasanas etc. It is no doubt that I have a long way to go for the liberation, but it doesn’t bother me anymore, most of the times.

Of all the miracles, I should say, there is one advice from Bhagavan that was the master answer to all the questions. “Irunthapadikay Iru, Iraivan Arul Seluthukkum Vazhikay Sel”. “Abide in the Truth, and perform your actions under the guidance of the Truth”. Volumes can be written for this particular sentence alone. In my humble opinion, if one has understood this sentence, there is nothing else to read and practice.

In the beginning of the post, I had mentioned about the compulsion to do some activity. Why that is there even after the experience? Only few are able to liberate once for all such as Bhagavan. The answer would be “Prarbdha”. This might be a well-known incident to all. Once a devotee asked Bhagavan, “Can I leave the family and come to the ashramam?” Bhagavan responded “Try if you can”. Then devotee not satisfied with the answer, asked, “But you did it!” Bhagavan replied along these lines: I didn’t ask anyone to leave and come to Tiruvannamalai, if you are asking that means it is not coming from the Self. The significant point is even after the experience the person would continue to perform the activities as per his Prarbdha. It was said at one point of time, the karma leaves the person. Until then, only thing we should do is to practice that master statement by Bhagavan. Then the question related to where I should live or what I should do doesn’t arise at all. Things will be happening through us.

There may be challenges while practicing this statement. The challenges arise ONLY when we aren’t abiding in the self. In those circumstances, we may perform our work reluctantly (samsara life). Again, this reluctance doesn’t show up when we abide in the self. But, these challenges will be faced before experiencing the Truth or not abiding in the self after the experience. The secret lies in the involvement in performing actions without entanglement. Involvement here pertains to living in the present moment. Without involvement life is too dull or boredom. This will lead us to either depression or laziness. With entanglement our pleasure and pain depends on the results of actions. At any moment, we are not struck anywhere, but only our identifications and associations with thoughts bind us.

Bhagavan’s example about a man carrying his luggage on his head while inside the train will be appropriate. Before the experience, I had a strong conviction that while in the train, I have to carry my luggage on my head (“I am the doer, things are happening because of me”). The experience of the Truth, had indicated that train is not only carrying the luggage, but also me. Now, even after the experience if I continue to compare and complain, it doesn’t make sense. There are people who have spiritually advanced than me, there are Jnaanis and perfect Yogis. But why I have to worry about others? It would be similar to comparing other luggage in the train and say, that one luggage is closer to the engine, this one is closer to the door, when the train reaches the destination this one will be closer to the train station stairs, etc. The moment we come to know that the train is carrying everything it is the train’s responsibility not ours to carry the luggage. In Bhagavan’s words “Un Ishtam En Ishtam”.

CONTINUED IN THE NEXT POST…

Ramesh Nagarajan said...

CONTINUED FROM THE PREVIOUS POST….

The moment I start to compare, then I invariably accept the duality and that immediately causes disturbance within myself, which robs away the peace. In other words, if I am currently abiding in the Truth and I worry about will I be able to maintain that state tomorrow, when I will get liberation, the awareness is lost, just a bundle of thoughts remains. These thoughts go on an endless vicious circle with no way out. Living in the present (abiding in the self) is more important. As we know, we can experience peace only in the present, not in the past or future. In my humble opinion, even though the liberation is the main goal, the path to the liberation cannot be paved without bringing peace to the present moment. More we continue to live in the present (that is what yogi does) the more we are closer to the inner stillness (Self).

Efforts should be taken to be still, in the midst of actions. It is an oxymoron statement.

Just to let you know whatever I have shared with you applies to me as well, as at times I slip out. I could say, there is an improvement in experiencing the peace by just abiding in the self as much as possible without thinking about liberation, further experiences, longing for the yogi’s states and other related questions. I get disturbed due to vasanas that sprout out of me, body consciousness and association with the thoughts, etc. During those moments, I whispher to myself “Irunthapadikay iru, Iraivan Arul Seluthum Vazhikay Sel”. Most of the times, it works like a magic.

Murali said...

Dear Ramesh Nagarajan,

“Irunthapadikay iru, Iraivan Arul Seluthum Vazhikay Sel”.

Thanks for this beautiful quote and also a very inspiring post of yours.

Regards Murali

Losing M. Mind said...

I relate with what you are saying. I don't know if I really care when I get Realization, or how ripe I am. Infact, I am more into living a good life, i just notice that things go so much better, I have the power to live better, and live right, when my spiritual practice is deep. So in a weird sense, it's the desire for worldly functioning that drives me further and further into the practice. I am not free of desires. And sometimes I do get deeper experience that reminds me alot more of what Maharshi actually said. Yesterday, I was walking, and I was really maintaining the focus on the individual ghost I take myself to be. And finding how high I could get from that. One thing that happens, is that I feel like the whole world is moving in a big me. And I literally am more aware of every car moving, or every person, I feel less like a single vantage point, even though I'm still looking out the same eyes, I feel all-encompassing. And so I keep focusing, or looking at I, and it takes me higher. I was thinking that all-encompassing, and being aware of everything, every movement, is maybe what Bhagavan meant when he said, "infinite eye". Normally I'm the physical eye, but suddenly I surround, and fill the environment. I have deep experience, and still feel the necessity to practice as much as possible. One thought I had yesterday, was that there is no even remotely valid reason for not going for Self-Realization. Because for one, that is where happiness really is, attachments only lead to sorrow. And also, Self-inquiry, or spiritual practice doesn't require renouncing anything 'good', or fun in the world. Maybe bad habits, potentially. But those weren't really fun. So not going for Self-Realization, seems kind of like refusing to be happy.

Anonymous said...

I've been listening to Ma Souris. Ma says "She sings in the car and forgets herself. When I'm singing I'm immersed in the song." Souris relates this with a beaming smile.
I presume she sings bhajans and it sort of answers my recent question to the open thread.
hj

Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
"Path of the Impersonal God
M: "Sir, is there no spiritual discipline leading to realization of the Impersonal
God?"
MASTER: "Yes, there is. But the path is extremely difficult. After intense
austerities the rishis of olden times realized God as their inner most consciousness
and experienced the real nature of Brahman. But how hard they had to work! They
went out of their dwellings in the early morning and a11 day practised austerities
and meditation. Returning home at nightfall, they took a light supper of fruit and
roots.
"But an aspirant cannot succeed in this form of spiritual discipline if his mind is
stained with worldliness even in the slightest degree. The mind must withdraw
totally from all objects of form, taste, smell, touch, and sound. Only thus does it
become pure. The Pure Mind is the same as the Pure Atman. But such a mind must
be altogether free from 'woman and gold'. When it becomes pure, one has another
experience. One realizes: 'God alone is the Doer, and I am His instrument.' One
does not feel oneself to be absolutely necessary to others either in their misery or
in their happiness.
"Once a wicked man beat into unconsciousness a monk who lived in a monastery.
On regaining consciousness he was asked by his friends, 'Who is feeding you milk?'
The monk said, 'He who beat me is now feeding me.' "
M: "Yes, sir. I know that story."

Obstacles to samadhi

MASTER: "It is not enough to know it. One must assimilate its meaning. It is the
thought of worldly objects that prevents the mind from going into samadhi. One
becomes established in samadhi when one is completely rid of worldliness. It is
possible for me to give up the body in samadhi; but I have a slight desire to enjoy
the love of God and the company of His devotees. Therefore I pay a little attention
to my body.
..........continued.............

Ravi said...

Friends,
...The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna...
"There is another kind of samadhi, called unmana samadhi. One attains it by
suddenly gathering the dispersed mind. You understand what that is, don't you?"
M: "Yes, sir."
MASTER: "Yes. It is the sudden withdrawal of the dispersed mind to the Ideal.
But that samadhi does not last long. Worldly thoughts intrude and destroy it.
The yogi slips down from his yoga.
"At Kamarpukur I have seen the mongoose living in its hole up in the wall. It
feels snug there. Sometimes people tie a brick to its tail; then the pull of the
brick makes it come out of its hole. Every time the mongoose tries to be
comfortable inside the hole, it has to come out because of the pull of. the
brick. Such is the effect of brooding on worldly objects that it makes the
yogi stray from the path of yoga.
"Worldly people may now and then experience samadhi. The lotus blooms, no
doubt, when the sun is up; but its petals close again when the sun is covered by a
cloud. Worldly thought is the cloud."
M: "Isn't it possible to develop both jnana and bhakti by the practice of spiritual
discipline?" MASTER: "Through the path of bhakti a man may attain them both. If it
is necessary, God gives him the Knowledge of Brahman. But a highly qualified
aspirant may develop both jnana and bhakti at the same time. Such is the case with
the Isvarakotis—Chaitanya for example. But the case of ordinary devotees is
different.
"There are five kinds of light: the light of a lamp, the light of various kinds of
fire, the light of the moon, the light of the sun, and lastly the combined light of the
sun and the moon. Bhakti is the light of the moon, and jnana the light of the sun.
525
"Sometimes it is seen that the sun has hardly set when the moon rises in the sky.
In an Incarnation of God one sees, at the same time, the sun of Knowledge and the
moon of Love.
"Can everyone, by the mere wish, develop Knowledge and Love at the same time?
It depends on the person. One bamboo is more hollow than another. Is it possible
for all to comprehend the nature of God? Can a one seer pot hold five seers of
milk?"
M: "But what about the grace of God? Through His grace a camel can pass
through the eye of a needle."
MASTER: "But is it possible to obtain God's grace just like that? A beggar may get
a penny, if he asks for it. But suppose he asks you right off for his train fare: How
about that?"
M. stood silent. The Master, too, remained silent. Suddenly he said: "Yes, it is
true. Through the grace of God some may get both jnana and bhakti."
-----------------------------------Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

This is such a Bhagavan story: The cook monk Dairyo, at Bankei's monastery,
decided that he would take good care of his old
teacher's health and give him only fresh miso, a
paste of soy beans mixed with wheat and yeast
that often ferments. Bankei, noticing that he was
being served better miso than his pupils, asked:
"Who is the cook today?"
Dairyo was sent before him. Bankei learned
that according to his age and position he should
eat only fresh miso. So he said to the cook: "Then
you think I shouldn't eat at all." With this he en-
tered his room and locked the door.
Dairyo, sitting outside the door, asked his
teacher's pardon. Bankei would not answer. For
seven days Dairyo sat outside and Bankei within.
Finally in desperation an adherent called
loudly to Bankei: "You may be all right, old
teacher, but this young disciple has to eat.
He cannot go without food forever!"
At that Bankei opened the door. He was smiling. He told Dairyo: "I insist on eating the same
food as the least of my followers. When you be-
come the teacher I do not want you to forget
this."
HJ

PeterE said...

at your doorstep stands a mystic

Tere dwar khada ek jogi

Ravi said...

Friends,
Excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:-

TRAILOKYA: What are the signs of a householder having attained Knowledge?
MASTER: "His tears will flow, and the hair on his body will stand on end. No sooner
does he hear the sweet name of God than the hair on his body stands on end from
sheer delight, and tears roll down his cheeks. "A man cannot get rid of bodyconsciousness
as long as he is attached to worldly things and loves 'woman and gold'.
As he becomes less and less attached to worldly things, he approaches nearer and
nearer to the Knowledge of Self. He also becomes less and less conscious of his
body. He attains Self-Knowledge when his worldly attachment totally disappears.
Then he realizes that body and soul are two separate things. It is very difficult to
separate with a knife the kernel of a coconut from the shell before the milk inside
has dried up. When the milk dries up, the kernel rattles inside the shell. At that
time it loosens itself from the shell. Then the fruit is called a dry coconut.

Signs of God-vision:
"The sign of a man's having realized God is that he has become like a dry coconut.
He has become utterly free from the consciousness that he is the body. He does
not feel happy or unhappy with the happiness or unhappiness of the body. He does
not seek the comforts of the body. He roams about in the world as a jivanmukta,
one liberated in life. 'The devotee of Kali is a jivanmukta , full of Eternal Bliss.'
"When you find that the very mention of God's name brings tears to your eyes
and makes your hair stand on end, then you will know that you have freed yourself
from attachment to 'woman and gold' and attained God. If the matches are dry, you
get a spark by striking only one of them. But if they are damp, you don't get a spark
even if you strike fifty. You only waste matches. Similarly, if your mind is soaked in
the pleasure of worldly things, in 'woman and gold', then God-Consciousness will not
be kindled in you. You may try a thousand times, but all your efforts will be futile.
But no sooner does attachment to worldly pleasure dry up than the spark of God
flashes forth."
....continued......

Ravi said...

Friends,
.....Sri Ramakrishna continued....
TRAILOKYA: "What is the way to dry up the craving for worldly pleasure?"
MASTER: "Pray to the Divine Mother with a longing heart. Her vision dries up all
craving for the world and completely destroys all attachment to 'woman and gold'.
It happens instantly if you think of Her as your own mother. She is by no means a
godmother. She is your own mother. With a yearning heart persist in your demands
on Her. The child holds to the skirt of its mother and begs a penny of her to buy a
kite. Perhaps the mother is gossiping with her friends. At first she refuses to give
the penny and says to the child: 'No, you can't have it. Your daddy has asked me not
to give you money. When he comes home I'll ask him about it. You will get into
trouble if you play with a kite now.' The child begins to cry and will not give up his
demand. Then the mother says to her friends: 'Excuse me a moment. Let me pacify
this child.' Immediately she unlocks the cash-box with a click and throws the child a
penny.
978
"You too must force your demand on the Divine Mother. She will come to you
without fail. I once said the same thing to some Sikhs when they
visited the temple at Dakshineswar. We were conversing in front of the Kali temple.
They said, 'God is compassionate.' 'Why compassionate?' I asked. They said, 'Why,
revered sir, He constantly looks after us, gives us righteousness and wealth, and
provides us with our food.' 'Suppose', I said, 'a man has children. Who will look
after them and provide them with food—their own father, or a man from another
village?'
SUB-JUDGE: "Is not God, then, compassionate, sir?"
MASTER: "Why should you think that? I just made a remark. What I mean to say
is that God is our very own. We can exert force on Him. With one's own people one
can even go so far as to say, 'You rascal! Won't you give it to me?'

Namaskar.

Losing M. Mind said...

It seems to me, that if fear is involved in a certain action. Those are not actions arising from the Self, but from the ego. If there is anxiety with a certain action, that action doesn't really need to be done. The Self is fearlessness itself, and courage itself. I guess it seems to me that there is a set of actions that the body goes through that arise from the Self, and the ego does try to do other things. I mean, I try to do other things based on my own projections. So inquiry, and realizing that I'm not the doer, is the way to 'decide' what to do, so to speak. It seems. Now, taking care of things that need to be taken care of. If I inquire, or earnestly attempt spiritual practice, I'm not necessarily afraid in doing those actions. They come naturally, and I think that is O.K. So I'm not saying, that I shouldn't act, but that negative emotions, or suffering involved with a certain action, may mean that it is not the right action, and not coming from the Self. Not doing, is also doing in this context, it seems. So not doing anything, is still an egoic action.

Losing M. Mind said...

Which is why Maharshi it seems advocated inquiring Who am I? and realizing non-doership, which is not the same as actionlessness. With desire, I'm not so sure. For instance, if I feel desire for a strawberry shake, and I act on it. I don't think that means that action is not coming from the Self. I can Blissfully eat a strawberry shake. And maybe the same applies to sexuality. Though with sexuality, if fear is not involved in the action, and I'm inquiring, and resting in myself. That doesn't, I don't think mean, I would necessarily live a renunciate life in terms of sexuality. But it would mean, not forcing things, or doing things that don't come naturally. Anger is obviously a no go. I was thinking actions that do not come from the Self, involve being forced, and anxious. Actions that come from the Self, are poised, confident and cool, naturally. Even courage in a life threatening situation, or a war. Or something like that, like the courage Papaji showed on some occassions. That seems like it was fearless courage. Totally poised and confident. The risk, came from being non-attached. It wasn't that he was duty bound, and so did it, even though it felt horrible. He was non-attached and blissful, and it was easy and natural to act courageously, and since he knew he wasn't born, he didn't fear death.

Anonymous said...

Here are four incidents from the life of Sw.Vivekananda.

1.Once a man spoke slightingly of Swamiji. When the man left, Sri Ramakrishna turned to a disiple of his and asked him to get some water from the Ganga and sprinkle it on the place where the man had been sitting.

When the disciple wanted to know the reason, Sri Ramakrishna exclaimed - "Here, the Lord Shiva has been insulted. Sprinkle Ganga water so that the place is purified".

2. When the monastic disciples of Sri Ramakrishna were staying together in Baranagore monastery, they all used to sleep in one big hall in the night. One night, Sw. Shivananda was sleeping by the side of Sw. Vivekananda.

It seems Sw. Shivananda woke up in the night and saw that in place of Sw.Vivekananda, four or five little Shiva's were sleeping and the whole place was suffused with soft blue light.

Sw.Shivananda was so enchanted by the sight, that he did not sleep further, but instead spent the rest of the night in deep meditation. When he opened his eyes the next morning, the little Shiva(s) were all gone and Swamiji was sleeping as usual. When Sw.S mentioned the matter to Sw.V, it seems Sw. V only gave an enigmatic smile and did not elaborate any further.

3.Sri Ramakrishna had a great house-holder devotee known as Nag Mahasay, whose native place was in East Bengal (now Bangladesh). Once a young man from his native place whose name was Sharat Chandra begged and pleaded with Nag Mahasay to give him deeksha (initiation). Nag Mahasay refused and told him that Lord Shiva himself would initiate him.

Sharat was disappointed and thought that Nag Mahasay was just politely putting him off, because of his lack of devotion (where indeed was was the question of Lord Shiva initiating him ?).

When Swami Vivekananda returned from abroad in Feb 1897, Sharat went to see him and gradually became devoted to Swamiji.

Now the denouement :

Once when Sharat went to meet Swamiji, he found him sleeping. So, Sharat waited for him to wake up. As he was looking at Swamiji, suddenly he felt the impression that it was Lord Shiva himself sleeping. He rubbed his eyes and looked again, and the feeling persisted.

In a flash, he remembered Nag Mahasay's blessing -"Lord Shiva himself will initiate you".

Later on, Swamiji did initiate Sharat and he became one of the greatest disciples of Swamiji.

(It seems to me that the great ones never make any idle, casual, offhand remark. Whatever they say is the literal truth -just like it was with Nag Mahasay and Sharat).

4. One more story about Sharat, Swamiji and Swami Brahmananda.

Once when Sharat had gone to visit Swamiji, the latter told him -"I am feeling very tired; why don't you massage my legs ?"

Sharat jumped at the chance to do personal service to his Guru.

However, because of his respect for Swamiji - he was massaging Swamiji's legs very lightly.

Swamiji scolded him and said - "You don't even know how to massage properly. Go and call Rakhal (i.e Swami Brahmananda)".

When Sw. B came, Swamiji told him - "Rakhal, this fellow doesn't even know how to give massage properly. Why don't you show him how it should be done ?"
Sw. B immediately started massaging Swamiji's legs vigourously while Sharat watched in amazement.

After about an hour, Swamiji indicated to Sw.B to stop and Sw.B retired to his room. Sharat followed him and found Sw.B completely exhausted and sweating.

Sharat asked Sw.B -"Maharaj,Sri Ramakrishna himself regarded you
as his son and I have myself seen how much Swamiji respects you; yet Swamiji asked you to massage his legs. I cannot understand this"

Sw. B looked at him and exclaimed- "What are you saying, don't you know that he is the Lord Shiva himself"?

Thank you,
shiv





Once, when

Anonymous said...

LMM and friends, Celibacy is not for everyone and it's a trickster path if the devotee is not ripe.
Tricky cause you can feel pristine one day and full of passion the next; this shows an unsteady,shaky grasp of the essence of the teaching.
Annamalai, Kunju and Vishwanatha Swami and many others were all celibate. Of course one may argue that these disciples of Ramana were so advanced a mere look was all it took.
Still it would be worthwhile reading 'Living by the words of Bhagavan' pp 155-157 Annamalai Swami had a few initial difficulties all solved by the wisdom and guiding hand of Ramana.
hj

Ravi said...

Shiv,
'Biley,The Kid'
Before Vivekananda was born, his mother, like many other pious Hindu mothers, had
observed religious vows, fasted, and prayed so that she might be blessed with a son
who would do honour to the family. She requested a relative who was living in
Varanasi to offer special worship to the Vireswara Siva of that holy place and seek His
blessings; for Siva, the great god of renunciation, dominated her thought. One night
she dreamt that this supreme Deity aroused Himself from His meditation and agreed to
be born as her son. When she woke she was filled with joy.
The mother, Bhuvaneswari Devi, accepted the child as a boon from Vireswara Siva
and named him Vireswar and called him 'biley'.Child biley was a bundle of energy and difficult to control;His mother would drag him to the water tap and pour water and chant 'Siva,siva,Siva' and this would quieten him.She used to say 'I prayed to lord siva for a son and he has sent one of his Demons(Bhootha gana).'

Yes,Swamiji was sivaswarupa and Siva himself.
Here is an excerpt from 'The Inspired Talks':

"There is a vast difference between saying ‘food, food’ and eating it, between saying ‘water, water’ and drinking it. So by merely repeating the words ‘God, God’ we cannot hope to attain realisation. We must strive and practise.

Only by the wave falling back into the sea can it become unlimited, never as a wave can it be so. Then after it has become the sea, it can become the wave again and as big a one as it pleases. Break the identification of yourself with the current and know that you are free.

True philosophy is the systematising of certain perceptions. Intellect ends where religion begins. Inspiration is much higher than reason. But it must not contradict it. Reason is the rough tool to do the hard work; inspiration is the bright light which shows us all the truth. The will to do a thing is not necessarily inspiration.

Progression in Maya is a circle that brings you back to the starting point; but you start ignorant and come to the end with all knowledge. Worship of God, worship of the holy ones, concentration and meditation, and unselfish work, these are the ways of breaking away from Maya’s net; but we must first have the strong desire to get free. The flash of light that will illuminate the darkness for us is in us; it is the knowledge that is our nature – there is no ‘birthright’, we were never born. All that we have to do is to drive away the clouds that cover it.

Give up all desire for enjoyment in earth or heaven. Control the organs of the senses and control the mind. Bear every misery without even knowing that you are miserable. Think of nothing but liberation. Have faith in Guru, in his teachings, and in surety that you can get free. Say ‘Soham, Soham’ whatever comes. Tell yourself this even in eating, walking, suffering; tell the mind this incessantly- that what we see never existed, that there is only ‘I’. Flash – the dream will break! Think day and night, this universe is zero, only God is. Have intense desire to get free.

Namaskar.

Ravi said...

hj/friends,
hj had a query regarding the role of music and wondered if the choice be narrowed to only bhajans.
You may like the Schubert Impromptu No.3 wonderfully rendered by Alfred Brendel here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkX4MyDeIqI&feature=related

Like a bird of paradise exiled to earth,the sensitive muse of Schubert is struggling to come to terms with its earthly existence-with a wistful longing , yet with a calm resignation that accepts the yoke in the faith that all will be well.

You may like to explore the Piano sonatas of Beethoven and Schubert.These are a lasting treasure and among the best ever composed.I will recommend the 'pastoral' sonata (no. 15)of Beethoven to you-see if it charms you with its wonderfully calm and quiet beauty of its opening.you may search in the google video section; try Brendel or Kempff playing this wonderful sonata.

Namaskar.

Murali said...

Dear All,

Today is Guru Purnima.

Even before the "Father's day", "Mother's day" etc., came into picture, there was this "Guru's day" which has been celebrated since the birth of Veda Vyasa.

May we all, on this auspicious occasion, renew our commitments to follow our Guru.

Regards Murali

Anonymous said...

David,
Do you feel often that Ramana is actively guiding you in your life (like the time money came to you at the right moment in Israel to help you come to Tiruvannamalai)? Does he solve important problems for you? If there is suffering, do you question Ramana and ask him why? Just curious about how you feel your relationship is with Ramana. Do you consider him as a personal God (many of his devotees do)?

David Godman said...

Anonymous

Does Bhagavan solve my problems? Undoubtedly yes. The more one can learn to delegate to Him, the better the results. I have discovered this to be true on many, many occasions

What is my relationship with him? The Indian phrase 'mother-father-Guru-God' sums it up quite nicely. To which I would add 'He is my own Self'.

Murali said...

David wrote:

"The more one can learn to delegate to Him, the better the results. I have discovered this to be true on many, many occasions"

Good Guru Purnima message indeed.

Regards Murali

Losing M. Mind said...

That, because of social difficulties, I spend a great deal of time alone, 95% plus. That can kind of bother me, and the other difficulties already mentioned. Sometimes, I'm bothered, that i'm so borderline dysfunctional, it's not apparent if you just met me, so it feels like life just brushing me by, and I don't know how disabled I really am, and in what ways.

But perhaps a way to look at it, is like that quote by Saradamma that your prarabdha is prasad from God. Your sadhana is what you do with it. And while I still have vasanas, of wanting to live a "normal" life. And it's not over, becoming immersed in grace, might genuinely help my manifest life, and I'm open to that. No, external strategies for changing it, appeal to me, or feel natural enough.

For whatever reason, internal predispositions, and external circumstances, alot of times inquiry is the only way out, and if I'm earnest about it, atleast I get happiness. The happiness is always available. And for everyone. And, not only that, I figure that if there are resolveable problems in the life, then they will for sure be resolved by self-inquiry.

If they are not resolveable by self-inquiry, then they are not resolveable by any other means. I really think that is true. Especially socio-personal issues. Issues of how to lie and manipulate, or do evil, yeah, self-inquiry might undermine that. (laugh).

But the happiness, the joy, the peace, the contentment, even the psychological open-ness, the experience of love, and the ability to love, all that is the real Self. Keeps me attempting and focusing on this stuff.

Anonymous said...

@ David,
' The more one can learn to delegate to Him, the better the results. I have discovered this to be true on many, many occasions' How do I delegate things to him? Is it like Karma Yoga - do your duty, leaving the results to Ramana? Can you give me real-life examples? Many times I have noticed that doing the duty without wanting to achieve some result or the other
will lead to the result being less than satisfactory.

Gautham said...

David,

If and when you give a talk anywhere (Ramana Kendra etc.) in and around Chennai, please keep us informed through the Open Thread.

Regards,
Gautham

Anonymous said...

I was reading an interview on David's site, and liked this quote by David so much, I decided to post it here -

"When you work for Gurus, God pays the bills."

Nandu Narasimhan

Nandu Narasimhan said...

Have started re-reading accounts of Bhagavan and his animal friends.

Yesterday, I was reading accounts of Bhagavan and Nondi in the car on my way to office.

I happened to look up for some reason. And saw a stout, big male monkey crossing the road right in front of me, at the busy Chirag Delhi junction in Delhi.

Not the time a monkey would choose to cross the road. But he did.

With Bhagavan, my humble belief is that there are no coincidences.

Nandu Narasimhan

Anonymous said...

A meditator of vast experience, said to me, as we discussed my practice of self-enquiry, “we come to know what is absent, by paying attention to what is present”.

In the practice of self-enquiry we are asked to attend to the ‘I’ feeling.

By repeatedly paying attention to the ‘I’ feeling, (what is present), we paradoxically come to know that the ‘I’ we take to be real, is in truth, absent.

Equally, if we do not pay attention to the ‘I’ feeling, which is ours and the global habit, then we never get the chance to realise that the ‘I’ we hold to be true is in fact absent, non-existent.

I thought it was quite a lovely and poignant comment,………“we come to know what is absent, by paying attention to what is present”.

regards

Jayram said...

Dear Blessed ones,

I enjoy reading the different perspectives. Ramesh had forwarded me the link to this blog and I relish reading his blogs as well.

A couple of postings here reminded me of this:
"Marathai maraithadhu maamadha yaanai;
Marathil maraindhadhu maamadha yaanai.
which means an elephant made of wood, is after all a piece of wood, if looked that way.
But, for a small child, who can understand what an elephant is and remembers its
outward looks, that piece of wood itself is an elephant.

Anyone, please feel free to expand on this.

Love and Regards
Ram

Ravi said...

Friends,
'Inspired Talks' is a record of talks that Swami Vivekananda gave to a handful of disciples in the Thousand Isles park.These are among the most insightful and inspired utterances and sweeps the entire gamut of spiritual thought and experience-like the flight of a condor.Here is an excerpt:
SUNDAY, July 14, 1895.

Philosophy in India means that through which we see God, the rationale of religion; so no Hindu could ever ask for a link between religion and philosophy.


Concrete, generalised, abstract are the three stages in the process of philosophy. The highest abstraction in which all things agree is the One. In religion we have first, symbols and forms; next, mythologies; and last, philosophy. The first two are for the time being; philosophy is the underlying basis of all, and the others are only stepping stones in the struggle to reach the Ultimate.


In Western religion the idea is that without the New Testament and Christ there could be no religion. A similar belief exists in Judaism with regard to Moses and the Prophets, because these religions are dependent upon mythology only. Real religion, the highest, rises above mythology; it can never rest upon that. Modern science has really made the foundations of religion strong. That the whole universe is one, is scientifically demonstrable. What the metaphysicians call "being", the physicist calls "matter", but there is no real fight between the two, for both are one. Though an atom is invisible, unthinkable, yet in it are the whole power and potency of the universe. That is exactly what the Vedantist says of Atman. All sects are really saying the same thing in different words.

Vedanta and modern science both posit a self-evolving Cause. In Itself are all the causes. Take for example the potter shaping a pot. The potter is the primal cause, the clay the material cause, and the wheel the instrumental cause; but the Atman is all three. Atman is cause and manifestation too. The Vedantist says the universe is not real, it is only apparent. Nature is God seen through nescience. The Pantheists say, God has become nature or this world; the Advaitists affirm that God is appearing as this world, but He is not this world.


We can only know experience as a mental process, a fact in the mind as well as a mark in the brain. We cannot push the brain back or forward, but we can the mind; it can stretch over all time — past, present, and future; and so facts in the mind are eternally preserved. All facts are already generalised in mind, which is omnipresent.


Kant's great achievement was the discovery that "time, space, and causation are modes of thought," but Vedanta taught this ages ago and called it "Maya." Schopenhauer stands on reason only and rationalises the Vedas. . . . Shankara maintained the orthodoxy of the Vedas.


"Whom the Self chooses" is true. Election is true, but put it within. As an external and fatalistic doctrine, it is horrible.
-----------------------------------Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
"There was a king who used to listen daily to a pundit's exposition of the
Bhagavata. Every day at the end of their study the pundit would ask the king, 'O
King, have you understood what I have read?' To this question the king would daily
give the same reply: 'Sir, you had better understand it first yourself.' Each day,
when the pundit returned home, he would ponder the meaning of the king's words.
He was a pious man, devoted to prayer and meditation. Gradually he came to his
senses and realized that the only real thing in the world is the Lotus Feet of God,
and that all else is illusory. He felt dispassion for the world and took up the life of a
monk. As he was leaving the world he sent a man to the king with the message: 'Yes,
O King! Now I have understood.'

Namaskar

Ravi said...

Friends,
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna meeting Bhagavandas babaji is a very absorbing one-inspiring and a Great lesson as well-Here are excerpts from the book 'Sri Ramakrishna and his divine Play':
"Bhagavandas Babaji was then probably more than eighty years old.Everyone in Bengal had heard about his renunciation,self surrender,and devotion to God.Towards the end of his life,his feet were numb and paralysed because of the austerities,japa and meditation he had practised day and night,sitting motionless in one place.Despite his old age,illness and near-inability to walk,Babaji's enthusiasm for chanting Hari's name,and the profuse tears he shed for love of God,did not decrease but rather increased day by day.The vaishnava community of Kalna was rejuvenated by his presence,and many vaishnava monks had an opportunity to pattern their lives on his vibrant example and to follow his spiritual instructions.Anyone who visited Babaji at that time deeply felt the accumulated effects of his lifelong austerities,renunciation,purity,and devotion,and returned home with the experience of wonderful bliss.People accepted as infallible truth whatever Babaji said about Chaitanya's(A Great Saint of the 15th Century,considered as an avatara Purusha-Ravi)religion of love and tried to translate his words into action.
Babaji was thus not only doing his own sadhana but also spent much time in spiritual discussions about how to improve the vaishnava community,how ordinary householders could attain peace under the shelter of Chaitanya's religion of love.People would report to babaji whatever happened in the vaishnava communities-the good or bad conduct of the monks,and so on.He would listen to them and after reflection instruct them accordingly.Those who live a life of renunciation,austerity and love always bind people with their spiritual power.People therefore obeyed babaji's instructions without question and rushed to implement them immediately.Under his influence,the faith and longing of simple folk increased day by day; and hypocrites ,who were afraid in his presence,had an opportunity to reform themselves.
........to be continued.......

Sankar Ganesh said...

Dear David and Friends,

Kindly requesting to indicate sources that tell Arunachala Hill resembles Sri Chakra (or Sri Maha Meru).

Thanks. Sankar Ganesh.

Anonymous said...

Here are some stories about Sw.Ramakrishnanda - one of the direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna.

First some background about Sw.R.

Sw.R's pre-monastic name was Shashi and his cousin was Sharat (later on known as Sw. Saradananda).

Shashi was especially devoted to Sri Ramakrishna so much so, that when the disciples were taking Sannyasa, Sw.Vivekananda wanted to take the name Sw.Ramakrishnanda (which means the bliss of Ramakrishna) for himself, but seeing the great devotion that Shashi had towards the Master, he gave him the name -Sw.Ramakrishnanda.

When Sw.V returned from abroad and reached Madras, his disciples asked him to send someone to open a Math in Madras. Sw.V agreed and sent Sw. R to Madras.

Sw. R came to Madras and soon succeded in establishing a monastery in Madras and other places in South India like Bangalore. He was greatly respected not only for his devotion and piety but also for his scholarship.

So much for the background.

Here are the stories :

1. Once a rich man came to the Madras Math to meet the Swami. During his talk, the man went on saying - "I opened this hospital; I set up this orphanage, I do so much social service, I did this, I did that and so on".

When the visitor paused for breath, Sw. R leaned forward and gently asked him "I wonder what God did before you were born !".

Nowadays whenever, I feel proud of accomplishing something, I am immediately reminded of Sw. R's devastating remark and I ask myself - "I wonder what God did before you were born".

2. As I mentioned earlier, Sw. R was also a great scholar and he wrote the biography of Sri Ramanuja in Bengali.

He had great respect and devotion for all the Acharyas.

Once he was attending a public meeting in Madras, when one of the speakers spoke slightingly of Sri Sankara. When Sw. R heard this, he was very angry and told the gathering - "I have no place where Sankara is not honoured" and immediately left the meeting.

Later on, he accompanied Sw. Brahmananda on his trip to the piligrimage spots in South India.

When they were in the great temple of Madurai and worshipping the goddess, Sw. B had a wonderful vision of the mother Meenakshi coming towards him. He immediately went into Samadhi and Sw. Ramakrishnanda was holding him and supporting him.

When they came out of the sanctum sanctorum, Sw.Ramakrishnanda saw a small idol of Sri Sankara and was seized with a desire to worship the Acharya. The priests would not allow him. But Sw. Ramakrishnanda pushed them aside saying "Who can stop my adoration of the Great One"
and he worshipped the idol of the Acharya to his heart's content.

Nowadays, we hear many people
belittling the Acharyas; such people are ignorant; as Sri Ramana and Sri Ramakrishna used to say -"Only a Jnani can know another Jnani"

Thank you,
shiv

Ravi said...

Friends,
Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Bhagavandas babaji continued....
"The vaishnava community at colootola,Calcutta had organised a Harisabha service(Divine reading,chantings,etc) and had invited sri Ramakrishna;when the Master arrived,someone was reading the Bhagavatha,and others were listening attentively.The master joined the audience and listened to the reading.
The members of the Harisabha considered themselves to be ardent followers of Chaitanya.to remember this constantly,they had put an asana(seat)on the altar and envisioned chaitanya's presence there.They performed their worship,reading,and other congregational functions in front of the seat,which had been decorated with flowers and garlands.The reader was reading with devotion,with the bhavana of reciting the glory of Hari(Lord Sri Krishna)to chaitanya himself;and the devotees were drunk with the nectar of the Lord's words while in chaitanya's divine presence.
Listening to the nectar-like words of the Bhagavatha,the master became overwhelmed and suddenly ran towards Sri chaitanya's seat.He stood upon it and went into deep samadhi.As they beheld the master's wonderful and sweet smile,luminous face,and raised arms with fingers held up as seen in the common images of chaitanya,the prominent devotees were convinced that the master had become completely identified with chaitanya in Bhavamukha.The reader stopped and looked at the master in wonder.No one could say anything positive or negative(about the master standing on Chaitanya's seat-Ravi).As they experienced indescribable bliss,all felt as if they had been carried away to an unknown realm by the powerful spiritual current caused by the master.
..........to be continued.....

Losing M. Mind said...

Interesting experience with the inquiry, I was really confused over an action, because attachment was involved, but events were pointing that maybe I should go. And there were 3 things that happened. I had decided I didn't feel comfortable going to this thing, because someone I have attachment, insecurity issues would be there. I said to myself, if the Universe makes me go, otherwise, I'll keep my focus on the inquiry. The train I was taking, by accident, I suddenly thought of the person, looked to the left, and I just happened to be right in front of the place, a few hours before the event started, by accident I had taken the right train. The train lingered there for longer then usual. But I still didn't feel comfortable enough to go, scared. So I sat on a bench a few blocks away, and focused on eliminating 'I', with the idea that if I'm meant to go the Universe will correct me, or force me. Because some part of me, is telling me I shouldn't. Then I ran into a person who I knew was friends with this person near a bookstore blocks a way, as I was starting to walk home, and had thought about going to that event. That was like sign #2, and it still didn't make me feel courageous enough to go, I walked home, but when i got home, I changed my mind, there were 2 signs. I went in my apartment, and this person I know, said to me, "Couch is such an odd name for a street isn't?" Couch was the street that event was happening on. So, I decided, the Self, or God, wants me to go, is not giving me a choice, and so I walked there, with faith that the divine was behind this. But I still didn't feel comfortable running into that person (even though I like them), so I decided it's on God, his burden, not mine. I'm going to follow my intuition and hide in the back. And a few minutes later they walked in front of me, and I said hi to them.

Losing M. Mind said...

@anonymous, I wasn't really sharing the anecdote about reading Osho, and getting something positive out of it, for you to shoot it down, and evaluate his character. For me, spirituality is life or death, it is not entertainment, or a blog topic, that is 'fun'. It is life or death, heaven or hell. So the consideration of someone's 'character' in other people's minds, what they have decided based on their own egos, (because without an ego who would there be to judge?), Osho's analysis of romance and love, I thought was very clear, and very in touch with jnana! But from the gossip about him, I'd expect his 'philosophy' to be depraved, about sex, and only that. And Robert Adams did confirm to a questioner that Osho was a jnani. I believe whatever Robert Adams says, but I don't expect you too. I read somewhere that Nisargadatta said, he liked Osho as a teacher, he didn't like his teachings. Again, that sounds to me like a confirmation. I can understand, some sages Krishnamurti, Osho, are more convoluted, and deal with extraneous issues to the direct inquiry. Even though any realized person knows experientially the inquiry proper to realize no ego ever existed. But the issue wasn't who is and who isn't enlightened, but who can be, and who can't be of help (to me). Anonymous, you have alot of ideas about things that you are sure about, and unwilling to question. Things I'm not so sure about. So arguing with you about, what are irrelevent topics (and things you've already made up your mind) would serve no purpose. However, I'm finding the inquiry is to realize there is no "my mind", by looking directly at the root I-assumption, or assumption of person-hood. And at a more extraneous level, (something featured in Osho's 'Being in Love') that happiness is Being, and not found in any object or circumstances. My reading Osho, who I found to be useful, came from Robert Adams agreeing taht he was indeed a jnani. Takes one to know one.

Ravi said...

Friends,
.....Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Bhagavandas babaji continued.....
"(seeing the master in samadhi in chaitanya's seat)At first they were nonplussed but then were compelled by that indescribable phenomenon to burst forth loudly with "Haribol!" and to begin singing kirtan.
While discussing the nature of samadhi earlier,we pointed out that when the mind goes into samadhi while experiencing the infinite divine mood connected with a particular name of god,it returns to the external world by means of the same name.We(Swami Saradananda-a direct disciple of Thakur)witnessed this phenomenon daily while living with the master.The same thing happened here.When the master heard the name of hari sung in kirtan,he regained the kirtan party and began to dance gracefully in ecstasy,at times becoming calm and motionless in samadhi as he experienced overflowing spiritual emotion.The master's participation enhanced the enthusiasm of the audience a hundred fold and they became wild in kirtan.Who could then judge whether it was right or wrong for the master to occupy chaitanya's seat?After a long time spent in ecstatic dancing and singing the glories of Hari and chaitanya,the crowd ended that day's exalted performance amid joyous shouts of the lord's name.After a while the Master returned to Dakshineswar.
When the exalted spiritual emotion ended,the members of the Harisabha,influenced by their previous nature and habits,began to criticize the master's behaviour.One group was in favour of the master's occupying Sri Chaitanya's seat while in bhavamukha;the other group vehemently opposed it.
News reached sri Bhagavandas babaji that Sri Chaitanya's seat was desecrated by a stranger named Ramakrishna.He was so enraged that he did not hesitate to bitterly reproach the master and call him a hypocrite.When the members of the harisabha visited him,Babaji scolded them for having allowed the sacrilegious act to take place in front of them.He instructed them to take all precautionary measures so that no one could do this in future.But the person who was the target of this commotion knew nothing of it all.
..........to be continued......

Anonymous said...

LMM and friends, Osho from a different perspective: "There he sat, as patient as a Buddha, listening to people talk about their chakras opening and all off that nonsense kind of stuff that people think is spiritual. Of the six years I hung out around him the most common questions that his disciples asked concerned their love relationships. How can you imagine that feels when you're crying from the rooftops that aloneness is God and the ones closest to you ask 'Osho, I'm having relationship problems.' I'll tell you how it feels, it feels like get me another Rolls Royce quick - a red one."
hj

Losing M. Mind said...

@ anonymous

"There he sat, as patient as a Buddha, listening to people talk about their chakras opening and all off that nonsense kind of stuff that people think is spiritual. Of the six years I hung out around him the most common questions that his disciples asked concerned their love relationships. How can you imagine that feels when you're crying from the rooftops that aloneness is God and the ones closest to you ask 'Osho, I'm having relationship problems.' I'll tell you how it feels, it feels like get me another Rolls Royce quick - a red one."

This kind of stuff interests you, clearly. It doesn't interest me. I'm not here to find out the juicy gossip about even the people who have genuinely made mistakes. But I'm also skeptical. I don't believe everything I hear. And many things I've read and heard have turned out to be wrong. Doesn't that skepticism seem sensible?

But I'm here, to progress toward happiness, freedom from problems, kind behavior, and ultimately I suppose, realization of the Self. Gossip, and character assassination (whether based on facts or not), is not why I'm here.

That aside. I judge people's character, by their way of being, their emotional state, and not the facts about them. Someone who is very good at heart, might make a terrible mistake. But it's the feeling of kindness I get from them, that determines what I feel about them. On the other hand, someone could be a truly abusive, evil person, who does 'good' for the community, has a track record of 'selfless' accomplishments. A good reputation. Just good at avoiding getting into trouble, but abusive where they can get away with it. I guess I'm saying, the outside facts, may not directly correlate with the character of a person. (leaving aside outright lies, of which there are plenty) I'm more interested in character then facts, in who I want to associate with.

Losing M. Mind said...

When I seek out spiritual advice, I'm not looking for a dossier on the teacher. I'm looking for what has the capacity to lift me above my current state, to a higher state, ultimately help me to realize the egoless state, because I'm coming to understand that everything good is there..

Now, someone who is a jnani, from everything I've seen and experienced. May be very misunderstood by the deluded egos of humanity. And although as Ramana said, a jnani never lies and never does anything wrong. A jnani's actions may be perceived as wrong by deluded egos, who are seeing through their own false egoic assumptions. Not only that jnanis have been targeted, and crucified, all sorts of stuff. I guess it's not the jnani themselves who is killed. But their body.

Honestly, I wasn't bringing up Osho, to get into a debate with you, a nasty, negative debate about someone's character. Someone I do not know. Let alone all the facts. But because in his book 'Being in Love" there was alot of clear insight, that I thought resonated very much with advaita, and Ramana's teachings, selfless love, as opposed to desiring love. With any person, especially a spiritual teacher, when someone's insights are so clear, and selfless. Bad behavior comes from not having clear and selfless clarity. So that makes me even more questioning of the negative gossip. Considering people abuse based on their own delusions and ego. And if what that person is expressing, is largely free, or completely free of delusions and ego. Where would the bad behavior come from? But, talking to you about this seems very pointless. Your perspective does evidence some enjoyment of other people's failings that I find very negative, and toxic.

shiba said...

Hello.The following sentences are an extract from 'Who am I?' in this blog.In these sentences 'breath' and 'prana' are used.Are 'breath' and 'prana' distnguished same as this English sentences in Tamil langage version?

''To make the mind subside, there is no adequate means except enquiry. If controlled by other means, the mind will remain in an apparent state of subsidence, but will rise again. For example, through pranayama [breath control] the mind will subside. However, the mind will remain controlled only as long as the prana [see the following note] is controlled. When the prana comes out, the mind will also come out and wander under the influence of vasanas. The source of the mind and the prana is one and the same. Thought itself is the nature of the mind, and the thought 'I' which indeed is the mind's primal thought, is itself the ahankara [the ego]. From where the ego originates, from there alone the breath also rises. Therefore, when the mind subsides, the prana will also subside, and when prana subsides, the mind will also subside. However, although the mind subsides in deep sleep, the prana does not subside. It is arranged in this way as a divine plan for the protection of the body and so that others do not take the body to be dead. When the mind subsides in the waking state and in samadhi, the prana also subsides. The prana is the gross form of the mind. Until the time of death, the mind retains the prana in the body. When the body dies, the mind forcibly carries away the prana. Therefore, pranayama is only an aid for controlling the mind; it will not bring about its destruction.''

Ravi said...

Scott,
"I'm here, to progress toward happiness, freedom from problems, kind behavior, and ultimately I suppose, realization of the Self"
Wonderful.
"Your perspective does evidence some enjoyment of other people's failings that I find very negative, and toxic."
This is going against the objective you have stated quoted above.
hj has just expressed his opinion in may be a line or two.That is all.If papaji says so and so is not a jnani,you accept that as gospel truth and if another 'x' says so why do you react?
One of the basic quality that develops as we grow in spiritual path is equanimity-not to be perturbed by the saying of others.

Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
....Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Bhagavandas babaji continued....
"....Somedays after the incident,the Master went to Kalna of his own accord with Hriday and Mathur(s-in-law of rani rasmani who built the Kali temple-ravi).After their boat arrived at the kalna ghat in the morning,Mathur busied himself finding food and lodging for the party.Meanwhile,the master went to see the town with Hriday;after obtaining bhagavandas Babaji's address,they visited his ashrama.
Whenever the childlike Master(What a child!-ravi)visited someone he did not,he always felt an indescribable fear and bashfulness at first.We noticed this trait quite often(This is what makes it most attractive and accessible!-What the Great saint Andal describes as 'mAmAyan' referring to Lord Sri Krishna-the Great bewitcher!-ravi)He had the same reaction when he visited Babaji.Asking Hriday to go on ahead,he covered himself from head to foot with a piece of cloth and then entered the ashrama behind Hriday.Hriday reached Babaji and after bowing down to him,said:"My uncle loses himself in the name of God.He's been doing it for a long time now.He has come to pay a visit to you."
Before Hriday could speak these words,he heard Babaji say,"it seems to me some great soul has come to the ashrama."After this,babaji looked around and found no newcomer except Hriday.He then continued talking to the visitors before him about a certain Vaishnava sadhu who had done something wrong and what action should be taken against him.Babaji exclaimed indignantly that he would personally confiscate the sadhu's rosary and expel him from the Vaishnava community.At that moment the Master arrived,and after bowing to Babaji he humbly joined the visitors seated there.As his body was wrapped in a cloth,no one could see his face clearly.When the Master sat dow,Hriday introduced him to Babaji as described above.Babaji then broke off his denunciation of the erring sadhu,saluted the master,and asked politely where he and Hriday had come from.
Hriday noticed that Babaji was telling his beads when he was not speaking,so he asked:"Sir,why do you tell your beads,now that you have attained enlightenment?you no longer need to."
Babaji first expressed his humility and then said:"It is true that I do not need to practise such disciplines for myself.But I must tell my beads to set an example for others.It is extremely important.Otherwise they might go astray in trying to imitate me."(This is an echo of What Sri Krishna says in the Gita-ravi)
Like achild,the Master always depended solely on the Divine Mother in every respect.As a result he could not do anything to save his ego,and it pained him to see or hear anyone speaking or acting out of egotism.He would use the word "I" very seldom when speaking as a servant of God;but other than those few instances he could not utter that word as we do.Those who knew the Master even for a short while were amazed and moved by his wonderful nature.And when they saw how annoyed the Master became when someone expressed his ego by saying "I shall do it," they wondered what wrong the person had done to irritate the Master so.
.......To be continued.......

Ravi said...

Scott,
"Being in Love"
There is no 'Being in Love'-that is attachment,infatuation.
In tamil Tirumoolar says beautifully-anbey sivam-Love alone is sivam or Being.We may say 'Being is Love'.
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Silence_speaks,
I am quoting what you have said here in August,2009 last year:
""Lack of Thoughts" is a state of mind. When you are not the mind, why bother about states of mind?
Whether mind should have thoughts or not is not in our hands ... its pure prarabdha karma... coz mind and body are dictated by karma. The Self which is Beyond mind and Body... is a witness of states of mind... Quietness of mind as well as thoughts of mind.

An Experience is merely a state of mind and if it passes away ... its transitory like anything else. States of mind are bound to be transitory coz mind itself is conditioned by time. So no experience is a real "Validator" of the truth.

Love!
Silence

August 4, 2009 11:48 AM


Now(July 26,2010) you are saying:
"Self Inquiry is to just resolve the "I" into consciousness.
its like a chameleon sitting and waiting ... it does not allow any thoughts to continue ... the moment a thought train starts, it simply resolves that into itself --- even as a chameleon catches flies!"

You can thus see what you thought has to continue(as Prarabda),a year back,it is now possible for you to 'resolve into consciousness'

What makes you think that this is 'the ultimate'?One year hence you may still find something more!

I am sure you have read the woodcutter's story in The Gospel, where he was advised by the sadhu to go deeper into the forest.

Please go through the gospel of Sri Ramakrishna over and over again.One cannot do better than that.

I happen to go through your posts in the site below(you have posted as srkudai):
www.arunachala-ramana.org/forum and I should sound this advise for you:
"Egotism is a pitfall for many a soul"

Whether the writing/speech reflects the state of Realization of a person is a moot point.Definitely it is possible to spot when the 'ego' is raising its head.
Good that it is doing so in this website dedicated to sri Bhagavan.It is his job to deal with it;not mine.
As a fellow traveller,i thought i should share what I observed and I leave it to you to view it as you deem fit.
In case you need further suggestion,I will be happy to point to some more excerpts from the Gospel.
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

shiba,
yes,breath and Prana are accurate translation of the Tamil- 'Moochu' and Sanskrit-prana.The entire passage what you have quoted is quite faithful to the original and conveys 100% of what Sri Bhagavan has said/written.
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
.....Sri Ramakrishna and sri Bhagavandas babaji continued....

"The First thing the master heard when he came to bhagavandas was that he(B)would confiscate a sadhu's rosary and expel him from the community.A little later,he heard that it was in order to teach others that babaji had continued telling his beads and wearing marks on his body(the white/red chalk like marks that a vaishnava puts on his face and body-ravi).Thus when Babaji repeatedly said,"I will expel that sadhu;i will teach people;I have not given up telling my beads and wearing marks," the simple-hearted Master could suppress his annoyance no more.He could no longer remain seated like a courteous and gentle guest.He rose to his feet,demanding:"Is that how you think of yourself even now?you think youteach people?you think you will expel this man from your community?you think you can decide to give up telling your beads or not?who made you a teacher?Do you think you can teach the world unless the Lord who made it allows you to?"The master's cloth had fallen from his shoulders to the ground as had the cloth from around his loins.A wonderful radiance shone from his face.He was in such ecstasy that he was not aware of what he was saying and to whom he was speaking.After those few words he became overwhelmed with emotion and went into samadhi.
To this point everyone had shown love and respect for the perfected Babaji,and no one had been capable of protesting his words or pointing out his shortcomings-or bold enough to do so.The Master's conduct surprised him at first.Under such circumstances ordinary human beings would become angry and try to take revenge,but babaji did not react that way.The simplicity that had developed in him from his austerities helped him to realize the true meaning of Sri Ramakrishna's words.He sincerely believed that there was no doer other than God in this world.Those powerful words of the Master awakened Babaji's insight intensely,and he recognized his own shortcomings and became humble and modest.Moreover,the extraordinary manifestation of a spiritual mood(bhava-ravi)in Sri Ramakrishna convinced babaji that the master was not an ordinary person.Babaji was moved by Sri Ramakrishna's repeated ecstasies and overflowing bliss during the subsequent discussion.Further more,he saw in Sri Ramakrishna the vivid manifestation of mahabhava that he had been struggling to understand for a long time by studying the scriptures,so he felt a deep love and respect for the Master.When he heard that this was the paramahamsa of Dakshineswar who out of ecstasy had occupied Sri Chaitanya's seat at the Harisabha at colootola,there was no limit to his sorrow and repentance for the bitter reproaches he had used against the Master(like Hypocrite-Ravi).He bowed down to Sri Ramakrishna and asked for his forgiveness.Thus,the spiritual meeting between the Master and Bhagavandas Babaji ended that day.
-----------------------------------
Friends,this is a great lesson to be learnt and forever to be remembered.How we learn and experience 'something' like a little quietude,a little freedom from thoughts,a little silence,a little 'this' or 'that' and off we are to 'share' that with the ones who 'do not know'.
Namaskar.

Losing M. Mind said...

Ravi, you are correct that I was just reacting. So good advice! Yeah, I was getting irritated, which is just ego reaction. On the second part, about "Being in Love". Osho was I believe referring to the latter definition, in agreement with you. Sattvic, selfless, unitary love which is Being. And that all desire for relationship, infatuation, lust, are not love. Not to say that relationship can't happen out of abiding in the Self, or as part of abiding as the Self. Still continuing inquiry, continuing to contemplate these teachings. And having success, but doubts arise.

shiba said...

Thank you very much, Ravi.

Then, Sri Bhagavan used 'Moochu' only one time in the passage that I have extacted.

Why didn't he used 'prana' at that part?

And watching breath lead to restraining prana.And restraning prana lead to restaraing mind.Is that right understanding?.

Ravi said...

shiba,
Your earnestness and diligence is tremendous.
1.Yes,'moochu'(breath)occurs only once in the passage.
2.Prana is not the same as Breath-yet the breath is the gross handle that one can get hold of to manipulate prana.Please refer to Swami Vivekananada's excellent 'Raja yoga' here:
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Complete_Works_of_Swami_Vivekananda/Volume_1/Raja-Yoga/Prana

3.yes,watching the breath running in and out is one of the simple ways of developing awareness.As the attention gets shifted from breathing to simple awareness,one may not notice whether one is breathing 'in' or 'out'.

I should sound a warning that breath retention should be avoided;one may be tempted to retain the breath in order to intensify the awareness.This has to come about in a natural way.

The objective of pranayama is not to 'control' it as much as to gather it and prevent it from dissipating;To aid the free circulation without any obstruction that results in dissipation.The reservoir of prana may then be directed towards any part of the body through 'mudras' that serve as a switch/valve and thus aid in healing and general toning of the body.
A healthy body results in a healthy mind and this is a great aid in freeing the mind from being a slave to the body.The yogi equipped with this finely toned instrument is in a position to employ it to serve the higher purpose of Living.
One of the Great Masters of Yoga in recent times is Sri Aurobindo.

Wish you the very best.

Namaskar.

shiba said...

Thank you very much for your kind answer, Ravi.

I'll check articles of Swami Vivekananada and Sri Aurobindo.

Your kind comment makes me happy.

Ravi said...

murali/s/friends,
We know the ekalavya story in the Mahabharata-How Ekalavya deprived of the opportunity to learn from Dronacharya practiced with just an image of Dronacharya,considering it as his Guru ; how Ekalavya's mastery in archery threatened Arjuna's supremacy.
This is the power of faith,devotion.
It is not whether the Guru is there to 'tell' that is important but that the disciple is open to listen-The Guru is ever present to guide if this openness and trust is there.
Both Murali and s are right-murali in his emphasis on Faith and implicit obedience to the Guru;s is equally right in not capitulating to the whims and fancies of the mind.
Sri Ramakrishna used to give this splendid advice:Do not stir the water in a shallow pond-just drink the clear water above.
This is to say what little clarity and faith that one may have should not be disturbed by too much fuss and reasoning.
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Silence_speaks,
Perhaps you did not get the answer you expected.
Here is an excerpt from The Gospel of sri Ramakrishna:
"one must go into solitude to attain this divine love. To get butter from milk
you must let it set into curd in a secluded spot; if it is too much disturbed, milk
won't turn into curd. Next, you must put aside all other duties, sit in a quiet spot,
and churn the curd. Only then do you get butter."
-----------------------------------
"We would all be glad".
Wonder how you have suddenly become the spokesperson for others.Is it the silence that speaks thus?
Just said in jest.Friend,please get going with your 'sharing'.Is it intended only for 'me' or for all the others who make their appearance in this blog?I hope it is the later.
Namaskar.

Maneesha said...

Hi,

Bhagavan, when once asked about Grace v/s effort, had once taken an example of buds and the sun. Sun rises as usual, but only few buds blossom. Those that haven't cannot blossom without the presence of Sun. SO, essentially, both effort and Grace are needed.

I have a Q here. In the given example, its a matter of time when the unblossomed bud blossoms. So, what is it a matter of, when it comes to ripening of one's sadhana? I dont feel its a matter of time as the Self is beyond space and time. Or am I mixing two things when I am reasoning out?

Would be glad to have comments by the readers/visitors/owner [:)].

Ravi said...

Maneesha/Friends,
You have raised a very fundamental question-about flowering and time.
Here are some excerpts from Sri Nisargadutta,Sri Aurobindo and Sri Ramakrishna.
An excerpt from 'I am That':
"Q: Sarada Devi, wife of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, used to scold his disciples for too much effort. She compared them to mangoes on the tree which are being plucked before they are ripe. 'Why hurry?' she used to say. 'Wait till you are fully ripe, mellow and sweet.'
M: How right she was! There are so many who take the dawn for the noon, a momentary experience for full realisation and destroy even the little they gain by excess of pride. Humility and silence are essential for a sadhaka, however advanced. Only a fully ripened jnani can allow himself complete spontaneity.
Q: It seems there are schools of Yoga where the student, after illumination, is obliged to keep silent for 7 or 12 or 15 or even 25 years. Even Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi imposed on himself 20 years of silence before he began to teach.
M: Yes, the inner fruit must ripen. Until then the discipline, the living in awareness, must go on. Gradually the practice becomes more and more subtle, until it becomes altogether formless."

An excerpt from Sri Aurobindo's Synthesis of Yoga:
"The lotus of the eternal knowledge and the eternal perfection is a bud closed and folded up within us. It opens swiftly or gradually, petal by petal, through successive realisations, once the mind of man begins to turn towards the Eternal, once his heart, no longer compressed and confined by attachment to finite appearances, becomes enamoured, in whatever degree, of the Infinite. All life, all thought, all energising of the faculties, all experiences passive or active, become thenceforward so many shocks which disintegrate the teguments of the soul and remove the obstacles to the inevitable efflorescence. He who chooses the Infinite has been chosen by the Infinite. He has received the divine touch without which there is no awakening, no opening of the spirit; but once it is received, attainment is sure, whether conquered swiftly in the course of one human life or pursued patiently through many stadia of the cycle of existence in the manifested universe"
........Sri Aurobindo continued.....

Losing M. Mind said...

I kind of think, and Nome said something to this effect in one of the satsang CD's I listen to, that grace and self-effort are not different from each other. That fits with my experiences. And if I looks at I, it works!

Ravi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Murali said...

Ravi Said

"murali in his emphasis on Faith and implicit obedience to the Guru"

Friends,

I wonder what is not based on faith? Our entire assumption of what happenes in the next moment is based on faith. We go out to our day-to-day work, with the faith that we come back by evening. I promise my wife that I will buy grocery in the evening with the faith that I will live till evening and will not die by then. When in such simple things, we exhibit faith, why not in things Guru says?

Even Bhagavan actually pointed towards Arunachala, to a group of doubting people and told that "When Arunachala takes care, why should we worry where the expenses for all the building works of Ashram will come from".

We follow Karma path with the faith that it will take us to realization. We follow Vichara path with the faith that it will take us to realization. Even in mundane things, I promise my boss at work that I will complete a particular work with the faith that I can do.

As I think, everything is faith based..even logic. We "believe" our logic.

I remember a statement from Sri Ramakrishna. When Naren told him that he does not encourage "blind faith", Thakur told him that there is nothing like faith with eyes and faith itself is blind.

Regards Murali

s. said...

salutations to all:
murali/ravi: (my '4 paise' opinion - simply to differentiate from the ubiquitous '2 cents' worth. hahaha)
the earth doesn't go around the sun because of faith. nor does the ball thrown up fall back to the earth due to faith, and that's independent of the faith of the person who threw the ball :-) we 'believe' we will come back home in the evening not because of faith but because of the 'evidence' of coming back home earlier for all the days we have been alive. pure mathematics & formal logic have little room for anything called 'faith'. only the most minimal axioms, which are self-evident, are taken as axioms. the superstructure what follows is pure reason. one may say - 'don't we believe the axioms?' yes, we do because we all do! all on a bright sunny day see the sky as 'blue' - such are the axioms.

'faith' typically is primarily used (or abused?) in the context of religion, nearly exclusively. nobody talks of faith in catching a bus or a train or going for a cup of tea. those are at the most simple harmless 'beliefs'. one may believe a bus to come to the stop at 9 am based on what has been put up by the transport office. but one doesn't feel his life is 'lost' in case it doesn't. 'faith' is of a more pernicious dimension :-)

don't know about 'bhaktI' or 'karma', but i would opine, if one doesn't wish to, one can gladly dispense the 'faith' aspect in 'vichAra'. first, based on the available literature, i have a picture of bhagavAn, the very definition of freedom. to wish to be in 'bhagavAn's state' is not faith, just a desire. second, he says we too can be 'free' through vichAra. now, am i not trying vichAra with 'faith'? need NOT be. one can try vichAra as if it were an honest investigation. where is the need to be convinced of the goal when trying out the means? why can't one sincerely 'test' & 'try' vichAra? where is the obligation for one to have the 'faith' a priori to realise the 'self'? take the extreme case: am not qualified to talk of bhagavAn or thAkur, but just for the sake of an example: what 'faith' did bhagavAn have on that decisive 'night' in july 1896?

on the other hand, it's possible that one who goes with the stern so-called faith might be disappointed in case the promised results fail to come. say, you are told 'you will 'see' god before you die', and suppose the last minute has arrived with no 'god' in sight. you think you will pass peacefully? of course not :-)
then, what about the nAyanmArs, AlvArs, the people who figure in the 'bhakta vijayam' that bhagavAn used to talk & narrate? that 'surrender', about which i know so very little, but know this much to say, isn't our so-called 'faith'. the 'faith' of people like us, arising out of a want of a bodyguard (mindguard?) called the 'god' security is anything but surrender! those immense lives, even to a non-believer as i, reveal their 'love of the lord' no matter what, no matter when, no matter where - absolute & unconditional. our 'faith' is more in the nature of a 'bargain', which we are only too happy to justify as 'surrender' :-)

Anonymous said...

Dear people,

I want to share something that I have not shared with anyone except two close friends.

Is everyone given a glimpse of that something, or a desire to be away from all the problems of the world,at some point in life, is my question?

Two weeks ago, all of a sudden, two incidents in my life came to mind. Don't know why.

The first happened when I was in Class IV. I had had a fight with a friend, and had decided to sulk in class during the lunch recess. As I was doing so, all alone, I remember looking at the tree outside and thinking (it was and still is a jumble of not-too-clear thoughts) that it would be better to be like a tree, not having to go to school, do homework, etc., etc.

The second is a series of recollections I have of school holidays, when in the afternoons, I would sit all by myself with a storybook in my hand and stare into space, relishing the feeling that I had my holidays going on, and that there was nothing to worry about.

I honestly don't think that there was anything special. But what i want to know is whether incidents like these are flashes of the inner desire of freedom that all of us carry?

Ravi said...

Maneesha/Friends,
....Sri Aurobindo continued.....
Always indeed it is the higher Power that acts. Our sense of personal effort and aspiration comes from the attempt of the egoistic mind to identify itself in a wrong and imperfect way with the workings of the divine Force. It persists in applying to experience on a supernormal plane the ordinary terms of mentality which it applies to its normal experiences in the world. In the world we act with the sense of egoism; we claim the universal forces that work in us as our own; we claim as the effect of our personal will, wisdom, force, virtue the selective, formative, progressive action of the Transcendent in this frame of mind, life and body. Enlightenment brings to us the knowledge that the ego is only an instrument; we begin to perceive and feel that these things are our own in the sense that they belong to our supreme and integral Self, one with the Transcendent, not to the instrumental ego. Our limitations and distortions are our contribution to the working; the true power in it is the Divine's. When the human ego realises that its will is a tool, its wisdom ignorance and childishness, its power an infant's groping, its virtue a pretentious impurity, and learns to trust itself to that which transcends it, that is its salvation. The apparent freedom and self-assertion of our personal being to which we are so profoundly attached, conceal a most pitiable subjection to a thousand suggestions, impulsions, forces which we have made extraneous to our little person. Our ego, boasting of freedom, is at every moment the slave, toy and puppet of countless beings, powers, forces, influences in universal Nature. The self-abnegation of the ego in the Divine is its self-fulfillment; its surrender to that which transcends it is its liberation from bonds and limits and its perfect freedom.
........continued...........

Ravi said...

Maneesha/friends,
...Sri Aurobindo on the time factor....
"Time is the remaining aid needed for the effectivity of the process. Time presents itself to human effort as an enemy or a friend, as a resistance, a medium or an instrument. But always it is really the instrument of the soul.
Time is a field of circumstances and forces meeting and working out a resultant progression whose course it measures. To the ego it is a tyrant or a resistance, to the Divine an instrument. Therefore, while our effort is personal. Time appears as a resistance, for it presents to us all the obstruction of the forces that conflict with our own. When the divine working and the personal are combined in our consciousness, it appears as a medium and condition. When the two become one, it appears as a servant and instrument.
The ideal attitude of the Sadhaka towards Time is to have an endless patience as if he had all eternity for his fulfillment and yet to develop the energy that shall realise now and with an ever-increasing mastery and pressure of rapidity till it reaches the miraculous instantaneousness of the supreme divine Transformation."
-----------------------------------
Here is an excerpt from the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
you see, the mother bird doesn't break the shell until the
chick inside the egg is matured. The egg is hatched in the fullness of time. It is
necessary to practise some spiritual discipline. The guru no doubt does everything
for the disciple; but at the end he makes the disciple work a little himself. When
cutting down a big tree, a man cuts almost through the trunk; then he stands aside
for a moment, and the tree falls down with a crash.

The farmer brings water to his field through a canal from the river. He stands
aside when only a little digging remains to be done to connect the field with the
water. Then the earth becomes soaked and falls of itself, and the water of the
river pours into the canal in torrents.
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Murali/s/Friends,
Here is an excerpt from Sri Aurobindo:
Faith does not depend upon experience; it is something that is
there before experience. When one starts the yoga, it is not usually
on the strength of experience, but on the strength of faith.
It is so not only in yoga and the spiritual life, but in ordinary
life also. All men of action, discoverers, inventors, creators
of knowledge proceed by faith and, until the proof is made or
the thing done, they go on in spite of disappointment, failure,
disproof, denial because of something in them that tells them
that this is the truth, the thing that must be followed and done.
Ramakrishna even went so far as to say, when asked whether
2.3 Basic Requisites of the Path 573
blind faith was not wrong, that blind faith was the only kind
to have, for faith is either blind or it is not faith but something
else – reasoned inference, proved conviction or ascertained
knowledge.
Faith is the soul's witness to something not yet manifested,
achieved or realised, but which yet the Knower within us,
even in the absence of all indications, feels to be true or supremely
worth following or achieving. This thing within us can
last even when there is no fixed belief in the mind, even when
the vital struggles and revolts and refuses. Who is there that
practises the yoga and has not his periods, long periods of disappointment
and failure and disbelief and darkness? But there
is something that sustains him and even goes on in spite of himself,
because it feels that what it followed after was yet true and
it more than feels, it knows. The fundamental faith in yoga is this,
inherent in the soul, that the Divine exists and the Divine is the
one thing to be followed after – nothing else in life is worth
having in comparison with that. So long as a man has that faith,
he is marked for the spiritual life and I will say that, even if his
nature is full of obstacles and crammed with denials and difficulties,
and even if he has many years of struggle, he is marked
out for success in the spiritual life.
It is this faith that you need to develop – a faith which is in
accordance with reason and common sense – that if the Divine
exists and has called you to the Path, (as is evident), then there
must be a Divine Guidance behind and through and in spite of
all difficulties you will arrive. Not to listen to the hostile voices
that suggest failure or to the voices of impatient, vital haste
that echo them, not to believe that because great difficulties are
there, there can be no success or that because the Divine has not
yet shown himself he will never show himself, but to take the
position that everyone takes when he fixes his mind on a great
and difficult goal, “I will go on till I succeed – all difficulties
notwithstanding.” To which the believer in the Divine adds,
“The Divine exists, my following after the Divine cannot fail. I
will go on through everything till I find him.”
-----------------------------------
Sri aurobindo gives these distinctions:
Faith – a dynamic entire belief and acceptance.
Belief – intellectual acceptance only.
Conviction – intellectual belief held on what seems to be
good reasons.
Reliance – dependence on another for something, based on
trust.
Trust – the feeling of sure expectation of another's help and
reliance on his word, character, etc.
Confidence – the sense of security that goes with trust.
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ravi, S and friends,
We say the sky is blue and indeed we believe it. When we fly overseas
and are high in the sky we see the atmosphere is colourless. Then back on terra firma we again look up and say what a beautiful day the sky is so blue.
We are an amalgam of imagination, blind faith and logic.
We cannot rely on the mind and stilling the mental chatter is the only way.
'just be' is the ultimate answer.
hj

Ravi said...

anonymous,
"that it would be better to be like a tree, not having to go to school, do homework, etc., etc."

Yes,very familiar strains!Why limit it to school,even in college as well during the exam time one develops this longing to be a buffalo nonchalantly wading through the mudslush without any care.
Yes,superficially speaking it does look like Rank escapism;the longing to free oneself of all responsibility is another variation of this same theme(to become a Sanyasi,etc).In a deeper sense it is the deep rooted desire to free oneself from Pain in search of our essential freedom.
You may explore Bertrand Russel's 'In Praise of Idleness'.

This is not to say that one can escape from the situation-As Sri Krishna says in the Gita,one's very nature will push one into activity;so better to do that activity in as complete a manner as possible.

Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

dear ravi,

This is not to say that one can escape from the situation-As Sri Krishna says in the Gita,one's very nature will push one into activity;so better to do that activity in as complete a manner as possible.

as our beloved Bhagavan has said, "If you are destined not to work, work cannot be had even if you hunt for it; if you are destined to work, you will not be able to avoid it; you will be forced to engage yourself in it"

incidentally, i am out of work and of the firm belief that Bhagavan is taking care.

"tearfully" - R p

Ravi said...

Anonymous(R p),
" i am out of work and of the firm belief that Bhagavan is taking care."
Friend,May sri Bhagavan's grace guide you through difficult times.Please review the situation calmly and see what needs to be done-We need to earn our living to support ourselves and whoever are dependant on us.See if you can improve your skill sets,qualification,certification,etc that will enhance your credentials for a job.
Also look for avenues for Self Employment.Take the help of close friends who are trustworthy.
Do not lose heart.Do what best you can and leave the rest to God.
Wish you the very Best.
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Silence_speaks,
" my name is udai. srk --- when i created my mail id, i was a devotee of Sri Ramakrishna[srk] and followed bhakti marga. I still consider him as my guru and follow bhakti, but no more am emotional abt it as i was earlier. right now, to me, Self Inquiry is the highest kind of Bhakti too!"

Friend,Looking forward to your sharing-Anything from the Life of Thakur or Sri Bhagavan.
Wish you the very Best.
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt fro 'Letters from Sri Ramanasramam':
28th August, 1946
(73) THE ‘I’ IS THE MIND ITSELF

This morning an Andhra gentleman questioned
Bhagavan: “You say the important thing to do is to enquire
and find out who I am, but how is one to find it out? Are we to
do japam saying, ‘Who am I? Who am I?’ or should we repeat,
‘Neti’ (not this)? I want to know the exact method, Swami.”
After waiting for a while Bhagavan said, “What is there to
find out? Who is to find out? There must be some one to find
out, mustn’t there? Who is that someone? Where has that
someone come from? That is the thing to find out first.”
That questioner said, again, “Should there not be some
sadhana to find out who one’s self is? Which sadhana will be
useful?” “Yes, it is that that has to be found out. If you ask
where to see, we should say, look within. What is its shape,
how was it born, and where was it born; that is what you
have to see or enquire,” said Bhagavan. The questioner asked
again, “If we ask where this ‘I’ is born, the ancients say, it is
in the heart. How could we see that?”
Letters from Sri Ramanasramam 130
“Yes, we have to see the heart itself. If you want to see
it, the mind must get submerged completely. It is no use
doing japam with the words, ‘Who am I? Who am I?’ nor by
repeating the words ‘Neti, Neti’,” said Bhagavan. When the
questioner said, that was exactly what he was unable to do,
Bhagavan replied, “Yes, that is so. That is the difficulty. We
always exist and are in all places. This body and all other
attendant things are gathered around us by ourselves only.
There is no difficulty in gathering them. The real difficulty
is in throwing them out. We find it difficult to see what is
inhering in us and what is foreign to us. See, what a great
tragedy it is!” said Bhagavan.
.........continued...........

Ravi said...

Friends,
....Letters From Sriramanasramam continued.....
Some time ago, when a Bengali youth asked similar
questions, Bhagavan explained to him at great length. His
doubts not being cleared, that youth asked, “You say that
the Self is present at all times and at all places. Where
exactly is that ‘I’?” Bhagavan replied with a smile, “When
I say you are present at all times and at all places and you
ask where is that ‘I’, it is something like asking, when you
are in Tiruvannamalai, ‘Where is Tiruvannamalai?’ When
you are everywhere, where are you to search? The real
delusion is the feeling that you are the body. When you
get rid of that delusion, what remains is your Self. You
should search for a thing which is not with you but where
is the need to search for a thing which is always with you?
All sadhanas are for getting rid of the delusion that you
are the body. The knowledge that ‘I am’ is always there:
call it Atma, or Paramatma or whatever you like. One should
get rid of the idea that ‘I am the body’. There is no need
to search for that ‘I’ that is the self. That Self is allpervading.”
As an illustration of this, I give hereunder the words of
Bhagavan in “Unnadhi Nalupadhi”:
Without the Self where is time and where is space? If we
are the body, we have to be bound by time and space. Are
we the body? We are one and identical now, then and
always; here, there and everywhere. So, we are existent,
without time and space.”
Reality in Forty Verses, verse 16

Losing M. Mind said...

I think I'm moving to Santa Cruz, for the same reason as some of what you guys are saying. I'm finding the association with the realized almost more important than my own feeble attempts. My effort is important, but it is as Nandu said mechanical without that grace essence. When I was in satsang with Nome yesterday, and he went over verses from the Ribhu Gita, the experience was very clear of this underlying one reality. Like every word pointed the way to a total direct experience. It's just not even close to something I can do on my own. Or when Sasvati was explaining the ins and outs of the place I was moving into. It was just like, O.K, I'm not leaving. I can't live apart from this grace essence. And being in holy company, is the key to it. I'm hanging around realized for as many lifetimes as it takes. Because I can't even live a good manifest life apart from that grace. And if I was in grace, I'd be beyond the sorrows of circumstance. Alot of times on my own, the practice is fruitful, in the sense that I experience happiness, which is an aspect of the Self. When I'm here, in Nome and Sasvati's presence, I get a direct experience of this one reality, that I truly am. I notice the deeper I get, the harder the manfifest aspect of Brahman, Ishvara (I suppose) makes it to live apart from holy company. Like it creates problems, to drive you to them, so that jnanis very literally are your only refuge. Not to put myself on the same level as them, not my intention. I notice that in the stories of how Lakshmana Swami realized, and others. With the malaria, that ceased to be a part of his story, when he made the decision to return to Ramanasramam. It's just the happiness in the company of the realized, no other happiness compares to it.

Ravi said...

Friends,
Yet another wonderful excerpt from 'Letters from Sri Ramanasramam':
12th March, 1947
(100) NO WASTE
Recently Bhagavan wrote the birthday verses and
“Ekatma Panchakam”, didn’t he? He was writing them on
bits of rough paper that absorbed ink and as I felt pained
that the divine letters that looked like a string of pearls should
have been written on bits of rough paper, I said to him, “It
would be better if they are written in a notebook.” “This is
all right,” he replied, “if I write them in a notebook somebody
will recognise my writing and take it away. There is no such
fear now. The Swami is the common property of all.” And
he declined to accept my suggestion.
As some alterations were made this morning in the
birthday verses, I wanted a small piece of white paper to
note them down and paste them in my notebook but on
searching for it in the hall, there was none. I had no patience
to go home to fetch the paper and so, without any hesitation
or fear, I told Bhagavan that I would ask for some from the
office. When I went there, they showed me some nice paper.
I took one sheet for myself and also said that it would be
nice for Bhagavan to write on, if only some sheets of paper
are supplied to him. “Then take them,” they said, and gave
me four sheets. I took them to Bhagavan and suggested that
he should use them for his writings, so that they could
afterwards be pasted in a book. I asked if the paper should
be put on the shelf. He said, “Where is it from? Did you get
it from the office?” I said, “Yes.” Then he said, “Why do I
need it? If you want, you can keep it for yourself. I shall tear
bits of paper from the newspapers, keep them carefully and
write on them. Why do I need such good paper?” As I could
not answer, I put it on the shelf.
It was about 9 a.m. After the post was received and
disposed of, Bhagavan began reading the newspaper. He
saw there a blank portion of about four inches. He began
folding it and tearing it off. He was smiling at me, but I
could not understand why. After tearing it off he folded it
nicely and, putting it on the shelf said, “Look, I shall use this
paper for my writings. How else could I get any paper?
Where can I go to get any? Isn’t this good enough for my
writings?” I replied, “So this is to teach us a lesson. Bhagavan
is always teaching us lessons, but we are not learning them.”
Bhagavan smiled and kept quiet.
........continued..............

Anonymous said...

What knowledge have you not borrowed from someone else? What do
you know? What do you own? What do you trust? Where do you turn
when nothing makes sense?

David Godman said...

Anonymous

When I was with Nisargadatta Maharaj, he would occasionally stop people who were talking to him and say, 'I am not interested in anything you have heard or read. If you want to say something, talk about your own experience of yourself.'

I liked that approach. It stops these encounters from degenerating into an unproductive exchange of ideas.

Ravi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ravi said...

Friends,
....Letters from Sri Ramanasramam continued.....
Sometimes people here who receive books by post bring
the books into the hall together with the papers wrapped
around them. Bhagavan nicely folds the wrapping and says
to the attendants, “Look! Keep this carefully. We shall cover
some other book with it. How can we get such paper if we
need it? What is thus acquired is a net gain.” Daily the inward
letters are brought from the office for Bhagavan’s perusal.
Amongst them, officials like you fold the paper and write on
one side, leaving the rest unused. Bhagavan tears off such
bits of unwritten paper and keeps them. The same is the
case with pins. After reading the papers, the pins are taken
out and handed over to the attendants, saying, “These will
be useful when we want them. They will otherwise be merely
thrown away. We shall use them. How should we get new
ones? They have to be bought. Where is the money?”
While living on the hill, Bhagavan personally used to
prepare ladles, spoons, cups and the like from out of coconut
shells. Till recently he was making cups and spoons of coconut
shells and polish them like ivory and tell the attendants,
“Look, keep these carefully. They will be useful on occasions.
How could we get silver and gold articles? These are our
silver cups and golden spoons. The hands won’t get burnt.
Letters from Sri Ramanasramam 205
They won’t be contaminated like metalware. It will be pleasant
to use them.” Not only that, when he takes any refreshments
or Malayalam kanji (gruel) Bhagavan uses only those articles.
Whenever Batavia or Kamala oranges and the like are
received, the skins are not allowed to be thrown away, and
chutneys and pickles are made out of them. They are also
used in soup or put to other such uses. Besides this, while
taking food, not a morsel is thrown away or discarded. He
thus shows us, by his own example, that not a single useful
article should be wasted.
If someone brings roses and presents them, Bhagavan
presses them against his eyes, puts them on the clock, eats
the petals when they get dry and fall off and gives some of
them to those near him. Once when someone brought a rose
garland, it was used to decorate the idol in the Mother’s
temple and afterwards thrown out by the priests into a waste
basket along with other flowers. Bhagavan saw that when he
went out and, getting angry with them, collected all the petals
and had them mixed with payasam (pudding), which thus
got a delicious flavour and excellent taste. On his way to the
hill, if he chances to see any useful leaves, he will pluck them
along with his attendants, give instructions about cooking
them and thus arrange for a delicious dish. He likes
preparations which do not cost anything rather than those
that are costly. All this may appear to be quite commonplace,
but if we think it over carefully, we will find it a good lesson
for us. It means, he teaches us that we could live comfortably
on small means.

namaskar.

Ravi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
David Godman said...

Ravi

You posted the same thing three times, and I accidentally let all three of them appear on the thread. I have now removed two of them.

Ravi said...

David,
Thanks very much and Apologies.I do not get the acknowledgement and have to refresh the page;perhaps each refresh results in a post.
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
28th June, 1947
(126) QUESTIONS WITH HALF KNOWLEDGE
A few days back a meeting of the Vysya Sangam was
held in this town. A number of prominent Vysyas from
Andhra State attended it. Two days back all of them came to
the Ashram in the morning and one of the chief men amongst
them addressed Bhagavan thus: “Swami, God has become
jiva. Will the grief that the jiva suffers affect God or not?”
Bhagavan did not give a reply immediately but
remained silent. The questioner waited for a while and asked,
“Swami, shall I wait until you give me a reply?” “Who is it
that is asking the question?” said Bhagavan. “A jiva,” he said.
“Who is that jiva? What does he look like? Where was he
born? Where does he get dissolved? If you enquire and find
out, he who is known as jiva will be found to be God himself.
Letters from Sri Ramanasramam 267
Then it will be known whether the grief experienced by the
jiva will affect God or not. When that is known, there will be
no trouble at all.” “That is what we are unable to know,” said
the questioner. “There is no effort required to know one’s
self. You exist during sleep but all the things in the world
that you see are not visible then. When you wake up you see
everything. But you existed then and exist now (during sleep
and while awake). That which comes on you in your wakeful
state should be thrown out,” said Bhagavan. “How are we to
throw it out?” enquired the other. “If you remain as you are,
it will go out of its own accord. Your nature is to be. If you
see the Reality as it is, the unreal will go away as unreal,”
said Bhagavan. “What is the method by which this can be
seen?” asked the questioner. “By enquiring ‘Who am I?’ and
‘What is my true state?’” said Bhagavan. “How am I to
enquire?” asked that questioner. Bhagavan kept silent.
The questioner waited for a reply for a while and then,
saying, “Yes, this is the method,” he touched the feet of
Bhagavan despite the objections of the attendants and went
away with all the members of the Vysya Sangam. After they
had left, Bhagavan said to those sitting near him, “Don’t
they know the reply? They just wanted to test me. They felt
that their work was over, when they touched my feet. What
more do they require?”
A rich Reddy from Nellore who happened to be there
said, “Ananda is said to be Atma. Ananda is free from sorrow.
If so, when the jiva experiences ananda, will he be free from
sorrow?” Bhagavan replied, “There can be ananda (joy) only
if there is duhkha (sorrow). It is only if a thing is known as
duhkha then ananda can be known. If duhkha is not realised,
how can ananda be realised? So long as there is one who
knows, these two will exist. Vastu (the thing that is) is above
sukha and duhkha. Even so, that vastu is known as sukha
because Sat is above sat and asat. Jnana is above jnana and
ajnana, Vidya is above vidya and avidya. The same thing is
said about several other things. So what is there to say?” said
Bhagavan. The same idea is expressed in stanza ten of
“Unnadhi Nalupadhi”.
-----------------------------------
Friends,this excerpt(where sri Bhagavan advises 'what is my true state') and the one that i have posted a few days back from 'the letters' where Sri Bhagavan emphasises the merging of the mind in the Heart does seem to indicate the nature of enquiry is not to focus the attention on the ego.
Elsewhere Sri Bhagavan has also said that there is no point in examining something that needs to be discarded.
One of the basic assumptions that seems to be made is that the 'ego' has to disappear before there is Self Realization.
To put it in another way,that the ego should be seen to be a 'Nothing' before one becomes aware of the self.To counter this assumption sri Bhagavan has clearly stated that no matter hower much a thief would pretend to catch a thief,he is not going to do it.
More on this later.
Namaskar.

s. said...

salutations to all:
ramesh: thanks for your reply.

ravi: you said [...Bhagavan emphasises the merging of the mind in the Heart does seem to indicate the nature of enquiry is not to focus the attention on the ego.]

this i say based on practice - 'vichAra' is best understood by "doing" vichAra :-) if one has the inclination, it's enough to get the most basic of bhagavAn's instructions (2 pithy sentences), and dive into it 'rightaway'. what to focus & what not to focus, and all such things will gradually get clearer with the practice. on the other hand, 'thinking' about what 'vichAra' actually is, is akin to standing on a tennis court & deliberating on all the possible ways in which one could serve & return without actually playing it!!! 'play' and 'see' - all the necessary skills as well as those that need to be corrected will all happen on its own :-)))

(david & others who have been practising self-enquiry since long may be able to elaborate more on this issue.)

Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt from 'Spiritual stories from Sri Ramana Maharshi':
‘I’ AND YOU
An earnest devotee asked Sri Bhagavan about the
method to realize the Self. As usual, Sri Bhagavan told him
to find out who is the ‘I’ in his question. After a few more
questions in this strain the devotee asked, “Instead of
enquiring ‘Who am I?’, can I put the question to myself
‘Who are you?’ since then, my mind may be fixed on you
whom I consider to be God in the form of Guru.”
Sri Bhagavan replied, “Whatever form your enquiry
may take, you must finally come to the one ‘I’, the Self. All
these distinctions made between ‘I’ and ‘you’, master and
disciple, are merely a sign of one’s ignorance. That ‘I’ Supreme
alone is. To think otherwise is to delude oneself.” Thereupon
Sri Bhagavan told the following story.
A PURANIC STORY of Sage Ribhu and his disciple Nidagha,
is particularly instructive.
Although Ribhu taught his disciple the Supreme Truth of
the One Brahman without a second, Nidagha, in spite of his
erudition and understanding, did not get sufficient conviction
to adopt and follow the path of jnana, but settled down in his
native town to lead a life devoted to the observance of
ceremonial religion.
But the sage loved his disciple as deeply as the latter
venerated his Master. In spite of his age, Ribhu would himself
go to his disciple in the town, just to see how far the latter had
outgrown his ritualism. At times the sage went in disguise, so
that he might observe how Nidagha would act when he did not
know that he was being observed by his master.
On one such occasion Ribhu, who had put on the disguise
of a rustic, found Nidagha intently watching a royal procession.
20
Unrecognised by the town-dweller Nidagha, the village rustic
enquired what the bustle was all about, and was told that the
king was going in procession.
“Oh! It is the king. He goes in procession! But where is
he?” asked the rustic.
“There, on the elephant,” said Nidagha.
“You say the king is on the elephant. Yes, I see the two,”
said the rustic, “But which is the king and which is the elephant?”
“What!” exclaimed Nidagha. “You see the two, but do not
know that the man above is the king and the animal below is
the elephant? What is the use of talking to a man like you?”
“Pray, be not impatient with an ignorant man like me,”
begged the rustic. “But you said ‘above’ and ‘below’ – what do
they mean?”
Nidagha could stand it no more. “You see the king and the
elephant, the one above and the other below. Yet you want to know
what is meant by ‘above’ and ‘below’?” burst out Nidagha. “If things
seen and words spoken can convey so little to you, action alone
can teach you. Bend forward, and you will know it all too well”.
The rustic did as he was told. Nidagha got on his shoulders
and said, “Know it now. I am above as the king, you are below
as the elephant. Is that clear enough?”
“No, not yet,” was the rustic’s quiet reply. “You say you are
above like the king, and I am below like the elephant. The
‘king’, the ‘elephant’, ‘above’ and ‘below’ – so far it is clear. But
pray, tell me what you mean by ‘I’ and ‘you’?”
When Nidagha was thus confronted all of a sudden with
the mighty problem of defining the ‘you’ apart from the ‘I’,
light dawned on his mind. At once he jumped down and fell at
his Master’s feet saying, “Who else but my venerable Master,
Ribhu, could have thus drawn my mind from the superficialities
of physical existence to the true Being of the Self? Oh! Benign
Master, I crave thy blessings.”

Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
One of the most wonderful aspects of Sri Ramakrishna is his utterly simple way of explaining the most subtle truths in a homely way that a child can understand.Here is an excerpt from The Gospel:
GOD'S GRACE IS THE ULTIMATE HELP
"You may try thousands of times, but nothing can be achieved without God's
grace. One cannot see God without His grace. Is it an easy thing to receive the
grace of God? One must altogether renounce egotism; one cannot see God as long as
one feels, 'I am the doer.' Suppose, in a family, a man has taken charge of the
store-room; then if someone asks the master, 'Sir, will you yourself kindly give me
something from the store-room?', the master says to him: 'There is already
someone in the store-room. What can I do there?'
"God doesn't easily appear in the heart of a man who feels himself to be his own
master. But God can be seen the moment His grace descends. He is the Sun of
Knowledge. One single ray of His has illumined the world with the light of
knowledge. That is how we are able to see one another and acquire varied
knowledge. One can see God only if He turns His light toward His own face.
"The police sergeant goes his rounds in the dark of night with a lantern in his
hand. No one sees his face; but with the help of that light the sergeant sees
everybody's face, and others, too, can see one another. If you want to see the
sergeant, however, you must pray to him: 'Sir, please turn the light on your own
face. Let me see you.' In the same way one must pray to God: 'O Lord, be gracious
and turn the light of knowledge on Thyself, that I may see Thy face.'

Namaskar.

Losing M. Mind said...

It's so funny, that dialogue, is just like my dialogue with Nome the other day. Where he was reading the Ribhu Gita. He picked verses, that had to do with, how in the highest sense, there is no devotee nor guru. And when he did that, my ego dissolved in the higher experience, which is who Nome is, who Maharshi is. He told me to remove the banks of my ego. And when I did, the current was fully established, and I said, but then I told him, in this state, if I actually do that, I won't be able to understand what you are saying. And he said (paraphrasing, because I can't really remember) that that was good, because the intellect can't grasp this. Yesterday, dialogueing with him, I said, if I actually do what you are saying, I couldn't talk and ask questions. and paraphrasing he said, "really? is that true? Then how did the Maharshi and other sages speak?" Everyone laughed. For this reason, I'm moving to Santa Cruz, needing the company of the truly realized.

Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt from the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
MAYA CREATES UPADHIS
"The jiva is nothing but the embodiment of Satchidananda. But since maya, or
ego, has created various upadhis, he has forgotten his real Self.
Each upadhi changes man's nature. If he wears a fine black-bordered cloth, you
will at once find him humming Nidhu Babu's love-songs. Then playing-cards and a
walking-stick follow. If even a sickly man puts on high boots, he begins to whistle
and climbs the stairs like an Englishman, jumping from one step to another. If a man
but holds a pen in his hand, he scribbles on any paper he can get hold of—such is the
power of the pen!
"Money is also a great upadhi. The possession of money makes such a difference
in a man! He is no longer the same person. A brahmin used to frequent the temple
garden. Outwardly he was very modest. One day I went to Konnagar with Hriday. No
sooner did we get off the boat than we noticed the brahmin seated on the bank of
the Ganges. We thought he had been enjoying the fresh air. Looking at us, he said:
'Hello there, priest! How do you do?' I marked his tone and said to Hriday: 'The
man must have got some money. That's why he talks that way.' Hriday laughed.
"A frog had a rupee, which he kept in his hole. One day an elephant was going
over the hole, and the frog, coming out in a fit of anger, raised his foot, as if to
kick the elephant, and said, 'How dare you walk over my head?' Such is the pride
that money begets!
One can get rid of the ego after the attainment of Knowledge. On attaining
Knowledge one goes into samadhi, and the ego disappears."
-----------------------------------
In upadesa undiyar,Sri Bhagavan says the same thing(verse 25):
thannai upAdhi vittu Orvadhu thAn Esanthannai unaRvadham undhEpaRa
thAnAi oLirvathAl undhEpara-

Knowing oneself having given up [one’s own] adjuncts [upadhis], is itself knowing God, because He shines as oneself [as one’s own reality, ‘I am’].

Note: Since that which exists and shines in one as ‘I am’ is the true nature of God, and since it is only one’s own adjunct-knowledge (upadhi-unarvu) that veils one’s knowledge of this ‘I am’, knowing this ‘I am’, which is one’s own real Self, without adjuncts (upadhis) is itself knowing God.(Sri Sadhu Om's commentary)

In verse 26,Sri Bhagavan categorically states:
thAnAi iruthale thannai arithalAm
thAn iranDu aRRadhAl undhE paRa
thanmaya nittai undhE paRa

Being Self is itself knowing Self, because Self is that which is not two. This is abidance as the reality (tanmaya-nishta).
Note: Since we do not have two selves, one self to be known by the other self, what is called Self-knowledge is nothing but the state of being Self – that is, the state of abiding as we really are, as the mere existence-consciousness ‘I am’, instead of rising as ‘I am this’ or ‘ I am that’. This state of being Self is what is called ‘Self-abidance’ (atma-nishta) or ‘abidance as the reality’ (tanmaya-nishta).(sri Sadhu Om's comments)

Namaskar.

David Godman said...

About the encroachments on the hill...

I had a guest here last week who hadn't been here for almost thirty years. She was initially shocked and amused by all the new commercial developments near Ramansramam, and not very happy with the way the town was slowly creeping up the hill. But after a day or so she realised that Arunachala itself hadn't changed; it was emanating the same glorious power that it always did. She spent most of her stay sitting on my roof, staring at the hill, wondering occasionally why I didn't spend my whole life doing the same.

While I was once doing pradakshina with Sadhu Om, he mentioned that when he arrived in Tiruvannamalai in 1946 there hadn't been a single house on the Arunachala side of Pai Gopuram Street, the road that runs between the temple and the foot of the mountain. Times change, but the power is still there.

Someone showed me a British engineer's map of Tiruvannamalai yesterday, drawn in 1760. There was a city wall made of mud about 300 metres from the temple walls, presumably a first line of defence against invaders. I am guessing that pilgrims in those days had a tougher time than the ones who are drawn here today.

J Krishnamurti recollected that he used to drive across rice fields when he travelled from Adyar to Mylapore at the turn of the last century.

The idyllic pastoral scenes of the past may be gone, but the power of Arunachala remains the same. From Jnansambandhar through to Bhagavan generations of great souls who have been drawn here have felt it and written about it. Urban sprawl is not going to change that power.

Finally, just a reminder to put general comments and queries on the Open Thread page, not on pages that are about specific topics.

kandhan said...

"Finally, just a reminder to put general comments and queries on the Open Thread page, not on pages that are about specific topics."

Noted, David.

But it still pains me to see encroachments. Of couse its a delicate issue. May if its recognised as a world heritage site along with the temple or something similar then the problem can be resolved to an extent.

Losing M. Mind said...

I guess for me, Self-inquiry is always something that eludes as to what it is, or how to do it. And I can only describe what I've done as my attempts at it. Now in the presence of the Guru, it's different. The Guru's discrimination I think is much closer to what Maharshi meant by self-inquiry. So I'm not sure it's a 'method' in the typical sense, but an aid to the darshan, so that there is only the Guru's grace, and not my ego, and it's ideas in the way. The Guru being the real Existence itself. Realization of the Self, is the goal, and I don't think some activity apart from that is. I mean some activity engendering something else than Self-Realization, is not the goal. self-inquiry is not something fun to do an addition to, it is supposed to be the method to realize the Self. So far, for me, that is something that takes place in the presence of the Guru, and not on my own. When Maharshi says, the mind looks at the mind. that is very different then other practices, where it's the mind 'doing something'. I'm looking at the one who would even 'enquire'. Who is he? And the only thing I can figure, is self-inquiry's purpose is to discern his non-existence (but maybe at the same time, what the real Existence is, it being left over after removing the false). Like the verse in 40 verses where it says, it falls down abashed and takes to flight as soon as one looks at it. But here, lately, in the presence of a sat-guru, and people who have been around him a while. The discrimination is sometimes far deeper, and indescribable, by me. Because there is only that one eternal Consciousness, Existence. And so I kind of feel that for me, the association with the Guru, is almost the highest practice. Because otherwise, how could I enquire?

Ravi said...

Broken Yogi/Friends,
"It would be helpful if you could explain or refer to Bhagavan's teaching on how the practice of self-enquiry helps us release these vasanas, samskaras, desires, clinging, and attachments."

In the very introduction of 'Naan Yaar'(who am I?-prose version),Sri Bhagavan gives the rationale how Self Enquiry helps one to free oneself from attachments and other upadhis.

He says:
"everyone has the greatest love for himself, which is solely due to the fact that happiness is his real nature"

As I understand Self enquiry is the simple recognition and awareness of this love of the self.
This love frees one from attachment to the nonself.This Love is the same as 'just be'.

A Bhakta also expresses this as love of God automatically frees him from attachments-as the saying goes where rAm(god) is there is no kAm(desire) -Where there is Love,there is no desire.
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
Those of you who found the writeup by sri rajiv kapur useful,may be interested in the following link posted in the december open thread(dec 07,2009):
http://itisnotreal.com/Self-Knowledge%20&%20Liberation-Dialogues.pdf

Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

What does it mean to learn the knowledge of
God's Unity? To consume yourself in the
presence of the One. If you wish to shine like
day, burn up the night of self-existence.
Dissolve in the Being who is everything.
You grabbed hold of "I" and "we,"
and this dualism is your ruin.

- Rumi

Anonymous said...

Dear Ravi,
Thank you for the link. But a more recent and updated version of the dialogues was published as "Autobiography of a Jnani"

It is available at
http://itisnotreal.com/Autobiography%20of%20a%20Jnani.pdf

Much more details and insights of Rajiv kapurs Samadhis, turiya, the Absolute self and various other kinds of experiences are given here.

Namaskar

s. said...

salutations to all:
anonymous/kandhan/others: on the issue of 'encroachments' in tiruvaNNAmalai, a friend told me y'day that compared to the burgeoning cities of modern india, aNNAmalai is still a very 'serene & green' place! am sure, none of here are viewing aruNAchalA as a 'retirement paradise', or is it? :-)

all such 'refurbishments' or 'barricades' or 'houses & villas' etc. are pretty natural things to happen. for those who approach aNNAmalai with the sole purpose of "the only purpose", the aruNAchalA which pulled sambandhar & bhagavAn is the same aruNAchalA that's beckoning all of us too. all these 'encroachments', i mean the 'need to do something about them', are precisely the distractions we must be wary of. when we don't have time to efficiently deal with the 'barricades' & 'encroachments' that plague us from within everyday, what's the point in getting worried about such things?
in every age, man somehow assumes that the age that went by was a 'golden age' and that the 'current age' has been a steep fall from the golden past :-)))

[folks, sorry to say but what's this "tiru" thing? 'tiru' in tamizh simply is a honorific and there are scores of towns & places in tamilnAd that start with 'tiru'!
given that we otherwise write so much, it just takes a few more 'key strokes' and surely can't be so much of a trouble to write aNNAmalai or aruNAchalA!!] :-)

kandhan said...

"The huge Arunachalaswar temple where endless barricades shoot up everywhere and upfront payment is demanded to worship the deity."

This was posted by Anonymous in "Qualifications for self inquiry".
Anonymous,one can have free darshan or pay a very nominal Rs. 20 for special darshan. During my visit last week, i had very close darshan Arunachaleswara by paying Rs.20/-. It was my fortune that there was no crowd at all during the days i visited. i was also presently surprised to see that atleast one Western devotee was also allowed special darshan. Most Indian temples dont even allow Westerners to enter the precints.

Dear s, i agree with you on your line of thought on the encroachment issue. but just imagine if all of arunachala was covered with construction. for me, looking at arunachala in his lush green glory is something indescribable. but again, who can know his mysterious ways?

s. said...

salutations to all:
kandhan & others: kandhan said [i had very close darshan (of) Arunachaleswara by paying Rs.20/-. It was my fortune that there was no crowd at all during the days i visited]

folks, i have a strong OPINION on this 'Special Darshan' issue: not about you kandhan, but in GENERAL - forget the temple's point of view, from the point of one who visits, despite my agnosticism, i simply don't understand how can there ever be a concept of being allowed to 'see the lord' just because one can "pay" a little money!! if one really believes that everyone is indeed the same before the lord, one should never ever (as i said, it's an opinion) buy a 'ticket' and get onto some privileged place to have darshan.

now the questions that most people raise are the following:
(i) 'if all do so, how will temples run?' - simple, drop whatever money you wish to in the 'hundi', but make it a point to stand in the 'GENERAL QUEUE' or 'dharmadarsanam'.
(ii)'what about places that have a 'heavy rush'? - again simple, it's better NOT to have darshan in such a case than buying a 'ticket' to do so. (more so in a country like india, where for many rural folks, 20 rupees is still a very decent sum of money).
(iii)'what about the handicapped /infirm or generally very old people (80 plus years)'? - yes, that's the only exception i can think of.

most importantly, people who love bhagavAn, like the folks here in the blog, should keep in mind bhagavAn's extraordinary 'samatvam' and NEVER pay money in a temple to get an extra privilege.
aruNAchalEsvara temple is the only temple i visit and, needless to say, though i have never bought a 'special ticket', yet it has never taken me more than 10 minutes (maximum) to be in the 'sanctum sanctorum' (quite often, the waiting time has been remarkably less than a couple of minutes) :-)

Ravi said...

Friends,
Notwithstanding what we would like to think-that Arunachala retains its power and glory,etc,etc there is no denying the fact that the environmental change has been happening that does threaten the landscape that is an integral part of this Holy place.
This certainly is a man made thing only and cannot be called 'natural' by any stretch of imagination.
Compared to the seventies,there is a sea change in terms of traffic that flows on the roads that was once a serene path for circumambulation.
Thanks to the few good samaritans who undertook cleaning up and forestation of Arunachala-I hope their good work is continuing and this certainly deserves all the help and support.
Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

all,

my two bit, which i am copying from someone who told me, is that maybe it is all in the grand scheme of things by Arunachala and He will take care of himself.

R p

kandhan said...

dear s, i totally agree with you. that is the reason i never felt like going to tirupati or vaishnodevi. his grace is not dependent on one's wealth. if he is omnipresent why go to temple at all? having said that, i did feel strong vibrations in sanctum sanctorums of powerful temples like tiruvannamalai & kalahasthi. personally, i try to avoid crowds and the jostlings and would like to spend more time imbibing the strong vibrations coz i have a lot of catching up to do. :)

Anonymous said...

" All of Western faith and good faith was engaged in this
wager on representation: That a sign could refer to the depth of
meaning, that a sign could exchange for meaning, and that
something could guarantee this exchange---God, of course. But
what if God himself can be simulated, that is to say, reduced to
the signs which attest his existence? Then the whole system
becomes weightless, it is no longer anything but a gigantic
simulacrum---not unreal, but a simulacrum, never again
exchanging for what is real, but exchanging in itself, in an
uninterrupted circuit without reference or circumference. "

Anonymous said...

TIRUVANNAMALAI: Normally, environmentalists would give their voice for planting trees and not for cutting them. But an invasive tree species, Acacia holosericea, planted in Tiruvannamalai hill several years ago attract their ire.

Colonies of these trees stand out among thick vegetation found in the southern slope of the hill as they have silvery phyllodes (flattened leaf stalk that looks like and acts as leaf). Real leaves of these trees are less in numbers and are short lived. Environmental activists, feel that the spread of this tree is detrimental to eco system and indigenous flora.

V. Arun, Managing Trustee of ‘Forest Way', an NGO that works for afforestation in Tiruvannamalai hill, told TheHindu “Acacia holosericea may be good in its native land, Australia, however, it becomes invasive in exotic conditions, like in India.
The Hindu

Ravi said...

Friends,
ThayumAnavar's 'ParipoorNAnandam' has some deeply personal(hence universal)expressions.Here,in this verse,ThayumAnavar refers to the confusion in his mind caused by varied approaches and expressions:

The Maya into which the elements subside
Is the origin of all, so some say. *[1]
The Substance into which the sense organs merge
Is the reality, so some say. *[2]
Where the cognitive organs, the karanas end,
Is the finite reality, so some say. *[3]

Where the gunas find their home
Is the Reality ultimate, so some say *[4].
Nadam it is, some say *[5]
Bindu it is, others say *[6].
The Self it is, yet others say *[7].
Formed it is, some say. *[8]
Formless it is, if you search deeper, so some say *[9].
The state where jiva merges losing identity in full
Is the reality, so some say *[10].
Divine Grace is the finite reality, so some say *[11].
The Void that neither beginning nor end has
Is the reality final so some say *[12].
And thus and thus yet other things they say.

By all these, except that my mind sore troubled,
Reaches a mercurial state.
Will I ever attain
The bliss of Transcendental Samadhi?
Oh! Thou who filleth all visible space
In unbroken continuity!
Thou, the Bliss that is Perfect Full!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FootNotes:

[1] School of Niriswara Sankhya
[2] School of Pasana Vadins
[3] School of Sangranda Vadins
[4] School of Niganta Vadins
[5] School of Sabda Brahma Vadins
[6] School of Jnananma Vadins
[7] School of Ekanma Vadins
[8] School of Sivasama Vadins
[9] School of Maya Vadins
[10] School of Bhaskara Charya
[11] School of Aikya Vada Saivas
[12] School of Sunya Vadins

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

Ravi said...

Friends,
....ThAyumAnavar continued....
In the very next verse ThAyumAnavar wonders:

"Who was it that converted my heart
Into a chamber of darkness
And then shortened my reason
Into a tiny spark
And submerged that reason by desire?

Who was it that decreed that
As the writing of fate on my head?
Who was it that
Without caring for attainment of Jnana-Bliss-Trance
Made me believe in the permanency of the body bag
And so to indulge in eating and sleeping?

Was it my desire that gave me my father, mother
And all the rest of worldly ties?
Shall I blame my own self, or others?
Shall I blame the present bad actions
Or the past karma for all this worldly bondage?
Forsooth I know nothing of Truth
Oh! Thou who filleth all visible space
In unbroken continuity!
Thou, the Bliss that is Perfect Full! "

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

Ravi said...

Friends,
......ThAyumAnvar continued.......
In the very next verse ThAyumAnavar regains the seemingly lost thread as it were and is well on course!
"To have reached the state of impassivity that holds
''Let them come that come,''
''Let them go that go,''
The mind but remaining to witness them.

To have received the inspiration
For attainment of wholesome Truth
In the tradition of Vedanta-Siddhanta Equability (Samarasa);
To have been taught the wisdom's way
Of the truth of body's impermanence;
To have been gifted with a heart that melts in love
Holding that the permanent state of bliss is liberation true -
All these are but by Thine Grace.

If only Thou have a little thought yet more to protect me,
Who hold to Thee as the Refuge,
O! Thou grant me firm the continuous silentness
That the elements five comprehend not.

Oh! Thou who filleth all visible space
In unbroken continuity!
Thou, the Bliss that is Perfect Full! "
-----------------------------------
I have to say that all translations are a pale imitation and devoid of the passionate cry and yearning that is part and parcel of the original compositions.

Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

it is true Papaji, so much suffering
i shed tears

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJyX9vFT7aw

Anonymous said...

it is true Papaji, so much suffering
i shed tears

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJyX9vFT7aw

Nandu Narasimhan said...

Dear s.,

"[folks, sorry to say but what's this "tiru" thing? 'tiru' in tamizh simply is a honorific and there are scores of towns & places in tamilnAd that start with 'tiru'!
given that we otherwise write so much, it just takes a few more 'key strokes' and surely can't be so much of a trouble to write aNNAmalai or aruNAchalA!!] :-)"

s., 'in many cases, the shortening may not be because of laziness, but a tendency to use a term of endearment for someone one loves a lot.

I for one use 'Tiru' as a form of endearment, and I am sure there are many here who do the same.

Nandu Narasimhan

Nandu Narasimhan said...

Re. David's comment on the 'urbanisation' of Tiruvannamalai.

"The idyllic pastoral scenes of the past may be gone, but the power of Arunachala remains the same. From Jnansambandhar through to Bhagavan generations of great souls who have been drawn here have felt it and written about it. Urban sprawl is not going to change that power."

Absolutely! At a personal level, the pull of Arunachala has gotten and is getting stronger day by day.

David, is there a law of any sort that bans construction on the hill itself?

Also, I really wish people have some regard for the sacred places on the Giripradakshina Path - the view from Bhagavan's Bridge has now been permanently obstructed by an ashram building of sorts.

Nandu Narasimhan

David Godman said...

Nandu

This is a complicated subject. There was a court case that ran for years over the management of the temple and the hill. While one party was winning, there was a court prohibition on all new construction inside the pradakshina road. Even people who had title deeds to land there were not allowed to put up new buildings. That party eventually lost and construction is now allowed on privately owned property. These privately owned lands are at the foot of the hill and not on the hill itself. The slopes of the hill are either reserve forest or managed by other government agencies. No new building is supposed to be happening on them.

The private houses behind Pai Gopuram on the lower slopes of the hill are mostly illegal encroachments, but no political party has so far had to courage to expel hundreds of people from these dwellings.

So, to answer your question: the land that is privately owned between the pradakshina road and the bottom of the hill can now be built on. The rest is under the stewardship of various government agencies such as the Forestry Department who don't seem to be pro-active in removing buildings that have no right to be there.

Anonymous said...

Hi

is anyone familiar with Mooji?
Link

apparently a Papaji follower, who claims some interesting experiences having had this association

not sure if Papaji ever declared him realised!?, but now Mooji is a contemporary guru, and treated as realised (i believe) by followers

wondering if Papaji ever declared Mooji as realised?

and if any has had experience with Mooji?

just curious

Thanks

Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
KNOWLEDGE OF BRAHMAN
MASTER (to M. and the others): "Is it an easy thing to obtain the Knowledge of
Brahman? It is not possible unless the mind is annihilated. The guru said to the
disciple, 'Give me your mind and I shall give you Knowledge.' In this state one enjoys
only spiritual talk and the company of devotees.
(To Ram) "You are a physician. You know that medicine works only when it mixes
with the patient's blood and becomes one with it. Likewise, in the state of
Brahmajnana one sees God both within and without. One sees that it is God Himself
who has become the body, mind, life, and soul."
M (to himself): "Assimilation!"
MASTER: "A man attains Brahmajnana as soon as his mind is annihilated. With the
annihilation of the mind dies the ego, which says 'I', 'I'. One also attains the
knowledge of Brahman by following the path of devotion. One also attains it by
following the path of knowledge, that is to say, discrimination. The jnanis
discriminate, saying, 'Neti, neti', that is, 'All this is illusory, like a dream.' They
analyse the world through the process of 'Not this, not this'; it is maya. When the
world vanishes, only the jivas, that is to say, so many egos, remain.
"Each ego may be likened to a pot. Suppose there are ten pots filled with water,
and the sun is reflected in them. How many suns do you see?"
A DEVOTEE: "Ten reflections. Besides, there certainly exists the real Sun."
MASTER: "Suppose you break one pot. How many suns do you see now?"
DEVOTEE: "Nine reflected suns. But there certainly exists the real sun."
1219
MASTER: "All right. Suppose you break nine pots. How many suns do you see now?"
DEVOTEE: "One reflected sun. But there certainly exists the real sun."
MASTER (to Girish): "What remains when the last pot is broken?"
GIRISH: "That real sun, sir."
MASTER: "No. What remains cannot be described. What is remains. How will you
know there is a real sun unless there is a reflected sun? 'I-consciousness' is
destroyed in samadhi. A man climbing down from samadhi to the lower plane cannot
describe what he has seen there."
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

4 essentials:

1] within is joy, without is suffering

D.: What is happiness?
M.: Happiness is the very nature of the Self; happiness and the Self are not different. There is no happiness in any object of the world. We imagine through our ignorance that we derive happiness from objects. When the mind goes out, it experiences misery. In truth, when its desires are fulfilled, it returns to its own place and enjoys the happiness that is the Self. Similarly, in the states of sleep, the mind becomes inward-turned, and enjoys pure Self-Happiness. Thus the mind moves without rest alternately going out of the Self and returning to it. Under the tree the shade is pleasant; out in the open the heat is scorching. A person who has been going about in the sun feels cool when he reaches the shade. Someone who keeps on going from the shade into the sun and then back into the shade is a fool. A wise man stays permanently in the shade. Similarly, the mind of the one who knows the truth does not leave Brahman. The mind of the ignorant, on the contrary, revolves in the world, feeling miserable, and for a little time returns to Brahman to experience happiness. In fact, what is called the world is only thought. When the world disappears, i.e. when there is no thought, the mind experiences happiness; and when the world appears, it goes through misery.

2] the practice

M.: “stick to the ‘I’ thought and question it to find out what it is”

3] all you can do

D.: Even so, I do not understand. 'I', you say, is the wrong 'I' now. How to eliminate this wrong 'I'?
M.: You need not eliminate the wrong 'I'. How can 'I' eliminate itself? - All that you need do is to find out its origin and abide there. Your efforts can extend only thus far. Then the Beyond will take care of itself. You are helpless there. No effort can reach it.

4] go within and never again leave

M.: This is the sum and substance of all that an aspirant needs to know. What is imperatively required of him is an earnest and one-pointed enquiry into the source of the ‘I’ thought.

Anonymous said...

I thought this interesting, particularly towards the end of the video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whAFLhSWdsA&feature=player_embedded

an authentic realisation experience?

perhaps, but generally this type are mere glimpses (at best) and do not last long

and even if it was, what relevance is it to me?
i must find truth within myself, no where else, it is here i must dive deep

Anonymous said...

Dear Soorya and friends,
When I first came across the teachings of Ramana Maharshi I was full of joy and excitement, I could think of nothing else. As the years went by I see-sawed between loss of interest in my appearance to real effort in the image I projected, showing how unripe I really was.
Yes one can become disenchanted and even depressed on the spiritual path. Seeing other people as 'gaping' just shows how you view people as 'other.' Viewing people with compassion even the frivolous ones, is a path with a heart.
Detachment is a good thing but don't disconnect.
hj

Anonymous said...

Someone mentioned Mooji. These self styled guru's who put themselves on a pedestal. They're a dime a dozen.

Anonymous said...

not sure about Mooji.

could be taking people for a ride, or could be authentic.

he seems to communicate skilfully, .......naturally!!, doesnt seem to be regurgitating from a book, but from experience

having said that i think one needs to spend time with such a person to draw their own conclusions

David, have you had any dealings with Mooji? or any comments

David Godman said...

Anonymous, and others

In the years I spent with Papaji I never once heard him say that any of his own devotees were 'jnanis'. Though he declared that many people had experienced 'enlightenment' in his presence, he seemed to regard enlightenment as a way station on the way to the final sahaja state. On page 406 of volume three of Nothing Ever Happened there is an extract from one of his letters to a devotee in which he wrote:

'You have won enlightenment. Now you have to go beyond, on the raft of this enlightenmment, to the unmanifest supreme, turiyatita sahaja stithi.'

The subsequent paragraphs (an interview between myself and Papaji) expand on this statement.

A limited number of people were given permission by Papaji to teach. When he was asked publicly about this, he said that they were 'messengers', not Gurus in their own right. Mooji did not even make this list.

Papaji said that everyone had his permission to tell their friends, relatives and acquaintances that suffering was illusory, and that happiness was one's birthright. He said that people needed to hear this message again and again since we have all been conditioned to believe otherwise. He also said that people had his permission to speak about what had happened to them in Lucknow. This led many people to set themselves up as teachers, usually without his permission. In January 1994 he more or less disowned all the 'messengers', saying that their egos had got the better of them and that they had all become arrogant. He compared the messengers to ambassadors who had been sent out to pass on his message. Instead of being content with being ambassadors, he said, they had tried to set themselves up as kings and queens of their respective countries.

Anonymous said...

NM.: the greatest guru is your inner Self, he is the supreme teacher
confide in him and you need no outer guru
but you must have the strong desire to find him

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUyLIYVrd5U

Losing M. Mind said...

That really makes sense. But then, I kind of suspect that some people or atleast a few really did realize the Self in Papaji's presence. But they may have went on their way, and why would Papaji advertise this fact. How would it help others who had come to see him? It's like with Ramana Maharshi. There were probably a few others that realized the Self around Ramana, but went their way, never to be heard from again by us. I mean, "there are no others to mix with". May have lived normal lives. May have helped people, and been in practice gurus, but not famous. I would suspect an equal number of women realized the Self in Maharshi's presence as men. But what are their stories?

David Godman said...

I received this email with a request to post it here:

I have a few information request from you.

i)We know that our Arunachala Ramana composed Appalam song for her Mother and for all of us. That time Maharishee mentioned that Mother used to sing Rice song, Soup song etc all with vedantic meanings. Does somebody has those copies with them?

ii)Even though Mother attained Maha Samadhi (for that matter different jnanis) I feel intuitively that may be in accordance with the path followd by the ego-mind in attaining Nirvana, depending on that, the way in which we worship, and get benefit from their Samadhi may differ though the goal is same. A classic example is about a phsycis professor N R Krishnamuthy Iyer who lived on Ramana's time. He stated that once he was not able to resume to normal state after going to exalted state for weeks together, he came to the Maharishee. But the state remained the same and he could not resume to normal state. Then finally he went to Mother's samadhi where he got a intuition that between rama & rama chanting there is a gap which is the pure self.

My point here is I also feel intuitively that the approach to different Jnanis in the waking state may well depend on time-space-orientation constraints. For instance, if one has to approach Athri Mahairshee today and invoke his blessings, most probably one must be in the higher mode of meditative state & approach him in accordance with his days methods. On other hand for Manikavasagar of Thiruvasagam deovtion and crying for Shiva is the best approach. And with our Maharishee ofcourse self enquiry/surrender was the approach most disciples must take. My idea is that though Nirvana is one and pure, the ego-mind leaves its traces, leaves its roadway to the followers who choose to follow them. That roadway drawn to Nirvana exists for other ego minds eternally to follow though ego-mind of the jnani had lost its world along with itself.

Do you get my point? Can you kindly put this in the blog to invite many a discussion?

Regards,
Krishna

Nandu Narasimhan said...

Not really an update of any significance - just that one should never try working in office with the 'Parayana' playing in your headphones!

No work gets done. It is just too powerful. Everything just stops!



Nandu Narasimhan

Murali said...

Krishna Wrote

"And with our Maharishee ofcourse self enquiry/surrender was the approach most disciples must take. My idea is that though Nirvana is one and pure, the ego-mind leaves its traces, leaves its roadway to the followers who choose to follow them."

This is my view too. I think this is true with respect to the outward behaviour of the Jnani also. For example, why is Sri Ramakrishna so talkative/homely/child-minded(like a fresh Green field) and why is Bhagavan like a Snow-cad mountain (Gambhira) though both of them are Jnanis? The explanation, I think, is because of the nature of their egos before they became Jnanis.

Regards Murali

Losing M. Mind said...

I have been fortunate enough lately to be in the presence of two people who I experientially believe strongly to be true jnanis (unfamous). It's an interesting experience. Even the most mundane interaction leaves me in a state of unparalleled happiness and soul fulfillment, and even a glimpse of perhaps the reality of the Self. The happiness is the cherished aspect, for me. And they are interestingly a married couple. And I've been brought home how jnanis do not behave any different from other people. Except always positive, pro-active, intense energy. And thorough communication (no stone unturned, no carelessness). But there is nothing about the behavior that is out of the ordinary or jnani-seeming. Other then I leave their company in a profound state of perfect contentment, all the problems dissolved, effulgence, peace. And the interactions kind of like water dissolving limestone, dissolve every aspect of discontent, in an inexplicable way. In my case, I'm not thoughtless, but I find myself doing things in town, and the Bliss is the foremost thing, a cool peace, and the world seems like a distant dream that is transpiring perfectly. And this is how I have no doubt they are perfect jnanis. Because I've spent most of my time in this life, even with ardent spiritual practice in a state of psychological torment, with some breaks of clouds. It's like all that's left of the jnani is the love essence, which is I guess the real! And that is the thing, I've always felt so lonely, and unloved. That is the power of the Guru, one is fulfilled both outwardly and inwardly. bhakti is natural. How could you not adore this liberating presence? utterly? I would prostrate, but the prostrations is to internal in utter devotion!

Anonymous said...

Re the encroachment on the hill. The narrow path up to Virupaksha is dotted with small thatched huts
with lots of small children running around. I saw western devotees negotiating a look into the huts and then the parents bargaining for a photo opportunity.
I understand poverty can be and is grim but there is nothing authentic left if local parents negotiate a price for a photo of their small children and Westerners have no shame.

Anonymous said...

Sri Ramana Maharshi said: "To have darshan of a saint is sure to bring good to you. Thousands of people pass by Tiruvannamalai in trains everyday, but few alight here and fewer still visit the ashram. About darshan of and association with a saint, the scriptures say that it is a vessel that enables you to cross the vast ocean of samsara. What more benefit do you want?"
Papaji said something very similar.
There are billions of people on this earth but only a few were called to Lucknow.
hj

s. said...

salutations to all:
murali/krishna: murali said "For example, why is Sri Ramakrishna so talkative/homely/child-minded(like a fresh Green field) and why is Bhagavan like a Snow-cad mountain (Gambhira) though both of them are Jnanis? The explanation, I think, is because of the nature of their egos before they became Jnanis."

on the face of it, thAkur and bhagavAn, apparently, did behave a little differently but that the same can be attributed to the 'nature of their egos prior to realisation' is, philosophically, absolutely untenable! if they are jnAnIs, then it is obvious that their 'ego' is throughly and unambiguously extinguished. when the ego itself is non-existent, where is the question of any absurdity such as an 'ego-trail'? what made them behave in the way they did would have been best answered by thAkur and bhagavAn. and as they are not here to tell us (i doubt even if asked, bhagavAn would have entertained such a question!), the only way to comprehend the seeming differences in their dispositions, is - 'who knows why they behaved in whatever ways they did'.

it isn't difficult to imagine what might have been bhagavAn's typical reponse to such a question?, isn't it? most probably, he would have either remained silent or said 'first realise that jnAna and then we can talk about whether there is an ego-trace/trail!' there is absolutely no use of doing a psychological profiling on bhagavAn and thAkur!! :-)))

Ravi said...

Murali,
"For example, ... Sri Ramakrishna so talkative/homely/child-minded(like a fresh Green field) and ... Bhagavan like a Snow-cad mountain (Gambhira)"
Beautiful description!
Here is an excerpt from the Gospel of sri Ramakrishna:

Master's guilelessness

Sri Ramakrishna was worrying, like a child, because he thought his legs were
slightly swollen. Mahendra Kaviraj of Sinthi entered the room and saluted the
Master.

MASTER (to the devotees): "Yesterday I said to Naran, 'Just press your leg and
see if there is any dimple.' He pressed it and there was one. Then I
gave a sigh of relief. (To Mukherji) Will you please press your leg? Is there any
dimple?"
MUKHERJI: "Yes, sir."
MASTER: "Ah, what a relief!"
MANI MALLICK: "Why should you worry about it, sir? Please take your bath in the
river. Why should you take medicine?"
MASTER: "No, sir. You have strong blood. Your case is different. The Divine
Mother has placed me in the state of a child. One day I was bitten by something in
the jungle. I had heard people say that, in case of snakebite, the poison would come
out if the snake bit again. So I put my hand in a hole and waited. A man passing by
said to me: 'What are you doing? You will get rid of the poison only if the snake
bites again in the same place. You will not be cured if the snake bites another part
of your body.'
"I was told that the autumn dew was good. One day, while coming from Calcutta, I
stuck my head out of the carriage and exposed it to the damp air. (All laugh.)
-----------------------------------
This is one of the ways that the Master bewitches one and all-by being absolutely childlike and accessible; that he is like one of us and may be we have to take care of him!See how mani mallick has to console him!
......continued.......

Ravi said...

Murali/friends,
.....Sri Ramakrishna,the child of the divine mother,continued....
"Ramakrishna loved Narendranath because he saw him as the embodiment of Narayana, the Divine Spirit, undefiled by the foul breath of the world. But he was criticized for his attachment. Once a trouble-maker of twisted mind named Hazra, who lived with the Master at Dakshineswar, said to him, 'If you long for Naren and the other youngsters all the time, when will you think of God?' The Master was distressed by this thought. But it was at once revealed to him that though God dwelt in all beings, He was especially manifest in a pure soul like Naren. Relieved of his worries, he then said: 'Oh, what a fool Hazra is! How he unsettled my mind! But why blame the poor fellow? How could he know?'

Sri Ramakrishna was outspoken in Narendra's praise. This often embarrassed the young disciple, who would criticize the Master for what he termed a sort of infatuation. One day Ramakrishna spoke highly of Keshab Sen and the saintly Vijay Goswami, the two outstanding leaders of the Brahmo Samaj. Then he added: 'If Keshab possesses one virtue which has made him world-famous, Naren is endowed with eighteen such virtues. I have seen in Keshab and Vijay the divine light burning like a candle flame, but in Naren it shines with the radiance of the sun.'

Narendra, instead of feeling flattered by these compliments, became annoyed and sharply rebuked the Master for what he regarded as his foolhardiness. 'I cannot help it,' the Master protested. 'Do you think these are my words? The Divine Mother showed me certain things about you, which I repeated. And She reveals to me nothing but the truth.'

But Naren was hardly convinced. He was sure that these so-called revelations were pure illusions. He carefully explained to Sri Ramakrishna that, from the viewpoint of Western science and philosophy, very often a man was deceived by his mind, and that the chances of deception were greater when a personal attachment was involved. He said to the Master, 'Since you love me and wish to see me great, these fancies naturally come to your mind.'

The Master was perplexed. He prayed to the Divine Mother for light and was told: 'Why do you care about what he says? In a short time he will accept your every word as true.'

On another occasion, when the Master was similarly reprimanded by the disciple, he was reassured by the Divine Mother. Thereupon he said to Naren with a smile: 'You are a rogue. I won't listen to you any more. Mother says that I love you because I see the Lord in you. The day I shall not see Him in you, I shall not be able to bear even the sight of you.'

On account of his preoccupation with his studies, or for other reasons, Narendra could not come to Dakshineswar as often as Sri Ramakrishna wished. But the Master could hardly endure his prolonged absence. If the disciple had not visited him for a number of days, he would send someone to Calcutta to fetch him. Sometimes he went to Calcutta himself. One time, for example, Narendra remained away from Dakshineswar for several weeks; even the Master's eager importunities failed to bring him. Sri Ramakrishna knew that he sang regularly at the prayer meetings of the Brahmo Samaj, and so one day he made his way to the Brahmo temple that the disciple attended. Narendra was singing in the choir as the Master entered the hall, and when he heard Narendra's voice, Sri Ramakrishna fell into a deep ecstasy. The eyes of the congregation turned to him, and soon a commotion followed. Narendra hurried to his side. One of the Brahmo leaders, in order to stop the excitement, put out the lights. The young disciple, realizing that the Master's sudden appearance was the cause of the disturbance, sharply took him to task. The latter answered, with tears in his eyes, that he had simply not been able to keep himself away from Narendra.

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

Ravi said...

Murali/friends,
.....Sri Ramakrishna,the child of the divine mother,continued....
On another occasion, Sri Ramakrishna, unable to bear Narendra's absence, went to Calcutta to visit the disciple at his own home. He was told that Naren was studying in an attic in the second floor that could be reached only by a steep staircase. His nephew Ramlal, who was a sort of caretaker of the Master, had accompanied him, and with his help Sri Ramakrishna climbed a few steps. Narendra appeared at the head of the stair, and at the very sight of him Sri Ramakrishna exclaimed, 'Naren, my beloved!' and went into ecstasy. With considerable difficulty Naren and Ramlal helped him to finish climbing the steps, and as he entered the room the Master fell into deep samadhi. A fellow student who was with Naren at the time and did not know anything of religious trances, asked Naren in bewilderment, 'Who is this man?'

'Never mind,' replied Naren. 'You had better go home now.'

Naren often said that the 'Old Man,' meaning Ramakrishna, bound the disciple for ever to him by his love. 'What do worldly men,' he remarked, 'know about love? They only make a show of it. The Master alone loves us genuinely.'
-----------------------------------
Thakur used to visit the homes of devotees,often without being invited!He will offer coconut to the divine mother to pray for the recovery of Keshab sen or some other devotee!He will worry over their illness!
The simple teaching in all this is -The divine Mother is one's own;we can express ourself freely and ask of her freely as her child.

The jnani says-God(Self) am 'I'
The Bhakta says-God is 'mine'.

The Jnani has nothing to say-silence says it all.
The Bhakta has always something to say on almost anything and everything-for everything reminds him of his beloved and it is a joy to share it with one and all.
-----------------------------------
Sri Ramakrishna used to say that the elephant has one set of teeth(tusks)for outer show(Bhakti) and another set of teeth for eating(Jnana).

Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

Birds in the sky and fish in water
Dart and leave no track behind.
And none can trace the path by which
The sages journeyed to the Self.

Sri Murugunar

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

... 'What do worldly men,' he remarked, 'know about love? They only make a show of it.' ...

Wonderful!

Murali said...

s said

"on the face of it, thAkur and bhagavAn, apparently, did behave a little differently but that the same can be attributed to the 'nature of their egos prior to realisation' is, philosophically, absolutely untenable!"

We cannot dismiss what the ego has done before it died. Even after realization, a Jnani lives the rest of his life and that remaining part is compared to the last few minutes of the revolving of the electric fan after the electricity has been switched off. Whatever this body is supposed to undergo till its fall has already been determined (whether for a Jnani or an Ajnani) and this is in accordance with the prarabha of the ego.

Thakur himself told that the ego of a Jnani is like a burnt rope and it will retain the shape of the original rope (pre-destruction shape) till the body falls.


Ofcourse, from the view point of the Jnani everything is a dream and he always tells that when the husband dies, all the 3 wives become widows. This is the Brahmastra He/She always uses ( Suri Nagamma's term for the absolute stand point)


So, unless there is any thing else to disprove, I would assume the ego-trail explanation to be correct, to explain the differences in the behavior and "apparent" nature of Jnanis like Thakur/Bhagavan/Sai Baba/Seshadri Swami etal.,

Regards Murali

Ravi said...

Murali/s/Ramos/Friends,
An excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

NARENDRA (to the Master): "I had a talk with Girish Ghosh. He is indeed a great
man. We talked about you."
MASTER: "What did you say about me?"
NARENDRA: "That you are illiterate and we are scholars. Oh, we talked in that vein!"
(Laughter.)
MANI MALLICK (to the Master): "You have become a pundit without reading a book."
Goal of scriptural study
MASTER (to Narendra and the others): "Let me tell you this: really and truly I
don't feel sorry in the least that I haven't read the Vedanta or the other
scriptures. I know that the essence of the Vedanta is that Brahman alone is real
and the world illusory. And what is the essence of the Gita ? It is what you get by
repeating the word ten times. Then it is reversed into, 'tagi', which refers to
renunciation. The pupil should hear the essence of the scriptures from the guru;
then he should practise austerity and devotions. A man needs the letter he has
received from home as long as he has not learnt its contents. After reading it,
however, he sets out to get the thing he has been asked to send. Likewise, what
need is there of the scriptures if you know their essence? The next thing is the
practice of spiritual discipline."

Girish entered the room.
MASTER (to Girish): "Hello! What were you saying about me? I eat, drink, and make
merry."
GIRISH: "What should we have been saying about you? Are you a holy man?"
MASTER: "No, nothing of the sort. Truly I do not feel I am a holy man.
GIRISH: "I am not your equal even in joking."
MASTER: "I once went to Jaygopal Sen's garden house wearing a red bordered
cloth. Keshab was there. Looking at the red borders Keshab said: 'What's this?
Such a flash of colour today! Such a display of red border I said, 'I have to cast a
spell on Keshab; hence this display.'"
-----------------------------------
The spontaneity of Sri Ramakrishna is utterly charming.Truly no other guru allowed this sort of indulgence.The childlike master is so beautifully captured by 'M' in the Gospel-How the master asks 'M' whether he should button his shirt when he is about to enter the house of Vidayasagar!
Here is a flavour of the Master's Bengali:

Sri R – (to me) “Jamar Botam Ki Debo?”
M – Tar Darkar nai – Apnar Kichhu
Darkar nai
Scene II
(After alighting from the carriage,
before climbing the stairs)
Sri R.K. (to me) – “Shall I button my
shirt?”
M – “No need. You don’t need (do)
anything.”

How like a simple child ,the master accepts the word of 'M'!
Bengali language is a sweet one not unlike the lisping of a child- quite a sprinkling of 'O' and 'ee'.
-----------------------------------
I often come across people who say that they have 'read' the Gospel.I wonder how this past tense 'Read' can be used-Whenever I read it,it is as if for the first time-and I never think that i can ever finish reading this book.
I also wonder how when King Parikshit came under the curse of a Rishiputra-that he would die in 7 days,it was only the narration of Bhagavatham that came to his rescue;the Bhagavad gita that was taught to his grandpa Arjuna did not come in handy!
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Nandu/shankar,
"So I am not the only madman - I play Nochur Venkataraman's discourses and the Tamil Parayanam non-stop in my car."

Shankar,I mailed the mp3 version of the song enna vEndum enna vEndAm to you;also one other song of Sri Sadhu Om swamigal.Hope you got it.
To check whether the attachment is okay,I played the song and now it is playing continuously for almost 5 hours!

Nandu,yes you are not the only nutcase;there are others like our friend Ramana Paithiyam!You are blessed.

Here is an excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna about another nutcase-Krishnakishore who pleaded to the physician not to cure his madness!
"Once Krishnakishore asked me, 'Why have you cast off the sacred thread?' In
those days of God-vision I felt as if I were passing through the great storm of
Aswin and everything had blown away from me. No trace of my old self was left. I
lost all consciousness of the world. I could hardly keep my cloth on my body, not to
speak of the sacred thread! I said to Krishnakishore, 'Ah, you will understand if you
ever happen to be as intoxicated with God as I was.'
"And it actually came to pass. He too passed through a God-intoxicated state,
when he would repeat only the word 'Om' and shut himself up alone in his room. His
relatives thought he was actually mad, and called in a physician. Ram Kaviraj of
Natagore came to see him. Krishnakishore said to the physician, 'Cure me, sir, of my
malady, if you please, but not of my Om.' (All laugh.)

Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Ramesh,
I enjoyed your post on the Tamil film music songs-particularly the way you have underlined the thematic strain -as a jeeva pining for the Beloved,Jeeva exulting etc.
I do not quite follow the film music songs-they are not in my repertoire,except the ones of the 60s or 70s that I had listened long while back. As a Boy,the song 'Alayamaniyin Osaiyai nAn kEttEn' by P susheela used to kindle long forgotten memories deep within.I never went beyond the words 'Alayamaniyin Osai' and the tune of the song was enough to create the euphoric feeling.
one of the film songs that from recent times that i have enjoyed and where I found myself concurring verbatim,line for line is the beautiful song-amma enRu azhaikkAdha uyir illayE-sung by the gifted jesudas.
The songs quoted by you are indeed beautiful and what is more important quite decent( a quality that is a rarity and often a casualty by today's standards.)

I found my comments in response to s, a little sweeping(could not help it!The compositions of appar and company do not permit comparisons!).

Ramesh,you are Blessed.I quite agree with you that the distinction between the mundane and profound falls away when there is the awakening of Love.In truth there is nothing like human and divine love-this spark is there in the animals as well,as also in plants and trees-whatelse makes them reach out for the rays of the sun.

Namaskar.

Losing M. Mind said...

I really relate. Even when I read Who am I? for the first time, I was considerably more agnostic/atheistic then I am now. It appealed to my intellect. Even though there is alot more there. I've also had that experience of being more drawn toward the devotional side amazingly. For instance in the interaction with these two jnanis, spiritual teachers I've been in contact with. I honestly, get alot deeper, by thinking of them with awe, or fascination, then I do trying sometimes to Self-inquire on my own. It depends.When I was in satsang, when I had the thought (note, not saying verbally), that I should treat Nome as myself. He lit up with the biggest smile. Robert Adams actually said loving the sage as oneself is the highest practice. Which also validated this intuition. The reason I thought to treat Nome as myself, as the Self itself is really apparent for me, in his person. I not only thought of treating Nome as myself, but eliminating the second (me), to reveal the One without a second, which is who the Guru is. And that Guru, is myself. The human Guru, is such an invaluable connection accross that chasm. That's why I'm moving to Santa Cruz. I was walking around in such an intense state of happiness, and contentment, all the time. And it's probably a better, "jumping off place" to even interact with friends I'm leaving behind in other places. Even thinking positive thoughts like these about a Guru, really takes me so much deeper. Because I'm really worshipping to the true Self. Robert Adams also had said, worshipping the formless is difficult, and he recommended, directing it all toward one Diety.

Ravi said...

Scott,
There is no better sadhana than devotion to the Guru.
This post by David sums up the essence of Sadhana.I am copying it here:

David Godman said...
Anonymous

Does Bhagavan solve my problems? Undoubtedly yes. The more one can learn to delegate to Him, the better the results. I have discovered this to be true on many, many occasions

What is my relationship with him? The Indian phrase 'mother-father-Guru-God' sums it up quite nicely. To which I would add 'He is my own Self'.

July 25, 2010 9:24 PM

It is enough to establish 'some' relationship with the Guru-in whatever way that seems natural-as mother,father,friend,etc.This would lead to all the rest.

-----------------------------------
Wish you the very Best and keep sharing your experiences with Master Nome.

Namaskar.

Ramesh Nagarajan said...

Dear Ravi,

Yes, it is all Bhagavan's grace. I could summarize the transformation with another tamil movie song "Nane Nana Yaro Thana Mella Mella Mari Naena" (Azhagae Unnai Arathikirane).

I believe, when we are in love with some one, we are either consciously or unconsciously, trying to recognize, love, reach and be the substratum that lies very deep within all beings. If the love is just based on form, the love wouldn't last for long as the form undergoes continuous change and gets destroyed sometime soon. These movie songs are to be taken that goes beyond the form and recognize and love with the ultimate source of all.


About a month ago, I wrote sentence by sentence meaning for Kannalane (Bombay) song, which expresses the feeling towards God after the devotee's first experience. If someone is interested I can post it here.

Anonymous said...

Ravi,

"Nandu,yes you are not the only nutcase;there are others like our friend Ramana Paithiyam!You are blessed."

just back after 5 days at Bhagavan's feet. did not want to leave Ramanasramam at all.

met Nochur who says he is settled in Arunachalam for good.

R p

Anonymous said...

Here are some stories about saints:

1. St.Ingnatius of Loyola (the founder of the Society of Jesus) was once playing a game with his friends.

While they were playing the game, the talk veered around to what they would do if the Messiah were to suddenly appear in their midst.

One person said he would run to fetch some food and drink for the Messiah; another said he would run to get some garlands to garland the Messiah and so on.

When the turn of St.Ignatius came, he said simply "I would finish the game !"

2. There was a great saint called Bulleh Shah who lived in North India.

Bulleh Shah was very meticulous in his spiritual practices, so much so, that he has to keep track of the number of prayers (namaz) that he said every day and also other sadhana that the he used to do.

For this purpose, he used a rosary.

Once he was standing near a shop when he overheard two young woman talking. One of the woman was a milkmaid who had a lover and she used to freely give the dairy products she made to her lover. Her friend asked her whether she kept track of this. To this, the milkmaid indignantly replied "Why should I keep track ? There is no accounting in love ! Whatever I have is his !"

When Bulleh Shah heard this - he was shocked. He thought to himeself - for the sake of earthly love, this woman says she does not keep count and I who claim to love the Divine keep track of my prayers and sadhana ! This woman has opened my eyes.

He threw away his rosary and never again kept track/count of his spiritual practices.

3. Here is the last story (the sting is at the end) :

There was a Muslim saint living in a Middle Eastern country.

Once he was sitting by the roadside, eating some stale gruel when one his friends passed by.

Now this friend was a courtier to the king and he was travelling in style with a large retinue.

The friend looked at the saint and said mockingly - "If you had learnt to flatter the king, you would not have to sit by the roadside eating stale gruel".

The saint looked at his friend and said with a straight face - "If you had learnt to eat stale gruel sitting by the roadside, you would not have to flatter the king !.

(Quite apart from the advice given by the saint - advice which should really govern the way we live our lives - I really the loved the quick wit and the gift of repartee that the saint exhibited).

Thank you,
shiv

Losing M. Mind said...

@ Ravi,
Interestingly both Nome, and his wife Sasvati, are jnanis! (in my experience). So living at this temple, it really fits nicely with the Mother/Father/Guru/God thing.
Looking forward to sitting in my room more, with the back cover Om symbol on the Ribhu Gita (designed by Sasvati) glowing.
http://arunachalagrace.blogspot.com/2008/02/nome.html

The copy of Ribhu Gita Papaji is holding here, is I believe the one translated by Rahmamoorthy and Nome. The beautiful cover was designed by Sasvati.

http://www.amazon.com/Ribhu-Gita-Translation-Original-Sivarahasya/dp/0970366744

I really do think this cover captures something of the Self, when I'm deep in meditation, it really glows.

Actually, I should post that story as well. In this blog post is the story of the SAT temple I now live at. And particularly interesting, I thought was the story of how Ribhu Gita was translated. Very grace-filled. (note: Nome realized the Self in 1974 at age 19).

http://satramana.wordpress.com/

அவனடிமை said...

//Shankar,I mailed the mp3 version of the song enna vEndum enna vEndAm to you;also one other song of Sri Sadhu Om swamigal.Hope you got it.
To check whether the attachment is okay,I played the song and now it is playing continuously for almost 5 hours!//

Om Namo Bhagavathe Sri. Arunachalaramanaya
Dear Ravi:
is it possible to email these mp3 to me as well at manof678@yahoo.com ?
Thanks

Ravi said...

Ramesh,
"If the love is just based on form, the love wouldn't last for long as the form undergoes continuous change and gets destroyed sometime soon"
In a sense this is true;yet I should say that Love does not admit such rationalizations.
Here is an excerpt from 'I am That':
Q: Can there be happiness in unity? Does not all happiness imply necessarily contact, hence duality?
M: There is nothing wrong with duality as long as it does not create conflict. Multiplicity and variety without strife is joy. In pure consciousness there is light. For warmth, contact is needed. Above the unity of being is the union of love. Love is the meaning and purpose of duality."
-----------------------------------
Here is this beautiful poem of Mahakavi Subrhramanaya Bharati-One of the Greatest poets ever.For his sheer range and shades of Human experience expressed in his poems-be it valour,Love,Tenderness,Innocence or whatever-The only parallel that I could find is Beethoven.
I should say that Bharati is a Siddha Purusha as testified by Master TGN(who is born in the lineage of the Mahakavi).Bharati's Kannan PAttu are some of the finest that I have come across.

காற்று வெளியிடைக் கண்ணம்மா - In this breezy expanse, Kannamma

In this breezy expanse Kannamma - I
feel blissful thinking of your love- Luscious
lips like a fount of honey -Moon
like eyes with serenity - Gold
like skin shining with brilliance - in this
world till I live - these will absorb
me, thinking of nothing else - make me
feel like a celestial being.

You are my life Kannamma - I will
sing thy praise every moment
All my sadness, my sorrows vanish - When
I see the lustre of your presence
I feel the nectar of love in my lips - when
I whisper thy name Kannamma
You're the light lit by the fire of my soul
You're my thought, my purpose in life.


காற்று வெளியிடைக் கண்ணம்மா, - நின்றன்
காதலை யெண்ணிக் களிக்கின்றேன் - அமு
தூற்றினை யொத்த இதழ்களும் - நில
வூறித் ததும்பும் விழிகளும் - பத்து
மாற்றுப்பொன் னொத்தநின் மேனியும் - இந்த
வையத்தில் யானுள்ள மட்டிலும் - எனை
வேற்று நினைவின்றித் தேற்றியே - இங்கோர்
விண்ணவ னாகப் புரியுமே! இந்தக் (காற்று)

நீயென தின்னுயிர் கண்ணம்மா! - எந்த
நேரமும் நின்றனைப் போற்றுவேன் - துயர்
போயின, போயின துன்பங்கள் நினைப்
பொன்னெனக் கொண்ட பொழுதிலே - என்றன்
வாயினி லேயமு தூறுதே - கண்ணம்
மாவென்ற பேர்சொல்லும் போழ்திலே - உயிர்த்
தீயினி லேவளர் சோதியே - என்றன்
சிந்தனையே, என்றன் சித்தமே! - இந்தக் (காற்று)
-----------------------------------
The NAlAyira Divya Prabhandam by the Great Saints(AlwArs)was a Favourite of Bharati.Master TGN used to recite this poem and underline this part-'uyir Theeyil vaLar Jyothi' -This is the supreme love.Yet to give expression to this Love,Form is Needed.This is why the one became the many!

Namaskar.

David Godman said...

I have been asked top post this email:

Sadhaks,

What I am going to write from now is not to offend or defend anybody's views. Please forgive me if anything is wrong or criticsm oriented.

I have been reading many a comments about most practical aspects of self enquiry, its implementation difficulties, more insights into experiences of one another etc. Esp Ravi, Losing M Mind, Broken Yogi , Clemens Vargas Ramos and David Godman offering invaluable tips to neophyte devotees.

Still I find one thing mostly absent in our forum -- the worship and adoration of the Divine Mother the creative shakthi behind this illusory drama.

So I am going to write my own small input to our devotees on this aspect -- the worship of the Divine Mother.

I start with Durga Saptasati sloka

Jnaninaamapi chethamsi Devi Bhagavathi hi sa
baladhakrushya mohaya maha maya prayachathi

approximate meaning is even for great jnanis, she is the powerful Maya Energy who indulges them in the ignorance of attraction and attachment. Here jnani should not be taken to literally but this denotes the highest ego-mind status the near jnanis like Jada Bharatha whom the Maharishee also refers to in Letters to Ramashramam.

So no matter how hard we try into self enquiry and do things, The Divine Mother's grace is always required to attain jnana. Without her Grace nothing can be done, nothing can move, everything will be a stand still.

I use to visualize like this -- consciousness is pure Shivam the immobile. She implored the Surpeme Divine and created all these worlds by her powerful energy. Now our ego-mind is so heaviily weighted. We have to dissolve this and make it so light to make it eligible to go back to the source.

Here comes her play -- she is the powerful spiritual vayu who can carry our ego mind straight to Shivam -- Siva Gnana Pradhayini as Lalitha Sahasranaam says. Even though this ego mind was not otherwise eligible even to near the path to the Source, she can forcibly take it straight and submerge it into the Heart. That is why Mother is Nirvana Sukadhayani -- again Sahasranamam praises.

So I will continue writing more about the Divine Mother's qualities, her way of worship, her nature and her Glories. Here onse should note that she is the aadhi shakthi -- one should be very careful in not restricting her to Sanathana Dharma or Shaktha cult. She is the Mary, the Tara devi and what not else. She is the energy to be found everywhere.

Regards,
Krishna

Ravi said...

Scott,
Yes,you are with mother,Father,Guru and God!What more do we need!
Thanks for all the links;I will go through the same;I had cursorily gone through them.I am like a cow,a little slow in eating.I just swallow and then take time to chew the cud.
Wish you all the very Best.

AvanadiMy,
I have mailed you the wonderful compositions on sri Bhagavan by Sri Sadhu OM Swamigal.

Ramana Nutcase,
May your madness grow more and more until Sri Bhagavan cracks the nut once and for all!
Like the Great Saint nandanar who was away from the haloed Chidambaram ,the Chitsabha of Lord Nataraja and yet was all the time filled with madness thinking about the dance of the Lord,it helps to be away from the physical proximity of Sri Ramanasramam-it will add more fuel to the fire of madness!
Wish you the very Best.

Namaskar.

kandhan said...

Dear Mr. Srinivasan,

could you provide the youtube links of photos of bhagawan after his absorption please?

Ramesh Nagarajan said...

Dear Ravi,

Please note the words "JUST based on form". Generally speaking, love defined in the material world is JUST based on the form. I have mentioned this love won't last longer because of the characteristics of the form.

The source of Love, Beauty, Joy and Peace are from Self. Obviously, we find the expression of love through forms. When we interact in the world, the duality is obvious, and one cannot simply ignore or deny it. The point is if we hold on to Self and while performing actions in the world, then we can find the above qualities that we look forward to gets expressed in the forms. However, if we just hold on to the forms and interact with God when required, only frustration and confusion results.

Your quote of Bhagavan's summarizes the concept beautifully.
"Multiplicity and variety without strife is joy." The strife can be absent when we can recognize the common substratum among all the forms.

Losing M. Mind said...

Another thing about my early 20s glimpses. They were really intense, and scary. So, I do relate sometimes with the experiences that jnanis relate, like I have had strong glimpses of them. (and I'm not bragging, just relating). But one experience I was remembering very strongly was that a friend had given me a bed to sleep in. This was a day or two after this experience started happening. And I was sitting up, I couldn't sleep, and things seemed normal, I was wide awake. Sometimes the experience fascinated me, then it would horribly terrify me. Time would be passing strangely, so that even though wide awake and conscious, I recall a half hour passing in a much shorter time, like seconds. And the other way around. And I wanted to go back to things being normal. Enlightened people, their egos fully subsided. Mine was trying to go back. I haven't heard any other experience like this. When I couldn't make it go back, the terror turned to despair, and sobbing about how in this state i'd never get a girlfriend, etc. And another thing is I think self-inquiry was involved, that around that time, I did initiate an inquiry into the self on my own. Some profound realizations that I can't really recall very well. I remember a few nights before the time thing, or a night before, I was laying down, and consciously entering dream and deep sleep. Like total conscious of the change, like the boundary had dissolved. And my vision was filled with colors and patterns, so much more elaborate and beautiful then my normal vision. There were also electric shocks in my consciousness (ocassionally), so I think the brain was involved. Though none of this ever showed up on any kind of brain test. Out of worry, I checked for things like brain tumors. My brain's function was totally normal, so I guess nothing odd would show up on a jnani's MRI either. I think these days, my spiritual practice, is much more guided and safe. Though still intense sometimes. Maybe this could be attributed it, for my development, certain things had to die in me, and what was really happening, was aspects of the ego, were holding back progress more then could be sustained. Obviously, I don't think associating with the wise, and commenting on this blog, and finding out about Sri Bhagavan were a coincidence.

shiba said...

Hello.May I ask a question?

Both pranayama and Vichara, mind will sibside into the Heart.

In the case of Vichara mind will disappear.

But mind will not disappear in the case of Pranayama.

Why is there such a difference?

Ravi said...

Scott,
I enjoyed reading about how SAT was built as also the wonderful pictures of the classic sculpted Siva linga,Lord Nataraja-the Dancing Siva,Dakshinamurthy,Lingodbhava,Ardhanareeswara-All very exquisite and highly inspiring.
I would prefer that these are not decorated with flowers(it is like showing a candle to the Sun!).They are just beautiful as they are-like the Self.If the devotees want to express their devotion,may be offering a solitary leaf in a plate kept near the feet of these will do.
I also enjoyed reading about how Master Nome and Sri Ramamoorthy teamed up to translate Ribhu gita.SAT seems to be doing a great service in making available these timeless teachings to one and all.
Wishing you the very best.
Namaskar.

Nandu Narasimhan said...

Happy Advent Day to all.

Bhagavan came to Arunachala on this day, 114 years ago.

Been in three different client presentations since morning, but somewhere inside, thoughts of what it must have been for the young Venkataraman on His first day of physical union with Arunachala keep going around.

What bliss must have enveloped him!What was the weather like that day? What sounds must he have heard as he settled down inside the temple compound?...

Nandu Narasimhan

Anonymous said...

Surely there's enough room for Matthews screenplay and Nicole Adams possible up coming autobiography. Why the narrow outlook? Devotees would be interested in both accounts. No doubt gems would be revealed as the story of Robert Adams meeting with Ramana unfolded; not to mention the scores of years he spent in India.
HJ

Anonymous said...

Hi David, Did Robert Adams come to Tiruvannamalai in the 70's? Did you ever meet him in the ashram?

David Godman said...

I never met Robert Adams, although I wish I had.

I have not read any reports of his being in Tiruvannamalai after 1950.

David Godman said...

I have received a request to post this:


Starting from April 2010 I have been associating with the Maharishee and his teachings. I was in the Vaishanava school of thoughts before and even before that I was for sometime into reading Thaku'rs and Sankara's teachings.

I am the same person who wrote the Tora - tora ride experience and its implications with self enquiry.

Now I have been somewhat more deeply involved in self enquiry, surredner and constant repitition of arunachala, ramana mantras.

So I was a sort of knowing within that there is some part of my being which has started changing.

In this circumstance yesterday around 10:20 PM this incident happened.
I use to see a pet dog of giant size near my house being taken for walking at nights by the dog's owner who is a labour class person.

Now I saw the dog being quite for some days without barking, so I just casually asked him yesterday what variety of dog it is. Before he could even listen to my question properly the dog without a single sound started trying to bounce upon me with such a full force and vigour. I immediatley ran few yards away while the owner was using his full strength to control that dog with his string.

The experience of full fear

Immediately I completely identified myself with the situation, my whole body trembling in fear, sweating all around, heart beating fast and I was completely immersed in protecting myself. I need to come back to the same point where the dog stands and alight the steps to go to my second floor house. The owner was giving instructions to be as silent and as quiet as possible and slowly alight the steps without even making my shoe noise because the dog is very angry and disturbed now. I earnestly followed his instructions, made a quick move while it still tried to chase me I quickly alighted the steps and went upstairs.

(continued in the next post)

David Godman said...

Post observation implications

After I entered my house all the Maharishee's teachings, his encounter with the Tiger and the ego-mind nature, fear all this factors stroke my intellecutal mind. In the whole process of danger duration 15 minutes not even once did I think of anything else -- to seek Divine help or to apply self enquiry to find who is getting this fear or to cry Ramana's name, cling to his mercy while I do my best to escape or atleast in confusion chant God's names which I used to do in the past.

So there are two questions here --

--> if one is spirtually advanced and knows to have some sort of control in the domain of space -- time one should ideally invoke the highest possible force from within and control the dog's behaviour itself. This is a really high standard and generally expected out of great yogis or munis if not Brahma Saakshaatkara Jnanis.

-->But if one is somewhat progressing on his path, atleast deep inside the heart some sort of conviction must be there that even when the dog bites now it is only my body that gets bitten. I am not saying that one should stand there and wait for the dog to bite -- but even while running away atleast the grasp of the situation in a spiritual perspective must rightly be rewinded before the mind, so that even if the dog bounces upon my body and starts biting, at that exact moment also I should be as conscious enough as possible to alleviate a major portion of the fear.

Now this is a simple dog experience and there was a owner to take care of it. I am surrounded by people in the physical plane who can re-assure and protect my ego-mind embodied in a body.

But when I am in the death row , say sudden intense pain in my arms with shortness of breath, one has very few moments before becoming unconsious in the brain layer. That time when the prana is being sucked by the spirit of death , I cannot imagine how I can revive my Maharishee's teachings and quickly catch hold of something else to continue to be conscious of myself. That something else to cling upon is not going to be brain or neurons. There all my intellectual understanding, my philophical agruments, my doubts on atmaa, my credit net worthiness nothing -- nothing is going to help.

At least in the natural and quiet death as above, there is some time left out to gradually get separated from body because it occurs at least layer by layer with brain sending a farewell to the ego-mind which drove it all these days and then the ego -- mind can find some other source to cling upon.

(continued in the next post)

David Godman said...

Post observation implications

After I entered my house all the Maharishee's teachings, his encounter with the Tiger and the ego-mind nature, fear all this factors stroke my intellecutal mind. In the whole process of danger duration 15 minutes not even once did I think of anything else -- to seek Divine help or to apply self enquiry to find who is getting this fear or to cry Ramana's name, cling to his mercy while I do my best to escape or atleast in confusion chant God's names which I used to do in the past.

So there are two questions here --

--> if one is spirtually advanced and knows to have some sort of control in the domain of space -- time one should ideally invoke the highest possible force from within and control the dog's behaviour itself. This is a really high standard and generally expected out of great yogis or munis if not Brahma Saakshaatkara Jnanis.

-->But if one is somewhat progressing on his path, atleast deep inside the heart some sort of conviction must be there that even when the dog bites now it is only my body that gets bitten. I am not saying that one should stand there and wait for the dog to bite -- but even while running away atleast the grasp of the situation in a spiritual perspective must rightly be rewinded before the mind, so that even if the dog bounces upon my body and starts biting, at that exact moment also I should be as conscious enough as possible to alleviate a major portion of the fear.

Now this is a simple dog experience and there was a owner to take care of it. I am surrounded by people in the physical plane who can re-assure and protect my ego-mind embodied in a body.

But when I am in the death row , say sudden intense pain in my arms with shortness of breath, one has very few moments before becoming unconsious in the brain layer. That time when the prana is being sucked by the spirit of death , I cannot imagine how I can revive my Maharishee's teachings and quickly catch hold of something else to continue to be conscious of myself. That something else to cling upon is not going to be brain or neurons. There all my intellectual understanding, my philophical agruments, my doubts on atmaa, my credit net worthiness nothing -- nothing is going to help.

David Godman said...

(continued from previous post)

At least in the natural and quiet death as above, there is some time left out to gradually get separated from body because it occurs at least layer by layer with brain sending a farewell to the ego-mind which drove it all these days and then the ego -- mind can find some other source to cling upon.

Here I am not going to the point of liberation at all -- fair well below -- just to be conscious and quiet when passing away from the body.

The case becomes still more complicated say for example if one has to die touching a high voltage transformer. One gets taken over by a complete sheer deep force of shock, fear and grief and one really dies miserably being thrown out of the substance of physical body. One is condemned to leave his body immediately. There is only a fraction of a second left to cling to a supreme and subtle source other than the body. If one loses that moment next moment awaits the greatest fear for the ego-mind followed by the fear getting validated and the event happening!!

This type of mental simluation sometime leads me to think of two things only -- complete surredner to Para Shakthi and a tendency to gain freedom from the five elements of nature in the very life itself even while alive.

When thinking of the above imaginary events all my doubts vanish and my attention changes completely to a different domain and there is no desire for liberation or non liberation. There is only one desire left out -- to imagine to be in the hands of Supreme Parashakthi very safely and Let Her decide what next -- liberation or non liberation whatever may be.

Regards,
Krishna

Anonymous said...

Scientists and physicists have now set themselves up as the only ones to understand the nature of existence. Professor Hawking said: ''Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.''

Anonymous said...

Yes the dog problem in India is alive and well. Ferocious and scavanging dogs everywhere. What if the dog bites me? Will it hurt?
If I'm bitten I'll have to get medical attention! Fear and anxiety follow us through life.
Ramana faced fear head on. His blessed enlightenment came through courage. You can pretend to be without fear but it is not like the real thing; like the life changing breakthrough that is Ramana.
hj

Anonymous said...

GILL EARDLEY

Sound/ James

Ape your father's sins, your mother's mood swings
To perfection
Fall into a spin, shed another skin
Strip away all your protection

Laugh at the wonder of it all
Laugh so loud you break the fall
And you see the gathering clouds
Cry at the sadness of the world
Cry so long you break its cold
And you hear the gathering sounds

Do everything you fear
In this there's power
Fear is not to be afraid of

Laugh at the wonder of it all
Laugh so loud you break your fall
And you hear the gathering sounds

Come, dip on in
Leave your bones, leave your skin
Leave your past, leave your craft
Leave your suffering heart

Come, dip on in
Leave your bones, leave your skin
Leave your past, leave your craft
Leave your suffering heart

__________________________________________________________________

Anonymous said...

GILL EARDLEY.............wonderful poem. please share details on the composer and where one can find more such works.

R p

Anonymous said...

I believe Gill is a life coach and into Reiki and this is certainly not my scene! The poem speaks for itself and has a maturity and yearning all of its own.

Anonymous said...

"Zen: Go to the end of a 10,000 ft.pole, and then jump ..."

Whew! I did this one. (of course being afraid of death, I chose the end near the ground, so when I
jumped, not a whole lot happened.)
Mark

Anonymous said...

I read it somewhere that Ramana Maharshi once said to a housewife "No learning or knowledge of scriptures is necessary to know the Self, as no man requires a mirror to see himself. All knowledge is required only to be given up eventually as not-Self. Nor is household work or cares with children necessarily an obstacle. If you can do nothing more, at least continue saying `I, I' to yourself mentally all the time, as advised in Who am I?, whatever work you may be doing and whether you are sitting, standing or walking. `I' is the name of God. It is the first and greatest of all mantras. Even OM is second to it."

Is this meant to be taken literally? I mean repeating "I" as a mantra, even said it in English?

Anonymous said...

From SuriNagamma letters:
http://bhagavan-ramana.org/ramana_maharshi/books/letters/letter221.html
-----------------------------------
Devotee: “If it is said that Ananda is the Self itself, then
who is it that experiences it?”
Bhagavan: “That is the point. So long as there is one
who experiences, it shall have to be stated that Ananda is the
Self itself. When there is no one to experience, where is the
question of a form for Ananda? It is only that which ‘IS’
remains. That IS, is ‘Ananda’. That is the Self. So long as the
feeling that the Self is different from oneself there will be
one who enquires and experiences, but when one realises
the Self there will be no one to experience. Who is there to
ask? What is there to say? In common parlance, however, we
shall have to say that Bliss is the Self or is our Real Nature
(Swarupa).”
---------------------------------

There is a lot of non-sense in the scriptures in the spirit of the phrase used above 'common phrase'.This phrase in this context also means 'a way of saying things'.For months I wondered many many times why the Jnaanis and a lot of scriptures use the word 'Satchitaananda' to describe 'That' while U.G.Krishanmurthi and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa differed.UG rubbished the word 'Satchitananda' and said it is a 'state of not knowing'. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa said once the Salt Doll went into the ocean to measure the depth of the ocean; who is there to comeback and tell us.

Finally after months and months of searching I find Bhagawan's explaination.I used to take the literal words exactly as it is.I think it is in Yoga Vaasishtam you find pages and pages describing the Self.In one sense what a rubbish is all that.Compare that to the one liners of UG or Thakur.Although all Jnaanis are all the same;one with That and so forth; the above is one example of when their upaadhi of intellect and diction can matter.These upaadhis are probably what distiguishes the Jnaanis;Bhramavid and so on.

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