Thursday, May 12, 2011

Open Thread

The previous 'Open Thread' appear to be malfunctioning by posting each comment twice. I am starting a new one to see if that solves the problem.

I omitted to mention earlier that a new feature has been added to the 'Recent Comments' box. Near the top there is an icon of two people. If you click on it, you will see a list of the users who have made the last twenty-five comments. If you then tick the white box to the left of the user's name, the recent comments of that particular user will be featured. You can then open them all with the 'expand all' option, or open them one by one by clicking on the plus sign.

If you want to do a search for older comments, click on the 'next' box and comments 26-50 will display. Click again and 51-75 will appear. And so on. The same search facility is available inside each twenty-five comment block.

5,000 comments:

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Subramanian. R said...

T.R. Kanakammal - Ninavil NinRavai:
Tamizh reminiscences:

Once during Golden Jubilee celebrations time, [completion of 50 years of advent of Sri Bhagavan to Tiruvannamalai], devotees bought a table fan and fixed it on a stool, near Sri Bhagavan's seat. Though September, it was a long summer and was quite hot. Sri Bhagavan was sitting on a stone sofa inside the thatched shed called Jubilee Hall.

Sri Bhagavan after His return from stroll, saw the table fan and like a child asked how it is to be put on, how it is to be put off, how it should be made to rotate from one end to another etc., The devotees thought that Sri Bhagavan was liking the fan and were very happily explaining things.

After a few minutes of running, the fan started making terrible sounds. Sri Bhagavan was wondering. The noise did not abate.
Soon the Acharya and students of Veda Patasala came to Sri Bhagavan for Veda parayana. Sri Bhagavan told the devotee: Now we shall listen to Vedaparayana. Let not this fan also do parayana along with Veda parayana. Then He said,
why all this? My hand fan is enough. Transfer this to office room and they may need it.

The devotees, highly disappointed
stopped the fan. The fan stopped with a big bang. Sri Bhagavan laughed heartily.

****

Subramanian. R said...

T.R. Kanakammal - Ninavil NiRainthavai: Tamizh reminiscences:

Once in the thatched shed built for Jubilee Day functions, Sri
Bhagavan was sitting on the stone sofa. It was early evening. A
Westerner came to sit inside, and he had brought a canvas folding chair for sitting. When he was unfolding the chair, the attendant came and told him that he should not use the chair and should sit
on the ground. The Westerner got disappointed and left the shed with his chair.

Sri Bhagavan then told the attendant: "You have sent him out. Poor man, he cannot sit on the ground. Don't you know even this?" Then He found some monkeys playing on the cross beams of bamboos in the roof of the shed. He told the attendant: "What are you going to do with these people? They are sitting just above my head." The attendant hung his head in shame.

****

Subramanian. R said...

T.R. Kanakammal - Ninavil NinRavai: Tamizh reminiscences:

I wanted to give some offerings to
Sri Bhagavan during Jubilee Day celebrations. I bought about 1.50 kgs. of good cashew nuts and got them roasted in ghee, with the help of Komutti Lakshmi Ammal and sprinking pepper powder and salt and then took the offerings to Sri Bhagavan. At 3.00pm. I went inside the Jubilee Hall and offered the packet of cashews to Sri Bhagavan. I thought that Sri Bhagavan would take a few nuts and then distribute the rest to the devotees. But Sri Bhagavan sent the packet to Satyananda, and asked to send it inside. I felt bad and was shedding tears. I was wondering why Sri Bhagavan did not take a few nuts. As usual I did namaskaram to Him and left at 6pm.

In the morning I went to Jubilee Hall by 7 pm. and prostrated before Sri Bhagavan. He then looked at me and then asked Satyananda, "Have not the cashews been served along with iddlis in the breakfast?" Satyananda said, Yes. Then Sri Bhagavan looked at me in abundant love.

Satyananda came later and told me: "Akka, sister! Since there was more crowd yesterdaym, Sri Bhagavan was anxious whether the contents would suffice for all. That is why He asked me to serve along with the breakfast. I became thoroughly satisfied. Who knows Sri Bhagavan's ways?

***

Subramanian. R said...

T.R. Kanakammal - Ninavil NinRavai:
Tamizh reminiscences:

One day, a young man came to Sri Bhagavan and asked Him: "Swami
Sri Ramakrishna touched Vivekananda and conferred him nirvikalpas samadhi. Can you also make me to abide in nirvikalpa Samadhi?" Sri Bhagavan did not answer. Then Sri Bhagavan asked the young man: "Is the questioner
a Vivekananda?" The man understood that his question was undeserving and so left the place soon.

Sri Bhagavan said: No body is worried about their qualifications and present state. They do not do proper vichara but ask for nirvikalpa samadhi. Further he wanted to test me whether I have got such powers like Sri Ramakrishna. They are never bothered whether they are fit as Vivekananda."

What a great lesson for all of us.

****

Subramanian. R said...

Upadesa Manjari - Spiritual Instruction:

Chapter III - Anubhava - Experience:

Q.4.: What is the state beyond bliss?

Sri Bhagavan: It is the state of unceasing peace of mind which is found in the state of absolute quiescence, Jagrat-Sushupti [literally, sleep with awareness],
which resembles inactive deep sleep. In this state, in spite of the activity of the body and the senses, there is no external awareness, like a child immersed in sleep [who is not conscious of the food given to him by his mother]. A Yogi who is also is in this state is inactive, even while engaged in activity. This is called Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi - natural state of absorption in oneself without concepts.

Q.5: What is the authority for saying that the entire moving and unmoving worlds depend on oneself?

Sri Bhagavan: The Self means the embodied being. It is only after the energy, which was latent in the state of deep sleep, emerges with the idea of 'I' that all objects are experienced. The Self is present in all perceptions as the perceiver. There are no objects to be seen when the 'I' is absent. For all these reasons, it may undoubtedly be said that everything comes out of the Self and goes back to the Self.

Q.6.: As the bodies and the selves animating them are everywhere actually observed to be innumerable how can it be said that the Self is only One?

Sri Bhagavan: If the idea 'I am the body' is accepted , the selves are multiple. The state in which this idea vanishes is the Self, since in that state, there are no other objects. It is for this reason that the Self is regarded as One only.


****

Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt from 'Guru Ramana':
16th May, 1936
1. Mr. C. relates how the reading of Patanjali Sutras in
1926 had greatly impressed him. The first few sutras had
convinced him of the truth of the teaching, but unfortunately
there was no one to give him proper guidance till he met Sri
Bhagavan early in 1936.
Bh. Patanjali’s first sutras are indeed the climax of all systems of
yoga. All yogas aim at the cessation of the vritti (modification
of the mind). This can be brought about in the variety of
ways mentioned in the scriptures through mind control,
which frees consciousness from all thoughts and keeps it
pure. Effort is necessary. In fact effort is itself yoga.
C. I suppose efforts have to be made in the waking state, which
implies that moksha can be gained only in jagrat.
Bh. Quite so, awareness is necessary for mind control; otherwise
who is to make the effort? You cannot make it in sleep or
under the influence of drugs. Also mukti has to be gained
in full awareness, because the Reality itself is pure awareness.
C. There seems to be nothing but awareness, for to know anything
there must be knowledge – we cannot get over that.
70
Bh. Certainly. Subjective knowledge – knowledge knowing itself
is jnana. It is then the subject as the knower, the object as
the known and the knowledge which connects them.
C. This last is not clear to me in this case.
Bh. Why so? Knowledge is the light which links the seer to
the seen. Suppose you go in search of a book in a library
in pitch darkness. Can you find it without light, although
you, the subject, and the book, the object, are both
present? Light has to be present to unite you. This link
between the subject and the object in every experience is
chit, consciousness. It is both the substratum as well as
the witness of the experience, the seer of Patanjali.

Namaskar

Ravi said...

Friends,
An Excerpt from 'Day by day with Bhagavan':
"16-3-45 Morning
A visitor: Should I give up my business and take to
reading books on Vedanta?
Bhagavan: If the objects have an independent existence,
i.e., if they exist anywhere apart from you, then it may be
possible for you to go away from them. But they don’t exist
apart from you; they owe their existence to you, your thought.
So, where can you go, to escape them? As for reading books
on Vedanta, you may go on reading any number of them. They
can only tell you, ‘Realise the Self within you’. The Self cannot
be found in books. You have to find it out for yourself, in
yourself."

An Excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
A man opened a book belonging to a sadhu. He saw the word 'Rama' written on every page.
There was nothing else.
"If a man loves God, even the slightest thing kindles spiritual feeling in him. Then,
repeating the name of Rama but once, he gets the fruit of ten million sandhyas. At the sight
of a cloud the peacock's emotion is awakened: he dances, spreading his. tail. Radha had the
same experience. Just the sight of a cloud recalled Krishna to her mind.
"Chaitanyadeva was passing a village. He heard that drums were made from the earth of
that place. At once he was overwhelmed with ecstasy because drums are used in kirtan.
"But who can have this spiritual awakening? Only he who has renounced his attachment to
worldly things. If the sap of attachment is totally dried up in a man, the slightest suggestion
kindles his spiritual emotion. Though you strike a wet match a thousand times, it will not
produce a spark. But if it is dried, the slightest rubbing will set it aflame."
Namaskar.

Subramanian. R said...

T.R. Kanakammal: Ninavil NiRainthavai: Tamzih reminiscences:

In 1946, during Golden Jubilee celerbations, in September of that year, [celebrating Sri Bhagavan's 50 year completion of advent to Tiruvannamalai], Sri Bhagavan was sitting inside a thatched shed that was newly built adjacent to Mother's Temple. This was called Jibilee Hall. Since, though it was September, it was a longer summer and it was quite hot. So some devotees brought a new table fan and fixed it on the stool before Sri Bhagavan's stone sofa. After returning from the stroll on the Hill, Sri Bhagavan looked at the table fan, and like a child curious asked how it is to be put on, how it is to be put off, how to make it rotate etc., The devotees, thinking that He was happy about the table fan, explained every thing.

When the fan was put on, in a few minutes, it started making terrible sounds. The sound was more than the breeze it produced.
Sri Bhagavan was looking at curiously. Soon, the Acharya and the students of Vedapatasala came for chanting Vedas.

Sri Bhagavan said: Now let the parayana of the fan stop. Let us listen to Vedaparayana. When there ia a hand fan why all this. Better place this in the office. They may need it.

So the fan was quickly removed.

***

Subramanian. R said...

T.R. Kanakammal - Ninaivil NinRavai: Tamizh Reminiscences:

In the Jubilee Hall, Sri Bhagavan was sitting on the new stone sofa.
The devotees were sitting on the ground, where some mat might have been placed. The crowd was quite heavy since it was celebration time. In the evening, one Westerner came to the Jubilee Hall, with a foldable canvas chair for sitting. When he entered and was about to unfold the canvas chair, the attendant went to him quickly and 'advised' him that he should not sit on chair, but only on the ground. The Westerner, disappointed, went away.

Sri Bhagavan looked at the attendant disapprovingly. He said: He cannot sit on the ground. They are not used to such squatting on the ground. Why are you preventing him from using that folding chair? Soon, He looked above. There, the monkeys were sitting on the bamboo cross beams put up for the thatched shed. He told the attendant: "Now, what are you going to do with these people? They are sitting above my head!" The attendant hung his head in shame.

****

Subramanian. R said...

T.R. Kanakammal - Ninavil NiRainthavai - Tamizh reminiscences:

During Jubilee Day celebrations, Kanakammal bought some 1.5 kgs of good cashew nuts, and got them roasted with pepper poweder and salt with the help of Komutty Amma with whom she was staying and then took the packet to Sri Bhagavan. Smt. Kanakammal thought, that Sri Bhagavan would take some nuts and distribute the remaining to the devotees sitting there. But Sri Bhagavan, told Satyananda, the attendant to take the packet from Kanaka and then he kept it inside the kitchen store room.

Kanakammal was disappointed and she was shedding tears with misery. In the evening too, she was in depressed mood.

Next morning, she went to the Asramam, very early in teh morning and prostrated to Sri Bhagavan. Sri Bhagavan looked at her in all kindness, and then told Satyananada, "Have you told her that cashews were served along with break fast of iddlis this morning?" Satyananda nodded.

Then after a while, Venkataratnam came and told her: Akka, since there was a lot of crowd yesterday, Sri Bhagavan might have doubted whether the cashew nuts would suffice all. That is the reason why He asked us to serve the nuts this morning along with breakfast.

Kanakammal was quite satisfied.

***

Subramanian. R said...

Upadesa Manjari - Spiritual Instruction:

Chapter III - Anubhava - Experience:

7. What is the authority for saying that Brahman can be apprehended by the mind and at the same time, that it cannot be apprehended by the mind?

Sri Bhagavan: It cannot be apprehended by the impure mind but can be apprehended by the pure mind.

8. What is pure mind and what is impure mind?

When the indefinable power of Brahman separates itself from Brahman and, in union with the reflection of consciousness [Chidabhasa] assumes various forms, it is called the impure mind. When it becomes free from the reflections of consciousness, [abhasa] through discrimination, it is called the pure mind. Its state of union with the Brahman is its apprehension of Brahman. The energy which is accompanied by the reflection of consciousness, is called the impure mind and its state of separatation from Brahman is its non-apprehension of Brahman.

***

Subramanian. R said...

Upadesa Manjari - Spiritual Instruction:

Chapter III - Anubhava - Experience:

9. Is it possible to overcome, even while the body exists, the karma [prarabdha] which is said to last till the end of the body?

Yes. If the agent, [doer] upon whom the karma depends namely, the ego, which has come into existence between this body and the Self, merges in its source, and loses its form, will the karma which depends upon it alone, survive? Therefore, when there is no 'I' there is no karma.

10. As the Self is existence and consciousness, what is the reason for describing it as different from the existent and the nonexistent, the sentient and the insentient?

Sri Bhagavan: Although the Self is real, as it comprises everything, it does not give room for questions involving duality about its reality or unreality. Therefore, it is said to be differnt from the real and unreal. Similarly, even though it is consciousness, since there is nothing for it to know or to make itself known to, it is said to be different from the sentient and the insentient.

***

Subramanian. R said...

Tirumandiram - Tantra 9 - Soonya sambashanai - Dialogue on Estoeric
symbolism:

The Six Evils Dwell within and God's Warning to them:

Koohaiyum pampum kiLiyum poonjnaiyum,
Nahaiyum poozhum naduvil uRaivana
Nahaiyai koohai naNuga luRuthalum
Koohaiyaik kandu eli koopidumaRe.

The Owl, the Snake, the Parrot, and the Cat,
The Mynah and the Quail [1 to 6]
They all, within dwell;
As the Owl nears the Mynah
The Mouse [7] warns Mynah, screeching loud.

1 to 6 are Symbolisms for six transgressions, kaama - lust, kroda - hatred, lobha - miserlines, moha - greed, matha - ahankara, ego and malice [the Owl, Snake, Parrot, Cat, Mynah and Quail, dwell within. The Mouse [kundalini] warns the Myna [Jiva] as the Owl etc., nears it. For the symbolisms refer The Book of Signs, G.H. Mees. Volume 1.

The shrew mouse is symbolic of the divine self which works in the unconscious and interferes with man's ahankara stores, and in the plane of the future. Ganapati tradition [Ganaapatyam] says: It is Iswara who enjoys all. He lives there like a thief. He is said to be the Mouse. The shrew mouse is the mount of Ganapati, the guardian angel of mooladhara chakara.

****

Subramanian. R said...

Tirumandiram - Tantra 8 - Dawan of Jnana [Self Inquiry]:

Verse 2355:

Thannai aRiya thanakkoru kedillai,
Thannai aRiyaamal thane keduhinRaan,
Thannai aRiyum aRivai aRintha pin
Thannaiye archikka thaan irunthaane.

Without the Knowledge of the Self
No harm there be;
Without Knowledge of the Self.
Himself His [Jiva] harm be;
When Knowledge
That knows the Self dawns,
Yourself Siva become,
Worshipped high.

****

Subramanian. R said...

Tirumandiram - Tirumular -
Tanta 8 - Dawn of Jnana - Self Inquiry:

Verse 2356:

Ange adaR perun dhevarellam thozha,
Singasanathe Siva irunthaan enRu,
Sangar vaLaiyum chilambum sarel ena,
Pongar kuzhali poRRi enRaaLe.

There on trhe throne leonine,
Aodred by the mighty celestials,
Was Siva seated;
And the lady of tresses exuberant,
With bangles of conch shell
And anklets resounding
Sang Hail My Lord!

Siva is seated on the lion-throne
in the Heart. Saiva Siddhantam always speaks of Mother and Siva together. Advaita calls Sakti as the power of Brahman. Here Tirumular says that Siva and Mother are together. Sri Bhagavan also says in Sri Arunachala Ashtakam, Verse 7, that the Self is seated like a King under the roya; umbrella, in the seat of Heart.

****

Subramanian. R said...

Tirumandiram - Tirumular:
Tantra 8 - Dawn of Jnana, Self Inquiry:

Verse 2357:

ARivu vadivenRu aRiyatha ennai,
ARivu vadinvenRu aruL seithaan Nandi,
ARivu vadivenRu aruLal aRinthe,
ARivu vadivenRu aRinthirunthene!

I knew not,
Siva's Form is Jnana,
Nandi by His Grace taught me,
Siva's Form is Jnana,
I sought Jnana's Form.

Here Nandi can mean rhe Bull, the mount of Siva or Guru or Grace which is Mother. Without Mother's Grace, aRuL, one can never attain Brahman.

Tirumular uses the word Nandi as Siva Himself or the Bull or aruL, Grace.

Sri Bhagavan also stresses the need of Grace, aRuL in Atma Vidya Kirtanam. In Verse 3 - Charanam, He says "play of Grace", aRuL vilasame... and again in Verse 5,
He says 'Grace is needed', aRuLum venume....

****

Subramanian. R said...

Tirumandiram - Tirumular: Tantra 8 - Dawn of Jnana, Self Inquiry:

aRivukku azhivillai aakkamum illai,
aRivukku aRivallathu aadhaaram illai,
aRive aRivai aRihinrathu enRittu,
aRaihinRana maRai eeRugaL thaame.

Jnana has no death, nor birth,
Jnana has ground none but Jnana,
It is Jnana that knows Jnana
Thus they conclude, in the ulitmate, Vedas.

Knowledge - Chit is Adhishtanam. Swarupam does not need any support. It is Jnana, alone, one without a second, says Sri Bhagavan. He also says that Jnana cannot be objectified.

*****

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the Tiruvachakam:

Part I:

by Robert Butler, T.V. Venkatasubramanian, and David Godman:

[Mountain Path, Oct.-Dec. 2005]

In this article the authors' comments are given separately. [between #....#] The extracts from Sri Ramanasramam books that speak of Manikkavachagar and the translated verses from Tiruvachakam, and other works are given separately - [*....*]
with remarks for each aspect. [I am not able to use italics as in the article dexterously.]

#

Introduction:

In the seventh to ninth centuries A.D. there appeared in South India an upsurge of devotional fervour that completely transformed the religious inclinations and practices of the region. Vaishnava and Saiva devotees became infused with a religous spirit that emphasized ecstatic devotion to a personal deity rahter than the more sober rirtes and rituals of Vedic Brahminism. It was both a populist revolt, since it expressed the people's dissatisfaction with the hierarchies of caste[1] and a demonstration of contempts for the alien philosophies of Jainism and Buddhism, which had by then permeated large areas of South India.

[1 - In Sekkizhar's Periyapuranam, chronicling lives of 63 saints,
at least 40 were non brahmins, and 1 was an outcast.]

The movement's leaders were the various saints who toured the countryside singing songs in praise of their personal God. The language of ordinary devotees, either alone or in groups. While it is true that the deities addressed were ones such as Siva and Vishnu, who were prominent components of the North Indian pantheon, the mode of expression and the philosophical contents of the poems were unique, being an expression of the indigenous Tamizh spirit and culture. This was the first of the great bhakti movements that were to invigorate the Hindu tradition throughout India in the succeedking centuries. It was so successful in transforming the hearts and minds of the South Indian population, one commentator has gone so far as to say that these poet saints 'sang Buddhism and Jainism out of South India.'[2]

[2]- Hymns to the Dancing Siva, by Glen Yocum. While Sri Sankara successfully vanquished the Jains and Buddhists in philosophical debates, at the grass root levels it was the singing saints who reconverted the masses back to Hinduism.

#

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan and Manikkavachagar and the Tiruvachakam: Part I :

by Robert Butler and others:

continues...

#

The Saiva revival of this era owed
much to four poet saints, who are often collectively referred to as "The Four" Naalvar. Appar, the first to emerge, flourished from the end of the sixth century until the middle of the seventh. Tiru Jnana Samabandhar, the next to appear, was a younger contemporary of his. They were followed by Sundaramurti [end of the seventh century until the beginning of the eighth] and Manikkavachagar whom most people believe lived in the ninth century. { I go with Tamizh scholars who say that Manikkavachagar lived in 3rd century. )

The spontaneous songs of these early Saiva saints were eventually collected and recorded in a series of books called TirumuRais, the Holy Canons. The first seven [there are twelve in all] are devoted exclusively to the songs of Tiru Jnana Sambandhar, Appar alias Tiru Navukkarasar and Sundarmurti, which are known as Tevarams, while the eighth contains Manikkavachagar's two extant works.[ titled Tiruvachakam and Tiru Chitrambala Kovaiyar]. These twelve TirumuRais along with the later Meykanda Sastras became the canonical works of the southern Saiva branch of Hinduism. This system of beliefs
and practices is still the most prevalent form of religion in Tamizh Nadu.

Although two of Manikkavachagar's works survive and both included in the Saiva canon, his justly deserved fame and reputation as being one of the foremost Tamizh saints and poets rest almost exclusively on the eminence of Tiruvachakam.

#

[Tiruchitrambala Kovaiyar is a tougher book of 400 poems written on Nayakan - Nayaki bhava. Here the Atma [hero] meets the Grace or AruL called Siva Thalavi, [the heroine] and enjoys union with her, without any knowledge of both their parents. This is called KaLavu maNam in Tamizh classical Sangam poetry. Atma with aruL, becomes one with Sivam.]

continued....

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam: Part I - continues...

#

All devout Saivas are familiar with the major events of the saint's life and most of them would be able to recognize or even repeat many of he verses that comprise the Tiruvachakam. In style it has much in common with the earlier Tevaram peotry of Appar, Jnana Samabndhar and Sundaramuri, but there are also substantial differences. The Tiruvachakam is a very personal document, for it reveals far more about its author and his varying states of mind than the Tevarams do. It is also more philosophical. Manikkavachagar, being an educated brahmin, quite naturally used technical religious terms to describe his relationship with Siva and the problems he was encountering in his attempts to attain union with Siva. This technical vocabulary was elaborated on some centuries later by the Saiva philosophers who formulated and codified the Saiva Siddhanta school of thought. The Tiruvachakam can therefore be viewed as a bridge or link in the development of South Indian religious thought; it is the continuation and the culmination of the bhakti tradition founded by the Tevaram authors, while at the same time, it marks the beginning of the Siddhanta philosophical tradition that was to find its ultimate fruition several centuries later in the Meykanda Sastras. [Siva Jnana Bodha Sutras etc.,].

The Tiruvavhakam is, and has been for more than a thousand years, one of the most well-known and best-loved works of Tamizh devotional literature. It is so highly regarded that the extracts from it are chanted every day in many South Indian homes and temples. Portions of the Tiruvachakam were chanted regularly during the early days of Sri Ramanasramam and on the evening that His Mother died in 1922, Sri Bhagavan asked some of the assembled devotees to spend the night chanting the whole work. Kunju Swami, who was present on that occasion, has described what happened.

#

*
During the night Sri Bhagavan sat near the place were we had put the Mother's mortal remains. Brahmachari Arunachala Swami and I sat with Him. Brahmachari Arunachala Swami had originally been a cook in the Big Temple in town before he renounced he world adn became a devotee of Sri Bhagavan. Sri Bhagavan then announced that the Tiruvachakam should be chanted. Sri Bhagavan and the devotees took it in turn to read from the book. While we were reading, Sri Bhagavan corrected all the mistakes in our reading as and when we made them. In this way, we went througn the entiire Tiruvachakam before 4 a.m.

*

#

There were several occasions on which Sri Bhagavan expressed His high opinion of the Tiruvachakam. Viswanatha Swami has reported the following incident.

#

*

While Sri Bhagavsan was living in Virupaksha Cave, devotees requested Him to compose a hymn that could be sung when they went out for bhiksha. Sri Bhagavan said, "When there are so many excellent hymns such as the Tevarams and the Tiruvachakam, where is the need for a new one?"

[From Viswanaha Swami's preface to Muruganar's Aksharamana Maalai Vritti Urai.]

*

Continued....

Subramanian. R said...

13th Friday:

A Friday on the 13th of an English month is considered very bad. Yesterday, it was 13th May Friday.
Right from times of Jesus Christ, 13 is a inuspicious number, since the 13th disciple of Christ, Judas Iscariot betrayed him. And Christ was crucified on a Friday.

A few days back I read in some newspaper, that someone had predicted that Rome would be shattered to stones and dust due to a powerful earthquake on 13th May, Friday, i.e yesterday. But nothing of that sort had happened yesterday.

However a shock equal to an earthquake shook Tamizh Nadu and Bengal yesterday. Mamta and Jayalalitha vanquished the opposition into dust. Karunanidhi's
fall is more due to 2G Scam connected with A. Raja, his trusted MP and former Telecom Minister and also his own family
members.

This, incidentally reminds me a story of a Raja that is used to be told by a mother to his young baby to make it eat its food. The baby has grown with times. When mother starts telling, there was a Raja.... the child would stop her and say, "I know the story. He got into scam that involved embezzlement of Rs. 1.76 lacs crores of rupees and with that he also went to prison and Karunanidhi lost his rule in Tamizh Nadu...."

The above story, I am told, is going round in Chennai and Tamizh Nadu.

****

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam - Part I - continues...

by Robert Butler and others.

#

Muruganar has also recorded Sri Bhagavan's opinion in three verses
of his Padamalai:

#

*

Manikkavachagar's Tiruvachakam expresses in words the exuberant, graceful experience of Sivam, which transcends speech [Verse 1296]

Tiruvachakam is a work that deserves to be experienced. The meaning of its sweet verses is beyond intellectual knowledge.
[1295]

The Tiruvachakam is a sea of divine honey expressing the God-
experience that puts an end to the
birth-misery of getting caught in the womb. [1325]

(I find two more verses of Muruganar in Padamalai, concerning Tiruvachakam. Verses 1324 & 1565)

*

#

Sri Bhagavan's appreciation was more than intellectual. When He read out portions of the text for the benefit of visitors, He was sometimes moved to tears by Manikkavachagar's experiences and by his poetic expression of the divine love he felt for Siva.

#

*

At my request He [Sri Bhagavan] recited certain lines from the composition of the Saint Manikkavachagar where the author spoke of the condition of the soul melted in love; hardly had the
Maharshi pronounced a few lines where there was a brilliance in His face. He who rarely expresses in any outwward form His inner emotions could not restrain a few silent tears. A slanting ray of the morning sun from the hillside made the scene still more vivid. A peace that passeth all understanding pervaded the whole atomosphere. For more than an hour, there was perfect silence. It looked as if one of the fresco paintings of Ajanta had come to life! [The Vedantic Tradition in Sri Ramana Maharshi, Swami Siddeswarananda, Golden Jubilee Souvenir, 1995 edition.]

*

#

A similar incident took place on June 22nd, 1939, when Sri Bhagavan announced that it was Manikkavachagar's Guru Puja or Aradhana. Having made the announcement, Sri Bhagavan "sat in deep silence for so long that the sanctity of the occasion sank into our souls." [Sri Ramana Reminiscences, G.V. Subbaramayya.]

#

continued....

Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt from Day by Day with Bhagavan:
19-10-45 Morning
A barrister from Bombay asked Bhagavan, “I have read
the works of Bhagavan and others and, though I can understand
them intellectually, I have not been able to realise anything in
experience. I have tried Bhagavan’s method for about six years
and yet I have not made any progress. When I meditate, other
thoughts come. For people like me, living in cities and doing
our work and coming here only occasionally, what sadhana
27
would Bhagavan advise so that we may succeed better than I
have so far been able to do?”
Bhagavan: Your real nature is always there, your
meditation, etc., come only temporarily. Reality being your
Self, there is nothing for you to realise. All that is required
is that you should give up regarding the unreal as real,
which is what all are doing. The object of all meditation,
dhyana or japa is only that, to give up all thoughts regarding
the not-self, to give up many thoughts and to keep to the
one thought.
As for sadhana, there are many methods. You may do
vichara, asking yourself ‘Who am I?’ or, if that does not appeal
to you, you may do dhyana ‘I am Brahman’ or otherwise, or
you may concentrate on a mantra or name in japa. The object is
to make the mind one-pointed, to concentrate it on one thought
and thus exclude our many thoughts, and if we do this, eventually
even the one thought will go and the mind will get extinguished
in its source.

Namaskar.

Subramanian. R said...

Upadesa Manjari - Spiritual Instruction:

Chapter IV - Arudha - Attainment:

1. What is the state of attainment of knowledge?

Sri Bhagavan: It is firm and effortless abidance in the Self in which the mind which has become one with the Self does not subsequently emerge again at any time. That is, just as everyone usually and naturally has the idea, "I am not a goat nor a cow nor any other animal but a human", when he thinks of his body, so also when he has the idea "I am not the principles [tattvas] beginning with the body and ending with nada [sound], but the Self which is existence, consciousness and bliss, the innate self-consciousness [Atma Prajna]" he is said to have attained firm knowledge.

2. To which seven stages of knowledge [jnana bhoomikas] does the Sage [Jnani] belong?

He belongs to the fourth stage.

(The seven jnana bhoomikas are:

1. Subheccha [desire for enlightenment]
2. Vicharana [enquiry]
3. Tanumanasa [tenuous mind]
4. Satvapatti [self realization]
5. Asamsakti [non attachment]
6. Padartha abhavana [non perception of objects]
7. Turyaga [transcendence]

Those who have attained the last four bhoomikas are called Brahmavid, Brahmavidvara, Brahmavidvariya and Brhamvidvarishta respectively.

(David has written a post about this.}

****

hey jude said...

Kunju Swami "On one occasion he said, "If we forget about this fellow called ‘mine' then 'I' becomes lonely, and having nothing to hold onto, retreats back to its source."

Subramanian. R said...

T.R. Kanakammal - Ninaivil NiRainthavai: Tamizh reminiscences:

Once Venkataratnam was the attendant of Sri Bhagavan. During nights, after dinner, Sri Bhagavan used to tell interesting stories from Bhakta Vijayam, Periya Puranam and other scriptures.
This is the best time for devotees and attendants who can sit around Him and listen to stories.

That night Venkataratnam was massaging the feet of Sri Bhagavan. Sri Bhagavan was explaining how Namadeva, though had tremendous love and devotion to Pandarinatha, the god of Pandaripuram, called Panduranga, was asked to go to a Guru to learn things from him. Sri Bhagavan explained: Once Korakumbar invited Jnana Deva and other Panduranga devotees to his house for food. Jnanadeva at that time told Korakumbar, that, since he was a potter, he could give a tap to the heads of everyone there, and find out which were the burnt pots and which were not, i.e self realized or not self realized. Korakumbar started tapping the heads of devotees with a stick.....

When Sri Bhagavan was narrating this story, with action with His face and hands, He suddenly stopped the story and told Venkataratnam: "You are massaging my legs so long, are they pillars? If you want to do massaging go and catch a pillar and do massaging!"

Venkataratnam who was so much absorbed in the story and in the process over massaged Sri Bhagavan's legs to the extent of
causing pain, suddenly came to realize his folly and stopped! He felt ashamed.

Sri Bhagavan then said in abundant grace: "It is alright. Anybody who is absorbed in the stories would do the same. It does not matter..." Everybody laughed and Venkataratnam also got peace when Sri Bhagavan told him like that.


****

Subramanian. R said...

T.R. Kanakammal - Ninavil NiRainthavai: Tamizh reminiscences:

Sometimes a few visitors would come to Sri Bhagavan only to ask questions and embarass Him. Once
a young man came and asked Him:
"Bhagavane! Can I chant Rama mantra or Krishna mantra or combine both and chant Ramakrishna?" Sri Bhagavan told him: "Anyway you like, either Rama,Rama or Krishna, Krishna or combining both."

Then the young man said: "Should I do this chanting in an Ashram or at home?"

Sri Bhagavan said: "At any place..."

Then the young man asked: "Then how come did you come from Madurai to Tiruvannamalai. What made you to come here?"

Sri Bhagavan understood that the purpose of this young man was only to ask questions and not anything else. He said: "Why are you asking this question? When I came to Tiruvannamalai, I did not ask others' opinion like you. Why are you then consulting me?"

The young man did not reply. He simply left the place.

Sri Bhagavan then told the devotees sitting there, "Such people have no faith upon their own selves. They are not stable. If after leaving the house, if they cannot remain steadfast at a particular place, then they will have to go back to their homes. Such weak persons can never progress spiritually."

*****

Subramanian. R said...

Tirumandiram - Tirumular -
Soonya Sambashanai from Tantra 9:
Dialogue of Esoteric Symbolism:

Verse 2968:

Namanvarin jnanavaaL kondu eRivan,
Sivanvarin nanudan povathy thiNNam,
Bhavam varum valvinai paNde aRutthen,
Tavam varum chintaikku thaanethirare.

If god of death comes,
I shall smite him with sword of Jnana,
If Siva comes,
I am sure to go with Him,
Long back had I sundered karma
Which to birth leads,
Who can stand against thought
Of intense devotion born?

****

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam - Part I :

by Robert Butler and others:

continues....

#

Sri Bhagavan was not alone in His tearful response to hearing or reading Manikkavachagar's words. In the thousand or so years, that have passed since the verses were composed, the words of Tiruvachakam have moved successive generations of devotees in the same way. Sivapraksasam SwamigaL, a distinguished Tamizh poet and saint who composed Sonasaila Maalai, a hundred verse poem in praise of Arunachala, summed up tjhe feelings of those who had been stirred by this work when he wrote:

#

*

If you were to ask which was the more glorious:
the words of the Vedas,
which are said to be
the utterances of the three eyed
One [Siva],
He is the univeral Cause,
and has a body that is shared
with his beautiful bejewelled
Consort,

OR

the honeyed words that sprang
from the flower like mouth
of Vadvaur's Lord
{Manikkavachagar}
who extolled the greatness of
Siva,
the Supreme Being,
[this is how you would know]

hereupon this crowded earth,
we have never observed
that the hearts of those present
soften and melt,
whilst tears flood their eyes,
when the Vedas are chanted,
Yet, if the Tiruvachakam is
recited but once,
there are none whatsoever
whose hearts will not melt and
flow,
be they hard as granite blocks,
whose eyes will not fill up
with tears,
like water seeping into a hole,
dug in the wet sand,
who will not tremble and quiver,
the hair of their body standing
on end,
and who will not become His
devotees!***

*

*** Nalvar Naan maNi Maalai
Verse 4 of Sivaprakasam SwamigaL. All translations of poems that have no published references were done by the authors of the article.

****

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam - Part I - by Robert
Butler and others.. continues...

#
Manikkavachagar's life and experiences:

The oldest record of Manikkavachagar's life comes from the TiruviLaiyadal Puranam, a text that narrates the divine events that are associated with the Madurai Temple. Four chapters from
this work, 58 to 61, are devoted to the story of Manikkavachagar. [These divine sports of Siva are also mentioned by the saint poet in some decades of his work, Tiruvachakam] When Suri Nagamma professed ignorance of the details of Manikkavachagar's life, Sri Bhagavan responded by giving deailed summary of the events that the TiruviLaiyadal Puranam has recorded:

#

*

Sri Bhagavan: Manikkavachagar was born in a village called Vadavur [Vaatapuri] in Pandya kingdom. Because of that peopl;e used to him Vadavurar. [the man from Vadavur]. He was put to school very early. He read all the religious books, absorbed the lessons therein, and became noted for his devotion to Siva, also his kindness to living beings. Having heard about him, the Pandya King sent for him and made him his prime minister and conferred on him the title Thennavan Brahmarayan, i.e "Premier among the Brahmins of the South." Though he performed the duties of a minister with tact and integrity, he had no desire for material happiness. His mind was always absorbed in spiritual matters. Feeling convinced that for the attainment of jnana, the grace of a guru was essential, he kept on making enquiries about it.

Once the Pandya King ordered the minister to purchase some good horses and bring thjem to him. As he was already in search of a Guru, Manikkavachagar felt that it was a good opportunity and started with his retinue carrying with him the required amount of gold. As his mind was intensely seeking a Guru, he visited all the temples on the way. While doing so, he reached a village called Tiruperundurai. Having realized the maturity of the mind of Manikkavachagar, Parameswara [Siva] had assumed the form of a school teacher and for about a year, before that had been teaching poor children in the village seated on a street pial near the temple. He was taking his meal in the house of pupils everyday by turn. He ate only cooked green vegetables. He was anxiously awaiting the arrival of Manikkavachagar. By the time Manikkavachagar actually came, Iswara assumed the shape of a Siddha Purusha [realized soul] with many sannyhasis around him and was seated under a Kurundai tree within the compound of the temple. Vadvaurar came to the temple, had darshan of the Lord in it, and while going round the temple by way of pradakshina, saw the Siddha Purusha. He was thrilled at the sight, tears welled up in his eyes, and his heart jumped with joy. Spontaneously, his hands went up his head in salutation and he fell down at the feet of the Guru like an uprooted tree. Then he got up and prayed that he, a humble being, may also be accepted as a disciple. Having come down solely to bestow grace on him, Iswara, by his look, immediately gave him Jnana Upadesa [initiation into true knowledge]. That Upadesa took deep roots in his heart, and gave him indescribable happiness. With folded hands and with joyful tears, he went round the Guru by way of pradakshina, offered salutations, stripped himself of all official dress and ornaments, placed them near the Guru and stood before him with only a koupina on. As he felt like singing in praise of the Guru, he sang some devotional songs, which were like gems. Iswara was pleased, and addressing him as Manikkavachagar, meaning 'one whose speech is gems' ordered him to remain there itself worshipping him. Then he vanished. [Letters from Sri Ramanasramam Suri Nagamma p. 5-7.]

*

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam : Part I - by Robert Butler and others:

continues....


#

Manikkavachagar's experiences with Siva, his Guru, left him in a state of irrepressible ecstasy. Many of his songs described this momentous encounter, but there was one particular sequence of lines from the poem Tiruvandapahudi [Song 3 of Tiruvachakam] that Sri Bhagavan particularly appreciated. Devaraja Mudaliar has reported [My Recollections of Bhagavan Sri Ramana, p.52], that Sri Bhagavan read out lines 149-152 to give him an idea of the supreme bliss of Self Realization.

In Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, Talks No. 215, it is recorded that Sri Bhagavan read from G.U. Pope's translation of the Tiruvachakam. In this report it merely states that Sri Bhagavan read 'stanzas describing the intense feeling of bhakti as thrilling the whole frame, melting the flesh and bones, etc.,' Though the exact reference is not given, Viswanatha Swami in the Tamizh edition of Talks, [Bhagavad Vachanamrutam], states that it is this portion which is referred to:

#

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam - Part I - continues.

by Robert Butler and others:

*

Clad graciously in a brahmin's glorious form,
He summoned me and graciously ruledm me.
At once my very bones melted through undying love.
I called aloud, roaring, roaring like the heaving sea,
rose to my feet, collpased again all in a daze,
rolling over, wailing,
raving like a madman, raging like a drunk,
frightening of those who saw, amazing those who heard,
in a state of total derangement
that even a rutting elephant would find it unbearabe.
Then, when I could bear it no longer,
he fashioned my limbs with a delightful sweetness,
like honey fresh from the bough.
Just as, with flame lit by his beauteous smile,
He brough low the three cities of his demon foes, [1]
He did that day, without exception,
destroy in the great fire of His grace
the humble [bodily] dwellings of us His devotees.
To me He became a nelli fruit [2]
in the palm of the hand.
Blessing upon You; I can find no words to express it!
Is this justice? I cannot endure it, dog that I am.
What You have done to me, I do not understand.
For pity, this is death itself.
This grace You have granted me, I cannot comprehend!
I have drunk it, yet stioll I am not sated.
I have swallowed it down, yet I cannot tolerate it!

*
continued.

[the long verse has to be broken,
as the comment box does not permit beyond some 4000+ characters.]

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam, Part I - continues...

*
Like waves upon the rich, cool Sea of Milk,
like the ocean when the moon is at the full,
in a way that cannot be described,
He filled my heart to overflowing,
distilling and collecting nectar
in my body's every pore.
Within the body of this cur, taking up His Abode,
He caused ambrosia sweet to flow
through every conduit of my sinful
fleshy form,
sending fulsome streams of wondrous nectar
rushing up through the hollow of every bone.
Taking my melting heart and making it one with Him,
He made for me a form saturated with His grace.
Like an elephant inspecting a field of bright sweet sugarcane,
He came at last, even to me, and transformed me into pure being.
His nature neither Mal nor Brahma knows, [3]
yet with grace He transformed me into supreme ambrosia,
making the pure honey of His compassion merge with me.[4]

[1] - a reference to Tripura Samhara, where Sive smiled at the three flying cities and destroyed
them with asuras.
[2] 'as clear as the nelli in the palm of the hand' is a well known proverb that means that something is clear and obvious. In this context, it means that Manikkavachagar had an incontrovertible experience of Siva.
[3] Brahma and Vishnu's [Mal]
inability to find the beginning and the end of Siva who manifesed as a column of light, Arunachala story.

[4] The long ahaval verse ends here.

*

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar, and the
Tiruvachakam - Part I -
by Robert Butler and others. continues.

Tiruvandappahudi - Lines 148-182 -
Tamizh verse:

aRaikoovi aatkondaruLi
maRaiyor kolam kaatti aruLalum
uLaiya anbu enbu uruga olamittu

alaikadal thiraiyin aaarthaarthongith
thalai thadumaaRa veezhnthu puraNdalaRip
pitharin mayangi matharin madhithu
naattavar maruLavum kettavar viyappavum
kadaikaLiReRRath thadaperu madathin

aRRenaaa avayavanch chuvai tharu
kol then koNdu seithanan
eRRar moodhur ezhil nagai eriyin
veezhvithaangu anRu
aruLperun theeyin adiyom adikkudil

orutharum vazhamai odukkinan
thadakkaiyin nellik kaniyenakku aayinan
solluvahaRiyen vaazhi muRaiyo
thariyen naayen thaan enaich cheithathu
theriyen aava sethen adiyeRku


contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam - Part I -
by Robert Butler and others:

continues...

Tamizh verse continues...

aruLiyathu aRiyen paruhiym aaren
vizhungiyum olla killen
sezhuthaN paarkadal thirai puvithu
ovakkadal naLLuneeruL aham thathumba
vaakiRanthu amudham mayirkkaal thoRum

thekkidach cheithanan kodiyen oon thazhai
kurambai thoRum naayudal ahathe
kurambai kondu in then paaithi nirambiya
aRpudhamana amudha thaaRaigal
eRputhuLai thorum eRRinan uruhuvathu

uLLam kondor uruchey thaangenakku
aLLooraakkai amaithanan oLLiya
kannal kani ther kaLiRenak kadaimuRai
ennaiyum iruppathaakinan ennil
karunai vaan then kalakka
aruLodu paravamudhu aakkinan
piraman mal aRiya peRRiyone.

Tiruchitrambalam.

{As regards the English translation, I find that Tiruvandappahuthi translation is authors own, since G.U. Pope's translation, available in www.Saivam.com. is different even
though the meaning is the same.)

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam - Part I -
by Robert Butler and others:

continues...

Tamizh verse continues...

aruLiyathu aRiyen paruhiym aaren
vizhungiyum olla killen
sezhuthaN paarkadal thirai puvithu
ovakkadal naLLuneeruL aham thathumba
vaakiRanthu amudham mayirkkaal thoRum

thekkidach cheithanan kodiyen oon thazhai
kurambai thoRum naayudal ahathe
kurambai kondu in then paaithi nirambiya
aRpudhamana amudha thaaRaigal
eRputhuLai thorum eRRinan uruhuvathu

uLLam kondor uruchey thaangenakku
aLLooraakkai amaithanan oLLiya
kannal kani ther kaLiRenak kadaimuRai
ennaiyum iruppathaakinan ennil
karunai vaan then kalakka
aruLodu paravamudhu aakkinan
piraman mal aRiya peRRiyone.

Tiruchitrambalam.

{As regards the English translation, I find that Tiruvandappahuthi translation is authors own, since G.U. Pope's translation, available in www.Saivam.com. is different even
though the meaning is the same.)

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar, and the
Tiruvachakam - Part I -

by Robert Butler and others continues..

#

Manikkavachagar's path to Siva was clearly through love and devotion.
Sri Bhagavan confirmed this when He echoed a well known statement that the four saints [Jnana Sambandhar, Appar, Sundarmurti and Manikkavachagar] had differing relationships with Siva. Jnana Sambandhar saw himself as the son of Siva [Muruga], Appar as his servant, Sundaramurti as his friend, and Manikkavachagar as his beloved. [Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, Suri Nagamma, 26th Jan 1947].

Sri Bhagavan was once questioned about some of the more extreme manifestations of devotional ecstasy. In His interesting and informative replies He mentioned both His own and Manikkavachagar's experiences:

#

*

Devotee: Horripilation, sobbing voice, joyful tears, etc., are mentioned in Atma Vidya Vilasa and other works. Are these found in samadhi, or before or after?

Sri Bhagavan: All these are symptoms of exceedingly subtle modes of mind [vrittis]. Without duality, they cannot remain. Samadhi is perfect peace where these cannot find a place. After emerging from Samadhi, the remembrance of the state gives rise to these symptoms. In Bhakti marga [the path of devotion] these are the precursors to Samadhi.

Question: Are they not so in the path of Jnana?

Sri Bhagavan: May be. There is no definiteness about it. It depends on the individual. Individuality entirely lost, these cannot find a place. Even the slightest trace of it being present, these symptoms become manifest.

Manikkavachagar and other saints have spoken of these symptoms. They say tears rush forth involuntarily and irrepressibly. Though aware of tears, they are unable to repress them. I had the same experience when I was staying in Virupaksha Cave. (Talks No. 372)

*

#

Bhagavan seems to be saying in His first reply that such extreme symptoms are only possible if one still has a mind and a subtle sense of individuality. But in His final reply, He makes it clear that symptoms such as spontaneous and uncontrollable crying can also break out in Jnanis.

#

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the Tiruvachakam: Part I:

by Robert Butler and others:

continues...

#

Though Sri Bhagavan does not make it clear in His answers which specific verses of Tiruvachakam, He was alluding to when when He made these remarks, He may have been thinking of the following lines in which Manikkavachagar describes the whole gamut of extreme emotional behavior that God-intoxicated devotees indulge in:

#

*

PoRRi Tiru Ahaval - Tiruvachakam,
Song 4:

As maya's manifold delusion
surrounds them all about,
not succumbing to such errors,
not wavering from their fixed resolve,
they worship,. melting
like wax before a flame;
they weep with body trembling;
they dance, cry out, sing and praise.
Crocodile jaws and an ignorant woman,***
hold on and don't let go, they say.
They [the devotees] hold on tightly
in love's true and unrelenting sway
like a spike that's driven
into fresh green wood.
As love's flood grows higher,
they heave like the ocean's swell,
mind withering away, their bodies
quivering with delight.
When the world calls them 'possessed!'
and makes a laughing stock of them,
they remain unabashed, wearing
their countrymen's abusive words
like jeweled ornament.

To hold onto and attain final liberation,
free of all sophistry, knowing naught,
is for them, the miracle of the Supreme.

[the verse lines incomplete, for avoiding more than 4000+ characters in comments box.]

continued....

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam - Part I -

by Robert Butler, T.V. Venkatasubramanian, & David Godman.

continues....

*

PoRRi Tiru Ahaval - lines continue:

As a cow yearns for its calf,
they bellow and become agitated/
Not even in their dreams
do they think of any other God.**
Nor, thinking it of no account,
do they spurn the majesty
of the unattainable supreme One,
who came in grace upon earth
in the Jnana Guru's form.
Like a shadow that knows
no separation [from its object],
they follow behind Your twin holy feet,
caring not in what direction [they go].
As bones soften and dissolve,
they melt in yearning, melt again,
as love's river overflows its course.
Stammering, their hair on end,
all senses focused on the One,
"MY LORD!" they weeping cry,
The lotus of their heart blossoms,
as hands close like a flower bud,
Tear drops spring forth,
and ecstasy shows in their eyes,
as in them daily flourishes,
the love that never dies.
Praise be to Him who, as a mother,
nurtures such as these.

[PoRRi Tiru Ahaval - Lines 54 to 87 complete.]

*** These are idioms in Tamizh, crocodile and pedhai, female ghost, [ignorant woman] do not leave the person caught by them.

"Not even in their dreams
do they think of any other God." - In Tiruchitrambala Kovaiyar, the saint says the Atma inspite of guidance by Grace [siva thalaivi], goes to other gods, it is like the hero going to courtesans leaving the beautiful wife at home!

Part I is completed here. If possible, I shall give the Tamizh verse lines 54 to 87, before completing the Part I.

*

continued....

Subramanian. R said...

Upadesa Manjari - Spiritual Instruction:
Chapter IV - Arudha - attainment:

3. If that is so, why have three more stages superior to it been distinguished?

Sri Bhagavan: The marks of the stages four to seven are based upon the experiences of the realized person, jivan mukta. They are not states of knowledge and release. So far as knowledge and release are concerned, no distinction whatever is made in these four stages.

4. As the liberation is common to all, why is the Brahma varishta [literally the most excellent] alone praised excessively?

Sri Bhagavan: So far as the Brahma varishta's common experience of bliss is concerned, he is extolled only because of the special merit acquired by him in his previous births, which is the cause of it.


***

Subramanian. R said...

T.R. Kanakammal - Ninaivil NiRainthavai: Tamizh reminiscences:

Once in 1946, during the month of Margazhi, [Dec-Jan], when there used to be very early morning parayanam of Vedas, Sri Ramana Sannidhi MuRai and Tiruppalli Ezhucchi from Tiruvachakam, Sri Bhagavan used to be ready even at 4 am. It was in Jubilee Hall and the cold was biting. Sri Bhagavan used to wear a shawl around His neck and chest.

Once it so happened that a devotee had placed a lot of dasangam on the coal stove, in front of the sofa. The smoke was intense and Sri Bhagavan's eyes started irritating, His face became red and He was finding it hard to breathe.

He looked at the devotee and said: Oye, place still more dasangam. It is good for Swami. Isn't it?

In temples they used to place a lot of dasangam in Margazhi six times a day. But that Swami is stone Swami. It has no problem of breathlessness and irritation. But here, this Swami is a living Swami. What to do? It is all due to Swamitvam. Swami has to put up everything.

The devotee kept quiet.

****

Subramanian. R said...

T.R. Kanakammal - Ninaivil NiRainthavai: Tamizh reminiscences:

Once there was Karthikai Deepa Utsavam in Big Temple. It was a day when Arunachaleswara was having procession in Rishabha Vahana, Bull Vehicle. Venkataratnam, the attendant wanted to see Rishabha vahanam and with Sri Bhagavan's permission, he went to the temple and came back.

Sri Bhagavan asked: How was it?

Venkataratnam said: I saw the Big rishabha vaahanam. How nice was it. The flower arrangements were
excellent. For Rishabha, they had placed big garlands..Everywhere they had fixed bright bulbs....

Sri Bhagavan after saying Hm, Hm, finally asked 'What else did you
see?'

Venkataratnam was blinking.

Sri Bhagavan said: You saw the Rishabham, garlands, electric bulbs, but what about Arunachaleswara? You did not say anything. Perhaps you thought what is special about Arunachaleswara, He is ever the same!

Venkataratnam felt shy that he did not see Arunachaleswara in detail and could see only the peripherals.

****

Subramanian. R said...

Tirumandiram - Tirumular:
Tantra 9 - aNainthor thanmai - Greatness of the Realized.
[aNainthor - those who have embraced the Self. The Self Realized].

Verse 2958:

Ozhinthen piRavi uRuvennum paasam
Kazhinthen kadavuLum nanum onRaanen
Azhinthangu ini varum aakkamum veNden
Sezhuncharpudaiya sivanai kaNdene.

Ended the birth; sundered the bonds;
God and I one became;
No more for me the way of rebirth;
I have merged Siva, the auspicious.

****

Subramanian. R said...

Tirumandiram - Tirumular -
Tantra 9: aNainthor thanmai - the greatness of the Realized:

paNdu engaL eesan nedumaal biramanaik,
KaNdankirukkum karuthaRivar illai
ViNdange thonRi veRumanm aayidil
Thundankiruthor thooRathuvame.

Brahma and Vishnu, of yore,
Our Lord created;
And There He remains ever,
None knew why;
Jive there appears,
And empties its thoughts,
No more birth in carnal body will be.

***

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the Tiruvachakam - Part I - MP Jan.-
March 2006:

by Robert Butler, T.V. Venkatasubramanian and David Godman:

#

Sri Bhagavan mentioned earlier that spontaneous and uncontrollable weeping could occur in Jnanis. He also sometimes said, as the following story by Devaraja Mudaliar reveals, that crying for God could be an effective sadhana:

#

*

Devaraja Mudaliar - My Recollections of Bhagavan Sri Ramana:

... in the early days Sri Bhagavan encouraged me whenever I was singing with deep feeling. He could have such a look on His face, with His radiant eyes directed towards me, that I would be held spellbound, and not infrequently, at some especially moving words in the songs, tears would come and I would be obliged to stop singing for one or two minutes. Sri Bhagavan told me that such weeping is good, quoting from Tiruvachakam, 'By crying for You [God] one can get You.' aanal vinaiyen azhuthal unnai peRalaame.

I recollect here, that Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa once said, 'If you will only cry for God with a tenth of the fervour with which you cry for you wife and children, you will see God in no time.'. It was in connection with Mrs. Elenor Pauline Noye, an American devoee, that Sri Bhagavan quoted to me the above line from Tiruvachakam. She had contributed an article on Sri Bhagavan to The Golden Jubilee Souvenir published by the Asramam in 1946 in which she mentioned that, when after a stay of about two months with Sri Bhagavan, she had to return to America and was weeping inconsolably, Sri Bhagavan was kind enough to assure her in so many words [a thing very unusual with Him, from my fairly long contact with Him] that she was not to grieve and that He would be with her wherever she might go. She writes in the Souvenir, 2nd edition, page 362, "Sri Bhagavan said, 'I will always be with you wherever you go.'"

It was a peculiarity with this devotee that she would often weep before Sri Bhagavan when she was in the Hall. Referring to this, I told Sri Bhagavan that Mrs. Noye had captured Sri Bhagavan by means of her tears. It was then that Sri Bhagavan quoted the line from Tiruvachakam [given below] and asked me if I did not know it.

Tiruvachakam, Tiru Chadakam, 9.10]

Yaane poi en nenjum poi en anbum poi,
aanaal vinaiyen azhuthaal unnai peRalaame,
thene amudhe karumbin theLive thithikkum
maane aruLaai adiyen unai vanthu uRumaaRe.

False am I; my heart too is false,
and my love also is false.
Yet, bound by tainted karma,
I can win You by crying for You.
Honey! Nectar! Essence of the sugarcane!
Sweet Lord! Grant to me in grace, your devotee,
the path that leads to union with Thee!

*

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the Tiruvachakam: Part II -
by Robert Butler and others:

continues...

#

In the summary of Manikkavachagar's
life, that Sri Bhagavan gave earlier, the final incident that was narrated was the disappearance of Siva. Sri Bhagavan now describes what happened next.

#

*

Sri Bhagavan: Fully convinced that He who had blessed him was no other than Iswara Himself, Manikkavachagar was stricken with unbearable grief and fell on the ground weeping and saying, "Oh, my Lord! Why did you go away leaving me here?"

The villagers were very much surprised at this and began to search for the person who was till then working in their village as a school master, but could not find him anywhere. Then they realized that it was the Lord's leela. Sometime later, Manikkavachagar got over his grief, decided to act according to the injunctions of Iswara, sent away his retinue to Madurai, spent all the gold with him on the temple and stayed there alone.

Hearing all that had happened, the king immediately sent an order to Manikkavachagar to return to Madurai. But how could he go to the king without the horses? If he wanted to purchase them then, where was the money? Not knowing what to do, he prayed to Lord Siva for help. That night Lord Siva appeared to him in a dream, gave him a priceless gem and said: "Give this to the king and tell him the horses will come on the day of the moola star in the month of Srvana. [This is in Tamizh, called AavaNi Moolam, and is celebrated in Madurai Temple.]

Startled at that vision he opened his eyes but the Lord was not there. Maniikkavachagar was however overjoyed at what had happened. He put on his official dress and went to Madurai. He gave the gem to the king, discussed the auspicious time when the horses would be arriving and then was anxiously waiting for the day. He did not however resume his official duties. Though his body was in Madurai, his mind was in Tiruperundurai. He was merely biding his time.

The Pandyan king, however, sent his spies to Tiru Perundurai and found that there were no horses there meant for the king, and that all the money meant for their purchase had been spent in the renovation of Tiruperundurai temple. So he immediately put Manikkavachagar in prison, making him undergo all the trials and tribulations of jail life.

*

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam, Part II :

by Robert Butler and others:

*

Meanwhile, as originally arranged, on the day of the Aavani Moola star, Iswara assumed the guise of a horseman, transformed the jackals of the jungle into horses,
and brought them to the king. The king was astonished at this, took delivery of the horses and according to the advice of the keeper of the stables, had them tied up at the same place, where all his horses were kept. He thanked the horseman profusely, and after sending him away with several presents, released Manikkavachagar from jail with profuse apologies.

The same night the new horses changed into their real forms, killed all the horses in the stables, ate them, created similar havoc in the city and fled. The king grew very angry, branded Manikkavachagar as a trickster and put him back in jail. Soon, in accordance with Iswara's orders, the waters of the River Vaigai rose in floods and the whole city of Madurai was under water. Alarmed at that, the king assembled all the people and ordered them to raise the bunds of the rivers. For the purpose, he ordered that every citizen should do a certain amount of work with a threat of dire consequences should he fail to do his allotted work.

There as in Madurai, an old woman by name Pittuvani Ammaiyar. She was a pious devotee of Lord Siva. She was living alone earning her livelihood by daily preparing and selling pittu [sweetened powdered rice prssed into conical shapes]. She had no one to do her allotted work on the river bund nor had she the money to hire a person to do it. She was therefore greatly worried and cried, "Iswara, What shall I do?".

Seeing her helplessness, Iswara came there in the guise of a cooly with a spade on his shoulder and called out, 'Granny, granny, do you want a cooly?'

"Yes", she said, "but I don't have even a paise in my hand to pay you, what to do?

He said: "I do not want any money and would be satisfied if you gave me some portion of pittu to eat. I shall then do the allotted work for on the river bund."

Pleased with the offer, she began making pittus but they did not come in the full shape, but were broken. Surprised at this, she gave all the bits to the cooly. He ate as many of them as he could and went away, saying that he would attend to the bund raising work. Surprisingly, the dough with the old woman remained intact i.e the same quantity, even though she had prepared and given bits of the pittu to the cooly. {Pittu nerpada maN sumantha perum pithane! [Tirukazhu kunRa padigam, Verse, 2, Tiruvachakam.]

*

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam - Part II:
by Robert Butler, T.V. Venkatasubramanian, & David Godman.

continues....

*

The cooly went to the work spot but instead of doing the work, lay
down there idly, standing in the way of others doing their work.

The king went round to inspect the progress of the work and found that the portion allotted to Pittuvani Ammaiyar remained unattended to. On enquiry, his servants told him all the pranks of that cooly.

The king got infuriated, called the cooly and said: "Instead of doing the allotted work, you are lying down and singing."

So saying, he hit the cooly on the back with a cane he had in his hand. The blow recoiled not only on the king himself but on all beings there and all of them suffered the pain on that account. The king immediately realized that the person hit by him was Parameswara Himself in the guise of a cooly. The king stood aghast.

Parameswara vanished. and soon a voice from the sky said, "O King! Manikkavachagar is my beloved devotee. I myself did all this to show you his greatness. Seek his protection."

Soon after hearing the voice, the king went to see Manikkavachagar and on the way, he stepped into the house of Pittuvani to see her. By that time, she had already got into a Vimanam [a heavenly chariot] and was on her way to Kailasa. The king was greatly surprised and saluted her and from there he went straight to Manikkavachagar and fell at his feet. Manikkavachagar lifted him with great respect, and enquired of his welfare.

The king entreatingly said, "Please forgive me and rule this kingdom yourself."

Manikkavachagar, looking at the king, said with kindness, "Appa! [a term of endearment]. As I have already agreed to serve the Lord. I cannot be bothered with the problems of ruling a kingdom. Please do not mistake me. Rule the kingdom, looking after the welfare of the people. Henceforth,you will have nothing to worry about." So saying, smilingly he put on the dress of a Sannaysi, and went about visiting holy places singing the praises of Siva.

*

{Letters from and Recollections of Sri Ramanasramam, by Suri Nagamma.}

continued...

Anonymous said...

:)
w.r.t. MAy 13th.... my Birthday is on that day... now i know why it is dreaded ;)

Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
"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.

Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt from he Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
MASTER (to the elder Gopal and the other devotees): "As long as a man feels that God is
'there', he is ignorant. But he attains Knowledge when he feels that God is 'here'.
"A man wanted a smoke. He went to a neighbour's house to light his charcoal. It was the
dead of night and the household was asleep. After he had knocked a great deal, someone
came down to open the door. At sight of the man he asked, 'Hello! What's the matter?' The
man replied: 'Can't you guess? You know how fond I am of smoking. I have come here to
light my charcoal.' The neighbour said: 'Ha! Ha! You are a fine man indeed! You took the
trouble to come and do all this knocking at the door! Why, you have a lighted lantern in
your hand!' (All laugh.)
Namaskar.

Subramanian. R said...

Dear Anon.,

So long as number 13 and Friday are not together, it is okay.
My son's wedding was on 13th December 2009.

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Ramana Corona: A Crown of Sonnets, by Alan Jacobs: [Ack:
Sri Ramana Maharshi, the Supreme
Guru, Alan Jacobs, Yogi Impressions, Mumbai.]

1. All beings yearn to be happy, always;
Happiness without a whinge of sorrow.
To enjoy a life of carefree days,
Taking no tinge of thought for tomorrow.
When restless mind's at peace in deep sleep,
What glimpse of worry, grief or despair?
So happiness lies therein, burided down deep.
How to find that treasure, awake, aware?
Ask the question, 'Who am I?', from where?
That's the essential means of the holy task,
Ending ego's 'me' and 'my' that's there.
No pleasure endures in things on this earth,
Enquire within, who basks behind the mask?
To regain that Selfhood we lost at birth.

{There are 15 sonnets in all}

***

Subramanian. R said...

T.R. Kanakammal - Ninaivil NiRainthavai, Tamizh reminiscences:

The kumbabhishekam festival for Sri Matrubhuteswara Temple, was to be done in a few days time. All work connected with the festival was being done by many ardent devotees in a hurry. Prof. T.K. Doraiswamy Iyer was having a major role in the working commitee that was constituted for the purpose.
His wife's name is Yogamba.

The couple wanted to do something for the metal image of Yogamaba in Sri Matrubhuteswara Temple. She is the goddess in the shrine. They quitely decied to make a small golden parrot to be adorned by Yogamba on her hand in the temple.

A few days before the main function, Yogamba brought the golden parrot and submitted to Sri Bhagavan for approval. Sri Bhagavan received the oranment on His hand and turned it this side and that side and He became pleased. He gave the golden parrot back to Smt. Doraiswamy Iyer and said: O, it is a wonderful coincidence. The one giving is Yogamba. The one who is going to receive it and wear it is also Yogamba.

The lady meleted in tears and said: Bhagavan, It is all your Grace.

***

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam: Part II -
by Robert Butler, T.V. Venkatasubramanian and David Godman:

continues....

#

Manikkavachagar's visit to Tiruvannamalai:

Manikkavachagar had been specially commissioned by Siva to tour the Tamizh region and sing songs in His praise. One of the places he visited was Tiruvannamalai, which even then [in the 9th century] was a major Siva pilgrim centre. The TIRUVADAVUR ADIGAL PURANAM, a colourful and poetic retelling of Manikkavachagar's life, includes the following verses that describe his visit:

#

*

After worshipping at that shrine [Tiruvennai Nallur],
with love in his heart he departed,
following the righteous path,
passing through middle lands, [which is called Nadu Naadu or ThoNdai Naadu in Tamizh history]
traversing tall forests and mountains,
where lions and fearsome elephants dwelt,
until he drew near to enduring Arunai's city. [Tiruvannamalai]
When he saw the palaces and gopurams,
the strong walls, decorated with jewels and pearls,
the great gateways festooned with banners,
towering up in the midst
of a cool densely wooded grove,
in a forest of tall areca trees,
he joyfully made obeisance,
experiencing great bliss.

"You who abide in the form of a mountain,
which appeared on that day a column of flame,
for the two to seek!
Blissful life which fills our hearts!"
Thus did he worship the Supreme Mountain Lord,
receiving His grace, before proceeding forth,
to enter Arunai's prosperous city.

*

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam - Part II:
by Robert Butler and others:

continues...

*
The lines from Tiruvadvaur Adigal Puranam - continues..

Leaving behind the groves, the city walls,
the streets decorated with many beautiful banners,
and the various shrines of the gods,
and taking the path which led to the holy presence,
he bowed down before the temple of the One
who wears in His locks a kondrai garland,
datura flowers, the moon and the snake,
and then did he perceive the form of Him
who on that day had enslaved him.**

"Praise be to the dark throated One
who swallowed the poison halahala
when Brahma, Vishnu and the rest of the gods,
crying out in distress, appealed to Him for protection!
Praise be to the Mountain of cool ambrosia,
mixed with the milk of gree hued Unnamualai, [Apeeta Kuchambal, the goddess of the temple]
which men and gods alike drink down
to cure the overpowering malady of their birth and death!

"Praise be to the great ocean of grace of Him
who placed His feet upon my head,
the feet which tall Mal& could not see,
though he burrowed deep into the earth
in the form of a powerful boar!
Praise be to the Mountain of burnished gold,
at whose side sits the slender
green hued form of Unnamulai,
who is the earth's protectress!


* T.M.P. Mahadevan has taken this line to mean that the saint poet had a vision of Siva in the Arunachaleswara Temple.

& Mal = Vishnu.

*

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar, and the
Tiruvachakam - Part II - continues...

*

"Praise be to Him who granted His grace
to the victorious Durga,
when She worshipped Him and begged Him
to absolve Her from the sin
of killing the powerful buffalo-headed demon![1]
Praise be to the beauteous Lord
Annamalai,
who came to me on that day and held me in His sway!"
Thus worshipping and praising the Lord,
ou9t of heart felt love,
he dwelt there for some days.

It was the month of Margazhi,[2]
when, in the ten days before the ardra asterism, [3]
the beautiful maidens go from household to noble household
calling each other out in the early dawn,
just as the darkness is dispersing,
and, banding together, go to bathe in the holy tank.

On observing their noble qualities
he sang the immortal hymn Tiruvembavai
which is composed as if sung by the maiden themselves.
Later, seeing them dance and sing,
as they played the pretty game Ammanai,
he composed the song Ammmanai in the same manner.[4]
---
[1] - The story of Durga killing the buffalo headed demon Mahishasura appears in Arunachala Mahatmyam.

[2] - The month of Margazhi runs from mid-December to mid-January in the Western calendar.

[3]- In the Hindu calendar there is a cycle of 27 days each month.
Each day is named after a particular star. Ardra is one of these star days [Ardra is blood red in colour, the star of Siva.
The light from Ardra takes 3 sun
years to reach, as against 8 minutes that is taken by sun's
light.]

[4] - The lines of the poem in Tiuvadvaur Adigal Puranam, Tiruvambala Sarukkam, vv. 376-384, by KatavuL Maamunivar. This text was written several centuries after TiruviLaiyadal Puranam, the source that Sri Bhagavan earlier utilized to summarise the main events of Manikkavachagar's life.
----
*

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam - Part II continues...

#

As the final verse in this sequence indicates, Manikkavachagar composed two of the Tiruvachakam poems, Tiruvembavai and Tiru Ammanai, on his visit to Tiruvannamalai. There is a tradition in Tiruvannamalai that both poems were composed while Manikkavachagar was doing pradakshina of Arunachala. A small temple on the pradakshina road in the village of Adi Annamalai is supposed to mark the spot where the two poems were composed and sung. Sri Bhagavan confirmed the validity of this tradition when He told Suri Nagamma: "He then stood at that particular place and addressing Arunagiri [Arunachala] sang the songs Tiruvembavai and Tiru Ammanai." {Letters from Sri Ramanasramam.}.

There is a festival in winter in which devotees go to their Siva temple very early in the morning to sing songs to Siva in order to wake Him up. In Tiruvembavai, young girls move from house to house, waking up their friends, and encouraging them to come to the temple to perform this rite. Though, ostensibly, it is merely a poem about young girls encouraging each other to go and worship Siva, their trips to the temple are interpreted to be emblematic of the soul's journey towards union with Siva. It is thus a poem which encourages enthusiasm for the ultimate pilgrimage that culminates in the expereince of Sivam. There are also more fanciful interpretations to see in its lines allegories for the Saiva view on how the wrold is brought into being.

The Tiruvembavai is one of Manikkavachagar's most famous poems. Indeed, judging by the number of commentaries that have been written on it, and from the number of meetings that are held to expound its meaning, it can justly be regarded as one of the most famous poems ever written in Tamizh.

#

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam - Part II - continues...

#

Part of its fame can be attributed
to its mystical obscurity, which has been inevitably prompted a large number of differing explanations, but one cannot ignore the contribution made in recent times by the former Sankaracharya of Kanchipuram, Sri
Chandrasekhara Saraswati Swami. The poem was a particular favourites of his, and he did much to encourage public awarness of it. Sri G. Vanmikanathan, who was personally enouraged to write commentaries on the Tiruvachakam, by the Sankaracharya, has written that, each year, in the Tamizh month of Margazhi, the Tiruvembavai poem is sung throughout the length and breadth of Tamizh speaking world and conferencesx and meetings in hundreds are held in that period to expound it.{1}

Now that the Sankaracharya has passed away, the meetings are far fewer, but the poem still remains a favourite for millions of devotees, and it is still widely recited in the early morning in the month of Margazhi. During Sri Bhagavan's lifetime, there was a special early morning parayana during Margazhi when devotees chanted Tiruvembavai and other poems of Manikkavachagar.

Thoug it has a distinguished place in Tamizh literary history and a stong local connection, there is only one recorded instance of Sri Bhagavan citing a portion to a devotee. [2]

[1] Pathway to God through the Tiruvachakam, by G. Vanmikanathan.

[2] My Recollections of Bhagavan Sri Ramana, by Devaraja Mudaliar.

#

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam: Part II -continues...

*

Even as gems that thickly cluster
upon the crowns of gods on high,
when they bow down, will lose their lustre,
before the lotus feet of Lord Annamalai,
likewise the sun, with bright eyed gaze
dispels the darkness with his rays,
making stars flee, their coold light fade,
Thus does He [Siva] stand before us
as woman, as man, as androgyne,
as the Space that co-exists with the effulgent sun and moon,
as earth, yet from all these separate,
ambrosia to the eye made manifest.
So sing you then of His holy feet, O, Maid,
and in the flowery flood, plunging, bathe!
El or Embaavai!

- Tiruvembavai, Verse 18.

The Tamizh verse:

annamalaiyan adikkamalam senRiRainjum,
vinnor mudiyin maNithohai veeRaRRal pol,
kannar iravi kadhir vanthu kaar karappath,
thannar oLi mazhungi, thaarahaihal thaamakalp,
peNNahi, aaNaai, aliyaip piRangoLiser,
ViNNahi maNNahi, ithanaiyum veRaahik,
kaNNar amudamum ai ninRaan kazhal paadip,
peNNe ip poompunal paainthadelor embaavaai.
*

#

The young girl who is addressed is being encouraged to go to Siva, sing His praises, and merge in His feet. The final line, which has no particular meaning, is generally held to be a cry made in children's game of that era.

Suri Nagamma has reported that Ramaswami Pillai once recited this verse to Sri Bhagavan, at the end of the usual Tamizh parayana. Sri Bhagavan had wanted to get up and leave, but Ramaswami Pillai knew that He could probably detain Sri Bhagavan for a few extra minutes since he knew that it was one of His favourite songs. [Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, Suri Nagamma.].

Sri Bhagavan told Devaraja Mudaliar that He particularly appreciated the line in this verse, which states that Arunachala-Siva is "ambrosia to the eye made manifest." Devaraja Mudaliar[1] has also reported that Sri Bhagavan also liked a very similar phrase that appearted in PoRRi Tiru Ahaval, line 150:

#

*
[The previous line 149 is merely given in the context]

Annamalai em aNNa poRRi,
KaNNar amudhak kadale poRRi,

Annmalai, our Father,
praise be to you! [149]
Ocean of nectar thast delights our eyes,
praise be to you! [150]

[1] Both the verse lines and the incident reported are from My Recollections of Bhagavan Sri Ramana.

*
Part II - concluded.

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Tirumandiram - Tantra 8:
Ninmala Avastha - Pure State devoid of malas, i.e impurities of ego, karma and maya:

Verse 2316:

Aanaigal einthum adakki aRivennum
Jnana thiriyai koLuvi adhanul pukku
Oonai iruLaRa nokkum oruvaRku
VanahameRa vazhi eLithaame.

He who, the elephants of senses
five subdue;
Lights the lamp of Jnana
And entering its radiance
Drives the darkness within;
For him
It is easy
to ascend the heavenly home of Siva
Sayujya.

{Siva Sayujya, merging with Siva.
Saiva Siddhantis speak of four types of ascendence, Salokam, living in the same world of Siva, i.e. Kailasam. Saroopam, living in that world with the form of Siva;
Sameepam - living in the world close to Him; and Sayujya.}

Verse 2317:

Aadiya kaalil asaikkinRa vaayuvum
Thaadithu ezhuntha damaruka osaiyum
Padi ezhukinRa vadagamangalum
Nadiyin uLLaha naan kaNdavaRe.

The moving breeze
That the Dancing feet waft;
The vibrant sound
That the Damaruka[1] emits;
The celestial music,
That the chanting of Vedas and
Agamas produces;
All these in nadis within I experienced.

[1] damaruka means hand-drum on Nataraja's hand.

{This is the dance of Siva within]

***

Subramanian. R said...

Upadesa Manjari - Spiritual Instruction:

Chapter IV - Arudha - Attainment.

5. As there is no one who does not desire to experience constant bliss what is the reason why all sages [Jnanis] do not attain the state of Varishta?

It is not attined by mere desire or effort. Karma [prarabdha] is its cause. As the ego dies along with its cause even in the fourth stage, [bhoomika], what agent is there beyond that stage to desire anything or to make efforts. So long as they make efforts, they will not be Jnanis. Do the sacred texts [Srutis] which specially mention the Varishta say that the
other three are enlighened persons?

6. As some sacred texts say that the supreme state is that in which the sense organs and the mind are completely destroyed, how can that state be compatible with the experience of the body and the senses?

If that were so, there would not be any difference between that state and the state of deep sleep. Further, how can it be said to be the natural state, when it exists at one time and not at another? This happens, as stated already, to some persons according to their karma [prarabdha] for sometime or till death. It cannot properly be regarded as the final state. If it could, it would mean that all great souls and the Lord, who were the authors of Vedantic works [Jnana Granthas] and the Vedas, were unenlightened persons. If the supreme state is that in which neither senses nor the mind exist, and not the state of in which they exist, how can it be the perfect state - Paripurnam? As Karma alone is responsible for the activity or inactivity of the Sages, great souls have declared the state of Sahaja Nirvikalpa [natural state without concepts] alone to be the ultimate state.

****

Subramanian. R said...

Dear everyone,

I have received emails from one or two, asking me, where they can obtain original Tiruvachakam book and also its commentaries.

I am giving for the benefit of all concerned the following information:

Original Verses alone:

The earliest print was in 1835, done by Kottaiyur Sivakozhunthu Desikar. This was at the instance of Raja Serfoji who was ruling Thanjavur. Later Saiva Siddhanta Mahasamajam has published a good book of original verses in 1941.

In recent times, the good editions of the book, with practically no printing mistakes are from:

1. Saiva Siddhanta Book Publishing House, Chennai, in 1961 & 1974.

2. TirupanandaaL Kasi Matam - 1975

3. Manimekalai Printers - 1986.

6. Gangai Padippagam, Pondi Bazaar, Chennai 600 017.

I am using the last one.

Regarding commentaries, the recent editions [or reprints] are from:

1. Swami Chidbhavananda, Sri Ramakrishna Tapovanam, Tiru Paraithurai, near Tiruchirapalli. This low priced book has seen several reprints. Runs to 500 pages in bold letters, hard cover, costing Rs. 120.00 only.

2. Puliyur Kesikan - 1963.

3. P. Ramanatha Pillai - 1969.

4. VazhithuNai Raman - 1987.

5. K.R. Sundaram, 2008.

6. S. Dhandapani Desikar, of Tiru
AvaduthuRai Adeenam. 2009

This is the most extensive commentary, which runs to about 1750 pages, in two volumes.
I have been reading this.

7. K.R. Sundaram - 2009. 43, Alameulu Nagar, Madurai - 625 017
This edition was bought by me in Madurai when I had been there in the year 2009. This is a simple commentary, with original verses, side by side.

8. In English, there is one by Prof. Vanmika Nathan, titled Pathway to God through Tiruvachakam. I had this book but has been misplaced recently. I am not sure about the reprints.

All or many of these books may be available in good Tamizh book shops in Chennai. Swami Chidbhavanada's edition was sold in the Asramam, Tiruvannamalai.

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam - Part III:
From Mountain Path, Apr.-June 2006:

by Robert Butler, T.V. Venkatasubramanian & David Godman:

#

Tiruvachakam references in Sri Bhagavan's replies to devotees:

When Sri Bhagavan replied to devotees' questions, He sometimes illustrated the point He was tryingt to make by quoting extract from the Tiruvachakam. In this section, we have put together all the instances we could find, and prepared new translations of all the lines that Sri Bhagavan referred to.

#

*

{1}

[A young man asked] "It is said that a Jnani does not have happiness or sorrow, bodily ailments or the like. Sundarar and Appar are reported to have jumped with joy when they had a vision of Siva. Even Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is reported to have grieved terribly when he did not get a vision of the Holy Mother and to have gone into ecstasies when he did get a vision. Not only that. When Ramakrishan Paramahamsa had some bodily ailments, he used to cry out for Mother. What does it mean? Do Jnanis have happiness and sorrow?"

Sri Bhagavan answered him: "You say all that in relation to the body, don't you? It is not possible to judge a Jnani by his bodily ailments. Manikkavachagar sang a hymn the purport of which is: "O Iswara, you have showered on me your blessings even before I asked for them. How kind of you? Even so why is it I do not feel grieved? Is my heart made of stone? My eyes do not get wet. Are they made of wood? Not only with these two eyes, but I wish that my whole body were full of eyes so that I could weep with them. I would then be very happy. I wish my heart would melt and become watery so that it could become integrated with you." That is the purport. But then is that grief real grief? Some people give vent to their happiness by loudly expressing it when they get a vision of God, and some shed tears of joy. It was the same with Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. "Mother, how kind of you! How merciful!", he used to say and weep, and sometimes he used to laugh. Anyway if we want to know about his real state, we should first know about our own state," said Sri Bhagavan. {Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, dt. 4th April 1948}

*

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam, Part III -

by Robert Butler and others - continues.

*

The reference No. 1 continues:

The song, the purport of which is explained by Sri Bhagavan, is from
Tiru Chadakam, verse 3.1.

"You upon whose spreading, matted locks,
Ganga's flooding waters downward punge!
Rider on the Bull! Lord of Heaven's Host!"
No sooner do they hear these words, Your devotees,
than, melting, gasping, thirsting
in their hearts,
they tumble, like torrents rushing down a mountainside,
to stand at last in expectation of Your Grace.
Yet I it was, [not them], You came to rule!
O my Father, still this body does not all heart become,
and melt from sole of foot to crown of head,
nor transformed all into eyes, does it shed
a flood unstoppable of tears.
Truly, in one of evil karma such as I,
the heart is stone, the eyes, two knots of wood.

The Tamizh verse of Tiru Chadakam, 3.1.

VeLLanthaazh viri sadaiyai vidyyai viNNor
Perumane enak kettu vetta nenchaip
paLLanthan uRu punalil keezh melaahap
Pathaithu uruguam avar niRka ennai aandaaiku
ULLanthaaL ninRuchi aLavum nenjaai,
urugaathaal udambellam kaNNai aNNa,
VeLLanthan paayaathaal nenjam kallaam,
kaNNiNaiym maramam thee vinaiyenaeRke.

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Upadesa Manjari - Spiritual Instruction -

Chapter IV - Arudha - Attainment:

Q.7.: What is the difference between ordinary sleep and waking sleep - Jagrat Sushpti?

Sri Bhagavan: In ordinary sleep, there are not only no thoughts but also no awareness. In waking sleep {Jagrat Sushupti}, there is awareness alone. That is why it is called awake while sleeping, that is, the sleep in which there is awareness.

8. Why is the Self described as the fourth state [turiya] and beyond the fourth state [turiyatita]?

Turiya means that which is fourth. The experiencers [Jivas] of the three states of waking, dreaming and dreamless sleep, known as Visva, Taijasa, and Prajna, who wander successively in these three states, are not the Self. It is with the object of making this clear, namely that the Self is that which is different from them and which is the witness of these states, that it is called the fourth, [turiya]. When this is known, the three experiencers disappear and the idea that the Self is a witness, that is the fourth, also disappears. That is why the Self is described as beyond the fourth, turiyatita.

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Ramana Corona:

Alan Jacobs:

A Crown of Sonnets.

Sonnet 2:

To regain that Selfhood we lost at birth,
First consider well the cinema screen.
To understand that, gains merit and worth.
On the screen there appears a tense drama,
The film begins and we enjoy the show.
Fire, flood, sex, death, a vast panorama;
The screen's unchanging, but film's a shadow.
The simile teaches, strange as it may be,
That both seer and seen make up the mind.
On Consciousness as screen, all action's based.
The world's like a dream projected by mind
To know that it is true, is the clue to be free.
A guiding beacon that's so rare to find.
That's the Sage's wisdom by which we are graced.


*****

Subramanian. R said...

Tirumandiram - Tirumular -
Tantra 8 - Nirmala Avastha -
the State devoid of malas - impurities:

Verse 2318:

Munnai aRivinil seitha mudhu tavam
Pinnai aRivinaip peRRaal aRiyalam
Thannai aRivathu aRivaamathanRip
Pinnai aRivathu pei aRivaame.

The effect of goodly tapas
In the past performed,
Can with knowledge
In present be discerned;
Self Knowledge is knowledge true,
The rest is but knowledge demented.

Verse 2319:

SeyalaRRirukkach sivanandam aahum,
SeyalaRRiruppar sivayogam thedaar
SeyalaRRiuppar jagathodum koodaar
SeyalaRRiruppaarke seithi uNdaame.

To be actionless is Siva's Bliss.
They who are actionless
Seek not even Siva Yoga;
They who are actinless
Will not in world merge;
Only to them who are actionless
Is the Divine Message to be.

{It is to be noted here that the saint says actionlessness - Summa
Iruthal, the state of being still, is conferring Siva Knowledge and such a one does not even need Sivayoga, i.e yogic feats.}

***

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam - Part III:

by Robert Butler, T.V. Venkatasubramanian and David Godman

continues...

*
Tiruvachakam references in Sri
Bhagavan's replies to devotees:

[2]

Mr. B.C. Das, the physics lecturer, asked, "Contemplation is possible only with control of mind and control of mind can be accomplished only by contemplation. Is it not a vicious circle?

Sri Bhagavan: Yes, they are interdependent. They must go on side by side. Practice and dispassion bring about the result gradually. Dispassion is practised to check the mind from being projected outward. Practice is to keep it turned inward. There is a struggle between control and contemplation. It is going on constantly within. Contemplation in due course will be successful.

Devotee: How to begin? Your grace is needed for it.

Sri Bhagavan: Grace is always there. "Dispassion cannot be acquired, nor realization of the truth, nor inherence in the Self, in the absence of the Guru's Grace," the Master quoted.

Practice is necessary. It is like training a roguish bull confined to his stall by tempting him with luscious grass and preventing him from straying.

Then the Master read out a stanza from Tiruvachakam which is an address to the mind, saying: "O humming bee, [viz., the mind]! Why do you take the pains of collecting tiny specks of honey from innumerable flowers? There is one from whom you can have the whole storehouse of honey by simply thinking or seeing or sepaking of Him. Get within and hum to Him. {Talks No. 220}

Tirukothumbi, Verse 3:

Do not sip the nectar,
tiny as a millet seed
found in any flower,
but speed to that mystic dancer
and hum the praise of Him, King Bee,
He who, whenever we think of Him,
whenever we speak of Him,
perpetually pours forth the honeyed bliss,
that melts all our bones to the core.

The Tamizh Verse:

Thinaithanai uLLathor poovinil then uNNathe
NinaithoRum KaaNthoRum pesum thoRum eppothum,
anaithelumpuL nega aanandath then soriyum
Kunippudaiyanukke senRu oothaai kothumbi.

*

Contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam: Part III continues...

*
The verse mentioned in [2] - Devaraja Mudaliar has also noted in My Recollections of Bhagavan Sri Ramana, that Sri Bhagavan spoke very hihgly of the sentiments expressed in this verse.

[3]

Bhagavan: These questions [about seeing Siva in visions] arise because you have limited the Self to the body. Only then the ideas of within and without, of the subject and the object, arise. The objective visions have no intrinsic value. Even if they are everlasting, they cannot satisfy the person. Uma has Siva always
with Her. Both together form Ardhanariswara. Yet she wanted to know Siva in His true nature. She made tapas. In her dhyana, she saw a bright light. She thought, "This cannot be Siva for it is within the compass of my vision. I am greater than light." So she resumed her tapas. Stillness prevailed. She then realized that BE-ing is Siva in His true nature.

Muruganar cited Appar's stanza:

"To remove my darkness and give me light, Thy Grace must work through ME only."

Sri Bhagavan mentioned Sri Manikkavachagar's: "We do bhajana and the rest. But we have not seen or heard of those who had seen Thee."

One cannot see God and yet retain individuality. The seer and t he seen unite into One Being. There is no cognizer nor cognition, nor the cognized. All merge into one Supreme Siva only! [Talks No. 450]

Apart from the claims of the learned ones,
who say, "In all the elements You dwell!"
who dance and sing:"You come not, neither do You go!",
we have neither known nor heard of anyone,
who has seen You or has known You.
King of Perundurai, the cool rice fields surround!
You whom even thought is powerless to reach!
You who9 come before us, abolishing our flaws,
subjecting us to Your compassion's rule, our Lord,
Arise from Your couch, in grace, come forth!

{TirupaLLi Ezhuchi, Verse 5}

The Tamizh verse:

BhoothangaL thoRum ninRayenin allaal,
pokkilan, varavilan, ena ninaip pulavor
GeethangaL paduthal aaduthal allaal
KettaRiyom unai kandaRivaraich
CheethangoL vayal tiru perundurai manna,
Chintanikkum ariyai engaL mun vanthu
EdhangaL aRuthemmai aaNdaruL puriyum
emperumaan paLLi ezhuntharuLaaye!

*

continued...

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam - Part III continues.


*
Tiruvachakam references in Sri Bhagavan's replies to devotees:

[4]

Devaraja Mudaliar: Sri Bhagavan would frequently refer to the seventh verse of Koyil Tirupadigam, esepcially to the line, 'approaching and approaching, getting reduced into an atom, and finally becoming one [with the Absolute]' and also to the tenth verse. {My Recollections with Bhagavan Sri Ramana. Muruganar used the same imagery to describe the way that Sri Bhagavan eroded his own ego: 'Radiant Padam [Sri Bhagavan] destroyed my ego, demolishing it over and over again. It wore it down and down, smaller and smaller, to the size of an atom, until it became one with Itself. See Padamalai, Verse 379. /Padam's Grace towards Muruganar./. Sri Bhagavan also mentioned the first para of this verse when He was speaking to G.V. Subbaramayya, See Ramana Reminiscences.]

There You stood, Your nature manifest,
granting me this day Your Grace,
rising like a sun within my heart,
driving out the darkness of ignorance.
My thoughts upon that nature dwelt,
till thoughts there were no more.
There is nothing else other than You,
Approaching and approaching,
I became word down to an atom,
then worn away till I was one with Him.
Hail Siva, dwelling in Holy Perundurai!
There is nothing that You are,
yet without You nothing is!
Who indeed can know You?

The Tamizh verse:

InRenakaruLi iruL kadinthu uLLath,
ThezhukinRa jnayiRe ponRu,
ninRa nin thanmai niniappaRa ninainthen
neeyalaal piRithu maRRinmai
senru senru aNuvaai theynthu theynthu onRaam
TiruperunduRai uRai sivane
onRum nee allai anRi onRillai
yaarunnai aRiyakiRpare.

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam - Part III - continues..

Tiruvachakam references in Sri Bhagavan's replies - continues.

*
[4] continues..

The verse given earlier is also mentioned by Sri Bhagavan on the following discussion.

Sri Bhagavan continued to speak of the dvaitism of the Vaishnavites and quoted Nammazhwar song beginning, 'Yane ennai aRiyakilaathe...' the gist of which is: "Not knowing myself, I went about saying, "I" and "mine". Then I discovered that "I" is "You" and "mine" was "Yours"," O God."

He [Sri Bhagavan] said, "This is clear advaita but these Vaishnavites would give it some interpretion to make it accord with their feeling of duality. They hold that they must exist and God must exist, but how is it possible? It seems that they all must remain forever doing service in Vaikunta, but how many of them are to do service, and where would there be room for all the Vaishnavites?"

Sri Bhagavan said this laughing, and then after a pause, He added, "On the other hand advaita does not mean that a man must always sit in Samadhi and never engage in action. Many things are necessary to keep up the life of the body, and action can never be avoided. Nor is bhakti ruled out in advaita. Sri Sankara is rightly regarded as the foremost exponent of advaita, and yet look at the number of shrines he visited [action] and the devotional songs he wrote."

Sri Bhagavan then further quotations from the eighth decad of Tirvoimozhi to show that some of the Vaishnative Azhwars had clearly endorsed advaita. He particularly emphasized the third verse where it says: "I was lost in Him and or in That." and the fifth which is very like Tiruvachakam verse that says the ego got attenuated more and more and was extinguished in the Self. [Day by Day entry dt. 27.6.1946 ]

Nammazhwar, Tirvoymozhi - 8.8.3 and 8.8.5:

To attain through His grace Him who is unique among those who are elavated in Jnana, I establish Him in my consciousness. That too was due to His sweet grace. To gain the Jnana that the mind, the prana, the body and the rest of the [apparently] indestructible entities are flawed, I crawled strenuously to the very end, till my ego was extinguished in Him.

Having realized myself the one enduring reality, there is nothing in its attribute free subtle nature for anyone, to know in an objective way as 'this' or 'that'. Even to see it is impossible. Impossible to know either good or evil, it transcends objective knowledge. Approaching and approaching It, and being worn away more and more, I was destroyed without any residue.

*

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachkam - Part III - continues..

Tiruvachakam references in Sri Bhagavan replies: continues...

[5]
*
Devotee: I am a siner. I do not perform religious sacrifices [homa]
etc., Shall I have painful rebirths for that reason? Pray save me!

Sr Bhagavan: Why do you say that you are a sinner? Your trust in God
is sufficient to save you from rebirths. Cast all burdens on Him.

In the Tiruvachakam, it is said: Though I am worse than a dog, You have graciously undertaken to protect me. This delusion of birth and death is maintained by You. Moreover, am I the person to sift and judge? Am I the Lord here? O Maheswara! It is for you to roll me through bodies [through births and deaths] or to keep me fixed at Your own feet." Therefore have faith and that will save you.
[Talks No. 30]

Kuzhaitha Pathu - Decad on melting - Verse 8:

Dog I am and lower than a dog,
yet to me You showed me Your love
and came Yourself to make me Yours.
This birth and death, maya's delusion,
should be placed under Your supervision,
and I shold remain still.
Is it any longer my preoragative
to pass judgement on this?
You who wear an eye upon Your brow!
Put me in a body if You will.
Or place me at Your holy feet.

The Tamizh verse:

Naayir kadaiyam naayenai
nayanthu neeye aatkoNdai,
maya piRavi un vasame
vaithittirukkum adhvanRi
aayakadaven nanothaan
ennatho ingu adhikaram
kaayathiduvai unnudaiya
kazhal keezh vaippai kaNNuthale.

*

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam - Part III: continues.

#

In many parts of the Tiruvachakam, Manikkavachagar complains about his unworthiness or his uncontrolled desires. The Tevaram authors - Jnana Sambandhar,
Appar and Sundaramurti - expressed similar sentiments in their own poems. Sri Bhagavan pointed out that all the four saints revealed thier true experience of the Self in their very first verses that they wrote+, thus implying that the later complaints which suggest separation from God are merely poetic pageants. [Talks No. 306.].

(+ I shall pick up these verses and give them in a separate comment)

Sri Bhagavan commented on this traditional practice of saints denigrating themselves in the following exchange.

#

*

In many of his works Sivaprakasam Pillai laments over his lack of devotion and his inability to follow Sri Bhagavan's teaching.

A devotee once asked Sri Bhagavan about this, saying, "Sivaprakasam Pillai, who is such a good man, such an ardent devotee, and a longstanding disciple, has written a poem that Sri Bhagavan's instructions could not be carried out by him in practice. What can be the lot of others then?"

(Vide Sri Ramana Anugraha Ahaval -
Sivaprakasam Pillai.]

Sri Acharya [Sri Sankara] also says similar things whe he composed in praise of any deity. How else can they praise God? [The Power of the Presence, Part I.]

(Sri Sankara says in Devi Kshamaparadana Stotram and Sri Siva Kshamaparadana Stotram has expressed such sentiments.)

*

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the Tiruvachakam - Part III continues..

#

In the second line of Siva Puranam, the first poem in the
Tiruvachakam, Manikkavachagar states his experience of Self abidance by saying that Siva's feet never leave his heart:

#

*
Long live [the mantra] Nama Sivaya!
Long live the feet of the Master!
Long live the feet that never, even for an eye's blink,
leave my heart,
Long live the jewel among gurus, who is Kokazhi,+
bent me to his rule!
Long live the feet of him who,
as the Agamas, sweetly dwells!
Long live the holy feet of the One,
the Many, the Being Supreme!

[+ - Kokazhi means TiruperunduRai}

The Tamizh verse:

Namasivaya vaazhga! Nathan thaaL vaazhga!
Imaipozhuthum en nenjil neengathaan thaaL vazhga
Kokazhi aaNda guru maNi than thaaL vaazhga
Agamamaahi ninRu aNNippaan thaaL vaazhga
Ekan anekan iRaivan adi vaazhga...

[Sivapuranam, Lines 1 to 5]

*

#

Bhagavan also recommended on this line by Manikkavachagar when a devotee complained that this particular truth had not been realized by him.

#

*

Sri Bhagavan: It will be realized in due course. Till then there is devotion, bhakti. 'Even for a trice you do not leave my mind'. Does He leave you [at] any moment? It is you who allow your mind to wander away. He remains always steady. When your mind is fixed you say, "He does not leave my mind even for a trice'. How ridiculous!. [Talks No. 306].

*

#

Sivapuranam, the most requently recited portion of the Tiruvachakam, was a particular favourite of Sri Bhagavan. He once told Devaraja Mudaliar, "If ten persons should join together and sing it harmoniously , how grand it would be!" [My Recollections of Bhagavan Sri Ramana].

#

Part III concluded.

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Upadesa Manjari - Spiritual Instruction:

Chapter IV - ARUDHA - ATTAINMENT:

9. What is the benefit derived by the sage from the sacred books [Srutis]?

The sage who is the embodiment of the truths mentioned in the scriptures has no use for them

10. Is there any connection between the attainment of supernatural powers [siddhis] and liberation [mukti]?

Enlightened enquiry alone leads to liberation. Supernatural powers are all illusory appearances created by the power of maya [maya sakti]. Self realization, which is permanent is the only true accomplishment [siddhi]. Accomplishments, which appear and disappear, being the effect of maya, cannot be real. They are accomplished with the object of enjoying fame, pleasures, etc., They come unsought to some persons through their karma. Know that union with Brahman is the real aim of all accomplishments. This is also the state of liberation [Aikya Mukti] known as union [Sayujya].

****

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Ramana Corona:
A Crown of Sonnets - by Alan Jacobs.

[3]

That's the sage wisdom by which we are graced.
We're taught the silver screen as a metaphor,
Seated in theatre stalls, now we're placed,
To proceed with clarity and enquire some more.
The bright theatre lamp is the light supreme.
Illuminating both actors and the scene.
We are stage and the play only by light,
Yet when action ends, the lamp remains bright.
Just as woven cloth and its colour white
Are never, ever perceived as apart,
So when mind and light both unite,
They form ego, knotted and bound in the heart.
Of all that we've ever learned since birth.
That's the highest wisdom proclaimed on earth.

***

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam - PART IV.

by Robert Butler, T.V. Venkatsubramanian and David Godman.

*

Tiruvachakam references in Sri Bhagavan's replies to devotees:

[6]

Meanwhile, a Tamizh devotee opened the Tiruvachakam and began singing the Decad on Pursuit - Pidittha Pathu. Towards the end comes the passage, "O Iswara, You are trying to flee, but I am holding You fast. So where can You go and how can You escape from me?"

Sri Bhagavan commented with a smile, "So it seems that He is trying to flee and they are holding Him fast! Where could He flee to? Where is He not present? ?Who is He? All this is nothing but a pageant. There is another sequence of songs in the same book, one of which goes, "O my Lord, You have made my mind Your abode. You have given Youself up to me and in return have taken me into You. Lord, which of us is the cleverer? If you have given Yourself up to me, I enjoy endless bliss, but of what use am I to You, even though You have made of my body Your temple, out of Your boundless mercy to me? What is it I could do for You in return? I have nothing now that I could call my own?" This means that there is no such thing as "I", who is the doer and what is it that is done, whether it be devotion or self enquiry or samadhi? {Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, 8th Sept. 1947}

Mother! Father! Matchless Jewel!
Rare nectar, the ripening of love!
To me in this worm-ridden fleshy form,
I who diminish my days by multiplying falsity,
You are the treasure that bestowed upon me
that state of Sivahood, perfect and true!
Sivan, our noble Lord!
In this very birth I've grasped You tight!
Henceforh, how can You leave and go,
elsewhere, in grace Your form to show?
{Pidittha Pathu, Verse 3)

*

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the Tiruvachakam - Part IV - continues..

*

[6] continues...

The Tamizh verse:

Ammaiye Appa oppila maNiye,
anbiniil viLaintha aaramudhe
Poymaiye perukkip pozhuthinaich
churukkum
Puzhuthalai pulaiyanen thanakkkuch
Chemmaiye aaya sivapadam aLitha
Selvame sivaperumaane
Immaiye unnaich chikkenap pidithen
Engezhunthu aruLuvathu iniye.

Pidttha Pathu, Verse 9:

Wicked as I was, the love You gave to me
was greater yet than a mother's love,
who suckles her child, anticipating its needs!
Melting my flesh, flooding me with light within
infusing me with the nectar of undying bliss,
You are the treasure rich
that wandered with me wherever I went!
Sivan, our noble Lord!
Close following You, I've grasped You tight!
Henceforth, how can You leave and go,
elsewhere, in grace Your form to show?

The Tamizh verse:

Paal ninanidhoottum thaayinum salap
parinthu nee paaviyen udaiya
Oonninai urukki uLLoLi perukki
ulappilaa anadhamaaya
theninai chorinthu puRampuRam thirintha
selvame siva perumaane
Yaan unai thodarnthu chikkenap pidthen
engezhuthu aruLuvathu iniye.

*

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar, and the
Tiruvachakam - Part IV continues....

*

Koyil Tirupadigam, Verse 10:

What have you given is Yourself.
What You took in exchange, O Sankara, is me,
Who is the wiser of us two?
What I have gained is Bliss that has no end.
What single thing have You obtained from me?
O Lord who made my mind His shrine!
Hail Siva, dwelling in Holy Perundurai!
For you taking up residence in my body,
I cannot my father, God,
offer you any fitting recompense.

The Tamizh verse:

Thandhathun thannaik kondathen thannai,
Sankara yaar kolo chaturar
andhamonRu illa aanandham peRRen
yaathu nee peRRathoRenpaal
chintaiye koyil koNda emperumaan
thiruperunthuRai uRai sivane
enthaiye eeasa udal idam koNdaai,
yaan ihaRkilen or kaimmaRe.

*

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar, and the
Tiruvachakam: Part IV continues...

*

[7]

A question was asked about the Upanishadic passage, 'The Supreme Spirit is subtler than the the subtlest and larger than the largest.'

Sri Bhagavan: Even the structure of the atom has been found by the mind. Therefore the mind is subtler than the atom. That which is behind the mind, namely the individual soul, is subtler than
the mind. Furthermore, the Tamizh saint Manikkavachagar has said of the specks dancing in a beam of sunlight, that if each represents a universe, the whole sunlight
will reperesent the Supreme Being.

Tiruvandapahudi - lines 1 to 6:

The origin of the universal sphere,
composed of its [various] elements,
its immeasurable nature,
its vast and rich array of visible forms --
if one were to describe the beauty
of how these appear in manifestation,
each connected one to the other,
[one would find] that they expand
to a thousand million and more,
So great He is that all the worlds
appear like tiny specks, floating
in a sunbeam as it falls into a house,

The Tamizh lines of the verse:

aNdap pahuthiyin uNdaip piRakkam
aLapparun thanmai vaLapperum kaatchi,
onRanukkonRu ninRezhil pagarin
ilunuzhai kadhirin thunnaNup puraiyach,

*

{Saiva Siddhantis call this long poem as the wonderment of the saint on Siva's grossness and subtletry.}

[Members are requested to read Tao of Physics by Capra].

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkvachagar and the
Tiruvachakam - Part IV: Continues...

#

Manikkavachagar's passing away:

Manikkavachagar eventually settled down in Chidambaram [Thillai] and spent his final years in that town.
The Tiruvadavur AdigaL Puranam, Chapter 6, records a remarkable episode that took place there.

The story begins with a devotee of Siva going to Sri Lanka and singing the praises of Chidambaram and its Golden Hall [Kanaka Sabha], where Siva resides. The king of Sri Lanka heard about him and summoned him to appear in his court. The sadhu went and gave a speech to the king in which he extolled the greatness of Chidambaram. A Buddhist scholar who was present became angry and said that he would travel to Chidambaram, convert all the Saivites there and install a statue of Buddha in the temple. The king, who had a daughter who was dumb, decided to travel to Chidambaram as well as in the hope that she might be cured there.

On their arrival, the Buddhist scholar challenged the devotees of Siva to a debate, saying that he would defeat them in argument and prove that their beliefs were wrong. His challenge was accepted and it was agreed that the debate would take place in the presence of the king of Sri Lanka and the king of the territory that contained Chidmabaram.

On the night before the debate Siva appeared in the dreams of all the temple priests and told them that they should go to Manikkavachagar's hut and ask him to be their representative in
the debate. Manikkavachagar agreed to come the next day and refute the Buddhist's arguments. When the debate got under way, both the Buddhist scholar and Manikkavachagar severely criticized and ridiculed the other's point of view.

At one point Manikkavachagar grew angry with what he said were the lies coming out of the Buddhist's mouth. He invoked Saraswati, the goddess of speech, to leave the Buddhist's tongue so that he could not longer utter any falsehoods. When Saraswati complied with this request, the scholar and his associates were all struck dumb. The Sri Lankan king, impressed by this performance, prostrated before Manikkavachagar and informed him that his own daughter was dumb. He added that if Manikkavachagar could cure her, he himself would convert and become a Saiva.

Manikkavachagar called the
daughter and asked her to give a public refutation of all the arguments that the Buddhist scholar had propounded. The daughter obliged and, speaking for the first time in her life, gave an erudite lecture that refuted the Buddhist position. The king, overjoyed, became a Saiva and requested Manikkavachagar to cure the dumbness of the Buddhist scholars. Manikkavahagar obliged, and the Buddhists, after acknowledging their erroneous vies, also converted themselves to Saivism.

#

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam - Part IV continues...

{Before proceeding with the article, I would like to share an interesting information, that is available, in S. Dhandapani Desikar's detailed commentary on
Tiruvachakam, TiruvavaduthuRai Adeenam publication. Manikkavachagar agrees to the king's request and makes the dumb princess to speak. He tells her that he will now tell Buddhist's arguments and she should refute them in favour Saivism! This is the famous Tiru Chazhal, Holy Verbal Duel, the Song 12 of Tiruvachakam. Though the song does not speak of the inter-faith arguments, it speaks as an allegory, that the saint speaks ill of Siva and the buddhist princess answers them in good favour of Siva. Chazhal is a game of young girls who fight with each other in two groups, throwing up their shoulders. In Silappadikaram, it is explained by the commentator Adiyarku Nallar that it is a type of pageant, with throwing up the shoulders by young girls. The question and answer debate runs like this, a sample from Tiruchazhal:

Verse 2:

ennappan embiran ellarkum thaan eesan,
thuNNam pei kovanamak koLLuvathu ennedi?

- You say He is the Father of all, and god of all, but how come He is wearing a torn koupinam as His dress?

mannukalai thunnu poruL maRai nange vaan sardath,
thannaiye kovanmach chaathinan kaaN chazhalo!

-- You don't know. He is wearing all the fine arts of the world as His waist cross thread and wearing the purport of all four Vedas, the
Space, i.e. the Self as His codpiece!]

When Muruganar brought Chengalvaraya Pillai, a great Tamizh scholar and a good friend of Muruganar, the former asked Pillai: What do you see in Sri Bhagavan? Chengalvaraya Pillai shed profuse tears and sang this verse! Sri Bhagavan is wearing the Self, the Space, as His codpiece, with all arts as the waist cross thread. Pillai could not control his tears and prostrated to Sri Bhagavan, in total surrender.

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the Tiruvachakam: Part IV: continues...

#

Though Manikkavachagar had composed the songs that comprise the Tiruvachakam and sung them all over Tamizh Nadu, the poems themselves had never been WRITTEN DOWN. Suri Nagamma once asked Sri Bhagavan, about how the Tiruvachakam came to be written, and Sri Bhagavan replied by recounting the final dramatic details of Manikkavachagar's life.

#

*

Nagamma: When was the Tiruvachakam written?

Sri Bhagavan: No. [Manikkavachagar], he never wrote [it]. He merely went about singing his songs.

Nagamma: Then how did Tiruvachakam get to be written?

Sri Bhagavan: Oh that! He was going from one place to another until he came to Chidambaram. White witnessing Nataraja's dance, he started hearmelting songs and stayed in that place itself. Then one day [Siva]Nataraja, with a view to making people know the greatness of Manikkavachagar and to bless the people with such an excellent collection of hymns, went to the hut of Manikkavachagar in the night, in the guise of a Brahmin. He was received cordially and when asked for the purpose of the visit, the Lord smilingly and with great familiarity asked, "It seems you have been singing hymns during your visit to the sacred places of pilgrimage and that you are doing it here also. May I hear them? I have been thinking of coming to and listening to you for a long time but could not find the required leisure. That is why I have come here at night. I suppose you don't mind. Can you sing? Do you remember them all?"

"There is no need to worry about sleep", replied Manikkavachagar. "I shall sing all the songs I remember. Please listen."

#

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam. - Part IV - continues...

*

So saying, Manikkavachagar began singing in ecstasy. The Lord in the guise of a Brahmin sat down there writing the songs on palm leaves. As Manikkavachagar was in ecstasy he hardly noticed the brahmin who was taking down the songs. Singing on and on, he completely forgot himself in the thought of God and ultimately became silent. The old brahmin quietly disappeared.

At day break, the dikshitar [priest] camed to the Nataraja temple as usual to perform the morning puja and as he opened the doors he found in front of Nataraja image, on the doorstep, a palm leaf book. When the book was opened and scrutinized there wre in it not only words 'Tiruvachakam', it was also written that the book was written as it was dictated by Manikkavachagar. It was signed below Tiruchitrambalam Udaiyan [meaning the Owner of Tiruchitrambalam.] The stamp of Sri Nataraja was also there below the signature. [Manivachagan solla Azhagiya Tiruchitrambalam Udaiyaan ezhuthiyathu.]

Thereupon all the temple priests gathered in great surprise and sent word to Manikkavachagar, showed him the Tiruvachakam, and the signature of Nataraja, and asked him to tell them about the genesis [actually, meaning or purport PoruL] of the hymns.

Manikkavachagar did not say anything but asked them to accompany him, went into the inner sanctorum of Nataraja and standing opposite to the Lord said, "Sirs, the Lord in front of us is thde only answer to your question. He is the answer." - IthaRku poruL ivane!

After having said that, he merged into the Siva-Nataraja.

[Suri Nagamma comments:] "As He narrated the story, Sri Bhagavan's voice got choked. Unable to speak anymlore He remained in ecstatic silence."

*

#

This version does not make it completely clear that Manikkavachagar vanished from sight at this moment, by merging into the formless Space of Consciousness. In Verse 1324 of Padamalai, Sri Bhagavan emphasized this dramatic ending in the following words:

#

*

Padamalai: Verse 1324:

When asked by others, about the meaning of the Tiruvachakam, the great and saintly Manikkavachagar
pointed at the subtle chidakasa [Space of Consciousness] and merged in it.

*

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan, Manikkavachagar and the
Tiruvachakam - Part IV- continues..


#

This version does not make it completely clear that Manikkavachagar vanished from sight at this moment by merging into the formless space of
consciousness. In Verse 1324 of Padamalai, Sri Bhagavan emphasized this dramatic ending in the following words.

#

*
"When asked by others about the meaning of the Tiruvachakam, the great and saintly Manikkavachagar pointed at the subtle Chidakasa [space of consciousness] and merged in it.

Sri Bhagavan was once asked how this was possible:

He [Sri Bhagavan] remarked: "Manikkavachagar is one of those whose body finally resolved itself in a blazing light, without leaving any mortal remains behind."

Another devotee asked how this could be:

Maharshi said that the gross body is only the concrete form of the subtle stuff -- the mind. When the mind melts away and blazes forth as Light, the body is consumed in that process. Nandanar [an outcaste saint] is another whose body disappeared in blazing light. [Talks No. 215]

*

I must have completed the article with the previous comment, however the 4000+ character ceiling did not permit it.

My special thanks to the authors for this brilliant article which made me read many verses of Tiruvachakam and the meaning from the book. My daily reading comprises of Siva Puranam and one another song of Tiruvachakam by rotation. This article gave me an opportunity to read many more verses during the last 7 to 10 days.

Thenna enna munnam thee ser mezhugoppai.. When the word Thenna {Southerner, or South facing,] is uttered, you would melt like wax on fire.

Sri Ramanarpanamastu.

Tiruchitrambalam

Part IV CONCLUED.

THE COMPLETE ARTILCE CONCLUDED.

m said...

Sri Subramanian,

Thanks for posting these wonderful series of posts on Bhagavan and Manikkavachagar.

best wishes

Subramanian. R said...

The Great Four - Naalvar ie. Tiru Jnana Sambandhar, Tirunavukkarasar [Appar], Sundarmurthi and Manikkavachagar are called the Naalvar or the great four amongst Saiva saints.

Sri Bhagavan has once said that all of them have revealed about their state of self realization, even in their first verses. The rest are only for the sake of devotees to show the pathway to Siva.

Now, let us see Tiru Jnana Sambandhar's first verse:

This is composed by the child saint, when he had a darshna of Siva and Uma and when Uma gave her breast milk in a golden cup for the crying child [he was only three years old; he had come to the temple tank of Sirkazhi in the early morning, when his father Sivapada Hrudayar wanted to take bath in the tank.]

The child-saint immediately sang the first verse in Sirkazhi:

Thodudaiya seviyna vidai eRiyor thoo veN madhi choodik,
Kaadudaiya sudaliap podi poosi en uLLam kavar kaLvan,
Edudaiya malaraan munai naaL paNinthu etha aruL seiytha
Peedudaiya piramaapuram meviya pemman evan anRe.

When Sivapada Hrudayar asked the child. 'Who gave you milk?' the child saint sang this song, showing the towers of Sirkazhi temple where he saw Siva and Uma on the bull.

Here Piramampuram is Sirkazhi. Brahma prayed to Siva in this temple. Hence Brahma puram, or Piramama puram.

Siva is described as one with ear stud on his left ear. Ear stud is a lady's ornament. The one that was worn by men was called Kuzhai. It implies Siva came as Ardhanari. Or he came with Uma.

How does he look? He is on the Bull and is having all over his body, vibhuti, taken from cremation ground, i.e. ashes.

What did he do? He stole the heart of the child saint. He is a thief. This stealing the heart means staying in the Heart where there is no mind, ego. This sentence reveals that the child saint is self realized. Further he has also taken the milk of Jnana from Uma, Jnanambika.

And that Siva is the proud god in
Brahma puram, Sirkazhi.

[TirumuRai 1, Tirupiramapuram decad, Verse 1.]

****

Subramanian. R said...

The Great Four - Naalvar:
Their state of realization as revealed in their first verses:

The second is Tirunavukkarasar or
Appar. He was born in agricultural family and his parents and sister were great Siva bhaktas. Suddenly the parents passed away. And the would-be-brother in law for his sister also passed away in the war. The sister though not then married decided to remain as a widow. The young boy Tirunavukkarasar became restless in life due to tragedies and felt that Jainim would give him solace and answer to life's questions. He joined the Jaina Vihar in Patalipuram, the present Cuddalore, in Tamizh Nadu. After many years, there again, he was not getting any peace. Siva decided to him back. He developed serious colic pain which would not be cured by mantras and medicines of Jain monks. He quietly came back to Tiruvadigai, his sister's place. His sister was all along praying for his return and thus it haappened. She applied Vibhuti on her brother and took him to Siva temple in Tiruvadigai.

There he sings his first decad. There he says:

like yama this pain is killing me and you have not removed it,
I have done many sins [of abusing Saivism when he was a Jain], I do not understand it now,
If you take me I shall pray to you day and night, for ever,
My stomch is wrenched, my intestine is moving and causing pain unbearable,
I am no longer able to bear, this slave,
O my Master, Adigai Kedila Veerattanam temple.

Here the saint says that he is in constant thought of Siva, day and night and at all times.... There are no other thoughts. This reveals his state of self realization.

Further he says in Verse 2 that I have kept my Heat as your Abode, I have never ceased in thought about you.

[Book No. 4, Decad 1, Verse 1 & 2]

*****

Subramanian. R said...

The Great Four - Naalvar:

Their state of self realization as revealed in their first verse.

Sundaramurti's story is more dramatic. He was adopted by the local chieftain and was treated like a prince in all respects. He
was to be married. Just before the wedding, an old man [Siva in guise]
came and told the people that this
Sundramurty was his bonded labour, not only he, even his parents and entire lineage was his lifetime bonded labour. Sundaramurty got angry, took the palm leaf from the old man's hand [where this lifteime bonded labour agreement was written] and tore it off. The old man laughed and said:
This is only a copy. I have got the original with me. Come to the panchayat and we shall finalize the issue.

All went to panchayat. The elders took the original palm leaf agreement and read it and confirmed the arrangement. The marriage was stopped. The old man said, come along with me, and Sundaramurti followed him. Where are you taking me?- Sundara asked. To my house, Siva replied. They went quite a distance and came to TiruveNNainallur. On the way, Sundara was cursing him, madman, madman....

He came to the temple. Siva went into the temple and vanished. Sudaramurti understood that he was taken over by Siva. He sang his first decad in TiruveNNai Nallur.

Pitha piRai choodi perumaane aruLala,
ethal maRavathe ninaikinRen manathulle,
Vaithai peNNai then paal veNNai nallur arul thuRaiyuL,
Atha, unakku aaLai ini allen enalame.

O madcap, the wearer of crescent moon, the great conferer of grace,
How can I forget you, and I always remember you within my mind,
You kept Mother onto your left, in TiruveNNai Nallur temple, the abode of Grace,
O Father, I am ever your man, how can I say no?

The fact that he always remember Him without forgetting at anytime inicates his state of self realization, in total surrender.

[Book 6. Decad 1; Verse 1]

****

Subramanian. R said...

The Great Four - Naalvar:

The state of self realization as revealed in their first verse.

Manikkavachagar's state of abidance in the Self has already been given in the article posted before.

He had pada diksha at Siva's feet
and became self realized. He reveals it in Sivapuranam, in the first two lines of the long poem.

Namasivaya vaazhga, nadhan thaaL vaazga,
imaipozhuthum en nenjil neengathaan thaaL vaazhga...

Hail Namasivaya! Let us say Hail His feet,
He does not leave my heart even for the trice of time of eyelids batting, Glory to His feet.

The saint speaks highly of Siva's feet, because the feet gave him pada diksha. Feet, Paadam also means Padam, abidance in Source, or Sivasayujya.

[Tiruvachakam, Song 1, Lines 1-2]

*****

Soorya said...

Shiva Stotram by Swami Vivekananda :

Shiva Stotram composed by Swami Vivekananda. This version is performed by Swami Sarvagananda, Secretary, RK Mission Deogarh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aq3TwkCxrok

Translation : http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Complete_Works_of_Swami_Vivekananda/Volume_4/Translation:_Poems/A_Hymn_to_Shiva

Soorya said...

Translation:
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/ The_Complete_Works_of_Swami_ Vivekananda /Volume_4/ Translation:_Poems/ A_Hymn_to_Shiva

As blogger was truncating the original link, I have inserted white spaces in between, please remove them before pasting the link to the browser

Subramanian. R said...

Upadesa Manjari - Spiritual Instruction:

11. If this is the nature of liberation [moksha], why do some
scriptures connect it with the body and say that the individual soul can attain liberation only when it does not leave the body?

Sri Bhagavan: It is only if bondage is real that liberation and the nature of its expeiences have to be considered. So far as the Self [purusha] is concerned it has really no bondage in any four states. As bondage is merely a verbal assumption according to the emphatic proclamation of the Vedanta system, how can the question of liberation, which depends on the question of bondage, arise when there is no bondage? Without knowing this truth, to enquire into the nature of bondage and liberation, is like enquiring into the non existent height, colour etc., of a barren woman's son or the horms of a hare.

12. If that is so, do not the description of bondage and release found in the scriptures become irrelevant and untrue?

Sri Bhagavan: No, they do not. On the contrary, the delusion of bondage fabricated by the ignorance from time immemorial can be removed only by knowledge, and for this purpose the term liberation [mukti] has been usually accepted. That is all. The fact that the characteristics of liberation are described in different ways, proves that they are imaginary.

Subramanian. R said...

Ramana Carona - A Crown of Sonnets: Alan Jacobs:

That's the highest wisdom proclaimed on earth.
How to make mind to merge in its source?
Only by enquiring with all of one's
force,
The central question regarding its birth,
The ultimate scrutiny of 'Who am i?'
As thoughts froth forth like waves on the ocean,
They'll be slain by such introspection,
Unveiling the Self, the lost inward eye,
Pearls lay buried on the deep ocean floor,
Attracting divers to search for this goal,
Holding their breath they plunge to the core
Of the ocean bed, for the pearl oyster's soul.
To gain this gem in the heart's sacred place,
Just seek for the source where mind is based.

Subramanian. R said...

The Crest Jewel of Sri Bhagavan's Teachings: Michael James:
Mountain Path, Oct-Dec. 2007

[This is a portion of Michael James' book Happiness and the Art of Being.]

In the first two verses of His 'payiram' or preface to ULLadu Narpadu, Sri Muruganar writes that Sri Ramana, joyfully composed this clear and authoritative text in response to his request, 'So that we may be saved, [graciously] reveal to us the nature of reality and the means to attain it."

Accordingly, in this first mangalam verse, Sri Ramana reveals to us, both the essential nature of reality and the means by which we can experience it, which is possible, only by our being one with it.

In the first two sentences of this verse, Sri Ramana reveals several crucial truths about the nature of the one absolute reality, which is uLLadu or 'that which is'. Firstly He explains that it is not only being but also consciousness, because other than 'that which is' there cannot be any consciousness, to know 'that which is'. Therefore, 'that which [really]is' is self conscious -- that is, it is absolutely non dual self conscious being.

Secondly He says that that truly existing reality or 'being essence' exists devoid of thoughts, or devoid of thinking. That is, it is not a mere thought or mental conception, but is the fundamental reality that underlies and supports the seeming existence of our thinking mind and all its thoughts. However, though it supports the imaginary apperance of thoughts, in reality is it devoid of thoughts, and hence devoid of the thinking consciousness that we call our 'mind', because both this thinking mind and its thoughts are unreal. In the clear view of one one self conscious reality, thoughts do not exist, because they appear to exist only in the distorted view of our mind, which is itself one among the thoughts that it imagines and knows.

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

The Crest Jewel of Sri Bhagavan's
Teachings: Michael James -
continues...

Thirdly He says that it exists 'in
heart', that is, in the innermost core of our being. In other words, it is not merely something that exists outside us or separate from us, but is that which exists within as our own essential reality. He also adds that it is called 'heart', thereby indicating that the word 'heart' does not merely denote the abode in which it really exists, but more truly denotes the reality itself. Moreover, since the word 'uLLam' means not only 'heart' but also 'am', by saying that the truly exisisting reality or 'being-essence' is called 'uLLam'. Sri Ramana reveals that it is not something that exists as an object but is our own self - our essential being or 'am'-ness.

In other words, the absolute reality exists not only in us but also as us. It is the real 'heart' or core of our being. That is, it is our own very essence, substance or reality. It is that which we really are. Other than as the one absolute reality, we truly do not exist.

Because we mistake ourself to be this thinking mind or object knowing consciousness, the one fundamental reality is said to exist within us, but this is only a relative truth - a truth that is only true relative to the distorted perspective of our mind, which experiences dualities, such as subject and object, 'self' and 'other', 'inside' and 'outside', and so on. Since the one fundamental reality transcends all such dualities, the absolute truth about its nature is not merely that it exists within us, but that it exists as us.

Finally, by asking, "ulla poruL uLLal evan?" which means 'how to [or who can] meditate upon this being essence?, Sri Ramana emphasizes the truth that since the absolute reality us tgat which transcends thoughtm ut cannot be conceived by mind or reached by thought. Therefore, since its nature is such, what is the means by which we can 'reach' it, 'attain' it or experience it, as it really is?

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Upadesa Manjari - Spiritual Instruction:

13: If that is so, are not all efforts such as study [sravanam, mananam] and reflection [nididhyasanam] etc., useless?

Sri Bhagavan: No. They are not. The firm conviction that there is neither bondage nor liberation is the supreme purpose of all efforts. As this purpose of seeing boldly, through direct experience, that bondage and liberation do not exist, cannot be achived except with the said of the aforesaid
practices, these efforts are useful.

14. Is there any authority for saying that there is neither bondage nor liberation?

This is decided on the strengh of experience and not merely on the strength of the scriptures.

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Ramna Corona - Alan Jacobs:
A Crown of Sonnets:

[5]

Just seek for the source where mind is based.
You travel alone on a mystery train;
By this metaphor we're comfortably placed,
To travel by providence free from pain,
So stack all that heavy luggage on the rack,
Only a fool carries it on his head!
Be glad, accept the predestined track.
Rest quietly, safe at home on your bed!
Surrender in joyful jubilation!
Surrender utterly to God's almighty will,
Surrender with total resignation.
Surrender knowing all will be well,
Surrender wholeheartedly with once accord,
Take safe refuge in the all loving Lord!

****

Subramanian. R said...

Tirumandiram - Tirumular:

Tantra 8 - Verse 2321 {Nirmala Avastha, the state of being without impurities}

Verse 2321:

Tholaiya aranadi thonRumanch Sakti
tholaiya iruLoLi thoRRa aNuvum
tholaiya thozhin jnanam thonmaiyil naNNith
tholaiya pedda mutkitai thoyume.

Pedda mukti or Jivan Mukti:

At the eternal Feet of Hara,
The Sakti appears;
And as it appears
The interminable darkness
Of Jiva disappears,
And Light dawns;
And Jiva persveres incessant
In the way of time honoured Jnana,
And thus reaches the state of Pedda mukti [Jivan Mukti].

Subramanian. R said...

Amritanubhava - the Ambrosial Experience: by Jnaneswar:

[Translated by Ramchandra Keshav Bhagavat - Samata Books, Chennai]

KNOWLEDGE AND IGNORANCE:

1. Now, having destroyed ignorance, the knowledge moves about without any impediment like waking state destroying sleep.

2. Or, the face having seen being
reflected in a mirror experiences its oneness which was already there.

3. In all possible manner, the knowledge brings about unity between the Atman and the universe. But it is like a knife piercing itself.

4. A silkworm shuts itself in the cocoon made by itself and exposes itself to a danger of destruction to the self, or a thief binds himself [in confusion] in the bundle of the stolen articles.


5. Or the fire consumes itself in the process of burning camphor, so the knowledge destroys itself, while destroying ignorance.

[Actions and reactions occur as natural phenomena. Actions by ignorance starts simultaneous reaction of knowledge and both of them in the ultimate analysis get dissolved in the Pure Knowledge].

6. Having lost the support of ignorance, the knowledge expanded itself so much that it caused self destruction.

7. When the wick of a lamp is on the point of extinction, the lamp flame becomes brighter just indicating that its end is near.

8. Who could know when the breasts of a woman fall or rise or when a jasmine flower blooms or withers.

9. The formation of ripple itself means its subsidence. The flash of lightning is its extinction.

10. In that way the knowledge quaffs off ignorance and grows so far that it leads to self destruction.

11. Just as the deluge at the time of dissolution of the world submerges land and water totally leaving no boundary limits of the two.

12. Or when the orb of the sun expands beyond the universe the brilliance and darkness become the same brilliance.

13. Or having destroyed sleep the near-waking state subdues itself and assumes a condition of total waking.

14. In that manner, having destroyed ignorance, knowledge expands and swallows both ignorance and knowledge and becomes the Pure Knowledge.

Subramanian. R said...

Amritanubhava - Sant Jnaneswar:

Knowledge and Ignorance:

15. At that time [when knowledge turns into Pure Knowledge as expalained before], it shines like the moon in her seventeenth digit when it is neither full of light as on the full moon day nor totally dark as on the new moon day.

{This is the terminology of Siddhas. The seventeenth phase is known as Amrit or Nivritti Kala.}

16. The sun, who is never outshined by any brilliance and never defiled by the splashing of darkness, can be appropriately compared with him alone.

17. Therefore, the Pure Knowledge, is one by itself. It is not like the one which can be illumined by another knowledge or can be darkened by ignorance.

18. Yet, can the Pure Knowledge which is one by itself, be conscious of itself? Can the eye-ball see itself?

[This is the standard metaphor of Self being alone as One without any objective consciousness.]

19. Can the sky enter into itself or fire burn itself? Or can any one climb on his own head?

20. Can the vision view itself or the taste, taste itself or the sound hear its own sound?

21. Can the Sun, light itself or the fruit grow upon itself or the fragrance smell itself?

22. In that way, the Knowledge does not know itself. Therefore, it is Pure Knowledge which is unique by itself in that it is without being aware that it is Knowledge.

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Amritanubhava - Sant Jnaneswar:

Knowledge and Ignorance:

23. Were the knowledge [to be] such as could bear to be called as knowledge, then that would be ignorance in the form of knowledge.

24. Juste as what is light is certainly not darkness; then of what use is light to itself?

25. In that way, He [the Supreme] has not to become 'to be or not to be'. By such talk, He may appear to be false.

{Since the Supreme is beyond the states of existence or non existence, one is likely to infer from such statements, that He is imaginary or false.]

26. Even if the real state is that there is nothing whatsoever, who has that knowledge that there is nothing.

27. On whose authority the proposition that there is nothing stands established? It is an uncalled for imputation to the Supreme.

{Note: If the existence of the Supreme, which is the substratum of knowledge of all things in the universe, is denied or refuted in protest, then wherefrom and to whom the ideas such as, 'knowledge does not exist', or 'everything is zero and void', can occur? Because, before such ideas could occur to anyone, he must have the knowledge and experience of such phenomena; but if knowledge does not exist, then the eventuality of occurence of such ideas is out of consideration. Having assumed that knowledge does not exist, it is ridiculous to declare that one has the knowledge of its non existence. It is as quixotic as someone saying that he has no tongue in the mouth, when his saying so would not have been possible without having a tongue.}

28. After putting out a lamp if the extinguisher simultaneously disappears with the light, who will have the idea that there was no light?

29. Or wre one while falling asleep to pass away, wh0o could then know, he had a sound sleep?


contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

The Crown Jewel of Sri Bhagavan's
Teachings: Miachael James:

Since it is not only that which is completely devoid of thought, but
is also that which is essentially self conscious, and since it is our own 'heart' or essential being, the only way we can experience it, is just by being it. In other words, the only means by which we can 'attain' this one nondual absolute reality is by simply remaining as we always truly are -- that is, as our own true, essential, thought free, self conscious being. Therefore, in the third sentence of this verse, Sri Ramana, says, "Being in [our] heart as it is alone is mediating [upon this truly existing reality, which is called 'heart'], thereby declaring emphatically that this practice of 'being as we are' is the only means by which we can experience the absolute reality as it is.

Thus in this first mangalam verse, Sri Ramana succinctly reveals both the essential nature of reality and the means by which we can 'reach' it, 'attain' it, or experience it, as it really is. Hence in a nutshell this verse expresses the very eseence of ULLadu Narpadu, and all the other forty one verses of this profound text are a richly elaborated explanation of the fundamental truths, that He expresse so briefly yet so clarly and powerfully in this first verse.

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

The Crest Jewel of Sri Bhagavan's Teachings: Michael James:

Indeed, since it reveals so clearly not only the nature of the once absolute reality but also the only means by which we can actually experience it, this verse summarizes the essence of not only of ULLadu Narpadu, but of the entire teaching of Sri Ramana. Therefore it is truly the chudmani
or crest jewel of His teachings, and if we are able to understand its full import correctly, comprehensively and clearly, we have truly understood the very essence of His teachings.

As in all His other teachings, in this verse, Sri Ramana explains to us the nature of reality for a single purpose, namely to direct our mind towards the one practice hat will actually enable us to experience reality as it truly is.
Unless we understand the real nature of our goal, we will not be able to understand why the only one path by which we can 'reach' that goal is to practice just being as we always really are.

If our goal were something other than ourself, there would be some distance for us to travel in order to reach it. But since we ourself are the goal that we seek, there is absolutely no distance between us and It, and hence the path by which we can reach it cannot be essentially any diferent from it. That is, between us and our goal, which is our own real self, there is truly no space to accommodate any path that is other than our goal. Hence our path and our goal must be one in their essential nature. Since our goal is jsut thought-free self conscious being, our path must likewise, be just thought-free self conscious being. This is the essential truth that Sri Ramana reveals so clearly in this verse, and that He reiterates in so many different words through His other teachings.

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

The Crest Jewel of Sri Bhagavan's
Teachings - Michael James:

In our natural state of absolutely non dual self knowledge, which is
our goal, our experience of our out thought free self conscious
being is effortless, because it is what we always really are. However in our present state,in which we imagine ourself to be this thinking mind, we appear to be not devoid of thought, as in truth we are, and hence we feel that we have to make effort to experience our thought free self conscious being. Thus the only difference between our path and our goal is the effort that now seems to be necessary in order for us to abide in our natural state of thought free self conscious being.

In this path, the effot that we have to make is not actually an effot to be, because we always effortlessly are, but IS AN EFFORT TO AVOID MISTAKING OURSELF TO BE THIS THINKING MIND. So long we imagine ourself to be this mind, we do not experience ourself as the true thought free self consciusness that is our real nature. Therefore, in order to avoid mistaking ourself to be this thinking mind, we have to make effort to focus our entire attention upon our essential being, "I am", thereby withdrawing it from all thoughts.

This state in which we focus our entire attention upon our own self
conscious being, thereby excluding all thoughts, is the true state of
'meditation' which Sri Ramana describes in this verse as ULLathe ULLapadi ULLade or 'only being in heart as it is [or as we are]'. That is, since the true nature of our essential self or 'heart' is just thought-free self conscious
being, 'being in heart as it is', is just the state of abiding calmly
and peacefully in our own true non daul self conscious being, "I am".

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

The Crown Jewel of Sri Bhagavan's Teachings: Michael James:

Thus the only path by which we can 'reach' or 'attain' our own essential self, which is the one and only absolute reality, is this simple practice of keenly attentive self consciousness - self consciousness that is so keenly attentive that it gives absolutely no room for rising of any thought. Since no thought can rise unless we attend to it, when we focus our entire attention upon our own essential self consciousness, "I am", we automatically exclude the possibility of any thought arising.

That is, thoughts arise only because we think them, and this act of thinking involves an imaginary diverting of our attention away from our essential self consciousness, "I am". Therefore, he only effective means by which we can remain completely free of all thoghts -- and hence completely free of our mind, which can rise and appear to exist only by thinking -- is just by being attentively, keenly, and vigilantlhy self conscious.

This state of thought free and therefore mind-free self conscious being alone is the state that Sri Ramana describes as "being as we are", and it is not only our path but also our goal.

When we practise this vigilantly attentive and therefore thougt excluding self consciousness with effort, it is the path, and when we experience it effortlessly as our unavoidable natural state, it is our goal, which is the absolutely non dual state of true self knowledge.

concluded..

Subramanian. R said...

Upadesa Manjari - Spiritual Instruction:

Chapter IV - Arudha - Attainment.

15. If it is experienced, how is it experienced?

"Bondage" and "liberation" are mere linguistic terms. They have no reality of their own. Therefore, they cannot function of their own accord. It is necessary to accept the existence of some basic thing of which they are the modifications. If one enquires,
'For whom is there bondage and liberation?' it will be seen, 'they are for me'. In one enquires, 'Who am I?' one will see that there is no such thing as the 'I'. It will then be as clear as an amalaka fruit in one's hand that what remains is one's real being. As this truth will naturally and clearly be experienced by those who leave aside mere verbal discussions and enquire into themselves inwardly, there is no doubt that all realized persons uniformly see neither bondage nor liberation so far as the true Self is concerned.

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Upadesa Manjari - Spiritual Instruction:

Chapter IV - Arudha - Attainment:

Q.16. If truly there is neither bondage nor liberation what is the reason for the actual experience of joys and sorrows?

They appear to be real only when one turns aside from one's real nature. They do not really exist.

Q. 17. Is it possible for everyone to know directly without doubt what exactly is one's true nature?

Undoubtedly it is possible.

Q. 18. How ?

It is the experience of everyone that even in the states of deep sleep, fainting, etc., when the entire universe, moving and stationary, beginning with the earth and ending with the umanifested [prakriti], disappears, he does not disappear. Therefore the state of pure being, which is common to all and which is always experienced directly by everybody is one's true nature. The conclusion is that all experiences in the enlightened as well as the ignorant state, which may be dwcribed by newer and newer words, are opposed to one's real nature.

Chapter IV - Arudha - Attainment - concluded.

Subramanian. R said...

Amritanubhava - Ambrosial Experience: Sant Jnaneswar:

Knowledge and Ignorance:

30. A pot [which exists] can be seen as a pot or if it is broken,
its broken state can be seen but when there is complete absence will talk about it?

{If someone is present who has seen the pot, and its absence on its breaking he can about its existence as well as nonexistence. In the case of Pure Knowledge when there is entirely nothing else to witness or experience, then, who can vouchsafe for its existence or non existence?

31. Therefore, the Pure Knowledge does not perceive its states existence or non existence. Its existence is without the states of existence and non existence.

32. But because that Pure Knowledge is not a subject [either for perception or realization] to self or others, is it a valid ground to hold its non existence?

33. One sleeping in solitude in forest, is not seen by anyone and if his remembering faculty has gone off,

34. then it is no that he is not alive; such is the absolute existence [of that knowledge] which brooks no talk of either affirmation or negation.

35. When the vision turns inwards there is a temporary break in its seeing function but it does not mean that it is not there. It does exist in its knowing state.

36. A person of dark complexion standing in darkness is not visible to himself or others. Yet he knows fully well that he is very much there.

37. His existence or non-existence is not like that of a person [something seen at a distance looks like a person but one is not sure whether that object is a person or something else like a pole]. His existence abides in his own place.

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Amritanubhava - Ambrosial Experience: Sant Jnaneswar:

38. The form of sky becomes rarefied when it becomes absolutely clear [when all other elements merge it in it.] To a viewer it becomes invisible [being hollow] although it exists in its natural state.

39. The well having crystal clear water looks dry but there is nothing except the water.
OR
39. Even though the pure water in a well gets dried up, it is entirely there in the form other than water i.e in the form of moisture.

40. In that way, from the point of view of the Absolute it abides in its own natural state giving up notions of existence and non existence.

41. It is such a waking state, that there is no awareness of the sleep. It is so thorough a state, that there is no awareness even of wakeful condition.

42. When a jar is on the ground, it is known as the ground with a jar; with its removal the ground is known as without a jar.

43. But when both these actions [jar's placement and removal] do not touch the ground and it remains all pure and fine. So it is the state of the Absolute.

Chapter on Knowledge and Ignorance [select verses] concluded.


41.

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Ramana Corona: A Crown of Sonnets - Alan Jacobs:

[6]

Take safe refuge in all loving Lord!
For life's a dream and sleeping dreams are short.
The waking dream is long; both stem from thought.
The Real is beyond both this waking and sleep,
The sword of enquiry slay dream states deep,
So reaching their substratum numinous,
The state of pure consciousness, Self luminous!
Blissfully aware, yet awake in sleep,
As the cocrel crows ready to sup,
At the roseate dawn of first morning light,
Awareness pours into the near empty cup,
Granting a moment's taste of Self insight,
This light is the eye that forever sees,
Who can be known by enquiring 'who frees?'

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Tirumandiram - Tirumular:

Tantra 7 - Sivadityan - Siva-Sun:

Verse 2001:

anRiya pasa iruLum ajnanamum
chenRidum jnana sivaprakasathaal
onRum iru chudraam aruNodhyam
thunRiruL neenguthal polath tholainthathe.

The darkness of contending Pasa,
And the Ignroance vast,
These flee fast,
Before Jnana Light of Siva,
Even as when the luminou9r Sun rises,
The murky darkenss, before Him, flees.

[Siva is the Sun of Jnana. When His light of Jnana dawan the murky darkness of contending pasaa [impurities] and enveloping ignorance flee.]

Verse 2002:

kadam kadam thoRum kadhiravan thonRil,
adangida moodil avaRRil adangaan
vidangonda kandanum meviya kaayath
thadangida ninRathum apparisaame.

In pot to pot the sun appears,
Well may you the pots close,
Yet in them you contain him not;
So, too, when Lord that poison swallowed
This body enters,
There can you contain Him not
He pervades all.

****

Subramanian. R said...

Tirumandiram - Tirumoolar:

Tantra 7 - Sivaadityan - Siva-Sun:

Verse 2003:

thaane virichudar moonRum onRaai niRkum,
thaane ayan maal ena ninRu thaapikkum,
thaane udal uyir veRanRi ninRuLan
thaane veLi oLi thaan iruttame.

Himself as the Three Lights [Sun, Moon and Fire],
in one stands;
Himself as Brahma and Vishnu stands established;
Himself as likfe and body indistinguishably stands
Himself Space, Light and Darkness too.

Verse 2004:

Deiva chudar angi jnayiRum thingaLum,
vaiyam punal anal maarutham vaanagam
saiva perumpathi thaangiya palluyir
aivarkidamidai aaRangamame.

The divine Fire, Sun, and Moon,
The earth, water,fire, wind and space
And the creation countless
These the abodes ancient Siva are;
The Five Gods*
Are in the Vedas that has [auxillary] parts six.

* Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Maheswara and Sadasiva.

****

Subramanian. R said...

EVERY THING IS PRE DETERMINED.
IS THAT SCIENTIFICALLY POSSIBLE?

Gray Weber: [MP Jan-Mar. 2010]

*

[Gray Weber has got 37 years of meditation and yoga practice, with teachers from India, Japan, Europe and United States. A physical science Ph.D., he was in the military, national labs, industry and academia with a full family life. He is the author of Happiness Beyond Thought: A Practical Guide to Awakening.]

*

Sri Ramana's famous and controversial, statement found in Arthur Osborne's The Teachings of Bhagaan Sri Ramana Maharshi in His Own Words, is in response to the question: "Are only the important events in a man's life, such as his main occupation or profession, pre determined, or trifling acts also, such us taking a cup of water or moving from one part of the room to another?"

Sri Ramana replies: "Everything is predermined."

At first, it seems that such a belief/understanding would make one unhappy, frightened, nervous and uncertain. It also appears impossible or irrational to contradict our everyday experience. However, the one who uttered it, Sri Ramana was one of the happiest, most content and serene people to have graced our species in recorded history.

One of our greatest scientists, Albert Einstein, echoes Sri Ramana's statement:

"Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper."

[Clark, Ronbald W., Einstein: The Life and Times. World Publishing Company, New York. 1971]

Traditinonal Advaita categorically rejects the ability of scince to offer insights into understanding non dual concepts, hearkening back to Galileo. This approach risks an uninformed and incorrect perspective, much like insisting that the earth is not the centre of the universe. As a contemporary example, Dennis Waite's otherwise excellent tome on advaita, Back to the Truth: 5000 Years of Advaita dismisses science in less than a page.

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Everything Is Predetermined:

Gary Weber ;
[I wrongly typed it as Gray Weber,
sorry]

continues....

What possible scientific insights have led world-renowned scientists
to these seemingly 'mystical' conclusions on the critical topics
of choice, free will and pre determination? I presented just such a scientific approach in my book, Happiness Beyond Thought: A Practical Guide to Awakening.

A seminal study was done in 1983, by Benjamin Liber [Mind Time: The Tempporal Factor in Consciousness, Harvard University Press, MA.] and was described as a profoundly influential paper on the source of human control. Participants watched a clock and noted precisely when they decided to flex their wrist, as well as the movement actually occurred. Participants watched a clock and noted precisely when they occurred. Their intention to move was recorded about 200 millio seconds before movement actually began.

Electrodes placed over the motor areas of the brain [areas involved in controlling movements] determined when the brain initiated the movement. By recording the electrical activity of the muscles involved in wrist movement, Liber determined precisely when muscle movement began.

The brain initiated movement about 550 milli seconds before the action began. However, at the participants were only aware of the intention to move 200 milli seconds before it occurred, the motor centres of the brain initiated the movements BEFORE the participant was even aware of it.

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Everything is Pre determined:

Gary Weber:

continues...

Our actions are in proces before we even 'know' that they will be occurring. Action is not the result of a conscious process that we initiate. It is a RESULT of brain process initiated prior to our knowledge. This finding has major implications for issues of free will and what the role of the "I" is.

This study has been replicated many times, with the roots of these decision being seen to occur as much as ten seconds before they became consciously known.

The Liber work has been expanded recently to more complex thought processes in looking at 'aha/Eureka' insights, when
they are known and where they come from. Research shows that "although people are not consciously aware of it, their brains have to be in a certain state for an insight to take place. Moreover, that state can be detected electrically as much as eight seconds in advance of the person even becoming aware of the "aha!" moment itself."

[See The Economist, 'Conscious and unconscious thought' - April 2009 and published in The Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience in July
2009, Volume 21, No. 7: "Posterior Beta and Anterior Gamma Oscillations Predict Cognitive Insight", by B.R. Sheth, S. Sandkuhler and J. Bhattacharya.]

The article concludes, "Conscious thoght, it seems, does not solve problems. Instead, unconscious processing happens in the background and only delivers the answer to consciousness once it has been arrived at."

The concept of conscious, mentally derived, choice in our action seems a myth.

Recognizing this inability to predict our actions, is it possible, even after the fact, to have predicted the outcomes of those actions? To look at this, we can draw complex systems theory, known as 'chaos' theory. It looks at the impact of small, seemingly insignificant changes [like choices] on the behaviour of large complex, dynamic systems [like 'our' lives].

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Everything is Predetermined;

Gary Weber:

continues...

In working with a weather forecasting model, a meteorologist
found that infinitesmial changes in
a single value made the entire weather system change dramatically. This discovery led to the now widely known metaphor of a butterfly flapping its wings causing a hurricane in a distant part of the world! Some useful insights into predetermination and choice emerged from this approach:

a) Predictions regarding complex systems undergoing change (our lives}, are unreliable because accurately defining even the initial conditions would require impossibly large amounts of information.

b} All parts of the system affect, and are affected by, other parts of the system in a complex web of cause and effect and feedback.

c} Predictions based on simple logic [a gives b which is greater than a, and be gives c greater than b] cannot work as there are too many other interactions taking place for b and c that are unknowable.

d} The human mind's short term memory holds only about seven pieces of information at a time, hopelessly inadequate for decision making in today's complex world. This gives us great discomfort, uncertainty and fear.

As our world is a complex, moving system, with billions of interacting parts, how could we make informed, correct decisions? What meaning --responsibilty', 'free will', 'good' and 'bad' have in such a context?
Without needing to decide whether there is an 'outside' agency or
whether it is 'random', can we accept that all events are beyond our knowledge or rational decision making?

In our everyday lives, consider simple events, like meeting friends. Will the car start or he bus be there? Will traffic be a problem? Will you get a call or e-mail that will change your plans?
How long will the others wait? What if someone has a meeting later?

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Everything is predetermined:

Gary Weber: continues....

In any of these events happen, then a series of other unexpected events cascade from that event. These experiences have happened to all of us, completely out of our control. A simple event tree, even with only two branches after each event, demonstrates how accurate prediction of subsequent events and real control of our lives is impossible. [See the Transportation Model in Management books]

As another example, consider chess. Imagine that the game represents the world. In this simple world, there are only two different families each with a father, mother, three sets of older twins, and eight younger children. {king, queen, pairs of rooks, knights and bishops and eight pawns]. The movements that each other can do is limited and well defined. Each can onnly be in one of roughty 64 adjacent parcels of land [squares]. If a member of one family tries to move into land occupied by a member of the other family, the current occupant dies. Everyone moves in alternating family sequence until all members of one family gone.

This is obviously a much simpler world than 'ours'. However the number of possible combinations of interactions of these two families is calculated as 1 followed by 120zeroes. The number of particles in the known universe is estimated to be 1 followed by 70 zeroes. How can we possibly posses the level of knowledge to predict who and what will be affected by our ineractions in our vastly more complex world?

A final approach is to select the most important event in 'your life'. Considering it carefully, can you truthfully say that you were responsible for all the events leading up to and related to it? Were you aware of all choices surrounding it made by others, over subsequent years? If you can't claim responsibility for all facets of the most important event in your life, and all of its results, what do you control that matters?

contd.,

Ravi said...

Friends,
An Excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
"What can a man understand of God's activities? The facets of God's creation are infinite. I
do not try to understand God's actions at all. I have heard that everything is possible in
God's creation, and I always bear that in mind. Therefore I do not give a thought to the
world, but meditate on God alone. Once Hanuman was asked, 'What day of the lunar month
is it?' Hanuman said: 'I don't know anything about the day of the month, the position of the
moon and stars, or any such things. I think of Rama alone.'
Namaskar.

Subramanian. R said...

Everything is predetermined:

Gary Weber - continues...

Take the most terrible calamity
of whichn you are aware, like an earthquake or war. Did everyone affected by that calamity knowingly choose to be there? Did anyone predict all outcomes of that calamity accurately? {In recent Japanese earth quake / tsunami, warning was given by just 13 minutes before the happening. In 13 minutes, how many could escape? How many could cover distance in fleeing to a safe distance in 13 minutes? How amy could even come out of their houses, with enough food and water in 13 minutes?}

Understanding that the outcomes of our actions are not knowableor predictable is often unsettling, even frightening, at first.

IN applying complex systems theory to psychlogical systems, two scientists describe how we typically judge this uncertainty, as unacceptable and dangerous. They point out that this failure to accept the reality of the situation causes pain and suffering as we are locked in a futile attempt at stability and equilibrium 'in order to maintain an old way of knowiing and to resist the inevitable emergent novelty woven into the process of living." [Masterpasqua F. and Perna. P. The Psychological Meaning of Chaos: Translating Theory into Practice. American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C. 1997].

They conclude that the best way to deal with the complexity of today's world is by using the notion of a continuously restructuring [or nonexistent?] self.

contd.,

Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
MANILAL (smiling): "Once several men were crossing the Ganges in a boat. One of them,
a pundit, was making a great display of his erudition, saying that he had studied various
books-the Vedas, the Vedanta, and the six systems of philosophy. He asked a fellow
passenger, 'Do you know the Vedanta?' 'No, revered sir.' 'The Samkhya and the Patanjala?'
'No, revered sir.' 'Have you read no philosophy whatsoever?' 'No, revered sir.' The pundit
was talking in this vain way and the passenger sitting in silence, when a great storm arose
and the boat was about to sink. The passenger said to the pundit, 'Sir, can you swim?' 'No',
replied the pundit. The passenger said, 'I don't know the Samkhya or the Patanjala, but I can
swim.' "
MASTER (smiling): "What will a man gain by knowing many scriptures? The one thing
needful is to know how to cross the river of the world. God alone is real, and all else
illusory.
"While Arjuna was aiming his arrow at the eye of the bird, Drona asked him: 'What do you
see? Do you see these kings?' 'No, sir', replied Arjuna. 'Do you 'See me'?' 'No.' 'The tree?'
'No.' 'The bird on the tree?' 'No.' 'What do you see then?' 'Only the eye of the bird.'
"He who sees only the eye of the bird can hit the mark. He alone is clever who sees that
God is real and all else is illusory.
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt from the Reminiscences of Sri V Ganesan:
Sri Venkateswara Sarma (Sastrigal Mama) was an exceptional and astounding astrologer. From childhood he exhibited a rare genius in this field. While still very young, his extraordinary intelligence enabled him to master the most abstruse and difficult branch of astrology. All, including his guru, declared him as the wisest student.

Prasna is an astrological science based on a perfect fruition between mathematics and intuition. With just some meager information from the questioner, which includes only the first word of the question, a Prasna astrologer can, within seconds, draw up mentally a horoscope. This requires great mathematical precision and perfection. Having drawn the horoscope within his mind, and in a flash also having studied it, the astrologer will have to wait, prayerfully. Then, from the depths of his inner intuition words gush forth, forming the astrological predictions for the questioner. As this Prasna process is not merely based on mathematical horoscopes, it culminates in intuitional revelation, and the predictions are said to be amazingly accurate and correct to the minutest detail. Sri Sastrigal Mama was highly proficient in this system of astrology.

He once described it to me by citing this example: One day a merchant came to his house while he was engaged offering worship in his puja room. His wife informed him that one Nagappa Chettiar was waiting on the verandah and that he seemed worried about some urgent matter. Not willing to interrupt his worship, and by merely listening to the name and the few details given by his wife, Sri Sastrigal Mama, within a minute, began giving the following prediction:

"Tell Nagappa Chettiar that he has come to inquire about his lost, costly diamond ring. He suspects his servant. Assure him that no one has stolen it. In his gard n, near the well, there are two rows of plantain trees. On one side there are only two trees; on the other there is a cluster of trees. Let him search under the two trees and the diamond ring will be found there. While he was cleaning his clothes on the washing stone the ring slipped off his finger and fell to the ground."

Nagappa Chettiar returned home and found the ring exactly where Sri Sastrigal Mama had said, and because of this and similar astounding predictions Sri Sastrigal Mama became quite famous. He also became convinced that the Prasna branch of astrology was the most perfect science.

At the height of his career he heard about Sri Ramana Maharshi. When he first saw Sri Bhagavan's picture he was immediately captivated and traveled to Arunachala to see the Sage. He climbed up to Skandashram, where Bhagavan then resided. On the very first look that the Maharshi gave him, Sri Sastrigal Mama became his slave. He had a strong desire to stay with the Maharshi permanently, renouncing everything he held dear. Yet, there was still his lifelong attraction to the science of astrology. He felt distracted by it and did not know how to proceed.

One day, gathering courage, he approached Sri Maharshi in all humility and said, "Bhagavan, is not astrology the best and most accurate of all sciences?"

In silence Bhagavan looked at him deeply for some time. Then, slowly but firmly, he replied: "The science of the Self is superior to all other sciences."

It was the peak period in Sri Sastrigal Mama's life. For every prediction he was richly rewarded and was consequently acquiring immense wealth. Nevertheless, the words from the Master convinced him immediately to renounce his lucrative profession and pursue the science of the Self. His wife too fully supported him in this decision. The remainder of their life they lived in utter poverty at the holy feet of the Sat-Guru, under the protective shade of the Sacred Mountain, Arunachala.

Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

Ravi,
From the details given on your Sastrigal Mama's predictions I dont think they come under Astrology including Horary branch(Prasna).In the end it is concentration that is achieved by whatever path Bhakti,Yoga,Tantra,Mantra etc. There is nothing in Astrology that can go to that level of detail.Even the original Naadi astrology is not strictly astrology although a lot of what is there out today is totally fake.An all india expert K.N.Rao once said if one can tell high level detail with a consistency of 70% accuracy then he can be considered an Expert Astrologer.But I agree that Astrology is more or less useless.I do not see any use of Astrology at any level other than perhaps to advise a client on character and conflicitng thought patterns.

Even if everything is Pre-destined we have no choice but to believe in effort and that you can change prarabdha.Even Bhagawan or any other God might say everything is pre-destined and it may be true but for me it is also true that I can work to change that prarabdha.I have a goal, I have free will and I will put all efforts to get to it.I have no other choice.

-Z

Anonymous said...

Folks,
A couple of observations:
1)What does Bhagawan's 'Death Experience' at the age of 33 mean as he was already Realized?

2)They say Na Kramana Na Prajaya and all that.How is Bhagawan's granting realization to his Mum seen?Is it that she is ripe for it?Then how did it fail on a couple of occassions.This aspect has been put to Papjai in the book NEH by Mr.David on the lines How can the Self make mistakes?

Thanks,
-Z

Ravi said...

Z,
I do not know ABC of astrology or Prasna.I have just quoted it to emphaize that for a seeker,seeking God or Self is paramount and he has to put efforts in that direction.
I totally agree with you-" it may be true but for me it is also true that I can work to change that prarabdha.I have a goal, I have free will and I will put all efforts to get to it.I have no other choice."
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
"Once upon a time a sadhu acquired great occult powers. He was vain about them. But he
was a good man and had some austerities to his credit. One day the Lord, disguised as a
holy man, came to him and said, 'Revered sir, I have heard that you have great occult
powers.' The sadhu received the Lord cordially and offered him a seat. Just then an elephant
passed by. The Lord, in the disguise of the holy man, said to the sadhu, 'Revered sir, can
you kill this elephant if you like?' The sadhu said, 'Yes, it is possible.' So saying, he took a
pinch of dust, muttered some mantras over it, and threw it at the elephant. The beast
struggled awhile in pain and then dropped dead. The Lord said: 'What power you have!
You have killed the elephant!' The sadhu laughed. Again the Lord spoke: 'Now can you
revive the elephant?' 'That too is possible', replied the sadhu. He threw another pinch of
charmed dust at the beast. The elephant writhed about a litle and came back to life. Then
the Lord said: 'Wonderful is your power. But may I ask you one thing? You have killed the
elephant and you have revived it. But what has that done for you? Do you feel uplifted by
it? Has it enabled you to realize God?' Saying this the Lord vanished."

Namaskar.

Subramanian. R said...

Dear Ravi,

Nice to read about Sastrigal Mama,
though I had read about him long time back. The Science of Self is the supreme science of all! How succinctly Sri Bhagavan advised him!

I am not sure whether it is the same Sastrigal mama. One Sastrigal
[priest] was doing pujas for Matrubhuteswra Lingam for long years. Later, he had some pain and numbness in his legs and he became bedridden. He could not longer attend to puja work. Sri Ganesan came to meet him in his house and the exclaimed: Mama! Sri Bhagavan should have not have given you such a state of heatlh. Sastrigal replied: Ganesa! Only Kaal alone is affected. [Kaal = leg and also one quarter in Tamizh] Mukkaal is good, should I not thank Sri Bhagavan for that? [Mukkal = three fourths, three fourth of the body!]

What an ardent devotion and faith in Sri Bhagavan!

Subramanian. R said...

DearAnon.,

1. Sri Bhagavan's death experience
in Madurai enabled Him to realize the Self.

2. The second death experience, was that He was witnessing disintegration of the body, without fear. Arunachala felt that He should live for many more years and so that the second one did not become complete.

3. The scriptures say that in the family of Brahma Jnani, thirty generations before him and thirty generations after him would attain mukti without any effort. I do not know what Sri Bhagavan would have answered for this scriptural saying. But in case of Mother, He merely facilitated the process of the the breath abiding in Heart so that the outgoing prana along with mind would not cause a rebirth. Her vasanas were also quite strong. But She was made to go through the fruition of vasanas quickly like a fast moving film and then go back to the Self neat and clean. In the case of Pazhani Swami, vasanas were stronger and when Sri Bhagavan withdrea His hands, the non-quelled vasanas sped past through his eyes along with mind. In the case of Mother, He did not leave His hands till the play was over.

Subramanian. R said...

Dear Anon.,

Your eagerness to operate the free will is also pre destined.

Ravi said...

R.Subramanian,
"Only Kaal alone is affected. [Kaal = leg and also one quarter in Tamizh] Mukkaal is good, should I not thank Sri Bhagavan for that? [Mukkal = three fourths, three fourth of the body!]"
Yes,I heard Sri Nochur Venkatraman narrate this story.
Sri Nochur beautifully brings out the True import of what Sastri Mama said by referring to Purusha sooktam:
Verse 3:
etAvAn asya mahima | ato jyAyAGSca pUrusha: |
pAdo 'sya vishvA bhUtAni | tripAdasyAmRtam divi || 3 ||

(etAvAn) All that is here seen (asya) is his (mahima)
greatness. (ata:) And then, beyond all this (purusha: ca)
is that Purusha (jyAyAn) great. (vishvA bhUtani) All
that was created in this world (pAdo) is but one part
(asya) of him. (tripAd) The other three parts are (divi)
in heaven, (amRtam) where they are eternal.

Verse 4:
tripAd Urdhva udait purusha: | pAdo 'syehAbhavatpuna: |
tato vishva.n vyakrAmat | sASanAnaSane abhi || 4 ||

(tripAd) Three parts (purusha:) of the purusha (udait) rise
above, (Urdhva) above all creation. (pAda:) One part alone
(asya) of his (iha) is here (abhavat) manifested (puna:) again and again.
(tata) From that part did (sASana - anaSana) beings that eat and eat not,
(vishvak) all of these (abhivyAkramat) did come forth.

Here is an excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
Living in the world after realization of God
"A man can live in the world after attaining God. Then he can lead the life of detachment.
In the country I have seen the women of the carpenter families making flattened rice with a
husking-machine. With one hand one of them turns the paddy in the hole and with the other
she holds a nursing child. At the same time she talks with the buyer. She says to him: 'You
owe me two annas. Pay it before you go.' But seventy-five per cent of the woman's mind is
on her hand lest it should be crushed by the pestle of the husking machine.
"A man should do his worldly duties with only twenty-five percent of his mind, devoting
the rest to God."

The words of the Great ones are the Vedas.
Namaskar.

Subramanian. R said...

Upadesa Manjari: Spiritual Instruction:

Chapter I - Upadesa - Instruction:

8. How then did some great persons attain knowledge without a Guru?

To a few mature persons the Lord shines as the light of knowledge and imparts awarness of the truth.

12. What is the mark of the ego?

The individual soul of the form of "I" is the ego. The Self which is of the nature of intelligence [Chit] has no sense of 'I'. Nor does the insentient body possess
a sense of 'I'. The mysterious appearance of a delusive ego between the intelligent and the insentient being the root cause of all these troubles, upon its destruction by whatever means that which really exists will be seen as it is. This is called Moksha.

Subramanian. R said...

Amritanubhava - Ambrosial Experience - Sant Jnaneswara.

Existence Knowledge and Bliss -
Sat Chit Anandam:

1. The Supreme [Sat Chit Ananda] is a triad of existence, knowledge and bliss. However, understand that they are missing in it. Like the poison is not in the poison.

[The mere words Sat, Chit and Anandam does not fully depict the Supreme because in the Supreme, they do not exist, just as the toxicity does not exist in poison so far as its effect on the poison is concerned. It kills one who takes it but it does not kill the poison. A piece of diamond does not cut itself. But it cuts another piece of diamond.]

2. Lustre, hardness and yellowness together constitute gold, as viscosity, sweetness and mellifluity constitue milk.

3. Whiteness, fragrance and softness are not three different qualities; they appear in the form of one camphor.

4. The whitness of its body, nay its whiteness is its softness or both of them are not there, it is only fragrance alone.

5. In this way, the three qualities are amalgamated in camphor. In the same way existence etc., are fused into one Supreme.

6. As a matter of fact, the three words, Sat Chit and Ananda continued to have their own distinct existence but that blissful made them deficient to continue to remain separate.

7. Existence itself means bliss and knowledge, or the Knowledge itself means existence and bliss. These cannot be distinguished from each other in the way sweetness cannot be distinguished from nectar.

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Amritanubhava - Ambrosial Experience: Sant Jnansewara:

Existence Knowledge and Bliss:

8. The sixteen phases of the moon go on waxing during the first fortnight of the lunar month. Yet, the moon is as it is, in itself a perfect whole.

9. When rain water is falling in drops, it could be counted by drops; however on the spot where it falls, it is all water only. It cannot be counted there.

10. In that way, the Vedas have called it Sat to exclude Asat and Chit to end confusion in being compared to Jada [insentient].

11. What remains after the total destruction of pain in pleasure. So declared the Vedas born from the breath of the Lord.

12. In this way, Sat and others while pushing out their competitors, Asat and others, lost their own strength.

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Dear Ravi,

Thank you for elucidation and also
Sri Ramakrishna's fine story.

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Ramana Corona:

A Crown of Sonnets - Alan Jacobs.

[7]

Who can be known by enquiring 'who frees?'
The Master who lives in the cave of the heart,
Not separate from one's Self, being the start,
Of the final search from bond to release.
The Sage appears when the soul is ready,
With strong gaze of grace, he says,
"Be aware
that God and his wisdom are already there!"
He acts as a brake to make the mind steady,
While mercy flows freely in sunshine and air,
Hindered only by our being unready.
If you come to Him, meekly with an empty cup,
His grace is then bound to fill
it up.
The Master's glance is the grace of the Lord.
He cuts you free with His mighty sword.

***

Subramanian. R said...

Everything is Predetermined:

Gary Weber:

continues...

With an understanding of the impossibility of prediction, control and real responsibility for our actions and choices and all that results from them, a deep understanding arises which leads to surrender and acceptance. Rather than continuing to live in our usual regime of fear, conflict and confusion, we find that a deep peace, stillness and grace open within us and with this, true liberation. Actions occur in a presence and stillness fully attuned to this very moment, without any expectation or fear of regarding results.

With this deep surrender, we can move into the stillness and peace that are so elegantly reflected in those well-known photographs of Sri Ramana's smile, images that brought comfort and peace to so many.

Another challenge to the claim that events within our conscious decision and control, derives from genetics, which claim that our genes lay the basis for who it is, and what capabilities we have, to make "independent" decisions.

Our current science tells us that our thoughts, feelings and behaviour are determined largely by our genes, learning and environment, none of which we have control over. If you try to change yourself, your goals are determined by the same genes, history and environment. What is possible for 'you' to decide is largely determined by what shaped you, which was completely out of your control.

Similarly, if you look at how you choose which information to focus on in the future, those choices made by your existing 'I', which you did not consciously assemble. Whether or not you will intervene in a future series of events is therefore also predetermined.

Concluded.

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Bhagavan and Our Family:

M.V. Sabhapathy: MP - April-June 2006:

My father, Sri M.S. Venkatarama Iyer, was a boyhood friend of Sri Bhagavan. At one time, my grandfather's family and Sri Bhagavaa's family lived as tenants in different parts of the same building in Madurai.

For my father, who was a staunch Advaitin, Sri Bhagavan was all and everything. He would not pay his respects to any of the gods since Sri Bhagavan and Sri Bhagavan alone was his deity. In our house, there was a picture of Lord Murugan seated on a peacock. My father pasted a photo of Sri Bhagavan on top of the head of Murugan, making it appear as if Sri Bhagavan was sitting the
peacock.

Insted of performing his children's first tonsure ceremony in the presence of our family deity Lord Venkateswara, a custom few would dare to deviate from, he would perform it in the presence of Sri Bhagavan.

Prof. N.R. Krishnamurthy Iyer, a long standing devotee of Sri Bhagavan, once said to me: "Your father was an ardent Ramana devotee. For him, Sri Bhagavan alone was his mother, his father, his family, and everything else as well. He had a complete disregard for all the traditional deities. His madness for Sri Bhagavan was so strong, that when he went to the Vinayaka Temple, he would sit with his back to the deity. If anyone mentioned the word "Bhagavan", steams of tears would start to flow. That is why Sri Bhagavan Himself gave him the name "Azhuguni Siddhar" [The Weeping Siddha]. Your father belonged to the Siva ganas [the retinue of Siva]. Wherever Siva manifests on this earth, He will bring these ganas with Him."

My father used to spin thread on a spinning wheel, spool it and send it to Sri Bhagavan. This thread was used to weave the cloth that Sri Bhgavan's coupinas were made from.

When my father came to Sri Bhagavan for the first time, in Tiruvannamalai, Sri Bhagavn remarked, 'Does that aathi [sesbania] tree still exist?'

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Bhagavan and Our Family:

M.V. Sabhapathy: continues...

Sri Bhagavan and my father used to sleep on a platform in the front portion of the house. One night they put pillows on the bed and covered them with a sheet because they wanted to go out and play Silambam [a traditional Tamizh form of martial arts in which combatants twirl four feet long wooden sticks]. My father, Sabhapathy Iyer walked past the platform and noticed that one of the pillows was protruding from the bed. Thinking that his son had just stretched his legs out, he attempted to put them back on the bed. When he discovered that there was no one sleeping there, he realized he had been tricked. When the two Venkatarmans returned home early the next morning, he tied my father to that aathi tree that was in the courtyard and caned him severely with a branch that he had taken from the same tree. This was the incident that Sri Bhagavan was reminding my father of.

My father cast all his burdens on Sri Bhagavan and remained unaffected by all the unfortunate events of his life. Out of the ten children who were born to him, seven of the survived only to the age of three or four before merging with Sri Bhagavan.

Sri Bhagavan used to remark humorously, "Whenever a letter comes from Venkataraman, it is usually about his child attaining to the supreme world." Can there be any doubt that it was the grace of Sri Arunachala Ramana that gave my father the power to endure the loss of seven children, one after another, in quick succession?

On one of his visits to the Asramam, Sri Bhagavan began to speak about the special characterisitics -- such as the size and thickness -- of Azhagar Koil dosais. My father immediately left for Madurai, without telling Sri Bhagavan. Two days later he came back, bearing on his head a large number of these dosais and offered them to Sri Bhagavan. So intense was his love for Sri Bhagavan.

[Azhagar Koil is a Vishnu temple very close to Madurai. In this shrine dosais that are referred to in the story are offered as prasad to devotees. They are not available anywhere else. Sri Bhagavan seemed to be poarticularly fond of this variety of dosais. See also Day by Day, entry dt. 30th October 1946.]

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Bhagavan and Our Family:

M.V. Sabhapathy:

continues....

When Sri Bhagavan lived in Virupaksha Cave, He and His devotees would occasionally go to the top of Arunachala. Food for the devotees would be carried in a big vessel, that was tied to a strong bamboo pole. Two people, one at each end, would carry it to the peak. One one of the trips my father who was strong and well built carried the food along with Ramanatha Brahmachari, who was both puny and frail. Ramanatha was at the front and my father was at the rear. They lost their way and found themselves in a place where they didn't know the route to the peak. At that point of time, they saw Sri Bhagavan walking ahead of them, so they decided to follow Him. Three times they got lost and three times they saw Sri Bhagavan in the distance, showing them the way. However, when the finally reached the peak, Sri Bhagavan was not there and had not been seen there by the other devotees who were waiting for the food to come.

When they returned my father saw Sri Bhagavan sitting in Virupaksha Cave.

Both puzzled and astonished, my father said: "You are a great trickster. How did you manage to be present in two places at the same time?"

Sri Bhagavan smiled but gave no reply.

What to say of Sri Bhagavan's greatness, He who bestowed strength to the weak Ramanatha Brahmachari and manifested to show the way to both to the summit.

My mother also had the good fortune of climbing Arunachala in the company of Sri Bhagavan. On these trips, the party would usually halt at Seven Springs [Ezhu Sunai], which is located near the peak of Arunachala. This was one of Sri Bhagavan's favourite resting places. He would often remain there for a while the devotees went to the peak and come back. Sri Bhagavan once remarked that even though the seven springs are adjacent to each other, the water from each spring has a distinct taste that is different from others. My mother once washed Sri Bhagavan's feet with water from these springs. She discovered that those feet were soft and red, like red lotuses. My mother was one who held His feet firmly, illustrating the line, "Let us worhship the feet of Lord Ramana, the true meaning of the Vedas and attain Jnana. [Ucchithach chuvai yaana un padam ucchi vaithida veNdinen..Sri Ramana Sadguru, Venkataramana Iyer.]

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Bhagavan and Our Family:

M.V. Sabhapathy:

continues....

When Sri Bhagavan lived in Virupaksha Cave, He and His devotees would occasionally go to the top of Arunachala. Food for the devotees would be carried in a big vessel, that was tied to a strong bamboo pole. Two people, one at each end, would carry it to the peak. One one of the trips my father who was strong and well built carried the food along with Ramanatha Brahmachari, who was both puny and frail. Ramanatha was at the front and my father was at the rear. They lost their way and found themselves in a place where they didn't know the route to the peak. At that point of time, they saw Sri Bhagavan walking ahead of them, so they decided to follow Him. Three times they got lost and three times they saw Sri Bhagavan in the distance, showing them the way. However, when the finally reached the peak, Sri Bhagavan was not there and had not been seen there by the other devotees who were waiting for the food to come.

When they returned my father saw Sri Bhagavan sitting in Virupaksha Cave.

Both puzzled and astonished, my father said: "You are a great trickster. How did you manage to be present in two places at the same time?"

Sri Bhagavan smiled but gave no reply.

What to say of Sri Bhagavan's greatness, He who bestowed strength to the weak Ramanatha Brahmachari and manifested to show the way to both to the summit.

My mother also had the good fortune of climbing Arunachala in the company of Sri Bhagavan. On these trips, the party would usually halt at Seven Springs [Ezhu Sunai], which is located near the peak of Arunachala. This was one of Sri Bhagavan's favourite resting places. He would often remain there for a while the devotees went to the peak and come back. Sri Bhagavan once remarked that even though the seven springs are adjacent to each other, the water from each spring has a distinct taste that is different from others. My mother once washed Sri Bhagavan's feet with water from these springs. She discovered that those feet were soft and red, like red lotuses. My mother was one who held His feet firmly, illustrating the line, "Let us worhship the feet of Lord Ramana, the true meaning of the Vedas and attain Jnana. [Ucchithach chuvai yaana un padam ucchi vaithida veNdinen..Sri Ramana Sadguru, Venkataramana Iyer.]

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Bhagavan and Our Family:

M.V. Sabhapathy: continues...

#
It seems that Sri Bhagavan's body became soft and smooth after His realization. Rangan, another boyhood friend of Sri Bhagavan, has written about this:

On another day, when we were at Skandasramam together, I [Rangan] felt Sri Bhagavan's leg from heel to toe and commented, "When our legs touched when we played games together in our childhood, yours used to feel like iron. Your skin used to be so rough, when it touched mine, I felt like I was being scratched by thorns. Now your skin is all changed. It is like velvet."

Sri Bhagavan commented, 'Yes my body is all changed. This is not the old body.'

When Rangan told this story on another occasions, he sometimes said, that Sri Bhagavan had said, 'This is not the old body. The old body was burned by Jnanagni.

#

#...# [from The Power of the Presence, Part I.

In Sri Bhagavan's Presence, my mother once sang a few verses composed by Avudai Akka, a Jnani from Chenkottai.

Sri Bhagavan recognized them and immediately added, "Did Mother [Sri Bhagavan's Mother] teach you these verses? to which my mother replied, "Yes."

My mother Parvatam, following the footsteps of my father, was fortunate enough to have an equal devotion to Sri Bhagavan. Almost every month, as soon as my father received his salary, my parents would visit Arunachala. One one of these occasions, my mother prostrated to Sri Bhagavan with her baby [my eldest brother Ramanachalam] in her arms. When she stood up , she was stunned by what she saw. Instead of the usual divine form of Sri Bhagavan, she saw a great and formless effulgence. The effulgence manifested before her not once but three times. Sri Bhagavan thus fulfilled the plea that is written in Akshramana Maalai verse 32:

Stop deceiving me, testing me and proving me, O Arunachala, and henceforward reveal to me instead your form of light!

Soothu seithu ennaich chodhiyathu ini un
Jothi urukkattu arunachala.

When my mother informed Sri Bhagavan what had happened, Sri Bhagavan just smiled and said, "Is that so?"

What can one say about the ironic statement of this conjuror? What can one say abouyt the good fortune of my mother?

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Bhagavan and Our Family:

M.V. Sabhapathy - continues...

Many years later, I asked my mother about this incident: "You have been so devoted to Sri Ramana and you even had a vision of Him as effulgent light. Why have you not yet become fully mature?"

She replied: "Since Sri Bhagavan has Himself written, "Make me fit, ripen me, then be my Master and govern me, [verse 63 of Akshramana Maalai]", He will certainly bestow His grace."

Nokkiye karudhi mei thaakkiye pakkuvarm
aakki nee aNdaruL arunachala!

Just as she predicted, in her final breath, she uttered the world 'Ramana' and merged in the lotus feet of Sri Bhagavan.

There is another incident that attests to the good fortune of my mother. Women were not allowed to stay in the Asramam, beyond 6 p.m. One morning, when my mother arrived in the Asramam, she found that Sri Bhagavan and all the deovtees who lived there had left for pradakshina, very early in the morning. Since she was very upset that everyone had gone without her, she decided to wait on the road she knew Sri Bhagavan would take on return.

When Sri Bhagavan noticed her in the distance, He turned to the other devotees and said, "Look! Parvatam is about to get angry with me."

Looking at Sri Bhagavan, my mother burst into tears and cried out, 'Why did you exclude me? Why did not take me with on pradakshina?'

Sri Bhagavan replied by saying, "All the merit accruing from this pradakshina is for you alone!"

The meritorious person who received in this way the benefits of the pradakshina performed by Sri Bhagavan Himself, the Lord of All, was none other than my own mother!

We lost our father in 1939 when he was only fifty four years old. This made us experience some very hard times. Without our father to support us, our mother brought us up by feeding us Sri Ramana's name alone. She used to get up at 4am. to attend to her work, and while she was working she would sing the melodious tunes of Sri Ramana Stuti Panchakam [of Satyamangalam Venkataramana Iyer] and Sri Arunachala Akshara Mana Maalai. Even at the young age of five or six I was able to memorise these songs merely by listening to her recitation. To get our morning coffee, we had to recite PoonoLir Vadivinaane...[PonnoLir Pathu,3rd
verse in Sri Ramana Stuti Panchakam, of Satyamangalam Venkataramana Iyer. These five verses are chanted even today on Saturday evenings in Asramam Tamizh Parayana.]
and Askshra Mana Maalai. We used to do it quite quickly because we knew there would be coffee for us only when we were done.

{Sri M.V. Sabhapathy narrated this incident to me, when I met him in Bangalare, in Brahmsri Nochur Venkataraman's satsangh about two years ago.}

After my father passed away, several years passed before the family had the opportunity to go to Arunachala.

contd.,

Anonymous said...

About only a fourth of Purusha being here,I feel even this is not entirely true.Sometimes when one gets a whiff of the mind shattering, call it Power, call it what may, all talk I mean even words like Parama Aananda,Maha Bhava fail to convey the mind shattering Power that it is.The mind is not even a reflection or chidaabhasha but I feel just a faint whiff like that of the faint smell of earth when it is raining near by.One only understands this when he gets a whiff of it otherwise they are just empty words.One who gets such a whiff feels ashamed of his prattle.But looking back and analysing it seems like the whiff comes only after a lot of prattle.Now try to imagine what if it is more than a whiff say a drop or a spoonfull and then a glassfull and finally entrenched.Our Jnanis used terms like nerve wrenching, churning of nerves that eventually settles as constant active continnum of thick background of completeness/poorna/ananda.To come down from that to the level of speech and articulate it I guess must be a great frustration.

Subramanian. R said...

Dear Anon.,

Your comment. Sant Jnaneswar says:
I think this is comparable to what hou have said, if I have understood your comment correctly.

*
In this way, the three words {Sat Chit Anandam } continue to gain publicity till they in mutual accord meet the observer, the Supreme. That which cannot be established by any mod of evidence, cannot be expressed or described in words. Thereofre the Supreme cannot be described by works like existence, knoweldge and bliss. These words do not actually mean the Supreme, but only lead one to the destination where i can be found. In tracing out a thief, as well as the stolen articles, the foot prints as well some indictions and signs are available on the path [like some little golden ring thieved has been dropped on the way, or had fallen from the budle that the thief had taken away], are useful but once the articles are traced out, no body is interested in turning back and looking at those signs, foot prints etc., for it would be futile to do so. So after having merged into the Supreme, Sat Chit Ananda, lose any
significance whatsoever [for the achiever.]

After eating fully a ripe mango, can any one think about its colour, bigness and the taste. He simply remains satisfied. Perhaps he may belch.

One cannot measure one's height by measuring one's shadow.

Just as the mirror disappears after showing the reflection to the face or the awakener leaves after waking one who is asleep.

The words Sat Chit Ananda after manifesting in the Jnani, leaves him. He is ever thereafter silent in his state.

*

Sri Bhagavan has said once that after realization, He felt that He is having a strange but happy disase.

Anonymous said...

R.Subramanian/Friends,
Talking of mango and Fractions(kAl-Quarter and MukkAl(Three Quarters)etc,here is an interesting composition of the Tamil poet kALamega pulavar-an excerpt from the Talks of the Sage of KAnchi:
" In Tamil Kalamega Pulavar is known for his poems of variety of colourful hues, much intricate thought content, subtlety of nuances and play of words! He himself has claimed that before you can say 'mm', "I will pour out 700 to 800 couplets, like the cumulo-nimbus pregnant with tons of water, I am a 'Kaala Megham' that is 'a black cloud'!" What cannot be even thought of, are the sort of ever new ideas, that other poets of his time have challenged him with and he has gladly responded sportingly and won them all!

87. For us there is this one Kanchipuram, where there is this only one mango tree ('eka + amram = one mango tree') which gives mango fruits and also 'eka + amra +easwar = ekamreswar', the God Easwara with the single mango tree, like a close relative of ours. So let us see a poem by Kaalamegha Kavi about that Ekamreswar! When you say, only one mango, it sounds as though you have used some number that is even smaller than one! Come to think of it, in this poem under reference, all numbers mentioned are smaller than one!

88. The challenge by the other poets to Kaalamegham was, "Let us see you composing a poem in the style of a 'VeNbaa' about our Ekamreswar using fractions of one, such as 'mukkaal, araikkaal, kaal, iruma, makaNi, oruma, keezharai and so on!" Kaalamegham had the capability for what was known as 'Aasu Kavitvam', by the grace of Akhilandeswari. So he just rattled out a song before others who challenged him could complete their sentence! What he said was this:-
mukkAlukku egAmun munnaraiyil vizhAmun
akkAla raikkaal kaN(du) anjAmun - vikki
irumAmun mAkANikku egAmun kachchi
orumAvin keezharai inrOdu.

The poem contains all fractions from 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64 and 1/128, which are the same as 'mukkAl, arai, kAl, araikkAl, iruma, mAkANi, orumA, keezharai respectively, but each one of those words for fractions, the poet used with a different meaning! It means that, "Before old age, diseases, fear of Yama and death over takes you, start praying to Kachchi Ekamreswara, from now itself. Do it to day!"
continued...

Anonymous said...

R.Subramanian/Friends,
The Sage of Kanchi contd...
"Now, let us look at the word by word meaning. 'Mukkaalukku egaa mun' = before you reach the age of having to rest on the third leg of a stick; (here the underlined 'mukkaal' is 3/4th). Next, 'mun arai yil veezhamun' = before your fore head is covered by gray hairs; (here the underlined 'arai' means 1/2 and munnarai means Grey hair that appears in old age). Then, 'akkaal araikkaal kaN(du)' has both kaal 1/4th and araikkaal 1/8th underlined and it means, 'before that 'Kaalan' the God of time and death's foot marks are seen'; that is before getting indications of the approach of death. In old age there is always cold which causes hiccups and cough. Hiccup is known as 'vikkal' and cough is known as 'irumal'. So, the next sentence says, 'vikki iruma mun', meaning, 'before you are too embroiled in hiccups and coughing; and the underlined iruma is 1/16th!

91. Next fraction to be used is 'maakaaNi', which is 1/32. In olden days, outside the village or township, a wide area of a 'kaaNi' was left for being used as the cremation ground, which was known as 'Rudra Bhoomi or Mayaanam', also known as 'maakaaNi'. Here the poet says, 'maakaaNikku egaamun' meaning, 'before you are taken to the maakaaNi for cremation'! Next two fractions is 'orumaa' or 1/64 and 'keezharai' or 1/128! Here the poet is using the meaning of 'orumaa' as the one mango tree; and 'keezharai' as the God who is residing under that one mango tree as 'keezh' = below and 'arai' = residing! To Him you pray to-day itself, 'inrodhu'! Read that para again to get the meaning clearly. You cannot but be flabbergasted and thrilled with awe and admiration for the poet who could compose that in a fraction of a second almost! Even now as I am telling you, after the passage of hundreds of years, the poem is fresh and lively! Through fractions of One, the poet takes us all to that 'One mango tree God', 'Ekamreswara'!
-----------------------------------
Having problem in logging into Google account-Ravi
Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

Friends,
An excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
'O Mother, I do not need to understand. Please give me love for Thy Lotus Feet.'
The aim of human life is to attain bhakti. As for other things, the Mother knows best. I have
come to the garden to eat mangoes. What is the use of my calculating the number of trees,
branches, and leaves? I only eat the mangoes; I don't need to know the number of trees and
leaves."
Namaska.

Subramanian. R said...

Dear Anpn., [Ravi?],

Thanks for the nice explanation of
KaaLamegam's poem. Maha Periyava's
explanation in Tamizh, how delightfull it might have been, I am just imagining. Your explanation in English, which is often quite difficult, has been done nicely. I have read the verse in one Tamizh stray verses collection. But to read in English is also an experience.

Subramanian. R said...

Talking about KaaLamegam, I am also reminded of Arunagiri Natha
of Tiruvannamalai. He was also a versatile Tamizh poet. There was a
betting between another poet [Sambandhaandan?] and Arunagiri Natha. One should give the meaning of another's verse within, say a minute. Then Arunagiri Natha reeled out Kandhar Andati, very difficult collection of 100 poems. It is Yamaga Andati, first word from each line would be the same, apart from the second verse starting from the end word of the first verse. The competitor was also a capable guy who was giving out meanings to every verse. But when Arunagiri came to Verse
54, he just looked dumb without being able to decipher anything! The whole verse is a variation of that consonant 'tha', with 'th'-the dotted consonant in Tamizh. I am just unable to render it in English.

There is a saying in Tamizh. Kalladam padikkathe, kandhar andati paadaathe. Do not read Kalladam, a grammar book in verse, and do not sing kandhar andaati.

This wonderful Kandhar Andati is available from SiRuvaapuri Muruagan Abhisheka Group,
52, Muthaiah Mudali II Steet, Royapettah, Chennai 600 014. Ph. 044-2847 4468. Price Rs 100 plus courier charges.

Subramanian. R said...

Upadesa Manjari - Spiritual Instruction:

Chapter III - Anubhava - Experience:

9. Is it possible to overcome, even while the body exists, the prarabdha karma which is said to last till the end of the body?

Yes. If the agent [doer] upon whom the karma depends, namely the ego, which has come into existence, between the body and the Self, merges into its Source, and loses its form, will the karma which depends upon it alone, survive? Therefore, when there is no 'I' there is no karma.

10. As the Self is existence and consciousness, what is the reason for describing it as different from the existent and the non existent, the sentient and the insentient?

Although the Self is real, as it comprises everything, it does not give room for questions, involving duality about its reality or unreality. Therefore it is said to be different from the real and the unreal. Similarly, even though it is consciousness, since there is nothng for it to know or to make itself known, it is said to be different from the sentient and the insentient.


****

Subramanian. R said...

Amritanubhava - Ambrosial Experience: Sant Jnaneswara:

Existence Knowledge and Bliss:

29. And that state of Chinmatra [Pure Consciousness alone] was attained through destruction of achit - insentient; how could the
state of Chinmatra be in the Chinmatra [in the absence of achit]?

30. There exists neither sleep nor feeling of waking in the fully awakened state; such is the condition of Chinmatra. What is the point in calling it chinmatra?

31. In a blissful conditon, there is verily no sorrow at all. What is the good of reckoning such bliss as bliss?

32. Therefore 'Sat' made exit along with 'asat'. Chit set along with achit. Sukha disappeared along with asuka. Thjen there remained nothing behind [but the Supreme].

33. Now putting aside the mantle of illusory differentiation and taking off the garment of distinction [veil of ignorance] it abides in the pristine state of bliss alone.

34. When one starts counting, counting as one involves another one taking the count. Therefore it [the Supreme] is one above the counting, exclusively one though not in numerical terms because it is one without a second.

[Cf. Sri Bhagavan's teaching]

35. Similarly one emerging out of happiness may become happy with that happiness. But the Supreme is happiness alone. Therefore, who else can experience that happiness?

{Only if there are two entities, enjoyer and happiness, the enjoyer can say that he has enjoyed happiness. In the case of the Supreme, He himself is happiness and there is no one else to enjoy it.]

Subramanian. R said...

Tirumandiram - Tirumular:

Tantra 7: 27 Pasu IlakkaNam - Nature of Jiva:

Verse 2005:

unnum aLavil uNarum oruvanai
pannu maRaigal payilum paramanai
ennuL irukkum iLaiya viLakkinai
anna mayam enRu aRinthu koNdene.

The One whom I in contemplation, realize,
The One Param, whom Vedas praise
The undying Light in me shines,
Him I beheld as divine swan.

[here the saint poet puns on the word annam which means food and also swan. The body is made up of food, but here the swan is realized, on contemplation]

annam iraNduLa aaRRang karaiyinil,
thunni iraNdum thunaip piriyaathannanth
thannilai annam thani onRathu enRakkaal
pinna mada annam peRaNugaathe.

Two the swans on the river bank [of life]
The two swans separation know not,
If one, Jiva, says he is by himself,
Then that foolish swan, Grace receiveth not.

{If Jiva does not realize the Siva within, he is bound to get doomed.]

***

Subramanian. R said...

Tirumandiram - Tirumular:

Tantra 7 : 29. Jiva.

Verse 2011:

meviya jeevan vadivathu sollidil
govin mayir onRu nooRudan kooRittu
meviya kooRathu aayiram aanaal
aaviyin kooRu nooRu aayirathu onRe.

To speak of the size of Jiva,
It is like this:
Split a cow's hair soft
Into a hundred tiny parts;
and each part into a thousand parts
divide;
The size of Jiva is that one part
Of the one hundred thousand.

[The Jiva is like aNu, an atom, why even smaller than atom. This is reflection of what Vedas say.]

Verse 2012:

enor perumaiyan aayinum emmiRai
oone siRumaiyin utkalanthu anguLan
vaanor aRiym aLavallan maa devan
thaane aRiyum tavathin aLave.

Infinite great is my Lord
Yet within the littleness of this body,
He dwells permeating;
He is the Lord Supreme
Whom the celestials cannot know;
As much as your tapas is
So much also is He known.

[Siva, though of infinite size, dwells in this little body. He is the Supreme Lord whom even the celestials cannot know. Only through tapas can He be realized.]

{Cf: Sri Bhagavan's teachings}

****

David Godman said...

Subramanian

Sambandhan was the poet who challenged Arunagirinatha to produce his ishta devata in the Arunachaleswara Temple. The competition you refer to was between Arunagirinatha and Villiputhurar. The winning verse, in English, says:

Bliss-bestowing Supreme One, praised by the Father Siva,
who protects us as he dances to the rhythm 'ta-da-ta-ta-ta-ti-ta',
by Brahma and by Vishnu, who ate the curd, relishing its sweetness,
and who reclines upon the serpent Adisesha
in the eternal roaring ocean!
Servant of the parrot-like Devayanai, who was reared
by the long-tusked elephant Aviravatham!
On that day, when fire consumes this body,
which brings in its wake birth, death and misfortune,
and which encloses like a sack
the bones and the other evil-filled bodily constituents,
my understanding, praising you, must seek your protection.

It's not much of a verse in English. The true joy of it, as you pointed out, is the Tamil original which manages to say all this with only one consonant.

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Bhagavan and Our Family:

M.V. Sabhapathy - continues....

When my mother finally told me, 'We are going to see Ummachi
Tata [grand father god], I felt extremely happy. My mind had for some time, been feeling the longing, 'When will I see in person that Tata who gave everything I wanted when I prayed standing before His photo? This news gave me limitless joy.

My elder brother, my cousin, and I went with my mother to Arunachala in December 1946. I was eleven years old at that time. It was seven in the monring when we reached Sri Bhagavan's presence and were greeted by a rare and wonderful scene. Sri Bhagavan was sitting on His sofa surrounded by a flood of light. We three children sat before Sri Bhagavan.
But my mother remained standing before Him. Sri Bhagavan looked at her once and then turned His attention elsewhere. Mother apparently could not stand this indifferene of Sri Bhagavan. She had come after a gap of eight or nine years, and for the first time after the demise of our father.

With tears streaming down her face, and in a faltering voice she asked, "O Bhagavan, don't you recognize me?"

Sri Bhagavan replied: "It is Parvatam, is it not? The attire and role have changed."*

{* Sri Bhagavan was referring to her widow's clothes and appearance because He had not seen her since the death of her husband]

Sri Bhagavan seemed to be saying this: "This world is a theatre and we are all acting different roles. Previously you were playing the part of a married woman. But now you have taken a different role."

Devaraja Mudaliar, who had been watching this exchange, asked Sri Bhagavan who my mother was.

Sri Bhagavan replied: "She is the wife of Madurai Venkatarama Iyer."

Sri Bhagavan then asked the librarian Rajagopal to look for several Asramam books so that He could search in them for my father's photo. Eventually He asked for the first edition of B.V. Narasimha Swami's Self Realization, and in that He located my father in one of the group photos. However, part of the head was missing.

When Sri Bhagavan saw that the face was only partially appearing in this photo, He remarked, "Look! The photographer has cut off Venkataraman's head!"

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Dear David,

Thank you very much for your English translation. It helps the
blog readers who do not know Tamizh to some extent. As you said, the beauty lies in the letter/word formation of the Tamizh verse. Arunagiri Natha is a terrible guy!

I once tried to give this Tamizh verse [anglicized] in Graham's blog and had to cancel the entire post because I miserably failed.

The benedictory verse is on ThiRai KoNda Vinayakar in the Eastern portal of Arunachalesara Temple, whom Guhai Namasivaya also prayed to in AruNagiri Maalai, benedictory verse. The commentator in Kandhar Andati says that it is this Vinayaka, who was sent by Siva, when one Mukilan, again a foreign invader, was troubling people of Tiruvannamalai. Vinayaka as a fierce elephant went into the barracks of this chieftain and destroyed it and Mukilan was asked to pay a tax every year to this Vinayaka. Guhai Namasivaya story calls this invader as
Agith.

Thanks once again.

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Ramana Corona:

A Crown of Sonnets - Alan Jacobs:

[8]

He cuts you free with His mighty sword,
To guide you surely, on the uypward way,
To Self Realization, your real birth day!
Consummation of 'That', the Sage's word.
Is 'rest in the Self', which is always heard.
In Him, place great trust, affirm and say 'yea
As certainty'! Our Real Self blazes away,
Ever surrendered to the almighty Lord,
Revealing great peace for Realization's sake,
Renouncing belief that a rope is a snake,
The seeker surely becomes 'the great find'.
His own blissful being, the summit in kind.
This great Teching eternally frees,
One with the Self, as the Absolute sees.

[contd.,]

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan and Our Family -
M.V. Sabhapathy - continues....

Sri Bhagavan then asked our mother where our house was, but before she had a chance to reply, I replied, with childish innocence, 'In the lane opposite to Central Cinema.'

Sri Bhagavan smiled and responded, 'Was there a cinema house in existence, when I came here [in 1896]?

My mother then explained to Sri Bhagavan, 'Our house is behind the house of Judge Venkatarama Iyer.

Immediately Sri Bhagavan replied, 'Oh! In that filthy lane,'

That remark was made almost 60 years ago, but even today, that same lane is full of garbage and cow dung.

Parvatam's visit was recorded in Day by Day with Bhagavan, January, 1st 1947:

An old lady, a brahmin widow, was talking to Sri Bhagavan in the Hall, recollecting various incidents, connected with her family and Sri Bhagavan's during Sri Bhagavan's stay in Virupaksha Cave and Skandasramam. Thereupon I [Devaraja Mudaliar] asked T.S.R. who the lady was. He said that she was the widow of one Mr. Venaktarama Iyer, of Madurai who stayed with Sri Bhagavan for a long time and was greatly attached to Sri Bhagavan. Thereupon, Sri Bhagavan asked me, 'Haven't you met him? His photo must be in our groups in the "Life". I said, "No." Then Sri Bhagavan asked T.S.R. to get a copy of the first edition of Self Realization by B.V.N., took out a group photo [Second Jayanti] and showed us the above Mr. Venkatarama Iyer, in that group.

During this visit my elder brother and I stayed in the Veda Patasala. When Sri Bhagavan returned from His trip to the toiler, we used to walk along with Him. On many of these occasions, He would touch my shoulders with His hands, ask my name and say three times, Sabhapathy, Sabhapathy, Sabhapathy.

Afterwards, He would sometimes add, 'They have named you after your grandfather.'

Keeping his lotus hands on my shoulder, He would then walk with me from the Patasala as far as the dining room. He would also do this with my elder brother Swaminathan and my cousin Padmavati. Even today, when I think of Sri Bhagavan's sparsa diksha, my hairs stand on end.

It also brinbs to mind verse 72 of Aksharamana Maalai;

Painkodiyai naan paRRu inRi vaadaamal
PaRRukodaai kaa arunachala.

Let me not like an unsupported creeper droop and fade. Be a strong staff for me, hold me up and guard me, O Arunachala!

Sri Bhagavan showed to me in this clear and obvious way that He will always remain as my support.

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Bhagavan and Our Family:

Once, while I was in Sri Bhagavan's Presence, I was reciting Ramana Dhyanam, a work written specifically for children by N.N. Rajan, a devotee of Sri Bhagavan. In the invocatory verse I incorrectly recited, 'Sri Ramanaya loka guruve... instead of 'loka guruve..' Sri Bhagavan twice corrected me, asking me to say, 'loka guruve...'

Each of the eighteen paragraphs ends, 'Blissful Mauna Ramaan, I prostrate to you; grace bestowing Ramana, I prostrate to you.' and so on. I prostrate at the end of each paragraph.

Sri Bhagavan remarked, 'A single prostration is enough' and then added, 'I have not so far heard anyone recite this work after memorizing it.'

On another occasion, I felt a strong desire to prostrate before Sri Bhagavan and touch His feet. When Sri Bhagavan entered the hall, that day to eat His meal, I suddenly prostrated to Him, touched His feet, and then put the palms of my hands on my eyes. As Sri Bhagavan was not expecting this, He started and began to fall backwards. Chinnaswami who was following Him, had to catch Him and support Him. Chinnaswami scolded me. Even today I feel guilty for the mistake I committed at that young age. However, Sri Bhagavan looked at me benevolently when I did it, and it appeared to me that He forgave my mistake.

One day, while we were all sitting in the Hall, Sri Bhagavan turned to my mother and asked, 'Venkataramn [her husband] was the eldest son. The next was Kittan [Krishnaswami]. Easwaran was the third. What is the name of the fourth?

Chandramouli - replied my motheer.

'I have not seen Chandramouli yet,' said Sri Bhagavan.

As soon as we returned to Madurai, my uncle Chandramouli, was informed of this conversation and he at once went to Arunachala and had Sri Bhagavan's darshan.

contd.,

Anonymous said...

R.Subramanian,
" Maha Periyava's
explanation in Tamizh, how delightfull it might have been, I am just imagining."
Yes,indeed.MahAperiyavA(The Great one)has a wonderful way of narrating these verses.
The Translation by Lt col KTSV Sarma of these talks is very good.I have made use of his posts that are available here:
http://advaitham.blogspot.com/2010/03/deivathin-kural-202-vol-3-dated-24-mar.html

The verse by arunagirinAthar is amazing-Truly he was blessed by Lord subhramanya.David's devotion to all literature associated with Arunachala and the saints of Arunachala is indeed exemplary-enjoyed the way he immediately produced the translation.

Namaskar.

Scott said...

http://satramana.org/html/the_timeless__spaceless__nondu.htm

Hanging out here, around the glorious sadguru Master I.M. Nome who teaches Inquiry in the manner taught by Sri Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, is by far the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced. One lesson, after another, and my real Being, blissfully revealed.

Ravi said...

Scott,
"One lesson, after another, and my real Being, blissfully revealed."
Good to see your mail.Wonder why Master Nome moves his eyes from one side to the other as if reading from something placed before him!May be he is addressing the listeners on either side,but then one will turn one's face towards them.
Wishing you the Very Best.
Namaskar.

Subramanian. R said...

Upadesa Manjari - Spiritual Instruction -

Chapter IV - Arudha - Attainment.

15. If it is experienced how is it experienced?

'Bondage' and 'liberation' are mere linguistic terms. They have no reality of their own. Therefore they cannt function of their own accord. It is necessary to accept the existence of some basic thing, of which they are the modifications. If one enquires, 'for whom is there bondage and liberation?' it will be seen, 'they are for me'. If one enquires, 'Who am I?', one will see that there is no such thing as the 'I'. It will then be as clear as an amalaka fruit in one's hand that what remains is one's real being. As this truth will be naturally and clearly experienced by those who leave aside mere verbal discussions and enquire into themselves inwardly, there is no doubt that all realized persons uniformly see neither bondage nor liberation so far as the true Self is concerned.

16. If truly there is neither bondage nor liberation what is the reason for the actual expeience of joys and sorrows?

They appear to be real only when one turns aside from one's real nature. They do not really exist.

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Ramana Corona:

A Crown of Sonnets - Alan Jacobs.

[9]

One with the Self, as the Absolute sees,
He answers all our prayers and our pleas;
We must first enter that dear sacred part,
Not the fleshy pump that throbs on the left,
But the sacred core; by being skilful and deft,
We find that on the right is the real Heart!
By harnessing breath, being adept and bright,
We dive with great skill and all of our might.
We dive with great skill and all of our might.
There dwelling in depths of our true heart's cave,
Lives the shining 'Unity' blazing as Self.
Pulsation of I-I, where all shadows cease.
So fixing gaze there, finally, oof we stave,
Perverted, wandering, demonic mind elf,
Returning to 'Self', our birthright of peace.

Subramanian. R said...

Amritanubhava - Ambrosial Experience: Sant Jnaneswara.

Existence, Knowledge and Bliss:

36. In the accompaniment of the beating of a drum, the goddess enters the body of her devotee, but if there is a drum only and no one else then, who will enter into whom?

[In temples, when the drums are beaten and proper rituals are performed, the deity of a temple is believed to enter the body of her sincere devotee and through him, she bestows boons to the supplicants. In Tamizh, they call it Swami eeRuthal, Swami aaduthal.]

37. In this way, [the Supreme] being itself happiness, it cannot experience happiness. However, on that count, it cannot be that it does not know happiness.

38. Without looking into the mirror, the face is neither in the front or at the back of it. It is at its own place, in one position. Just the same way, bliss is devoid of either happiness or sorrow.

39. The scintillating exposition of all the theories [propounded about the Supreme] has to be discarded like incoherent utterances in a dream. He dwells stealthily in himself and remains obscure.

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Amritanubhava - Ambrosial Experience: Sant Jnaneswara:

Existence, Knowledge and Bliss:

[Verse 40 to 52, how the Supreme exists without duality is described.]

40. The unplanted sugarcane alone knows the sweetness of its juice.

41. The sound of an unstruck lute which is inaudible has to become the hearer of itself.

42. Before honey is formed inside a flower, it has to become a bee.
[to enjoy it by sucking.]

43. Anyone else will not be capable of examining how sweet is the food which is not cooked.

44. In that way, the happiness which feels shy to come forward and enjoy its own happiness, how could anyone else be able to enjoy?

45. [Or] when the moon is in the sky at noon time, the existence of moon light can be known only by moon itself.

46. Beauty when there is no form, youth in the absence of a body and meritorious deed without commencement of action, like these, the Supreme exists.

47. Like the sexual intoxication appearing before the mind comes into being [the unmanifest Supreme happens to assume manifested form.]

48. The music alone can disucss about music so long as the world of various musical instruments are not born.

49. Or as the fire after its contact with firewood ceases [ie. when it burns the entire firewood] keeps contact with its body only [such is the case of with the Supreme.]

50. Those who can enjoy the beauty of their face wihtout the aid of the mirror can alone realize the secrets of the self evident Supreme.

51. This explanation is simple enough to understand; having a crop without sowing means it is already stored in a cornbin.

52. So there exists nothing neither common nor uncommon in the Supreme. It ever enjoys itself alone.

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan and Our Family:

M.V. Sabhapathy:

continues...

Years later, when he [Chandramouli, author's uncle] was in the final moments of his life, he reached Sri Bhagavan's feet listening to Akshramana Maalai.
I am reminded of a line from verse
22 of Aksharamana Maalai: 'Great is your fame as a giver of gifts unasked..'

KeeLathu aLikkum un kedil pugazhai
Kedu seyyathu aruL arunachala.

What more evidence is needed to prove that our whole family was taken over by His grace?

Sri Bhagavan bestowed on our whole family the state in which we remain totally dependent on him for everything. Because of this we endured everything while always remembering Him. Out whole life has been a wonder of Sri Bhagavan's grace. All the time, in the past as well as in the present, He is helping us. Except by the support of the power of the grace of Sri Bhagavan, how else would it have been possible for us -- we lost our father in 1939 and who were then in the very difficult circumstances -- to be protected, taken care of, and placed in good circumstances?

When I started my career in the late 1950s, I was initially in an outdoor job in the Railways. However, when I developed health problems, I had to take a desk job for thirteen years. I was worried that this switch would make me lose all my promotion prospects. At an exam for a gazetted post. Sri Bhagavan Himself appeared before my exam paper and dictated the answers, which I wrote down. To my astonishment I was one of the twelve who passed the exam. Thus Sri Bhagavan gave me all promotions that were due to me, and even enabled me to spend my working life in Madurai itself, without being transferred anywhere else. How can I describe this grace of Sri Bhagavan?

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan and Our Family:

M.V. Sabhapathy:

continues...

On our 1946 trip to see Sri Bhagavan, we also went to see Muruganar who was then living in a hut in Palakottu. We went several times and on each occasion he gae us dates and sugar candy. Many years later, in 1960, I went to see him again after a gap of 14 years. At that time, he was staying in T.N.K.'s house, which was near the Asramam. Seeing someone cleaning his dentures, I asked, "I have come to see Muruganar Swami. Where is he?"

The man replied: "You are lookikng at him now!"
I felt rather foolish.

As soon as we went inside, he began to tell me about my father and mother. Afterwards, for about half an hour, he explained Sri Bhagavan's teaching in fluent and flowing English. During our meeting I expreseed regret that I had not been able to appreciate Sri Bhagavan's greatness nor understand His teachingts, since I had only had His darshna at a very young age.

Muruganar responded by saying, "Suppose there is a huge and fiery flame. Irrespective of whether one is young or old, whosoever goes near it will be affected identically by the heat. Proximity to Sri Bhagavan will not leave us without first making us mature. It will, without fail, reveal the Truth to you at the appropriate time."

The last time I saw Muruganar Swami was when I went to visit the Asramam on a later visit with my brother M.V. Ramanachalam. At that time, Muruganar Swami was staying in the Asramam dispenseary. When we attempted to prostrate to him, he withdrew his legs, saying, "No need to do namaskaram to a human."

Then, speaking about the greatness of Sri Bhagavan, he told us, "Bhagavan and Arunachala are not different. They are one and the same."

This was his final upadesa to us. A month after our meeting, he merged into the feet of Sri Bhagavan.

concluded.

*

Malai marunthida nee malaithidavo aruL,
Malai marunthaai oLir Arunachala!
- AAMM - 76
Malai = Hill = Arunachala = Sri Bhagavan.

*

Darsanath aha samharine namah:

-- Sri Ramana Ashtottaram.

Upon darsan, you will vanquish. It applies to both Sri Bhagavan's [Presence] and the Hill.

*

Anjalithidum anbar thunbam
Ozhikkum jnana vidhaayhan.

Those devotees who pray to Him, the Jnana Agni,
their tribulations will be dissolved.

-- Sri Ramana Sadguru, Verse 9.

*

concluded.

Subramanian. R said...

The Unique Authority of Guru Vachaka Kovai in Ramana Literature:
[Taken from David Godman's article, Bhagavan's Role in Guru Vachaka Kovai, MP - Oct.Dec. 2007]

Guru Vachaka Kovai contains the largest collection of Sri Bhagavan's teachings that was checked and revised by Sri Bhagavan Himself during His lifetime. There are other records of His conversations - Sri Ramana Gita, Maharshi's Gospel, the talks that preceded Sad Darsana Bhashya -that Sri Bhagavan went through and edited in some way, but if one adds all these other checked and revised texts together, their total stil falls short of the volume of material that appears in Guru Vachaka Kovai. Sri Bhagavan was shown the manuscripts that ended up as Day by Day with Bhagavan, Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, but He never went through them, pen in hand, as He did with Guru Vachaka Kovai, revising the contents to make sure that they conformed to His teachings.

In addition to the sheer volume of the text and the philosophical breadth of its coverage, it is impoprtant to note that these Guru Vachaka Kovai teachings were recorded in Tamizh, the language in which they were originally spoken by Sri Bhagavan. It is an astonishing and little appreciated fact that while Sri Bhagavan usually spoke Tamizh when He answered philosophical questions, virtually all of the people, with the exception of Muruganar, who recorded what He said chose to record His statements in some other language. Maharshi's Gospel and Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, for example, were first published in English, and the Tamizh edition that currently exists, are translations of these English texts, not original Tamizh renderings of the conversations. It was Muruganar alone, who succeeded not only recording, a massive corpus of teachings in Tamizh, but also inspiring Sri Bhagavan to check, revise, and completely rewrite the verses.


contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Bhagavan's Role in Guru Vachaka Kovai:

The Unique Authority of Guru Vachaka Kovai in the Ramana Literature:

continues...

In an essay he wrote on Muruganar, Sadhu Om made the following remarks about the pre-eminent place of Guru Vachaka Kovai in the Ramana Literature:

...if anyone wants a single text of Sri Bhagavan's teachings in which clear explanations of all the various secrets of spiritual wisdom that should be known by the world are gathered together, that one text is Guru Vachaka Kovai...

....If we want to verify what the correct teaching of Sri Bhagavan s on any particular subject, the answer will be available in ULLadu Narpadu, Upadesa Undiyar or Guru Vachaka Kovai. Therefore, these three works are the true Sri Ramana Prasthanatraya [the three fundamental texts of Sri Ramana's divine revelation.] and they are indeed a prasadam [blessed gift] of His grace which the world has receivefd through the agency of Sri Muruganar."

[Ramana's Muruganar]

This idea, first articulated by Sadhu Om, that Guru Vachaka Kovai is a component of the Sri Ramana
Prasthanatrya was endorsed by both Prof. K. Swaminathan* and by Sri T.N. Venkataraman, the former President of Sri Ramanasramam, in his introduction to Prof. K. Swaminathan's translation of Guru Vachaka Kovai.**

[* Ramana's Muruganar.
** The Garland of Guru's Sayings. H. Vaidynathan in his brief article on Guru Vachaka Kovai in Ramana's Muruganar makes the same claim.]

The highest and most authoritative endorsement of the book comes from Bhagavan Himself. As I mentioned
earlier, in the article, He rewrote verse 13 in such a way that it declared Guru Vachaka Kovai to be a pre eminent scripture, or a supreme treasure, and Hed made a significant alternation to a sentence in the introduction that either emphasized the greatness or the uniqueness of the work.
[13]
'...this work alone has come into existence to explain in great detail and in a pristine form Sri Raman's philosophy and its essential nature.'
Tamizh Verse
Guruvarthai chiRchilavor kovaiyak kothup
Paramarthamaahap paharnthaan - saruvartha
VaNNamum avvaaNdaan vaLar kazhale yaaha varut
KaNNiniR KaaN KaNNa murugan.


concluded.

Subramanian. R said...

Tirumandiram - Tirumular:

Tantra 4:

Verse 951:

akara ukara chikara naduvaai
vakaramodaaRum vaLiyudan koodich
chikara mudane sivan chinthai seyya
Okara mudhalvan uvanthu ninRaane.

Three ways of Chanting Panchakshra:

With "A" and "U" to commence,
And 'Si" in centre
That is as Om Na Ma Si Va Ya.

With "A" and "U" to commence,
And 'Va" and rest aspirating in breath regulated,
That is as Om Va Si Ya Na Ma,
With "A" and "U" to commence,
And "Si" and rest in order following,
That is Na Ma Si Va Ya Na Ma
As you thus chant,
The Primal Lord of OM appears
Rejoicing.

Namasivaya is called Sthoola Panchaksharam. Sivaya Nama is called Sukshma Panchaksharam.
Vasiyanama is called Sakti Ruby.

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Tirumandiram - Tirumular:

We have seen Tattuvaraya speaking
about a unfit guru and a fit guru.

KaNNudaiya VaLLalar has also spoken about these two categories of gurus in Ozhivil Odukkam.

Tirumular also speaks about it, in Tantra 7:

Chapter 34: Asadguru's ways:

Verse 2044:

uNarvonRila mootan uNmai oraathaan
kaNuvinRi vedagama neRi kaaNaan
paNivonRilaathaan para nindhai seiyvon
ANuvin kuNathon asadguru vaame.

A fool he is,
Wisdom none he has
Truth he has realized not;
Versed is he not in the way
of Vedas and Agamas;
Humility he has none
of God he speaks ill
worldly life is his sole concern;
He, verily is the Guru unholy.

There are five verses in this style.

Ch.25 speaks about Sadguru:

Verse 2050:

thaviravait thaan vinai thannadiyar koL
thavirvaithaan sirathodu than padam
thaviraviathaan naman thoodhuvar koottam
thaviravaithaan piRavith thuyar thaane.

From their karmas he extricated his disciples,
Blessing them with his feet on their head,
He drove away their evil stars
The messengers of Death
He kept at bay from them
The miseries of unending birth
He ended for them.

Verse 2055:

thaane yena ninRa sadguru sannidhi
thaane yena ninRa thanmai veLippadil
thaane thanaipeRa vendum chatur peRa
Ooneyen ninainthornthu koL unnile.

The holy Guru
As Siva Himself stands;
In His presence
Jiva, his self realization attains
If you, your self realization seek,
Think of him, within,
As Siva in fleshy body.

***

Subramanian. R said...

Maha Puja - 26.5.2011.

Today is Maha Puja Day, the day of liberation for Mother Azhagamma, Sri Bhagavan's Mother. She merged with Arunachala on Krishna Paksha Navami of Vaikasi in 1922.

She came to Him for the first time in 1898, Christmas holidays. Sri
Bhagavan did not even want to speak to her. Then due to pursuing of devotees, He wrote down the famous sentences describing saranagati, total surrender to godhead. Her next visit was possible in after 15 long years i.e. in 1913. Again she came in 1914. Only in this visit, she fell sick and Sri Bhagavan wrote the famous request to Arunachala to save Her from the cruel hands of death. The Kalakala, the Death to death, saved Her. In 1916, she came for good to Virupaksha Cave. The probationary period of 6 years helped her to shove off all the old customs, habits and prepared her only for mukti. This was conferred to Her by Her son, on the night of May, 19. 1922. In the six years in between, on one occasion, She was the cause behind the famous Appalam Song.

Subramanian. R said...

Maha Puja - 26.5.2011:

Someone asked me: If a Brahma Jnani
as per scriptures, can give moksha for 30 generations before him and thirty generations after him, why Sri Bhagavan had to make special efforts in the case of Mother Azhagamma?

The answer could be: Sri Bhagavan
always said that one should attain moksha by one's own effort. The transferred gift of someone is not acceptable to Him. So, though He helped Her towards the final hours, He made Her to attain moksha, after quickly going through the vasanas like a fast moving film and then subside into a vasana free state in Heart.

Subramanian. R said...

Maha Puja - 26.5.2011:

The mortal remains of Mother were placed in a Samadhi, that was constructed as per Tirumular's Tirumandiram. Sri Bhagavan also poured vibhuti and camphor like any
other devotee and the Matrubhuteswara Lingam was installed. The name Matrubhuteswara was selected by Kavyakanta Ganapati
Muni. He also composed Arymba Shatkam in Sanskrit on Mother. Kavyakanta also prepared the Sri Chakra in the presence of Sri Bhagavan which wads also installed near the Lingam.

When the 48 day puja called Mandala Puja was completed, on that final day, Sri Bhagavan found moisture on the ground, a little away from the Samadhi and when the devotees dug that place, the famous Azhagamma Tirtham [the well] came into existence. Kavyakanta called it Agasamana Tirtham, the holy waters which cause subsidence mind into the Self.

Sri Bhagavan settled down permanently in that place, that is the present Asramam, in December 1922.

Subramanian. R said...

Maha Puja - 26.5.2011:

The Samadhi Temple work started only in September 1939. It took 17 years to start off the construction, since
Sri Bhagavan did not permit receipt of any donations. Amounts in small value slowly poured in voluntarily.
From 1939, it took another 10 years to complete the temple. The Maha Kumbabhishekam was done on Thursday, March, 17, 1949.

A three dimensional Sri Chakra called Sri Chakra Meru, was also installed on this occasion. The temple construction was done by Sri Vaidyanatha Sthapati and his assistants. The mind stopping Sri Dakshinamurty to the right of Lingam is another special attraction. Lakshmi, Durga and Navagraha were also sculpted and kept in the temple, typical of a Siva temple. Nataraja and Sivakama Sundari came later.

The then Sankaracharya of Puri attended the function. Sri Bhagavan with His failing health was supervising every work.

Several thousands attended the Maha Kumbabhishekam.

On every Maha Puja day, that is today, special pujas including Sri Chakra Puja are conducted.

David Godman said...

It was a not a lack of funding that held up the beginning of the Mother's shrine. It was getting Bhagavan's permission to start, and also getting some indication from him about the kind of construction that should be done.

In Living by the Words of Bhagavan Annamalai Swami reported that Chinnaswami asked him to seek out Bhagavan's views on this topic. Once it became clear that Bhagavan was in favour of a large construction, and that work could begin immediately, the work started.

Prior to this intervention there had been discussions in the ashram about whether a large temple building would be an effective use of the ashram's limited resources. Krishnamurti Iyer has reported that there was a group of devotees who wanted to buy lands with the ashram's funds instead so that the ashram's food supply could be better organised. Bhagavan's direct intervention in the matter resolved the issue for all the devotees.

Subramanian. R said...

Dear David,

Thank you very much for clarification in the matter. We are not even able to correctly say about even things that had happened less than 100 years ago. I wonder how poets and saints wrote Puranas and Sthalapuranas.

Subramanian. R said...

Maha Puja - 26.5.2011:

Sri Bhagavan trained slowly but effectively His Mother, to jettison the age old acharams and brahminical customs, to prepare Her for total surrender or self inquiry. He used to make fun of Her: Amma, today only onions and drumsticks have come for preparing meals. Will you not be caught amidst drumstick forest and onion hill, in case you eat them, on your way to liberation? He advised her any food is okay if it is sattvic and is in moderate quantity.

Similarly about caste consciousness. Once a dry grass gatherer, an old man, obviously a non brahmin had come in front of the Skandasramam terribly tired and hungry. Sri Bhagavan asked Mother to fetch him some food. I think Kunju Swami was there. He told him to tell Mother. Mother had not then eaten as yet. Kunju Swami was also reluctant to ask Her. Sri Bhagavan understood and then asked Mother to come. He said: Amma, whom do you think, is he? He is Arunachala Swarupam. Amma understood. When Desikan showed 'That' the disciple understood that "it is That which is me." She immediately brought the food to the old man.

Then there is the famous Appalam Song incident. While Amma was preparing papads, the Son was composing a wonderful poem on the technique of self inquiry.

Amma once had a vision of Sri Bhagavan as Siva with garlands of serpents around his neck, shoulders and wrists.

Each such incident made her to improve her devotion which blossomed into surrender.

Subramanian. R said...

Maha Puja - 26.5.2011

Mother in Her Skandasraam days, was very fond of Ramanatha Brahmachari. Ramanatha, was a Veda Patasala student in the Big Temple. He would gladly do all odd jobs for Mother.
Mother Azhamma used to have the kal-chatti, a vessel made of pumice stone, washed and cleaned everyday by Ramanatha. Ramanatha Brahmachari used to take a long take time, in cleaning it again and again, so that it would be very clean pure. Mother used to ask him, now and then, Ramanatha, Ramanatha... Ramanatha used to answer: coming, coming, it is ready, coming, coming...

Sri Bhagavan was observing this and one day He said, "I have been listening to this dual music everyday. You will keep on reminding, and he will keep on taking more time. I think one day, that Kalchatti would become so thin and simply disappear in the thin air!"

Ramanatha was the pet son of Mother Azhagamma.

Subramanian. R said...

Maha Puja - 26.5.2011

Desur Akhilandamma had also a special relationship with Mother in
Skandasramam days. She used to bring
a variety of greens to Mother for preparing curries. After sometime,
Sri Bhagavan guessed that Mother had been asking everyday for some specific varieties of greens. This He did not like. Once He found Akhilandamma bringing in some greens hidden in her saree and then placing them near a bush. She instructed quietly Ramanatha to take them in. After a few minutes, when she entered the Skandasramam, Sri Bhagavan asked Akhilandamma: enna? [what?] Has Amma asked you to bring some specific greens? Akhilandamma said: No. I only brought them. Sri Bhagavan said: No, no, Amma will also ask for them, sometimes, I know.

Who can hide anything to Arunachala Ramana? When a person sees Him, He reads his entire life.

Subramanian. R said...

Maha Puja - 36.5.2011:

After the demise of Nellaiappa Iyer,
[brother in law] and Managalam, [daughter-in-law], Mother Azhagamma came to Tiruvannamalai, in 1916, to place a request to Sri Bhagavan, for staying permanently with Him. She was for sometime staying with Echammal and came for darsan of Sri Bhagavan everyday.

When she proposed to stay in Virupaksha Cave along with Sri Bhagavan, Sri Bhagavan's assistants and devotees objected to it. Further since old women like Echammal, Mudaliar Patti and others are not staying, if Mother proposed to stay, then everyone would ask for stay with Him.

When finally the devotees told Sri Bhagavan to accept Mother's proposal, the devotees were thinking that Sri Bhagavan would refuse. Sri Bhagavan, however, acted differently. He accepted Mother's stay with Him and further held her hands and said: In case it is not acceptable to others, let us both go somewhere else in the Hill and stay. The devotees were happy and prostrated to Sri Bhagavan and said: "This is our real intention also. Let Mother come and we all welcome her."

This is how Mother came to stay with Sri Bhagavan. Soon, hot hot meals were cooked and served to all who stayed with Him! The devotees and Sri Bhagavan who were hitherto eating only cold rice etc., were given this opportunity to eat hot food.

The cooking started by Mother continues even today. She is the Annapoorani, the food giving Mother even today. The fire in Asramam is still continuing, the fire for preparing hot meals, breakfast, tea and coffee everyday.

Subramanian. R said...

Maha Puja - 26.5.2011:

In Virupaksha Cave, water became scarce soon and Mother could not take her bath with sufficient water.
Sri Bhagavan used to go further up the Hill to a spring and brought two large water bowls full of water and practically did abhishekam for Mother. However soon they moved to Skandasramam.

*

Sri Bhagavan used to go to Kavyakanta at 10 am every morning. Many times, Kavyakanta asked Sri Bhagavan to take food with him. However Sri Bhagavan told: Mother will be waiting for me. If I take food here, she may not even eat any food for the day. Let me go.

*

Once one Sabhapathy Swami one of the assistants gave his dhoti to one poor man in the Hill. He came and asked Mother whether he can have another dhoti. Where can
Mother go for dhoti. Her son is a coupinadhari. So she tore a portin from her saree and gave that to Sabhapathy Swami.

*

Everyday started with Mother singing Vedanta songs in the early morning. She knew the songs of Avudai Akka and she used to sing nicely.

*

On the day of arrival of Kunju Swami, one Annamalai Swami had passed away. Mother was crying as if she had lost her son. Sri Bhagavan said: Why are you crying? One another son has come to you!

Subramanian. R said...

Maha Puja - 26.5.2011:

Mother's Videha Kaivalyam:

Kunju Swami gives a detailed account of that day in his Ninavil NiRavai
or Living with the Master.

Sri Bhagavan's Mother became very ill soon after my arrival. She was
bedridden. Niranjananada Swami used to wash her clothes. I too had the good fortune of washing her clothes. Despite medicines, her health, instead of improving, deteriorated.

Since the morning of 19th May, 1922, her condition became critical. She was lying in the room south of where Sri Bhagavan stayed. After His morning walk, Sri Bhagavan went into Mother's room and sat beside her. He ate his lunch there itself and was siting beside her all the time. When He noticed her struggling for breath, He put His right hand on her chest. She became a little restful after a while. The time of Mother's liberation was drawing near. Sri Bhagavan put one of His hands on her head and another on her chest and sat quietly. Considering the seriousness of the situation, it was felt that supper should be served at 6.00 pm. and Sri Bhagavan too was invited to eat. Sri Bhagavan asked others to eat, saying He would eat later. Niranjananda Swami, Ramakrishna Swami and I stayed with Sri Bhagavan, Others finished their supper. Kavyakanta Ganapati Muni was sitting near by. Raju Sastri, Vaidyanatha Sastri, Sundaresa Sastri started chanting Vedas. Saranagati Ramaswamy Iyer, a Punjabi devotee and a few others
did Rama Japa. We who were near Sri Bhagavan started reciting Akshara Mana Maalai. At eight [?] in the night Mother attained Videha Kaivalyam

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Maha Puja - 26.5.2011:

continues...

Sri Bhagavan sat silently for a while and then rose. Mother's mortal remains was draped in a new sari. We applied vibhuti in her forehead. garlanded her and sat her in the verandah of Skandasramam. When these things had been done, Sri Bhagavan said: Let us eat now, and sat down to eat. Where is the pollution or sorrow for a realized soul. We also sat down and ate.

It was decided to bury the body at the foot of the Hill, since it is prohibited to cremate or bury a body on the Hill. It was also decided to go down to the foot of the Hill before 5 am. to avoid inconvenience to the devotees. Nayana and others left, promising to meet us at Pali Tirtham at 5 am. The next morning, Perumal Swami, Ramakrishna Swami and others went down to the town to collect the necessary materials.

Sri Bhagavan sat beside Mother's body and asked us to recite Tiruvachakam. Sri Bhagavan read some parts and we read the others. Sri Bhagavan would correct us if we made mistakes.

It was over by 4 am. Accidentally we had collected some bamboos about a few days back and this was used to carry Mother's mortal remains.

Since a telegram was sent to Alamelu, Sri Bhagavan's sister, it was expected that she and her family and other devotees would
arrive at Skandasramam. I was asked to bring them to Pali Tirtham.

Mother's mortal remains were placed near a big peepul tree, on the bank of the tank. Soon Alamelu, her husband Pitchu Iyer and a few devotees had arrived. Hundreds of devotees from town also came a little later.

The Samadhi work was being done according to the instructions of Tirumular in Tirumandiram.

The abhishekam, with milk, curd and coconut milk started and when it was over, the mortal remains were taken to the place of burial. Sacred ash and sacred grass were put inside the pit and Mother's mortal remains were lowered. Sri Bhagavan and a few others also put in a handful of sacred ash and camphor. It was then covered with a stone slab and on top of it was placed a Siva Lingam.

contd.,

Subramanian. R said...

Maha Puja - 26.5.2011:

continues...

At Palakottu, about 100 people were fed on the Samadhi day celebrations. For the 10th day celebrations, we all came and stayed in Palakottu previous night. Alamelu Ammal had prepared nice Tiruchuzhi dosais for our night supper. For the morning after the functions were over, Iyengar of Kumbakonam and others under the supervision of Chatram Narayana Swami Iyer, elaborate food arrangement had made and about 1000 people were fed on that day.

Till 40th day, daily puja and naivedya were offered to the Samadhi Lingam.

Soon from the moisture found by Sri Bhagavan somewhere near the Samdahi, a pit was formed and thus came the well and waters of this
well are used even today for abhisheka of Matrubhuteswara Lingam, [and later to Sri Ramaneswara Maha Lingam.

concluded.

Avvai pol enakku un aruLaith thanthu enai
AaLuvathu un kadan arunachala!

[Sri AAMM, Verse 14]

Like a good Mother, You are bound in duty to bestow Your grace on me and govern me, O Arunachala.

Sri Ramanarpanamastu.

Peter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter said...

extracted from "Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi"

The Master quoted again from the same book: “Continuous search for what the mind is results in its disappearance. That is the straight path.” (201)

M.: Investigate the mind; it will disappear. (207)

D.: How to obtain equanimity or peace or equilibrium of mind? What is the best way?
M.: Investigate the mind. It is eliminated and you remain over. (208)

Ravi said...

Peter/Friends,
An excerpt from 'The Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi':
"M.: The mind is by nature restless. Begin liberating it from its
restlessness; give it peace; make it free from distractions; train
it to look inward; make this a habit. This is done by ignoring the
external world and removing the obstacles to peace of mind.
D.: How is restlessness removed from the mind?
M.: External contacts - contacts with objects other than itself - make the
mind restless. Loss of interest in non-Self, (vairagya) is the first step.
Then the habits of introspection and concentration follow. They are
characterised by control of external senses, internal faculties, etc.
(sama, dama, etc.) ending in samadhi (undistracted mind).
Talk 27.
D.: How are they practised?
M.: An examination of the ephemeral nature of external phenomena
leads to vairagya. Hence enquiry (vichara) is the first and foremost
step to be taken. When vichara continues automatically, it results
in a contempt for wealth, fame, ease, pleasure, etc. The ‘I’ thought
becomes clearer for inspection. The source of ‘I’ is the Heart - the
final goal. If, however, the aspirant is not temperamentally suited
to Vichara Marga (to the introspective analytical method), he
must develop bhakti (devotion) to an ideal - may be God, Guru,
humanity in general, ethical laws, or even the idea of beauty. When
27
Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
one of these takes possession of the individual, other attachments
grow weaker, i.e., dispassion (vairagya) develops. Attachment for
the ideal simultaneously grows and finally holds the field. Thus
ekagrata (concentration) grows simultaneously and imperceptibly
- with or without visions and direct aids.
In the absence of enquiry and devotion, the natural sedative
pranayama (breath regulation) may be tried. This is known as
Yoga Marga. If life is imperilled the whole interest centres round
the one point, the saving of life. If the breath is held the mind
cannot afford to (and does not) jump at its pets - external objects.
Thus there is rest for the mind so long as the breath is held. All
attention being turned on breath or its regulation, other interests are
lost. Again, passions are attended with irregular breathing, whereas
calm and happiness are attended with slow and regular breathing.
Paroxysm of joy is in fact as painful as one of pain, and both are accompanied by ruffled breaths. Real peace is happiness. Pleasures do not form happiness. The mind improves by practice and becomes finer just as the razor’s edge is sharpened by stropping. The mind is then better able to tackle internal or external problems. If an aspirant be unsuited temperamentally for the first two methods and circumstantially (on account of age) for the third method,he must try the Karma Marga (doing good deeds, for example,
social service). His nobler instincts become more evident and he derives impersonal pleasure. His smaller self is less assertive and has a chance of expanding its good side. The man becomes duly
equipped for one of the three aforesaid paths. His intuition may
also develop directly by this single method."
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt from Swami Vivekananda's Raja Yoga:
"Each soul is potentially divine.
The goal is to manifest this Divinity within by controlling nature, external
and internal.
Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy -- by
one, or more, or all of these -- and be free.
This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or
temples, or forms, are but secondary details."
Namaskar.

hey jude said...

Devotee:

Oh , how great these people are.
How fortunate they are to be so learned and to have
such deep understanding so as to be able to discuss
with our Bhagavan.
Compared with them, what am I,
a zero in scriptural learning ?

Bhagavan :

(reading the devotee's thoughts)

What ? This is only the husk!
All this book learning and capacity to repeat the scriptures
by memory is absolutely no use.
To know the truth you need not undergo all this torture
of learning.
Not by reading do you get the truth.
BE QUIET , that is truth ..
BE STILL , that is God.

janice power said...

I AM....very grateful that the time has been taken out to put all of this info on here, those who are being sent the calling of their own truth will find these writings, many of those do not have money to pay for help, many spiritual teachers charge way to much money, for is is all self helping itself, I love all of this for all of this is who I AM...om shanti ~janice

Subramanian. R said...

A visit to Chennai for 3 days:

I and my wife had been to Chennai to attend my niece's wedding. The wedding was conducted nicely and the food was very rich for three days. But the problem was that I had to get on with a lot of "insiders" and I was a lone "outsider", to use Colin Wilson's phrases. All the people were talking about dress, jewels, food, temperature in Chennai, 'what is your pension?', how is Jayalita's rule etc., etc., I found uncomfortable on the second day, the wedding day and Im quietly pushed off to Ramana Kendra, after lunch. Ramana Kendra is now near Sai Baba Temple, somewhere in Alamelumanga Puram. About ten people were chanting Arunachala Aksharamana Maalai. It was an experience by itself. I did my Namaskarams to Sri Bhagavan and applied generously the Vibhuti and Kumkum. They gave me, a special gift of a plantain submitted for puja that evening. Then an old man was kind enough to open the glass doors and ask me to take any books that I want. I thought I should buy one book which is not with me. I could get hold of a small book in Tamizh - Trisulapura Maahatmyam, done by Viswanatha Swami by collecting from various Sanskrit books and scriptures. I also bought Tamizh translation of Sri Ramanarum Anmika Pathaiyum by La.Su. Rangarajan. This is only a Tamizh translation of Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self Knowledge by Arthur Osborne. When I returned from Ramana Kendra, I felt quite happy and it was a good antidote for all the crap I had to listen from hundreds of guests in the wedding hall. On another evening, I had been to West Mamabalam to buy some books. But it was Sunday and the famous Bhavani Book Centre was closed. Another small book shop was open and I bought Sri Arunachaleswara Sahasranamam, a rare booklet.

Subramanian. R said...

Trisulapura Maahatmyam: Tamizh:
Viswanatha Swami.

1. Viswantha Swami had talked in detail to one Deivachigamani Bhattar and got elaborate notes
from him and then had written the book in Tamizh.

2. It had been reprinted only once
in 1996, and sold at Rs. 15.00

3. The story goes as Sri Suta Maharshi telling other sages.

4. The small town is called Trichulapuram, Tiruchuzhial, Avarthapuram, Bhuvaneswaram, KaaLichvaram.

5. As in Tiruvannalai girivalam route, there are also 8 Lingams around the town in eight directions.

6. The sthala vruksham is both Peepul tree and Magizha tree.
[Incidentally, for Arunachaleswara Temple, the sthala vruksham is Magizha tree.]

7. Sages like Gautama, Goundinya, Vasishta had prayed to Siva, Sri Dhanunatha or Sri Tirumeni Natha.

8. When the waters of deluge was sucked in into the pit made out of trident by Siva, the waters became a tirtham or tank. Sri Bhagavan had given details about this story to devotees. The Goundinya river is also known for its greatness in cleaning up the sins of the devotees who take bath in that river. It is therefore called Papahari.

9. There is also a tirtham called Ganva Tirtham. It was made by Sage Vamadeva. Another tirtham called Koti Tirtham and this was made by Arjuna. There are two more tirthams called Brahma Tirtham and Trilochana Tirtham.

10. There is one Pannaga Giri near Tiruchuzhi. Pannaga means serpent. When a Chozha King invoked abichara [black magic], a huge fire came up like a thousand headed serpent and this was directed to Pandya king as the two kings were fighting wars without end. Pandya became incapacitated due to this sudden and dangerous onslaught and so prayed to Siva. Siva used his Pinaka bow and killed it and made it into a mountain.

Very interesting informations about Tiruchuzhi!

Subramanian. R said...

Osho's stories:

[from Joy - The Happiness that comes from within.]

The pilot of a new jet plane was winging over the Catskills and pointed out a pleasant valley to his second in command. 'See that spot?' he demanded. 'When I was a barefoot kid, I used to sit in a flat bottomed rowboat there, fishing. Everytime, a plance flew by, I would look up and dream I was a piloting it. Now I look down and dream I am fishing.'

That's how it goes, on and on. We desire things that we do not have. Even after reaching heavens, gods compete with each other to become more powerful.

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Ramana Corona -
A Crown of Sonnets: Alan Jacobs:

[10]

Returning to 'Self', our birthright of peace,
Is knowing that all this vile body performs,
Was predestined before it ever took form.
So from stress, despair and fretting, please cease!
Our freedom dwells in our natural state,
Renouncihng the 'I am the Doer' notion,
Detached from fruit of form's puppet motion,
Yet grace can avert even predestined fate!
Be like a skilled action on this stage of strife!
Play with goodwill the part you've been given,
No matter how strangely you find you are driven,
Knowing who, truly you are, in this life,
Until fate pulls down the final curtain,
Know you're Self not body, know that it is certain!

Subramanian. R said...

Pradakshina With The King:

A Poem, by Ana Callam: MP: Jan. Mar. 2010:

*

For a while Rama let me be his walking stick
as he moved around his sacred hill,
O god, he could lean on me so beautifully
and he did, each step of his a miraculous
rhythm to which my being turned and
when he sat, I tilted back and watched
the sky nourishing its clouds, his
palm all the while upon my head,
which in his care had become
a crown of jewels and lotuses, rising up to Heaven's crest
above us and raining softly
down on man and wood
and mountain all of it God's bounty,
offered from His One Heart,
out of which all i' had
been carved, and hewn now to bark and dust,
a bent branch hollowed
just enough to be allowed
to carry him, gleamikng
and hallowed by his handsome
and O unspeakably tender hand,

*

Peter said...

“All the people were talking about dress, jewels, food, temperature”

For most of my life I’ve found very little to say in social situations, in fact the chit-chat has often pained me
In recent years I’ve become increasingly solitary ………….what a joy to just sit quietly

Subramanian. R said...

Amritanubhava - Ambrosial Experience: Sant Jnaneswara:

Existence, Knowledge and Bliss:

57. Here the thinking faculty by
sacrificing itself proved faithfully to the established conclusions, as a valiant soldier
dodes by giving up his life when his master is in danger.

58. The faculty of understanding [in trying to know the Supreme] feeling ashamed to be called understanding committed suicide. The experience remaining alone here felt handicapped.

59. As the body of a piece of talc is destroyed when all its layers
are peeled off.

60. when the stalk of a plaintain tree roasted on account of heat shed all its coverings [sheaths] it is not abloe to stand eret.

61. In that way, when the experience which is inclusive of the two viz., the experiencer and the object of experience, disppears what mutual relationship does there exist among themselves?

contd.,

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