Sunday, January 18, 2015

A series of new videos on Ramana Maharshi

Last winter I agreed to tell stories of Bhagavan, his teachings and his devotees while a French-Canadian film maker Henri Jolicoeur filmed me. After receiving permission from the president of Ramanasramam, I gave talks and told stories in many places that had been associated with Bhagavan: the Arunachaleswara Temple, Skandashram, Virupaksha Cave, Guhai Namasivaya Temple, Gurumurtham, Pavalakundru, Pachaiamman Koil, the Old Hall, the ashram dining room, the Mother's Temple, and so on. I also visited Palakottu and told many stories of the devotees who had lived there during Bhagavan's lifetime. These included accounts of Viswanatha Swami, Annamalai Swami, Ganapati Muni, S. S. Cohen, Guy Hague, Ramanatha Brahmachari, Munagala Venkataramaiah, Kunju Swami, Lakshman Sarma, Paul Brunton and B. V. Narasimhaswami.

The project was plagued by multiple technical problems. Henri's rather expensive camera broke down at one point and ended up being sent to Singapore to be fixed since there was nowhere in India that seemed to know what to do with it. Some of the remaining film was shot on a smaller replacement camera, but when Henri returned to Canada, a hard drive crash damaged some of the files beyond repair. A few of them only survived as low-resolution flv files on Youtube, whereas other talks disappeared completely. When Henri lost the services of the editor who normally helped him to edit his videos, I volunteered to take over the editing process, even though I had no knowledge or experience of doing this kind of work.

Fortunately, serendipitously, Bhagavan sent me two devotees who were professionals in their field: Merlyn Haycraft, a professional short-documentary maker from London, and Jordon Loder, a professional sound engineer who had come to Tiruvannamalai for a few months. We set to work, salvaging what we could. A few weeks ago my brother-in-law, Martin Sammtleben, a professional photographer, visited me. This gave me the opportunity to refilm some of the portions that had gone missing, and re-record the sound tracks of talks where there was too much hiss, or the words were undecipherable. 

The first results of our efforts were posted on my Youtube channel yesterday and this morning: a 37-minute video that tells the story of Lakshmi the cow, and a 28-minute film that tells stories connected with the Old Hall that Bhagavan lived and taught in for many years. Over the next few weeks I hope to post many more videos, hopefully at the rate of about one a week.

I apologise in advance for the amateurishness of some of the films. Film-making is not one of my skills, and I have been thrust into this job through the circumstances outlined above.

If you like these films and want to be notified when more are released, you can subscribe to my Youtube channel and receive a notification when any new films on Sri Ramana are uploaded there.

Finally, here are my first two offerings:






At some point in the near future I will add French, Spanish and English subtitles to the video of the Old Hall. If anyone reading this would like to provide the text for subtitles in any other language, I can provide a pdf of the script that has an English transcript, and the times when each sentence was spoken. 

Enjoy!

71 comments:

R Viswanathan said...

Thanks so much for these two precious offerings. That the first of the video-series is on cow Lakshmi makes me feel that it is a very auspicious beginning just as the building of the rather high-quality cow shed for Lakshmi was for Sri Ramanasramam. We look forward to a continuous flow of your offerings of videos on Bhagavan. May Bhagavan's blessings be fully acting on you in this effort.

R Viswanathan said...

Thanks so much for these two precious offerings. That the first of the video-series is on cow Lakshmi makes me feel that it is a very auspicious beginning just as the building of the rather high-quality cow shed for Lakshmi was for Sri Ramanasramam. We look forward to a continuous flow of your offerings of videos on Bhagavan. May Bhagavan's blessings be fully acting on you in this effort.

nea said...

Excellent work David, thanks for making this available :).

Anonymous said...

I can't thank you enough for making these videos. I feel transported to Bhagavan's world for a few minutes. You are literally doing God's work, David. I would be willing to donate to this cause if you make that option available. Please let us know. Can't wait for the rest of the videos.

David Godman said...

Email me at david_godman@yahoo.co.uk and we can discuss it.

Arch said...

Thanks to you and everyone else involved with producing these videos! These are truly invaluable!

Pick and use scholarship essay said...

The scholarship essay can make it perfect and it will be accepted by the reader

Shrini said...

David - I agree with Anon.. There are few persons who are documenting Bhagavan's and his disciple's works in an objective manner and you are one of them. Many of Bhagavan's devotees will agree that such efforts are invaluable. Such work should be done in a professional way as they will be a used as reference by posterity. "Collected Works of Mahathma Gandhi" by K Swaminathan comes to my mind. I am sure many of us devotees will be willing to contribute to such effort. Request you to reach out maybe through your Blog here, and many of us will be more than willing to contribute.

David Godman said...

Shrini

When it comes to money to finance projects, I follow Bhagavan's advice. I never ask myself, or allow anyone to ask on my behalf, but if someone, unprompted, decides to make a contribution to any of my projects, I accept and say 'thank you'.

My email is listed in the reply to 'anon' that you cited.

Sankar Ganesh said...

Dear David Godman,
Just wanted to say "Thank You Very Much" as Bhagavan Ramana's Devotee and as a long time reader of your inspirational Books and Blog on Bhagavan Ramana. My Good Wishes To You. Sankar Ganesh.

Kate said...

Hi David, I want to thank you so much for all the videos and books you have done! This is a treasure beyond time. Some of your videos I watched over and over again. I regard them as darshan from Bhagavan himself. These materials are significant to my path. I'm Eternally grateful to you, to Bhagavan and to papaji

Carla Pasternak said...

It's so good to be among fellow Ramana worshippers. Thank you David for this blogsite and thanks to everybody for your comments and energy.

jivadas said...

In one of your videos you mention that you were a librarian at ramanAzrama in the early 70s. Somewhere about that time a friend of mine, Ian Martin, worked in the library for a couple of years. Was he there when you were librarying? He would probably be in his 60s today.
Your CAPTCHA asks if I am a robot.
I'd say the jiVa is a robot.
Is there some way of getting a downloadable list of all your postings?

David Godman said...

Jivadas

Yes I know Ian. He is Canadian and he still comes here (Tiruvannamalai)most winters.

Dr. S Srinivas Rau said...

Very interesting background to the fine Tales from Palakattu. Can we have a translation of the Chant "Om Namo..."?

David Godman said...

Srinivas Rau

It is the opening lines of Ramana Puranam by Muruganar. There is a full translation of the text in the book 'Ramana Puranam' that is published by Ramanasramam.

Sridhar said...

When I read the stories about Ramana devotees and the times then, I used to wonder what would Gurumurtham , palakotu, draupadi temple and the innumerable places that feature in the stories be like. I sometimes used to think it'd be nice to have a tour guide walk me to all those places and give detailed explanations of the significance- known and hidden of each these places. It seems this desire is met by David's wonderful narrations. Jut saw the Palakottu video. Very enchanting. Thanks for taking us there David.

David Godman said...

There will be films on Bhagavan's stays at Pavalakundru, Pachaiamman Koil, Gurumurtham and Guhai Namasivaya in this series. The Gurumurtham one is close to being finished. The next film to be released will be one on Bhagavan's daily walks; the one after that will be part six of the Palakottu series, about Lakshmana Swamy; and then I will post one on Bhagavan's time at Gurumurtham in the 1890s.

vp said...

These videos never stop be from shedding a few tears e. Also ramana maharishis verses elicit the same response; it makes me stop reading beyond a few lines, if experienced.

vasanas -- have a ocean of them in me. may his grace shine

badri

Dr. S Srinivas Rau said...

Dear David, Located your splendid translation of the first verse of Ramana Puranam! Unable to find any Telugu translation. Srinivas Rau

David Godman said...

Dr Srinivas Rau

There are no verses in this work. It has 540 lines with no subdivision into verses. The whole work is, in fact, one sentence. I have not heard of a Telugu version but a full English translation can be found in the Ramanasramam Book Dept. The last time I checked it was in the discounted section since no one seems to appreciate it enough to buy it.

Anonymous said...

Badri wrote: "These videos never stop be from shedding a few tears"

Right on dot. This one took 2-3 attempts to finish "The Laxmi Cow" video. During the first attempt, one was on job, the flood-gate of tears just got opened, couldn't go beyond 15 mins, had to stop. This happened with all other videos as well.

Sri. Bhagavan's Grace in Motion.

At HIS Holy Feet.

ange said...

Wonderful videos, thank you so much and please please please keep them coming:)

One question: What was Bhagavan's response/reaction in general to people/animals who were in the midst of deep suffering (mentally/physically)? Did he ever give advice in this aspect (even if it is all just an illusion to a realized being)?

David Godman said...

ange

Bhagavan spontaneously manifested compassion to all those in his vicinity who needed his help. It was his nature to do so, rather than his choice.

Generally, he would say that suffering arose on account of a wrong identification with the body and the mind, and his advice was to do enquiry to find out the nature and origin of the one who thought he or she was suffering. Alternatively, he said that surrendering all one's problems to a higher power would also work.

Anonymous said...

These videos are beautiful, David.Such a simple idea as sitting in the cowshed, how refreshing.

You did not post my original comment back in March, so I send this one.

Uncle Dave said...

I remain a grateful admirer of all your work over the years and thank you for the new video series. I will look forward to more.

Dragan said...

Tnx very much. These videos are great and so inspiring.
Best

vivekns said...

The videos that you have made with Henri are truly outstanding. This videos are like an add on the The Power of Presence but contain a lot more interesting bits of facts. Overall your narration is a delight. But for you, the world would have never known so much about Bhagavan and his devotees.

Many many thanks for these lovely videos.

Sanjay said...

Sorry for digressing, but i have a few questions regarding the state of a gyani. Are they conscious when under the influence of anaesthesia or in a coma? What does being conscious in the three states actually mean? Suppose the gyani is "sleeping" and i quietly approach from behind, will they be aware that I'm behind them?

Why is it not possible for them to influence a few world leaders and put an end to all wars? After all there are reports of so many ppl being transformed just by the look of Bhagavan?

I know these are kindergarten questions, but would really like an answer from advanced souls please.

Regards
Sanjay

Zee said...

Sanjay,
Welcome to the fold.Not exactly a senior meself but here is what I gathered in books.
1)About ur question of why cant Saints change a few leaders I think they do whenever they come across them.U see many political leaders good and bad around famous saints like Sathya Sai, Amritanandamayi, Jaggi etc.Even saints of old like Guru Nanak met big wartime kings and changed them to some some extent but not completely.Saints do not interfere with the Free will of a person.It is for people to fight for their Rights.Like many Indians ur expecting one person at the top to come and wave a magic wand and change the society.It never happens like that.That is ur battle.U have to fight for your rights.Even in Bhaagavatam saints went to Sri Maha Vishnu and asked him to kill demons like Ravanasura.Lord Vishnu sort of replied that you do your fight and if u cannot manage I will come in the end and help you.So finally you have to fight for your rights.That is your duty.If Saints do ur duty then u will become lazy.

Another very good point made by Jaggi:Whenever great people are born rest of the people instead of supporting him they praise him and worship him but do not contribute and support the work of a Saint/Mahatma.

Zee said...

Sanjay,
Regarding ur second question:

Q: What is the difference between Sadhguru and Buddha?. When he meets an enlightened person, is he instantly aware of it? Is he aware of things happening on the other side of the planet? Is he psychic? - Mark Carter

The most significant difference is Buddha is dead and I’m alive! Jokes apart, the most significant difference is that Buddha’s way was only for the monks. That is why he kept it so dry and uni-dimensional. My way is for every one. There are monks, married people, and single people young and old: all kinds.

As for being psychic or knowing when I meet an enlightened being, I do know everything that goes around me when I’m in a certain state. When you use the word” Yoga” it means union but one cannot live in that union all the time. One knows it and has access to that possibility again and again. So when I’m in that state I’m aware of everything, but that state is not sustainable. You cannot contain that in the human body for long. Its like a spell. And also I don’t want to burden myself with that kind of awareness all the time.

Psychic is a very poor way to be really. All you do is try desperately to read someone’s mind. What is the point? Its better to be in a position where you are reasonably aware of what is happening around you by simply being sensitive to life. If you close your eyes and someone walks into your house, you will sense their presence if you make yourself aware of your surroundings.

People have become so wrapped up in all the psychological activities in their mind that they have missed out on all possibilities like these.

Every human being is capable of knowing so many things on his own, but allows these perceptive abilities to be lost in that noise.


http://www.kavitachhibber.com/main/main.jsp?id=wisdom-Mar2007

GADDAMANUGU SRINIVASA RAO said...

Sir, is there any possibility to here all these videos with telugu voice

David Godman said...

I have no plans to dub the films, but I am hoping to supply subtitles in different languages. That project has already started.

Colin Bondi said...

David, these videos are magnificent! Thank you so much for doing this. Hearing these stories is incredibly meaningful to me, and hearing you tell them while sitting at the actual sites is priceless. I think you did a great job on these with the resources available.

Lisa Fair said...

Can feel the deep devotion to these profound teachings.
Thanks so much.

Lisa Fair

Anonymous said...

David, your youtube videos on Bhagavan, His life, His teachings, and on reminiscences of His devotees are a treasure. I eagerly wait for more such material; so please do keep up this great work.

Arunachala Ramana!

David Godman said...

I posted a new film this morning, but there will not be many more. Three have been finished, a fourth is being worked on, and after that there may be one more. All the filming was done over eighteen months and and I am running out of usable material.

Thanks for the appreciative comments.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, every video has been a gem. Pavalakundru was outstanding. I'm not surprised that you're running out of material; any new, even obscure bit of information is priceless.

Anonymous said...

David, may I suggest that you video-record interviews with Bhagavan's devotees whom you might know. I am just thinking aloud here after reading your latest response on 'running out of usable material.'

Sri Ramanasramam's website does have videos of reminiscence of Bhagavan's devotees, but in my opinion more could be added, e.g., interviews with the ashram president, his brothers, or anyone who has seen and lived with Bhagavan during His physical presence.

Perhaps you might or might not have thought about this already; in any case, I felt that I should voice my opinion.

As always, I look forward to your youtube videos.

Arunachala Ramana!

David Godman said...

Anonymous

I don't have the equipment or the expertise to make films myself. When I said I was 'running out of usable material' I meant that the material that was filmed eighteen months ago had almost all been used up. Some of the talks I gave had technical issues (recorded in dark places with bad sound quality) that made me decide not to proceed with that particular film. Almost all the stuff I recorded at Skandashram came into that category. If I get another opportunity to talk in front of a camera, I will do the Skandashram segment again, along with a few other topics that we simply didn't have enough time to cover in the three weeks that were available.

Anonymous said...

David, I understand. Thanks very much for your videos and responses.

Btw, I equally enjoy this blog as well.

Arunachala Ramana!

Sathya said...

Hey David Sir,

I am loving your videos on youtube, and please keep continuing.I am from chennai, and want to ,how can I order "living by the words of bhagavan" ? ,I always wanted to get that book,it isnt available in flipkart. So I would like to know,how I can get one.

Thanks a lot.

David Godman said...

Please email me at david_godman@yahoo.co.uk and I can tell you the options for obtaining and paying for a copy of Living by the Words of Bhagavan.

The video series is almost finished. In addition to the one I posted today, there will be four more.

sathya said...

Hello Sir,

I have sent an email. Waiting for your reply.

Thank you!

David Godman said...

Sathya

No sign of it in in my inbox. Can you check the address (david_godman@yahoo.co.uk)?

sathya said...

Hello Sir,

I have resent the email. Please do check now .

Thank you.

Shrini said...

Dear David,
The videos are very good. But, to those who has been following your blogs, some of them may be already read about. A few suggestions -

1. A video on how to practice self enquiry. Practical tips. These can be by way of interviews from, say, yourself or V Ganesan, or many such devotees whose account will be of help to many people like us.Most of the devotees of Bhagavan would have faced this question and it will be useful to the serious practitioners.

2. Why not a series of audio books or even podcast. I find such audio books useful as I spend considerable time on the road. Many of us may be in the same position. I am thinking of the one in line with the popular podcast, "revolutions". In fact, come to think of it, with audio, it may be easier than video and more material to put up.

3. Recently, I was going through an old issue of Mountain Path. I found an article very interesting and enlightning. The old issue of mountain path, I feel, is a treasure trove for Bhagavan's devotees. You were in a vantage position when mountain path was being published in 70s and 80s. So why not pick out the some of the interesting ones as a podcast or even a blog. We are missing your blogs, for sure.


David Godman said...

Shrini

I am investigating the possibility of turning the sound tracks of the films I have been posting on Youtube into audio books. It is not necessary to see what is on the screen to appreciate or understand what I am saying. Someone who works in the music business in the States has promised to help.

Michal Borkowski said...

David,

Have you ever thought of doing a reprint of your book, Be As You Are?

Michal Borkowski said...

David,

Have you ever thought of doing a reprint of your book, Be As You Are?

David Godman said...

Michael Borkowski

The book is published by Penguin. They decide where and when it gets published. The book has never been out of print since it was first published in the mid-1980s. I buy 1,000 copies of it from Penguin in Delhi every year or so, most of which I give to the Ramanasramam Book Depot at cost price. I keep the remainder to sell to people on my site.

Gurudas Bailur said...

I have just seen your three recent videos on YouTube, two on the power of the Guru and the third on Self- enquiry. I must say that the video on self-enquiry is the best exposition of the topiic that I have come across. It is direct, focussed, clear as well as both succinct and lucid. One aspect I would have liked you to deal with was his teaching about being silent or summa iru. Can one focus on the I thought and be silent at the same time? My understanding is that being silent means being without any thought. Is not focussing on The I thought also a thought, in so far it is an activity of the mind? Does silence automatically follow from focussing on the I thought?

David Godman said...

I would say that enquiry is the process by which silence is attained. It is not possible for the vast majority of us to abide silently as being without first taking steps to prevent to mind from extroverting itself and attaching itself to things it is interested in.

Summa iru is actually a command, an instruction in the imperative form. When Bhagavan orders us to be quiet, sometimes the mind obeys and stops working. If it doesn't, steps have to be taken to eliminate the habits and tendencies of the mind that refuses to be quiet either by itself or by following the verbal command from the Guru.

Gurudas Bailur said...

Thanks for your prompt reply.

Anonymous said...

Dear David,

Is there any record that Bhagavan would describe his state of being in samadhi?
What was he "doing" in those 17 years when he lived in caves? Or it was "just" a state of being and knowing and bliss (just like the BG describes)?

Or anybody else, whit whom you interacted -Papaji, etc.- did they describe in any way their state of being in Samadhi?

Thank you for your time.

Eva

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Mr David has ever heard about Sri Brahmajna Ma.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahmajna_Ma
There is a book : The Life and Teaching of Sri Brahmajna Ma, Swami Prabudhananda, Sadhu Arunachala (Major A W Chadwick), ed. (Deoghar: D N Sen, Santi Asram, Bela Bagan, 1961)
See you !

Shashi shriyan said...

Namaskarams Dear Mr David
Have been hearing you on utube,all the knowledge l got about This Holy Place were through these snippets and books l devoured
My great desire is to visit this Holy Land,l have yet to receive the call,l am 63, female wanted to stay in Raman ashram but not able to contact the ashram
You are doing a great job is all that l can say for now.
Pranams
Shashi

David Godman said...

Shashi Shriyan

This is the contact information page for Ramanasramam, taken from its site:

http://www.sriramanamaharshi.org/contact-us/

Anonymous said...

Hello David Sir,

I had sent you an mail to clarify some doubts. Wanted to know ,if you have received it.Thanks a lot.

Sathya ( sathyaramv@gmail.com)

Krish said...

Wonderful video, David. I was not aware of the story behind the cow shed and the interaction between Lakshmi and Bhagavan is truly extraordinary, on many levels. It is just amazing how people can be so deluded these days and it is important for human beings to know that there is a greater mystery in life than what "appears" and that science, which has almost become a religion of sorts, has no answers to the real questions.

Anonymous said...

Shashi shriyan,
welcome to club of people awating the call. I am 48 , live in NJ, usa and had the calling and visited ashram for 3 weeks in nov,2015. The physical process of going there is easy seeems daunting from overseas, but easy. Ashram provides 3 days accommodation on its premises. They typically need 2 months notice in winter time. Please reach out to me if you need more details over and above what david has provided above..

Had the honor of meeting david @ tiruvannamalai.
namaskarams
valapet.badri@gmail.com
also i owe david godman JI tamil to english translation for one of his videos.

David Godman said...

'Anonymous'

Don't worry about the translation. Someone else has volunteered and provided one. I will go through it when I get back to Tiruvannamalai in two days' time

Thiru said...

We ARE really "SAD THAT THIS BLOG" which has been our lifeline for a long time to learn and think about our beloved Bhagawan has been dormant and not updated with any new posting of articles of inspiration.

Please contribute to help us as you have done it before.

Anonymous said...

I have been watching most of the videos in this series from last 3 days.. i am very fortunate to find these videos on david's channel on youtube. i can't express my devotion towards bhagavan. tears would come very often watching these videos (especially muruganar's).. Thanks a lot david. my pranams to you. May we all be blessed by Ramana sadguru.

Unknown said...

Dear Mr. David, I have been listening to your videos for a while now. Absolutely inspirational. Thank you for your devotion and seva. My seeking brought me to you. I take that as Grace. Your videos led me to Bagavan. I am hoping and praying to visit Arunagiri and go to all these places you had referred to during my trip to India in July. I would love to meet you also. Could you give me your contact email if, so I can write to you directly. Thanks in advance.
Ganapathy Viswanathan (a.k.a.Ganesh from Kentucky, USA.

Ganapathy Viswanathan said...

Dear David ji, my pranams again! Thought I would give my email address also: ganapathy.viswanathan@hexion.com
Several things happened in my life the last few years and an incident that happened last week solidified my seeking and devotion.
I would love to meet you when I come to Thiruvanamalai. I am planning to come with my older brother Murugan (he is also a poet...reminds me of Muruganaar!) and my wife's uncle who is also a seeker.
Would like to time my visit when you are present. That's why I am reaching out to you. I hope you will have some time to meet with us. Just sitting next to you or going around the hill- anything...please email me. Hoping to hear from you. I couldn't find any other way to contact you. Thank you!

Ganapathy Viswanathan said...

Dear David ji, my pranams again! Thought I would give my email address also: ganapathy.viswanathan@hexion.com
Several things happened in my life the last few years and an incident that happened last week solidified my seeking and devotion.
I would love to meet you when I come to Thiruvanamalai. I am planning to come with my older brother Murugan (he is also a poet...reminds me of Muruganaar!) and my wife's uncle who is also a seeker.
Would like to time my visit when you are present. That's why I am reaching out to you. I hope you will have some time to meet with us. Just sitting next to you or going around the hill- anything...please email me. Hoping to hear from you. I couldn't find any other way to contact you. Thank you!

Impressive Holidays said...

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Taj mahal tour packages are also a best monument.

R Viswanathan said...

I am sorry to read the above comment about Sri David Godman. Our experience has always been one of kindness, warmth, and willingness on his part to let us know about Bhagawan and his teachings. We thank Bhagawan for this.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lisa Fair said...

Why is the mind wondering into illusion and denying the gift of his Beautiful extension. Who is it that points and the speck in his brothers eye but holds a heavy plank in his own eye. Let thine eye be Single. Namaste by Holy Brother