Friday, November 19, 2010

The former 'Recent Comments' system has been restored

I have restored the old 'Recent Comments' system to the sidebar since the new one was neither popular, nor did it work properly or efficiently. Unfortunately, this means that comments made over the last few days (since the installation of Disqus) have disappeared since they were saved on the Disqus server, but not the Blogger one. Apologies to contributors such as Ravi and Broken Yogi who have lost several long posts from the last few days. If you kept copies of them, please resend.

I notice that in the transfer from the Blogger server (Google's) to Disqus and back the dates of the comments have been scrambled in the 'Recent Comments' box. There are now thousands there, all dated from a couple of days ago. The comments under the posts still seem to be there, though, and in the right order. I assume that from now on, all new comments will appear in the right order in the 'Recent Comments' sidebar.

Please let me know if anything else has gone awry in this transfer.

Finally, apologies to everyone who has been affected by this technical misadventure. I am keeping the moderation 'off' to facilitate speedier discussions, but I am going to add a flag so that readers can send me messages if they find any comments that they feel should be removed.

23rd November postscript

The comments of anonymous posters will no longer be displayed in the 'Recent Comments' sidebar. I hope this will encourage a few of you to think about getting a user name for this blog.


Sankar Ganesh said...

It is a great relief to be back to a system that is Simple making reading of comments easier one by one at a time in the order of posting.

Thanks, Sankar Ganesh.

Anonymous said...

Sankar Ganesh,

In daily life also we create so many complexities around us and when we realize our True Simple SELF, I believe, it will be a great relief and peace getting rid off all complexities of our wandering mind.


Subramanian. R said...

Dear David,

"The Recent Comments" system is
working fine. It is simple and
direct like reading Bhagavan's
works in Tamizh.

Ravi said...

Delighted to see the old system back.Please do not bother about my lost posts.It is perfectly alright.

Anonymous said...

I agree David.I did not see much benefit in that Disqus.It was slow and was crawling on IE8.It was not worth it.

All these old comments coming up with new dates must be the Disqus sync logic which buggered up.

There is a 'Export Blog' in the Settings section of Blogger.Next time you experiment you better store a copy on your hard drive using this Export function.


Anonymous said...

What a relief!

G said...

Have been trying to stumble into self enquiry for a while now. So I have a question. When I am just about to go to sleep, I am in the cusp of wakefulness and sleep. The eyes are closed, I am aware but feel that there is no recognition of my body or I am not sensitive to my body parts. This is the best description I can give. It sometimes happens when I close my eyes and I am really not trying to sleep. But can't hold on to that feeling for long. Never happens when awake. Is "Just Be" similar or am I just watching myself fall asleep. Thanks if anybody can clarify.

Anonymous said...

Full Moon Day starts in Tiruvannamalai at around 17.07 IST

Best wishes to All.


Anonymous said...

Would india be India without the caste system as we know it? Of course dalits protest and elect politicians of their own caste using language that can be seen as excessive in direct proportion to the powerlessness they must feel; it is a projection of genuine misery.
Muddleheaded, entrenched upper castes defend the indefensible.

All project their own psychological state. Everyone has a vested interest; none more so then the brahmins.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

Don't forget to install the new script; it's worth it.

Mangalananda said...

Dear David and all the others here,

I wish to have your opinion, and also Ramana Maharshi's opinion/teaching of what happens at the moment, when a person becomes self-realized/enlightened.

I have discussed this point with two teachers of Advaita Vedanta and read the description of the process of enlightenment by a member of TAT foundation,(that has been founded by Richard Rose in USA.)

The opinions seem to go in opposite directions. Some say that
enlightenment is knowledge (James Swartz), others see it initially as an experience, that leads to knowledge ( Bart Marshal TAT foundation). The third of the Advaita teachers tells me it is a combination of both. All of them consider themselves to be enlightened. All of them are also Westerners, a fact that may skew the result.

Whether they consider enlightenment
to be an experience or knowledge, what they realize sounds very similar: Stopping to consider them-selves as individual persons and seeing the world as pure Consciousness where the illusory
"I" merges. The last sentence is a misnomer, as they also find out that they have been this Consciousness all the time.

Please, tell me what is the Akhandara Vritti (may be misspelt)
which I have heard is the last vritti(thought?) before self-realization/enlightenment sets in?

Best wishes


David Godman said...


At the beginning of verse two of ‘Arunchala Ashtakam’ Bhagavan described the moment of his own realisation in the following words:

Enquiring within ‘Who is the seer?’ I saw the seer disappear and That alone which stands forever. No thought arose to say ‘I saw’. How then could the thought arise to say ‘I did not see’?
(Prof. Swaminathan translation)

Although he says in the next line that this is impossible to understand or convey in words, Bhagavan is clearly describing his Self-realisation experience as one in which the dichotomy between seer and seer vanishes, leaving Self alone as the residuum. You can label it either knowledge or experience, but whichever term you select, you should be aware that there is no knower of the knowledge and no experiencer of the experience. The dichotomy between seer and seen, knower and known has definitively vanished.

I am not sure whether you are enquiring about ‘akhanda vritti’ or ‘akhandakara vritti’ since the word you used is half way between the two. Akhanda means ‘unbroken’ or ‘uninterrupted’, and a ‘vritti’ is a mental activity or a modification of the mind. ‘Akhandakara’ means unbroken form. ‘Akhandakara vritti’ can be translated as ‘unbroken experience’.

In the following verse (Guru Vachaka Kovai verse 699) Bhagavan states that akhandakara vritti is the only meditation or practice that can root out the ‘I am the body notion that covers up the true awareness of the Self:

O mind, other than meditation which takes the form of the akhandakara vritti [unbroken experience] that shines as the Self, have you discovered any means to burn to ashes the evil ‘I am the doer’ belief that propels and plunges the jiva into the bottom of the ocean of karma? If you have, let me know.

However, Bhagavan more usually declared that akhandakara vritti was an experience of the Self, rather than a means of attaining it:

The Heart that shines, pervading within and without, exists on the right side of the chest and is experienced by jnanis through akhandakara vritti [an unbroken experience]. Only for the ignoramuses who have the scorned the understanding ‘I am the body’ will the heart exist on the left side of the chest as a lump of flesh. (Guru Vachaka Kovai verse 254)

(continued in the next post)

David Godman said...


Though akhandakara vritti is sometimes used in the explanation of vedantic ideas, Bhagavan frequently said that he disagreed with the usual interpretation of the concept. The following verse (Guru Vachaka Kovai verse 941) and its commentary (from Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no. 307) illustrate the line he usually took:

If you say that all the vrittis are fragmented [khanda], then the unsurpassed akhanda vritti [the undivided vritti] is the state devoid of all vrittis. To say that the vritti that merges with the supreme will take an unbroken form [akhandakara] is like saying that the river which has merged with the ocean has become a river in the form of an ocean.

Question: Kindly explain aham sphurana [the light of ‘I’].

Bhagavan: ‘I’ is not known in sleep. On waking ‘I’ is perceived associated with the body, the world and non-Self in general. Such [an] associated ‘I’ is Aham vritti [the modification or activity of the individual ‘I’]. When aham [I] represents the Self only it is aham sphurana. This is natural to the jnani and is itself called jnana by jnanis, or bhakti by bhaktas. Though ever present, including in sleep, it is not perceived. It cannot be known in sleep all at once. It must first be realised in the waking state, for it is our true nature underlying all the three states. Efforts must be made only in the jagrat [waking] state and the Self realised here and now. It will afterwards be understood and realised to be continuous Self, uninterrupted by jagrat [waking], svapna [dreaming] and sushupti [sleep]. Thus it is akhandakara vritti [unbroken experience]. Vritti is used for lack of a better expression. It should not be understood to be literally a vritti. In that case, vritti will resemble an ‘ocean-like river’, which is absurd. [A] vritti is of short duration; it is qualified, directed consciousness; or absolute consciousness broken up by cognition of thoughts, senses, etc. Vritti is the function of the mind, whereas the continuous consciousness transcends the mind. This is the natural, primal state of the jnani or the liberated being. That is unbroken experience. It asserts itself when relative consciousness subsides. Aham vritti [‘I’-thought] is broken, Aham sphurana [the light of ‘I-I’] is unbroken, continuous. After the thoughts subside, the light shines forth.

Mangalananda said...

Thank you David for your exhaustive
answer to my question!

The vritti I thought of is akhandakara vritti about which you wrote so well in your exposition.

Anonymous said...

Mangalananda and friends, 'The opinions seem to go in opposite directions. Some say that
enlightenment is knowledge (James Swartz)'
Don't make me laugh! I'm pretty sure that James Swartz (Ram) would know little more then you do.

Peter said...

Hi, did posting cease at the open thread through Dec, or has it gone missing?


Peter said...

just realised i was in the wrong place, please ignore

Anonymous said...

David, could you please consider writing a post about the terminology used by Ramana and Nisargadatta. Nisargadatta talks about the "I am" and Ramana talks about the "I" thought -- are they speaking of identical things with different words? I find the teachings of both useful and necessary but this point of confusion has inhibited my understanding of how to proceed or what is to be understood.

Jeancouleurs said...

Je lis avec une extrême attention votre livre "Sois ce que tu es " .
J'essaie de vivre vichara un peu tous les jours depuis environ trente années .
Je vous remercie pour tout ce que vous m'avez donné .

I read with great attention your book "Be what you are. "
I try to live vichara a little every day for about thirty years.
Thank you for everything you gave me.

Anonymous said...

Jai Guru Dev friends,

There is a very simple and also complex way of explanation by Bhagawan Ramana,

"The knowledge of the known varies as long as one percieves and so is the perception, so the percieving can not be a way to realize the unchanging thing, trying to understand the reality by words means like trying to march towards west in search of SUN, or trying see the vision by eyes"

The current perception which I possess is the false perception, so it cannot be able to guide me in a right direction, only by the grace of Sadguru a true perception would guide us in to the truth.

One of the Best devotees of Bhagawan Ramana, Sri Ramanagiri Swami, says in one of his lines, "to say anything about IT is a plution, in order to say anything about IT, one has to build a long wall infront of it to separate it from one's own self which is not possible, because it is one's own self".

any process which can merge 3 things to one, can only help any one to march towards realiztion.
2)process of knowing

any form of meditation is the only way to accomplish this.

as long as I try to percieve the THING which is beyond words it becomes more and more complicated,

the words already expressed ITs status by saying "ITS beyond words" and also expressed their own limitation by the statement "it cannot be expressed in words".

Jai Guru Dev