Saturday, September 22, 2012

Open Thread

Ravi just informed me by email that the previous Open Thread, started last year, had reached 5,000 comments, and that it was refusing to take any more. 

Please continue all your discussions here.

2,145 comments:

1 – 200 of 2145   Newer›   Newest»
Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt from 'In the Hours of Meditation' by F J Alexander:

"THERE are hours when one forgets the
world. There are hours when one
approaches that region of blessedness in
which the soul is Self-contained and in the
presence of the Highest. Then is silenced
all clamouring of desire ; all sound of
sense is stilled. Only God IS.

There is no holier sanctuary than a
purified mind, a mind concentrated upon
God. There is no more sacred place than
the region of peace into which the mind
enters when it becomes fixed in the Lord.
No more sweet-odorous and holy incense
is there than the rising of thought unto
God.
Purity, bliss, blessedness, peace !
Purity, bliss, blessedness, peace ! These
make up the atmosphere of the state of
meditation.

The spiritual consciousness dawns in
these silent, sacred hours. The soul Is
close to its source. The streamlet of
personality expands in these hours, becom-
ing a mighty, swift-moving river, flowing
in the direction of that true and permanent
individuality which is the Oceanic
Consciousness of God. And this is one
and only.

In the hours of meditation the soul
draws from On High those true qualifica-
tions which are of its nature fearlessness,
the sense of reality, the sense of death-
lessness.

Draw within thy Self, O soul ! Seek
thou the silent hour with truth. Know
thou thy Self to be of the substance of
truth, the substance of divinity ! Verily
within the heart doth God dwell !

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

Namaskar.

Subramanian. R said...

Siva temples sung about in Saiva Canons:

(Lesser known temples.)

Vriddhachalam is known to many only as a railway junction, in the Chennai-Thanjavur rail track. But it is a great ancient Siva kshetram. In Saiva Canons, it is called tiru mudhu kunRam. mudhu - old, vriddha; kunRam - mountian; So Vriddchalam in the classical Tamizh is tiru mudhu kunRam.

Siva is called Pazhamalai Nathar. It is again the name to denote old hill. Uma is called Periya Nayaki ammai.

The tirtham (holy waters) is a river called maNimuthARu. The Sthala Viruksham (temple tree) is vanni tree.

Saint Tiru Jnana Sambandhar has mentioned this temple in 72 of his verses in Canon 1. Saint Tiru Navukkarasar has mentioned this temple in 10 of his verses in Canon 6. Saint Sundaramurti has mentioned this temple in 11 of his verses in Canon 7.

Sundaramurti obtained gold from Siva in this temple. Siva came in his dream and told him that a pouch of gold had been dropped in the river manimuthARu and the saint got it in the tank of Tiruvarur.

The gods Brahma, Sage Swethan and Sage Agasthya are said to have prayed to Siva here. Like Kasi, this place also is said to confer mukti on dying here. Uma is said to fan the dying devotee with her sari and chant Siva Panchkaksharam, and make them reach Siva' Abode on dying in this town.

When one Hyde an Englishman was a collector of this district, he had donated the chains for drawing the Car, as he was blessed by Siva in the matter of some disease!

pAmpAtti Siddhar, one of the 18 Tamizh Siddhas is said to have his Samadhi here.

****

Subramanian. R said...

EFFORTLESS MEDITATION:

Swami Madhurananada:

Deepam 2006. Mountain Path:

(continued from the previous Open
Thread.)

One of the wonderful you will notice, if you diligently pursue this meditation, is that though the words elicited by the mind may refer to the past, there will be a sense of liveliness about them. For example, words may come, 'I should not have worried so much about the incident which happened ten years ago!'. Even though these words arise because of the thought of the past, if you perceive them as a spontaneous upsurge from within, they will be animated and alive. What make you aware of what happened in the past are not the words, but something you try to do in the present moment. Words related to the past cannot deprive you of Effortless Meditation.

Labeling of Words:

It may happen that suddenly this effortless Stillness will bring thoughts and words with negative associations to which we react or to which we are allergic due to painful memories. In order to rescue ourselves from such painful states of mind, we instinctively cut off the spontaneous flow of words and associations. Though we may suppose we have saved ourselves from unwanted suffering, we have also diverted ourselves from Effortless Meditation. In this context, let us review the relationship between thoughts, words and consequent emotions.

What is thought? Thought is the act of conceptualization of that which initially appears to be nebulous and unknown. This first occurs in the extremely subtle realm where the thought is pure concept and has no defining form. From its minute and innocuous beginning, a thought expands into a recognizable, ostensible independent object, however subtle. Thoughts then develop into concrete expressions, what we normally call 'ideas' or 'impulses' and these are related to objects in the external world.

Thoughts are manufactured and have no individual existence apart from entity that originally created by them, Thought is a thinking that happens in spite of us, but we can sense thought without words coming into the picture. A word is the verbal expression of thought and comes after the original thought.

continued......

Subramanian. R said...

EFFORTLESS MEDITATION;

continues.......

When we feel that a thought coming to us, we know in the deepest core of our being, much before the thought has formed into words, that this is a thought we are experiencing. For example, when the thought, 'I am feeling restless' shows up, I will know I am having this thought before it expresses itself. A powerful thought can create pleasurable or painful feeling instantly. We sense the nature of thoughts as good or bad or as neutral much before we know them through the faculty of words.

If we allow words to flow spontaneously then whatever emotion comes along with the thought just fades away because we do not give it undue attention. In this way, we deprive it of its energy (which is none other than our attention). On the other hand, if we have labeled the words as good or bad, and then we will never allow those thoughts to express themselves as a spontaneous flow of words. This labeling and classification of words immediately puts us in the state of either indulging or fighting them, which in turn creates pleasure or pain. This is what is called reaction. This reaction will certainly lose its hold if we revert to the effortless meditative state.

Now you may say that it is impossible not to label words, therefore, this so called Effortless Meditation is impossible. Though it is true that we are trained to label words since birth, once you start experimenting with this meditation, there will be many moments of peace despite the variety of words. Soon the clarity grows that words are not the factors which create mischief and their power to disturb will start to diminish. That in turn will lessen the tendency to react and stop the impersonal word-flow. The day will come when you will discover that you don't resist any loaded words at all, however dangerous or terrible they may at first appear.

You have started to enter into pure Effortless Meditation where there is no more resistance.

CONCLUDED.

Subramanian. R said...

Encounters with Sri Bhagavan:

Part I : A Vision of Lord Subrahmanya:

Smt. T.R. Kanakammal:

(Aradhana, 2006, Mountain Path:)

In the old days, upon stepping into Sri Ramanasramam, one could easily be reminded of Kalidasa's immortal verse:

S'antam idam Asramam

Peaceful is this Asramam!

Indeed, upon entering, the visitor immediately sensed a deep peace and tranquility.

Hugging the lower southern spur of Arunachala, as if resting comfortably on the lap of the Hill, near the banks of placid waters of Pali tirtham, surrounded by majestic trees and lush gardens where peacocks danced sprightly here and there, the Asramam setting would capture the heart of every beholder, transporting him to holy sites of ages gone by. The monkeys from the Hill, being a perennial source amusement for children, would often surprise their young admirers with playful pranks. In the days of Sri Bhagavan, they enjoyed unlimited liberty, as though it were their exclusive privilege.

In this setting it was common for sadhakas to come from far and wide to prostrate humbly before Sri Bhagavan, pose questions about sadhana, and in due course, leave again, fully satisfied with the answers they received. Others had the experience of silent seeing, simple darshan where no words were exchanged.

One day a visitor came to the darshan hall. Since his youth, he had been an upasaka of Lord Subrahmanya and had been faithful in following all the practices enjoined in the scriptures regarding worship of Lord Subrahmanya.

continued......

Subramanian. R said...

ENCOUNTERS WITH SRI BHAGAVAN:

Smt. T.R. Kanakammal:

continues.....

This gentleman entered the darshan hall and spoke plaintively to Sri Bhagavan in this vein: 'O Swami, all my life since my childhood, I've devoted myself to Muruga and yet, in all this time, I've not been blessed with a vision of the Lord.' Sri Bhagavan sat in silence, merely gazing upon this devotee before Him.

Meanwhile the poet Muruganar was sitting nearby, listening to this. Normally Muruganar never spoke to or even acknowledged anyone least of all short term visitors. Even when devotees challenged him, prodded him or tried to rouse him in some way, he would simply remain quiet. But this day was different. Upon hearing the man's pleas, Muruganar interrupted him and with uplifted hands emphatically directed toward Sri Bhagavan and said:

"You've been waiting for the day to have Lord Subrahmanya's darshan. Why, dear man, he day you have been waiting for has arrived!"

Then, without least hesitation, he gestured toward Sri Bhagavan's regal form reclining on the sofa before them, and with words that seemed to pierce the very air itself, he cried out:

"Who else do you think this is here front of you? Can you not see Him sitting right before you?"

As if in response to a lifelong yearning, Sri Bhagavan's form was evidently transformed before this visitor's eyes and indeed shone as Lord Subrahmnaya. The man stood still, speechless, transfixed. Then he began to rub his eyes, as if to be sure that what he was seeing was real and not some trick of sight. Finally with eyes open wide, mouth agape and a countenance full of wonder, profuse tears began to stream down the man's cheeks. His voice quivered and cracked as he shouted out loud before the entire gathering, Aamaam, Aamaam - Yes. Yes.

continued......

Subramanian. R said...

ENCOUNTERS WITH SRI BHAGAVAN:

Smt. T.R. Kanakammal:

Part II - July_Oct. 2006, Mountain Path:

Once an earnest seeker came, prostrated in all humility to Sri Bhagavan and asked Him:

"Bhagavan said that the real nature of the Self can be attained only by constant dhyana. But how is it possible for one like me saddled with official responsibilities and the management of household affairs? If a major part of one's life is spent managing these, where is the time for Atma Vichara, much less uninterrupted dhyana? What is the way out? I beseech Bhagavan to enlighten me on this."

Looking at him compassionately, Sri Bhagavan said:

"Suppose you leave your house with the intention of coming to the Asramam and on the way you meet a friend. You greet him, exchange pleasantries and then take leave of him, proceeding to the Asramam while your friend goes his way. Now you don't go away with your friend but rather continue toward the Asramam, do you not? The thought of coming to the Asramam is so fixed in your mind that whomsoever you happen to meet on the way, is spoken to in the proper way, and parted with in order that you may fulfill your original intention. Likewise if the mind is deeply engaged in meditation after doing whatever has to be done, the mind will return to to meditation. By engaging the mind before starting work and after finishing it, even while working, it will automatically acquire the ability to do the necessary while inhering in its natural state. In the course of time, this becomes in built, habitual and natural, and one no longer feels the lack of being engaged in constant meditation."

*****

Another time, in the Jubilee Hall, a Telugu devotee came to Bhagavan and complained about the pallavi of Atma Vidya where there is mention of release being easy.

"O Bhagavan, how can someone such as I get release? Release may be easy for one like you but how is it possible for an ordinary person like me?"

Bhagavan said: "If it is easy for me how can it be difficult for you?"

Bhagavan said, "If you were to have to carry something too heavy for yo to pick up, what would you do?"

"I would seek the help of others," the devotee responded.

"In the same way, seek the help of
the Divine or simply surrender to Him," Bhagavan said.

"That is one thing that is just impossible for me. Today, I will say I have surrendered but the next day my ego will rise up and dance with abandon."

Bhagavan replied: "In that case, d one thing, pray to Him to help you surrender. If you cannot do even that, then simply suffer what comes your way!

continued.......

Subramanian. R said...

ENCOUNTERS WITH SRI BHAGAVAN:

Smt.T.R. Kanakammal:

continues......

One day, the attendant Venkataratnam, was accompanying Sri Bhagavan up the Hill. There is a steep stretch with steps at one particular place on the path from the Asramam to Skandasramam. While climbing down Sri Bhgagavan would often manoeuvre this inclined portion by bracing Himself on a big rock, planting His stick firmly on the ledge and descending slowly. One day, some devotee evidently asked a young boy to wait at this place and approach Sri Bhagavan as He passed, and take hold of His feet. The youngster said to him, 'Bhagavan, if you do not grant me mukti, I will not let go of Your feet." Apparently the devotees were hiding themselves behind the nearby bushes. Bracing Himself with His stick, Bhagavan said, 'Adei! It is 'you' who are in a position to give me mukti because if you don't let me go off my feet, I am going to fall and attain complete release in this very moment."

As these words the boy became frightened and took to his heels. Astonished by this strange happening Venkataratnam asked who the boy could have been and what this unusual episode could mean. Bhagavan' ready reply was, "Oh! It was all well staged!"

How can anyone ever succeed in hoodwinking Sri Bhagavan?

*****

A devotee once asked why the impure world of maya came forth from pure Brahman. Sri Bhagavan said - Everything is pure. It is only the MIND that comes in between that is impure!

CONCLUDED.

Subramanian. R said...

BREATH CONTROL:

For the purpose of concentration, pranayama is suggested to be practiced in various yoga sastras. Bhagavan Sri Ramana says pranayama in its entirety is not necessary. Referring to breath control as aid for concentration, He said, Bahih pranayama (external control of breath) is for one not endowed with strength to control the mind. There is no way so sure as or a Sage's company. The external practice must be resorted to by the wise man if he does not enjoy a Sages' company. If in a Sage's company, the Sage provides the needed strength though unseen by others. If engaged in Japa, dhyana, bhakti, etc., just a little control of breath will suffice to control the mind. (Talks No. 54).

Concentration of mind on the Heart destroys Vasanas and make the mind pure. Pure Mind or Suddha Manas in Vedantic parlance is mind free from
thoughts. (Thoughts may be pure or impure).

Technique of Maha Yoga - N.R. NARAYANA AIYER.

*******

Subramanian. R said...

CONCENTRATION:

The mind by nature is wandering, propelled by the innate vasanas. How to keep the mind concentrated on
Heart is the crux of the sadhana. From the ancient days, breath control is advocated. Sri Bhagavan says in Upadesa Undiyar that since the source of breath and mind is the same, if the breath is controlled, mind is automatically controlled. And during the breath restraint if the mind is fixed on the Heart, the mind gets gradually defunct. So long as the mind is turned towards and fixed in the Heart, mind is non receptive to vasanas which in turn relax their efforts.

Discussing Sage Patanjali's Raja Yoga. about the subjugation of the mind, Sri Bhagavan says that 'chitta vritti nirodha (control of activities of the mind) is brought about in sleep, swoon, or by starvation; but with the withdrawal of the cause of such torpor, mind gets active again. But in Maha Yoga, the practice consists in withdrawal of the mind into the Self. (Talks no. 495).

A Technique of Maha Yoga - N.R. Narayana Aiyar.

*******

Soorya said...

Ravi,

Many thanks for posting the excerpt from ' In the the hours of Meditation'

S. said...

salutations to all:

folks: in case you haven't seen it already, you may find it useful to see another beautiful blog on bhagavAn (some wonderful posts):

http://bhagavan-sri-ramana-maharshi.blogspot.in/

Ravi said...

soorya,
'In the Hours of Meditation' was published anonymously as a series of articles in Prabuddha bharata.
This is the brief note on the author in the preface to this wonderful little book:
The present book, originally published under a modest pseudonym, came from the pen of F.J. Alexander, whose promising career has been cut short by the cruel hand of death. His early years were spent in the nunnery of Omaha in Nebraska, U.S.A., where he received his first education. But the cloistered atmosphere of an old-world nunnery became too much for a boy of his spirits, and he made good his escape to enjoy the freedom of the wider world. He began life as a bell-boy at a hotel in an American city, and after various turns of fortunes entered a newspaper office, where he showed himself as a good and impressive writer. But all along he had been seized with a great spiritual unrest, which knew no quietude till he came across, by chance, some writings of the Swami Vivekananda, which opened the vista of a new world before him. The call of his Master-The Swami Vivekananda was henceforth regarded by him as such-was so strong that he afterwards sailed for India to consecrate himself to the service of the Order founded by him.

Mr. Alexander came to the Math at Belur in 1911, and the joined the Advaita Ashram at Mayavati. Here he threw himself heart and soul into work and rendered invaluable help in bringing out a Life of the Swami Vivekananda, by which his name will be immortalised. He was also an attractive writer-anonymously or under various pseudonyms-to the Prabudha Bharata, from which these pages have been reprinted. From Mayavati he went to Almora to live a more intense spiritual life. After two years of stay there, he went back to America to recuperate his failing health, and there succumbed to tuberculosis in 1917.

Whoever came in contact with him was struck by his vigorous mind and childlike heart, and it is wonderful to see how deeply he was imbued with the Indian spirit and ideals. The following pages, clearly reflecting his inner life, show depth of his spiritual fervour.

May this Disciple’s thoughts rising “in hours of meditation” serve as a beacon-light to thousands of kindred spirits struggling for Realization".

Namaskar.

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

Soorya/Friends,
An excerpt from 'In the Hours of Meditation':
In the hour of meditation the soul speaking to itself sayeth :
"Peace dwelleth in the Silence. And to gain Peace thou must be strong ; and
the silence cometh when the tumult of sense has been drowned in the Powerful
Stillness of Renunciation. Thou art a wanderer in the desert of this world.
Tarry not lest thou dost perish by the wayside. Make thy caravan of good
thoughts and provide thyself with the Waters of a Living Faith. Beware of all
mirages. The goal is not there. Be thou not deceived by the attraction of externals.
Renouncing all, go thou by those paths which lead thee into the solitude of thine
own insight. Follow thou not the many caught within the net of manifoldness.
Go thou along the paths whereby saints journey singly and separately to the Goal or Oneness.
Dare to be brave. Conquest lies in making the initial effort. Do not
waver. Plunge into sanctity. With one mad leap drown thyself in the Ocean of
God. Divinity is the End. In the nature of things there could be none other for
thee thou shining ray of the Effulgent One!

"Make haste, lest thou repent. Whip up the steeds of religious earnestness and
powerful faith. Crush thyself if need be. Let nothing stand in thy path. Thine is
no chance destiny. March thou on with surety and strength of soul, for thy destina
tion is Reality. Verily, thou thyself art the Real. Be thou Free ! Be thou Free !
In all the language of Self-realisation none such valuable word is there as Strength.
First last-^and always, be thou strong. Fearing neither heavens nor hells, neither
gods nor demons, go thou forth ! Nothing shall conquer thee. God Himself is bound
to serve thee ; for He is attracted by That which is Himself in thee ! And thus One
ness is the Essence of Sublime Insight for That which is in thee, That which is thee
is God. Verily thou thyself art Divine.
Tat Tvam Asi ! Hari Om Tat Sat !
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Those interested in reading this heartfelt and earnest words of this great devotee may refer here:
http://ia600504.us.archive.org/16/items/inthehoursofme00unknuoft/inthehoursofme00unknuoft_djvu.txt

Namaskar.

Soorya said...

Ravi,

Thank you :-)
One cant help feeling envious of these noble souls of the kind of lives they lived, neverthless reading about them is not too bad either! :-)

Sometimes while reading through one of Swamiji's letters like the last one he wrote to Josephine Macleod -

After all, Joe, I am only the boy who used to listen with rapt wonderment to the wonderful words of Ramakrishna under the Banyan at Dakshineswar. That is my true nature; works and activities, doing good and so forth are all superimpositions.

- gives us a peek into that 'world'.

I expect that you should have been to Kamarpukur and other places, maybe several times(?), but for me the desire is yet to materialize...hope some day..

I love this short video and the Bengali song in the background.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jpcBypYaSM&feature=relmfu

Subramanian. R said...

Siva temples sung about in Saiva
Canons:

(Lesser known temples.)

tiruvAlankadu - 631 210.

This temple is on the rail route of Chennai - Arakkonam. There is a railway station for tiruvAlankadu and one has to get down here and walk about 1 km. There are buses also from Chennai.

This is one of the five Sabhas of Nataraja (dancing halls) - and it is called Ratna Sabha. The dance is called Oordhva tandavam, where Nataraja keeps one leg up straight towards the sky! When Karaikal Amma went to Kailas walking with her head, Siva came a little distance and called her Amma. Karaikal Amma called her Appa. When asked, she expressed her desire to see His dance in tiruvalankAdu. Siva agreed and the Oorthva tandavam was shown to her.

Karaikal Amma is one of the most ancient of 63 Saints, earlier to Jnana Sambandha and others. Her songs are available in Canon 11.

These are:

1. The Elder Decad of tiruvAlankadu. I. 12 Verses.

2. The Elder Decad of tiruvAlankadu. II. 11 verses

3. Tiru Irattai Mani Malai - 20 verses.

4. Adhbudha tiru andAdi - 101 verses.

Siva is called OorthvathAnda PerumAn. Uma is called Vandar Kuzhali Ammai. The tirtham (holy waters) is the tank called Moorthi Tirtham. The temple tree (Sthala Viruksham) is Banyan Tree.

Saint Tiru Jnana Sambandhar has mentioned this temple in 12 of his verses in Canon 1. Saint Tiru Navukkarasar has mentioned this temple in 20 of his verses, in Canon 4. Saint Sundaramurti has mentioned this temple in 10 of his verses, in Canon 7.

******

Subramanian. R said...

'I' is a door:

Philip Renard:

Part II:

Aradhana 2004 of Mountain Path:

(Part I is in Jayanti 2004 issue of Mountain Path, the issue that is not available.)

Nisargadatta Maharaj:

In the first part of 'I' is a door, I described the striking phenomenon that in Advaita Vedanta, the term 'I' is maintained to indicate even the higher levels of reality, the levels 'beyond the person'. By maintaining this consistency it assists the seeker to understand that the notion 'I', so obvious for experiencing the person per se, is in fact, deeper than the person temporarily presenting itself. This notion 'I' is already here and now and always continuous. To be able to get in contact with That which you really are, nothing needs to be first eliminated or excluded. In the first part I examined the approach of Sri Ramana Maharshi, and this time I should like to pay attention to the way Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897-1981) articulated this matter.

In my opinion Nisargadatta Maharaj was one of the greatest teachers of the twentieth century. What in particular makes him so great is his remarkable ability to show that everything that was asked of him is made up concepts, and to annihilate these concepts by exposing their uselessness. Whatever question or response the visitor or disciple came up with. Nisargadatta pointed out that it boiled down to clinging to patterns of thought or concepts and he referred to its origin, its seed. Everything, everything really was undermined as being a concept and consequently not true, and that included also something he had himself just said. As he emphasized, the only true thing is the conceptless.

Since he is not alive anymore, the only way to learn from him is by reading his books (apart from a few moments of darshan through some video fragments). And while reading, it becomes evident and in fact it can be called humorous, that he himself, the greatest underminer of concepts, is continuously offering concepts! He jumped from level to level, used numerous Sanskrit terms for a certain level, used the same or closely related terms for another level, and then had the whole matter dissolved in what he called 'the deep dark blue state of non experience'.

Unfortunately, this resulted in many seekers who have caught a glimpse already of who they really are, to continue their search, because the message 'you are only the Absolute'. The assiduously claim that they 'know consciousness already' but they also express frustration that they have failed to take the 'next step'.

continued......

Subramanian. R said...

'I' is a door:

Part II - continues.....

I dare to say here: THERE IS NO NEXT STEP.

It is all about going to the limit of what can be experienced, and to remain still there. One should not be led astray by any comments exactly on the Absolute and be lured to go in search of it.

But, as can be argued, Nisargadatta is making comments exactly on the Absolute all the time, and shows again and again that everything else is unreal! This surely is the impasse: to hear that we are That, and not be able to experience It, let alone search for It. That is the paradox Maharaj is presenting us with all the time. How are we supposed to deal with this paradox?

Maharaj himself answered this question -- and that by offering a concept. One specific concept, which is indicated by using the term 'the knowledge I am' or 'I Am-ness'. Earlier, in this article, Nisargadatta Maharaj was called 'great' especially because he fearlessly undermined each and every concept. But really he can be called so because in turn this one concept. He considered this concept, 'I Am-ness' as something to be digested, swallowed, dissolved. And so he described it as 'the ultimate medicine'. It is true he called it 'the disease itself' at least as often, or even 'itself a misery', but in the same respect he indicates in many places the very same concept is exactly the medicine, and is the indicator to freedom. So again, we are facing here with a paradox. Something being a disease yet in its essential nature it is the medicine itself.

There is a quote that holds the key to the entrance of this paradox. In my opinion it is the most beautiful quote there is, because the whole mystery of existence is described in a few sentences, including a handle to enter the mystery. Everything is in it, and all further texts of Maharaj can be interpreted form this perspective.

"This touch of 'I Amness' is in each being. This beingness has that touch of love for the Absolute, and it is a representation of the Absolute. (...) Only the Absolute prevails. The truth is total Brahman (Para Brahman) only, nothing else but Brahman. In a total Brahman state the touch of beingness, 'I Am' is not just a small principle. That itself is the Mula-Maya, the primary illusion. (...) The great Maya principle is making you do all her tricks, and you are also abiding in what she says, and finally, that light of yours, that beingness, gets extinguished.(...) That Maya is so powerful that it gets you completely wrapped up in it. Maya means 'I Am", 'I love to be'. It has no identity except love. That knowledge of 'I Am' is the greatest foe and the greatest friend. Although it might be your greatest enemy, if you propitiate it properly, it will turn around and lead you to the highest level. (Prior to Consciousness, ed. Jean Dunn.).

continued.....

Ravi said...

soorya,
Yes,I have been to Kamarpukur,Birth place of Sri Ramakrishna and jayarambAti,birth place of our Holy Mother Sri Saradamani Devi.It was in 1979 when I was in calcutta on official work for a duration of 3 Months.On weekends I will be mostly in Dakshineswar and thAkur's small room used to be my favourite haunt after paying obeisance to Divine Mother KAli.An absolutely charming Place,although crowded and the path leading to the temple is as dusty and dirty and crowded as well.Yet who cares about all that -to sit in the place haloed by the feet of the Great Master is a Great boon.It was during that time I decided to visit Kamarpukur and Jayarambati.I boarded a Rickety bus that took me to kamarpukur -what a privilege to see the Master's birthplace and his parental house!After spending 2 hours in that place I proceeded to Jayarambati reaching there around 18:30 hrs when the evening Arati(vespers)was going on.(In this place,and it is the only one in which the Arati is performed not for Sri Ramakrishna but to The Holy Mother.)I just sat in front of the Mother's temple after the vespers were over and decided to spend the night there.Jayarambati and kamarpukur are small villages with mud houses.
The Swamiji who was in charge of the Ramakrishna Mutt noticed my sitting there and asked me about my whereabouts.I simply told him that I have come to visist Holy Mother's birthplace and do not mind spending the Night in the temple.I told him that I would return the next day.The Swamiji was all kindness and took me inside the ashram opposite the Shrine and gave me a room and I took it as Holy Mother's blessing .The swamiji gave me some fruits and sweets and that was my dinner.In the Morning ,after a bath I asked to be shown Holy Mother's hut made of clay and Haystack!What a magical place and what a joy to visit the Birthplace of our Simple and Beloved Holy Mother!One of her Great grand nephew was there and how lovingly he touched my chin and kissed.This is how Our Holy Mother would greet her children.What a simple setting and how blessed is that place!I Returned to calcutta after this wonderful trip.
Yes I have visisted Belur Math and Dakshineswar .As you say,the very remembrance is purifying and in itself is sadhana.My earliest recollection of Thakur goes back to 1960 when I was a boy of 5 and my father was posted in Calcutta and had taken me to Dakshineswar and Belur Mutt.We were in calcutta for 2 years then.I remember how I called him as Ramakrishna paramahimsa and this became a joke:-)

Thanks very much for that video clip.

Namaskar.

Soorya said...

Ravi,

Thank you very much for the beautiful narrative, it was as if one was there physically!
Yes, I expect Dakshineshwar would be crowded as it is in Calcutta, but Kamarpukur and Jayarambati would be more peaceful and calm. My brother had been to Belur Math , Dakshineshwar couple of years back but I think he hasnt been to Sri Ramakrishna's and mother's homes at Kamarpukur and Jayarambati.
A short video on mother's home at Jayarambati :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9Mtc_BGyQk&feature=relmfu

Subramanian. R said...

'I' is a door:

Part II - continues......

The sense of 'I AM' is a universal principle, in exactly the same way present in each being, prior to interpretation, 'I am John' or 'I am Ann'. In other words, 'I am this person'. Nisargadatta (that is his translators) used to indicate this sense of 'I Am' with the term 'consciousness' (chetana). It makes sense to linger over the meaning Nisargadatta ascribed to this term, just because he often called this consciousness illusory and because the term 'consciousness' has been used by other teachers to indicate exactly the Ultimate (indeed as the translation of the term Chit instead of chetana. See for instance, ('I' is a door Part I). He supplied numerous synonyms for it like 'knowingness' 'Krishna state', 'child consciousness', 'seed', 'Witness', 'God', 'being' 'beingness', 'sattva','the chemical', 'Saguna Brahman', 'the manifest', 'the supreme principle'. They all come down to the same. It is about a 'touch'. Without any reason, something arises spontaneously, within something that is no experience, no knowledge, no form, not a 'thing' whatsoever. Only when you notice it, you can say 'something arises', not before. So manifestation and the noticing of it are one and the same. This is called the 'touch'. It is this very first vibration, this most subtle form of touch which Nisargadatta called 'consciousness', the principle 'I Am'.

The crucial element of this quote is to be found in the last paragraph: "The knowledge of 'I Am' is the greatest foe and the greatest friend." It includes everything -- and consequently you can be left here with an overwhelming feeling of disorientation. Very often, this disorientation is only reinforced in other passages, by the emphasis on the illusory element ('the greatest enemy') because that which indeed is real, the Absolute, is described as 'something that can not be experienced.' However here it is most strongly said that indeed you would do well to fully worship it, although it might be your greatest enemy. So whether illusion or not, at this moment, it does not matter at all, because ultimately it is only God, the ever creating principle that brings about everything. It is true this means that you can be seduced to cling to a form, but also by the same token you can be LIBERATED from this clinging by the same principle.

continued.......

Subramanian. R said...

'I' is a door:

Part II - continues.....

In one of the Puranas, of Hinduism, we find a passage that bears resemblance to the quote: 'She, when pleased, becomes propitious and the cause of the freedom of man. (Devi Mahatmayam). It is about worshipping this principle as totally as possible, to pay attention to it, to please it. The sense of 'you are' is so common, so ordinary that you overlook it easily and hence Nisargadatta strongly emphasizes not to do so, but on the contrary to fully honor precisely this. To worship it as the highest God. He keeps hammering at it uninterruptedly to keep quiet here and not to devote yourself fully to this consciousness, to this 'touch'.

"Worship atman ('you are') as the God. There is nothing else. You worship this principle only; nothing else needs to be done. This very knowledge 'you are' will lead to the highest, to the Ultimate. This 'you are' is there so long as the vital breath is present. And when you worship that 'you are' as
the manifest Brahman (Saguna Brahman) only, you reach immortality. (....) You must continually remember,, 'chew the cud'. (...) You must continually think about it. (The Experience of Nothingness ed. Robert Powell).

We wonder what exactly may be 'worship', because the rise of a verbal prayer is associated with this word. In fact, worship is 'paying attention continuously to something with your whole heart.' The best example of this in the world is being in love. If you are in love, your attention is totally towards your beloved, whether you 'want' to do so or not. You are full of it and everything that is going in the direction of the beloved occurs effortlessly. This you may all worship. So now we are invited to practice this worship, this being in love in regard to our ordinary consciousness itself, to formless experience as such, 'the truth of beingness' 'the feeling of beingness'. How are we supposed to put this worship into practice?

It means that you totally merge with this beingness, with this primal vibration, and do not be worried about the fact, that this is still a form of duality, a form of energy, or 'corporality'. Worship Her, cheer Her, do not hold back anything, give yourself totally to Her, so that you may melt with Her. Then She shows you, within the merging, that 'two' ceases to exist. She being an enemy can only the case if you let yourself be carried along by Her temptation. "The very source of all happiness is your beingness. Be there. If you get involved with the flow of Maya there will be misery. (...) Be still in your beingness."
(Prior to Consciousness.)

continued........

Subramanian. R said...

GURU:

God, Guru and the inner Self are the same.

It is stated in all the Hindu scriptures that a Guru is always necessary. Ordinarily, anyone cannot start practice of Jnana Yoga without the aid of a Jnana Guru. The Bhagavad Gita iv. 34 states a Brahma Jnani alone can initiate one in Brahma Jnana or at least it implies that.

Bhagavan Sri Ramana in Vichara Sangraha (Self Inquiry) says that as a result of motiveless actions in dedication to God done in several births, mind getting purified, an aspirant meets his Guru, gets Upadesa (instructions) from him, and by intense and incessant practice of which for a long time gets liberation.

Sometimes in the case of a few earnest aspirants some great souls suggest any emblem as a photo or a figure of their chosen Guru and start the practice as mentioned in their teachings with great faith and devotion. The story of Ekalavya, the hunter, is cited as an instance.

When Dronacharya, the archery Guru of Arjuna declined to take Ekalavya as his disciple and teach him archery. Ekalavya instead of being discouraged made a figure of Dronacharya in the forest near his abode, worshipped the figure with great devotion as if it was the real embodiment of his Guru, and started practicing archery in front of it and became an expert and an equal of Arjuna in archery.

Once when Arjuna with Dronacharya, with Arjuna's dog preceding them, was passing through the forest where Ekalavya was practicing, Ekalavya aimed an arrow at the dog which piercing through the face of the dog, got stuck up in its hind parts. The dog being hit ran towards its master who seeing the dog, in that condition, asked his master, 'You taught me this kind of archery and said you had taught to none else. Here we see someone else also an adept.' Dronacharya said, 'Let us proceed and see who it is.'

When they came up on Ekalavya he fell prostrate before his guru in bodily form with great trepidation. When Dronacharya asked him who taught him archery, he pointed out to the figure and said, 'Yourself!'
As the master was nonplussed and finding a rival to Arjuna asked Ekalavya, 'Where is the guru dakshina (offering)?' Ekalavya replied that he was prepared to give whatever was demanded. Dronacharya then demanded him his right thumb and Ekalavya without the least hesitation drew his hunting knife, severed his right thumb and offered it to Guru with great humility. This is replete with great morals, namely, practice with faith leading to attainment, devotion and sacrifice to the Guru of his thumb without which he cannot be an archer at all.

continued......

Subramanian. R said...

GURU:

continues....

In the various puranas and stories of saints, it is said that when the aspirant is ripe, God arranges for him to meet a Guru. And even a casual word uttered by Guru is treasured and acted upon which leads him to liberation.

When Sage Thayumanavar was ripe, a teacher appeared before him and they were together for a short time. When up to the time of parting he was not given any instruction and was importuning him while leaving, the Guru said, 'Keep Quiet'. The disciple considered it as guru's upadesa and practiced 'keeping quiet' meaning mental quiescence. Anyone else would have taken the parting words as said in disgust to an importunate man. But in ripe Thayumanavar, it acted differently and he took those words as real Upadess and practiced mental quiescence and became a great Sage.

Again certain ripe souls having had the necessary Upadesa in their previous birth and left their sadhana incomplete, start from where they left off and complete their sadhana without the aid of a personal Guru and obtain liberation.

Others again who in their previous lives have attained the maturity to look upon their Inner Self as their Guru and were getting their instructions therefrom needed no outer Guru and recognized their Inner Self as their Guru from the start. During their sadhana in the deep stillness of thought free consciousness, the Inner Voice speaks and guides them. This also occurs in mature sadhakas when they lose personal contact with their Guru for any reason and they do not go about searching for a new Guru.

Sri Bhagavan in reply to an American businessman's request for a message which he might treasure and carry with him when away from Sri Bhagavan said, 'The guru is not outside you as you seem to think. He is inside you and is in fact the Self. Recognize this truth. Seek within you and find him there. Then you will have constant communion with him. The message is always there. It is never silent. It can never forsake you. Nor can you move away from the Guru. (Talks No,. 503).

With the progress of sadhana in this Maha Yoga, one naturally develops the habit of looking upon the Inner Self as the Guru and his photo or any symbol loses its original significance thereafter. His prayer, if any, is always directed to the Self within and he does not differentiate between God, Guru and the Self.

(Technique of Maha Yoga - N.R. Narayana Aiyar.)

******

Ravi said...

Friends,
Today's evening Bhajan at R K Mutt,Chennai after Arati to Sri Ramakrishna:
1.vinAyakar Agaval by Avvaiyar(Tamizh)
2.Akshara maNa mAlai of Sri BhagavAn(Tamizh)
3.sadAnandamayee kALi mahAkAlermanomOhini-song by kamalakAntha(BengAli)
4.rAmachandra Raghuveera rAmachandra raNa dheera-nAmAvaLi
5.tumak tumak bak kumak kunja mak
chapala charana hari aayey-kwaji ashraf mehmood(song on Lord Sri Krishna in Hindi)
6.harivarAsanam viswa mOhanam(a song on Hariharaputra-ayyappan)
7.Tamizh song on Sri rAmakrishna
8.Tamizh song on Sri sAradAmani mA
9.Tamizh song on swAmi vivekAnanda

I warmly recommend the Arati and bhajan program on sundays at R K Mutt,chennai.The SwAmiji who performs the Arati(vespers) is a treat to watch-a perfect picture of stillness in motion where the ritual of waving of lights and chAmara(fan) is raised to the pinnacle of aesthetics, worship and offering.These are well attended by devotees from all walks of life.

Namaskar

Subramanian. R said...

Siva temple sung about in Saiva Canons:

(Lesser known temples.)

ilambayaiam kottur - 631 553.

This temple can be reached from Chennai city in city buses that go via tiruviRkolam. The Siva Lingam has formed on its own. There are 16 angles on Siva Lingam.

The shrine of Sri Dakshinamurti is quite famous and rare. Here, He is showing chinmudra on His Heart Center! In two hands He adorns trident and rudraksha mala. The fourth hand is resting on the ground. Devotees come and do pradakshina for this Dakshinamurti 21 times on each day to get all benefits.

Siva is called Chandrasekhareswarar. Uma is called Kadir mulai ammai. The tirtham (holy waters) is a tank called Chandra tirtham. The Sthala Viruksham (temple tree) is Jasmine plant.

Saint Tiru Jnana Sambandhar has mentioned this temple in 11 of his verses, in canon 1.

*****

Subramanian. R said...

'I' is a door:

Part II - continues......

It is here Nisargadatta points out how in the 'supreme principle', the 'I am' principle, the liberating element can be distinguished from the seducing, binding element. Sometimes, I compare this with a fountain in a pond. The 'I am' principle is the mouth of the fountain. At that point the water is powerfully sprouting up high, causing thousands of drops being shaped to form together what is called a 'fountain'. The fountain's mouth has hardly taken form yet; there is only the experience of the propelling force to be, the drive towards form. Then the advice is: stay at the fountain's mouth, abide there, and surrender to its formless vibration. Do not try in any way to manipulate the force itself. 'What natural processes can you stop? Everything is spontaneous. Presently you are in the consciousness, which is stirring, vibrant. Don't think you are something separate from this stirring, vibrant consciousness.' ( Consciousness and the Absolute). By staying at the fountain's mouth, worshipping That which is giving all this unfoldment, you are set free.

continued.....

Subramanian. R said...

'I' is a door:

Part II - continues...

"The devotee with his firm determination and God by his fascination for devotion are attracted towards each other, and the moment they come face to face they merge, the one in the other. The devotee loses his phenomenal consciousness automatically, and when it returns, he finds he has lost his identity - lost into that of God which cannot be separated again. (Self Knowledge and Self Realization, Tr. V.M. Kulkarni.) And I am the God, I the devotee, and I am worshipping; all the same, one common principle. (Prior to Consciousness).

God's character of Maya, Seducer, fades away as soon as you understand that you need not let yourself be carried away by Her to Her forms of creation. You just have to notice WHAT is seeing Her. "Meditate on that which KNOWS you are sitting here. You feeling that your body is here is identification with the body, but that which knows that this body is sitting here is the expression of the Absolute." (ibid.)

continued......

Subramanian. R said...

'I' id s door:

Part II - continues.....

The liberating character of 'I am'
principle is present as much in the knowing aspect as in the aspect of Surrender. At this point, the approaches of Jnana (knowingness, understanding) and the bhakti (Devotion) are blending totally into one another. Sometimes this means that surrender shows discrimination is no longer necessary. And sometimes this means that understanding prevents you from making error that your surrender is submission to manifestation itself, to the transient forms themselves. Surrender is right only when it is
surrender to That which is permanent. 'First, I have seduced Maya and once the Maya surrendered to me, I had no use for Maya so I threw her out." (The Experience of Nothingmess.)

Noticing for instance, the body sitting here could be called 'knowigness'. This 'knowningness',
is in fact, Knowing as Such, and this is the liberating element, because it literally the expression of the Absolute, as said before in a quote. Absolute Consciousness or Knowing expresses itself as 'knowing something. So 'consciousness and Absolute are not two different things,, as is often imagined on the basis of many Nisargadatta's statements.

continued.......

Subramanian. R said...

'I' is a door:

Part II - continues......

There is only one Consciousness (or Awareness). It depends on the language framework of the speaker or translator which term is considered 'right'. It has been Absolute aspect and a dynamic and living, experiencing aspect, the 'touch'. The only thing needed to see is that a certain vibration is always the knowing of that vibration, and that Knowing Itself is Absolute Knowing. That there is
no separation in there. Within the Absolute there is just nothing to Know, hence Nisaragadatta calls this the 'state of know knowingness' or 'no mind', the state in which attention is dissolved in itself.

"There is only one state, not two. Wnen the 'I amness' is there, in that Consciousness you will have many experiences, but the 'I Am' and the Absolute are not two. In the Absolute the I Am ness comes and then the experience takes place.

continued......

Subramanian. R said...

Siva temples sung about in Saiva Canons:

(Lesser known temples.)

tiruk kuduvai karaip puthur:
612 904.

This temple in on the bus route of Kudvavasal and Valangaiman. The river kuduvur (nowadays called Kudamurutti, a branch of Kaveir) passes near the temple.

Sage Kasyapa is said to have prayed to Siva here.

Siva is called Swarnapuriswarar. Uma is called Sivambika. The tirtham (holy waters) is a tank called Trisula Ganga. The temple tree (Sthala Viruksham) is vanni tree.

Saint Tirunavukkarasar has mentioned this temple in 10 of his verses, in Canon 5.

******

Subramanian. R said...

'I' is a door:

Part II - continues...

One could say that 'letting you be carried away by the Seducer' comes down to giving credence to the power of your past, to the power of the tendencies, the vasanas', instead of remaining in the here and now so you don't go beyond the 'present touch', the 'present form'. The binding aspect of the 'I am' principle consists in the creation of a personal history, the creation of a 'subtle body', an 'I' figure, a form that has to persist. The binding force itself cold be called the 'causal body' which is the storehouse of the latent tendencies, and the primordial beginning of an individuality, of a
Jiva. (See Sri Ramana Maharshi's Vichara Sanghraham). The 'causal body is a definition for the principle in us which causes NOW the creation of a form, and which seduces us to maintain and consolidate this form. It seduces us into not recognizing this form
as a 'mere present form of Consciousness', as something which dies immediately afterwards and is replaced again by another form. So this is what is meant by the term 'causal'. The causal body brings about your losing sight of the fact that you are always new, unborn, now, now, now. And this 'bringing about' occurs through the latent tendencies, which make you cling to the manifestations as soon as they are there, so that the form can continue to exist. Owing to its veiling and binding character, the causal body has in the Advaitic tradition been equated with ignorance (ajnana also avidya).

Being strongly influenced in his linguistic usage by the Samkhya tradition, an ancient Indian School of Dualism, Nisargadatta sometimes explained this process of becoming bound using the terms sattva, rajas, and tamas, borrowed from Samkhya. These are the three gunas, the qualities determining and coloring all our actions (rajas is the exciting, the restless, that which incites to activity; tamas the inert, the solidifying, obscuring; and sattva the quality of beingness, knowingness and lucidity.)

Subramanian. R said...

'I' is a door:

Part II - continues.....

Nisargadattta described the transition proceeding from sattva as follows: "During the waking state, to know that you are satva is itself a misery. But since you are preoccupied with so many other things, you are able to sustain that waking state. This quality of beingness (sattva), the knowledge of 'I am', cannot tolerate itself. It cannot stand there itself, alone, just knowing itself. Therefore rajas guna is there. It takes the beingness for a ride in various activities, so that it does not dwell not upon only itself.It is very to sustain that state. And tamas-guna is the basest quality, What it is doing is that provides one with the facility to claim authorship for all the activities - the feeling of I am the doer. Rajas guna takes one into all the activities, and tamas guna claims authorship or doership for those activities. (The Ultimate Medicne - Ed.Robert Powell.)

One could say, that in fact, the power of rajas originally is a rather free power, which in itself does not necessarily need to hook on to something. It is only the effect of tamas that makes things glue together. This quality causes us to be fixated, that we are attached to something, that we isolate ourselves, that we worry, a history into a spontaneous activity.

continued.......

Subramanian. R said...

'I' is a door:

Part II - continues.....

One could interpret Nisargadatta's advice as follows: You can not but allow rajas to arise, because it is inherent to the spontaneous creative power; but welcome her and keep on recognizing the starting point,, the very first 'touch". Nisargadata called this touch also
pinprick. That is sattva. That is also the term 'consciousness' as it is used by Nisargadatta, the 'pinprick', 'the experiencing the touch'. That is what I called 'the mouth of the fountain.' Here you are witnessing as it were the marriage of sattva and rajas. Remain in stillness (sattva) in the splashing power of rajas.

BY dedicating yourself to this, by honoring this pinprick, this 'consciousness', you search ceases to exist. Here you can let go of 'the doing', of the attempt to let yourself pass beyond this consciousness. because really that don't help. "You can never isolate yourself from Consciousness unless Consciousness is pleased with you and get rid of you,

Consciousness opens the gate for you to transcend the Consciousness. Even the concept 'I am' is not there. Conceptual, qualitative Brahman (Saguna Brahman), the one that is full of concepts and is qualitative, is the outcome of the (reflection of Awareness (Nirguna Brahman) in the functioning body.

So although it is originally important and correct to distinguish between Consciousness (Chetana) and Consciousness (or Awareness; Chit, it makes sense at a certain moment just to embrace
Consciousness in its being 'the touch'. So that all resistance, melts away, and with it all duality. The touch is the Helper which anoints you in your and Her Surrender. It shows that you have always been unaffected and unimpaired, free and unseparated, without the need to strive for it. So on the one hand Maharaj emphasizes: "I, the Absolute, an not this 'I am ness' " but on the other hand: "Understand that this 'I' is not different at different levels. As the Absolute 'I' becomes the manifested 'I', and in the manifested 'I' it is the Consciousness, which is the source of everything. In the manifested state it is the Absolute with Consciousness.

It is striking that here, as in many other places, Maharaj keeps on using the word 'I' as a word for the Ultimate. Apart from calling himself very often "I, the Absolute" he says for instance, "Nothing exists except me. Only I exist." and " When the state of of beinginess is totally swallowed , whatever remains is that eternal "I".

So "I" appears to be a term for us on all three levels: the person thinks and feels 'I', the touch of beingness is the experience of 'I' without thinking (without mine), and the Ultimate is "I", without experiencing it. This means that the Real which we are, is always, so already, and now already. Also, in the midst of identification with a certain form, there is the identification to recognize the most nearby namely "I", in its essential nature.

Is 'I' a door? The Teacher answers: There are no doors to Parabrahman, dear son."

Part II - concluded.

(Tr. from Dutch by Johan Veldman.)

*****

Subramanian. R said...

'I' is a door:

Part III - Atmananda:

In the two preceding parts of 'I' is a door' attention was paid to the remarkable phenomenon that the word "I' may refer to a limited and bound entity, as well as to That which is Infinite Light, sheer Freedom. The preceding articles discussed what Sri Ramana Maharshi and Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj said about this phenomenon. Now we will discuss the third of the Great Three (the three truly great Advaitic teachers of the twentieth century): Sri Atmananda, or Sri Krishna Menon.

Philip Renard the author of these articles was born in Amsterdam. He founded in 2000 Advaya Foundation, www.advaya.nl. In 2005, he published in Dutch Non Dualism, The Direct Way of Liberation.

Sri P. Krishna Menon was born in 1883, in Peringara, near Tiruvalla in the state of Travancore, now a part of today's Kerala. After completing a study of Law he became a Government Advocate, and Inspector and District Superintendent of Police. He once said that in his early life he prayed at length to encounter a Sadguru, a Teacher, in the true sense of the word. One day in 1919, he met such a teacher one Swami Yogananda, who lived in Caluttta. (This is not the Paramamsa Yogananda nor the Swami Yogananda who was one of the direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna.)

They met during the course of one night only. Krishna Menon was particularly touched by the utmost humility of this teacher. He later stated: "This paralyzed my ego."

Because of this encounter, he started a sadhana, which contained both bhakti and raja yoga as well as pure Jnana. Later on, having become a teacher himself, he would
pass on to others, only the Jnana aspect, and even criticized both the bhakti and raja yoga aspects. (See Notes on Spiritual Discourses of Sri Atmananda).

In 1923, he came to realize his true nature. He assumed the name of Sri Atmananda and began teaching. He continued to work in Police Department up to 1939. Later on, he once said that a profession within the police or the military offers an ideal foundation for a spiritual sadhana, because such a profession offers in particular the maximum obstacles and temptations.

In 1959, Atmananda died at Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala.

continued......

Subramanian. R said...

'I' is a door:

Part III - continues.....


One of the ways by which Atmananda's approach became known in the West was through the book The Nature of Man according to the Vedanta, by John Levy. He was an English pupil of Atmananda who had stayed regularly with him. Levy rephrased Atmananda's typical approach in a somewhat more Western style, though he id not retain Atmananda's particular and unique way dealing with logic.

Atmananda once phrased his specific kind of logic as follows: 'They (the Grecian philosophers go by logic and I go also by logic. But there is much difference between the logic employed by them and the logic employed by me. The logic employed by me is something subjective. The logic employed by them is something objective. That is the difference.

I got to know of Atmananda while a pupil of the late Alexander Smit, a Dutchman who had a pupil of Atmanahnda's pupil, Wolter Keers. Alexander gave me a copy of two small books by Atmananda, Atma Darshan and Atma Nirvriti. (Atna Darshan, at the Ultimate, by S. Krishna Menon, Atmananda, Sri Vidya Samiti, Tiruvannamalai, 1946).

These books are Atmananda's brief summary of his teachings: they have
been written in his mother tongue Malayalam and translated into English by himself. For two years, Alexander Smit thoroughly dealt with these books. I am grateful for having had the the privilege to attend these meetings. Owing to this opportunity I became familiar with Atmananda's specific approach.


continued......

Soorya said...

Many thanks to Subramanian R for posting such precious teachings from Nisargadutta and Sri Atmananda krishna Menon.

Just wanted to share a piece from a novel of Somerset Maugham which I read years back - 'Of Human Bondage'. When I first read it, it impressed greatly but I didnt know why. It is not so directly illumining as a spiritual text but one relates to it from day to day life. Maugham is the English author who came over to meet Bhagavan and also wrote the novel 'The Razor's edge' which had Bhagavan as a character.

*** Of Human Bondage***

Thinking of Cronshaw, Philip remembered the Persian rug which he had given him, telling him that it offered an answer to his question upon the meaning of life; and suddenly the answer occurred to him: he chuckled: now that he had it, it was like one of the puzzles which you worry over till you are shown the solution and then cannot imagine how it could ever have escaped you. The answer was obvious. Life had no meaning. On the earth, satellite of a star speeding through space, living things had arisen under the influence of conditions which were part of the planet's history; and as there had been a beginning of life upon it so, under the influence of other conditions, there would be an end: man, no more significant than other forms of life, had come not as the climax of creation but as a physical reaction to the environment. Philip remembered the story of the Eastern King who, desiring to know the history of man, was brought by a sage five hundred volumes; busy with affairs of state, he bade him go and condense it; in twenty years the sage returned and his history now was in no more than fifty volumes, but the King, too old then to read so many ponderous tomes, bade him go and shorten it once more; twenty years passed again and the sage, old and gray, brought a single book in which was the knowledge the King had sought; but the King lay on his death-bed, and he had no time to read even that; and then the sage gave him the history of man in a single line; it was this: he was born, he suffered, and he died.

Soorya said...

There was no meaning in life, and man by living served no end. It was immaterial whether he was born or not born, whether he lived or ceased to live. Life was insignificant and death without consequence. Philip exulted, as he had exulted in his boyhood when the weight of a belief in God was lifted from his shoulders: it seemed to him that the last burden of responsibility was taken from him; and for the first time he was utterly free. His insignificance was turned to power, and he felt himself suddenly equal with the cruel fate which had seemed to persecute him; for, if life was meaningless, the world was robbed of its cruelty. What he did or left undone did not matter. Failure was unimportant and success amounted to nothing. He was the most inconsiderate creature in that swarming mass of mankind which for a brief space occupied the surface of the earth; and he was almighty because he had wrenched from chaos the secret of its nothingness. Thoughts came tumbling over one another in Philip's eager fancy, and he took long breaths of joyous satisfaction. He felt inclined to leap and sing. He had not been so happy for months.

"Oh, life," he cried in his heart, "Oh life, where is thy sting?"

For the same uprush of fancy which had shown him with all the force of mathematical demonstration that life had no meaning, brought with it another idea; and that was why Cronshaw, he imagined, had given him the Persian rug. As the weaver elaborated his pattern for no end but the pleasure of his aesthetic sense, so might a man live his life, or if one was forced to believe that his actions were outside his choosing, so might a man look at his life, that it made a pattern. There was as little need to do this as there was use. It was merely something he did for his own pleasure. Out of the manifold events of his life, his deeds, his feelings, his thoughts, he might make a design, regular, elaborate, complicated, or beautiful; and though it might be no more than an illusion that he had the power of selection, though it might be no more than a fantastic legerdemain in which appearances were interwoven with moonbeams, that did not matter: it seemed, and so to him it was. In the vast warp of life (a river arising from no spring and flowing endlessly to no sea), with the background to his fancies that there was no meaning and that nothing was important, a man might get a personal satisfaction in selecting the various strands that worked out the pattern. There was one pattern, the most obvious, perfect, and beautiful, in which a man was born, grew to manhood, married, produced children, toiled for his bread, and died; but there were others, intricate and wonderful, in which happiness did not enter and in which success was not attempted; and in them might be discovered a more troubling grace.

Soorya said...

Some lives, and Hayward's was among them, the blind indifference of chance cut off while the design was still imperfect; and then the solace was comfortable that it did not matter; other lives, such as Cronshaw's, offered a pattern which was difficult to follow, the point of view had to be shifted and old standards had to be altered before one could understand that such a life was its own justification. Philip thought that in throwing over the desire for happiness he was casting aside the last of his illusions. His life had seemed horrible when it was measured by its happiness, but now he seemed to gather strength as he realised that it might be measured by something else. Happiness mattered as little as pain. They came in, both of them, as all the other details of his life came in, to the elaboration of the design. He seemed for an instant to stand above the accidents of his existence, and he felt that they could not affect him again as they had done before. Whatever happened to him now would be one more motive to add to the complexity of the pattern, and when the end approached he would rejoice in its completion. It would be a work of art, and it would be none the less beautiful because he alone knew of its existence, and with his death it would at once cease to be.

Philip was happy.

Subramanian. R said...

SAMADHI:

Real Atma Vichara begin only when one
is off the mental waves and abides in the Heart. By unswerving constancy in the Self like the ceaseless unbroken
filamentay flow of oil is generated
the Nirvilapa Samadhi. (Talks No 349. Every Yogi's aim is to achieve the Nirvikalpa Samadhi for its beneficial spiritual effects.

Samadhi is a sort of trance. Sri Rama in Rama Gita tells Hanuman there are over a hundred samadhis. They are all treated in their respective treatises. But in Maha Yoga the samadhis an aspirant meets with during the course of the sadhana are: 1. Kevala Nirvikalpa
Samadhi 2. Savikalpa Samadhi 3. Nirvikalpa Samadhi and 4. Sahaja Samadhi.


Kevala Nirvikalpa Samadhi is experienced during Tanumanasi or the advanced stages of Step 4. In
Kevala Nirvikalpa Samadhi the mind is immersed in the Light of of Consciousness for a short while and is pulled back by the Vasanas that have not been destroyed. In this state, awareness with calmness of the mind is experienced.

Mind holding on to the Self with effort is Savikalpa Samadhi. In other words, when the mind is fixed on the object of meditation for a particular length of time unobstructed by the least ripple of thought it is Savikalpa Samadhi.

Savikalpa means with differentiation of the subject and object i.e. the meditator and the object of meditation.

Constant practice of Savikalpa Samadhi leads to Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Mind merged in Reality and remaining unaware of the world is Nirvikalpa Samadhi. In this state, the subject and object fuse into a mass of Consciousness. On coming out of this Samadhi the meditator recalls the Samadhi experience and remembering what he has read in the scriptures to be identical with his experience he realizes himself as I am That. This recollection of the Samadhi experiences and his identification as I am That is called Prathyabhijna Jnanam. It is only this Prathyabhijna Jnanam that completely destroys ignorance i.e.
duality. This is fully explained in Chapter XVII of Tripura Rahasya.

(The Technique of Maha Yoga. N.R. Narayana Aiyar.)

******

Subramanian. R said...

Dear soorya,

I found that the article on Nisargadatta was a little tough, because Maharaj used such words or translators used such words. However,
one more reading of that article made me understand Maharaj somewhat. I find a little uneasy when he used Maya as a Seducer. In Saiva Siddhantam, Maya or Uma is considered full of grace and mercy and it is she despite her initial sports with Jiva finally guides him to the Sivam. Manikkavachagar brings this aspect in Kovil Mootha Tirupadigam, Verse I.

David, a request for you. The first part of 'I' is a door, dealing with Sri Bhagavan is missing. Once you had told me that Jayanti issue of 2004 ran out of stock quickly due to an article by you. If you could post this Part I,
in your blog soon, it will benefit all readers and the trilogy of the article would be complete.

Subramanian. R

Ravi said...

soorya/Friends,
"There was no meaning in life, and man by living served no end. It was immaterial whether he was born or not born, whether he lived or ceased to live. Life was insignificant and death without consequence. Philip exulted, as he had exulted in his boyhood when the weight of a belief in God was lifted from his shoulders: it seemed to him that the last burden of responsibility was taken from him; and for the first time he was utterly free."

This reminds me of the 'Microsoft' Joke.Here it is:
God was fed up. In a crash of thunder he yanked up to Heaven three influential humans: Bill Clinton, Boris Yeltsin and Bill Gates. "The human race is a complete disappointment," God boomed. "You each have one week to prepare your followers for the end of the world." With another crash of thunder they found themselves back on Earth.
Clinton immediately called his cabinet. "I have good news and bad news," he announced grimly. "The good news is that there is a god. The bad news is, God's really mad and plans to end the world in a week."

In Russia, Yeltsin announced to parliament, "Comrades, I have bad news and worse news. The bad news is that we were wrong: there is a god after all. The worse news is God's mad and is
going to end the world in a week."

Meanwhile, Bill Gates called a meeting of his top engineers. "I have good news and better news. The good news is that God considers me one of the three most influential men on Earth," he
beamed. "The better news is we don't have to fix the bugs in Windows"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mind is in no position to guage the 'meaning' of existence.I came across this poem by Rumi posted by a devotee in another Blog:
"I was a secret treasure of kindness and generosity,
and I wished this treasure to be known,
so I created a mirror: its shining face, the heart;
its darkened back, the world;
The back would please you if you’ve never seen the face.
Has anyone ever produced a mirror out of mud and straw?
Yet clean away the mud and straw,
and a mirror might be revealed.

Until the juice ferments a while in the cask,
it isn’t wine. If you wish your heart to be bright,
you must do a little work."

Namaskar.

Ravi said...

soorya/friends,
Here is the poem by Rumi:

Be Lost In The Call

Lord, said David, since you do not need us,
why did you create these two worlds?

Reality replied: O prisoner of time,
I was a secret treasure of kindness and generosity,
and I wished this treasure to be known,
so I created a mirror: its shining face, the heart;
its darkened back, the world;
The back would please you if you’ve never seen the face.

Has anyone ever produced a mirror out of mud and straw?
Yet clean away the mud and straw,
and a mirror might be revealed.

Until the juice ferments a while in the cask,
it isn’t wine. If you wish your heart to be bright,
you must do a little work.

My King addressed the soul of my flesh:
You return just as you left.
Where are the traces of my gifts?

We know that alchemy transforms copper into gold.
This Sun doesn’t want a crown or robe from God’s grace.
He is a hat to a hundred bald men,
a covering for ten who were naked.

Jesus sat humbly on the back of an ass, my child!
How could a zephyr ride an ass?
Spirit, find your way, in seeking lowness like a stream.
Reason, tread the path of selflessness into eternity.

Remember God so much that you are forgotten.
Let the caller and the called disappear;
be lost in the Call".

Namaskar.

Soorya said...

Thanks Ravi.

Yes the mind cannot find the 'meaning' of existence, the farthest it can go is I believe where Maugham has stretched it...I also feel the mind feels life is meaningless when it doesnt find the supremacy it wants or if it did get that, it finds it useless or hollow after sometime...I have a thought that the meaning Jnani's find in life is not at all what we can describe as 'meaningful' from a mental stance - what is meaningful to the mind? Probably a life which had some achievements to it's credit, or some usefulness to it's fellow beings...

The belief in God as per conventional religion becomes a burden because a thinking honest person will be in conflict with what he experiences and what he is supposed to believe. Besides,there are some nuggets in those paras of Maugham like :
"Philip thought that in throwing over the desire for happiness he was casting aside the last of his illusions. His life had seemed horrible when it was measured by its happiness, but now he seemed to gather strength as he realised that it might be measured by something else. Happiness mattered as little as pain."

- Throwing away the desire for happiness is a learning for a sadhaka too, an advanced learning perhaps. All masters teach to accept whatever that comes, but our minds unconsciously welcome happenings which are expected to bring pleasure and not otherwise.

Thanks for the joke, think I have read it before. Beautiful poem by Rumi.

Peter said...

500.

Worthy to be done is self-enquiry;
worthy to be gained is the glory of Self;
worthy to be given up is the ego-sense;
worthy to be merged into is one’s
own source, so that cares and anxieties dies.

Ravi said...

soorya,
"Throwing away the desire for happiness is a learning for a sadhaka too"
The spiritual quest is a search for happiness only.The mind turns this into a pursuit of an 'Idea',an idea of what happiness is and forever pursuing this 'idea'.
Happiness is something that is one's very nature so it cannot be dispensed with.A new born baby is a bundle of joy and expresses this very Truth.Over a period of time this natural gift is lost or covered by acquired ideas,stances,desires,cares and worries.
The 'Doing good' is also an expression of this happiness.Only the mind pursues it as an 'Exercise' and is baulked by its own insufficiency.Yet ,it is an attitude change that can easily bring this out-Like in Mark Twain's The adventures of Tom sawyer ,everyone willingly gave whatever he or she carried to Tom as an exchange for whitewashing the Fence.
'Work is that which one is obligedto do' says Mark Twain.It becomes play or worship if one does not feel so 'Obliged' or 'Duty bound'.
More later.
Namaskar.

Subramanian. R said...

Three writings on a wall of a College
wash room:

The first day:

1. God is dead - Nietzhe.

The second day:

2. Nietzhe is dead - God.

The third day:

3. Both God and Nietzhe are not dead; They are not even born!

Subramanian. R

Subramanian. R said...

Siva temples sung about in Saiva Canons:

(Lesser known temples).

tiruvarur paravaiyuL maNdali -
610 001.

This temple is also called thulA nAyanar Kovil. This is the temple to which Paravai, one of the two wives of Sundaramurti was praying to Siva. This small temple is outside the main temple of Tiruvarur, on the street where the Car of the main temple is stationed.

Siva is called thulAyanAr Nathar. Uma is called panchin melladi ammai, the one whose legs are softer than cotton.

Saint Sundaramurti has mentioned this temple in 10 of his verses in Canon 7.

******

Subramanian. R said...

'I' is a door:

Part III - continues.....

One of the ways by which Atmananda's approach became known in the West was through the book The Nature of Man According to the Vedanta by John Levy. He as an English pupil of Atmananda who had stayed regularly with him. Levy rephrased Atmananda's typical approach in a somewhat more Western style; though he did retain Atmananda's particular and unique way of dealing with logic.

I got to know of Atmananda while a pupil of the late Alexander Smit, a Dutchman who had been a pupil of Atmananda's pupil Wolter Keers. Alexander gave me a copy of two small books by Atmananda, Atma Darshan and Atma Nirvriti. These books are Atmananda's brief summary of his teachings; they have been written in his mother tongue Malayalam and translated into English by himself. For two years Alexander Smit thoroughly dealt with these books. I am grateful for having had the privilege to attend these meetings; owing to this opportunity I became familiar with Atmananda's specific approach.

What is specific to his approach?

It is his own special linguistic usage, his particular logic (or 'subjective' logic), his way of reducing all things to their ultimate nature, and in particular his emphasis on what he called the 'I'-Principle.'

To him, this 'I'-Principle was a synonym for Ultimate Reality, the Absolute -- there is nothing which precedes it; it is what is truly meant with the word 'I'. He said for instance" "Pure Consciousness and deep peace are your real nature. Having understood this in the right manner, you can well give up the use of the words,
'Consciousness' and 'Happiness' and invariably use 'I' to denote the Reality. Don't be satisfied with only reducing objects into Consciousness. Don't stop there. Reduce them further into the 'I'-Principle'. So also reduce all feelings into pure Happiness and then reduce them into the 'I'-Principle.

Although Atmananda loved to use words like Consciousness and Happiness in order to refer to the Ultimate, a quote like this shows that ultimately he preferred the term 'I'-Principle (he once said that compared to the "I"-Principle,
the term Consciousness can be called theory!). He did so because he considered that the word 'I' has the least chance of being misunderstood. Everything that can be perceived can be subject to misunderstanding, however that which can be called 'yourself', that which cannot be perceived, 'I' cannot cause misunderstanding. he considered the 'I'-Principle to be everybody's true goal, because it is in fact contained in each endeavor.

continued......

Subramanian. R said...

'I' is the door -

Part III - continues......

The use of the word 'Principle' by Atmananada should not be considered a mental or philosophical attempt to understand or frame the 'I'. It is his way of using a word for what 'I' is in itself, I as such. What 'I' as such really is, precisely, is prior to each mental movement or framing. With expressions like 'in itself' and 'as such' language stops short. Here language arrives at its limits. Something is referring to itself. Something as such does not change the next moment into something else. It is the constant factor in the ever changing, it is its own true nature. It does not rely on anything else. Atmananda frequently used the Sanskrit word SWARUPA, true nature, which referred to this constant factor. He used it together with a number of words that he considered its synonym such as 'background', 'content', 'substrate', 'pure state' and 'natural state' Atmananda used these various words as indications for one and the same thing.

The trouble with language is that each attempt to refer to the essential nature of something can, as quick as a flash, be misunderstood. For instance, a term like 'the essence' can suggest the presence of a tiny 'being' or 'core' within a more coarse form. As if you might discover something's essence by enlarging it more and more using a microscope, continuously searching for what is INSIDE the core. Something of this suggestion repeatedly arises in popular commentaries of the famous 'You Are That' passage in Chandogya Upanishad in which Uddalaka teaches his son by splitting a fruit further and further.

Atmananda was a master in emphasizing the mistake that can lie in this short-sightedness. For this kind of inquiry will always get trapped in what he called the 'objective'. Atmananda used the terms 'objective' and 'subjective' in a way that is uncommon in the West. To him objective was not an indication for the impartial, but for everything that can be observed, everything for the senses and thoughts. The same goes for 'subjective'; here he did not mean a view or opinion colored by a person, but that which is merely Subject, -- that which cannot be observed by definition, and which by Itself constantly illumines whatever is the object.

continued......

Ravi said...

subramanian,
"Three writings on a wall of a College
wash room:

The first day:

1. God is dead - Nietzhe.

The second day:

2. Nietzhe is dead - God.

The third day:

3. Both God and Nietzhe are not dead; They are not even born!"

The Fourth day:
4.Ignore the writings on the wall.Attend to what you came here for!:-)

Graffitis are indeed interesting and very creative as well.

I happen to see one in the Notice Board of IIT Kanpur computer Department.
A Professor had put up a notice that During Thesis Presentation by M Tech Students ,no eatables should be served.

A Student wrote on that :'What about Tea'?

The Professor who happened to notice this responded:
'You do not eat Tea;you should know better'

The Student responded:'I am a Bong(slang for BengAli);i eat Tea'!(In Bengali they ask -chAi kAbey?kAbey means 'Eating' in general.

Namaskar.

Soorya said...

Ravi,

The last sentence says 'Philip was happy.'.

How did he become happy? He got rid of all concepts, of life, of success and failure, of happiness and pain - their relative relevance etc etc. What remains when everything that can be discarded is discarded? That is oneself which is happiness. I find the situation allegorical to the traditional 'neti neti' process in a way. Nisargadutaa Maharaj used to yell 'GET RID OF ALL CONCEPTS' :)). And I used to love reading about his yelling :).

I agree that we begin spiritual journey with the mind 'searching' for happiness, but later on the Satguru points out that as long as one searches one is unable to stay still and unable to be that happiness. That is what I meant by 'throwing away the search for happiness'.Even the desire for liberation(which is also concept for which the mind toils) goes away.

Subramanian. R said...

'I' is a door:

Part III - continues....

This means that the inquiry into something 'inside' as a findable 'essence' or 'core' is incommensurate with any insight regarding the Ultimate. Hence, one cannot say that modern research in physics and true self-inquiry are one and the same thing, as is suggested nowadays in some advaitic circles. Physics will always remain a field of the 'objective'. (It is something like discovering God's particle in CERN laboratory!)

This is likewise the case when the concept 'all-encompassing' is used to express notions such as Cosmos, Space, or the Infinite. Atmananda gave us a useful indication or insight.

"Space (Akasa), though not perceptible to the senses, is certainly conceivable by the mind. So it is really objective in nature. If we take our of Space this last taint of objectivity, it ceases to be dead and inert, become self luminous and it immediately shines as its background, the Reality."

Everything in Atmananda's teaching is about the Subject. It refers exclusively to That which knows. That which knows is not a Knower (not a He or She) but Knowing as such (Jnana). He named this 'Knowing as such' also Experience (anubhava), meaning 'Experiencing as such', and also 'Feeling as such' (rasa). All the three are synonyms for the Wonder which is in fact "I" am. Take for instance the following:

"The 'I'-Principle is the only Experience that one can have. Even though he be an ignorant man, he can only experience Himself. (...) If the experience has many objects, it is no Experience. You are superimposing objects upon your Experience. Your Experience is one and the same, always."; and "I have already proved to you that no one can know nor experience anything other than one's own Self., the 'I' Principle. (....) The only experience is "I" and "I" is the only word which denotes experience"; and 'The I Principle is the only thing that exists. 'I' requires no proof either. The objective cannot exist independent of this 'I' and therefore the 'I' -Principle is the only Ultimate Reality."

continued.....

Subramanian. R said...

'I' is a door:

Part III - continues....

This radical way of speaking, in which virtually everything can be reduced to That which knows, implies that objects need not be ignored or removed, but they can be considered pointers to Reality. In order to recognize the Self, most texts in Advaita tradition consider it a must for a student to learn not to pay attention to the sensory objects. However, Atmananda made it clear that nothing is an obstacle. One is never really swallowed by an object, or hindered by an obstacle. Nothing needs to removed. 'Nothing hides Consciousness.'

The so called ego too, is not an enemy; on the contrary, Atmananda said it is a help. 'Even the much despised ego is a great help to the realization of the Truth. The presence of the ego in man, though in a distorted form, is definitely better than absence of of it, as for example, in a tree. And 'It is the whole ego that seeks liberation and strives for it. When it is directed to the Ultimate Reality, the material part automatically drops away, and the Consciousness
part alone remains over as the real 'I' principle. This is liberation.

Atmananda's emphasis on radical non duality does not mean that he assumed that in the day to day contact between people, the ego has already totally dissolved, and that this was also the case in the contact his students had with him as their teacher. In other words, he did not have the illusion that which he outlined to be ultimately true, was already true for his students, or readers in their activities. Thus, he did not think it helpful to honor 'differencelessness' or non duality in his actual activities as teacher and police officer. He considered it a pitfall to shout all too soon that 'everything is Consciousness' in a worldly or relational environment. And he continued pointing out 'difference' as long as this was the true state of affairs to the student. Thus he considered advaita, non duality, not applicable to the relationship between teacher and student. 'Think of your Guru only in the dualistic sphere,' he said, 'apply your heart wholly to it and get lost in the Guru. Then the Ultimate dances like a child before you.' And moreover' 'Advaita is only a pointer to the Guru. You do not reach Advaita completely until you reach the egoless state. Never even think that you are one with Guru. It will never take you to the Ultimate. On the contrary, that thought will only drown you. Advaita points only to the Ultimate.

continued......

Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt from Swami Vivekananda's 'Inspired Talks':

"Ingersoll once said to me: "I believe in making the most out of this world, in squeezing the orange dry, because this world is all we are sure of." I replied: "I know a better way to squeeze the orange of this world than you do, and I get more out of it. I know I cannot die, so I am not in a hurry; I know there is no fear, so I enjoy the squeezing. I have no duty, no bondage of wife and children and property; I can love all men and women. Everyone is God to me. Think of the joy of loving man as God! Squeeze your orange this way and get ten thousandfold more out of it. Get every single drop."

"That which seems to be the will is the Atman behind, it is really free."

Namaskar.

Subramanian. R said...

Siva temples sung about in Saiva
Canons:

(Lesser known temples.)

tiru usAthAnam - 614 704.

This temple is nowadays called Muthup pettai or Kovilur. This can be reached by bus from Thanjavur. Sri Rama, Lakshmana, Sugriva, Hanuman and Jambavan are said to have prayed to Siva here. Sri Rama is also said to have learnt Vedas' purport from Siva here.

The Lingam is born on its own and not sculpted by any sculptor. It is in white form. Only camphor is applied on the lingam and there are no oblations of any other kind.

There is also a large Siva Lingam outside in the portal. It is in a tub and people fill in water whenever there is no rain, so that with that filling of water, it is believed that rains would come. There is no navagraha in the temple.

Siva is called Mantrapuriswarar. Uma is called Periya Nayaki. The tirtham (holy waters) is a tank called Nirmala tirtham. Saint Tiru Jnana Sambandhar has mentioned this temple in 9 of his verses in Canon 3.

******

Subramanian. R said...

'I' is a door:

Part III - continues.....

Atmananda considered a devotional attitude to be a great help. But in an instruction he made it clear, that such an attitude is only appropriate towards your own Guru. "That particular Person through whom one had he proud privilege of being enlightened, that is the ONLY FORM which one may adore and do Puja to, to one's heart content, as the person of one's Guru. It is true that ALL is the Sadguru, but 'only when the name and form disappear' and not otherwise. Therefore the true aspirant should beware of being deluded into any similar devotional advance to any other form, be it of God or the man." In another statement he reveals how strict and dualistic he was in respect to the student and guru relationship. 'A disciple should never bow allegiance to two Gurus at the same time'; to which he added that 'accepting more than one Guru at a time is even more dangerous than having none at all.'

The following story illustrates how in his daily life Atmananda showed that each of the levels (the Absolute and the relative) requires its own approach, and that consequently, one does not apply the non dualistic approach to the relative level of being. At the beginning of his career, as a station inspector of the Police Department, Atmananda once interrogated a man he suspected of having stolen something. The man had constantly denied it. Them Atmananda told him: 'If you have really committed the theft, as I believe you have, it will be better that you confess it and admit your mistake. If on the other hand, you want to hide the truth from me, you may be able to do so for the time being, but that Principle in you which is watching all your actions will make you suffer throughout the rest of your life for having lied once. You will never be able to hide the Truth from the Principle in you.'

This shows the sensitivity required to live the truth, and not peremptorily claim that untruth is simply Consciousness as well. Imagine the implication of Atmananda's statement: to lie once would end in lifelong suffering! If you realize that this statement is made by a truly radical non dualistic teacher, it simulates us to consider the apparent paradox between what Atmananda teaches at the highest level of understanding and the recognition of the consequences of the actions made by individuals in their day to day activities. If we are identified with the dualistic world we will experience the effects of our actions.

continued.....

Soorya said...

“Space (Akasha), though not perceptible to the senses, is certainly conceivable by the mind. So it is really objective in nature. If we take out of Space this last taint of objectivity, it ceases to be dead and inert, becomes self-luminous and it immediately shines as its background, the Reality.”

A question on this statement - does he mean removal of the last taint of objectivity by the removal of the thought of space being an object and external? Sri Bhagavan has answered to some questions in the 'Talks' to that effect.When someone asked him 'How to know that I am all pervading' He replied, 'By removing the thought that I am not all pervading now'. Sri Atmananda has described how everything can be reduced to the subjective consciousness - the thoughts, sense perceptions, feelings etc etc. It is more like resolving it to it's origin/real nature - still contemplating on this...

Subramanian. R said...

'I' is a door:

Part III - continues.....

In spite of this accurate handling of 'difference;, on the level where differences simply have to be handled, Atmananda was a truly radical non dualist. His radicality made him use a style of writing in which he does not speak ABOUT an 'I' or an 'I'Principle, but FROM the perspective of that. In Atma Dsrshan he wrote some passages in
which Consciousness itself is speaking, in which "I" is speaking, not one so called Atmananda.' It invites the reader to look at things from this 'I' - point of view, as the one and only Realty.

"I am that Consciousness that remains over after the removal of everything objective from Me. (...) Realizing that every object wherever placed is asserting Me, I enjoy Myself everywhere and in everything.' And: 'It is in Me that thoughts and feelings rise and set, I am their changelsss Witness I am the Light of Consciousness in all thoughts and perceptions and the Light of Love in all feelings.'

A couple of years later he continued this style of writing in Atma Nirvritti: 'The world shines because of my Light: without Me, nothing is. I am the light in the perception of the world'; and: 'How can thoughts which rise and set in Me, be other than Myself? When there is thought. I am seeing Myself; when there is no thought, I am remaining in My own glory.'

continued.......

Subramanian. R said...

'I' is a door:

Part III - continues.....

These are beautiful texts, which through their originality can bring about a shock of recognition even more so than traditional texts abut 'the Self' The Self, after all, remains an indication for something in the third person. Whilst speaking about the Self, the suggestion can liner that that is something else than 'me' who is after all, simply I first person. No. I am already That. I am That. 'The 'I' is not That. It is about the recognition of the fact, that I am already That, Consciousness Itself, and that, therefore, I am allowed to speak as such about Myself. The author is giving us, the readers, the example of how to recognize Yourself, and then speak from that perspective as a consequence. The reader is likewise invited in the following passage to experience this recognition.

'I am pure Happiness. All the activities of the sense organs and the mind aim at happiness. Thus all their activities are puja done to Me. I am ever in repose, disinterestedly perceiving this puja. Again and again they touch Me unawares and lapse into passivity. Coming out of it, they continue their puja again. Once they understand that by their activities they are doing puja to Me and in passivity they lie touching Me, all their suffering ceases. Thereafter, actions done will be no action. And passivity will be no passivity, because ignorance has been rooted out.;

continued.....

inchiki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
inchiki said...

i had a dream a couple of nights ago that there was a snake in the Ashram. It stood in front of me - a cobra - but I remembered the stories of Ramana allowing snakes to move over him, and I wasn't scared. It didn't bite, and moved away.

Whenever I dream of the Ashram, or of Ramana, a strange calmness and clarity descends. I always value these dreams and hope I can return again someday.

Subramanian. R said...

'I' is a door:

Atmananda deftly conveys in these texts the understanding that in our
thinking and speaking about ourselves a reversal can occur. We are already looking FROM that which we are looking FOR, we really need not go anywhere. Many authors describe thinking and feeling as enemies. But actually these faculties express the celebration of Us. All my thinking is 'heading' in MY direction in order to arrive at a dissolution in the peace that I am, and this movement in MY direction is not an assault but a natural homecoming. The wrong supposition that thoughts or feelings have to be removed first, results, from the identification with someone who suffers --- a someone who is disturbed by these thoughts and feelings. Atmananda justly calls this a puja because That towards which this worship is
directed is to totally No-thing, that it can only be devoured Therein. It is, therefore, appropriate to say that I, being No-thing, am the only true direction for all thoughts and feelings -- they form a plea to be dissolved, to be ultimately to rest inn Me.

'The real nature of thought is Consciousness, and the true nature of feeling is Happiness. Whenever a thought or feeling arises, you are in your Real Nature as Consciousness and Happiness.' And when you are in deep sleep, you are in your Real Nature. When you are in deep sorrow, you are in your Real Nature. When you are in extreme dispassion or when you are terror stricken, you are in your
Real Nature. When you come to the end of all activity - i.e, death, you are in Your Real Nature. In all these experiences you stand divested of even the idea of body or mind, and when you transcend the mind, you are always in your Real
Nature.

This passage really covers ALL states we can experience, there is no more to be said. I am never deprived of my Real Nature, I can never escape It. This 'I' which everybody experiences, which everybody speaks of, -- exactly the same word -- as always pointing to Itself, which everybody experiences as 'Myself', is my Real Nature. Every state or feeling of separateness has been devoured in Me. 'I' is no door anymore, but the Devourer Itself.

CONCLUDED.

Subramanian. R said...

'I' is a door:

I have not read Nisargadatta in detail and I have not read Atmananda at all before reading this article in 3 parts. I am of the personal view, that these two gurus, use a lot of
words, their own usages and jargons with the result the Direct Path made simple by Sri Bhagavan, with no jargons, manipulated usages, gets complicated.

I would like to confine my reading to the teachings of Sri Bhagavan, His elegant and direct conversations, than to read such matters of these two gurus, which
is like linear algebra and fluid dynamics!

Subramanian. R

Soorya said...

Subramanian R,

:)). Yes these two gurus cause the intellect to work more with their terms and methods, because they give it more food, whereas Sri Bhagavan is very stingy in that :). It seems ideally the guru should keep it as simple as possible and not encourage the intellect of the seeker to grow more than is bare minimum necessary :). I too feel that Sri Bhagavan is smarter in leading one to the goal :)

Soorya said...

Reminded of a beautiful incident from Swami Vivekananda's life, just love it for his childlike nature and directness! :

Mrs. Edith Allan described a teacher-student exchange in one of Swami Vivekananda's San Francisco classes:

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: I am the disciple of a man who could not write his own name, and I am not worthy to undo his shoes. How often have I wished I could take my intellect and throw it into the Ganges!

STUDENT: But, Swami, that is the part of you I like best.

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: That is because you are a fool, Madam — like I am.

Subramanian. R said...

MAYA:

John Grimes:

The cornerstone of any philosophical system is that 'key concept' upon which the system revolves. The key-concept of Advaita is Maya. This entails a little elaboration in order
that a possible misunderstanding does not result. According to Advaitins, Maya does mean 'illusion' as is ordinarily understood in English. Nor does it mean that 'nothing exists'. Maya is an appearance -- and the only person who inquires into this experience, to explain it, is someone under the sway of the appearance. To ask where it came from or if the world is real necessarily implies that the person is presently bewitched by Maya. First one assumes duality is there, and then one wants to investigate it. The snake is not a snake at all. It is a rope and always has been a rope. The Sun does not move, yet one sees it moving. The Sun is self effulgent, like shining on all alike. The Sun has never seen, nor will know darkness. Yet, how wonderful, as soon as one moves out of the sunlight, one discovers darkness. The Sun did not produce the darkness. The Absolute Reality is what is and never is otherwise. How is it conceivably possible for someone to escape to a place where it is not? Yet, that is exactly one's condition. One experiences distance, separation from what which one eternally is!

continued......

Subramanian. R said...

MAYA ;

John Grimes:

continued....

That this misinterpretation / misunderstanding arises is borne out by the fact that the critics sometimes label Advaita as Mayavada and Advaitins are called Mayavadins. These terms are used
disparagingly and yet there is a grain of truth in the matter. What is it? Maya cannot exist or function independent of the Absolute Reality (Brahman) and it ceases to betwitch when Brahman is realized. Still, Maya is the linguistic device by which Advaitin explains how the non dual Brahman appears as multitudinous. Strictly speaking Brahman is the be all and end all of Advaita, and if anything, Advaita should be called Brahma Vada. This is so because Advaita never loses sight of its central doctrine that Brahman is real, the world is non real and the individual is non different from Brahman.

What the critics have done is to mistake the means for the end. The reality of the great Inner Self is Advaita's sole concern. The Advaitin is not interested in proving the existence of Maya. Nonetheless, though Maya is not ultimately real, its importance cannot be exaggerated for the role that it plays in Advaita philosophy. Yet, as real illumined sages know, Advaita is not essentially a philosophy but a state of Being. No one would deny that individuals perceive multiplicity and distinctions. How does this happen? 'Atman, the self luminous, through the power of one's own Maya imagines in oneself, by oneself (all objects that the subject experiences within or without).' This unborn, (changeless, non dual Brahman) appears to undergo modifications only on account of Maya and not otherwise.'

According to Advaita, the real is that which lasts, which suffers no sublation, which is eternal. Appearances are perceived and thus they are not unreal (asat). According to Advaita, the unreal can never appear, not even in one's wildest dreams, e.g square circle or the child of a barren woman. The real (Sat) never changes and thus appearances cannot be real. Yet, miraculously, mysteriously, inscrutably, distinction / multiplicity, all that is perceived as 'other than you' (seemingly) is perceived. Thus, appearances are called 'what is other than the real or the unreal (sad asat vilakshana), illusory, (mithya), indescribable (anirvachaniya), maya. How wonderful!

continued......

Soorya said...

A wonderful quote by Sri Nisargadutta Maharaj:

Be true to your own self, love your self absolutely. Do not pretend that you love others as yourself. Unless you have realized them as one with yourself, you cannot love them. Don't pretend to be what you are not, don't refuse to be what you are. Your love of others is the result of self-knowledge, not its cause. Without self-realization, no virtue is genuine. When you know beyond all doubting that the same life flows through all that is and you are that life, you will love all naturally and spontaneously.

Subramanian. R said...

MAYA:

John Grimes:

It is by means of this concept that Advaita delineates its epistemology, metaphysics, and practical teachings. For instance, epistemology presupposes a subject who knows, the object which is known, and the resulting knowledge. The justification and elucidation of this triple form (triputis) is accounted by maya. Similarly with error, maya is material cause. Superimposition (adhyasa) and the theory of appearance (vivara vada), which both help to explain the problem of error, presupposes maya. An inert, material mind needs the help of consciousness for knowledge to arise. Knowledge exists in and through a conscious experience of multiplicity. And it is maya which is the cause of all these empirical distinctions. The Advaitins contends that the very possibility of empirical distinctions rests upon the existence of maya.

According to the metaphysics of Advaita, the Absolute is One and non dual. Thus arises the apparent problem of the One and the many. What is the relationship between the One and the many, between the Absolute and the relative? The Adivaitin must account for the seeming plurality of the universe if the Reality is One and non dual.
An explanation is called for in regard to the distinction which the Advaitin makes between the Reality with form and the formless Reality.

continued......



Ravi said...

Friends,
Learn to swim before you jump into the water.Otherwise you will drown!
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt from 'I am That':

Q: Which desires are cogent?

M: Desires that destroy their subjects, or objects, or do not subside on satisfaction are self-contradictory and cannot be fulfilled. Only desires motivated by love, goodwill and compassion are beneficial to both the subject and object and can be fully satisfied.

Q: All desires are painful, the holy as well as the unholy.

M: They are not the same and pain is not the same. Passion is painful, compassion -- never. The entire universe strives to fulfil a desire born of compassion.

Namaskar.

Soorya said...

Ravi,

One needs to get into the water at least once in order to learn swimming ,rt? :))

We learn/unlearn by trying and testing various methods, accepting what fits us and rejecting what doesnt. A sadhaka is never embarassed of his/her feeling of imperfection, he may question it but he/she never runs away from it.

Subramanian. R said...

MAYA:

John Grimes.

continues....

The seeming difference between the individual self and the Absolute needs to be explained. The place of God (Iswara) as well as the creation of the world, must be accounted for. Every Indian metaphysical system endeavors to explain these three entities. i.e the Reality, the individual self, and the physical universe. Advaita must explain how these three entities are really one. And this Advaita does by elucidating how the concept of Maya is presupposed in each of these three issues.

Finally, the entire practical teachings of Advaita presuppose the concept of Maya. The bondage of the individual, as well as his liberation, hinges upon Maya. Maya is the root cause of bondage and knowledge is the direct means of its removal. Ethics, aesthetics, and values all have meaning only within the context of Maya. Likewise, all disciplines prescribed for attaining release only become meaningful within the context of maya. By this criterion Brahman alone is real, absolutely Real, never being subject to contradiction. All else will called 'real' only by courtesy. The distinction between one individual and another, the existence of plurality of things, the attribution of attributes to the Absolute are all concessions to the Truth made from the relative point of view.

Thus, maya has a special place is Advaita. It is a philosophical, methodological device to provide an explanation for the inexpressible. There is no water in a mirage. There never has been. Nor ever will be. And yet water is seen! How wonderful. To experience something does not necessarily imply it is real. Appearances appear and believers believe. But that does not make them Real.

concluded.

Subramanian. R said...

The Seven Stages of Jnana Yoga:

There are seven Bhumikas or stages in Jnana Yoga:

1. Subeccha.

2. Vicharana.

3. ThanumAnasi.

4. Sattvapatti.

5. Asamsakti.

6. PadharthAbhavana.

7. Turiya.

Sri Bhagavan has explained this in one of His Conversations.

*****

Subramanian. R said...

The Swami and Dosas:

A Swami sat under a tree in meditation and minding his own business. Along came an abrasive villager, who, for some reason, was enraged by the sight of this peaceful man and he started to goad him.

'What good are you doing by sitting like that?', he demanded,

The Swami did not reply.

'Have you nothing to say for yourself> Can't you justify your actions? Do you suppose that any one is better off for your behavior?'

Still no word from Swami who sat as though the man who was shouting at him did not exist. This aggravated the villager even more. From being annoying, he started to become very rude. Terrible invective was hurled at the silent Swami and he was called the worst and insulting names. Even the crowd that had naturally gathered around was shocked and remonstrated with angry villager, to no effect. He now treated it as a challenge and his foul language and abuse grew wilder and more and more vulgar.

At last Swami opened his eyes and decided to respond. Every time the man called him a bad name, the Swami replied by naming some delicious food.

The man called him a filthy pig. The Swami said Masala Dosa,

The man called him a dog, The Swami
said, Payasam.

The man called him the son of donkey. The Swami said Vadai.

The crowd became fascinated. They asked Swami: Why O Swamji? When that man calls you such bad names why do you reply by naming tasty food?

The Swami replied, 'Whatver that man says he has to swallow. Whatever I say I have to swallow!'

(Aradhana 2004
Mountain Path)

*******





Ravi said...

soorya,
"One needs to get into the water at least once in order to learn swimming ,rt? :)).We learn/unlearn by trying and testing various methods, accepting what fits us and rejecting what doesnt."

Quite true.We learn to love and serve others the same way.

To say that one has to be realized to serve or love others???This is the point in my statement!

This is what the Great Grandma of a Sage Avvayyar says:

சித்திரமும் கைப்பழக்கம் செந்தமிழும் நாப்பழக்கம்
வைத்ததொரு கல்வி மனப்பழக்கம் நித்தம்
நடையும் நடைப்பழக்கம் நட்பும் தயையும்
கொடையும் பிறவிக் குணம்

Chithiramum Kai Pazhakkam Senthamizhum Naapazhakkam
Vaithadhor Kalviyum Manappazhakkam Niththam
Nadaiyum Nadaipazhakkam Natpum Dhayaiyum
Kodaiyum Piravi Gunam


meaning, The finest art is the practice of the hand; The eloquence in Tamil literature is the practice of the tongue; The greatness of knowledge is the practice of the mind; The nobility of behaviour is by the practice of being nobly behaved. The ones that are inborn are - friendly attitude,Compassion and Benevolence.

The More we express these inborn qualities,the more and more they manifest and take us to the very source of these qualities,the Self.

This is the way of SanAtana Dharma.

Namaskar.

Soorya said...

Ravi,

If good qualities come spontaneously to anyone, then what can be better? The point was only against forced pretense of exhibiting good qualities.

For a sage, all virtues come in full and spontaneously. My understanding is, that is what Nisargadutta Maharaj meant. Remember Swamiji once remarked 'What do worldly people know about love,they only make a show of it; the master alone loved'. There is obviously a wide difference in our feelings of compassion/love for fellow beings when compared to that of a self-realized sage.

Ravi said...

Soorya,
The Spontaneousness has to be discovered.Nothing happens out of the Blue.Here even a pretence can open the door to the Real.
This is the very Basis of samskAras.
This is how Sri Ramakrishna puts it:
"Parable of the false ascetic
"One night a fisherman went into a garden and cast his net into the lake in order to steal
some fish. The owner heard him and surrounded him with his servants. They brought
lighted torches and began to search for him. In the mean time the fisherman smeared his
body with ashes and sat under a tree, pretending to be a holy man. The owner and his men
searched a great deal but could not find the thief. All they saw was a holy man covered with
ashes, meditating under a tree. The next day the news spread in the neighbourhood that a
great sage was staying in the garden. People gathered there and saluted him with offerings
of fruit, flowers, and sweets. Many also offered silver and copper coins. 'How strange!'
thought the fisherman. 'I am not a genuine holy man, and still people show such devotion to
me. I shall certainly realize God if I become a true sadhu. There is no doubt about it.'
"If a mere pretence of religious life can bring such spiritual awakening, you can imagine
the effect of real sadhana
. In that state you will surely realize what is real and what is
unreal. God alone is real, and the world is illusory."

We are not talking about people in general but about seekers.

Namaskar.

Soorya said...

Ravi,

'The More we express these inborn qualities,the more and more they manifest and take us to the very source of these qualities,the Self.'

- We are always the Self, the only thing needed is to keep quiet with the mind. We dont need to earn Self realization, we are already that.

"Truth is not a reward for good behaviour, nor a prize for passing some tests. It cannot be brought about. It is the primary, the unborn, the ancient source of all that is. You are eligible because you are. You need not merit truth. It is your own. Just stop running away by running after. Stand still, be quiet."

- Sri Nisargdatta Maharaj

I too thought like you do sometime back, one of the many ideas that dropped away after reaching Sri Bhagavan was the idea of qualifying oneself for the Self :)

It is a different matter where goodness starts to manifest in someone as he drops many of his false identifications, goodness is a byproduct of sadhana,of a honest and sincere life - not a pre-requisite/path to it.

Subramanian. R said...

Siva temples sung about in
Saiva Canons:

(Lesser known temples.)

maruntheesar kovil - 603204.

This temple can be reached from Sri Perumputhur to Singaperumal Kovil,
near Chennai.

To satisfy the appetite of Saint
Sundaramurti, Siva begged food from house to house and fed him here.

Siva is called Maruntheeswarar. Uma is called IruL neeki ammai. Saint Sundaramurti has mentioned this temple in 10 of his verses in Canon 7.

The shrine of Chandikeswara is worth seeing inside the temple. He has got four faces.

******

Subramanian. R said...

Inner Guidance:

Editorial:

Mountain Path, April-June 2007.

For devotees of Sri Ramana Maharshi, who sincerely follow His teachings, there is a conviction that they are subtly and actively guided by the invisible influence of the Guru. It is difficult for those who do not feel this umbilical connection, to comprehend and accept this fact and until they too experience it for themselves, explanations are inadequate.

Ever since the physical demise of Sri Bhagavan, devotees have adjusted to this new reality with varying degrees of success. Sri Bhagavan was aware that after His departure from this world, many would feel lost because they had attached overwhelming importance to His physical presence. He joked once when a statue of Him had been created, that those who were enamored of His form could worship it.

If Sri Bhagavan is not there to be worshipped in a physical form anymore then how is it that we even communicate in our hearts with this mysterious presence?

Though it is difficult to understand, we should realize that Sri Bhagavan's original nature is an expression of our own heart. A devotee who sat before Him once explained to me that when he was graced by a long direct look from Sri Bhagavan, he felt and understood that it was his own self looking at himself. The impact of this revelation, surely the essence of non duality, opened his eyes, to the understanding that he should seek Sri Bhagavan in his own heart, and not to be attached to the external form of the Guru.

We all have felt at least once the overwhelming certainty that Sri Bhagavan is guiding us. People in general do not continue following a line of thought or action, unless there is something in it for them. We are all driven by our own hunger to know the truth, and though we may be fooled some of the time, we stick to that which satisfies a deep craving for fulfillment within us. The fact that so many people continue to have an implicit faith in Sri Bhagavan testifies to the truth of this fact. There is something alive and available we call Ramana, which nourishes us, and on some subtle level we intuitively understand this miracle.

continued......

Subramanian. R said...

Inner Guidance:

continues.....

The innumerable questions our mind throws up can only be resolved by a decisive experience and our purpose in practicing the teaching is to be at one with this pure beingness exemplified by Sri Bhagavan. Until we make the effort we shall never know the truth. We have been instructed time and again that Sri Bhagavan is nothing but the expression of our own heart. As the inner guru, He pulls us into the source and as the external guru, He
pushes us back to the point from where we came. Being in touch with Sri Bhagavan is being in touch with our true self. We spend our lives endeavoring to achieve harmony and eventually realize that the truth is embodied in this simple statement.

When we recognize that our minds are limited and our emotions confused, how then do we focus our attention on Sri Bhagavan in order to gain His attention? How do we create a permanent line of of trust
and communication with that which eludes our heavy handed grasp? If we cannot see nor clutch this elusive being, then of what use is it to us?

There are many pitfalls and delusions to transcend before we arrive at a point of pure consciousness. If we trust the Guru we will be guided aright, but to do what we must first deliberately surrender our own will and wholeheartedly trust the power and sagacity of the teacher. We can do that either by careful reasoning, emotional resonance or more likely a combination of both; but most importantly there must be a living act of mutual recognition between the guru and the seeker which normally occurs in an unexpected moment of transcendent silence. This crucial event is as unmistakable as it is decisive. There may be doubts about many things, but this moment is irrefutable and not even the busy mind can explain it away. We just know. On this basis we start the journey.

continued.......

Subramanian. R said...

Inner Guidance:


continues....


It is our inner yearning for the truth about ourselves which brings us into contact with Sri Bhagavan. No prayer is unheard; no call for help is unanswered. We may not be aware of the forces we have set in motion and it may be many years before our wishes reach fulfillment and even then it is often in a way we had not envisaged. But that is no reason not to place our faith in a higher power. After all, what other choice do we have? When we know that we are incapable of comprehending all the events which act on us, it seems logical to recognize that a greater intelligence is at work. For our lives do reveal moments of epiphany
which lessen, at least temporarily, the crushing burden of ignorance we carry. They open up for an instant the wide horizons of peace and at-oneness. They give us hope that we are not alone and forgotten. They give us the strength and conviction to renew the contract initiated by Sri Bhagavan, when He recognized our sincerity and reached out to us after we took that first, the significant step.

We come into touch with the grace of the Guru by admitting to ourselves that really we do not know who we are. We sincerely ask for help. This simple procedure diminishes the grip of our sense of narrow identification (samskaras) f only for a second, and allows a chink of light to penetrate the barriers of conceit. We have unconsciously developed strategies to protect our false self from every event, thought or emotions which we are afraid might interfere with our sense of apparent well being. A sure sign of ignorance is the inability to be open and flexible. Suppleness of mind and heart is not a weakness but a mark of intelligence.

continued.....

Subramanian. R said...

Inner Guidance:

continues......

After the initial burst of spontaneous grace diminishes we slowly begin to realize that, having once stated it, we naturally want to repeat it, until we live constantly with that lightness of being. We begin to focus if but a moment, on our sense of I-ness, by using that neat tool, atma vichara, or we remember the form of the Guru, which in this case is Sri Ramana. Holding our attention on His compassionate countenance purifies the mind and heart and lessens the gap between the wayward fantasies in which we indulge and which have no basis in the reality, and the stillness where expect nothing, where we live in the present, the only moment there is.

To make the connection permanent calls for dedication, sincerity and perseverance. We bear responsibility for our own actions. And the road is long - a lifetime's worth of effort lies before us. There is no easy course and no short cuts. When we do encounter the Guru, be it inner or external, it gives us a powerful and irresistible impetus to live. To discover who we are in the midst of life's uncertainties. Who has not looked up at the stars at night and wondered the mystery of life and at our purpose in being alive? The Guru is like those distant stars, which fascinate us. In that calm, vast silence of outer space, we see the universe before which our minds have no choice but to surrender in wonder and we hear our minds have no choice but to surrender in wonder and we hear the deep resonance of measureless time which swallows up all our petty notions.

continued.....

Subramanian. R said...

Inner Guidance:

continues.....

When we realize that this grace is so subtle that we cannot grasp it with our ordinary minds, we learn to purify our thoughts and emotions so that we may 'listen' with the spirit. The answer is not to be found in books, or in this magazine, or in visions, or in journeys, or in people. But unfortunately one or more of these can be a signpost along the path. These are aids which seek to catch that which, according to the Upanishads, eludes all knowledge. The Guru is not in these conceptions but is like the unexpected breeze which brushes us and effortlessly disappears despite out attempts to hold on to it. We are always too slow, not from lack of effort but the reverse, --- because we are not endeavoring to catch the wind. If only we could learn to remain truly still in order to flow with wind! The inner Guru is not separate from us and can touch us at any moment.

Unfortunately we are held captive by the apparent reality of this body and mind, but if we can learn how to hear the deep inner throb of the heart, it tells us we are alive and free. Our sincere and persistent efforts eventually enable us to stop for a moment and we see that, despite the evidence to the contrary, we can hover as birds do on the winds of change, fearless and curious.

When we realize there is no solid ground to clutch and rest in naked space, we see too that, like the wind, we can move through life without any notion that can bind us. When we are still, we naturally listen and become a vehicle for the sound of that silence.

Arthur Osborne wrote some wonderful lines in a poem entitled The Wind which illustrates this:

I am the pipe the wind blows
through,
Be still, it is the wind that
sings.
The course of my life and the
things that I do
And the seeming false and the
seeming true
Are the tune of the wind that
neither knows
Good and ill, nor joys and woes.
But the ultimate awe is deeper yet
Than the song or pipe or storm;
For the pipe and tune are the form-
less wind
That seemed for a while to take
form.
And words are good to escape from
words
And strife to escape from strife,
But silence drinks in all the waves
Of song and death and life.

CONCLUDED.

Ravi said...

soorya,
I have said-"'The More we express these inborn qualities,the more and more they manifest and take us to the very source of these qualities,the Self"

I did not mean by this that these are pre-qualifications towards achieving of a Goal.It is to say that we only start living when we express these qualities;Without these one is not even fit to be called a Human being.

I have also said that this does lead one back to the source-The core of our being.

Otherwise we will only be talking about 'Self' and imagine we are there.

You are saying:"I too thought like you do sometime back".

I am not at all sure of this-For I can say that I too once thought like you do at the moment,just minding one's business!(however much one may think of this as a spiritual certitude).It is clear that this will not lead us anywhere in this discussion.

I can understand that if one does not feel inspired to live this way but to state that 'This is not the way' is Dogmatic to me,and not founded on either Practice or experience.

Namaskar.








Soorya said...

Ravi,

There is no dogma involved, all are free to follow their convictions, by the way we started the discussions over few words of Nisargadutta Maharaj wherein you seemed to find something you didnt agree with. It is perfectly fine not to agree with something you are not convinced of, either it is me or you or anyone else :)

Subramanian. R said...

Tattvs Jnana:

From the beginning of the sadhana, simultaneously with the practice of Self Inquiry, the bhavana (the mental visualisation) of: 'The whole manifestation including the world is Atman. That Atman alone is I.' should be daily practiced, as ultimately after realization one sees all objects as superimpositions on the substratum, the Atman. Sage Vasishta, and Sri Rama instructing Hanuman in Muktikopanishad say: The practice of Tattva Jnana of he extinctions of the vasanas and of the mind, all the three should be simultaneous. They should not be taken up at different periods and done separately.

The practice of the above bhavana has another beneficial effect. The sastras say and Sri Bhagavan has also said 'The practice of the bhavana of 'I am the Self' is the highest virtue. Even a moment's dhayana to the effect is enough to destroy all the sanchita karma. It works like the sun before whom darkness is dispelled. If one remains always in such dhayana, can any sin however heinous it may, be survive this dhayana? (Talks, 536).

The smritis state that even a moment's Atma Vichara has the effect of the bath in all the sacred rivers, of the merit of performance of a thousand yagnas and of having liberated one's ancestors from births.

Even prarabdha for one practicing Maha Yoga is much mitigated in its effects and the individual does not feel it much, though the on looker it may appear that he is suffering.

Sri Krishna extolling the path of Jnana to Arjuna in BG ch. IV 35-37 says: 'Of all the sinners, if you happen to be the worst, get over the sins by Jnana. Just as a burning fire turns the wood to ashes, the fire of Jnana reduces all karmas to ashes.

(The Technique of Maha Yoga,.
N.R. Narayana Aiyar.)

******

S. said...

salutations to all:

Soorya/Ravi/Others:
a good friend recently made an interesting remark: "is it that we copy more, read less; read more, think less, talk more, listen less; discuss more, do less; recite more, pray less?" hmmm... guess more time indeed is spent in showing off how good a devotee or genuine a seeker one is than actually being one! :-)))

Soorya said...

S,

True, you maybe right :)

Just wanted to share two songs since some time:
A version of Vaidyanatha ashtakam compiled on Bhagavan :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrQL7zBw4CA

Here is alaipayuthe by Yesudas:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DngurpPulvM

Many thanks to Subramanian R for posting the gems from Mountain Path.

Ravi said...

soorya,
"by the way we started the discussions over few words of Nisargadutta Maharaj "

No friend.The discussion started over Swami Vivekananda and his multi dimensional approach,which is wrongly perceived as 'Activism'.Swamiji clearly perceived that a vast Majority are steeped in Tamas ,mistaking it for Satvva.He always encouraged a multidimensional approach to spiritual sadhana.
This is how he puts it:
"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, dogmas; rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details."

Again he said:
"One sidedness is the bane of the world. The more sides you can develop, the more souls you have and you can see the universe through all souls"

"WHAT you only grasp intellectually may be overthrown by a new argument, but what you realize is yours forever. Talking, talking religion is but little good. Put God behind everything, man, animal, food, work; make this a habit".


This is how Sri Ramakrishna expresses this in this excerpt from The Gospel:
MASTER :"Please cure my illness. I cannot chant the name and glories of God."

DOCTOR: "Meditation is enough."(Here is someone like us advising the Master-'self-enquiry' is enough!:-)Ravi)

MASTER: "What do you mean? Why should I lead a monotonous life? I enjoy my fish in a
variety of dishes: curried fish, fried fish, pickled fish, and so forth! Sometimes I worship
God with rituals, sometimes I repeat His name, sometimes I meditate on Him, sometimes I
sing His name and glories, sometime I dance in His name
."

continued...

Ravi said...

continued...

One of the dimensions that Swamiji introduced as an equally effective sadhana is service to people,which has always been part and parcel of sanAthana Dharma;towards this he set up the Mutt and Mission and these are doing Great service -physical,medical,Educational,as well as spiritual.

I understand that for you this may be like what you have called- 'it stinks' but I have a radically different view on this.My point is that if we can work in organizations to earn our living and all this is not going to affect our 'Ego'(poor thing:-))and is perfectly compatible with spiritual Sadhana,how is it that when it comes to the idea of 'Service'(not even the doing,only the 'idea' of it)brings out an immediate reaction -'This will only serve to feed the 'Ego''???

I find this trait only in those who think or claim that they are pursuing the path of 'JnAna' or 'Self-enquiry'.
I do not find this in devotees who pursue the path of Devotion.

The interesting thing to me is that these people are wary of the same 'Ego' that they deem as unreal.

Namaskar.

S. said...

salutations to all:

Ravi/Soorya:
["...My point is that if we can work in organizations to earn our living and all this is not going to affect our 'Ego'(poor thing:-)) and is perfectly compatible with spiritual Sadhana,how is it that when it comes to the idea of 'Service'(not even the doing,only the 'idea' of it) brings out an immediate reaction -'This will only serve to feed the 'Ego''???..."]

very nicely said :-) and i can't agree more :-) those who find the idea of 'service' inhibiting ought to also necessarily cease serving another for receiving a wage! justifying the latter in the name of 'to support kith & kin' while viewing 'sEvA' as a hindrance is dignified hypocrisy. at least people genuinely engaged in some sort of 'sEvA' do something; on the other hand, we neither do service to men nor attend to the self :-(. as a very good friend shared withe me "everyone who works as an employee for the explicit purpose of receiving a wage from an employer is only a sUdra!".

it's known that many a time bhagavAn had dissuaded grhasthAs from becoming sannyAsis when they came to him seeking his consent but that only meant that householders need not relinquish hearth & home and that they can continue their sAdhanA amidst providing for their family, not that one has to amass money or hoard wealth far beyond all necessities! but that's exactly most of us do, don't we? - work for money, most of which might be found extravagant on second thought!!! service when rendered with a modicum of good intention is indeed one of the most natural ways to learn that which is sine qua non to all sAdhanA - renunciation - in the well-known words of the kaivalyOpanishad - "na karmaNA na prajayA dhanena tyAgenaike amrtatvamAnashuH; pareNa nAkaM nihitaM guhAyAM vibhrAjate yadyatayo vishanti"... :-)

Zee said...

naKarmana naPrajaya is the oft repeated and mostly mis-understood.

Here is the Ratha-Vinita Sutta which most beautifully puts it.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.024.than.html

Soorya said...

Zee,

That was very useful, thank you :)

Ravi said...

Zee,
Please summarize for me what is your understanding of 'na karmanA na prajayA dhanAy na' and how is it linked to what is stated in that sutta's chariot's analogy,or anything else said in that discourse.

Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt from a nice article by Sri Bimal Mohanty:
"It is said: ‘only through man God fulfils Himself’
That is why they say ‘narajanma durlabhatama’. Rare is this human birth. If wasted away, who knows, after how many thousand births and deaths one will get this opportunity again?

And what type of karma or action one should keep on doing? Is it just being busy all the while? Being active does not necessarily means doing karma. The word karma in our scriptures has always been differentiated. There is karma- the right actions, as different from vikarma, the wrong actions and akarma or the state of being actionless.

Karmanah hi api boddhavyam boddhavyam cha vikarmanah;
Akarmanashcha boddhavyam gahanA karmano gatih

It is necessary to discriminate between the correct action (as enjoined by the scriptures), forbidden (or unlawful) action, and also about inaction. It is indeed difficult to understand the nature of action.

Again in another place The Bhagavad Gita says:

SaktAh karmany avidwAnsah yathA kurvanti bhArata;
KuryAt vidwAn tathA asaktah chikirshuh lokasangraham

The ignorants act out of attachment. They remain simply busy. But the enlightened ones, engage in work which is aimed at the common good or welfare of all.

The ‘good’ or ‘welfare’ can not come by blind action, not by akarmah or vikarmah, but by karmah or conscious action, dictated by the intellect with right end and means of action. So the correct action or karma is differentiated by enlightenment. Enlightenment or knowledge is the characteristic of karma and therefore, the life itself.

So the simple instruction is that, be ever engaged in action that will lead to higher knowledge of Brahman- not once in while, but all the time, atandritah.

This is not an empty instruction, which one may or may not follow as per his sweet will. It is imperative. Even The Lord himself does this, himself setting the right example before us, lest in our foolishness we may quickly take the easy way out.

Yadi hi aham na varteyam jAtu karmani atandritah
Mama vartma anuvartante manushyAh pArtha sarvashah

I put even myself into relentless action all the time, so that men will not shirk away from action by citing my example.

The moot question is, ‘are we in action?’ And if we are in action, are we in right action?

If we are, then we are already on our way to realize immortality, the satchidAnanda. We are already on our way to truth, its realization and the everlasting bliss that flows from this realization.

But then, why the majority of us can not do so? Why we are unable to lift ourselves from this world of perpetual darkness?

The Kaivalya Upanishad gives some answer

Na karmanA na prajayA dhanena tyAgena eke amrtattvam Anasuh
Parena nAkam nihitam guhAyAm vibhrAjate yat yatyah visanti

This sloka from The Kaivalya Upanishad not only reiterates the importance of knowledge as life’s goal, but also gives some guidelines to all those who have understood and seek this goal.

It says: None can seek to attain this state of gnosis by just any activity or endevour- (na karmanA). The greatest of all social workers or Samaritans are not necessarily possessor of this knowledge. It is also not obtained as a hereditary gift-( na prajayA). Children of sages and seers are not necessarily knowledge conscious. You can not buy this knowledge with wealth- (na dhanena). This only is achievable by practice of renunciation in true sense- (tyAgena eke-This to me does not mean Renuniciation.It means supreme abandonment). This state which the real practitioners of penance (yatyah), attain, is higher than the concept of the heavenly bliss- (parena nAkam). It shines as the most profound realization within them (nihitam guhAyAm vibhrAjate)"

Those interested may refer:
http://www.ahwan.org/article50.htm
It has some very good articles presented in a cogent simple fashion.Warmly recommended.

Namaskar

Subramanian. R said...

Siva temples sung about in Saiva
Canons:

(Lesser known temples.)

kacchur - 603 204.

This is the twin temple with Maruntheeswarar temple. The story of Siva begging food for Sundaramurti is also attributed to this temple.

Siva is called Virunthitta Iswarar, the one who served feast! Uma is called Anjanakshi. The tirtham (holy waters) is called Amai tirtham (?). The Sthala Viruksham (temple tree) is Banyan tree. Saint Sundaramurti has mentioned this temple in 10 of his verses (along with Maruntheeswarar) in Canon 7.

*******
With this the long list of lesser known Siva temples comes to a close.

*****

Ravi said...

Friends,
An Excerpt from the same series of articles by Sri Bimal Mohanty:
"One can acquire knowledge only being engaged in action. Those who while away time without being active do not gather knowledge and not being in action is as good as being dead. Life is characterized by action and death is characterized by inaction. That is how knowledge- the true knowledge of essential truth of things- and action are linked to life and not death. This is equally applicable to spiritual life as well.


The importance of karma or action in spiritual life is so great that in sanatan philosophy, karma has been lifted up as a path in itself for Brahman realization and has been identified for its own right as karmayoga. Not many philosophies outside sanatan dharma give this status to karma.


But do all actions lead to truth consciousness? The answer is obviously negative. The orientation of our actions must be rightly aimed at truth. If God is equated with truth, then all actions need to be God oriented and God-possessed so that God is revealed through them. If the connection with the divine is constantly remembered, and the divine purpose is sought out to be the purpose behind all our actions, then the quality of all our actions shall acquire a much higher plane of satisfaction. Gita says yogastha kuru karmani. When we are yogastha i.e. established in yoga or in other words yukta or linked with God, our actions are not likely to go wrong and meet failure. Done with a sense of Yoga, the actions automatically attain refinement and astuteness (kaushalya as Gita puts it). When performed with astuteness and crowned with success, the true knowledge dawns.


In success and failure, in pain and pleasure, in comfort and adversity, God has to be the central focus. God has to be the recipient of all the service that we put in life. A poet put it quite nicely: In times of happiness, let the happiness in me be like the ‘shiuli’ flower in winter mornings, falling down gladly at the feet of you my Lord with sincere gratefulness. In times of misery let my misery be like the wick in the candle burning itself out so that by its own burning, the light reveals your face.


The Lord leaves no scope for doubt at all in this regard, when he advises to Arjuna:


Yat karosi, yat asnAsi yat juhosi dadAsi yat

Yat tapasyasi kaunteya tat kurusva madArpanam


What so ever you do, whatever you take or whatever you offer or give away, even your very sAdhanA ought to be performed with me, the Lord as the recipient.


‘All for God in every way’- and that is the key behind all success.


That is the concept of tyaga or sacrifice in sanAtan philosophy. Everything has to be for the Lord, offered to the Lord. My own personal desires, my own attachment to the fruits of my actions should not contaminate the action itself. If an iota of self expectation is mixed with the action, it will entangle me more and more. It will bind me in knots after knots because I do not know, no one has ever been able to fathom, the limits of one’s expectations. And with that kind of load in the mind how can the clarity of knowledge be expected?


So our ancient seers gave us the solution. If Brahman is what you want to know and if Brahman is He, who holds the door to knowledge, then offer your actions to Him only. Do not mix any of your own demands. As greater gifts await you, detach yourself from expectations of minor benefits. That is niskAma karma or action without attachment. That is the underlying principle of tyaga or sacrifice.

To orient one’s mind to this kind of attitude to action, is within the capability of every individual, in small or large measure. One need not be a recluse, need not run to forests nor close one’s eyes to the happenings around. A true Yogi, a true tyagi, simply has a different attitude towards living life. That is all there is to it.

namaskar.

Subramanian. R said...

Maha Deepam - The Inner Path:

Upahar.

(April - June 2007).

In a moment unknown to time,
between the setting and rising of
the worlds,
the Lord of all hearts
has crowned Himself
with His single, unthinkable Fire!

*

He lets fall His cloak of night,
raises up the flowering moon
and unrolls beneath these ever-
willing feet
the naked path of adoration

Auspicious on high the dancing
constellation;
by ancient silent-most rocks
and mirrored in rare, enchanted
waters
the pilgrim dreams the way

*

From a well trod outer way
adorned with many a shrine
the chorus of a million circling
souls
floats on the breeze;
and an inner laughing knowledge
that not even one step is taken
on the heart's round road......

*

And though at times falling among
shadows,
as if pursued, or haunted --
yet in a sudden, absent recognition
aloneness overtakes the traveler
and night becomes a solitary Flame

*

Nameless You are;
even Your most beloved Name
returns this night to the
unspeakable ---

Formless You shine,
for who is here apart from You
to trace your beloved outlines?

All being now is honored and
illumined,
all things prosper and delight;
Creation wonders and wonders
every atom sings Your glory

You stand forever still,
You burn for pure Joy,
You burn at the core of all,
Your burn the core.

*****

Subramanian. R said...

The Names of Siva:

Ramesh Menon:

(Aradhana - 2007; Mountain Path):

Auspicious One,
miraculous Siva,
purer than starlight.

The ancient munis,
older than the spinning world,
Brahma's first children,
heard it whispered among stars,
that you, Aja, are Unborn.

Among all currents,
you are the deepest eddy
in the silent heart;
plumbless Mahahrada,
vortex of eternity.

Your body of light
was once the night of void,
dark Vishwamurti;
spiral nebulae bright pores,
upon your black, velvet skin.

With dance and with fire,
he recalls the universe
into the void;
to the end of time and place,
of dark and light, O Hara.

Khaga, you cross the
sea of of the sky with a stride,
one shore to the other;
but, more, you traverse sorrow,
make the living from the dead.

Unshakeable one,
master of intricate fate,
Dridha of ages.

We infer you are,
by rumor of your lustre,
because there is light;
Alokasambhavya,
our eyes have not seen your face.

The quark's blush you are,
Heartbeat's heart, breath of
breath;
light of the moonbeam
blazing in on sleep's dreamscape,
Sukshma, most subtle one.

You smear yourself with
ashes from the ghats of death,
grave Smasana-nilaya;
where heartbreak do you root for,
that you spend all your nights
here?

Source of the rivers
of serenity you are,
which flow through the stars;
Shanta on your white mountainh,
quiescent one, O Peace!


******

Subramanian. R said...

In Prayer:

Sheela Arundale

(Deepam, 2007, Mountain Path:)

O Lord Almighty!
Supreme Being
I bow to Thee with folded hands.

In gratitude I pray
Thy kindness and blessings
bountiful
Thy Prasadam to me!

What is mine
That is not yours to offer?
This heart full of love pledged
to thee at birth.

I am in pursuit of a noble goal
Not connected with the world;
Make me worthy of Thy Grace.

Let me always be near
And dear to Thee
take and keep me to Thy Goodness.

Make my mind full of Thee
Make my heart wise
Make my foolish tongue sing
praises of Thee!

Steer me from confusion that will
retard me
I want not to be lost to Thee
But ache in desire for Thee.

In the tranquil hour of dawn
Nature's beauty profound
I perceive Thy refection all around
My day then begins In Prayer.

Thy thousand Holy Names I chant
All senses turned to Thee to
purify my heart
I remain in your Paradise!

Peace is what I reap
In Prayer
this priceless gem so rare.

O Lord you read my mind
It's hollow like a bamboo stick
You see my heart it's emptied of
myself.

Oh how I like to be In Prayer
All of me; heart and mind
Body and soul simple resting in
Thee.

In prayer I feel You O Lord,
Closer than my breath, I feel
I am in Thy sweet embrace.

Within my Self I dwell!
The space of infinity, yet
Without prayer I am dull!

Like a magic fountain
I spring to life being in Thee
In Prayer.

continued.....

Subramanian. R said...

In Prayer:

Sheela Arundale: continues.....

In dreams I soar and rise in Thee
I Pray! Let this state
Be an unending dream.

In prayer I'm neither this nor
that
I am nothing
But become the Prayer to Thee.

When in distress I turn to Thee
Without delay Thy goodwill comes
In response to my distress.

Past fades away In Prayer
Future not mine to worry
Present is the gift I offer to
Thee In Prayer.

Faith is Thy Blessing
It grows more and more
In Prayer.

I feel the power of Prayer each
day of my life
Moving the unmoving
This is the Glory of the Divine.

Bless me, Lord! Let my day be full
of prayer
So I remain
In companionship with Thee.

O Lord! Be praised
Thy Holy Name on my lips
Hari Om Hari!

In humble reverence
I raise my hands and eyes to Thee
And place this prayer at Thy Feet.

concluded.

Soorya said...

Wow, my ego(whatever that is) is getting a huuge boost by all the attention it is being showered with - so many lengthy posts, direct quotations from the scriptures...This is really amazing, that mere expressing of my thoughts/inferences of an aspect of Swami Vivekananda's teachings has the potential to bring me into the limelite. This is the ultimate treat an ego can ever dream of.

S,
I am infinitely thankful for your sharing an alternative definition of what a 'sUdra' is! Just wondering if the fact of earning and making money from an employer for the sake of family and yourself(and thereby becoming a sUdra) is making you feel apologetic that you need to support people doing service to get the better of it?

Guys, if you are pouring so much of attention on my ignorant one-sided babblings out of compassion, please stop it, because it's producing the opposite effect, ignore me and let my ego wither and perish. :-(

Subramanian. R said...

Heart and Head:

Arthur Osborne:

In my heart pure being, pure self
of me:
The world a form it takes - unreal;
Happenings a form it takes, people
come and go,
All things.
In my head a mind that cannot stand
alone;
Watches and clings but cannot
stand alone.
Two ways it yearns:
Outward to the world, seeing it a
real thing
Outside itself, full of regrets
and wants,
Tormenting;
Inward to pure being - then again
the world
Appears unreal, a form, in me, its
sting drawn.

How escape the torment
Of an enslaved mind?
Two way:
Mind gone, absorbed in Self -
pure radiance;
Mind re-arisen - then let it
yearn
Not outward to the world but to
the Self -
Warm surge of love, ecstatic bliss.

Both ways are good - world torment
bad.

World-clinging mind that cannot
stand alone --

The world withdrawn at death:
what will it do?
Fears. Will not face it,
Will not face
The thought of it.
With dangling tentacles, the world
to which it clung
Gone all away;
Ivy without a tree
What will it do?

Mind outward turned that seems to
stand alone,
Ghost stiffened into semblance of
a man,
Forgets pure being, forgets its
inner Self,
Forgets, denies,
Knows death ahead.

Catches some glimmer of the Self
behind,
Sees it as other, sees itself
foredoomed,
Frustrated by the world, then
flung away,
Broken at last, bruised, crushed,
devoured,
By that which it thinks other.
The more it fights is broken more,
Crunched against the bars,
Caught in a rat trap.

Catches some glimmer; then the
silent voice
Mellifluous,
Faint perfume hinting of ancestral
home.
Victory in defeat, total defeat,
Total surrender, brings it home
again.
Will it rest now --
Female at last -
Rest and no longer rove,
Rest in the deep clasp of love,
Will it rest now?

******

Subramanian. R said...

Learning To Say Goodbye:

Kevan Myers:

(Jayanti 2007, Mountain Path:)

The other day
I stole my laptop from myself.
I don't know why,
or why I had to wear the clothes
and flesh
of some Tibetan, teenage dope head
as my own disguise.

Why did I do it?
Do I need this test
of my reactions
to this kind of stress?

Why did I do it?
Do I need this test
of my reactions
to this kind of stress?

Why, when I found the broken lock
and empty desk,
was I so calm,
when other times would have me
wail and beat my breast?

Was it because I knew
the hand that carried out this
crime
was just as truly mine
as this, which guides the pen
that writes these words,
or that, which grabs my arm,
and whines, 'bhaksheesh',
which makes this other hand a fist
to threaten this intruder
that has barged into its bliss?

My much beloved, expensive tool
is gone,
and though I miss its music
and the satsanghs I would hear
each day,
its pages of my poetry, its games,
and photos of my family and
friends,
I do not think that anything is
gone

I cannot live without,
and anything that matters
can be found somewhere
inside my mind, if need is there.
And thus I carry on,

waiting to see the consequence and
why,
I should have removed this precious
toy from I.

Yet still I must confess
to feeling vexed and insecure.
not knowing when I'll come back
next to steal more.

******

Subramanian. R said...

Compassion:

Kevan Myers:

(Jayanti - 2007, Mountain Path.)

Grunting upwards, lazy legs,
unused to mountain paths,
weighed double my bag,
and short of gasping breath,
I step aside, to let the faster
feet
of this Tibetan girl go past.

But she, instead stops by my side,
and smiling takes in hand
one handle from my bag
and slows her stride to match my
pace.

And so we walk up hand in hand,
with me, inadequate to speak
the thanks I feel, but most of all,
the joy that there can be
in this humility
that puts me in my place,
confronted by this sister from
the human race.

******

Subramanian. R said...

Where The Eyes May Lie:

(Kevan Myers: Jayanti 2007:
Mountain Path.)

Fool, I am, unsafe
and loud, when faced
by loveliness, whose shine
creates these shadows,
which appear to be
the X-rays of the horrid side of me.


If it were possible, I'd hide
behind a mask.
which has no holes for eyes,
because it's so much safer
when there is no one to see.

But here outside, I laugh
at these dramatic thoughts that wed
these visions
of an overactive head.

For all the time
the me, that chose these roles
is seen, by I,
who merely moves about
so deeply touched by all it finds
that no words need come out.

*****

A Question of Identity:

I guess I love to rave about
my spiritual affairs,
but still I have to ask myself,
'Who cares?'

******

Subramanian. R said...

Hollowed by by Shiva:

Ana Callan:

(April-June 2011, Mountain Path:)

Holy Mountain is eating my face
from the inside, peeling its
layers
clean away until what is left
is luxurious, unmoving space.

until the quiet inside
is all heart overflowing
soft as snow and still
growing until it consumes

the whole world, thought,
emotion useless now
in its thrall. Once

there was an image
of me, a grand, trumped
up story, and now there
is only That, love's
seamless sanctuary.

****

Subramanian. R said...

It:

Billy Doyle.

(April-June 2011, Mountain Path.)

it's before you see
it's before you hear
it's before you think
how can you doubt it
it's nearer than the nearest

it needs no eyes to see it
it needs no ears to hear it
it needs no mind to think it.

*****

Subramanian. R said...

Ever Present:

Billy Doyle:

(Jan-Mar. 2011, Mountain Path:)

it's strange how we identity our-
selves
with the discontinuity
the I-image that manifests
intermittently
ignoring the continuity
ever present Awareness
it's strange how we identify
ourselves
with the contents
the ever changing images of the
personality
ignoring the container
consciousness itself
we're taken by the beads on the
necklace
ignoring the supporting string.

*******

Subramanian. R said...

First of September:

Ana Callan:

(Jan-Mar. 2007, Mountain Path)

The packet of sweets,
the dhoti, coins
all attachments tossed
to the breeze

when he came
to the feet of his Father.

Bearing only the love
in his heart, limitless,
o so much larger
than anything
that can be owned.

*****

Subramanian. R said...

Ghost:

(on the occasion of Venkataraman's
awakening.)

Ana Callan:

(Julu-Sept. 2011)

The boy leaping off a train,
racing through the streets,
his wind whipped hair
a nest of coal and sapphire
is just an apparition;

the rice he almost starves for
and then spills, the teeming
rain, the thousand angels
singing are mere phantoms'
conjured in our hearts
to know what's real:

the ruby rings exchanged
for water, belonging tossed
aside are all illusion

guiding us as he was led
to the magnetic tide of love
swept towards itself --

boy to hill
sage to mountain
god to guru --

leaving us the one
uncompromising signature
of truth.

*****

Subramanian. R said...

A Hillside Lesson:

Cheenu Srinivasan:

(July - Sept. 2011 - Mountain Path.)

I trvelled to my native land
with no expectations or plans in
hand
But only family and friends in mind
And a few visits, music and books
to find.

My wife and I an exception did make
To a holy place for our soul's sake
The travel hours our senses
strained
We finally arrived expectant and
drained.

A hillside trek to a holy abode
On blistered feet I bravely strode
Pain caressed by His eternal
Presence
I reflected over His teachings
essence.

Inside the sage's cottage on this
hill
Is where perhaps His time stood
still
Oh what solace this to my mind
brings
Bereft of material and worldly
things!

My musings broken by a hawker's
call
I'm beckoned towards a hillside
stall
Not just an elephant god for cash
I got
A lesson is contentment was also
taught.

*****

Subramanian. R said...

Shiva:

Ana Callan:

(July - Sept. 2011, Mountain Path)

My Lord of the shimmering limbs
My Candle-lit Lord
My Lord of Divine Composition

You are the bird in my hand
when the hand is crushed.
You are my freedom, my truth,
you're my undefiled love.

All the bells in my heart
and the chains in my gut
are clamouring for you,
for one-life giving touch.

My love is a flood of long nights,
of wild tears and blood.

It is a fire, a fury of flowers
in bud, erupting
in blossom through
the pores of my skin.

Where o where
can I hide now,
My Lord of the Mountain,
My One Lord of White Light?

*****

Subramanian. R said...

Ramana Dying:

Ana Callan:

July - Seot. 2007 - Mountain Path:

The pain of nations tucked
under His arm, swelling
just below the elbow,
pus and blood and bone
could ruin any one
but Him, who welcomes
all suffering inside His
perfect skin, which ripples
now in breathlike tides
over the rim of
separation, flooding
nothing but the dream
flesh, His holy heart wide
open to the predicament
of human wedded
to a form that does not
exist, as He will slowly,
quietly slip out of His
phantom robes, arms
luminous and limp,
the heavens trailing
silver tears in the wake
of His ascension.

*******

Subramanian. R said...

Rama appears To Me As A Wild Animal:

Ana Callan -

(April - June 2011, Mountain Path)

as a sleek mountain lion traversing
the road,
jewel eyes drinking me in, or me
winking back
at the vast fountain of his love,
ferocious
and true, and we feast on each
other
until both are subsumed in the fire
that rips through all separation,
until all rules of me and you
are shredded, eaten alive,
both stalker and prey
leaving nothing but holiest grace,
nothing but cinders, dying
into the light, in its wake.

*******

Subramanian. R said...

Let Go:

Samarender Reddy:

(Jan. - Mar. 2011, Mountain Path.)

What is this attachment to life
we have
When in death we do not taste the
absence of life.
Do we not sleep every night
Die to this world we hold dear.
It is a different matter
We wake up again to the same world.
do we not also every night
Dream up of life for ourselves
But so easily let go of it upon
waking.
When we can renounce without
grief the dream world
Why are we hung up on this waking
world?

******

S. said...

salutations to all:

Soorya:
you seem to be taking things too personally! guess as long as one has an opinion, a strong one at that, one ought to be also prepared to face strong disagreements, isn't it? if one finds it cumbersome to encounter even politely expressed potent disagreements, wonder if there is any meaning at all in talking about high-brow things like annihilating the ego etc.! :-)

laughed well on reading your mail, especially ["...is making you feel apologetic that you need to support people doing service to get the better of it? ..."], for that's how most people often react when cornered :-), no such thing was ever intended though! no need for this kind of 'kutarkam' because the simple point was - if doing a job (primarily for money) isn't a hindrance then why is service seen as as an ego-fattening exercise? - that's all :-) as far as the 'sUdra' reference is concerned, for me, 'brahma jAnAti brAhmaNaH'; everybody else is a sUdra with all other compromising concessions given only to pacify weaklings :-)

regarding your ["...because it's producing the opposite effect, ignore me and let my ego wither and perish..."], why do you want others to ignore you? why not do the easier thing - ignore yourself! :-))) - please don't mind but if getting hurt, the best thing is to keep calm and attend to oneself :-)

Ravi said...

Subramanian,
Ana Callan's verses on Sri Bhagavan are so simple yet captivating like a ballad.They make him come alive in Flesh and Blood.Vivid,sensitive and Wonderful.
Thanks very much for posting.
Namaskar.

Subramanian. R said...

Dear Ravi,

Today, I was feeling posting of
comments, instead of articles. The idea came only after I sat before comp. I just went through 2007 and 2011 issues of MP and I found a good
collection of good poems, So I posted them, Ana Callan Ram's poems are from a book that he wrote under the title 'The boy who would be the Sage. This is priced at $ 20.00 but
the Asramam got 10 copies to be sold at reasonably good Indian price. The Asramam was selling at Rs 200 each. All the 10 copies got sold out on the same day. I couldn't get my copy!

Subramanian. R

Subramanian. R said...

The Chant of Dawn:

1. Dawn is rising on Aruna Hill
Sweet Ramana, come!
Lord Arunachala, come!

2, In the bush the koel sings,
Dear Master Ramana, come!
Lord of Knowledge, come!

3. The conch blows, the stars are
dim
Sweet Ramana, come!
Lord God of gods, come!

4. The cocks crow, the birds chirp
It's already time, come!
The dark night has fled, come!

5. The trumpets blow, the drums
beat,
Gold-bright Ramana, come!
Knowledge awake, come!

6. The crows caw, it is morn
Snake decked Lord, come!
Blue throated Lord, come!

7. Ignorance has fled, the
lotuses blossom,
Wise Lord Ramana, come!
Crown of the Vedas, come!

8. Untainted by qualities, Lord
of liberation
Benevolent Ramana, come!
Lord of Peace, come!

9. Sage and Lord, One with Being
Knowledge
Lord dancing in joy, come!

10. Love on the summit of
knowledge,
Beyond pleasure and pain,
come!
Blissful Silence, come.

(Kalai Pattu; Satyamangalam Venkataramana Iyer.)

*****

Ravi said...

Subramanian,
Ramana Stuti panchakam rivals Arunachala Pancha Ratnam!I have to say that in terms of sweetness and ease of flow,it is unrivalled.
NamaskAr.

Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
As evening came on, the temples were lighted up. Sri Ramakrishna was seated on his small
couch, meditating on the Divine Mother. Then he chanted the names of God. Incense was
burnt in the room, where an oil lamp had been lighted. Sounds of conch-shells and gongs
came floating on the air as the evening worship began in the temple of Kali. The light of the
moon flooded all the quarters. The Master again spoke to M.
God and worldly duties
MASTER: "Perform your duties in an unselfish spirit. The work that Vidyasagar is engaged
in is very good. Always try to perform your duties without desiring any result
."
M: "Yes, sir. But may I know if one can realize God while performing one's duties? Can
'Rama' and 'desire' coexist? The other day I read in a Hindi couplet: 'Where Rama is, there
desire cannot be; where desire is, there Rama cannot be.' "
MASTER: "All, without exception, perform work. Even to chant the name and glories of
God is work, as is the meditation of the non-dualist on 'I am He'. Breathing is also an
activity. There is no way of renouncing work altogether. So do your work, but surrender the
result to God
."
God and worldly duties
M: "Sir, may I make an effort to earn more money?"
MASTER: "It is permissible to do so to maintain a religious family. You may try to
increase your income, but in an honest way. The goal of life is not the earning of money,
but the service of God. Money is not harmful if it is devoted to the service of God."
M: "How long should a man feel obliged to do his duty toward his wife and children?"
MASTER: "As long as they feel pinched for food and clothing. But one need not take the
responsibility of a son when he is able to support himself. When the young fledgling learns
to pick its own food, its mother pecks it if it comes to her for food."
M: "How long must one do one's duty?"
MASTER: "The blossom drops off when the fruit appears. One doesn't have to do one's
duty after the attainment of God, nor does one feel like doing it then
.
"If a drunkard takes too much liquor he cannot retain consciousness. If he takes only two
or three glasses, he can go on with his work. As you advance nearer and nearer to God, He
will reduce your activities little by little. Have no fear.
"Finish the few duties you have at hand, and then you will have peace. When the mistress
of the house goes to bathe after finishing her cooking and other household duties, she won't
come back, however you may shout after her."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here the Master is categorical that 'duties' have to be done until one is established in God-Realization.He is also clearly advising what is immensely practical that they can be done with an attitude of surrender to God.
What happens after the Realization of God?What happens to 'work or action' in the world?
I will share what the Master has said, in another post.
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
(To M. and Prankrishna) "Many people talk of Brahmajnana, but their minds are always
preoccupied with lower things: house, buildings, money, name, and sense pleasures. As
long as you stand at the foot of the Monument, so long do you see horses, carriages,
Englishmen, and Englishwomen. But when you climb to its top, you behold the sky and the
ocean stretching to infinity. Then you do not enjoy buildings, carriages, horses, or men.
They look like ants.
"All such things as attachment to the world and enthusiasm for 'woman and gold' disappear
after the attainment of the Knowledge of Brahman. Then comes the cessation of all
passions. When the log burns, it makes a crackling noise and one sees the flame. But when
the burning is over and only ash remains, then no more noise is heard. Thirst disappears
with the destruction of attachment. Finally comes peace.
"The nearer you come to God, the more you feel peace. Peace, peace, peace-supreme
peace! The nearer you come to the Ganges, the more you feel its coolness. You will feel
completely soothed when you plunge into the river
".
"But the universe and its created beings, and the twenty-four cosmic principles, all exist
because God exists. Nothing remains if God is eliminated. The number increases if you put
many zeros after the figure one; but the zeros don't have any value if the one is not there."
The Master continued: "There are some who come down, as it were, after attaining the
Knowledge of Brahman-after samadhi-and retain the 'ego of Knowledge' or the 'ego of
Devotion', just as there are people who, of their own sweet will, stay in the market-place
after the market breaks up. This was the case with sages like Narada. They kept the 'ego of
Devotion' for the purpose of teaching men. Sankaracharya kept the 'ego of Knowledge' for
the same purpose
.
"God cannot be realized if there is the slightest attachment to the things of the world. A
thread cannot pass through the eye of a needle if the tiniest fibre sticks out.
"The anger and lust of a man who has realized God are only appearances. They are like a
burnt string. It looks like a string, but a mere puff blows it away
".
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
Nature of Brahman cannot he described
"What Brahman is cannot be described. Even he who knows It cannot talk about It. There is
a saying that a boat, once reaching the 'black waters' of the ocean, cannot come back.
Parable of the four friends
"Once four friends, in the course of a walk, saw a place enclosed by a wall. The wall was
very high. They all became eager to know what was inside. One of them climbed to the top
of the wall. What he saw on looking inside made him speechless with wonder. He only
cried,'Ah! Ah!' and dropped in. He could not give any information about what he saw. The
others, too, climbed the wall, uttered the same cry, 'Ah! Ah!', and jumped in. Now who
could tell what was inside?
"Sages like Jadabharata and Dattatreya, after realizing Brahman, could not describe It. A
man's 'I' completely disappears when he goes into samadhi after attaining the Knowledge of
Brahman. That is why Ramprasad sang, addressing his mind:
If you should find the task too hard, Call upon Ramprasad for help.
The mind must completely merge itself in Knowledge. But that is not enough. 'Ramprasad',
that is, the principle of 'I', must vanish too. Then alone does one get the Knowledge of
Brahman
."
A DEVOTEE: "Sir, is it possible then that Sukadeva did not have the ultimate
Knowledge?"
MASTER: "According to some people, Sukadeva only saw and touched the Ocean of
Brahman; he did not dive into It. That is why he could return to the world and impart
religious instruction. According to others, he returned to the world of name and form, after
attaining the Knowledge of Brahman, for the purpose of teaching others. He had to recite
the Bhagavata to King Parikshit and had to teach people in various ways; therefore God did
not destroy his 'I' altogether. God kept in him the 'ego of Knowledge.
' "
God and religious organization
DEVOTEE: "Can one keep up an organization after attaining the Knowledge of Brahman?"
MASTER: "Once I talked to Keshab Sen about the Knowledge of Brahman. He asked me
to explain it further. I said, 'If I proceed further, then you won't be able to preserve your
organization and following.' 'Then please stop here!' replied Keshab. (All laugh.) But still I
said to Keshab: ' "I" and "mine" indicate ignorance. Without ignorance one cannot have
such a feeling as "I am the doer; these are my wife, children, possessions, name and
fame".' Thereupon Keshab said, 'Sir, if one gave up the "I", nothing whatsoever would
remain.' I reassured him and said: 'I am not asking you to give up all of the "I". You should
give up only the "unripe I". The "unripe I" makes one feel: "I am the doer. These are my
wife and children. I am a teacher." Renounce this. "unripe I" and keep the "ripe I", which
will make you feel that you are the servant of God, His devotee, and that God is the Doer
and you are His instrument.
' "

continued.....

Ravi said...

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued...
DEVOTEE: "Can the 'ripe I' form an organization?"
Two kinds of ego
MASTER: "I said to Keshab Sen that the 'I' that says, 'I am a leader, I have formed this
party, I am teaching people', is the 'unripe I'. It is very difficult to preach religion. It is not
possible to do so without receiving the commandment of God. The permission of God is
necessary. Sukadeva had a command from God to recite the Bhagavata. If, after realizing
God, a man gets His command and becomes a preacher or teacher, then that preaching or
teaching does no harm. His 'I' is not 'unripe'; it is 'ripe'
.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Narendra was recognized by the Master as one such eternally free soul who was born to teach, when he met Narendra who was then a lad of 19!One day, towards the end of his life,the Master, wrote on a piece of paper, 'Naren will teach
people.'" When Narendra said,'I won't do such a thing',the Master said 'Your very bones will do it'.
Later on as Swami Vivekananda said to a Disciple:'My son, there is no rest for me. That which Sri Ramakrishna called "Kali" took possession of my body and soul three or four days before his passing away. That makes me work and work and never lets me keep still or look to my personal comfort".
I have posted this not for our friend soorya,but for those who like him may have been intrigued about Swamiji's life and teachings.
Namaskar.

Subramanian. R said...

Suri Nagamma:

Monika Alder

(April - June 2007, Mountain Path.)

Introduction:

When I first entered the gates of Sri Ramanasramam, six years ago, I knew very little about Sri Ramana Maharshi and His teachings. But after a few hours I realized that the most important event of my life was happening. In the bookshop of the Asramam, I later picked up the
book Letters from Sri Ramanasramam by Suri Nagamma. I read her letters with a mixture of astonishment and excitement and felt they were addressed to me - one woman speaking to another woman. She was speaking about feelings and doubts similar to those that I had. All her words took me a step closer to Sri Bhagavan and almost made me forget that I lived sixty years later. While reading the book I had the strange feeling of hearing Sri Bhagavan's voice talking to Nagamma who was affectionately called as 'the Asramam daughter' by many.

Last November on the first day of my annual visit to Sri Ramanasramam some people greeted me with the warm words 'Welcome home'. Am I worthy of such warm welcome? Yes, I said to myself, I am Sri Bhagavan's daughter too. His fatherly love and divine grace accompanied me from the first moment, but my personal experiences were varied. All these years I have been sitting for some weeks each year in the various halls of the Asramam, experiencing the extremities of ecstasy and despair. Every time I return home, something changes in my life, usually, momentarily, for the worse. But if I look back on these years I cherish every moment. Sri Bhagavan is there in all my happiness and sorrow.

As Nagamma remembers in one of her letters, Sri Bhagavan kept saying:

"The Jnani weeps with the weeping, laughs with the laughing, plays with the playful, sings with those who sing, keeping time to the songs. What does he lose? His Presence is like a pure, transparent mirror. If reflects our image as exactly we are."

continued.....

Subramanian. R said...

Suri Nagamma:

Monika Alder:

continues......

Sri Bhagavan demonstrated fatherly love and care for Nagamma and I feel His guidance in all my endeavors. Why? Because for me Sri Bhagavan became father, guru and god at the very moment I stepped into the Asramam.

In the following pages, I would like to give a short biographical sketch of Nagamma, the asramam daughter. I offer this article with gratitude to my beloved Father, Sri Ramana and my beloved Sister, Suri Nagamma.

One of the most well known biographers of Sri Ramana Maharshi, Suri Nagamma recorded in her book Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, events, discussions and personal experiences that happened around Sri Bhagavan between 1945 and the Brahma Nirvana.

Although the family didn't waste money on the education of the early-widowed young girl, Nagamma, became familiar with Telugu poetry and became a Sadhaka who soared to spiritual heights. She took each word of Sri Bhagavan's for gospel and once He had revealed to Nagamma that cobras may be highly developed spiritual beings who disguise themselves in this way, so that they can participate in the worship of gods. She was 52 years old when, putting her life into Sri Bhagavan's hands, she kindly asked a giant cobra that came near her in a shrine to leave. By Sri Ramana Maharshi's grace, Suri Nagamma ca,e from the deepest bottom of despair to the place where each spiritual seeker wants to arrive, the feet of a Sadguru.

Darshan in Dream:

Her life took a sad turn already at the age of four, when her father died in 1906. She was ten when she lost her mother. At the age of eleven she got married and a year later, she became a widow. To be a widow at such young age was a life long tragedy at the time because local customs prohibited the remarriage of widows.

She didn't leave her room for months, she hardly ate, and became extremely weak. After a while, however, she began to read religious books, such as the holy sciptures: Bhagavatam, Bhagavad Gita, and Mahabharata. She wept through many a night. An intense desire awoke in her to meet a Guru who would accept her as a disciple. One night in a dream she had the darshan of a sage, who was seated in lotus posture on a two meter high pedestal facing south, with his hands in mounamudra like Lord Dakshinamurti. When she saw this brilliant figure a thrill went down her spine. But she wanted to stand up and pay reverence to him, the dram disappeared. This vision left a vivid mark on her mind and every time she recalled it she prayed to God with passionate yearning to grant her the grace to serve a Guru within her present life time.

Her prayer was granted when her brother, having visited Sri Ramanasramam during a pilgrimage, immediately advised her to visit Tiruvannamalai where a saint was living.

continued......

Subramanian. R said...

Suri Nagamma:

continues......

The Second Darshan of Sri Ramana Maharshi:

When somebody goes to a sage for darshan it is usual to take flowers, fruits and sweets, as an offering. It came into Nagamma's mind at the last minute, that she was arriving with empty hands. At that moment, however, an earlier poem of hers flashed through her mind:

"A realized soul does not desire wealth from those who approach him. So give him the flower of your mind and obtain his benediction by devotion and service."

She sat down at the place designated for women in the Old Hall where the Maharshi lived and closed her eyes. Ten minutes later, raising her eyes, she saw that Sri Bhagavan was looking intensely at her. His look penetrated into the deeper core of her existence, and all her worries vanished.

At that moment, she knew that her prayers had been granted and that she had arrived at the place she had been longing for all her life. Her search had ended and as she used to say, she had found her haven. Shortly after her first visit, she moved to Tiruvannamalai, and spent the following nine years of her life with Sri Bhagavan.

The Origin of the Letters:

Nagamme considered her poems and writings a private matter so even her family members knew nothing about them. Taking courage because Sri Ramana understood Nagamma's mother tongue Telugu, she wrote eight verses titled Saranagati (Surrender) and handed them to Sri Bhagavan, who had read them with interest. "Look! Her name is Nagamma, it seems. These are verses on Saranagati. Paste them in the book!" This was Sri Bhagavan's first encouragement to the shy Nagamma to pursue writing.

Encouraged by her brother, Nagamma began to write letters to her family in 1945, in which she recorded what happened in Sri Bhagavan's presence. When Bhagavan learnt this He asked Nagamma to read out her letters in the Hall. At that moment she knew that His blessings were on her letters. She put aside her previous doubts as to whether she was worthy of this task and she worked through the nights to record what she heard and saw during the days.

During her work, she had to face serious difficulties too. All of a sudden the Sarvadhikari of the Asramam, Sri Niranjananda Swami forbade her to continue writing letters and ordered her to hand them all over to him. Crying bitterly, Nagamma handed over all her unpublished letters. However, her brother had wisely taken the originals with him to Madras. Sri Ramana usually did not intervene in personal conflicts in the Asramam. But His invisible help restored Nagamma's hope. She did not enter the Asramam for ten days, but sent Sri Bhagavan a poem in which she begged for His help. When the closest disciples of Sri Bhagavan, among them, Kunju Swami and Muruganar, encouraged her to continue writing her letters. Gathering her courage, Nagamma went to the Asramam again. Sri Bhagavan received her warmly with a smile and He recounted her for an hour what had happened while she was absent. He gave details of what devotees and visitors had asked and what He had answered. Nagamma could not have received stronger encouragement to continue her job.

continued....

Subramanian. R said...

Suri Nagamma:

Monika Alder:

continues......

Some of her letters were published in a book form during Sri Bhagavan's lifetime and later all her letters came out in a five volume Telugu edition. A distant cousin of the author D.S. Sastri, translated the letters into English and 241 of them were published in the book entitled Letters From Sri
Ramanasramam.

The letters give a true description of Sri Ramana's everyday life, His extraordinary being and the guidance He gave to seekers who turned to Him. Through a woman's eyes, we get an insight into everyday life in the Asramam. Numerous books and memoirs about the life and teaching of the sage have been published. However, Nagamma's writings are unique because of her personal tone, her sensitivity and her focus on detail. All her words are soaked with her love for Sri Bhagavan.

Life in the Asramam:

Women, particularly single women, had to face many obstacles at that time. They were neither allowed to travel without chaperones nor to live their own. They also weren't allowed to stay in the Asramam after 6.00 pm. They had to sit behind men, at the end of the Hall, where it was more difficult to see and hear Sri Bhagavan. Though Nagamma was reserved and shy, her silent resolve and her unlimited love and devotion for Sri Bhagavan aroused respect and recognition among several of the other residents of the Asramam.

Having arrived in Tiruvannamalai, she first shared a home with Echammmal who had taken food for Sri Bhagavan for thirty eight years on each and every day. She listened to Echammal's stories about the early days of the Asramam. She got up at 3.00 a.m., had a wash, cleaned the room and cooked her food. She spent the whole day in the Asramam. In the evening she wrote down what had happened during the day.

Besides her letters, Nagamma had other responsibilities in the Asramam. She became the Telugu expert of the Asramam and if poems had to be transcribed or notes had to be taken in this language, it was Nagamma's responsibility. Sri Bhagavan had her read out all her poems which were written in Telugu. During one period, she looked after the Asramam library and later on assisted women and children visiting the Asramam. She often accompanied visitors on giri pradakshina.

Sometimes she visited her brother and sisters but she was never away from Sri Bhagavan for more than a few days. Sri Bhagavan was both mother and father to her, and the
residents of the Asramam became the family for the woman who had lost her parents so early. The older generation still describes her as the daughter of the Asramam.

continued......

Subramanian. R said...

Suri Nagamma:

Monika Alder:

continues.....

Guru and Disciple:

Though Nagamma knew from the first moment that she saw Sri Bhagavan that she had come home, in the beginning she was shy to approach Sri Bhagavan and was afraid of talking to Him. However, encouraged by Echammal, she once went to Sri Bhagavan and in shaky voice said: "Please help me to attain liberation." Sri Ramana gave her a compassionate look to her and nodded. Nagamma understood that Sri Bhagavan had taken her in His protection:

"Sri Bhagavan's grace thus began flowing through a dry land and making it flower and blossom. I started my Sadhana by inquiring into the origin of thoughts. My mind however used to be led away involuntarily through misconceptions and illusions. On such occasions, Sri Bhagavan would look at me pointedly as if to scare off such thoughts."

Though never in an obvious way, Sri Bhagavan followed carefully and with deep love the spiritual development of all the disciples who lived around Him. Sri Bhagavan showed the love of a father towards Nagamma. If she wssn't there, at the usual time, Sri Bhagavan immediately asked: 'Where is Nagamma?' Once when they were preparing for a special occasion, Sri Bhagavan kept saying during that day: Nagamma will certainly be here. Nagamma wouldn't miss it."

Sri Bhagavan was sometimes strict with her, bringing her focus back towards the goal, namely attaining Jnana. According to Nagamma, her experience of the Guru's Grace, as in Advaitic parable, was like an elephant seeing a lion in its dream and being afraid of falling asleep again lest it appear again.

continued.....

Ravi said...

Subramanian,
Suri nAgamma's Letters from Sri Ramanasramam is one of the Best accounts of Life with Sri Bhagavan.Reading it puts one right at the feet of Bhagavan.It captures the wonderful ambience and the day to day happenings in Sri Bhagavan's presence in a graphic and vivid portrayal.
Namaskar.

Subramanian. R said...

Suri Nagamma:

Monika Alder.

Continues.......

Life Away From the Asramam

Sri Bhagavan's sickness and suffering were a great trauma for
each of His disciples who begged Him in tears to transmit the disease to them. They would have died for His recovery. Sri Bhagavan bore even the most painful treatments and operations with peace and detachment, giving His disciples upadesa even through His sickness. He explained to them that the body was like a heavy burden for a Jnani and it was a relief to put it down at the end of the path. Anyway, where could He go? He would be here forever - He assured them.

Sri Bhagavan gave His beloved devotee, Nagamma a teaching even on the day of His passing away. During the last darshan Nagamma read out the following message from His eyes: 'Look at me! How long do you want to keep me in this injured body? When will you give up clinging to this body?' Nagamma understood this and sent Sri Bhagavan a message with her eyes: 'You don't need to bear this burden for us any longer.' It was a farewell of the beloved daughter to her Father. Sri Bhagavan left His body a few hours later.

Following the Brahmanirvana, Nagamma spent three more years in Tiruvannamalai. Then she became seriously ill and needed her family to look after her. After she recovered she lived alone with her beloved guru in her heart. Visitors often came to her and she used read out her letters to them. Once a year she visited the Asramam, usually on Sri Bhagavan's Jayanti Day.

One of her last messages to the present generation is as follows:

"We should therefore pursue Self Inquiry and find out our reality. Among innumerable living beings, man is the only one endowed with spiritual apprehension. So it must be made proper use of to bring about the freedom from the endless cycle of births and deaths. Sages like Ramana Bhagavan come into this world only to help people find out their reality. Taking this to heart, let us all press on and stop not until the goal is reached."

CONCLUDED.


Subramanian. R said...

Dear Ravi,

I agree. Suri Nagamma's accounts were a simple narration but full of her intense love and surrender to Sri Bhagavan. I do not know about her original Telugu version, but the recently rendered Tamizh version (by one Visaka directly from Telugu) captures these wonderful moments lucidly.

Subramanian. R

Subramanian. R said...

Arthur Osborne:

(Christopher Quilkey)

Jan-Mar. 2007, Mountain Path:

Arthur Osborne's birth centenary was on the 25th September 2006. It was typical of this self effacing man that we did not notice this significant date at the time and were only told by a devotee after the fact.

Arthur's life in this world was relatively short. He died at the age of 64. Probably the hardships and deprivations he suffered as a captive in Bangkok during the Second World War contributed.

He left us a legacy of writing about Sri Ramana which will live on as long as there are people who read about Sri Bhagavan. He wrote in a simple, straightforward style. There were neither literary effects nor for that matter any superfluous words. He thought the message was more important than the messenger.

As the founder editor of Mountain Path, he opened up a new world for many, particularly in the West who had trouble with Sanskrit terminology and Indian philosophical terms in general. As in his life, he went right to the heart of an argument and said what was absolutely necessary so readers could quickly and easily grasp the essentials.

When I write an editorial it is composed in part with the spirit of Arthur's style in mind. His was the first work I read on Sri Bhagavan and through the language of his booklet Ramana Arunachala looked deceptively plain and approachable, one instinctively felt that there were layers of deeper understanding which eluded comprehension. Sometimes I look at his editorials for inspiration but try not to read too much, otherwise my editorial wouldn't get written at all! Arthur in his inimitable way has said all that is necessary to clarify the path of Sri Ramana. The best one can do while doggedly following in his steps is to be true to the teaching and try to leave no individual tracks.

continued......

Subramanian. R said...

Arthur Osborne:

Christopher Quilkey:

continues....

He was one of the few people I actually wanted to meet when, on first arriving at Arunachala in 1975, it was with deep disappointment that I heard he was dead. He had worked extremely hard creating Mountain Path with a bare minimum of facilities along with V. Ganesan, the managing editor who was a big help to him. It is hard to us in this computer age to realize the amount of labor required to type and proof-read each draft which originally he did almost entirely single-handedly. He created a highly respected journal which became internationally known and one can easily imagine Sri Bhagavan's Grace was solidly behind the enterprise. In 1968, with perhaps intimations that his time in this world was limited, because an operation was planned which had only a fair chance of success, he wrote ten editorials, one after another. He had a tidy mind and so, in order to leave things properly arranged for whoever would follow him, he planned and executed over two years magazine material and then put down his pen. The final period of his life was spent mainly in silence. His final editorial was in April 1970. The next month, he died at Bangalore on the 7th May. His body was brought back to Tiruvannamalai by his adoring wife and courageous fellow traveler Lucia Osborne. His grave lies in a quite spot under some trees in the Osborne Compound and one can sense,
if the trouble is taken to be still in that tranquil atmosphere, a serene peace that is quiet subtle. It doesn't hit you in the eye with raw power but nonetheless there is delicate undertone of acceptance and support. His discreet presence permeates the resting place.

continued......

Subramanian. R said...

Arthur Osborne:

Christopher Quilkey:

continues...

When we read accounts of Arthur there is no doubt that he was a gentleman of the old school. He was emotionally undemonstrative but naturally polite and reserved, not out of arrogance but more out of respect for whosoever he was with. He never uttered a word more than necessary and was content to remain perfectly quiet for any length of time, much to the discomfort of those who came to seek his company and hoped for a string of wise statements from him. He had no small talk. This was apparently quite a contrast to his younger University days when he was gregarious; a member of a debating team and various other societies which were part of the normal activities available at Oxford. But he always retained his wit and an unexpectedly delightful dry sense of humor.

Unless one knew it from his writings or his acquaintances, his placid demeanor would disguise his powerful and unrelenting dedication to the teachings of his guru. Arthur did not believe in half measures and though he was married and had three children, his heart and soul was dedicated to the quest for truth. Like an Arthurian knight, once he had committed his life, there was no slackening nor turning back.

We could guess that from the fact that he and his wife came to the East seeking knowledge at a time when such behavior was not only fashionable, but considered by family and friends in Europe as, at best eccentric, at worst mad. Arthur had a brilliant academic career and was being groomed as don for All Souls, the elite college at Oxford, when he returned his back on that scholastic tradition.

He saw early that the world of the mind was inadequate for the task of understanding the meaning of life. He searched for a position which would aid him to find the time and leisure to pursue his own interests. He had two offers. The first at an archaelogical college in Palestine, and the second, with the British Council in Poland. He took up the latter. It was destiny as it was there he met and married Ludka Lipszyc, as Lucia was then known. She was a kindred spirit and was fortunately endowed with many qualities which he lacked. Where he was an idealist and a scholar, she was practical and down to earth. She came from a line of Jewish scholars and deeply respected Arthur's fine intellect.She was fluent in six languages and he in at least four, including
Arabic. Together they forged a bond that gave them the strength to face and accept all the vicissitudes to which they were subjected in the next thirty years.

continued.....

Subramanian. R said...

Arthur Osborne:

Christopher Quikey:

continues......

Arthur was released from prison in 1945, and came to Arunachala to be with his family and Sri Bhagavan who blessed him. Arthur had known about Sri Bhagavan's greatness for many years but due to his association with Rene Guenon had thought that though Sri Bhagavan was a Jivan Mukta, he did not teach and therefore could not guide seekers. It was only when he came to Tiruvannamalai he realized Sri Bhagavan was a guide. Sometime after his arrival at Arunachala, he showed Sri Bhagavan a letter he had composed to Guenon stating that Sri Bhagavan was a guru. Sri Bhagavan read it carefully and gave His consent for the letter to be sent. Arthur cut his ties with Sufi tradition which he had hitherto practiced and from then on exclusively followed the teachings of Sri Bhagavan. The subsequent passing of Sri Bhagavan from this world in no way diminished his faith, for he knew with implicit trust and experience that Sri Bhagavan was always available to help and guide all who sincerely ask.

He was employed as an editor at the Indian Express newspaper in Madras, and learnt to pare down his writing to what was exact and indispensable. He later became headmaster of the Hindi School at Calcutta and in 1958, he and Lucia finally settled for good at Tiruvannalai when barely enough savings had been accumulated for them to live simply and even this was due almost entirely to his wife's practical nature. Arthur then devoted the rest of his life to writing about which he loved best. The life and teachings of Sri Ramana. He wrote a biography Ramana
Maharshi and the Path of
Self Knowledge which is the best biography on Sri Bhagavan. Ramana Arunachala; The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi in His Own Words; Buddhism and Christianity in the Light of Hinduism. Many of his articles from Mountain Path are collected in For Those with Little Dust and Be Still, It is the Wind that Sings. Both collections reveal his range of knowledge as well as an unusual depth of insight.

He was a loyal and humble man. When he and his wife left Calcutta for the last time, his former students and teachers crowded Howrah Railway Station to say goodbye. He was astonished at their enthusiastic send off. The railway carriage was filled with flowers and other gifts. I think that today too, if he was aware of it, he would be amazed that his memory is held in such deep reverence. But it is nonetheless true that he inspires our respect, not with extravagant praise but quiet affection for someone who never expected adulation but who gave himself sincerely to all that he thought best and lived his life with the utmost integrity at the highest possible standard to which he could aspire.

concluded.

Soorya said...

S,

Oh dear, did you think I wrote that in seriousness, that is a kind of dirty black black humour :P
I was thoroughly enjoying the war of concepts each of our egos(or maybe it is one projecting as many) were entertaining themselves with. You know when there are no concepts to personally defend there is no 'me' :)))

Did you for a moment feel I was against 'service' or 'for' it, for that matter? :)) If one feels with all his heart that he has to serve, he will not have peace of mind until he does that, same with rituals and ceremonies etc etc - there will always be a feeling of imperfection at having failed one's duties etc etc - and that feeling exactly is Maya!But for one ignorant of such concepts, none of them exists - thats all. The One who actually performs and doesnt perform is not this 'me' at all. There is of course a spontaneous feeling of love arising in one because of the ultimate unity of life in all beings, when this arises one feels for the 'other' and does things for the 'other' as he would for himself. That is called 'love' - service is an outdated word, there is no separation in love.

And for the brahmana/sudra ideas, I was just pulling your leg :)))) What have we gained by believing in all these identifications of the body/mind? Permit me to quote Sri Bhagavan 'throw aside the veils and see your Self in all it's majesty'. Now you guys please dont come back with stories of how Sri Bhagavan followed all the ways and customs/rituals, respected the sentiments of the Brahmins and so on...all this may have it's place.But our goal is to that which is rid of all concepts, is it not? So carrying this whole burden of concepts will never ever get us anywhere. As said in Zee's link, practice of virtue is to get to the next chariot of clearer vision and so on..dont stop at the first chariot, keep going. Also do not go back to the first chariot after crossing over to the third.When Sri Bhagavan says us to 'remain without thoughts' he actually is saying 'remain without concepts', for thoughts arise out of concepts. If I dont have a concept that I am a humanbeing, that I am so and so, then there is nothing for me to think about!

Hope this made sense, after reading both of your responses so far it occured to me that none of you understood what I wanted to convey, perhaps I am a very bad communicator :((((( .

Subramanian. R said...

Remembering Sri Bhagavan:

Smt.T.R. Kanakammal:

(Jayanti - 2007, Mountain Path):

Early Day in the Kitchen:

During the initial days of the Asramam, conditions were very simple. And the facilities meager. It was hand to mouth existence. Cooking in the kitchen, was done in turn by lady cooks.

One day when Skandasramam had just finished preparing sufficient food only for the Asramam inmates, a party of dozen or so guests, eager to have Sri Bhagavan's darshan, showed up. It was a hot day and the Asramam in those days being on the outskirts of town, was far from nearest public place to eat. The approach of the lunch bell was imminent, and Shantammal was in quandary. What she had cooked would not suffice for both inmates and the newly arrived guests. Neither was there enough time to cook additional food. Even if none of the guests asked permission to have lunch at the Asramam, Shantammal ws pretty sure that Sri Bhagavan, in His characteristic way, would wave them into the dining hall, with His stick at the sound of the bell. After mustering up the courage, she approached Sri Bhagavan, "Bhagavan! Food has only been prepared for the inmates." But Sri Bhagavan did not appear to have heard her. Shantammal went back to the kitchen and wrung her hands in despair, expressing her predicament to Madhava Swami. The latter replied instantly, 'Don't worry. We will lay out leaves for everyone but serve only a little food as prasad to each."

The bell rang and all were seated before leaf plates. Every time Shantammal went to the rice pot to take out rice, trepidation seized her. But lo and behold! The supply was inexhaustible. All ate to their hearts' content and every body was served liberally. Enough was left in the pot to feed a dozen over and above and those who had eaten.

During the early evenings, when few people were about, Sri Bhagavan would normally sit in a chair in the verandah outside the hall. On the evening of the same day, Shantammal approached Him reverentially and said: Wonder of wonders! Bhagavan! Today there was only enough food for inmates. Yet it turned out to be sufficient for a dozen visitors in addition and there was enough left to feed even a dozen more. What a great siddhi Sri Bhagavan displayed today! Sri Bhagavan answered; Oh, I remember your saying something about food before lunch.

Then seemingly in a casual manner, He asked, 'Who did the cooking today?' Taking it to be routine question, one and that He often asked, she unsuspectingly said, 'I did Bhagavan.' At once He replied;
'Then the siddhi is yours!'

continued....

Soorya said...

Dont know about the validity of this story, but impressive neverthless:

A story about Abraham Lincoln. According to the story, Lincoln was riding with a friend in a carriage on a rainy evening. As they rode, Lincoln told the friend that he believed in what economists would call the utility-maximizing theory of behavior, that people always act so as to maximize their own happiness, and for no other reason. Just then, the carriage crossed a bridge, and Lincoln saw a pig stuck in the muddy riverbank. Telling the carriage driver to stop, Lincoln struggled through the rain and mud, picked up the pig, and carried it to safety. When the muddy Lincoln returned to the carriage, his friend naturally pointed out that he had just disproved his own hypothesis by putting himself to great trouble and discomfort to save a pig. "Not at all," said Lincoln. "What I did is perfectly consistent with my theory. If I hadn't saved that pig, I would have felt terrible."

Please interpret it as you want and please dont think I posted it to prove something :P . It is just a nice story worth sharing, and thats it.

Ravi said...

soorya,
"If one feels with all his heart that he has to serve, he will not have peace of mind until he does that, same with rituals and ceremonies etc etc - there will always be a feeling of imperfection at having failed one's duties etc etc - and that feeling exactly is Maya"

What you are referring to is not service,it is self indulgence.This is not what I have referred to.All acts are done as an offering only.There is no accumulation of Virtue and punya aimed for or any sense of Gratification;Hence no regrets or misgivings.Service is not to assuage our sentiments
.It is not a concept.It is as you have said,simple recognition that we brought nothing when we came into this world,and whatever we have got here is a Gift from the Divine and we need to share this to whatever degree we can in a spirit of worship,with a simple recognition that if the divine is in us,it is as much in others as well.
There need not be anything to be wary of in this.You may call it Love,another may call it compassion ,another may call it seva,yet another may call it worship.some may prefer to call it simply as sharing.
This is pretty elementary.
Namaskar.

Soorya said...

Ravi,

I am positively sure I didnt mean self indulgence :). But it doesnt matter.

I fully respect your views on the importance of goodness. It seems the only thing to be wary of is identification with good ideas/ bad ideas as the case might be. Like we all know the story of the great Ganapathi Muni, Bhagavan himself has said 'where can one find another like him', and yet this great tapasvin didnt attain liberation(as confirmed by Bhagavan) probably because of his identification with ideals of uplifting his motherland and bringing in a golden vedic age in Bharat etc...To the onlooker, he let go of the ultimate freedom for the sake of his love for his country. Now it will be a good question if we ask is all this really in one's hands(getting rid of vasanas and all the rest) ...and to what extent we have a say, we can argue either way and it can continue endlessly.It is like walking on a Razor's edge, one cannot go to either extremes but only along a narrow invisible thin line. From my experience whenever I let go of attachment/identification with whatever ideas I was so fond of, there has been an increasing sense of clarity and abidance in Self.The Self starts pulling an empty mind to itself at once.
Any idea has a great potential to bind us unto eternity, lets hold on to the one beyond ideas.

Ravi said...

soorya,
For me it is downright simple and I do not find any complication in it at all.No Razor or its edge in this.

"Like we all know the story of the great Ganapathi Muni, Bhagavan himself has said 'where can one find another like him', and yet this great tapasvin didnt attain liberation(as confirmed by Bhagavan) "
I do not know how you got this impression that Sri Bhagavan said this.I am pretty sure that sri Bhagavan would never ever have said this!

Namaskar.

Subramanian. R said...

Remembering Sri Bhagavan:

Smt. T.R. Kanakammal:

continues....

The Sixth Kosa:

It was an unusually cold winter and this particular day among the coldest. Manavasi Ramaswamy Iyer had two shirts made because he wanted Sri Bhagavan to be warm with something more adequate to protect
Him from the biting cold than the usual loin cloth and the occasional cotton dhoti over His top. Lacking the courage to present them personally, he placed them on the stool in front of Sri Bhagavan's sofa while Sri Bhagavan was taking a walk on the Hill. Upon His return, Sri Bhagavan was saw them and questioned the attendant. Just then Manavasi put in his appearance
and murmured inaudibly, "Bhagavan, it was I who put them there. It is very clod Bhagavan... and 'But Sri Bhagavan interrupted saying, 'Did I complain that it was cold?'

'No, Bhagavan, I took the initiative. I thought Sri Bhagavan should protect Himself.'

But Sri Bhagavan would not hear of it: "No, take them away."

Manavasi persisted and yet nothing could make Sri Bhagavan accept them. Finally, with a tinge of frustration, Bhagavan said, I am already wearing five shirts, referring to the panchakosa, Is a sixth one necessary?

Details and Consistency:

Devsraja Mudaliar was a lawyer by profession. He had a highly developed legal mind which railed against inconsistency in an form. He also liked to have every detail accounted for.

When Tamizh poets such as Manikkkavachagar and Jnana Sambandhar alluded to their renunciation in verse, they would
write something like, 'I gave my spirit, my body and my personal possessions.' But Sri Bhagavan in one of his verses, does not include 'personal possessions' among the list of the items which He renounced. Devaraja Mudaliar took Him to task on this point wanting to know why Sri Bhagavan did not mention giving up His personal belongings.

Sri Bhagavan replied, " I did not have any belongings. How can I give up what I don't have?" But Devaraja Mudaliar was not satisfied. 'So Bhagavan! you mean Manikkavachagar and Jnana Sambandhar had possessions?'

Sri Bhagavan: "I don't know about them. But I didn't have any so I didn't write it that way!

concluded.

S. said...

salutations to all:

Soorya/Ravi/Others:
Soorya claims ["..."Like we all know the story of the great Ganapathi Muni, Bhagavan himself has said 'where can one find another like him', and yet this great tapasvin didnt attain liberation (as confirmed by Bhagavan)..."]

here is an extract from page 94 of sri gaNEsan's 'The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi' (pdf version):-

["...When I went to Ramanashram some people, for whom I had respect, often spoke ill of Kavyakantha. They claimed that his accounts were figments of his imagination. I was influenced by their views on the genius. Even today there is a lot of literature that portrays Kavyakantha in a poor light. I approached Munagala Venkataramaia, a distinguished scholar and one of the recorders of the talks with Bhagavan. Now, Munagala had not seen Kavyakantha and was therefore neutral about him. "Why do people pull down Kavyakantha so much?" I enquired, listing out all the transgressions he is rumored to have made. "Ganesan, stop!" he exclaimed. "How did you know all this?" I revealed the names of the people who told me this. He replied, "They have given an opinion and you have received it. Are you sure it is the Truth?" I was puzzled. "How can we know which opinion is correct?" I asked. Munagala then said, "Whatever Bhagavan says is trustworthy." I was still not satisfied. I had read a tiff that Kavyakantha was not a Self-realized soul because he had so many sankalpas. His detractors often quoted this too, and I was convinced by this logic. I put forth my argument to Munagala. He told me, "I asked Bhagavan the same thing — how come it is written in such and such a book that Kavyakantha was not Self-realized. Bhagavan told me, "That is not what I said, but what the recorder must have expected me to say." Munagala then advised me, "Go by whatever Bhagavan has said, and you will be near the Truth. Do not go by opinions, particularly if they divide people—whether saints or anyone else. Do not pay heed to them. Aspirants should never be carried away by negative statements made about any sage or saint. In order to progress, this is the first guideline to remember. What detractors say are just opinions and if we believe them, we fall victim to the mind." It is true that Kavyakantha had very high ideals. However, they are not merely sankalpas, but satya sankalpas. A sankalpa is a concentrated desire of wanting to achieve something. A satya sankalpa is that sankalpa which comes to you—not that you have a desire for it. Kavyakantha had three satya sankalpas...]"

S. said...

salutations to all:

Soorya/Ravi/Others:

in continuation of the above passage on kAvyakaNTha, whenever people make this absurd claim there a nice response in english slang - "bull" :-))) since we, pretty much everyone here, have seen neither bhagavAn nor kAvyakaNTha, it implies that whatever we know about them is only from whatever we have got to read, right? if this can be taken as a safe premise then i wouldn't mind postulating that if indeed a one as kAvyakaNTha wasn't realised, as a few of us tend to believe, then may be no one who went to bhagavAn ever got this thing what we use so casually - self-realisation!!! for that matter, why not say that perhaps bhagavAn himself lived under a delusory condition of self-hallucination that persisted for half a century! :-))). rather weird must be the case of that self-realised 'master' the best of whose 'students' remained in 'supreme-ignorance'!!

many a time in the past i'd disagreed with ravi but i must admit that ravi may be right on one thing, i.e., unlike those in the bhakti mArga, most people who claim to be in the jnAna mArga end up parroting a lot of words used by bhagavAn or samkara about which they most probably have a clue which is next to nothing (classic examples - 'abidance', 'emptiness', 'eternal', 'self', 'ego' etc.!) :-). further, unlike the path of genuine 'yoga' where there are clear indicators of progress, or the path of true 'bhakti' where the notion of progress hardly ever arises, it's oft seen only in the path of jnAna where one not only assumes to be progressing on the basis of flimsy grounds but also that the progress itself is "square-root of -1" (btw, it's called the "i") :-))) here is where one finds the curious case of a head that can't think high enough (it's all the ego, isn't it???) & the heart can't melt deep enough (it's all sentiment, isn't it???) - as it's said in hindi "dhobi kA kutthA nA ghar kA na ghAt kA"...

Soorya said...

S,

Thank you.

I read in one instance(but dont remember where) that Bhagavan responded to someone's question/remark if Kavyakantha was liberated[this was soon after his death], and Bhagavan remarked 'How could he, he had so many sankalpa's/vasanas'. I dont know what a Satya sankalpa is. But I do realize that it is not the same thing to say one is Self realized and that one is liberated. Self-realization is when the mind merges into the Self temporarily or permanently, but the ego if not divested of vasanas will come back into the ignorant state - this is what Bhagavan says many times. So Ganapathi muni could very well maybe a Self-realized sage but not necessarily a liberated one. I have only Bhagavan's quote saying Kavyakantha was not liberated. I for one dont think it necessarily means to speak ill of Kavyakantha, infact anybody can only have the utmost respect for such a soul. He reminds me of Swami Vivekananda due to his love for his motherland. In various Bhagavan literature, we find him questioning about the future of India, if she will win freedom and regain her past glory etc and Bhagavan replies to the effect that if one gains Self realization, all issues/questions are thereby taken care of.
One can of course go on keep arguing for the sake of it :).
Having a sankalpa for the welfare of the world does not speak ill of a person, but a sankalpa can stand in the way of liberation, however elevated it can be. This is my understanding.

Ravi said...

soorya/s/Friends,

"Any idea has a great potential to bind us unto eternity, lets hold on to the one beyond ideas"

I am reminded of this amusing incident from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
One day Keshab sen was delivering a lecture. He said, 'O Lord, grant us that we may
dive into the river of divine love and go straight to the Ocean of Satchidananda.'

The ladies were seated behind the screen. I said to Keshab, 'How can you all dive once for all?' Pointing to the ladies, I said: 'Then what would
happen to them? Every now and then you must return to dry land. You must dive and rise
alternately.'
Keshab and the others laughed.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Taking a leaf from the Master,atleast once a day we must descend to the world of ideas and rush to the market and buy vegetables ,rice ,milk to last us for that day atleast :-)

Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
An excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
"Bondage is of the mind, and freedom is also of the mind. A man is free if he constantly
thinks: 'I am a free soul. How can I be bound, whether I live in the world or in the forest? I
am a child of God, the King of Kings. Who can bind me?' If bitten by a snake, a man may
get rid of its venom by saying emphatically, 'There is no poison in me.' In the same way, by
repeating with grit and determination, 'I am not bound, I am free', one really becomes free".

"The Pure Mind and the Pure Atman are one and the same thing. Whatever comes up in the
Pure Mind is the voice of God".

Namaskar.

Soorya said...

S,

Just remembered that someone advised me not to trust Munagala and his talks as he could have put down what he understood and it need not be the truth! :-( . You are right, we unrealized ones cannot really verify this :). Only one thing, I dont need verification about Bhagavan because he drew me to his feet through an experience rather than through theory/texts, all this textual jargon I got into my head afterwards :)))

When you mentioned the neo-advaitins parroting things from books, just wanted to share a super hilarious video which we all can enjoy! :)
http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/7262997/watch_movie

Ravi,
Taking a leaf from the Master,atleast once a day we must descend to the world of ideas and rush to the market and buy vegetables ,rice ,milk to last us for that day atleast :-)

- Yes sir, thank you for bringing this deluded soul to the world :)[No I am not joking this time, really loved your post:) ]

Shrini said...

Friends,
I see so many quotes and unquotes, so many words in the blog. For one who is not so well informed about Ramana's life, his works, Tamil writings, etc. it would seem that self-realisation is a tough one since there is so much to learn and I have a long way to go. The one thing which stops me from feeling depressed is when I read Bhagavan's simple answers to questions in "Talks" and other books. I want to ask a simple question, is so much knowledge about books and theology needed for self-realisation. What do we gain by quoting another work? Isnt it helpful if we contribute our personal experiences and clarify each other's queries? I find Self-enquiry a very lonely search. It is very easy to get deluded in this and many times very frustrating. Sometimes I feel whether I am just fooling myself. Any advice or tip from a fellow traveler through this blog will surely be welcome...

S. said...

salutations to all:

Soorya:

from your comment, wonder if you read gaNEsan's talk with venkatarAmaia that i'd pasted earlier! the very statement that you (& many others in this blog) attribute it to bhagavAn is what bhagavAn, according to venkatarAmaia, is denying!!! please remember that if you chose to dismiss venkatarAmaia, which you are free to do so, you will also have to perforce jettison that thing called the "Talks"! now where does bhagavAn say, as you claim, "realisation is not the same as liberation" - WHERE? please quote appropriate sources...

'sankalpa' of a mahAtma doesn't appear to me to have anything much in common with the sankalpas of say someone like me! if 'sankalpa' is a problem then the same applies to the likes of vyAsa to suka to samkara to thAkur to bhagavAn - now to say that 'bhagavAn didn't have any sankalpa, all that was done was done by the 'self', this is just lame substitution! just like not all things in samskrtam is necessarily holy (you can abuse in samskrtam too!) likewise using the word 'self' doesn't render it free of nonsense! :-). if not having 'sankalpa' is the key, then the 'self' exercising a 'sankalpa' is a contradiction, for the self is reduced to a non-self through this sankalpa! :-). who asked bhagavAn to stay put 50+ years at aruNAchala? the 'self'?? if so, what prevents the same self from also serving as the primal impetus to a kAvyakaNTha or a vivEkAnanda?? personally, i know nothing of this 'self' that you people keep talking about as if it's there in one's backyard (to me, it's a meaningless word i don't have the slightest clue)! all i know with some clarity is this thing called the 'i', or the 'ego' :-)))

Ravi said...

soorya/s/friends,
Wonder what Soorya would say to these words:
"I have set out in quest of my Father in accordance with his command. This (meaning his person) has only embarked on a virtuous enterprise. Therefore, no one need grieve over this act. And no money need be spent in search of this. Your college fee has not been paid. Herewith rupees two."

Does this mean that the Boy Ramana had only realized the self at this point in time.Perhaps the liberation(without any sankalpas) happened later.Perhaps the Peter Holleran's article is right and we are mistaken:-)

Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Soorya/s/friends,
Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi,Talk 273.

Dr. Syed asked: I have been reading the Five Hymns. I find that the hymns are addressed to Arunachala by you. You are an Advaitin. How do you then address God as a separate Being?

M.: The devotee, God and the Hymns are all the Self.

D.: But you are addressing God. You are specifying this Arunachala Hill as God.

M.: You can identify the Self with the body. Should not the devotee identify the Self with Arunachala?

D.: If Arunachala be the Self why should it be specially picked out among so many other hills? God is everywhere. Why do you specify Him as Arunachala?

M.: What has attracted you from Allahabad to this place? What has attracted all these people around?

D.: Sri Bhagavan.

M.: How was I attracted here? By Arunachala. The Power cannot be denied. Again Arunachala is within and not without. The Self is Arunachala.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If Bhagavan was attracted to arunachala what is incongruent about swamiji or kavyakanta being attracted to Bharata Shakti?Is there any square kilometre limit beyond which the 'liberation' would be irrevocably compromised?:-)

Namaskar.

Soorya said...

S,

I am being perfectly honest when I said I read it in some authentic source, like perhaps one of David's Power of the Presence - but need to verify as it was long back and dont remember.Will surely post it here if I find it, we can then cross check who had made that report about Bhagavan's words. Dont make a mistake and think I am trying to prove Ganapati Muni was not liberated! Whatever has I got against him! As you said none of us have ever met him, know only what others wrote about him. I spoke about someone's comments under the name 'anonymous', this person suggested that we cannot be 100% sure what Munagala wrote is always what Bhagavan intended as he may have written down things as per his understanding also, in some cases. Again I didnt say I dont trust Munagala or that I trust him. Talks seem good enough to me for my sadhana - not much complaints except maybe language could have been a bit more simpler perhaps.

About samskaras - how does a samskara stand in the way of liberation. In my understanding, a samskara is a predisposition which results in a desire/aversion to an occuring/circumstance. In the case of jnani's their will is in accordance with what already is destined to happen - they dont make an attempt to change anything unless that change and it's attempt was also pre-destined, of which they are already aware. Bhagavan speaks of how jnani's wont interfere in the karmic processes of the world which can also be destruction or degradation. When an individual entity seems to have a different desire from what is supposed to happen at a time, he stands apart from the ultimate reality's scheme and missed complete union with it. Going on these lines, one can deduce how ones with noble samskaras like Ganapathi muni miss liberation when Bhagavan's mother who was not an intellectual like him, got it. It is easy to confuse the functioning of avataras, in my understanding their appearance in the world scheme and working here is pre-destined, not the same as our samskaras. After reading the accounts of Ganapati Muni praying to Bhagavan for peace of mind after so much Tapas, gives an impression that he was also a seeker, not an avatara who was self sufficient.

S. said...

salutations to all:

Shrini:
you said ["...I want to ask a simple question, is so much knowledge about books and theology needed for self-realisation...I find Self-enquiry a very lonely search. It is very easy to get deluded in this and many times very frustrating...Any tip from a fellow traveler through this blog will surely be welcome... ..."]

:-))) there could be exceptions but isn't much of our book-knowledge only for parading one's ignorance and refuting others' ignorant ignorance through our knowledgeable ignorance? hahahahaha...by the way, who ever said that books are essential to know oneself? :-)

coming to the 'lonely' part of the 'search', isn't all search lonely? is there at all something like a mass search or a mob search, collective search or a combined search? :-)... now, do i find the enquiry lonely? - yes; then, why does one do it? - immodestly speaking, though i'm far from doing any enquiry that's even remotely reasonable yet whatever i do in the name of vichAra is because i'm yet to find something more intriguing & captivating than this! :-). the frustration you referred to is pretty genuine but what do you think is the cause of this frustration? - isn't it the fear that life will ebb away before realising the self? what's the worst that could happen? - die? who knows whether the 'self' is there or not? but as long as it's this search that's the dominant interest, why not simply die trying? this is how i tend to view it. does it make any sense to you?...

Ravi said...

soorya,
"After reading the accounts of Ganapati Muni praying to Bhagavan for peace of mind after so much Tapas, gives an impression that he was also a seeker, not an avatara who was self sufficient".
Going by this yardstick,Lord Rama also was not an avatar,as he was also a seeker who was taught by vasishta.Sri Ramakrishna has openly said that he was an avatara to Narendra-yet he was taught by bhairavi Brahmani and Totapuri;it is another matter that they learnt more from the Disciple!

Over the past few posts ,please review what all you have said-They are all just beliefs,preconceived notions,blind spots that Nisargadatta Maharaj ,whom you seem to love(especially when he used to shout 'Kalpana' 'Kalpana')asks one to dismiss.
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

shrini,
I do not follow the path of self-enquiry.You may read Sri Bhagavan's 'who am I'.This is the only book that Sri Bhagavan was particular that the asramam should publish and make available at a cheap price to all seekers.I do not think that you require anything more than this.I suggest that you read a portion from this book and pray to Sri Bhagavan to guide you.

I also warmly Recommend The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.Personally ,I have not come across a better companion than this.There is nothing that is not covered in this marvellous work.It is the Srimad Bhagavatham of this age.

Wish you the Very Best.
Namaskar.

Soorya said...

Ravi,

yes, this is the advaita trap :)))

If you have read 'Nothing ever happened', Papaji says that Sri Rama was attached to his wife, that he was not free of attachment. He says same of Sri Krishna too, infact he says these Gods themselves are attached to beautiful women :)). If you read Arthur Osborne's book 'Be still it is the wind that sings', he raises the same question about Sri Ramakrishna having to perform intense often violent Sadhana against his devotees saying he was an avatara, who was born enlightened. Please please note that it is not poor ignorant me who said all this :))). I am just pointing out that there is lot of inconsistency and as someone told to Bhagavan after discussing the different creation theories and said 'surely Bhagavan all this cannot be true!' and he said 'yes the truth is only one, all these theories are only to suit the capacity of different seekers'. Last but not the least why give up Peter Holleran, why couldnt he and V.S Iyer have been right and perhaps Bhagavan lived in a delusion as S pointed out :)))

Everything goes up in smoke and now there is peace :)))

Ravi said...

Soorya,
"Everything goes up in smoke and now there is peace :)))

This reminds me of another amusing incident from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
"There was a man who was a great
liar; but, on the other hand, he used to say he had the Knowledge of Brahman. When
someone took him to task for telling lies, he said: 'Why, this world is truly like a dream. If
everything is unreal, then can truth itself be real? Truth is as unreal as falsehood.
'" (All
laugh.)"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By the way,I do not count arthur osborne's writings as anything authentic.It is no better than Romain Rolland's writings on Sri Ramakrishna and Vivekananda.
He suddenly took a fancy for Sri Shirdi sai Baba and wrote 'The Incredible Sai Baba'.I have not come across a single devotee of sai Baba who even knows about the existence of this Book!I can say confidently that I know more about Sri Ramakrishna and swami Vivekananda than Arthur Osborne.What he has written in the passage that you have quoted is quite like Peter Holleran's article on Sri Bhagavan!
Namaskar.

Soorya said...

Ravi,

Nice story :)
But does none of you question things like I do? :P
Or all are following bhakti maarga? Honestly sometimes devotion does appear to be sweet than getting entangled in Jnana(or Ajnana) traps :)
I do realize that everything wont come to a state where the intellect is wholly satisfied :).

Regarding Arthur Osborne's comment, yes he is not a good authority - just mentioned the reference since you spoke about him.

Ravi said...

Soorya,
You have raised a few deep questions.I will answer them some other time.I wish to share this excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
Master's prayer
The devotees seated in the room looked at Sri Ramakrishna as he began to chant the sweet
name of the Divine Mother. After the chanting he began to pray. What was the need of
prayer to a soul in constant communion with God? Did he not rather want to teach erring
mortals how to pray? Addressing the Divine Mother, he said, "O Mother, I throw myself on
Thy mercy; I take shelter at Thy Hallowed Feet. I do not want bodily comforts; I do not
crave name and fame; I do not seek the eight occult powers. Be gracious and grant that I
may have pure love for Thee, a love unsmitten by desire, untainted by any selfish ends-a
love craved by the devotee for the sake of love alone. And grant me the favour, O mother,
that I may not be deluded by Thy world-bewitching maya, that I may never be attached to
the world, to 'woman and gold', conjured up by Thy inscrutable maya! O mother, there is no
one but thee whom I may call my own. Mother, I do not know how to worship; I am
without austerity; I have neither devotion nor knowledge. Be gracious, Mother, and out of
Thy infinite mercy grant me love for Thy Lotus Feet." Every word of this prayer, uttered
from the depths of his soul, stirred the minds of the devotees. The melody of his voice and
the childlike simplicity of his face touched their hearts very deeply."
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
These sort of passages in the Gospel stir our depths and leave us speechless,extinguishing thoughts.
Namaskar.

Soorya said...

Ravi,

Thanks.

One thing I have noticed throughout here and elsewhere is that devotees of different masters unconsciously turn fanatics such that they cant even hear a question/criticism regarding their master or their teachings. It is natural that one feels a lot of love and devotion for a great being, but we can just ponder over the question of whether these masters need our approbation or approval for their attainment? Does a Swami Vivekananda or Ramana Maharshi or Sri Ramakrishna need their devotees to defend them? I do not think they are that fragile, in the least. It is funny that 'S' first advised me to not shy away from strong disagreements, and later came pouncing upon like a tiger when he thought I was questioning Ganapati Muni's Self Realization , got irritated to such an extent that even his smileys interspersed couldnt hide them :))). We always end up worshipping idols and miss their message, the same old story! When someone raises a question, at once he/she is termed an egoist and such :). And to think all masters taught to question and accept only after total conviction not exempting the Buddha, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Ramakrishna etc etc. But will their fanatical devotees allow that, no way!!! They will bite tooth and nail against anyone who dares to, with the result the message of the master is lost in due time and only a cult remains in it's place - on the lines of what happened to Christianity.
Truth will not become untruth based on what you or me think about Ramana Maharshi or Swami Vivekananda or Sri Ramakrishna or Ganapathi Muni - but who cares about truth? :))

Murali said...

Ravi wrote quoting from the Gospel:

The "unripe I" makes one feel: "I am the doer. These are my
wife and children. I am a teacher." Renounce this. "unripe I" and keep the "ripe I", which
will make you feel that you are the servant of God, His devotee, and that God is the Doer
and you are His instrument.' "

Ravi: Did Thakur write anywhere how to renounce this "unripe I"? Is it by constanly repeating that God is the doer? Or is it only after Self Realization - a dark prospect indeed:-(

Regards Murali

Ravi said...

soorya,
"One thing I have noticed throughout here and elsewhere is that devotees of different masters unconsciously turn fanatics such that they cant even hear a question/criticism regarding their master or their teachings"

I have observed this too and tend to agree with this.

"Does a Swami Vivekananda or Ramana Maharshi or Sri Ramakrishna need their devotees to defend them"?

Absolutely No!Then why is it that I carry on a discussion and contest?I think you may be interested,and volunteer this response.If a man in the street who is a fan(I recall your using this word that you are a fan of swamiji)of some film star or politician,says that all these Gurus,sAmiArs are frauds,good for nothing fellows,etc and dismisses them outright,I do not Respond.
On the other hand,if a seeker is expressing his 'opinion' based on something that is a pure notion,I tend to contest that.One thing I find these days is free availability of advaitic literature -and this has caused a huge deal of confusion.I find that anything intensely Human is dubbed as weakness and incompatible with advaitic realization.This is totally bizarre.The Interesting thing is that while the demands of the Body are admitted as legitimate and compatible with Advaitic Realization and in no way detracts from it,any expression of sorrow or anger or expression of regret-all purely human qualities are viewed as clear indicators of unattainment of the Final stage,which one imagines to be utterly devoid of these 'vacilations' of the mind!Immediately the 'advanced seeker' will notice these aberrations and declare that they are incompatible with the 'Realized State'!
Little do we even imagine that Freedom,to be Total need not be Freedom devoid of Human qualities but Freedom that is not tainted with human qualities!If it is true Freedom,one should have the Freedom to be sorrowful,to be happy,to be angry as well.
I tend to contest these notions,in the hope that it may be seen by the participants as such and give them an opportunity to view these things in a fresh perspective.
I will give some examples from the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna that brings out the Freedom of the kind that I have talked about.

The other thing that I have observed is that many books are published,like the Talks of Ramana Maharshi,'Iam That'(talks of Nisargadatta Maharaj)and these are gulped as authoritative and 'quotations' that favour one aspect or the other are made from these.Without the contextual setup and the background of the questioner,these quotations are not of much help!They tend to mislead and the reader of these talks often understand it in their own way,and paralyse themselves unconsciously!
The Reason why I place 'The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna' above all these books is that the contextual setting is wonderfully preserved and the message of the Master comes out in a crystal clear fashion-We know for whom it is intended,just what it is and more importantly what it is not and all this with an anecdotal background that enlivens it.
I can give clear examples of this as well,where the Master may be saying one thing to a seeker and a diametrically opposite thing to another seeker and in this way wonderfully tailor it to their immediate need.
I am not undermining the worth of these other books,but sound a note of caution that they have been shorn of their contextual background,and the words there need to be used with discrimination.I would rate 'Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi' as much better than the Rest.
More Later.
Namaskar.

Soorya said...

For those who want quotes on 'sankalpa',
From David Godman's 'Power of the Presence' Part One, chapter on Akhilandamma, page 81 - foot note:

'Sankalpa' can be translated as 'will' or 'intention'.Bhagavan, along with many other Masters, held that jnanis have no sankalpa, In this state, the Self makes the body behave in a particular way and makes it say whatever needs to be said, but there is no individual choice involved in any of these words or actions. Narayana Iyer once had a mast illuminating exchange with Bhagavan on this topic, an exhcnage that gave a rare insight into the way a jnani's power functions:
'One day when I was sitting by the side of Bhagvan I felt so miserable that I put the following question to him: "Is the sankalpa of the jnani not capable of warding off the destinies of the devotees?"
'Bhagavan smiled and said : "Does the jnani have a sankalpa at all? The jivanmukta[liberated being] can have no sankalpas whatsoever. It is just impossible."
'I continued: "Then what is the fate of all of us who pray to you to have grace on us and save us? Will we not be benefitted or saved by sitting in front of you, or by coming to you?.."
'Bhagavan turned graciously to me and said:.."a person's bad karma will be considerably reduced while he is in the presence of a jnani. A jnani has no sankalpas but his sannidhi[presence] which is the most powerful force, can do wonders: save souls, give peace of mind, even give liberation to ripe souls. Your prayers are not answered by him but absorbed by his presence. His presence saves you, wards off the Karma and gives you the boons as the case maybe, but involuntarily. The jnani does save the devotees, but not by sankalpa, which is non-existent in him, only through his presiding presence, his sannidhi

Ravi said...

soorya,
These are different terminologies and we should not be confused by the words.
Elsewhere it is said that there is no jnAni but only jnAna;if that be so where is the question of sankalpa or sannidhi,from this perspective.
The 'Sankalpa' that is referred to is the 'Egoistic' will which is absent.
How then Sri Bhagavan wrote some of the verses which he was trying to suppress and dismiss?They kept coming to him until he submitted to this satya sankalpa that they have to be expressed and made available for the benefit of the world.
I recall a story when Sri Bhagavan decided to go without food for the day(what else is this but Sankalpa!)and ended up eating thrice the quantity of food!
Bhagavan also was eating Betel leaf and became used to that Habit.One day he waited for the Betel leaf after meals,and the attendant did not turn up on time.Bhagavan moved away and did not take to Betel Leaf ever again.The Attendant thought that Sri Bhagavan had given it up on account of his negligence.Sri Bhagavan assuaged his misgiving saying that Betel chewing was a needless Habit that he had acquired somehow and had given it up.
These things in no way detract from the jnAna that one is ever aware of.
Namaskar.

Soorya said...

And here is one instance of Bhagavan said to be remarking on Ganapati Muni's state at death, from 'Ramana Maharshi and Path of Self Knowledge' by Arhur Osborne :

About 1934 Ganapati Sastri settled down in the village of
Nimpura near Kharagpur with a group of followers and from
then until his death some two years later devoted himself wholly
to tapas (asceticism). Sri Bhagavan was asked once, after Sastri’s
death, whether he could have attained Realization during this
life, and he replied: “How could he? His sankalpas (inherent
tendencies) were too strong.”

There is one more reference to the above remark by Bhagavan, where there is a more elaborate description of the spiritual experiences of Kavyakantha and again a footnote which said that 'even after all these spiritual experiences Bhagavan declared that Kavyakantha was not liberated'. Will post it when I find it. Again I have nothing to gain or lose by proving a case against Kavyakantha's liberation! And I didnt concoct a story from imagination :). The Self is not something in our backyard, it is what we are :). There is no need to feel frustrated at attempts at Enquiry.


Ravi,

Agree with most of what you said :))). Well, you know what the more I discuss/argue with you people I feel more convinced that 'each of us sees things as we want them to be' or even 'each of us sees ourselves in everything'.This doesnt limit to me or you or S but might even extend to Munagala, Arthur osborne, Peter Holleran, V.S Iyer etc etc. This should go to prove Bhagavan's saying that 'the world is as you are' [according to your perception of it.]
I have long lost interest in this chain of conversations we have been having, for nothing has come out of it for want of a liberal attitude from all of us :( . Will end it here for good, peace and light.

Soorya said...

Some preceding passages from the same book[I can mentally see how everyone will want to hate Osborne now :)))]

Ganapati Sastri also liked to refer to Sri Bhagavan as a
manifestation of Lord Subrahmanya; however in this the devotees
rightly refused to follow him, feeling that to regard Sri Bhagavan
as a manifestation of any one divine aspect was to attempt to
limit the illimitable. Nor did Sri Bhagavan countenance the
identification. A visitor once said to him, “If Bhagavan is an
avatar of Subrahmanya, as some people say, why does he not tell
us so openly instead of leaving us to guess?”
And he replied, “What is an avatar? An avatar is only a
manifestation of one aspect of God, whereas a Jnani is God Himself.”
About a year after his meeting with Sri Bhagavan, Ganapati
Sastri experienced a remarkable outflow of his Grace. While he
was sitting in meditation in the temple of Ganapati at
Tiruvothiyur he felt distracted and longed intensely for the
presence and guidance of Sri Bhagavan. At that moment Sri
Bhagavan entered the temple. Ganapati Sastri prostrated himself
before him and, as he was about to rise, he felt Sri Bhagavan’s
hand upon his head and a terrifically vital force coursing through
his body from the touch, so that he also received Grace by touch
from the Master.
Speaking about this incident in later years, Sri Bhagavan
said: “One day, some years ago I was lying down and awake
when I distinctly felt my body rise higher and higher. I could
see the physical objects below growing smaller and smaller until
they disappeared and all around me was a limitless expanse of
dazzling light. After some time I felt the body slowly descend
and the physical objects below began to appear. I was so fully
aware of this incident that I finally concluded that it must be by
such means that Siddhas (Sages with powers) travel over vast
distances in a short time and appear and disappear in such a
mysterious manner. While the body thus descended to the
ground it occurred to me that I was at Tiruvothiyur though I
had never seen the place before. I found myself on a highroad
and walked along it. At some distance from the roadside was a
temple of Ganapati and I entered it.”
....contd

Ravi said...

soorya,
Your quotation from Osborne or other sources are quite in order.How do we check the authenticity of these sources.This is the moot question.
Did Osborne hear it from Bhagavan?
Did Munagala who wrote the Talks hear it?
What did Bhagavan say in 'Tamizh',since that is the language he spoke mostly although he knew telungu and MalayALam as well.
It is unlikely that Sri Bhagavan would have said sucha thing.
Please read with a calm mind what I have posted,then you may get what I have expressed.
Namaskar.

Soorya said...

This incident is very characteristic of Sri Bhagavan. It is
characteristic that the distress or devotion of one of his people
should call forth an involuntary response and intervention in
a form that can only be called miraculous, and it is also
characteristic that Sri Bhagavan, with all powers at his feet,
should be no more interested to use powers of the subtle than
of the physical world, and when some such thing happened in
response to the appeal of a devotee should say with the
simplicity of a child, “I suppose that is what Siddhas do."
It was just this indifference that Ganapati Sastri failed to
attain. He asked once, “Is seeking the source of the I-thought
sufficient for the attainment of all my aims or is mantra dhyana
(incantation) needed?” Always the same: his aims, his ambitions,
the regeneration of the country, the revitalisation of religion.
Sri Bhagavan replied curtly, “The former will suffice.” And
when Sastri continued about his aims and ideals he added: “It will
be better if you throw the entire burden on the Lord. He will carry
all the burdens and you will be free from them. He will do his part.”
In 1917 Ganapati Sastri and other devotees put a number
of questions to Sri Bhagavan and the questions and answers have
been recorded in a book entitled Sri Ramana Gita, more erudite
and doctrinal than most of the books. Characteristically, one of
the questions that Ganapati Sastri asked was whether someone
who attained Jnana (Self-realization), as it were, by the way while
seeking some specific powers would find his original desires
fulfilled. And nowhere is Sri Bhagavan’s swift and subtle humour
better illustrated than in the reply he gave, “If the Yogi, though
starting upon Yoga for the fulfilment of his desires, gained
Knowledge in the meantime he would not be unduly elated even
though his desires were likewise fulfilled.”

I am no fan of Osborne, but please please dont behave like Christian fanatics who break all hell loose if any Tom, Dick or Harry questions the divinity of the Christ, whether he was of virgin birth or not, whether he married Mary Magdalene or not etc etc. It seems like one is so insecure that one has to fight until death than have one's beliefs questioned!

Ravi said...

soorya,
"I am no fan of Osborne, but please please dont behave like Christian fanatics who break all hell loose if any Tom, Dick or Harry questions the divinity of the Christ, whether he was of virgin birth or not, whether he married Mary Magdalene or not etc etc. It seems like one is so insecure that one has to fight until death than have one's beliefs questioned!"

Please do not mind my saying this:-)
I see that you are now reacting and not responding.
We will continue our discussion ,if at all you are interested when you come out of this.
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

soorya,
I am only contesting that Sri Bhagavan said that Sri Ganapathi Muni was not liberated.I do not know why you should bring that incident of Sri Bhagavan going to his rescue.That is indeed a story that I have read and I do not question that.
Namaskar.

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Oruganti Ramachandraiah:

V. Dwarakanath Reddy:

July-Sept. 2007, Mountain Path:

Sri Oruganti Ramachanraiagh's father, Oruganti Venkata Subbaiah of Kavali, Nellore District, in Andhra Pradesh, had been an ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi, and participated in India's freedom struggle from its beginning. He was jailed, (so was his spirited wife) by the British rulers of the time. He had three daughters and four sons of which Ramachandraiah was the youngest, born in 1912. As school-boys he and a brother used to walk the streets shouting anti-British slogans and were lodged in jails for minors (delinquents).

While studying to complete the B.A. Honours course of the Andhra University, he was implicated in a serious criminal case amounting to treason against the British rulers.
It was known famously as the Kakinada Conspiracy (Bomb) case and from April 1933, till September 1935, he was in central jails and courts as the noose cast its ominous shadow on him. Then he was acquitted for want of proof and he returned to his studies taking his degree and achieving first in his class. After India gained her freedom, the sacrifices of persons like him and his parents finally bore fruit.

continued.....

Shrini said...

Friends,
Self-enquiry, or whatever I understand it, is fraught with danger of reinforcing the ego. It is very easy to use this as a tool for making another feel that I am superior or worst, believe myself to be superior. Another reason for feeling lonely is that unlike Bhakti Marga, the mind tends to reason out anything associated with pleasure or joy. This makes the practitioner not a happy person to be associated with.Thirdly, realising that not there are very few fellow travelers, one really do not know if the road taken is the right one. How do you know if the route is just a trick of your mind? I see the only way out is to hold fast Bhagavan and trust him to lead us. Nothing else will work. And unless we discriminate about what to read and what to ignore, we will be like a dog trying to catch its tail..
Ravi, Regarding reading Gospal, it has been my reference point for more than 2 decades. But I refer to it to enjoy the sweet nature of Paramahamsa more than following his advice. He is a mother whose lap you love to sleep on even when you are old and belong to another.

Soorya said...

Ravi,

Hope I am still responding :-)

That other story was not posted to contest it's validity. It was just inorder to post the comments of Osborne in it's context where he says 'it is just this indifference Ganapati Satri failed to get'. At first glance it seems like Osborne is making personal assumptions and didnt approve of Ganapati Muni's desires and ambitions for the nation etc. But as you pointed out, Osborne must have heard of this last remark about Muni from Bhagavan and put two and two together, coming up with a reason for his not being liberated[assuming he trusted his source or for the second option he was biased against Ganapati Muni and wanted to believe he was not liberated and hence falsely quoting Bhagavan:))].

To tell you the truth, I do find all this a bit funny - this hair splitting one has to do when one goes enquiring of authenticity :). Of course one doesnt need to go counting the leaves and twigs to eat the mangoes , as Sri Ramakrishna aptly puts it. But you see, when we question one thing, another comes up, and then another and in the end virtually everything is subject to question :) I kind of love this result, I can almost hear Bhagavan say 'Do you know you exist' :) 'Find out who you are'. After all its not bad to conclude it at that, isnt it?

Soorya said...

Shrini,

It gave me soo much joy to read you describing about the 'loneliness' experienced on the path of Jnana, which is exactly same in my case. And when such questions/issues taunt, I switch to Bhakti then and like you said enjoy the lap of the Lord. You are also right about enquiry reinforcing the ego if the practice goes awry and of the doubts that come up :)
To me it demands a hundred percent sincerity and honesty to myself as well, because in Self enquiry we dont even have the comfort of a 'God'

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Oruganti Ramachandraiah:

continues.....

His political background created many obstacles to his career rendering him ineligible for government service, and for over ten years, he worked as a teacher of English at Birla Trust High School, Pilani. In 1944, he became a lecturer in Andhra University as the Head of the Department of History. In 1972, he retired as a professor and Head of the Department of Archaeology and History. In between he went to England and had the field training under pioneering archaeologists like Sir Mortimer Wheeler, Prof. Childe and Frederic Zeuner at the London Institute of Archaeology. Back in India he directed the famous excavations, including Harappa, Salihundam, and Jami.

Of greater relevance to Sri Ramana devotees is how he came to Sri Bhagavan, the universal Excavator, who was lying bare the deep debris of ruined egos, to break and transcend the fallacious dictum that history must repeat itself. For what if Time itself were an untrue phantom?

Among the early devotees of Sri Bhagavan, was Sri Munagala Venkataramiah. He was a scholar to whom we are forever indebted for his assiduous and accurate compilation of Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, the veritable gospel of Sri Bhagavan. He also many Sanskrit texts for the benefit of future generations, which include Tripura Rahasya and Kaivalya Navaneeta.

Kamakshi was his little daughter, and she was permitted a child's indulgence of being allowed to play with Sri Bhagavan. She received His loving guidance and parental care. Picking flowers in the Asramam, chanting and singing before the compassionate Master, privileged or petulant, impish or indulgent, the child grew into girlhood, and then into a prospective bride. It is said that at an appropriate age, Sri Bhagavan prompted her to learn Telugu. Though of Andhra lineage, and Telugu her mother tongue, she had been brought up in Tamizh Nadu and had never been taught Telugu. Sri Bhagavan personally helped her to learn the language. To some ti might have seemed a casual act but soon in real import dawned, and a year or so later, Ramachandraiah who also had Telugu as his native language, entered the scene as the prospective groom! With Sri Bhagavan's warm approval and even intervention to smooth over obstacles, the wedding was sanctified in 1938.

continued......

Ravi said...

soorya,
Time out:-)As Lord Rama said(please take that you Rama and I am rAvana,lest this should lead to another side contest!):inRu pOi nALai vA(Go back this day!come tommorrow!).
I wish to post what M has said about his writing the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,which is relevant to our discussion on what is authentic.I need to dig it out.I will be back.
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Shrinin/Murali,
Thanks for your response.I will respond to you in a shaort while.Good to see that this Blog is bustling again.As Sri Ramakrishna says humorously 'Jatilas and Kutilas liven up proceedings':-
)
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Soorya,
Here it is,how M came to write the kathAmrita(The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna):

'M' as he styled himself was Mahendranath Gupta,a Householder Disciple of Sri Ramakrishna who came to the Master when he was 27 of Age.He was working as a Teacher in the High School started by the Famous Philanthrophist Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar.How M came to the garden at Dakshineswar lead by his nephew sidhu is a wonderful story by itself.Sidhu tells him that a paramahamsa lives there and together they land up in the Garden temple of Dakshinewar one evening .Actually M was quite depressed and had even contemplated suicide!It was here that they meet Sri Ramakrishna and the Kathamrita starts.M is captivated by the suka like appearance of Sri Ramakrishna and his words of nectar that in an instant put him on track and made him wanting to seek the company of the master and listen to his words more and more.M being a family man could visit the Master only During weekends and holidays.How to spend the time away from the Master?M started noting down the happenings and conversations with the master in a Diary and used to time in contemplating it.Like Annamalai swami for Bhagavan,M Just Lived and breathed and spoke only the words of sri Ramakrishna-"What can I speak of but his words"!Even after the passing away of sri Ramakrishna this diary was with M and he had not intended it to be published.However after he happened to write a few conversations for a local magazine,people realized what a Gold mine was there and M was persuaded to write the complete work covering a period of 5 years by all his brother disciples.M yielded to this and brought out the final of the 5 part work and just after proof reading and sending it to the press ,M passed away in 1932.
continued...

Soorya said...

Ravi,

Okay :))
Please let me exchange the roles, maybe I fit the role of Ravana better and you of Rama ;) [ just kidding]

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Oruganti Ramachandraiah:

continues.....

Kamakshi proved a willing partner for the six more years of penury that Ramachandraiah had to pay for the price of his high moral stand, his patriotic zeal and courage of character. After 1943, he was appointed a lecturer in Andhra University but contact with the Asramam, was sustained. When he retired as a professor and head of his department in 1972, the couple settled in their house near the Asramam. The Samadhi of Kamakshi's illustrious father is in the family compound.

It has been recorded that in the 1940s, when Kamakshi came to the Asramam, to stay for a couple of months, she walked one morning into Sri Bhagavan's presence. It was 4.00 am. and Sri Bhagavan was alone. He gave her a slip of paper on which He had written Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya saying, 'You chant this all your life.'. What solace ans strength it must have been through the crucifixion of her health a few years later.....And also, what a gift of assurance in the years to come.

For Kamakshi's health had deteriorated while she was in Visakapatnam in the norther Andhra Pradesh and uncertain treatments had rendered her enfeebled. Too late, she was diagnosed with bone cancer of a virulent type, with no skeletal rigidity she suffered great distress and total disability. Till her demise in 1975, Ramachandraiah cared for her and nursed her night and day through the prolonged and painful confinement, with quiet dedication and love.

continued......

Ravi said...

M,KathAmritA ,The Three classes of Evidence continued...

Here is an interesting conversation where M tells Jagabandhu (later Swami Nityatmananda) how Kathamrita was written.Swami Nityatmananda was trained by 'M' to keep a similiar diary and this was brought out as a series of 15 volumes or so-recording conversations of M with other devotees.This conversation is from one such volumes:

M. is reading the proofs while Jagabandhu is holding the copy. In between he converses. Some bhaktas are coming, while the others leave. During the conversation, the subject
of three kinds of evidences of Thakur’s words comes up. So many people write about Thakur. Among these writings, how far each is valuable is commented upon.
M. (to Antevasi) – The first class of evidence is that which is recorded by the writer on the same day after seeing with his own eyes, and hearing with his own ears what
Thakur said or did. The second class is that which is recorded much later though it was heard and seen by the author himself. And the third class is that which was
collected by hearing from others. Along with it there is another class of evidence which one comes across at times. It can be termed as fourth class of evidence. The writer
has mixed up what he himself What the writer himself heard and saw, but did not write it immediately, he has mixed it up with what he heard from somebody else

.
M. (to Antevasi) – The Kathamrita is the first class evidence. What I saw Thakur doing with my own eyes and what great sayings I heard from my own ears, I recorded
them in my diary on the same day on returning home
. Sometimes I wrote for days together, for there were long conversations on some particular days. I have recorded all
these divine sights and divine words in the Kathamrita. In the main part of the book, I was present in all the scenes narrated therein.
Antevasi – The reminiscences of Ashwini Dutt and the story of Baranagar Math etc. have also found a place in the Kathamrita.
M. – Not in the main text. They are written in the appendices. In the main book, there are all such direct evidences that I saw with my own eyes and heard with my own
ears.
"It is very valuable for the lawyers. They are cultured men, you see. Haven’t you seen what Ashwini Dutt has written? He says, ‘Am I so fortunate as M. that I could write
about Thakur giving the day of the week, the date and the position of the stars?’ Before writing about Thakur he has offered his apology by saying so. Please bring the
Kathamrita."
M. reads out what Ashwini Dutt, a devotee of God and a patriot, has written about Thakur. It forms the appendix to part I of the Kathamrita.
M. (to Jagabandhu) – Just hear what he says. He writes, ‘But I have not come with a fortune such as M that I should be able to write the day, the date and the time of the
darshan of his holy feet and record exactly all that fell from his blessed lips. I am writing as far as I can remember. It is possible that I may assign the talk of one day to
some other day. Besides, I have forgotten so much.’
A Certain Bhakta – Swami Bhumananda said, ‘Master Mahashay has given three kinds of evidences to dishonour Sarat Maharaj’s Lila Prasanga (Sri Ramakrishna the
Great Master).’
M. (wonder-struck and sad) – What is this? How does he know why it was written? I don’t accept what he says. Let him say what he wants. Who can stop him?

continued....

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Oruganti Ramachandraiah:

continues.....

Once, seeing her sad state, our present Asramam president, Sundara Ramanan, then 40 years old, said with flowing tears, 'Dear Auntie, why has Sri Bhagavan let you down like this?' Eyes flashing and with sudden energy flowing, Kamakshi responded from her bed, 'How dare you say Sri Bhagavan has at anytime failed to take care of me?'

Death took her body but not her spirit which lives on in memory.

Ramachandraiah stayed on in Tiruvannamalai never straying from his surrender to Sri Bhagavan. A poet at heart, a scholar in Telugu literature, an awakened spiritual seeker, a lover of music, he poured his energies into authorship. He rendered into pure and melodious
Telugu the cardinal writings on and of Sri Bhagavan. He has left for future generations translations of Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, Maha Yoga, Ramana Stuti Panchakam, Guru Ramana Vachana Mala and other texts.

His love for Sri Bhagavan mixed seamlessly with his profound understanding of Sri Bhagavan's teaching. With his heart yearning for liberation, he wrote and indeed often set to music more than one thousand poems and songs.

continued.....

Ravi said...

M' on Kathamrita continued....

M. (to a devotee) – No other Aavatara had [a record] like this. It is not in the world history .
"Swami Vivekananda knew it. He wrote to me, ‘The move is quite original and never was the life of a great teacher brought before the public untarnished by the writer’s
mind as you are doing.

"The other books which are coming out are all confusing because they contain second and third class evidences.
"This book is the first record in the world containing such an account of the conversations and life of an avatara.
"The coming out of the Kathamrita has done another big good. In future, whosoever writes a diary or a book shall be greatly benefited by knowing about these three classes
of evidences. While writing on any subject, they will be very careful while offering their opinion on it.
"Since ‘the Kathamrita’ has been written on the basis of first class evidence, the lawyers, the scientists and then the wWesterners will be able to appreciate the real value
of this book."
M. (to Antevasi) – Just read the page where these three classes of evidences are talked about.
Antevasi (reads) – (The main portions are).
"First — Direct and recorded on the same day... this kind of version is obtained by direct seeing and hearing — along with the year, the date, the day of the week and the
lunar date.
"Second — Direct but unrecorded at the time of the Master... this kind of version is also very good. The record of the other avataras is generally of this kind..... Herein
there is a greater possibility of mistakes than what is recorded immediately.
"Third — Hearsay and unrecorded at the time of the Master... what one hears about the life from the devotees, all belongs to the third class.
"At the time of the writing Sri Sri Kathamrita M. relied on the first class evidence…"
M. – All these volumes (of the Kathamrita) were written after so much of seeing and hearing. I had to read the Law of Evidence. They do not know it. If there is a slight
mistake in the evidence the whole value of it goes down
.
M. (to Antevasi) – Haven’t you read the Law of Evidence, and the Criminal Procedure Code?
Antevasi – Yes Sir, I have read them the way one studies in colleges. I read in broad outlines.
M. – You have seen it. A slight mistake is detected in the evidence and it almost spoils the whole case. The lawyer says to the judge, ‘My Lord, he is not reliable.’
"The force that direct evidence has is not there in what one has heard from somebody. That is why, the judge asks, ‘Did you see it yourself? By seeing and hearing oneself
there is a greater force. And if one says, ‘I have heard it so,’ it has no force.
"I visited the court so often. By seeing and hearing all this I have arrived on this conclusion
. (Laughing) W.C. Bannerji once said, ‘My Lord, he is an English speaking
witness.’ Such persons enjoy more respect. They are very reliable because when it goes into the hands of a translator some difference creeps in. It is not exactly the same
."
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This is what authenticity is all about.It is about seeing,Listening and Recording it without a time gap in the very same Language and words with stenographic precision.
I do not know any other book that matches the kathAmrita in this regard.I am not making a dogmatic assertion.There may still be one more doubt.Okay,M may claim all this,yet how are we to validate his claim!I will cover this next.
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

M and kathAmrita continued....
We may ask whether anyone checked what 'M' had written.
The Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi,consort of Sri Ramakrishna was very much pleased to hear parts of the diary read to her in Bengali, wrote to M.: "When I heard the Kathāmrita, (Bengali name of the book) I felt as if it was he, the Master, who was saying all that."

The following are for your consideration:
1.M wrote it in Bengali and with stenographic precision,using the exact words that Sri Ramakrishna used.This has been the unanimous
view of all those who had been part of the scenes and who have seen Sri Ramakrishna and moved with him.

2.You will find Sri Ramakrishna repeating many of his sayings and these were exactly captured without any censoring.We even find Sri Ramakrishna telling 'm"to clean his tongue.'M' did not omit even this trivial detail because he felt that no word of his master should be left out.If not anything ,it will help to recollect that day's events and keep the memory fresh with the master's presence for ever.

3.Even as a boy of about thirteen, while he was a student in the 3rd class of the Hare School, he was in the habit of keeping a diary. "Today on rising," he wrote inhis diary, "I greeted my father and mother, prostrating on the ground before them".At another place he wrote, "Today, while on my way to school, Ivisited, as usual, the temples of Kāli, the Mother at Tharitharia, and of Mother Sitala, and paid my obeisance tothem." About twenty-five years after, when he met the Great Master in the spring of 1882, it was the sameinstinct of a born diary-writer that made him begin his book, 'unique in the literature of hagiography', with thememorable words: "When hearing the name of Hari or Rāma once, you shed tears and your hair stands on end,then you may know for certain that you do not have to perform devotions such as Sandhya any more."

4.Sri Ramakrishna knew that he was maintaining this diary and used to call him over and repeat what all he told the others in his absence,or he sent someone to call 'M' whenever he felt that 'M' needs to be there and not miss anything!When Ramachandra Datta and Tarak(Swami Shivananda)started keeping diary,Sri Ramakrishna had expressly told them not to maintain such records.Ramachandra datta had infact published the 'sayings of Sri Ramakrishna' in the lifetime of the Master but the Master asked him to desist from doing so.

5.Sri Ramakrishna told 'M':" Mother has told me that you have to do a little of Her work you will haveto teach Bhagavata, the word of God to humanity. The Mother keeps a Bhagavata Pandit with a bondage in theworld!"

continued...

Ravi said...

M and the KathAmrita continued...
6.Besides undergoing spiritual disciplines at the feet of the Master, M. used to go to holy places during the Master's life-time itself and afterwards too as a part of his Sādhanā. He was one of the earliest of the disciples to visitKamarpukur, the birthplace of the Master, in the latter's life-time itself; for he wished to practise contemplation onthe Master's early life in its true original setting. His experience there is described as follows by SwamiNityatmananda: "By the grace of the Master, he saw the entire Kamarpukur as a holy place bathed in an effulgentLight. Trees and creepers, beasts and birds and men all were made of effulgence. So he prostrated to all on theroad. He saw a torn cat, which appeared to him luminous with the Light of Consciousness. Immediately he fell tothe ground and saluted it".

7.Swami Vivekananda had also read the Kathamrita(not all the volumes)and was overjoyed.He wrote to 'M':
It is indeed wonderful. The move is quite original,and never was the life of a Great Teacher brought before the public untarnished by the writer's mind, as you aredoing. The language also is beyond all praise, so fresh, so pointed, and withal so plain and easy. I cannot expressin adequate terms how I have enjoyed them. I am really in a transport when I read them. Strange, isn't it? OurTeacher and Lord was so original, and each one of us will have to be original or nothing. I now understand whynone of us attempted His life before. It has been reserved for you, this great work. He is with you evidently."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Most of the Disciples of Sri Ramakrishna have gone though the kathAmrita;it has been translated by SwAmi AbhedAnanda as well.There has not been a single instance of any dissent or disagreement as to what has been captured by M,including the Master asking M to scrape his tongue!!!M considered all words as sancrosanct and did not edit at all!

Namaskar.

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Oruganti Ramachandraiah:

continues....

What a man he was! The imagery, perceptivity, vocabulary, and cadence of his verse will thrill all devotees. He wrote with tears in his eyes. We cannot but read them with tears in our eyes.

Though I had known him for over ten years, and though he generously and genuinely accepted me as an earnest and intense seeker, I had not been able to plumb the depths behind that humble, unassuming facade which the perceptive Sandhya, my spiritual daughter, had instinctively felt known.

The first of July 1994: 'Today is my official birthday, Amma,' he was to say that morning, meaning the day entered in official records as such. He said this to Sandhya, 'amma' is the endearing term addressed to young ones to mean daughter or child or 'little mother'. Ramachandraiah's affinity and affection for her were full to the brim since we met in 1983. These two shared an intense love of spiritual literature from ancient puranic classics to Sri Bhagavan Ramana's compositions. Reading, chanting, and singing them almost daily for years had been the love of their lives -- often including Sri Balarama Reddy, the celebrated Asramite. Sandhya could read the Telugu and Sanskrit verses fluently and melodiously, with feeling and understanding, and thus the affinity grew.

continued.....

Ravi said...

soorya,
"Please let me exchange the roles, maybe I fit the role of Ravana better and you of Rama ;) [ just kidding]"

They were pre-assigned and not reversible:-)You may have noticed the Demonic intensity and passion in my 'stubborn,Dogmatic' defence of what is authentic!:-)So let me continue to be the rAvaNA and continue to question when ,where and to whom Sri Bhagavan said that 'kAvyakanTa was not liberated' in Tamizh,telungu or malayALam.
By now it should be clear to what class of evidence Osborne's writings belong to!:-)I doubt if he reviews again what he has written whether he would approve its publication,more so if he happens to read what M has said!
Namaskar.

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Oruganti Ramachandraiah:

continues.....

Later on that same fateful day, he was in physical distress. He was sweating profusely, and was sitting rubbing a balm on his chest. He tried to make light of the situation. All the same, with a premonition inspired by the wisdom of the age, he started calmly to tell Sandhya the where and what of his modest possessions -- the money in the drawer, the passbook on the shelf, the address book on the table.... Sandhya, with permitted, and even pleasing immunity and impishness, said: 'Ayya if you believe you are to 'depart' we should be chanting Sri Bhagavan's Aksharamana Malai, the divine glory of Arunachala.' To which he replied calmly, 'You are right, my child, and who will chant it for me but you? Right now, I am not acting out of any fear, amma, I just want others to have no problems later.'

The then Asramam doctor, Sri Ganesan, came, and after an examination, declared that the cardiac problem was acute, and that Ramachandraiah should be admitted immediately to a hospital.

continued.....

Subramanian. R said...

Sri Oruganti Ramachandraiah:

continues....

We took him to Rangammal hospital, then on the other side of the Hill from us, near the Pradakshina Road. The patient sat composed and calm. The doctor on duty, put him as close to intensive care as the semi urban institution could provide. Ramachandraiah while waiting for his room said to Sandhya: 'Twamatma natham Ramanam Bhajami: ( I worship Ramana, who is the Lord of my Self.) -- is it not so, child?'

In the allotted room, Sandhya opened up the curtains, and to reveal that the holy Hill Arunachala was close behind outlined darkly against the gathering dawn. 'Ayya,' she said, 'Arunachala is right behind you.' 'Yes child,' Ramachandraiah said, a catch in his voice, 'Arunachala has always been behind me.,' Those were almost his last words. Moments later, life departed.

All that I have known of him posthumously fills me with admiration and reverence. Alone, but never lonely, he walked the arduous Hill Path, his gaze penetrating the mists to focus on the sunny peak. If he went away from us, where else could he be abiding? Farewell noble soul, silence is your last song.......

concluded.

Soorya said...

Ravi,

Thanks for the posts on classes of evidences, very useful and we can all agree about the degrees.

However one thing, Arthur Osborne cannot be simply dismissed as an ignorant one who didnt review/research his material well, one reason being there is literature wherein it is said he had glimpses of the Self, also towards the end of the life, people around him have been reported to have experienced a peace that one associates with that of a jnani(to quote Bhagavan again :)). We cannot simply dismiss someone because he is saying something which contradicts what our beloved masters said[here infact the dispute is indeed what the master actually said!], if you remember when I originally posted the query about V.S Iyer's comments about first examining what the world is instead of who am I, this was exactly what I had in mind. As much as I am convinced about Bhagavan's words, who knows V.S Iyer maybe pointing to something which we have missed and maybe calling attention to it...I was trying to find opinion from the readers of the blog about Iyer's statements, then you posted the link to his works, the material of which honestly put me off due to it's shallowness/childishness(as per my impression), I have to admit :).
And last not the least like in popular horror stories, there is one more reference to that controversial remark of Bhagavan regarding Ganapati Muni which is not from Arthur Osborne(if I remember correctly).Will post it if I find it :).

Ravi said...

soorya,
I think I have given V S Iyer due credit where it is due.Please review your post wherein you have dismissed him saying that even westerners have a better grasp of Vedanta.
Let us leave aside V S Iyer.The main topic is not about defending 'Beloved Masters' but to examine their Teachings and see what is not resilient or consistent there.Is the
perceived' weakness a Strength in actual Terms?
Instead ,we are trying to prove that these teachings emanated from their being 'Advanced seeker' or 'Less than Perfect' etc.
You do not seem to apply the yardstick that you are advocating to your own stance,especially Swami Vivekananda.
I am okay with discussing the merit and demerit of the teachings but not by reference to the Teaching of another Master who has said something different in our perception.Let us not ride on any master's teachings.Let us discuss this on the strength of our own experience and understanding,and see what is not adnmissible and why.
Coming to 'service',forget what Bhagavan or Nisargadatta have said.What is it that you have found wanting or is detrimental to SAdhana?
Let us discuss this.
Namaskar.

Subramanian. R said...

Stories About Sri Bhagavan:

Sadhu Om:

(Advent, 2007, Mountain Path.)

The Judgement:

Once, when Sri Bhagavan was going for His usual stroll on the Hill, everyone suddenly saw a dove falling at His Feet, half stunned.
When they looked ahead, there was a boy was had hit the bird with a stone and was now standing trembling.

Sri Bhagavan was seeing the boy and turning to the devotees following Him said, 'If two annas were avaialable, his hunger would subside.' On hearing this, one of them ran down to the Asramam took two annas and rushed back to where Sri Bhagavan was attending to the bird.

At Sri Bhagavan's request the two annas were given to the boy who was very pleased and left. The bird was still stunned. Then Sri Bhagavan said, 'If someone brings grapes, and if the grape juice is poured over the head of the bird, it should recover.'

At that moment, a devotee, not seeing Sri Bhagavan in the Old Hall, was coming up to the Hill searching for Him, with grapes as his offering.

Seeing him with grapes in his hands, Sri Bhagavan exclaimed 'The grapes have arrived.' Squeezing the grapes on the bird's head, Sri Bhagavan watched and waited for a reaction. Slowly it started to regain consciousness and after some time, it flew away!

continued....

Ravi said...

Soorya,
"Arthur Osborne cannot be simply dismissed as an ignorant one who didnt review/research his material well, one reason being there is literature wherein it is said he had glimpses of the Self, also towards the end of the life, people around him have been reported to have experienced a peace that one associates with that of a jnani"

That peace was in them.People also say that they find peace when they visit some temple.So that arguement is stretching it too far.
If Osborne had done research,what were the materials he referred to,how authentic they were.Forget about his writings on Bhagavan.If he wrote about Ramakrishna or Vivekananda,did he even visit R K mutt and talk to a few who were disciples of the Disciples of thAkur or swAmiji?Did he refer any book and how much he had read and how much he assimilated?
I have been reading the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna for over 35 years and I can only say that I know very little.With that little,I can clearly perceive almost instantly whether another person has read it or not.I can definitely say Arthur Osborne has not read it.Period.
Let us not discuss arthur Osborne,and the fact that he is a jnani or otherwise is not going to alter whether what he wrote is authentic or not.I may be a great Chef but if the Raw materials are not there,I can cook nothing.I will only end cooking up something else!
We have to find what Sri Bhagavan had said-Where,when and to whom and in what Language.Not just that,but also whether someone else has also validated that.
Knowing Bhagavan,he will never say these things.
Namaskar.

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