Saturday, June 30, 2007

Those who pursue the enquiry "Who am I?" until the last vestige of identification with the physical body is eradicated from their hearts, will be filled with the all pervading glory of the Self, shining alone as Sadasiva.

Praise to his holy feet, where the sun of truth rises, illuminating the boundless sphere of supreme bliss, which can never be expunged from the awareness of his devotees, whose stony hearts melt, as the senses' contamination comes to an end.

~ verses 411 & 419, Sri Ramana Anubuti

What is your worth?

What is your worth? You are the consciousness through which the world is expressed. Abide in that worthiness. Don't step down into mind and the body. Again, you must have the firm conviction that you are unaffected by birth and death. You are like space, not only like space, you are prior to space.

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Prior to Consciousness

Friday, June 29, 2007

our Gracious Companions, these Holy Feet

They are like a great mirror, reflecting within the hearts of true devotees who seek with certain knowledge of their authentic nature. Gracious companions, ruling all that is in the heavens or upon the earth, they gave me, poor wretch that I was, a vision of the vastness of the Supreme, those holy feet of burnished gold.

~ Non-Dual Consciousness, The Flood Tide of Bliss,Sri Ramana Anubuti

Thursday, June 28, 2007

unfailing guidance

Arunachala and Ramana are really one and indivisible. They embody the power and grace of God who governs the world. From this truth springs their unmatched power to grant boons asked or unasked and to provide unfailing guidance for returning to the source, to the spiritual heart. Theirs is the fire of knowledge in which the threefold karma is immolated. One is born anew, abiding always in the joyous natural state.

~ A.R. Natarajan, Arunachala, From Rigveda to Ramana Maharshi

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Lakshmi Day

This year, Lakshmi Day is observed today. (The honouring of her Nirvana.)

Please see this

drinking in the stillness

On other occasions there is neither celebration nor crisis nor any activity whatever but an abiding silence throughout the hall and Ashram. It can happen that, after a long period without rainfall, flash-flood showers sweep through in the early morning hours. The whole of the surrounding nature is awakened, brought to life again after the lingering drought. Frogs chant in full voice, the Ashram well fills to the brim and the sound of run-off streams from the mountain is heard in the distance. The fragrance of lemongrass, sage and pampas, undetectable during the dry months, fills the darshan hall while songbirds, as if appearing out of nowhere, sing their springtime songs once again. On such mornings, an infused silence permeates as Bhagavan, devotees, and often, Gomatha Lakshmi, sit in meditation, drinking in the stillness of the after-rain hush.

~ from The Life of Lakshmi the Cow

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

our refuge

Like a mother who rushes to her hungry baby, picks it up, offers her breast and gives milk, manifest within my heart and end my intense hunger for jnana.

There is no means of getting redeemed other than by having a mind that possesses love for you in such abundance that tears flow like a river.

My Lord! Without making me weary and frustrated with book knowledge, bestow on me the mind of a child that abounds with purity. Make me cling to you in this way.

I am caught in the mouth of the tiger, ego. Apart from you, who took me up as your slave, who else in this world has the responsibility to save me.

On that day when I caught hold of your feet, saying, 'You are my refuge,' you granted me freedom from fear by saying, 'Fear not'.

~ Sadhu Natanananda, Sri Ramana Darsanam

Monday, June 25, 2007

Aren't animals living beings and in reality the Self as well?

Bhagavan strokes the calf. She hops about excitedly, goes round Bhagavan and then begins licking Bhagavan's hand.

Pasupathi: Look! What a sight! It's going around Bhagavan with such devotion.

Bhagavan: Don't say, "It's going around," say, "she is going around". Aren't animals living beings and in reality the Self as well?

Pasupathi: Forgive me, Bhagavan, a slip of the tongue. The golden hand of Bhagavan has touched this calf. She is indeed blessed!

... while Bhagavan and Pasupathi Iyer converse, Lakshmi explores the Ashram and then returns to Bhagavan. Pasupathi Iyer falls prostrate in reverence to Bhagavan and then departs with mother cow and calf. Bhagavan goes inside and others follow.

Ramanathan: (To an ashramite nearby) Did you see how Bhagavan and the calf were looking so intently at each other?

Ashramite: Yes, I was wondering why Bhagavan was fixing his eyes on the calf like that.

Ramanathan: That was also my experience. Once when I was studying in the Vedapatsala, the magnetic gaze of Bhagavan was directed toward me. The instant the light from Bhagavan's lotus eyes fell upon me, springs of love for him began to open up and overwhelm me. I observed the same passion flooding the eyes of that calf. The two of them looked like mother and child gazing at one another.

Ramanatha softly recites a verse from Bhagavan's Aksharamanamalai:

As the magnet does to iron,
attract me ceaselessly and be merged into me,
O Arunachala!

~ from Sri Ramana, Friend of Animals, The Life of Lakshmi the Cow, A Story Adapted from Prani Mitra Bhagavan Ramanar

please see this:

the Grace of our Lord

Removing the false view of things which we find so bewildering, [Grace] grants us the supreme gift of awakening into the state of final liberation. Upon this broad earth, so full of contradictions, it rouses us from the fundamental sleep of the senses, which is ruled by desire alone, the Grace of our Lord.

~ Sri Ramana Anubhuti

attachment to the Guru?

What do you mean, attachment to the Guru? You and Guru are one, not two.

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Prior to Consciousness

Sunday, June 24, 2007

the direct path

16. It is true wisdom For the mind to turn away From outer objects and behold Its own effulgent form.

17. When unceasingly the mind Scans its own form, There is nothing of the kind. For everyone This path direct is open.

18. Thoughts alone make up the mind; And of all thoughts the `I' thought is the root. What is called mind is but the notion `I'.

19. When one turns within and searches Whence this `I' thought arises, The shamed `I' vanishes And wisdom's quest begins.

20. Where this `I' notion fades, Now there as I, as I, arises The One, the very Self, The Infinite.

~ Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, from The Essence of Instruction
for full text, please see

Why does the mind always go outwards instead of inwards

Q: Why does the mind always go outwards instead of inwards?

Annamalai Swami: Because we don't ask the question, 'Why does the mind go outwards instead of inwards.'

This question arises because the nature of happiness is not properly understood. People are always looking for it in the wrong places and by doing the wrong activities. You begin with the impression, which is really a misunderstanding, that happiness is something that can be found outside you, and furthermore, that you have to do something or go somewhere to reach it. This is your illusion, and it is your belief in this illusion that makes the mind search for happiness in the outside world.

Even when you are told, 'Happiness is within you as your own Self. Look inwards and find it,' still you think that you have to do something or go somewhere to discover it. This is the power of Maya of illusion. This is like one fish in the sea asking another fish for directions to the ocean.

When you are not aware that your glasses are resting on your nose, you may look for them all day, thinking that they are an object to be found. Eventually, you realise that you were wearing them all the time.

While the search was on, that which was being sought was, in reality, that through which the seeing was taking place. You were looking for an object that finally turned out to be the subject that was doing the seeking. So it is with your mind and the Self. Mind sets up the notion that the Self needs to be found, and then proceeds to hunt for it as if it were some object that could be located in some interior place. This is as foolish as a man with a goat wrapped around his shoulders spending his time wandering around, looking for his goat, and asking everyone he meets where it might be.

~ from Final Talks, edited by David Godman

behind the wondrous variety

Behind the wondrous variety of the world's illusory appearances there lies a corresponding Reality which permeates it through and through: it is the Primal One who manifests as the ever liberated Self, when the mind is transcended and the supreme bliss of Sivahood holds sway.

Now that he has ensnared me with his seductive charms, He no longer tolerates my mischief, no longer allows me to throw back my head and dance, forgetting the truth.

~ Sri Muruganar, Non-Dual Consciousness, The Flood Tide of Bliss, Sri Ramana Anubuti

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Intelligence itself

You are not the body, nor is the body yours, nor are you the doer or the enjoyer. You are Intelligence itself, the eternal witness and you are free. Get along happily.

~ Ashtavakra Gita

The Waterwheel

Stay together, friends.
Don't scatter and sleep.

Our friendship is made
of being awake.

The waterwheel accepts water
and turns and gives it away,

That way it stays in the garden,
whereas another roundness rolls
through a dry riverbed looking
for what it thinks it wants.

Stay here, quivering with each moment
like a drop of mercury.

~ Rumi, The Esential Rumi, translations by Coleman Barks with John Moyne

Friday, June 22, 2007

Your Nature

You are the unmoving reality, the Atma jnana
that rises to bestow excellence [of clarity]
on the deluding distortions that mask the jiva,
which are merely reflections
upon the mirror of the shaking mind.
Such is your nature!

~ lines 289-291 Ramana Puranam

that serious and sustained confusion

In a deeper and generally more suitable way of thinking, each of these elements is a projection, in a subtotality of yet higher 'dimension'. So it will ultimately be misleading and indeed wrong to suppose, for example, that each human being is an independent actuality who interacts with other human beings and with nature. Rather, all these are projections of a single totality. As a human being takes part in the process of this totality, he is fundamentally changed in the very activity in which his aim is to change that reality which is the content of his consciousness. To fail to take this into account must inevitably lead one to serious and sustained confusion in all that one does.

~ David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order

the Heart on the right

On one occasion, for example, I [Papaji] heard him tell a visitor that the spiritual Heart-centre was located on the right side of the chest, and that the 'I'-thought arose from that place and subsided there. This did not tally with my own experience of the Heart. On my first visit to the Maharshi, when my Heart opened and flowered, I knew that it was neither inside nor outside the body. Based on my own experience of the Self, I knew that it was not possible to say that the Heart could be limited to or located in the body.

So I joined in the conversation and asked, 'Why do you place the spiritual Heart on the right side of the chest and limit it to that location? There can be no right or left for the Heart because it does not abide inside or outside the body. Why not say it is everywhere? How can you limit the truth to a location inside the body? Would it not be more correct to say that the body is situated in the Heart, rather than the Heart in the body?'

I was quite vigorous and fearless in my questioning because that was the method I had been taught in the army.

The Maharshi gave me an answer which fully satisfied me. Turning to me, he explained that he only spoke in this way to people who still identified themselves with their bodies.

'When I speak of the "I" rising from the right side of the body, from a location on the right side of the chest, the information is for those people who still think they are the body. To these people I say that the Heart is located there. But it is really not quite correct to say that the "I" rises from and merges with the Heart on the right side of the chest. The Heart is another name for Reality and it is neither inside nor outside the body; there can be no in or out for it, since it alone is. I do not mean by Heart any physiological organ or any plexus or anything like that, but so long as one identifies oneself with the body and thinks that one is the body, one is advised to see where in the body the "I"-thought rises and merges again. It must be the Heart at the right side of the chest since every man, of whatever race and religion, and in whatever language he may be saying "I", points to the right side of the chest to indicate himself. This is so all over the world, so that must be the place. And by keenly watching the daily emergence of the "I"-thought on waking, and the subsidence in sleep, one can see that it is in this Heart on the right side.'

~ from Nothing Ever Happened, volume one of Papaji's biography by David Godman

by Thy Grace

O Love in the shape of Arunachala! Now that by Thy Grace Thou hast claimed me, what will become of me unless Thou manifest Thyself to me, and I, yearning wistfully for Thee and harassed by the darkness of the world, am lost? (How) can the lotus blossom without the sight of the sun? Thou art the Sun of suns; Thou causest Grace to well up in abundance and pour forth as a stream!

~ verse 1, Arunachala Patikam For the rest:

Thursday, June 21, 2007

demolish those concepts

Through the concepts of others you have built up so many things around you that you are lost. "You" is decorated and embellished by the concepts of others. Prior to receiving any hearsays from outside, has anyone any information about himself?

The purpose of Sat-Guru is to tell you what you are like prior to the building up of all those concepts of others. Your present spiritual storehouse is filled up with the words of others -- demolish those concepts. Sat-Guru means the eternal state which will never be changed: what you are. You are that immutable, eternal, unchangeable Absolute. Sat-Guru tells you to get rid of all these walls built around you by the hearsays and concepts of others.

You have no form, no design. The names and forms you see are your consciousness only -- the Self is colourless but it is able to judge colours, etc.

The one who is directed by a Sat-Guru has no more birth. Your sadhana is over, you have reached this place.

To you who search for the Self, I explain this type of knowledge, I lead you to a state where there is no hunger, no desire.

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Prior to Consciousness, edited by Jean Dunn

left behind

The summer months were the best time to catch him in a quiet environment. The climate was so unpleasant at that time, few visitors came. One time in May, at the height of the summer, there were only about five of us with the Maharshi. Chadwick, one of the five, made a joke about it: 'We are your poor devotees, Bhagavan. Everyone who can afford to go to the hills to cool off has left. Only we paupers have been left behind.'

The Maharshi laughed and replied, 'Yes, staying here in the summer, without running away, is the real tapas.'

~ Papaji, from Nothing Ever Happened, volume one, by David Godman

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

the expression of Guru

Q: What does Maharaj mean by Linga-deha?

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj: It is the seed, the chemical, the product of the five elemental essences which give rise to and sustain the consciousness "I Am." Just like the seed of a tree, that seed latently contains all future manifestations and expressions of the tree that will sprout out of that seed ...

At the Linga-deha level, when you worship your Guru, you are the expression of Guru, in so many ways. You will be experiencing so many things at such a level, but all that has emanated out of you only, out of your love and devotion for Guru, and finally, as you evolve, all those expressions merge into you. This is very important, this is the consummation of devotion or Saguna Bhakti.

~ from Prior to Concsciousness, edited by Jean Dunn

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

in Praise of the Guru's Holy Feet

Exposing the unreality of the ego self through the enquiry 'Who am I?', they deliver us from the powerful grip of life's desolate ocean. Uprooting the strong and deep-seated attachment within our hearts and leading us to a state in which we may realize their true nature, they are the holy feet of our Lord.

They burn and consume the fundamental seeds of our actions, so that our deeds no longer have the power to enslave us. Sweetly scented like perfumed fruit, filling my mind and senses with their light so that I dwell no longer upon the falsehood born of desire and ignorance, they are the holy feet of our Lord.

Nurturing and protecting, they purify the hearts of true devotees and vouchsafe them the direct experience of Lord Siva's nature. Openly manifesting their truth in a visible form so that we are able to grasp the pure 'I' and bathe in its glorious light, they are the holy feet of our Lord.

~ from Non-Dual Consciousness, The Flood Tide of Bliss by Sri Muruganar

some way

I tried to think of some way
to let my face become yours.

"Could I whisper in your ear
a dream I've had? You're the only one
I've told this to."

You tilt your head, laughing,
as if, "I know the trick you're hatching
but go ahead."

~ Rumi

Swami, what is the colour of your exalted loincloth?

You are the one,
devoid of the dualistic division
that knows oneself as as object.
Because you are wearing your Self,

in which objective knowledge is not possible

as your loincloth, you,
the nature of pure consciousness,
do not know what the beautiful colour of that loincloth is.

Muruganar had a friend, V.S. Chengalvaraya Pillai, who was a distinguished commentator on Tamil devotional literature. At some point Chengalvaraya Pillai had a dream in which he visited Bhagavan in Tiruvannamalai and had his darshan. The contents of the dream, which he noted in his diary in the 1930s, were recorded in a biography that was written by his children:

I went to Tiruvannamalai, where a multitude of bhaktas were assembled. Everyone was worshipping by performing pradakshina of Swami. When my turn came, a devotee of Sri Ramana called Muruganar instructed me to pay homage to Swami, and to ask him what the colour of the loincloth he was wearing was.

I, in my turn, fell at the feet of Swami, weeping, and cried out: 'Swami, what is the colour of your exalted loincloth, the one spoken of in the phrase, "He wears Himself as a loincloth"? May you show your compassion and clarify this matter!'

Immediately, he replied, 'That is not known even to me,' and asked me to repeat the line again twice.

He listened to me and then asked, 'Where is that wonderful line found?' and I replied, 'It is in the 'Tiruchazhal' [line four of verse two], in the Tiruvachakam'.

'That is good. You must remain mindful of that,' he said.

~ lines 447-50 and some commentary from Ramana Puranam
Delicious, sweet syrup of devotion,
known to the hearts of those devotees
who practice the attitude of oneness [aikya bhava],
like Sundara and Azhagu together.

~ lines 373-74, Ramana Puranam

Monday, June 18, 2007

no escape from the Grace of our Beloved

Ramana is the Formless, Timeless
and Spaceless Arunachala
who dances as the "I" in the Heart.
He has graciously taken a form,
that we may be relieved of the bondage of form.
He is not a geographical entity
but the Moveless Brahman of the Upanishads.

Grace is His Essence,
and out of grace
He has become our Guru.
Grace is not simply in Tiruvannamalai,
but resides in our hearts.
The Heart is the true Arunachala.

The might of His Grace is infinite,
It is invincible:
By His look
we were caught
in the net of His Grace,
and it will accomplish Its work.
There is no escape from It.

His Grace is like the unerring light of the Sun.
As it devours the darkness,
so Grace devours Ignorance and Unreality.

We need do nothing at all,
except to give our free consent
that this work of Grace
shall be accomplished.

~ from Revelation by K. Lakshmana Sarma "Who" (I broke the lines differently, to savour the words more fully.)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Once the decision is taken, there is no moving away from it

Q: Has any one of those persons coming here become a jnani?

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj: A number of those who have come here have acquired the knowledge, but only superficially. No one has really studied what the knowledge is; no one has really grasped the full meaning. What are they doing now? They are entangled in wanting, desiring, and this has made them forget the knowledge. Very few will get this knowledge correctly and absorb it deeply into their hearts. Once you have understood the origin of this movement, this activity, and the reason, the nature of this desire, then only can you return to what you are. Unless you are firm about it, you will not understand.

~ from a talk on April 15, 1980

and from a talk four days later:

Sri Nisargadatta: You must come to a firm decision. You must forget the thought that you are a body and be only the knowledge "I Am," which has no form, no name. Just be. When you stabliize in that beingness it will give all the knowledge and all the secrets to you, and when the secrets are given to you, you transcend the beingness, and you, the Absolute, will know that you are also not the consciousness. Having gained all this knowledge, having understood what is what, a kind of quietude prevails, a tranquility. Beingness is transcended, but beingness is available.

Q: What is that state?

Sri N: It is something like a deer taking rest in the shadow of a tree. The color of the shadow is neither light nor very dark, this is the borderland. Neither jet black nor very bright, halfway between them, that is that shadow. Deep blue, like clouds, that is that state. That is also the grace of the Sat-Guru. Everything is flowing out of that state, but this principle does not claim anything, is not involved in anything that is coming out of it, but this beingness is available. That deep, dark blue state, the grace of the Sat-Guru. This is the state of the jnani, this is a very, very rare, natural samadhi state, the most natural state, the highest state.

You must have a firm conviction about this. Once the decision is taken, there is no moving away from it. The fruition of your spirituality is to fully understand your own true nature, to stabilize in your true identity. One must have patience, the capacity to wait and see.

The darkness that you see when you close your eyes, that is the shadow of the Guru's grace; don't forget it, always keep it in mind. Take rest in the shadow of the Guru's grace. Whenever you remember the words of the Guru, you are in the shade of the Guru's grace.

Ultimately, everything merges into the Self. You may come across great difficulties, but your courage and stability in the Self should be firm.

~ from Prior to Consciousness. (Sri Nisargadatta left his body a year and a half after these talks.)

Sri Bhagavan’s Grace shining through a blog: an end to the consumption of creatures

Last September, I found while surfing. As I was reading it for the first time, I knew I had found my favourite blog, but I did not know some change was being worked on my body. The next day I went out to a restaurant for breakfast and ordered something called the Ranch Scramble. Many times before I had eaten this mixture of eggs and sweet peppers and cheese and little pieces of ham and bacon. On that morning, it still smelled delicious, and it even tasted delicious, but something was making it very, very hard to swallow the little nips of meat.

A couple of days later, some carefully prepared (organic, free-range) chicken was set in front of me at home. I took a bite. That sensation in the restaurant had greatly gathered force. I did not know how I was going to choke it down. Revulsion battled with politeness. Smiling to cover the awful almost-gagging sensation in the throat, and praising the food in case a look of recoil was showing around the edges, I got down several small bites. (Much effort had gone into the making of the meal.) As the last of these bites went down, I sensed that revulsion had won that battle and I felt obliged to say, “I do not think I will be able to eat meat again.”

That was the last time I was able to swallow a bite of a creature. Whatever mysterious force had moved from the end-to-suffering blog to my throat then spread through my house, claiming others. “I will not allow anything in my mouth that Bhagavan would not put in His,” one little person said. All trace of desire for anything but satvic food left him and has never returned.

Glory to our Beloved Ramana who so gracefully adjusts the palates of his devotees. Even as a child, He could swiftly and permanently turn a carnivore to a vegetarian:

In Ramana Leela, Krishna Bikshu describes this interesting incident: "From his very childhood, Venkataraman's words had an authority of their own. Abdul Wahab, a Muslim, was the captain of the football team of the boys. Once Venkataraman went to Wahab's house and on learning that they ate non-vegetarian food, expressed his revulsion. With that pronouncement, Wahab gave up non-vegetarian food forever! Wahab later served in the Police Department and retired as a Superintendent of Police." []

Please see ananda’s recent posts.
and surrounding posts.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

If you can see all as your Self ...

Q: Is it desirable to want to see God?

Annamalai Swami: Manikkavachagar said in one of his songs: 'God is not a person, nor is He any particular thing. Yet without God there is nothing because He alone is everything.
To see one's Self and to see this same Self as all that is, that is seeing God.

Q: So is it better to want only the formless Self?

AS: I once heard Bhagavan say to Paul Brunton: 'If you do upasana [meditation] on the all-pervading Self, you will get infinite energy.' All beings, all things, all people in the world are your own Self. They are all indivisibly part of you. If you can see all as your Self, how can you do harm to anyone else? When you have that clear vision, whatever you do to others, you know that it is done to your Self only.
To like one thing instead of another is samsara: to like and love all things is wisdom. If one sees from this realisation that all are one's own Self, one enjoys the same peace that one enjoys in the deep-sleep state. The difference is, one enjoys it here and now while one is awake.

~from Living by the Words of Bhagavan by David Godman


A question which has often puzzled me is: why, when the world is said to be unreal to the sage yet seems completely real to the unawakened person, does the sage appear to treat all beings in that "unreal world" with infinite love and compassion, while the unawakened person treats "others," at least some of the time, with callousness, indifference, or even violence? These passages from Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad helped with this puzzlement:

The ignorant one, because of his confounding of the body with the Self, thinks of himself as 'with form' and co-extensive with that body. The sage is aware of the Self as infinite, formless being; this is the distinction in the meaning of what is said by these two.

What is seen as 'the body' by the ignorant appears to the sage only as the Self. He refers to it as 'I', ignoring the body-form through his right awareness.

Also, when the two say that the world is real, there is a difference in the meaning, though the words are the same. For the ignorant one, the reality is veiled by differences, while to the sage, it appears as it really is.

Unaware of the substratum of the world-appearance, seeing [only] the superimposed multitude of [inert] objects, and believing that this world of objects is real in its own right, the ignorant one says, 'The world is real'.

[On the other hand] for the sage there shines only the substratum, which is pure reality, nameless and formless. For him the superimposition does not appear as real. [That being the case], how can he say that the world is unreal?

This world which, to the one whose eye is blinded by unawareness of his own real Self, conceals the Supreme Being, is by [the power of] that same Supreme Being, concealed to the one whose eye is purified by the right awareness of that Self.

Just as the one who has become wise to the truth of the mirage may again see the mirage without being deluded, so too the sage, seeing this world, does not think of it as real, as does the ignorant one.

The world is not real in the sense in which it is believed to be real by the ignorant man. Ignorant ones do not understand the sense in which the world is seen [as real] by the sage.

That which appears to the ignorant ones as diversified by a great many differences, as 'forms' and as 'other than the Self', is, to the sage, only the Self, undifferentiated and formless.

It is not taught that the world is completely unreal. It is not unreal like the horn of man or a horse. If it were completely unreal, it would not appear at all. But it does appear because of its confusion with its substratum, the reality.

The unreality that has no substratum, such as the son of a barren woman and the like, does not appear at all. But the unreality which appears on a substratum, like the snake seen in a rope, appears as real.

Both reality and unreality have to be stated in respect of the world, and herein there is not the least contradiction. It is real because of the reality of the substratum, and it is unreal, because of the superimposition of names and forms.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Bhagavan, our Guru, declared the secret of the correct meaning of the last verse of the Gita in the following way: 'One should make surrender of oneself to the supreme one by giving up the attributes falsely ascribed to the real Self, namely that one is a 'soul' and so on.'

What is called surrender of oneself to God is the final consummation of the practice of devotion. This can be achieved by the purified mind when the might of the ego is greatly reduced.

Just as a small magnet becomes united to a big one by the juxtaposition of the opposite poles, so the finite soul becomes one with the Supreme Being by the conjunction of its head with His Feet.

The self-surrender is truly made by him who always has the feeling, 'Let all things happen according to your will. In all respects, I am bound to you.'

He that has surrendered himself will be at peace, remembering that He (God) is the bearer of the world's burden. The one that bears the burden will be ridiculous, like the figure on the temple-tower appearing to bear the tower on its own shoulders.

As one traveling in a carriage puts down his luggage in the carriage itself and completes his journey, so should he also resign his own [samsaric] burden to God and complete his life in this world.

The wise one should resign to God his cares concerning the good of the world, just as he resigns to Him his cares about his own body and family.

The ripe devotee must pass his time, patiently enduring whatever happens to him, whether pleasant or unpleasant or otherwise, without yielding to sorrow or joy, with his heart absorbed in Him.

When the ego dies, having been swallowed by divine grace, the devotee's self-surrender becomes true and complete.

As would be the offering [to Ganesa] of a portion, taken from an image of Ganesa made of jaggery, so is the surrender of one's self to God, since there is no self apart from Him.

Since the Self is the Supreme Being Himself, by whom, how and to whom is the surrender to be made? True self-surrender is only the extinction of the ego, by which the sense of being different from Him arises.

'If you desire to give yourself to God, then first seek out and know your Self. The gift of oneself to God will be accomplished in this way.' So said the most holy one.

~ Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad

devotee makes promises back to Bhagavan

1. I am yours. Everything I ever imagined I was or could be is yours, and everything I ever wanted or thought was mine is yours.

2. The moment I notice I have lost my awareness of you, that my mind has taken me prisoner, I will flee that prison by practicing Self-enquiry or by saying one of your Holy Names or by looking into your eyes or by worshipping your Feet or by reading your teaching or the bhakti-drenched words of your devotees.

3. I will never give up, until our final union.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Promises of unceasing darshan

Why do you pointlessly find fault with me, saying that I no longer look at you?

If you would only fix your gaze upon me, you would know that, established in the Heart, my gaze is ever fixed on you.

Looking at you from within the Self, I never leave you. How can this fact be known to your externalized vision?

~ Padamalai
peacock at Sri Ramanasramam, April, 2007 -- courtesy of a kind reader

As Sri Bhagavan was leaving His body, a peacock flew to the top of the hall and began to scream. Sri Bhagavan's last words were, "Has anyone fed the peacock?"

Bhagavan's Promises about the mind

Give me your mind

'You should offer up to me the bright ruby of your mind. That is the gift that will bring me delight.'

'The sweet love I have for such a mind I do not have for anything else.' Padam desires this.

Padam receives the minds of loving devotees as an offering, swallowing them through a ruby-red light.

Padam accepts only the mind as a fitting offering, rejecting everything else as being incompatible.

~ Padamalai, Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi recorded by Muruganar, edited and annotated by David Godman


The true Guru wishes only to liberate us. Everything He does and says points to this and this alone. Everything He does, He does for our sake, and no convoluted explanations are necessary to see His actions as God's Grace.

I am eternally grateful that Sri Bhagavan lived every moment of His "embodied" life in perfect alignment with His Father, Arunachala-Siva. Every interaction He ever had with any"one", from human to wasp to leaf, was an expression of His Divinity. Every story, every word, is a doorway we can enter to know Him better.

Glory to our Father and His most beautiful Feet! May He rest Them on our heads so we are rendered powerless to withhold our minds from Him. May we become capable of giving Him the gift He asks for.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

more of Bhagavan's Promises (how wonderfully they go on and on!)

Meditating on me

Splendorous Padam declares: 'Meditating on me with no sense of difference [between us] is accepting my grace and offering yourself to me. This in itself is enough.'

If you worship me by meditating well on the excellence of my true nature, the greatness of your own true nature will well up in your Heart.

Knowing that what abides in your Heart is the Self, my true and real nature, you should search for it there. Only this can be regarded as meditating on me with devotion.

Padam advises: 'Keeping one's attention on the subtle consciousness that is experienced by the extremely subtle mind is personal service to me.'

The compassionate heart that flows from me to you will never fail except when you cease to have remembrance of 'me', who command and conduct everything

You can know and experience my grace, which is my nature, if you remember me with no forgetfulness in your heart.

Union with me

Seeking my true nature in your Heart, discovering it and rejoicing in it by bathing in the bliss of my jnana-swarupa -- this is union.

Only bhakti sadhana performed continuously with love will fascilitate easily, in a gradual way, this union.

Enter with love the temple that is your own Heart and experience the bliss of being absorbed in my swarupa, becoming one with it.

I myself will command and control a mind that has died by the sacrifice of the ego.

~ Padamalai

(and that is not all ;-))

further expressions of love and gratitude for His Beloved Feet

over here:

more about the Promises

Arun was right ... the "promises book" is Padamalai, Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi recorded by Muruganar.

Here is the start of the section called Bhagavan's Promises and Declarations:

Knowing and experiencing me

1. Padam [Bhagavan] tells and reveals: 'Instead of knowing with certainty by enquiry that I myself am present as your "I", why do you despair?

2. To become established as the Self within the Heart is to experience my real nature, which is pure bliss.

3. Know me as the true essence of jnana that shines uninterruptedly in your Heart. Destroy the objectifying awareness of the ego-mind that arrogantly cavorts as 'I'.

4. When I am shining in your Heart as 'I-I', your own real nature, your attempt to 'attain' me is indeed a great marvel!

5. To meditate on my swarupa [true nature], which possesses the light that is the source of life, all that is needed is your one-pointedness of mind.

6. Whether you retire to the forest or remain in the midst of everyday life, attain swarupa in the home that is the Heart.

7. Your search to attain me is like searching all over the world, ceaselessly straining to find the necklace around your own neck.

8. Just as you know that the necklace is there by feeling your neck, seek the treasure of the Self, your real nature, within the Heart, and know it.

9. Those who have come to my feet with love, and without delaying, are those whose birth has been graced by God. [Theirs is] an eminent and true life.

10. Through the thought of the feet of the Guru who has reigned over devotees, the intense darkness of ignorance [present in the] hearts of devotees will perish and ultimate liberation will be attained here and now.

more soon. and many, many thanks to David Godman and Sri Muruganar (and also translators Dr Venkatasubramanian and Robert Butler), whose extreme talents have been/are being used in such a way as to draw us deeper and deeper into our Lord.


note: the word Padam literally means 'the foot', and is used as a synonym for the Self. Sri Muruganar uses the word Padam to mean Sri Bhagavan himself.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bhagavan's Promises

This is taken from an interview of David Godman by Maalok:

DG: When devotees surrendered their problems to Sri Ramana, it was the same as surrendering them to God. They were submitting to the same divine authority, surrendering to a living manifestation of that same power. Here are some statements that Sri Ramana made on this subject. I have taken them from a book I am currently working on. Each sentence was originally recorded by Muruganar in Tamil verse:

1. My devotees have the qualifications to rejoice abundantly, like children of an emperor.

2. Abandon the drama [of the world] and seek the Self within. Remaining within, I will protect you, [ensuring] that no harm befalls you.

3. If you inquire and know me, the indweller, in that state there will be no reason for you to worry about the world.

4. For the cruel disease of burning samsara to end, the correct regimen is to entrust all your burdens on me.

5. In order that your needless anxieties cease, make sure that all your burdens are placed on me through the brave act of depending totally on grace.

6. If you completely surrender all your responsibilities to me, I will accept them as mine and manage them.

7. When bearing the entire burden remains my responsibility, why do you have any worries?

8. Long ago you offered your body, possessions and soul to me, making them mine, so why do you still regard these things as 'I' and 'mine' and associate yourself with them?

9. Seek my grace within the Heart. I will drive away your darkness and show you the light. This is my responsibility.

These verses come from a sub-section I have entitled 'Bhagavan's Promises'. When people surrendered completely to him, he was more than happy to manage their lives for them. Just about everyone discovered that when she surrendered the burden of responsibility for her life to Sri Ramana, problems diminished or went away completely.

The Guru is primarily there to teach the truth, to bestow grace on his disciples and to bring about the liberation of the mature souls who come to him. But he also has this very nice sideline of being able to manage the affairs of his devotees much better than they can.


for the full interview, please see

I hope David Godman will not keep us waiting too long for this promised book!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Mother Alagammal, continued

Word came at last:
he was alive.
What did the details matter!?
Even if it had been confirmed
he was now a deer –
but definitely himself,
her irreplaceable, most lovely
Venkat –
what was some fur,
some different ears?
Who cared if he now ate leaves!
She would take him
in any form, any condition,
and rejoice forever.

The relief was swift and deep;
life turned from an unrelenting hell
to light. How beautiful
the kitchen now. Milk,
pulses, potatoes –
all ordinary things returned
(for a time)
to what they once had been.
The door turned back into a door
instead of an opening through which
an endless procession
of nonVenkats came and left.
How many times had her heart
stopped briefly when a pair of feet
had sounded so familiar
but proved, yet again,
to be the wrong feet.

And the sons of others …
their eyes lost their cruel reminder.
How unbearable it had been
to see other sons glancing
with unquestioned love
at their mothers,
worse still to see other sons
taking their mothers so for granted
that they disobeyed them, laughed,
then forgave and were forgiven
all with the ease
of some waves breaking on a shore.
Those sons from other houses!

Impossible to turn away
from her own other sons
but what about the days
when the awful question arose
in her mind:
what if Nagaswami had been the one
to disappear,
or Nagasundaram? And Venkat
Her love for each
was so full
yet different
that this question twisted
a knife in the place
where they all had grown.
Alamelu was another matter.
Alagammal could press
the girl-child’s head to her heart
and feel some distant comfort.
All boys were the absence
Of Venkat.

But now! The streets were full
of the beauty
of other sons. Her eyes could relax
and allow them in. Even
the Nagas
could be pressed more lovingly
to take a second helping
of iddlies.

The note -- worn soft
and giving out at the creases
from careful and repeated scrutiny
in the early days of Venkat’s
vanishing, then put away
as hope faded -- now
she took it out
and reweighed every word
against the news: her boy
a sadhu at Tiruvannamalai?
Incredulity threatened
to undermine her relief.
The words seemed more improbable
than the earlier rumour
that he had joined a drama troupe
at Tiruvananthapuram.
She could almost imagine him
a tumbler in some circus, the crowd
entranced with his astonishing agility,
but a sadhu? A famous one? Could this
be made to fit
with the strange undercurrents
of his brief note?
So many times
she had dipped
into those currents
longing to be swept
in the right direction,
the Venkat direction,
but the more she had read the note
the more it had seemed to point
everywhere and nowhere.

For almost two years now
her limbs had longed for action,
to pick up speed
rushing toward her darling,
(sometimes in dreams
she loosened her sari
and ran like a gazelle
to the ends of the country
and found him. In these dreams
his hair shone and his eyes
softened with welcome. Before
she got a chance to ask him “why?”
she would wake up
to the dark, Venkatless house
and shrink back
into her grief which would sharpen further
as his dream form dissolved.)

Awake, it had seemed impossible
to begin a journey
when her first steps
were as likely to take her
away from Venkat
as toward.

Trace this out? Since when
had her quiet Venkat
known himself as this?

Just saying his name
made her feel the air
was being sucked from her lungs,
leaving her thrown,
a fish that would never quite die,
on the dusty shore
of a river that only sustained
other mother fish. But why could Venkat
not say his own name? Edging dangerously close
to the truth, Alagammal thought in
he did not disappear from himself!!!
so why so hard
for both of us
to say his name?

And what was this about
a virtuous enterprise?
What enterprise could her son,
so dreamy and distracted
in those days before he vanished,
possibly undertake? Enterprise!
If he had come back by dinner time
Nagaswami would have teased him about that
for weeks.
But hundreds of dinner times came
and went, his place empty.

At the back of her throat
a wail lived, held back,
a distraught tiger in a cage
she kept well locked
knowing that wail, if allowed out
would grow to swallow
the family, the village,
the world, until all that remained
was the sound of loss.
She fed it: images
of bathing the grubby-kneed toddler
Venkateswara, pouring water
over his sweet shape
till he was fresh and clean again,
and the memory of smells:
his delicious hair when the sun
came up on the morning
of his birth. Her throat ached
from the effort
of holding back the wail.

But now her voice was strong
and clear.
Nelliapa, she said,
Go and bring him back.


Fond, foolish-heart of mine, long have you known
That your sure strength is Ramana alone.
And yet, forgetting him, you have your own
Destruction sought so far. Give up now straight,
Now, though already late,
Give up at one sharp wrench and utterly,
The world and dwell on him unceasingly.

~ Sri Muruganar

Sunday, June 10, 2007

the holy feet of our noble Master

In Sri Ramana Anubhuti, Sri Muruganar describes his experience of realising the Self in Sri Bhagavan's presence:

75. He saved me, his humble devotee, from destruction, bringing
me to salvation through his own ambrosial being, even as I
languished in the dark night of my mind’s deadly delusion. Then
indeed did the holy feet of my noble Master, bestowing his grace
in holy silence, become immovably established within my heart,
illuminating my inner being with the golden light of true spiritual

77. Showing me the light of his true teaching, his holy feet drove
out the ruinous ignorance that, like a dark cloud, defiled my
soul with corruption. Revealing to me in all its clarity the truth
whose nature is liberation, he joyfully filled my heart with the
bliss of profound peace.

83. As I waited nervously, weeping and distraught, on the
threshold of his grace-bestowing divine presence, my Master
cut away the worldly desires which so tormented me, and there,
beneath his bounteous foot, I received a noble gift, the realisation
of the true knowledge of Lord Siva.

84. The Lord graciously manifested as my Guru, eradicating the
bondage of my deluded cravings. Revealing to me the glory of
his feet, driving out all my desires, he ruled over me, so that in
my soul only he remained. The joy of reflecting upon my deep
affection for him never leaves my heart.

85. Seeking sanctuary I took shelter at his feet, and he, through
his silent presence, bade me henceforth fear no more. From
that day on, through that authentic union in which he became
ineradicably established within my heart, my life has been filled
with a child-like happiness and profound joy.

for much more of this, see

Tell me how to cut through the surface!

Like a picture sprawling on a paper,
Without roots I spread in all directions
and cried, 'Tell me how to cut through the surface!'
Ramana, the Master of wisdom, said,
'Like a flame in a pitcher,
burn steadily and brightly in the grace of the Lord.
Be still. Fulfil his will.'

~ Sri Muruganar, Sri Ramana Sannidhi Murai

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Vasudeva and Vaasudeva

As it was found difficult to return to Skandashram soon after the noon puja to the [Mother's] samadhi, rice, dhal, etc. were carried downhill so that those who did the puja could cook and eat there itself and return to Skandashram in the evening. A small thatched hut was also put up near the samadhi to be used as a kitchen.

Dandapaniswami and Chinnaswami stayed there permanently. As a portion of the provisions was taken by them, those in Skandashram sometimes did not have enough food. As a result, there was dissatisfaction. The murmer of dissatisfaction reached the ears of Vasudeva Sastri, who was looking after the affairs of Skandashram. He wrote a note to Ramanatha Brahmachari thus: "Devotees give not to Vasudeva but to Vaasudeva (meaning not to Mother, but to Sri Bhagavan)." Ramanatha Brahmachari showed the note to Sri Bhagavan.

After reading it, Sri Bhagavan said, "Oh! how could there be Vaasudeva without Vasudeva?" When Vasudeva Sastri heard about Sri Bhagavan's remarks, he decided not to say anything more about the matter.

~ Kunju Swami, Living with the Master


Mother, only you
knew perfectly
the feel of his newborn hands.
How often
did you press your thumb into his tiny grip?
Did you steal kisses
of the little foot soles
before they ever touched the ground?
What of those toes,
Did your joy know any
limits at all
as you felt the happy tingle of your milk
rushing into that hungry
toothless mouth? Surely once
it must have crossed your mind
you were feeding the Lord! (Though
naturally this thought
would have been kept very quiet ...
or did you dare
just once or twice
to throw a look
at Sundaram that said: dear husband
what have we created here? Has not
this beauty
gone far beyond all reason? ... but let us
keep straight faces for our guests.

We will not dwell
on the searing grief you must have felt
when he vanished. How even an hour of that
would have seemed like fifty lifetimes.
Liberated, you may be able
to think of it, but I cannot bear to
so let us skip ahead ...
how I wish I could have seen
the look in your eyes
when he took your hand
and said: let us find somewhere else to go.
And seen the mad scrambling
of those around you
to retract their stern rules
and extend the warmest invitation
for you to remain (eternally! supremely welcome!)
in their midst,
when they realised their Master, Universe, Source
of Grace and Light,
was preparing to walk away
with you,
blessed one
who gave birth to this radiant Liberator.


please also see

Friday, June 8, 2007

In love surrender to the Love Supreme

Do not wander endlessly
Searching in vain for certitude
Through strenuous study, listening, learning.
In love surrender to the Love
Supreme, the Lord, and reach
And hold the state supreme of Real

To disentangle life's hard knots
One needs must understand the Self
As Love itself. Only when one knows
This Love supreme is moksha gained.
Of every creed this is the heart,
The real teaching.

See Love. Hear Love. Reach out and touch
Love. Eat Love, sweet Love, and smell
Love. For Love is but the Self's
Awareness of Itself.

~ Guru Vachaka Kovai

Thursday, June 7, 2007

beloved ocean of compassion

Ambrosia, delicious to consume!

Great Light, transcending speech!

Mother, you who are an ocean of compassion,

imbued with love’s refreshing sweetness!

~ Ramana Puranam

Guard me, and grant me your grace

Reality, pervading everywhere!
Like a supplicant who seeks the favour of a benefactor
begging him, in a manner free of all reproach,
to show compassion and grant his petition
[I apply to You]. Hear my plea! O Transcendent Supreme!
Listen to the petition of one
whose heart is of wood and show pity.
[My plea is] to dwell in mauna
in the fullness of your ethereal grace,
the state of sahaja nishta.

... Well indeed does your divine mind know
how my heart melted in tender love,
how I languished,
hoping that I might clearly apprehend this state.
If I try to abide in this state for a while,
then my ignorance, a foe posing as a friend,
comes and makes my mind its home.
Shall defiling maya and karma return again?
Shall births, in unbroken succession, assault me?
These thoughts fill my mind.
Lend me the sword of true steadfastness [sraddha],
give me the strength of true jnana
so that my bondage is abolished;
guard me, and grant me your grace!

Consummate perfection of bliss,
whose abundant fullness reigns,
without exception, everywhere I look!

~ Thayumanavar, Paripurnanandam, verse 5.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Joy, joy!

one of Amma's swans today

A song very frequently sung by Sri Bhagavan's Mother, Alagammal:

How did the Self that ever is
How did It till now behave
As if It had forgotten this?

Wonder of wonders, beyond understanding
Is your strange fear,
My Swan, my dear,
Your fear of me!

Mind learning, knowing and forgetting,
Body begotten, begetting and then dying,
Whence these impurities in Purity?
Bigness, smallness, class, rank, sight and seer —
Why these darkling waves in the full deep sea of bliss?

No need for speech or vow of silence;
No coming or going; no beginning, end or middle.
Nor light nor sound; no quality.
No separateness and hence no fear.
Oh wonder of wonders, the things that seem
In a dream!

In and out, high and low, and all the ten directions
Lost in light illimitably vast,
Unbroken, unsupported, full and calm,
Pure Awareness, Bliss immutable,
The once-remote, long-longed-for goal
Now here, joy, joy!

only the pure radiance of love will remain

Q: All I want is to be free.

Sri Nisargadatta: You must know two things: What are you to be free from and what keeps you bound.

Q: Why do you want to annihilate the universe?

Sri Nisargadatta: I am not concerned with the universe. Let it be or not be. It is enough if I know myself.

Q: If you are beyond the world, then you are of no use to the world.

Sri Nisargadatta: Pity the self that is, not the world that is not! Engrossed in a dream you have forgotten your true self.

Q: Without the world there is no place for love.

Sri Nisargadatta: Quite so. All these attributes; being, consciousness, love and beauty are reflections of the real in the world. No real -- no reflection.

Q: The world is full of desirable things and people. How can I imagine it non-existent?

Sri Nisargadatta: Leave the desirable to those who desire. Change the current of your desire from taking to giving. The passion for giving, for sharing, will naturally wash the idea of an external world out of your mind, and of giving as well. Only the pure radiance of love will remain, beyond giving and receiving.

Q: In love there must be duality, the lover and the beloved.

Sri Nisargadatta: In love there is not the one even, how can there be two? Love is the refusal to separate, to make distinctions. Before you can think of unity, you must first create duality. When you truly love, you do not say: 'I love you'; where there is mentation, there is duality.

~ Sri Nisargadatta, I Am That

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

over to you, Beloved

There are no actions that can be clasified as 'mine'. It is only proper to say all actions are Yours alone. I have made over to you my body, possessions and soul. It is for you to remove the impurities that abound in my mind and bestow your grace in whatever way you think fit!

~ Thayumanavar

Monday, June 4, 2007

Thy wonderful grace

Bearing and tending me in the world in the shape of my father and mother
Thou didst enter my heart
and before I fell into the deep sea called Mahamaya and was drowned,
Thou didst draw me to Thee and keep me at They Feet.
How shall I describe Thy wonderful Grace, O Arunachala who art Consciousness Itself?

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Arunachala Navamanimalai

for the whole Arunachala Navamanimalai, see

Behave as if you were fully convinced that you are not the body

Q: You were told by your Guru that you are the Supreme and you trusted him and acted on it. What gave you this trust?

Sri Nisargadatta: Say, I was just reasonable. It would have been foolish to distrust him. What interest could he possibly have in misleading me?

Q: You told a questioner that we are the same, that we are equals. I cannot believe it. Since I do not believe it, of what use is your statement to me?

Sri Nisargadatta: Your disbelief does not matter. My words are true and they will do their work. This is the beauty of noble company (satsang).

Q: Just sitting near you can it be considered spiritual practice?

Sri Nisargadatta: Of course. The river of life is flowing. Some of its water is here, but so much of it has already reached its goal. You know only the present. I see much further into the past and future, into what you are and what you can be. I cannot but see you as myself. It is in the very nature of love to see no difference.

Q: How can I come to see myself as you see me?

Sri Nisargadatta: It is enough if you do not imagine yourself to be the body. It is the 'I-am-the-body' idea that is so calamitous. It blinds you completely to your real nature. Even for a moment do not think that you are the body. Give yourself no name, no shape. In the darkness and the silence reality is found.

Q: Must not I think with some conviction that I am not the body? Where am I to find such conviction?

Sri Nisargadatta: Behave as if you were fully convinced and the confidence will come. What is the use of mere words? A formula, a mental pattern will not help you. But unselfish action, free from all concern with the body and its interests will carry you into the very heart of Reality.

Q: Where am I to get the courage to act without conviction?

Sri Nisargadatta: Love will give you the courage. When you meet somebody wholly admirable, love-worthy, sublime, your love and admiration will give you the urge to act nobly.

Q: Not everybody knows to admire the admirable. Most of the people are totally insensitive.

Sri Nisargadatta: Life will make them appreciate. The very weight of accumulated experience will give them eyes to see. When you meet a worthy man, you will love and trust him and follow his advice. This is the role of the realised people -- to set an example of perfection for others to admire and love. Beauty of life and character is a tremendous contribution to the common good.

Q: Must we not suffer to grow?

Sri Nisargadatta: It is enough to know that there is suffering, that the world suffers. By themselves neither pleasure nor pain enlighten. Only understanding does. Once you have grasped the truth that the world is full of suffering, that to be born is a calamity, you will find the urge and the energy to go beyond it. Pleasure puts you to sleep and pain wakes you up. If you do not want to suffer, don't go to sleep. You cannot know yourself through bliss alone, for bliss is your very nature. You must face the opposite, what you are not, to find enlightenment.

~ Sri Nisargadatta, I Am That

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Bhagavan Padam

Primal Lord!
Lord who is the beautiful radiance that shines
as 'I-I' within the Heart of devotees!
Lord who is the Self, beyond the reach
of the mind's objective knowledge!
Lord who possesses justice rooted in grace!
Lord who stands, his feet firmly planted
in the Self-abidance of his followers!
Lord who remains as that which is [after all else is discarded]!
Noble Ramana whose play is to hold me in his loving embrace!

~ Sri Ramana Anubhuti

As often as you become aware of vasanas rising, ask: to whom do they come?

Annamalai Swami: Initially, abidance in the Self may not be firm and irreversible. Vigilance may be needed to maintain it.

There is a verse in Kaivalya Navaneeta that Bhagavan often quoted. It speaks of the need for vigilance even after the Self has been experienced for the first time. In this verse the disciple is speaking to his Guru:

'Lord, you are the reality remaining as my inmost Self, ruling me during all my countless incarnations! Glory to you who have put on an external form to instruct me. I do not see how I can repay your grace for having liberated me. Glory! Glory to your holy feet!'

The Guru replies:

'To stay fixed in the Self without the three kinds of obstacles [ignorance, uncertainty and wrong knowledge] obstructing your experience, is the highest return you can render me.'

The Guru knows that without vigilance, an initial experience of the Self may slip away.

Q: Why is this experience not enough?

Annamalai Swami: If vasanas are still there, they will rise up again and the experience will be lost. While they are there, there is always the possibility that we may again take the unreal to be real.

If we take the mirage to be real water, that is ignorance. Similarly, if we take the unreal body to be the Self, that is also ignorance. As soon as ignorance comes, you must question it. 'To whom does this ignorance come?' A strong determination to pursue enquiry in this way will dissolve all doubts. By questioning 'Who am I?' and by constantly meditating, one comes to the clarity of being.

As long as vasanas continue to exist they will rise and cover the reality, obscuring awareness of it. As often as you become aware of them, question, 'To whom do they come?' This continuous enquiry will establish you in your own Self and you will have no further problems. When you know that the snake of the mind never existed, when you know that the rope of reality is all that exists, doubts and fears will not trouble you again.

~ Annamalai Swami, Final Talks, edited by David Godman

for some more of Kaivalya Navaneeta, see

Saturday, June 2, 2007

attention liberates

Q: How can we overcome the duality of the doer and the done?

Sri Nisargadatta: Contemplate life as infinite, undivided, ever present, ever active, until you realise yourself as one with it. It is not even very difficult, for you will be returning only to your own natural condition.
Once you realise that all comes from within, that the world in which you live has not been projected onto you but by you, your fear comes to an end. Without this realisation you identify yourself with the externals, like the body, mind, society, nation, humanity, even God or the Absolute. But these are all escapes from fear. It is only when you fully accept your responsibility for the little world in which you live and watch the process of its creation, preservation and destruction, that you may be free from your imaginary bondage.

Q: Why should I imagine myself so wretched?

M: You do it by habit only. Change your ways of feeling and thinking, take stock of them and examine them closely. You are in bondage by inadvertence. Attention liberates. You are taking so many things for granted. Begin to question. The most obvious things are the most doubtful. Ask yourself such questions as: "Was I really born?' 'Am I really so-and-so?" 'How do I know that I exist? 'Who are my parents?" 'Have they created me, or have I created them?' 'Must I believe all I am told about myself?' "Who am I, anyhow?'. You have put so much energy into building a prison for yourself. Now spend as much on demolishing it. In fact, demolition is easy, for the false dissolves when it is discovered. All hangs on the idea 'I am'. Examine it very thoroughly. It lies at the root of every trouble. It is a sort of skin that separates you from the reality. The real is both within and without the skin, but the skin itself is not real. This 'I am' idea was not born with you. You could have lived very well without it. It came later due to your self-identification with the body. It created an illusion of separation where there was none. It made you a stranger in your own world and made the world alien and inimical. Without the sense of 'I am' life goes on. There are moments when we are without the sense of 'I am'. at peace and happy. With the return of the 'I am' trouble starts.

Q: How is one to be free from the 'I'-sense?

M: You must deal with the 'I'-sense if you want to be free of it. Watch it in operation and at peace, how it starts and when it ceases, what it wants and how it gets it, till you see clearly and understand fully. After all, all the Yogas, whatever their source and character, have only one aim: to save you from the calamity of separate existence, of being a meaningless dot in a vast and beautiful picture.
You suffer because you have alienated yourself from reality and now you seek an escape from this alienation. You cannot escape from your own obsessions. You can only cease nursing them.
It is because the "I am' is false that it wants to continue. Reality need not continue -- knowing itself indestructible, it is indifferent to the destruction of forms and expressions. To strengthen, and stabilise the 'I am' we do all sorts of things -- all in vain, for the 'I am' is being rebuilt from moment to moment. It is unceasing work and the only radical solution is to dissolve the separative sense of 'I am such-and-such person' once and for good. Being remains, but not self-being.

~ Sri Nisargadatta, I Am That

Life of life, deep within the heart

Enlightenment can never come
Unless the heart explores with care
The essence of the teaching,
The unceasing That thou art,
Uttered by the eloquent glance
Of the guru, Siva manifest,
Dwelling in the devotee's heart.

The Self-God's chosen method
For the incessant teaching
Of the pupil perfectly mature
Is the unbroken, natural awareness
Of "I, I", the Life of life
Deep within the heart.

~ Guru Vachaka Kovai by Sri Muruganar, translation by Prof. K. Swaminathan

Don't differentiate between work and meditation

Sri Bhagavan often said, 'While doing the work, don't have the idea, 'I am doing the work'. If you can keep up this attitude, work will not be a burden, and no problems will touch you.'

Don't differentiate between work and meditation. If you don't differentiate, every job you do becomes meditation. And don't make distinctions between different kinds of work. Don't think, 'This is good work. This is bad work.' If you treat all work equally, any work you do will be your sadhana.'

~ Annamalai Swami, Final Talks

Friday, June 1, 2007

Full saturated

Part of Ram Tirtha's daily prayer:

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord to Thee.
Take my heart and let it be
Full saturated, Love, with Thee.
Take my eyes and let them be
Intoxicated, God, with Thee.
Take my hands and let them be
Engaged in seeing Truth for Thee.


Let me be so “full saturated” with Sri Bhagavan that I lose the capacity to float on the surface of His teaching and instead sink into the Heart that He is, never to bob up again. Bring on the deepest saturation, Beloved Lord!