Tuesday, July 31, 2007

your own

On the eve of Dasarah I was asked to translate into Telugu an article on Sri Bhagavan by his English devotee, Major A. W. Chadwick, who after rendering distinguished service in the first World War turned spiritual and was drawn to Sri Bhagavan and has since remained at His feet permanently. When I went to the Ashram during Dasarah vacation, I learnt that my Telugu rendering was felt to be somewhat prosaic. It was suggested that I might try to put the same ideas in Telugu poetry. The article and its translations in different languages were meant to be used for the coming Shashti-purti (Diamond Jubilee) celebration of Sri Bhagavan. So the Ashram authorities were in a great hurry to get them printed. On the morning of October 17th, in the inspiring presence of Sri Bhagavan, I read them out in the Hall. When I came to the fifteenth verse which stated:

"On this occassion (Shashti-purti) as we gather at the feet of Sri Bhagavan, we should neither discuss philosophy nor estimate our individual progress in spirituality, but simply pour our hearts out for His gracious condescension in living with us and befriending us these sixty years".

My voice became choked with emotion, and failed. Sri Bhagavan also shed tears. With great difficulty I somehow completed the reading. With Sri Bhagavan's approval, those verses were sent to the press that very day under the title Karuna Purna Sudhabdhi (Nectareous Ocean of Grace).

The next day Sri Bhaagavan casually narrated the story of Mira Bai's visit to her Guruji. The disciples refused permission for darshan on the ground that their Guru would not see the face of a woman.

Mira Bai expressing surprise observed: "I thought that there is only one Purusha (Man) and all the rest of us are women."

When these words were communicated by the disciples to their Guru, he at once realised that Mira Bai was a Jnani and he himself came out and saluted her.

Some time after Sri Bhagavan told this story, as Subbalakshmamma, an old devotee, and myself were discussing it, the idea struck us that according to Mira's saying, Sri Bhagavan is the sole Purusha (Man) and therefore His Shashti purti (completion of sixty years) is specially significant. Subbalakshmamma suggested that I put this idea in a poem. Accordingly, soon after I returned home, I wrote two verses which ran as follows:

1. "Men do marry their own wives at their shashti-purti celebration. Truly we the so-called men and women on earth are all women, and you, Ramana, are the only Purusha (Man)! So at your shashti-purti, you must marry us all who are your own."

2. "For this wedding, O Ramana, you are the bridegroom, you are the priest, you are the congregation, you are the ritual, and the mantra is Silence!"

~ G. V. Subbaramayya, Sri Ramana Reminiscences

Monday, July 30, 2007

Wherever the Footprint is found ....

The world is no more than the Beloved's single face;
In the desire of the One to know its own beauty, we exist.

Each place, each moment, sings its particular song of not-being
and being.
Without reason, the clear glass equally mirrors wisdom and

Those who claim knowledge are wrong; prayer just leads to
Appearance and faith are mere lees in the Unknowing Wine.

Wherever the Footprint is found,
that handful of dust holds the oneness of worlds.

This earth, burnished by hearing the Name, is so certain of Love
That the sky bends unceasingly down, to greet its own light.

~ Ghalib, The Enlightened Heart, edited by Stephen Mitchell, (translation by Jane Hirshfield)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

the one refuge

Yours are the holy feet of Sivam,
the true, the divine,
which you clearly revealed to me
through the power of consciousness [chit sakti]
as I was whirling, through fear, in confusion
amongst imaginary appearances.

Our Lord! Know that, through all the seven births,
your feet of pure gold,
which are truly worthy to behold,
are the one refuge for us, your devotees!

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi and Sri Muruganar, Ramana Puranam

Today is Guru Purnima! All praise to our Beloved Father, Lord Ramana

Long live the grace of the Lord
who ever protects those devotees
who have taken refuge in him
so that they do not languish and perish
like a ship [lost] in mid-[ocean]!

Long live the grace of our Father
who shines as the unique exemplar
of that noble nature that will not consent
to inflict suffering on living beings!

Long live the glory of him
whose munificent feet are imbued
with the exalted supreme bliss
that brings delight to the virtuous
whose thoughts do not swerve
from the path of the dharma!

Long live the [very] dust of the feet
of the blissful companion
who never leaves
the hearts that love him,
dwelling agreeably therein,
dispelling their sorrow!

Long live the feet of him
who, as the omnipresent divine presence
is a treasure-trove in their [hour of] need
to those who have banished
[thoughts of] 'I' and 'mine'
by humbly bowing their heads!

Long live the holy lotus feet
that delight the great kings of tapas
who fix their thoughts upon him,
such that not a moment of their time
is spent in vain!

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi and Sri Muruganar, Ramana Puranam

Saturday, July 28, 2007

"Here I am!"

It is well-known that for a few months after Skandashram had been completed, Bhagavan spent the nights sometimes in Virupaksha Cave and sometimes up at Skandashram.

One day he went to Skandashram and stayed there for the night. Palani Swami was in the Virupaksha Cave. At midnight a thief got into the Guhainamasivaaya Mantap. He was making off with some things when Paatti woke up and cried out.

The thief tried to muffle her but she somehow managed to shout at the top of her voice: "Oh, Annamalai! Thief! Thief!"

Her shouts were even heard by Bhagavan way up at Skandashram. He shouted back: "Here I am! I'm coming. Who is that?" and ran down in hot haste.

Isn't it wonderful that Bhagavan who calls Annamalai as the 'Thief' (in Marital Garland of Letters) should rush down crying: "Here I am!" when Keerai Paatti called out to Annamalai!

~from Moments Remembered, Reminiscences of Bhagavan Ramana, by V. Ganesan

Friday, July 27, 2007

diving deep

By means of a moderate quantity of sattvic (pure) food, which is superior to all other rules and regulations of self discipline, the sattvic or pure quality of the mind will grow and Self-enquiry will be helped.

Though ancient and timeless sense attachments in the shape of vasanas (subtle tendencies) may rise countless like the waves of the sea, they will all be destroyed as dhyana progresses. Without giving any room for doubt whether it would at all be possible to eradicate all those vasanas and be the Self alone, one must take hold ceaselessly of dhyana of the Self. However great a sinner one may be, instead of
lamenting `I am a great sinner, how can I make any progress?' one must completely forget the fact of being a sinner and earnestly pursue meditation of Self. He is then sure to succeed.

If the ego is present, all else will also exist. If it is absent, all else will also vanish. As ego is all this, to enquire what this ego is, is to give up all attachment.

Controlling speech and breath, and diving deep within oneself, as a man dives into water to recover something that has fallen there, one must find out the source whence the ego rises, by means of keen insight.

~ from Gems from Bhagavan

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Lord of my Life!

Lord of my Life! I have always been at Thy Feet, like a frog (which clings) to the stem of the lotus; make me instead a honey bee which (from the blossom of the Heart) sucks sweet honey of Pure Consciousness; then shall I have Deliverance. If I lose my life while clinging to Thy Lotus Feet it will be for Thee a standing column of ignominy, O Blazing Mountain of Light spreading red rays! O (wise) Expanse of Grace, more subtle than the ether!

~ Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, verse 6, Arunachala Patikam

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Nayana Day

With the Maharshi's permission Ganapati left Arunachala in 1908 for Tiruvottiyur near Madras for performing tapas. He performed tapas in a Ganesa temple for eighteen days. On the last day he had a problem during the tapas and felt that it would be fine if the Maharishi were to give his darshan. He was asleep while being, wide awake. All of a sudden Ramana arrived there and sat by Ganapati's side. Surprised at this, Ganapati tried to get up but the Maharshi pressed him on the head and made him sit. Ganapati felt as if an electric current had passed through him. He took it to be initiation by hand (hasta- diksha).

Ever since 1896 the Maharshi never left Arunachala but how can anyone account for Ganapati's experience?

About twenty one years later, on 17 Oct 1929 to be precise, Ganapati narrated his experience to the Maharshi. The Maharshi also confirmed it, saying, "Several years ago I was resting at Virupaksha cave. I was not in samadhi. Yet I felt as if the body was floating in air. As the upward floating continued all material objects vanished from my sight, only white light was all around. Suddenly the body began descending and objects came into view. I thought this was what was meant by the disappearance and reappearance of those with occult powers (siddhas). It struck me that it was Tiruvottiyur and I walked along a main road. As I did so I noticed a Ganesa temple at a distance and I went in. I do not remember what I did or what I spoke. At that stage I woke up and found myself to be asleep at the Virupaksha cave. I narrated this experience at once to Palaniswami."

Ganapati in turn confirmed that the description of the Ganesa temple as given by the Maharshi was accurate.

~ from Sri Ramana Leela (http://ramanaleela.blogspot.com/2007/06/22-ganapati-muni.html)

Please see also: http://bhagavanramana.blogspot.com/2007/07/how-nayana-got-his-name.html

the secret of realization lies in this utter surrender

With time I realized that working with Bhagavan in the kitchen was not mere cooking, but definitely a form of spiritual training. The first lesson in spiritual education to learn, and to learn for good, is to obey the guru implicitly without questioning or using one's own judgement in the least. Even if we knew a better way of doing it, we had to do it exactly as the Master told us. It might have appeared that by obeying him the work would be ruined, but still one had to obey. One must master this art of instantaneous and unquestioning obedience, for the secret of realization lies in this utter surrender and renunciation of one's own judgement.

~ Sundaram, from Ramana Smriti

please see: http://ramana-smriti.blogspot.com/2007/07/bhagavans-cooking.html

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tomorrow is Nayana Day!

(Above: part of Vasistha Ganapati Muni's original Invocation Verse of Sri Ramana Chatvarimsat)

The story of his own life removes impurities. He is an ocean of compassion, taking delight in the red mountain (Arunachala). He knows the truth spoken by the bird-borne Vishnu, and bears the mystery of the silence of the bull-borne Siva.

He is the guru of an assembly of learned men beginning with Ganapati; he is a great repository of a wealth of virtues. Just as the thousand-rayed one (the sun) is hidden by a cloud, his true greatness is hidden by the garb of the body.

Ingenious at defeating the roving senses, he is skillful in praising the merits of others. He delights in the peace of silence which is without deceit, and is the the slayer of the strong,reviled, frightening passions.

He fills his stomach only at the proper time, undertaking inflexible vows; he lives on the slope the mountain (Arunachala). His heart is unable to be won over by the arrows of Cupid (the God of Love). He is leading his devotees, and giving them the method for Self-Knowledge (Atma Vichara).

He has crossed the fear producing ocean of worldly life. He has a hands as delicate as a lotus, which serve him as a bowl. His own gaze is unsurpassed in calmness and brightness, and he removes the fear of those who resort to his lotus feet.

He is a store-house of divine treasure for adoring devotees, his presence destroys dense misery. He maintains the duties of the ascetic, and he is preventing darkness all around.

~ Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni, Sri Ramana Chatvarimsat (Forty Verses in Praise of Sri Ramana), Translated by Dr. Anil K. Sharma

to see the full text (and the original Sanskrit) please visit: http://www.arunachala.org/downloads/docs/catvarimsat/verses/

Monday, July 23, 2007

by steady and continuous investigation

By steady and continuous investigation into the nature of the mind, the mind is transformed into That to which `I' refers; and that is in fact the Self. The mind has necessarily to depend for its existence on something gross; it never subsists by itself. It is the mind that is otherwise called the subtle body, ego, jiva or soul.

That which arises in the physical body as `I' is the mind. If one enquires whence the `I'-thought arises in the body in the first instance, it will be found that it is from the hrdayam or the Heart. That is the source and stay of the mind. Or again, even
if one merely continuously repeats to oneself inwardly `I-I' with the entire mind fixed thereon, that also leads to the same source.

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, The Teachings of Bhagavan in His Own Words

Sunday, July 22, 2007

See demons as demons: that is the danger.
Know that they are powerless: that is the way.
Understand them for what they are: that is deliverance.
Recognize them as your father and mother: that is their end.
Realise that they are creations of the mind: they become its glory.
When these truths as known, all is liberation.

~ Milarepa

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The ultimate Truth is so simple.

Maj. Chadwick: I try to shake off the body.

Maharshi: A man shakes off his clothes and remains alone and free. The Self is unlimited and is not confined to the body. How can the body be shaken off? Where will he leave it? Wherever it is, it is his still.

Maj. Chadwick: (Laughter.)

Maharshi: The ultimate Truth is so simple. It is nothing more than being in the pristine state. This is all that need be said. Still, it is a wonder that to teach this simple Truth there should come into being so many religions, creeds, methods and disputes among them and so on! Oh the pity! Oh the pity!

Maj. Chadwick: But people will not be content with simplicity; they want complexity.

Maharshi: Quite so. Because they want something elaborate and attractive and puzzling, so many religions have come into existence and each of them is so complex and each creed in each religion has its own adherents and antagonists. For example, an ordinary Christian will not be satisfied unless he is told that God is somewhere in the far-off Heavens not to be reached by us unaided. Christ alone knew Him and Christ alone can guide us. Worship Christ and be saved. If told the simple truth - "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you" - he is not satisfied and will read complex and far-fetched meanings in such statements. Mature minds alone can grasp the simple Truth in all its nakedness.

Maj. Chadwick later expressed a certain involuntary fear while meditating. He feels the spirit separated from the gross body and the sensation creates a fright.

Maharshi: To whom is the fright? It is all due to the habit of identifying the body with the Self. Repeated experience of separation will make one familiar and the fright will cease.

~ from Talk 96, Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
please see http://talks-with-ramana-maharshi.blogspot.com/

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Relisher of the Sweetness of Bhagavan's Life

I was struck again today by the way Ganapati Muni signed off his letters to Bhagavan. Here are some examples:

I am,
With my whole heart intent on you,

I am,
The Bee, Happy at your Holy Feet,

I am,
Ever bound to Your Holy Feet,

I am,
The Relisher of the Sweetness of Bhagavan's Life,

I am,
Your devotee from the distant past,


The salutations are equally beautiful:

Lord, Great Leader of the Army Divine,

Lord, Assuming the form of Man is Sport,

Lord, Master of Prime Cause,


Here is one of the letters:

15 July 1931
Lord, of Glorious Fame Auspicious,

Everything is alright here by the Grace of Bhagavan, on account of continuous rain all over here the days are somewhat dull; yet our hearts are evidently alert within as they are being transformed by some power prompted by Bhagavan. Though not a ray of the Sun is seen everywhere, we feel ourselves being in sun-light. We never forget that the chief cook in this great cooking (going on within us) is Bhagavan. And this occupation of Bhagavan carries no remuneration. In this scheme, there is a women working with Bhagavan. Who is she? She is none but the Mother Divine in Her dynamic aspect, Mother of sixth incarnation of Vishnu (Parasuram) who put down the tyranny of arrogant kings. There is the Master above, the mover of all devotees as well as the worldly-minded, the sole inspirer of the regenerate (Jnanis). We recollect Bhagavan's utterances here that He himself is the Heart, the source of all ego-sense. May He, by his cook, get the food of His choice cooked soon and eat it.

I am,
The food being cooked in the form of a man

Please see this wonderful site about Kavyakantha Sri Ganapati Sastri: http://kavyakantha.arunachala.org/

Why cannot the Self be perceived directly?

Q: Why cannot the Self be perceived directly?

Bhagavan: Only the Self is said to be directly perceived [pratyaksha]. Nothing else is said to be pratyaksha. Although we are having this pratyaksha, the thought 'I am the body' is veiling it. If we give up this thought, the Atman, which is always within the direct experience of everyone, will shine forth.

Q: Sri Bhagavan has stated this so simply. But the thought 'I am the body' does not leave us.

Bhagavan: It is not leaving you because it is very strong.

Q: Why and how did the thought come into being?

Bhagavan: It came into being only through a lack of enquiry on your part. A verse in Kaivalya Navanitam [2.95] gives the same explanation:

Because its nature is not determinable, maya is said to be inexpressible. They are in its grip who think: 'This is mine -- I am the body -- the world is real.' O son, no one can ascertain how this mysterious illusion came into being. As to why it arose it is because of the person's lack of discerning enquiry.

If we see the Self the objects which are seen will not appear as separate from us. Having seen all the letters on a paper, we fail to see that paper which is the base. Likewise, suffering only arises because we see what is superimposed on the base without seeing the base itself. What is superimposed should not be seen without also seeing the substratum.

~ from Living by the Words of Bhagavan by David Godman

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sri Bhagavan: ... All become dear only owing to the love of Self.

Devotee: Love postulates duality. How can the Self be the object of love?

Sri Bhagavan: Love is not different from the Self. Love of an object is of an inferior order and cannot endure. Whereas the Self is Love, in other words, God is Love.

~ from Talk 433, Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fears can only arise when there are two

Ask yourself, "To whom do these doubts, fears and worries occur?" and they will vanish. Cease to pay attention to them. Pay attention to the Self within. Fears, etc., can only arise when there are two, or when anybody else exists apart from, or separate from, or outside you. If you turn the mind inward towards the Self, fears, etc., will disappear. If you try to remove a doubt or fear, another doubt or fear will arise. There will be no end of it. The best method to annihilate them is to ask "To whom do they occur?" and they will disappear. Destroying a tree by plucking its leaves one by one is impossible — other leaves will grow by the time you pluck a few. Remove the root of the tree — the ego — and the whole tree with its leaves and branches will be destroyed. Prevention is better than cure.

~ Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, Surpassing Love and Grace

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

awareness as Guru

Is it not because you are yourself
Awareness that you now perceive
This universe? If you observe
Awareness steadily, this awareness
Itself as Guru will reveal
The Truth.

~ Sri Muruganar, Guru Vachaka Kovai

Monday, July 16, 2007

Their essential oneness

Ramana's enlightenment on the 17th July 1986, can only be seen to be Arunachala's way of proclaiming to the whole world that Ramana's birth was for broadcasting to the world its glory as the fire of knowledge.

If one is looking for more evidence one could refer to Ramana's statement that he "used to feel the vibrations of the Heart (the Hrt-Sphurana") which resembled those of a dynamo, even in school." The only two sacred books which Ramana had read before his enlightenment were 'The Holy Bible' and 'Periya Puranam'.

Almost within a few years of his arrival at Arunachala persons well versed in the scriptures like Gambhiram Sesha Iyer came to him seeking clarification about some sacred text or other and got authoritative replies. To Sivaprakasam Pillai Ramana gave the quintessence of spiritual wisdom through his 'Nan Yar', 'Who am I?' method of self-enquiry. When Ramana was staying on Arunachala, he composed the 'Five Hymns on Arunchala', an expression of their essential oneness.

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

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Be still

O happy one,
whichever way I went
I heard your praise
And surrendered to your feet
my body, wealth and life.
I cried out, 'Ocean of virtue, mountain-high,
Show me the way to happiness!'
Ramana the just, the majestic, said,
'Stand still. Stay where you are.'

By neither digging nor soaring
Could Vishnu or Brahma find you,
whereas I, trudging toward diverse goals, was worn thin.
I cried out, "Tell me how to merge in the feet
which are beyond the knowledge of life!'
Ramana, pure and secure, said,
'Be still. Rest as you are.'

~ Sri Muruganar, Irai Pani Nitral (Steadfastness in Service), found in The Power of the Presence by David Godman

Saturday, July 14, 2007

do not believe the rising thoughts that create duality for you

Every night during sleep you let go of your attachment to both the body and the mind, and the result is silence, peace, and an absence of duality. You can have this silence, this peace, and this absence of duality in the waking state by not believing the rising thoughts that create duality for you. Resist limiting thoughts. Replace them with thoughts such as, 'All is myself. Everybody is myself. All animals, all things are myself.' What you think, you become. If you understand and experience that everything is yourself, how can you have likes and dislikes? If everything is you, there will be no desire to avoid anything, no impulse to discriminate in favour of anything.

If you want to discriminate at all, avoid bad company and bad thoughts. At night, when you suddenly start to experience the cold, you pull a blanket over yourself. Pull the blanket of discrimination over yourself when you feel that there is the possibility of bad company and bad thoughts dragging you down.

You may need to do this but the jnani will not because nothing can ever drag him back into the realm of false identifications again. He will always be in that state in which he knows everything to be himself. He will never again have the idea that anything is different or apart from his own Self.

~ Annamalai Swami, Final Talks

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Guru is one who at all times abides in the profound depth of the Self. He never sees any difference between himself and others and he is completely free from all false notions of distinction -- that he himself is the Enlightened or Liberated while others around him are in bondage or the darkness of ignorance. His firmness or self-possession can never be shaken under any circumstances and he is never perturbed.

~ Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, Spiritual Instruction

Thursday, July 12, 2007

firm-fixed in the heart

He is the Sage, the eternal Sun
Self-luminous, in whose presence this
Phenomenal world so variegated
And wonderful wholly disappears,
Unseen as other than the Self.

The Sage, exulting in the Self
And firm-fixed in the heart, regards
The universe as neither mere
Illusion nor as something other
Than the Self.

The whole world which we are aware of
Is by the Sage seen as Awareness
And nothing but Awareness only.
And knowing that there is no being
Except Awareness, he abides,
Rich in bliss, as Self-awareness.

~ Sri Muruganar, The Garland of Guru's Sayings, translation by Prof. K. Swaminathan

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Let Him laugh at us

He laughs at us for asking how we can become One with Him, saying it is like a man in Tiruvannamalai asking the way to that very place.

Let Him laugh at us. For that laughter is full of grace, and will make us realise that we are He, and do not need to become He.

There is no room for discouragement, or remorse for our sins, or for fear of failure. For Grace alone exists, and it is He. If we do wrong let us not weep for it, but forget it at once, and joyfully take Refuge in His Grace.

~ from Revelation by K. Lakshmana Sarma

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Praise to the holy feet of the One
who inhabits all human forms,
who, everywhere and at all times,
speaks through the mouths of all,
and causes the diverse movements
of their minds!

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi and Sri Muruganar, verses 211- 212 Ramana Puranam

Monday, July 9, 2007

Once Sri Bhagavan asked a devotee to give his clothes for washing as He had no work to do.

God of gods, Sage of sages, Teacher of teachers, Bhagavan Ramana was, but He always lived with human beings as if He were an ordinary man. He carried out His daily duties like bathing, having His food etc. Whatever task He did, He did it to perfection. When He cut vegetables He did not waste any part of it, not even the root of the spinach. When he bound old books He did a thorough and professional job. Books, whether written by scholars or children's nursery rhymes, costly or cheap, all received the same care and attention from Him. His handwriting was so beautiful that one felt like worshiping it. When He cooked food it had a flavour that was out of this world. Once He asked a devotee to give his clothes for washing as He had no work to do.

He was sensitive to love and suffering. He was moved to read about the king who came to serve Kamban, the Tamil poet. He shed tears when devotees spoke of their sufferings. At whatever time guests came, He urged His devotees to give them food and not to show any distinction between Himself and others. He wanted to share everything with others. He made the people working in the Ashram have the same food as others. Bhagavan's generosity was legendary. Whether it was simple gruel or nectar, He shared it with everyone. But when a devotee gave Him the bitter Etti fruit, He ate it all by Himself. What could the Etti fruit do to Him, the one who kept the Alakala poison in His throat!

While reading the story of Lord Siva's devotees He would put the book down, overcome with emotion and unable to read further. In Aksharamanamalai He says to Arunachala, "You have heard the sweet verses of your devotees. Now listen to these crude verses of mine", thus elevating the status of the devotee. He was indeed the epitome of all virtues.

~ from Ramana's Arunachala, Ocean of Grace Divine, by Sri Bhagavan's Devotees

[note: When the milk ocean was churned, the alakala poison came out which Lord Siva consumed to protect the lives of all creatures.]

in the asana of the heart

Question: “In what asana is Bhagavan usually seated?”

Bhagavan: “In what asana? In the asana of the heart.

Wherever it is pleasant, there is my asana. That is called sukhasana, the asana of happiness. That asana of the heart is peaceful, and gives happiness. There is no need for any other asana, for those who are seated in that one.”

~ from Letter 108, Letters from Sri Ramanasramam
for the rest of the letter, please see http://suri-nagamma.blogspot.com/2007/07/letter-108.html

stillness absolute

Look, there it stands as if insentient. Mysterious is the way it works, beyond all human understanding. From my unthinking childhood the immensity of Arunachala had shone in my awareness, but even when I learned from someone that it was only Tiruvannamalai, I did not realise its meaning. When it stilled my mind and drew me to itself and I came near, I saw that it was stillness absolute.

~ Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, first verse of Arunachala Ashtakam, translation by Prof. K. Swaminathan

Sunday, July 8, 2007

God becomes a child, and vice-versa

Mr. G. V. Subbaramiah, a devotee, has written some short poems, which are interesting. Some of them refer to a child. Sri Bhagavan said God becomes a child, and vice versa. That means that the samskaras are yet latent in the child and thus its innocence is complete. When they are eradicated even a grown up man becomes a child once again, and thus remains God.

The author said: The child creates the `home' atmosphere.

Sri Bhagavan: Yes. The children are always in the `home'. We too are there but are dreaming and imagining that we are outside the home.

Sri Bhagavan added: I have rendered the word `youth' (yuva) in Dakshinamurti Stotra by `child' (bala). This seems more appropriate. To be reborn is to become children over again. One must be reborn before gaining jnana, i.e., recovering the natural state.

~ Talk 414, Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi

Saturday, July 7, 2007

My heaven is only in Your smile

O my Divine Love! People run to the forests and mountain caves for solitude to practice meditation, but You drew me to meditate on You, without effort, everywhere.

People renounce their possessions, mortify their flesh and do hard penance to achieve self-control. But without the least deprivation, denial or suffering, You control me.

People seek a Master and serve him, longing for initiation into the spiritual mystery. But You, my Master-Mistress, seek and serve me in order to reveal Yourself fully to me.

I know not what other people call love. My love is only to serve and suffer and die for You.

I know not what other people term devotion. My devotion is only to bind my eyes to Your blessed feet and follow them always.

I know not what other people name heaven and hell. My heaven is only in Your smile, and my hell is only in Your tear.

I know not what other people call life and death. My life is only in Your presence, and my death is only in Your disappearance.

I know not what other people mean by war and peace. My war is only to fight against the obstacles in my way to You, and my peace is only to reach You and fall at Your Feet in one everlasting prostration.

Indeed, I know nothing. I only know that you are everything to me.

~ G. V. Subbaramayya, The Power of the Presence, Part Three, by David Godman

Friday, July 6, 2007

held by the Heart

A wonder strange is this, the marriage
Of the moon and sun; for the mighty upraised
Foot of dancing Siva marks
The joy of self-enquiry; the Master's
Loving quest for the servant; the mutual
Attraction between heart and mind.

[The mind-moon is held by and dances round the Heart-sun.]

~ from The Garland of Guru's Sayings

(picture from wikipedia creative commons)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

our Beloveds, smiling

The magic of Bhagavan Ramana is no different from that of Arunachala. One finds the marvellous stillness of the hill in every picture. There is the fire of knowledge resplendent in the eyes. The grace of flowing water in the natural ease of every posture, the line of arms and hands, the bend of the legs, the turn of neck. There is the marvellous comfort of earth, the sense of coming home to rest each time one sees him. The cool, fragrant breeze in his smile gentle, sometimes visible, sometimes almost invisible but blowing as bliss in his entire presence. There is the added attraction of the human bond, the hill walking on earth. Moving, yet unmoving, talking to teach, yet unwavering in silence.

How familiar and dear the face ever is. Yet, intriguingly different he looks in every picture. Even the hairline changes. It seemingly recedes and then moves forward again. The very features seem to have changed. From the young boy of twentyone looking barely fourteen or fifteen, so typically South Indian, to the universal features captured by Welling. The prominent collarbones almost fade for a few years during Mother Azhagammal's stay and personal care, then they are back again. There is much resemblance to the mother too that becomes evident as one works close, especially on the eyes. The eyes are unchanging, though, in their power and extraordinary beauty.

Everytime one gazes at the beauty of Arunachala, Ramana smiles. Every time one is lost in the enchantment of Bhagavan Ramana, Arunachala smiles.

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

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

strange, not to go on wishing one's wishes

True, it is strange to inhabit the earth no longer,
to use no longer customs squarely acquired,
not to interpret roses, and other things
that promise so much, in terms of a human future;
to be no longer all that one used to be
in endlessly anxious hands, to lay aside
even one's proper name like a broken toy.
Strange, not to go on wishing one's wishes.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke, from the First Elegy, Duino Elegies, translated by JB Leishman and Stephen Spender

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

if you remain as the Self

If you remain as the Self, no vasanas and no karma will touch or affect you. If you remain in the mind, thoughts of one sort or another will bother you all the time.

~ Annamalai Swami, Final Talks

manifest love

Do not analyze the objective world saying, 'This is good, this is bad,' but seek the reality of the one Self that abides within your own Heart.

If you manifest love through your mind, speech and body then for your beloved soul there will never be any enmity.

~ Padamalai

Monday, July 2, 2007


The amount of blissful grace that spreads out of your heart will only be in proportion to the amount of true devotion that flows steadily from you to God.

Q: Then what is true devotion [bhakti]?

Bhagavan: Whatever I do or consider myself doing is really the Lord's doing. Nothing really belongs to me. I am here for the service of the Lord. This spirit of service ... is really devotion supreme and the true devotee sees the supreme being as the Lord immanent in everything. Worship of Him by name and form leads one beyond all name and form. Devotion complete culminates in knowledge supreme.

Even when bhakti is actuated by worldly desires in the beginning, it does not cease when the desires are fulfilled. It increases by an unshakable faith growing perfectly into a supreme state of realisation.

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

Sunday, July 1, 2007

make one fast choice now and no second!

Valmiki the Poet looked down into water held cupped in his hand and saw into the past. Before he looked, he thought the world was sweet poison. Men seemed to be living in lies, not knowing where their ways went. The days seemed made of ignorance and doubt, and cast from deception and illusion. But in the water he saw a dream, a chance and a great adventure. Valmiki trusted the True and forgot the rest; he found the whole universe like a bright jewel set firm in forgiving and held fast by love.

Widen your heart. Abandon anger. Believe me, your few days are numbered; make one fast choice now and no second!

Come, clear your heart and quickly walk with me into Brahma, while there is time.

~ William Buck, from the opening verse of his retelling of Valmiki's Ramayana

that bright Being

As if in maya bound I cried
In pain. And then before my eyes
Appeared in Guru's form, the Self,
And governed me. To that bright Being,
The Self, are due my grateful thanks.

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