Friday, August 31, 2007

Whatever kind of thought arises, have the same reaction: 'Not me; not my business.' It can be a good thought or a bad thought. Treat them all the same way. To whom are these thoughts arising? To you. That means you are not the thought.

You are the Self. Remain as the Self, and don't latch onto anything that is not the Self.

~ Annamalai Swami, Final Talks

Thursday, August 30, 2007

every tiny detail, permeated by our Beloved Ramana

The life, the light, which pours forth from Bhagavan Ramana's vibrant eyes infuses meaning and fulfillment, life in our lives. His serene presence draws us in silence, envelops and permeates every tiny detail of our daily existence. His loving grace and gentle smile solve all problems, answer every question and wipe confusion clear away. His presence, ever available to all, is the source of perennial joy.

~ Kumari Sarada, The Ramana Way, In Search of Self

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

not believing the rising thoughts

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."

~ Annamalai Swami, Final Talks, edited by David Godman

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

One hundred and eleven years ago ...

On August 29, 1896, Venkataraman set out from Madurai for Arunachala ...

"THERE is no time to waste. I must reach the lap of Arunagireeswara. How to do so? Won't He show the way?", thought Venkataraman and got up at once.

His brother asked him where he was off to. "I have a special class on Electricity at twelve. I have to attend it," replied Venkataraman. The brother said, "Very well, there are five rupees in the box downstairs. Take the keys from aunt and pay my college fees. After all, the college is close to your school." The brother was not at all aware that he was facilitating the journey of Venkataraman who must have thought that his Father was coming to his help. It also confirmed his feeling that his departure was at the command of his Father.

Venkataraman went down, hurriedly ate the meal served by his aunt and took the amount as directed by his brother.

How was he to know the way? He did not feel like asking anyone nor could anyone have guessed his plan. Years later, Bhagavan's class fellow Ranga Iyer had his darshan, prostrated before him and asked, "How is it that you did not even tell me that you were leaving home?"

The reply was, "I myself did not know till I actually left the house."

~ from Sri Ramana Leela
please see

Monday, August 27, 2007

Who is God?

Who is God? He is grace. What is Grace? Awareness without the fragmentary ego. How can one know that there is such a state? Only if one realizes it. The Vedas laud such a one as having realized God and become one with Him. Therefore the greatest good that one can derive from the world and the greatest good which one can render unto it, is to realize this state. In fact, there are no states besides this. They appear in the state of ignorance. For him who knows, there is one state only. You are that.

~ Ellam Ondre

(Ellam Ondre, was originally written by an unknown 19th Century author in Tamil. First translated into English in 1951, this carefully revised edition was one of the favorite small Advaitic Tamil texts often recommended by Sri Ramana Maharshi.
Annamalai Swami has said that the Maharshi "laid particular stress on Ellam Ondre, telling me, 'If you want moksha, write, read and practice the instructions in Ellam Ondre.'")

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Your firm conviction brought you here ...

The extraordinary, more than mother-like compassion of Ramana is there. Why doubt it? As long as the source of the "I" is not discovered the mind does not give up so easily and keeps doubting. One may refer to the conversation which Cohen had with Ramana. Cohen had resigned his job in Bombay and built himself a cottage next to the ashram. However, on the day of the housewarming he prayed to Ramana that he should ensure his reaching the goal. Ramana gazed silently on the calm waters of the pond nearby and replied, "Your firm conviction brought you here, where is the room for doubt?" What an assurance to him and to all disciples and devotees!

~ A. R. Natarajan, Timeless in Time

Friday, August 24, 2007

his alone

"What is the problem for you? Just be!' Speaking in this way Padam ensured that there is not even a single activity for me.

'When I have taken on your responsibilities, what is lacking for you?' Speaking in this way, Padam embraces me in the Heart in eternal rejoicing.

Padam is the consciousness, the supreme, in which I have no responsibilities to think about since every responsibility is his alone.

Even as I suffered through the delusion of regarding myself as the actor, true Padam caused me to shine as the enduring stage.

Padam destroyed my sense of doership so that, through the peace of jnana, a life free from evil flourished within the Heart.

~ Padamalai, Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi recorded by Muruganar

[No post tomorrow, dear readers ... back on Sunday :-)]

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Unless Reality exists, can thought of it arise? Since,
devoid of thought, Reality exists within as Heart, how to know
the Reality we term the Heart? To know That is merely to be
That in the Heart.

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, first verse of the invocation, Ulladu Narpadu

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

what benefit?

What benefit have you gained by associating with an ego, which is just a thought that attaches itself to you?

~ Padamalai, Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi Recorded by Muruganar

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

our Beloved Bhagavan draws us into this ...

Two birds, one of them mortal, the other immortal,
live in the same tree. The first one pecks at the fruit,
sweet or bitter; the second looks on without eating.
Thus the personal self pecks at the fruit of this world,
bewildered by suffering, always hungry for more.
But when he meets the True Self, the resplendent God,
the source of creation, all his cravings are stilled.
Perceiving Self in all creatures, he forgets himself
in the service of all; good and evil both vanish;
delighting in Self, playing like a child with Self,
he does whatever is called for, whatever the result.

Self is everywhere, shining forth from all beings,
vaster than the vast, subtler than the most subtle,
unreachable, yet nearer than breath, than heartbeat.
Eye cannot see it, ear cannot hear it nor tongue
utter it; only in deep absorption can the mind,
grown pure and silent, merge with the formless truth.
He who finds it is free; he has found himself;
he has solved the great riddle; his heart forever is at peace.
Whole, he enters the Whole. His personal self
returns to its radiant, intimate, deathless source.
As rivers lose name and form when they disappear
into the sea, the sage leaves behind all traces
when he disappears into the light. Perceiving the truth,
he becomes the truth; he passes beyond all suffering,
beyond death; all knots of his heart are loosed.

~ Mundaka Upanishad, III.1.1-2.9

Monday, August 20, 2007

Through constant contact with the Sage
Who has with Siva become one
Attention centres in the Heart,
Enquiry dawns, one stands established
In the Self as pure Awareness,
And the malady of birth elusive
Flies away.

~ Sri Muruganar, The Garland of Guru's Sayings

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Seeing is being

You are the Self. You exist always. Nothing more can be predicated of the Self than it exists. Seeing God or the Self is only being God or your Self. Seeing is being.

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Day by Day with Bhagavan

Saturday, August 18, 2007

If you think of Arunachala just once

If you think of Arunachala just once, Arunachala responds by trying to draw you into itself. It does this by making you think about itself more and more. When the thoughts are strong and continuous, it makes you surrender completely. Like a spider, it then pulls you into its web and ultimately destroys you. So, in the case of ripe devotees, it is possible to say that a single thought of Arunachala can lead, step by step, to liberation.

~ Annamalai Swami, Living by the Words of Bhagavan by David Godman

Friday, August 17, 2007


D: Bhagavan, I have heard about your 'vichara marga' but I have no clear conception of it. Is it to sit in a quiet place and ask oneself the question 'Who am I?' repeatedly or meditate on that question as on a mantra?

Bhagavan: No, it is not repeating of or meditating on 'Who am I?'. It is to dive deep into yourself and seek the place from which the 'I' thought arises in you and to hold on to it firmly to the exclusion of any other thought. Continuous and persistent effort would lead you on to the Self.

~ from A Practical Guide to Know Yourself, Conversations with Sri Ramana Maharshi by A. R. Natarajan

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ramana's Stroll

Facing Thee, His Darling child, O Ramana,
as Thou comest with slow, faltering gait,
as if Thou wert measuring the sky with Thy feet,
Arunachala thrills with the Heart's emotion,
and dances without motion.

~ G. V. Subbaramayya, Sri Ramana Reminiscences (poem written June 14, 1945)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

the Heart

Without something that exists, can there be notions of existence?
Free of thoughts, it is there, the Inner being, named the Heart.
How then to conceive it is the question -- It is the one inconceivable.
To conceive it is but to be it, in the Heart.

~ Sat-Darshana Bhashya

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mother's prasadam

Holding the plate reverentially and smearing the vibhuti and kumkum on his forehead, Bhagavan said, “See, this is Meenakshi’s gift.” And his voice quivered as he said it.

Sambasiva Iyer spread the shawl over Bhagavan’s feet, and when Bhagavan, deeply moved, removed it with evident feeling of reverence, the attendants took it and spread it over the back of the sofa. Adjusting the shawl properly with his hands, Bhagavan, looking towards us, said, “Mother Meenakshi has sent this. It is Mother’s gift.” And, choked with emotion, he was unable to say more and became silent.

His eyes were full of tears of joy and his body became motionless. Seeing this, it seemed to me that Nature herself had become silent. When, as a boy, Bhagavan was in Tiruchuli and someone had been angry with him, he had gone to the temple and wept, sitting behind the image of Sahayamba.

He alone knows how the Mother consoled him and what hopes she gave him.

Three years ago, the Ashram doctor said that hand-pounded rice would be good for Bhagavan’s health.

Thereupon the Ashramites approached Bhagavan with a request to take such rice, which would be specially cooked for him. When Bhagavan asked them whether the same rice would be served to all, they said that it would not be possible, as the supply of such rice was limited. Bhagavan therefore would not agree to having it however much they tried to persuade him. At last they said that they would use the hand-pounded rice for the daily offerings to the deity in the temple, for which rice is usually cooked separately and they requested Bhagavan to partake of that rice.

“If that is so, it is all right. I will take it because it is Mother’s prasadam,” said Bhagavan.

~ Suri Nagamma, from Letter 143, Letters from Sri Ramanasramam

Monday, August 13, 2007


Grace is the sustaining principle by which all things have the bubbling awareness of life, by which each ripens to its full potential, Grace is the basis of existence, of consciousness, of bliss. Grace is the Self and Grace is the way we get back to our Self, breaking away from the limited identity of the 'I'-thought. Bhagavan repeatedly emphasized that Grace is now, always, ever present. He explained that it is Grace which puts us on the path of self-enquiry, Grace that protects us from within and without along the way and Grace that is the final experience of Self-abidance.

Yet, though Grace is ever-present, we feel it more powerfully only in those moments when we perceive the harmony of life, when we experience joy and relief, and when we tap the silent spring of peace within. Though the sun's rays are everywhere, when focussed through a lens they become more intense in light and heat.

It is when we are aware of Arunachala ever throbbing within as the Heart, the Self, that we are permeated with Grace and know it to be every moment. Bhagavan simply, most beautifully, shows us the way to this experience, to an understanding of the Truth in his description of Arunachala. He brings out the principle of existence, when he calls Arunachala the "Self Supreme'. The element of awareness, of consciousness is vivified in the phrase 'O mount of light'. And what happens when limited identity is abandoned and a merger in this awareness, the Self occurs? One is swallowed in the blissful ocean of an all enveloping brilliance.

~ Dr. Sarada Natarajan, Surging Joy (Self Discovery)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

as upon a lion-throne

Padam shines in my Heart in such a way that I rejoice intensely here, dwelling constantly with love on the gracious nobility with which he has governed me.

Hearing my call 'Save me!', Padam, saying 'What's the problem?' took pity on me and came down and governed me with relish, becoming my father who gave me birth in jnana.

Even though Padam, the Supreme, is the mother and father of all beings, he abides with me as my very own Lord in the Heart.

Padam, the supreme light of bliss, became my Lord, sheltering me at the feet of the adepts of jnana who have attained the Self.

Enthroned within the Heart of this guileless person, as upon a lion-throne, Padam exercises his rule over the entire, vast world.

~ Sri Muruganar, Padamalai, translated by Dr T. V. Venkatasubramanian, Robert Butler, and David Godman, edited and annotated by David Godman

Saturday, August 11, 2007

diving deep within

Clinging to the consciousness 'I' and thereby acquiring a greater and greater intensity of concentration upon it, is diving deep within.

~ Sri Sadhu Om, The Path of Sri Ramana, Part One

Friday, August 10, 2007

this Awareness itself as Guru

Those who have not searched and found
The truth by their own natural Being
Will perish by alien forms deluded.
Live as one sole Being-Awareness.
All save this is false appearance,
The realm of maya.

[The delusion consists in thinking that one is the body alone, not the whole world.]

How can any treatise thrust some wisdom
Into that human-seeming heap of clay
Which keenly watches things perceived
And not at all the Self, Awareness?

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

Thursday, August 9, 2007

one-pointed enquiry

D: How then does ignorance of this one and only Reality unhappily arise in the case of the ajnani?

M: The ajnani sees only the mind which is a mere reflection of the light of Pure Consciousness arising from the heart. Of the heart itself he is ignorant. Why? Because his mind is extroverted and has never sought its Source.

D: What prevents the infinite, undifferentiated light of Consciousness arising from the heart from revealing itself to the ajnani?

M: Just as water in the pot reflects the enormous sun within the narrow limits of the pot, even so the vasanas or latent tendencies of the mind of the individual, acting as the reflecting medium, catch the all-pervading, infinite light of Consciousness arising from the heart and present in the form of a reflection the phenomenon called the mind. Seeing only this reflection, the ajnani is deluded into the belief that he is a finite being, the jiva.

If the mind becomes introverted through enquiry into the source of aham-vritti, the vasanas become extinct, and in the absence of the reflecting medium the phenomenon of reflection, namely, the mind, also disappears being absorbed into the light of the one Reality, the heart.

This is the sum and substance of all that an aspirant needs to know. What is imperatively required of him is an earnest and one-pointed enquiry into the source of aham-vritti.

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, Maharshi's Gospel

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Do not entertain such thoughts

Devotee: Are my present qualities of faith, humility and surrender sufficiently intense, or are they still very imperfect and requiring further development? If so, how can I quickly develop them to perfection so as to deserve grace and early success in the realisation of Atman, or in the annihilation of the ego?

Bhagavan: Do not entertain such thoughts of imperfection, lack of qualities, etc. You are already perfect. Get rid of the ideas of imperfection and need for development. There is nothing to realise or annihilate. You are the Self. The ego does not exist. Pursue the enquiry and see if there is anything to be realised or annihilated. See if there is any mind to be controlled. Even the effort is being made by the mind which does not exist.

~ from A Practical Guide to Know Yourself, Conversations with Sri Ramana Maharshi, compiled and edited by Sri A. R. Natarajan

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

let yourself receive the one who is opening to you so deeply

This was written about Christ, but seems equally true of our Beloved Bhagavan Ramana ...

We awaken in Christ's body
as Christ awakens our bodies,
and my poor hand is Christ, He enters
my foot, and is infinitely me.

I move my hand, and wonderfully
my hand becomes Christ, becomes all of Him
(for God is indivisibly
whole, seamless in His Godhood).

I move my foot, and at once
He appears like a flash of lightening.
Do my words seem blasphemous? -- Then
open your heart to Him

and let yourself receive the one
who is opening to you so deeply.
For if we genuinely love Him,
we wake up inside Christ's body

where all our body, all over,
every most hidden part of it,
is realised in joy as Him,
and He makes us, utterly, real,

and everything that is hurt, everything
that seemed to us dark, harsh, shameful,
maimed, ugly, irreparably
damaged, is in Him transformed

and recognized as whole, as lovely,
and radiant in His light
we awaken as the Beloved
in every last part of our body.

~ Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022), from The Enlightened Heart, edited by Stephen Mitchell

Monday, August 6, 2007

How can one best worship God?

D: What is the common ground of all religions?

Bhagavan: That one point where all religions meet is the realisation, in no mystical sense, but in the most worldly and everyday sense -- and the more worldly and everyday and practical the better -- the fact is that 'God is everything and everything is God'.

From this point the work of the practice of this mental comprehension begins, and all it amounts to is the breaking of a habit. One has to cease calling things 'things' and to call them God; and instead of thinking them to be things, to know them to be God; instead of imagining 'existence' to be the only thing possible, to realise that existence is only the creation of the mind (for if there were not existence the mind could not see anything) and that non-existence is a necessity if you are going to postulate existence. The knowledge of things only shows the existence of an organ to cognize. There are no sounds to the deaf, nothing to see for the blind, and the mind is merely an organ of conception or of appreciation of certain sides of God.

God is infinite, and therefore existence and non-existence are merely component parts. Not that I wish to say God is made up of definite component parts. It is hard to be comprehensible when talking of God ... True knowledge comes from within and not from without. And true knowledge is not "knowing" but seeing.

D: How can one worship God best?

B: How can you best worship God? Why, by not trying to worship him, by giving up your whole self to him, and showing that every thought, every action, is only a working of that One Life (God).

~ from A Practical Guide to Know Yourself, Conversations with Sri Ramana Maharshi, compiled and edited by Sri A. R. Natarajan

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The nature of bondage is merely the rising, ruinous thought `I am different from the reality'. Since one surely cannot remain separate from the reality, reject that thought whenever it rises.

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Abidance in the Self alone releases one from all bonds. Discrimination between the real and the unreal leads to non-attachment.

The jnani is unfathomable; he abides always in the Self alone. He does not consider the universe as unreal or as different from himself.

~ Sri Ramana Gita

Friday, August 3, 2007

The self within waits for you

D: You often say, 'the whole world exists not without you', 'everything depends upon you,' 'what is there without you?', etc. This is really baffling. The whole world was there before my birth. It will be there after my death even as it has survived the deaths of so many who once lived as I am living now.

Sri Ramana Maharshi: Did I ever say that the world is there because of you? But I have put to you the question 'what is there without your self?' You must know that by the self the body, subtle or gross, was not meant.

Besides, the idea is put to you that if you once know the Self in which all the ideas move, not excluding the idea of yourself, of others like yourself and of the world, you can realise the truth that there is a Reality, a supreme Truth which is the Self of all the world you now see, the Self of all the selves, the one Real, which is the Parama Atman, the supreme Eternal, as distinguished from the Jeeva, the ego-self which is impermanent. You must not mistake the ego-self or the bodily idea for the Atman.

D: Then you mean the Atman is God?

Sri Ramana Maharshi: You see the difficulty. The Vichara 'to know the self' is different in method from the meditation "Shivoham" or "Soham", "Lord Shiva I am" or "He I am." I rather lay stress upon self-knowledge, for, you are first concerned with yourself before you proceed to know the world and its Lord. The "Soham" meditation or 'I am Brahman' meditation is more or less a mental thought. But the quest for the self I speak of is a direct method, indeed superior to the other meditation; for, the moment you get into a movement of quest for the self and go deeper and deeper, the real Self is waiting there to take you in and then whatever is done is done by something else and you have no hand in it. In this process, all doubts and discussions are automatically given up just as one who sleeps forgets, for the time being, all his cares.

D: What certainty is there that something else waits there to welcome me?

Sri Ramana: When one is a sufficiently developed soul (Pakvi) he becomes naturally convinced.

D: How is this development possible?

Sri Ramana: Various answers are given. But whatever the previous development, Vichara (earnest quest) quickens the development.

D: That is arguing in a circle. I am developed and so I am strong for the quest. The quest itself gives my development.

Sri Ramana: The mind has always this sort of difficulty. It wants a certain theory to satisfy itself. Really, no theory is necessary for the man who seriously desires to approach God or to realise his own true being.

~ Sat-Darshana Bhashya

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Only the quest "Who am I?" is necessary.

Maharshi: Moksha is to know that you were not born. "Be still and know that I am God." To be still is not to think. Know, and not think, is the word.

D.: There are said to be six organs of different colours in the chest , of which the heart is said to be two finger-breadths to the right of the middle line. But the Heart is also formless. Should we then imagine it to have a shape and meditate on it?

Maharshi: No. Only the quest "Who am I??" is necessary. What remains all through deep sleep and waking is the same. But in waking there is unhappiness and the effort to remove it. Asked who wakes up from sleep you say `I'. Now you are told to hold fast to this `I'. If it is done the eternal Being will reveal Itself. Investigation of `I' is the point and not meditation on the heart-centre. There is nothing like within or without. Both mean either the same thing or nothing. Of course there is also the practice of meditation on the heart- centre. It is only a practice and not investigation. Only the one who meditates on the heart can remain aware when the mind ceases to be active and remains still; whereas those who meditate on other centres cannot be so aware but infer that the mind was still only after it becomes again active.

from Talk 131, Talks with Ramana Maharshi

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Annamalai! As soon as Thou didst claim me, my body and soul were Thine. Can I then lack anything? (What else can I desire?). I can think only of Thee (hereafter), not of merit and demerit, O my Life. Do as Thou wilt, then, my Beloved, but grant me only ever increasing love for Thy (dear) Feet!

~ Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, Arunachala Navamanimalai