Sunday, September 30, 2007

what is this `I'?

What is this `I' that rises from within?
Only a thought that, like a bubble, floats
Up to the troubled surface of Awareness.
In sleep the sea is still, no bubble rises:
Then too you are.
You're not the `I' that rises and then sets,
You are the sole Awareness in the All,
The eternal, uncreated Light of Being.

~ Sri Muruganar, from 'Suttaruttal'

Saturday, September 29, 2007

the spreading radiance of his true teaching rushed forth in all directions

Light of lights, graciously he plunged me into the ocean of
divine love at his holy feet so that I tasted the sweetness of final
bliss with which I could not be sated. Origin and source of my
understanding, the spreading radiance of his true teaching
rushed forth in all directions until within my heart it united
with my very being.

~ Sri Muruganar, Sri Ramana Anubhuti

Friday, September 28, 2007

Sri Bhagavan's love of children

The single most powerful memory of those days in my personal experience of Bhagavan occurred one day when I accompanied my mother to the ashram. I was about 5 years old at the time. Bhagavan was sitting on a small pial (raised platform) in the thatched room adjoining the Old Hall. The place is where Bhagavan's samadhi is now. The platform faced east whereas in the Old Hall Bhagavan faced south. My mother prostrated before Bhagavan in the traditional way and I who was standing next to her, suddenly climbed on her back, and sat there as if riding a horse or an elephant. My mother became very angry and tried to push me down. But Bhagavan, seeing my innocent mischief, smiled and enjoyed the fun. He bade my mother not to scold or push but stay in that prostrated posture for a few seconds more. When I recollect this incident I become enthralled at the memory of his beautiful, smiling countenance. He loved children and their playful mischief.

~ D. Rajaram, The Mountain Path, June, 2003

Thursday, September 27, 2007

understand yourself first

Sri Bhagavan: You want to know about God, about Heaven and how sages work for solving such big problems. I tell you that till you know what you yourself really are, you cannot in the least understand any of these. Understand yourself first and everything else would be clear to you then.

D: If sadhus mingle with people and reform them, it will be very good.

Sri Bhagavan: In the eye of the jnani there are no others so there is nothing like mingling with others for him.

~ A Practical Guide to Known Yourself, Conversations with Sri Ramana Maharshi, complied and edited by A. R. Natarajan

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

grazing stealthily on others' estates

Mr. B. C. Das asked why the mind cannot be turned inward in spite of repeated attempts.

Sri Ramana: It is done by practice and dispassion and that succeeds only gradually. The mind, having been so long a cow accustomed to graze stealthily on others' estates, is not easily confined to her stall. However much her keeper tempts her with luscious grass and fine fodder, she refuses the first time; then she takes a bit; but her innate tendency to stray away asserts itself; and she slips away; on being repeatedly tempted by the owner, she accustoms herself to the stall; finally even if let loose she would not stray away. Similarly with the mind. If once it finds its inner happiness it will not wander outward.

~ Talk 213, Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Let us adore the Self as Ramana

Verily the Self in the Heart appears as the five
elements, as the sun, moon and stars, as angels and
different deities; as the vast space and as the origin
and source of all this. Let us adore the Self as `Ramana'.

`Ramana', the Pure Self, whose Grace emanates from
its seat -- the Heart, whose Grace plays upon His
serene face, and is directed through His most
beautiful eyes, blessing all who turn to Him.

~ T. K. Sundaresa Iyer, At The Feet of Bhagavan

Monday, September 24, 2007

The ego false and transient makes
The transient world seem real and lasting;
And if it dies, the Self abides
As the sole Being and ground
Of this phenomenal universe.

~ The Garland of Guru's Sayings

Sunday, September 23, 2007

That too is a limitation

Devotee: Bhagavan, it is said that Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa put his palm on the head of Swami Vivekananda and that the latter had transcendental experience. Could you not do some such thing for me?

Bhagavan smiled and said: Yes, scriptures speak of such dikshas (initiations) and hastha diksha is one of them. But that too is a limitation. When a mighty river runs overflowing its banks, why divert it into a particular channel? Let all those who are thirsty drink to their hearts’ content and capacity.

~ Ramana Pictorial Souvenir, 1967

Saturday, September 22, 2007

But that is what actually happened

When in ancient days even Sri Dakshinamurti the Adi-guru, guru of all gurus was able to reveal the truth of that one Self only through silence, the speechless speech, who else can reveal it through speech?

In this connection, Sri Bhagavan once told the following story to Sri Muruganar. When the four aged Sanakadi rishis first saw the sixteen-year-old Sri Dakshinamurti sitting under the banyan tree, they were at once attracted by him, understanding him to be the real Sadguru.

They approached him, did three pradakshinas around him, prostrated before him, sat at his feet and began to ask very shrewd and pertinent questions about the nature of Reality and the means of attaining it. Because of the great compassion and fatherly love (vatsalya) which he felt for his aged disciples, the young Sri Dakshinamurti was overjoyed to see their earnestness, wisdom and maturity, and hence he gave apt replies to each of their questions.

As he answered each consecutive question, further doubts rose in their minds and still they asked further questions. Thus they continued to question Sri Dakshinamurti for one whole year, and he continued to clear their doubts through his compassionate answers.

Finally, however, Sri Dakshinamurti understood that if he gave more answers to their questions more doubts would rise in their minds and hence there would never be an end to their ignorance (ajnana). Therefore, suppressing even the feeling of compassion and fatherly love which was welling up within him, he merged himself into the supreme silence. Because of their great maturity (which had been ripened to perfection through their year-long association with the Sadguru), as soon as Sri Dakshinamurti thus merged himself, they too were automatically merged within, into silence, the state of Self.

Wonder-struck on hearing Sri Bhagavan narrating the story in this manner, Sri Muruganar remarked that in no book is it mentioned that Sri Dakshinamurti ever spoke anything.

"But this is what actually happened" replied Sri Bhagavan.

From the authoritative way in which Sri Bhagavan thus replied and from the clear and descriptive way in which he had told the story, Sri Muruganar understood that Sri Bhagavan was none other than Sri Dakshinamurti himself.

~ Sadhu Om, from The Silent Power

Friday, September 21, 2007

He who sees "I am separate," "you are separate," "he is separate" and so on, acts one way to himself and another way to others. He cannot help doing so. The thought "I am separate, others are separate" is the seed from which grows the tree of differing actions in relation to different persons. How can there be any lapse from righteousness for a person who knows the unity of himself with others? As long as the germ of differentiation is there, the tree of differing actions will flourish, even unawares. Therefore give up differentiation. All is one only.

~ Ellam Ondre

Thursday, September 20, 2007

How many are there who have been ruined like me for thinking this Hill to be the Supreme. O men! Disgusted with this life of intense misery, ye seek a means of giving up the body. There is on earth a rare drug which without actually killing him, will annihilate any one who so much as thinks of it. Know that it is none other than this Arunachala.

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Arunachala Patikam

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Where is space without me and where is time?
The body exists in space and time, but no body am I.
Nowhere I am, in no time I am.
Yet am I everywhere in all time.

Body is Self to the wise and the ignorant alike.
To the body is limited the ignorant one's self.
The self effulgent in the Heart of the wise,
Possesses the body and the world around,
And stands limitless and perfect.

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Sat-Darshana Bhashya (verses 18 & 19)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The waxing of this thought 'I' is indeed the waxing of misery! This thought 'I' alone is what is called the ego. It is only because of non-enquiry that this 'I' has come into existence and is flourishing! If, instead of being favoured, it is enquired into, 'What is this I?', it will disappear, losing its existence.

~ Sri Sadhu Om, Atma Vichara Patikam

Monday, September 17, 2007

O Self of self!

That the mere thought or remembrance of you suffices to still the mind
and harmonize the heart, I hereby testify.
That your invisible presence, spreading a spell of Silence, resolves all doubts,
dissolves all distractions, charms away all unhappiness and radiates peace and bliss,
I hearby testify.
That your angelic countenance and radiant look breathes compassion on all,
I hearby testify.
That you who were incarnate in a mortal mould are in truth the embodiment of Truth itself,
the supreme God walking on this earth,
moving and suffering with us all to sanctify and save all souls,
I hearby testify.
That you are the quintessence of all greatness and goodness,
of all knowledge and wisdom, of all merit and worthiness,
I hearby testify.
That you are all Gods, all Prophets, all Sages, indeed all beings and all worlds,
rolled into ONE,
I hearby testify.
O Self of self!

~ G. V. Subbaramayya, Ramana Pictorial Souvenir, 1967

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I sleep on your front veranda because I can't bear to be any further away from you.

Papaji: There had been a lot of trouble in the Punjab, and most of my family were still living there. Since I had not been reading any newspapers, I didn't even know what was going on there.

One of the devotees told the Maharshi that my family was stuck on the wrong side of the new international boundary between Pakistan and India, and when he heard this the Maharshi advised me to go home and look after them.

I didn't want to go because I had completely fallen in love with the Maharshi. I felt that I couldn't live without seeing his form.

We were walking on the hill together when this conversation was taking place.

'Sir,' I said, 'before I came to meet you I had a wife, children, brothers, sisters and parents. Now that I have met you, all these people have become a dream. I am not attached to anyone any more, except you.'

The Maharshi replied by saying, 'If you want to call it a dream, why are you afraid of it? If you can see that it is a dream, then you can transact your dream business with these dream people.'

I could see the logic of what he was saying but I didn't want to leave because I had become infatuated with his form and presence.

'I am completely attached to your form,' I said. 'That's the only relationship I have left. I am so physically attached to you. I cannot leave, even for a few hours. When the doors of your hall are open, I am inside, staring at you. When they are closed, I am camped outside your window, hoping to catch a glimpse of you. During the night I sleep on your front veranda because I can't bear to be any further away from you. I am absent for about one hour a day, eating or going to the bathroom. The rest of the time I am here with you. How can I leave?"

He looked at me and said, 'I am with you wherever you are'. These are the words I remember him saying. I immediately understood what he was saying. The 'I am' that the Maharshi spoke of, referring to himself, was my own Self as well, so how could I ever be away from it?

I could not argue any more. I prostrated before him, walked around him three times, prostrated again, collected some of the dust from under his feet and put it in my pocket. I went back to my home town, picked up my family and took them all to the safety of India on the last train that left Pakistan. After that I never had a chance to go back to Ramanasramam because my family were destitute refugees. I had to support them all by working here in Lucknow. I didn't need to go back because I understood that 'I am with you wherever you are' means that my Master is always inside me, as my own Self.

Question: I have just one simple question. Why did you pick up the dust from under the Maharshi's feet?

Papaji: Gratitude. It was an expression of my absolute, unconditional gratitude.

~ The Fire of Freedom, Edited by David Godman

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Will meditation help me?

P: Will meditation help me?

Ramana: You must learn to realize the subject and object as one. In meditating on an object, whether concrete or abstract, you are destroying the sense of oneness and creating duality. Meditate on what you are in Reality. Try to realize that the body is not you, the emotions are not you, the intellect is not you. When all these are still, you will find ...

P: What?

R: You will discover, it is not for me to say what any individual experience will be. It will reveal itself. Hold onto that.

~ A. R. Natarajan, Timeless in Time

Friday, September 14, 2007

Keep permanently within your Heart my true feet.

On another occasion, when visiting Bhagavan, having dropped all my belongings in the guest room I was waiting to receive his darshan. Bhagavan was just returning from his walk on the hill. I went to prostrate in front of Him, when he said, “These physical feet are perishable. Keep permanently within your Heart my true feet.” By His grace, tears of joy and immense bhakti started trickling down my chin. Bhagavan’s feet will reside in my Heart eternally.

~ Comal Venkata Subramaniam. The Mountain Path, December, 2004

Thursday, September 13, 2007


If toward the Lord you take
One single step, then with much more
Than a mother's love He takes
Nine steps towards you to accept you.
Such is the Guru's Grace.

~ The Garland of Guru's Sayings

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The ending of suffering

Since you are intent on driving out suffering, you should know that your real nature is bliss alone.

Confusion and agitation are erroneous superimpositions upon consciousness, within which they have no real existence.

For all the many distressful diseases the peerless medicine is definitely the certainty of the real nature of the Self.

Why do you become distressed and suffer to no purpose over things that are not worthy of your concern? Let go of the mind's anxieties.

Those adepts who have perfected their sadhana will not become dejected and perturbed when they are beset by trials and tribulations.

In what way do lamentations benefit the jiva? The sensible policy is to terminate the tyrannical insurgency of the mind.

Until you enquire into your real nature, seeing and abiding as it, the triple miseries experienced by you will not cease.

~ Padamalai, Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi Recorded by Muruganar

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

In holy silence at his flawless feet, thinking, yet beyond the
realm of thought, I established in my heart that consciousness
wherein his self and mine were one. The confusion of eye and
mind, born of treacherous desire, died away, its falsehood
revealed, and amidst grace’s honeyed flood, divine reality was

~ Sri Muruganar, Sri Ramana Anubhuti

Monday, September 10, 2007

a miracle wrought by Bhagavan

Among the devotees of Bhagavan, Muruganar, the poet, holds a specially honoured place. In Tamil Nadu the connection between poetry and sanctity has been close and continuous down the centuries. Peria-puranam, the story in verse of the sixtythree Saivite Saints — many of them poets — was a favourite of Bhagavan's in his boyhood; and in drawing Muruganar to himself the seer was only helping to preserve an ancient tradition.

Born in 1895, Sri C. K. Subrahmanyam grew up in an atmosphere of Tamil learning and became in due course a teacher of Tamil in a High School. His first collection of poems, Swatantra-Gitam, owed much to his ardent admiration of Gandhiji and, like the early work of his elder contemporary, Subrahmanya Bharati, formed a distinct contribution to the national movement.

But when he came to Bhagavan and fell under his spell, he renounced all other interests, completely effaced his personality and turned into "a shadow of Bhagavan." And he has lived ever since in a state of stark simplicity, utterly poor and obscure. In thus losing the world to find Bhagavan, he has found a joy to utter and a voice to utter it which have given him a high and assured place among the immortal singer-saints of Tamil Nadu. This sudden and complete change in the poems and in the manner of his utterance, the marvelously sustained and infinitely varied beauty of the enormous bulk of his verse on a single theme, constitutes an undoubted 'miracle' wrought by Bhagavan, permanently there for all eyes to behold.

Muruganar was content with composing his poems and having them read by Bhagavan. For him there was no 'wider public' to whose notice they should be brought. Thus it fell to an admirer, Sri Ramana Padananda, to arrange for the printing and publication of six volumes of Muruganar's poems.

~ from The Mountain Path, Volume 1, October 1964, No. 4

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Sadhu Om's love for Muruganar

The intimate spiritual and literary friendship, which existed between Sri Muruganar and Sri Sadhu Om was forged by Sri Ramana Himself on the very first day in 1946 that Sri Sadhu Om came to Him.

On that day Sri Sadhu Om sang before Sri Ramana the song Kuyilodu Kooral, which had spontaneously surged forth from his heart a few days earlier and in which all his feelings of intense longing to see Sri Ramana were expressed in a most heart-melting manner; after hearing that song, Sri Ramana read through it carefully and asked Sri Sadhu Om to show it to Sri Muruganar. Thus started the deep and intimate friendship between these two great poet-saints, which in course of time proved most fruitful.


The great love and high regard which Sri Sadhu Om had for Sri Muruganar can clearly be seen in all his Tamil prose writings about him, selections from which have been compiled, translated and included in this book under the title ‘Sri Muruganar - The Right Hand of Sri Bhagavan’, but perhaps his love can be found expressed most poignantly in two verses which surged in his heart during the night after Sri Muruganar left his physical body. In the first verse, addressing the contemporary world, which had failed to understand the greatness of Sri Muruganar, he sang:

“The cuckoo who sang (in your midst) for eighty-three years with a sweet voice of cultured, spiritual, ancient Tamil has gone, flying off into the great space of Sri Ramana, the exalted treasure of austerity with which the world has been blessed. What will you do now?”

In the second verse, addressing and consoling those Ramana devotees who had true love for Sri Muruganar, he sang:

“Does ‘Muruganar’ mean the four-cubit body? O you who have love for Muruganar, who is Muruganar?

Know that Muruganar is only the Eye of Self-Knowledge given by Annamalai-Ramana,
the ancient Siva.”

~ from the essay "Sri Muruganar and Sri Sadhu Om" by Michael James, in Ramana's Muruganar, compiled and edited by A. R. Natarajan

Saturday, September 8, 2007

As I wandered, I know not where, fair Padam, supreme bliss, brought me here to his feet through his sweet grace and brought me salvation.

Padam gave me the emotion that makes my body soften and melt every time I think of the true, cool grace that it bestowed on me.

~ Padamalai, Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi Recorded by Muruganar

Friday, September 7, 2007

just this form that pulsated love for Bhagavan from every pore

... Memories of Muruganar return, memories of silence, of his ever flowing tears at the very mention of Bhagavan's name, of being moved beyond words when we sang on Bhagavan.

On one visit, an elder cousin reprimanded a younger one for excusing himself from Muruganar's presence on some pretext. 'He had no interest in what was going on', I stated.

'It matters little', came the answer. 'Whether one is disinterested or even totally restless at that time, one must somehow spend the maximum time possible in a jnani's presence. The extrordinary good that comes out of even simply being in such a presence cannot be estimated by us', he explained. 'For sadhakas such a presence is invaluable. When you see a jnani you can concretely perceive what it means to be apart from the body', he continued, and added, 'I have had the great good fortune of being with Muruganar on an occasion when he was extremely unwell. Yet it was so obvious that his body's suffering did not even touch him'.

To those who have seen Muruganar this would be quite evident. In fact, even to one so young and unlettered in spiritual lore as I, it was obvious at that time that there was really no 'Muruganar' before us. There was just this form that pulsated love for Bhagavan from every pore.

Someone mentioned after going through the book 'Ramana's Muruganar' that almost every article contained reference to Muruganar's tears of joy on hearing Bhagavan's name. I explained that this was not a mere repetition of a single fact, but that it was a continuous experience which is sure to have had an impact on all those who came to Muruganar. Just as it is impossible to speak or write without words, even so it is impossible to think, speak or write on Muruganar without mentioning how he would melt with love for Bhagavan.

~ Dr. Sarada Natarajan, Surging Joy (Self Discovery) (I took the liberty of breaking this into more paragraphs than the original text to make it more readable on the screen.)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

unfailing guidance

In accordance with this teaching of Sri Ramana, Sri Muruganar exemplified the humble state of being a true disciple, and hence (as I have explained elsewhere*) he never allowed anyone to consider or treat him as guru. Even after Sri Ramana had left his physical body, Sri Muruganar discouraged devotees from considering either himself or any other disciple of Sri Ramana as guru, saying that for devotees of Sri Ramana no other guru is necessary, because he is always living within each one of us as our own self, guiding us unfailingly towards our final goal, the egoless state of true self-knowledge.

~ Michael James, from the Introduction to Guru Vachaka Kovai (the one translated by Michael James and Sri Sadhu Om ... please see:

*Sri Sadhu Om often said that no true disciple of Sri Ramana can be a guru, because Sri Ramana alone is the guru of all who are attracted to his teachings. Whenever anyone asked him whether it is not necessary for us to have a 'living guru', Sri Sadhu Om used to laugh and say, "guru alone is living, and we are all dead", and he explained the real guru is not a physical body but is the ever-living spirit, the infinite consciousness of being that exists within each one of us as our own true self.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

This month, let us celebrate the arrival of Sri Muruganar at Bhagavan's Feet

It was in September of 1923 that Sri Muruganar first came to Bhagavan. (If anyone knows the exact date, please post. :-))

Muruganar's father-in-law Dandapani Swami showed him Aksharamanamalai, and Muruganar recognized right then that Bhagavan was the Guru he had been seeking. Soon after that, he set out for Arunachala.

How much we owe this "shadow of Bhagavan" as he was known!

I cried out, 'O rain cloud pregnant with compassion!
Teach me fully the trick
Of escaping alive from the flood of births.'
Ramana, Lord of wisdom and welfare, said,
'Neither like nor loathe the true or the false.
Stand in the centre and be
Impelled by the grace of the Lord.'

~ Sri Muruganar, Sri Ramana Sannidhi Murai, vv 967-76

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

the composing of Aksharamanamalai

However, the most moving and beloved of the Five Hymns is the Marital Garland of Letters (a Hundred and Eight Verses to Sri Arunachala), commonly known in English by its refrain, `Arunachala Siva' [and widely known as Aksharamanamalai or Akshara Mana Malai]. During the early years of Sri Bhagavan's abode at Virupaksha, Palaniswami and others used to go into town to beg food for the small group of devotees, and one day they asked Sri Bhagavan for a devotional song to sing as they went. He replied that there were plenty of sublime songs composed by the Saints, many of them neglected, so there was no need to compose a new one. However, they continued to urge him and some days later he set out on pradakshina round the Hill, taking a pencil and paper with him, and, on the way, composed the hundred and eight verses.

Tears of ecstasy streamed down his face as he wrote, sometimes blinding his eyes and choking his voice. The poem became the great devotional inspiration of the devotees. All the pain of longing and all the bliss of fulfilment are mirrored in its glowing symbolism. The perfection of Knowledge is combined with the ecstasy of devotion. And yet this most heartfelt of poems was composed from the standpoint of the devotee, of one who is still seeking. It is also an acrostic, its hundred and eight verses beginning with the successive letters of the Tamil alphabet. Nevertheless, no poem could be more spontaneous. Some devotees asked Sri Bhagavan the interpretation of some of the verses and he replied: "You think it out and I will too. I didn't think while I was composing it; I just wrote as it came."

~ Arthur Osborne, Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge

Monday, September 3, 2007

that look

From boyhood I was spiritually inclined. Although coming from a meat-eating family, I turned vegetarian while still a boy. I was mainly a worshipper of Shiva but learned about Christ and Buddha too and revered them. Twice I visited the great Muslim shrine at Nagore, and I understood that Allah was only another name for God. My one ambition in life was to see God face to face. This was granted to me while still a schoolboy in March of 1917 when I first went to Skandashram and set my eyes upon Bhagavan. Reclining on the couch, he looked indescribably majestic. Since then he has been God in human form for me, my God, Guru and All. I did not ask him for anything. I was filled to overflowing by just seeing him. He turned on me that look of heart melting Grace that he so often bestowed on newcomers. After a few days I had to return home. There I learned the "Marital Garland of Letters" and spent my time reciting it either mentally or aloud and even writing it out.

It was on my second visit to Skandashram that I first made pradakshina. A visitor from Madurai whom I knew wanted to go round the hill with Bhagavan and I joined him. At that time the lower slopes were still forested and we took the forest path for a good part of the way before coming out on the road. Next day I had a sudden urge to go round by myself. I started out as before but soon lost my way on the forest track. As I started I had noticed that one of the Ashram dogs was following me. Now it ran in front and began to lead. At once it flashed on me that this was Bhagavan's work. With tears of gratitude and joy I followed my guide. He took me by the same path as the previous day until we came to the road and then disappeared; and I saw him at the Ashram when I got back. At the time I told nobody about this. It was my first experience of my spiritual relationship with Bhagavan and I was more than ever convinced that he would guide me through the unknown paths of life. Such an incident may appear trivial to the reader, but when it actually happens it strengthens one's faith in Bhagavan, who alone can help by his infinite Grace in opening one's inner vision.

For a whole year at Skandashram Bhagavan took only one meager meal a day. I was on a visit there the day he broke this fast. I had decided to stay the night even though there was no food for an evening meal for the rest of us. I didn't feel hungry. At about 7:30 one of the devotees, Ramanatha Brahmachari, came back with some pieces of broken coconut and some rice that he had been given at a ceremony he attended in town. Bhagavan suggested that we should boil it up on the charcoal stove we had there and share it, as was the usual custom. He told us to see whether there was any sugar or sugar candy left from gifts by earlier visitors to flavor it with. We looked but there was nothing at all. It was dark and raining outside and we could not go into town for anything. I was near to tears that Bhagavan should ask for something — so rare an event — and we should not be able to provide it. At that very moment the door opened and two students came in with a bag of sugar candy and a bunch of bananas that they had brought to present to Bhagavan. The meal was cooked and eaten, the two visitors also being invited.

Bhagavan remarked that we had asked for sugar candy and got bananas also, which could be cut up and served like a pickle with the food. After eating he said that it was just a year, 365 days exactly, since he had limited himself to one meal a day and that from now on he would eat in the evening also. That was how things happened with Bhagavan. He did not work miracles, things just happened right. Miracles are generally thought of as deliberate acts willed by a person, but happenings like this are the result of spiritual forces naturally and always at work. The Jnani is God Himself in human form. He never wills anything but things happen in his presence and the ignorant attribute them to him. His state is pure awareness. It is a matter of experience. One may get a glimpse of it in his presence.

~ Ramaswami Pillai

Sunday, September 2, 2007

A group of pandits sit near his couch, translating a Sanskrit work, and from time to time take it up to him to elucidate some point. A three year old, not to be outdone, takes up his story of Little Bo Peep, and Sri Bhagavan takes that too, just as graciously, and looks through it with the same interest; but it is tattered, so he passes it to an attendent to bind and gives it back next day neatly repaired.

~ Arthur Osborne, Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge

Saturday, September 1, 2007

111 years ago today, He, who was later to be called Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, arrived ...

THEY were the early hours of the day, darkness was slowly fading away, right from the moment he boarded the train. Venkataraman was eager to see Arunachala. As his cherished goal was nearing, his excitement mounted.

At first hazily, a little later more clearly and finally explosively the peak of Arunagiri, its middle, its foothills and its base, with the temple towers touching the stars all these came into view. Venkataraman's heart was immersed in an ocean of joy, his body quivered, his eyes brimmed with tears which came in the way of his beholding his beloved Arunachala to his heart's content.

Soon after the train reached the station, Venkataraman walked swiftly to the temple, almost running. In those early hours except the wind god, nobody was paying obeisance to the Lord. Even the rustle of that wind faded away from Venkataraman's earshot. It was the hour when the temple remained closed. Till eight nobody would come to the temple nor open the doors. But unusually, that day all the doors were wide open.

Was it a moment when the Father gave a secret upadesa to his son? Or did He feel that the inspired son deserved nothing less than a private audience? Or did He instruct the son: "You search for me in the depths of your heart, you shall find!"

Venkataraman walked straight into the sanctum sanctorum. Having done so, he reported to the Lord, "Father, I have come according to your bidding, I offer myself to you."

The emotional upsurge which flooded his heart vanished. The conflict of emotions abated. Peace reigned. That experience transcended both joy and sorrow — it would be appropriate to describe it as pleasurable. Tears flowed down his cheeks. The burning sensation had gone. There was no agony of any kind. An overwhelming happiness drowned him.

The son who till then was playing different parts in this world was no longer going to leave the Father's presence. All connection between him and the world snapped. Let the Lord give his benediction to the world. For Venkataraman, Arunachaleswara was the sole refuge. Never would he leave His lap. "He obtained That, having obtained which, there was nothing else to desire."

Farewell to the turmoil of this world, welcome to absolute peace. Henceforth whatever he did (physically, mentally or by any other means) was to be offered to the Father.

To whom did he offer himself? To his Father, Easwara.

~ from Sri Ramana Leela