Saturday, May 31, 2008
You it was who by your grace claimed me as your own. What would be my fate if now, you would not reveal yourself to me and I, still yearning for you, should perish in anguish in the darkness of this world? Can the lotus blossom unless it sees the sun? And you are the sun of suns. Your grace abounding swells and as a river overflows, O Love whose form is mighty Aruna Hill.
Lord, I had no idea of thinking of you at all. And yet you drew me with your cord of grace and stood as if resolved to kill me. Then what fault did I, poor I, commit that you should stop midway, your task unfinished? What more is needed? Why do you thus torture me, leaving me half-dead? O Arunachala, fulfill your plan and live for ever, You alone.
Friday, May 30, 2008
This mood, however, is not for keeps, nor even 'till death do us part'. Imperceptibly, bodily hunger, the demands of flesh, stage a virulent come back to the point of negating the joy of being Ramana's. It is certain that Ramana will not leave anyone by the roadside and that His succour would be there to strengthen and sustain. But in the intermediate stage when one is not steadfast in love for Ramana, many ego-traps of attachments seem to be there ready to lure one away. For, when the Sad-guru's tiger-like fangs begin to chew one's ego, the job is never done at one stroke. It is often left incomplete to be finished at a time which He alone knows to be the best. In this half-way house when one is tossed between the sensate and the spiritual, when one neither His nor the world's, one is inclined to pray sometimes 'Please stop being a magnet. Do not take me at all or take all.' It appears as if Ramana is aloof, withdrawn, unconcerned. Not that He is really, but the dryness, the slipping away makes one forlorn.
Sometimes then one cries out in 'where have you gone my God, forsaking me? One yearns and prays 'put out this fire, cool ocean of boundless grace, put out the fire of separation'. One finds 'Arunachala Padigam' replete with pleading to the Sad-guru not to 'stop mid-way and leave the task unfinished.
~ A. R. Natarajan, The Tiger's Prey, The Mountain Path
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Ramana Maharshi: Through deep enquiry and confident meditation.
Hurst [Paul Brunton]: Many people do meditate in the West but show no signs of progress.
Maharshi: How do you know that they don't make progress? Spiritual progress is not easily discernible.
Hurst: A few years ago I got some glimpses of the Bliss but in the years that followed I lost it again. Then last year I again got it. Why is that?
Maharshi: You lost it because your meditation had not become natural (sahaja). When you become habitually inturned the enjoyment of spiritual beatitude becomes a normal experience.
Hurst: Might it be due to the lack of a Guru?
Maharshi: Yes, but the Guru is within; that Guru who is within is identical with your Self.
Hurst: What is the way to God-realization?
Maharshi: Vichara, asking yourself the 'Who am I?' enquiry into the nature of your Self.
~ The Mountain Path
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
The final chapter in their relationship began in 1916 when mother decided to place herself fully in the hands of her ascetic son. She came to Virupaksha cave and refused to budge. She just had to be in his physical proximity. Ramana too knew that the time had come for him to take over. Hence his consent for her staying with him over-ruling the ignorant protests of the inmates. In 1896, she had come to claim him as her son. Whereas now, she had come to surrender herself to him as her guru and entrust herself physically and spiritually to his custody. From then on, it was no longer a relationship between mother and son. It was that of a Sadguru and his disciple. The love showered by Ramana on all women made it clear to her that in his state, all women were his mothers and that there could be no special exception to this. Her orthodoxy got eroded, thanks to the daily lessons of Ramana's compassion which knew no distinctions. Azhagammal gradually evolved from being Ramana's mother into being the mother of the Ramana family to begin with. Later she blossomed as the universal mother. The master's devotees and the visitors were her children to be fed and cared for. Every needy person was her ward. When requested by her daughter Alamelu to come to her home for a house-warming function, she firmly said that her place was at Ramana's feet and that she did not care if Ramana threw her dead body into the bushes. She also told Ramana that she wanted to die in his arms. From these remarks it is clear that her faith in him was unqualified and complete. She was ready and could therefore profit fully from Ramana's spiritual ministration.
On the historic day, May 19, 1922, when she lay dying, facing death, Ramana took over the solemn assignment of liberating her from the travail of births. With his left hand placed on her head and the right hand on her heart, he sat for full twelve hours when mother was battling with her tendencies. Literally there was a fast forward of the experiences of her future life which she would have had to go through. The whole gamut was condensed into a few hours. She fought bravely, working out her karma. Ramana had in him the power to destroy the balance of karma. But he let mother battle it out for effort is necessary and inescapable till the last breath till one learns to hand over the baton to the Sadguru. This would serve as an example for all seekers who cannot afford to take it easy till effort is no longer possible. Thanks to the omnipotent power and grace of Ramana her life-force was absorbed in the Heart. She became a jivanmukta. Ramana had repaid his debt, and in what a way! He had rendered a service to the mother which is unparalleled in spiritual history!
~ A. R. Natarajan, The Mountain Path, Vol. 27, Nos. 1 & 2, May - June 1990
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
~ Michael James, The Mountain Path, Vol. 25, No. 1, January 1988
Monday, May 26, 2008
~ Day by Day with Bhagavan
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Some points stand out, such as Ramana's remarks:
"Help yourself, you will help the world";
"No master ever cared a rap for occult powers for he has no need for them in his daily life";
"From now onwards let your whole thought in meditation be not on the act of seeing nor on what you see, but immovably on That which sees";
"The Master cannot help being perpetually in the state of Being. He can use the mind, body and intellect without falling back into the delusion of separate consciousness";
"God is everything and everything is God";
"How can you best worship God? Why, by not trying to worship Him but by giving up your whole self to Him";
"You say 'I', 'I want to know'. Tell me who is that 'I'. Know first that 'I' and then you will know everything".
The teaching is always clear and precise, for Humphreys was ripe and ready to receive it.
We also owe to Humphreys some very beautiful descriptions of Ramana in such choice expressions: "For half an hour I looked him in the eyes, which never changed their expression of deep contemplation ... I could only feel that his body was not the man. He was merely a sitting, motionless corpse from which God was radiating terrifically ... You can imagine nothing more beautiful than his smile."
~ A. R. Natarajan, "F. H. Humphreys -- The First Western Seeker," The Mountain Path, Volume 29, Nos 3 & 4, December 1992
Saturday, May 24, 2008
58. Since a life of great peace exists deep within the ocean of our heart we should be completely indifferent towards the many tendencies (vasanas) which are tossing like heavy waves on the surface of that ocean, and with intense desirelessness (vairagya) we should dive deep into Self, the primal consciousness of our existence.
~ Sri Sadhu Om's Sadhanai Saram, translated by Sadhu Om and Michael James
Friday, May 23, 2008
~ Sri Sadhu Om, Sadhanai Saram, verse 56
Thursday, May 22, 2008
and round Sri Bhagavan's hall and finally go near Bhagavan's
seat and loudly sing songs composed extempore by her. Her
spontaneous compositions used to pour forth effortlessly from
her extremely devoted heart. She was not a learned lady, there
night be some grammatical mistakes and errors in rhyme,
rhythm, etc. She used to thus sing her prayers daily for obtaining
the grace of Bhagavan.
One day Sri Bhagavan smilingly remarked that her songs
seemed to be much better than those of her son. Her son was a
scholar and from an ordinary point of view, the scholar's
compositions ought to be superior but for Bhagavan those arising
from the bottom of the heart with great devotion and emotion
are more pleasing. Are not the standards of judgement different?
~ The Silent Power
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Apt for every kind of kinship.
Yes, apt and more than apt.
He is the womb from which are born
All moving things and things unmoving.
Dear child He is and cherished wealth,
Rich learning,wisdom ripe;
Blessed by the mouths that daily chant
Vedic hymns to mighty Rudra,
He dwells in the mind's eye
And the bright unbroken sky,
The light of lights that shines within
The deep heart's core;
All in One and One in all,
True seer in whom all Truth is seen,
Merciful, liberal giver of grace
Miraculously strong to save.
Yes, He is Mother and Father too.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Bhagavan replied: 'The real feet of Bhagavan exist only in the heart of the devotee. To hold onto these feet incessantly is true happiness. You will be disappointed if you hold onto my physical feet because one day this physical body will disappear. The greatest worship is worshipping the Guru's feet that are within oneself.
~ Living By The Words of Bhagavan, edited by David Godman
Monday, May 19, 2008
~ Arunachala's Ramana -- Boundless Ocean of Grace, Volume IV, p 120
Sunday, May 18, 2008
After that there was no need for me to think of anything else. Bhagavan was God for me.
Everything I did was done with care and dedication. For instance, I used to devote considerable time to wash the only two pieces of cloth Bhagavan had (loin cloth and a small towel), rinsing them many times in water, changing the water every time. I wanted the clothes to be spotlessly clean.
~ account by Vaikuntavasar in Arunachala's Ramana -- Boundless Ocean of Grace
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
energy. All else is the trite talk of people who dislike the effort
of sadhana which takes them to the Self. This talk is based on
their dense ignorance of the Self. Only by persistent practice
and experience of sadhana, can one arrive at the truth that all
concepts of souls, world, and the cause thereof are just evanescent
shadows on the screen of Siva-Self-Brahman. (Ch.24, v.31)
~ The Essence of Ribhu Gita, translated by Prof. N. R. Krishnmoorthi Aiyer
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
The great remedy for the long-lasting disease of samsara is the enquiry, 'Who am I?, to whom does this samsara belong?,' which entirely cures it.
Not a day should be spent in a place which does not possess the tree of a wise knower of Truth with its good fruit and cool shade.
~ Yoga Vasistha Sara, Verses 4, 5, 6
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
"In the thirties I had darshan of Bhagavan, when I visited Him along with my mother. After that I could not stay at home any longer. Without informing my parents I ran away and arrived at the Ashram. I was very young then. I prostrated to Bhagavan and asked:
'Bhagavan! Give me upadesam!' Bhagavan gave a beautiful smile and said: 'Have you brought a big vessel to take the upadesam with you?' He stretched both His hands wide open to symbolise a big vessel! I was standing still. Then for a full fifteen minutes Bhagavan looked at me with intense compassion and grace. I experienced wave after wave of bliss; I was thrilled! This experience I never had in my life, either before or after. Summoning all my courage, I again asked Him: 'Swami! May I stay here, for good?' Bhagavan replied, 'I do not ask anyone to come here, neither stay here nor go out. Thiangs happen according to one's praptam (destiny).' I did not understand then what it all meant; now I know that it was that look of Grace which made me stick to Him and stay at His lotus feet till today.
Bhagavan is God. He is Compassion Suprme. His reply would appear as if He did not take up the responsibility of my stay here. But see, without His Grace could I have stayed here for the rest of my life till today, all alone?"
When I asked her: "If Bhagavan did not recommend your stay at the Ashram, what did you do?" She replied, "What do you mean? Bhagavan's one look was enough. The Grace started working. Immediately, Echamma took me to her house and I began living there. Then I moved to a cottage in front of the Ashram. To stay near Bhagavan, to look at His bliss-filled face and to listen to His exquisitely sweet voice was all I wanted and that I got in abundance!" I saw in her eyes the light of life's fulfillment.
~ V. Ganesan, The Mountain Path, Vol. 22, No. 1, January 1985
Monday, May 12, 2008
Sri Ramana Maharshi: Guru is the Self.
D.: How does it lead to realisation?
M.: Isvaro gururatmeti … (God is the same as Guru and Self …). A person begins with dissatisfaction. Not content with the world he seeks satisfaction of desires by prayers to God; his mind is purified; he longs to know God more than to satisfy his carnal desires. Then God's Grace begins to manifest. God takes the form of a Guru and appears to the devotee; teaches him the Truth; purifies the mind by his teachings and contact; the mind gains strength, is able to turn inward; with meditation it is purified yet further, and eventually remains still without the least ripple. That stillness is the Self. The Guru is both exterior and interior. From the exterior he gives a push to the mind to turn inward; from the interior he pulls the mind towards the Self and helps the mind to achieve quietness. That is Grace. Hence there is no difference between God, Guru and Self.
~ Talk 198
Sunday, May 11, 2008
~ Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, Five Stanzas to Sri Arunachala, verse 3
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Annamalai Swami: You can be quiet within and be tough on the outside, if that is the role you have to play in the world.
There is a story about a snake that lived under a bush by the side of the street. Whenever people passed by the bush, the snake made a lot of noise and tried to bite them. It gave lots of trouble to anyone who came near.
One day a wandering sadhu passed the bush and the snake, as usual, put on an aggressive show of behavior.
The sadhu, who could communicate with animals, said, 'Keep quiet and don't bite people. You don't have to trouble the people who walk past.'
The snake heeded the advice and from that day on its behavior completely changed. It sat quietly under its bush and never troubled any of the people who walked past.
Within a few days the local people realised that the snake was no longer a threat to them, but instead of being relieved, they would throw stones at the snake, or try to chase it away. People have this instinctive response to snakes. Whenever they see one, they feel compelled to commit some act of violence against it. The snake ignored the provocation for a while but it soon realised that this new state of affairs was not an improvement on the previous one.
A few days later the sadhu came by and asked how the snake's new lifestyle was going.
'Not so good,' responded the snake. 'I am suffering a lot on account of your advice. I am being very calm and I am not giving any trouble to anyone, but because of my calmness and sadhu-like behavior, people are taking advantage of me by throwing stones at me and harassing me. They would never do this before because they knew I might retaliate and bite them.
The sadhu thought about this for some time and then spoke.
'I advised you to be calm and not trouble anyone, but that doesn't mean that you have to sit here passively while people come along and hurt you. When people come to cause you trouble in the future, just pretend that you are going to bite them. You can be angry on the outside, but on the inside you can still be calm.'
From then on the snake adopted the new tactic of hissing at everyone who came past his bush, just to let them know that he was still a potential threat. This was enough to make people give him a wide berth.
We can all be like this if circumstances demand it. There are occasions when a show of anger is needed. We can play the role of being angry, but at the same time we can know that we are just acting out a role that is needed at a particular moment. Internally we can be peaceful while all this is going on.
~ Annamalai Swami, Final Talks, Edited by David Godman
Friday, May 9, 2008
"At that time catch hold of that name (Rama Namam)," said Bhagavan.
We all laughed. Poor man! He felt grieved and said, "The reasons for these interruption is the samsara (family), is not it? I am therefore thinking of abandoning the samsara."
Bhagavan said, "Oh! Is that so? What really is meant by samsara? Is it within or without? Wife, children and others," he said. "Is that all the samsara? What have they done? Please find out first what really is meant by samsara. Afterwards we shall consider the question of abandoning them," said Bhagavan.
He could not reply and so kept quiet.
Bhagavan's heart was full of compassion. With a look full of tender kindness he said, "Supposing you leave your wife and children. If you are here this will become another kind of samsara. Supposing you take to sannyasa. Another kind of samsara comes into existence in the shape of a karra (walking stick), kamandalu (water bowl) and the like. Why all that? Samsara means samsara of the mind. If you leave that samsara, it will be the same thing wherever you are. Nothing troubles you."
Poor man! He mustered up some courage and said, "Yes, that is it, Swami. How to give up that samsara of the mind?"
Bhagavan said, "That is just it; you said you were doing the japam of Rama Namam. During the train of thoughts, you said you were sometimes reminded of the fact that you had forgotten the japam of Rama Namam. Try to remind yourself of that fact as often as possible and catch hold of the name of Rama frequently. Other thoughts will then slowly decrease."
~ Suri Nagamma, Letters from Sri Ramanasramam,1 December, 1945
Thursday, May 8, 2008
mind and find no satisfaction in anything done
or achieved. He gives us His benign look of Grace; in
that one look is the real touch of Grace. His proximity is
the harbour of Peace, in Him you find your haven of
safety. He is the healer of all sores in you. You seem to be
melted and lost in Him. You are now still. The Guru says,
"Be still, and Know that I am God." This knowing is the
understanding of the absolute and relative values of Life.
Understanding what? It is the distinctive knowledge
(the vijnana) of the eternal unchanging Truth of your self.
In the background of this eternal and unchanging Truth,
the changeful and varying states of your doership move
about and cloud your understanding of the Real Truth of
To put this more clearly, in the words of Sri Bhagavan,
"You are the Self (atman)." Now no one will deny he is
the Self, the eternal changeless basis of himself. This Self
is Pure Being, conscious of Itself. It is Pure Bliss, in the
sense that in Itself it is not touched or affected by the
pleasures and pains of your varying states. Know to fix
yourself as this Self, and to abide as such, unmoved by the
fluctuating feelings of pain and pleasure, which pass and
re-pass before you, the unaffected Self.
~ At The Feet of Bhagavan
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
~ Maha Krishna Swami, Years in the Presence of Ramana My Master, edited by A. R. Natarajan
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Then Sri Bhagavan added in an undertone: "Next time you get that sensation, you think of me and you will be all right." From that moment to this I have never felt it again.
~ G. V. Subbaramayya, Sri Ramana Reminiscences (As I Saw Him, from The Maharshi)
Monday, May 5, 2008
who are great sinners,
who every day in this world
commit uncountable sins,
if they would only once utter the name ‘Annamalai’,
the name of birth itself,
which comes like a flood,
~ Guhai Namasivaya
To read an interesting account of how this (and other verses) came to light please see this.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
The way to reform the world is to reform oneself in such a way that reality shines in the Heart.
Before attempting to enquire into and know the way to reform the world, subjugate and destroy your insurgent mind.
~ from Padamalai
Friday, May 2, 2008
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, verse 4, Sri Arunachala Ashtakam
Thursday, May 1, 2008
~ Sri Muruganar, from the forthcoming Sri Ramana Guru Prasadadam, translated by Robert Butler and Dr T. V. Venkatasubramanian
Please see David Godman's new blog to read more of this work.