Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Enthroning in the heart the Lord supreme,
His true, unceasing natural worship
By the mind steady, self-absorbed
Proceeds in perfect silence.

~ Guru Vachaka Kovai (translation by Prof. K. Swaminathan)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

"Just keep quiet and Bhagavan will do the rest."

Ramana has said:

“The removal of ignorance is the aim of practice and not acquisition of Realisation.” (Talks).

The most fundamental piece of ignorance is that there exists an individual self who is going to do sadhana, and that by doing sadhana, this individual self will disappear or be merged in some super-being.

Until this concept is eliminated on the mental level, it is not an exaggeration to say that one is wasting one’s time in attempts to surrender or to enquire ‘Who am I?’ Correct attitude and correct understanding of this matter are of pre-eminent importance if the application of Ramana’s teaching is to be successful.

Returning now to the practice of surrender, and bearing in mind the necessity of maintaining the right attitude with regard to the nonexistence of the individual self, there remains the problem of how to surrender since the mere desire to surrender invents an illusory person who is going to surrender.

The key to this problem and the key to all problems connected with the practice of Ramana’s teachings, is to bypass the mind and move to the realm of being. One cannot truly surrender without escaping from that vast accumulation of ideas and desires we call the mind, and according to Ramana, one cannot escape or destroy the mind by any kind of mental activity.

Ramana’s solution is to let the mind subside to the point where it disappears, and what remains when the mind has subsided is the simple, pure being that was always there. In a conversation in Talks Ramana gives the following illuminating answer. He says:

“It is enough that one surrenders oneself. Surrender is to give oneself up to the original cause of one’s being … One’s source is within oneself. Give yourself up to it. That means that you should seek the source and merge in it.”
(Talks p.175).

This is an immensely profound statement which not only sweeps away many of the myths that surround the practice of surrender – it also shows an indication that the route to the rediscovery of the Self is the same whether one chooses to label it “surrender” or “self-enquiry”.

If we examine this statement closely it is possible to extract three important conclusions regarding Ramana’s attitude and approach to surrender. Firstly, there is no external deity or manifestation to whom one must surrender; secondly, the source of one’s being is within us; and thirdly, and most importantly, true surrender is to go back to the original cause of one’s being and remain firmly and continually rooted there.

If this is translated into terms of practical advice, then surrender comes down to two words: being and stillness.

In Talks Ramana says:

“Your duty is to be, and not to be this or that, ‘I am that I am’ sums up the whole truth. The method is summed up in ‘Be still’.” (Talks, p.333).

The stillness and the being of which Ramana speaks co-exist with each other and reveal themselves in their full radiance whenever interest in one’s thought stream dries up. Thus, for Ramana, the practice of surrender is to find within oneself this feeling of beingness and surrender oneself completely to it. On this level of surrender, practice consists of giving up wrong ideas by refusing to give them attention.

~ from "The Unity of Surrender and Self-Enquiry" by David Godman

Friday, July 25, 2008

Nayana Day

O Lord!
You are always dwelling in my heart.
I am always lying at your feet.
You are my Lord who deputes me
and I am your servant who carries out your order.

Entirely yours,

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The True Self

Pure Love is simply
emptying the mind of all fears,
tearing off all masks
and revealing the Self as It truly is.

Love is the face
of God.

~ Amma

Monday, July 14, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Sitting on the veranda fragrant tea at my side,
The bread is buttered. It is eight in the morning;
Looking down unseeing at the dark green paddy fields
Wave upon wave pushing their way between the red and green hills;
When another wave, the ripple of a name hits me
Between the eyes, singes a path to the heart, vibrating

I weep.
The tea and the paddy fields are gone.
My blurred eyes are mine no more.
My thoughts have forgotten me.
My tears remember all.

~ Johannes J. De Reede, The Mountain Path, Vol. vii, No. 2, April, 1970

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Surrender means 'surrendering or giving oneself up to another in an especially high degree'. In total surrender, the ego is completely lost. There is no expectation of any reward. There is no seeking of any kind whatsoever. True surrender is the love of God for the sake of love and nothing else, not even for the sake of salvation, says Sri Bhagavan.

Most of us expect God to do us only good once we have surrendered. We are surprised and pained when, despite our surrender, we are faced with problems. When we expect something in return for our surrender, we have not really surrendered. Sri Bhagavan says: "Surrender is not an easy thing. Killing the ego is not an easy thing. It is only when God himself by his Grace draws the mind inwards that complete surrender can be achieved."

When a person has truly surrendered, he has no cares, no desires, no anxieties. He has no will of his own. When Sri Bhagavan left Madurai, he took just the train fare to Tiruvannamalai. When he reached Tiruvannamalai, he threw away the packet of sweets that had been given to him by Muthukrishna Bhagavatar's sister. He was not anxious for the morrow. He tore off from his dhoti a strip for his kaupina and threw away the rest. He did not take an extra kaupina nor did he think of using the remaining cloth as a towel. This is total surrender. He had come to his Father and he· had implicit faith that his bare needs would be looked after. In the early days, there were occasions when Sri Bhagavan was teased and insulted. But he remained unaffected by them as there was no individual to react. The whole life of Bhagavan is a commentary on Surrender.

No human being can be free from problems. Even after we surrender, we shall have problems. But our attitude to problems will change. Sri Bhagavan says: "If you surrender yourself and recognise your individual self as only a tool of the Higher Power, that power will take over your affairs along with the fruits of actions. You are no longer affected by them, and the work will go on unhampered. Whether you recognise the power or not, the scheme of things does not alter. Only there is a change of outlook."

Real surrender is where 'me' is not. The following Christian hymn tells in simple but moving language what real surrender is:

Make me a captive, Lord,
And then I shall be free;
Force me to render up my sword,
And I shall conqueror be.
I sink in life's alarms
When by myself I stand;
Imprison me within thine arms,
And strong shall be my hand.
My heart is weak and poor
Until its master find;
It has no spring of action sure --
It varies with the wind,
It cannot freely move,
Till thou hast wrought its chain;
Enslave it with thy matchless love
And deathless it shall reign.
My power is faint and low
Till I have learned to serve;
It wants the needed fire to glow,
It wants the breeze to nerve;
It cannot drive the world
Until itself be driven;
Its flag can only be unfurled.
When thou shalt breathe from heaven.
My will is not my own
Till thou hast made it Thine;
If it would reach a monarch's throne
It must its crown resign;
It only stands unbent
Amid the clashing strife.
When on thy bosom it has leant
And found in thee its life.

~ Uniqueness of Sri Bhagavan, K. Subrahmanian

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Unwillingly the natural Truth asserts itself.

Sri Ramana Maharshi: Everyone is aware of the eternal Self. He sees so many dying but still believes himself eternal. Because it is the Truth. Unwillingly the natural Truth asserts itself. The man is deluded by the intermingling of the conscious Self with the insentient body. This delusion must end.

D.: How will it end?

M.: That which is born must end. The delusion is only concomitant with the ego. It rises up and sinks. But the Reality never rises nor sinks. It remains Eternal. The master who has realised says so; the disciple hears, thinks over the words and realises the Self. There are two ways of putting it. The ever-present Self needs no efforts to be realised, Realisation is already there. Illusion alone is to be removed. Some say the word from the mouth of the Master removes it instantaneously. Others say that meditation, etc., are necessary for realisation. Both are right; only the standpoints differ.

~ Talk 80

Monday, July 7, 2008

The import of the teaching "Know
The Self" is only giving up
The illusive knowledge of the non-self.
For bright like the true Sun shines
Being-Awareness as "I am,
I am" in everyone.

Only by the Lord's grace won
Through self-surrender to His Feet,
And not at all by mental effort,
Is revealed the truth of Being.
So subtle, so incomprehensible, is That which Is.

~ Guru Vachaka Kovai, verses 645 & 648

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The conscious introspective concentration of Self-Enquiry (Who am I?) kills all thoughts and and destroys the dense darkness of nescience; it effaces all worry; it illuminates the intellect with the radiance of pure awareness; it wipes out all conceptual confusions; it fixes one in the effulgent Siva-Self; it transforms a host of impending disasters into auspicious events; and lastly, it destroys the ego-mind utterly with all its afflictions.

~ Ribhu Gita, Ch. 32, V. 24, translated by Prof. N. R. Krishnamurti Aiyer

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The interior mouna, steady, firm,
Which praises Siva in silence bright,
The speech divine beyond all words,
This stillness is true, natural worship.

~ Guru Vachaka Kovai, translated by Prof. K. Swaminathan

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

If one obtains and relishes the nectar of the Lord's feet, the charan-amrita, the mind can be conquered. This means that the mind will no longer hold sway over us; its mastery imposed on us from childhood will no longer oppress us. This is called manojaya -- victory over the mind. But this is made possible only with His Grace. Without Grace, we cannot relish the nectar.

However, only a true devotee, a bhakta, a God can obtain the charan-amrita. But who and what is this devotee? It is nothing else but Consciousness, the sense of Being, the knowledge that 'we are', which has appeared unknowingly and spontaneously in us. The Consciousness is the charan-amrita, the nectar of the Lord's feet.

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, The Nectar of the Lord's Feet