Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Q:How is the mind to dive into the heart?

Sri Ramana Maharshi: The mind now sees itself diversified into the universe. If the diversity is not manifest, it remains in its own essence. That is the heart. The heart is only truth. Mind is only a transient phase. Because a man identifies himself with the body, he sees the world separate from himself. This wrong identification arises because he has lost his moorings and has swerved from his original state. He is now advised to give up all these false ideas, to trace his source and remain as the Self. In that state, there are no differences, no questions will arise. All the sastras are meant only to make man retrace his steps to the original source. He need not gain anything. He must only give up the false ideas and useless accretions. He, instead of doing it, tries to catch hold of something strange and mysterious because he believes that his happiness lies elsewhere. That is the mistake. If one remains as the Self, there is bliss. Probably he thinks that being quiet does not bring about the state of bliss. That is due to his ignorance. The only practice is to find out "to whom these questions arise."

~Conscious Immortality

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Let sunlight mix with language
and be the world.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

To Beloved Bhagavan
the Lord of Love

Oh Lord of Love, Who dwells within my heart!
May I sing Thy Praise through all Eternity,
Thou, the Adorable One, the All-compassionate,
Whose Loving smile illumines all the world,
Who art tender as a mother and strong as a father,
Thou, whose sublime life is an inspiring sermon
Fill me with Thy Presence, Beloved Master,
with the Nectar of Thy Grace;
May Thy great Love and Light fill my heart to the full.
Resting secure in Thy Presence
And knowing whence cometh Peace, Guidance and Strength,
May I always listen; for, in the Silence
I hear Thy Voice, -
The Voice of God.

Eleanor Pauline Noye, Golden Jubilee Souvenir 1896-1946, p. 236

Monday, May 25, 2009

in exchange for myself, he gave me his own Self

Our refuge

Our true refuge is the Lord of the Self, whose grace illuminates our hearts, preparing us for the realisation of selfhood's supreme and unique reality, where the mind, freed from delusion, suffers no more the deceitful illusion of duality.

Our one salvation is to dwell in the state of righteousness, whose spreading radiance suffuses the ocean of grace at his holy feet, where the bewildered mind -- intoxicated by the ego whose nature is ignorance, and raging like an angry elephant -- is cooled and refreshed.

He revealed to me the true nature of the 'I', so that the bitter error [pramada] which kept me apart from him was removed. Our sole refuge is at his holy feet where, in exchange for myself, he gave me his own Self, which shines in the transcendent state of liberation suffusing my heart.

Once I had bowed my head in reverence to him, my Lord and Master granted me his grace, so that I no longer needed to seek out any other teachers whom I might petition with decorous speech in search of some truth. His holy feet are my only refuge.

Joyfully do we, his devotees, praise on high the holy feet of him who rules us, freeing us from the power and destructive pride that intoxicated us and routing the tumultuous onslaught of the deadly foes spawned by our own deeds.

~ Muruganar, Sri Guru Ramana Prasadam, verses 621 - 625, translated by Robert Butler

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mind, cultivate the qualities of concentration and mindfulness so that, illuminated by the intense light of devotion to your guru, you root out the confusion of 'I' and 'mine' even as it arises, and experience the clarity which comes from the untroubled peace of jnana. (v 470)

Mind, heed the profound truth of this teaching, for it is the first duty of all seekers: this is meditation, the yoga of union with the supreme, that disciplines the mind so that all sense of doership is abolished. (v 471)

My soul, why do you labour in the senses' barren tracts, when there is such bliss to be had from tending the fertile fields of the heart where grows the rich crop of Sri Ramana's glorious feet? (v 476)

When we mistake that which is impermanent for that which is enduring, it only serves to emphasize the disharmony within our hearts. The true temperament is one that cleaves to the indestructible Self dwelling at the heart of our very existence as the immovable reality. (v 477)

Unless the mind subsides into the heart, whose nature is consciousness, and experiences the deep peace of union with it, the mind, through separation from it, will fall into the trap of the sense organs, be whirled about in the world of the senses, and become scattered. (v 487)

True nobility can be found at the feet of those great ones in whom there is no separation from the all-transcending radiance of their own true Self and who, even in the other states [of waking, dream and sleep], remain in the fully awakened state where realisation's light is always present. (v 488)

~ Muruganar, Sri Guru Ramana Prasadam, translated by Robert Butler

Monday, May 11, 2009

without wasting a moment

If you want to attain liberation and redeem yourself by cutting asunder with the sword of
jnana the false ignorance that has strongly bound you in the form of a jiva, let your mind
spring up immediately with surging love and, without wasting a moment of your life,
meditate constantly upon the golden lotus-like feet of the Lord who, in the form of the
Guru, has taken you into his fold.

By taking the Sadguru as one’s sole refuge, one should know, through his grace, that the
cause of the continuous and distressing confusion that nurtures births is the fragmented
mind which regards itself as different from God, Atma-swarupa. One should also learn
from him the means for ending it [the fragmented mind] and, adopting that means, one
should steadfastly unite with the Self, the ego-free swarupa, and abide in mauna. This
alone bestows eminence.

~ Guru Vachaka Kovai

Saturday, May 9, 2009

As one deeply interested in poetry, I have read the poems of Muruganar and said to myself, good heavens, the man who could inspire this kind of poetry is divine. It moved me completely; Muruganar completely converted me. Then, when Grant Duff came to my college, I took him around. After a week with him, he casually asked me, "Have you seen Ramana Maharshi?" I said to myself, here is an Englishman steeped in Indian philosophy telling me about the Maharshi. I felt ashamed, and I was ashamed. All these events convinced the obstinate camel that an oasis he badly needed was near and easy to reach.

When I told Sri Sivaswami about my decision to visit the Ashram, he said, you are a young man with many responsibilities; when you go to Bhagavan you will be swept off your feet and fall into an abyss. Don't go alone, tie yourself in many bonds; take somebody you like, you are attached to, to hold you. So I took my wife and two of my students with me.

The Maharshi deprived me of none of the persons or pleasures that were dear to me. He left them all with me enriched and sanctified. Shakespeare, Keats, Wordsworth and the Bible meant much more to me when illuminated by the light he shed on all he saw. From the Bible he often cited passages like: Be still and know that I am God; the kingdom of God is within you; my father and I are one.

My first darshan of the Maharshi on September 29, 1940, was the most memorable event of my life. The last darshan occurred a fortnight before his mahanirvana on April 14, 1950. In between, during many weekends and college vacations, repeated visits to the Ashram kept me (as spells of sound sleep keep one) in health, happiness and taut efficiency. The pure happiness I enjoyed was that of a child when it sits securely in its mother's lap.

Bhagavan was a perfect Impersonality, like the sun in the sky or like unnoticed daylight in an inner chamber. This impersonal being would suddenly become a Person full of sattvic power, highly human, charming, mother-like, who could communicate with sharp precision his own Awareness Bliss to other persons according to their needs and moods. The sun now came down and played with us as the light of the moon to illuminate the mind, or as the fire in the home to cook our food.

Bhagavan listened like a child to passages from Shakespeare's plays and Keat's letters and quickly and convincingly revealed the universal truth in each flower unique in its own beauty. On Keat's letter on 'negative capability' his passing comment was: "So there are Upanishads in English as in Sanskrit." After a passage from Shakespeare was read, discussed and duly praised, Bhagavan said, "Shakespeare the Self enjoyed writing this, so that, born again, he might enjoy reading it." No wonder then that Bhagavan not only permitted Muruganar in his copious outpourings but also joined him in playing the grand game of rhyming and chiming in words that double a common joy. Was he not the sole begetter of thousands of marvellous poems by Muruganar and so many others?

~ Prof. K. Swaminathan (excerpt from Face to Face with Sri Ramana Maharshi)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The means of subsiding in the Heart

The intellect, which is the suttarivu, the individual consciousness, loses it focus and suffers by constantly directing attention towards objects and their attributes. The way to make it [individual consciousness] unite with and subside in one's swarupa [true nature] is to begin taking it, whole heartedly, as the object of attention through the enquiry, 'Who is the "I" who is paying attention to sordid sense objects?'

~ verse 185

Listen [to me as I tell you] the way to merge with the swarupa that remains as the core, as [pure] consciousness within the [objectifying] consciousness, supporting it. To train the consciousness that perceives objects to pay attention to itself is the way for it to turn Selfwards and remain sunk in the Heart.

~ verse 899, Guru Vachaka Kovai by Muruganar, Translated by Dr T. V. Venakatasubramanian, Robert Butler and David Godman

Sunday, April 19, 2009

One Pointed Devotion

Those whose hearts are habitually focused devoutly on the feet of God, like a magnetic needle that always aligns itself to point to the north, will not get mentally perplexed and lose their bearings in the world, that sea of desires and attachments.

~ Guru Vachaka Kovai by Muruganar, Translated by Dr T. V. Venakatasubramanian, Robert Butler and David Godman

Friday, April 17, 2009


I say that I have surrendered
But what have I given up?
It's easy to talk in this fashion
Though it's nothing but empty words,
Which came from the tongue too glibly
In a sentimental way.


It is all just show and pretending,
Prostrating and that sort of thing.
Quoting in texts and of shastras,
Perfect in word not in deed.
I'm sick, sick, sick of this business,
I want to start fresh but I can't.


Transmute me until I am blended
With you so that both are One.
When there's no longer the talk of surrender
Then alone has surrender begun.


~ Major Chadwick

(17 April is Chadwick Day.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

the one infallible means

Vichara is the process and the goal also. ‘I am’ is the goal and the final reality. To hold to it with effort is Vichara. When spontaneous and natural, it is realisation. If one leaves aside Vichara, the most efficacious Sadhana (spiritual practice), there are no other adequate means whatever to make the mind subside. If made to subside by other means, it will remain as if subsided but will rise again. Self-enquiry is the one infallible means, the only direct one, to realise the unconditioned, absolute being that you really are.

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Thou art Thyself the One Being

Thou art Thyself the One Being,
ever aware as the self-luminous Heart!
In Thee there is a mysterious power (sakti).
From it proceeds the phantom of the mind
emitting its latent subtle dark mists
which, illumined by Thy Light reflected on them,
appear within as though whirling in the vortices of prarabdha,
later developing into the psychic worlds
and are projected without as the material world
and transformed into concrete objects
which are magnified by the outgoing senses
and move about like pictures in a cinema show.
Visible or invisible, O Hill of Grace,
without Thee they are nothing!

~ Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, from Eight Stanzas to Sri Arunachala (Sri Arunachala Ashtakam)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Did he not himself say during those last sad days: "You say I am going to die. Die! I shall be more alive than ever". And so it is.

~ from Ramana Lives by Major Chadwick

Friday, February 6, 2009

But as Sri Vinobaji says, in the vast multitude of lakhs and crores, there will only be one true sage. Hence, when we find such a sage, we must avail ourselves of his darshan and grace to our fullest capacity.

~ from Chhaganlal V. Yogi's account in The Power of the Presence, Part Two, by David Godman

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Know and always hold onto the Self.

About ten days after my arrival I [Annamalai Swami] asked Bhagavan, 'How to avoid misery?'

This was the first spiritual question I ever asked him.

Bhagavan replied, 'Know and always hold onto the Self. Disregard the body and the mind. To identify with them is misery. Dive deep into the Heart, the source of being and peace, and establish yourself there.'

I then asked him how I could attain Self-realisation and he gave me a similar answer: 'If you give up identifying with the body and meditate on the Self, which you already are, you can attain Self-realisation.'

As I was pondering on these remarks Bhagavan surprised me by saying, 'I was waiting for you. I was wondering when you would come.'

As a newcomer I was still too afraid of him to follow this up by asking how he knew, or how long he had been waiting. However, I was delighted to hear him speak like this because it seemed to indicate that it was my destiny to stay with him.

A few days later I asked another question: 'Scientists have invented and produced aircraft which can travel at great speeds in the sky. Why do you not make and give us a spiritual aircraft in which we can quickly and easily cross over the sea of samsara?'

... 'The path of self-enquiry,' replied Bhagavan, 'is the aircraft you need. It is direct, fast and easy to use. You are already travelling very quickly towards realisation. It is only because of your mind that it seems that there is no movement. In the old days, when people first rode on trains, some of them believed that the trees and countryside were moving and that the train was standing still. It is the same with you now. Your mind is making you believe that you are not moving towards Self-realisation.'

~ Living by the Words of Bhagavan by David Godman