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