Friday, June 10, 2011

Mind takes the very form of that which one contemplates

Mind constantly swings like a pendulum
between the reality and the appearance,
between consciousness and inertness.

When the mind contemplates the inert objects for a considerable time,
it assumes the characteristic of such inertness.

When the same mind is devoted to enquiry and wisdom,
it shakes off all conditioning
and returns to its original nature as pure consciousness.

Mind takes the very form of that which one contemplates,
whether it is natural or cultivated.

Therefore, resolutely but intelligently contemplate
the state beyond sorrow,
free from all doubts.

The mind is capable of restraining itself;
there is indeed no other way.

~ Yoga Vasistha

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How can I help others?

Question : If one remains quiet how is action to go on? Where is the place for karma yoga?

Ramana Maharshi : Let us first understand what karma is, whose karma it is and who is the doer. Analysing them and enquiring into their truth, one is obliged to remain as the Self in peace. Nevertheless even in that state the actions will go on.

Question : How will the actions go on if I do not act?

Ramana Maharshi : Who asks this question? Is it the Self or another? Is the Self concerned with actions?

Question : No, not the Self. It is another, different from the Self.

Ramana Maharshi : So it is plain that the Self is not concerned with actions and so the question does not arise.

Question : I want to do karma yoga. How can I help others?

Ramana Maharshi : Who is there for you to help? Who is the `I' that is going to help others? First clear up that point and then everything will settle itself.

Question : That means `realize the Self.' Does my realization help others?

Ramana Maharshi : Yes, and it is the best help that you can possibly render to others. But really there are no others to be helped. For the realized being sees only the Self, just as the goldsmith sees only the gold while valuing it in various jewels made of gold. When you identify yourself with the body, name and form are there. But when you transcend the body-consciousness, the others also disappear. The realized one does not see the world as different from himself.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Guru's silence is more vast and emphatic
than all the sastras put together.
His silence is the highest expression
of the realised non-duality
which is after all the true content of the Vedas.

Though he instructs his disciples,
he does not pose as a teacher,
in the full conviction that the teacher and disciple
are mere conventions born of illusion.

And so he continues to utter words.

~ Talk 449, Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi

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