The Forum dedicated to Arunachala and Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

Ramana Maharshi => The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi => Topic started by: Subramanian.R on February 05, 2009, 04:32:01 PM

Title: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Subramanian.R on February 05, 2009, 04:32:01 PM
D.S. Sastri, who has written a small book on Upadesa Saram writes:

The Maharshi's answer to my question as to the meaning of the first
verse of Upadesa Saram, was specifically that, "The body is subject to destiny alone."  This fate is dispensed by the will or sakti of Iswara, the manifested Brahman.  It is not determined by the actions themselves nor by the 'will' of the individual who suffers or enjoys such fate.  He has said elsewhere, "The Ordainer controls the fate of souls in accordance with their prarabdha karma."  Whatever is destined not to happen, will not happen, try as you may to prevent it... All the activities that the body is to go through are determined when it first comes into existence.  It does not rest with you to accept or reject them."  He applied this to even the smallest detail of one's life such as taking a drink of water at say, ten thirty seven, in the morning on November tenth!

One might, intellectually at least, accept such an absolute were it not for His seemingly contradictory statements made to others such as,
"Freewill exists together with the individuality.  As long as the individuality lasts, so long is there freewill."

The Maharshi's reply that the mind is subject to destiny and freewill is expaned in His earlier reply to a devotee.  "The only freedom you have is to turn your mind inward and renounce activities there..."

This ability or freedom, then from the individual's standpoint cannot actually be freewill but rather "freeing will". It is the ultimate meaning of Bhagavan Ramana's, "The only freedom you have.."

If we identiy 'freeing will' as that power which restores the suffering individual to his original identity, returns to him to his blissful source on a path prescribed by the Guru, then the power which launched him on the outgoing path of creation, birth, death, rebirth, may be designated as 'binding will'.  In any case there is only one will, that of Iswara, the Lord.

Saint Manikkavachagar says in Tiruvachakam:

O, you have taken hold of me and ruled me, this dog lowlier than a dog!
The maya of birth is always under your will,
Who is me to investigate?  What is my will?
Either you place me in a birth or keep me at your feet,
O the Lord with three eyes!           
 
                                      Kuzhaitha Pathu, Decad on Melting.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Anand on March 04, 2012, 12:27:17 PM
In continuation of the free will and destiny discussion , it is interesting to debate whether all our interactions even a particular conversation with a colleague or a boss or a family member  is predestined.
Sometimes an interaction results in an egostical reaction from one of the parties which has sometimes far reaching consequences.
That is why sometimes our parents and elders tell us to be carefull while talking to influential people.But sometimes we still err and say something which we need to regret ?
But are such interactions and the resultant consequences also predestined ?
Regards,
Anand.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Anand on March 04, 2012, 12:33:26 PM
In continuation to this ,this will also mean that if for example we have a difficult boss, the boss is not being difficult to us by virtue of his character but on account of our destiny .
This means we should have no grudge against such a boss ,acting as he is in line with the infinite intelligence which permeates all of us.
THis also means one of the reasons why pople change jobs has no substance at all.
I will request fellow devotees to kindly respond to both of these posts ,since I trust this topic will be of interest to others as well.
Regards,
Anand.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Subramanian.R on March 04, 2012, 12:46:42 PM
Dear Ananda Sundaram,

Everything is predestined, says Sri Bhagavan. Devaraja Mudaliar asked: Even simple things like lifting a hand fan from
the floor and waving it to get some air and then placing it back on the floor, are they pre destined?  Sri Bhagavan
replied: Yes. Everything is predestined. Even if your desire to take water, lifting a glass full of water and drinking it
- all these are predestined.

Kabir says: What rice should I eat, in that every rice grain, god has written my name and that I should eat it!

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Anand on March 10, 2012, 08:55:21 PM
Dear friends,
With a firm acceptance of this that everything is predestined , can friends here share could be our attitude at a micro level in our work environment , family environment and our general interaction with the outside world.
Regards,
Anand
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Anand on March 10, 2012, 09:17:25 PM
Please read earlier post as
Dear friends,
With a firm acceptance of this that everything is predestined , can friends here share what could be our attitude and thought process  at a micro level in our work environment , family environment and our general interaction with the outside world.
Regards,
Anand
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: nonduel on March 10, 2012, 10:50:39 PM
D.S. Sastri, who has written a small book on Upadesa Saram writes:

The Maharshi's answer to my question as to the meaning of the first
verse of Upadesa Saram, was specifically that, "The body is subject to destiny alone."  This fate is dispensed by the will or sakti of Iswara, the manifested Brahman.  It is not determined by the actions themselves nor by the 'will' of the individual who suffers or enjoys such fate.  He has said elsewhere, "The Ordainer controls the fate of souls in accordance with their prarabdha karma."  Whatever is destined not to happen, will not happen, try as you may to prevent it... All the activities that the body is to go through are determined when it first comes into existence.  It does not rest with you to accept or reject them."  He applied this to even the smallest detail of one's life such as taking a drink of water at say, ten thirty seven, in the morning on November tenth!

One might, intellectually at least, accept such an absolute were it not for His seemingly contradictory statements made to others such as,
"Freewill exists together with the individuality.  As long as the individuality lasts, so long is there freewill."

The Maharshi's reply that the mind is subject to destiny and freewill is expaned in His earlier reply to a devotee.  "The only freedom you have is to turn your mind inward and renounce activities there..."

This ability or freedom, then from the individual's standpoint cannot actually be freewill but rather "freeing will". It is the ultimate meaning of Bhagavan Ramana's, "The only freedom you have.."

If we identiy 'freeing will' as that power which restores the suffering individual to his original identity, returns to him to his blissful source on a path prescribed by the Guru, then the power which launched him on the outgoing path of creation, birth, death, rebirth, may be designated as 'binding will'.  In any case there is only one will, that of Iswara, the Lord.

Saint Manikkavachagar says in Tiruvachakam:

O, you have taken hold of me and ruled me, this dog lowlier than a dog!
The maya of birth is always under your will,
Who is me to investigate?  What is my will?
Either you place me in a birth or keep me at your feet,
O the Lord with three eyes!           
 
                                      Kuzhaitha Pathu, Decad on Melting.

Arunachala Siva.

It is the body that is subject to destiny. It is the body NOT the SELF. The difficulty here exist only because of one's belief that he is the body. This belief comes with the identification of being a personality, an individual. The question of destiny, free will is for this individual.

The only freedom you have...applies for the individual that one accepts as being himself.

All this is maya's play in a dream.

The only freedom you have is to turn your mind inward and renounce activities there... This is to destroy the belief in I Am A Body. In other words, Self-Enquiry. To realize that you are, and always were the SELF.

You CAN renounce activities....therefore...you are NOT this individual
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: nonduel on March 10, 2012, 11:09:54 PM
Please read earlier post as
Dear friends,
With a firm acceptance of this that everything is predestined , can friends here share what could be our attitude and thought process  at a micro level in our work environment , family environment and our general interaction with the outside world.
Regards,
Anand

Self-enquiry is keeping one's attention on himself, what Sri Sadhu Om called Self-Attention. In Self-enquiry, after a while, there's a sudden realisation that there is "someone" looking at the self. There's a looker, a witness. With it, one realises that if he is this witness, he cannot be also the self he is looking at.

You cannot BE the object that you are observing!!! All that is happening to this individual, you are only observing.

First do not worry for what is happening since you have absolutely nothing to do with it.

Whatever is destined not to happen, will not happen, try as you may to prevent it... All the activities that the body is to go through are determined when it first comes into existence.  It does not rest with you to accept or reject them."  He applied this to even the smallest detail of one's life such as taking a drink of water at say, ten thirty seven, in the morning on November tenth!

You only believe and accept that you are an individual. Like identifying with an actor in a film and forgetting that you are the spectator. 

Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Achalam69 on March 12, 2012, 01:01:37 PM
Dear Friends

While we all accept Bagavan's verdict that "Everything is predetermined" including drinking a glass of water is very true, i have a few questions in this regard.

Suppose i am destined to be in Bangalore tomorrow and i am currently in Chennai. As it is destined that i have to be in Bangalore, thoughts related to booking tickets, packing my luggage, going to the ATM to withdraw money, some thoughts related to planning occur in my Mind. As this makes it clear, even the thoughts appearing in my Mind are also Pre-Determined.

If this is the case, then this applies to Spiritual Sadhana also, something tells me, oh , i have to do Japa now and i start chanting "Arunachala Shiva" . The same logic will apply to Atma Vichara also, a thought comes and goes, unless there is remembrance that i have to do self enquiry, this process doesn't start....so in real sense,if doing Self enquiry itself is not in my hands, then what am i , what is my stand .....can some one clarify please..
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Nagaraj on March 12, 2012, 03:22:07 PM
Dear Achalam,

Freewill, Destiny is ignorance. Self does not have either destiny or freewill.

All the talks about freewill and destiny is just dream.

You neither have freewill nor destiny.

Contemplate, where then, do you belong? what could be beyond freewill and destiny?

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Subramanian.R on March 12, 2012, 03:47:58 PM
Dear Achalam,

Sri Bhagavan says in Ulladu Narpadu, Verse 19:

All discussions about free will and destiny are only for those who lack discrimination. For one who experiences the source of
both destiny and free will, will under the One Principle and after realizing That, they will become silent and will no longer bother
about destiny and free will.

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Anand on March 12, 2012, 05:43:22 PM
Dear Subramanian and Nagaraj Sir,
Request to kindly eloborate on your posts in response to Mr.Achalam's query .
It is not clear .
regards,
Anand.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Subramanian.R on March 12, 2012, 07:23:23 PM
Dear Achalam,

If you are to be in Bangalore tomorrow and if you are destined to be there, destiny will also make you work for tickets
and withdrawal of money. If on any of these stages, there is some hurdle, say ATM is not working, tickets are not available,
even the flight ticket is not there, then you should infer that destiny is not all that favorable to your going.  If you try
to bend the destiny, by borrowing money from some friend and buying tickets through some tout, you can do so but your
train will not move from Chennai due to some hartal on the way!  Or even if you go to Bangalore, the Bangalore Office would
be closed due to some hartal in Bangalore.

The above is not a statement of logic. It has happened in my cases many times. My son's wedding was fixed for 13th December
2009 in Hyderabad. There was Telengana agitation. One Chendrasekhara Rao was on fast and he was almost dying. I quietly
prayed to Sri Bhagavan and proceeded to the station. The train no doubt moved slowly, stopping in various places due to
the fear of dangers on track tampered with. Ultimately, the train reached Hyd about 4 hrs late and the marriage was on 13th,
two days later. The marriage function went on well. By the time the strike became more severe and all trains had stopped coming
in and going out of Hyderabad.  Fortunately, anticipating this, one gentleman from bride''s side had booked 4 air tickets to Bangalore.
On 14th late morning, after completing Marriage Registration (since the couple had to go abroad), we just got into the plane
when the last call was made for us. All the anxieties and also  solutions were given by Sri Bhagavan. He interfered with destiny
and set the course right.

There are many such incidents. I trust in destiny. But I trust in Sri Bhagavan more.

Arunachala Siva.         
   
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Nagaraj on March 12, 2012, 08:13:13 PM
Dear Anand,

I reproduce the following quote from Bhagavan, that is potential enough to blast ones hold on freewill and destiny.

"The waking state also is equivalent to a dream, only that the Waking is long and a dream is short; other than this there is no difference. Just as waking happenings seem real while awake, so do those in a dream while dreaming"

So, Anand, for whom is this freewill and destiny? It is either to the one who is Sleep dreaming or who is Waking dreaming. Do we worry about the destiny of a character in a movie? Do we worry about the exercise of freewill by a character in a movie?

So when we know, all this to be a dream, what matters about freewill or destiny? it is just dream, and nothing else!

Infact, this is also being told to you in your dream only, this also is just dream, but this awakening is happening due to the grace of your Self, which is none but Bhagavan himself.

If you truly understand this, then the question about freewill and destiny can never haunt you, for you will know very clearly that it is just a mirage, or a shadow. You will not worry about what is going to happen, what to do or what not todo, etc...
you will not even bother whether you will be Self Realised or would you even care much to put efforts to become Self Realised. Does it help you if you enact as "Jnaneshwar" or "Ramana Maharshi" in a movie? does the enacting of attainment of Self Realisation in a movie help you in any way? No, therefore, realise this truth and.... (I do not want to also add "just Be", as by this too, one will start building ideas, as to what "Just Being" is)

Having said this, till one is completely awake(complete conviction),  one has to keep doing ones Swadharma, consciously, with awareness.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Anand on March 17, 2012, 08:09:56 PM
dear Nagaraj Sir,
Ever since I begun reading on Bhagavan and  Arunachala in 1985 , I started feeling the world as a dream as you mentioned.
Only in certain periods of life involving deep pain ,did this feeling ever disappear.
I still have a dream like perception of the world but somehow I am able to reconsile the happenings of the world ,with this dream like perception.
I however with this dream like perception have not attained mental calmness and am prone to worry about future happenings both personally and professionally.
Further , I do wonder how this perception like dream can be self enquiry or aid to self enquiry since this is naturally occuring and Bhagavan stressed on practice - but here its a passive occurence.
Regards,
Anand.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Nagaraj on March 17, 2012, 08:23:26 PM
Dear Anand,

to your observation as follows:

Quote
Further , I do wonder how this perception like dream can be self enquiry or aid to self enquiry

Do we have any answer? unfortunately no, there is always, finally, an element of faith, that can never be discarded. Even the most sharp sadhaka too experiences this at some stage, where faith takes over our intelligence. We have no way from here, but just hold the divine Lotus feet of Bhagavan.

We all are just doing our enquiries and sadhana with an element of trust and faith that what we are doing is correct and right, who can verify for us? At most, we could exchange our views with somebody or here, just like how we do :)

In one instance a devotee during his conversations with Bhagavan on the subject of Self Enquiry asked thus -

D: Even so, I do not understand. “I”, you say, is the wrong “I” now. How to eliminate this wrong “I”?

M: You need not eliminate the wrong “I” How can “I” eliminate itself? All that you need to do is to find out its origin and abide there. Your efforts can extend only thus far. Then the Beyond will take care of itself. You are helpless there. No effort can reach it.

No answer, dear friend!

(http://www.img.heartthoughts.net/ramana_maharshi_holy_feet.jpg)

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: nonduel on March 18, 2012, 05:51:49 PM
Dear Anand,

to your observation as follows:

Quote
Further , I do wonder how this perception like dream can be self enquiry or aid to self enquiry

Do we have any answer? unfortunately no, there is always, finally, an element of faith, that can never be discarded. Even the most sharp sadhaka too experiences this at some stage, where faith takes over our intelligence. We have no way from here, but just hold the divine Lotus feet of Bhagavan.

We all are just doing our enquiries and sadhana with an element of trust and faith that what we are doing is correct and right, who can verify for us? At most, we could exchange our views with somebody or here, just like how we do :)

In one instance a devotee during his conversations with Bhagavan on the subject of Self Enquiry asked thus -

D: Even so, I do not understand. “I”, you say, is the wrong “I” now. How to eliminate this wrong “I”?

M: You need not eliminate the wrong “I” How can “I” eliminate itself? All that you need to do is to find out its origin and abide there. Your efforts can extend only thus far. Then the Beyond will take care of itself. You are helpless there. No effort can reach it.

No answer, dear friend!

(http://www.img.heartthoughts.net/ramana_maharshi_holy_feet.jpg)

Salutations to Bhagavan

Dear Nagaraj

All other efforts are only for the mind, the ego. It is rather facinating how the mind relentlesly pressures us to "DO", because to stop and abide in the source of the "I" is its nemesis.

We have to put our bagages down once on the train.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Nagaraj on March 18, 2012, 06:02:21 PM
Dear Nondual,

Its funny, because, even if we want to Not Do anything, that becomes another effort  :D

Neither DO nor NOT DO

the fine line in between, the fine line in between!

(but these are only words!)

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: nonduel on March 18, 2012, 06:26:21 PM
Dear Nondual,

Its funny, because, even if we want to Not Do anything, that becomes another effort  :D

Neither DO nor NOT DO

the fine line in between, the fine line in between!

(but these are only words!)

Salutations to Bhagavan

This fine line exist as long as we believe that we are the doer. The doing is happening without us (Self).

Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Subramanian.R on March 18, 2012, 06:31:59 PM
Dear Nagaraj, nonduel,

There are six conversations of devotees with Sri Bhagavan in Talks where Sri Bhagavan had explained all the aspects of
free will and destiny.  His words in these conversations are the sum and substance about free will and destiny.

Talks Nos.   28, 193, 209, 210, 346, and 426.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Nagaraj on March 18, 2012, 10:32:14 PM
Dear Subramanian Sir,

Thanks for specifying those talks Nos. it is very helpful for quick reference.  :)

Dear nondual,

what you have observed is correct. But my personal observation is that just the knowing is not enough.

We may analyse and be able to solve these contemplations like a math problem. We may even arive at the solution. But it still is not the end! Even the observation which you are so rightfully arrived at as "This fine line exist as long as we believe that we are the doer. The doing is happening without us (Self)." leaves a pandoras box open.

i am forced to raise some very fundamental questions: What is belief or believing? How do we ever know whether we believe or not, belief itself is something very vague. we believe because of something, belief always corresponds with some proof, or evidence, the proof could be just anything, like, it is my tradition, so I believe, my forefathers have believed, so I believe, I trust my intelligence, intellect, so I believe, this is only belief. it is not by itself, hence it is a failure in filling the vacuum!

i contemplate and question, how can we trust 'belief' how does it help if one believes or not, for it corresponds with some proof, and, it is not by itself.

If we have to believe on something inorder to gain something, then the Self is still deluded.

Even the sayings about doerships pertain to the troubled mind alone, and it certainly has nothing to do with the Self and it does not fill the gap, vacuum, that is. All logic, rational, jnana or bhakthi is unable to fill this gap or vacuum!

I cannot avoid saying this, but there is something beyond all these. There are many Sadhakas who arrive so close to truth just like how we arrive to some exalted conclusions here, but, it is my personal observation that that is not the end.

There have been only handful of realised jnanis or souls, barely countable in our fingers over centuries.

I am sure, many many devotees and sadhakas have arrived at several conclusions that we arrive here so close. but still that is not so.

There is some gap, vacuum, that does not get filled by anything, even these exalted analyses and contemplations or even Bhakthi too, doesn't fill it. Even the highest logical and rational conclusions is not filling it, even any kind of Bhakthi act, also is not filling this gap, excepting to giving some temporary solace, to eventually give up facing the unlimitedness or the expanse of that gap or vacuum or what ever we may wish to infer.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Hari on March 19, 2012, 02:33:14 PM
Quote
Dear Achalam,

Freewill, Destiny is ignorance. Self does not have either destiny or freewill.

All the talks about freewill and destiny is just dream.

You neither have freewill nor destiny.

Contemplate, where then, do you belong? what could be beyond freewill and destiny?

Salutations to Bhagavan

I agree, Sri Nagaraj. But for us as people with "body consciousness" this topic matters and is real one. And I'll say you why. If we accept that everything is predestined, including our liberation and spirituality then our spiritual effort is meaningless because if I am destined to get moksha I'll get it even if I stay all day in front of my TV. Then God is unjust because He has chosen one to be liberated and other to suffer and die. "But he who has been liberated has deserved it because of the good deeds in his previous life" but I ask "How could you say that the good deeds are his provided that he has no will?". I think we must be careful when we discuss this matter because we may turn some people to become spiritual sluggards, victims of religious fanaticism and many other things. I don't think that extremism is right answer to any problem in life including the topic "free will and destiny". I always prefer the middle way. Lack of free will compromise and bhakti, and jnana, even Vedanta. Without free will there is no responsibility, duty, cultivation of virtues and so on. People could say "I like to eat as much as I want, to have sex with as many as I can, to drink. Then this is my destiny. If I have been destined to be moderate, celibate and abstainer, God would be created me like that".
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Nagaraj on March 19, 2012, 03:29:32 PM
Dear Ramana,

If there is a basket containig various fruits and sweets and other items, and if we are given the basket, we take all those that we like and leave away all those items that we don't like. In the same way. Please feel free to accept any thing that is conducive to your understanding and your beliefs. Moderation is a very personal thing. Moderation is not common for all.

For one, doing 1008 japa could be a moderation, but for another, just doing 32 japa could be moderation.

 आ नो भद्राः क्रतवो यन्तु विश्वतः / A no bhadraaH kratavo yantu vishvataH (Let good (thoughts) come from everywhere, from all the world)

This much is a minimum requirement of a true Sadhaka.

As for that matter, what i have said is not something new, or some thing, that i have said from thin air, Bhagavan has also said so, in Ulladu Narpadu, Verse 19, as also quoted by Subramanian Sir:

All discussions about free will and destiny are only for those who lack discrimination. For one who experiences the source of
both destiny and free will, will under the One Principle and after realizing That, they will become silent and will no longer bother
about destiny and free will.


For us Vichari's enquirers, may feel very exhaustive to see Bhakthi Maarga Sadhakas, who day night sing kirthans and do nama japa, that may look for us some extreme exertions, but for them, it is a very personal thing. We can never know.

If a Sadhaka is to goes astray, if he is only bound to go astray or bound to become a  spiritual sluggards, or become victims of religious fanaticism, he goes so, because of sole reason of his ego, and, i may be only an instrument for such a persons to face adverse situation, which also is only a divine play, so be it, if that is what is my prarabdha karma, if that is what God is making me enact! No matter where one goes, one comes back to the same position once again. But why take burden of somebody else, when we find it difficult to manage our own burden. God Almighty is there, he knows who has to face what, i am sure, my expressions can never make somebody extremist, as not even an atom moves without His will, who am I, such a puny?  :) here. He knows, he takes care.

Hence anybody going astray or becoming spiritual sluggard is only our interpretation, but we never know what internal churning is going on within them!

If person x experiences pain because of some act of person y, then person y is really to not be blamed, for he is only an instrument for the person x to face his Karma. (thoughts from Bhagavad Gita)

Infact, in your expression, in your query, you express fears of such a 'state' without any freewill and destiny. It is certainly a terrible thing to face initially. But when we truly realise what freewill really is and destiny really is, we have no option there. Infact, it is an exalted state of a devotee, who has come to a conclusion of,

Not I, but thou,
Not I, but only thou!

where is place for 'I'? where I raises, everything raises along with it.

Moreover, we need not worry about the masses, let Guru deal with the masses, Bhagavan is there for masses, he will take care, we need not worry if somebody may become spiritual sluggard, or religious fanatic. But yes, if such a person comes and humbly requests you to show him true light, then we can share with such a one, what ever we know.

these are my humble thoughts.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Subramanian.R on March 19, 2012, 04:07:35 PM
Dear Nagaraj,

Yes. Sri Bhagavan said Vidhi madhi moolam, vivekam illarke.... This is something like egg and hen story. Which comes first?
A egg and the hen that came from that egg, cannot remain simultaneously.  The worm inside the cocoon and the fly that came
out cannot remain simultaneously.  Gaudapada analyzes this beautifully in his Karika. Where is the egg? Where is the hen?
Smash the egg on the ground. Catch the hen by its neck and kill it. Then kneel down and pray to the Mother, Earth. She
is Prakrti. She knows the Truth. Do not quarrel which came first.

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Hari on March 19, 2012, 05:06:26 PM
I agree with both of you. But my question was not theoretical. It was practical. I don't want to write dissertation about free will or destiny. Mo point was how wrong interpetation of destiny and free will can do harm to some people. I know people who have problems and say "It is my destiny" and don't do nothing to resolve them. I know too people who too have problems and try to resolve them. Sometime they succeed, sometimes not but they have tried at least. The extreme determinism kills spiritual life of many people making them more egoistic and samsaric. Can any of you prove the free will doesn't exist and the destiny is everything? Or that destiny has no power and we can change it whenever we want? I doubt it. Actually there is no destiny or free will. There is only God's Will. But this can be realized when one matures spiritually. So as Sri Subramanian has said, this topic is meaningless. And if anyone asks my opinion "Is there free will or destiny" I would answer "Both of them are always available for the ignorant one. But once the person discard them and surrender to the Lord, then you will realize that both of them are just a play of the Lord. So don't try to change anything or to know your destiny. Just surrender to the Lord."

Christians that have killed so many people in the Name of Jesus have tought that they do God's Will. Can we say that these actions are according to Jesus' Will? Are bad deeds God's Will as good deeds? Does God provoke killers to kill or thieves to steal? If we accept that then why should I not steal something if I want? Do you understand why I participate in this conversation? It's not about what I think. Nobody cares and it doesn't matter. It's about to protect some people reading this from wrong understanding of the concepts about destiny and free will. It's not about belief or theories but about practicality. This topic is as whole about practicality because in relative reality there is only God's Will and in absolute reality there is only Brahman. Everything in spirituality (including concept of free will and destiny) has one purpose - to realize that spirituality and everything doesn't exist as something different from the Supreme Reality.

Some question which some sadhakas may be are interested in:

1. Are Self-inquiry and Surrender dependent on me? Or God's Grace?
2. Should I try to cure myself from disease or to stay and see what will happen. If I am predestined to live I will live?
3. Should I help others? If I don't want it's probably my destiny. Ishvara should help them. I will do what I intend - to go to the disco, to go out with friend, to drink and so on.
4. If I am a serial killer or a prostitute, should I change my job or can I continue it doing Self-inquiry?

I would be happy if you answer them. They are not provoking. They are just a part of life.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: nonduel on March 19, 2012, 05:12:15 PM
They last few posts are very interesting and raise very important questions. We could go on discussing all the points that have been raised: beliefs, doing tapas, free will and destiny...

If we accept that everything is predestined, including our liberation and spirituality then our spiritual effort is meaningless because if I am destined to get moksha I'll get it even if I stay all day in front of my TV

This is something like egg and hen story. Which comes first?

But my personal observation is that just the knowing is not enough.

What did Baghavan teach? What did all the Saints teach?  Tat Svam Asi!
The Absolute Reality is nondual! And YOU are THAT!   Call it with the name that you want, Brahman, Self, Absolute...

Ramana always said the same thing, to go at the source and THE MIND WILL SINK IN THE HEART AND DIE!

Now if we read all the above post when the mind has died at the heart, WHICH QUESTION REMAIN?

Many scriptures (Ribhu Gita etc) mention bhavana conviction, there has to be a time when the sadhaka accepts without doubt what Ramana taught and stops questionning. Because ALL THIS SPROUT FROM THE MIND. All knowledge is for the mind, all sadhana is for the mind and it is only a bundle of thoughts.

The problem exist only because we cannot let go of the belief that we are the body. The I-Thought.

All the question of surrender is to let go of all questions, of all doubts and ABIDE IN THE SELF. DOUBT THE DOUBTER. YOU ARE NOT THE MIND. this is the TRUTH taught by Baghavan.

Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: nonduel on March 19, 2012, 05:22:48 PM
Quote:
Some question which some sadhakas may be are interested in:

1. Are Self-inquiry and Surrender dependent on me? Or God's Grace?
2. Should I try to cure myself from disease or to stay and see what will happen. If I am predestined to live I will live?
3. Should I help others? If I don't want it's probably my destiny. Ishvara should help them. I will do what I intend - to go to the disco, to go out with friend, to drink and so on.
4. If I am a serial killer or a prostitute, should I change my job or can I continue it doing Self-inquiry?

I would be happy if you answer them. They are not provoking. They are just a part of life.


1- You are not the "me" but the Self. Like you are not the one in the dream but the dreamer.
2- If you are not this Ramana1359, but you only believe that you are what is there to cure, what does predestiny has to do with the Self?
3- For Ramana1359, read the posts on destiny and free will.
4- Self-enquiry will lead you at the source and you will Realise that all this was a dream.

Nothing is a provocation and you can question anything.

Leave everything at the feet of Baghavan, put the luggage on the floor once on the train to Realisation. Abide in the self and let Bliss fill you, Baghavan "resides" there, nowhere else!
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Nagaraj on March 19, 2012, 05:34:25 PM
Some question which some sadhakas may be are interested in:

1. Are Self-inquiry and Surrender dependent on me? Or God's Grace?
2. Should I try to cure myself from disease or to stay and see what will happen. If I am predestined to live I will live?
3. Should I help others? If I don't want it's probably my destiny. Ishvara should help them. I will do what I intend - to go to the disco, to go out with friend, to drink and so on.
4. If I am a serial killer or a prostitute, should I change my job or can I continue it doing Self-inquiry?

I would be happy if you answer them. They are not provoking. They are just a part of life.

Dear Ramana,

I would express myself to your questions as below:

To all your questions above, Bhagavan has always given least importance to questions, but only the questioner alone is of paramount importance. The only question He would entertain is who is the questioner, or, who am I?

To all other questions, there may be many answers, yes or no or may be and so on, answers to these questions that you have raised are more given so based on the society and culture that is prevalant, one would do what is best and what is seen as good by the Elders.

If one seriously discerns this, his station of life will not be a problem. When the truth hits you, you will automatically stop going to disco, or one would stop prostitution, etc..

But on a practical level as you want to observe, i have mentioned my views below in blue:


Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Hari on March 19, 2012, 06:39:07 PM
Quote
To all your questions above, Bhagavan has always given least importance to questions, but only the questioner alone is of paramount importance.

Thank you for reminding me that.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Hari on March 19, 2012, 07:01:17 PM
Quote
Leave everything at the feet of Baghavan, put the luggage on the floor once on the train to Realisation. Abide in the self and let Bliss fill you, Baghavan "resides" there, nowhere else!

Yes. But how? If I have no will how can I leave everything or to put the luggage on the floor? Now do you understand why the matter of free will and destiny matters to me? Because the answer of the question does I have will or not give me the starting point and direction how to follow Bhagavan's teachings. If I accept "everything is predestined" then how can I have faith in any teaching? Everything is predestined and thus all ends. If my destiny say "OK, you will be liberated", I will be liberated. If it says no, I will not be and following Bhagavan or any other is meaningless. The question is does my intention to be liberated matter? Or no matter what if I am not destined I am doomed. That's the most important question from relative point of view for all followers.

Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Subramanian.R on March 19, 2012, 07:07:18 PM
Dear Ramana,

Someone asked Sri Bhagavan: Whether efforts are necessary for self inquiry?

Sri B: Yes. Efforts are essential.

Devotee: Is the Grace of Guru or God necessary?

Sri B: That is most essential. One can by sheer grace of Guru or God and realize the Self without even a bit of sadhana
towards self inquiry.

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: nonduel on March 19, 2012, 08:17:06 PM
Quote
Leave everything at the feet of Baghavan, put the luggage on the floor once on the train to Realisation. Abide in the self and let Bliss fill you, Baghavan "resides" there, nowhere else!

Yes. But how? If I have no will how can I leave everything or to put the luggage on the floor?

Now do you understand why the matter of free will and destiny matters to me? Because the answer of the question does I have will or not give me the starting point and direction how to follow Bhagavan's teachings. If I accept "everything is predestined" then how can I have faith in any teaching? Everything is predestined and thus all ends. If my destiny say "OK, you will be liberated", I will be liberated. If it says no, I will not be and following Bhagavan or any other is meaningless. The question is does my intention to be liberated matter? Or no matter what if I am not destined I am doomed. That's the most important question from relative point of view for all followers.

Your intention to be liberated IS GRACE!

All the points that you mention are due to the belief that you are a body, called Ramana1359...etc.

Let me tell you what happens when you do self-Enquiry as Baghavan taught.

When you keep your attention on yourself (Ramana1359) and you do so as best you can, with earnestness, what happens is that after some time you will experience observing Ramana1359 and realise that you are a separate observer.

At the beginning of your life, your birth (Ramana1359) you (the observer) have accepted all that has been told to you. That you are a man or women, that you have parents etc...etc. And this became very deeply engrained in you, and you never questionned all of this.

Now once you realise that you are the observer, a silent witness in the background that is observing Ramana1359 it will hit you that you CANNOT BE WHAT YOU OBSERVE!!! Thus you cannot be this body. Do you understand this?

But this is also duality. A subject (the observer) and an object (Ramana1359). Thus this is not the Self. As you keep up with self-attention (on the observer) eventually the mind sinks in the heart and dies. This is liberation!

So the question of destiny and freewill applies to Ramana1359 NOT to the Absolute.

You could read a small booklet called "Drg-Drsya-Viveka" (An inquiry into the nature of the "Seer" and the "Seen") which will help you understand.

Believe me that all sadhakas have/had the same questions. This inner restlessness, hunger for the Truth is GRACE, it is a blessing.

You leave everything on the floor by doing self-enquiry. The I-Thought is the first thought and self-attention keeps you nearest to the Self. The mind will relentlessly  try to keep you occupied, thoughts will surge. To destroy these just ignore them the best you can. When doubt arrise, return to self-attention and rest there. Soon Bliss will surge and fill you and then the restlessness, the doubts will weaken.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Subramanian.R on March 20, 2012, 10:37:02 AM
Dear nonduel,


Excellent post.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Hari on March 20, 2012, 03:18:02 PM
Thank you for your explanation, nonduel!
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Subramanian.R on March 20, 2012, 04:08:13 PM
Dear Ramana,

Drk-Drsya Viveka - is available in Sanskrit and English meaning published by
Sri Ramakrishna Math. Sri Bhagavan has also rendered it in Tamizh prose and this is available in Tamizh
Collected Works. Arthur Osborne in his English translation of Sri Bhagavan's works has given it in English prose.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: cefnbrithdir on March 20, 2012, 08:40:10 PM

Dear Ramana

Reading your concerns about free will and destiny, I keep on thinking that this is your mind whirring around. Would not Bhagavan be asking you something like  "Who is having these thoughts?" "Find out where these thoughts are coming from" and eventually "See then  whether you still have these thoughts and questions ...."

I believe you have a  Christian background - the same as mine. We have so much baggage to contend with  - in this context Calvin comes to mind. But also the difficulties of understanding  Jesus's words where from the start there was much editing, amalgamating, difficulties of establishing context and what was appropriate for one person as opposed to another at a particular time. Sayings can appear to conflict and your concerns on this subject prompted me to think  about  not being a stumbling block to others. But we can only look towards God, "the kingdom of heaven" is at least initially within us; we have to take the log out of our own  eye before we can take the speck out of others and in the end the teaching on the  question of doership or rather non doership is the same. To paraphrase  Margaret Fell the early Quaker  - we have taken the scriptures in words, but  we have to know them within ourselves.

One of the many wonderful graces of Bhagavan is that here is the same teaching and power  refreshing and illuminating the words and teaching of the  Son of Man.   (Have you read the Gospel of Thomas ?)

I  have also received much from  Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj's  "Master of Self - Realization".  I find his way of expressing himself  very "clean".  My response to Bhagavan is more "emotional". I need both and alternate in my reading.  Sri Siddharameshwar also  uses words, expressions  and analogies which resonate Gospel words to me. It is an illuminating and affirming experience. It is all the same.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Hari on March 21, 2012, 08:42:11 PM
Quote
Your intention to be liberated IS GRACE!


Accept that. But why God has not granted with His Grace my friends for example? If you say "there is no free will" then you tell me that God has granted me and all forum members here with His Grace but most hindus, christian or muslims, has not even though they pray, do religion rituals and so on and some of them even give their family life, occupation and so on in His Name. If we accept that we have no any free will then God decides even who to follow Him and who do not. Then all spiritual life is meaningless. Nobody could try to change him/herself to be good, even to follow God. People could say "I don't want to lead a spiritual life. If God wants then I will be changed and will start following Him". That's my point. To believe in determinism (which means to believe that every detail, no matter how small is is predetermined) makes life absolutely meaningless and makes people like inanimate robots. There is no bhakti because it's like God pray to Himself using people. There is no Self-inquiry because God has already decided who can do it and who can not. That's my point.

There is only the Self all of you always say. But you don't know it. You believe it. To know it means to realize that everything is illusion, to experience the reality and if you know that you are free and will not need anything - Self-inquiry, forums, gurus and so on. All of us are what we know we are. Now we know we are human and believe we are the Self. So I or you telling "I am the Self" is "hypocracy". Ramana can say it. Sri Ramakrishna can say it. All jnanis say "You are already That". They can say it because they know That! We can only to believe or not to believe them. So my point is that now you are jiva and you are bound! No matter what kind of words would you say, now you are bound. And to say "world and my body are unreal and it doesn't matter what will happen" is another hypocricy. No matter how many quotation and scriptures we quote, that doesn't make us more "free". For me now God is real, free will is real, my mother is real, my father is real, my grandparents are real, my friends are real, animals, plants, this world. And I bet it is the same with all of you. Just saying "they are not real" doesn't change that. "The world is a dream?" Does anyone of you know that?

Quote
Let me tell you what happens when you do self-Enquiry as Baghavan taught.

When you keep your attention on yourself (Ramana1359) and you do so as best you can, with earnestness, what happens is that after some time you will experience observing Ramana1359 and realise that you are a separate observer.

At the beginning of your life, your birth (Ramana1359) you (the observer) have accepted all that has been told to you. That you are a man or women, that you have parents etc...etc. And this became very deeply engrained in you, and you never questionned all of this.

Now once you realise that you are the observer, a silent witness in the background that is observing Ramana1359 it will hit you that you CANNOT BE WHAT YOU OBSERVE!!! Thus you cannot be this body. Do you understand this?

But this is also duality. A subject (the observer) and an object (Ramana1359). Thus this is not the Self. As you keep up with self-attention (on the observer) eventually the mind sinks in the heart and dies. This is liberation!

So the question of destiny and freewill applies to Ramana1359 NOT to the Absolute.

You could read a small booklet called "Drg-Drsya-Viveka" (An inquiry into the nature of the "Seer" and the "Seen") which will help you understand.

Believe me that all sadhakas have/had the same questions. This inner restlessness, hunger for the Truth is GRACE, it is a blessing.

You leave everything on the floor by doing self-enquiry. The I-Thought is the first thought and self-attention keeps you nearest to the Self. The mind will relentlessly  try to keep you occupied, thoughts will surge. To destroy these just ignore them the best you can. When doubt arrise, return to self-attention and rest there. Soon Bliss will surge and fill you and then the restlessness, the doubts will weaken.

If God grands me with this Grace, with this Truth and shows me that, then I can say "I am That. I am Paramatma." Experience is the important thing, not words, theories and so on. We are what we experience. When I experience I am a human, I am a human. When I experience I am asleep, I am asleep. If I experience pain, the pain is part of me and is real. Does repeating "there is no free will" or "you can do anything" or "I am Atma" change anything? Does that make us more free? I don't thinks so. But this strengthen our faith and attitude. Is our life and sadhana our responsibility (free will) or we must wait what comes (destiny) - let's everyone deciced for him/herself.

Lord Ramana has said many things but He has known why He has said it. Because He is the Lord, the Truth, the Self. And I don't know that. I believe that. So I cannot teach you that, because I am not sure of it. So telling our belief is the Supreme Truth without even knowing it is something which I cannot admit. I have many friends. We talk about many things, many times we discuss the meaning of life and so on. But how can I say them "O, don't you know, you are the Self" when I don't know it?

P.S. Thanks to all of you about your comments and help - Sri Subramanian, Sri Udai, nondual, Sri Nagaraj, cefnbrithdir.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Hari on March 21, 2012, 08:50:00 PM
Quote
I believe you have a  Christian background - the same as mine. We have so much baggage to contend with  - in this context Calvin comes to mind. But also the difficulties of understanding  Jesus's words where from the start there was much editing, amalgamating, difficulties of establishing context and what was appropriate for one person as opposed to another at a particular time. Sayings can appear to conflict and your concerns on this subject prompted me to think  about  not being a stumbling block to others. But we can only look towards God, "the kingdom of heaven" is at least initially within us; we have to take the log out of our own  eye before we can take the speck out of others and in the end the teaching on the  question of doership or rather non doership is the same. To paraphrase  Margaret Fell the early Quaker  - we have taken the scriptures in words, but  we have to know them within ourselves.

Yes. It's true. I am from European, christian country. But I have never followed orthodox christian believes and dogmas because I've always considered them as anti-Christ teachings.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Nagaraj on March 21, 2012, 11:13:46 PM
Dear Ramana,

This is not related to your post. Just wanted to say that it would do you immense good if you are able to talk to somebody, if there are any Ramana centre near your place. I say because, the writing medium is very limited. I really appreciate your earnest search, as you have been questioning in spite of agreements and dis agreements. This is the true spirit!

Have you ever been to India? Ramanashram? You must please do so, at the earliest, i am able to see the hunger in you, the fire, which will push you beyond your grasp.

No matter how many exchanges you may have, it is still no par to the silence, especially experienced at Bhagavan's Sannidhi.

May be i would share some thoughts on your post tomorrow.

Meanwhile, here I share Krishna's verse from BG: Chap 4, 34:

tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam jnaninas tattva-darsinah

Making Sashtanga Namaskar, i.e., prostration, complete surrender or with total faith, questioning the guru, serving him, learn what this Jnana is. Then, those Jnanis that have attained the real knowledge of the Sad-Vastu (Brahma) will give you upadesha (instruction) of Jnana.

Salutations to Bhagavan
(http://www.ramana-maharshi.info/images/bhagavan_colour_2.gif)
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: nonduel on March 22, 2012, 12:26:29 AM
Dear Ramana 1359,

I agree with you on many points, as beleiving versus Ramana; quotes and scripture for example.

Quote:
 Lord Ramana has said many things but He has known why He has said it. Because He is the Lord, the Truth, the Self. And I don't know that. I believe that. So I cannot teach you that, because I am not sure of it. So telling our belief is the Supreme Truth without even knowing it is something which I cannot admit. I have many friends. We talk about many things, many times we discuss the meaning of life and so on. But how can I say them "O, don't you know, you are the Self" when I don't know it?

I gather from this quote that you deeply believe Ramana. Then do not accept what nonduel and all other tell you, and feel absolutely free to question all that they tell you. Just trust Ramana who said that the fastest way to Self-Realisation was Self-enquiry.

I can only share my personal experience with vichara, which I have done in my preceeding post.

I can assure you that all your questions will be answered, you will experience the Bliss....but you have to DO IT.

Everyone here shares his experience. It is a blessing to be here because this sharing helps to calm the mind's thirst for knowledge. When tough questions surge and shake our sadhana, it is a good place to discuss and get rid of doubts.

I repeat dear Ramana1359, it is Grace that is manifesting deeply in you with all these questions. Like an inner tsunami!
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Nagaraj on March 22, 2012, 09:28:29 AM
Dear Ramana,

There are so many layers in your post, i.e., you have raised so many questions, so subtle, that even if any reflection is posted here, you may get paranoid as it will never address to all your questions. Therefore, it is my personal observation and experience that it is our question that is MOST IMPORTANT. We are all most times unclear in our questions. We really don't know what is our question, we don't know yet what we really are looking for? Hence i always lay stress on oneself in narrowing down ones question, and one by one. The many questions may be very valid, but, if the questions are clustered and flustered, then which question will get addressed?

So, always try to narrow down your question, give priority to your questions, which is the first and basic thing I want to know. That will clear the many layers one by one. This is my experience.

Firstly, I want to share that, at all times, each one of us are only conversing with oneself alone and never with 'other'. I want to say, honestly, what ever I say, express, is truly, my experience, to the limit of my own experience, it is not belief, it is true to me, and, anything that is beyond my grasp, i don't express. Hence, i trust my words, for i have seen it, and, it is my experiential reality, i am constantly aware, when ever I am inspired by somebody, it is myself, whenever I am angry with somebody, it is myself, and, so on. when you know this, one will never blame anybody ever again, for if at all one has to blame, one has to blame oneself :)

Let me elaborate,

When you just posted your response. I read your post. What ever you have conveyed in your post, it is my own post (but it is your post) and, my response to this post is my own response to my own post (but it is your post).

When you now read my post as a response, it is your own response (but my response) to your own question, and, if you have any response to it, it is your response to your own post (but it is my post)

do you get it? If you are able to get a grasp of this, then many questions drop off by themselves.

Upanishads say Self is everywhere. when you read this, you are here and you are reading this, and you understand it. and if there is a question in this post, its your own question which is already there in you. and if you are responding to that question, its your own answer to your own question.

I am You. You am I

In this regard, let me also quote Bhagavan's words, as follows:

“My” implies the “I”, which owns the senses. You take your existence for granted; at the same time ask others to prove it to you. Similarly you admit the certainty of your senses, which see others, whilst denying all certainty. You see how you contradict yourself. The fact is that there are no others: there is no such a person as “you”. Each man, although addressed as “you”, styles himself as “I”. Even the confirmation you demand from others comes only from the “I”. “You” and “they” occur only to the “I”, without which they are meaningless.

Now, if you are able to get grasp of this fact that there is no 'other' really as you are seeing, then all the questions pertaining 'others' drop off immediately, as, you know clearly, that there is really no 'other' but that 'other' is also just yourself only. Now, this is just one layer, this may prompt you to ask another question, let it be. Even though you are still able to see 'others' continue doing what you usually do to them, but now the only change will be that, you will know that by doing something to others or talking something to others, you are only doing for yourself alone and really not to them.

The 'other' exists so long, you, ie. oneself remain flustered and clustered, they are there only because you are yet to receive some thing from them, jnana. Till you attain poornatvam, completeness, 'others' continue to appear. i.e. so long the many layers of questions exists, the 'others' appear so long you clear these many layers. The more you narrow down your questions, one by one, the dualities disappear one by one. Then your vision, will get limited, or rather, get unlimited slowly and steadily on your own 'Self' as you will begin to see the Massivity or the Infinite Expanse of your own Self.

This is just one layer. More later.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Hari on March 22, 2012, 10:17:38 PM
First of all. Thanks to all of you with all my heart!

Dear Ramana 1359,

I agree with you on many points, as beleiving versus Ramana; quotes and scripture for example.

Quote:
 Lord Ramana has said many things but He has known why He has said it. Because He is the Lord, the Truth, the Self. And I don't know that. I believe that. So I cannot teach you that, because I am not sure of it. So telling our belief is the Supreme Truth without even knowing it is something which I cannot admit. I have many friends. We talk about many things, many times we discuss the meaning of life and so on. But how can I say them "O, don't you know, you are the Self" when I don't know it?

I gather from this quote that you deeply believe Ramana. Then do not accept what nonduel and all other tell you, and feel absolutely free to question all that they tell you. Just trust Ramana who said that the fastest way to Self-Realisation was Self-enquiry.

I can only share my personal experience with vichara, which I have done in my preceeding post.

I can assure you that all your questions will be answered, you will experience the Bliss....but you have to DO IT.

Everyone here shares his experience. It is a blessing to be here because this sharing helps to calm the mind's thirst for knowledge. When tough questions surge and shake our sadhana, it is a good place to discuss and get rid of doubts.

I repeat dear Ramana1359, it is Grace that is manifesting deeply in you with all these questions. Like an inner tsunami!

Yes. I believe Ramana but if you ask me why, I cannot explain. It's something which is unexplainable. Everything is belief in my view. Relative world is based on belief. That's why I think that. First because in relative world there is no "one truth". And choosing one istead of another is due to our belief, our inclination. It's true even in spiritual world. There are many religions, philosophies and so on but we choose one of them. Can we prove that our religion is right? Or that our country is oldest, best (because every country tries to prove it's the best simply speaking)? Even in science. We have discovered many things, we cannot ignore them, but can we prove that theoretical model which we use to explain them is right? Theories change periodically. Isn't everything belief, even our individual existence? So how can we say something relative is knowledge? Everything in the world is like sand passing through our fingers. I remember always the words of Bhagavan:
Quote
Reality must be always real. It is not with forms and names. That which underlies these is the reality....Reality is that which is. It is as it is. It transcends speech. It is beyond the expressions "existence, non-existence", etc.
Reality is beyond dualities, forms and names according to Ramana. Then what do we really know? Nothing. We, especially Americans and Europeans, are proud of our scientific knowledge and achievemnts, our history, our religion which we consider the only "true" one. But Ramana gently slap us right in the face telling us "You are wrong. Wake up."

Destiny and free will are equally nonexistent says Lord Ramana. But this is absolute knowledge. But unfortunately our knowledge is relative. The question is what belief is best for sadhaka. How can a bhakta accept that he or she doesn't free will? This makes bhakti dry like a rusk. How can a jnani say that there is free will when he knows only the Self? How can a karma yogi say there is free will when they see that everything goes on even when they have no will on their own? How can a raja yogi say that there is no free will when they use their will every day to do his spiritual sadhana? I hope you get my point.

Let imagine this situation. I don't want to eat meat. But I can eat it. Why don't I do it? Is that my free will or my destiny? Or if I help a beggar but I don't do it willingly is that my free will or my destiny? Isn't the excuse that I don't help to a person in need because I don't want because God has created me, designed my destiny like that a arrogance and hypocricy? I don't try to say that people who believe in free will are right or wrong. Such kind of discussion are meaningless among people believing in Advaita. I'm just trying to show that extreme positions like determinism and libertarianism can be unhealthy for spiritual sadhana making sadhaka completely irresponsable to him/herself and others or completely confused thinking that he or she can do everything whenever and however he or she wants. In reality there is only One Will - God's Will. Or may be it can be said that our free will is God's Will. We are like puppets controlled by the Lord but the way He controls us is according to the actions by our free will. If it is not true then all speaking about karma, reincarnation, destiny are pointless. But Hinduism is based on this. If we have no free will then why God instructs us to do this or that in all these scriptures? Even doing Self-inquiry is free will. Yes, I accept it is Grace to know about Self-inquiry and asking all these questions but isn't our free will to choose to learn a lesson from them and to practice them, to integrate them in our life?

I don't intend to try to prove I am right. My intention is just to share my thoughts and to duscuss the topic with you and moreover to try make you see how I see it.

I wish to all of you Lord Ramana to give you His Grace and you to make it so to receive It.

Salutation to Bhagavan!
Arunachala Shiva!
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Hari on March 22, 2012, 10:27:35 PM
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Have you ever been to India? Ramanashram? You must please do so, at the earliest, i am able to see the hunger in you, the fire, which will push you beyond your grasp.


No, dear Nagaraj. I have never visited India and Ramanashram in particular. It's one of my deepest worldly desires. Now I am studying and can't afford it. But I hope one day to visit it. I am sure it is a great experience. I can only imagine. Most of you have felt the magic of Ramana because you have visited Ramanashamam, the Tiruvannamalai Temples and so on. The only thing that I have seen are pictures of Bhagavan in Internet and I have a printed one which I hang on the wall when everyone has gone to bed. I hope everything will change one day.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Hari on March 23, 2012, 12:25:26 AM
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I can assure you that all your questions will be answered, you will experience the Bliss....but you have to DO IT.

I believe you and trust you!

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Everyone here shares his experience. It is a blessing to be here because this sharing helps to calm the mind's thirst for knowledge. When tough questions surge and shake our sadhana, it is a good place to discuss and get rid of doubts.

Yes. This is the purpose of this forum - to share thoughts and experiences, to encourage and help each other in difficult moments.

Thanks to you and all other members for the help you have given me all this time from my registration in this forum to this very moment.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Hari on March 23, 2012, 10:38:48 AM
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That said, there is a major reason why peole do not "Know". We think some "Exotic" Experience of Brahman will happen --- something like the death experience.

Dear Sri Udai. By "know" I mean what Ramana has meant - "to experience". "Be still and know I am (is) God". But yes, I see what you mean. Knowledge is relative knowledge. It needs knower, knowing and object of knowledge. But Ramana somethimes has used it to describe the experience. Just play with words. The important thing is the meaning. The experience of Brahman, as I understand it, is just being, meaning absense of all objective experiences (seeing, smelling and so on).

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And then we can claim to know. Please see, lets assume this is true for a moment --- how will the person who had such an experience know that he or she is not hallucinating ? any experience at the mental level is simulatable. perhaps a few electric or neural signals in particular areas of brain and the person starts feeling he or she is not there. do you get this point, please ? This , what ever I just said, is not soemthing to be believed. Its atonce right. because we know that experiencs can all be simulated. we do it in our dreams every day.


If all is brain and neuron activity I cannot say. There are people with inactive brains that report objective experiences when they are revived. There is many people who were put under regressive hypnosis remembering every detail from their last death, the life beyond and so on. I know such people and these are not just stories for selling books. The only thing that I can say without doubt is that this experience is objective as I have yet mentioned. Everything other is open for interpretations.

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Please read this a few times before coming to some conclusions. I am going to discuss this here with a logical precision ... something that needs to be very carefully understood.
Experience is not what we lack. Really. We have experiences, through out the day. And if God is everywhere, every experience we had should be an experience of God!! in that case, it means that we do not lack the experience of God. The person whom you met in the morning is God -- this air, that water ... everything is God. so we can never say we lack experience of God. What we really lack is the ability to recognize the experience of God. Thats the main problem.

Yes, it is. It is what all great saints tell us. But to see God everywhere means to realize that there is nothing other than the Self. Mother Teresa has said that when she helps people she doesn't see people but Jesus Christ Himself. Sri Ramakrishna has seen only Mother Kali. Bhagavan Ramana - only the formless Self. It's difficult for a worldly man to understand the soul of the bhakta.

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We do not lack the experience of Self. only we do not "Recognize" that experience. what I mean is "when i suffer, can I say I am complete?"
do you see this question ? I think thats the most fundamental of the questions. In your whole post, I think this is the point. The problem is "scriptures state I am Complete, Purna". and "I suffer", this suffering is practical. While the scriptures or Ramana ... say somethign diagonally opposite. So how to take that ? Thats the question. Am I supposed to be just repeating what Ramana said and continue to hide the fact that I suffer, i am troubled etc? or am i supposed to accept that i am suffering and reject Ramana ? I do not want ot reject Ramana ... coz Ramana seems so correct. Atleast when i am reading it. but , practicality of life says , i suffer. so what am i to accept?

This is the fundamental point... most fundamental question we have.


Yes. All my point is that we should be honest to ourselves. What is the point if I tell you "The Self is the only reality. It is everything. I am this Self" when I don't experience it. In this case I am like false christian preachers who teach love, compasion, continence but at the same time are hateful, cold-hearted, egoistic and lustful. I prefer to be honest to myself and to you. Now I feel I am a jiva. I feel that world exists. I experience everything as individuality. For me what happens after death matters. I have hopes, fears, passions. I am trying my best to be a better man and son, no matter how difficult it is for me. I have dedicated my life for the truth and this is the only thing that I want most. But I can do it the way I do it. I cannot become sannyasin, to run away from bad people, to reject what benefits me or my parents only because fundamentally it is unreal, to be celibate and so on. I have discovered for myself that physical renunciation doesn't resolve the problem. On the contrary - it makes it worse! The real renunciation is in the mind. What is needed to be liberated? To be myself or to be My Self? To accept what I'm feeling I am now or what Lord Ramana says for me? Must we reject anything at all? That's another question which needs to be discussed.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Hari on March 23, 2012, 03:54:17 PM
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1. There is no experience without neural activities. Its simply not possible.


We have discussed what "experience" means in another topic. If experience is just neural activity then experience of the Self is neural activity as well. If that's true realizing of the Self is gone with death or when jnani is in deep sleep. If experience is only by the brain then the soul doesn't experience hell or heaven or astral planes or whatever you call it. And really there is some cases documented by doctors when people experience out of body experience with flat EEG. There was a case when a man has been lying dead in the morgue three days and then woke up and telling with detail what he has experienced during that time. I have not strong opinion on this topic yet but I can't categorically say that experience (even objective) exists until brain works only.

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2. How do you know that a Ramakrishna when he saw Kali Ma,  was not hallucinating ? what is really hallucination. Lets leave Sri Ramakrishna for a moment [ Let me assure you I respect him as my guru. So these questions and their analysis will not definitely undo all our beliefs about sri Ramakrishna]. So now ... suppose you see mother Kali. How do you know its not hallucination.

What do you mean by hallucination? Am I not your mind's "hallucination"? If you reject I am real then you can say Sri Ramakrishna's experiences were real. But if you accept all your experiences during wakeful state real then why do you reject the others. It's not "fare play". :) And Sri Ramakrishna was jnani, as His devotee you must know it. Then how can you say that He cannot differentiate real and unreal and so on?

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3. What od you mean when you say "i experience Self and nothing else" ? suppose you get some such experience... it comes and goes away. what would happen now ?


The ego will revive itself and will say "I was in nirvakalpa samadhi. I was enlightened". That's what the ego does.

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4. And then there are people who say "my mind came down and slowly moved towards the right side of heart and then it merged there" ... if one keeps thinking like that ... one will feel that way as well. Thats not what Bhagavan meant by Self Realization.

Yes. But He has given explanation according to the people's understanding. There are little such people like Him. Most of them are attached to their philosophies. I have never met such a christian for example, even among so called mystic christians. Most religious people cannot transcend their dogmatism.

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if you read a upadesha saram ... Bhagavan says "Mano-nashanam" is mukti. he does not say a particular experience is mukti. he does not even say nirvikalpa samadhi is mukti. he did not say "if u want mukti ... u need death experience". he said "nasta manasah, utkrsta yoginah ..."

If the mind is dead then there is no room for questions, explanation, need for explanation, categorization and so on. But many people do the mistake to think that their current state is the supreme one and ignorantly fall into their passions.

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do you know what happens? People have some experiences , they get proud and declare themselves as realized and all others as lower them them. then they eventually start getting involved in all sorts of worldly activities.


My understanding is that until one thinks anything about anyone then the mind is not dead. To declare one's realization is like to say "black white".
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Subramanian.R on March 23, 2012, 04:27:48 PM
Dear ramana,

You say in the last line that so long as you think, then the mind is not dead. It is wrong. Do you think that activities, thoughts
etc., would come only through mind process? No. Jivanmuktas who have destroyed their minds,  were able to speak, write
poems and do all the worldly work. So was Sri 'Sankara and so was Sri Bhagavan. Our normal understanding is only with
a mind such great Sages can do activities.

Muruganar answers this point beautifully in Guru Vachaka Kovai:

Verse 1139:

If it is asked, 'We actually see the Jnani performing actions. How can actions be performed in the absence of doership i.e.
the mind or ego, you should be convinced that because his inner attachment is dead, (ego), he has GOD HIMSELF RESIDING
IN HIS HEART AND PERFORMING THOSE ACTIONS.

See also Sri Ramana Reminiscences, G.V. Subbaramaiah.

Does the Sun, make the lotuses to bloom?  No. The mere presence of the Sun makes the lotuses to bloom, waters to dry
up, and magnet to attract the needle. Like wise mere Presence of Jananubhava makes a Jnani does all the activities.

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: nonduel on March 23, 2012, 04:41:40 PM
Dear Ramana1359,

You are trying to understand what is beyond the mind, with the mind. The Self is beyond knowledge. No words can "describe" the self. You cannot experience the Self, you can only BE the Self.

Thus..."Be STILL...and know I Am God". 

Be STILL, forget the mind with its eternal chain of questions and learn to BE. JUST BE! 




Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Nagaraj on March 23, 2012, 06:43:07 PM
Dear Ramana,

forgive me, for I too am going to add one more response in the series as above  ;)

if you are aspiring to know it, you can never know, you just have to give up. Give up even the desire to get liberated!

To quote from Kabir:

If you are ready to cut your head off, drop it on the earth and walk over it, you are welcome. You are welcome in the house of love in this manner”

you can never know it! See clearly that there is nothing to know, really! To put it perhaps shockingly, there is nothing like realisation, there is nothing like self, 'I am' etc... the desire to know is the greatest Maya!

you who see all this, only are! Which can never be known! it does not even declare 'i am'

you are that. Which is even Before 'I am'

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Subramanian.R on March 23, 2012, 07:19:13 PM
Dear Ramana,

If you want to experience the sugar, you must taste it. But if you are sugar then it is all bliss.  No one need to know it.
Jnani knows it from his atma bodha.  Sugar is separate and you are separate, that is duality. In advaita there is no taster,
no smeller, no toucher, no hearer, no seer and no hearer. That is advaitanubhavam.  Thannilaiyil thannAle thannil amar....
It is just Being.

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: ksksat27 on March 26, 2012, 06:45:22 PM
There is a devotee Mr. Ravi who wanted to post the below comments as he did not have access to this forum but a regular reader of this forum.

Please post your comments addressing Shri Ravi.

I was particularly impressed by the earnestness of ramana 1359-I gather that he is a student(somewhere in Europe),and born in christian faith.I find that his posts are downright honest,objective and earnest.
I am not a member in this website ,so am not in a position to respond to the discussion in this thread.
I find all the rest of the people,while being earnest is still caught up in their own belief or faith and not responding adequately to Ramana.

Ramana has posted:
". But for us as people with "body consciousness" this topic matters and is real one. And I'll say you why. If we accept that everything is predestined, including our liberation and spirituality then our spiritual effort is meaningless because if I am destined to get moksha I'll get it even if I stay all day in front of my TV. Then God is unjust because He has chosen one to be liberated and other to suffer and die. "But he who has been liberated has deserved it because of the good deeds in his previous life" but I ask "How could you say that the good deeds are his provided that he has no will?". I think we must be careful when we discuss this matter because we may turn some people to become spiritual sluggards, victims of religious fanaticism and many other things. I don't think that extremism is right answer to any problem in life including the topic "free will and destiny". I always prefer the middle way. Lack of free will compromise and bhakti, and jnana, even Vedanta. Without free will there is no responsibility, duty, cultivation of virtues and so on."

I totally concur with him here as well as somewhere down the line where he has again posted:
"Do you understand why I participate in this conversation? It's not about what I think. Nobody cares and it doesn't matter. It's about to protect some people reading this from wrong understanding of the concepts about destiny and free will. It's not about belief or theories but about practicality. This topic is as whole about practicality because in relative reality there is only God's Will and in absolute reality there is only Brahman. "

Yet again he has said:"Nobody could try to change him/herself to be good, even to follow God. People could say "I don't want to lead a spiritual life. If God wants then I will be changed and will start following Him". That's my point. To believe in determinism (which means to believe that every detail, no matter how small is is predetermined) makes life absolutely meaningless and makes people like inanimate robots. There is no bhakti because it's like God pray to Himself using people. There is no Self-inquiry because God has already decided who can do it and who can not. That's my point."

"Destiny and free will are equally nonexistent says Lord Ramana. But this is absolute knowledge. But unfortunately our knowledge is relative. The question is what belief is best for sadhaka. How can a bhakta accept that he or she doesn't free will? This makes bhakti dry like a rusk. How can a jnani say that there is free will when he knows only the Self? How can a karma yogi say there is free will when they see that everything goes on even when they have no will on their own? How can a raja yogi say that there is no free will when they use their will every day to do his spiritual sadhana? I hope you get my point."

Like this he has gone on and on.DID HE GET A HEARING?DID ANYONE LISTEN?No,everyone else is caught up in his own belief,and is repeating ad nauseum what Bhagavan said,which in no way answers to what Ramana has been raising as a genuine question and pointer,over and over again.
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Sri Ramakrishna beautifully brings out the point through his Mahut NArAyana story:
"Let me tell you a story. In a forest there lived a holy man who had many disciples. One
day he taught them to see God in all beings and, knowing this, to bow low before them all.
A disciple went to the forest to gather wood for the sacrificial fire. Suddenly he heard an
outcry: 'Get out of the way! A mad elephant is coming!' All but the disciple of the holy man
took to their heels. He reasoned that the elephant was also God in another form. Then why
should he run away from it? He stood still, bowed before the animal, and began to sing its
praises. The mahut of the elephant was shouting: 'Run away! Run away!' But the disciple
didn't move. The animal seized him with its trunk, cast him to one side, and went on its
way. Hurt and bruised, the disciple lay unconscious on the ground. Hearing what had
happened, his teacher and his brother disciples came to him and carried him to the
hermitage. With the help of some medicine he soon regained consciousness. Someone
asked him, 'You knew the elephant was coming - why didn't you leave the place?' 'But', he
said, 'our teacher has told us that God Himself has taken all these forms, of animals as well
as men. Therefore, thinking it was only the elephant God that was coming, I didn't run
away.' At this the teacher said: 'Yes, my child, it is true that the elephant God was coming;
but the mahut God forbade you to stay there. Since all are manifestations of God, why
didn't you trust the mahut's words? You should have heeded the words of the mahut God.'
(Laughter)

Likewise,to say that man has no free-will is not to say that he has no will and should not exert and become passive.It is to say that he should use every bit of his intelligence and will as God-given and through that face and overcome the challenges posed to him.
To say that there is no free-will and only the SELF alone is-is like saying 'all is Narayana'.Such a belief is not of any avail.It will only imprison one more and more and is sheer fatalism.

I have to say that Ramana 1359's responses has been more appropriate than all the rest put together.They are so caught up in advaitic yarn spinning that not one of them has actually listened to what ramana has been saying over and over again.

I wish him all the very best.'
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Nagaraj on March 26, 2012, 08:15:55 PM
Dear Krishnan, Friends,

Firstly Thanks to Sri Ravi's response and, thanks to you too, for posting his response here.

Yes, Ramana did raise few very fundamental questions which mostly we fail to recognise in our hot pursuit of our goal.

My observation is that, this notion of Middle way is very much notional, this middle way is a very personal thing to each person. In our country, since time immemorial, there have been various paths, some extreme and some very cordial to our life. We have Sadhakas such as Aghoris, who eat human dead bodies at mid night, and we also have Krishna Bhakthas who dance and sing kirthans all days and nights, and, there are these wandering monks, which we even now see in cities as well, who sing song and live by just what they get to eat. i mean to say that there has always been space for everything. There has never been pressure or a dictum that it has to be moderate or extreme. nothing is specified. Only one has to be true and honest to oneself, this much is the basic requirement!

This 'want' of a middle way itself is an hindrance, (this is my experience) as i found there is no middle way, really speaking, it is very notional!

As for that matter, I am sure, all devotees, especially Ramana devotees are in some degrees, definitely differ from the general lot, other schools of thoughts. I am sure, devotees in serious quest of truth may all experience some difference in their daily lives, because, the society and world survives with the power of ego and mind, and here, there is no place for both!

Buddha, who first propogated the middle path, itself was the greatest failure, for, by the time sincere sadhakas discovered the middle path, their life in world would have ended :) as in they woul no longer be in main stream wordly life. They become monks!

For instance, Major Chadwick, came and remained in Arunachala as a recluse, to just name one, there are so many!

I believe a sadhaka, who is in search of truth goes through the path based on his past impressions, if it is so, that one has to under go extreme path in his quest for truth, one cannot avoid, for instance, look at the life of Buddha, he had to undergo extreme suffering and extreme sadhana before attaining  Samatva. It is said that Buddha ate just one morsel of rice eac day at some point. On the other hand Ramana Maharshi got liberated even without desiring for liberation and stayed put in one place, never moved anywhere, whereas Shankara went round the country 3 times!

There is no real boundry who is true search for truth! There is a line, which restricts persons in search of truth, and this border is really invisible. this line is the freedom of a Sanyasi, where rules don't apply, once if a sadhaka crosses this hidden line, he is bound to face differences, untill he attains peace or samatva or samadhi, he undergoes all sorts of experiences, here, our demand for moderation or middle way will not apply, and not even work, for the power of the fire for the quest for truth will push one beyond any restrictions, even if one does not want to, it will show by itself to the sadhaka the Shocking realities of world, like Shiva's third eye, this is the Rudra Thaandavam.

It is commonly said that one can see Arunachala truly only after having darshan of Chidambara Nataraja, ie, the cosmic dance of Nataraja, that is cause of pralaya. The vision of Truth initially is shocking, as shared elsewhere before, each time when parts of truth is beig revealed, it is very shoking for the sadhaka, it is said, that when Krishna showed Vishwaroopa Darshan to Arjuna, he could not see it with his naked eye, and he gave him divine eyes.

So, such being the case, want for moderation is really a barricade. One who wishes to really see the truth, cannot avoid having to face the bare truth in its simplest self.

There is no wrritten way. It is mysterious, no rules, wordless, each person's experience is different according to his own past impressions.

One cannot avoid facing terrible extremes if one has to, no matter how much one tries to side towards middle way!

One cannot avoid facing the simple middle way, if one has to, no matter how mucg one tries to side towards extremes!

nothing is determined, even if it is determined, we can never know, can we? whether there is destiny or not? we have no way of knowing it! it is better to not believe in destiny! In the same way, who knows if really there is freewill? If it is true that we have freewill, then what ever we wish would have happened, but it is not so! Suppose Ramana himself says that there is no freewill or destiny or if he says yes, there is freewill and destiny, how does it change our position? in what way can we confirm what Ramana has said? We can never know, yes or no! We have only to discern ourselves by our own experiences alone.

I observed on my way, that it does not matter, to know, if there is free will or not, or if there is destiny or not, what ever answer i may get, is only inference, and we have no way of really 'knowing' it

So, i landed on this revelation, that it is best to leave these questions aside, I don't know, if there is free will or destiny, and i have no way of ascertaining it, so it is as good as not there at all, and this was a revelation to me!

We can know nothing, we can know nothing! period! there is no middle way, there is no extremes, it is all where one is, it is only our notions that describes something as extreme and moderation. For, in my own experience, my own truth sometimes contradict the declarations of sages, then is when i realised that we are more dependent on questions and answers of others and books, more than our own experiences, which is REAL, and truly to claims ours, as it is my experience, i don't have to prove it to anybody, such is the power of putting focus on ones own experience.

be ready to go in search of truth, whereever it takes you. this is my understanding! For I am sure that Truth shall never fail you!

One thought that broke down many barriers within me is these quotes of Buddha and Swami Vivekananda, it made me truly independent:

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

(Buddha)

...And here is the test of truth- anything that makes you weak physically, intellectually and spiritually reject as poison; there is no life in it, it cannot be true. Truth is strengthening. Truth is purity. Truth is all knowledge.

(Swami Vivekananda)

Having said these, i request all to feel free to accept and reject any ideas reflected by me here based on ones own shcool of thought. please apply the formula as quoted by Swami Vivekanada as above  ;)

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Subramanian.R on March 27, 2012, 11:30:45 AM
Dear srkudai and  Krishnan,

I know Ravi (only through David Godman's blog). He is a person of great knowledge, and he knows all about Sri Ramakrishna's
teachings and life. He has been contributing regularly in that blog. In fact, I have not read much about Sri Ramakrishna unlike about
Sri Bhagavan and Ravi is giving many posts containing Sri Ramakrishna's life and teachings. He lives in Chennai and I wanted to meet
him during my recent visit; somehow I could not make it.  He has also sent me some of Nochur's
CDs containing discourses of Nochur in Chennai. He also knows a great many things about Kanchi Sri Chandrasekhara Saraswati
Swamigal.


Arunachala Siva. 
         
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Ravi.N on March 29, 2012, 08:24:41 PM
R.Subramanian/Krishna/Nagaraj/Friends,
Happy to join this Forum of earnest,enthusiastic devotees.The Topics discussed here cover a Vast Range.I Have enjoyed reading  comments by friends here and I will continue to do the same.
Wish you all the very Best.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Nagaraj on March 29, 2012, 08:37:43 PM
Dear Sri Ravi,

Very nice to have you here. Hearty welcome  :) It will surely be fruitful Satsang with you, perhaps, also to keep us all grounded too, at certain levels. We all need that, we all need to complement each other.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e0/Ramana_3_sw.jpg/220px-Ramana_3_sw.jpg) (http://www.rockmemorial.org/gallery/pics/ramakrishna.jpg)

:)

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Ravi.N on March 30, 2012, 07:04:21 AM
Udai/Nagaraj,
Sri Ramakrishna says:"One hemp-smoker rejoices in the company
of another hemp-smoker." thanks very much.I truly enjoy the mutual love and respect with which members here address each other and even in a contentious discussion,this spirit is always kept up.This is genuine Sat-sangha .
Please feel free to address me as Ravi.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Hari on March 30, 2012, 10:40:20 AM
Welcome to the Forum Sri Ravi. Thank you for the good wishes you sent to me and all forum members. I am sure that your presence here will help us all.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Subramanian.R on March 30, 2012, 12:58:00 PM
Dear Ananda Sundaram,

The feeling that the world is a dream though it occurs to you occasionally, is quite good. But along with that one should
develop  an intense bahvana that the body  and mind complex is also unreal.  For removing the worries about future,
in professional matters and personal matters, there is no better medicine than the surrender.

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Subramanian.R on March 30, 2012, 01:40:54 PM
Dear Ravi,

Welcome to the forum. I have seen your comments in David's Blog. Your vast knowledge and understanding of
teachings of Sri Ramakrishna - Sri Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo and Sri Bhagavan Ramana, will add a lot of insights
to the members of the Forum and I expect you to do this for the benefit of all.

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: nonduel on March 30, 2012, 04:32:48 PM
Dear Raviji,

A very warm welcome.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: ramana_maharshi on March 30, 2012, 05:34:28 PM
Dear Raviji,

A very warm welcome sir.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Ravi.N on March 31, 2012, 07:43:28 AM
R.Subramanian/nonduel/prasanth,
Namaskar and thanks very much.I have had an opportunity to interact with or atleast receive messages from each one of you!I recall the earlier exchange with our friend nonduel in David's blog-How I used to address him as 'nondual' and he clarified to me that it is 'nonduel' (French)!
I received some mail forwards  that originated from prasanth! -gems from Sri Bhagavan.I always enjoyed the brief,crisp message.
Prasanth,I also enjoyed your posts about Sri Bhagavan in the SRK -devotees of the Trio ,Forum of devotees of Sri Ramakrishna,Sri sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda-where you mostly post on Sri Bhagavan and his sayings(I do not call them teachings,since Sri Bhagavan never taught!).
our friend Subramanian is quite familiar to me,how dearly he loves Sri Bhagavan!He has some kind words to say about me here-so they are kind words of affection and encouragement for a fellow devotee.Reading that post of his recalls to my mind this wonderful saying of Master Mahasaya or 'M' who wrote The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.It is an interesting incident:
Subodh Chandra Ghosh who later on became Swami SubhodAnanda(Khoka Maharaj) was a boy in his teens who came to know about Sri Ramakrishna and used to visit him in Dakshineswar on weekends or Holidays.Subodh was always straight forward and candid. One day the Master asked Subodh to go now and then to Mahendra Nath Gupta afterwards known as 'M' who lived near Subodh's home in Calcutta. At this the boy said, "He has not been able to cut asunder his family tie, what shall I learn of God from him?" The Master enjoyed these words indicative of Subodh's great spirit of renunciation and said, 'He will not talk anything of his own. He will talk only of what he learns from here." So one day Subodh went to 'M' and frankly narrated the conversation he had had with the Master. 'M' appreciated the frankness of the boy and said, "I am an insignificant person. But I live by the side of an ocean, and I keep with me a few pitchers of sea water. When a visitor comes, I entertain him with that. What else can I speak?" The sweet and candid nature of Subodh soon made him a great favourite with 'M'. After this Subodh was a frequent visitor at his house, where he would often spend long hours listening to 'M''s talks on the Master.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Nagaraj on March 31, 2012, 09:36:21 AM
Dear Ravi,

Your post reminded me about the story of Narada. Narada was actually a celestial being, who was cursed due to some reasons to be born in earth as a son to a maid servant, who was serving at a house, where people were extremely devoted, and carried out various Yajnas and other sacrifices. As a boy, Narada used to see many great yogis come to the house to participate in the yajnas. He used to serve these yogis in some small insignificant ways, as his mother was busy with her chores. And the Yogis too, let the small boy be around.

As a small boy, Narada, who happened to hear the yogis talk and discuss among themselves about Vishnu, or MahaVakyas, or the Truth, They cast some divine spell or impression in the young boy's mind, who later, went to forests and did Tapas, and eventually attained Godhood.

small children even though them may be seen to simply run around in such satsangs, their subconscious mind would be grasping every thing. While we listen through mind, young children listen through heart. Any time jnana could bloom in them.

When we live with Saints or even with the devotees of Saints, it does highest good to us, any time the spark of jnana may be realised. If something is very close to fire, it is highly possible that it could also catch fire.

Arunachala Giri is one such place, where, if, one even just happens to go, it casts its spell which has potential to bloom any time, when it wants!

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Ravi.N on March 31, 2012, 10:59:54 AM
ramana1359,
Thanks very much for your warm welcome.I enjoyed reading your posts here,especially on the wonderful sayings of Lord Jesus,the Christ.Ramana,have you read about the wonderful Brother Lawrence and his 'Practice of the Presence of God'?Brother Lawrence is truly a Great soul!

Nagaraj,
Yes,Satsangha is a great boon.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: nonduel on March 31, 2012, 06:08:04 PM
ramana1359,
Thanks very much for your warm welcome.I enjoyed reading your posts here,especially on the wonderful sayings of Lord Jesus,the Christ.Ramana,have you read about the wonderful Brother Lawrence and his 'Practice of the Presence of God'?Brother Lawrence is truly a Great soul!

Nagaraj,
Yes,Satsangha is a great boon.

Namaskar.

Dear Raviji,

You have a good memory Raviji!  Yes this is satsangha!

It is a wonderful place with a variety of expressed views on the understanding of the Self. And yours will add an even greater depth to our discussions. I particularly appreciate the different views, which sometime provoke a deeper understanding, and silence. Which is always the expressions of the Self.

Brother Lawrence's 'Practice of the Presence of God' is a very good book.

Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: latha on March 31, 2012, 10:42:30 PM
Namaste All,

Welcome Raviji! I have been reading your posts along with R.Subramanianji's and Nagarajji's in David's blog. I have learnt a lot from the blog.

This forum is also really very helpful, mainly because people are very honest and share their strong and weak points in their spiritual journey. Thanks to all the members for this satsangha.

I am facing a conflict between my worldly life and trying to practice Bhagavan's teachings. I trust Bhagavan when he says this world is just another dreamlike state and it is false identification that is leading to the suffering. I am trying to use the sakshi bhava and question who is affected when faced with a tough situation but sometimes all I am able to do is pray to Bhagavan because I am too upset. In some ways the teachings and small glimpses of peace are making it harder to accept both good and bad situations like before.

I was listening to Nochurji's Kurai Onrum Illai discourse. It is definitely Bhagavan's grace to even listen to such messages. In this discourse, he compares the delayed start of an airplane's engine to a person's heart opening. I can relate to this and recognize the call from the Self or Bhagavan. But there is frustration and some guilt when I get depressed and give in to my old habits and watch some comedy or eat some sweets. Probably mind needs more purification for these vasanas to reduce?

Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Ravi.N on April 01, 2012, 10:56:45 AM
Latha,
Thanks very much.Please feel free to call me Ravi.Kindly see my response in 'Rough Notebook-Open Forum'.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Nagaraj on April 01, 2012, 12:28:38 PM
Namaste All,

Welcome Raviji! I have been reading your posts along with R.Subramanianji's and Nagarajji's in David's blog. I have learnt a lot from the blog.

This forum is also really very helpful, mainly because people are very honest and share their strong and weak points in their spiritual journey. Thanks to all the members for this satsangha.

I am facing a conflict between my worldly life and trying to practice Bhagavan's teachings. I trust Bhagavan when he says this world is just another dreamlike state and it is false identification that is leading to the suffering. I am trying to use the sakshi bhava and question who is affected when faced with a tough situation but sometimes all I am able to do is pray to Bhagavan because I am too upset. In some ways the teachings and small glimpses of peace are making it harder to accept both good and bad situations like before.

I was listening to Nochurji's Kurai Onrum Illai discourse. It is definitely Bhagavan's grace to even listen to such messages. In this discourse, he compares the delayed start of an airplane's engine to a person's heart opening. I can relate to this and recognize the call from the Self or Bhagavan. But there is frustration and some guilt when I get depressed and give in to my old habits and watch some comedy or eat some sweets. Probably mind needs more purification for these vasanas to reduce?

Dear Latha,

your post reminded me Kabir's wonderful doha:

चलति चक्कि देखकर कबीर् दिया कबीरा रोय​
दुइ पाटन के बीच में साबुत बचा न कोए ॥


Your plea or cry or lament is exactly the cry of Kabir, who sees a woman grinding wheat using the grinding stone, and he contemplates himself as the the wheat, being ground, by the heavy stone, without being spared, it is made to crush, forcibly into fine powder, which cannot be segregated eventually. Seeing this, Kabir cries, because of the pain of Samsara,   दिया कबीरा रोय​ in between the sky and the earth दुइ पाटन के बीच, all this takes place, all emotions, such as happiness, sorrow, pleasure, pain, goodness and badness, and so on, all the dualities. The bottom stone is the earth and the sky is the upper grinding stone, and the wheat being us, is being crushed, ie., these dualities is being crushed, it is painful.

But Kabir realises the grinding process, he realises the dualities, he realises the transient nature of all the dualities, you are feeling crushed because, even the idea that there is worldly life and spiritual life separate and distinctive to each other is also a duality, which is being crushed. You are begining to see the transient nature of experiences of worldly life, but also the transient nature of spiritual experiences as well.

Since you have become aware, of the duality of worldly life and spiritual life, you are being finely ground, when the wheat, before it is ground, we can segregate the wheat seeds separately, but when it is fully ground, it is impossible to segregate the finely powdered wheat, the process of coming to awareness is painful. Like the pain experienced by a mother during child birth, is both painful for the mother as well as the child. This also is a process of being born, the process of birth of Jnana is painful, too.

Kabir laments, and, cries too, realising the truth, yet, he has to undergo the drinding, he has to allow himself to be ground, powdered finely!

Till then, pray for strength, clarity, keep with your daily sadhana, hoping and striving to inculcate more and more sincerity to it.

I share with you this very famous, Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.


Carl Jung, the famous psychiatrist, observed and quoted:

.... there is no coming to consciousness without pain."

In the process, just slowly begin to trust your own Chit Shakti, ie., your own discerning light, your own intelligence. This Chit shakthi from where all discernment originates, and which alone is the sakshi, which alone is the final judge, which gives out judgements without words or thoughts, but only through the silence, Mauna Vaakya, is the one of the names of Goddess found the Lalita Sahasranaamam, Chidagni Kunda Sambhoota -

Chit Agni Kunda Sambhoota - Chit + Agni + Kunda + Sambhuta: Chit : It's the fire of pure consciousness Agni, the inteligence, the discerning source : The fire Kunda : The altar, the reflection, which also done from the same source, Kunda is the Later, where Homa fire is set, which is yourself,  yourself Sambhuta : To be born.

Also, You are the Karta, you are the Discerner, you are the fruits of your discernment as well. in Vishnu Sahasranamam, yajna bhruth yajna kruth yajni: yajna bhuk yajna-sadhanaha:

Yagna brit = He who accepts yagna

Yagna krit = He who doer of Yagna

Yagni = He who is the Yagna itself (everythin, all of above and below)

Yagna bhug = He who enjoys the fruits of Yagna, ie. the clarity that is seen or the discernment that is known is also He himself.

Yagna sadhana = He who puts efforts, Purashkara as a method of attaining Him, that effort also is He himself

So, now, we can discern that the grinding stones are also oneself only, the one pure self, from within, which gets all his power from the one single source, which is God, Self, Atma, Guru.

You are the wheat, you are the top grinding stone and the bottom grinding stones as well, and the handle that is used to rotate the grinding stone is also yourself as the doer, and the purushkara or the effort that is needed to rotate the grinding stone and also the intelligence by which you knew that you have to rotate the handle inorder to grind the wheat also originates from yourself. The finely grounded wheat, that is the Clarity, the Peace, the Samadhi or the Samatva, Shanti, is also yourself.

Keep the Yajna on, add lot of Ghee, add lot of fuel, ie. Sadhana with purity.

:)

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Hari on April 01, 2012, 03:08:07 PM
Quote
Ramana,have you read about the wonderful Brother Lawrence and his 'Practice of the Presence of God'?Brother Lawrence is truly a Great soul!

No, Sri Ravi. I have never read any book about Lord Jesus, except the Bible and some Gnostic Gospels. I will try to find this book and will read it. Thank you!
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Ravi.N on April 01, 2012, 05:07:21 PM
Ramana1359/Friends,
On Brother Lawrence,please refer to my post in 'Rough Notebook-Open Forum',in  the General Discussion under General Category.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: latha on April 01, 2012, 10:26:15 PM
Udaiji, Nagarajji and Raviji(sorry not yet comfortable to drop the"ji"),thank you for your responses. After some contemplation, this is what dawned on me. 

Problem: I(body, mind and ego) am experiencing pain from the cleansing process or spiritual journey but unable and unwilling to stop the process.

Answer: The attention needs to be shifted to the Chit Shakti(or what I think of as Heart center) instead of the body, mind, ego and their problems with dualities. To realize the events(good and bad) are just like dreams(good and bad) and deal with them without getting disturbed. In other words, to be centered - BE STILL - BE.

With the grace of Bhagavan, Karma yoga, shravanam, mananam, satsangha, etc., need to be used to shift and keep the attention in the Self.

Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Ravi.N on April 02, 2012, 08:35:11 AM
uday/Friends,

Quote
"every day prayer, little meditation, listening to some Saint's teachings, reading Ramana's words etc. This would create the right environment for one to develop in karma yoga and also eventually release oneself from all bondage. This also means one has started to wake up early, sleep early, eat in limited amounts, exercise regularly etc. All these are nithya karmas. Please see that when one does all these, one is setting everything in correct order"

Absolutely.Rhythm and steadiness is key to sadhana.Otherwise it will be in Fits and Starts.
As Sri Ramakrishna says:
"The worldly man's devotion to God
is momentary―like a drop of water on a redhot frying-pan. Perchance he looks at a flower
and exclaims, 'Ah, what a wonderful creation of God!'"
Sri Ramakrishna taught the devotees how to call on the Divine Mother.
<b>Master's prayer to the Divine Mother</b>
MASTER: "I used to pray to Her in this way: 'O Mother! O Blissful One! Reveal Thyself to
me. Thou must!' Again, I would say to Her: 'O Lord of the lowly! O Lord of the universe!
Surely I am not outside Thy universe. I am bereft of knowledge. I am without discipline. I
have no devotion. I know nothing. Thou must be gracious and reveal Thyself to me.' "
Thus the Master taught the devotees how to pray. They were deeply touched. Tears filled
Mahimacharan's eyes.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Ravi.N on April 02, 2012, 03:08:21 PM
Udai,
Yes,Sri Ramakrishna is very dear to me.His teachings are closest to my heart and way of sadhana.These words of 'M' always strike the deepest chord in me.
Quote
In an inspired mood "M" once wrote of Ramakrishna:

   "The Master was like a five-year-old boy always running to meet his Mother.
    The Master was like a bonfire from which other lamps were lighted.
    The Master was like a celestial vina always absorbed in singing the glory of the Divine Mother.
    The Master was like a big fish joyfully swimming in calm, clear, blue waters, the Ocean of Satchidananda.
    The Master was like a bird which had left its nest in a storm and then, perched on the threshold of the Infinite,
    was joyfully moving between the two realms, singing the glory of the Infinite."
Finally 'M' had to give up saying "All these descriptions fall short"!

In The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna ,one of the most charming thing to me is when the Master used to ask 'M':'What do you think of me?'

Here are excerpts from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna where the Master asks 'M' this fascinating question!
1.As Sri Ramakrishna walked up and down the hall with M., he said to him: "Let me ask you
something. What do you think of me?"
M. remained silent. Again Sri Ramakrishna asked: "What do you think of me? How many
annas of knowledge of God have I?"
M: "I don't understand what you mean by 'annas'. But of this I am sure: I have never before
seen such knowledge, ecstatic love, faith in God, renunciation, and catholicity anywhere
."
The Master laughed.

2.Ishan took his leave and Sri Ramakrishna talked with M. No one else was present. He asked
M. what he thought of Narendra, Rakhal, Adhar, and Hazra, and whether they were
guileless. "And", asked the Master, "what do you think of me?" .
M. said: "You are simple and at the same time deep. It is extremely difficult to understand
you
."
Sri Ramakrishna laughed.

3.MASTER: "Have you found anyone else resembling me-any pundit or holy man?"
M: "God has created you with His own hands, whereas He has made others by machine. All
others He has created according to law."
MASTER (laughing, to Ramlal and the other devotees): "Listen to what he is saying!"

The Master in his charming way is seeing how well 'M' has understood him .He knew that 'M' is going to write the wonderful 'kathAmrita'-The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna that is considered one of the All time Great Classics in spiritual Hagiography.

Thanks uday,I will ramble on and on if you prod me on sri Ramakrishna.So,I will stop here.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Free Will and Destiny
Post by: Ravi.N on April 02, 2012, 04:40:08 PM
uday,
I will revert to the 'Rough Notebook-Open Forum' for further posts on Sri Ramakrishna.
Namaskar.