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 07, 2010, 09:31:00 AM

Title: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: Subramanian.R on February 07, 2010, 09:31:00 AM
Once Devaraja Mudaliar observed that a devotee who had come to
the Asramam lose his bag containing money, plantain fruits and
some clothes.  The monkeys had taken them when he had left the
bag near the office.  He became very said since he had lost all
money and there was not even any money for his return journey.
All devotees took pity on him.  Devotees were asking among themselves why these miseries when a devotee had come for
Bhagavan's darshan.  This was informed to Bhagavan also.  Bhagavan, as usual, kept quiet.

After some time, the monkeys which had taken only the fruits threw away the bag and the devotee picked it up with great joy.

Devaraja Mudaliar (who was never tired of asking questions to
Bhagavan), asked Bhagavan Ramana: "Bhagavan!  Why these miseries first come about and why these miseries go away after
a period of anxiety and sorrow.  If God had been kind, why should
the miseries happen at the first instance?"

Bhagavan Ramana replied, after some silence:  "Unless such miseries happen and then go away, the human beings will not
think about God and his grace!"  Devaraja Mudaliar was pleased
with the answer.


Without a seed, You shall grow grains and harvest them.
You shall make and unmake the worlds at your sheer will.
You have made this lowly dog, stand at the gates
of Your Temple like a man in frenzy.
You made this wastrel to be loved by all your great devotees.
Will You ( a gardener) cut off the tree that he has grown,
Just because it produces poisonous fruit?
I am also like that, O my Lord.

  - Tiruchadakam, Holy Hundred. Verse 10.6.  Tiruvachakam.

(Source:  My reminiscences - Devaraja Mudaliar.)

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: SLakshmi on February 07, 2010, 04:37:01 PM
Subramaniam Sir,

this episode reminds me of a conversation between bhagavan and a devotee. I remember reading it somewhere and although not verbatim, the gist of the conversation was something like this..

Devotee: bhagavan, whenever some painful moments trouble me, i think of god and slowly it all vanishes..

Bhagavan: Imagine, if you always thought of god, nothing would even trouble you in the first place!

Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: Subramanian.R on February 07, 2010, 06:08:38 PM
Dear SLakshmi,

If one always thinks about God, he will develop a high level
of surrender and non-attachment.  So for such a person, even
if miseries come, 1) God will quickly remove them or make them
become "thin" so that he can put up with them.  or 2) he will
never "feel" the miseries at all.  If they come or not, what does
he bother?

1) This is often said in Saiva Siddhantam.  Prarabdha will be
"thinned", so that what comes for the head will take away only
your helmet and you will be safe, but for the damage to the
helmet!  There is one story of a boy eaten away by a crocodile
and brought alive after five years by Sundaramoorthy Swamigal,
one of the first 4 of Saiva devotees.  The detailed story later.....

2)  This is often said by Bhagavan Ramana.  Miseries would come
because of Prarabdha, but you would have overcome your mind-
body consciousness, that you will not "feel" them.  All pains and
miseries, why, even happiness and pleasures are only for the
mind and body.  Is it not?

Arunachala Siva. 
Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: SLakshmi on February 08, 2010, 09:07:19 AM
 I think there have been several instances of such grace by bhagavan. Of the many..i can recall bhagavan asking one of his childhood friend, rangan, to stay with him for a period of few days, when the time according to his horoscope was not good. Also, the same rangan when faced with sleepless nights was woken up by bhagavan and assured that the thing troubling him will soon be resolved. Accordingly, rangan got a job of Rs.10,000 p.a and was able to get his daughters married.

I think everywhere, at all times, people have faced the same problem. Even today, when [touchwood] the world is without war, people have jobs that pay well [IT is an instance], home-loans are easier and luxury appartments are a necessity [what with power-back up and all] dont we still moan and groan that what we get isnt enough! The other day when i was having a conversation with a neighbout friend, she told me not to romantacise the past era. She said women had it very difficult, there was poverty everywhere, war was looming large, people had big families and ofcourse joint-family system had its own travails! But i better are we now?! Malgudi days for instance was a big hit...ofcourse because of the story but also because of its innate simplicity..which is so lacking today. Everything being glitzy and glamorous..the beauty of innocence and just being true and simple is lost. I think today...whatever problems we face,especially economically or otherwise is our own doing and because of our own unrealistic aspirations...which never seem to be satiated.

For instance, If i have to invite people over for dinner..more than the cooking I am always worried about the presentation. My mother used to serve people in the ever-silver 'thattu' with the usual utensils at home. The focus was more on whole-some home cooked food...which was tasty and satisfying...which most often than not, people had stomach full and went home happy. Now ofcourse..the focus is on the 'china' used, the cutlery and crockery and what not..!! and dare i serve sambar, parappu sadam or thogayal! Now, I have to dish out cheese balls and rumali roti to go with dum aloo!!

I think i sound pretty old fashioned for my age..and have rambled a lot....apologies  ;D
Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: Subramanian.R on February 08, 2010, 10:11:43 AM
Dear SLakshmi,

Nice anecdote.  Bhagavan Ramana helped Ranga Iyer (Rangan)
in many ways to get over his difficulties. It is all Guru's Grace,
that worked miracles in Rangan's life.  He also did that for
Jagadeeswara Sastri, who suffered from colon cancer and was
nearing death in Tiruvannamalai hospital.  When doctors asked
Bhagavan Ramana how to proceed further, He merely told them
to continue a particular medicine.  Jagadeeswara Sastri got cured
and came back to the Hall soon.  He was present when Kapali
Sastri was reading Ramana Gita Prakasa in the presence of
Bhagavan Ramana.  Kapali Sastri became speechless seeing his
survival, even though Sastri looked very weak and thin, he was
alive and kicking and lived a few more years.  He did with the
young boy Ramanan, when the latter was bitten by a snake and
was black and blue nearing death.  Bhagavan Ramana touched him
and he got well.

But Bhagavan Ramana did not want to do such miracles at the drop of His hat.  He did occasionally.  He once told that if He started
raising the dead or near-dead people everyday, then the Asramam
would be filled with corpses!  That was not His mission!

Arunachala Siva.       
Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: SLakshmi on February 08, 2010, 11:24:43 AM

On re-thinking ...I dont know why i said what i said in my previous post! Coz..we all go through problems in life and i forget each time that 'prarabdha karma' of a person decides what happens to him. Also, i guess no difficult situation is trivial or welcomed upon by a is the circumstances...

...also probably its not a bad thing after all to be motivates you to achieve bigger things in life..besides...who am i to say such things...when i myself live in a apartment with a back-up and other facilities...

...and so the ramble continues....

P.S - Subramanian did a wise thing not reacting to the other half of the post!
Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: Subramanian.R on February 08, 2010, 11:26:40 AM
Dear SLakshmi,

Very true.  So long as our wants are genuine and just adequate
for our living (with minimum wants),  Bhagavan Ramana surely
helps if one surrenders to Him.  Death is a certainty and Bhagavan
Ramana does not interfere with it everytime, and perhaps very
rarely.  Sickness and ailments - yes, He will cure to the extent
that our prarabdha permits.  

Once there was a purohit of Sri Mathrubhuteswara Temple.  He
had some problem with his legs and he could not move about
much.  He could not attend to the Puja functions. But he took it
with perserverence, praying only for Deliverence.  Sri Ganesan, the eldest of the three brothers went and saw him in the latter's house.  Ganesan said:  "Sastri! You have done so much guru seva for Bhagavan.  But still, Bhagavan does not help you, look at your "kaal" - in Tamil leg.  Sastri smiled and said:  "Ganesa!  Why do you blame Bhagavan for this "kaal" - leg?  My "mukkaal" is alright, you know, with Bhagavan's grace.  And I am satisfied."

Even in that miserable state, Sastri punned on the words "kaal"
and "mukkaal".  Kaal in Tamil also means one-quarter.  Mukkaal
means three-quarters.  His three quarters, i.e. rest of his body
is okay, with Bhagavan's Grace.  Then why should he much bother
about only the leg, one quarter?

This is the way, one should take Bhagavan's grace, if he is a
sincere devotee.

Arunachala Siva.    
Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: SLakshmi on February 08, 2010, 11:48:36 AM
true Subramanian Sir...minimum wants is the key. I liked the rangan story because Sh. Rangan was not asking for anything beyond want bothered him at that moment. but i guess the minimum want theory also has to been to seen differently at different points of time. Then and Now. Somehow to me...bhagavan's time...seen in photographs are very inspiring and beautiful! I would do anything to be taken back in time and work as a school teacher and go along with T.K Sundaresa Iyer after school-hours to the ashram and come home early next day! Even my childhood in the 80's and going to my village house and melattur for vacation was all awesome!
Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: Subramanian.R on February 08, 2010, 11:54:36 AM
Dear srkudai,

Why?  Why?  Why?

I think this is where the question of prarabdha (un-thinnable)
comes into play.  The same Bhagavan Ramana did not help
Mahalakshmi Amma, who lost her three children, one after another,
after a few months of their coming to this world. In fact, Mahalakshmi Amma, had one child given a spoon of rice cooked
in milk by Bhagavan Ramana as the 'first feeding" Anna prasanam.
To the second child, she asked Bhagavan Ramana to apply vibhuti
on its forehead and Bhagavan Ramana hesitated and was eventually forced by Mahalakshmi Amma to do that.  The children did not survive.  Why?  Was Bhagavan Ramana partial as between Ramanan
the little boy who was rescued from snake-bite vis a vis the three children of Mahalakshmi Amma? No. He could not have been.  As a complete Jnani, He had sama-dhrushti on all living beings.

But here, the credit goes to Mahaakshmi Amma.  She bore it
with Himalayan forbearance, like Sastri of the Mathrubhuteswara

There are such stuff, Horatio!
In heavens and earth,
That you may never know!  

                          - Shakespeare.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: viswanathan on February 08, 2010, 12:56:26 PM
Our sastra has a very clear answer for our sufferings & enjoyments and the answer  is the theory of karma.In tamil it is said that "vinai vithaithavan vinai aruppan" meaning of which same as the saying in Christianity ie "As you so you reap".There is no escape from that unless we attain jnana and as per Bhagavan Ramana, once a person attains jnana all the three karma's, ie, sanchita,prarabdha and agami go away.We know many incidences of  Bhagavan Sathya Sai Baba having cured  the ailments of many devotees..In this context, I wish to mention an incidence told by a friend of mine.His relative was suffering from some serious ailment  and the patient was brought to Bhagavan Sathya Sai baba for cure and  Baba told  that it is his  prarabdha karma and hence cannot be cured.We all know that Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa,Bhagavan ramana and Yogi Ram Surat kumar had cancer and Swami Vivekananda had diabetes.However theses sages were not affected by these  ailments  since they have not identified with the body whereas we the ajanis identify with the body and suffer and feel miserable
Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: viswanathan on February 08, 2010, 01:06:17 PM
In my earlier post on the subject,i made a typographical mistake.The proverb As you sow you reap was wrongly typed as As you so you reap.The error is regretted.The mistake is due to my vision problem
Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: matthias on February 08, 2010, 01:26:08 PM
dear skrudai

I in my humble opinion think that a jnani, is here for one porpuse: to awake us to our true condition....

and I dont think that anything else should matter too much..

but that is just my opinion
Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: ramana_maharshi on February 08, 2010, 01:30:34 PM
Below articles in my blog gives views of bhagavan ramana about pain and suffering. ( ( (

Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: Subramanian.R on February 08, 2010, 02:05:18 PM
Dear viswanathan,

Yes, I agree, the "Vinai" our karmas bear fruits either in the form
of happiness or miseries. This the basic tenet of Hinduism, the
concept of Prarabdha etc.,  Very rarely, very rarel, I repeat, that
effect of this Prarabdha is minimised.

Dear matthias,

I agree.  The prime mission of a Brahma Jnani is to show the
way to deliverence and nothing else.

Dear prasanth,

Yes. If one is a realized Jnani, then he has no ego and body
and hence the effect of prarabdha is not felt by him, since
he is drowned in the greater experience of bliss of the Self.
Bhagavan Ramana mentioned in Sad Darsanam, the story of
three wives becoming widows simultaneously when the husband
dies.  eg. King Dasaratha.  So all the three karma effects are
burnt lock, stock and barrel for a Brahma Jnani.  As Bhagavan
Ramana said during his cancer years, "only the body is having

Dear srkudai,

Yes.  Even a Brahma Jnani is powerless in such cases, where
prarabdha, which is God's own law, is so tough.  After learning
from Vasishta all the advaita, why should Sri Rama, cry for his
wife's abduction?  After difficult battles with Ravana's army,
and when Sita came back, why should he ask her to do agni-
pravesa?  There are many such things. I think, Gods also "play"
their prarabdhas, to display them to the mortals.

Arunachala Siva. 
Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: Subramanian.R on February 08, 2010, 04:07:04 PM
Dear srkudai,

1.  A Jnani can cure a person in ailment very rarely, very rarely
indeed.  In the whole of Bible, we see that Jesus cured only a
few lepers and persons who were afflicted by ghosts.  As regards
raising the dead, only Lazarus had that great fortune.

2.  Secondly, as you have correctly observed that a Jnani can be
a role model and show the way.  But he can confer you deliverence.
Bhagavan Ramana says talking about God and Guru in Who am I?:
"God and Guru will only show the way but not place you in mukti.
But one can follow the Guru's words in strict observance and find
his goal.  The one who has fallen into the Guru's gaze of grace
aruL paarvai -, he will never fail, like a fawn caught in tiger's jaws.   But he has to work out his goal. Rama to know that he is Rama, does he need a mirror?  One should realize oneself through wisdom-insight, Jnana KaN, by his own efforts."

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: Nagaraj on February 08, 2010, 06:48:35 PM
Sufferings, pains are the biggest grace in themselves. When one recognises this truth, that these sufferings are there so that one recognises ones own true Self. Such sufferings keep coming to one till he realises and abides as Self.

Like the mother bird which pushes her chick from the nest till it learns to fly, sufferings keep coming till one realises one true nature. There is no other persons sufferings or my or our sufferings as such, but there is just only 'Suffereing' i.e. there is only Grace.

Salutations to Sri Ramana
Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: silentgreen on February 09, 2010, 12:51:50 PM
Bhishma Deva lay dying on his bed of arrows. All the Pandavas are standing with Sri Krishna. They see tears flowing from the eyes of Bhishma Deva.

Arjuna says to Sri Krishna, "Brother, how strange it is! Pitamah, who is Bhishma Deva himself, truthful, has conquered his senses, a jnani and one of the eight Vasus, even he is weeping at the time of his death because of maya."

When Sri Krishna asked Bhishma about it, Bhishma replied, "Sri Krishna! You know very well that I am not weeping because of this. When I see that there is no end to the sufferings even of the Pandavas who have Bhagavan Himself as their charioteer, I weep thinking that I have not been able to understand anything of the ways of Bhagavan."

--- Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: ramanaduli on February 09, 2010, 09:00:47 PM
Like us, in all avataras, Gods also suffer. Rama, Sita both suffered. Krishna, also suffered lot. His birth was taken place in jail, immedietly He was sent to another lady. In His childhood He was called theif because He stole butter, Gopi's vastra. He had to kill asuras and putna for His own survival then killed His own uncle kamsa. During the battle kowravas blamed Him. At last He was killed by a hunter. His whole life is not less than our life still He smiles in all pictures. Because He was enlighted. They say even though He had 1000 wives, He is a brahmachari and Durvasa is upavasi.

Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: arunagiri on February 09, 2010, 10:10:55 PM
Dear Friends

I came across a site in which i found arunachala ramana who is adopting Bhagavan Ramanas teachings but giving a certificate course on "Self Enquiry". He is having an ashram here in Thiruvannamalai. Anyone knows about it?

Can anyone throw somelight on this pls?

Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: Nagaraj on February 09, 2010, 11:21:53 PM
Dear I,

Please refer these posts:

I absolutely don't know any thing about this organisation. Please use your prudence in venturing further. We can never really question any body's intentions about his/her spiritual quest or foundations or organisations.

Bhagavan takes everyone to where one has to be led to.

Salutations to Sri Ramana
Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: Nagaraj on February 09, 2010, 11:33:37 PM
Dear I,

Yes, I have always been fascinated by the irony, everybody always talk much about the sufferings of Rama and Sita. But I have always felt (not a comparison) that Krishna is the one who has really suffered it a lot. Un Imaginable sufferings, it appears to me, that Rama's sufferings are nothing in front of Krishna's (Please do not take amiss, both are one and the same, not comparing)

1. Krishna was born in Jail to Devaki and Vasudeva
2. Sent to Nanda and Yashoda
3. He leaves Nanda and Yashoda for ever and never comes back
4. He never gets to stay with his real parents at all
5. He never had a single house
6. He had severe disputes with his most loveable brother Balarama. They never talked to each other.
7. He never got to live with any of his queens at all. He was all alone all the time
8. The little good friendship he had with Arjuna also did not last much as it as bungled with war and deaths
9. Nothing was ever concrete in his life.
10. His entire clan Yadavas are destroyed
11. Gandhari curses him that he is the one who induced war between Pandavas and Kauravas, and the reason for the death of her 100 sons
12. He is the reason behind Yudhishtra's having to lie about the death of Ashvattaama to Drona
13. Infact many people hated him to the core excepting a very few people who are prominently known through the study of Bhagavatam and Mahabharatha.
14. He left the Gopikas Mad. Never ever visited them again.
15. He left Radha. Never met her again.
16. He was the reason behind Duryodhana's death.

These points apart, each and every points mentioned above has beautiful Tatvams, which is very clearly available in Bhagavad Gita.

These are just a few to quote, there are so so many more....

But he was a Sthithaprajna of the first order. Living in midst of Kshatriya clan, Yadavas, Brahmanas, chaos, war, politics, treachery, etc...

Salutations to Sri Ramana
Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: Graham on February 10, 2010, 04:48:02 AM
To reply to the query about the self-appointed American guru and his 'ashram' here in Tiruvannamalai.

How is it possible to award certificates for inner work that is known only to God - and why award a certificate in the first place? The answer is money, money and more money!
Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: Graham on February 10, 2010, 05:12:54 AM

I have repeatedly read the Srimad Bhagavatam - the condensed English translation by S. S. Cohen, published by the ashram, and do not see any reference to Lord Krishna suffering anything. Also a lot of the points you make are inaccurate according to that version.

Cohen was and is highly respected as a Self-realised devotee of Bhagavan by many devotees - the clarity and power of his words which go straight to the heart are testimony to this.

How is it possible for the Soul of the Universe to suffer anything?
Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: Nagaraj on February 10, 2010, 09:46:05 AM
Dear I,

Yes, no where in Bhagavatam is it mentioned about the points I mentioned, all I was trying to mention was that It cannot be seen at all that Krishna suffered. He was above all these. One cannot know at all that there was suffering in Krishna's life. I just mentioned few instances which could go to prove in usual sense as to ho much Krishna could have suffered. These are hidden Tatvas, according to me. No where is it mentioned any where in Bhagavatam or in Mahabharata, but a careful study will certainly lead one to the truth, like for instances, Balarama did not agree to several ways of Krishna, He never visited back the Gopikas, only instance we come across is that Sri Krishna sends Uddhava to Gopikas in the Uddhava Gita or the last skanda of Bhagaavatam.

The subtle point I was trying to make is this that though in ordinary eyes, it may appear that Krishna had to sufferings with so many shackles that happened in his life, but He being Krishna, the very personification of Sthithaprajna, conduted himself as a sage all throughout, he gives us the glorious teachings of Bhagavad Gita as to how to conduct ourselves giving light to the eternal Self.

Nobody could spot any pain or suffereing in Krishna as it was not there for him at all.

Like, our beloved Ramana Maharshi, who had to undergo surgery, I have heard that He had his first surgery even without anesthesia as well. He remained so unmoved to all these bodily sufferings and he remained composed as Self inspite of all the sufferings that seem from our eyes. Krishna was like this throughout, He being like Ramana, never really was sufferings though there were several instances. Please do correct me, if I am wrong anywhere.

Salutations to Sri Ramana
Title: Re: Why do miseries come and go?
Post by: Subramanian.R on February 10, 2010, 09:49:27 AM
As a related subject, the subject of a Jnani and an Avatara,
came up two times as indicated in Talks of M. Venkataramiah
and once in Day by Day of Devaraja Mudaliar.

Bhagavan Ramana has clarified to Devaraja Mudaliar (in his
entry of 14th Sept. 1946) that the Jnani was higher than the
avatara, according to some books.  When Devaraja Mudaliar
had written earlier in a letter to his brother "that Jnani is the highest manifestation of God on earth, next perhaps only to an avatara",
Bhagavan had said this.  When Mudaliar wanted to correct his letter, Bhagavan Ramana said:  "Why do you correct it?  Let it go as it is"

Earlier, there are two "talks" in Munagala Venkataramiah's book.

In Talk No. 307, Bhagavan Ramana when asked by someone regarding avatars of Vishnu, had said:  "Let us know our own
avatara, the knowledge of the other avataras will follow."

In Talk No. 471, a devotee said:

The avatars are said to be more glorious than the self realized
Jnanis.  Maya does not affect them from birth, divine powers are manifest,new religions are started and so on.          

Bhagavan:  (1) "Jnani tvatmaiva me matam."
                 (2) "Sarvam khalvidam brahma."

How is an avatar different from a Jnani; or how can there be an
avatar as distinct from the universe?

Devotee:  The eye is said to be repository of all forms.  So the
ear is of all sounds, etc.,  The one Chaitanya operates as all.
No miracles are possible without the aid of the senses, indriyas.
How can there be miracles at all?  If they are said to surpass
human understanding so are the creation in dreams.  Where then
is the miracle?
               The distinction between Avataras and Jnanis is absurd.
"Knower of Brahman becomes Brahman only." is otherwise contradicted.

Bhagavan: Quite so.

(Source:  As indicated above)

Arunachala Siva.